Saturday, December 15, 2007

Explanation for Stepping Back

The reason mainly for those of you who are wondering, why I don't post in forums that often anymore, or talk or chat about tech anymore, is the community as a whole is corrupted to a dire point where the previously morally high individuals stoop to levels of leaking betas, and blabbing about features that are in an NDA'd beta. The POINT of having a beta is to product test features for a company, that brings a certain level of trust from said company not to divulge secrets about those features, which in turn get in the hands of competitors. Yet, time and time again, and for pretty much the entirety of this community, that trust is betrayed.

 

There are certain individuals that are sitting on a high level on that community hierarchy, with websites that bring in paid revenue. I'm talking about high up there websites, with high up there people who made this community into their career, which is pretty noble if you CAN deal with it. Ultimately they backstabbed, swindled, leaked,and sniveled their way to the top. These aren't just small forum goers, and bloggers, we're talking a name that's renowned and known within the tech community.

 

Then you get those individuals who LET it get to their heads, the pre-Madonna types. The type that think that the world revolves around them, and that they're some technological messiah. Yeah, you guys, while better than the individuals who back stab and swindle to get higher up their ladder. They're still quite annoying.

 

This is by no means an attack in general, but  isn't there a single person out there who isn't corrupt, or is this community doomed to continue on this trend that not only hurts the community as a whole, but paints a pretty bad picture with people who look at the community from a stand point outside of it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

LoL VGCats

Scott over at VGCats pulls out yet another hilarious flash video for those who played Portal. :D Could get annoying if you have no idea WHAT poral is. :3

Linky

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mount Daisen Stream & Information

I recently found this stream of Mount Daisen, located in Honshū, Japan over at ustream.tv. Very beautiful place, and the individuals who visit the chat and run the channel or ustream, are the nicest on the internet.

 

 

Mount Daisen ~ Wikipedia

Daisen Kingdom ~ Ustream

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ok, What the HELL, ATI/AMD? AGP x1050-x1950 Problems Ignored Again!

Alright, the problem is this, if you own an ATI AGP card, anywhere between X1050 to X1950 and beyond, and you install ATI's Catalyst driver set from 7.9 and up. It will effectively cripple your machine. DirectX will no longer function and directDraw, AGP Texture Acceleration, and Direct3D will disappear. They couldn't have not known about this problem! It's been plaguing users since Cat 7.8 in August! Thankfully there is a solution on the XP side, using Omega Drivers (Unofficial driver set built for ATI & nVidia cards), you will be able to install the latest Cat's. However for Vista users, you're screwed, the latest Catalyst driver sets you can install are 6.8, which is damn near criminal, considering there are a very large amount of performance increasing tweaks to the latest Catalyst drivers, increasing gaming performance by a very large measurable number.

My question to the general public on this one, is how the hell can AMD getting away with this one? Isn't anyone pissed off enough to raise hell about this problem? I know I'm not the only one having this problem, and in fact, there are about several hundred thousand of us who are having this very same problem. Why are they completely ignoring their AGP users and crippling their machines with little to no warning!

Scenario: Someone buys an older machine from eBay, equiped with an ATI AGP video card. Someone who doesn't have a great deal of knowledge about machines. They look at their computer, see that it's an ATI card, and are like.."Oh ok, I need to hop over to ATI's website to grab the latest drivers and software! :D". They deal with game.amd.com's AWFUL organization, and website interface. Find the card's driver for their particular operating system, and proceed to install. Since they probably want to rush through install, they choose the express install and get Steam(ing pile of #$@$) installed on their machine. On top of that, upon restart they find that they can't actually play any games since their machine's graphics card is CRIPPLED! So is their operating system, and guess what folks! It's OS independent, meaning you'll botch up a Vista machine too if you use an AGP ATI card.

With that, I would recommend not getting an ATI card, as they apparently don't give a single damn crap about their customers. Also, if you're experiencing this problem, run over to http://www.omegadrivers.net/ and grab yourself a copy of their drivers, you'll be glad you did, especially since it fixes this issue.

As food for though, have fun ATI, you're losing a lot of customers this way, and I'm pretty certain you'll end up getting a lawsuit filed against you sooner or later..

Friday, November 16, 2007

Canning the review?

Simple answer, not completely. Long answer? Because at the present moment the review would have been used for Stardock advertisement without compensation, which I don't want any part of. I also feel as though I should distance myself from AeroXP, for the main reason that they have no idea who the leader is over there. You have Rob, who is a pretty responsible leader, got nothing against him. Then you have this other person, who ACTS like he runs the place, gets OVER DEFENSIVE when you question him running the forum, and runs his own little drama club in the background. He contacted me yesterday.. "Write a good review, and you get to keep your Expert ranking". I didn't think I deserved it to begin with, but what the fuck? Didn't the admin(s) say that there wasn't going to be anymore pseudo-admins? I certainly don't want to deal with some kid with a power trip, and someone with about 12 hours of MY constant writing flicking it around like it's a damn advertisement. Granted I WILL write a review for TweakVista, it won't be associated with AeroXP, and it'll contain a page or two of information, rather than 10 pages (12 posts) of information.

TweakVista Review Coming Next Week, as well as COMPLETELY free and unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

How-To: Windows Live Mail & Gmail

There won't be as many pictures in this guide as in my previous one, but if you follow the instructions in this guide as closely as possible, you'll be on your way to enjoying your email from Google Mail in Windows Live Mail soon. :)

First thing right from the begining, you'll notice that the typical "Menu Bar", you know the one with File, Edit, View, Tools, Ations, and Help is missing. In order to allow us to EASILY add gmail over to Windows Live Mail, you'll have to rectify this. Click the Show Menu button, the button next to the Paint Brush, and the question mark on the right hand side of the client, and choose Show Menu. Ugly isn't it? Don't worry, you can set it right back once your done importing the email accounts.

