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



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Current outdated version being offered on Windows Live Ideas/Connect.

Latest version of Windows Live Writer.