Bits & P.C.s: Software reviews

Bits & P.C.s: Software reviews

By Richard Heller

One of the biggest headaches that you face when buying a new computer is the tedious job of reinstalling your programs and transferring your data files from the old PC over to the new one. Now, a company named Aloha Bob

has developed a program that does most of the work for you.

Their “PC Relocator” program will transfer your programs, their data files, your old e-mails, in fact, most everything from the old computer over to the new one. You have to be going either from an older version of Windows

to a newer one or to the same version, that is, from Windows 98 to Windows XP or Windows 98. It is even possible for you to copy the files over to another hard drive or CD-ROM, reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows, then restore your programs.

The basic program sells for $20-$30 and includes a data transfer cable that connects to the printer port on the two computers that you want to move the data between. The ultra version sells for $60 and includes a cable that

connects to the USB ports on the two computers and transfers data at a higher speed. Also, the ultra program allows you to specify exactly what you want to transfer as well as allowing you a couple of other connection options including transferring data using a network connection.

Two other programs that are worth their price are “Flip Album” from E Book and “3D-Album” from Micro Research Institute. Flip Album allows you to take your photos, videos, and sound files and place them into an electronic photo album. As you “turn” the pages of the on-screen book, it appears as though you are looking at an actual photo album. The difference here is that you can play a movie of the kids on the swing set, have them speak to Grandma, and print the photos. The standard program retails for $29, but they have advanced versions with additional features but at a higher price. The standard program even creates a table of contents and an index, making it easy to locate your photos in the album.

3D-Album is a similar program that also displays photos and plays sound, but does not support video files. Rather than using just the photo album layout they allow you to create an album where the pictures “sail” by on a

boat, can be displayed as a painting hanging in an art gallery, or as ornaments hanging from a Christmas tree. You can create an album, a screen saver, or a stand-alone viewer as well as doing a Web page of your photos.

The program retails at $40, and they offer an add-in module for $25 that allows you to create a presentation that will play on your DVD player. Both of these programs offer value for money.

One program to avoid is “DVD Ripper” from Cosmi. It claims that it will transfer a DVD to a CD, but after four hours of waiting for it to do the copy, I decided that it was overpriced at $10.

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or e-mail

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