SpeedFan (4.52) – Freeware Review

July 28, 2016

1. What Does SpeedFan Do ? SpeedFan monitors your CPU, Mother Board, Hard-drives and internal fans and even your graphic card or cards (as well as GPU’s) and gives you an easy to use temperature read out. Both in your system tray and via your Vista sidebar (If you have it running) with the correct up to date sidebar widget. So you can tell how hot your computer is running and to curb any possible damage. As well as to improve your overall system performance.

2. Ease Of Use – SpeedFan is very easy to use because all you need to do is install it and you are good to go. In most cases SpeedFan will auto-detect most CPU’s, Motherboards and Graphics Cards. There has yet to be a computer thus far that has not detected all or most of the internal components.

3. Interface – Very simple SpeedFan has a few easy to use tabs and that is pretty much it. SpeedFan is by no means fancy, but that is how I like it. Simple and to the point with no pointless filler. Dragging it down.

4. Can You Leave SpeedFan Running Without Issue ? Yes, you can no doubt

5. Is There Any Adware Or Spyware Bundled With SpeedFan ? No

6. Is SpeedFan  Stable ? Very stable

I give SpeedFan an Overall Rating of 4.5 out of 5 – This new version seems to have out done itself yet again with an even bigger and  better database of CPU’s , Motherboards and Graphics cards and GPU’s to detect from. SpeedFan yet again seems to load a little faster then the past (4.50) version. There are still a few things, I really would like to see in such as the ability to have SpeedFan load up during computer start-up. And the ability to check for updates with in the SpeedFan main UI.

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You Can Grab This Freeware Application From The Following Website: http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

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Return To The Main Reviews Page

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Till The Next Review,

Kirbe


Skype (7.25.0.106) – Freeware Review

July 27, 2016

AA. Cost: Free (But, there is a paid version as well)

1. Ease Of Use – Extremely easy to use. Once setup has been completed (AKA registration (Sign-up), mic, headset and or webcam have all been setup and adjusted. To you liking, it may take a little tweaking to get it just right. But once Skype has been setup. You can just leave Skype be from that point on. Unless of course you need to tweak audio and or video. Both of which can be done on the fly.)

1A. Interface – Very simple, clean and straight forward

2. Quality Of Program – Skype has improved yet again. This time with an overly dramatic blue UI (User Interface) face lift.

3. Speed of Sign-in – A lot faster then past versions. And a lot less jerky then past versions.

4. Can you run other programs while running Skype ? Yes

5. Can you leave Skype running without issue ? Yes

6. Is there adware or spyware bundled with Skype ? Yes, there is a Toolbar you can opt out of and a “Click To Call” Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Add-on. That you can also opt out of.  There are also some ads now that pop-up. I don’t really have any big issues with them (But they are really rather large). But it can be bothersome to some user. Who are not use to thous types of ads.

7. Is Skype Stable ? Yes, there is no question Skype is a very stable program. But it does depend a lot on the stability and quality of your Internet connection.

I give Skype an overall score of 4 out of 5 – I truly believe “Once you go Skype. You don’t go back.” Skype is truly a much better option. It annihilates it’s competition such as Team Speak or Ventrillo.

On A Side Note: The only major flaw of Skype is it lack of ability to host between 6-25 people. Such as playing MMOs like WOW or other such games. Skype is more of a personal experience. But since I don’t and I also don’t par-take in Facebook. I don’t feel I need anything other then Skype.

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Major Skype Technical Stability Side Note: The Skype version and devices your using matter a lot. To learn more please read on.

*I have had some reports of Skype being choppy and audio quality being very poor. When connecting to someone with an out-of-date version of Skype. In fact, I had such a bad issue with my audio quality. I had to e-mail my mates and ask them to upgrade to this version. Thankfully after they had upgraded. We no longer had any more audio or video quality issues.

**But unfortunately stability, audio quality and video quality can vastly differ based on what Skype version you are using and what device your using it on. Again, unfortunately in this case it is trial and error.  Not all devices will work together and not all versions of Skype have the same features as say the full release of the Windows Desktop version. Even the Windows 8/8.1 version has massively different set of features then say the XP, Vista and or Windows 7 versions. I’ll also goes further on the same note by saying the Android versions of Skype lack some key features and options. That the Windows desktop version has in spades.

You honestly won’t miss many of the features until they are gone. That or are hidden in some hard to find place with in Skype. While Android seems to be missing some of the more common privacy and customization options the Windows desktop version of Skype has.

