• April 29, 2009 /  Mac, Tech Stuff

    Been quite busy lately, I was hired to do an audio video production for someone’s birthday, and also I’m setting up several model shoots to build up my portfolio. Plus, I just came back from Shanghai, so blogging time was close to nil.

    So for now, I’ll just leave you with an excerpt from late breaking news that Apple is getting sued for iTunes

    Internet rights champions have accused Apple of stifling free speech by bullying OdioWorks into ending online sharing of ways to get iPods to work with music websites other than iTunes…

    …At the heart of the issue is the BluWiki website that details ways to get Apple’s popular iPhones and iPod MP3 players to synchronize music and video files with media at services such as Songbird, Banshee, Rockbox, and Winamp…

    …Apple zealously guards iTunes’ status as an exclusive content delivery and management tool for iPod and iPhone hardware.

    “Apple’s legal threats against BluWiki are about censorship, not about protecting their legitimate copyright interests,” said EFF senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann.

    Full article at Yahoo!News

    All I can say is I’m not surprised and actually expecting it. These days, consumers can no longer be bullied into a monopoly the likes of how Microsoft dominated the 90′s. Personally, I’ve never used iTunes software with my 3rd-gen iPod Nano. As an Ubuntu user, I’ve initialized it in Linux and use Rhythmbox and GTKPod for managing my music and videos. I’ll teach you guys how to do that next time. Till then!

    If you found this information useful, buy me a coffee.

  • March 9, 2009 /  Lifestyle, Mac, Operating Systems, Ubuntu, Windows

    I used to be an MS user, ever since the days of DOS. And naturally, there are things that I miss in Windows. On the other hand, having used Ubuntu at home exclusively for the past couple of years, there are always things I miss when I sit down in front of my office PC (a fact I am slowly changing by virtualizing my workspace).

    So today, I’ll be telling you not only the top 5 things I miss in Windows, but also the top 5 things I miss in GNU/Linux.

    DISCLAIMER: Many of you will disagree. Some of you will give suggestions. These are my own experiences, based on what I use my computers for. You’re daily activity and workflow will differ from mine.


    1. See Your IP Address Quickly Without Opening A Terminal

    See Your Connection Details With The Support Tab

    See Your Connection Details With The Support Tab

    In Windows XP, you double-click the LAN icon in the system tray (you have to set the “Display Icon in System Tray When Connected” in the connection properties, but you only have to do this once) and the local area connection dialog pops-up. If you go to the Support tab, you can find your connection’s information including IP address and subnet there.

    2. Middle-click scroll

    Yes, the middle-mouse button doesn’t scroll your browser or application in Ubuntu. I’ll tell you why later. While it is possible to set this in Linux,  (heck, practically ANYTHING can be set somehow), there is no fancy GUI way to do it so it’s definitely not for the lesser-experienced. The middle-mouse button is useful for those lazy days when you’re surfing the web and  just don’t want to scroll that mouse wheel.
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • September 12, 2008 /  Mac, Miro, Tutorials and Guides, Ubuntu, Windows

    In line with our celebration of our new wordpress server, here is the second post for the day. In this post, we discuss a video player I’ve been using for over a year, but seems that not enough people are using it. It’s not just any video player. It’s Miro.

    Miro Video Player

    Miro Video Player

    I know a lot of people who love watching videos at YouTube. And among them, there are also plenty who like downloading their favorite videos. The problem though is that YouTube doesn’t freely provide this service. Instead they have to rely on Firefox extensions, download websites (which are either full of ads, possibly virus-laden, or just plain dubious), and other such hacks.

    That was how I found Miro. I’ve been using Miro for about a year now, and it has improved over the past year in terms of both usability and stability. But Miro is more than just another YouTube downloader. Advertised as an Internet TV player, it does what it says and does it well.

    Downloading YouTube Videos

    Downloading Videos

    Downloading Videos

    With Miro’s integrated video search feature, you can search videos from YouTube, Daily Motion, Veoh, and other video websites without starting your browser. You then just choose your search results and Miro will start downloading them into your library. I find this feature really nice, especially when downloading a long or large video, when I want to show something to some friends, or when I’m just too busy to watch them immediately. WIth the video in my library, I can load it up anytime at my convenience, whether I’m on the train or relaxing after cooking/eating dinner.

    Internet TV with Miro

    Viewing The Contents of a Channel

    Viewing The Contents of a Channel

    Miro comes with a few default channels and lets you add more channels. There are plenty of channels to choose from the integrated Miro Guide, which offers you some of its recommendations or you can search for a particular interest. Miro uses the open RSS standard for its channels, so it’s compatible with practically all feeds on the internet, including iTunes podcasts.

