Archive for category technology

Songbird, circling over iTunes

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When you have a mozilla backed project, you can be rest assured that it will rock you like nothing else in the world! So, another round of software wars. After Firefox kicked IE out of the scene, Mozilla hopes to draw first blood with Songbird. Songbird is the first open source application for managing media, the way iTunes does. Perhaps better. Why do like firefox? I like because its extensible, and I can do anything I could ever dream of doing on the web. Well, songbird promises the same. And its meaner and leaner than iTunes! Songbird runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux personal computers with few OS-specific tweakages.

“Songbird is a player and a platform. Like Firefox, Songbird is an open source, Open Web project built on the Mozilla platform. Songbird provides a public playground for Web media mash-ups by providing developers with both desktop and Web APIs, developer resources and fostering Open Web media standards, to wit, an Open Media Web.” - from the website.

The plugins made are already the talk of the town, the most popular being the one that lets you synchronize your iPod with Songbird. Well, i really feel sorry for iTunes now. But what can i say about an application that is huge, bulky and slow.

Here are some screen shots of Songbird for you to start drooling. Yeah, it looks awesome and these are not the only skins available!

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You can read all about Songbird here.
To download Songbird, please go here.

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What’s Microsoft upto?

This is a post inspired by this article on ZDNet (Is Windows XP too good for Microsoft’s own good?)

Windows_XP Windows XP was a huge leap from Windows 98/ME. It made the right interface and people got used to just to easily. Most importantly it provided the right set of features. It managed to run on a computer with 128 MB RAM. It flew on a computer with 512 MB RAM. Life was really good.

It had the right amount of eye candy and features. Nothing went wrong and it did what you wanted it to do.

The reasons why I like XP are really simple

  • Neat interface and the right colors

  • Fast, runs on PII as well

  • Installs all drivers and software. No compatibility issues here.

  • surprisingly stable, unless of course you messed with your OS

  • Huge number of hacks for the likes of me who like to screw around. It also made it easy to make a lot of changes.

  • A lot of plugins and add-ons were available which made customizing very easy.

  • Navigation was simple and relied on the user to make the move first.

  • The start menu is simple and one needs to browse. It gives an idea of what you have, what you use and what you need to do away with.

  • Elementary features were installed, if you needed more you could install updates.

I had a Pentium IV (Northwood) with 512 MB RAM. I remember it used to fly like the wind. What a work horse it was. Used to run crazy shit on it, and it took all too well. I am still on XP with my lappy though. Works just fine. But wait a minute. Incomes Windows Vista! (Also check: Ahh! The joy of first love )

windows_vista_aero_3D When I first saw it, i was really taken aback. The amount of eye candy it had was mind boggling. Curious like a cat, i started browsing through it. I clicked on start to see what it came bundled with and what was installed by my friend. Hello??? I could no longer browse!!! I had to type it out in the box which took me some time to figure out. Goodness why would they think of doing that? What is just another way for them to make people start using Windows Search and not Google Desktop Search? And how do I shut it down? I don’t want it. I don’t want Windows search and i don’t want Google Search either. i know where my stuff is, and I’d to search for it on my own. Foolishness.

Next, i tried to configure the network. Wireless Network to be precise. It took me a while to find out how i could do that. I was so frustrated by the end of it, I don’t even want to talk about it now. Jesus!

I went through some other things and I was tired already. The problem was, it had too many features; many of which I will never use. Why is Microsoft shoving it down my throat? Dude, I am start enough to make the choices about what I want in my OS.

I tried installing some drivers which all failed. For some reason, it just won’t let you install drivers not digitally signed. Shit man! My Canon Camera won’t harm the PC and even if it does, its my problem. Just let me live in peace!

enough was enough. I left the PC in a huff and came back to my WinXP. My good ol’ XP.

What’s surprising is the deadline Microsoft has given to OEMs and Manufacturers to start shipping Vista and stop WinXP. It stands as June 2008 for now. I was just thinking, Windows 98 came sometime in 1997. It took us some 5 years to shift to XP? Right. But how in the world would you expect users to shift to Vista in an year? This is downright bully behavior. Not good. My next lappy comes with a Linux, whether you like it or not. Ubuntu here I come!

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Windows Live Writer, tested and working

Ok, so Windows Live Writer does work. No doubts about that. I am too lazy to write reviews but here are a few things I found in Live Writer.

  • You can save as many drafts as you like on your computer to be published later
  • It supports all the formatting tags that blogger has. (I use blogger, I am not aware of WordPress and others)
  • You can publish directly from the computer and you don’t need to go to the Blogger website.
  • You don’t have to screw with the HTML tags and it does all the dirty work for you.
  • You edit in the theme of your own blog, so its really WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU REALLY GET!
  • You can configure multiple blogs
  • You can insert these in a jiffy
    • Pictures (no need to do it the hard way!)
    • Videos (from websites)
    • Tables
    • Maps
    • Hyperlinks ….
  • Spell Check, just like a word processor.

Some features missing and bugs I found

  • It screwed up some formatting of the widgets on the right bar of my blog
  • Export options (to word, ppt, and so on)
  • In spell check, ‘Change All’ does not work
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