Archive for the ‘Opinions and Rants’ Category

Microsoft’s attempt to somewhat recover losses due to the failure of acceptance of Windows Vista, is a futile attempt with their new campaign, “Windows Mojave”. Windows Mojave, was an experiment which essentially took non Windows Vista experienced users and asked them what they had heard about Windows Vista, then showed the un-suspecting volunteers, a “new” upcoming Windows, called “Windows Mojave”, which was really Windows Vista, and all the features they showed, were actual Windows Vista features, such as the sidebar widget, Windows Media Center, it’s “amazing” compatability, and some other lame features.  All the responses received (that we can see) say negative things about Windows Vista initially , however, they speak as if they had actually used it hands on before.

Any knowledgable computer literate person that had actually used any version of Vista before, would immediately recognize that there was no difference, they didn’t change the GUI, or add some phenomenal widget (unless you call the weather forcast widget phenomenal) , they just showed videos of what this “Windows Mojave” could do, then told the guests, that this amazing new OS, was actually Windows Vista, and then que the trumpets, there is this moment of suprise. Lets go over what they were amazed by, and in no way am I intentionally knocking Windows Vista, I don’t have to do that, it’s like a fat kid at butterfly swim contest, he will embarrass himself.

First off they continously repeat that the “computers we used for the demo are not super computers, there everday use computers that are about a year old” , yet they still don’t state the specs, or actually show the performance and settings, anyways I’m just being anal about that.

Second, they boast the built in Windows Defender, which was a beta program (which I used) never quiet picked up back in the XP days, and was later re-appeared for Vista, it never compared to free programs like Ad-Ware, or N.O.D. 32, Avast! etc. Windows Defender, is actually one thing I immediately disable when I nab any new Vista computer as well as disable the annoying UAC.

Third, the compatability between XP designed software and Windows Vista. They display the ability to go to “properties” and changing the compatability mode from XP to Vista etc. This is a option that has been available for many versions of Windows, I think it started back with WindowsME, but I no longer have a setup around with WinME loaded on a multiple boot system to test this, however I’m positive it is in XP, and it’s a useless option that never forced compatibility. Windows Vista, does have a larger stored driver database, yet I had issues with wireless NIC cards, IRIS cameras, Logitech Webcams, X-Fi cards and is still a issue that needs attention. On a similiar side note, how useless is the retarded “Let windows browse for a driver solution online” option??

I’ll completely skip the “organization” hooplaa, that’s a oxymoron, Windows & organization…it makes me laugh just saying it.

Fourth, the two “almost mac” kinda guys, show off Windows Vista Media Center, which I have to say is probably the most overhauled program on Vista, it incorporates a built in DVR, and has great potential. I say potential because as I’ll explain below, I had to install a dozen codec packs, not individual codecs, but PACKS of codecs, in order to get all my videos to playback normally without corruption, I still have no subtitles being displayed when they should, but that’s a whole other issue. Windows Media Center was first introduced as a seperate OS, which was just Windows XP with Media Center included, however it was originally pawned off as Windows XP Media Center Edition, it should have just been included in a service pack as an optional download. This I can say is the only program, greatly upgraded since it’s first version.

Fifth, is file backup, which I think is an issue that shouldn’t be bragged about. How many times have you heard a linux user or Mac user talking about backing up data? Not very often, and if they are talking about it, it’s more often for portability of data then the thought of getting infected with a virus, or from loss of data from the instability of the OS. It’s like this… On the Windows Mojave page, it states it is compatible with over 175 security programs, that isn’t something to be proud about, it’s compatble with that many security programs, because well hell…it needs to be! It’s unsafe, unreliable, and very vulnerable to viruses without the proper precautions.

Lastly, “Gadjets” which the whole world knows as “widgets”, nice little user friendly apps that run with relatively low CPU and memory usage, and give us our RSS feeds, current weather and traffic. Vista boasts how useful they are and attempts to take credit as if these are something new. Widgets have been around for maaaaany years, nothing Vista brought to the table is new…nothing.

