Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow Day video slideshow

I just found out about animoto.com, a site allowing you to create a video slideshow with very cool effects and allow you to upload your own music. Oh, and it's free!

iPod Touch auto-sync with iTunes

Didn't know this, but apparently you have to check "Open iTunes when this iPod is connected" for the iPod Touch to sync automatically with iTunes when it's connected. I've been wondering about this for a long time since I've been having to manually click the sync button everytime. This is not the case with any of the regular iPods as they are synced automatically when connected without having that option checked.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Too icy

There's been too much snow lately. The roads are frozen now, resulting into a super bumpy/icy drive. Just to compare, these are some rocks close to my place. First picture is taken on 12/19, the second one on 12/23.
And they say there are more snow to come!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gundam 00 + Eurobeat

Cut & paste of Gundam 00 2nd season OP with some eurobeat tracks

Watch Gundam 00 S2 OP, Manga Super Robot in Anime  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Watch Gundam 00 S2 OP, Anyway Anymore in Anime  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kamen Rider Kiva Ep44

Okay, am I watching a kids show or a J-dorama? Either way, I guess the same rule applied, the main character has to go through extreme hardship, and cannot simply be happy

After Mio's death, Wataru went back through time (!) to prevent his father, Otoya, marrying his mother, Maya. Basically preventing his own birth. Time paradox? Doesn't matter, I guess this is the only way to see Kiva fighting Dark Kiva. Oh, Wataru is a such a weakling, beaten up by Otoya in the old IXA suit. I miss Jiro & friends, and their respective Kiva forms. They are not used much anymore ever since Emperor form is introduced.

Damn it's cold!

Yes, minus six degrees Celsius.

That is SOLID ice on the ground.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow day

Yay, snow everywhere!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

iMac acting up

I freaked out a little a few hours ago because my iMac hanged. After forcing it to turn off and rebooted, for whatever reason it didn't recognize its own bluetooth transmitter (no bluetooth detected in system profiler). I thought crap, the BT transmitter is dead or something. I searched google, and found out about users resetting their SMC. Apple has this document: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1543 I followed the instruction and my iMac is back to normal. Phew. I was afraid I had to restore a time machine backup, or worse, hardware failure.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

What I learn from trying to install Ubuntu eee

If you're following me via tweeter, you already know the pain involved in this process.

XP runs fine on an eeePC. However, XP's UI is clearly not optimized for eeePC's shorter screen resolution. I've been looking for alternatives, and Ubuntu eee looks very good. This is a place where the open source community has the clear advantage to develop a netbook-optimized UI. Another great thing about Ubuntu eee is the super easy instruction to make a bootable USB flash drive as the install source.

So, for starter, obviously I want to backup the XP install on my eeePC first. I already have a backup on my Windows Home Server, but I thought making a ghost image would mean faster restore when things got awry. In searching for a free ghosting app, I found Clonezilla. Hey, it's free! :) Also, the site shows a clear step-by-step process and super easy step in creating a bootable USB flash drive containing Clonezilla live. Another prop for the open source community. Microsoft and most paid ghosting programs are still stuck in the 90s, only supporting bootable CD. Guess what, more and more PCs (especially netbooks) don't even come with optical drives anymore. Besides, installing from a USB flash drive is much faster than a CD/DVD.

Anyway, I managed to create an image of my XP install to an external hard-drive using Clonezilla. The process was painless. Next, installing Ubuntu eee. Another quick and painless process. Then it went downhill.

First of all, the UI on Ubuntu eee is very nice. Obviously it is optimized for the low res nature of netbooks. Very easy to interact, and definitely has a lot of potential. However, couple minutes later, Update Manager showed a gazillion of updates for Ubuntu. This was the tipping point. Ubuntu eee is a modified Ubuntu, and the updates will yell at you that it needs to uninstall some eeePC related apps. I would've refused, but I want the latest security patches/updates (Ubuntu eee by default only comes with Firefox 3.01). So I bite, and let some of the updates install.

Things seemed okay, but then I was wondering how do I turn on the wifi on the eeePC? Obviously there's a switch in the BIOS, but having to restart the OS everytime just to turn-on/off wifi is not ideal. Pressing Fn+F2, as documented, will crash Ubuntu. So WTF? Not having a basic functionality like this is not good. The wiki site suggested to install eee control, an app that looks like the eee tray app in Windows. I tried installing, it doesn't like a conflicting item called eee-config. I uninstalled eee-config, now it wanted some python related stuff. The problem is I couldn't find it in the Package Manager at all! WTF? Oh, to add insult to the injury, I plugged in a USB flash drive to the eeePC, Ubuntu eee said I need a super user privilege to mount it. Huh? Plenty of users posted these problems online, and typical Linux community, all of them are spewing sudo command lines. Yet another reason why Linux won't become a mainstream OS soon. I didn't even bother to see if my USB EVDO modem work or not, I decided to scrap Ubuntu eee and go back to XP.

