Windows 7, Palm Pre, Apple iPhone, and the Nokia E71

3 02 2009

Just some commentary on these 4 tech hot topics.

Windows 7: It’s alright and if you had problems getting your video cards recognized with Microsoft Windows Vista, you’re back on square one with the number. Now if you got an older monitor, it is most likely a 4:3 screen (resolutions – 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768), you’re not going to see stretching or black vertical borders on the sides. However, since your graphics card can’t really be used, you’ll see slower performance compared to XP. You might run into compatibility issues with antivirus software. Another downer.. the Windows 7 Beta (build 7000) you downloaded expires in August 2009.

My recommendation is as many have said – use it only for testing. Actually if you have a newer system, create a partition on your drive or get a 2nd HDD and install W7. The Aero visuals are stunning and runs smooth compared to the much despised Vista but for older machines, you should either go with Ubuntu or Windows XP.

Palm Pre: Put in the limelight at the 2009 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) last month, this is Palm’s last ditched attempt to save itself from oblivion. The UI (user interface) is pretty and appears to have been influenced by Apple’s iPhone OS which would make this an obvious hit other than the ugly keyboard slide-out. The old Garnet 5.4 OS has been kicked to the curb in favor of a new inhouse developed linux-based flashy webOS. Palm’s promising GPS, a 320×480 pixel screen, 3MP camera, 600MHz processor, 8GB internal memory, and a host of other standard features. An innovative feature of using cloud computing technology lets you sync your stuff with an online server instead of your computer. Well, you don’t really have a choice in this case.

What really kills this for me are … the ugly keyboard, the battery life for a cellular device at that size and that powerful of a processor with the features given is going to suck, no expandable memory which means no microSD card slots, doubts about security, and the tanking economy (duh!) I do understand that the Palm Pre isn’t out for sale yet but if they don’t produce a GSM version (AT&T and T-Mobile), regardless of their partnership with Sprint (CDMA), it’s a definite no go for me.

I guess we’ll have to sit back and see what’s remaining after Apple strips Palm out of a lot of their UI features on the Palm Pre.

Apple iPhone: What else to say other than this is the industry gold standard that every UI designer is aiming to emulate. Other than it being cool and possessing easy to use menus, there are a lot of limitations. Some being the lack of multi-tasking capabilities, “real” internet on the webkit-based Safari browser (YES, they lied in those ads), replaceable battery, external storage, and other smaller concerns. But the whole package despite those shortcomings is tightly integrated and holds mass appeal.

My take on this is, … pretty … cool … not the phone for me. Oh and the battery life sucks on this thing. I have the new 2nd Generation 16GB iPod Touch which sports a faster processor than the iPhone 3G but has better battery life. Unfortunately for the iPhone, it’s battery life is significantly worse than the Touch.

*drum roll*

Nokia E71: Just got this last week and boy is it a beauty. The design is compact yet has a bright generous screen. The audio is loud and crisp. GPS. Multitasking. Stainless-steel back. Giant 1500mA battery. This is a significant improvement from the older Nokia E61, which more than held it’s own back when it originally debuted in 2006. I’ll be posting more about this next week. 😉

(L to R above) Apple iPod Touch 2nd Gen . Nokia E71 . Nokia E61

Also, NewEgg‘s having a super sale for the E71 at a super low price of $299 with a free Motorola Bluetooth headset and topped with FREE SHIPPING!
Here’s the coupon: EMCABCHBJ


The Best OS for your old laptop? Pt 1 of 2

29 05 2008

Do you have a spare old computer lying around collecting dust?


What do you do when you have an aged laptop or desktop and running Windows XP is a pain in the ass? A friend of mine wanted me to fix his sister’s old computer, a Dell Inspiron 2100 laptop running ……

Microsoft Windows XP SP2
Intel Pentium III 700Mhz
128MB RAM (1 slot, upgradeable to 256)

A sticker on his diminutive laptop (now called a sub-notebook) carried the l’terrible Windows ME sticker in a corner galvanizing me to set forth on an adventure to seek out the best usable Operating System for that old POS. Since the end-user would require a familiar user-interface, my first bet was Windows XP. It was bad. Really bad and took a longer time to load and operate than expected.

