Archive for the ‘Software’ Category
Time for my big announcement….
Together with Dan from Technocrat, I've been working on a new Geek Team Blog. I'll be posting most of my geek and technical stuff over there and Atariboy.wordpress.com will become more of a personal blog concentrating on Photography, my life, blogging and more general things.
We did have a geek girl but she seems to have disappeared, so if any of you ladies are up to the challenge then drop me an email.
Does this mean the end of Atariboy at wordpress?
I've taken to blogging like a duck to a special duck filled blogging pond, along with fixing computers, blogging is something that I feel I'm really quite good at. Geeklimit.com is a way to expand my blogging and seperate it out into geek stuff and photography and more personal things so that the geeks can just read the geeky stuff if they like.
We have also added a select amount of adsense, none on the front page, just if you go to read some of the more indepth articles, so hopefully I can earn a little money from blogging as well.
So check it out, the theme is the only thing left to do, we are planning a custom theme made especially for GeekLimit.com.
We'd love some feedback, comments and suggestions, there are lots of posts coming over the next week or so, hopefully you'll see us on the digg front page!
To subscribe to the RSS feed bookmark this link, or click on the RSS icon in the address bar.
Looks like installing the Bootcamp Beta will void your warranty, check out this thread: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=432346&tstart=0
Think twice about install Bootcamp until it comes out of beta or you could be in a bit of a pickle.
If you have a new Intel Mac then today is your lucky day.
Apple will be including a partitioning and booting system which will let you run Windows XP alongside OSX.
Apple call it Boot camp and i know of a lot of people who will be very happy with this, Apple are even supplying all the drivers you need for Windows. Now you can have the best of both worlds, a high quality Mac Laptop which runs both OSX (for your creativity) and Windows XP (for DirectX gaming among other things), my guess is that when MS finally release Vista it will be installable too.
Here's apples page of info and where you can access the beta verison for Tiger.
This will defiantly open up the new Macs much larger market of people who are stuck with windows due to work or gaming requirements and in the future may even begin to blur the boundary's between the OSX and Windows.
This has certainly made the new Macbooks much more attractive to me, hopefully the new intel iBook wont disappoint and I'll snap one up in the autumn
There are also rumors of Apple release some APIs to allow Windows to run Unviersal Binaries, if they are true Apple are pushing in a very promising direction, the more news i hear about Leopard the more i like it. Only Rumors tho ;)
Edit 2: Bootcamp Likes Linux as well, for everyone who ever wanted to triple boot Windows Linux and OSX… get yourself an Intel Mac.
Computing can be an expensive past time, one way or another you're going to end up paying quite a bit to have a nice working pc and enough good software to make use of it.
The OS can be a big chunk of your budget if you want to go legit, a quick froogle search shows Windows XP is between £60 and £100.
There are other options tho, Linux for example has many open-source free distros for anyone to download burn and install, unfortunately Linux is not Windows. If you're a big gamer then its a no-go due to most modern PC games using Microsoft's DirectX so its a windows only affair, many other bits of software only work on windows as well, although there are free Linux alternatives.
The main problem is that for the main stream user, they know not of the world outside windows, nor how to get there. As many Mac fans know its not easy getting someone to switch to a whole new operating system, especially if its going to cost them time and money. Linux is not exactly user friendly either.
What we need is a "Free" version of Windows.
Not open-source, MS would never let that cat out, but a cut down simplified, freeware version of windows.
Just the operating system itself with reduced options and reduced included software too. What you would get after the installer is an empty desktop and start menu, no accessory's or fancy options just the bare file system and basic options.
Initially you would think that was crazy, Microsoft would never do that, where would they get their money from. With online content distribution systems like Steam and iTunes making huge sums of money thanks to the relatively low overheads, why doesn't Microsoft set up an "Application Shop" and include that with "Windows Free"?
Lets face it, half the people that know how to find, install and configure open source software probably didn't pay for the windows they are using now, and probably never will! Microsoft arnt making any money from them, they are making their money from OEMs buying thousands of copies to install on new machines to see at PC world. Those machines are sold to families, old people and, for want of a better word, n00bs!
These are the people that need help with their computers and what better way than to get every piece of software they need from an online shop.
There could be packages put together including popular or commonly used programs like notepad, calculator and internet explorer, all downloaded, installed and configured at the click of a button. For MS this would create a possibly bigger revenue than box sales as well as being able to reach out to the customers better, see whats popular and whats not and even open up the store to allow other companies to sell their products such as music and videos to the users via the shop (with a cut going to MS of course) much like Apple have done with their iTunes Music and video stores.
For the people that know where to find good free software they can use microsoft legally and freely allowing them to dual boot with linux and use just for gaming and windows only programs too.
It would improve Microsoft's image in the world of computing as well, many experienced users look down on MS for making bad software and charging too much for it, but if you dont have to pay for it then it instantly becomes less of an issue that there are a few bugs.
MS have been worried about the linux movement for a while now, especially with its low price tag this would be a good way to combat that movement by providing an alternative at a similar price.
So there you have it, a free version of Windows with an Online content distribution system selling Application, music and video to the user as and when they want it. Allowing new or inexperienced users to get the things they want setup or fixed without leaving the house at a reasonable price and giving more experienced users a platform for building their OS how they like it with free software or products bought from the "Shop" and still using MS products too.
