Slow computer (Pt. 7) – Visual Performance

31 07 2007

Nothing much to say other than a few tweaks to Windows XP will make any slow computer run a lot faster. But for that, you will sacrifice a few visual effects.

First thing you want to do is:
1. Click on Start > Control Panel > Display
2. Click on the Appearance tab
3. Click on Effects
4. Uncheck everything but you are free to leave the last one checked.
5. Hit Apply and Ok to save your changes and quit the Display window.

1. Click on Start and right-click on My Computer and then click on Properties
2. Click on the Advanced tab
3. Click on Settings listed below the first option Performance
4. Click on Visual Effects and uncheck everything but the last 4 as I’ve done below

5. Hit Ok and exit the windows.
6. Reboot your junky PC and voila!!!


Winamp. It really kicks the llama’s ass!

31 07 2007

Yea it really kicked the llama’s ass until Nullsoft completely messed it up. Half of the designers/programmers quit and formed their own company. If you’re looking for the MP3 player that requires very little from your computer and performs great without the annoying “UPDATE” messages etc, search for WinAmp 5.13 and right-click on the player, then click on options > preferences, and set the internet connection to “Not Connected” and uncheck everything other than Recycle permanently deleted files, Taskbar, and the last thing about “full screen applications.”

Then you’re off to go. Run this on a PII 256MB RAM and you won’t have a problem. Oh and make sure to set it up as the “Classic” mode.

The only Iron Man movie trailer?

31 07 2007

Another title related to a movie and ending with a question in a row. This one’s about the ONLY available trailer for the Robert Downey Jr starring movie Iron Man expected to be released on May 2008. The questionable selection of Robert Downey Jr is quickly swept aside by the casting of Samuel “Mothafuckin” L. Jackson as the completely badass S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. I mean how badass can it get?

Oh and here’s the clip taken at the Comic-Con 2007 festival and hosted by Game Trailers. It’s obviously taken on a hand-held camcorder and isn’t the best of quality but it’s the only one out there I’ve found so far. Youtube and all other video hosting sites are being made to take down the trailers.

This movie is going to rock … your … socks … off!

Godzilla or Cthulhu movie?

31 07 2007

This has been in the back of my head ever since I saw Transformers on the 4th. There was this trailer about a small group of friends giving a farewell party to someone named Rob when all of a sudden, a mighty roar erupts as buildings blow up into flames and cars and stuff fly out of the subsequent explosions. The giant severed head of the Statue of Liberty falls down screeching on the asphalt as people everywhere in NYC scream in terror. My first impressions of this was GODZILLA. After all, the dude Rob or whatever he was called was leaving for Tokyo (Japan) and the drowning screams of people as they scrambled away saying something along the lines of “I saw it. It’s alive. It’s huge.”

Nima and Kaci at the time weren’t sure. The only text in that teaser trailer was 1-18-08. A quick Google search came up with suggestions like “the Parasite”, the lion transforming robot Voltron, and even far-off remarks like the hugely successful Xbox 360 game Gears of Wars. I guess a dude by the name of Mark Gordon is producing a Voltron movie but this one was being done by JJ Abrams, the dude in charge of Lost so it’s not Voltron. It can’t be the Thor movie because that one won’t be out until Summer of 2009. It’s not the Ironman movie cuz the trailers are different and it’s not related. It’s not Batman cuz neither the Joker nor Two-Face can chop down the head of the Statue of Liberty. Neither can they live in the sea like the creature that did that in the trailer. Shuffling around the pictures on the official website for the movie so far is fruitless. The intertwining hair between 2 girls looking up shows an gnarly elf-like creature but that’s jus a coincidence. Right???

There is a significant amount of people claiming it’s a movie featuring H.P. Lovecraft’s feared Cthulhu squid monster but I think that’s just stinky hot air. It has to be Godzilla cuz in the last Godzilla, one egg cracks with nobody noticing it. I’ll agree Godzilla the Hollywood movie sucked but this one better not.

But officially speaking, all we know is the name of the movie for now 1-18-08 and the code-name for the project: Cloverfield which happens to be JJ Abrams’ address. That and the name of the director (Matt Reeves), producer (JJ Abrams), and the distributor (Paramount). It’s also a monster movie shot using the personal camcorder style from the Blairwitch Project.

As of 07/31/07, we have nothing else other than rampant speculation and a trailer. Watch it if you haven’t by clicking here!

Miller Chill or Chelada Beer any good?

30 07 2007

This so called Miller Chill which is actually an abbrev standing for “Chelada” which happens to be a play of words to combine 2 Spanish words “Helada” (iced) and “Chela” (beer). Also, this happens to be a traditional Mexican recipe among flavored beer or chela lovers across the southern border.

So how is this Chill beer from Miller? Not bad actually if you’re looking to quench your thirst with something cool on a hot sunny day. The slightest hint of lime in the beer cannot compete against Corona+salt+lime but sure as heck beats going thru the trouble of prepping a Corona. For serious beer drinkers, you can stick with your Pale Ale, Summit, Newcastle, and Surly – a small local drink here 😉

I personally like it and so this gets the ninja stamp of approval for mass consumption. A note of concern is that this is a rather light beer so don’t go all out expecting it to taste like one of the better beers available in the market.

What Ninja thinks of ZDNet’s 10 free security…

30 07 2007

… utilities. STUPID! Yea. That’s what the ninja’s telling me.

