Scan Documents To PDF Using FastStone Image Viewer

I have written about FastStone Image Viewer here on the blog in the past and can attest that it is probably one of the best, if not the best, image viewer out there. As a matter of fact, it carries a 5 star CNet rating. I think if you use it you will find that it is more than just an image viewer

FastStone Image Viewer is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. It has a nice array of features that include image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, retouching and color adjustments. Its innovative but intuitive full-screen mode provides quick access to EXIF information, thumbnail browser and major functionalities via hidden toolbars that pop up when your mouse touches the four edges of the screen. Other features include a high quality magnifier and a musical slideshow with 150+ transitional effects, as well as lossless JPEG transitions, drop shadow effects, image annotation, scanner support, histogram and much more. It supports all major graphic formats (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, PSD, EPS, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF, ARW, SR2, RW2 and DNG).

For example, buried in Fastone Image Viewer is an option where you can scan documents and save them as PDF files. I personally use this all of the time to convert my paper documents to the digital PDF format.

To get to this feature, launch FastStone Image Viewer, click on the File menu, and select Acquire Image From Scanner.

FastStone - Scan to PDF

You will then be taken to the Acquire Image From Scanner workspace where you simply click on the scan button to begin your scans.

Typically, by default, this will launch your scanner software.  You can scan single documents or perform batch scans were you scan one document after another. When done, select save and select the PDF Format option.

FastStone - Scan To PDF

Also, on an added note, you can also save image files in FastStone Image Viewer to the PDF format, as well.  Very powerful image viewer utility that can either be installed or used as a portable app.


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Locate All the Computers On Your Wired or Wireless Local Network

If you are into networking, you most likely have heard of Radmin Remote Access Software. To promote Radmin, I noticed that they offer a FREE IP Scanner called Advanced IP Scanner that is helpful in locating and monitoring the devices (wired or wireless) that are connected to your network (home or business).  Scanners such as this is helpful in identifying the IP addresses (which dynamically can change) and MAC Addresses of those devices.  Years ago when I managed a network, I used an IP scanner such as this to make sure all of my network devices and computers were alive and functioning properly.

Advanced IP Scanner is a free, fast and easy-to-use network scanner for Windows. In a matter of seconds, Advanced IP Scanner can locate all the computers on your wired or wireless local network and conduct a scan of their ports. The program provides easy access to various network resources, such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and shared folders. It also enables you to detect all the IP addresses on your WiFi network. With Advanced IP Scanner, you can wake up and shut down remote groups of Windows machines. If you use Radmin remote access software, you will also enjoy the improved Radmin Server detection and integration capabilities, which allow you to connect to any scanned machine with Radmin Server.

Advanced IP Scanner

What Advanced IP Scanner does:

  • Scans network in a matter of seconds
  • Detects any network devices
  • Finds HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and shared folders
  • Lets you connect to PCs running Radmin Serverwith one click
  • Allows you to shut down computers remotely
  • Supports Wake-On-Lan
  • Favorites list for easy network management
  • Export to HTML or CSV
  • Easy and user-friendly interface

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Update Microsoft Windows Without An Internet Connection

There are still folks out there that I know personally that are on a dialup internet connection and not by choice. Broadband service just is not there and any mention of using a 3G, 4G or satellite connection is too expensive and besides those services can be sketchy at best, depending on the location and the environment.

What these folks run into, and I’m working with someone on this now, is that due to the dialup speeds in these remote locations not even being up to standard (due to poor telephone lines), downloading the Windows updates that they need for their PC’s ends up being nothing but pure process of drudgery. Think about it, if you are already on a slow dialup connection and you have your updates set to auto update, when those weekly auto updates kick in,  the connection speed slows down that much further. Couple that with other security software updates and general software updates and I think you can see what I mean about a pure process of drudgery.

To workaround this problem and get the Windows updates, I use a program called WSUS Offline Update. You will need to find someone with a broadband connection who is willing to use WSUS Offline Update software on their PC and willing to download the updates for you. You will also need to know what operating system you are using (i.e. Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7).

With WSUS Offline Update there are two components to the software. One is the “Generator” interface that you use to select the what language and Operating system you need the updates for.  You can even tell the “Generator” to copy the updates to a flash drive; which, you can then use to update the target computer.

image

When downloading the updates, a command console window (see below) will appear and you will see the software going to work to pull down the updates. Do not be alarmed if the first time you perform this process that it takes a long time (even on a broadband connection).  A long time can be an hour to several hours, but you have to do what you have to do.

