It is that time of year when the latest version of a piece of software, which seems to have a permanent residence on my various computer systems, makes its annual appearance.
The software in question is Paint Shop Pro. This product has developed, over the years, from a file conversion utility into a photo editing and graphics designer package. As with the previous version, Paint Shop Pro X9 is available in either a Standard or Ultimate offering. When installing this product I was given the choice of either working with the 32 or 64-bit version or, as I finally opted for, going for both varieties.
The main problem with a product 18 versions old is when you remember the first one. Corel were one of the main reasons you got a CD drive. It was all the extra content they provided in images and fonts. Now the download needs a fast connection as its 1.8GB.
Having done the download you then need to burn a DVD so it’s not a trivial process. Once installed I had 2.3GB less hard disc space and my Desktop had five extra icons – yes Corel still give extra – apart from the CorelDRAW X8, there is also Corel PHOTO-PAINT, Corel CONNECT, Corel CAPTURE and Corel FONT MANAGER. They still do 32bit versions if that’s what you need but 64bit is what I am reviewing it on and to be frank with anything complex you need memory as well.
While not as high profile as some of the other products from the Corel stable, Pinnacle Studio is well established and comes with numerous bonus offerings.
Now up to version 19, the Pinnacle Studio package has been around for quite a few years. I first came across this software offering when it formed part of the AVID family of graphics based software and hardware. However, more recently, Pinnacle Studio has become part of the Corel family. With version 19 of the product you get a choice of Standard, Plus or Ultimate editions.
Originally developed as a kitchen-table product by a jet plane enthusiast, this next title is a popular member of the Corel family and a long term favourite of mine.
Regularly featuring as part of my various computers, dating back as far as Windows 3.1, is Paint Shop Pro. Over the years this software has expanded its range of functionality from basic file conversion capability and now can be considered as a tool for photo editing and basic graphics design work. The latest version of this software, available in 32 and 64-bit flavours, is now up to X8 with Standard and Ultimate editions.
In a previous life this was one of the first really useful products. Corel came out with their excellent CorelDRAW product and made the purchase of PaintShop Pro an early capture and now this is a very mature product at version 18 (X8).
CorelDRAW started the ‘bonus’ software by offering lots of Clip Art and extra fonts. So when you buy anything Corel you expect ‘more’ and you get more with the Ultimate version of PaintShop Pro you get Perfect Effects 9.5, After Shot 2 and Perfectly Clear 2 SE as well as the main PaintShop Pro package all for no extra cost. If you have a qualifying earlier version you qualify for a 25% discount when purchase is made by download from the Corel website.
Now firmly entrenched as part of the Corel family of products, the latest version of WinZip is now available.
Starting out as a product whose sole aim was to compress data that could fit on the floppy disks measured in kilobytes and hard disks in megabytes, WinZip has developed into a software product that adds encryption, conversion and file management, both local and Cloud based, to its original concept. Thinking back I could easily store the original WinZip software on a 180KB floppy disk and still have room for other files.
A long time resident on my various hard disks over the years has been different versions of WinZip. The latest version of this software now supports add-ons.
Do you remember when local storage capacity was at a premium? I am referring to a time when hard disks often gave users a capacity of under 100MB (that’s megabytes not gigabytes) and prices were in the vicinity of £200 or thereabouts. The promise of terabytes, cloud storage and transferring data via the Internet were features not even on the horizon during my initial steps in the world of computing.
In its various versions, Paint Shop Pro has been a regular resident on my computer systems dating back to its Shareware days. This product is now a popular member of the Corel family.
Back in 1991, Robert Volt, a qualified pilot and software engineer, developed a graphics program entitled Paint Shop Pro. This software, which originally could easily fit on a 5.25-inch floppy disk with space to spare, has grown in size and increased in functionality so that the latest version comes on a DVD. This is Paint Shop Pro X6 which is available in Standard and Ultimate versions.
There is one product in the CAD market that people think of even if they never use CAD. However providing certain rules are adhered to there is no reason why others cannot work in the same arena here an offering from Corel.
Most CAD packages are not cheap and this offering from Corel does not break this rule. The name everyone knows was when I last saw a copy protected by a dongle. Unlike other Corel products you do not get extra bundled offerings. However the price is the offering here from Corel as it reads and writes even the latest version of AutoCAD files in .DWG format. While I have only used it in the Windows environment it is said to work just as well for those working in the MAC arena.
Starting life as a basic compression tool available as Shareware, WinZip has developed over the years to encompass a wider range of functionality as can be seen with version 17.
As a long time user of WinZip, stretching back to the early days when this software was prominent in the Shareware arena, I have always been keen to check out the latest version of this product that can compress your data. Originally the compression was to enable users to save on storage space when floppy disks were popular with their 720K or 1.44MB capacity.
