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Thursday, September 18, 2008

SpeedFan Monitors Your Hardware, Controls Fans

Windows only: Free application SpeedFan monitors the fan speed, temperature, voltage, and more of the components inside your computer. That's all fine and dandy, but the marquee feature of SpeedFan is that you can actually adjust the speed of your fans by tweaking the desired temperatures on supported systems. Keep in mind that SpeedFan is a power-users tool, and the temp inside your computer isn't to be taken lightly. However, if you're comfortable tweaking hardware settings, an app like SpeedFan can help keep your computer running quieter and give you a little more control over what's happening with your computer's innards. If you've used SpeedFan in the past, share your experience in the comments. Mac users, check out previously mentioned smcFanControl.

New Gmail Labs Features Move Labels and Chat to the Right

Yet more Gmail Labs features arrive in your email account today: the ability to relocate your labels list and Gmail chat box to the right of your inbox instead of the left. If you've got a widescreen monitor and a long buddy list and/or label list like the developer, this relocation could cut down on scrolling time to get to your labels or chat. Hit the Labs tab in your Gmail account's Settings area to enable these and any of the other 22 experimental features now available.

VLC media player 0.9.2 released

VideoLAN just released VLC media player 0.9.2. VLC is probably the best known open source media player, and supports most audio/video formats without additional codecs. Before VLC, we usually installed buggy codec packs to watch videos in Winamp or Windows Media Player. We’ve found the nightly builds to be pretty stable for the past month, but it’s nice to see the final version released.

Download Squad gushed over the new interface design, but omitted the real change — VideoLAN switched from wxWidgets to the Qt toolkit. Among many changes, Qt allows video effects to be applied without restarting the media.

One of our favorite new features is an adjustments and effects menu for quick picture, sound, and subtitle tweaks. The new version has better support for flash videos (FLV), and will stream from most online video sharing sites. See the full changelog at the VideoLAN wiki, and help out if that’s your thing.