NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, June 2009
The Deals Column
By Bob Click, The Deals Making Man
(click to email author)

I was reading the Orange County IBM PC Users Group newsletter (nibbles & bits) and noticed an interesting article. Linda Gonse does a great job of editing this great newsletter and those of you who don't get to read it are missing a real treat. I don't own an iPhone, but many of my readers do. Lorene Romero, North Coast Macintosh Users Group President (in Santa Rosa, CA), wrote the article about some unique items available for iPhones. Three that I found interesting are quoted below with Lorene's permission:

Coffee Break: $1.99 (****): Great app for those who love coffee! It has a very 'fun' interface with appropriate company cups. It has the usual suspects (Starbucks, Pete's and Seattle's Best), but it also has a category for 'Other Coffee Places.' It is a great app if you are a coffee hound, like I am. The seller is Marco Pifferi.

AroundMe: Free (****): Cool little app that lets you find banks, coffee places, gas stations, supermarkets, and even an Apple store, located near you. First it finds your location and then accesses a database filled with local shops. I used it in Seaside, OR and found a wonderful coffee shop right down the street.

Say Who Free (****): Finally an app that brings back voice activation to the iPhone! Say any name (Jon Jones Mobile) and it will dial it every time for me.

You can download these from the iPhone store: http://www.apple.com/itunes/whatson/appstore.html

Why Not Scrap The Crap'
One of the Vendors at the FACUG/APCUG Florida spring conference was Sunbelt Software. They offer Vipre Enterprise. They call the product a non-bloated antivirus, antispyware, and antirootkit software that includes other technologies to make it an all-in-one protection. They say it offers Real-Time Monitoring with Active Protection. Removing rootkits is supplemented by VIPRE's FirstScan, which runs at the system's boot time. FirstScan bypasses the Windows operating system to directly scan certain locations of the hard drive for malware, removing infections where found. They say Vipre's Active Protection delivers real time monitoring and protection against known and unknown malware threats. Active Protection works inside the Windows kernel, (the core of the operating system), watching for malware and stopping it before it has a chance to execute on your system.

VIPRE includes comprehensive protection against e-mail viruses, with direct support for Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail; and support for any email program that uses POP3 and SMTP. In reading their product information, I found more good information on the product than I could possibly include in this column, so please visit their Web site and look it over carefully for full information. http://www.sunbeltsoftware.com/Home-Home-Office/VIPRE/.

This company is not based on some small Pacific atoll, or some strange sounding name of a country you never heard of, but is located in Clearwater, Florida where their tech support will speak good English (maybe Spanish if you need that) if you need to talk to them. Trip Kirk, Sales Engineer for Sunbelt Software, said they'll offer user group members the following coupon code (DealsGuy) that's good for $5 off of any Vipre consumer license through August 31, 2009 at http://shop.sunbelt-software.com/licensing.cfm'product=VIPRE. Trip says that can be a single license, a two-computer license, or even the unlimited home license, which is good for as many computers as someone has at their one home address; or if they have computers in Florida and also in another state, such as snowbirds can, they can use it for all of the computers that they personally own. I guess that being surrounded by seniors in Clearwater has influenced them favorably.

For what it's worth, I realize that you can instantly name at least six places to find FREE protections of all types, but it can also be said that 'you get what you pay for'' Just about every free protection product also offers a pay version with added features that they hope you'll buy later on to give better peace of mind. Here you get the peace of mind right up front. I have not had the chance to try this product.

What's This, A Photo Production Line?
Bits&Coffee has released BatchPhoto V 2.5, a powerful Windows photo manipulation program that makes it easy to annotate, touch up, transform, apply effects, convert, and rename hundreds of pictures in a single operation. BatchPhoto lets you select a group of images, define a series of edits, and apply them in a single operation rather than individually.

With version 2.5, BatchPhoto introduces Raw Photo Development. DSLR digital cameras can save the raw image data as read by the optical sensor without any loss or additional processing. The resulting files, often called raw images or digital negatives, need additional processing on the PC with specialized software. Almost every digital camera manufacturer has one or several different file formats for storing the raw image data, which leads to poor support from software vendors. BatchPhoto can read and convert most of those formats, including formats from digital camera makers like: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Fuji, Kodak, or Pentax.

By taking advantage of multi-core processors, BatchPhoto can convert hundreds or even thousands of raw images to common image formats like JPEG or TIFF in a single session. Custom defined settings, like White Balance or Demosaicing, allow the user to control the development process in detail. Additional filters and transformations can be applied to photos in the same session (e.g. Watermark, Resize, Sepia and so on).

BatchPhoto can convert the raw images to dozens of image formats, including: JPG, TIF, PDF, PNG, GIF, BMP, EPS, TGA, and PSD. It can also change the meaningless names assigned by digital cameras to custom keyword based names, in the same operation. A second new feature is the ability to create PDF documents from multiple images. In the same process each image can be annotated, watermarked, and adjusted.

Overall, BatchPhoto has more than three-dozen graphical filters that can be applied to pictures. The filters are divided into four main categories; Annotate, Touch Up, Transform, and Effects. BatchPhoto adds itself to Windows Explorer's contextual (right-click) menu, so the user can apply predefined, or custom defined profiles to groups of pictures with ease.

BatchPhoto V. 2.5 runs under all versions of Windows, including Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Home version is priced at $29.95 (US), and Pro at $59.95 (US). User group members get a 40% discount on the purchase of BatchPhoto by using the discount coupon 5A1398E4 when ordering, and it's good through June 2009. http://www.batchphoto.com/.

How About Better Efficiency
Almeza Company has announced LeaderTask Company Management 6.4, a smart solution for managing employees' projects, processes, company documents, and relations with clients. Designed to facilitate and streamline workflow, the system offers essential tools for managing task assignments, scheduling appointments, tracking project status, evaluating employees' efficiency, and many more.

To save time and effort, LeaderTask Company Management has been developed. The system provides advanced workflow management capabilities, storing the information on all tasks, projects, and appointments and delivering it in the convenient form. The software doesn't require a server and works via Internet or LAN. LeaderTask provides each user with an organizer and can serve as a task planner, personal information manager, calendar, project manager and contact manager, allowing the user to add tasks, contacts, notes, links, projects and categories.

LeaderTask PDA Organizer is a mobile version of LeaderTask for Windows Mobile. LeaderTask PDA allows having an instant summary of tasks by projects, contacts, and categories on the pocket computer. At the same time, it's easy to quickly add new tasks and make notes. The program features customizable filters with flexible viewing options. A user can easily sort and filter projects and tasks by key elements and tags such as due date, priority, employee, project, and category, etc.

LeaderTask Company Management requires MS Windows 2000 or higher and costs $69 for a workstation license. User Group members will get a 10% discount. Further information on the product, as well as its free evaluation copy is available from . To order with the discount, e-mail them at because I haven't gotten a response to my request for instructions. Also, with a minimum of five workstations per order, look the pricing over carefully if you are interested.

That's it for this month. I'll have some more new product announcements on my Web site that didn't offer discounts. Meet me here again next month if your editor permits. This column is written to make user group members aware of special offers or freebies I have found or arranged, and my comments should not be interpreted to encourage, or discourage, the purchase of any products, no matter how enthused I might sound. Bob (The Cheapskate) Click . Visit my Web site at http://www.dealsguy.com

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