I was playing around with livemocha.com which is a free language learning website I came across this weekend… I really like the concept where people with an interest in learning a language, or an interest in helping others learn a language, can come together in an environment where they are provided with the tools to help them satisfy their interest. I even boosted my own score spending a little time correcting the English lessons completed by others… this also made me feel pretty good and I hope the comments were helpful; now I just need to try out the learning part myself which requires more discipline than I have been able to muster to date!!
When we want to purchase software what’s the first thing we do? I know what I do… I look around on the internet for websites where I can learn more about the tools I’m interested in and only purchase if I can try them myself, and I imagine you’re no different. If I want to compare TEnTs (Translation Environment Tools) it’s a small and very competitive field and you don’t see the sort of widely published comparisons you might for Office products, or desktop publishing tools for example. So one place to start might be reviews from real users… but can you trust them? They are often written by fans of a particular product who like to rate the comparisons based on their own personal choice, and often the comments they make about other tools are based on not knowing other tools well enough. Certainly when you read the comments from users of the tools that came off worse you can see it’s also quite an emotive area… although it’s good to see users so passionate about their translation tools. Even articles that are written in a well meaning and honest way, such as the one that Emma Goldsmith co-authored with David Turner (comparison between Studio and Déjà Vu) last week, can raise the hackles of some users and if you take a look at the comments you’ll see what I mean!
There are many tools on the internet for capturing screenshots, recording screen videos and making simple edits to images. They range from expensive to free and complex to simple. But the best tool I have found that serves my purposes and is one of the most heavily used pieces of software I own is FaststoneCapture.