Next thing to do, is to go to Tools in the newly revealed menu bar, and go to Accounts. You'll be presented with a new dialog box labeled Accounts. On the right hand side, choose Add, and then you'll be presented with an Add An Account box. Highlight email account, because that's the one you'll be wanting to import obviously, and choose Next.

In the Add an E-mail Account, where it shoes "E-mail address", type your gmail addy in there. Followed by your password, check remember password if you want. Next put your Display Name into last box. This part is important though, be sure to check Manually configure server settings for e-mail account, then click next.

Incoming Server Information----------------------------------------------

Ah there it is, slightly different, but still quite the same. The next part is where all the fun (sarcasm) settings go. We'll go ahead and go through it step by step.

"My incoming mail server is a (POP3) server." - Gmail uses POP3 forwarding in order to send your mail over to any mail client, so be sure to check POP3, not http.

"Incoming Server (pop.gmail.com)" - Pretty straightforward right? If you've configured any POP3 email address in the past, or followed the previous guide for Outlook 2007, you'll remember some of the settings from before, most email servers use a similar address with little variations, for example Comcast uses pop3.comcast.net. Leave the Port option alone, WLM will automatically set it to the correct setting when we check the next option

"Add a Checkmark to This Server requires a secure connection (SSL)" - You'll notice as I said above, that the port will automatically correct itself to 995 once you check this box.

"Log on using: Clear Text Authentication" - You'll want to choose Secure password authentication option from this select box, as Gmail requires this setting in order for your logon credentials to go through.

"Login ID (if different from e-mail address)" - normally it should say your username, but you'll need to change this so it reads Myusername@gmail.com.

Outgoing Server Information----------------------------------------------

"Outgoing server smtp.gmail.com" - Set this to smtp.gmail.com, and change the port to 465.

"Leave Checked This server requires a secure connection (SSL)" As above, leave this checked, or check it if it isn't already.

 

If there are any problems with these settings, please leave a comment and I'll investigate it and fix it. I was able to retrieve my email with these settings and you should also be able to aswell. Be sure to allow POP3 in your gmail settings before attempting to send/recieve your email.

Additional Links and Resources

Printable Copy - You'll need Microsoft Wordpad (Included with Windows) in order to view and print this. Hosted by Mediafire, as I don't have another HTTP mirror.

More Coming...

The popularity of the blog entry for adding Google Mail accounts to Outlook 2007 went through the roof. I'm still getting comments on that, mostly positive thankfully. I was hoping Google would have updated their importing information for the newer versions of Windows Live Mail, but it looks like they have not. So I'll go ahead and post a How-To in similar fashion to the Outlook 2007 post, and add it to my blog as soon as possible.

 

I'll also post it in easy to print .txt format, because, well, white text on black background will likely drain a printer cartridge faster than printing out a black text on white background. So thanks for the feedback on that one. :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Computer Rant

I'm really unsure at this point, I've had to yet again move back to Windows XP in order to have a functional PC and I've always been a PC gamer, rather enjoying that part of the computer world more recently than ever. This isn't a regular rant about how I dislike Vista, I honestly don't, I just wish it was more usable, lighter and as vibrant as Windows XP. Now I know you'll say, "Vibrant? Aero Glass?". Honestly, I know, I love Aero glass, but at this point it bogs down the system so badly that using it on this older machine is a chore, even though it's smooth. The OS feels jagged, unfinished, unpolished, and I know a few friends who have moved away from the PC world entirely, finding sanctum on the Apple OS X front. I will be honest with the 2.3 users who read my blog, if I had the financial means to make the move, I would in a heartbeat. Leopard is very impressive, and even Tiger at this point, in comparative to the ageing Windows XP. Hell I even started using Ubuntu 7.10 Linux more than Windows, just because it's a breath of fresh air from the seven years of being a Windows XP user.

In all honesty, I believe Microsoft blew it, they were going very very strong, but they've locked down the PC hardware world and because of that, more appeal has moved to Apple's OS X, especially since it made such a huge impression with Leopard. You have Microsoft bringing in their proprietary multi player service, Xbox Live, to the PC platform. You know what that means? The day of free multiplayer of ANY sort on the PC platform soon could be coming to an end. If Microsoft locks it down anymore than it is now.

What's my game plan? Gaming on a console, while computing on the PC, especially since my next PC purchase will be a Mac Mini. I'm going to TRY and persuade my mother to get a Mac instead of a PC, she's trying to buy one herself, and I feel that at this point, it would be a waste of money, time and effort to buy a PC with Windows Vista included on it, or any other type of Windows solution. Oh, and to add another little tidbit of information in, the number of Hackintosh computers (Computers built and manufactured by Dell, HP, and others that were built to run Windows, that run a hacked or modified version of Apple's OS X software) is increasing. That should tell you something right there

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh look, an update!

Decided to finally update my blog after a few weeks of nothingness. A lot of things have happened since then, mainly, I became a GM (General Moderator) over at AeroXP.org, while it's slow, I can see why they hired me. We were low on staff at the time and my name came up. Anyway, I'm finally able to update this blog a little more steadily now.

