Reviews related to : Utility software

The latest version of this ‘gadget’ for Windows is now available. I sometimes get into trouble for calling an item a gadget but when people say our product is not a gadget I say fine, please define ‘gadget’ and while they are thinking I add, a tool to make a task easier? Very few people disagree with my definition and this certainly makes some Windows tasks easier. They also do a MAC version but as I do not have a MAC I can only tell you about the Windows items.
Some of the things that Parallels 3.5 for Windows does can be already done in Windows but they take more than a single action to be completed so Parallels is often quicker or easier to complete. Archive, select the files and archive it’s as easy as that and of course Unarchive is just as easy. Block Camera, a lot of people are worried about being spied on and it’s a neater solution than sticking something over the camera.
Time does not stand still especially when a company take-over is involved as part of the process. In some cases favourite projects can suffer the short-end of the straw as it is ignored but this is not always what occurs. Take for example the Parallel's Toolbox and how the company reacted to a take-over..
DFollowing Parallel becoming a Corel Business unit, you might have suspected that the Toolbox development being put on the back-burner but instead version 3.5 of this collection of one-click, time-saving productive tools has been released for the Windows and Mac environments.  This review is based on the Windows version of the Parallel Toolbox product as the tools offer the user a range of features.
As another year passes, I take a look at the latest version of an old friend
I first came across this next product, entitled PC TuneUp Utilities, some ten years ago when the product was available as Shareware (a try before you buy method of marketing).  With our relationship, between the reviewer and software product, spreading over a decade, or as near as makes no difference, I do feel I can regard PC TuneUp Utilities as an old friend.  After all friends are allowed to move around between owners as happened with TuneUp Utilities.
Making tasks easier is the role undertaken by Parallels collection of tools.
When the subject of the Parallels company is raised, my thoughts tend to concentrate on the company’s solution for running a copy of Windows on a Mac-based system.  However this is not the only product available from Parallels.  The company has also developed a Toolbox product which is available for either the Windows or Mac platform depending upon the user’s needs.  This collection of utility style tools is supposed to consist of 30+ items.
Originally released to compress file sizes, WinZip has developed into aspects of file distribution.
During a recent clear-out of my flat, I came across an old Compac (a name from the past that shows the device’s age) laptop that I had not used this century.  One of the applications that were residing on the laptop’s hard drive was an early Shareware version of WinZip.  By co-incidence, I had just received the latest version of this Corel software.
Offering a virtual toolbox approach, Parallels has bundled together a collection of in-house tools.
Probably better known by many as the developer of its Desktop software, whereby users can install and access a copy of Windows within a Mac environment, Parallels has released its Toolbox product for either the Windows or Mac platform.  This offering consists of a collection of tools designed to carry out specific tasks. Each of the provided tools has been designed to be activated by a single mouse click.  The product is available on an annual subscription basis for either platform.
I first came across Tune-Up Utilities several years ago as a Shareware product that you could try before you buy.
Over the years I have used various versions of this TuneUp Utilities suite of tools developed to help improve the performers of computers running on the Windows operating platform.  During this period this software has undergone a number of changes including the one of ownership as Tune-Up Utilities now forms part of the AVG family of offerings.
There are a number of products that provide on-going spring cleaning facilities including one from AVG.
How is the performance of your Windows computer right now?  I am willing to bet that there has been some degradation in its performance over the months since it was first set up with its Microsoft operating system.  As we tend to slow down as we get older, your computer will exhibit a similar trend.  While trips to the gym and regular bouts of exercise might help us, a computer might need to fall back on some performance boosting software such as AVG TuneUp Utilities.
It is time for an old favourite to make its annual upgrade appearance.
Over the years WinZip has developed from a basic compression / decompression utility, which was my first introduction to the product, into a file management / sharing / encryption application while retaining its original functionality.  The latest edition of this software is now up to version 21 with Standard, Pro and Enterprise packages being available.  This review is based on my experiences with the Pro version of the product which has been launched with a price point of £42.
Windows tends to slow down with age and I know how it feels. This next title offers to help.
Say what you will about Microsoft and its various software products but you will probably have to admit that the different versions of its Windows operating system have certainly opened the door for other companies to step in and develop software designed to enhance the Microsoft offering.
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Nero Tune-Up Pro

