Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,070
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 132 Times in 86 Posts

    Utilities for better productivity and security




    BEST SOFTWARE

    Utilities for better productivity and security

    By Michael Lasky

    It's often the small applications that make the most significant impact on our computing. A quartet of utilities one free, the others moderately priced can make your Windows PC easier and safer to use.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/best-software/utilities-for-better-productivity-and-security/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Acronis True Image (ATI)? Bah!

    Interesting how different 2 people's experience can be. I relied on ATI but then when I needed to restore an image it it failed miserably, claiming "insufficient space" when there were gigabytes available. But that believe it or not was the least of my problems. I could have reformatted my disk and rebuilt its contents in less time than I spent while Acronis customer services tried to solve the problem (approx. 4 weeks). They had me doing things most PC users couldn't and they even took remote control, all to no avail so in the end I decided to uninstall the program. And that's when things went from bad to worse.


    Tried to uninstall it (more than once) and it never achieved more than 5%. They provided a special Cleanup tool (which kinda suggests they know their uninstaller isn't up to the job) and it was little better. After running it I had to reboot, but before doing so, I was expected to review a whole load of keys in the registry and remove all Acronis driver keys; and to do similar in the UpperFilters and LowerFilters and so on. That done I checked and found entries left under programs; and the start menu; and a Registry cleaner found a further 378 bits of debris remaining!
    Having sorted that, they said to reboot and then re-install the latest version of Acronis True Image. They had to be joking.
    Not only couldn't I trust it any more but getting rid of it is a horrendous rigmarole!

  3. #3
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I was interested in Michael Lasky's suggestion to replace the Acrobat Reader with the Nitro Reader for PDF files so I downloaded it and gave it a whirl. The free version of Nitro does so much for you that it rightfully should be part of everyone's "must have" programs. Not only can you read PDFs, convert documents to PDF by using the Nitro PDF printer; you can also make edits and even digitally sign your PDFs. The Print to PDF function works quickly and well. The only drawback I have found is the failure of the Nitro program to correctly show clickable imbedded URL links from the original document but everything else is great. And did I say it is free.

  4. #4
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,482
    Thanks
    176
    Thanked 152 Times in 129 Posts
    Nitro Pro Pricing
    As a long-time user of Nitro Reader Free, I am glad to see a positive review of this excellent alternative to Adobe Reader. Nitro Pro gives steep discounts to users of its free edition. I get emails offering Nitro Pro for USD $99.00 almost every week, especially when there's a new version coming out.

    Acronis Issues
    The one most important thing about Acronis True Image these days which keeps it off my computers is its insistence on hogging system resources, especially when connected to the Internet. Contrary to Acronis' Revenue Enhancement schemes, I do NOT want to sync everything I do on my PC to the Cloud. I prefer a program which stays in the background or turns off completely when not in use. I also had issues where the Acronis Installer failed, and I could not get the program to install or uninstall, resulting in using a different recovery tool to restore Windows on that computer. This happened several times before I gave all Acronis products the boot from my Windows XP laptop.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-05-10 at 17:13.
    -- Bob Primak --

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SF East Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    78
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Nitro Pro and NitroReader are big disappointments.
    Based on your recommendation, I downloaded NitroReader, which has a 64-bit version, to use with 64-bit CyberFox (FF clone), as Acrobat is still limited to 32-bit support on Convert-to-PDF. I was very excited to see that it had an advertised Web-to-PDF function, but upon installation found that whether you ask for Download to File or Email PDF, ALL that can be done is a very, very, very delayed email of the resulting PDF to me. It seems to take from 5 minutes to 1-1/2 hour to 4-hrs to get back the PDF being converted from the web page; inconvenient to say the least. I sent a message to their Tech Support and all he did was recommend I download the "free" trial of their NitroPro version, BUT IT ALSO HAS THE EXACT SAME BEHAVIOR. I have sent several follow-up messages to that tech support request, and have not heard back again (other than automated messages promising response within 6-working hrs).

    So, at this time I consider both products to have been false-advertised, and poorly supported, and do not intend to attempt to use them further.

    Bad call, Michael.

    Rob

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    I use ATI all the time, and have NEVER had a restore that did not work. Since I play a lot with various things, I have to use restore more than the average bear.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  7. #7
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,482
    Thanks
    176
    Thanked 152 Times in 129 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by rbsteinbach View Post
    Nitro Pro and NitroReader are big disappointments.
    Based on your recommendation, I downloaded NitroReader, which has a 64-bit version, to use with 64-bit CyberFox (FF clone), as Acrobat is still limited to 32-bit support on Convert-to-PDF. I was very excited to see that it had an advertised Web-to-PDF function, but upon installation found that whether you ask for Download to File or Email PDF, ALL that can be done is a very, very, very delayed email of the resulting PDF to me. It seems to take from 5 minutes to 1-1/2 hour to 4-hrs to get back the PDF being converted from the web page; inconvenient to say the least. I sent a message to their Tech Support and all he did was recommend I download the "free" trial of their NitroPro version, BUT IT ALSO HAS THE EXACT SAME BEHAVIOR. I have sent several follow-up messages to that tech support request, and have not heard back again (other than automated messages promising response within 6-working hrs).

    So, at this time I consider both products to have been false-advertised, and poorly supported, and do not intend to attempt to use them further.

    Bad call, Michael.

    Rob
    I agree that Web To PDF from Nitro is a disaster. This alone is not a good reason to abandon NitroReader Free.

    PDFcrowd.com has browser plugins which do what Nitro's plugin doesn't do, and you can grab the output download directly from the PDFCrowd site. You can even try out PDFCrowd at their site without installing anything.

    Most browsers can print web pages to any Windows Printer. NitroReader installs a virtual printer called "Nitro PDF Creator (Reader 3.x)". When selecting which "Printer" to use, select this "Printer" from the list in your browser's Print Preview or Print Options pane. Then select a location and a file name, and you get a single PDF document in that location. Remember, not all web pages are printable. With Web Checkout pages for example, you must first display the Printable View if one is available. Then you can "Print" to PDF using the NitroReader PDF Creator "Printer".

    So now you may have a multi-page PDF document, ready to edit. But you only want a page or two. No worries. Download the Open Source PDFSAM (download) and you can Split And Merge most PDF files, including those created and edited by NitroPDF. No added expense at all, and no runaround with email or extra web pages. I do this sort of thing all the time from Yahoo Mail and its Attachments, no matter what the original format (within reason).

    NitroReader Free really has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. But it isn't all readily visible from the Nitro Home Ribbon. Play around, explore, and go to the NitroPDF Blog for more tips.

    And when one free product doesn't get the job done, often others will.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-05-10 at 17:45.
    -- Bob Primak --

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •