Best 2011 Illustrator Software

SoftwareInReview looked at illustrator software programs. Listed below are our top six illustrator programs for 2011. Each program was ranked based on ease of use, effectiveness of features, and availability of help/support.

The table below provides an overall rating given to each program. We have also included the price of each program. A short review along with a link to the manufacturer’s web site can be accessed by clicking on the links provided below.

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Best 2011 Data Recovery Software

SoftwareInReview looked at data recovery software programs. Listed below are our top seven data recovery programs for 2011. Each program was ranked based on ease of use, recovery effectiveness, and availability of help/support.
The table below provides an overall rating given to each program. We have also included the price of each program. A short review along with a link to the manufacturer’s web site can be accessed by clicking on the links provided.

Continue reading “Best 2011 Data Recovery Software”

2011 Best Linux Distributions

SoftwareInReview looked at Linux distribution software. Listed below are the top seven Linux operating systems for 2011. Each program was ranked based on ease of installation, user friendliness, and availability of help/support.
The table below provides an overall rating given to each program. As you can see, each program can be downloaded for free. A short review of each program along with a link to the manufacturer’s web site can be accessed by clicking on the links provided.

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Best Video Editing Software 2011 on the Market

SoftwareInReview looked at video editing software currently on the market. Listed below are seven software programs to help you create, edit and share your videos. We ranked the software based on ease of use, effectiveness, and the amount of help or support available. All programs were ranked in the top ten for 2010.

The table shows the rating we gave to each video editing software program and the price. A short review and a link to the manufacturer’s web site can be found by clicking on the link provided.

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Best 2010 Anti-Spyware Software

SoftwareInReview looked at the top Anti-Spyware Programs on the market in 2010 and we have rated the programs according to the table below. These programs are all mature and all ranked very well in evaluation.

Below you will see that we have compiled a table which shows our rating given to
each anti-spyware package as well as other information such as the price.

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With the coming of KDE 4.3, the old question comes back: which is better – KDE or GNOME?

Framing the Debate:

GNU/Linux has many, many graphical display options from basic window managers using the X Window system to complete desktop environments; however, most agree that the two top choices for graphical disply for Linux systems are GNOME and KDE.

The debate as to which one is better, GNOME or KDA, has been ongoing for years and still continues in 2009.  Early this year, Jack Wallen wrote the article “10 reasons why GNOME is better than KDE” in which he concludes that “Prior to 4, I would have picked KDE over GNOME any day. But with the advent of 4, I have to say GNOME is far ahead of KDE in terms of design, stability, and usability.” (blog entry)

Bruce Byfield countered Jack’s argurment in March of 2009 writing “…should the GNOME project carry out its plans, the 2.30 release should generate its own excitement when released a year from now. But that’s the point: by the time GNOME is modernized, KDE will have had two years to perfect the 4.x releases. And, even when GNOME 2.3 finally arrives, it sounds like more of an overhaul than a complete rewriting, which makes its competitiveness questionable.” (blog entry)

Continue reading “With the coming of KDE 4.3, the old question comes back: which is better – KDE or GNOME?”

Best 2009 Anti-Virus Software

SoftwareInReview looked at the top Anti-Virus Programs on the market in 2009 and we have rated the programs according to the table below. These programs are all mature and all ranked very well in evaluation.

Below you will see that we have compiled a table which shows our rating given to
each anti-virus package as well as other information such as the price.

Continue reading “Best 2009 Anti-Virus Software”

Welcome to Software in Review

FreeBSD 7.0 review

Here we are at the moment of truth for the FreeBSD operating system — the 7.0 release. This is what FreeBSD users and developers have been waiting for ever since the dark days of the 5.X series when the promises of superior performance, threading, and stability fell flat. Though each release in the FreeBSD 6.X series improved markedly in quality and performance, 7.0 has been widely anticipated as the release that FreeBSD fans can have confidence in. I wish I could say that FreeBSD 7.0 lived up to the hype.

