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Sep
10
2015

[Review] MultCloud 2.3.1 – put multiple cloud drives into one service!

multcloud-logoMore and more people are taking their files online and storing them on storage services all across the internet. The reasons they do this are various, but often it's to allow the same file to be gotten at again when on a different computer; to share documents with colleagues or friends; as a backup in case the local computer fails, or just to clear up space on their own computer by using someone else's storage.

As the desire for online storage increases, more and more companies are setting up their own storage services offering different amounts of space and features. Some users are taking advantage of this by signing up to multiple services, to increase their storage by combining what's available from all the sites; and sharing their files among them based on which service they feel is most useful for each file. MultCloud is designed with these people in mind by allowing them to connect to several services at once, to remove the need to switch between lots of websites. But is it worth your time?

This is an update of a review originally posted on August 26th, 2013 to reflect changes to the service since the original publication.

Read the rest of this entry »

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    Previous Articles


    May
    08
    2013

    Aomei Data Backup[p]er gets small update, tweaked name

    A little while ago here at Technically Motivated, we discussed Aomei Data Backuper, a tool from Aomei Technology – makers of partitioning and data management software that often bears striking similarities to EASEUS and Paragon products, at a fraction of the cost. Aomei Data Backuper is a software that allows users to perform backup and restore operations on files, partitions or whole disks easily. After a quick beta (during which testers were entered into a promotion to win a copy of another software from the company), the product was released as a Freeware, offering easy and comprehensive backup solutions to everybody running Windows XP or 7 at no cost.

    Aomei Technology this week decided to slightly rename the software, adding an extra P into the name to fix what was seen as a very slight spelling mistake. At the same time, an updated version of the software was announced, expanding support to a wider range of Windows computers.

    The new Aomei Data Backupper v1.1 (notice the subtle change?) introduces support for Windows 8 computers and the latest Windows Server releases. The software is now offered in two flavours – the full-fat “Backupper”, which supports Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and Server 2003/2008/2011/2012 and for which the download takes 52MB of space; and a lightweight “Backupper For Win7” package, which only supports the most recent Windows releases, Windows 7/8 and Windows Server 2008 R2 or Server 2012; but shrinks the download size to just 14MB. Both versions are functionally equivalent, so the shrunk-down version simply trims the download and installation size for those who have only the most recent Windows editions on their computer.

    While even the larger package of Aomei Data Backupper only supports Windows XP and upwards, for those who have older Windows releases, Aomei offers a concession to you as well. Also in the v1.1 update is an improved version of the AOMEI Backupper Linux Bootable Disc. Downloadable directly from the product’s download page as well as included with the full installs, the Linux Bootable Disk can be placed on a CD or other bootable media; which can then be inserted into a computer at boot time, allowing Aomei Data Backupper to be used without even touching Windows itself and regardless of what version Windows is on the computer. However, the software can only correctly back up Windows partitions and files, so this option is mostly useful if you have an unsupported version of Windows or can’t boot into Windows for any reason – users of other systems will likely find the capabilities of the Bootable Disk lacking, despite its Linux base. It also comes in handy if you want a portable version of the software to take with you and use on other computers, as the core Aomei Data Backupper software does not have a portable edition.

    Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
    File size: 14MB (Windows 7 Edition); 52MB (For all supported Windows); 39MB (Linux Bootable Disc)
    (Download sizes only – installed size may vary)
    Is it portable?: No

    [Aomei Data Backupper Homepage]
    Mar
    08
    2013

    Microsoft gets 561 million euro fine for missing browser ballot “oversight”

    In 2009, an antitrust agreement in Europe ruled that Microsoft weren’t playing fair with internet browsers. By including Internet Explorer into Windows by default; making their own software prefer to use it over alternative browsers; and not providing an easy mechanism to get alternative browsers, the European Union (EU) decided that Microsoft was abusing its widespread use on European computers to favour its own internet browser. As a result, Microsoft were fined $1.44 billion US Dollars; but that’s not all. They also agreed that for five years, Microsoft would have to offer a Browser Choice screen to European users of Windows, providing a choice of the five major browsers and a reasonable amount of other alternatives, so that EU customers could choose how THEY wanted to access the internet; and if they wanted to choose other than Internet Explorer, could find out more about or quickly download any of the alternatives.

    Browser Ballot Screen

    An example of the “Browser Ballot” screen Microsoft implemented to provide European customers the required choice of browser.

    For a long time, Microsoft honoured this promise. But when Windows 7 SP1 was released over a year ago, a series of complaints – now known to have included reports from Google and Opera – were submitted to the EU claiming the ballot was no longer being shown. After discovering it had been gone for 16 months, Microsoft claimed the problem to be a “technical error” and restored it – but according to the EU, this resulted in 15 million Windows users not seeing the ballot box and instead defaulting to Internet Explorer, which broke the agreement.