I know this may have sounded like a Vista bash, heck I have to admit, at parts it may be, however, I had to elaborate that nothing that was released in Vista was new and amazing, it has a retarded file management system, it’s slow and eats up monstrous systems memory and CPU power to run its mac like UI, and without heavy optimization just runs like shit. This is coming from a hands on user, that has used it since beta. I still prefer XP…over Vista that is… and Leopard over either, this is not to say leopard doesn’t have problems of it’s own, just a lot less.

On a lighter note for vista…

I do use Vista for my HTPC, I know after that long bash, don’t laugh, I fancy the UI in media center, and I have highly tweaked out the UI and usability, add  My Movies and a dozen codec packs and speed enhancement tweaks, it becomes a usable media environment.

-Exempt

Cool apps

Posted: July 14, 2008 in Favorite Sites, Google, Opinions and Rants
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Hey I keep it simple around here, especially lately with my tight schedule and all. I don’t have a couple thousands seconds to spare, but I did want to mention these two awesome apps for geolocating your friends, its like a “alive twitter”, with geographic locationing, well, youll see what I mean just check out these links
http://www.citysense.com/home.php

http://www.loopt.com/

Cool apps to have if you own an iphone, even better with 3G.

I’m not sure why when you google this, there are quiet a few pages at the top that have no walkthrough for this, or why the walkthroughs that exist make it so much more difficult than it should be. It’s real simple folks, FIRST off the iphone supports more than just the commonly stated .mp4 format, it supports .m4v, .mov, H.264, MPEG-4, 3GPP & 3GPP as well, and there are more programs out there that convert dvd formatted files or .avi into .m4v than mp4. Now I should state that the way I refer to, is the easiest, but not the most ethical.

To put a dvd or any movie, which isnt already in the native format for it, your going to need to convert it. Apple would have got a huge kudos for being super cool and just including the function to drag and drop and let Itunes automatically convert files and place it on the iphone. Ok….so were going to convert the video file, so you can get it on your iphone.

So most people have heard of Handbrake, which I have to admit is a great app, and it does do the trick most of the time on video conversion, however there isn’t a Windows version (cmon guys and girls this is 2008, you should have a Mac & and a PC) but whatever, so for both sides, you can use Quicktime (Pro) . If you are on a Mac then just click the link above and download Handbrake, when you start the app it will open up a source box, which you just find the file you want to convert, make sure the output is “MP4 File”, and convert the file. Possibly its just me, or maybe its handbrake’s new version, but I can’t convert .avi files into MP4, as a matter of fact Handbrake will not even recognize .avi files as a legitimate source….go figure.

So back to the easiest way….

You can pay 29.99 and legally buy Quicktime Pro, or you can use this method, I leave the moral choice to you.

So buy/download Quicktime Pro , install it, open the app:

Step 1: Open the file obviously, goto FILE then OPEN

Step 2: Export the File, goto FILE then EXPORT….under export, select Movie to Iphone , (I normally choose this, you can choose movie to ipod, or movie to iphone (celluar), even movie to mpeg-4) But for practicality just choose MOVIE TO IPHONE. Use the default settings, and choose the export location to wherever you’d like, then click Save.

This process will vary on time length, a full length 700mb pre-downloaded DvD in avi format will take about 3-4 hours depending on your system specs, hell Ive seen it done in 1 hour, and quiet possibly 20-30 min on some newer high end systems. I typically do it before I go to sleep and its done by the time I wake up.

Step 3: Open Itunes, and goto File, then Import, and select your movie file youv’e converted. It only takes a few seconds and now you are able to sync the movie to your iphone, its that simple, any questions, just ask away, Ill be around ;

Cheers

EDIT: Handbrake is what you’d use to convert actual DvD (.VOB extensions) into a iphone playable format (.mp4 , m4v) and does it very simply 🙂

There are several improvements as well as steps back with the 1.1.2 iphone update. For starters, I haven’t had as many screen crashes, and lockups as before. I was experiencing garbled screens and “only reboot” recoverable errors, prior to the 1.1.2 update, however…. The customize app, has some quirks now. Changing certain sounds like the incoming text message alert, now conflicts with the newly built in sounds you can set via SETTINGS. Sometimes the custom sound plays, and at other times, the default sound plays. You can no longer change the image for the dialpad, which is a bummer because I thought mine was pretty damn cool looking. And it seems as if there is no longer going to be an option to change out he image for the keyboard. All in all, I would say that unless you don’t plan to change carriers, I would stick with the 1.1.1.