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If you wish to download Skype please use the following link: http://www.skype.com/download/skype/windows/

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Till The Next Review,

Kirbe


CCleaner (5.19.5563) Free Edition – Freeware Review

July 26, 2016

The Rating Scale Breakdown:

  • 0  – 0.5 – Abysmal
  • 1.0 – 1.5 – Terrible
  • 2.0 – 2.5 – Poor
  • 3.0 – 3.5 – Average
  • 4.0 – 4.5 – Great
  • 5.0 – Excellent
  • Undetermined – Too soon to tell or lacking evidence to provide a solid answer
  • Not Tested – Has yet to be requested or there is some limitations to prevent accurate test results
  • N/A – Not Available and or Not Applicable to this program

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V. 7.5 D“CCleaner” Freeware Review Template

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Price: Free

A. Installation CCleaner – 5.0 Excellent” – Fast, Safe and Simple

B. Un-installing CCleaner – 5.0 Excellent” – Fast, Safe and Simple

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C. Stability Of Program – 5.0 Excellent” – Absolutely no stability Issues

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D. Cleaner

D1. Windows Cleaner4.5Great” – Works very well. Just 1 really important note a warning if you will. You will lose all your data on the items you have decided to check off. So check your list of “Windows Features” you are gonna clean first.

D2. Application Cleaner4.5Great” – Works very well. Just 1 really important note a warning if you will. You will lose all your data on the items you have decided to check off. So check your list of “Windows Applications” you are gonna clean first.

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E. Cleaner Quality Test:

E1. Windows XP5.0Excellent

E2. Windows Vista5.0Excellent

E3. Windows 7 5.0Excellent

E4. Windows 8 – 5.0Excellent

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F. Registry

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G. Speed of Analyze – 5.0Excellent – Again, it will be over in about 1 or 2 minutes at max. Unless you are running a really old rig. Then even then it is faster then most paid programs out there.

GG. Speed of Repair4.5Great – It will be over quite quickly you just maybe surprised. But be warned if you decide not to back-up your registry. Before fixing your registry ERROR(S) you’ll be doing it at your own risk / peril. I say that just to warn people. I have never had an issue and I have been using this program for about 10 + years now. Perhaps maybe even longer.

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H. Registry Cleaner Quality Test:

H1. Windows XP5.0Excellent

H2. Windows Vista5.0Excellent

H3. Windows 7 5.0Excellent

H4. Windows 8 – 5.0Excellent

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I. Tools

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I1. Un-installer3.0 Average” – This option is shaky at best. This option often leaves a mess in its wake. But be warned not all of said un-installed programs components / files maybe completely gone. I often have to run a separate PC utility like Auslogic BoostSpeed or Registry Mechanic (Both are Paidware). If you want to go freeware you can give IObit Advanced System Cleaner 8. But be careful I have had very mixed results with it.

I2. Start-up 4.5Great– This option is the king of killing start-up programs and process. But there are some that programs for what ever reason fail to yield to this CCleaner option. Be warned you can cause your computer damage if you don’t allow certain programs to run on boot up. You may also cause MAJOR security holes in your PC.

I3. System Restore3.0Average” – It would be awesome if it worked every time. But sadly I only use this option as the last last resort.

I4. Drive WiperNot Tested – I’ve never tried it and don’t plan too anytime soon. Sorry, if you want to give this option a go. By all means let me know the fallout. I’d be more then happy to post your score on the next review we do.

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J. Options

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J1. Settings4.5Great” – Simple and to the point exactly what you want. You can even undo stuff you had to choose when you originally installed Cleaner.

J2. Cookies4.0Great” – this option is only great if you know what you are doing. and my friend this will take a wee bit of Computer Knowledge and a tad bit of Internet Savvy to pull of exactly what you want. And even then you may not get the outcome you want on the first or second go at it.

J3. IncludeNot Tested – I have never used this option and have really no clue what it does. Beyond the very simplistic description it offers above.

J4. ExcludeNot Tested – Same as above. I have never used this option and have really no clue what it does. Beyond the very simplistic description it offers above.

J5. AdvancedNot Tested – Same as above. But it appears simple enough to navigate.

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K. Updating4.0Great – Needs to be updated manually. Sometimes your promoted when there is a new version of CCleaner out. And other times your not. I’m not really sure why that is because, I have the option checked off.

