Mattia Campagnano

Mattia Campagnano

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Here's a quick way to solve a slow Windows boot-up

The problem 

Does it take forever for your desktop to show up? Is your PC's boot time so ridiculously slow that you could grab a coffee cup and read the Lord of the Rings in the meantime?
Frustrated and resigned? Here's a quick fix for this problem.           


Friday, February 21, 2014

Dragon Dictate 3.0.4 for Mac - the power of the word

Dragon Dictate 3 for Mac is the Mac version of the well-known Dragon Naturally Speaking software. It's probably the best software on the market in terms of voice recognition and it's a complete solution to increase your productivity.
The latest version (3.0.4) works pretty good on Mac 10.9 (a.k.a Mavericks). The installation is quick and straightforward and the initial training lasts less than 10 minutes and and requires you to read some text, including punctuation. If something you say isn't recognized, the software displays a series of possible choices and learns from what you choose.
Once you've gone through that, Dictate does a great job in recognizing your voice. The software offers other features, too. You can import audio files from a digital recorder to Dictate and you can customize the dictionary of the application so that every time it finds a word you've added, it'll be automatically displayed in the proper format (e.g. Windows 7).

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5 Quick hacks for Mac to boost your productivity with a click

 1 – Recover the dictionary definition of a word in a text by hovering your mouse on it and clicking Command (CMD)+Control (Ctrl)+ D:  this keyboard shortcut causes a pop-up window to display the meaning of the selected word in the dictionary (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 (Click to enlarge)

2 – Move a file directly to the Trash: the key combination Command (CMD)+ Backspace allows you to move a file directly to the Trash without having to right-click it and select Move to the Trash or to drag it there.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Unlock 6 top-notch hacks for Windows 7

Windows 7 has lots of options, overlooked by the average user, which can be unlocked to increase productivity and have a better overall experience.

  •   Add a folder to Windows Explorer Favorites Section: this can be done by navigating to that folder in Explorer, right-clicking Favorites in the left navigation pane, and selecting Add current location to Favorites (Fig.1). This way, any time you need to save a file through File/Save As, you'll be allowed to choose your favorite folders as a destination.

4 ways to totally mess your Windows system (the dark side of the computer force)

I'm a reformed troubleshooter.

I've helped people solve their computer problems for years.

I'm sick of seeing they ignore what I say and constantly repeat their mistakes, so I turned to the dark side and I'm going to let you have your way and totally mess your system (but I won't bail you out this time :)).

There are several ways for you to totally compromise a Windows system, but it's up to you to choose how.
  • I've seen a commercial on TV/Internet/whatever on this program and it promises to boost your computer speed by 200%. Really, buddy? Hmm. Oh, I scanned my system and it found 20,000 infected files and problems, so I think that money's really well spent. Congrats, bro, you're on the right track to mess it all up. I feel so good because my friend, who's an expert, never heard about this program but now my PC is fine. Tell me something, have you ever heard of that software before? Did you Google to see what it is and what alternative you can get for free? Doesn't this sound weird to you? Oh, sure, YOU'RE the expert: well, congrats buddy, you've just won the Nobel prize for science and in this very moment some guy in Russia, China or whatever is popping a sparkling wine bottle cause he spotted another sucker.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Speed up video playback on Firefox with a click - no more choppy videos!


You wanted to catch a Flash video (on YouTube, Vimeo or other similar services), but suddenly the video starts getting stuck, its playback gets choppy and you're forced to reload the page or to give up because of your browser's poor performance. Sound familiar?
This may happen both because of Adobe Flash issues (i.e. an outdated or corrupt version) and because of some browser settings. Mozilla Firefox saves a snapshot of the video file each 15 seconds. This is helpful in case of a crash (as you can resume the video from where you left off) but it causes your browser to utilize more RAM memory than it should and that's the root of the problem. 


Friday, February 7, 2014

Fix your slow WiFi in minutes (MacOsX Mavericks)

The problem 

After upgrading to Mac OS X Mavericks, several users (including myself) have noticed that wi-Fi Internet connection had started slowing down without any reason. This problem is a hot topic and many users are affected by its consequences.

The solution

Saturday, February 1, 2014

3 Quick tips to speed up your browser in minutes

Your browser is really slow, it takes forever to load a page and gets stuck when you play a video, which makes you really feel frustrated.
Probably you have even resigned and thought of changing your computer but first there are some things you can do to speed up your browser. Sometimes the reason why your Internet connection is slow can rely on factors such as ISP supplied bandwidth, hardware equipped or RAM memory, but some of your habits and preferences can play an important role to this regard.

3 Quick tips to speed up your browser in minutes

  • Close all the browser tabs you don't need. You may think is convenient to have everything you need at hand, but any open tab uses a certain amount of RAM memory and the more open tabs (Fig. 1)  the least RAM memory is available to the operating system (Fig. 2).       
Fig. 1 (Click to enlarge)
Fig. 2 (Click to enlarge)

Regardless of the browser you use, this scenario may lead to computer freezes, especially when open tabs are Flash-based, as Adobe Flash is a very well-known resource drainer. If you need to remind the URL of a tab you want to read later, you can use tools such as Delicious, allowing you both to save a link to a page to delicious website (using tags to find it more easily) and to share it on social media.  
  • Slash the number of add-ons or extensions installed. 
Fig. 3 (Click to enlarge)
You need to figure out which plug-in is really necessary to you and which isn't. The more plug-ins are installed, the higher the overall size of RAM memory used by your browser,  so you need to find the right trade-off between customization and performance. You can disable or remove any unneeded add-on selecting Add-ons from Firefox Tools menu.
In the next window choose Extensions and you'll see a list of all plug-ins currently installed. 
After clicking the plug-in you want disabled, select Disable and then restart the browser to complete the operation (Fig. 3).
  • Periodically clear your browser cache and history
Fig. 4 (Click to enlarge)
Another thing impacting your surfing experience is your browser cache size. In fact browsers save some pages and images off-line to your local computer because if you visit the same website again, they can load them much faster. if your cache gets too big, though, it'll take longer to find the right picture or page to load and you will notice slowdowns.
For Firefox you can clear your browser cache clicking Options and then Privacy. From there you can delete browsing history, download history, cache, cookies, saved passwords, auto fill form data, etc. (Fig. 4).
With Google Chrome you need to click the wrench button, go to Settings and then to the Advanced Settings tab, where you'll find Clear Browsing Data (Fig. 5,  Fig. 6)
Fig. 5 (Click to enlarge)

Fig. 6 (Click to enlarge)

Wrap up
Your browser can perform poorly due to several reasons but, apart any consideration about hardware or Internet connection speed, you can take action to have a faster surfing experience.
This can certainly speed up your browser but don't expect a dramatic boost.
There are some plug-ins supposedly capable to ensure a faster surfing such as Tweak Network Settings or Firefox Booster but you always have to ask yourself whether another add-on could really make a big difference or clog up your browser even more.
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