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Showing posts from 2009

Review: Blu Twitter Client

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I was asked the other day by the people at Blu to give their new Twitter client out and see how I like it.

Blu, by the company Thirteen23, has release this very flashy and graphical Twitter client native for Windows Vista and Windows 7.


Developed using C# (Microsoft .Net), this new client has alot of impressive animations and while also running very smoothly when moving around the application. Unlike other Twitter clients, being native to Windows means that installing of frameworks like Java or Adobe AIR is unnecessary.

The interface is straight-forward and empolys a single-column layout allowing for simple list viewing of recent tweets. Clicking on tweets allows for replying and retweeting as well as for users to view entire conversations.

The software remains basic with the absence of choice of URL-Shorting service(TinyURL is used by default) and photo hosting services that users of TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop have come to expect.

Overall I am impressed by the interface and design, …

Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged

I had received a laptop while in the office that had a Yellow Exclamation next to the system DVD-ROM drive.
When looking at the properties of the drive the status read the following:
Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged.
I had found the following article on the Microsoft TechNet site with the following solution:
Remove/Delete the LowFilter and/or UpperFilter (you might have only one od these) entries from this registry area:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

Note: You will have several identical keys like this {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. The one you are looking for will have DVD/CD Rom Drives as the top entry. Reboot after deleting the LowFilter and/or UpperFilter entries.
Once I had rebooted the laptop, this now worked 100%.

GDGT Fail: Vista Popular?

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I can't say that I know how GDGT.com's engine works on gadging what is or isn't popular but apparently Microsoft's Windows Vista is a popular item.

Say WHAT?


Exchange 2007 requires iPhone to have Passcode

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At work today we have finally got around to installing our new Windows Small Business Server 2008 and finally getting rid of our dated old SBS 2003 server (although it has has served it's time very well and been very reliable).

However when I have gone to setup the new exchange account on my iPhone, I was prompted to create a Passcode for my iPhone which I first pressed "Cancel" as I have never had one nor wanted one. But then found that the email would not sync until I had done.

This is what I have discovered.

When researching why I soon found this document from Apple selling the feature of Microsoft ActiveSync and soon found this point-by-point feature list.

Noticed I have highlighted "Enforce Password on Device" which got me think that this must be a server-side feature of Exchange 2007, as our previous server didn't require it.

I soon logged on to our server and found that it in fact it is a tickable feature.


The screenshot on the right shows the options…

Review: Fishbowl - Facebook Desktop Client

I recently had the opportunity to test out an interest bit of software called Fishbowl (www.fishbowlclient.com).

Fishbowl is a Facebook desktop client designed for Windows. User are able to logged on to Facebook and view their Friends updates, photos etc via this neat little application.
While this software looks complete, uniquely this is only concept software simply just showcasing the potential of Windows 7 software development. However, it will not only run on Windows XP and up, it is usable software (see system requirements). According you the official MSDN blog, it has been developed using Microsoft Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation, which is similar to the now popular Adobe AIR platform.

Visually, it is very similar to the standard Facebook website. The familiar blue setting and similar layout will help user feel right at home.
Although this software DOES allow you to change its colours, it's nothing to get excited over. The colour selection is as follows; Fac…

Top 10 First Person Shooter Tips of the Web

If you find this article helpful or interesting please feel free to share it with your friend or leave a comment and continue to support this tech blog.

I have recently really gotten in to play the very popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 first person shooter game on the XBOX 360 (also available on other platforms) and finding that I was really sucking. My girlfriend has also become interested playing. That got me thinking what would be the best advise I could give her and everyone else when it comes to play most first person shooters online with multiplayer.

So what I have done is gone out on to the web and tallied up the top 10 tips that others believe are important when it comes to playing First Person Shooters (FPS) online/mulitplayer.

(Please note here that I am assuming that you have SOME First Person Shooter experience.)

Number 1: Learn your maps

It's agreed upon all over the web that it's important that you know your maps. Understanding and knowing your maps like th…

Defrag Progress Bar? You don't need one!

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For some stupid reason, I decided to give my laptop a Disk Defrag using the built in Windows Vista defrag utility (which is still going by the way).

But... Where the f*ck is the progress bar? I see this as a big design flaw.

Microsoft (and other software developers for that matter), give me some idea how long this process will take.