NewNovelist 2.0 review

As an experienced writer, I can say with certainty that it is difficult to keep track of all of the various aspects of a fiction novel. I’ve known other writers who use various gimmicks and techniques to remind them of events, story elements, and character progression. I’ve used index cards pinned to a corkboard above my desk, and a notes file open in a separate tab of my word processor window to keep track of odds and ends in a story. When I first reviewed NewNovelist several years ago when it was in its 1.1 release (the review is no longer online), I said that it was a valuable tool for fiction authors, but wasn’t all that it could be. Now in version 2.0, NewNovelist has seen a gigantic overhaul, now including nearly all of the suggestions I’d originally made. Can there be a more useful software tool for fiction writers?

Roxio Easy Media Creator 10 Suite review

Veteran Windows users are certainly familiar with the ubiquitous CD/DVD writing program, Easy CD Creator. Before Windows had native CD writing capabilities, Easy CD Creator was the application of choice for a large portion of the Windows-using population. In this day and age, people don’t usually give much thought to the software they use for creating physical media. Though it’s still available as a standalone program, the most full-featured edition of what is now known as Easy Media Creator is actually a suite of programs. Version 10 offers a number of interesting new tools and functions, but it seems to over-promise and under-deliver when it comes to expected and desired functionality.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 review

Dreamweaver is the world’s best-known and most technologically advanced WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) Web design and development tool. Unfortunately for Adobe, the Web development market has exploded in two different directions, neither of which require a tool like Dreamweaver. On the low end, people use blogging software and content management systems; and on the high end, Web developers are working with complex logic in non-traditional Web languages to create dynamic sites. Though Dreamweaver can be made to work with either approach on a limited basis, there are other, cheaper, more task-appropriate tools on the market, leaving Dreamweaver as a relic of the static site era. With a market challenge of this proportion, Dreamweaver CS3 had to be an impressive new release with innovative, must-have features. For the most part, it has not met that requirement.

OpenBSD 4.2 review

As usual, OpenBSD 4.2 offers a large collection of intelligent changes to an already great operating environment.

Using OpenBSD 4.2

If you’re a software enthusiast who has never used OpenBSD before, you might enjoy installing it by yourself and figuring it out as you go. If, however, you’re looking for a more practical approach to using OpenBSD 4.2 on a desktop or server machine, here’s a quick guide to get you started in this spectacular operating system.

Mandriva Linux PowerPack 2008.0 review

Mandriva Linux has a history of inconsistency; one release will be superb, and the next one will be so bug-ridden and feature-weak that it’s unusable. The only commonality among all releases are the excellent system configuration tools, which have continued to evolve over the years to match an increasing level of complexity in the desktop software stack. True to form, Mandriva 2008.0 is an excellent release, following the terrible 2007.1, and the just as excellent 2007.0. Some of the important things that were dropped from the previous release (Cedega, LinDVD) are back, and some of the problems (huge K menu button, cluttered menus) have been mitigated.

Adobe Illustrator CS3 review

Among vector drawing programs, Illustrator has traditionally had a dominant market position, in no small part because of its Adobe brand name. Unfortunately for Adobe, vector drawing programs are easy to create, and the market now offers several Illustrator competitors on a variety of different platforms. In an effort to focus sales on Illustrator, Adobe killed off its recently acquired (and popular) FreeHand product, but to FreeHand fanatics, Illustrator is no replacement. Being under attack from all sides from free and inexpensive alternatives and FreeHand non-defectors, Illustrator CS3 really needed to be an amazing new release with important features and outstanding FreeHand-replacement functionality. It still is no replacement for FreeHand for Web graphics, but unlike the majority of its Creative Suite 3 counterparts, Illustrator has succeeded in adding important new features and making itself a must-have upgrade for graphic designers.

Hacking openSUSE 10.3

Novell’s openSUSE 10.3 is an exciting desktop operating environment that includes or supports nearly every program you need for work and play. But there are those last few programs and issues that make openSUSE just short of perfect. Web browser plugins for some kinds of online content; Windows Media and DVD movie playback support; and drivers for Atheros wireless devices and Nvidia and ATI video cards are the chief things holding openSUSE back for some users. This guide will help you remove as many of those barriers as possible.

