So, basically, because I’m moving to the USA, I need to downsize. I don’t really want to take more than one case and my backpack with me. So therefore, I don’t need 2 desktop computers. I sold my HP tower and LG monitor to my landlord a few weeks ago. They’re very happy with it. It’s the best computer they’ve ever had. The only issue is that the two boys fight over it. So I said that my main desktop, that I got not too long after I moved in here, is up for grabs, and they are going to take it off my hands, in exchange for some £’s. Whilst I have a little Samsung Netbook in my arsenal, which I use for Skype, it’s not powerful enough for all my day-to-day tasks. I recently went to Brighton with a couple of friends and was toying with the idea of buying a new laptop to tide me over so I could downsize and release the desktop machine. Currys PC World had this nice-looking Toshiba for £299, with 6GB RAM, AMD E1-1200 APU, 320GB HDD etc. And, of course, Windows 8. So I enquired about it. They didn’t have a “brand new” model in the store, but had a refurbished one that had been brought back fairly recently. I’m guessing the owner couldn’t get on with Windows 8! But this is what they all come with now so I pretty much had to bite the bullet and accept that I [...]
If you need a quick and free way of converting audio, video or image files on Mac OS X, then check out Adapter. I was taking some screenshots using Grab on my Mac Mini. When you save from Grab, it saves files in .TIFF format, which is no good for sharing on the web. I didn’t have any converter software installed so I set out in search of some. I found Adapter very quickly. It installed quickly and did exactly what I needed it to do (convert .TIFF to JPEG). Because of the fact that it is free, and handles audio and video files as well, it’s a great tool to have in your Applications folder. I recommend it. Read more and pick it up HERE.
Friends would have seen me post about this on Facebook, as well as speak with them verbally. But it needs to go here, as well! It’s been a long road, about 6 or 7 years but finally I have cleared off all my debts and I owe absolutely nothing. Nada. It is an amazing weight off my shoulders and I can now continue preparing for when I go to America later the year. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my landlord who is very experienced in the financial industry. He managed to reduce my debt to the absolute minimum by bartering with my creditors and negotiating final settlement fees with them. They were all aimicable about this and were willing to help. All apart from one, who really stuck to their guns then messed my account details up in the process resulting in a number of calls trying to find out where the hell the debt had gone. I was determined to become debt free this year. I am grateful to have had the services of Gemstone Finance and Lawerence Charlton, who, in the time I was paying the debts off, made it a lot more manageable for me and took away a lot of the hassle. But it couldn’t go on, not with my life plans, so I took matters elsewhere and parted ways aimicably with them. Part of me wishes I’d found my landlord’s help a lot sooner, and I could have saved myself money [...]
It’s no secret that I love using Linux, especially Ubuntu. However, after seeing and hearing so much about Arch Linux, I really wanted to try it. I tried to install it before, but unfortunately gave up due to lack of patience, it wasn’t as easy as I thought. However, after educating myself by watching Youtube and reading Wiki’s, I decided to give it another go, in a Virtual Machine. The thing I love about Arch is the awesome package management, and also that it’s just a base system which you can build from the ground up. It can be whatever you want it to be. Especially with the large choice of Window Managers and Desktop Environments out there. I have set Arch up in a Virtual Machine with much success this time around. I really enjoyed doing it. I chose Awesome WM, the tiling Window Manager, as my DE. I have seen so many screenshots of this and I’ve always wanted it. It just looks so cool, and it has such a low memory footprint. I haven’t gotten great resolutions out of it, but it is only a VM and the drivers for Virtualbox always leave a lot to be desired. However, I am confident that I would love to try and set up an Arch system on a native box with the proper drivers, and this is definitely on my geeky to-do list. Awesome WM can of course be installed on other Linux Distros, so I will be doing [...]
It appears that iOS 7 will be a departure from what we are used to when it comes to iOS. Many will say that this is long overdue as iOS at its core really hasn’t changed all that much over the years. The new iOS is rumoured to be flatter in terms of its UI with a lot less glitz and glamour. I don’t know how I feel about this. I do like iOS the way it is, if I am honest. I do find it visually appealing, even out of the box before jailbreaking. But I am intrigued to see how the new look is going to, well, look. I guess we will see at this years WWDC. OS X 10.9 is rumoured to have a lot more features for the power user. I’m happy about this, I am a Power User. I have also read that some more iOS features will sneak into the OS. Honestly, I’m not bothered by this. They’re not intrusive. Apple did it in such a way that they compliment the OS as opposed to hinder it (*cough* Windows 8). So I don’t think they will go wrong, here. I love having Messages on OS X. I use iMessage to stay in touch with Jenni all the time and to be able to continue this seamlessly when using my computer is bliss. I love the synchronisation of calendar and notes as well. Any other features they integrate, especially as I am an iOS user, [...]
