Remove Crapware From Your PC

Most systems are now shipped with a desktop littered with links, trialware, adware, and a variety of software that you may find completely useless. Some of the software can be useful, but the bulk of it is unnecessary and can only be referred to as crap, and getting rid of it can also speed up your computer as you will not be using unnecessary resources.

The PC Decrapifier will uninstall the majority of the most common trialware found on most computers. This superb little utility will automatically scan your PC for useless software and startup items, and then lets you choose from a list the ones you want to remove. This program cannot distinguish between trial and paid versions of some software, but anything that you might just need is deselected by default, which you can override so it’s safe even for newbies to use.

Simply download this little zip file, open it up and run the exe. Your antivirus may give you a warning because of the scripting language used, but it it totally safe to ignore this.

Once run you can pick and choose what you want to remove, it will not remove anything anything without prompting you first!

If you still have some junk after running this open Control Panel and select Programs and Features (in Windows Vista) or Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP). Most applications will have an uninstaller entry to remove the program and associated files. Programs like Microsoft Office allow you to remove any components that you don’t need. Also check the folders in Start/All Programs for uninstall utilities that may not appear in the Control Panel list.

Here is a list containing some of the programs it will remove:

AOL Install, AOL UK, AOL US, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI, Corel Photo Album 6, Corel Snapfire Plus SE, Corel WordPerfect, Dell Search Assistant, Dell URL Assistant, Desktop Icons, Digital Content Portal, Earthlink Setup Files, ESPN Motion, Get High Speed Internet!, Google Desktop, HP Rhapsody, Internet Service Offers Launcher, McAfee, Microsoft Office Activation Assistant 2007, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003, MS Plus Digital Media Installer, MS Plus Photo Story 2LE, MusicMatch Jukebox, MusicMatch Music Services, muvee autoProducer 5.0, NetZero Installers, Norton AntiSpam, Norton AntiVirus 2005, Norton Ghost 10.0, Norton Internet Security, Norton Protection Center, Norton Security Center, Norton Symantec Live Update, Office 2003 Trial Assistant, Orange Internet, PC-cillin Internet Security 12, QuickBooks Trial, Quicken 2006, Reset IE Home and Search Pages, Roxio Express Labeler, Roxio MyDVD LE, Roxio RecordNow, Sonic DLA, Sonic RecordNow Audio, Sonic RecordNow Copy, Sonic Update Manager, Startup Menu Items, Tiscali Internet, Travelocity Gadget, Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 14, Unnecessary Startup Items, Vongo, Wanadoo Europe Installer, Wild Tangent Games, Yahoo! Music Jukebox, Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer.

Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 For Image Editing – 11 Good Reasons to Choose Paint Shop Pro Over Photoshop

I have been using Corel’s Paint Shop Pro for several years. As a professional photographer, I absolutely depend on it for my daily image editing and management. Though I am in the minority of professionals who don’t use Photoshop, I take pride in using and promoting this very powerful and cost-effective image editing suite. Here are several reasons why this is a great tool for professionals and amateur photographers. These comments are based on Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 (PSP/X2).

1. Cost. The base product is $65, with occasional sales or specials offering it for under $50. Corel also bundles it with painter essentials, media recovery, a thumb drive and more under the “Ultimate” package for under $80. Compare this to Photoshop elements at $95 and CS4 at $700. PSP/X2 is much closer in capability to CS4 than elements. And upgrades are very reasonable and frequent.

2. Workflow. The Express Lab feature lets you quickly make edits to many files quickly. The Smart Photo Fix will make suggested changes to an image to improve attributes such as brightness, contrast and more. For rapid processing of many images, this tool is very capable.

3. Shortcuts. There are several ways to activate most of the features, including assigning new shortcut keys to frequently used functions. For example, I map Alt-F1 to the Levels adjustment, and Alt-F2 to Curves. Within those dialogs, you can also assign presets so that you can reproduce certain settings with a single click. This alone saves me hours each month when editing hundreds of images.

4. Costmetics. I take a lot of people pictures, and quick cosmetic editing is one of the strongest attributes in this product. The makeup brush deals with blemishes, lines and skin tone differences. The toothbrush whitens teeth, and the suntan brush does what you expect it would. I can complete a cosmetic edit on a high school senior boy in just a minute or two. And the results are very good.