This is a screenshot of the Windows Vista defrag window. Can you tell how long its going to be? Around a few minutes to a few hours is not good enough.

Review: XBOX 360 update

For a while now I have had the latest of the xbox updates particpating in the trial. Overall I have generally welcomed the update however there are a couple of design features that bother me.
The biggest thing about the update is the Twitter and Facebook as from the XBOX 360 console. Users are mow able to access and communicate directly from their Xbox. However typing your tweets or status updates can be a task in itself if you do not have the chatpad.

The Twitter and Facebook clients are run as separate applications. In other words, once you click on the Twitter screen it loads up a dedicated application. You are unable to tweet or upadte your facebook status anywhere else but within the applications. My problem here is that I was expecting to be able to tweet during game play. Or the xbox might be able to tweet when I have unlocked and achievement. But sadly no.

Users also gain access to the Zune video market place. Here users can rent and stream down a wide selection of movies. D…

Rebuttle to Bryan Lunduke's "The Perfect Linux Distro"

While browsing various useless articles on Digg.com I happen to stumble on a interesting, opinionated article by software developer and podcaster, Bryan Lunduke and his opinion on the perfect Linux distribution.
What impressed me the most about this article is that Bryan's "I dont give a fuck" attiude to is feature and package selections in constructing his "perfect" distribution.
For example, in the section regarding software development environment he has the following to say: So what’s the most accessible and feature rich IDE available currently for Gnome applications? And which one gives developers direct access to the widest array of frameworks from which to build great applications?MonoDevelop.I know. I know. “Mono is bad cuz of teh Microsoft.” If you genuinely believe that then you are not likely an actual (professional) software developer and should probably spend your time worrying about something else.MonoDevelop is a great tool. There. It’s decide…

Microsoft Works not longer

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Microsoft annouced on Wednesday as part of a new licencing scheme of Office 2010, that Microsoft Works will no longer be continued.
As part of an effort to encourage user to use Microsoft Office products, Microsoft will be release a ranges of what they will call Microsoft Office Starter, a cut down versions of the popular Microsoft Word and Excel products. The Starter edition will only contain essential features as well as being ad-supported that is intended on only being distributed on new PCs. Users do have the functionality to easily upgrade to full-featured versions of the products and are encouraged to buy yet to be release "Product Key Cards". These "cards" will be sold without media, allowing the user to key in the product into the pre-loaded software on their new PCs and upgrading to the full software.
So people, this will hopefully be the end of the awefully overly used oxymoron "Microsoft Works".
See also: Microsoft Ditching Works for Ad-Supported …

Here and there

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If you have been reading and following me lately, you will have noticed that I have moving my blog here and there, trying out different hosts. But now I am back.
Ever since taking down my home web server, I was looking into a hosting service where I could have pages as well as the blog.
First I tried SquareSpace.com. Must say this is an excellent service and the customising interface is state-of-the-art. But having to pay for that (at least $14/month) was just not in the cards for me at this point. So once my trial expired, I went elsewhere.
Next I tried WordPress.com. Another great service with plenty of options and plenty of freedom to customise, but at this point I thought a head of all the effort to not only moving the posts (despite the easy task of export/import built in to the site) but also losing all my current visitor data and starting again.
So I am now back here with Blogger.com. More reasons that I have returned is that most of my data is centered with Google and it all ties i…

Rebuttle to PCUser's "Windows 7 Verdict"

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In the November 2009 issue of PCUser magazine, author Darren Yates writes about his results when reviewing the yet to be released Microsoft Windows 7.
Darren Yates [Darren] has done a good job at making a fair comparison by using UserBench suite of benchmarking software, however I have found several incosistancies and isses in the article that read strange to me and don't make sense when doing a benchmark review."Our Test System"There is nothing wrong with their test system as they have built it with quality parts. However, my concern is mainly with the CPU configuration. Nothing wrong with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, but PCUser decided to overclock it for their benchmark. Why?
It's defined by Intel themselves that overclocking is a bad idea (http://bit.ly/inteloc), resulting degration of general system reliability as well as possibility of killing the processor despite speeding up the processor's clock time.
In my opinion, these results are already tainted due …

SimCity for iPhone/iPod Touch

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I have always been a huge fan of the SimCity games ever since I first got SimCity 3000 Unlimited. This was merely a starting (excluding the year I spent on my next door neighbors Macintosh Plus play the original). I have since played all the version available on the PC and have my various likes and dislikes regarding all of them. But imaging my excitment when I found SimCity for the iPhone.

