Professional

System Mechanic Professional review

System Mechanic Professional is a full-featured program to help you keep your computer free of problem files and other junk that can impact performance. With an intuitive interface and plenty of options, this program is accessible to users of all experience levels.

Pros

Good explanations: As you work through the program, you'll see plenty of thorough explanations about what types of scans it performs, what types of files it's looking for, and why. This makes it much easier to determine what you want to remove from your machine and how doing so will impact performance.

Full evaluation: Unlike … Read more

ABBYY FineReader Professional review

ABBYY FineReader Professional is a powerful program that lets you convert your scanned documents and image files into Word, PDF, or other formats. Scan items directly, or use files you already have saved on your computer, and once the program has done its work, you'll be able to search and edit them with ease.

Pros

Excellent interface: This app features a smooth and streamlined interface that makes its features accessible to users of all experience levels. Large buttons denote the various actions you can carry out, including Scan to Word, Scan to PDF, Image to PDF, and Quick Open, … Read more

Sothink Logo Maker Professional review

A one-stop solution for the creation of professional logos, Sothink Logo Maker Professional retains the practicality of previous versions while introducing new freeform design elements, better color management, and copious presets and ready-made design elements.

Pros

Stimulates creativity: Sothink Logo Maker Professional impressed us with its available presets and the huge, well-categorized collection of resources it offers. The well-laid-out interface panels provide access to all the features you need to design catchy logos.

Freeform tools: If you own a graphics tablet you can try your hand at creating new elements with a simulated pencil, brush, or pen, or starting from … Read more

Mask Surf Pro review

Mask Surf Pro addresses many of the issues associated with Tor anonymizers, from security to implementation, to keep your online activities safe, secure, and private. It's not free nor especially cheap compared to similar tools, but a streamlined interface, automatic browser integration, masking, and other features help Mask Surf Pro earn its keep.

Pros

Pro-level: Mask Surf Pro has everything in the freeware plus features geared for advanced users and professionals, such as country emulation, switchable anonymity tests, and the ability to set your PC as a Tor client, relay, or bridge.

Tor your way: Installation options include regular … Read more

KeePass Password Safe Professional review

KeePass Password Safe Professional is a convenient utility that lets you create a database to store all of your log-in information for various sites. Once you've entered all of your information into this program, you can access Web sites and even have the app log you in with just a few clicks.

Pros

Random password generator: If you're happy with your current passwords, you're perfectly welcome to keep them. But if you'd like to create some that are more secure, this app offers a convenient generator that lets you specify the length and types of characters … Read more

MSD Organizer Freeware review

MSD Organizer Freeware is a versatile, expandable, and feature-packed personal information manager. It organizes notes, contacts, appointments, important events, tasks, and much, much more with a free app that can grow with your needs. New in version 11.6 is the ability to save data to three separate folders at once, including cloud-based folders.

MSD Organizer opened with a floating time gadget and an extensive Help file with a Quick Tour and Introduction. The user interface is busy but efficient and attractive, with a day planner in the main window and a calendar sidebar. Customizable toolbars give a familiar browser-like … Read more

The Frigidaire Professional slow cooker fails to impress

At my local grocery here in Louisville, there's an aisle dedicated to small kitchen appliances, and at the end of it you'll find an entire section of budget-priced slow cookers. The most expensive one probably costs somewhere around $60, and the majority run significantly less then that. This is where I bought my slow cooker: a no-frills sale model that set me back $19.99.

The $99 Frigidaire Professional 7-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker wouldn't be caught dead in that grocery aisle. With a classy, stainless steel finish, sleek chrome accents, and an elegant, blue LCD display, the … Read more

LinkedIn Pulse is finally here, but can the two services work together?

LinkedIn Pulse (iOS|Android) lets you browse the news from your favorite Web sites using a new interface and connects with LinkedIn in an attempt to bring news and industry professionals together. LinkedIn acquired Pulse in April 2013, and this is the first launch of the new app.

In bringing the two services together, you get a couple extra features on both, but it's important to note this isn't a unified experience -- just that each of the services get some features from the other. In the LinkedIn Pulse app, you can pull in stories from industry influencers, … Read more

Review: Access secure passwords with KeePass Password Safe Professional Portable

KeePass Password Safe Professional Portable stores secure (i.e., long) passwords and cryptographic keys in a secure database and recalls them with a single master password or key-disk (such as a USB drive). With KeePass, you no longer need to memorize long alphanumeric passwords, or, worse, keep using the same unsecure, easy-to-remember passwords. KeePass Portable is just like the installed version, only it runs from a thumb drive or similar device without installation. It's a great way to back up your KeePass Pro installation since you can open and view your password database on any compatible PC (Windows 98 … Read more

This is how great it feels when Microsoft respects you

It's far easier to earn Microsoft's disdain than its respect.

This, by many accounts anyway, is a company where people fight for the tiniest territory and the minutest advantage. So when it comes to outsiders, the natural attitude is presumably, "Who the hell are you?"

Some, though, manage to creep past the skepticism and become accepted as Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals.… Read more