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September 20, 2020
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Review of the freeware doPDF PDF converter: free, fast and incredibly easy

September 8, 2008

PDF documents have a very definite role in our electronic world. They make for smaller, faster-loading documents that display properly across operating systems, and do not require the purchase of a third-party product to read. PDF readers are free, and available for all major (and most minor) software platforms.

PDF files display properly and consistently from browsers - can web pages say the same? They cannot be altered accidentally, and are ideal for final versions of a document.

But PDF files can be difficult and costly to create. Adobe Acrobat costs about $299 U.S., though you might find it cheaper on the web. Alternately, consider doPDF, a free PDF creator/converter that we review in the associated article.

It's the PDF creator I mostly reach for, though I have Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro installed. No nag screens, no watermarking, no requirement for GhostScript - it works, quick and easy, from the very simple base install.

Software Review: the HeidiSQL front-end GUI for MySQL databases

September 1, 2008

Managing MySQL databases from the command line is painful.

There are solutions, of course - front-end Graphical User Interfaces that hide the command line, that make operations easy and intuitive. MySQL itself provides a free set of tools to this effect, but it isn't my favorite.

This review is of the HeidiSQL GUI, a freeware front-end for MySQL databases. It features an excellent user manager; simple database, table, field and record addition/editing/deletion, none of which require a single line of SQL code. Manual queries are made easy, as well, with syntax highlighting, auto-completion options, unlimited cut and paste, etc.

Of the half-dozen such programs I've tried, it is the only one I use. I use it a lot. Highly recommended.

Find that font! Fantastic font sites

July 23, 2006

Great fonts bring your work alive. Makes it stand out. Makes it sizzle, pop - if you want it to. Or keeps it subdued, readable. Whatever you want.
Standard operating fonts tend to do well for readability: they're the bread and butter of business life. Still, there are nice alternatives to Arial and Times New Roman. Try Verdana for web text, Garamond, Palatino, Warnock Pro for documents.
For artwork, brochures, postcards and posters, web banners and letterheads, you need something different. If you're a font-hound, you likely have thousands of fonts installed. You scourge your system, and still you can't find the one you want. What next?
Free is always good. My first recommendation: try a freeware font site. My favorite is ... [ Read more ]

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