The iPhone release of SimCity seems to be greatly based on the SimCity 3000 release of the PC game, although some modifications have been made in order for the touch control of the iPhone/iPod interface.I find though my big problem that I am constantly trying to look around my fingers in order to lay roads or zones etc. Much prefer a mouse and keyboard when playing this type of game.Although, I was happy to find that the graphics where redefined for the release which seems to make the game more efficient and less time is spent on rendering.EA Games have done an excellent job in porting this game for…

Review: Evony

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Evony (www.evony.com) is an massively multiplayer online game designed to allow users to build cities and create nations.

The browser based game starts with the user defining who they and what their game name is going to be. From there, users can start creating their empire.

The encourages players through the development of their cities using quests as a checklist. While building cottages, farms, cities walls and more, players cities slowly develop into empires. All players have the ability to talk to other players as well as making alliances with other cities as wars do happen.

For new players, there is a grace period of 7 days to allow newbies to build their cities up enough to get a good decent start in the game.

Because the game is browser based, the game can be played on almost any platform, so long as it has a web browser that can display Adobe Flash. Even slow internet connections will be able to play as it is not graphic entensive.

Evony is played in realtime. Meaning that building…

Printing Windows to Mac Shared Printer

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For most Windows users, adding a shared printer to another networked computer is fairly straight forward. However when it comes to adding a printer that is being shared from an Apple Mac, it's another story.
Your first step is obviously going to be setup Priner Sharing on the Mac.
Go to the Apple Menu and select "System Preferences". Then select "Sharing".

In Sharing you will see the option for "Printer Sharing". Tick this option and then select your printer.

Now that is the easy part. We now go to our windows PC and install the printer there.
First you will need to install a program called Bonjour. This is software from Apple themselves to help us printer from Windows to Mac. It can be downloaded from here (http://support.apple.com/downloads/Bonjour_for_Windows).
Once you have download it, install and run the software.

When you start the wizard, it will guide you through setting up all you need to print. As long as you are connected to the network, the wzar…

Microsoft to release free AntiVirus software

More reports are emerging that Microsoft is soon to be releasing antivirus software which will be available for free download.

In comparison to it's previous attempt at security software OneCare, it will be free for all Microsoft Windows users, however lacking further features like Parental Controls and other popular utilities found in current security suites like Norton and Trend Micro.

Morro will be title of the new software which is claimed to help compat common security threats such as virus, spyware, rootkits and trojens. Also, Microsoft is claim that this software will protect it's users from being infected with fake antivirus tools like the common AntiVirus Pro range.

Once Morro is ready for release, OneCare will be discontinued.

Microsoft hasn't release a specific dates for release but it is expected to be available later this year.

More information here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8095932.stm

Review: Rivet - XBOX 360 Media Streaming From Mac

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For a while now I have been using Connect360 software on my Mac to connect my XBOX 360 to my iTunes library. This is excellent software and works very well.

However, in my scenario, I do not put my videos and movies in my iTunes and have them stored in separate directories while having no intentions of importing them into iTunes. So began a hunt for some new software, and was successful.

Cyncial Peak's Rivet is very much the same technology as Nullriver Software's Connect360, however I found it better as it allows you to manually define directories where you videos are stored allowing them to be streamed to your XBOX 360. Supporting all the popular codecs (DivX etc.) it works well over Wireless and Wired networks. Security features including the ability to restrict and allow certain IPs and netmasks.

Trials are available where the only restriction are the amount of music and video files able to be viewed per session. However, at the price of US$18, it's well worth just percha…

Restoring entire SQL Database from file

One night I had to restore my entire SQL database server from a SQL file, but it took me a while to find how to restore this file without restoring specific databases.

Below are the commands for Linux.

If you have shell (command-line) access, use MySQL to import the files directly. You can do this by issuing the "source" command:
$su -
Password:
# mysql -u -p source Once you have entered the password to your MySQL username, the restoration process will soon begin.

VSFTPD: Transfer Done (but failed to open directory)

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If you like the following article and it has helped you out, please leave a comment and let other readers know of you success and thank you for reading my blog.

