Tag Archives: Software

IntelliGym 2015

USA Hockey - IntelliGym Review

USA Hockey - IntelliGym Review Every player experiences highs and lows, hills and valleys, slumps and hot streaks. I’m not a goal scorer, but even as a “stay at home” D-man I still need to be able to move the puck up to our forwards quickly and efficiently. Sometimes slumps are not the result of lack of on ice practice or conditioning, but how you aree approaching the game. A couple of bad games can get your head and cause you to tense up. When you tense up, your reaction time slows down. The IntelliGym is all about improving your on ice perception and reaction time.

While nursing some injuries, I took some time off from the IntelliGym. Once I started playing again, i was out of the habit of training regularly. Lately I’ve been having trouble making smart plays, so I started using the IntelliGym again. Within 2-3 sessions, I noticed I was more quickly able to find an open forward to hand the puck. It almost feels like the game slows down around you, and you have more time to make your move. I’m even sneaking into scoring zones once or twice a game and getting some chances to put the puck in the net. Two years in, and I still notice benefits when I use the product.

For more information visit:

USA Hockey IntelliGym:
http://www.usahockeyintelligym.com/

**UPDATE 2012:
USA Hockey The Hockey IntelliGym: UPDATE 1 YEAR LATER

**Update 1.5 Years Later:
USA Hockey The Hockey IntelliGym: UPDATE 1.5 YEARS LATER

**Update 2 Years Later:
USA Hockey – The Hockey IntelliGym 2 Years Later

**Update 3 Years Later:
http://www.pennymindingmom.com/2015/01/intelligym-2015/

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

My Memories – Free Software

Joy

JoyIt’s fall!  In my part of the world the leaves have already turned colour and the cooler weather has set in.  With the cooler weather comes some time for scrapbook!  I had always been a traditionalist  but over the last little bit I have made the transition over to digital scrapbooking.

I love the ease of scrapbooking, there is no mess and the choice of scrapkits is endless!  My Memories Suite is a great piece of software for digital scrapbooking!  The best part is that you can get it FREE all this week!

Go to MyMemories.com and use code FreeTreatEE139 to download My Memories Version 4 today!  This code is good from October 20th, 2013 until October 26, 2013.

 

 

 

USA Hockey – The Hockey IntelliGym: UPDATE 1.5 YEARS LATER

Intelligym

IntelligymA year and a half in, and still going strong! I still enjoy using the Intelligym, and do notice subtle differences in my game when I’m using it regularly. The big thing I’m working on now is staying calm. If I’m wound up during one of my sessions (or on the ice), I rush and make more mistakes than usual. When I’m calm, it’s much easier to be patient and take that extra second you (sometimes) need to make a play. Right now’s a great time for me to work on my confidence and patience, since we’re just playing summer hockey. Looking forward to seeing how it affects my game in another couple of months when regular season starts. Thanks again Intelligym!

USA Hockey IntelliGym:
http://www.usahockeyintelligym.com/

**UPDATE 2012:
USA Hockey The Hockey IntelliGym: UPDATE 1 YEAR LATER

**Update 1.5 Years Later:
USA Hockey The Hockey IntelliGym: UPDATE 1.5 YEARS LATER

**Update 2 Years Later:
USA Hockey – The Hockey IntelliGym 2 Years Later

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Reading Kingdom – Review

Reading Kingdom

Reading KingdomMy daughter loves to read…well, she loves it when I read to her.  She can’t wait to get to pre-K this fall so that she can learn to read her favourite books all by herself…she’s a big girl now, don’t you know.

When we were given the opportunity to try out “Reading Kingdom” my daughter was thrilled.  “Mommy, you mean I get to learn to read AND use the computer?”  Reading Kingdom combines two of my daughters loves, reading and technology.

The program is easy to use.  My daughter is almost 4 and had no problem learning how to use the on screen keyboard.  We did try the computer keyboard but she found the “extra” keys on the “real” keyboard too overwhelming.

It starts off with a skills assessment so the system can evaluate where your child is in his/her learning.  It highly recommends that as a parent, you “look but don’t touch”, that is allow your child to figure out how to do each step.  There are verbal instructions for your child to follow.  If you help your child you may inadvertently advance your child beyond her skill level resulting in a frustrating lesson.  I love how the program teaches my daughter some learning in-dependance.

As I watched my daughter use the program I noticed a few things which has affected her advancing through.

1) She is easily distracted by her brother and other things going on around her.  This results in her not answering some questions in the time allowed.

2) When she makes a mistake, random little creatures appear to tell her to try again.  I found that she would intentionally make mistakes just to see who would pop up next.

3) Sometimes she will accidentally click on a wrong letter due to poor mouse control.

