Friday, November 13, 2009

Samsung Omnia i910 GPS Fix (CF03 Firmware)

samsung-omnia-SCH-i910 Verizon Wireless sold an amazing mobile pocket PC device when they released the Samsung Omnia i910.  It has more features than you can shake a stick at.  But to many peoples' dismay they decided to originally release it with the GPS feature locked.  But as promised they released the firmware that unlocks the GPS feature.  If you do not have the latest CF03 firmware, head over to Verizon's website and get it.  Vista and Windows 7 users can get it here.  Windows XP users get it here.

After you've gotten your Omnia flashed to the newest CF03 firmware then there's a few short steps you will need to do.  I'm going to keep this article short and simple so I want go into how to get the GPS settings icon to appear in your settings menu because it's more of an advanced registry hack and not necessary.  If you are using Google Maps like you should smiley standard then some may be experiencing the same problem that I did when tried to get a GPS lock.  If you aren’t using Google Maps then shame on you and go get it from their website.  I was getting error messages saying that the “GPS signal was weak” blah, blah, blah.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What does your desktop look like?

I’m always interested in what others are doing with their desktops.  Send me a screenshot along with your name or chosen username and I will post it online.

**One of many products you can use to screen capture with. Screen Capture Software**

Motorola Droid, iPhone’s First Serious Competition?

click to go to Android homepage Apple has a knack for introducing trendy devices that are, umm, attached to us by the hip.  Mac notebooks were a huge cool points plus for the college scene for a long time and still holds its own in that arena.  The iPod became the “what is that thing your listening to” for millions.  And the Apple iPhone needs no introduction.  It has effectively dominated the cell phone, PDA, media player, gaming, and random gadget market with a fury never seen before.  The iPhone has been sitting high on its throne now for three years now without any indication that it will be retiring anytime soon.  This is evident in the other cell phone manufactures very obvious battle for second place, instead of challenging the big apple directly.  Comparing another mobile device to the iPhone lately has been as interesting as comparing Toyota’s latest sport car to a half of a million dollar Ferrari.  Basketball’s latest star rookie to Michael Jordan.  Your 10 year nephew to Beethoven.  I hope you get the point by now.  If not, then you have been living in a rabbit hole and Wonderland is undoubtedly much more interesting anyways.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

[News] Hulu Officially Charging in 2010

Bad news if you like free stuff: In 2010, the popular ad-supported streaming video site Hulu will officially begin charging for content.
We've heard rumors about this before, and while about 17% of you said you'd consider paying for Hulu if it was reasonable, the vast majority were completely against the idea (40% said you just head back to BitTorrent).

[Full Story]

[Linux] Linux Myths

Debunking Some Linux Myths

Posted by J.A. Watson
With new releases of several major Linux distributions coming up in the next few weeks, I would like to take a few minutes to debunk some of the more blatant inaccuracies which are circulated about Linux. Many of these will sound absurd to anyone with reasonable knowledge about Linux, but I have seen every one of these used in comments to my own blog within the past few months.
- You have to compile everything yourself to install Linux Even I was just about dumbstruck when I read this one. This has certainly not been the case for 10 years or more. All of the major Linux distributions come in binary form, and installation is essentially the same as installing Windows from scratch - only a lot faster and easier. I can install Linux from scratch, onto a blank disk, and be ready to work in well under an hour. Note that I said "ready to work", not just done with the base installation and ready to start a long cycle of update and service pack installations.
. . .
[Complete Story]

Linux As Another Choice To Win7

Here are some resource I have found for those that may want to give Linux a try.  Linux can be a great way to restore that aging dinosaur of a PC sitting in the corner or alternative to Windows 7.  Alternative doesn’t mean 2nd grade product though.  Below are some links to help you get started in Linux.  If your a Linux newcomer I highly recommend using Ubuntu or Kubuntu.  These two distributions of Linux are very Windows like and the degree of “change” is very little.


