Stories by Ian Harac

Opera browser: Can it sing the big boys off the stage?

Coke or Pepsi? Kirk or Picard? Betty or Veronica? The great battles of the marketplace tend to be duels, and few people gripe if you leave out RC, Sisko, or Cheryl Blossom. The "Browser Wars" are no different, with "IE vs. Firefox" having replaced "N...

Open source FreeOTFE encrypts disks handily

FreeOTFE may sound like a political bumper sticker, but it stands for "Free On The Fly Encryption." The "Free" part is self-explanatory; "On The Fly Encryption" refers to the encrypting/decrypting of data as it is written to or read from your hard di...

10 utilities to secure your data

Very few people (certainly not the smart, savvy, people who read PCWorld articles) run their computers without up-to-date firewall and antivirus software. Most users know better than to click a message from "Bank of Amerika" that tells them "Your acc...

Erase data permanently with SecureClean

It's well-known that "deleting" a file from Windows doesn't fully remove it, but you may not understand just how much data can remain on your disk after a file is gone. Even fragments of a file such as a crucial e-mail or spreadsheet can contain valu...

Microsoft Word alternatives: Wordsmiths, rejoice!

Microsoft Word is ubiquitous: It's the standard word processor in most places of business, and it often ends up installed on home PCs due to compatibility and familiarity. It isn't the only choice, however. Whether your main concern is price, complex...

ConTEXT text editor a boon for programmers

ConTEXT is a powerful, free, and open-source text editor squarely aimed at programmers. Its feature set makes it especially useful for system administrators, toolsmiths, and Web mavens, all of whom often have to juggle many small files written in a v...

New Notepads: Better, stronger, faster

Much as coelacanths have changed only slightly despite millions of years of evolution, some bundled Windows apps have scarcely progressed since the dawn of Microsoft's operating system. Today's Notepad text editor, for one, barely differs from the 19...

PalTalkScene adds video to its chat

PaltalkScene is a full-featured messaging/chat program that includes video, audio, and a host of other bells and whistles, as well as the ability to send and receive messages from several other chat programs or protocols, including Facebook and Yahoo...

Tabbles Free

One all-too-common phenomenon on the internet is the promising but not-quite-there-yet program which dies the lingering death of ever-slower updates until you visit their site and see a "Coming soon!" post from three years ago.

Dungeons and Dragons Character Builder

We've come a long, long, way from "Roll 3d6 6 times." While character creation in <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,83732-order,4/description.html">Dungeons &amp; Dragons Fourth Edition</a> is somewhat less intricate than it was in T...

Ashampoo Office 2010

Microsoft Office is the de facto standard for productivity tools, to the point at which word processors and spreadsheets are now called "office programs". But Office is costly, and it's bloated with features few users ever need or even know about. Bu...

Stuffit Deluxe 2010

Stuffit Deluxe 2010 is the latest iteration of Stuffit, which is the dominant file compression protocol in the Macintosh world.

DeskTube

Want to watch YouTube without all the overhead of a browser? DeskTube (free) lets you do just that. DeskTube is, as you might guess, a desktop app which connects to YouTube and shows you videos.

BitZipper

A new year, a new chance for the makers of file compression software to try to convince us that we need to upgrade despite the fact most of the formats we use haven't changed since the first President Bush.

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PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

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