The Nvidia GTX 690 is real, and it's amazing -- both in specs and in price. But while the tech world swooned at the announcement of the dual-GPU behemoth, another new product outlined at the GTX 690's unveiling holds even more intriguing potential for the gaming world at large: the cloud-based "GeForce Experience," which promises to automatically optimize the graphics settings in games based on the components in your individual PC.
There’s a certain irony, nay, humor in an add-on that’s called “Restartless Restart.” But this isn’t just some lame play on words worthy of inclusion in a typical David Murphy column. No, the developers of this Firefox add-on are completely serious in their task: Their extension requires no closing and reopening of your Firefox browser whatsoever to install, even though the entire point of the add-on is to give you a super-fast way to do just that.
I’m a sucker for automation at Maximum PC – If I can’t find some kind of application that will automatically perform all the time-sucking computer tasks that I like (or would like) to do, then I just haven’t done my job correctly. Now, was there only an app to automate the process of finding these apps… but I digress.
This week’s download of the week carries on in the spirit of “don’t lift a finger to accomplish a task” kinds of applications by giving you a super-quick way to transform videos from one format into another. There’s just one caveat—two, technically. You have to have Handbrake installed and, more importantly, you kind of have to know what you’re doing.
It takes a special kind of finesse to manipulate the various files scattered across your system like Minority Report’s John Anderton. Was there only a piece of freeware that allowed one to transform one’s monitor into a touchscreen for such a purpose.
But I digress. I’m not referring to the actual means of tossing files around with one’s hands. Rather, I’m just trying to use a metaphor to illustrate the fluid-like motion that some people have with their systems: files, commands, and folders flinging all around the place like a robot on speed. Not many people have this kind of mastery over their file systems; In fact, I’ve only met one person who’s ever been able to display such rapid synchronizations of keyboard and mouse to organize one’s files.
What am I getting at? It’s tough to be a whiz of file management. Which is exactly why a number of freeware and open-source applications look to automate or otherwise enhance your ability to interact and arrange the very data strewn about on your PC. From applications that automatically delete files and folders at a given time, to apps that allow you to copy complex directory structures sans files, to apps that turn your folders into automated image resizing machines… there’s an app for seemingly anything you want to do with your PC’s files.
I’ve picked out five general apps that are must-haves for those that want hardcore control over their hard drives. Anything else—as the commercial goes--would be uncivilized.
I’m amazed you’re even reading this. Not because the quality of the prose is lacking in this week’s roundup of open-source and freeware applications, mind you. Rather, if you haven’t noticed by the coverage (and advertising) permeating just about every known tech site in the universe right now, Starcraft 2 just came out. It’s a miracle I’ve been able to tear myself away from defending humanity to write this but, well, my heart for free software is just too strong.
While it would be awesome to give you some kind of “Top 5 ways to get Starcraft 2 for free” article or something like that, it’s just not happening. And no, before you ask, there really aren’t any launchers or applications specifically designed for the game that can give you some kind of competitive edge or awesome third-party tie-in just yet. Wishful, if not silly thinking, no?
However, that’s not to say that applications don’t exist that could otherwise enhance your Starcraft 2 gaming experience in some capacity. Like I said, nothing’s been written specifically for the title, but there are a number of useful, free apps that you can use to otherwise bolster your gaming-life-that-just-so-happens-to-be-Blizzard’s-latest-title. I apologize for the tongue-twistedness of it all; simply put, you can use the following 5 apps to make Starcraft 2—or any game—rock just a little bit more.
A recent litany of comments to various Maximum PC articles reminded me of a particular extension for Google Chrome that is, hands-down, one of the best add-ons you can possibly grab for the browser. And I'm totally serious this time. This extension doesn't wiggle the screen, play dumb music, or otherwise summon some kind of cutesy effect overtop your browsing session.
The extension, After the Deadline, is a comprehensive spelling- and grammar-checking application that will help you turn any hunk of normal, crudely written prose into something that will look like it was typed by 900 monkeys sitting in a room (Shakespeare). The only sticking point to this super-helpful extension is that it allegedly works best in the beta versions of Chrome. I tried it in the "common" version of the Chome, however, and couldn't find any issues to report.
I'm not old, but I often find that the print versions of certain websites--literally, the button you click on that would otherwise format and send said articles directly to your hardware printer--are a lot easier on the eyes than their link-filled, advertising-drenched, "normal" counterparts.
But to get to this most sacred and pleasant of pages for any given article, you physically have to click the "print" button for everything you're trying to read. And when you're done, you have to back out an extra step in your browser--once to take you back to the "normal" version of the page, and once more to return to where you were previously. That's a lot of work just to treat yourself to a more eye-friendly format for Web text.
Of course, I wouldn't mention a problem if I didn't have a solution. In this case, the Chrome Extension "...Fit to Print" is not only an excellent, automatic solution for jumping to any site's "print" version, but it's also a clever play on a common journalistic phrase. That's bonus points right there.
Woe to the Web designer who lists hyperlinkable text as such instead of appending a URL. You know what I'm talking about - when an errant Web designer spells out something like "go to maximumpc.com for an awesome column," yet doesn't actually make the "maximumpc.com" part of the phrase into a clickable hyperlink. This practice is not only annoying, but it really does defeat the entire point of a hyperlink to begin with.
I sure don't like copying and pasting URLs, or email addresses, into various browsers or applications. And I'm not being petty with this complaint. I surf faster when I can click, bookmark, and open potentially interesting links into new tabs. If I had to copy and paste a significant majority of the links I frequent, I might just give up on the Web entirely--and I bet you would too.
It doesn't happen that often, but, sometimes, your favorite Web sites insist on loading links on their pages into a new browser window. That, or you simply like having multiple instances of Chrome running in separate windows-I won't judge your preference. That's cool.
So, when this does happen, how do you go about reducing your multiple windows to a single browser entity that's split into multiple tabs? You could always drag-and-drop these separate windows into a single Chrome instance, but that can be a time-consuming, laborious process depending on just how many different windows you might have open at once. A quaint little extension called JoinTabs eliminates this difficulty by giving you a one-shot button that automatically mashes all of your open windows into one, tab-drenched browser.
Simple. Easy. Efficient. Page Monitor is one of the most stress-free extensions you could possibly slap onto Google Chrome. However, don't let its simplicity fool you--the feature it builds into the browser sits somewhere between a Twitter and an RSS feed, yet it's one that is still entirely useful for anyone who checks a batch of favorite Web pages on a daily basis. That would be all of you.