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Topics - brotherS [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Why note-taking apps don't make us smarter
« on: September 03, 2023, 01:06 PM »

Today let’s step outside the news cycle and turn our attention toward a topic I’m deeply invested in but only rarely write about: productivity platforms. For decades now, software tools have promised to make working life easier. But on one critical dimension — their ability to improve our thinking — they don’t seem to be making much progress at all.

I liked the article and thought I'd share it with everyone here. :) Food for thought...


I have two WiFi networks, a slow one (2.4 GHz) and a fast one (5 GHz). I've already set Windows to prefer the fast one, but it still (too often) gets stuck on the slow one (and then reconnects to the fast one as soon as I open the WiFi settings by clicking the WiFi tray icon). And I can't just not connect to the slow one since the fast one isn't always available.

Is there software to handle this simple task (always connect to the fast one if available) better? Or to at least visually show me (with a tray icon) which network is connected (if any)?


I have several sites that I check/ visit at least once a day. As of now, I leave two of them open in tabs, but that increases RAM/ CPU usage. Other sites I visit when I think of them. There must be a better way, using software or not... but what is it? (In the past, I've tried using a browser bookmarks folder, but I stopped using that for reasons I can't recall now.)

Any ideas?  :)

I just saw that there is no thread about this little tool that I don't want to live without anymore! :D :-*

I love to be able to change screen (f.lux) brightness with the mouse wheel thanks to AutoHotkey, and Volume2 allows me to easily change the system volume with the mouse wheel (in user-defined areas along the screen's edge).

Volume2 has TONS of options, you can choose from many different tray icon options, there's a customizable OSD, Volume2 can reduce the volume to zero when you lock Windows, etc. etc.

Screenshot (slightly older version):

A while ago YouTube turned off their email notifications (apparently because hardly anyone actually opened those emails). If you, like me, have a channel you follow closely (or more than one), I recommend Notifications for YouTube (Chrome extension) as an alternative.

Once you've set it up, the extension's icon will notify you about new uploads. Very unobtrusive, I like it. :)


I'm looking for a two-panel file manager to locally move files from folder X to Y every now and then. It should reload the previously opened folders when started. A transfer speed limit option (like the FileZilla FTP client has) would be lovely but is not required.

The ability to filter folder contents (only show files that match "abc") also would be nice to have - this is also something FileZilla has.

Any recommendations? I've googled around and after reading several reviews I tried Q-Dir but didn't really like it.

It should be freeware if possible, or donationware.


when I open a new Chrome window by clicking its icon the window opens maximized as it should, but when I use AutoHotkey to open a link in Chrome, Chrome's window opens in a weird size for a few weeks now, way too small. It used to be a bigger size, I don't know what happened.

I've searched Google for the answer, but what was recommended there either doesn't work or I couldn't understand it. Any pointers?

fSekrit / fSekrit 1.40 quarantined by Windows 10
« on: November 10, 2020, 06:05 AM »
fSekrit 1.40 was just quarantined by Windows, as Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml.

This probably is a false positive, this happened before, but is there anything left to do (other than to unquarantine it manually)?

I saw that others here use the The Great Suspender Chrome extension too, but I felt it deserves its own thread. :)

I've been using it for a long time, but only somewhat recently I decided to change its settings again: I now allow it to suspend everything after only 15 minutes (it's smart enough to not do so when you are still actively using a tab, like writing a forum post) - even the active tabs of all the currently open Chrome windows, which I excluded before. I only put very few URLs on the exclusion list, the sites I use most often.

The result? Chrome feels faster than before, CPU load went down even more! :)

The setting "automatically unsuspend when tab gains focus" is fast enough for me (using a SSD), only Gmail is a bit slow to load.

General Software Discussion / Virtual desktop tools?
« on: October 24, 2020, 11:40 AM »

I've decided to use virtual desktops in Windows 10, kinda like a trial period to see how much I like it. I don't even know yet if Windows restores Chrome tabs to different desktops after a reboot, but I'm willing to find out.  8)

Are there any tools you can recommend? I've found this "5 best virtual desktop software for Windows 10" article but would like feedback here before I randomly start installing stuff, and I don't plan to spend money right away. To be able to use Win+Ctrl+Left/Right to move between desktops is a great start. :)


Houston technology executive Robert Brockman has been charged in the biggest tax evasion case in U.S. history after fellow billionaire Robert Smith turned against him to avoid prosecution himself, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

Brockman, the 79-year-old chief executive of Ohio-based Reynolds and Reynolds Co, hid $2 billion in income from the Internal Revenue Service over two decades, using a web of off-shore companies in Bermuda and St. Kitts and Nevis, according to an indictment unsealed on Thursday.

Reynolds and Reynolds provides software used by auto dealerships to help manage their business.

The indictment alleges Brockman appointed nominees to manage the off-shore entities for him as a means of hiding his involvement, saying he even went so far as to establish a proprietary encrypted email system and use code words such as “Permit,” “Red fish” and “Snapper” to communicate.


Another link:

Fascinating! :o Am I the only one wanting more details on the proprietary encrypted email system? :) Gonna be interesting to see what the resulting fines/prison time will be, if any.

Somehow my Windows 10 ended up with a folder on C: that it "can't find" when I try to delete it. :o

IIRC I copied or FTP downloaded a folder with a very long name (let's call it "Z"), containing files with long file names. Now I can only rename the folders above Z, but not Z itself. I can't open Z either. Deleting Z or any parent folder fails.

Any ideas? :)

Since I like to have lots of stuff open at the same time (in addition to Chrome with 150+ tabs) - and let Windows run for as long as possible without a reboot - I recently upgraded from 8 to 16 GB RAM.