In most cases, the supplied sample configuration file for VSFTPD located in /etc/vsftpd will work for most simple setups. However, you might find that after connecting to your FTP server using you favourite FTP client, you find you recieve the following error in you client log:

Error: Transfer Done (but failed to open directory)

The main reason that the client can't read or "open" the directory is permission issues on the folder denying the client access. When running a Red Hat based (Red Hat, Fedora etc.) server, SELinux is installed and live be default. SELinux controls a second set of folder/file access permissions on top of the standard linux folder permissions system. And because in most cases SELinux is not setup properly, users and administrators are unaware that SELinux is working on this layer.

Because o…

The CHKCONFIG Command

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This is just a basic outline of the usage and function of the linux command-line command of CHKCONFIG.

This command-line tool and be use in five different modes:
Adding new servicesRemoving servicesReporting on current servicesTurning services on and offReporting on service statusOne of the more useful ways to use this command is to report on a specific service.

Basics
For example:
Note: these commands are best run as either root or using sudo.
#chkconfig --list httpdThis command will list init run levels that this service is set to run in.
This is the output from that command (example only).
[root@server ~]# chkconfig --list httpd
httpd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:offTo delete a service from all init run levels, use the following:
#chkconfig --del *Where , insert the name of the service you wish to delete.

To add a new service:
#chkconfig --add
Advanced
For a more detailed approach when adding services, you can specify which run levels the new service will be configure…

No Network in Fedora 9/10: Removing NetworkManager

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In Fedora 9/10 & later, it is found that software called NetworkManager which is setup to help with Network configurations especially in the graphical interface (GNOME/KDE etc.). However this utility hinders network operations of those on a command line level.

Symptoms include: (Remember, command-line environment.)

1) Unable to enable network card (e.g. eth0).
2) Network card won't enable on startup/boot.
3) Command 'ifconfig' does not show any network interfaces other than Local Loopback.

Resolution
The only resolution I have found to get you system online without a GUI interface is the following

1) Remove/Uninstall NetworkManager
Easiest way to do this is these commands as root:
rpm -e NetworkManageryum remove NetworkManagerapt-get remove NetworkManager (This may work for Ubuntu)2) Verify your network configuration using the Fedora Network Configuration Tool.
As root, type the following: system-config-networkFollow the prompts and this should have your network cards configured…

Quick Reference: Linux Init Runlevels

This is simply a quick reference to the Linux Init Runlevels.

0: Halt ( Shutdown the system )
1: Single user mode
2: Multi-user mode, not network access
3: Full Multi-user mode
4: Unused
5: Full Multi-user Mode plus graphical user interface
6: Reboot (Shutdown and restart the system)

Top 10 Instant Messengers for Mac OS X

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After wondering one night what there was to offer as far as Instant messengers for Mac OS X, I began doing some research, and here is what I have found. This is a list of the TOP 10 messengers for Mac OS X.

#1 : Apple iChat
Apple's iChat is the pre-packaged solution for those who use AOL Messenger, Apple's MobileMe, ICQ and other XMPP-compatible messenging protocols.
Apple's iChat supports text, audio and video across clients for easy video conferencing.
iChat comes pre-installed on every Apple Mac, and is not compatible with other operating systems like Windows or Linux.

Official website click here.

#2: Microsoft MSN Messenger

Microsoft's MSN Messenger is a simple program allowing user to chat to those on the MSN network (or Windows Live). This client doesn't not support multi-protocols.

Microsoft's solution for the Mac is lacking features including Audio/Video, but is simple enough for basic chatting and file sharing capabilities. As I mentioned be for, incredibl…

My Response to Top 10 Responses to Why Should I Use Linux?

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In the article 'Top 10 Responses to Why Should I Use Linux?', it runs through a selection of the most debated points to computers making the switch to using Linux instead of Microsoft Windows operating systems.

It is written by a Linux enthusiast who has written down 10 key points why they think you should at least not fear the Linux operating system. However, I myself was a Linux enthusiast and at a stage of my life attempted to "convert" a selection of windows user, but to no success.

Although primarily I am a Windows user, I do also own and Apple Mac while also use a Linux web server. Reason I disclose this is outline any suspected bias that my rebuttal might draw.

I will now go through each point and explain why each point isn't exactly as straight forward as perceived.

