It's been a while since noteworthy free software appeared on my radar, but I am happy to report I recently stumbled upon not one, but two interesting apps I'd like to share.
● Slideshow Remote by LogicInMind lets you to control a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, turning an iOS-powered device into a wireless slide-clicker on steroids!
The main screen of the app displays current slide, next slide, and elapsed time. Controls are also provided to start presentation, advance slide, return to previous slide, blank screen and restart timer. A notes area even lets you see talking points at a glance.
LogicInMind's app will even transfer files with iTunes and open presentations attached to emails. Mobile users will especially appreciate being able to view PowerPoint and Keynote presentations without having to power-on a laptop.
Slides controlled with the Pro version can be streamed to an external monitor or projector via AirPlay or to a new Apple TV. Custom mouse cursor shapes and sizes are selectable, and an annotation tool permits circling information or drawing shapes directly on the screen. You can even print slides using Apple's AirPrint.
Both versions of the app work with computers running Windows or the Mac OS. A free program, called Logic Server, must be downloaded from LogicInMind.com and installed on the computer running Microsoft PowerPoint or Keynote. Be aware, however, that the app currently doesn't afford computers running the Mac OS all the features provided by the Windows version.
Negatives? The system relies on the existence of a reliable Wi-Fi network, which is not always available in a classroom or presentation venue. Furthermore, the iOS device and controlled computer must be connected to the same subnet in order to link. The system uses TCP Port 8080 by default, so be prepared to tinker with firewall settings. Lag and slight image distortion with the preview slides are also noticeable.
The software isn't perfect, but the price is right. If nothing else, the app provides a backup in case your hardware slide clicker goes haywire.
Slideshow Remote Lite is a free app available from the Apple App Store. Once installed, it can be upgraded to Slideshow Remote Pro for $4.99. For more information, visit LogicInMind.com.
● ToolWiz Time Freeze is a clever way to keep your computer safe from threats and free from unwanted changes. The software also protects your files and folders with secure password protection.
The technology employed is known as "virtualization." Basically, it clones your system, creating a copy that you can use without affecting your "real" system.
If strange things start to happen after you install a new application or visit an unsavory website, simply reboot to go back in time. If you want to keep the changes, the snapshot of your computer's state can be updated at any time.
The program has a simple interface for starting/stopping its main features as well as adding files/folders to its File Protection feature. A system tray icon handles all operations, but an optional tool bar status indicator is also available.
Negatives? Spooling of changes is capped at 4 gigabytes of disk space, so there is a limit on how long the software can operate in TimeFreeze mode. The 4 GB limit, however, is more than adequate to protect your PC when visitors want to logon with your computer or other situations where it's likely you might want to un-do changes to your PC.
ToolWiz Time Freeze works with all recent editions of Microsoft Windows (XP/Vista/7/8), including 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and is absolutely FREE. For more information, visit ToolWiz.com.