Being the honorable ninja, I was began looking for “free” Operating Systems devoid of commercial value. So the next thing to XP, since Vista is definitely out of the equation, was TinyXP. You can google it up and download the ISO file via torrents for free. Install the ISO as I have detailed in this post and try setting it up on your computer. Remember that when you install it on a drive, you will have to format the drive so backup everything you have on DVDs or CDs or another hard drive.

So how’s TinyXP? It’s great for that laptop when I installed Rev08 and it’s the same as Windows XP for the regular user other than certain disabled features. Only took like 500MB so was pretty neat. The only problem was after installing all the different add-ons like Flash Player for YouTube and Office 2003 etc etc, the laptop became slow. There are options to remove printers and other features and even after combing out everything from the start-up and uninstalling McAfee Anti-Virus, it wasn’t as fun. The wallpaper and theme figures into the slowness of the operations of the computer as well. Oh and you can’t run updates to secure your machine on the internet.

After these problems with TinyXP, I said fuggit and formatted the drive with the much heralded Fluxbox variant of the already open-source and “free” Ubuntu known as Fluxbuntu. After formatting the drive to EXT3 and getting Flux on it, to my shock, it was a plain Linux screen where everything had to be done manually. Click on the terminal window to install applications (example: sudo apt-get install firefox) but to it’s credit, Fluxbuntu did have some nice looking preloaded themes to it.

To get an updated repository list of applications, you would have to open up the terminal window and type in sudo update-menus before you can do the sudo apt-get install [name of application]. It did not recognize my Western Digital external hard drive and had trouble loading my flash drives. Apparently you have to manually mount them to the computer through commands on the terminal. Pfffft. Gave it another 24 hours and blah. Gave up on it. It’s light-weight and great for an old workstation but simply not user-friendly enough for the average person like my friend’s sister.

And so our ninja trod on towards his next project, KDE. I remembered having problems installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon – Gnome) and knew that similar issues could arise during installation of Kubuntu (KDE Ubuntu) so ran the lazy man’s way of installing Kubuntu over Flux.

[To Be Continued…]

pop + manga + music = Asobi Seksu

27 11 2007

So I’ve been rather busy in the past many days since Black Friday twiddling around with an old 1GHz Intel Pentium III 256MB RAM laptop. Formatted the hard drive on it to the EXT3 format and loaded the most popular Debian Linux-based operating system – Ubuntu 7.10 aka Gutsy Gibbon. The process was long and lengthy and may not be for the faint hearted but it was definitely worth the trouble. FYI, Ubuntu is completely FREE which brings me now to a something else.

Randomly bumped into ASOBE SEKU ASOBI SEKSU on YouTube while following the exploits of Zadi Diaz on JetSetShow’s EPIC-FU. Asobi Seksu (according to Wikipedia) is a New York City band featuring Yuki Chikudate (vocals, keyboards), James Hanna (guitar, vocals), and Ben Shapiro (drums). I thought I was listening to some Rilo Kiley or some kinda Euro indie pop group but whadya kno. If you’re into that, you might like Asobi Seksu (Nihongo for “playful sex”). Part pop, part manga, all music, the song featured below is titled “Goodbye” and is from their latest album Citrus.

PS: WTF is “eponymous” and WTF is that word doing out on Asobe Seksu’s wiki page???

Windows Search = Death Toll for XP

26 10 2007

Many of us have the Microsoft Windows XP updates set to “Automatic” which also happens to be the default setting meaning if you haven’t bothered with it, your computer gets updated by Microsoft, when they feel like it. And as we all know from some of my previous posts that I am not the greatest fan of MS’s attempt to slow down your computer with the myriad updates that Mr Gates’ company would like you to stuff down on our aging computers.

The last update contained Windows Search and Index applications. What this is, is it’s basically like Google Desktop Search. It resides in the background of your computer’s memory and hogs it down. The upside to that is it allows you to look up anything you’ve typed or written. So in other words, a more powerful version of the lame Windows Search thing you click on after clicking the START button. Search and Index comes prepackaged with the slow-selling Windows Vista.