How To Give Linux a Try
How To Try Ubuntu Linux
Five Linux Alternatives to Windows 7


I have posted up some videos demonstrating Ubuntu and Kubuntu below.
Ubuntu 9.10

Kubuntu 9.10

[Linux] The Truth about Linux’s Place in the World

While on a BBC morning talk show, BBC technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones made a comment that seemed to upset the Linux community.  He said:
“Ubuntu was a minority sport only for dedicated enthusiasts.”
Ubuntu arguably being the largest and most successful distribution for Linux has the majority following as a desktop operating system in the Linux universe.  As a true Linux supporter myself, I have preached the goodness that is Linux time after time.  But the Linux community needs to still come to the grips no matter the ideology or freedom that Linux allows, it’s still for the tech savvy crowd.  Furthermore its place in the operating system market is about 3 steps away from non-existent.

After making his comment about Ubuntu, he was sent a Dell Inspiron Mini from Canonical.  Canonical is the commercial entity behind Ubuntu based out of South Africa.   Read what Rory Cellan-Jones has to say about his expereince with Ubuntu and what I agree to be the truth about the current state of Ubuntu and Linux.

Article referred to:
24 Hours with Ubuntu –Rory Cellan-Jones (BBC Tech Correspondent)

[Techni-LOL] Xbox Shoes?

If your like me, then your a huge fan of your Xbox 360.  After probably a couple thousand dollars, and a countless hours spent together, your Xbox 360 have a relationship that the the girlfriend or wife will never understand.  After hours of gaming and neglecting your significant other, this is probably what she’s thinking.

While cruising down the interweb highway, I came across something very interesting.  Followers of hip-hop culture already know about the infinite amount of custom shoes that has been popular for a couple of decades now.  But these pair of Nikes take your shoe fetish and love for Xbox past a whole new level.
 Xbox-themed sneakers,image.JPG
Coming in at a whopping $2500, I shutter to think what the wife will be thinking when you explain to her that you “needed” have these to add to your what she calls “pile of junk”.  Good luck to you guys brave enough to even think about buying these.  Check out the full article at

TIP: Facebook Quick Post Bookmark

Do you find that you are always coming across content on the internet that you have to post to Facebook?  Here’s a to get a button in your bookmarks bar or your bookmarks folder if you choose so that posting content that you find becomes even more quick and easy.  This will work in any browser.

Firefox or Chrome

Drag the link below to your bookmark bar if you’re using Firefox or Chrome.

Internet Explorer

If you’re using Internet Explorer then right click the link and select “Add to Favorites…”.  From there you can add the shortcut by clicking the Favorites star at the top of Internet Explorer.
Now click the down arrow next to “Add Favorites”.
Go down to “Organize Favorites” and click it.  This will bring up a new window.  Find your bookmark and click the “Move” button at the bottom.
Then click the “Links” folder and “OK”.  It should appear in your favorites bar now.

Using the Facebook Link

Anytime you come across a page, picture, or whatever that you want to share with your Facebook, you just have to click the Facebook button and it will automatically post to your profile.  If you aren’t logged in at the time, it will prompt you for your username and password.  Just check the “keep me logged in” box on the login screen, then you can quickly post content until you log out of Facebook.

[News] Xbox Live Update Preview Fall ‘09: Review

Not That Wow

I’ve been using the new content that Microsoft offered up in the fall preview for a couple of days now.  I have to admit like most people, I was on some Xbox high waiting to get this new content only to be not let down but dropped on my face.  The way the update comes off to me is half-baked.  It’s like when grandma is baking your favorite cookies and you can just smell them from the living room.  Your mouth is watering at the thought of getting some of those hot, soft, chocolate chip cookies.  She serves them up to you and  you bite down immediately. . . to find uncooked dough in the center!  Anyways here’s a run through of what I found.


At first appearance it seems like your standard Facebook.  I already knew going into this not to expect the extras from Xbox’s Facebook app.  But I’m really disappointed in the way it’s implemented. 

One of the requests Microsoft has for you as being part of the Preview Program is to make sure that you can auto login.  I was thinking great, you will be signed in constantly and get updates from Facebook.   Not the case.  By auto logging in, they mean that you don’t have to sign in every time you go to the Facebook application.  Okay Microsoft, I’ll take that one.  That means I’ll have to stop doing whatever or during down time walk the whole 5 feet from my Xbox to my PC which is obviously a much better interface for Facebook.  Why sit and stare at Facebook on albeit a better screen but a diluted interface?