Adobe Fireworks CS3 review

The good news about Fireworks CS3 is, it’s still the best tool for designing Web graphics and for rapid site prototyping. But like nearly every other Adobe product in the Creative Suite 3 series, it just doesn’t offer enough new features to justify the high cost of upgrading.

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Archive 2006

Xandros Desktop Professional 4.1 review

There are several “business,” “corporate,” or “professional” desktop operating systems on the market today, all aimed at seeping into large corporations that already use GNU/Linux on servers. It’s a pretty good plan, and most of the operating systems in this arena are pretty good — not perfect, but pretty good. Xandros has had such a product for a while now, and it’s always been near the top of the list in terms of features and quality. The market is now mature and the products are more competitive, though, and the product formerly known as Xandros Business Desktop, while still a good operating system, isn’t keeping up with the industry’s pace. As a standalone operating system it doesn’t go very far, though it may have a much more meaningful impact when combined with Xandros’ other products.

Hacking openSUSE 10.2

Novell’s openSUSE 10.2 is an exciting desktop operating environment that includes or supports nearly every program you need for work and play. But there are those last few programs and issues that make openSUSE just short of perfect. Web browser plugins for some kinds of online content; MP3, Windows Media, and DVD movie playback support; and drivers for Atheros wireless devices and Nvidia and ATI video cards are the chief things holding openSUSE back for some users. This guide will help you remove as many of those barriers as possible.

Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft review

While still far from perfect, Ubuntu 6.10 “Edgy Eft” is both an improvement over the so-called “long-term support” release and a decent operating system in its own right. It’s in a much better place than any other free-of-charge operating system has been before now, but I don’t think it’ll give any commercial operating systems a run for their money.

Cedega 5.2 review

It’s been said many times in many forums, blog posts, mailing lists, and comment sections: GNU/Linux won’t really go far as a desktop operating system unless it can play the same games that Microsoft Windows can. For years, TransGaming has tried to make the dream of running Windows games in GNU/Linux into reality, and to a small extent it has succeeded with its Cedega product (formerly known as WineX). Since development moves so quickly, it doesn’t make sense to review each individual point release, so this review will take a look at the state of Cedega circa version 5.2.7.

Fedora Core 6 review

This is the first Fedora Core review I’ve written, but it’s not because I didn’t want to write one before. I’ve tested every Fedora release since the very first one, and have declined to write about it because it never seemed to work properly and I don’t like writing totally negative reviews. At first I figured that the bugs and problems were just growing pains from the switchover from Red Hat Linux, and then from the move from the 2.4 to the 2.6 kernel, and other various things. There are no more excuses left, so I think it’s time to break the silence about the inferiority of this desktop operating system, now in its sixth release.

OpenBSD 4.0 review

In an era when the next edition of Microsoft Windows is pushed back more than a year, and popular GNU/Linux distributions are almost expected to have their release dates delayed by weeks or months, it’s nice to know that at least one operating system releases on schedule without all kinds of showstopping bugs and problems. OpenBSD 4.0 was released on November 1 with its usual mix of new hardware support and enhanced operating system features. Read on for the full report.

Using OpenBSD 4.0

If you’re a software enthusiast who has never used OpenBSD before, you might enjoy installing it by yourself and figuring it out as you go. If, however, you’re looking for a more practical approach to using OpenBSD as a desktop or server operating system, here’s a quick guide to get you started in this spectacular operating system.

How to install SLED 10 on the ThinkPad T60p

The Lenovo ThinkPad T60p is the first ThinkPad to officially support GNU/Linux. Unfortunately that support is not quite as broad as some would like — you’re more or less forced to install and use SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED 10). The good news is, SLED 10 is a highly usable, stable, and configurable operating system. Officially you’re supposed to buy a support contract from Novell if you need help installing the operating system on a ThinkPad T60p, but if you’d prefer to do it on your own, this guide will walk you through the process.

