SEARCH: First Look

First Look: AOL Reader – Another Google Reader Replacement

AOL Reader's LogoGoogle Reader is in the news as the July 1st deadline approaches very quickly. Users are scrambling and a large number of interesting contenders are popping up with RSS Readers to fill the gap left by Google. Today, I gained access to the beta of AOL’s new RSS reader simply called AOL Reader. Based on screenshots I’ve seen, AOL’s interface looked very similar to Google Reader’s and I was hoping this tool would stack up well as a worthy replacement. 

First Look: BitTorrent Sync

Bittorrent SyncThe massive number of cloud storage and synchronization applications available makes choosing one very difficult. It seems as if a new service is released every day – sometimes very little fanfare. Today, I’m blessed to see one of the more compelling  types of cloud synchronization applications out there. This new tool comes from the granddaddy of data movement on the Internet, Bittorrent. The idea behind this tool is not to store your data in the cloud, but use the cloud to keep your data updated on multiple computers. The current Alpha version supports Windows, OS X, and  Linux.

First Look: FluxReader – An RSS Reader

FluxReader Main WindowWith Google Reader’s demise now just around the corner, I’ve been actively looking for a replacement feed reader that can handle the kind of volume Google did. This is really no easy task, because most of the feed readers today exist to make the feed look pretty, not improve efficiency  I’ve recently settled into TT-RSS, but have been open to finding that one RSS reader that suits my needs perfectly. Today, an invite came in for a new reader called FluxReader. While this is still in beta, and much will likely change, I wanted to get a good feel for whether this tool could be a worthy Google Reader replacement.

First Look: Copy – a new Cloud Storage Service

Copy LogoIf the number of cloud storage services is making you go batty, my mention of Cloud is probably not going to help that. The recent explosion in cloud storage options has been nothing less than insane. Here on the blog we’ve discussed all sorts of tools like MegaDropbox, Cubby, Insync, and even Bitcasa. When I heard Barracuda Networks was getting into the cloud storage game, I was curious how this might look. I’ll show you more about Copy, how it compares to Dropbox and what features make it unique. At the end of the article, I’ll show you how to double your initial storage space of 5 GB (for a limited time).

First Look: Small Picture’s Little Outliner

little-outliner-3I’m interested in what Dave Winer does. He’s been a part of innovations that are the foundation of the Internet. Sure, I don’t exactly agree with his view on comments, but I think he’s an amazing innovator and high on the list of people I’d love to sit down with in person. When he released a new tool, Little Outliner, I wanted to take my time to understand what it was, how easy I might learn to use it, what others might think of it and generally let the idea sink in. It’s important to let these things sink in when taking a look.

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? 

First Look: Mega Cloud Service

Kim Dotcom and designers of Mega

Do you remember where you were when Megaupload was shut down? While the event wouldn’t really rival that of a Kennedy shooting – loosing the popular file sharing site on January 19, 2012 was a massive blow to Internet traffic at the time. After the site was brought down by authorities (working in multiple countries), Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom started working his next project, the appropriately named Mega. Today, on the anniversary of the shut down – Mega was launched and I was able to take a closer look at this new service.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials – A First Look

With the recent announcements of Windows Server 2012 licensing and pricing details – much is welcome in the mix. In addition, the “Server Essentials” version of Microsoft’s server has just hit RTM. Not only are we getting more for less, but the server licence looks to also cost less. In addition, the Server versions are being simplified down to Datacenter, Standard and Essentials. I’ll take a look at all of these versions and the big missing piece, Windows Home Server.

First Look: Cubby – A New Cloud Storage Tool


The pace of cloud file storage application releases have been fast and furious. Now that Google’s Drive is here and some of the more popular services in this space are Dropbox (Sign up here and get 500mb free), SugarSync, Bitcasa, and Box.Net. Today, I was invited to check out a new file storage service from the creators of Logmein called Cubby and I wanted to take a look at how this works.

Quickbooks Online: A First Look

One product that seems perpetually locked to the world of desktop software is that of the Accounting Package. Sure, there are CRM applications like Salesforce that have made the “Cloud” more viable for that market. But, in the small to mid-sized business market – the dominant tools for accounting still remain desktop versions of Simply Accounting, Quickbooks or BusinessVision. Intuit is looking to change all that with a new product seemingly targeted to Canadian Businesses that the desktop version of Quickbooks might handle. With a 30-day trial of the product, I decided to take a look at the product and see how well it works.