 

Decided to finally bite the bullet and upgrade to Vista completely, despite my past rants on how crappy it is, the bugs are improving, and I have the OS configured to a level of usability that I couldn't do voluntarily. No real bugs or issues, I can feel the speed hit, but that's fine. I've modded it to allow third party themes and currently have it set to Royale, which so far, is a spitting image of it's XP Counter-Part.


Non-tech related,a good friend of mine recently got married, congratz goes to Ryan(BlueScreenOfDeath) & Haley Price.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Finally Comcast...

Unsure wether or not I've written about my problems with Comcast in the past, but if not, I've had bandwidth problems since day 1. Basically during high volume times my download speed would be capped at 50 kbps (Kilobytes), out of a normal 1.1 mbps (megabytes), or 8856 kilobits. Now normally with their speed at night, it caps to somewhere around 12000 kilobits. Getting to the point, honestly. Anyway, Comcast has taken some slightly questionable methods of increasing their bandwidth, from limiting torrent traffic, to actually cutting off high downloaders. This apparently has helped tremendously, stabilizing their network to the point where high volume times are almost indistinguishable between normal (Non-speed boost) times. Since I don't download massive amounts of data, and I don't use torrents, this has been nothing but awesome on my end.  However, for those warez monkies out there, your days are numbered, they're really cracking down.

 

While in my opinion this gives a shield of protection over it's users from lawsuits by the disgustingly sue-happy RIAA, it also impedes on some of the rights of the user, which need to be made more clearer on their Terms of Service agreements.

Friday, September 07, 2007

New Poll Opened

Well, I received a few comments on how my guide on getting Gmail to work in Outlook 2007 was helpful, then it dawned on me that my layout isn't exactly printer friendly. In fact, if anyone actually tried to print anything from this blog, it'd probably down about half of their available black printer ink, considering the blog's black on grey color scheme. So that's the subject of my first poll for the forum, I know I have readers, the Google Analytics speaks for itself, and people do regularly read my blog, and I'd like to be as informative and helpful as I possibly can be.

 

If the poll option for creating a printer friendly version wins, I'll create .txt documents attached to each blog post and all the reviews and guides that includes the full unedited article from this blog, as well as the original post date, and links to the pictures. This will be in my opinion a lot easier on inkjet printers and it'll allow readers to print a copy out to keep for a rainy day.

 

I'd also like to extend a personal thank you for reading my blog, and responding in such a positive manner in regards to my articles. It means a lot.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New Windows Live Suite Released

Today Microsoft unveiled a whole bunch of new releases centered around Windows Live. Included in this bunch are final versions of Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Messenger. A particular feature that I'm honestly happy about is the added support for Blogger's images inside of WLW, before this wasn't possible and would just error out. Anyway, to the pictures. :)

 

Windows Live Messenger

WLM WLMabout

Windows Live Writer

 

wlw

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Rant-Space Browser Statistics


Interesting to see that most of the users that do browse Rant-Space do it using Firefox. My blogs are directly linked to AeroXP, and Neowin.net, with most of the visitors coming from AeroXP itself. This information was obtained by Google Analytics, which was suggested to me by a fellow AeroXP community member to keep a general idea of how many people visit and read my blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Obtain New IP on Static Network

Next time you're talking to a Cable Tech Representative, don't let them tell you that you cannot change your IP at will at any time. It's quite simple and doesn't require anything fancy at all. All you need is to be running Windows, and knowledge in Command Prompt. I'm not going to bore you with the basics behind how your your cable company slaps a static IP address on you, instead I'll get right to the point.

Windows XP

Firstly, hold down the Windows flag button, and press R.

Type CMD to open Command Prompt.

Type ipconfig and jot down your IP address.

Type ipconfig /release.

Now reach behind your cable modem with a pen handy, and trigger the modem's reset button.

Wait for it to cycle completely on, then wait for your computer to tell you your connected to the network again.

In command prompt, tyle ipconfig /renew.

Type ipconfig again to make sure you're on a new IP address. :)

Windows Vista

Same steps as above, but instead of typing cmd in Run, go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, Right click Command Prompt, and choose Run as Administrator.

Now enjoy having a new IP address on your "Static" network.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Commenting...

I opened the comments back up for people without blogspot accounts. When I did this before, I got spammed by trolls, so from here on out, IP address' are logged. Also, comments are subject to moderation before they appear, so if they don't appear right away, don't get pissy.]


Commenting is highly encouraged. :)

New Windows Live Writer Build

Unsure exactly when this was released to the public, but a new build of Windows Live Writer is available from live.ideas.com, sporting everything from a new interface, performance, streamlined options for adding newer Blog accounts. New About dialog reads "Version 1.0 (12.0.1183.516). If anyone reads this, leave a comment if you guys have any idea when this newer build was released. I'll edit my blog entry, or write a new one with the release date.



Apparently it came out August 9th, and was made available on Connect and Ideas.live.com. Thanks Sep.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Youtube Downloader Review

If your like me, you've come to love Youtube and everything that it is. However, being able to download videos from them and convert them to any other file on the fly, from an offline source has eluded me for quite some time. Sure I'm able to download them to .flv format, but what about being able to convert them? I used a web based converter for a few months now, Vixy.net, however, recently they started branding videos and have become generally slow and unreliable.

Youtube Downloader is a pretty self-explanatory light application that will download a youtube video to your computer, and afterwards, give you an option to convert it to several different video types, and one audio type (.mp3). This short review will show exactly how this application works.

First thing you want to do is nab the Youtube url from the movie's main page. You can either get this from the address bar, or the url box next to the video. The application monitors the clipboard so after you have copied it, all you need to do is return to the application and hit download video. At this time it'll download the file from the website to your computer in .flv (Flash Video). This might take some time, because from what I can tell, Youtube's download servers are quite slow..



