Intel has finally released the new 3rd generation series of Intel Core processors. This 3rd generation of the Intel Core processors brings many new features and improvements over the earlier 2nd generation of processors. In this article, I am going to point out some of these exciting features that every computer enthusiast ought to know.
What is the name of the new processor series from Intel?
Ivy Bridge is the codename of Intel’s new processor family. Ivy Bridge supersedes the earlier Sandy Bridge processor family. While Sandy Bridge is considered as the 2nd generation Intel Core processor family, Ivy Bridge is the 3rd generation of the Intel Core processors.
Netflix is an on-demand media streaming service accessible in the US, UK, Canada and many other countries. It is a subscription based service and is available on major platforms like Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android and more. In general, any device that can access the internet using a web browser can access the Netflix service. Almost all the movies and TV serials are available on Netflix and you can enjoy them from the comfort of your home. My personal favorite serial on Netflix is the Supernatural series. I can watch one episode after another of Supernatural on Netflix for hours. The only trouble being that I have to get up and click on the Next Episode link to start playing the next episode in the series. Now you can use autoFlix software to automatically switch to the next episode in the series, as soon as the current episode ends.
autoFlix is a tiny tool developed by the BlueShirt software development. It is an open source script designed using AutoHotKey. You can download the source code and try running it through AutoHotKey, but if you do not want to bother with AutoHotKey, then you can just purchase the ready-to-run software from the BlueShirt software website at a small cost. autoFlix is available both for Windows and Mac operating systems.
Sometimes, when you start copying files to your hard disk, Windows throws up an error that hard disk space is low. This makes you wonder where all that hard space went and how it is being used. You cannot go through from one folder to another trying to find out which folder uses more hard disk space because there are thousands of folders in Windows. You can use SpaceSniffer freeware application to analyze your hard disk space in a few seconds.
SpaceSniffer is a portable Windows application that allows you to analyze how folders and files are structured on your disks and how much hard disk space is being claimed by each one of them. When you first run it in your PC, it asks you for picking a disk drive or specify folder path. Then it would analyze the selected item for the file and folder structure – dynamically updating the graphical display of how these folders are taking up space on your hard disk. The bigger the rectangle – the larger the file or folder size.
Windows 7 is certainly the best operating system from Microsoft so far, but sometimes you still stumble upon some features in other operating systems (e.g., Linux or Mac) that Windows 7 lacks. For example, all the popular flavors of Linux have a virtual desktop feature which is not present in Windows 7. Luckily, it is easy to integrate virtual desktop feature in Windows 7 using freeware application called mDesktop.
mDesktop is an open source application for Windows and supports Windows XP, Vista and 7. It is available both as an installer and as a portable app. You can download and install it in Windows and it would install a notification area icon. By default, four virtual desktops are available. To switch to a virtual desktop, you can right-click on this notification area icon and choose a virtual desktop from the context-menu. You can also switch to desktops using hotkeys Alt+1, Alt+2, Alt+3 and so on.
Just like your smartphone, Windows 7 also checks the internet for the correct date and time and keeps your system updated with the correct time. Windows 7 periodically connects to online time servers to check for the correct time and updates yours system’s time accordingly. While this all works great, the only glitch is that Microsoft supplied time servers are overloaded (owing to the fact that millions of users worldwide use Microsoft Windows) and sometimes do not respond. What you can do is that you can set Windows to use some publicly available better time servers that respond quickly and provide the correct time.
To change the time servers in Windows 7, you will have to open the Date and Time settings. You can open them by right-clicking on the date and time being shown in the bottom-right corner of your screen and selecting Adjust date/time from the context menu. In the Date and Time settings window, select Internet Time tab and then click on the Change Settings button.
Everybody knows how to start applications in Microsoft Windows through the Start Menu. You can click on the Start Menu button, grapple with the sub-menus until you find the program you wanted to launch and then you can run it. Using the Start Menu in Windows to run an application is not only cumbersome but also a tad slow for most of us. If you have ever wished for a quicker and neater looking method to launch programs, then the open-source program Launchy can make those wishes come true.
Launchy is an open-source cross-platform application that can be used to quickly launch desired programs with only a few keystrokes. It stays inactive in the background until you invoke it using the Alt + Space keyboard combination. This would pop up a tiny Launchy window where you can type in the name of a program or shortcut present in your Start Menu, a program or file in specified folders or a website name present in your Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox bookmarks. Launchy quickly displays possible targets in the drop-down list. When you see the program or website you want to launch, select it using arrow keys on your keyboard and then just hit Enter and it would start that application.