I then changed the pagefile setting from 8 GB to 2560 MB. That's the recommended value I found somewhere (for 16 GB RAM) after looking through many Google results on that topic. The system does feel like it's running more smoothly than before (so that's great), but I'm interested in hearing what you guys have learned about the topic. Maybe I can optimize it even further. :)

General Software Discussion / Chrome tab height bug?
« on: February 27, 2020, 03:31 AM »

a few weeks ago this started to happen: sometimes, in a maximized Chrome window, the tabs would not reach the top end of the screen. If that happens, it's possible to click 'over' a tab while trying to click on it. Nothing happens, the tab isn't activated:

Screenshot - 2020-06-07 001.png

If that happens I use Win+Left to make the window smaller and then Win+Up to maximize it again. That fixes it:

Screenshot - 2020-06-07 002.png

Did anyone else notice this? I've tried Google but didn't find anything. The issue is still there after the latest Chrome update.


does anyone here know an app who offers this? Maybe even with customizable colors (one for 2.4 and another for 5 GHz)? I've tried Google but couldn't find one...

General Software Discussion / looking for cheap email hoster
« on: November 27, 2019, 05:51 AM »
Hey guys,

the hoster for my personal domain wants to raise the price for their mail server that I use (POP3, SSL for outgoing mails) in a few days. Since I only use it for a few mails each month I'm now looking for an alternative, can you recommend something? I'm looking for good (they shouldn't allow sending spam, I don't want my mails ending up in spam filters  8)) and cheap. :)

General Software Discussion / download online video
« on: October 23, 2019, 07:13 AM »

there's this one online news video that I want to archive on my PC. Is anyone here able to do that and willing to help me? I've tried to google "download video" and the site's name, but no luck.

I don't want to post the link publicly, please send me a message if you might be able to help. Thanks!

A few weeks ago I got the auto-update to Version 10.0.18362.356. This is maybe the first time ever I'm really positively surprised by a Windows update. I always open Chrome after a reboot and leave it running as long as possible - with 100+ tabs (The Great Suspender extension being used on many of those) that used to mean a reboot was required after about 4 to 7 days because Windows was running out of available RAM. (Sure, restarting Chrome would have helped but a rebooted Windows feels even faster.)

After this update, I managed to increase that period to about 14 days, which is great! :)

Now to the bad/weird part: before rebooting I killed Chrome - and this time (first time ever), Windows would not free up the RAM again! :huh: I've checked with Task Manager and Process Explorer... Chrome wasn't using RAM, nothing else used more RAM than it should, but there was hardly any free RAM available. Not a big deal since I wanted to reboot anyway, but weird!

19 - 4 episodes, 31 minutes total runtime.

They stole around $1 billion from banks. Having read a lot of articles on the topic before, I didn't learn many new things, but it was still interesting to watch. The video material added another perspective.

A friend asked me to put the top 500 billionaires from (sorted by descending net worth, Jeff Bezos as #1) into a Google Spreadsheet, everything in its column. "Easy" I said... and then failed. :-[ I've tried "importhtml", I've tried copy/paste - any other ideas?

Btw: I like their sense of humor: below the top 500 billionaires, they list Wilbur Ross with a "n/a" rank and a net worth of $860 million. (It's funny because of https://www.forbes.c...illion/#58fa93a07515 )


I'm using f.lux, which allows you to change the screen brightness with Alt+PgDown/PgUp. I'd like a 'remote' so that I can do those changes by moving the mouse cursor to the left side of the screen and use the mouse scroll wheel (down/up).

I'm using Volume² ( to change the system volume in that way on the right side of the screen and really like that feature, the same for screen brightness would be great!

General Software Discussion / Looking for an image viewer that...
« on: December 13, 2017, 06:21 AM »

I'm looking for an image viewer that, when an image is clicked, ...
a) will start in full-screen mode (or at least gives the image most of the screen)
b) will auto-resize the image to fit the screen
c) has no performance problem with a huge image folder
[d) an option to rename the currently displayed image would be a plus]

Normally, I'm quite happy with Faststone image viewer, but that only takes care of a) and b) [and d)] - it's a bit slow when it comes to images in a huge folder.

General Software Discussion / Windows 10 suddenly black and white :-(
« on: October 27, 2017, 12:03 PM »

suddenly my Windows desktop - along with all programs - turned black and white. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del still brings up the *blue* screen (lock, change password, start task manager, ...), and after rebooting, Windows' log-in screen is as colorful than ever, so I'm really puzzled... I can't say for sure that I didn't accidentally hit some mysterious keyboard shortcut, but I wouldn't know which one.

I *really* hope someone has an idea regarding how to fix this. The only solution I could find with Google was to update the gfx card driver (Intel HD Graphics 520). It didn't make sense to me but I tried it anyway. Since I already had the latest version I downloaded and installed an older one, but that didn't help.


I just read https://www.fastcomp...s-this-is-whywe-quit and wanted to share the article.

Because conversations in Slack happen on a one-way conveyor belt, our team began feeling like they had to stay constantly connected to keep up. This style of communication was especially problematic for a remote-first company like ours. How do you stay in the loop when earlier topics have already been discussed and are buried by the time you even wake up?

On https://twist.zendes...rticles/115003654569 they add:

It's not just Slack. Any synchronous, real-time chat app will drain your time—that's the nature of chat.

I like the thinking behind their (it's from the Todoist team): to have "calmer, more organized, and more productive communication". I'll try it some day. They have a promo video that shows how it works.

I like to use win32pad ( It's fast, lightweight, has all the basic features I need (and hasn't been updated in 10 years... Sad!)

Since a few days ago, *all* win32pad windows are suddenly set to "always on top" when I open them! Even after rebooting Windows. I have no idea how that happened. How can I fix that? Currently, I'm using AutoHotkey (WinSet) to manually (temporarily) fix it, but that is quite annoying.

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