5. Image Adjustment. The good contrast tools, Curves and Levels, are quick and full of features. Straighten allows you to rotate and crop to a horizon line. White balance and other color adjustments are equally strong. Black and white conversion and “time machine” film style emulation give you some great creative options. There are many great features for image editing, cleanup and creative change.

6. Workspace. You can define, save and retrieve different workspaces for different editing activities. This lets you open and anchor dialogs and change other settings on how the program operates.

7. Plug-ins. Many if not most plug-ins designed to work with Photoshop will also work with PSP/X2. I use one called Virtual Photographer which gives me even more opportunity to artistically edit images.

8. Automation. There is a robust scripting language which allows you to automate tasks such as resize, watermark and rotate. Any function that can be done on screen can be recorded using a macro mode, and saved and edited. These scripts can then be applied in bulk to any and all images in a folder. I use this feature to copy and resize images to a new folder for upload to my lab for proofing prints. You can also bulk rename files so that they follow a name scheme and sequence. This is great for renaming the keeper images from an event such as a wedding.

9. Preservation. You can enable Preserve Original mode, where the original images is saved in a lower folder, able to be recovered if you wish to go back. This simple feature gives you the peace of mind that your images are preserved regardless of your editing.

10. Layers. I use the Layers capability very often. It is very strong, for both text and graphics/images. Special characteristics such as emboss and drop shadow are available. Layer masks and interactions provide for very powerful and quick image changes. I often produce partial color black and white images using layers and the Channel Mixer and the eraser brush. I can create nearly all partial color edits in under 5 minutes, often in under 1 minute.

11. Development. Corel releases a new version of PSP about yearly. Each new release is more stable, faster and brings more technical and non-technical features for users of all levels. My per-year cost of use is probably $50 or less, and that’s purchasing every upgrade as it comes out.

12. Opportunities. I do have some needs that aren’t met by PSP/X2. The browser could be more capable with image viewing, ranking and moving/copying. I use another tool for the portion of my workflow that I call “Image Triage”, but I would prefer they beef up their browser interface to handle this capability. I would consider this a feature request.

This is my personal experience from my use of the product, not a comprehensive feature listing. As a professional photographer, I am very satisfied with the performance and capabilities of the product, and find it to be very cost effective and productive. I encourage you to try the product as an alternative to the other image editing products out there.

Review of the Corel Draw Graphics Suite X4

This 14th version of the Corel Draw Graphics Suite X4 is the perfect solution for those who want to play and edit graphics but find the Adobe Photoshop interface too complicated. I don’t want to badmouth Photo shop at all but it is a professional package that comes with a price tag and a manual of about 1000 pages. An investment of time and money that is just not necessary for an average user.

The Corel Package as it is now has more then enough functionality to do almost anything you can think of. Its interface is highly accessible, intuative and interactive for everyone. If you can use a word processor you can use this graphics suite.

Perhaps some people think of it as a negative but I like the high integration the package has with online services. Through ConceptShare users can work in an online workspace, which can be shared with other users. Then there is the WhatTheFont service that can online recognize fonts and letter types.

There is no alternative for Flash like web development. I think Corel made a mistake here because if this is one of your interests the package is not for you. It does limit the overall usability of the package, and that is a pity.

The functionality of Photo Paint, the second application in the suite is greatly enhanced and supports over 300 modern digital camera’s Its now easier than ever to work, play and edit with scanned documents as well. The package provides a good support for working with color histogram distributions, and is highly effective without all the hassle of working with professional packages.

Corel is not a market leader and can’t afford to limit its potential user base by using proprietary file systems or limit the import and export possibilities to other file types. This is a big pro Corel can even function as a great translator between programs using all sorts of file extensions.

Further the possibilities for Color control are increased and support for Adobe CMM is introduced.

To wrap it up, Corel has come up with a user friendly graphics suite for those who use these kind of programs to the level of semi-professional use. Because of the support of professional file formats it is a good tool to design and develop flyers, posters or brochures for personal or use in connection associations. On the minus site there is the lack of support for flash or flash like applications.

The Corel Draw Graphics Suite X4 is a program easily lives up to demands of the semi-professional jobs it was designed for.