Its already been for days of my easter break and i haven't done anything much constructive at all.
I'm definatly improving on DOD, if anyone wants to play just let me know, you can find me on the steam friends network as Atariboy feel free to add me. I hear there is a new gameplay mode coming by the end of the month as well, cant wait to see what that is like.
I'm slowly reinstalling things at the moment and looking for Open-source alternatives to as much as possible. I think i've only cracked 2 programs so far, any suggestions for good Open-source software is very welcome, I'm currently looking for a good alternative to Nero 6 for burning DVDs and ISOs, and a free Alcohol style program as well for mounting cd images.
I'm in a strange place with free/paid software. The really good stuff like Photoshop and Illustrator deserve to be paid for, but i dont have anywhere near enough for what they charge, and many free programs dont seem to be worth paying for them.
I'm happy to give out small programs like my servo controller for free, Visual Assembly on the other hand will not be free, i'm still working on it adding to it and improving it, unfortunately the Uni owns 70% of the intellectual rights to it because I made it due to being at Uni, and it was designed for them anyway. I may produce an offshoot of it which i can call my own and develop it as a more general Assembly IDE.
Took a few pictures in town today, I'm starting to feel a little limited by my camera, mainly with the lack of optical zoom and limited exposure settings, I'm thinking of getting a new camera with my student loan, although i feel a bit n00bish of what functions i want/need. Any tips or links appreciated.
My link of the day is: TUGZip – an Open-source archiver
I've been a busy geek today, although I didn't get very far.
After I dropped Lauren off at the station I decided that it was time to reinstall windows, i've got three weeks off so what better than to tinker around with a couple new OS's.
I backed up all my work/pictures/videos/music to a second HDD and unplugged it so i couldnt format it by accident (not after last time!!) then started on the long road ahead:
First: Windows Vista Build 5342, after burning and checking the DVD and popping it in i realised i didn't have a CD key to hand, back to XP to write it down. Then back to the Vista disc, but it couldn't see my RAID0, so i had to put in the floppy disc with the SATA Driver on it… damn where did i put that floppy? Back to XP again to format a floppy and copy the drivers onto it, i also put them on my usb stick to see if that worked on XP.
Back to Vista again (after about 7 restarts now) and the SATA drivers installer bit, its much improved from 2000/XP but wouldn't read from my usb stick, so i tried the floppy and it wouldn't install anything from that disc either, so i've come to the conclusion that i need some Vista drivers, but for my relatively old Motherboard they don't exist yet!!
No Vista today
Second: Windows 2000, i have 2000 on the laptop i'm using at the moment and i really like it, its lightweight fast and has a very XP feel to a lot of it, so decided to see what a 3.2Ghz Pentium 4 could do with it.
Installed very quickly and easily, still had to use the SATA Floppy but no troubles there. After using it for about an hour i started to notice the subtle differences between XP and 2000, the icons, the taskbar, there were lots of little things that i liked in XP, things you dont even notice until they are gone. So i decided to switch back before i went mad with the icons not arranging themselves.
No 2000 ever again
Third: Windows XP, back with good old XP and the installer i've gotten used to over the past 4/5 years. Not much to report here, had 1 crash near the start of the installer due to my crummy RAID drivers again (really need to check for a new verison) but other than that it was just as it always is.
My plan then was to install a few programs, check everything is working and dual boot Ubuntu Dapper Drake Flight 6 with XP so that i can dip in and out and see what the performance is like on the installed verison (I've been using LiveCDs for the past couple months).
Forth: Ubuntu, a complete non starter. The Ubuntu installer could only see the separate HDDs of my RAID not the RAID itself and so couldnt partition it, only destroy it. By 9pm i was not in the mood for reinstalling XP again minus the RAID, so i've left it until I can get a 40Gb Hdd for linux distros.
I'm sure there is a way to do it, but not particularly easily, and after having my RAID 0 for about a year i'm very attached to my fast loading times so i dont want to get rid of it just yet.
No Ubuntu for a couple weeks
So at the moment I'm pretty much back where i started except that i have cleaned up XP with a fresh install and i'm slowing installing all my programs again.
The best thing so far from this whole installing lark is i've gained around 20fps in DOD, its super smooth now… time to kick ass!!
Todays Cool Link: If I cant install Vista at least i can pretend i have it!!
I'm thinking of setting up three screens on my open day display to make it stand out, so i stole mikes screen and put in a pci graphics card and hooked it up. Initially the third screen (PCI card) didnt work, but after a quick google i found that all that you need to do is set the PCI card as primary in the BIOS. Then using Ultramon i set it up to give an extra wide desktop.
As you can see the third monitor wasnt as good as my other 2 and so the resolutions are different giving a big black bit, although you dont see this on the screen, all the windows are just bigger on the third, older screen.
If you have the money and are planning something like this i cant stress enough that you get 3 identical monitors, it would make everything so much easier, and if you can get 3 TFTs then your desk would thank you as well.
Ultramon is the ONLY software you need for Dual or triple or up to 10 screens, as well as wallpapers and screensavers to stretch across your whole desktop.