One of their major selling points is that you can see your friends photo “on the biggest screen in the house”.  I’m not a expert on pictures but it definitely doesn’t seem like an improvement in quality.  An opinion that is being echoed by other users in the Xbox Preview forums.

Okay, that’s cool.  I’ll just message my buddies and show them that my Xbox is superior with its Facebook.  I fumble through all the screens, channels, or whatever Xbox is calling them these days.  Hmm, I can’t seem to find the messaging area on here.  I get up from my comfy couch and start searching the features on the Microsoft Connect page that’s used as the launch pad for the program.  Seems that my super socializing Facebook has no way to socialize with people directly!

After fiddling around with it for a while longer it strikes me that this app is basically good for only 3 things.  First and foremost that being keeping updated on your friends news feeds.  From the feeds channel (actually its called Home) you can see your friends list as it grouped on Facebook, photo news feeds, and all news feeds.  Once you select one of the feeds, you are able to see each feed, the number of “likes”, and comments associated with that status.  You can also “like” a status update and add a comment of your own.  Without any way to get updates this is very unexciting.

The second thing that seems high on the importance list of Facebook and Microsoft is of course the ability to update your profile.  This is done easily enough from anywhere in Facebook by pushing the blue “X” button.  Doing so will bring up the standard Xbox dialog entry box with the keyboard laid out below it.  I’m sure that anyone who owns a Xbox 360 knows how painfully slow it can be to type out words with the controller so might I recommend a choice of two suggestions of speeding along this process not only in Facebook but in anything that uses the Xbox interface for data entry including games.

Xbox 360 Messenger Kit1. Get the Chatpad from Microsoft.  It can be sold separately and often comes in some type of kit.  But this little guy will make entering text in much quicker and attaches to the bottom of your controller.  I have one of these and although while playing with this attached you will notice it’s there, it really doesn’t get in the way at all.  It is also backlit for night time use and has the headphone/mic jack beneath it if you still want to talk on Live.  Typing on it is much like typing on your cell phone’s qwerty keyboard.  Click the picture to the right for information and a sample video.

2. A second option is to simply find a cheap or extra USB keyboard.  You can plug almost any keyboard into the Xbox 360 and it will recognize it.

The third thing that is glaringly apparent that was on the agenda for Microsoft and maybe Facebook is the ability to connect your Facebook and Xbox Live friends lists.  Basically what this means is that you have two ways of finding out if your friends on Facebook or Xbox Live have accounts for both.   You can go to the friends channel and select “Facebook Friends on Xbox LIVE” which is supposed to do exactly what it says.  I don’t know if it works or not because the Facebook on Xbox Live app has not been released to the public yet.  Your second option for connecting with friends is selecting “Xbox LIVE Friends on Facebook”.  Which once again presumably does exactly what it says but I don’t have the means to test it.

Overall I don’t think this application is a negative nor a positive.  It’s not great but it’s really not terrible considering the fact it may be a solution for others.  Cool idea but for me I could have lived without it and not skipped a beat.


Now on to Twitter.  Twitter pretty much gets the same treatment as Facebook by Microsoft.  Seems like a great idea but doesn’t quite allow the idea to work to its potential on the Xbox.  Oddly you have to manually sign in every time you launch Twitter.  Once its going, anyone who has used Twitter at all will be familiar with the layout.  Your Twitter feed is on the left.  You last update to the top.  Username and 3 options to the right below your avatar.  The 3 options are “what are you doing?”, “search”, and “trending topics”.  Selecting your username will take you to a profile screen.  From here you can see who your following, who’s following you, your updates, direct messages, and tweets that mentioned your username.

Pretty straight forward Twitter stuff here.  There’s really nothing to like or dislike about Twitter.  It’s pretty much the same as what you’ll find on your PC.  I have the same gripe here though as Facebook.  How come  these tools don’t work from the dashboard but more importantly from within games.  Very hard to tell your friends what your doing right now when you have to exit your game, launch your social app, update, open game, then continue. is hands down my favorite part of this update.  There are way too many reasons to like what has done here and very few not to. for those who don’t know (where you been?) is a music streaming site with a social site twist.  They allow you to listen to what they call stations.  Stations are basically picked by artist or tag.  If you pick an artist like The Beatles it doesn’t necessarily play The Beatles but Beatles type songs.  Or you can pick a tag like metal in which it will play all artists and songs that have been tagged as metal.  Pretty easy and straight forward.  While your playing your station, if available, it will show transitioning pictures of the current artist also.