4) She will click on the correct letter but because the program was still “talking” or loading a graphic it didn’t register her click properly.

My daughter really enjoys playing “Reading Kingdom” for a session, but is ready to stop and move onto something else when the session is over.  Although I found the graphics very simple my daughter would laugh out loud at some of the graphics, especially the cat that would strut across the screen.  I find the program slow to advance to the next question but my daughter needs the extra time. So as an adult, some of the negatives that I see are complete positives in my daughters eyes.


Reading Kingdom has improved my daughters pre-reading abilities including identifying letters and sight words.  She can now identify words such as kid, cat, and boy.  It has helped her learn to read left to right and has also advanced her typing skills.  It has also raised my daughters confidence levels.  I see her actively looking for words she knows and trying to type the “perfect message” to Nanny.

The program will send you progress reports for your child.  This way you can track your child’s progress and know exactly where she may excel or be experiencing problems.

Although Reading Kingdom may not be my daughters absolute favourite game, she does enjoy playing/learning with it.  She will ask for it by name and play a session before moving onto some other activity.  I think once she advanced a little father along, she will enjoy it more and more.

To find out if Reading Kingdom is for your child, take a virtual tour of the program and try out the free 30 day trial!
For more information about Reading Kingdom please visit:
Website: https://www.readingkingdom.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/readingkingdom
Twitter: https://twitter.com/readingkingdom

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

USA Hockey – The Hockey IntelliGym: UPDATE 1 YEAR LATER

Intelligym Update

Intelligym UpdateIt’s been almost a full year now, and I’d like to share some of my thoughts and results from using the USA Hockey Intelligym. First off, I’d like to disclose that I wasn’t able to maintain a 2-3 day span between sessions for the full year. There were at least a few sessions that were a couple of weeks apart. Whenever I left that much time between sessions, there was a noticeable difference in difficulty with the first session back. That’s most likely because the software is designed to become more challenging over time, and with that much time between sessions you’re out of practice.

Now for the results:

It may have been a blessing (as far as being able to review the product) that I have had a few longer spans between sessions. It’s allowed me to observe what the results are like when I’m not using the intelligym. Although my numbers don’t appear to really drop between those sessions, I do experience a noticeable “jump” in my game after a session or two back into the routine. It feels almost as though the game slows down and I have more time to make plays. According to the graph located in the members area of the usahockeyintelligym.com site, my hockey sense has improved by approximately 50% over the past year, and to be honest, it feels that way.

In our first five games of the season this year (fall of 2012), I potted one goal and three assists. That may not sound like much, but I’m a stay at home defenseman (by no means a dangler). For me, these are good numbers. An unfortunate back injury, and a new pair of skates have skewed the numbers since then. I’m just starting to feel close to 100% again, so I’m looking forward to seeing how things improve even more from this point on!

Stay tuned for another update in 6 months.

USA Hockey IntelliGym:
http://www.usahockeyintelligym.com/

**UPDATE 2012:
USA Hockey The Hockey IntelliGym: UPDATE 1 YEAR LATER

**Update 1.5 Years Later:
USA Hockey The Hockey IntelliGym: UPDATE 1.5 YEARS LATER

**Update 2 Years Later:
USA Hockey – The Hockey IntelliGym 2 Years Later

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder – Review

Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder Standard

Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder Standard

I love things that simplify my life.  I take a lot of photos and I love giving them as gifts, but many of the people I give them to are seniors and they just don’t have the space to hang or otherwise store any more photos.  What I have been doing is creating DVD slideshows for them.   That way they can have the pictures without the hassle of trying to store them.  Great Grandma has bad eyesight and loves that the pictures show up on her TV so that she can actually see them.

Wondershare is an excellent alternative to the higher priced slideshow creators. There is a small learning curve but I was able to create the slideshow below in under an hour.

Creating your first slideshow is easy, you simply import your images and they appear on your timeline. You are then able to re-arrange the photos into the order that you want. You can do some basic editing like adjusting the hue, saturation, brightness and contrast. You can also crop, remove red-eye and add filters to your images. You can also add captions to your images. You can change the alignment, text effects and fonts.

There are some simple features that I wish were available for the standard version. I would have liked to have been able to fine tune the positioning of my text and I would have liked better control over the length of some of the style durations. I believe the features that I am missing are available in the the Deluxe version though.

I did have some technical issues with the program. After a I exceeded a large number of photos I would receive an error. It didn’t seem to hurt anything, but it was annoying to have this “exception” pop up all the time. The other issue I had that caused me a lot of extra work, was when I tried to reuse the same photo multiple times, all of a sudden it as well as a few random other photo’s just disappeared from my timeline. This required me to do some extra work to complete my slideshow.

