EDITOR NOTE: Since this article was written, many of the links to computer parts have become outdated, so they have all now been removed – note by Christopher
Gaming is a great hobby to have, but to buy all the latest releases, not to mention the latest console that comes equipped with crystal-clear graphics and interactive gameplay, it could cost a small fortune. Many thrifty gamers looking to enjoy themselves without breaking the bank could do worse than build the ultimate gaming machine, especially if they have an affinity with playing on a PC.
It’s possible to get everything you need for less than £1,000. All you need to do is know what components are necessary, how powerful you want your machine to be, a few basic computer building skills and the right places to go for your bargains. My personal favourites are the technology section on netvouchercodes.co.uk, the Amazon discount emails, or their computer component recommendations and of course eBay!
Motherboard – £135
It’s the most important part of any PC – without it, nothing else would function correctly. This motherboard from Asus is ideal as it has no bottlenecks, slots for two graphic cards, processor slot and has capacity for as much as 32GB of RAM. It’s also pretty cheap considering what it enables.
Processor – £168
Also from AMD, this six-core Bulldozer processor is great for processing large amounts of data at speed. Among its other vital stats include an 8MB cache and impressive power of 8.3 GHz per core for a relatively low price, and is ideal for multitasking when playing two or more games at once. I found this particular bargain from CCL through their online voucher page.
Memory – £137
Combined, these products provide an impressive 16GB of RAM. This amount of memory is more than enough for even the most data-intensive games.
PSU – £60
Every PC needs a cooling system, and this PSU with inbuilt heatsinks is sufficient for an extremely powerful custom-built computer. It runs at 1333 MHz and has a capacity of 16GB, and controls your PC’s power output with minimum fuss.
Graphics cards – £228
The AMD Radeon graphics processor is the most expensive part of your PC, but it’s also the most important for ensuring the games you want to play look as vivid and lifelike as possible. They have 3GB of GDDR5 memory, 800 MHz clock speed for quick gameplay and has room for a second card if necessary.
Solid State Drive – £195
A hard drive of some sort is something else you’ll need, and this 250GB drive is one of the best available for gaming PCs. It has a 6GB/s transfer rate and is ideal for games which use up a huge amount of data.
All those components come to a grand total of around £930. Once you have all that, you can spend the remainder on a case to keep everything in its right place. £70 is plenty of money to spend on a case, no matter how wacky and original you want it to look. All it involves is a little shopping around.
In this article I am going to review a piece of software by Iceni Technology, called Infix PDF Editor. The version I will be reviewing is Infix Professional for PC.
Infix PDF Editor is a program that enables you to edit and then save PDF documents. As Iceni put it:
“Infix Pro includes tools for handling graphics such as grouping, hiding and locking. It also adds the ability to edit and create clipping masks plus a vertical ruler to allow easier object alignment together with grids, guides and page margins.”
The quote mentions ‘Infix Pro’; this is because there are three different versions of the software. Form-Filler – a free version of the software which only lets you edit and reflow text. The ‘Standard‘ version of the software offers a lot more functionality, also allowing you to convert PDF files into other formats (ePub, RTF and HTML), add notes to the document, among other things. The ‘Professional‘ version lets you do even more, including joining multiple PDFs into one document, automatically renumber pages and adding/removing watermarks.
For full details of what the different versions offer, check out the table below which is from iceni.com.
The Form-Filler version of the software is free to download. The Standard version costs £59 and the Pro version £99.
So, that is the technical specifications of what the three different versions of the software offer, but, the real proof of the pudding is in the using – how easy the software is to use, and does it really work like it says it does.
The interface is very easy to follow. It works in the same way that many programs do, so that you can find your way around it really easily, and you don’t have to spend a long time pondering what buttons do. I call this type of approach to software interface design KISS – Keep It Super Simple.
A KISS approach to interface design is, in my opinion the best. People don’t buy software for it to look good on their PC, they buy it because they want to increase their productivity, learning or enjoyment in some way.
As a result of the KISS approach, the interface does look a little basic. Basic is easy to understand, but not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing.
In my opinion the functionality of software comes first, and aesthetics comes second. If you want software that looks okay and works well, then Infix fits the bill, however if you must have designer looking software, then you might be better looking elsewhere.
Below is a screenshot I have taken of the software.
The interface design of Infix PDF Editing software
Ease of Use
As I mentioned above, the design really aids the usability of the software. It is easy to find the function you want with the various optional toolbars, and the menu options.
Much of the software on your computer is probably not made by Microsoft, however you will probably notice that most software designers stick to the standardised layout. File, edit, view and help are standard on the top menu, below the top menu comes some optional toolbars, then the main content you are viewing, with a few options (often involving resizing and scrolling) at the bottom of the window.
There are some software producers who stray away from this tried and tested design. Sometimes it works, often it doesn’t. In Infix PDF Editor, the design conforms to the standard design, meaning that it is really easy to work out what is what.
Does It Work!