The biggest drawback that I’ve seen others complaining about around the web is that will not play unless you are in the application.  That means no streaming music while playing your favorite game like you can do with local music or music from your PC.  This doesn’t bother me though because I don’t feel it’s that important.  What will allow you to do is get introduced to new music and lots of it.

Other than the inability to stream music outside the app, is a major plus for the Xbox 360 and worth not only checking out on your console but go to the website also.


A lot of people are interested in the Zune application but sadly I don’t think it lives up to any of the hype.  For those who don’t have a subscription to Netflix, this was supposed to be the answer.  With an advertised 1080p streaming video you can’t go wrong.  Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work out that way.

On the technical side, you don't get true 1080p.  Its a variable stream dependant upon the quality of your network connection.  If your connection lags then it will step back the picture quality to something lower.  I did see that they have some movies that will also stream 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound also.

The selection content seems pretty small to start with.  Maybe like Netflix you can get more on the Zune store site and it will show up on your Xbox Zune?  Can someone confirm this?  You have the choice of renting or purchasing some of the movies.  Fanboys the movie was priced like this:

High Definition ………. 480 ms points ($6.00)
Standard Definition .. 320 ms point ($4.00)
High Definition ………. 1600 ms points ($19.99)
Standard Definition .. 1200 ms points ($14.99)

The prices aren’t great but don't strike me as unreasonable either.  That’s $20 for a newly released DVD at 1080p and 5.1 DD.  Most of the movies seem to fall in line with these prices with a few being a little more or less depending on the title.  The older title “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” was priced at 240 ms points ($3.00) for rent.  The TV show generally are going for 240 ms points ($3.00) for HD and 160 ms points ($2.00) for SD.  I don’t know for sure but it seems that all of the TV shows are for purchase and not rent.  Zune Marketplace had music videos but no music for purchase.

The Zune Marketplace is more or less the Xbox Live Marketplace in a pretty new skin.  Nothing to like or dislike about this.  I personally suggest Netflix with a monthly subscription over Zune.  I recommend that you go to Netflix website to get complete information and check out the Zune store online also.

Inside Xbox News & More

Last is the news and more channel.  What you get here is basically news clips from  I like it because I’m a news junkie but I can see how most people won’t visit this more than twice.  According to Microsoft this channel is updated throughout the day.  You don’t get a choice either of the type of news getting pushed to you.  I assume its the top stories or most interesting stories of the day.

In addition to news, this channel gets 2 animated newspaper cartoons.  Dilbert and The New Yorker Cartoons round this channel up.  I was hoping that the Dilbert cartoon was the ones that were being aired on TV a few years back but this isn’t so.  These are very short cuts.  Judging by the length of them, they are the Dilbert comics from the newspaper in animated form.  Even with the abbreviated content Dilbert is still enjoyable.  The New Yorker cartoons are also very shorts like Dilbert leading you to believe that they are directly from the newspaper’s comic section in an animated form.  This cartoon has some very quirky, dark humor about it.  Not my cup of tea (or glass of beer) but I’m sure some will enjoy it.

As a final comment, I have one complaint about the fall 2009 update that I hope Microsoft resolves before general release.  With the addition of these apps and placing them in the dashboard, they have effectively cluttered up an already visibly disorganized dashboard.  To add to this, they have redundant entries.  The Zune app shows up multiple times and seems like a wasted of space.

As a footnote, the information I provided is that of my opinion.  I don’t have a way to know all the facts about this material, therefore some of it may be incorrect also.  If you find mistakes, please leave a comment or contact me via the Contact page and I will do my best to correct the relevant information.

Friday, October 23, 2009

[News] Windows 7 Officially Here. Who’s Getting It?

