Ordinary things can sometimes find the most unexpected uses, and software in this case (let’s put aside philosophical discussions about the applicability of the concept “thing” to software) is no exception. For example, the Google Chrome browser installed on almost every computer copes well with the role of a universal media player and viewer of files of various formats, and the Telegram messenger can be used as a task scheduler and unlimited cloud storage. There are many such stereotype-breaking examples that can be cited, and we will talk about some of them.
Telegram as an unlimited cloud drive
The Telegram service offers the user a huge number of functions, including those that go beyond ordinary communications. A striking example of this is the above-mentioned possibility of using the messenger to store files in cloud storage, the volume of which is unlimited. Access to this function is provided by “Favorites” (Saved Messages in the English version of the interface) – a special folder designed to store personal information that is visible only to the account owner. In “Favorites” you can store text notes, documents, photos, videos, copies of forwarded messages and other content that can be accessed from any device. You can upload files up to 2 GB in size, and if you have a Telegram Premium subscription – up to 4 GB without restrictions on data transfer speed.
Telegram as a task scheduler
Thanks to the personal “Favorites” space and the delayed sending function built into Telegram, you can use the messenger to plan tasks and send reminders about upcoming events. It is enough to write a reminder message in the “Favorites” window, then right-click on the “Send” button, and then set the date and time for sending the corresponding notification. This way you can create reminders for tasks, meetings, events and other things.
Telegram as a mobile tracker
Using the Telegram mobile application, you can share your coordinates with loved ones, friends and colleagues in real time. This is useful, for example, for parents who are concerned about the safety of their children. Also, geolocation broadcasting will be useful for users who need to keep track of elderly relatives and determine the location of their family members. To enable this function, you need to click on the paperclip icon in the message input field, and then select “Geolocation → Broadcast my geolocation.”
Editing images using Word
If there is an urgent need to make edits to a graphic file, but you don’t have the appropriate software tools at hand, the Word text editor from the Microsoft Office/Microsoft 365 suite can come to the rescue. Using Word, you can quickly adjust the brightness and contrast of a picture, change color saturation, crop picture, apply artistic effects and even get rid of the background in the images. The edited image can be saved to your computer disk in JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, SVG formats, or copied via the clipboard to another program for later use.
Solving Math Equations Using OneNote
OneNote can be used not only to take quick notes and organize personal information, but also to solve mathematical problems that are often encountered by high school students, engineering students, and engineers whose professional activities involve performing various calculations. Simply type or handwrite the equation in the OneNote window, then use the Lasso tool to select the entered text and press the Math key. As a result, the application will provide an answer and provide a detailed step-by-step solution to the problem, which, if necessary, can be supplemented with graphs of algebraic and trigonometric functions in two-dimensional and three-dimensional coordinates. Solving math equations is only available in Microsoft 365, the subscription version of Microsoft Office.
Testing PC performance using WinRAR
The WinRAR archiver comes with a built-in benchmark for evaluating the performance of the computer’s processor and RAM when performing compression and decompression operations on randomly generated data using the RAR algorithm. In the old days, this tool was especially in demand among IT journalists and experts involved in reviews and comparisons of computer technology. Now the relevance of the PC performance testing tool integrated into WinRAR has practically disappeared, but the benchmark itself remains part of the archiver and, as usual, is located in the “Operations → Performance Test” menu. It is important to remember that the test does not use HDD or SSD drives installed on the computer; all operations are performed in the machine’s RAM.
Listen to audio, view video and PDF in Chrome without third-party programs and extensions
With the implementation of support for the HTML5 standard, the Chrome browser received built-in means of playing media content in modern formats. Thanks to them, you can use a web browser to listen to audio recordings stored on your computer and watch videos – just drag the file into the browser window with the mouse. The player interface is extremely simple and does not require additional explanation. Picture-in-picture mode, playback speed adjustment and the ability to broadcast images to the screen of a smart TV running Android TV are available. You can also view PDF documents, SVG vector images, and other files using Chrome.
Assembling video puzzles in the player VLC
Those who like to while away their free time solving various kinds of puzzles and logic puzzles will certainly like the “Puzzle” function implemented in the VLC media player, which is located in the menu “Tools → Effects and filters → Video effects.” If you activate it, the playing video will be broken into many mosaic fragments that need to be assembled into a single whole. The difficulty of the game can be adjusted by increasing the rows and columns that make up the puzzle. Puzzle elements are moved with the mouse.
Copy audio/video from online media services using VLC
Another little-known feature of VLC player is saving streaming content to a file. This feature can be useful, for example, for copying a YouTube video you like to your computer drive for later viewing without an Internet connection. To perform this procedure, you need to select the “Convert/Save” item in the “Media” menu, specify the audio/video URL on the “Network” tab and decide on the parameters of the codecs that will be used to convert the stream and generate the output file. When working with this tool, do not forget about the copyright – you can use the mentioned VLC function only for personal purposes.
Outlook as a reader RSS feeds
It often happens that if you have a full set of Microsoft Office/Microsoft 365 applications on your computer, only the Word text editor, Excel spreadsheet processor and PowerPoint presentation program are used everywhere, while the Outlook communicator with the functions of an email client sits idle. Meanwhile, this tool can be used as a simple RSS aggregator for subscribing to updates of various network resources and promptly receiving news feeds, article announcements, changes in blogs, etc. An excellent thing if you have to deal with processing huge volumes of network content.
Record your screen using PowerPoint
There are different ways to record video from your computer screen. If you have Windows 11, this task can be solved in no time using the “Scissors” application built into the system. In other cases, the well-known PowerPoint, which has a tool for recording actions performed on the Windows desktop with sound, can help out. You can record the entire screen or a specific area of it. The functions of muting the sound and recording the mouse cursor are available. The finished video is automatically inserted into the presentation slide, from where it can be saved to your computer’s disk using the context menu.
Video editing and editing tools PowerPoint
The PowerPoint presentation program can also be used as a simple video editor with the function of removing unnecessary frames. To do this, you need to insert a media file into the slide, right-click on it, select “Crop” and perform the necessary actions in the video editing tool window. The finished file can then be saved to a PC disk. Important note: you can only trim videos that are inserted from your computer. This function is not available for videos borrowed from the Internet.
Automatic time setting of entries saved in Notepad
The number of available functions in Notepad, known to all Windows users, is one or two. However, few people know about one ancient secret of a text editor that allows you to automatically enter the time and date for each entry entered into the program. This can be useful for logging any actions or keeping a personal time-based diary. Activating this function is very simple: you need to write .LOG at the beginning of the text file and save it. With each subsequent opening of such a file, the cursor will move to the end, and the current date and time will be automatically inserted in front of it.
Sending faxes from Word
Despite its venerable age, fax communication is still used in some companies that prefer reliable and time-tested solutions for data transmission. In such cases, Word with the Fax.Plus extension, which adds the function of sending faxes to a text editor, can serve office workers well. Supports sending documents to more than 180 countries and sending data on a schedule. Data transfer is carried out through the Internet service of the same name, so there is no need to bother purchasing and connecting a fax modem to your computer.
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