Monthly Archives: April 2016

Some Alternatives to Stardock Fences

Nobody likes waking up to a mess, especially if you are in a hurry and you can’t find your house keys. The same applies to a desktop, since that’s the first thing you see when you turn on the computer. A disorganized file system is the last thing you need when you are trying to open a file; and a link with a similar name opens up. For those too lazy to remove unused icons, Stardock Fences is a great software for cleaning desktop clutter.

Stardock Fences is a utility software for Windows that cleans the cluttered icons on your desktop. It was available for free, but became proprietary after version 2. Fences arranges your icons into containers named ‘fences’. Double-clicking on it hides all the uncluttered icons, while double-clicking on it once more makes them reappear. You can also take desktop snapshots to see the difference in your desktops before and after cleaning it. It creates desktop portals that link one folder to another. Stardock was one of the first to add a utility application to the yet unreleased Windows 10, named Start10, which adds a Windows 7-based style menu. It has a 30-day trial period, after which you can buy it for USD 9.99.

For those who like to keep a tight hold over their purse strings, we bring you some options other than Stardock Fences.

Stardock Fences Alternatives

Nimi Places

Nimi Places is similar to Fences, except that it organizes files in containers that displays the folder contents in the form of grid icons or a multi-column list. The minimum requirement for it to work is the installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. You can use the built-in templates to organize the desktop according to different themes. You can even organize it to be visible according to a time schedule. This software can downloaded for free.

Website: Nimi Places

Bins

Bins organizes the desktop clutter into containers called ‘bins’ but are actually in the form of speech bubbles. Extremely simple and easy to use, it organizes the icons by a simple drag and drop. You can get all this for a one-time price of USD 4.99.

Website: Bins

Real Desktop

If you need to play with your desktop icons, Real Desktop lets you do so. Launching the application transforms your desktop into a large room, and the icons take the form of tiles. This is the only software which has a one-hour trial period. For unwanted desktop icons, you can relegate it to the Recycle Bin by grabbing the icon by its edge. You can make the rest of the icons fly around by smashing them with other icons. You can select a group of icons by dragging around them with the mouse like a lasso. Because it’s in 3D, you can view the room in different perspectives, and arrange the room that way. To access all the features, you need to pay a price of USD 6.58.

Website: Real Desktop

DesktopShelves

DesktopShelves is another option for people who are used to Fences. It organizes your files on shelves. It also displays a screenshot of the files associated to that particular shelf. The number of files that can be arranged on the shelf is limited. You can download extra themes if you are tired of the same mahogany look. You can also select information from a browser and drag and drop it onto a shelf. It creates a file on its own. This software is available only for Mac users. It is available for a 14-day trial, after which you can upgrade it for a price of USD 14.99.

Website: DesktopShelves

ViPad

ViPad is another application for organizing your desktop clutter. It organizes your files into tabs. If the tab has reached its limit, then another tab pops out. This application is for Windows and touchscreen tablets that run on Windows. You can download it for free, and besides, any additional skins for the application is also free.

Website: ViPad

Desktop Groups

Desktop Groups is a free application for Windows. It organizes your cluttered files into transparent frames. You can have only 5 frames on your desktop. If you need unlimited frames, you can upgrade by paying a price of USD 9.99. This software is available only for a 7-day trial period for Mac operating systems.

Website: Desktop Groups

DeskSpace

DeskSpace maps virtual desktops on a cube. It offers great features like rotation, zoom, and transparency. You can assign wallpapers to each side of the cube, and keep folders according to your work. It’s compatible only on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. It’s available for a 14-day trial, and the full version can be downloaded for USD 24.95.

Website: DeskSpace

ToolBox

ToolBox is a similar application to Stardock Fences, and helps you organize your desktop properly. This application has been around since Windows 3.1. Since then, a lot of changes have taken place, with multiple application launching windows, shortcuts to files and folders, as well as visual customizations. This tool does not require an installation, but can be run from any folder you unzip your files to. You can download it for free.

Website: ToolBox

These are some great options to consider before you try to buy Fences 2.0. And for those stalwarts that still need the free version, Fences 1.01 is still available.

Here 10 Free AI File Viewing Software

Vector files, unlike raster files, are made up of lines. These lines are easy to manipulate and shape to an image of your liking. These files are commonly used for print illustrations and graphics, and their sizes range from KBs to a couple of MBs. Vector graphics are saved in a more popular file format – AI (.ai) .

AI is the proprietary file format of Adobe Illustrator. These are EPS files in disguise, but their portability is poor. What would you do if you have to open an AI file, but the requisite software isn’t available on your computer. Do you ask your operating system to find the appropriate software or do you spend your time rasterizing the image so you can view it better. All it would end up doing is reducing the quality of these images. Before you jump the gun, we give you a list of software most appropriate to view AI files.

