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CATEGORY: review

Dropping TrueCrypt? I Look At Some Alternatives

STURGEON Cryptographic rotors

Just like the above German rotor, cryptographic tools come and go.  You might think the end is now here for for TrueCrypt. And you may be right, though I still think you can safely use version 7.1a. If you do intend on looking for a reasonable alternative to TrueCrypt’s features, finding the right tool may be a challenge. I’ve decided to install and quickly test a few of the freely available encryption tools to see if they’re worth your effort. Read on for more details.

First Look: Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse

Microsoft Wedge Touch MouseAs a mobile user, I’ve been using some form of mobile computing device for as long as I can remember. Invariably, a mouse of some sort needs to accompany the computer to complete the picture. While computers have advanced, so too has the mouse. Today, I’m  trying out a new type of mouse called the Microsoft Wedge Touch mouse. The so-named “wedge” because of its striking resemblance to a door stop. Was the mouse useful? Is it worth your hard-earned cash? 

Overall Impressions: Microsoft Office 2013

Office2013-1You’ve seen my thoughts on Outlook 2013, Word 2013, and Excel 2013 previously – now, I wanted to take a step back and look at the entire suite itself. The “fat” Office application suite has been with us so long, it’s almost easy to forget that this was a very non-cohesive set of programs not so long ago. Microsoft has certainly made gains in that regard as it integrates and includes no less than 9 different tools in the full Office 2013 package. Let’s take a look at the bigger picture.

First Impressions: Microsoft Excel 2013

Excel2013-1I’ll never really understand why Microsoft calls it’s hugely popular spreadsheet application Excel. Is it that the program helps you become Excellent with numbers? I’m not exactly sure, but as the de facto spreadsheet application on the desktop, Excel is in use in most businesses today. As a product, it really hasn’t changed to dramatically over the last ten years. With a new 2013 release for Windows on the horizon, I wanted to take a look at what’s coming for Excel users and administrators alike.

First Impressions: Microsoft Word 2013

Word2013-1If you had to give business only one of the 9 or so applications in the Office Suite, there’s a goog chance most businesses would ask for Microsoft Word. So important is it to many businesses, that a typical user’s computer has Word running for the entire duration of a working day while opening and closing documents. With a recent release to manufacturing, we’ll shortly have a new version of the venerable word processing application. I wanted to take a look at what’s new, and what’s interesting in this iteration of the product.

First Impressions: Microsoft Outlook 2013

Outlook2013-1Office on Windows is a Microsoft cash cow. When a new version is released, lots of people take notice. On October 11, 2012, Microsoft released the 2013 version of the Office group of applications on Windows. There are a number applications to look at in the package, but today, I wanted to focus on Outlook. The Outlook mail application has existed in a number of incarnations since the early 1990’s when it was included in copies of Microsoft Exchange. The application has had to contend with a number of major computing shifts while eMail has essentially stayed the same. Today, I take a look at what’s new and notable in Outlook 2013.

Review: iPad Mini

It was a just a matter of time before I was able to get my hands on an iPad Mini. In most cases, I will not review a device unless I’ve been able to use it for at least a little while. With the iPad mini, I had seen it maybe four or five times for brief moments in stores – but never as a daily device. I’ve had it now for more than a week now, and I can comfortably relay my thoughts on how it feels. After having the Nexus 7 for about six months earlier in 2012, it was going to be very interesting to see another 7+ inch form factor too. Is this going to be the de facto iPad of the future?

Our Impressions Of The iPhone 5

This is the big boy of smartphones right now. It’s hard to think of a more desirable or lusted after device on the market (beyond the next iPhone itself). If you were looking for reviews, the web has them everywhere. The daunting task for any reviewer is to look at a device that is under such a huge microscope and try to add something new. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel in this case; just share the experiences we’ve had while using the iPhone 5 on Fido for the last couple of weeks. We have to say, strong opinions or not, we can’t deny how amazing this phone is.

AeroFS File Sync Review – A Closer Look At The “Magic”

AeroFS-10To our joy, we were recently invited to join a beta of AeroFS by Air Computing. AeroFS is a cloud file storage and syncing tool much like that of DropBox, but with some key differences. The biggest difference is it’s ability to sync files in a local peer-to-peer fashion, ruling out the need for cloud help or even an Internet connection. Secondly, file sharing is quite different from what you’d expect in an application like this. The limitations of Cloud-based storage tool  have always been sizing the cloud storage, but what if the storage you provide is your own? Let’s take a closer look at AeroFS.

Review: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530

With Windows 8 and iPad Mini tablets taking a good part of the spotlight these days, it’s important to not that laptops do still exist. These days, businesses are often opting for a laptop instead of a desktop for the enhanced mobility options afforded. Today, I look at a lower-end PC laptop from Lenovo that should be ideally suited for business.