After downloading the file, the option to convert the video will be available, simply tick the "Convert video (previously downloaded) from file" option, then point to the video you want to convert.


(List of Conversion Types)

Apple Quicktime (.mov)
Iphone Video (.mp4)
PSP Video (H.264 .mp4)
Cell Phone (H.263 .3GP)
Windows Media Video (V.7 .wmv)
XVid MPEG-4 Codec (.avi)
Mpeg Audio Layer 3 (.mp3)

It also allows for manual conversion.

The software is freeware and available from their website at http://youtubedownload.altervista.org/

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why I Choose XP over Vista.

This isn't an "OMG I HATE VISTA" blog entry, It's got it's ups, and downs. This is a calm and collected entry in my blog explaining why I cannot possibly deal with Vista at the moment. What I'll do is create two categories, a pro and con list. Anyway, the operating system has bombarded me with issues since Beta 1, none of those are persistent thankfully, however, equally frustrating. Let's take Beta 1 for example, the only released build of Vista that I ever had consistent blank blue screens, which I completely place the blame on drivers. For the next few builds, even past the first official build of Beta 2, it was smooth, with small and easy to deal with UI inconsistencies.

However, the second build of Beta 2 is where the trouble began, the OS's performance took a major nose dive. System resources began to get eaten up a much faster pace, creating times where I quite honestly had to restart DWM in order to regain speed and performance. I bugged this every build religiously, up until the last build before RTM, where it finally stopped. With this, the most frustrating bug of them all alleviated, I was finally content. RTM was close, and I honestly, as an active member of the beta testing team, felt as if the OS was ready.

RTM rolled by, and I was able to install Vista in September or November of 2006. Low and behold, a show stopping bug reared it's ugly head. My monitor, a Sceptre 19" LCD, replacement for my Acer 19" monitor that was stolen while I was in Buffalo, hated Vista for some unknown reason. If I were to boot directly into Vista's post-install setup, I'd be greeted with an "Out of Range" error on my monitor. This is a driver issue with Vista's ATi Radeon driver, that causes my monitor to go "out of range" at 1280x1024 at 75Hz. To alleviate this, I need to F8 into the "special menu" just after the last reboot of setup. Choose "Low Resolution (640x480)", and continue setup that way. It even goes "Out of Range" after setup, if I select 1280x1024 75hz. I would need to set my res to 1280, then make sure that 60hz was selected in my Monitor settings. Installing ATi/AMD's latest Catalyst drivers for Vista fixes this problem.

Now I know my PC isn't a spring chicken, but it certainly isn't completely obsolete.
AMD Athlon XP 2400+
SSE1
3DNow
MMX
1GB DDR-SDram
80GB Seagate partitioned four ways.
ATi Radeon 9550 256MB AGP 8x (Probably the issue here, alongside my ram)

The OS runs nicely, for about a few hours, then begins to crap out. I would need to disable Windows Search, Scheduled Disk Defrag, Scheduled Windows Defender Scans, IPv6 for network improvements, Windows Sidebar, System Restore (To save space, and I never use it, even on XP), UAC (Because I don't need MS to ask me stupid questions constantly).

Apps I need to install to get a DECENT user experience.
Perfect Disk
Because the defragger included in Vista is absolute garbage.

TeraCopy
Let's compare.. 600MB (Ten minute transfer time with default file transfer)
600MB (Two minute or less transfer time with Teracopy)
Foobar2000
WMP is the slowest piece of garbage I have ever seen in a default install since Windows Me!


Now .. Vista does have it's advantages, for instance, the OS sits inside a sandbox mode, you're able to modify system files without having to restart, a log out would do it. It's more secure, with UAC enabled it's almost impossible for "Joe User" to get a virus, or a form of malware, provided "Joe User" isn't a flaming idiot and doesn't accept the UAC prompt.

Now I know for a FACT that Vista will run perfectly on a bleedingly modern machine, considering it's not running any Creative or Nvidia devices, ugh, the horror stories I've heard. I also know Windows XP had close to these issues when it first came out, it was slow as piss on the moderate to low end machines of the time and we had a lot of "Windows 98 or Bust!" statements towards the OS. I guess I'm one of those "Windows xp or Bust!" people. Sure things will get better, the initial reports from users getting a hold of Service Pack 1 for Vista speak of the performance increase. I just cannot honestly use the damn OS until it gets more stable, and gains better support.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Update on my IPv6 findings

Well with some sleep behind me, I can only say Holy.. Crap! placed in a good way. I'll write out a guide with exact details, but as far as I know, this fixes the slow speed in Vista while using torrents.

Torrenting on Vista? Think Again..

Now before the choir boys with their perfect little halos (the little rings, not the game) chime in and state at how bad piracy is, I'll pre-empt it with.. (Seriously, you guys are a bunch of fucking hypocrites)

 

I don't condone piracy, or downloading of copyright material, I use torrent downloads for World of Warcraft patches, Linux distros, and podcast mirrors.

Good, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, oh, and if there are any children near the monitor, cover their eyes, this isn't going to be pretty. Torrenting on Vista is BUGGERED, why, you ask? Well, simply because Microsoft thought they'd spifferize their OS by including a not so handy little item called IPv6. Now, why is "Windows Me's mentally impaired, malformed and defective mutant baby" touting such a protocol? For their built in P2P applications of course! I honestly do not know of any single ISP that actually uses IPv6 for their network, certainly wouldn't want to, with how buggy it is. To torrenting programs, and firewall software, this is a damn nightmare. Microsoft has shown next to no documentation for developers, so that they might, oh I don't know, adapt better!