Okay, the software may be easy to use, affordably priced, etc. however if it doesn’t work, you aren’t going to want to buy it. I can inform you that it does work, and it works really well!
I have tried editing various different PDF documents with the software and it has surprised me every time with the functionality it offers. Like in Microsoft Word, you can ask the software to track changes, and put them in a different colour. This can be really handy if you want to show someone what you have edited.
You can also add notes when editing PDFs, sticky-notes, scribbles, text highlights and stamps are all available options, and as you would expect, when you save, you can view the edits with any PDF viewer. For more details, check out this handy screenshot and explanation on the Iceni site.
Not only does the software make it easy to edit PDFs, but it also makes is it easy to copy data from them. Sometimes, the way the PDF is constructed, if you try to copy some of the contents, say to quote it, when it goes into your document, it can often be a little mixed up. Infix makes it really easy to copy data from PDFs and transfer it to other locations.
The software also makes finding and replacing text really easy. Edit > Find and Replace > Replace > type in the word(s) you want to be changed and what you want the change to be to > click ‘replace’ and the software will chew its way through the document, changing any occurrences of the terms you asked it to. If you are tracking changes, you can then see the words that have been changed.
There are so many other things this software can do, it would take far too long for me to talk about them all. To mention a few you can: adjust paragraph indents, add header and footers, add new text, merge PDFs and renumber pages.
Good software always needs to be backed up by good help and support. Iceni Technology don’t fall down in this area though, not with Infix at least. Their website hosts a series of screenshot guides and video tutorials which help you get to grips with all the different functions of the software.
They also have a support helpline and email address.
Infix is very diverse, and can be installed on a USB memory stick, Windows PC (2003, XP, Vista and 7) or a Mac (with MacOSX 10.5 or above).
For Windows 2003/XP you need at least 512MB of RAM (almost all PC’s do) or 1GB for Windows Vista/7, as well as a 1GHz x86 processor/CPU and 60MB free disk space – that should be no problem.
In terms of weight (power and space needed to run the software) I would say it is relatively light. I have some programs that require around 15GB of hard disk space, and a very capable graphics card, along with a large amount of system memory. Don’t get me wrong, still check your PC is up to the job, but I personally think most peoples will be.
Is Infix Value for Money?
Like I almost always say when I end a review, whether you think the product or service is value for money really depends upon what your use for it would be. If you occasionally use PDF documents and would like to be able to change them as a convenience, but don’t really need the software for any reason, I would suggest that it probably isn’t going to be that useful to you.
If however you are regularly dealing with PDFs, for whatever reason, be it part of your job, hobby or whatever, and would find it helpful to be able to make changes to them, then I think you would benefit from Infix software. Whether you go Standard or Pro is for you to decide, I think they are both reasonably priced for the services they provide, and the additional help that you get online.
If you are interested in Infix PDF editing software feel free to visit the link which follows through to the software’s site, where you can learn more about it.
What are your thoughts about the software? Would you find it useful? If so, will you be buying it? Any questions, feedback or comments, as always, leave them below.
People who were born after 1990 tend to consider a world without the technology they rely on so much an unimaginable place. However, such a world existed not long ago. In fact, while technology existed a decade prior, it would be considered stone age artifacts by most people today who utilise touchscreen mobile devices and lightning fast desktop computers.
Unfortunately, few people take the time to look back and appreciate the types of devices that paved the way for the popular pieces of technology that we use so often today. Whether it is that massive cell phone from an episode of Saved by the Bell, or the Commodore 64 from 1982, there are many forgotten pieces that were the stepping-stones for modern technology.
A Commodore 64
To help neutralise this widespread neglect, the commodore is being re-released with a few modern upgrades. This re-release has been received with high regard by both people from the generation of the original commodore, as well as people from modern generations just discovering its significance.
Below are a few elements of the modern Commodore that people are finding most appealing.
One of the most notable benefits that people see with the release of the modern commodore is the nostalgic aspect it provides. While the hardware specifications have been modernised, the overall look and feel of the new commodore has remained true to its roots. The keyboard keys are the same shape and colour as the original commodore. Additionally, consumers can even play the old 8-bit games that were all the rage back in the heyday of this classic machine.
Functional Enough For Modern Usage
The new commodore has been equipped with some modern hardware that makes it operational for general use with modern amenities without much trouble. While it does not have the performance capability of an ultrabook, it does have generous processing power with an Intel Atom 1.8 GZ dual core CPU as well as 2 GB of RAM that can be doubled if the consumer wishes for a little more speed. Additionally, there is a wide selection of USB ports available to ensure all of your peripherals can be utilised.
Another beneficial element of the commodore that has attracted consumers is the price. Consumers can expect to pay anything from $250 for the most basic option to $850 for the most decked out model.
The re-release of the Commodore has caught the attention of a wide selection of consumers. From people of the generation that used the first C64 model to play their 8-bit video games, to people from modern generations that are just discovering this important machine. Whether you want to relive the good old days of simple technology or just want a fun conversational piece, the new commodore might be a good investment for you.