1. Linux helps you get rid of viruses, worms, and other computer infections
Although it is possible to get infected even with Linux (malware is mainly written for Windows), its system architecture,…

Review: Mint Linux

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For the past few weeks I have been using another distribution of Linux called MintLinux.

Mint Linux has been developed of the popular Ubuntu distribution while carrying a few modifications. Mint Linux comes packaged with video/audio codecs, DVD playback, Java and much more.

This is my review of Mint Linux using my HP Pavilion dv3000 series notebook (dv3110tx). Like the Ubuntu review, my goal here was to see if the distribution was easy to use the distribution was out-of-the-box.

I am tempted to run through the install process but that's not the focus here. In my opinion, Operating system installs are about the same and asks the same amount of questions. Whether you are installing Windows XP, Vista, Mac OS X, or Ubuntu, if you don't understand hard drive partitioning or can't follow prompts, then it's time you stop trying to be a tech person and do a little more research before you break something.

Once in the operating system these are the things I start looking at:
Use…

Next Gen iPhone

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Is this the next generation iPhone?

Slight degration of the screen's resolution to make up for development of other features.

Show Desktop Icons on Ubuntu

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Most people like myself like having quick access to the "Computer" and "Home" folder just like in Windows having the "My Computer" and "My Documents". Old habits die hard.

However, some googling found the following solution.

To display Computer, Home, Network and Bin Icons, perform the following:

Open the Configuration Editor, by running the program gconf-editor. This can be down from the terminal.Choose apps->nautilus->desktop. Tick the box beside computer_icon_visible, home_icon_visible, and trash_icon_visible. The changes take effect immediately. Nice and simple.

Firefox Personas

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A new technology has been developed by the folks at Firefox.com that allows users to dress up their favourite browser (Firefox of course) with a more decorative feel than just changing the theme and buttons. It's call Firefox Personas.

Firefox Personas allows images to be displayed behind the buttons of the browser while not being too intrusive.



It's freely available to all users and comes all varieties of designs. Also, the Firefox labs people have allowed you design your own "persona" and publish it to their gallery for others to download.

I highly recommend you give it a go yourself.

PCLinuxOS Website needs some editing

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When searching Google for the popular Linux distrubution i found the following result in there find.

Perhaps someone should aware them of this.

The default 'Joomla' description is found during this search which indicates that their web master hasn't done enough editing of the site before going live.
Note: From the comments on the 2nd of April, I have since discovered that this has been fixed. Thanks PCLinuxOS. *Thumbs Up*

Fedora 10: Why is it so large?

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I have just finished installing Fedora 10 on my HP Laptop and from the old days of me running Fedora Core I naturally ran KDE instead of GNOME, however, I can't get over how large the font is by default. Are they expecting seniors to be running this verision of KDE?

Why Facebook is Dying

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The internet social network has been a fad for some time now and the creators have been loving the success of a site that has taken a simple concept of communication and keeping touch.
This is of course, Facebook.

The site has always had problems with the public whether it be company/corporate bosses wanting it gone due to lack of productivity from their workers or the numerous privacy concerns of the sites terms and conditions.

But recently, the site has managed to anger their users twice in a two month span in a big way.

1) Change in the Terms of Service

The changes made in Feburary 2009 to Facebook's Terms of Use outlined that they have total control of any and all content submitted by their users, even after the user closed their account. When this was accounced user made it known to the Facebook owners that they had gone too far. However, the current terms of use still state that Facebook owns and controls all content sumbitted by users.

Facebook Term of Use

CNet: Facebook changes t…

Review: Call of Duty 3

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Note: I have noticed this page has been trending recently and I believe this to be because of the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. This review is of the 2006 Call of Duty 3 release. Please enjoy my review and leave a comment below. Also some edits have been made to correct spelling, grammar and removal of videos.

I have been playing this game for a while now and I do realise that it is aged since its release but this is how I am getting to playing these games.

Call of Duty 3 is the next advancement of the smash hit First Person shooter WWII games Call of Duty & Call of Duty II. Similarly to it predecessors, you play several characters as you advance through the game in various countries armies to beat the Nazi Germans.

This game takes no time in getting right into the action. You being as an American private and you brush up on your weaponry skills by taking out some practice targets. Once this is complete, you move into the back off a troop carrier and get right into th…