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Showing posts from 2006

Tech Gadgets for Holiday Gifts

Here in the States it's time again to open our hearts and wallets and give, give, give. I've just been trough a great site called gifts.com . I used that site to pick out some of the better tech gadgets that I think would be great for your geek to find under the Christmas tree. So lets get into it. Skullcandy -G-I-Stereo-Headphones : Most any geek out there will have some fascination with audio. Weather it be they record their farts for a soundboard, or listen to great music, or even hunkering down to a great game, audio matters. These headphones will do nicely in any of the examples mentions and the look cool to boot! iriver clix : I'm not an Apple iPod kind of guy myself. I like to have the freedom to use an audio format known as OGG Vorbis . Not many players support it and if one player from a manufacture does support it then it is safe to believe nearly all it's players will. That's because OGG is a open source file type. that means the company didn'

Opera Hack: Change the way Reply and Forward headers are written

Well folks here is another tip for one of the greatest browsers, Opera. This one will allow you to change how your e-mails read so you can take more control of the one part I have a problem with in Opera. As those of you that tried the software might know Opera has a built in e-mail client. That they have called M2. The way e-mail is stored in the client is much the same way mail is stored in Gmail. Although I think it would be more accurate to say that Gmail functions much like M2 because M2 was out years before Gmail. In any case the mail is not stored in separate folders or bins. all e-mail is stored in a database type formate that has labels and tags to describe the e-mail to be a sent item, a received item, a deleted item, and so on. the labeling is limited to you. From this database of e-mails it becomes very easy to find an e-mail sent last year about vacation reservations I made or an e-mail from a friend with directions to their house. What does bother me is that when I reply

Review: Recolored

If you visit my site johndgeek.com you will see I have added a new 2d image to the portfolio. It's a photograph of my grand parents, mother, and uncles in the traditional dutch costume. The picture was taken just before they moved to the USA from Holland. At the time the photographer only offered the prints in black and white. The picture endured several decades until one day my grand father asked if I could colorize it. I didn't hesitate to help since I knew how to colorize a photo using Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop and proceeded to work. It turned out to be taking a lot of time to complete because of so many details in the clothing and background. Then while reading the digg articles I noticed that someone had created a better way to colorize photos. I had to check it out for myself. The examples posted by the application's author were great so I downloaded a demo and tried it out for myself. The application was easy to install and has a small file size. Once I opened it t

Review: Blackberry 8700g

Just a few weeks ago I broke down and, behind my wife's back, bought a BlackBerry® 8700g. If you remember reading my last review I had a cell phone that used the ToGo minutes from T-mobile®. This phone would have worked with that plan but I would not have been able to do a whole lot. So I upgraded to a standard 1000 minutes plan and added the unlimited minutes for e-mail and internet. So I'm paying a lot more for service. So my first question was is it worth it, and for me it was. I'm now able to keep in better contact with family, friends, and work. The whole thing including a Jabra bluetooth headset took a $450.00 chunk out of my bank account but so far I feel it's been worth the cost. Hardware The hardware the phone comes with is standard equipment. USB Cable, Battery, Hands-Free Headset, BlackBerry Desktop Software, Travel Charger, and SIM Card. I was glad to buy a phone that had a Mini-USB plug connection because I knew I would be able to upload games

Review: Samsung x495

T-Mobile When I went to my local T-Mobile and went looking for a good phone I was actually going to get a sidekick or blackberry. What I ended up getting was the Samsung x495. It is a great phone. I have yet to find the phone that suits me best. I'm looking for a phone that I can hook up to the PC and move data to and from it. Things like ringers and wallpapers and the obvious phone book entries. Like I said before I was looking to get a sidekick or blackberry but I was done with the bar style phones. I wanted a clam shell or folding phone. I was doomed from the start. I was given the option to go to a Motorola phone that would connect to my PC with a USB cable but I didn't like the screen on it. The x495 was what I finally choose because it had a great screen the style was great and it did everything I was use to. The phone is just a phone. It won't take cruddy pictures of you and your friends, and it won't hold more then a few MP3 files at once which do not sound t

