Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Upgrade to Free

Upgrade to Free: The Best Free and Low-Cost Online Tools and Apps, Beth Ziesenis, TSTC Publishing, 2011

Everyone loves free, or really inexpensive, tools for their computer or smartphone. This book has lots of them, with website and QR code included.

The well-known computer tools, like Skype, Twitter and OpenOffice are here. There are tools here for web meetings and presentations, tools to share information, tools to convery Word files into pdfs, and convert pdfs into Word files, along with IT and security tools to help keep your computer running smoothly.

WorkTime is a tool that will track every activity on your computer, so you will know just how long you have spent being unproductive. To get a group of people to decide on a convenient day and time for a meeting, consider using WhichDateWorks. If Photoshop is too confusing for editing of pictures, try Picnik or FotoFlexer.

Emailing a screencapture of a whole page to someone else, and having them understand what you are talking about is difficult at best. Jing allows the screencapturing of just part of the page. If you want to add some music or movement to your presentation or website, pay a visit to animoto, ispringfree or ispeech.

Small business owners can use freshbooks to manage their billing online, xpenser to keep track of their expenses, or logomyway for ideas to spruce up their old logo. For those who want to start their own blog or website, there is snappages for quick websites, and wordpress for quick blogs. How are you on writing to-do lists and reminders? Sites like rememberthemilk, doitdoitdone!, teuxdeux and toodledo can make it a lot easier.

Whether you are a computer professional, or someone who can barely send an email, this book is very highly recommended. There is something here for everyone. There is no need to download everything in this book; pick just a few tools and go from there. It may just turn a technophobe into a technophile.

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