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this video. It is a really good testament to how Ubuntu stands up against Windows in terms of usability. All the features are there. Sure, there are some minor snags, but overall it works pretty amazingly. Power users, of course, will go more under the hood and really bring out the OS’s full potential, but as a straight-up Windows replacement, Ubuntu definatelty is capable of holding its own.
So, the long-awaited album release by Paramore is now upon us! I really liked the idea of the 4 sides 4 nights thing they did on the website, although sadly I didn’t participate in it. I have, however, listened through the album and I will review it quickly song by song. We start off with Fast In My Car, which is a great opening for the album and a great indication of Paramore’s direction and overall tone. It almost has a slightly darker feel to it from what we’re used to from the band. This is echoed nicely in Now, the single release coupled with video. Awesome, catchy track that you’ll find yourself singing at random intervals during the day. Hayley’s voice has matured with age and she’s sounding great, here. Grow Up is Paramore’s version of pure pop perfection; this could easily have been Hayley on her own; she has a solid career ahead of her just for the ability to blend into tunes like this so seamlessly. Day Dreaming is a nice song, it’s vibe is almost a throwback to the stuff on Brand New Eyes. It almost sounds a little out of place, but keeps you hanging in there. The little interludes are an interesting touch – different. The aptly-titled Ain’t It Fun instantly got my head nodding – it’s groovy as hell, and has great hooks. Definitely one of my favorites on this one! Moving into Part II, with some familiar-soundling lyrics, and a melancholic vibe, [...]
When I was last in the US, I was in Best Buy with Jenni trying to get her car stereo installed (what an expensive nightmare that was!). Whilst we were waiting we messed with the Chromebooks, and I was very impressed. I loved the responisveness of those little machines and I loved the UI. Thanks to Hexxeh, I am running a build of Chrome OS in a Virtual Machine in Virtualbox. It is a little quirky but it works. I used it tonight to help Jenni find jobs to apply for, and to create a shared Google Doc for her to refer back to. I drafted this blog post on it, too. It really is very useable. I recently found an IRC client for it the other day, cIRC. It’s all pretty slick, and it CAN be used offline, despite what people think, but obviously the functionality does become greatly reduced. Really, what I wanted to say in this post was more about the GUI. THIS IS THE WAY WINDOWS SHOULD HAVE GONE! It would have been a massive step forward to have gone with this style of UI in Windows 8; It still would have been workable for touch-screen users. Let’s see, you have the transparent glass windows that you were used to in Windows 7. You also have the drop shadow behind the window, which is much more defined in the Chrome OS, almost as much as in OS X, which again I have always felt added to [...]
Okay, I don’t pay for it, I get it as part of living where I live. But, my god, it has been abysmal this week. As someone who lives on Skype, and therefore relies on my Internet connection, it has been extremely annoying to put up with constant pings and packet loss, leading to constantly dropping Skype calls, and pings from IRC. On a few occasions there have been complete outages ranging from 15mins to a couple of hours. I am not alone in my annoyances with the quality of this service and many people I have spoken to, friends of mine, are having the same or similar issues with it, and calls to customer service tend to leave a bitter taste in their mouths afterwards. I really hope they resolve whatever issues they are having soon, because it’s getting on people’s nerves and they will lose business if it carries on. Fortunately for me, I have a workaround, thanks to my lovely iPhone, GiffGaff and my unlimited data goody bag, and tether. I have done this throughout much of this week to get by, and it has proved a much more stable alternative to my main connection. At one point, I had my netbook and my desktop connected through my iPhone to surf the internet and it handled it beautifully. I was even able to have Video going on Skype. I’m lucky that I have a backup, but it doesn’t change the fact that the main connection has been [...]
It seems that every day now, I read something about Windows Blue, and each time I see it, I roll my eyes and I’m not impressed. I -might- be a little interested to read what they cough up with at the BUILD conference later this year, but on the whole, Windows itself is losing its momentum for me. I am far more excited to use Linux (mostly Ubuntu, but Arch interests me a lot) and Mac OS X. I have an iPhone 4 that does more than I could possibly want something I carry in my pocket to do, and I’m enjoying having it jailbroken and using a custom theme and some cool tweaks. I still love Windows, but I’m talking about Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7 SP1, here. I still enjoy using these particular versions of the OS. I believe that these two are Windows at their best, even though I was a late adopter to both. I think what is going to happen in the near future is that, on my next system, I will be using Windows 7 stripped down to the bare essentials for my music production, and dual boot with Ubuntu, which I will use for all my day-to-day desktop stuff. I have my MacStadium Mac Mini so I can also use OS X. I still plan on having an iPhone when I move to the USA so I will still be able to do all the things I want to do in a [...]