Mandriva Linux 2007 PowerPack Edition review

Though delayed for a while and later to market than most Mandriva fans would probably prefer, the new Mandriva Linux 2007 PowerPack Edition is finally here, nearly a year after the previous release. 2007 is typical Mandriva through and through: attractively themed in KDE, easy to install without skipping the technical details, a little bug-ridden here and there, and full of new and interesting software technologies. This release does have its own identity, though; not only has the standard theme been redesigned for the first time in several years, but this is the first Mandriva release to include a “legal” DVD movie player.

Mandriva Corporate Server 4.0 review

MandrivaLinux (formerly MandrakeLinux) built its name and reputation on its consumer desktop products, but over the past two years its newer enterprise-grade GNU/Linux operating systems have been gaining momentum in a market traditionally dominated by Red Hat. Mandriva Corporate Server 4.0, released on September 19, is a major step forward not only for Mandriva, but for GUI-based server operating systems in general. It won’t sway any sysadmins who are comfortable with the CLI, but if you don’t have the budget to hire a good GNU/Linux sysadmin, you’ll have a much easier time with Mandriva Corporate Server 4.0 than pretty much any other server operating system.

Versora Progression Desktop 2.0 review

Versora’s Progression Desktop migration tool gets better with every release. Now on version 2.0, the developers have expanded the capabilities of the software and qualified it with many more operating systems. It’s never been easier to transfer your settings from Windows to GNU/Linux.

Gentoo Linux 2006.1 review

In one respect, Gentoo Linux 2006.1 is the same as it’s always been, except with newer software on the installation media. Beginning with version 2006.0, though, a graphical environment was added to the live CD along with an installation program that rarely worked properly. The good news is, the installer works reasonably well in Gentoo 2006.1; the bad news is, it’s still quicker and easier to install by hand via the command line.

Freespire 1.0 review

Linspire Inc. claims that the recently released Freespire is the development version of Linspire, much like Fedora Core is the freely available development version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. During the several days that I used it, I found this to be true in both a good and a bad way. It’s good in the sense that the software that comprises Freespire is a bit more modern, but bad in that it has a few problems that make it unsuitable for a production release.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 review

I’ve tested and/or reviewed every version of this operating system (now on its third name) since the first version, and each time I start out impressed but end up walking away disappointed. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is not an exception to this tradition. While it may be a decent desktop operating system, I can’t possibly recommend that sysadmins rely on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 in a production environment.

Hacking SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10

Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10 is a decent business desktop operating system as-is. However, it does not appropriately meet the needs of a large portion of business professionals. Additionally, a great many regular consumers have been enchanted by SLED 10’s ease of use and high degree of stability, but are disappointed with the home desktop software selection. This guide will show you how to install or upgrade the Java Development Kit, install software from the SUSE Linux 10.1 package repositories, and enable DVD movie playback in SLED 10.

Inesoft Cash Organizer 2005 Premium

At any given time, can you review your financial situation? At the very least, you’d have to carry your checkbook with you, and at most, you’d need Internet access to review your investment portfolio. Many people use programs like Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Money to more easily track their finances, but neither of those programs travel well. Inesoft Cash Organizer ’05 Premium fills that niche by giving you access to Quicken or Money data on your Pocket PC or Windows Mobile cell phone.

Ubuntu Linux 6.06 review

Ubuntu Linux 6.06 was delayed for several weeks to ensure that it was as good as it could be, then finally released on June 1. This version of Ubuntu was supposed to be “enterprise-ready” as a server and as a desktop, but unless businesses like dealing with multiple hardware issues, a substandard Java environment, and a lack of proprietary Web browser plugins, I can’t see how Ubuntu Linux 6.06 is ready for anything except perhaps a patch release.

Xandros Desktop Home Edition 4.0 review

After suffering through version 1.0 many years ago, I thought Xandros would be the least likely of the commercial desktop GNU/Linux distributions to succeed. Each subsequent release since 1.1 has changed my mind a little bit, and now with version 4.0 of its home desktop edition, I’m at last convinced that Xandros is positioned for success. This should be the desktop operating system that you recommend to your Windows-hating friends and family.