Yesterday Microsoft officially released Windows 7.  For those who haven’t tried it, it’s a biggest improvement in the Windows dynasty since XP.  But many people still scorned about the release or forcible computer raping of their computers by Vista are still a little leery of Windows 7.  Windows Vista was not well received and never really caught on in the home or corporate arena.  Microsoft got severely burned by Vista as a result being forced to continue support of XP which was release in 2001.

I’ve been using Windows 7 for a couple of months now.  Note that I used Vista since release and XP since it’s release.  My general thoughts on Windows 7 are that it’s a massive leap for Windows kind.  On the same computer it actually improved in speed over XP and the stability to Vista isn’t even worth comparing.  Should you get it?  A big hell yes would be the answer.  It can breath new life into moderately older PCs and notebooks while increasing the functionality and use of new computers.  And finally Microsoft has done a useful improvement of graphical interface.  Biggest complaint for me was the taskbar which in my words was previously retarded.  You will want to check the minimum requirements that Microsoft provides to ensure that you can run Windows 7.  I can testify that my dated and previously sluggish AMD64 with 1.25 gigs of RAM happily runs Windows 7 as before would choke up in Vista routinely.  Go to the Windows 7 Requirements Page to see the specs needed.  They also on the same page also a an upgrade advisor that you can download.  It will do a scan of your software and hardware and spit out a detailed report as to what could and could not be a problem.  For example my results showed that my network port would be a problem.  It offered up a possible solution to that also which was to download the drivers before installing 7.  I downloaded the network driver, installed 7, patched the network driver and all was good. Couldn’t have been  more simple.

The video below is a quick CNN report of the release of Windows 7 and what people are saying about it.

What do you think?  Worth upgrading, wait it out or who cares?

New Windows 7 Themes

For those of you brave enough to tread into the Windows 7 territory already, there are new themes available from Microsoft.  They include Avatar, Bing, Coca-Cola, Ducati, Ferrari, Gears of War 1&2, Infiniti, Pepsi, Lugares Coloridos, Porsche, Zune Characters, Zune Elements, and Zune Zodiac.  Go to the official Windows 7 Theme page, download, click, and enjoy.


[News] Xbox Live Update Preview: Info

So I checked the link this morning to see my status as a candidate for the Xbox Live Update Preview Program.  (whew that’s a long winded title).  I was happy when I got this screen.
So I immediatly turned on my Xbox to see if I was going to get the update.  Nothing.  Umm, okay.  I turn it back off and try again and… nothing.  Okay, now this sucks.  Time to head over to the Xbox Forums to see if I can find any answers.  Nothing on there.  So I go to Major Nelson’s site.  I did find out if you got the above screen and only the above screen you have been accepted.  It also states that the preview will be rolled out in 3 waves.  The first being this morning.  The second according to the Major’s twitter will be rolled out later today.  I can only assume that everyone that was going to be accepted got the acceptance screen but it doesn’t separate which wave you will be in.   I will post any updates here when I find them out.

UPDATE (10/23/09):  After combing through the Major Nelson site, I've come to the conclusion that I probably just haven't received the update but I am accepted.  From what I can gather, the update should be pushed again at about 9 pm eastern time.  Also even if you are in the first wave then it still could take a little time for your Xbox to actually get the update.  Courtesy of Goodeye84 here are some additional things you can try to see if you can get your console to update. Good luck.


"I posted this in the Xbox forums for the update but not sure if I can post that URL (even though if you were not selected you can't access it.) this is what it says:
I have had this happen to me on the updates before. I have gotten into the preview but for whatever reason the update just wont kick over. Here are my Steps to do this!
1) Go to the System setting in the My Xbox section and select memory.
2) Highlight the hard drive (DO NOT SELECT IT!) You should see the "Y" button show up below select "Y"
3) Highlight and select Clear Cache
4) Put a game into your console you know has had updates for it. (halo 3 is one, I used LIPS) Almost every single game has had some sort of update.
5) You should get the "Disconnected from Xbox Live" Message show up and then the Box prompting for an update.
If you see this Carefully read it, It should say something a long the lines of "There is a System update for your console....... etc" It needs to say "System Update" for this to work. If it says a "Title Update" your either not in the update preview (Yet) or my guess is Microsoft just hasn't had a chance to add your console info into their database. The Fact you have access to these forums means your in!
I have had to do this for each update. Something gets weird or something but the game pings LIVE to make sure it has all the updates it causes your console to see that not only does it not have that update it does not have the correct dashboard update hence it finally downloading the update!"
UPDATE (10/23/09 | 2:43pm): Just checked my Microsoft Connect account and saw that they have posted an update.  The update read:
IMPORTANT: We have already begun the process of rolling out the updates to your console. If you do not receive it right away, don’t worry, you will get it soon. If you do not receive the update by Tuesday, let us know. In the meantime, please do not submit feedback about not yet receiving the update.
I will continue to post updates here.