Anyway, here’s the list from ZDNet’s site posted below.

#1: Secunia Personal Software Inspector
First of all, this thing is in beta. There’s not much going on here aside from the software collecting names/meta-info of files and folders and comparing with the same software on their database online. In reality, how do you know if your software isn’t working? Run it. If it doesn’t run, it’s broke and you’ll have to uninstall the software and reinstall it. If you think you have a virus hiding in your software’s folders, there’re better things to do than checking it up with an online database.

#2: OpenDNS
It’s ok. There’re ads and crap associated with using it and rumors that your info is being sold to 3rd party marketers.

#3: Active Virus Shield (free anti-virus)
Not bad. Not the greatest because to get it to actually do anything, you have to put in some mullahs. I mean there’s other better alternatives like AntiVir, online scanning by TrendMicro, and an awesome firewall setup using Zone Alarm.

#4: Haute Secure
Can’t comment on it because I don’t use IE7. If I were you, I’d use FF2.0 instead and not have to worry about Haute Secure or IE7’s clunky user-interface.

#5: GMER anti-rootkit
Maybe they have a winner here. Never used it but sounds too uber-techy for non-techy users.

#6: Netcraft Toolbar
Oh no. NOT another TOOLBAR. How many toolbars before you feel cluttered and trapped? Sure safety but at what cost? BTW, I can’t vouch for this crap cuz it’s IE.

#7: File Shredder
Only good if you don’t have CCleaner (look below).

#8: CCleaner
Great product. Up there with ATF-Cleaner.

#9: PC Decrapifier
Useful for n00bs with new PCs. Otherwise, the best option of getting rid of 3rd party apps is to format a computer the moment you buy it and customize what you want to have installed on it. Beats the hell outta PC Decrapifier which may or may not do the job. Then if you need to ‘decrapify” your computer any more, just go to Control Panel > Add Remove and uninstall anything you don’t need. Then run CCleaner.

#10: NoScript for Firefox
This will be the 2nd product the ninja recommends that is on ZDNet’s list but not quite required unless you’re the pr0n-obsessed internet user or the paranoid next door neighbor.

So I reiterate the ninja’s opinion on ZDNet’s list: CRAP!

Beautiful weekend!

30 07 2007

Had a fun filled weekend which kept me away from the blog. First of all, a freak storm almost got me killed. Visibility was down to 30 ft ahead and the strong winds got most of the cars hydroplaning on I-94. By the time I got down, it was too late to drive down another half an hour to Canterbury for a friend’s birthday so we just drove around aimlessly with Kaci on Lake Street up and down multiple times. Ate out at the International Center at an East African food stall. Generous proportions but the food wasn’t all that great. Also the entire place was closing at 8 and it was 7:45 PM so we were sorta hurried.

Got some groceries done with Mark and Molly and then later when Kaci got back, went out for bowling with some old friends. Took a while to find the place cuz of all the one-way streets and the ubiquitous construction going on which blocked part of the restaurant/bar/bowling place. Interesting bowling alley. You just go there and start playing. In the end you pay whatever you claim. 5 of us had graduated from the same college. What a coincidence. Got home late and watched Deja-vu. Not a bad movie but Kaci was “disturbed”.

Early morning trip to the farmer’s market by the Basilica. As we were driving around, a parking spot opened up. Couldn’t believe my luck. So many people walking around, and it was 9 AM! Mark bought a bunch of stuff there. Then had some Chicago Hot Dogs while Kaci and I got take-away Chinese to munch on. Called up Nima to check and see if he was up for canoeing at Lake Calhoun around 1. On the way there, we passed by a beautiful silver Lamborghini Gallardo. Molly, Nima, and Kaci were all surprised by how low the car was even compared to my already lowered Civic. Nice change in scenery from the usual Carerras floating around the streets, the Gallardo truly commands respect with it’s snarly low slung wide appearance. Kaci commented that it looked like a squashed frog. Hah.

After we got to the lake’s parking and I was heading to the vending machine to pay for parking, some dude in a black BMW 335i rolls by and hands me his parking stub which was valid for another 3 and 1/2 hours. WOAH!

It was a beautiful day on Saturday. Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, not too humid. Just perfect. Some local people were doing the Brazilian fighting dance thing – kinda lamer version. The canoes were 15 bucks each. Soon we were out on the lake and the hour rolled by quick. Took a walking trip around Uptown and had root beer floats at Uncommon Grounds – no refills. Did some grocery shopping and had brats for dinner with Mark. Later played tennis with Nima and Kaci. I was leading at first with 3-1-0. Then Nima took the lead with 3-5-1. Somehow, in the end, Kaci came out winning 3-5-6. Fuck! At least we got done at 10PM which also coincidentally was the park’s closing hour so the lights would turn off soon. We found that out as we were walking out of the tennis court. Haha. Then drove to Nima’s and did some grilling – more burgers. Eh had some trouble getting the charcoal to light up because of the freak rain storm on Thursday and our charcoal bag was left outside. Aaah nice.

Relaxing day. Ate out at Joe’s Garage on the roof-top by the Basilica. Great burgers and fries. Went to the Walker Art “outdoors” Museum well parked there. Went in the art museum there and looked at some lame art. $6 x 3 (Molly and Kaci with me) wasted. There was some Picasso thing going on there so it was unusually crowded. Some interesting electronic camera info table thing and some works by Picasso and fans. Nothing much…