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My Favoured Youtube Downloader Of The Moment

It's often useful to be able to download a Youtube video in order to view it offline.  While the web is full of programs and sites claiming to offer such a facility, they are sometimes expensive.  And those that are free tend to disappear without warning, so the system you used last week no longer works today.

Livedrive Users, You Need To Read This.

If you, or someone you know, has signed up with the Livedrive cloud storage network then there's something you need to know.  Livedrive has started closing people's accounts without warning.  Not everyone's account, of course.  Just a few.  And when those people contact the company to ask why, they're told that they were breaching the terms of their "umlimited storage" package by, er, storing too much stuff.

Budding Muso? Get The Chords To Any Song On Youtube

Here's one of the neatest ideas I've seen for ages, courtesy of a new web site at http://play.riffstation.com.  Search for the name of a song or band, and the site will bring up the relevant video from Youtube.  It'll also automatically analyse the track, work out which chords are being played, and show you them in guitar, ukulele or piano notation.  So you can play along.

Keep Track Of Stuff With A Free Cloud-Based Database

Internet-based services mean that it's no longer essential to install apps on your own PC in order to do common tasks.  And if you want to store information that can be accessed from just about anywhere, cloud-based computing can make a lot of sense.  

Free Program Displays Your Gaming Frame Rate

The key to good gaming on a PC is a decent frame rate.  The faster your PC, and its graphics card, can update the screen, the smoother the gameplay.  And while it's possible to find plenty of PC benchmarking programs around that will tell you the maximum frame rate your machine can manage, such results aren't always useful in real life.

Smarten Up Your Documents With 100 Brilliant Free Fonts

I often come across collections of free Windows fonts for download, but many of them are of poor quality so I tend not to write about them on this site.  But as a welcome change, here's one that's really good.  At http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design-tips/best-free-fonts-for-designers-1233380 you'll find samples, and download links, for 100 superb free typefaces that you can download for your PC.  Just grab any files that you want, right-click on a download, and Windows should offer to install it for you.  

Edit RAW Image Files Quickly With This Program

While JPG-format image files may be perfectly adequate for most digital photography purposes, professionals tend to use a so-called raw image format instead.  These files are typically much larger than JPEG files (40 MB per image is not uncommon), but the lack of compression and the addition of copious metadata means that it's the ideal format if you need to do some serious retouching.

Live Salmon-Fishing Bear Cam!

Here's something a little different, which should be good for most of July.  It's a live webcam of brown bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, Alaska.  It's currently the salmon fishing season so, during daylight hours, you should be able to see a few very patient bears waiting for a fish.  Addictive viewing!

Just head to http://www.nps.gov/katm/photosmultimedia/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls.htm in your web browser.

 

Microsoft Releases 150 Free Full-Length E-Books

If you're a fan of in-depth technical books, Microsoft has just released 150 of them.  They cover "serious" topics like Windows 8, SQL, SharePoint and so on, and the total collection runs to tens of thousands of pages.  They're all available in PDF format (and others), and all of them are free.

Just point your browser at (here goes):

Monitor Your PC's Activity With A Free Utility

Last week I mentioned a free program called Activity Indicator, which lets you see in real time the names of the files that Windows is accessing.  A few readers contacted me to say that Process Monitor, an old favourite of many, can also do the same thing.  Which reminded me that I haven't yet mentioned this excellent freeware program.  Time to make amends.

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