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Software Recommendations Are Not That Easy

I thought I write a quick insightful post on the review of software.  Let’s face it, in the Window’s world, there are tons of software built for many different audiences.  The problem is, how do you know which one is the “best” software?

Even declaring which software is the “best” is not clear itself.  The word “best” is a relative term, so what is considered the “best” to one person, is not simply the “best” for another person.  For instance, there was a time period when Zone Alarm was the best firewall out there.  Now Zone Alarm has changed over the years from being strickly a firewall program to a security suite.

Now you got other firewall programs like Windows Firewall, Kerio, Sygate, Tiny Personal Firewall, Bitdefender, and more.  For some people, they live by one of the programs mentioned above.  For others, Zone Alarm is perfectly fine for them. Thus, in this advanced software age making a recommendation or review on a piece of software is partly objective, partly personal, and partly cynical.

On Freewaregenius.com, a virtual desktop program named Dexpot was part of the top 20 list.  I tried it, and I didn’t like it.  It just didn’t really “vibe” or click in with my personal computing experience.  For other people, maybe this is just up their alley.  In my review, I might have been biased, and for another reviewer, he may have given it praise.

However, from time to time there are software recommendations that we as a general public maybe able to agree upon.  One example is what is a good anti-spyware program to use.  I’m sure if you had a choice between the 2008 version of Ad-Aware and Spybot, the majority of people would pick Spybot because it is leaner and has less bloat.

But then, you may have Ad-Aware fanboys, so who is right and who is wrong?  Where I am going with this post?  The next time someone says a program is “interesting”, it doesn’t mean it is good or bad, or even a recommendation.  To me, saying a particular piece of software is “interesting” is like not even taking a real side.

A good example is this new Microsoft Program that lets you take a webcam, and turn your monitor into this touch type like application area.  Cool?  Yes.  Interesting?  Yes.  Do myself see it as a life changing event?  No, but then again I may be phrasing the question wrong.

Every software has its niche audience, and for someone out there, the program is sufficient enough for them.  As an author, I respect that.  Some people may try to “push” programs onto me, and vice versa, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it.

The only way to truly satisfy your own personal computing experience is to try out software on your own, and develop your own preference.  Live a little. Don’t be a drone.  ;)

Am I off whack?  Leave a comment.  I’m curious how others act when someone “recommended” something to you, and you felt their recommendation was utter crap or useless. :)

[Review] Windows Media Players

ZPlayer pic
Zoom Player
Type: Shareware,
Website: http://www.inmatrix.com/
This media player is surprisingly very user-friendly and feature-rich for its very small installation size. Also, this player boasts for leaving the smallest footprint on the computer processes. Possibly the main highlight of this player is its intuitiveness to find and install the right codec if the existing codecs do not support that particular file. Another benefit of this player is the fact that it can also act as a media center and as a player. And most of all, this player loads up very quick.

However, there are certainly some features that this player needs improvement on. The first part is frame capture, since it can only capture and save that screenshot as bitmap format (.bmp). Secondly, the aesthetics of the player are quite distasteful along with the fact that there are very few skins available to cover this loss. Whereas some might see this as a boon or a benefit, every single key on the keyboard has a function.

MPC pic
Media Player Classic (MPC)
Type: Freeware, Open Source
Website:http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=205650&package_id=245753
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Player_Classic
The most basic, yet reliable media player for those who prefer old school windows or retro applications. It does just about everything that zoom player can do with the exception of the media center feature. Also, MPC allows the user to customize the number screenshots for the whole movie/episode and the output format. Another benefit of this player is that it is very small and can act as a standalone player.

As of now, I have not found any complaints for this fine player.

KMP pic
KMPlayer
Type: Freeware
Website: http://www.kmplayer.com/forums/index.php
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_KMPlayer
This is one of the best players I have encountered as of now. There are plenty of skins to replace the default one. Also, this player has numerous features that I cannot list at the moment. Nonetheless, its long list of supported formats along with ease of use and eyecandy has certainly made this player a very nice alternative to the regular Windows Media Player (WMP).

For those who still like the WMP look, there is a skin that looks exactly like WMP for KMPlayer.

Additional information: http://www.kmplayer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141

**Attention** – The players listed above can be portable as well.


Topics not discussed in this article for lack of focus:
For those who still like the Divx Player interface but do not like the bloat associated with it, one can use Gom Player or BSPlayer.VLC is still the swiss army knife of video playback but not discussed here due to almost everyone knowing its existence and capability. Also, this player tends to hog memory like no other and has a lot more features that a typical user would not need on a daily basis.

Review: the New Zune

“Having survived its freshman hazing, the Zune is back for its sophomore revenge, and the iPod has every reason to be frightened. The Zune 4 (4GB, $149) and Zune 8 (8GB, $199) offer a leaner, lighter version of Microsoft’s full-size Zune 80 MP3 player (80GB, $249).

 

art.zune.2.gen.jpg

With a new hardware and software design, wireless sync capability, subscription music compatibility, and integrated support for audio and video podcasts, the Zune 4 and Zune 8 are poised to compete directly with the third-generation Apple iPod Nano.”

Source -> http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/ptech/11/23/zune/index.html

Hello Everybody!

Boo.

 

Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.

 

Hello, my name is Bonzi. I shake you warmly by the hand.

 

At the same time, I’m accidentally making a word pyramid. Woohoo.

 

Enough of that. I’m going to be doing a weekly…thingy on…

 

FLASH…GAMING.(dun dun dun!!!)

Sorry. I’ll stop. Anyway, starting next week, I’ll being doing a weekly article (I remembered the word!) on flash gaming where I introduce you to flash games that I have personally discovered and review them. Some you may not know. Some you know and love. Some you know and hate.

Could be fun.

Hello Everybody! ~Bonzi

 

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