You can see how much RAM they use by hitting CTRL+ALT+DEL, then clicking on Task Manager, and then the Processes tab. searchindex.exe, searchfilterhost.exe, searchprotocolhost.exe, and mscorsvw.exe should be hiding among the processes listed. These are the suspects where mscorsvw does something a bit different and doesn’t have much to do with the Indexing portion.

There’s more than 1 way to turn it off. The method I chose was to go to…

Start > Run and then type in services.msc and hit enter.
– Go all the way down to Windows Search under the Name column after clicking on the title to arrange it in an alphabetical order.
– Double-click Windows Search and click on the “automatic” drop down tool bar and set it to “disabled”.
– Then hit Apply and watch your computer pick up in speed.
– Then delete it from the Startup. Click on Start > All Programs > Startup and then right-click on Windows Search and select the delete option.
– Don’t forget to reboot your computer after disabling.


Another way you can turn it off is by clicking on…

Start > Search > Change Preferences > With Indexing Service
– Make sure the [NO, Do Not Enable Indexing Service] option is selected.


Change Indexing Service Settings
– [Indexing Services] Window
– Click on Action > Stop

Sorry to announce this but attempting to disable the Search/Index via Windows Search isn’t very effective. Just try my steps from the “services” menu and REMEMBER to delete the Windows Search icon from the Start-Up menu before you reboot your system.

So what do I think of all this? This is madness. This is Sparta. I feel like I’m in fuckin Sparta. Surrounded by Bill Gates and his evil henchman Steve Balmer’s asswipes looking for an easy kill. They want to bog down our Windows XP operating systems with all their unnecessary system files/processes so that in the end, we give up on XP and move over to Vista.

Wait. Not so easy you evil Redmond clowns. Some of us are actually going to make the switch over to Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) and Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) so I wish you all luck. Microsoft continues to alienate their true fans by trying to Mackify their UI (user interface) but comes out with a shitty product and making themselves look bad. All those updates this year have been extremely aggressive. I can’t see why Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft hate their users so much. I’ve been a Windows fan for a long time but times are changing. Especially this year.

EDIT: John Wood has a quick detailed guide to disabling mscorsvw.exe on your computer.

Microsoft hates your computer!

14 09 2007

That’s what I think. Why else would they do this to regular PC users? Do they want us to move over to Macs???????

So I turned on my laptop and clicked on Start and then clicked on MSN Messenger 7.0 on the left-hand column forgetting that I had LIVE now. Then I got this pop-up error message.

WTF is this??? Problem with fucking shortcut? Motherfuckin cunt Microsoft. I hate you Bill Gates! This is no ordinary SHORTCUT-NOT-FOUND pop-up message. This is some kinda computer-slow-down bullshit that they appeared to have implanted on my Windows XP machine. The Windows Live Messenger appears to have overwritten on the MSN Messenger folder located in C:\Program Files and corrupted the remnants of the older 7.0 system.

Now while I had this pop-up message, when I clicked on Start, I could no longer click on anything on the left-hand column. And my computer was starting to slow down. This is blasphemy!!! I have a 2.6GHz Pentium 4 with 1GB RAM and a very clean system because of my nazi-like daily clean-ups. This should not be happening to my system.

Then I got suspicious. Hit CTRL+ALT+DEL keys and clicked on Task Manager and under Processes. Right away, I saw a new file running in the background.

Why you lil motherfuckin piece of shit! The file in question is USNSVC.EXE and a quick Google on it revealed …

usnsvc.exe is the Messenger Sharing USN Journal Reader Service to enable sharing scenarios. It is installed with MSN Messenger. It is located at “C:\Program files\MSN Messenger\”. This is not a required process. You can disable it to save computer resources.

-Your PC suffers from sluggish performance -You are experiencing an increase in those annoying popups
-Your default internet homepage often changes for no apparent reason.
-Some of your search results look very strange
-You have experienced an unexplained increase in your phone bills! (caused by dialers)

… so I quickly ended that process. That’s all I have for now. Fuck you Windows Live! This whole thing is a SCAM by MS. I can see myself using Mac OS X Leopard by the end of the year. BILL GATES! YOU HAVE ALIENATED YOURSELF FROM THE REAL WINDOWS USERS!

As I speak, I’m working up my finances to purchase a new Mac Book Pro. If not, I’ll just switch back to Linux. Most possibly Ubuntu.