We’ve reached the end of the first month of 2012 and this has been another busy week for software releases. If you have thought that it has been a little quiet on the browser updates recently, things have changed this week with the release of Opera 11.61 FINAL as well as Opera Portable 11.61. Fans of cutting edge software may be more interested in Opera Next 12.00 build 1256 which is the first update to the beta channel of Opera for quite some time. When browsing the internet, speed is often the most important consideration, and Pale Moon is a speed optimized version of Firefox that includes support for extensions. This week saw the release of not only Pale Moon 9.1 and Pale Moon x64 9.1, but also portable versions in the form of Pale Moon x64 9.1 Portable and Pale Moon 9.1 Portable.
Of course, using the internet does not have to be about simply consuming other people’s web site, you may have considered creating an online presence for yourself. This is made incredibly easy with MAGIX Website Maker MX which can be used to create Flash-based site even if you have never experimented with Flash before. Whether you are looking to create a site to showcase your digital photos or videos, or you want to create an online store with PayPal support, you’ll find everything you need here. If all of this sounds like hard work, you can always use the internet for entertainment, and TapinRadio 1.51.1 enables to find, listen to and record a massive range of online radio stations.
For all of your offline media needs a codec pack will help to ensure that you do not encounter any video or audio files that you are unable to play. If you already have a version the K-Lite Codec Pack installed, you should take a look at K-Lite Codec Pack 8.2.0 Update which includes a number of new additions. If you are yet to discover just how useful a codec pack can be and you need to start from scratch, look no further than K-Lite Codec Pack Mega 8.2.0, K-Lite Codec Pack Basic 8.2.0, K-Lite Codec Pack Standard 8.2.0 or K-Lite Codec Pack Full 8.2.0 which will help you to play a wide range of media formats.
Whether or not you are using your computer to access the internet, you will be making use of a variety of programs. To help make these easier to manage, take a look at Stardock Tiles 1.00 which makes it incredibly easy to organize and navigate through your running applications. Also updated this week were CCleaner 3.15 and CCleaner Portable 3.15 which help you to optimize your system and protect your privacy, with even greater support for a wider range of programs in these latest versions. Fans of tweaking software will no doubt be impressed with Advanced System Tweaker 0.9.6 (beta) which can be used to tweak and customize your system in a range of ways – this particular app is extendable through the use of tweaking add-ons which is a nice touch. For day to day maintenance of any system Defraggler 2.09.391 provides you with a great way to ensure that your hard drive is free from fragmentation – and if you’re constantly moving from one computer to another Defraggler Portable 2.09 can be popped on a USB drive.
It is a good idea to take an active interest in your computer’s hardware, but this is certainly the case if you have overclocked your system. Open Hardware Monitor 0.4.0 is a free tool that can be used to monitor the temperature of your graphics card, processor and hard drive so you can ensure that you aren’t pushing things too far. If you are more interested in software than hardware, take a look at Speccy 1.15.309 which will tell you everything you need to know about not only the hardware you have, but also the software you have installed; there’s also Speccy Portable 1.15 available for fans of portable software. It is important to keep an eye on how your computer is being used, but this is especially true in the case of shared computers. History Viewer 4.8 enables you to monitor how other users have been making use of the internet and USB drives so you and easily check for unwanted activity. Hardcore computer users should take a look at Microsoft Desktop Player 1.0.0 (beta) which provides access to library of white papers, podcasts and webcasts that may be of interest.
This week has also seen a number of releases that will be of interest to anyone who uses their computer for work. Computers are expensive enough to start with, so anything that can be done to reduce on-going costs is to be welcomed. LibreOffice Productivity Suite 3.4.5 is a free office suite that includes everything you need to create a range of business and personal documents, and LibreOffice Portable 3.4.5 is also available if you would like to keep your office software on a USB drive to take with you. If you’re looking for a way to collaborate on work or just store notes online, look no further than Evernote 4.5.3. Developer and anyone with a serious interest in computers and operating systems will be interested in VMware Player 4.0.2 and VMware Workstation 8.0.2 which can be used to run virtual machines on your computer so you can work with older versions of Windows or even install the likes of Ubuntu without the need to have access to a second machine.
That’s it for this week’s highlights. There is sure to be an impressive swathe of releases to look forward to over the next seven days and our roundup will be available this time next week to bring you up to speed on anything you may have missed.