Autosave while you write


I just read my friend Gary lost a 400 word write-up he copied, but forgot to paste, so I thought I’d share something I do to add an extra layer of security when I write long things that I wouldn’t want to lose by mistake, power outage, etc.

I simply open up my Gmail account, hit the “Compose Mail” link and start typing in the email body box. I use this even if what I’m writing is not an email, but a post or article that’ll go somewhere else. I’m actually writing this post in a Gmail draft.

I use Gmail because it has this nice auto-save feature that will keep a copy of my work in the Drafts folder for me.

I also have the habit of hitting Ctrl+S to save often, which works in Gmail too, but I have this habit from before with any editor software I use.

I don’t use Google Docs much, so I’m not sure if text documents have the same autosave feature there, but it’s most likely. So this tip is probably not very useful for Docs users. :P

Save time when watching videos


I’ve been going through tons of training videos the past months, but more so now that I’m helping Mike review new products.

It really is a very time consuming activity.

When going through books, it’s easy to skip parts and know what you skipped, or browse very fast and know what you went past fairly accurately. Not so with video.

Also, many presenters talk slowly, or talk a lot of fluff to make the video longer, consuming more of my time.

Talking with my friend Mark Jones last Friday, he mentioned a service from Enounce that allowed to play a video up to 2x its speed. I thought it was a great idea, but didn’t like having to pay for that.

Actually, I had read about this concept before, in a sci-fi book (The Invaders Plan) and liked it a lot, but that was like 13 years ago and I didn’t make the connection with my current needs.

Fortunately, I use a couple video players that are quite able and with a little searching, found how to adjust the playback speed in both. :)

One is KM Player, the other VLC Media Player.

KM Player is Windows only and I like it better. The way I found to adjust the speed is going to the Control Box (Alt+G), in the Audio tab (it’ll keep video synched).

VLC is available for Mac as well, and the speed control is available in the latest versions, so if you have an older one, update it. You just click the “1.00x” text next to the time, or use the arrows on each side of the timeline. Here’s a screenshot: