31 July 2006

A Food Tip

Some programme I watched on TV a little a while ago said that, in a meal, you should always eat the fruit and vegetables before eating the carbohydates, meats and fats etc.
This is because fruit & veg digest faster than meats. So if you eat meats then fruits, the fruit will be staying on the top of your tummy for longer than if you eat fruits & veg first.
Anyway.. must go and grab me a chcolate bar!

Guess where I'm writing this blog from...

While on holiday, I have managed to find and use a reasonably good internet cafe.
And as Peter Kay calls it, it is actually called the "tinternet cafe". So I just had to come in a write a blog or something!
The weather isn't too bad here yet, little rain but some nice sunshine too. I've also taken some photos of the sky which I will use as my desktop :) One thing I have noticed is that it is really quiet here, it is almost silent!
I think the chalets here are much better than I've been to and stayed in before, and they are much better than those tight caravans I've experienced before.
To get on the beach you have to walk through an old valley that was built up since the last World War and also doubles as a sea defence. Lovely soft sand. I also stayed a little bit too long out in the sun yesterday and my skin is burning me today!!! So I've bought a nice safari hat which I hope doesn't blow away in the wind.
A nice touch is that I've seen loads of electrical windmills here, so that adds to my pleasure of the environment too :) However I have heard about a fire at a chicken farm so it sort of balances out I think!
Anyway I must go next door and get some lunch, and I must also care for my little ulcer on my lip which is killing me!
I hope everyone else is having a fantastic time on holiday or wherever you are!

28 July 2006

Microsoft's Zune to kill the iPod

What is Zune?
Apparently it will be a new portable media player from Microsoft to tackle the iPod. There are already pictures of the prototype, and the official news about it will not be released just yet - and it is meant to be available for Christmas! It is meant to be a community device (this means sharing), and also will be WiFi activated!
Apparently, Microsoft want you to upgrade to the new Zune, and will allow you to download all your previosuly downloaded tracks from iTunes Music Store for free. Any news songs will have to be purchased, of course.
View this webpage: http://comingzune.com - It's weird, so you might also wanna take a look at the Zune Insider Blog - check the older blogs for more relative news
You might want to find out more news here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Zune
All I can say is that more details will be coming Zune...!

27 July 2006


Just so you know...
I am on holiday from Sat 29th July to Sat 5th August. Just thought you ought to know.
If you REALLY want to know, I am going up to Norfolk with family. We've also got another friend of the family coming with us too... No, not the goldfish, just some good friends. Hopefully I will get some peace from the noisy RACKET we get round here, like the thunderstorms!
That means... no computer for a week? Nnnnnnoooooooo!
I can still take my laptop though hehe :-) Just no Internet access :-(
I hope everyone else has fun on their summer holidays too!

25 July 2006

Catch 22

It's moaning time!
If you're a PC fan, you'll hate this site: http://www.apple.com/getamac/
It has loads of ads about how "Macs are better than PCs". If you think about it, no they don't.
Here is the boasting line: All a Mac can do is photos, music, videos, movies, websites. That's it. With a PC, you get all of that and more. With a PC, you get to CHOOSE what software you prefer for doing your images, internet browsing, movies and everything else. Because there is so little support for Macs, you don't get much choice apart from the "iLife programs".
So what specific software do Macs have then?
  • Video Calling - A PC can do this too. Microsost have also released a special LifeCam Webcam with a one-touch button to do this too.
  • Video/Movie Editing - A PC can do this too. It's called Movie Maker. Facts. Seeing that I haven't tried the Mac version, I can't give an opinion.
  • Music Making - you've got me there. PC's don't have software that teaches you how to play a guitar and then publish it. However, you can still buy similar software for reasonable prices, which are usually more advanced.
  • Image Editing - PC's also have Paint. How fun. Okay, so this isn't the greatest image editing software in the world, but you might want to leave it to the big guns such as Corel's Paint Shop Pro X or Ulead's range of software. I have tried this software out briefly, and it is good - it allows you to experiment with your images more than a PC can. But it doesn't mean you can't do it on a PC.
    "Work Vs. Home" - As above, it isn't just Macs that can handle "movies, music, podcasts" - PCs can too. Windows isn't all about "time sheets, spreadsheets and pie charts". Windows also has Windows Media Player, Movie Maker, Windows Live Messenger and Internet Explorer 7.
    "Troubleshooting a PC" - Where would most of our jobs be, like Dell (one of the richest companies in the world), for those technical support staff that help with people who have problems?
    "Design" - Computers don't really need to look pretty. It's what's on the inside that counts. With a PC, you can add loads more devices and hardware, and add water features. You can also buy different parts and replacements for your PC, and they all work well with Windows XP. With a Mac - if it's broken, you can't use it at all. At least if you break your screen then you can replace it with a PC, but not with a Mac.
    "Viruses" - Think about it this way. If Macs were more popular than Windows, then Macs would get more viruses and security holes because more people would start writing viruses for Macs instead of Windows, as more people would have Macs. Vulnerability goes out the window as Macs have almost no protection.
    This discussion of Catch-22 was also mentioned in BBC's Click programme - you can view the article here: http://bbcworld.com/content/clickonline_archive_39_2006.asp?pageid=665&co_pageid=17. Here's the most important quote that I am trying to get across:

    "Apple only has small percentage of the market, tiny compared to Microsoft, and the logic is that if you're going to write a piece of malware that goes after the most people,do you write it for OSX, which, according to Apple, has around 15 million users, or do you go for Windows, which, depending on whose numbers you use, has anything between 750 million to a billion users? I think it's a fair argument."
    "Faster" - Windows, because it is popular and vulnerable, is "slower" because of the security. If it were the other way around, a Mac would be just the same. Same for Safari RSS, Apple Mac's internet browser. As less security is needed as Macs are less targeted, they can load much faster. Internet Explorer may appear slower because it needs to load the security.
    "Fast web publishing" - How are Macs faster in terms of clicks? Windows are just the same. Plus, with a PC, at least you get enough time to reconsider your options and photos before you upload them straight away.
    "Podcasts" - The word podcast does not mean it only works with Macs, Apple or iTunes. It means a video listed on an RSS feed. You can also create podcasts on a PC too.
    "No searching for drivers" - That's because very few things are designed for Macs, usually made by Apple themselves. Drivers are needed for variety and choice. Belkin, Compaq, IBM, Mesh, Dell... all those big names release similar hardware, so it is important for Windows to support the right driver. With a Mac, you don't have a lot of choice, because there are hardly any companies that do make loads of hardware for Macs, so you don't need loads of drivers. And anyway, I think that Windows XP has the best support for drivers ever.
    "Movies" - Windows can do that too, you know. It's called Movie Maker, if you haven't heard already.
    "No rebooting" - Windows don't often need to reboot. Usually only after installing important software or security updates (back to the Catch 22). This is dependent on the language types for Windows. C#, C++ and Visual Basic. Windows supports them all and more. With Macs, you don't get a chance to make your own programs and can't learn this language.
    Everything on that page linked above is a lie when it comes to talking about PCs and Windows.
    "Out of the box" - Not all manufacturers put extra software on your new PC when you buy it. And anyway, all of that software doesn't have catches, it's all free and popular to use on the Net.
    "Macs can also handle Windows" - Not well enough. Boot Camp is currently in the Beta stage, so it is still dangerous. Plus, if you want to put Windows on, you need an official installation CD. There isn't much point in having a Mac with Windows on it though, because it takes up space on your hard drive, and loads of your devices won't work. So why did Apple want to add this feature anyway? They obviously think that Windows PCs are good in some way, then?
    All of these things above are the facts. Although I have not experienced a Mac myself, I have studied the website above. I just wrote this blog because the way they depicted a PC in those adverts was incorrect. There are no opinions in those adverts, just facts. I have stated above where Apple have belitted Windows and PCs and stated how PCs match Apple Macs, or beat them in some cases.
    Personally, as you may have gathered, I hate Macs and Apple, but you have your own choice. I just want to reveal to the world that you shouldn't really be lead by the website listed above. The way they depict a PC does not show the best of what PCs can really do.
    So here is the point I am coming back to: CATCH-22. You can't win in either situation. There are two options:
  • If you choose a PC, you can have fun with all your software and hardware, but you need to make sure you have the security topped up at a cost of about £50 a year for the easy way (instead of using lots of free software or pirate copies).
  • If you choose a Mac, you don't need any security, you can save money and you have a great range of software to work with. However, you lose the ability to play with more popular hardware and software.

    So the idea I'm trying to get across is that both sides have advantages and disadvantages. You are in a Catch-22. So it's your choice. It is not right to say which one is better than the other, because both of them have cons, but both of them also have pros.

    There's another messageboard page on this website with a very funny video from YouTube about how rubbish Macs are!

    Thanks for reading :-)

  • Luca Maciswrote:
    Hmmm, Ok, Thats Clearly BIASED. Come on Rob, What you say may be true that PC's may be very good and can do everything a Mac can do but doesnt mean it can do it better. I have a PC and i really do enjoy using a Mac but not even im sure which one is better. A Mac is fantastic for many things such as video calling, video editing, music making and image editing and manipulation. It's got a very simple menu system without the vulnerability of virus's.
    I agree that if Macs we're more popular than pc's then they would be facing the exact same problems when it comes to virus but that isnt the case at the moment so it's not an affective argument. Don't get me wrong, pc's are really good especially since almost every company makes PC software rather than Mac software but Mac's have, compulsory, yet very effective alternatives and untill you have actaully USED A MAC YOURSELF for long enough you shouldn't dumb it down so much. Hell if i had the money i would have a mac. It's just a lil overpriced, and pc's are fine
    Aug. 5 | Delete

    24 July 2006

    "What's the point in people writing viruses?"