WSUS Windows Update - Console Window

The second component built into WSUS Offline Update is the “Installer” that you use on the target computer.  To start up the installer look for the file “Updateinstaller.exe”, double click on it and the “Installer” interface will initiate with various selections to help you through the update process.

WSUS Windows Update - Installer

There are other options out there to download the Windows Updates; however, I have found the WSUS Offline Update utility to be the winner.


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An Easy Way to Get the Serial Number and Disk Drive Information of Your Computer

The following may or may not work for you; however, I found it to work on Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Did you ever run into the situation where you needed the serial number on your computer? The serial number is often required when you contact the vendor for support.  Instead of crawling around on the floor looking for the serial number, try this:

Click on [START] , then [RUN] and type in the box [CMD].  This will take you to what is called the “Command Prompt”.  At the “Command Prompt”, type the following command exactly as it appears:

wmic bios get name,serialnumber,version

You should get a result similar to this that will reflect the bios name, serial number, and a service tag number for your computer:

image

You can also get the name, size and model of your disk drives by going to the “Command Prompt” and typing:

wmic diskdrive get name,size,model

You should get a result similar to this that reflects all the drives connected to your computer:

image

The wmic command-line (Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line) utility is a very powerful tool that is used to gather information from Windows-based systems, both locally and over a network. What I have shown is only a small sampling of the ability of this tool.  If you are interested in digging down further, I encourage you to Google wmic command by clicking [HERE]. Another easy to read resource is the wmic quick start guide that is located at the University of Virginia [CLICK HERE] .


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[Did You Know?] You Can Use TeamViewer Remote Control Software to Manage Your Computer Network at Home

TeamViewer is the critically acclaimed remote control software that you can use to control any computer (anywhere) as if you were sitting right in front of it – even through firewalls.  It is engineered to work across your internet connection to allow you to remote into another PC that is connected to the internet. This type of setup is an excellent (and easy) way to provide support to others (such as friends and family).  The best part about TeamViewer is that it is FREE for non-commercial use.

TeamViewer

Typically, when working with TeamViewer you are working through the TeamViewer’s servers on the internet to make that remote connection happen; BUT, did  you know you can setup TeamViewer to manage your computer network at home (through a direct connection) without having to go through the TeamViewer’s servers? For this purpose, you have to configure TeamViewer to accept incoming LAN connections.

The benefit of this is that after you install the TeamViewer software on all of the computers on your home network, you can remote into each of those computers to perform maintenance, transfer files, multi-task by using more than one computer, etc… Recently I have been using and testing the TeamViewer direct connection on my home network over a wireless connection and have found that it works flawlessly. Connections on your local (home) network are initiated via the IP address (or the computer name).

To set this up, you will need to install TeamViewer on each of the computers that are on your network at home and then follow the instructions below. After setting up your connection, configure TeamViewer to start with Windows. This will allow you to perform an unattended remote session with another PC without having someone being present at the PC.

1. Click on Extras / Options / General.

TeamViewer - Configuration

2. For Incoming LAN connections, select the option accept from the drop-down menu.  Once you select the “accept” option you will be prompted to generate a password.  There may be a slight delay from the time you select “accept” and the prompt to generate a password appears.

TeamViewer - Configuration

How to establish a LAN connection:

1. Start TeamViewer and click on the Remote Control tab.

2. Enter the IP address of the PC you wish to access and click on Connect to Partner.

3.  The TeamViewer Authentication dialog opens.

4. Enter the password of the remote computer and click on Log On.

5. The desktop of the other computer should display.

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Play Mahjong Solitaire All Day Long Online for FREE

Mahjong, an ancient game that originated in China, has long been one of my most favorite games on the computer since the inception of the computer.  I can remember years ago when I first got into computers, finding a good software driven Mahjong game was a big deal.  Especially when the Mahjong tiles became more 3D in appearance.

Recently I went on the hunt on the internet to see if I could find a decent online version of Mahjong.  I hit the jackpot when I found 247 Mahjong [CLICK HERE] .

247 Mahjong

247 Mahjong is an Adobe Flash based game that you can play directly in your web browser (no software install required). 247 Mahjong features sounds, background music, a timer and 8 different tile sets to select from.

To Play Mahjong: Mahjong Solitaire is a tile matching puzzle game. You may click on any “free” tiles (those that are on the edge) to select them, and match them with other free tiles with the same face to eliminate them from the board. Beat Mahjong by eliminating all tiles.


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