Hacking Xandros Desktop Home 4.0

Xandros Desktop Home Premium Edition is the most complete desktop GNU/Linux distribution on the market today, but it still has a few holes in it. If you want to play commercial DVD movies, use an unsupported wireless network card, watch WMV video clips, or install software that isn’t in Xandros Networks, the default install will not be sufficient. This guide will show you how to add all of these capabilities to your Xandros Desktop Home Edition 4.0 installation.

CentOS 4.3 review

CentOS 4 is built using the same source code as the industry-leading Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, and version 4.3 is commensurate with RHEL 4 update 3. Released in March of this year, CentOS 4.3 contains all previously issued bug fixes and updates. It’s not really a new release so much as it is the old release with all patches applied. This matches Red Hat’s own release cycle, which is designed to make upgrading and updating easier in businesses that require their systems to remain as uniform and predictable as possible. With the fading away of TaoLinux and White Box Linux, CentOS alone fills the huge gap between Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Review

Novell’s SUSE Linux operating system has consistently gained momentum for years. Since I started reviewing it at version 8.1, I’ve found each new release to have more options, better autoconfiguration, and expanded hardware support, all while maintaining a high level of stability. But after having extensively tested SUSE Linux 10.1 for x86 and AMD64, I must say that the positive trend has faltered, and my expectations were not met with this release. While some things are clearly improved in 10.1, others have taken a step backward.

Hacking SUSE Linux 10.1

When you’re done installing SUSE Linux 10.1 OSS, your desktop system is not complete. You might still need support for Java programs, Adobe Flash animations, PDFs, and RealPlayer and Windows Media Video files. You may also want to add support for playing DVD videos on your computer, and to try out the new XGL graphical toys. Here’s how to effectively make SUSE Linux 10.1 into the perfect desktop OS.

SPB AirIslands review

Pocket PC Games have a strong tendency to be simple and repetitive. That doesn’t mean they aren’t fun, but isn’t it nice to be engrossed in a good strategy game once in a while? Pair that with three great arcade games and you have a spectacular little entertainment package for your Windows Mobile handheld device.

FreeBSD 6.1 review

After a disastrous 5.X series, FreeBSD’s reputation for quality was mostly restored with version 6.0. Here we are at the first release milestone past that — 6.1 — and the good news is, it continues the upward trend. The (somewhat) bad news is, despite many little improvements, it’s still not perfect.

Corel WordPerfect Office X3 review

WordPerfect’s history is rife with victories, but none of them are recent. It’s a long, sad story, and the possibility of a happy ending diminishes with each new release. What was once the world’s best word processor has become an “office suite” that has seen little innovation over the past three releases, coupled with the fact that its price tag is increasingly difficult to justify in the face of free software office suites like and less expensive word processors like TextMaker. WordPerfect Office X3 is still a great office suite, but this release has added virtually nothing of substance to the previous version, and now more than ever, there’s a good chance that your desktop software needs can be met for less money and fewer licensing restrictions.

OpenBSD 3.9 review

I skipped writing a review of OpenBSD 3.8 last fall because I was worried that I’d sound like a broken record. Every OpenBSD release is the same: a big pile of small yet significant changes, new tools, and expanded hardware support (especially where it concerns network devices). For as long as I’ve been doing OpenBSD reviews — two and a half years now — this pattern has remained unchanged. OpenBSD 3.9 is more of the same, with the sole exception that this release’s enhancements affect desktop users more than in the past few releases.

Using OpenBSD 3.9

Many people responded to the call for OpenBSD and OpenSSH donations by purchasing an OpenBSD CD set. Those CDs are beginning to arrive in the mail, and when they do, how are you going to use them? If you’re a software enthusiast who has never used OpenBSD before, you might enjoy installing it by yourself and figuring it out as you go. If, however, you’re looking for a more practical approach to using OpenBSD as a desktop or server operating system, here’s a guide to get you started.

SPB Diary review

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system has many shortcomings, many of which can be solved with add-on software. SPB Software House’s Diary program makes all of your most important information — tasks, email messages, calendar, and notes — visible directly on your start page. After two weeks of using SPB Diary, I’ve come to regard it as a necessity for Pocket PCs.