The program does offer some great features like clipart, into/credit template and sound effects. All these effects are added with a simple mouse click. They make your slideshows so much fun. I have some outdoor shots of my daughter playing in the snow and the snowflakes falling gently in the foreground just add that extra element of fun!

One of the best features of the program is it’s ability to allow you to export your video in different formats. So no matter how you want to view your video you are able to.

I’m still exploring all the features of the program, as with any program the more you use it the more you discover! If you are looking for a fast and inexpensive way to create slideshows for Christmas presents or any other occasion the Wondershare DVD Slideshow Creator may just be the software for you.

Burst App Review

Burst.it

burst.it

As a stay-at-home-mom I’m so lucky to be able to be there to witness all the “first’s” and special moments that my children get to experience in life. I wish my husband and children’s grandparents were able to be here to share in this time too but do to work schedules it’s just not possible. I try to be sure to take lots of pictures when I am out so that I can share these moments with friends and family.

In the past I would share these pictures and videos on facebook with friends and family, until I had some family members start poking fun at me for taking so many pictures at which point I just stopped sharing.  This suited me just fine, but now Nanny, Poppy and Daddy don’t get to see as many pictures because I just don’t have the time that it takes to transfer, resize and attach photos to an email. It’s just plain awkward to do from my phone.  So what is a Mom to do?

The simple solution is download burst! The folks at Burst have created a simple and private way for family and friends to share all your special moments. Available for Android and iPhone, burst is a simple cloud based storage solution that will allow you to share video and pictures with the people that you choose.

Burst is simple and easy to use, there is a small learning curve involved but if you are stuck they have a great support team that you can contact if you have any questions.

When you want to capture and share that special moment with your family and friends, simply open the Burst app and use it to capture photo’s and videos.  As soon as you take a picture or video it will automatically upload them to your cloud storage which you can then view on any internet capable device.   I love and hate this feature.  I love that my photo’s are automatically backed up so if I lose my phone my special moments aren’t lost.   I hate that it uploads even my bad photo’s.  I can delete them so it’s not a huge problem for me. If you don’t like using the Burst app to capture your special moments, you can use the native software on your phone and just import your images at a later date.

Once your images are in your Burst app you are able to add titles, set tags, delete photo’s and even see the people that you have shared the image with.  You can Burst a single  or multiple photo’s and a message is sent to they are sent an email with a link to the images. The recipient can forward this message to anyone, so be sure to only upload images and videos that you don’t mind being shared with others.  As with anything online, once it is “out there” you can never really get it back. For security and privacy reasons, that link is only active for seven days. If your recipients want a persistent place to view all the moments you share with them, they will need to register  and create a free burst account.  They will then be able to log in to the burst website to see what you have shared. They will also be able to comment back to you and other burst users you share with.

I love the convenience factor of Burst.  It allows me to share all my special moments quickly with people of my choosing.  No matter if I am out at the Zoo or sitting quite at naptime I can share my moments with anyone.  The more I explore Burst the more I learn and the more it learns about me. Burst will remove manual tasks from the sharing process making it easier to share.

Burst was recently featured by Parade magazine as a Parade Pick. You can see it here:  http://www.parade.com/parade-picks/index.html.

Currently Burst is free, but they are moving towards a freemium model where the majority of burst features and services are offered for free but with some limitations, primarily with respect to the amount of media storage users have. With an upgrade to a premium account, users may receive additional storage, be able to use the website to edit their “Moments” with a suite of web-based editing tools and receive priority support.

No compensation was received for this post. As a participant in this MomSelect program, I received information about the program, as well as a free lifetime storage plan for my use. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Wondershare Fantashow Review and Giveaway (OVER)

Wondershare Fantashow
Wondershare Fantashow

Wondershow Fantashow

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a passion for taking pictures.  I’m not very good at it, but I love to capture every moment that I can.  My daughter loves being a movie star, and my son…even though he’s not a year old yet will stop and pose for the camera too.

I love to make videos with the images and videos that I have taken and play them for my daughter.  She finds it “too cool” to be on TV and the joy that it brings her is amazing.  With my background in multimedia I have  purchased other programs that would allow me to do this, but they are time consuming and expensive. Fantashow allows you to quickly create videos and has a very low learning curve and is something that anyone can use!

Creating your first video is easy.  The first step is to choose a pre-made theme.  There are quite a few to choose from.  Then you import your files (video and images) and drag and drop them into the order that you want them shown.  Now comes the “hard” part, choosing your edits.

