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Bits du Jour Deals: September 17 through September 23

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Everyone loves a deal on software, and Bits du Jour offers one great deal a day on a Windows program or a service like Internet faxing or hosting. It's Bits (anything digital) of the Day.

This Week's Deals
09/17/07 – Train Your Brain – save 67%
09/18/07 – InfoCaptor Dashboard Designer – save 34%
09/19/07 – MachForm – save 49%
09/20/07 – Direct Access – save 40%
09/21/07 – TSW SiteSync – save 41%
09/22/07 – File monster – save 51%
09/23/07 – Resource Builder – save 40%

Train Your Brain

Kids, these aren't your Mama's flash cards. Train Your Brain is a 21st century learning tool that enables you to absorb information more efficiently and retain it longer. Using virtual 'cards,' the software organizes your material into a powerful database with user-defined categories. Each card can contain up to four 'sides,' and is fully customizable with text, images, or symbols. Study vocabulary, internalize product data, memorize air traffic control signals, acquaint yourself with dog breeds or avian flight patterns… the possibilities are endless.

Train Your Brain allows you to specify how well you've learned each card, and adjusts the training accordingly. Progress tracking provides detailed graphs of your learning, progress, and effort, and an advanced scheduling system optimizes your training intervals based on past performance. Don't worry about keeping track of when and how often you study — Train Your Brain does it all for you.

InfoCaptor Dashboard Designer

InfoCaptor is a powerful dashboard application specifically intended for aggregating, reporting, and displaying information from single or multiple databases. The software can connect to any database (Oracle, MySQL, DB2, MS Access, etc.), and through a series of simple SQL queries, create extensive visual representations of the desired data in the form of tables, charts and graphs. Each InfoCaptor dashboard can contain and display data from any number of discreet databases in a single view, and is equipped to handle Parent-Child queries, drills and even nested-loops.

With access to flexible layout options and straightforward drag-and-drop functionality, InfoCaptor users have the power to effortlessly create beautiful, eye-catching dashboards. Users can easily export the dashboard data to Excel, PDF or HTML while retaining fonts and colors with zero programming effort, facilitating the creation of attractive briefing books for clients and colleagues. InfoCaptor is easy to install and operate, and requires a minimum knowledge of server technology. Even better, it requires a minimum involvement from IT departments.


Want to add a form to your website? Do it the easy way with MachForm, a browser-based, self-hosted, super-simple, form-construction application. With a one-click install, you'll be up and running in minutes, designing flexible, powerful forms via an intuitive drag-and-drop menu system. MachForm provides a friendly Web 2.0 interface accessible right from your browser. A full-featured entry manager allows you to sort, browse, and edit all of your form submissions, and you can easily export the data in Excel or CSV formats.

Each form has its own associated CSS file editable from within the application. This provides you complete stylistic control so forms can be seamlessly integrated into your website. For the less technically inclined, MachForm comes complete with a free installation service. Forget about all those ISP backend headaches — they'll set the software up on your server within two business days. Good to go!

Direct Access

Abbreviations save writers all sorts of time, now they can help you speed and simplify your personal computing experience. Direct Access is an awesome timesaving utility that utilizes typed abbreviations to facilitate just about any task you and your PC attempt to undertake. For example, type 'word' to open Microsoft Word, 'goo' to start a Google search or 'sign' to have Direct Access automatically type your signature.

Direct Access provides an overview of all your commands right from the main interface, and lets you type an abbreviation in any application to trigger the associated command. Abbreviations can be associated to groups as well. When triggered, these will display a popup menu from which you can choose the desired command. Use Direct Access abbreviations to perform countless tasks, like typing boilerplate text, opening applications and folders, or browsing websites.

Direct Access commands are stored XML files than can be easily exported and imported for exchange and sharing, allowing for easy movement between different PCs. Not convinced? Direct Access features new usage statistics reports that clearly and concisely display exactly much time you're saving.

TSW SiteSync

Web developers, take note: SiteSync takes all the anguish out of synchronizing remote and local versions of a website. First, decide whether your content should be synchronized up, down, or both ways. Next, utilize the extensive exclusion filters to determine exactly what content you want to sync and what content you don't. For example, you can exclude all image files or all folders with a specific name.

Preserving your data is crucial, and SiteSync features an extremely safe synchronization procedure. Prior to the final operation it allows you to compare the local and remote versions of your files by showing you precisely which lines differ, and lets you decide which version to keep and which to overwrite. And remember, no transfers are performed without giving you the opportunity to exclude files from the transfer list!

With a built-in HTML editor and its own full-featured FTP client, SiteSync is an all-in-one tool for updating and synchronizing all of your web documents and content.

File monster

Contrary to common knowledge, when you delete files, you're usually not actually deleting them! Normal deletion methods only tell the operating system not to recognize the file as being present — in reality, you're actually leaving all the information in those files readily available to anyone with access to your computer. File Monster completely erases files from your system by literally overwriting the information meant for deletion.

To take your privacy a step further, File Monster overwrites the original file name with a random name and changes the file creation date. Moreover, it can locate and erase pesky hidden files, system files, and read-only files.

Resource Builder

Tired of editing resource files? Want to expedite and simplify the process? With Resource Builder, arduous, time-consuming resource editing becomes the easiest and fastest task in your programming cycle. The software provides user-friendly WYSIWYG editors for each type of resource and an integrated resource linker that can directly modify resources in executables (EXE, DLL and others) without recompiling them. You can even create Resource Only DLLs (used for software localization and customization) with just two clicks of the mouse.

Resource Editor provides full support for Unicode. You can use Unicode resource scripts and data in your resources and edit them as easily as you would usual scripts. With a fast compiler and support for all resource compiler format files, Resource Editor is an invaluable tool for building and editing resource files.

Check back to Blogcritics Sci/Tech on Sunday for next week's Bits du Jour deals.

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About Ken Edwards