Lifehacker reader David E. really liked a setting in the Linux XFCE desktop that gave inactive windows a dimmed, translucent look. With the power of AutoHotkey, he created a small script that offers the same powers on Windows desktops. It's all yours, too, if you'd like the same look.
You'll need to install AutoHotkey to use this script, but once you do, you simply double-click the .ahk file to launch the utility. It plants a small icon in your system tray to allow for exiting, as well as controlling the level of transparency and the time delay for considering a window "inactive".
Fade to Black is a free download from, well, our Dropbox stash (temporarily). It was written by Lifehacker reader David E. — if you have any fixes to the script, or, better still, a self-contained executable to offer, let us know in the comments.