UPDATE (10/23/09 | 6:17PM):
As I'm writing this, I'm receiving tweets from Major Nelson.  This is what he's saying:

Oct 23 6:08
If you got an email saying you are in the preview program, but did not get the update, please read the email carefully...
Oct 23 6:08
Specifically, this line '"If you do not receive it right away, don't worry, you will get it soon. "
Oct 23 6:09
In other words...patience my friends. Smiley
Oct 23 6:10
Of course if you did not get an email, but you got the update, your Connect profile may have incorrect data, or your spam filter is strong!
UPDATE (10/23/09 | 10:11PM):
Major Nelson Tweeted @9:37:
The 2nd (and final) wave is in the process of being deployed over LIVE. A *LOT* more are getting it this wave vs wave 1.
I’m getting the update pushed down now.  I had to force start it though. Follow these instructions.
  1. Go to the System setting in the My Xbox section and select memory.
  2. Highlight the hard drive (DO NOT SELECT IT!) You should see the "Y" button show up below select "Y"
  3. Highlight and select Clear Cache
  4. Put a game into your console you know has had updates for it. (halo 3 is one, I used LIPS) Almost every single game has had some sort of update.
  5. You should get the "Disconnected from Xbox Live" Message show up and then the Box prompting for an update.
  6. If you see this Carefully read it, It should say something a long the lines of "There is a System update for your console....... etc" It needs to say "System Update" for this to work. If it says a "Title Update" your either not in the update preview (Yet) or my guess is Microsoft just hasn't had a chance to add your console info into their database. The Fact you have access to these forums means your in!
NOTE: You can expect about a 30 minute download.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Girls & Video Gaming

As of late it has become quite trendy for girls to be considered a gamer.  At least that’s what corporate video gaming world entities like Xbox would like you to think.  On Xbox Live they heavily promote the idea via short shows like Girls Go Geek, Felicia Day’s The Guild, and host Trixie360.  Just type in pink Xbox 360 and you will find plenty of options for pink peripherals for your beloved Xbox.  So we know they’re out there.  But the reality of it is I think it’s more similar to my own experience.  Yes more girl gamers are out there but it’s not the same as what we consider a boy gamer or gamer in general.

I have managed to get my wife on occasion and my 14 year old daughter to play video games but it’s a whole different “session” than when I play by myself or with my boys.  The boys who are 15 and 11 years old are probably the what is considered the typical type gamer.  We load up on a regular basis Grand Theft Auto 4, Guitar Hero, Gears of War, or Call of Duty.  The more awesome the and over the top the game is, the more fun we consider it.  Call it the stroke of the male ego, safe ways to release male aggression, or whatever you like.  That’s what we enjoy.
A hot pink Xbox360!
On the other hand when me and usually my daughter play, it’s more along the lines of UNO, Brain Challenge, and Pac Man Championship Edition.  Doesn’t take a nutty professor to see the difference in speed here.  The girls simply don’t have the need to be aggressive or have their egos stroked every step of the way.  It doesn’t seem to me that they prefer games with more substance but more of a quick diversion and maybe mental challenges as a bonus.

This leads me to believe that boys equals load the game up and “let’s do this” type of attitude and the girls are more “I have some free time, I can play a couple of rounds”.  Once again this is my experience and I think Gavin M. at Kokugamer, puts this subject into great context and is very interesting read.  Check it out over at Kokugamer and let me know what you think.
Standard Xbox 360 controller in pink.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

[News] Xbox Dashboard update preview invites out this Friday

Xbox Dashboard update preview invites out this Friday

[News] Joystiq Video Preview: Fall 2009 Dashboard Update

For those who can’t wait for the much anticipated update that Microsoft is bringing to the Xbox this fall, Joystiq brings you a video preview to get over till the release comes. For those who don’t know yet (where you been) this update is huge in terms of console updates.  Microsoft gave us the Live Marketplace which no one can deny its resounding success.  Then came Netflix, the online paid subscription streaming video giant which allowed Xbox 360 users to watch a huge selection of movies, tv shows, and video on demand.  Microsoft this fall will now up the ante promising to bring more big names of the internet such as MSNBC, Facebook, Zune, Twitter, and more.

Google Chrome 3

I like to consider myself somewhere in between a bleeding edge and outside the norm type of user when it comes to computers.  So when I happened upon an article reviewing the new features of Google’s Chrome 3, I decided to give it a try… again.

I did try Chrome when it was released and was very unimpressed.  It struck me as Firefox without the frills.  Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t a bad thing, but why switch from what works to the other side that is a “knock-off”.

Initial Reaction

Earlier this week, I dove in and installed the latest incarnation of Chrome.  The install was typical and easy.  It installed without a hitch and asked if I would like to import my Firefox bookmarks.  I did this and it even put my bookmark toolbar in the same place as Firefox.  Once installed, one of the first features I
Bookmark Toolbar in Chrome
noticed was the “New Tab” screen.  This screen presents you with the sites you most visited as screen shots and recently closed in chronological order below that as a list.  This feature is pretty nice and makes me wonder how I lived without it before.  Note that you can add this functionality in Firefox via plug-ins but it’s good to have built in as part of the browser.
New Tab Screen

System Resource Usage

Being that I’m very aware and somewhat obsessive about system resource usage, I then immediately proceeded to check Chrome’s memory and CPU use.  While looking through the process list in the Windows 7 task manager, I soon noticed that Chrome was running multiple processes.  Like Internet Explorer 8, it runs each tab as a separate process.  This benefits the user considerably because when you close a tab, it’s like closing a program releasing system resources with it.  It also means that if for some reason a web page freezes up your system, your not forced to close the whole browser and possibly loosing where you were.  Comparing Chrome with Firefox and IE8 as far as memory usage, they all came up about equal, give or take.  Not enough to weigh a decision in the favor for one over the other if you have anything that resembles a modern computer.


One of the first thing you’ll notice while using Chrome is that it is very slick and minimal in the approach of appearance.  There aren’t army of icons that IE8 throws at you or the endless amount of options and customization Firefox allows for.  Now to try out actually surfing the internet with this shiny new browser.  I typed in which I know to load slowly in other browsers to test out loading speeds.  Just like in IE8 and Firefox the Xbox forums site also tripped up while loading a bit.  Deciding that maybe that wasn’t fair test considering the site I aimlessly browsed a handful of other sites such as Digg, YouTube, and Facebook.  Chrome loaded these sites in my opinion a lot faster than IE8 and a little faster than Firefox.  After a couple of hours of using Chrome I decided it felt noticeably smoother than the other browsers also.


Going into Chrome, I didn’t think that I would like this browser based on past experience.  Now after about a week of using it along side Firefox (I don’t usually use IE8), I’m a lot more impressed with it than I thought I would.  Mainly it does what a browser supposed to do minus the sugar coating.  It simply browses.  And does it quickly.  I haven’t come across a page that Chrome didn’t render correctly myself but it’s a known issue.  Otherwise as far as browser go, I think the latest version of Chrome is much great.  Now for the million dollar question.  Is it worth switching from Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox?  If you’re using IE8 exclusively then your probably not reading this anyways.  IE8 fails at so many things in my opinion I won’t get into them all here.  In comparison to Firefox though it gives it a good run for its money.  Really here, I think it will come down to user preference.  If you fancy yourself a power user and need the Firefox plug-ins to do certain tasks or have just grown attached to them like so many others then you might want to check out Chrome but may find yourself quickly going back to Firefox.  If you need a browser to just email, browse, and do social networking, Chrome is worth checking out.  Actually the biggest strike against Chrome at this point in the game is the lack of plug-ins.  If Chrome had a plug-in system similar to Firefox or simply allow Firefox plug-ins then I think they would convert a lot more people over to their browser.

