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If this is your first visit, please take the time to
browse my site, with about 100 pages it's bigger than it
looks! All the freeware has been tested and reviewed by
Latest reviews and
How fast is your computer.
This web site tests your computer (without
installing anything), to see how many floating-point
operations it can perform in one second (a billion is a
Gigaflop). You are then given a speed score out of one
hundred and a computer speed in Gigaflops.
I had a speed score of 4 and a computer speed of 0.94 Gf
and was rated a snail.
You can compare your speed with
others around the world, or your friends on Facebook. Or
if your score is like mine, quietly slip away and never
mention it again.
Flash game -- Run from the sun.
The sun is exploding and you must
escape in your space craft, by flitting from planet, to
planet. Your range is limited, by the available oxygen
supply, which is replenished with each landing.
It is possible, (but risky) to use
gravity to alter course, but whatever you do, you have to
be quick, as the sun appears to expand more quickly, as
There are flaming asteroids to avoid and aliens appear
later in the game. As you progress, other ships are
unlocked, which is why I'm flying a vintage space shuttle.
Run from the sun is a simple, but quite addictive game.
My best score so far, is 10,325.
Loading time is approximately fourteen minutes on a 56K
Ubuntu to the rescue.
A friend recently asked me to mend
her laptop, which wouldn't start Vista. I have fixed it a
few times, as files seem to become corrupted very easily,
making Vista unstable.
This time I couldn't access Vista at all, the Vista Recovery Disc wouldn't perform a repair and nothing I
tried worked. I couldn't even access the drive from Puppy
Linux, to save her emails (later recovered from the ISP
server). I had previously created a backup of Vista,
using Acronis, but had saved it to a separate partition,
which Acronis reported as corrupt. I should have saved
the backup to a DVD .
Finally I decided to reinstall Vista from the recovery
partition (no Vista DVD), but the computer refused to
start the process and subsequent investigation showed the
partition to contain an image of just 180Mb, not large
enough to be Vista. From what I read on the Toshiba web
site, I believe the file to be drivers for the computer.
So with a totally useless laptop, I decided to look at
other options. My friend only uses the laptop for
emailing and a bit of surfing, she doesn't install
software at all (I don't think she knows how). So I
thought a Linux distribution might be a good choice. I
haven't tried any of the big Linux distros for quite a
while, as my computer isn't really powerful enough. I do
like Puppy Linux (a lightweight disto), however it is a
little quirky, for anyone who likes their computers to be
completely well behaved.
So after some investigation on the internet, I decided to
try Ubuntu v10.10, the fact that I already had a live
Ubuntu CD helped sway my choice.
I first tried running it as a live CD, which went very
well, everything seemed to work, so I clicked install.
Installation was quite straightforward, with a few
questions about my location and keyboard and how I wanted
Ubuntu to be installed. You can install alongside Windows,
but as Vista was broken, I allowed Ubuntu to use the
whole drive. I was asked for a user name and password and
installation began, with a slide show of Ubuntu features.
Installation took less than thirty minutes and I was
presented with the Ubuntu desktop.
As my friend was used to Windows, I played around with
the Ubuntu desktop, altering the toolbars and themes,
until it looked more like Windows.
As you can see from the screenshot,
with a bit of tweaking Ubuntu can look a lot better than
the rather drab default. There is a good help manual in
the System menu and for more help an independent manual
can be found at http://ubuntu-manual.org/
Ubuntu comes with a pretty good selection of software pre-installed.
Firefox for web browsing. Evolution is the email program,
which is very similar to Outlook Express in Windows.
There is a firewall, but you need to turn it on (follow
the steps in the manual), which is a surprising lapse in
Before I could use the internet, via a Vodafone mobile
USB dongle (slowest connection I have ever used), I did
have to do a fair bit of Googling, to find the correct
settings, but it was fine once set up.
You will need to install some restricted extras, to get
things like DVD playback and Flash working. But it is all
explained in the manual and is usually a one click affair.
Films, music and internet radio all worked well once set
Images can be viewed and edited using the Shotwell Photo
Manager, which is useful, if rather basic.
Printer installation was very impressive, much better
than Windows. Just plug the printer in and turn it on,
Ubuntu recognizes it a few seconds later. I tried this
with my HP psc1215 and my friends Epson and both were
identified immediately and worked perfectly. So much
easier than the long winded driver and software
installation most printers require nowadays.
Scanning is performed with the Simple Scan application,
which again worked very well.
The Software Center allows you to install new software
with one click and the selection is quite large. Although
personally I prefer the Windows system. I did try quite a
few items of software and all installed without a problem,
but most of the action games I tried wouldn't run
properly on the laptop, although it does come with a very
nice game of Sudoku.
