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, 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 :)

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 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 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, 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.