    The beauty of using channels is that you can set it to auto-download New content or All content to download even old videos you haven’t seen yet. For example, I am subscribed to the WebbAlert channel, which offers an almost-daily 5-minute round-up of what’s new on the Internet and computing in general. When I get home and turn on my computer and Miro, it will automatically download new episode(s) if any, for my viewing pleasure, at my own leisure. It’s like turning on your TV to your favorite daily program, only you’re not bound by stiff schedules.

    More Cool Features

    Video Playback

    Video Playback

    Miro’s core functionalities are wonderfully complemented by the options that Miro’s intellgent engineers came up with.

    Afraid you’ll run out of disk space? That shouldn’t be a problem when using Miro. You can easily set Miro to make sure to leave a gigabyte or two. And if space is a problem, the expire feature comes in very handy. Some people unfamiliar with this concept might be wary at first, but trust me, you’re not going to be watching last week’s podcast episodes anyway. YouTube videos also expire in the default 6 days, but you can choose to keep a video indefinitely by clicking on the “keep” button. Of course, there’s also a “delete” button, in case you downloaded a loser video or this week’s podcast episode just sucks.

    Each channel also displays the number of unwatched videos you have, which conveniently turns into a play button when you move your mouse over it, giving you instant access to unwatched content. There’s also a “New” item in the sidebar. Just like the channels, it displays the number of unwatched videos across all your channels and clicking it plays it. By default Miro is set to play all videos consecutively in a section (be it a channel, New, or your library), but if you prefer watching one at a time (like me), you can turn it off in the options.

    Miro is available for GNU/Linux, Mac, as well as Windows. Download it now from http://www.getmiro.com

    While you’re downloading Miro, click on over here to read more about how Miro does what it does. And if you’re interested in making your own videos or channels for Miro, http://makeinternettv.org is a good resource for information.

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  • July 30, 2007 /  Mac, Operating Systems, Ubuntu, Windows

    To avoid being criticized for bashing M$ Windoze, I decided I’m just gonna let others do the talking for me this time around, and I didn’t have to go farther than YouTube for answers. (Search: Windows Vista)

    Firstoff, some of you may have heard that Aero stole it’s ideas from Mac OS X. Here’s showing that Microsoft didn’t:
    <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=TaIUkwPybtM">http://youtube.com/watch?v=TaIUkwPybtM</a>

    Steve Jobs and Bertrand Serlet also talks about Aero’s features:
    <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=N-2C2gb6ws8">http://youtube.com/watch?v=N-2C2gb6ws8</a>

    Of course, Vista does have it’s good points. Take for example its voice recognition system. See how it performs in action: <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=kX8oYoYy2Gc">http://youtube.com/watch?v=kX8oYoYy2Gc</a>

    And of course, the new window switcher included in Aero:
    <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=4gSzDggUtoI">http://youtube.com/watch?v=4gSzDggUtoI</a>

    Followed by a video highlighting the features of Aero. And afterwards, Beryl
    <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=xC5uEe5OzNQ">http://youtube.com/watch?v=xC5uEe5OzNQ</a>

    Now, let’s hear what this Vista owner has to say after buying a brand new computer to run Vista: <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=FVbf9tOGwno">http://youtube.com/watch?v=FVbf9tOGwno</a>

    Microsoft is proud to offer several innovations in Vista. Here is a timeline of competitor’s innovations. I think it’s self-explanatory.

    • January 2000 – Apple comes out with Aqua
    • April 2005 – Mac OS X Tiger is released, featuring Gadgets, Spotlight, Expose, and a host of other innovations.
    • Janury 2006 – Novell releases Compiz, featuring Annotate, Scale, Minimize/Maximize/Close animations, Desktop Cube, Zoom, and a host of other innovations.
    • October 2006 – Beryl forks from Compiz. Changable window decorators, and other innovations were added.
    • Windows Vista – End of January 2007. Features the Aero window decorator, theme, and icon set that looks like OS X, and provides other innovations such as live windows like in OS X and Compiz/Beryl, live icons like in Ubuntu, and transparent windows like on OS X and Compiz/Beryl.

    Innovations? I don’t think so.

    Edit: Did you know Vista requires twice the computing power of Beryl-powered PCs? People are ditching their perfectly good computers to throw money at computer vendors for top-of-the-line models.

    Ok, I’m being too kind. Actually, Vista needs up to four times more computing power:

    • 4X HDD (15GB vs. 4GB)
    • 4X memory (1GB vs. 256MB)
    • 4X 3D card (128MB vs. 32MB)

    Take my advice, put the money you’ll use to buy a new computer into savings, and put the money you’re gonna pay for Vista to buy a camera or something. What’s that? You need to pirate Vista to get it free?

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