The Evils of RIAA and Digital rights Managment

It is apparent these days that corporations are doing everything they can to turn a profit. The entertainment business is no exception. RIAA is an something like a union for recording artists. More accurately RIAA's members are recording companies in America. Over the past few years the RIAA have been fighting against piracy with such a fervor that the association has now created a huge animosity throughout the world from tech savvy people, like myself. The issue the RIAA brings up is that the Peer to Peer (P2P) networks like Kazaa and Morpheus are allowing everyone to download music created by artist and the recording company the artist is working for isn't getting compensation for it. While this is sometimes true RIAA has taken an extreme step in an attempt to stop the piracy from happening. They have submitted to judges a "Jone / Jane Doe" subpoena that requests internet providers supply customer names based on weak tracking evidence.In turn people that don't o

REVIEW: Panasonic DMR-EH50S

For almost 6 months now I have played with a great DVR (Digital Video Recorder) From Panasonic. It can record a show and play it back while it's recording or play back a previously recorded show while recording another show. It uses TV Guide to get a listing of all my channels and it can play or record DVDs. The list goes on with MP3 play back, SD card playback of pictures, and the player can record to or read from almost every type of optical media available today. It's a great player for the price I payed ($350.00) and my wife even likes it. The model I have isn't for sale any more but Panasonic is still producing similar models that look to be just as great if not better. I still have some gripes with the system though. The biggest annoyance is the live playback like option. Even if you have not experienced the TiVo way of live playback you can understand the frustration with this player's "time slip" feature. About 25% of the screen becomes the "real

Icon Sushi

It isn't often that I come across a program that I think deserves to be mentioned. So often they miss the mark. Some programs will be intuitive and easy to use but lack the power or ability to do anything effective. Other times the application is powerful and give the user limitless potential but requires classes or several books to just learn how to use. This little application is one such wonder that makes it easy to use but just misses the mark on ability. That said I still like this programme. The first thing that sets this application apart is the ability to use PSD, PNG, BMP, EXE and ICO formats. Have a picture you want to crop and make an icon? you can do it with the standard windows paint program and Icon Sushi. Have an avatar or logo you spent hours in Photo Shop with to get alpha and transparency just right? you can open it in Icon Sushi and translate the work into icon form. It has the ability to create icons without sacrificing quality. It also has the ability to add al

Opera tid-bits

Looking at the Opera icon I noticed that it seemed bland compared to the IE and FF icons. So I set out to create one that is updated. I found operajournal.com for inspiration. So here they are

New system for the Geek

After several years I finally decided to get a new computer. I took a trip to the local Fry's electronic store and spent an hour just looking at the different systems. Mostly because I was looking for a system that would be upgradeable with off the shelf part and also was built with hardware that was meaningful to me. So much of what is sold with a computer these days is never used because the people buying don't understand what they are looking for. Just as terrible is when you buy a computer that requires you to buy that manufacturer's parts. Compaq is notorious for this, forcing you to buy there RAM or add-on cards. Here were some of the items I was looking for. Windows XP Media Center Video input and output for TV Priced under $1000.00 After looking at systems that included hot swap bays I would never use and systems way over priced. I finally settled for an HP a1350n. It had everything I was looking for and almost nothing I wasn't. I don't really need the

Install Quicktime without installing iTunes

Ever since Apple has forced you to install iTunes and Quicktime together I've been reluctant to update from version 6 to version 7. I loved going to the movie trailer area and seeing the trailers to movies they don't advertise on TV. But now they are requiring Quicktime 7 so I set out to see if I could install just Quicktime. First of course I had to download Quicktime with iTunes from the site, http://apple.com. Next I used WinRAR to view the EXE package. Finally I move or extract the Quicktime file to a directory of my choosing and that's it. I can now open the Quicktime installer and not have iTunes on my system. Alternately you can create an install package of iTunes without Quicktime if you are so inclined to do. Simply extract the content of the iTunes installer you downloaded from Apple into a directory. Next copy the self extracting information from the right panel. Third delete the Quicktime installer from the directory you extracted the files to. Finally you high

Double Digged / Dup'ed on Digg

Before during or after work I like to spend a minute or two at Digg to see what new news has been found by the digg community. I usually hang out in the digg for stories section where all the newest stories are submitted to. Even though this subject has been covered by many other people and submitted to digg for review it seems that we have some stragglers that missed the first and second showings. Because of the fact that several news agencies report on the same subject in different ways. Not to mention the fact that some people try to submit anything just for a chance to reach the home page on digg. Some stories are submitted several times into digg for review. While the community at large has done better to filter these double digging stories the problem still persists. The crew at digg have spent a lot of time and effort in trying to help submitters know that the story already exists but even so they still continue to submit. On some level that tells me that we should have a metric