The Download Directory (Part 3) - A-PDF Split 3.6 & IsMyLcdOK 1.66

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A-PDF Split 3.6

Release Type: $27.00 (restricted trial)

Official Site:

PDF files have been the bane of many an existence for close to decades, not least because of their heavily restricted capacity for editing. You can copy text from them – some of the time – but that’s about it. If you want to change the contents of a PDF file after it’s been created but don’t want to pay for Adobe Acrobat, your only options are kludged software that tries to interpret PDFs without violating the PDF licence, typically with poor results, or similar expensive PDF suites.

Description: A-PDF Split 3.6

A-PDF Split 3.6

However, the ‘A’ in the name of A-PDF Split stands for ‘affordable’, and that suggests that it attempts to provide a more wallet-friendly alternative to an expensive PDF editor. It’s fair to say that it’s not entirely successful – at $27.00 for what is essentially a single feature, one can only wonder what the expensive version looked like.

Description: A-PDF Scan and Split

How A-PDF Scan and Split work

Application-wise, it does at least work. A-PDF Split allows you to edit PDF files, splitting them into multiple documents based on the existing bookmarks and page separations. You can select ranges and multiple outputs, creating new files while retaining existing metadata, including passwords, assuming you have the correct one to hand. All of this is available without any need to install Adobe Acrobat.

But that’s literally all it does. Admittedly, at $27.00, it’s far cheaper way to split PDF files than paying for the full version of Acrobat (which clocks in at $228.00), but its stripped-down simplicity hides a deeply cynical marketing strategy.

You see, while this software isn’t capable of anything more than splitting up PDFs, others from A-PDF are. There are separate applications available in case you want to merge PDFs, watermark PDFs, renumber PDFs, convert them into e-books, and do far more besides. Each of these applications costs the princely sum of $27.00 or more, meaning that if you bought the whole suite you’d have fewer features in a way that’s more expensive and less convenient.

It’s a bit like creating a photo-editing program that can only rotate images, and requiring buyers to purchase another if they want to resize them. It’s like selling separate word processors for spell-checking and printing. Technically and financially, you could package these features together and have almost no extra overheads, but then the price-per-feature would go down. As an exercise in squeezing money out of consumers, it’s almost unique, and for that we should be thankful. But the last thing we need to do is encourage this, and for that reason, if you’re not absolutely desperate, we can only recommend staying away.

Pros: It does, indeed, split up PDF files and is (reasonably) affordable.

Cons: Absolutely no other features worth speaking of.



IsMyLcdOK 1.66

Description: IsMyLcdOK 1.66

IsMyLcdOK 1.66

ReleaseType: Freeware


There’s no doubt that LCD monitors have far surpassed their CRT forefathers – lighter and more compact, much better-looking and far less harsh on the eyes. But they also have their own problems, not least of which are the twin blights of stuck and dead pixels.

In many ways, dead pixels are the kind of fault you’d rather no see. Once you know they’re there, they stick out a mile, almost mocking you with their stubborn refusal to do what every other pixel on the screen is doing. But at the same time, you need to know – especially if your hardware is still under warranty. After all, the last thing you want to do is send a monitor off to be repaired only to find that it was just dust on the screen or a glitch in your desktop wallpaper.

This is where the sympathetically names IsMyLcdOK application comes in. Running a variety of tests on your hardware, this simple application can help you determine whether a malfunctioning pixel is stuck, dead, or simply the product of your oever-eager imagination. With mere keypresses the only required input, you can run through a variety of stress tests, patterns, lines and gradients, colour fills and more designed to help you conclusively isolate any flaws in your monitor’s display.

It really is no more complicated than that. In fairness, there are ways it could have been improved, such as by offering a step-by-step guide to comprehensively testing your monitor, or highlighting problems to watch out for with example. It’d also be nice if, having helped identify dead or stuck pixels, it explained what you can or should do about the. So in that sense, it’s not a program that complete lay-people will get much out of except a grim knowledge of the problem.

Nevertheless, if you ready know what you’re looking for, this software will help you weed out any problems with as much certainly as is technically possible. Thankfully, it’s a free application, which is good because in many ways it does very little that you couldn’t do yourself with a copy of Paint and 15 minutes. Indeed, testing monitors for pixels is the kind of activity that most of us will perform only once or twice in a device’s life, so any price more than a few dollars would seem unreasonable.

Still, if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly. IsMyLcdOK ensures that you do, and is a good advert for the developer. While it’s unlikely to interest most of this magazine’s readers, you can also use the software in a variety of languages. Ultimately, its usefulness and compact, portable size makes it a solid addition to anyone’s toolkit.

Pros: Idiot-proof testing sequence, compact package, priced appropriately.

Cons: Offers very little advice or explanation to help beginners understand what they see.


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