Bottom line is that Chrome is a late comer to the browser game. Although it is a very nice attempt at offering an online interaction experience that is different, it has a lot of ground to makeup.  Is it worth trying. Yes.  Will it replace your current browser? Probably not for most people but is probably great for minimalist and people who have a panic attack if they're browser doesn't load fast enough.
Get Google Chrome 3. –>->Google Chrome<-<-
Here’s a video walking through Chrome 3 and some of it features.  This video was done by mvkVirtual who has an awesome English accent.

Leave me a comment if you like Chrome, hate it, never will try it, or whatever else you have to say.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

[News] Assassin’s Creed II Lineage Trailer

Assassin's Creed II is coming soon and creating quite the buzz.  For fans of the original title, I'm willing to bet that this is going to be a great addition to what is being rumored as a trilogy.  Any who, check out the trailer and let me know what you guys think.  Leave a comment.  Rant, rave, or say how much this game sucks.  I for one, am looking forward to this release.

Monday, October 19, 2009

[News] Xbox gets Facebook, Twitter, and More

As some know by now Microsoft announced a while ago that Facebook, Twitter, and Last.FM will be coming to the Xbox real soon now (have yet to confirm a date).  But what you may not know is that you can sign up for the early preview before everyone else gets to use it.  If you go to the Microsoft Connect Site, you can sign up to be picked for a early preview of the new features for Xbox 360.  You should sign up quickly before the preview starts.  According to Major Nelson of Major,  the preview trial should start mid this week.  He would not state a specific date though.

Some of the features that are being said to be coming are:

UPDATE 10/20/09

According to, there are 2 more features that are confirmed. 
“The first is an entire "Music Marketplace" channel, which will be focused on downloadable content for rhythm games like Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and Microsoft's own Lips. The channel will also offer high-definition music videos to download onto the Zune handheld multimedia player as well as serve as the home base for recommendation-radio service, which is owned by GameSpot parent CBS Interactive.
Also coming to Xbox Live is a "News and more" channel, which will offer up information from Microsoft and NBC Universal's joint venture, According to an information screen in the XBL preview, all of the site's features will be on tap, including video news from television Network NBC and from MSNBC TV. The tab will also offer some non-news-related content in the form of cartoons from the New Yorker magazine and the office-satire comic strip Dilbert.
For a closer look at the Xbox Live Update, check out GameSpot Hardware's in-depth preview of its new features. The update is expected to go live next month.”
Image 1

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

[Tuturial] Firefox Hyperlinks Tip

Here's a quick tip about opening links that are not hyperlinked in Firefox.

What is a hyperlink:
"In computing, a hyperlink is a reference in a document to an external or internal piece of information. The most common usage is in the Internet to browse through web pages: some text in the current document is highlighted so that when clicked, the browser automatically displays another page or changes the current page to show the referenced content. The highlighted element is known as a hyperlink (or link for short) and makes a logical connection between two places in the same or different documents. Hyperlinks are the basic building block of hypertexts."
-Quoted from Wikipedia

So in simple terms, a hyperlink is the text on a webpage that is usually blue in color and will sometimes highlight when you hover mouse over it. These hyperlinks or links for short will take you to an internal or external web page.

Now that we know what a hyperlink is, we can appreciate how easy it makes it to navigate the web. Unfortunetly, all text that references links that you will come across is not hyperlinked. This can be because the author of the page simply chose not to or that particular pages inability to display hyperlinks.

There are numerous reasons why you will come across non-hypertext links. Instead of going through the cumbersome task of typing long and complicated web addresses into the Firefox address bar, there is a simple trick to getting it there faster.

1. Simply highlight the text that you want navigate to. Make sure that you get all of the address are you may get server error or similar.

2. Drag the selected text to the address bar and that's it. In Firefox 3.5, it will automatically load to the site requested without further action.

Tip: You can also drag web addresses to the Firefox tab bar and it will automatically create a new tab and navigate to the requested web page.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Time is an interesting concept. Everyone needs more of it. When given more time, they then need more. When you have nothing but time, you don't know what to do with it. Maybe there's just enough of it?