AI File Viewing Software

Scribus

Scribus is an open-source software that’s compatible with both Mac and Windows. It supports many vector image formats, including AI. It has enough plugins and extensions to improve the composition of any image.

Website: Scribus

GIMP

GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation software is known as the free-to-use Photoshop software. It works on multiple operating systems – Windows, Linux, Solaris, OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and AmigaOS4, and is also available in multiple languages. Its native format is XCF, but it supports most proprietary formats. Viewing an AI file in this program is a good bet.

Website: GIMP

Inkscape

Inkscape is another great tool for viewing AI files. Being compatible with a broad range of file formats, as well as the new and improved spiro curve tool added to Inkscape, viewing and editing AI files is a cinch. It runs on the operating systems of Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Website: Inkscape

Paint.NET

If AI files aren’t opening, Paint.NET comes to the rescue. This was originally intended to be a replacement for Microsoft Paint. But to run AI files, you need to download and install the ‘Illustrator Encapsulated PostScript’ plugin. It runs on Windows 7 and above, and needs the installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.

Website: Paint.NET

XnView

XnView is a free-to-use software compatible with Windows, Mac OS X , and Linux. It can open multiple AI files in multiple tabs. It even has a portable version of the software available for cell phones. It can even convert the file into many popular formats, such as JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, etc.

Website: XnView

Free Ai File Viewer

Free Ai File Viewer is a free-to-download software, that lets you view AI files as well as other popular extensions like JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, and TIFF. It runs on the operating systems of Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. This software needs Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 installed as a prerequisite.

Website: Free Ai File Viewer

Xara Xtreme

Xara Xtreme has a slick and uncluttered interface, with the menus displayed in floating windows. Although it has become proprietary, a free version is available for Linux. It is based on Xara Xtreme for Windows, now known as Xara Designer Pro. It can be run on Linux using an emulator such as Vine. It has a huge resource library of video tutorials and tips, and an enthusiastic online community for novice users.

Website: Xara Xtreme

FoxPDF Reader

Although a PDF reading software, this one can open images too. It can convert an image into the following formats – TXT, BMP, JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIF, and TIFF. It can read other formats such as CBR and MOBI, and is available in multiple languages. It runs on the operating systems of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Website: FoxPDF Reader

PCX Viewer

PCX Viewer is a modest software that hardly takes up any space on a PC. One of the unique features of this software is that, all the tools are available on the interface. Originally, this software was made to support PCX, a file format used by Paintbrush, and was used before the popularity of other standard formats, such as GIF, PNG, and JPG. Other than AI, it also supports other formats, such as PCX, PSD, TGA, and EPS. It even lets you import the image in other formats. It is supported only by Windows.

Website: PCX Viewer

GSview

GSview is a free-to-download software for viewing AI files. But, you need to install Ghostscript in order to run it. It even has an online help forum for users encountering any problems with the software. Although its main purpose is for printing PDF and PostScript files, it allows users to view AI files, as well as all the associated files in the Adobe suite.

Website: GSview

Although viewing AI files is fine with the above software, you were probably restricted from viewing the contents to protect the author and his work. AI files can be viewed best by using Adobe Illustrator.

Which is Better? FileMaker Pro Vs. Microsoft Access

Databases are used for storing data that is synchronized with a server to retrieve it easily. It serves as an online inventory, and software companies protect it with an overzealous attitude in order to safeguard the privacy of users. Database management has evolved from a single server to a server-based database system that serves multiple users, and finally a web-integrated database the allows the updation and removal of data from almost anywhere. So, the question arises as to what features do we look for while choosing one? The two most popular database management systems currently trending are FileMaker Pro and Microsoft Access.

FileMaker Pro Vs. Microsoft Access

FileMaker is a database management software that began as an MS-DOS based program, but now runs successfully on the Mac platform. It has a GUI-interface with drag-and-drop options for easy management of data. It is available on a variety of platforms, and the latest version has more themes and templates for the creation of iOS databases. It can connect to SQL databases, such as SQL Server and Oracle by installing an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver. But the software has gone through major updates, and currently has an app that lets you manage data. One of the improved features is the Popover button, which pops over if a user taps or clicks it. FileMaker Pro occupies only 26MB on the disk. It has the capacity of storing data up to 8TB in a single file. It has 3 different versions according to your uses, namely, FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Pro Advanced, and FileMaker WebDirect to access your database from web browsers.

Microsoft Access has been available as part of the Microsoft Office suite, in conjunction with the Jet database engine, and has provided support for all programs such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc. It works well as a front-end application, while getting back-end support from databases such as Oracle, Sybase, etc. The application size on the disk is 160MB. Access allows data storage of 1TB on the SharePoint server, but only allows 2GB storage in a single file. In order to make a better decision, we take a look at the features of each.