I ran Clonezilla again, restoring the previously made image. Seems okay at first, but then it froze at about 40 something %. Uh oh. I reset the PC, and XP seemed to start fine, then it started yelling about some file errors, and to run chkdsk. Oh great. Rebooted XP, ran chkdsk, and it found tons of errors. I saw some of them are Firefox files. Not good. After it finished, XP booted normally, but Firefox is crapped out. It ran, but none of my extensions are usable, even after uninstalling and reinstalling.

Last resort, the backup I have on Windows Home Server. First of all, how do I use the WHS restore CD? Google to the rescue, I found this link. It basically walked you through on how to make a bootable flash USB drive using Vista, and it mentioned making a WHS restore "CD" on a USB flash drive. Easy, but required Vista. Luckily I do have a Vista machine.

After creating a bootable USB flash drive containing the WHS restore software, time to go to work. It booted just fine on the eeePC, but then it asked for drivers since it needs a network driver to access the WHS unit. Luckily, Microsoft must have thought about this, and in the WHS backup, the software automatically saves the needed drivers. All I need to do is copy them to another USB flash drive, and have the WHS restore software read it. Awesome! Restore process was painless, fairly quick (the eeePC's partition has only about 9GB used space anyway), and the most important part, it was a successful restore! Whew!

Okay, let's recap.
Ubuntu eee:
+ Great netbook-optimized UI
+ Easy install and creation of bootable USB flash drive source
- Basic hardware functions are not complete (wifi, unable to mount USB drive). I mean c'mon, mounting a USB flash drive is supposed to be simple.
- Questionable ability to update the OS from official Ubuntu source
Another great potential from the open source community, but hampered by the geek mentality of the community itself.

+ Free disk cloning utility
+ Easy to setup as a bootable Clonezilla Live on a USB flash drive
+ Backup process is successful
- Text only UI, can be confusing for some due to some confusing menu options/explanations
- Restore process is screwy (not much useful for backup if you cannot restore it)
Might be a great utility for cloning Linux systems, but I won't let it touch my Windows systems anymore.

Windows Home Server:
+ A must have for those wanting easy backup solutions for their XP/Vista PCs.
+ Restore process is quite straight forward and painless
- MS only gives an ISO for a bootable CD. MS needs to provide a utility to create a bootable WHS restore USB flash drive. Sure, it's easy to make your own, but why can't MS provide a built-in utility to create one?
- Costs money
I thought I would never use the backup function of my WHS. I'm glad that it worked fine. :)

If you want a netbook with Ubuntu/Linux, get one that is already preinstalled with those OS, thus providing full function out of the box. Dell Inspiron Mini has the option for Ubuntu. Oh well, hopefully MS will provide a netbook-optimized UI in Windows 7.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Keitai Sousakan 7, putting Tony Stark's gadgets to shame

Yeah, take that Iron Man. What cellphone did Tony Stark use? An LG Shine? Bleh. Seven can talk, think, transform, walk, hack a computer, and even dance! Now it can dock to Solid.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kamen Rider Dragon Knight

Just watched a long trailer of Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, the english bastardization knock-off of Kamen Rider Ryuuki. Wow, what a brainless trailer with many characters spoiled already, including Survive forms. Even funnier, a show pretending to be "Kamen Rider" where none of the actors can even pronounce "Kamen Rider" properly. Yup, that's right, for whatever reason (maybe they are trying to pretend to be cool by using some Japanese words that they cannot even pronounce?) they are using the words "Kamen Rider" to transform. I guess it's easier to say than "henshin"? But it's laughable watching a bunch of caucasians yelling "Common Rider." To their credit, at least they pronounce "Rider" correctly, unlike "Raidaa" in Japanese. The episodes themselves are already spoiled as the synopsis of the first 14 episodes are already available in wikipedia. Flashy new CGI effects won't cover the fact that this is a Ryuuki knock-off. Do you think they are brave enough to kill the main protagonist like in the original?

Typical lack of creativity of western entertainment. So in addition of bastardizing Super Sentai series yearly, they are bastardizing a Japanese show from 6 years ago. Maybe they're hoping that people forgot about Kamen Rider Ryuuki already so they can show their copy-n-paste knock-off. I suggest people to forget this and watch the original Kamen Rider Ryuuki, currently being fansubbed by TV-Nihon.

I'm still fabled. Western writers and entertainment industry are still capable of great CGI effects and original good writings, albeit pretty scarce lately. Yet they still fall into the same pattern of looking at other countries' old ideas, license it so nobody else can distribute the original content, and bastardize it to no end and pretend theirs to be the "original." I look into this as another attempt at censorship in the pretense of licensing. I was quite excited when Kamen Rider The First movie managed to be released officially in the US on DVD. With Dragon Knight, the chance of the Japanese Kamen Rider series to be released officially in the US becomes a big fat zero, just like Super Sentai.

Oh well, VIVA FANSUB! :P

Friday, December 5, 2008

Updated Mediamaster

It's been a long time since I first uploaded some music on my Mediamaster widget on the side of this blog. There is a new playlist now. I'm planning to upload new playlists on a monthly basis if time permits. Enjoy. :)