The symptoms are maddening, programs complaining that ports are blocked, no matter how many god damn times you try and unblock them, they WILL stay blocked, and will continue to disallow connections to your computer. If they don't cripple the Torrent connection speed, IPv6 will slow it down to a complete and screeching mother fucking halt. All this for a select few applications to use it's technology. I qoute, right from Microsoft's website.

"If you disable IPv6, you will not be able to use Windows Meeting Space or any application that relies on the Windows Peer-to-Peer Networking platform or the Teredo transition technology."

Now, I've been on the web a while, I don't run this PC in a business environment, if I were, I certainly wouldn't run a torrenting program, despite it's legality. I've never even HEARD of the Teredo transition technology. This PC doesn't use WiFi to connect to the network I'm in, so I'm good. Really, M$ honestly should give people a choice on wether to enable or disable this crippling protocol more easily, like, perhaps right when the connection is first established, similar to when it asks for "Home, Work, Public.." or whatever.

Now..to get rid of it..

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/network/ipv6/ipv6faq.mspx

and run "netsh interface ipv6 set global randomizeidentifiers=disabled" in command prompt. Restart, of course, since Windows is so awesome that nothing can be done without the complete restarting of the machine. There you go, you should be rid of IPv6, well, disabled, but yeah. You'll notice right away that your torrenting applications will connect normally.

Oh, and if you have Zone Alarm, fucking get rid of it, if you have it installed, most likely your applications, when you start them, will fail to start and become STUCK (Yes, literally stuck, selecting it and choosing "End Process" will do jack), and you'll need to either end ZA, or restart your computer. If you decide to end ZA and restart it, it will completely disable your network connectivity, and bugger your machine even more.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

World of Warcraft... The Movie!

A little quote that most WoW gamers will find interesting...

Representatives from Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures hosted a panel at the BlizzCon gaming festival in Anaheim, Calif., over the weekend in which they discussed the upcoming film based on the hit massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, according to video-game blog Kotaku.

Speaking at the panel were Blizzard's Paul Sams and Chris Metzen, as well as Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull and Chief Creative Officer Jon Jashni. They confirmed that the film will be live-action and will feature some computer-generated environments and effects. The script is still in development, but according to Metzen, the story will take place about a year before the events of World of Warcraft and will be told from the Alliance perspective. There is no director attached yet, but the producers are anticipating a release date in 2009.



Source

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A few ways to ease File Transfer Speed woes

Any Vista user will tell you that the file transfer speeds, even with this speed boost, is still painfully, and almost unbearably slow. Let's say you archive some files in XP, to save some space. You're looking at a nearly triple speed loss, regardless of what your machine specs, transferring files from partition to partition, or file archive (.zip, using Vista's default file transfer) to another partition, will be stupidly slow. Being a Vista user myself, I was completely discontent with how this was, so I figured a few work arounds with a couple of applications that seemed to ease the pain.

Firstly, your .rar, .zip, etc. file archives. Do yourself a favor now and download and install Winrar. It is completely unaffected by Vista's craptastic transfer speeds.

WinRAR ~ Unfortunately, it's shareware, it doesn't stop functionality after the trial period ends, it just nags you constantly.

Second application you might want to pick up, is TeraCopy. What this application does is that it integrates into the shell and replaces Vista's file transfer app. This app is amazing in Vista, transfer speeds with it rival that of Windows XP, and might even be a little bit faster. What this application does not cover however, is transferring files from an archive to a portable device, such as a thumb drive. However, due to WinRAR's installation, it first unzips it to a temporary directory, and THEN moves it to a portable device, causing no slowdown using Vista's default file transfer app.

TeraCopy ~ The freeware version is just as good as the Pro version, which has added functionality in the right click menus. You can find the Pro version at their main website, CodeSector.com.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Interesting...

Decided to switch over to the new template system that Blogger offers, however there are some odd going ons with the layout.. For instance, they totally off-centered my new page logo. Screwed up the About Me section, and clipped a few other things, creating a total and complete mess of my layout. At least I don't need to edit the HTML directly in order to add or remove sidebar sections. -_-

Oh well, I removed the About Me section, since it was only wasting space anyhow, and I plan to pull more bloggers into this website.

...CRAP..forgot the damn dev chat! .v.

Various Changes + Rant-space.com

Well now, for the few that actually visit this website, you'll notice that I've changed a few things. Firstly, I removed the AIM Wimzi Test, removed some distasteful links and added some in their place. Changed the blog name to match Rant-Space.com, which was an old blog project of mine, built in OfficeLive. Thinking of a UI change, oh well, we'll see. :)

Currently waiting for a new App to review, since I get most of my app stuffs from Neowin.net, and since that driver backup utility, I really haven't seen anything to keep my interests.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Driver Magician Lite Review

I must admit I really haven't been into loading a whole bunch of applications into Vista (XP is another story), as I have a hard drive that's quite limited on space. (20GB for Vista) However I guess now is a good time to start, and half the point of the reviews is to archive the applications so that I may download them again at a future date.



The first in a set of reviews is for an application called "Driver Magician Lite". What it basically does, is look through your device list, locate the drivers to said devices, shows wether or not the driver is installed in your operating system by default, and if it isn't, clearly marks it so that you could easily backup the drivers for the device. The application comes in two flavors, the "lite" version, which is freeware, and the full version, which requires purchasing in order to get the full use of the download. This review will focus on the "lite" version, since the full version requires a payment of 29.95 to use fully.