Moving Windows fonts to Linux

Fonts are often overlooked when switching or reinstalling operating systems, and when they’re gone, it’s a real hassle to try to get the right ones back again. You can spend hours or days trying to figure out where your favorite anti-aliased serif font came from and how to get it back onto your system, and for some people, not having Windows fonts in GNU/Linux is a dealbreaker. So here’s how to back up your fonts and install them into GNU/Linux.

Gentoo Linux 2006.0 review

It’s been a while since I last reviewed Gentoo Linux because there haven’t been too many significant changes in the past few releases. I’ve been using it as my primary desktop operating system for a year and a half, though, and I’ve been running my main Web/email/database server on it since October of 2004. There’s a reason why I’ve stayed with it that long, both as a desktop and server OS — and there’s also a reason why I’m writing a review of the 2006.0 release after a long hiatus from Gentoo reviews.

How to secure your blog or Web site

Weblogs are being attacked, compromised, and defaced. This sort of thing has been happening for years to other kinds of Web sites, but the attacks seem to be more frequent these days, especially in the wake of the blogger grassroots effort to mirror the Mohammed cartoons. It’s not that software has become less secure, and it’s probably not because potential attackers have increased in number. No, the reason that attacks are more prevalent is likely because many bloggers don’t know how to secure their own Web sites. Here are several in-depth tips to help independent journalists protect themselves from the barbarians who would silence them.

Moving email from Windows to Linux

Moving from Windows to GNU/Linux and need to take your saved email with you? Here’s how you can do it.

Linspire and Versora make Windows migration easy

I first demoed Versora Progression Desktop at LinuxWorld Boston in February of 2005, and was impressed by what it could do. Basically it takes all of your essential data and program settings (and even some decidedly nonessential settings) and transfers them to GNU/Linux. I hadn’t heard much from the company since then — until Linspire announced a partnership with them recently. The deal is, Progression Desktop will move you from Windows to Linspire without any hassle. Read on for the full review.

VMware Workstation 5.5 review

Back in November, VMware released version 5.5 of their Workstation virtual machine product. Overall it’s not a big improvement over version 5.0, but might be just the right “next step up” for those still on Workstation 4.x.

The differences between Linux distributions

A lot of people have heard of GNU/Linux (more commonly referred to as just “Linux”) and are having trouble finding out what the differences are between different versions — or distributions — that are available. This article will show how they differ, and how GNU/Linux differs from similar operating systems.

Archive 2005

How to replace and disable Internet Explorer

You’ve probably heard about a particularly nasty trojan horse attack recently which exploited several vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Information Services. While viruses and trojans have been taking advantage of known vulnerabilities for years, this particular attack is new because it uses several vulnerabilities at once, one of them being unpatched by Microsoft at the time of infection, and it doesn’t require the user to download or install any programs or visit any malicious websites. Even if you have the latest patches from Microsoft and only visit trusted websites your system is still vulnerable and you’re risking your credit card numbers, bank account information, passwords and other sensitive data if you use Internet Explorer. Due to ongoing security concerns, it’s time to say goodbye to Internet Explorer forever — here’s how to do it along with a brief explanation of why Internet Explorer is such an abomination before all mankind.

An introduction to command line editors

At some point in your GNU/Linux or BSD adventures, you’re going to have to use a command-line text editor. Some of them are pretty easy to use but have few features. Others are powerful but require a study session with the tutorial file to learn how to operate them. Most often you just need a text editor to edit a couple of config files and don’t want to spend 45 minutes working through a tutorial. How about a crash course to get you going?

Hacking Linspire 5.0

Linspire 5.0 (Five-0) is a Debian GNU/Linux-based distribution with a pretty interface, proprietary video drivers and browser plug-ins, and a pricey desktop software subscription model. If you like Linspire but hate the company’s Click N Run pay-as-you-go software service, here’s how to disable and circumvent CNR and switch to using standard Debian packages and the Synaptic package manager. I’ll also show you how to set up your system for watching DVDs without Linspire’s proprietary DVD player software.

