Aug 192013 has always been a trusted site to find and download a plethora of software programs in any category and know that your download would be free of any malware or crapware.  Unfortunately, according to this article, that era is over.

The article describes how the new CNET downloader is full of potential traps, but even if you manage to dodge them, you will still get unwanted software installed on your computer.

Should you decide to bypass their downloader, you aren’t out of the woods. The article describes that any download that begins with “cbsidlm” is still infected.

We encourage you to read the article and look at the screenshots carefully.  While may still have some value in helping you to explore your options in a particular software category, it appears that it is no longer a safe place to download from.

 Posted by at 5:33 pm
Jul 312009

A client recently had the need to convert a PDF document to a Microsoft Word document and enlisted our help.  Short of purchasing the full version of Acrobat, or purchasing a single-purpose conversion program (which can run anywhere from $29 to $99), the alternatives were pretty slim.  There are free conversion programs on the market, but the reviews were not overwhelmingly good.

Luckily, we discovered a free web-based conversion program that worked perfectly.  It is called PDF to Word (free!) and while it claims to be a beta program, we had no problems.  It preserved the formatting of everything, including placement of images and the formatting of a table.  You simply browse to the location on your computer where the PDF file is located, enter your e-mail address, and about 3-5 minutes later, you receive the Word document in your e-mail. 

Perfect for low-volume needs.

Mar 022009

Everyone should have this gem bookmarked on their web browser.  Go over to right now and try it out.  You enter in a webpage and controls show up on the left side that help you select and then save or print only the content you choose. 

In the past, I have somtimes been able to accomplish this by selecting items to print and then choosing “print selection”, but there have been many times that the content I want is not contiguous or I accidently make the wrong print selection and the whole page prints anyway.  This site eliminates all those issues and lets you select exactly what you want to print.

They also have a little bookmark applet.  What this does is eliminates the need to visit the site when you are already on a page that you want to print.  By clicking this bookmark, the PrintWhatYouLike controls wrap around the page that you are on, enabling you to get right down to business.  The bookmark applet does use javascript, but unless you have turned off Java in your browser deliberately, it is on by default.

Jan 142009

UPDATE: MelZoo appears to have failed, like many search engines before it.

This is an interesting new search engine.  It’s called MelZoo and it offers a split screen.  As you mouse over the text results on the left side of the pane, a preview of each site appears in the right side of the pane. We found the speed to be quite good on a broadband connection.

MelZoo split screen search engine

Jul 292008

There’s a new search engine in town called Cuil and pronounced ‘cool’.  Started by some Google principals who broke away from the company, it boasts a lot more pages in its database.  It does have an interesting fresh look, and I certainly liked the results when I put in parameters such as ‘network consulting services, denver, co’, ‘network consultants, denver, co’, and so on.

The quirky thing about Cuil is the thumbnail pictures it displays besides each entry.  On one search you might be confronted with a group of marchers carrying a peace sign, and on another you might see a company logo that is unfamiliar to you and has nothing to do with the company being listed.

It will be interesting to see how the market shakes out (few challengers are successful), but it’s worth a try on your next search.

UPDATE:  Cuil was online for a little over two years, but shut down in 2010.

May 222008

It’s not difficult to get a human when you call Entré Computer.  If you do reach the recording, just leave a message and you will get a call back within a few minutes usually.

But calling large companies and getting a human can be more challenging at times.  That’s why you may want to bookmark this Get a Human list when calling customer service at a large organization.