Tag Archives: Review

Parallels 6 released

parallels 6 box

Today I received an email from Nova Development, the developer of my favorite virtualization software Parallels. Today they released version 6 of their software that promises 80 new and improved features. I have purchased the update, and plan on testing out their claims in a review. Let’s see if Parallels 6 is as good an update as 5 was. Hopefully 6 gets rid of the annoying dock icon problems that annoyed the hell out of me in version 5.

Below are the features noted in the email:

Over 80 New and Improved Features Including:
NEW – Take advantage of all your Mac’s power with an all NEW 64-bit engine
ENHANCED – Boot Windows 41% faster than Parallels Desktop 5
ENHANCED – 3D graphics are nearly 40% better than Parallels Desktop 5
ENHANCED – Run even more games and 3D applications with DirectX 9.0c/9Ex and Shader Model 3 support
ENHANCED – Install Windows XP, Vista or 7 in 3 clicks
NEW – Use OS X keyboard shortcuts in Windows applications
ENHANCED – Reduced CPU usage improves notebook battery life
NEW – Includes both Mac and Windows Anti-Virus software from Kaspersky
(90-day subscription)
NEW – Use Spotlight to search for Windows programs
NEW – Immerse yourself in games, music and videos with 5.1 Surround Sound
Plus – 90-day money back guarantee
And much, much more

My thoughts on WP Robot

Yesterday I saw an ad on my blog for Wp Robot. I had faintly remembered comming accross it before. So without clicking on the ad, I went to the official homepage. I  quickly read about it and figured out it is a plugin that auto blogs. I didn’t really know what it meant by that so I setup a test blog on my other domain. After installing it I realized that what WP Robot does is basically copy content (Yahoo answers, Clickbank, eBay, Flickr, Amazon, Youtube) from around the web and automagically (I think that word is funny) and post it on your blog. The point of it is to create a great amount of content on your page which will draw in users, earning you money, from advertising and affiliate linking. I only tried the demo and thought about buying the $140 full suite, however I think it is a terrible thing to do. The thought of the software is actually cool, however stealing content from the internet and posting it to make money is morraly wrong. I’ve seen sites that setup only to do this, and even found ones that steal my content. As a webmaster that makes me angry, so why should I do it to other people? I shouldn’t and no one else should for that matter. I would rather make less money from my blog with quality content than make lots of money with stolen content. However some people have different view points.

Ps. The reason I setup this blog was not to make money (that is only a perk), the reason was to share information and my love for the internet and seeing how websites work (frontend and backend).

Telestream ScreenFlow Review

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Because of the rise of YouTube and video tutorials, screen-casting programs have become very popular. I have used screen capture programs in the past, however now they just don’t cut it. Screen-casting software not only captures, but it also allows editing. As a blogger, I sometimes create screen-casts tutorials, which require quick and painless publishing. I recently switched from PC to Mac because Macs make a lot of things easier to do. The main reason I believe this is because of Apple’s simplistic approach. I have started using Telestream’s ScreenFlow, which follows this simplistic approach (simple yet powerful). It had a very small learning curve of about five to ten minutes.

ScreenFlow Pre Recording Countdown (Click For Full Size Image)
ScreenFlow Pre Recording Countdown (Click For Full Size Image)

Features

ScreenFlow supports high-resolution screens with ease. If you have multiple screens ScreenFlow gives the option of selecting the required source. The feature that I believe differentiates ScreenFlow from all other Mac screen-casting software is the ability to “Callout” a window after recording is over. This is no simple zooming technique, it actually makes the window larger compared to everything else on the screen. This could be handy in case you did not know you want to Callout a window before finishing recording. One of my favorite things about ScreenFlow is the way it saves project files. Every project file contains all files needed to open the project in one package. That way files are not all over your hard drive. When you are constantly moving, copying, deleting, and creating new files having one file per project is helpful for organizational reasons.

ScreenFlow Workspace (Click for
ScreenFlow Workspace (Click For Full Size Image)

Support

When contacting Telestream’s support I always received a fast effective response, which shows the Telestream team is there to stand behind their product. I have found some small inconveniences that I have reported to Telestream hopefully they can accommodate for fixes soon (At the time of writing this post the version I am using is 1.5.2). Firstly you must add a video or audio effect for each clip separately, you cannot just drag it from one clip to another. When adding an additional recording with the “Close ScreenFlow before recording option” selected without saving the entire project prior. It will ask you to save the project, but then it won’t record you must to go back and select add additional recording again. Another feature I feel would make ScreenFlow even more amazing would be the ability to blur out personal information such as usernames and passwords. I have received a reply from the support team looking into all these issues for the next version.

As a screen-casting program ScreenFlow ticks off all the boxes I need. It is a very powerful yet easy to use program. I can create screen-casts fast. I am glad the Telestream team made it very simple and not a full-blown video editing solution. This way the application file size stays small (13 Megabytes), the program does not get too complicated, and performs what it does very well.  On a final note I noticed that Telestream have made this program amazing by building it systematically. First they got the basics down and slowly they add features as opposed to building it with all the features they can think of. That way the program not only works better, but also is formulated better. I would recommend it for any Mac user that needs to produce screen casts. You can Try and Buy ScreenFlow on Telestream’s Website ($99).

Ps. If you have any questions or are confused by anything in this review and would like an answer, please comment and I’ll do my best to respond.

Infolinks in-text advertising Review

So I have been using infolinks for one month and one day. The way I found out about this in-text advertising website was actually from my google adsense ads. I found an ad that said get paid better than adsense. So I copied the code into my address bar and figured out the website without clicking on the link (Clicking on your own ads is Against Google TOS). I signed up and was approved within a day or two. It was also easy to incorporate into my wordpress blog using HeHeHunter’s Infolinks WordPress Plugin. So far so good. For the first couple of days I made on average a little more than google adsense. However lately after my rework of my website I have found that I am making more from adsense.

I have a couple of thoughts on how infolinks could improve their ads, which in return will increase revenue for all infolinks publishers. First of all since google adsense is the most commonly known online advertising platform, it is also the most blocked ads (adblock, etc). So with that said users on my site get to see infolinks more than adsense. Which means adsense is earning me more money relatively speaking. What I believe is behind this is the generic look to their ads. Which makes me feel that it’s useless to click on these ads (see picture below). Most of the time that I have encountered infolinks ads they point to info.com which I think should be improved. Scratch that out, now its starting to be very different and various different ads are showing yay! With that said I can not complain much for a company that is paying me. I hope this review helps you if you are deciding to use infolinks in conjunction with adsense(Which is not against Google TOS), and helps infolinks figure out how to improve their ads, both to increase their own revenue as well as publishers. PS. I have not made enough money from infolinks to receive payments yet. Finally you can easily contact infolinks if you have questions or comments, as they have been prompt with me.

This is what I think is too generic about infolinks
This is what I think is too generic about infolinks