The more you use Windows, the more reluctant your computer will be to perform at its optimum level. This next product offers to help.
Over the years Nero (the company rather than the Roman Emperor of old) has developed from a company producing burning software (hence the name) to one that has developed a number of titles dealing with topics such as media manipulation and data backup.  The latest string to Nero’s bow to appear concentrates on the area of keeping Windows computer and Android devices running smoothly.
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Team Viewer 11

The 11 should give a good clue to this not being a new product. Team Viewer has been around for a long time and is a method for someone with knowledge to help those with less knowledge to solve a problem remotely easily and quickly.
Whenever you allow someone access to your PC you should be very sure they are who they claim. With Team Viewer you have to send them the invite. They can then see your screen and you can see exactly what they are doing as they move around trying to solve your problem. Team Viewer has been available for MAC and PC for a long time, now however the latest version also works with Chrome and Android and even for those on Linux. So whatever your environment you should be able to receive or give help.
Oil and water not mixing is a popular conception that I would be surprised if you had not heard many times before. Some might even apply the same though with regards to the operating systems developed by Microsoft and Apple. However those inventive people at Parallels headquarters, based in Seattle, would certainly not agree with this point of view.
Oil and water not mixing is a popular conception that I would be surprised if you had not heard many times before.  Some might even apply the same though with regards to the operating systems developed by Microsoft and Apple.  However those inventive people at Parallels headquarters, based in Seattle, would certainly not agree with this point of view.  Parallel has developed a solution for mixing Microsoft Windows on a Mac device running the Apple Mac OS software.
It is welcome back to an old friend as the latest version of one of my favourite products arrives in its version 20 guise.
WinZip is a product that has been around for a good number of years as its latest version number of 20 will testify.  It is a product that has rarely been absence from my work system.  While I can not guarantee that I have used every single version, no doubt a few managed to escape my attention, but I have been a solid supporter of this software from its early days as a shareware product right up to its current position as a respected member of the Corel family.
There are several programs about that allow you to control one PC from another remotely very useful for teaching purposes. Here however a program that allows you to run Windows PC programs on an Android Tablet.
As an example I have a database program that lists my CD collection but it is a Windows only program and when out and about it would be useful to know if I had a certain CD or the tracks that make it up – record companies do sometimes reissue under another name – to stop me buying something I already have. Best of all you can try it free for seven days to see if it does what you want/need before you need to purchase. Download an App from the Android or ‘i’ Store.
Along with the recently purchased PC Tuneup software, AVG has added software for the Mac and Android devices to offer an all-round performance boost.
AVG Performance is a collection of software titles designed to tune up various devices.  Making up this package are PC TuneUp for Windows, Cleaner for Android and Cleaner for Mac.  The product, consisting of a CD and Installation Guide booklet with an activation code printed on the front cover, comes with a one-year licence for use on unlimited devices that are for your person and home family use.
It is good bye and hello to a software application that has formed a regular part of my computer system for a number of years now.
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WinZip 19 Pro

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.
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Nero Backitup 2014

Yes I am aware Backing Up is boring but if it is fully automated and at times you are not doing anything with your PC then it can be just another task that takes place. Then of course when the worst does happen you are prepared.
I first downloaded this and tried it on a Windows 8 machine, ad is a small 50MB ZIP file and there is no longer any support for Windows XP why not try it here for a slow machine with not a lot of memory but having files you still might want. Once downloaded the file decompresses and takes around 300MB of hard disc space. I decided that I would not allow any Internet access (it wants to check for updated files etc) so just gave it a blanket job to back up the ‘C’ drive.
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.