    Today, the EU fined Microsoft for breaching the agreement, ordering them to pay 561 million Euros (approximately $732 million US Dollars, or £487.7 million British pounds) for the “mistake” – which may not sound like a lot for a multi-billion-dollar company, but actually accounts for 3% of Microsoft’s profits for the entire 2012. Microsoft, for its part, has claimed it will not appeal the fine and takes all responsibility, offering this quote:

    “We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologized for it. We provided the Commission with a complete and candid assessment of the situation, and we have taken steps to strengthen our software development and other processes to help avoid this mistake – or anything similar – in the future.”

    This has got to be one of the more expensive “technical errors” in recent tech world history.

    Aug
    08
    2012

    Steam Spreading to Supply Software Starting September

    Valve Software, developers of popular gaming client Steam, which allows games to be purchased online (often at seriously low prices) and sync them with your Steam Account so that they update online automatically; and in many cases also allow your games, game saves, achievements and so on to be retrievable on other computers, announced today that due to growing customer demand the company is expanding beyond gaming and making "creativity and productivity software" available through its store.

    Starting September 5th, Steam will allow users to purchase and download non-gaming software from the Steam Store and link them to their account. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, leading to the exciting prospect that the software, like most Steam games, will automatically update while connected to Steam and may even sync documents or settings wherever you take Steam with you. After the initial launch line-up, the collection of available downloads will be regularly added to with new software on a regular basis.

    View official Valve Press release >>

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2012
    Acknowledgements: As cited inline (Valve Press Release).
    Some Rights Reserved
    Jun
    18
    2012

    Google Play Opens Full Access to Kobo Vox eReader

    Kobo’s Vox eReader has gotten full access to Google Play, finally allowing users to download as much as 500,000 apps from the Android app store instead of the initial limited access for only 15,000 apps. Google Play also opens Kobo Vox eReader users to a list of music and movies from Google’s Music Stores. Furthermore, the company makes available other popular Google-branded services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Contacts, Calendar, and Youtube.

    This new offering will be available starting the forthcoming software update for the eReader, which will prompt users to connect to the Internet to get the update. On the other hand, one can do the upgrading manually by going to the Home screen, then selecting Settings, then System Update. This tells the device to check if the update is available. If it is, users may select Update Now, then download the update and restart the unit for the update to take effect. Google Play will ship with all new units of the device, as well.

    The addition of Google Play on the Kobo Vox eReader will allow the company to compete more aggressively against the Amazon Kindle Fire, a fellow Android-based device that only has access to Amazon’s app store. Both devices have similar specifications of a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a micro USB port.

    Recently, the Toronto-based company has also announced its interest in contending against Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Barnes & Noble’s PubIt in the ebook self-publishing niche. Early this month, it unveiled a novel platform called Writing Life, which allows independent writers and publishers to distribute their own written works for free and receive 10% higher royalty fees from the sales.

    Kobo has been experiencing a streak of success lately. Just this month, the Rakuten-owned company announced that its eBook downloads have risen up to 400 percent. Meanwhile, the sales of its eReader are up by 160 percent, expanding yearly at a rate of 280 percent. It reportedly caters to 8 million users in 190 countries and has experienced a three-digit growth in recent times.

    via TheDroidGuy.com

    May
    20
    2012

    Aomei invite public to test upcoming Partition Assistant v5.0 product – and get a free licence when it launches!

    Last year, exactly a month after Christmas 2010, Technically Motivated got word of a freebie for a then rather obscure partitioning product, Aomei Partition Assistant Professional Edition 3.0. Then, some months ago, we covered its successor, Partition Assistant 4.0, which hit headlines when Aomei claimed it was designed to be "perfectly compatible with Windows 8 first time", despite Windows 8 being pre-beta at this point in time. Aomei's Partition Assistant line has regularly attracted attention for being a frequent giveaway from the company and highly promoted; the software itself being a very competent Partitioning Software with strong resemblance to comparable products from EASEUS; but which performs its job just as adequately – however, its feature-set has lagged behind its competitors and the interfaces are sometimes poorly translated, making its value questionable in comparison.

