Friday 31 August 2012

Fix Broken Adobe PDF Files

Occasionally I get given a PDF file that opens up, but refuses to print and just errors. Printing hasn't been disabled, there just something in the file that it doesn't like (a hidden layer or transparent image). First, get a full version of Acrobat Std or Pro (the trial is fine or download Acrobat 8 Pro for FREE from and open the problematic file. Select Tools > Protection > Remove Hidden Information to remove the hidden text, layers etc and then save the file. Use Document > Examine Document for older versions of Acrobat. See:

Thursday 30 August 2012

Mozilla Firefox Plugin Checker

The Mozilla Firefox browser is now on version 15 with improved speeds and loads of new features.  Check which version of Firefox you have installed (I was still on 12) and once upgraded, use the plugin checker to see if you have any vulnerabilities.  See:

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Windows 8 Can Split the Desktop and New UI

A lot of people have been moaning about the new Windows 8 fullscreen app UI, but they didn't know it can be split to show one app reduced to 320 pixels wide and the second can be a full desktop program taking up the remaining pixels minus the 22 pixel vertical band.  On a 1366x768 pixel screen this would give you 1024, 22 and 320.  On my 1600x900 pixel screenshot, I get 1258 pixels for Google Chrome, 22 and 320 pixels for the One Note app.

Monday 27 August 2012

FREE Web Based Interior Design Software

This FREE easy to use drag and drop interior design tool lets you design everything from your office layout to your kitchen. Fully web based, with no software to install, it lets you save and share your designs and even view in 3D. See:

Friday 24 August 2012

FREE MP4 Video Converter

Martin Beeby (tweet @thebeebs) told me about the FREE Miro Video Converter yesterday which let me convert 1024 x 768 videos to MP4 without trying to change the size or aspect ratio.  Very easy to use with presets for popular phones, iPods, and other media players. See:

Thursday 23 August 2012

Learn AutoCAD and Revit for FREE

Learn AutoCAD or just improve your skills for FREE with over 2000 online classes.  Download a FREE 30 day trial of AutoCAD or Revit, if you don't have the software.  See: 

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Recover Files From A Damaged Hard Drive

Every hard disk drive will eventually fail, or more likely develop unreadable bad sectors that can stop your computer from working.  You may still be able to recover your files by using an alternative operating system that starts from CD.  Knoppix is a FREE Linux bootable CD that lets you copy your files to a USB memory stick or USB drive.  See:

Tuesday 21 August 2012

FREE Audio Editing Software

I've been using Audacity for all my audio editing and recording needs for years. Great for tweaking or splicing together audio. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, see:

Monday 20 August 2012


Domain Name Servers assigned by your ISP may be slowing down your internet access. Check and optimise your DNS with this FREE tool from Gibson Research at: also test your DNS for Spoofability at:

Saturday 18 August 2012

Find FREE Kindle Books Easily

Quickly find thousands of FREE Kindle Books and receive notifications of price drops with this website.  You don't even need to own a Kindle, there is a FREE Kindle App available for every major smartphone, tablet, and computer. See:

Friday 17 August 2012

FREE Online Parental Controls

Use OpenDNSProtect youself from fraudulent phishing websites by using the FREE OpenDNS Premium DNS.  Sign up for the FREE FamilyShield to block adult content and configure filters for up to 56 categories of websites. See:

Thursday 16 August 2012

An Easier Way To Share Web Links

Bitly is more than just a FREE website link shortener, it lets you save, share and monitor your links. Also shows you public bitmarks from your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.  See:

Wednesday 15 August 2012

CSS3 & HTML5 Resources

Massive web design community website full of articles, forums, code snippets, videos and more. See:

Online tool that lets you build, test and share HTML, CSS and JavaScript code snippets known as 'pens' with the focus being education and inspiration. See:
A bookmarklet for Chrome and Safari that gives you an idea of what your CSS3 website would look like on older browsers that don't support it. See:

Monday 13 August 2012

FREE Wireframing & Diagraming Tools

Moqups is an easy to use online wireframing tool that exports to PDF or PNG. Needs a HTML5 compatible browser (chrome, firefox or safari). See:
The Pencil Project diagraming and prototyping application can be run as a Firefox addon or as a standalone application available for Windows, Mac & Linux. Also has downloads for additional Stencils. See:

Sunday 12 August 2012

FREE Microsoft IT Training

The Microsoft Virtual Academy is a FREE IT training resource covering major subjects such as Virtualisation, Azure, Windows Server, System Center and Office365. See:

Friday 10 August 2012

FREE Image Viewer & Printing Utility

I've been using the ACDsee image viewer for over 10 years, for printing contact sheets and images.  Now they've launched a free version. See:

Thursday 9 August 2012

Official Microsoft Office Blogs

Microsoft have a blog for each individual Office program with Tips, How-to's and Videos. Great for learning how to get the most out of each program.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

FREE Fonts

Over 500 FREE fonts are available from Google Web Fonts at for you to download and use in your documents.  You can also download the entire collection from

Tuesday 7 August 2012

FREE Cloud Based Timesheet Software

Apptivo is a cloud based suite of 40+ integrated small business apps covering timesheets, invoices, CRM, project management. A FREE account has unlimited users but only 500MB of database storage. See:

TimeLive (Hosted) is a time management solution, available as a hosted cloud system and local install version. Includes timesheets, expenses, time off and QuickBooks integration. See:

FREE version has been withdrawn, 30% Off code: TS050145 valid until 25/10/2017

Timesheet Portal offers a complete pay-as-you-go hosted solution, with options for rebranding. Prices start at £2.50 per employee per month (minimum charge £15) and expense reporting is 20% extra. See:

Monday 6 August 2012

Searching For FREE Software (Freeware)

These are the sites I've been using for years to look for free software (freeware).

Easy to use menu lets you select or search for just freeware and includes software reviews by both the site and users.

Major Geeks
Click 'Sort by: License' to filter the freeware to the top. See: Also includes deditcated Mac area at:
This site lets you download all the historic software versions as well as the latest version, great for troubleshooting. See:

Friday 3 August 2012

FREE Tools From DELL Kace

DELL Kace make great IT systems management appliances for 100 nodes or more, but they give some of their tools away for FREE. Currently there are 5 including a Secure Browser, System Inventory Tool and Virtual Disk Utility. See:

Thursday 2 August 2012

Convert PDF Files to Word or Excel for FREE

Convert your PDF files for FREE with these online tools by, choose from either PDF to Word at: or PDF to Excel at: If you like the software and are thinking of buying it, use the online version first as they are currently giving $20 off the $120 price.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Microsoft Mathematics

Microsoft have released two versions of their FREE Mathematics program, choose between either a standalone version, see: or as an Add-In for Word and OneNote, see: