TUCOWS ARTICLE

Picks: Mozilla Firefox, Boxer Text Editor, IrfanView, WinZip, Blaze Media Pro

Dr. File Finder reviews Mozilla Firefox, Boxer Text Editor, IrfanView, WinZip and Blaze Media Pro.
Published: Jul 26, 2006
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows
Software that can help Good for Cow Rating
Mozilla Firefox for Windows 20.0b6
Freeware
Download This browser provides pop-up control and a tabbed navigation mode that lets you open...
Boxer Text Editor 13.0.0
Shareware
Download Save time and effort with this versatile, full-featured Windows text editor.
IrfanView 4.38
Freeware
Download This free image viewer and converter supports an extensive list of formats.
WinZip 18.0.11023.0
Shareware
Download Tame large files, protect your privacy and share effortlessly with WinZip 18, the worlds...
Blaze Media Pro 8.02
Shareware
Download Powerhouse all-in-one audio and video converter; editor; recorder; CD/DVD ripper; audio,...

The Boxer Text Editor, by Boxer Software won the Shareware Industry Award in the Best Applicationcategory. This a text editor that I first started using when it first came out in 1991. That was way back in the days of DOS, and it was truly an impressive text editor. The Boxer Text Editor of today continues this fine tradition and it's an excellent product. In fact, I'm writing these Picks using it. The program is easy-to-use and has an intuitive interface. To me that makes it perfect for users with all levels of experience. It's full-featured, powerful, and has a lot of power under the hood.

The Boxer Text Editor has excellent support for anyone who needs to write HTML coding. With color syntax highlighting you always know what's going on when you're writing things in HTML, VBScript, Perl, and more.It has all the "standard" features you'd expect in any good text editor, but it goes the extra mile and gives you lots of nice extras. It has built-in spell-checking and event that isn't run-of-the-mill. It has a feature that makes it skip HTML code so I can spell check this article without having the spell checker stop at each HTML code. Slick!

One of the things that makes the Boxer Text Editor really special is that it includes features that other text editors seem to have left out. For example, in most text editors, if you have a URL, like http://www.boxersoftware.com, you can't actually click on it. In Boxer you can and launch the URL in a browser. Or, if you want, you can open the document you're working on in a browser, which is another great feature. I sometimes have problems with my HTML tags and later find that one or more are missing. Well, Boxer Text Editor has a function called "Find Mate" that will find the "mate" to the code next to the cursor, or find that it's missing. Cool.

The Boxer Text Editor has all the features anyone could need and a lot of features that most people don't expect. A macro language, easy macro recording, and HTML color chart, the ability to edit files up to 2gigabytes in size, column blocks, a calculator, a calendar, ANSIchart, the ability to edit files via FTP, and many, many, more. Heck, it even has support for dual monitors. It's easy to see why those who participate in the Shareware Industry Awards voted for it!


WinZip, by WinZip Computing,Inc. is the best-known program for working with ZIP and other compressed files. This year it won the Shareware Industry Awards in the Best Overall Utility category. The interface is very intuitive and the program is easy-to-use. It's perfect for all levels of users - from beginners to advanced. WinZip was the first program to support ZIP files under Microsoft Windows and it's continually gotten better and better.Over the years it's won multiple Shareware Industry Awards and SIAF People's Choice Awards, along with many other honors. If you need to work with ZIP files, this is the program you want to try.

WinZip has easy-to-use "wizards" that can guide you through the process of handling ZIP files or you can bypass the wizards if you like.One very cool feature is the "Favorite Folders" that can monitor a variety of folders and find ZIP files created by you or others. WinZip supports drag-and-drop, integrates with the right-click menu, and integrates very well with the most popular antivirus programs. The program now has support for 128-bit and 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which means your files are really secure. It also has support for the new 64-bit architecture which also allows it to break the old 4 gigabyte barrier. Slick!

WinZip is a powerhouse for working with ZIP files and yet it's always been easy-to-use. It also keeps pace technology so WinZip is never "out-of-date". This newest version, for example, will even let you encrypt files that are already in a ZIP file. Pretty cool. You can use it to create and unpack ZIP files, create self-extracting EXE files, and more. Every computer should have a program that works with ZIP files on it. That being the case, you might as well take a look at WinZip -- the "Grand Daddy" of the Windows ZIP file programs. It's simply the best!


IrfanView, by Irfan Skiljan has been one of my personal favorites for a number of years now.This year it won the Shareware Industry Award in the Best Graphics Program or Utility category against heavy competition. It was up against Adobe PhotoShop and Corel Paint Shop Pro. It has so many features and functions that I can't begin to tell you about all of them.I will say that if you do anything with graphics images you need to check it out for yourself.

IrfanView can handle an impressive number of graphics file to put on a slideshow of your graphics images or view animated GIF files. You can easily preview files, resize them, sharpen the image,rotate them, and more. Whenever I do screen captures I resize them and sharpen them with IrfanView. The program has numerous options that are configurable and I really like that. It's also very easy-to-use and has an intuitive user interface so it's perfect for users with all levels of experience.

b>IrfanView is simply loaded with features. You can do all kinds of special effects including things like emboss, blur, explosion, and many more. You can do "batch" conversions of graphics files, extract icons from DLL files, and it also supports for drag and drop. On my systems I have it in my "Send To" menu so I can highlight a graphics file and"send" it right to IrfanView. And did I have to work to have this feature? No! It's one of the options. There are so many features and options that you really have to try this program to appreciate it. If you need to do anything with graphics this is the program you need to look at. A winner of both the Shareware Industry Award and the SIAF People's Choice Awards it's easy to see why software developers picked it again! Well done!


Blaze Media Pro, by MystikMedia, Inc. is a really impressive product for doing anything with multi-media. At this years Shareware Industry Awards banquet it won the award in the Best Sound Program or Utilitycategory. With all of the growing interest in things like music, photos,and video, this is a program you need to look at because it has it all. You can dump a lot of extra software and simply use this. There are so many features and functions that I'd be hard pressed to talk about all of them, so I'll try to hit what I consider the high points. First off, the program supports a huge number of file formats including AVI, MPEG, WAV, MP3, MP2, CD, WMA, and lots more. Another excellent feature is that Blaze Media Pro can quickly convert files from one format to another format. And I'm talking both audio file conversions and video file conversions. The program reads the information from each file and you determine how much of that information is used. Very slick.

Blaze Media Pro will let you record from virtually any source including cassette players, mic, 8 tracks, and more. Basically any kind of input device will do. The program can also rip CDs and has support for the CDDB online database. And, another slick feature is the ability to create playlists that contain both audio and video! There's also support for drag and drop, the ability to edit audio files, add special effects, and more. The special effects are very cool and include such things as fade in, fade out, compress, amplify, reverb,and vibrato. There are also a number of filters that can be used including such things as notch filter, high pass, low pass, and more.I've watched this program change and mature over the years and it's become a real powerhouse when it comes to multi-media. Again, the list of things it can do would take pages to tell you about adequately. It can even take the audio out of a video file and save it as a sound file. How cool is that? VERY!

Really into video? Well BlazeMedia Pro can help you to edit, and enhance, your video clips. You can resize, trim, crop, adjust the audio, and even delete out frames you don't want. The program also has a "Batch Video Processor" that lets you perform operations on a group of video files. Very nice. Even a person like me who is "graphically challenged" can use Blaze MediaPro and end up with some impressive results. Become your own film editor and really enhance your movies.

Blaze Media Pro, by Mystik Media, is a really powerful tool that works with an impressive list of audio, graphics, and video files. You can edit and enhance audio, video, and use practically anything as an input device. Convert both audio and video into different file formats,do batch operations, edit graphics, add special effects, rip CDs, and more. It has support for drag and drop, the CDDB database, visual audio editing, and you can even search for song lyrics. The power under the hood is impressive. So, if you like playing with audio and video and would like to get professional results, this is the program you need to try. To say it's "full-featured" would be an understatement.Check it out - you'll be glad you did!


Mozilla Firefox, by Mozilla Corporation won the Shareware Industry Award in the When it comes to Web browsers, there are a number you can choose from. If you use Windows you have a browser that comes with it, or you can elect to use an alternative. I think I've tried just about everything out there, and I really like Mozilla Firefox. For the budget conscious, the program is FREE, but for the performance conscious the program is just about perfect. Why? Because it gives youexactly what you need. And, it's fast!

Mozilla Firefox is loaded with all the features anyone needs for browsing the Web. It imports your bookmarks from Internet Explorer and makes it easy for you use them. One feature I thought was really cool is the ability to create your own toolbars. Yep, that's right -- just drag and drop. It also support things like AI Roboform by SiberSystems which is great for filling out forms on-line. And it has a full range of configurable options -- like saving passwords, keeping your history, and even viewing "source" that's color coded! How cool is that? Very!

Mozilla Firefox blocks pop-ups, and is very secure. It even shows you when you're on a secure site by turning the address bar yellow. (At least it's yellow on my system). What I really like is that it's fast.It does everything you'd need it too, plus it has some nice extras. It's a lean, mean, browsing machine. It's got built-inGoogle search, and it's an RSS news reader. No extra software needed. I like it so much, I've made it my default Web browser. So, if you'd like to surf safer and faster, you owe it to yourself to tryMozilla Firefox! I recommend it highly!



About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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