How to automatically translate Skype chat messages

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Skype is a wildly popular VOIP and chat program used both by millions of users every day. With such wide-spread and international adoption, especially in the corporate world, it’s a little surprising that Skype lacks the capability of translating conversations from a foreign language into your native tongue. The global economy is a clichéd term but also rings true. It isn’t uncommon to have to converse with international business partners today. Obviously this can be a challenge for most of us not blessed with a diverse language background! Clownfish is a simple and free utility … Continue Reading

How to save and set application process priority automatically

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For seemingly forever, Windows has allowed the user to adjust the application’s process priority so that it receives more than it’s fair share of the system processor. While it’s generally discouraged, the processes priority can be adjusted from within Task Manager and it’s right-click context menu. At which point you are able to choose from priority ranging from Realtime to Low – all processes launch with a priority of Normal. Setting a user process as High priority is a manual task and must be set each time the application is launched. Prio is a light-weight … Continue Reading

How to add an ‘always on top’ option to any Windows application

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Many applications benefit from the ability to keep their interface on top of all other open application windows. Unfortunately, few applications actually include this feature. While I’m of the opinion such a feature should be native to Windows, that’s just not the case today. Users needing such functionality might be interested in checking out Window On Top. Window On Top is a portable utility that extends the always on top feature to every software. While running, the functionality can be toggled on and off in any active application window with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+F8 or a drag-and-drop … Continue Reading

How to optimize the latency in your wireless network connection

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Wireless networking is highly convenient and generally exhibits acceptable performance for most general purpose computer use. However, for some Windows users – more specifically, for some wireless network cards and drivers – the nature of wireless can introduce unwanted latency in the connection. Chances are you’d never notice these brief hiccups in web browsing or even file transfer. Instead, the problem manifests itself in any real-time network activity such as VOIP or online gaming. Windows will periodically scan the airwaves for new wireless networks that you may – but quite likely won’t – want to … Continue Reading

How to generate email notifications on hard drive errors

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – or something to that effect! Hard drive errors or crashes can turn a good day bad, or a bad day horrific. That’s why it’s critical to do all that is possible to prevent disk failures before data loss occurs. The problem is monitoring your disk health is inconvenient and time consuming – often times data access errors are recorded in Windows Event Viewer. This is your first clue that something is not quite behaving well. How often do you peruse Event Viewer? Exactly! Disk … Continue Reading

Downloading all YouTube videos of a user, playlist, or channel

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YouTube – the great time-sink of our generation. Many an hour is lost each day by millions of users watching content online, specifically on YouTube. Logistically it’s impossible to consume all the content you wish to watch – with playlists or user subscriptions it’s easy to inundate your senses with days worth of quality content. It’s not hard for it to quickly become impractical to view all the media while online. While all smartphones have the ability to view YouTube videos, if you depend on this feature and don’t have an unlimited data plan then … Continue Reading

Monitor a remote computer with automatic periodic desktop screenshots

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Network Spy is a free open-source Windows application that can be handy in situations where you wish to monitor remote desktop sessions. The software follows the traditional client and server installs and spying is accomplished by the client receiving screenshots of the remote server every few minutes. Without any interaction being possible, the application is strictly for monitoring systems from afar. This does not have to be nefarious in nature, there exists many reasons of positive ethical labeling – though ultimate usage is left to you, the user! Installing and configuring Network Spy is extremely … Continue Reading

Mount and selectively restore files from System Restore snapshots

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System Restore is a Microsoft Windows feature that can aid the user in recovering from a complete system melt-down. System Restore can be thought of like a type of backup but it’s functionality is a bit more involved – in that it captures snapshots of the Windows subsystem that most other backup applications ignore. At regular intervals or before a major change occurs in Windows – like a new driver or software install – System Restore will take capture the state of the registry, system files, and some application settings. That way, should something go … Continue Reading

Listing all modified Firefox about:config preferences

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  One of Firefox’s awesome strengths is its vast manner at which it can be tweaked or configured. The browser extension model is no longer unique to Firefox but it still remains arguably the best. Chances are, if you’ve used Firefox long enough you’ve also dabbled in about:config - the under-the-hood preferences system where Firefox can really be customized to fit your needs. While not for the faint of heart, about:config is still relatively painless to dive into. If you heavily rely on the array of about:config changes you’ve made over the years you no doubt … Continue Reading

Add “Safely Remove Hardware” to the Desktop context menu

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  If you are someone who uses removable USB thumb drives or hard drives I hope you have gotten into the habit of using the Safely Removing Hardware wizard. The wizard should be initiated anytime you are removing a portable device from the system – it’s the only way to ensure Windows isn’t still accessing or using the device in question. Removing a device prematurely can lead to all sorts of data problems, including out right corruption and lost files! The wizard can be initiated through the Desktop notification tray by clicking familiar USB-looking icon. Unfortunately, in … Continue Reading

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