Overall I was quite impressed with Ubuntu, it's reliable,
starts quickly and is easy to use. Some of the software
is rather basic compared to Windows and it can't match
Windows for games, but for everyday tasks it is better
than Windows. My friend is delighted with it, as it zooms
along in comparison to Vista and she has had no problems
adapting to Ubuntu.
I did try Ubuntu on my desktop, it installed with no
problems, alongside XP and my cable broadband worked
immediately. But it needs more ram than my meager 512MB
and ran a little erratically, giving problems with the
Software Center and performing slowly at times.
I intend to remove it from my computer after I finish
this review. But don't let that put you off trying it,
test the live CD first, to see if it runs okay.
Free -- Open Source -- 693MB
Freeware game -- Attack of the ooze.
Attack of the ooze is a retro
styled game, with a intro screen like a scfi comic book
cover, from when I was a lad. The menu follows the theme,
by looking and sounding like an old wireless.
The game itself is quite simple,
shoot the aliens and save the day.
You control a gun turret, and use the arrow keys to set
the firing angle and space to set the power and release
the shot. Esc will return you to the menu during play.
The game steadily introduces new weapons and aliens as it
progresses through fortyfour levels. It isn't
particularly hard and you get unlimited attempts at each
level, but I did get stuck on level fortyone and didn't
complete the game.
A nice game, that isn't going to send the world on fire,
but has a certain charm to it. It reminds me of the sort
of games you played on the Spectrum.
Freeware -- Download size 6.24MB -- Win XP/Vista/7
Note: The Play Now button on YoYo Games will
install an activeX and play the game in your browser. for
a normal download, use the link to the right of the page.
Wow an update!
I've finally written an update, the
last was in February, how time flys! I have been busy
working and got out of the habit of posting, but a few
days of rain has got me back at the keyboard, trying to
correct the many broken freeware links, sites come and go
I have also sorted out the homepage size problem, with
this size being the best compromise I can come up with,
to suit both people with high res monitors and those like
myself, still running at 800*600.
I have also added a new review (see below), starting with
something easy, as I'm still trying to remember how to
make a web page.
Moffsoft FreeCalc v126.96.36.199
I use the calculator that comes
with Windows quite often and it does a perfectly good job.
But after using the better featured Moffsoft FreeCalc for
a while, I'm a convert.
I particularly like the tape, which
clearly shows each stage of your calculation and can be
saved, or printed. The memory value display in the status
bar, is an excellent idea, even if it does look like an
after thought. You can also alter the size and appearance
of the calculator.
The comprehensive help file completes the package, making
FreeCalc an excellent replacement for the standard
Freeware -- Download size 764KB -- Win 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7
Computing on a cloud -- Free Panda Cloud Antivirus v1.0
Panda Cloud Antivirus uses the
cloud (or internet, to you and me), to store the virus
definition database, rather than the more traditional
downloaded and regulary updated database.
So there is no need for the initial massive virus
definition download and regular updates are no longer
needed, a definite bonus in my book.
Panda automatically checks suspicious files online, so
you always have the benefit of the latest database. And
new threats can be identified far quicker with this
online interaction, than with traditional methods.
The initial software download is about 22Mb and after
installation you need to create an online account, so
that you can properly activate Panda Cloud Antivirus.
Depending on which firewall (I use Zonealarm) you are
using, you may need to give Panda permission to access
Panda Cloud Antivirus is very easy to use, the default
settings take care of everything (there are very few
settings) and the help file is excellent and worth
In use Panda is unobtrusive, taking care of problems with
no fuss at all. You can run either a Quick Scan, or
select the hard drive areas you wish to scan. Scanning
isn't very fast, but the progress and results are
displayed well, with vital information such as the file
Any problem files are automatically
quarantined and can be deleted, or restored as you
I found detection accuracy to be good. Panda did
quarantine some of my tools and one joke program, but
these are items perceived to be possibly dangerous if
misused, so it's a judgment call.
All the tests I tried, to see if Panda would spot
suspicious behaviour, were blocked immediately and I will
admit to being impressed.
On the downside, despite the claims of Panda being light
and fast, my elderly computer did seem slightly sluggish
and one game crashed the computer everytime I tried to
run it, until I turned Panda off.
Broadband internet speed doesn't seem to be affected at
all and I noticed no increase in traffic, despite the
cloud aspect of Panda.
Overall, I was impressed by Panda Cloud Antivirus, it
seemed competent and unobtrusive and was very easy to use.
Free -- Download 22Mb -- Win 7, Vista, XP.
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