Determine if your Computer can Playback Blu-Ray Content

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blu-ray-advisor

Today’s advanced high-def video codecs can produce fantastic visual results but it comes at a steep price. The processing power required to decompress and output a 1080p HD video is enormous – often times too much for your general purpose Intel or AMD processor. While a standalone Blu-Ray player costs just a couple hundred dollars and does the job admirably; a computer upwards of $1000 could struggle. The reasoning is the hardware integrated in the Blu-Ray console is highly specialized – it does one job and does it well and efficient – process high-def video. … Continue Reading

Create Temporary Bookmarks in Firefox

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tark-temporary-bookmarks

I’m free to admit that the act of bookmarking websites in my browser in order to save them for future visits has died off significantly over the last few years. Most sites that I routinely visit offer a subscription service over RSS where new articles are pulled down automatically every few minutes to my RSS client – Google Reader in my case. I never miss an article I may enjoy; I never waste time visiting a webpage a couple times a day when it has nothing new to offer me. RSS has changed the way … Continue Reading

Recording Skype VOIP Calls

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skype-call-recorder

Skype is synonymous with Internet VOIP calls around the world. Being one of the first and also one of the best goes a long way towards gaining market share, who would have thought? I’m a daily Skype user and while it comes standard with a ton of features and functionality, there is one glaring oversight. Natively, Skype is unable to record calls so that they can be archived or otherwise documented at a later date. I suspect there is some sort of legal red tape that Ebay, Skype’s now current parent company, wish to avoid; … Continue Reading

Keep an App Always Running with CPR .. er CRP

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control-running-programs

CRP, not to be confused with CPR, stands for Control Running Programs is a small utility for Windows that serves just two purposes. First, CRP re-launches defined applications should they stop running, either by an application crash or an accidental closure. Second, and  very much in conjunction with the first, CRP limits the number of running instances of a configured application – even going so far as to prevent a single instance. In my daily life, I have a client/server application that I use to keep a few XML files in sync across a remote … Continue Reading

Pretty Up Windows by Removing the Focus Rectangle

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focus-rectangle-1

With each iteration of Windows Microsoft continues to polish the edges and work towards a beautiful and elegant working environment. While they’ve made great in-roads with each version, one thing continues to stick out as hideous. Ever since the days of the desktop, even back on Window 3.11, Windows has been plagued with the dotted outline around files or icons when you make a selection – but only occasionally! In actuality, it’s not really random as it’s contingent on how the initial selection of the item came about. If you navigate with your keyboard arrows … Continue Reading

Searching Username Availability Across Websites

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namechk_adam

Web 2.0 and social media network in general has caused just about every popular website to require registration for complete access. Whether it’s Digg, Stumbleupon, Flickr, Reddit, Facebook, or Blogger – they all require accounts to be created. Most people typically like to use the same username across sites and if you’ve got a unique or creative username all the better, as it is likely available for use. Things get tricky however if your standard username is already owned by another user who registered before you. This is highly annoying and frustrating as now you’ve … Continue Reading

Squeeze Out Extra Juice with Vista Battery Saver

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vista-battery-saver

It’s pretty well accepted by computer users that every new iteration of an operating system brings about higher hardware requirements. New features and functionality are not free, especially when it comes to computer resources. This situation was no different when Microsoft released Vista as the replacement to XP. Hardware advances quite rapidly while battery technology, at least in the consumer space, has crawled to a general standstill. Laptop users who upgraded their XP systems to Vista were hit with a decrease in battery life, even though it was the same hardware that ran XP happily. … Continue Reading

Automatically Start IE8, Firefox, Chrome in Private Browsing Mode

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firefox-private-browsing

Web privacy is quite a hot topic as of late. The idea that most everything we do on the Internet is tracked and then used against us – not necessarily meant to be a negative – is understood by a greater percentage of users, not just the web savvy folks of even a year ago. The momentum behind privacy has become so strong that now all modern browsers ship with a feature called Private browsing (Firefox), Icognito mode (Chrome),  or InPrivate browsing (IE) – and unofficially titled porn mode. Private browsing prevents the browser and … Continue Reading

Trick your Friends with Skype Voice Changer

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skype_voice_changer

Are you a regular Skype user? Skype is probably the defacto standard when it comes to Internet based telephony. The extremely cheap or even free long distance is obviously appealing. I’ve written previously about how to improve your Skype call quality and today I have another Skype tip as it relates to call quality – but perhaps not one you would expect. If you ever had the desire to alter your voice and sound like someone else then the Skype Voice Changer may be up your alley. The free software allows you to apply sound … Continue Reading

Remove User Accounts from Windows Logon Screen

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vista-registry-winlogon

The Windows Logon screen displays all the user accounts on the computer. Clicking on the user icon initiates a password prompt and allows one to login – unsurprisingly. This is a pretty conventional setup for multi-user systems but what if you are on the only user on the computer? It can be annoying to have to click on your username. It is possible to control the list of accounts that are displayed here. The trick lies withing the Windows registry. First, an appropriate question now is why are their multiple user accounts if you are … Continue Reading

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