We are back with this week’s dose of PC related information. Jumping right into it, we have some amazing tools to share this week. Hate the new Gmail compose window? We have covered the solution for that. Bring the Snap Browsing functionality of IE11 to Chrome. Do you find it annoying that others can know that you have “seen” their messages on Facebook? We have got a tool that will help you hide that. Along with that, we have also wrote about an app that can help you make bootable multi-OS USB drives. And a program that installs all the prerequisite software your computer needs to work in order to support other software. And as usual, we have spotted all the software that got any updates over the last week.
Old Compose (Chrome)
If you too don’t like the redesigned Gmail compose window, and would prefer the older one, finally there is a fix for that. Old Compose is a Chrome extension that restores the old compose window of Gmail on your account. The extension, however, is not free.
As a price for using their service, people behind the app want you to promote their service on your Twitter/Facebook account. Once you have made the post, you will be provided with the .crx file (the file-extension of Chrome extension). In order to install it on your Chrome browser, go to the extensions-settings page (Settings| Extensions) and drag that .crx file on the middle of the page.
Internet Explorer 11 comes with many awesome and unique features. One such feature is Snap browsing. Snap Browsing lets you view more than one tab side-by-side at once. This feature wasn’t available on Chrome, until the popular developer Bozozo made an extension called NiftySplit which somewhat does just that. To do this, right click on any link, and select “Open as NiftySplit window”.
FB Unseen (Chrome)
Facebook last year introduced this feature where if you send a message to someone and they have read it, you will see a “seen …” tag right below that message. Some people find this feature annoying, some just don’t want others to know that they have read their messages. Now, whatever reason it is that makes you want to hide that seen tag, FB Unseen, a Chrome extension will help you do that.
Note: It is worth mentioning here that even if you have installed this extension, you will still be able to see “seen” tags when others have read your messages, unless they are using this extension, of course. Also, the other important thing is, this extension only works for Chrome. So if the person you are talking to is using Firefox, or an iPad, this extension won’t help.
Once you have installed the extension, everytime when viewing a newly received message, you will get an option to make that message “read”.
Google Auto Next Page (Firefox)
This Firefox extension automatically loads the next page of any Google search result as soon as you reach the end of the page. This spares you from the pain of manually clicking on the next page. At the top you will see a navigation bar through which you can jump to the top of the page, or to a specific page.
Top Software Downloads
LookDisk (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 3 MB)
A few months ago, we did an article about some tips and tools to find files faster on your system. In that article, we also saw a few apps which were able to look inside files to match content. LookDisk comes under the same league. Except, it lets you do almost everything and more all under one hood. You can use this application to search for files, just as you do with the in-built Windows search tool, you can also search inside a file – something which the in-built Windows tool doesn’t do and can’t do. Additionally, you can also search your disks for removing duplicate files. The app supports several compressed folders such as zip, 7z, rar etc.
YUMI (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 2 MB)
There was a time, not very long ago, when you had to have the bootable disk of your operating system to be able to re-install it on your computer. Unless you still buy DVDs of your favorite movies, or are among the people who have already transitioned to the next step – Blu Ray, it requires your computer to get wrecked to remind you that you have an optical driver in your computer.
Utilities like WinToFlash and UnetBootin made it possible to boot from pen-drives. Moving on, YUMI (Your Universal MultiBoot Installer), allows you to create bootable multiple OS USB drives. This means that now you can have bootable installation files of more than one operating system on your USB flash drive. Sounds too good to be true? Well, yes, there is one string attached to it. The software only allows you to stack Linux-based operating systems.
Besides the OS, you can also mount utility software with along the OS file. Ubuntu, Fedora, Backtrack, OpenSuse, Zorin, Kubuntu, Lubuntu and several other distro are compatible with the app. I really hope that its Windows counterpart, WinToFlash, will push similar functionality in its future versions.
McRip SystemFiles (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 232 MB)
One thing that many of us hate is the need of installing some other software to be able to finally run an application. However, if you notice carefully, almost every time the prerequisite software is Adobe Flash Player, Java, Microsoft DirectX and Silverlight. Keeping this in mind, some noble minds developed McRipSystemFiles. The software essentially features Microsoft DirectX, Silverlight, Flash Player (both for Firefox and Internet Explorer), Java Platform SE and Adobe AIR Runtimes. Except Silverlight, the build silently installs all the aforementioned apps. The new version has updated all the constituent apps.
The popular note-taking app improved its Chrome extension and brought many new features to it as well. The extension now has two new features namely Simplified Article and Bookmark. In addition, its UI has undergone makeover. Other than that, you can now easily share your clips on social media. Pretty similar to ‘Reading View’ feature of IE11, and read it later apps like Readability and Pocket, Simplified Article clears the junk (advert, share buttons and other bogus elements) from your saved articles.
The amazing audio editing tool, Audacity, released the much awaited update this week. The messed up Equalization curve has been resolved, the change pitch value now estimates more apt values. There is no longer file clipping while trying ‘Bass Boost” effect on 32-bit audio. Exported MP3 comments tags are rendering fine on Windows Media Player. There are literally tons of bug fixes. The Linux version of the app has got many improvements, as well.
The software has recently got two updates in quick succession. The glitches while downloading video from several sites has been fixed. Its Chrome extension too has fixed its compatibility issues. Recently, the app also fixed its unusual CPU memory usage.
Microsoft recently released the preview edition of Skype for Windows 8.1, and it showcases many new features. You can now see missed call alerts and reminders on unread instant messages. Additionally, you can make calls without unlocking the screen.
Around the web
Windows 8.1 RTM became available on MSDN and TechNet this past week. Microsoft had previously said that the aforementioned portals won’t be getting any early releases of Windows 8.1, but after much complain and reasonable concern from developers for the time period to build apps for the OS, Microsoft finally rollbacked their decision and as usually, the folks over at MSDN and TechNet can now download the available version of Windows 8. It is noteworthy to mention that Microsoft has made it clear that this is not the RTM edition (Release to Manufacturer). The final version of Windows 8.1 will be coming out on next month (October 18th).
Tip of the week: Use Google Chrome to split PDFs
You don’t necessarily need to have a separate application to split PDF files. If you want to extract pages from a PDF file, open Google Chrome and drag that PDF file from your computer and click Ctrl + P (Shortcut for Printing). Under the ‘Pages’ pane, mention the pages you want to keep.