Operating Platform
FileMaker is a cross-platform database system, compatible with Windows, OS X, and iOS.

Microsoft Access, from here on called Access, is suited to run on Microsoft Windows, and better adapts to the Microsoft Office suite.

Database-building
FileMaker Pro has objects such as layouts, layouts with summaries, scripts, and plug-ins to build the database. It uses scripts and third-party plug-ins to access the database.

In Microsoft Access, you can include a number of objects, such as tables, queries, forms, reports, data access pages, macros, and modules. Access uses a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) as its development language, which is a subset of Visual Basic.

Number of Users
Access can support 255 users concurrently.

FileMaker Server, in conjunction with FileMaker Pro, can support 250 users at once.

Number of Modes
FileMaker Pro has 3 modes: design view to edit the design of the layout, the find view to search for records, and the browse view to display records.

Access has an Automated Safe mode to detect any problems within the file, and the User-Initiated Safe mode which makes it possible to run the file even if it’s corrupted.

Security
FileMaker Pro has AES-256 bit encryption to secure data on a desktop or a server, used to protect classified information by the US government.

Access files can be secured by transferring to Microsoft SQL server. It gives additional protection by providing workgroup security, which requires a username and password, that can be used to specify if the particular person is given read-only or read-and-write privileges.

Cost
For a single user of FileMaker Pro, it charges USD 9.00 per month on an annual basis. For a single user of FileMaker Pro Advanced, it charges USD 15.00 per month annually. To manage a database server, you can employ the services of FileMaker WebDirect, which charges on the basis of its users. It charges USD 54.00 per month annually for 5 users, and USD 279.00 for 50 users. It charges differently for volume licenses, which can be installed on more than one computer.

Microsoft Access users can enjoy the full benefits of this software as well as the rest of the Office Suite for USD 6.99 per month, or USD 69.99 for the whole year. For households, you can enjoy it for USD 9.99 per month, or USD 99.99 per year. For business users, it charges USD 5.00 for Office 365 Business Essentials, USD 8.25 for Office 365 Business, and USD 12.50 for Office 365 Business Premium, according to the different versions.

Best 8 Free EPS File Viewing Software

If you heard the saying ‘good things come in small packages’, then an EPS file accomplishes the same. Instead of displaying the design outright, it protects the file while being inserted into another document, hence its name ‘Encapsulated Postscript File’.

It is encoded using Postscript. This type of file is used in PDFs to protect the owner of its rights and prevent any infringement issues. An EPS file contains a combination of text, graphica, and images. That being said, EPS is a legacy format, and only used for vector files. So, if you experience trouble opening this particular file, here is a list of free EPS file viewing software.

EPS File Viewing Software

XnViewMP

XnViewMP is the extended version of XnView, and supports up to 500 image formats, but can write 50 formats. It is compatible across all platforms, including Mac OS X and Linux. It charges only if it’s used commercially. It is really a good choice among the lot.

Website: XnViewMP

GIMP

GIMP is an open-source raster editor that is used for retouching and editing photographs. It is available for free, and can open the EPS file format.

Website: GIMP

IrfanView

This software is named after its owner Irfan Skiljan, and works under all versions of Windows, from Windows 95 to Windows 8. It is also compatible with Mac OS X and Linux, and can be run using an emulator like Wine. It can open up to 100 formats, and can most definitely open the EPS file for easy viewing.

Website: IrfanView

Inkscape

Inkscape is a vector-based desktop publishing software that are used to manipulate images. Although its primary format is the Scalable Vector Graphics format, it supports other formats too. It is available for free and across all major platforms.

Website: Inkscape

EPS Viewer

As the name suggests, it’s made for opening the EPS file format. This can also be used to convert files into more popular forms, such as JPG.

Website: EPS Viewer

Scribus

Scribus is another desktop publishing software that lets you view many image formats as well as the EPS file. It also has a portable version used for viewing the EPS file on cell phones. It has its own built-in scripting engine based on Python, and is available for free.

Website: Scribus

GSview

This is a software created to interpret the Adobe software suite and its associated files. Since Adobe was responsible for the EPS file, it can still open this legacy format. And most importantly, this software works on all platforms, including Unix, Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Atari TOS, and AmigaOS.

Website: GSview

Paint.NET

Another image-editing software that was intended to be a substitute for Microsoft Paint, it ended up being an open-source software, compared to the likes of Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW. It’s a lightweight program that supports a number of image formats, and can be used for viewing EPS files too.

Website: Paint.NET

This is a list of free software that can be used to view EPS files. Since EPS is a legacy format, many attempt to use newer software like PDF without knowing any information about the EPS file format. Try any of these and you won’t have to look any further.