    ... someone asked me this a couple of days ago. I thought it was a little bit obvious, but you do need to consider what is at stake here when dealing with viruses and spyware.
    A virus is a software program that changes settings in your computer to stop you from using it properly. It loads itself when you login, it hides itself from the Task Manager, and it causes errors to appear.
    Many virus writers make them to merely prove what damage they can do or to show off to others.
    Sometimes viruses are used to import malicious software into a computer.
    A spyware program defines a group of mailicious types of programs that take over your computer. For example, adware (advert-based, popups, calling high charge numbers with diallers). A new type is called "randomware", where the spyware encyrpts all of your files in My Documents. The offender informs you that unless you do not pay them for a decryption code, you will not be able to open your files.
    Spyware "spies" on your computer, watching everything you do. It can also install fake software such as anti-virus or anti-spyware, encourage you to pay towards buying fake software, and can direct you to fake banking websites to install viruses. Spyware is very dangerous because the worst types can record everything you type in (password, banking details, account numbers, phone numbers, emails) and also search all your files for contact infromation. This information is then collected by the spyware program and the next time you connect to the internet, all that data is sent off to the offender.
    Yahoo Online Protection - What is a virus?
    Symantec Cybercrime website
    If you want a really easy graphical introduction to learning about it, click the Symantec link above and under "Phishing and Pharming" and "Bots, Trojans and Spyware", click the Flash Demo.

    19 July 2006

    Goodbye Messenger :( ... hello Messenger?

    MSN Messenger is no more!
    You will all have to upgrade to Windows Live Messenger.
    It's still the same old MSN, just with a new name. So you can't really call it "MSN" anymore.
    It's "WLM" or "Messenger" now.
    If you have MSN Plus! 3, please uninstall it before updating to the new Messenger, as the new Messenger will only work with the new MSN Plus! Live 4.

    18 July 2006

    Bye Bye Win9x

    Microsoft have stopped giving out security updates for Windows 98 and Me (Millenium Edition).
    Also, by 10/10/06, there will be no more updates for Windows XP SP1.
    People, that means you will all have to upgrade to Windows 2000 or Windows XP or Server 2003.
    However, some computers are not compatible for this upgrade, so you will have to buy a new PC or a Mac.
    This sounds like an episode of Doctor Who series 2 here, with all the Cybermen!
    More news from the Microsoft Security Newsletter, linked to the Security At Home homepage:
  • Us lot in the UK still can't have Windows Live OneCare
  • Understanding Anti-Virus software and FAQ
  • 5 safety tips for using a public computer
  • Beware of scams when job hunting online
  • Tips on blogging safely for parents and kids
  • Where to report Internet-related problems
  • 15 July 2006

    Why didn't I think of this earlier?

    Here is all our dreams come true!
    I have just remembered that I have a downloaded clip of Jeremy Clarkson smashing up a laptop. The program was called "Inventions That Changed The World: Computer". Here is a picture for your fun. I will upload some more with audio soon, too. I might even add it to YouTube or make a SWF from PPT...
    NEW! Watch my uploaded video of Jeremy battering the laptop here on YouTube!

    A Brilliant Film

    For once, I would just like to say that apart from The Matrix, I have found another film which is amazing in terms of one character - Milton Waddams from Office Space.
    Milton is a lonely worker in an office. He mumbles pathetically when he speaks. Nobody really wants to listen to his quiet complaining. He wants his famous red stapler back. His desk keeps getting moved for no reason, even downstairs in the dark. He is a sad character, and yet, my favourite line is "I could... set the building on fire!"
    This single quote relives the intense and compelling power within all of us. Whenever we get angry, whenever we get stressed so things can't bother us anymore, we always think that fire, setting the building on fire, will solve all our problems. This is the first film I have seen that takes advantage of that power. However, the most cheery thing is that although the character of Milton persues this anger, he keeps so quiet and passive about it until the end!

    A Powerful Statement

    "Pain may come and go, but hope is everlasting" - Me, July 2006

    7 July 2006

    Download flash videos!

    Here is some software that I have tried before, but it doesn't save all Flash animations from Internet Explorer:
    Flash Saving Plugin from BrowserTools.Net
    FlashCatcher from JustDoSoft
    Some of them can extract sound and pictures, though:
    SWF Extractor from GlobFX
    Flash Decompiler from Eltimate Software
    SWF Decompiler from SoThink
    .. but the best one I have found is for Firefox.
    Video Downloader 2.0 can download flash from YouTube, Google, iFilm, Metacafe, DailyMotion and Music.

    6 July 2006

    I knew that Apple were bad, but not this bad!

    Got a new MacBook? Well, you might have well been better off buying a PC. Why?
    People have been complaining to Apple saying that their MacBook's wrist pad area is becoming discoloured after only a few weeks. The paint is ending up stuck to people's wrists after using their computer. Amazing. And I thought Macs were meant to look pretty!
    Find more information on the MSN News article or click here to visit a website about everyone who had been affected by this awful occurance.

    Luca Maciswrote:
    Yeh, coz there's nothing every wrong with PC's out of the box. (sarcasm)
    Aug. 5 | Delete