Many more years ago than I care to remember, I installed a Shareware product on my Windows 3.1 system - I told you it was many years ago. This product was the JASC developed Paint Shop Pro. Designed to convert images between different file formats and capture screen grabs, the software could easily fit on a floppy disk of the 360K variety. There was still room left over for other files of that period. I was reminded of this compact piece of coding when I opened the box containing the latest version of Paint Shop Pro.
Now up to version Paint Shop Pro X5 Ultimate, the box contained two optical disks. Admittedly one of the disks held extra software that was the reason for the Ultimate part of the product’s title. However the other the disk was required to store this 2013 version of photo editing and management software. It just shows how much the product has grown over the year before and after it became part of the Corel family of software titles.
Having used CorelDRAW since the very early days of Windows it has become an old friend. It was one of the first applications to move to a CD and now the huge content of extras always a Corel thing demands a DVD.
So what is new is version X6. Well by far the biggest is that it is at last a native 64bit application which means for those with complex items everything about it will be quicker including the redraw that was always a bottleneck with 32bit. Opening a large image when you have multi core processors is faster as indeed is saving.
As a long time user of WinZip, I am always keen to see what the latest version of this compression and archiving software has to offer
In common with a number of other products, I first came across WinZip when it was released as Shareware on a try-before-you-buy basis offering to reduce the size of files using various compression techniques. More recently WinZip has joined the Corel family of products. I had been sent version 16 for reviewing (actually at the time of writing WinZip stands at version 16.5 but more on this a little latter).
Taking liberties with the first two lines of Pete Seeger and Joe Hickersons classic folk song Where have all the documentation gone, Gone to PDF every one.
Ever since Adobe introduced the Portable Document Format technology, more and more documents have made the transition from paper to the digital platform. While Adobe holds the high ground with its Acrobat product, other companies have produced their own offerings to read and create documents in the PDF style. One such product is Fusion PDF from Corel. A fairly lengthy installation procedure gives you the opportunity to select the destination drive and folder.
Many more years ago than I care to admit or can even remember some of them, I came across a piece of software that had been released as unprotected Shareware. The software had been developed by somebody whose main interests were jet planes and developing software which explains why he named his company JASC that software was Paint Shop Pro.
Since those early days, Paint Shop Pro has developed into a well-respected commercial product which now forms part of the Corel family. It has also been a permanent fixture, through numerous versions, on my various systems. As I write this introduction, the current version of this photo and image editing package is installing itself on my work system.
While I have been a long-time user of WinZip, both prior and after its integration into the Corel family, this is the first time I have come across WinZip System Utilities Suite.
Consisting of 23 tools covering different aspects of your PC’s performance, WinZip System Utilities Suite comes with a user license that allows you to install the product on three different computers running Windows XP and later. It has to be said that my initial experiences with this software did not get off to the best of starts but matters improved a little later on. Part of this blame could be put down to the total lack of any documentation supplied with this product.
One reason I like Corel products is that they are intuitive another is they give you printed documentation. To be fair its a Getting Started Guide but as that is a 124 page hard back book you start to see this is not a trivial package.
This is a dual platform product as the DVD installs on both Windows and MAC. Installation of all parts took only around twelve minutes and used 1.3GB of hard disc space. It will run on XP with the proviso that is has a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, certainly my XP system does not have that. I installed it on a 64bit Windows 7 system.
While hard disk sizes have increased and Broadband allows for faster download speeds, the need to compress files is reduced. However I still feel there is a place for produces such as WinZip.
Over the years, and involving numerous computers running various flavours of Windows, a regular, you could almost say “permanent”, resident application on my system has been WinZip. Unlike a number of other titles in its portfolio, Corel has taken the decision with WinZip to retain the traditional numbering method rather than replace the “10” with an “X”.
Over the years, and numerous versions, as it has developed from a single application into a full-blown suite of graphics titles, CorelDRAW has arrived in different types of packaging. The latest version, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5, comes in the form of a hardback book with its own rigid slip case. The actual software is on a DVD attached to the inside of the books front cover while the book acts as the User Guide.
As you would expect from the Suite designation, this product consists of a number of applications. The main elements are made up of CorelDRAW X5, Corel PHOTO-Paint X5, Corel PowerTRACE X5, Corel Capture X5 and Corel Connect. You also get SWiSH miniMAX 2 and PhotoZoom Pro 2 plus sackfuls of images, photos, font, templates and 2 hours of training videos.
As a long time user of the various versions of Paint Shop Pro, I always look forward to seeing what the latest software can deliver. This time I encountered some good points and one element that failed to work.
With a pedigree that stretches back 18 years, PaintShop Pro has gradually developed from a graphic file conversion tool into a fully fledged application capable of handling the organisation, editing and enhancing of your digital images. The latest version of this software, now firmly entrenched as a Corel product, is PaintShop Photo Pro X3 (a less superstitious way of indicating it is version 13).