Editing your video is where you can really let your creativity shine!  You can choose your own music or keep the ones that are already there.  You can add text, rotate and crop your media.  Fantashows provides you with a series of filters such as Black and White, Bubbles, Stars and many more.  To add them to your media you just click on the filter and it is instantly applied.  So simple!  I do wish that you could add more than one filter to an image, but it isn’t necessary.

Editing the video’s that you imported isn’t as flexible as I like, although it does work well.  I am used to cutting video while Fantashow allows you to drag sliders around the section of imported video that you need.  You are unable to increase and decrease the length.  I also wish I could do a little more with the sound, like drop the music when someone is talking. Aside from these limitations the software is wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to create simple, creative videos.

Sometimes words just don’t explain everything, so here is a little video that I’ve created using various features of Fantashow.  I’ve rotated, cropped, trimmed and added filters.  The software gives you various export features including one that uploads directly to YouTube!

Fantashow has quickly becoming one of my favourite pieces of software due to it’s ability to quickly create and export videos.

For more information please visit:
Website: http://www.wondershare.com/photo-software/photo-slideshow.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wondershare
Twitter: @wondershare

The folks at Fantashow are offering my readers a chance to win this great software.  Entering is easy, just use the rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents and closes, Sunday September 2, 2012 at 12:01 AM.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received the products mentioned above for this review. No monetary compensation was received by me. This is my completely honest opinion above and may differ from yours.

Captcha Monster Lifetime Basic Subscription – Review

Captcha Monster

Captcha Monster

Captcha Monster

I hate Captcha! How many times have you sat just staring at your computer screen trying to decipher these strange words and come up with the wrong answer? I’ve wasted so much time trying to figure these out only to end up frustrated and finally just close the window and give up.

Captcha Monster has found a way to simplify my life and auto fill those Capthcha text boxes. What is Captcha Monster? It’s not as scary as it sounds, it’s not really a monster at all…it’s actually a very good friend. Captcha Monster is a Firefox add-on that scans Captcha and when it solves it, Capthcha Monster will automatically fill the text box in. It works fairly consistently, and has made filling out forms that require verification so much easier for me. I no longer waste as much time trying to figure out the words, it does it for me.

A simple toolbar is installed and you can set it to recognize Captcha as soon as the page loads, when you start filling out the form or upon request. I have run into some cases where it doesn’t work as expected but over all it has saved me time and energy filling out the forms. An example of where it didn’t work for me was a case where the Captcha said – “Spell the number: 7”. It was looking for an answer of “Seven” and Captcha returned me the result of “Spell the nimber: 7”. So it isn’t fool proof, (it got the word number wrong), but works well in most cases. If by chance you are on a websit you can always use a button “Suggest”, so the folks at Captcha Monster can do something to fix the situation.

If you are interested in trying it out they have a 30 day trial. If you are purchasing a subscription use 20tomoson at check-out for 20% their Captcha Monster subscription lifetime. Each subscription has a limit on the number of Captcha’s it will solve, so be sure to pick the subscription that works best for you!

For more information please visit:
Website: http://captchamonster.com/

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

CollageIT Software – Giveaway and Review – (OVER)

CollageIT

I always have problems choosing my favourite photo’s of my kids to send to their grandparents.  I have been known to take over 100 pictures in an afternoon, just trying to get that perfect shot…and of course, being a mommy I think every picture of my kids is priceless and worth sharing (even if the rest of the world doesn’t think so).

Sending multiple files is time consuming and when I’m emailing files they are often returned due to file size limitations.   That’s why I was excited to try out the CollageIT software from Pearl Mountain.  This is an awesome little piece of software that quickly creates picture collages for you.

It is so easy to use.  You can make awesome collages in minutes.  I just picked my the pictures that I wanted to use and put them in their own folder.  Then I opened the software, picked a template from the pop-up window and started adding my images.

Doughnuts

Doughnuts

The software allows you to customize your collage.  You can adjust the background,  crop the pictures, change the rotation, distance between the pictures, and make many other adjustments.

I love the fact that you can tell a story with your collage or just make one of all your favourite images.  I made one of the day we made our homemade doughnuts.  It was a lot of fun arranging the photo’s to send to the grandparents.  By making a collage I was able to combine all my favourite photos into one and just send a single image.

CollageIT exports your finished product at print resolution.   You can send it for friends and family via email or share it on Flickr and Facebook.

There are a couple of things I wish the software offered.  I would like to be able to load a saved project and add captions to photo’s.  I do find that I have to re-enter my license code from time to time when I go to use certain features like re-sizing my image.

CollageIT makes it so simple to create collages that anyone can do it!

To learn more about CollageIT please visit:
Website: http://www.pearlmountainsoft.com 

 

The makers of CollageIT have given me 15 codes to giveaway! Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents and closes 12:01 AM, June 24th, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.