When the application is first loaded up onto the computer, you're presented with a list of hardware that's currently installed on the machine. As said earlier, the application clearly marks which drivers that come pre-installed on the Windows machine. The application window itself is quite clean, broken down into several groups, "Driver Description, Class, Version, Date, Provider." Unfortunately, when one attempts to resize the application window itself, it bugs and distorts, then jolts back to it's original size. Also, clicking on the top category name will result in, well, nothing at all, it doesn't sort the application names out in any shape or form. There is also, as stated earlier, a box just below the driver list which gives detailed information of the specific driver. Below that, in the "lite" version, is a list of three options.




Start Backup ~ Which allows you to easily backup the drivers you selected in the driver list.




Select All ~ Self-explanatory.




About ~ Pretty self explanatory as well. (See screenshot below)


After choosing Star Backup, you're presented with a Browse for Folder window, which, quite honestly, is lacking the "Create Folder" option, which could have been quite handy for this type of application. If you haven't created a folder before hand, you'll have to hit Cancel, and create one, then go back into "Backup". For this I've chosen the only two drivers that do not come included with Vista, the application places the drivers into two clearly labeled folders.



Honestly, the application is quite handy once you get past the many UI bugs, could save some time and trouble, however, it isn't completely useful in my case, since the only two drivers that are not included can easily be installed by ATi/AMD's driver installer. However, for those with a huge list of drivers that need to be installed, it saves quite a bit of time. The full version, which carries the price tag of $29.95 USD, includes the ability to restore the hardware from those backed up drivers. As well as many other features that are not found in the "lite" version.







Drive Magician Homepage


I apologize for the un-professional look of this blog entry, blogger's interface is as ugly and hard to deal with as Geocities's old "Create a Website" feature. You get this TINY little box to edit and write posts, of which I could have completely ignored and used Windows Live Writer to post with, if Google hadn't locked image uploading.. -End of angry rant-

Thursday, August 02, 2007

God of War Development Chat Coming...

   With God of War coming to the PSP, there is a bit of a buzz going round about the PSP finally getting some decent games. Anyway, to get to the point very quickly, Sony is hosting a development chat with it's Playstation Underground users. PSU members will be able to ask the development team of God of War a small amount of questions, which is pretty cool of them, it'll give a great opportunity to the God of War fans to really get into the hype of this game a bit more.  

   Anyway, I'll try and host the log of the chat, depending on a few things, like wether or not I'll be able to pull the chat transcript off of the web site, and depending on wether Sony will skin me alive for doing so. Regardless, keep an eye out for the chat logs. :)

Apple Safari Hits 3.0.3 & Other stuff..


Apple rolls out a new build of Safari for OS X and Windows, featuring many new updates over their previous version. Personally, the difference between 3.0.2 to 3.0.3 is incredible in the performance department. Fixing various hang issues with Safari, especially when starting up the web browser and viewing the Apple home page. I'm unsure wether or not I have written anything about Safari, it might have rolled out during my hiatus. Basically, Apple released this browser, full of bugs and issues, and the Windows enthusiasts were quick to write it off as a buggy, easily exploitable, and down-right nasty to use on XP/Vista. Apple was quick to fix these exploits, considering that the poster took an extremely immature approach to the exploit.


I've actually posted quite a few bug reports to Apple, and I'm very certain that if someone were to write a unique bug that isn't reproducible on a larger number of machines, it'd probably go ignored for quite some time. Not going on a tangent on the beta practicing differences between Apple and Microsoft, so I'll just try to avoid that all together. Anyway, if you're on a Windows machine, or even an OS-X machine, check out the latest beta (3.0.3) from Apple's website. Due keep in mind that it IS beta software, and that with having beta software installed, there always is that inherit risk of something going wrong.



Locker Gnome, A Blogging Service?


Anyway, onto the other thing, Chris Pirillo, in his live feed made a mention about Locker Gnome transitioning to a blogging service that will help users who are serious about blogging, get the kind of attention that they deserve, or need. Honestly, very excited about that, and I'd probably try to get blogging on that website as soon as possible. This blog itself, gets a various amount of readers, mainly from Neowin, and AeroXP, where I place the blog address into my signature. I'd love to get more exposure for this blog, and I believe that the blogging service that Chris was speaking of earlier would be an incredibly awesome approach to get more exposure to my blog.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Windows Live Writer Foul Up



If you're thinking of heading over to Microsoft Connect, or Windows Live Ideas to grab the latest version of Microsoft's blogging client, think again. Apparently someone over there has screwed up majorly and decided to up an older version of the client on not only Connect, but Windows Live Ideas as well. Now I know this probably wouldn't be a big deal to most people out there, but it is to the beta participants who, when installing, find that they seemingly cannot get a hold of the latest client in order to test it.



You'll find the links to the proper versions below...



At this point, I'm completely unsure if this is the LATEST client, it certainly is more recent than the version that's copyrighted 2006, that looks like it's been ripped from Office 2003.



Main Website



简体中文

日本語

Deutsch

Español

Français

English

Current outdated version being offered on Windows Live Ideas/Connect.

Latest version of Windows Live Writer.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Windows Vista File Transfer Fix.. "Not really.."

Well.. I had originally intended to post this on AeroXP.org, but apparently Bryant, or someone else deleted the thread. Cool double standard, it's ok to post about the Harry Potter leak, but not ok to post about Vista patches. Anyways, one of the features being thrown out there was the file transfer speed, and how it's so much better than it used to be.