L. CCleaner Support – Not Tested – Never needed it before and I doubt I will in the future. But I imagine if it’s anything like CCleaner itself. It would be pretty awesome.

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My Overall Score: 96.5/105

91.9 % = A +

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My Final Verdict Part 1-: CCleaner still remains at the top of it’s class when it comes to the freeware model of a PC Utility programs. They really don’t make freeware programs like this very often. I have never really had any real issues with CCleaner. Other then maybe it tries to do too much and it falls flat or stretches itself too thin.

Perfect examples of this are the uninstaller and restore features. Why not drop them and add that vim and vinegar in improving other aspects of CCleaner Free.

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My Final Verdict Part 2-: I have to admit at first glance CCleaner looks too good to be true in it’s freeware package. Even my score is an almost perfect, which absolutely floors me every time. As I don’t normal see that type of score or quality in most programs. Let alone a freeware version of a PC Utility.

I honestly wonder if there will be a time where there will be a small cost to even the basic CCleaner version. I hope not. But I do believe it is possible at some point down the line. That or they could strip the program down to be even more basic.

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1. http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download (CCleaners Main Download Page)

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Till The Next Review,

Danny


What is a “Webmaster” ?

July 26, 2016

Webmaster (from web and master) – Also called a web architect, web developer, site author, website administrator, or website coordinator is a person responsible for maintaining one or many websites. The duties of the webmaster may include: ensuring that the web servers, hardware and software are operating correctly, designing the website, generating and revising web pages, A/B testing, replying to user comments, and examining traffic through the site. As a general rule, professional webmasters “must also be well-versed in Web transaction software, payment-processing software, and security software.”

Due to the RFC 822 requirement for establishing a “postmaster” email address for the single point of contact for the email administrator of a domain, the “webmaster” address and title were unofficially adopted by analogy for the website administrator. Webmasters may be generalists with HTML expertise who manage most or all aspects of Web operations. Depending on the nature of the websites they manage, webmasters typically know scripting languages such as JavaScript, ColdFusion, .NET, PHP and Perl.

They may also be required to know how to configure web servers such as Apache HTTP Server (Apache) or Internet Information Services (IIS) and be a server administrator. Most server roles would however be overseen by the IT Administrator. Core responsibilities of the webmaster may include the regulation and management of access rights of different users of a website or content management system, the appearance and setting up website navigation. Content placement can be part of a webmaster’s numerous duties, though content creation may not be.

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Source: Wikipedia


What does “VR” mean ?

July 19, 2016

VR (Virtual Reality or Virtual Realities) – It can be referred to as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated reality, replicates an environment that simulates a physical presence in places in the real world or an imagined world, allowing the user to interact in that world. Virtual realities artificially create sensory experiences, which can include sight, hearing, touch, and smell.

Most up-to-date virtual realities are displayed either on a computer screen or with special stereoscopic displays, and some simulations include additional sensory information and focus on real sound through speakers or headphones targeted towards VR users. Some advanced haptic systems now include tactile information, generally known as force feedback in medical, gaming and military applications. Furthermore, virtual reality covers remote communication environments which provide virtual presence of users with the concepts of telepresence and telexistence or a virtual artifact (VA) either through the use of standard input devices such as a keyboard and mouse, or through multimodal devices such as a wired glove or omnidirectional treadmills. The simulated environment can be similar to the real world in order to create a lifelike experience—for example, in simulations for pilot or combat training—or it can differ significantly from reality, such as in VR games.

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Source: Wikipedia


What does “User Interface” mean ?

July 12, 2016

User Interface – In the industrial design field of human–machine interaction, it is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, whilst the machine simultaneously feeds back information that aids the operators’ decision making process. Examples of this broad concept of user interfaces include the interactive aspects of computer operating systems, hand tools, heavy machinery operator controls, and process controls. The design considerations applicable when creating user interfaces are related to or involve such disciplines as ergonomics and psychology.

Generally, the goal of user interface design is to produce a user interface which makes it easy (self explanatory), efficient, and enjoyable (user friendly) to operate a machine in the way which produces the desired result. This generally means that the operator needs to provide minimal input to achieve the desired output, and also that the machine minimizes undesired outputs to the human.

With the increased use of personal computers and the relative decline in societal awareness of heavy machinery, the term user interface is generally assumed to mean the graphical user interface, while industrial control panel and machinery control design discussions more commonly refer to human-machine interfaces. Other terms for user interface include human–computer interface and man–machine interface (MMI).