    Fast forward another few months and the tables are turning. Aomei are soon to release a new, 5.0 version of AOMEI® Partition Assistant (PA5 from here on, for the sake of brevity); and boy, is it hitting back hard! As well as moving, resizing and generally allowing users to manage unused and Windows partitions however they like, PA5 now also handles Linux ext2/3 partitions and can create new ones of these too, finally overcoming one of its key weaknesses in the Partitioning market. More than this, the new software can Migrate an entire operating system from one SSD or HDD to another or even from SSD to HDD, something even Paragon requires specialist software for. The whole list of changes from 4.0 to 5.0, according to Aomei themselves, looks like this:

    PA5 doesn't officially release until Monday, May 28; but to show the company is committed to its customers; and to ensure no unforeseen bugs have slipped in before its release, the company is pre-releasing a test version, titled Aomei Partition Assistant 5.0 Preview, a week early for any member of the public to try out. The idea behind this release is to let people get an idea of what the product will be like before it goes on sale; to discover any unknown bugs; and to hear from potential customers just what they think about the program and if any changes should be made.

    To make the deal even sweeter, anyone who joins in testing the preview and supplies their email on the download page, will be entitled to a FREE full license of the finished version of PA5 Pro, to use on one computer for as long as they like – saving $36 (roughly £22.75) in the process!

    Joining in is easy. Between May 21 and May 28, 2012, just go to http://www.disk-partition.com/specials/papreview.html, look for this banner, and click the big green "Test now" button. Note that the button will not function outside of the testing period:

    Join us to test Partition Assistant V5.0 PREVIEW Now. You will get one Partition Assistant Pro V5.0 License Free  (Test invitation will be started on May 21, and ended on May 28, 2012) - Test Now

    Don't forget to also click the "Submit your email address" link to get your free license!

    Mar
    09
    2012

    Aomei release Partition Manager for Windows 8. (Yeah, you read that right.)

    Windows 8 – the next version of Windows after the current Windows 7, which will be the first to target computers, smartphones and tablets in the same system – is still yet to receive an official launch, though Microsoft did launch a Windows 8 Consumer Preview recently, to allow everyone to download a test version of Windows – so that the general public can try out the new system before it launches and see whether they like it, as well as to allow them to prepare themselves for the many changes it will bring.

    Despite this, many software developers are already working on new versions of their applications that are specifically tailored to work on, or take advantage of extra functionality Windows 8 will bring. However, most of these applications were either Microsoft-developed and to be expected anyway (e.g. Office), or only needed small tweaks to function; and most of these are just small, simple programs. So when Aomei emailed Technically Motivated today boasting that their Partition Assistant 4.0 is "perfectly compatible with Windows 8 at first time", I was naturally curious. Read the rest of this entry »

    Feb
    28
    2012

    New Features and Updates now live on Technically Motivated

    Technically Motivated was down for an extended period from Friday to Sunday to perform major site maintenance. During this time, as well as fixing the issues myself and many readers had come to notice throughout the site, I also worked on and tested many new features and enhancements for the blog, which I’m pleased to announce are now live. Read the rest of this entry »

    Dec
    23
    2011

    Aomei celebrate festive season in style: Giveaway contests, software updates and more

    Aomei Technology – a known but not entirely famous company good at creating low-cost software solutions for managing, partitioning, converting and backing up hard-disks and other physical storage solutions, that are often closely resemblant of similar offerings by more reputable companies but cheaper (and occasionally not as well-translated) – have really gotten into the Festive Spirit this month; and they want to spread the joy with people worldwide.

    As a way of celebrating the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, Aomei are running three separate promotions giving gifts to fans of their products, which are described in “waves”. The first wave involves sharing information about an Aomei product with your friends or social network contacts and then emailing them with proof of the share; and brings a chance to win a 50% off voucher for any Aomei product, valid for one month.

    The second wave, which expires shortly, brings a chance to win a free copy of one of their five key products Read the rest of this entry »

    Dec
    23
    2011

    Aomei update Partition Assistant Home Edition, adds more compatible OSes, changes licencing restrictions

    One of Technically Motivated’s regular partners, Aomei Technology, who specialise in disk management, recovery and conversion software, got in touch today to inform us of an updated release of one of their key products.

    Aomei Partition Assistant Home Edition received a small update earlier this week, bringing a few minor software improvements. The main new feature is improved OS compatibility, meaning that APA can now be run on a wider range of Windows systems – the new additions being Windows 2000 Professional 32-bit; and a new 64-bit release for 64-bit editions of Windows 7, XP, Vista and 2000 Professional. Their lesser “Lite” edition goes further by also adding support for Windows Server 2000/2003/2008, for those who maintain servers but just need basic partition features or are strapped for cash.

    Interestingly, with the new Home Edition release, Aomei have also changed the terms of the licence governing usage of the software. The new Home Edition licence permits the software to be used for commercial uses, making Aomei Partition Assistant Home Edition a perfect choice for home-based businesses. Looks like there’s a new face in town…

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2011
    Acknowledgements: Information courtesy of AomeiTech
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