Wow! That's some fix, Microsoft! Good job guys, really. It's three times slower than ever, and transferring large files is even more horrible to deal with. I guess the next "performance" update will include an actual increase in performance. I think I'll remain on XP as a main OS.


-Edit-

To be completely fair to Microsoft, it is a great deal faster when transferring one file.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

AIM Wimzi Test

Currently trying out AIM Wimzi on my blog, if you recieve any errors, I apologize, my scripting skills are still quite young. You will find the template for WIMZI on the lower right hand side of the blog.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hit a bit of a snag, but reviews still coming!

Well, I booted up my machine this morning to find a happy little Bootsector NT6.0 error, about a missing .dll file. I was able to get my MBR back to NT5.2, only to get hit in the face with an NTLDR error, basically, my hard drive fried and went to heaven (or hell). I'm lucky enough, since I'm a PC hardware hobbyist to have a few older hard drives laying around. I'm heading out ASAP and get a new hard drive for my PC, while working on squashing bad sectors on fried one. I've been able to get all my blogging tools going on XP and I'll get started on the reviews as soon as my system is squared away.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm Back

Well, I decided to get back into blogging.. Mainly because I just got Windows Live Writer, and damn does it revitalize the whole blogging thing. Right now, I have three blogs smashed into this thing, so writing in my journal is pretty easy. This blog will primarily be a tech blog, while my Livejournal will be a personal blog. I'll be posting back with reviews of Microsoft's Windows Live Suite Beta, for each application, and other news and opinions on the Tech Community.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blurring The Grey Line


Firstly, I like music, and I am by no means supporting or endorsing the piracy of music, I'm just sharing an interesting little trick I found a while back. Firstly, it is possible, to search for music via Google, using a search string that is a major pain to remember. A website, G2P.org automates this process, making it easier to search and find music online. Also, their is another application that is slowly gaining in popularity, Songbird. This multi-platform application allows users to search for many royalty free music files and sound bits off the web by integrating clever play functions into firefox, and building up a beautifully done media player.


Firstly, download Songbird.

Then, point songbird to G2P.

Let the music hunt begin! Oh and be sure to bookmark G2P.org. :)

SOTN's 2006 Roundup

With this blog going into it's second year, I'm happy to post the second year end roundup. Looking back at some of the interesting moments of this blog, and the year in general.

Tech Related

Running IE7 Locally

Ubuntu 5.10 Installed Image + VMWare Player


Fix Frozen Pixels On An LCD Monitor


Non-Tech Related

Screwy Weather Strikes Again

Dick Cheney's Shotgun Incident


Post that pissed alot of people off

HotFix.Net Stupidity

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Not just any sunset...

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to look at the sunset, especially in an exotic, not often traveled place..how about here...
However, you'll have to travel to the ends of the earth, quite literally, to see this sunset. As this one is located on the surface of Mars. I don't know about you, but honestly, I sit back and completely marvel at this photo. I mean, honestly, the technology of man has become so great, that we can witness the sunset on a completely different world. Just think how far we'll come in another 50 years.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Longhorn Beta 1 Style

Well, instead of just releasing it on a single forum and having to make a post per forum, I decided to release it on my blog and share the link to it.

This theme features the look and feel of Longhorn Beta 1 5112, with an updated glassier task bar. DWM was also modified to compliment the Beta 1 look and feel. The rest is largely unchanged from the Vista RTM theme.

Longhorn Beta 1 Style Download

Saturday, January 13, 2007

GMail Settings in Outlook 2007

It's quite possibly, one of the best features in Gmail today, the ability to use POP3 with any standard mail client. However, for those of you who now use Microsoft's Office 2007, you'll soon realize that it's a little more difficult then first expected. With application instructions that haven't been updated for the new client, and an automated Gmail configuration tool that only works for Outlook Express (XP), and Office XP and older. In this post, I'm going to post detailed instructions on how you can get your Gmail content delivered to your Outlook 2007 inbox.

First thing is first, enable POP3 in your Gmail settings, I'd recommend enabling it so that FUTURE email gets delivered to your inbox, and not all the mail. Which is what I did myself, considering I have nearly 800MB of emails already.

First thing is first, if you have Outlook 2007 installed, go to tools, then Account settings. Notice anything different? The whole account options section has been revised for this release. The email tab is already selected, if not, select it now, and click the new button. Make sure that "Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP, and HTTP is selected, and click next. You'll see a new screen with spaces for your name, email address, and password, however, you'll want to ignore those and tick the "Manually configure server settings or additional server types.", and click next.

You'll be greeted with a similar screen to what you encountered before, again, make sure that the Internet Email section is ticked and click next again. Ah, here we go, the section where you'll be filling out your main information. You'll see in the screenshot that the information is pretty straight forward, your name, email address, and so on. Now the thing to pay attention to is the information afterwards. Make sure that Account Type is set to POP3, and the servers are POP.GMAIL.COM for Incoming Mail Server, and SMTP.GMAIL.COM for Outgoing mail server, or SMTP.

Log on information should be your Gmail address, followed by your password. Also be sure to tick the "Require log on using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)" is checked. Then, be sure to tick the "More Settings..." button. This will take you to the manual configuration screen.





If you haven't already, click the Outgoing Server tab, and fill out your information accordingly. Check "My outgoing server (smtp) requires authentication", and tick the "Log on using" circle/box and fill out your information, your user name should include your @Gmail.com tacked onto it. Then be sure to check the "Require Secure Password Authentication (SPA). Don't click OK yet, we are not finished, click the "Advanced tab".