Moving from Microsoft Word to Writer

Whether you’re moving from Windows to GNU/Linux, or just from the proprietary Microsoft Office to the free software suite, one of the challenges you’ll face is learning how to use Writer effectively if you’re used to Microsoft Word. In this article I’ll show you around Writer, where to find familiar Word tools, and how to customize the interface and preferences to make it a little more Word-friendly.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 review

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 represents a significant step forward for GUI-based enterprise server operating systems. While others are still fiddling with the 2.4 kernel, Novell has jumped up to 2.6, adding several exclusive features that make SLES9 stand above its competition. On its surface SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 looks like a somewhat reduced version of SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional, but its most exciting features are hidden beneath the familiar green and blue GUI. Slackware or BSD servers are unlikely to be replaced by SUSE and its fancy interface, but Windows Server 2003 has no prayer against this production-quality server OS.

Novell Openexchange Server review

A scalable, stable, secure software stack for small and medium-sized business network services is hard to develop in-house or integrate from piecemeal components. To integrate it all with a single sign-on for users requires even more work. Enter Novell’s new SUSE Linux-based OpenExchange, a packaged, full-featured, secure, all-encompassing operating environment.

Mandriva Corporate Desktop 3.0 review

The corporate desktop GNU/Linux distribution is a relatively new invention, having begun with SUSE Desktop, then followed by Sun’s Java Desktop System and Red Hat Desktop. But with much less fanfare, Mandrivasoft released a Corporate Desktop product last January. It’s cheaper, has no minimum purchase requirement, and has support options of from one to five years. Compared to the alternatives, Mandriva Corporate Desktop is suited more for smaller shops that need a cost-effective and reliable desktop platform with corporate support.

Linspire 5.0 review

Linspire (formerly known as LindowsOS) has consistently made an attractive, easy-to-install and easy-to-use GNU/Linux distribution. With the 2.6.10 Linux kernel and a recent build of, Linspire has fixed some of the video driver problems I had with the 4.0 and 4.5 versions. As in previous releases, Linspire includes many proprietary add-ons “mainstream” desktop users enjoy, but in return it comes with proprietary strings attached.

Mandriva Corporate Server 3.0 review

Mandrakesoft released its Corporate Server 3.0 product in February. It’s a significant upgrade to the older 2.1 edition. With a newer kernel and a competent GUI management utility for its services, Corporate Server 3.0 is a good, inexpensive choice for businesses that need a powerful and secure server operating system with as little overhead as possible.

SUSE Linux 10 review

On October 6, Novell officially released SUSE Linux 10, the latest edition of its heavily armed desktop operating system. It offers a choice of great-looking desktop environments, a gigantic selection of desktop software that can do practically anything you could want, and the much-acclaimed YaST setup and configuration program. It’s easy to install, easy to use, and it’s definitely in the running for the best desktop operating system currently in production.

Mandriva Linux 2006 PowerPack Edition review

It’s not often that you see a desktop operating system aimed at power users. Usually an experienced user is expected to build the operating system from the command line ala FreeBSD, Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, or Linux From Scratch; or to spend hours customizing one of the totally GUI-controlled distros like SUSE or Xandros. Either of those options can take hours of research, config file hacking, and software downloading and installing. Mandriva Linux PowerPack Edition is quite a departure from both of those scenarios — it allows the experienced user to easily make the OS into exactly what he wants without all the extra “new user” stuff.

Mafia review

My wife walked into the room while I was playing Mafia. It was past midnight — you know how it is when you’re really into a game — no sound in the house except for that of bullets flying all around the screen. “What game are you playing?” she asked — a normal question, nothing to get excited about. But this is not a normal game, so I slap her across the face and tell her I’m playing Mafia. “I told you before, never ask me about my games.”

Unreal Tournament 2004 review

The successful Unreal Tournament series continues with UT2004. In short, it’s much like UT2003 in terms of graphics and gameplay, but there are some very important additions that make UT2004 a must-have: player vehicles and two new game modes that bring a whole new dimension to the standard FPS.