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Source: Wikipedia


AVG Internet Security 2016 (2016.91.7688) – Paidware Review

July 6, 2016

The Rating Scale Breakdown:

  • 0  – 0.5 – Abysmal
  • 1.0 – 1.5 – Terrible
  • 2.0 – 2.5 – Poor
  • 3.0 – 3.5 – Average
  • 4.0 – 4.5 – Great
  • 5.0 – Excellent
  • Undetermined – Too soon to tell or lacking evidence to provide a solid answer
  • Not Tested – Has yet to be requested or there is some limitations to prevent accurate test results

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Price$59.99 USD / For 1 year and 1 PC

A. Installing AVG4.0 Great” – There is no doubt that AVG has improved in this area. But saying that we had very mixed results with some of our team getting AVG Internet Security installed the first go around. While other team members took 3 or 4 times to install AVG Internet Security 2016.

B. Un-installing AVG – 4.5 Great” – AVG Free Anti-Virus 2015 is a lot cleaner un-installer this time around. Much better compared to previous versions of AVG going back 5 or 6 years.

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C. Stability Of Program5.0 Excellent – The UI (User Interface) seems to have been completely fixed in AVG 2014. Along with the jenkey manual update option.

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D. Has AVG Free Been Compromised By Hackers Or Virus4.0Great” – No reports of AVG being compromised.

E. Speed of Scan5.0 Excellent – Very quick on most computers.

F. Updating – 5.0 Excellent – Automatic and manual updating is great. No more issues here compared to AVG 2014 manual update lag spikes.

G. Does AVG Free Do Automatic Updates By Itself Without Any Issue5.0 Excellent – Yes, you can now with, no doubt. But leave the manual update option alone unless you want to invite stability related issues.

H. Internet Browser Cookie Detection Rate And Removal Test2.0 Poor– You are way better off with something like SUPERAntiSpyware or CCleaner that is more dedicated to removal of Internet cookies. AVG Internet cookie detection rate is terrible even with the option active and checked off.

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1. Anti-Virus Detection Rate Test:

1A. Windows XP – 4.0Great

1B. Windows Vista – 4.0Great

1C. Windows 74.0Great

1D. Windows 84.0Great

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2. Residential Shield Test 4.0Great – I still find SUPERAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware seems to grab the virus way before AVG does.

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Computers Protection

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3A. Anti-Virus Scanner – 4.0Great” – AVG has finally beaten their just average score. And that should tell you a lot.

3B. Anti-Rootkit Scanner4.0Great” – Great option. Works well.

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Web Browsing Protection

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4A. Link Scanner4.5 Great“ – Not a fan. But it can be very useful to some.

4B. Online Shield – 4.5 Great“ – Not really sure what this option does. But it seems to work really well.

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Identity Protection

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5A. Identity Protection 2.0Poor” – Completely in-effective and worthless.

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E-mail Protection

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6A. E-mail Scanner3.0Average” – Utterly baseline and average. I found no use for it.

6B. Anti-Spam3.0 Average” – Utterly baseline and average. Not even worth the setup.

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Firewall

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7. Firewall5.0 Excellent – By no means perfect. But way better then your standalone Windows built in Firewall

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Extra Features

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8. File Shredder4.0Great – I found this addition to be very useful. But lacking the multiple layer shredding options that Spybot – Search & Destroy or even Advance System Care 7 has.

9. PC TuneUp) – 4.5Great– Very useful at tuning up your PC. With lots of tools to work with. Some of which I have not even tried yet.

10. Tech Buddy Support0.0Abysmal” – This is just a cash grab. Completely worthless as well as falsely advertised and overally misleading to the end user.

11. AVG Direct Support0.5Abysmal” – With only a free forum and a phone number to call for support.

You will often find yourself ether being told to go to the free forum or they will recommend you go to further specialized support team via Tech Buddy. Which like I said above is an epic MONEY GRAB. Completely worthless as well as falsely advertised as well as overally misleading.

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My Overall Score: 93.5/125

74.5 % = B

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My Final Verdict – AVG Free Anti-Virus 2016 takes the same approach. That AVG 2015 took with regards to the UI (User-Interface) and streamlined interface.  It is very simple and easy to navigate. Just the way that an anti-virus program should be.

**As per the norm it is highly recommend that you upgrade to the newest version of AVG Internet Security 2016 when available and or prompted. 

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Till The Next Review,

Remy “Se7en”


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