On the "Advanced" tab, you'll see the Incoming server (POP3), Outgoing server (SMTP), and so on. The things to pay attention to are the POP3, SMTP, and the "Use the following type of encrypted connection" selection area. First, throw this number into the POP3 section, 995. Then check the "This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)". Then place the following number into the SMTP section, 465. It too requires SSL, so select that as your encryption in the "Use the following type of encryption connection" box. You can leave all the other crap alone. Click OK, and be sure to test your settings. If all goes well, you'll be greeted with a test email in your Gmail box.

Update: It seems that Google decided to post some guides. :)

Additional helpful links..

Google Mail Outlook 2007 Help Center

Configuring Other Mail Clients

Friday, January 05, 2007

Windows Live for TV Review Part 2

Windows Spaces

I apologize in advance for the horrific layout of this review, it's actually due to the stupidity of Blogger's layout system, go Google!

Alrighty, as you guys see from the earlier screenshot, I need to take another approach to this beast, I quickly disable all of my ram hogging programs, (Windows Sidebar, IE, etc.) and prepare to dive right into this. After initially crashing on my machine, I go head first into Spaces to meet.. A white screen, apparently ending the 600+MB Ram hogging service crippled the program from running in MC, probably until a reboot. Anyways, as mentioned before, this is an add on for Media Center, so it adds new menu selections to MC. Windows Live, with Messenger, Spaces, and Call underneath. Going to Messenger, or Call, will result in a Coming Soon screen appearing. Which I guess they'll add later, but hopefully they'll throw in a good performance boost to the program before then. Going into Spaces will give you, at least right now, a download prompt, which will fetch the files for you from the server. Now, from the way it looks, this uses WinFX as it LOOKS like it runs in a browser window that's fused into MC.



Above: screenshot is of the Windows Live menu item in the main screen of Media Center. Left: Coming Soon screen that greets users when they navigate to Call, or Messenger. Below: Spaces running in Media Center.












After a bit of trial and error, I get the darn thing to run again, and it starts, opens WLM, and uses the log in information from that program to actually sign into spaces. Which can cause a problem for users of MC on the TV, as it will force minimize MC and open up WLM, of which you'll need to sign in before you can continue. After that, you eventually get to this screen, now my computer isn't exactly the youngest thing on the earth, but it runs Aero Glass smoothly and efficiently, and I hardly ever get slowdown. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for this add on, as it appears to struggle just to even function. Initially it shows a random subset of Spaces users, of which have absolutely nothing to do with your user list, you'll have to search for your contacts manually, which can become a pain because it doesn't allow search by email, only by first and last name, gender, age, and other various information that you just happen to have on the top of your noggin. (sigh)

Now I do believe there MIGHT be a function that will allow you to filter out your contact list from the editor's picks, however, navigating to that seemed a bit.. non-existent, and cumbersome. I was barely able to get search to work as at this point, the program ran at about 700MB (Yes, I'm serious.) of RAM usage and was effectively strangling my PC into submission. After browsing in the program long enough, it hangs and you have to force out the program, which also ends the whole "OMG SPACES ON TV!!11one" experience as you need to go to your machine to end the program.

I was also unable to find any real content from these spaces, I mean, wouldn't it make sense to actually be able to VIEW their spaces? Instead when I hit enter, or presumably, the enter button on the MC remote, I was greeted with basic information, which for most of the users, appeared completely blank. -laughs- I'd get a screenshot of this, but alas, it crashed again. The lack of information could be a side effect of the program twitching horribly, but at this point, I just couldn't tell.

The conclusion for now is that this is an early look into what has the real possibility of becoming something great, but at this point, is presented very poorly and is hindered by horrific program program lag. I will be updating on this program as much as I possibly can, PC abiding that is.

Windows Live for TV Review Part 1

First Impression



Going into this, I thought, NICE, Windows Live services for Media Center in Windows Vista. The concept seemed brilliant, take Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Spaces, etc., and wrap it into a nice full screen interface that is Media Center. Where could you go wrong? Unfortunately, unfortunately, as most of the people in the tech community know, Microsoft hasn't had a shiny nice reputation for putting out quality betas, this added by the beta actually going up, WITHOUT THE BETA, which was upped later that evening. One of many frustrating points behind us, and there are MANY. I'll go ahead and start talking about the features, as they become available of course, and try to give an unbiased review of these services, complete with screenshots.



Now, I'm going to share one screenshot with you already, if this is ANY indication on how this review is going to go, and the ability to review such a program, well, I'm going to have a rough night. When I first started the program, and got into the beef of the features, which I'll speak of later in part two of this review, I reached a milestone. I can honestly say, this is the most ram hogging program I have ever run, at all, from Win 3.11 to Windows Vista. Now, I can be pretty sure that this is a memory leak, however, since I cannot be completely sure, let's just say that this is the initial ram usage of this program. Now that you've been warned, I'll go ahead and throw part two of this review up as shortly as I possibly can.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

No hard feelings

While, I can be quite an outspoken individual, at times this has really gotten the best of me. For instance, AeroXP.org recently went through a face lift, and I used a quite colorful array of words to describe how it looked, which I then told the Editor of AXP (of all people). I want to come out and say that the thing doesn't look THAT bad. The new look is unique, for better or for worse, but it isn't as blatantly bad as I stated earlier. So I want to apologize to the designers of AeroXP for the lovely little debacle I gave them, and hopefully in time we can put this mess behind us.

I have also been really blunt to other people, granted I should just keep my mouth shut, I can't, I USUALLY (AXP is a rare circumstance), tell it how it is, to people who really are pretty much responsible for said target of outward vocal bloink. So, to those unfortunate targets of my constructive criticism, I apologize again.