Tron 2.0 review

Many computer gamers weren’t even born yet when the original Tron hit movie theaters in 1982, followed a short time later by a hit video game that offered a glimpse of an oddly prophetic computer-dominated future. On the other hand, maybe you’re old enough to remember but at the time couldn’t understand the high tech concepts used in the movie to fully appreciate the imagination of the creators.Now, twenty-two years later, Tron 2.0 gives us a second opportunity to immerse ourselves in a brand new adventure in a world that exists inside of a computer.

Hitman review

There are a lot of different great FPS games out there today, and at a glance the Hitman games could be taken as just another ordinary series. It wasn’t the first of its kind, and its not going to be the last, but the gameplay experience as well as the story and the appeal of the main character make it original, cool and different.

Total Pro Football review

If you’re like me — a complete NFL junkie and a card-carrying member of Video Gamers Anonymous — you’ve longed for an accurate, highly detailed, engaging football sim game. I have played the Maddens and Game Days of the world for years but there was always something missing. I wanted complete control over all football operations, from draft day and managing the coaching staff to signing free agents and more. I think I’ve finally found my perfect game.

Solaris 10 review

Sun has put a tremendous amount of effort into its Solaris 10 operating system with the intention of rebuilding both its Unix market share and its relationship with free software developers. This article looks at the impressive new features that make Solaris 10 an amazing operating system and also some flaws that prevent it from being perfect.

PlanMaker 2004 review

Spreadsheet development has more or less solidified over the past year, and that means that the door is open for smaller companies and Free Software projects to walk in and grab market share with capable, inexpensive competition. That’s probably the best way to describe PlanMaker for Linux: capable, inexpensive, cross-platform competition for Microsoft Excel 2003. You won’t find a more Excel-compatible spreadsheet on any operating system, but all that glitters is not Microsoft compatibility.

dtSearch 7.0 review

When you reach a point of data supersaturation — when the amount of data you have is so great that it has become unmanageable — you need a tool to sort through it. Most individual computer users will never reach this point because single user data tends to be replaced or deleted when it becomes irrelevant. Businesses, on the other hand, often need to keep every document, email, log file, and chat session on file for many years. Even when your company is well organized, you still will need software to index and search the data. That’s where dtSearch comes in — it’s a suite of desktop and network search tools that can end the hassle associated with managing large amounts of data.

VMware Workstation 5.0 review

With last month’s release of VMware Workstation 5, the virtual machine software is better than ever. VMware Workstation now has 64-bit host support, the ability to capture multiple snapshots for each virtual machine, easier sharing of virtual machines, and the ability to connect multiple virtual machines in a “team” setting. Perhaps most importantly, GNU/Linux support is improved in version 5.

CrossOver Office 5.0 review

CrossOver Office, the Windows API emulation framework for GNU/Linux, is finally at version 5.0 after some delay. While CrossOver has always been useful but never quite perfect, this new release is a breakthrough in Windows compatibility and GNU/Linux desktop integration. If you’ve been in “wait and see” mode with CrossOver Office, this is the release that should push you toward it. 2.0 review

After two years of development, ( 2.0 is finally here. I’ve been using the past several beta releases in SUSE 9.3 Professional, which is packaged with a pre-release development build of 2.0, and I have to say that I like it a lot. It still has its shortcomings — all programs do — but version 2.0 is a significant improvement over 1.1

FreeBSD 6.0 review

The FreeBSD operating system is finally through it’s buggy 5.x series and into the more reliable 6.x series. Most of the problems of the old days — kernel panics on multi-CPU machines, AMD64 troubles galore, and shaky network drivers — are gone. FreeBSD still isn’t perfect, but at least with 6.0-RELEASE it’s more stable and functional than it has been in the recent past.

Hacking SUSE 10 OSS

When you’re done installing SUSE Linux 10.0, your desktop system is not complete. If you installed the OSS version, you still need support for Java programs, MP3 audio files, and browser plugins for Macromedia Flash, Adobe Acrobat, RealPlayer, and Windows Media Video. If you installed the commercial edition you might have all of those things, but still not have support for playing DVD videos on your computer. Here’s how to effectively make SUSE Linux 10.0 into a desktop powerhouse. Using SUSE 10.1? Try this guide instead.

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