Convert your PDFs to MS Word

There are several well-regarded, free ways to take advantage of the Print function to transform just about any file to a PDF. PrimoPDF and doPDF sit at the top of the list, but what about reverse engineering that conversion? Converting in the other direction, from a PDF to a Microsoft Word-compatible format like DOC or RTF is trickier.

For one thing, there's a lot of crap out there. Many PDF-to-DOC converters have similar or even identical names, differentiated sometimes... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software

Tags: utility , free , PDF , conversion

The cheapest 'Office' solution for students

Over 90 percent off its original asking price, Microsoft's sale of its productivity suite, Office Ultimate, for $59.95 to bona fide students seems nothing short of a stellar deal.

That is, until you consider that the tools to download an entire office suite to your Windows computer for free has long been available to everyone, not just registered college kids with an e-mail address ending in '.edu'. Sun Microsystem's popular but still undersung productivity suite is freeware with... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software

Tags: freeware ,

What Windows 7 might have been--photos

CNET Senior Editor Ina Fried got her hands on some early sketches of Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 7 operating system from its early design stages. A slideshow of fascinating screenshots traces the evolution of the Windows operating system from its earliest incarnations (back when we thought "Back to the Future" had stunning special effects) to a concept of a bat signal prototyped in February 2007. These are some rare views into Microsoft's design mind that are worth perusing--or at... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 7 , photos

YouTube for Mobile: First Look

For a few years now, video playback has been a blistering-hot topic in the mobile industry--both as a roadblock and as an achievement. We can easily count Google's update to its straightforward YouTube for Mobile application (Windows Mobile|Nokia Series 60) as a step forward.

Sure, we have our complaints, but overall the free YouTube application makes searching and browsing for select or top-rated videos a dauntless task. Your biggest hurdle will be with your data connection if you're in... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software

Tags: First Look , Windows Mobile , mobile , YouTube , Nokia

BlackBerry Media Sync 2.0: Not everyone uses iTunes

Not everyone uses iTunes' MP3 library. Really. BlackBerry maker RIM has acknowledged the batch of people who use Windows Media Player to organize their music with Wednesday's release of RIM's updated music-syncing application, BlackBerry Media Sync 2.0. The latest version of BlackBerry Media Sync will let you synchronize songs and playlists from the Windows Media Player's library to your BlackBerry, in addition to syncing music from iTunes. You'll be able to download BlackBerry Media Sync 2.0 to your... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software , Audiomp3

Tags: BlackBerry

MacHeist 3 brings back the great software deals

For the past two years, several independent Mac software developers have teamed up to put together a bundle of award-winning Mac apps at a vastly reduced price--with 25 percent of the purchase price donated to the charity of your choice (chosen from a list). The whole thing takes place at a very well-designed site called and over the past two years, thousands of Mac users have snapped up the limited time offer--it's really a great deal! The fun... Read More »

Topics: Chat And Email , Utilities And Drivers , Mac Software , Digital Photography , Design , Audiomp3 , Developer Software

Better Gmail gets 'Chromed'

Correction: Contributing editor Lowell Heddings compiled the scripts for Lifehacker, not Better Gmail for Firefox compiler Gina Trapani.

If you're the antsy type, you can grab the "Chromed" version of the popular Firefox extension Better Gmail right here, right now. However, you'll need a little patience to install it: this is a collection of the raw Greasemonkey scripts, and it will require some fiddling before you can get them to work in Chrome.

First off, you'll need at... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions

Tags: Google , Google Chrome

Skype gets SMS, file transfer for Windows Mobile

Skype's latest mobile beta for Windows Mobile phones graduated to version 3.0 on Tuesday. Skype 3.0 beta for Windows Mobile integrates two big features from the desktop version--file transferring and SMS. Both are welcome additions that bring the mobile VoIP application much closer in line with the newly updated desktop version, Skype 4.0 for Windows.

The SMS feature has been seamlessly added as a shortcut icon on the contact list page (it's the black circle encasing a tiny cell... Read More »

Topics: Chat And Email , Mobile Software

Tags: beta , Windows Mobile , Skype , VoIP

Pirate Bay to offer cheap, unlogged VPN

Back in July 2008, torrent tracker The Pirate Bay announced plans to encrypt the Internet. That hasn't happened yet, but they plan to offer a VPN tunneling service to the public starting April 1.

Dubbing the service IPREDator after the controversial Swedish Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) that takes effect the same day. IPRED's main goal is to make it easier for copyright holders to acquire the personal data of suspected illegal file sharers.

By... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , File Sharing

Tags: VPN

Vuze update auto-converts video torrents

Continuing to stake out a different approach to torrents, the latest version of Vuze integrates an auto-conversion feature for both portable screens and your television. Available for Windows and Mac, Vuze 4.2 offers a device drag-and-drop feature that automatically converts a video torrent from its native format to an appropriate one for iTunes, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, and then pushes it to your device.

Still in beta, the new Devices tab on the left nav will ask you... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , File Sharing

Tags: freeware , video , torrent , BitTorrent , conversion