Friday, December 18, 2009

Two utilities

Dear readers, I am back to my blog after a long hiatus. I was away for about two months in India, worked on a shipbuilding project while continuing with my usual translation work, and was quite busy these past months. I submitted my last huge translation job just this week, and have decided to take time off from work and devote it stuff that I like: blogging, gardening, and swimming.

I received calls from several readers urging me to continue posting to the blog as they found the posts quite useful. Thanks for the feedback; I have also noted that the number of subscribers has remained almost constant at about 200 in these past six months in spite of my inactivity. Well, I’m back with new ideas, new tools to help you translate faster and quicker! I’m planning to write on translation memory tools in the near future, so keep checking this space!

1. Tool to find files in a flash

With the number of files in any PC exceeding 10,000 easily, you sometimes will have problems wondering where you have put that fileYou do vaguely remember the name, but not where it resides in the hard disk -- and you need it quickly. Fear not; there’s a small, wonderful little utility that will find it for you in a flash. I am utterly impressed at what it can do given its small size. Download Everything, with a size of only 334 kB and install it.


I suggest that the first time you use this application, insert the name of file that you already know exists (such as, if you are using Office applications). It goes through your entire hard drive and indexes the files while searching for one file. The next time you enter a few characters of the file name in the search window, the files appear in a flash! The speed at which file names are retrieved is fairly surprising. Check it out. I wanted Clapton songs residing at various locations on my hard disk and they came up in a flash!

2. Defragging your hard disk

I try to keep my files defragged periodically, but it is difficult to do a certain set of tasks using a scheduler. Instead of using the built-in Windows Defrag utility, I decided to try out Smart Defrag, which works fine with a scheduler. It works continuously, automatically and quietly in the background, and is fairly easy to use.


I have scheduled it to defrag my C and D drives once in two weeks. Combined with the automatic defrag feature, this should be adequate to keep the hard drives defragmented at all times.

Do try out these two tools, and let me know you found them.

Until the next post, have a great day!

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Quickly launch dictionary sites with Firefox add-on

This is a very useful add-on for translators using Firefox. Called Site Launcher, it takes you directly to the search engine or dictionary of your choice through a hot-key combination, or you are presented with a list of single letters with corresponding icons and site names that you can refer to and then hits the relevant  letter to go to the site. The image below should make this clear to you.

Site Launcher Options

This is the settings menu of the Site Launcher. See the window on the right. You could set the Honyaku archive search site under “h” instead of Gmail shown here, or the Eijiro search site as “e” instead of eBay. I’m quite sure that there wouldn’t be more than 10-15 sites that you frequently visit. Once you set these engines or dictionaries, you can directly go to the site with a single hot key combination – for instance, in my case, Ctrl+Shift+ h pulls up the Honyaku archive search site, and  Ctrl+Shift+ w brings up the Wikipedia search (see image below).


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