Another pro, would be the ability to unlock carrier via a simple app found in the INSTALLER, no more dirty work for the newbians.

Some suggestions to anyone writing apps for the iphone:

* Where the hell is our video recording support?

* Adjustments to light, contrast, brightness etc for the camera (add options like B&W, sephia, inverted)

* MMS messaging support

* The ability to sideways type text messages like Safari

* Changing libraries and locations for storing data for text messages and call logs

There are a few iphone third party apps that really come in handy, the latest personal favorites are:

Stumbler: which allows you to scan for wireless networks, however it lacks the capability to connect through the app, but you can do so through the built in wifi app on the iphone.

SendSong: Allows you to convert any MP3 file into a ringtone. Problem with this app is that it does not allow you to “clip” the song, therefore, your ringtone starts at the beginning of each song instead of allowing you to select just the chorus or verse.

Navizon: WAS one of the best apps out there, it allows you to GPS yourself, and it works very well, however the fags over at Navizon decided to start charging for the service, soooOO I uninstalled the once great app.

TTR (Tap Tap Revolution) : You know that game where the little asian kids learn how to dance by jumping on the mat to the tune of some weird techno song? Well its that game… but you use your fingers, and since you can do it and nobody knows what your tapping on your iphone, well its pretty cool and its completely free.

Pushr: Allows your to upload photos from your pictures on your iphone directly to Flickr

Customize: Great program allowing you to change almost anything on your iphone

SMBprefs: In conjunction with Customize, it is the “theme/skin” program for the iphone

iwoman: Laugh all you want…this program keeps track of your girlfriends period, you have no clue how handy this little app can be, now you know what days to plan the next fishing trip or golf game !

Vnotes: This app allows you to record voice notes, which for some unknown reason , Apple decided not to include this on the iphone, pretty stupid if you ask me…

Iphone Bricked!

Posted: October 3, 2007 in General Area, Google, Opinions and Rants

Apple’s new iphone update 1.1.1 , has been known to “brick” the iphone, basically rendering the phone useless, and inaccessible. This happened to my demo iphone (the iphone that I really don’t use) immediately upon reboot after the update. I had reset my demo phone back to its normal state before the update, as I heard this would prevent it, but unfortunately this didn’t do much. I have started working on a workaround which I figure I can re-unlock it, but most likely with my schedule someone else will do it faster and well, if so, you’ll find a link here.

Boo to Apple on this shit, the phone fuggin sucked until all the 3rd party apps were released. Some things that still need to be added is video recording ability, and text messaging with pics ability, and replace the shoddy speaker, its just crap.

Well as most of the techies out there know, there are several methods for unlocking the iphone, as well as several methods for customizing your phone, from adding ringtones to wallpaper to games. I performed my unlock using the old method of a manual unlock, now however there are much easier and (of course) free methods to tweak out your phone.

I have added scrolling wallpaper, 5 icons to my springboard, an additional 10 programs that are located on the “summerboard” which is basically adds scrolling to the backdrop, and of course custom ringtones.

The easiest method to unlock customize your phone (for Mac users, G4 and intel mac compatible) is Apptapp, it has a UI (user interface) and is very user friendly, it doesn’t get any easier than this. Don’t have a Mac? well the best solution is to go to your local Mac store and bring your own USB dongle, it only takes a few seconds, and all your have to do is add the Mission Impossible music, and your almost as covert as a spy.

Once the installer is well installed , youll need to download a few applications to take advantage of other applications, first off update the installer itself. This is done from the phone and it does not need to be plugged into a computer (unless your phone is low on batteries). Next install the Community Sources , which is basically more sources for your iphone to search for downloads. Then I recommend you download the BSD Subsystem, which will allow other cool applications to work. Perform any updates of the new applications, hit the “Home” button on the bottom of your iphone and your phone should reset itself, and you are now able to add cool new apps to your phone. Ill have screenshots of all the additions after the jump. 🙂