Archive for the 'Windows' Category

Make your mouse scratchy

Jun 07 2009 Published by under Windows

If you haven’t got an itch from your mouse yet, it is now a good time to see a cat. Don’t be surprised a kat sitting in your tray can catch mice. If you don’t get what I’m talking about, check out the review on KatMouse.

Note: The title is a reference to the Simpsons

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Refresh Windows 7 Wallpapers

May 23 2009 Published by under Windows

  1. follow the article on shuffling desktop backgrounds
  2. set the picture location to pictures library
  3. add C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper to the pictures library

Note: if you are a Vista user, you can get the international wallpapers in one click

Note: if you are a 7 user, the international pack is already on your computer. follow the tips on obtaining regional wallpapers

Note: if you are a Vista fan using 7, you may miss the vistas. In that case, make a wish.

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GCC 4.4.0 for Windows

May 15 2009 Published by under Windows

The current version of gcc that comes with MinGW is 3.4.5 (meaning it’s the last release of the v3). That was almost 2 years ago. I know this because I used a gentoo linux distribution. Besides, I’m running 7 x86-64. So I decide to provide the equation for the solution.

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Best horse of both worlds?

Mar 14 2009 Published by under Firefox,Windows

Recently, I switched from Google Chrome to Firefox. I don’t know why, but it may be a Japanese browser called Sleipnir that started this change. Two weeks ago, instead of studying for my midterms as I was already, I took 45 minutes off to try this little customizable browser called Sleipnir. Actually, while trying it, I was searching on Live for reviews and reading Wikipedia on Norse mythology behind Sleipnir. Slippy’s quite fun to use, and here’s a few things I liked:

  1. one-click search any engine. Compared to firefox where if I search on W I have to select it from a drop down menu. In Chrome, I have to open a new tab. Both require 2 clicks before I get there. Sleipnir is the only browser I used recently (in more than 3 years) that doesn’t have the streamlined UI. It lays out all the buttons so that I have quick access to it. I can easily search Google, Live, Youtube, Wikipedia, and Answers in 5 clicks.
  2. Completely customizable hotkeys. As a linux user, I really liked those little boxes called Lynx. It’s the fast and lightweight command line browser. Nothing beats it when I want to access my information fast. From launching it to loading a webpage, it is by far the fastest (and most comfortable, since I don’t have to switch any hand from the mouse to keyboard and it has the inherent advantage of the terminal). Using Sleipnir, it is possible to customize all your keys without a plugin. I used some key extension plugin for firefox and wasn’t too satisfied with it.
  3. Light weight tabbing. Sleipnir uses the IE 6 interface (in Vista? Yes!) that just made it shine (literally with the glossy interface) with an extra quality. Like I said, this browser doesn’t try to copy the other ones on the market. It sticks to the classical and lets the user add the dynamic elements. So, how did IE 6 have tabbing? That’s where Sleipnir does better than IE 8 and Chrome. It doesn’t clog your browsing. Who wants to be offered to go back to a tab that was just closed when opening a new tab? Only browsers with no toolbars have to do that.

Now we come to a browsing paradigm that I’ve observed. The browser interface is divided into 2 parts:

  • the webpage
  • the UI

Chrome centers on the webpage but restricts the user’s freedom. After all, why give the users almost no customization options and forcing users to search google every time they type something in the address bar? Sleipnir sits on the other side, but not the extreme in my opinion. If your browser has so many configuration options, they should be easy to access and humanly understandable. Try typing about:config in firefox. (as a side joke, also try about:mozilla to see the reference to EU as the beast and Microsoft as the Golden Haired Boy).


I can’t resist showing it here. (Another side note: free software does get frequent rebirths. But I don’t like continuously upgrading my software! I’d rather upgrade individual applications in the Windows style when I want it and where I want it). But which is the best horse? Sleipnir in Norse mythology was often ridden to Hel, but don’t browsers act as the modern transportation tool to slip through the web? If so, there’s a best horse and one that is best suited for speed, comfort, and control (the special needs of the user). In this case, I will only focus on a single need of the user, that is to use his fast bandwidth in Firefox!

  1. get flash block, but don’t restart yet. Flash leeches bandwidth
  2. %AppData%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\\, where xxx is a random string of 3 characters.
  3. add these to user.js (and save as all files in notepad)
      user_pref(“network.http.pipelining”, true);
      user_pref(“network.http.proxy.pipelining”, true);
      user_pref(“network.http.pipelining.maxrequests”, 8);
      user_pref(“content.notify.backoffcount”, 5);
      user_pref(“plugin.expose_full_path”, true);
      user_pref(“ui.submenuDelay”, 0);

      user_pref(“browser.xul.error_pages.enabled”, true);
      user_pref(“content.interrupt.parsing”, true);
      user_pref(“content.max.tokenizing.time”, 3000000);
      user_pref(“content.maxtextrun”, 8191);
      user_pref(“content.notify.interval”, 750000);
      user_pref(“content.notify.ontimer”, true);
      user_pref(“content.switch.threshold”, 750000);
      user_pref(“network.http.max-connections”, 32);
      user_pref(“network.http.max-connections-per-server”, 8);
      user_pref(“network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy”, 8);
      user_pref(“network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server”, 4);
      user_pref(“nglayout.initialpaint.delay”, 0);
      user_pref(“browser.cache.memory.capacity”, 65536);

  4. That works for slow connections. For faster ones, try other settings on ths webpage.
  5. Almost forgot. These settings require a restart of firefox.

Enjoy your surfing. I just don’t see why geeks like that browser called Chrome. There’s not much performance tweaks a geek could do maybe except turn off website checking and other options. Nothing compared to firefox. So I just have to conclude that Google just make their browser unique in its slim interface so that it looks like the most evolved of all browsers. Forget about extra processes since they end up chewing more memory and cpu. A few quick settings in firefox, and no browser can compete with it in terms of performance.

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Linux vs Windows

Feb 19 2009 Published by under Linux,Windows

In the beginning was the command line. Now days, the windows command line has become more advanced as the power shell and the Linux command line ix just more versatile. As far as Linux being GNU and free goes, GNU doesn’t stand for great software and free doesn’t mean freedom. Who would want to spend their time looking around on the Internet to get suspend or hibernate working when it already works? Who would want to invest time and effort into a system that is not guaranteed to satisfy all your needs?

From a moral point of view, Linux makes logical sense, it appeals to reason. Whatever marketing Windows does, it cannot beat the simple message Linux delivers, that it is free and by osmosis, the user is free, too. That is obviously a false assumption. Yes, Linux offers the chance, given the choice, to modify source code. But the choice is not there in the first place. I’ve actually never modified source code yet, and as for compiling, I end up wasting more time on it than I can save. For example, Dr Scheme compiled in Gentoo simply hangs where it doesn’t. As for great software, I think Enterprise Linux might be better than Windows due to the bug fixes and support. I’d rather be free as in having free time, free in my non-obligation to the community, and free as in not having a bag of thoughts surrounding how I should use my computer. These days, I have too much clutter in my head.
Here’s a quote that I think is an appropriate description of a proper relationship to the computer: “Few things about your PC are as boring as things that just work, invisible in the background. ” To a large extent, Linux fits the boring category because it just works. When it doesn’t a few minutes on Google will solve it. On the other hand, Microsoft takes the other end. It gives gamers the best graphics, the desktop never crashes, and there’s a GUI to control everything. It doesn’t makes the PC anymore fun (to a large extent, trying to have fun on Windows often meant wasting time), but it won’t crash the OS. Compared to Linux, my fun using it comes largely from experimentation and getting hardware to work. The first part often crashes the desktop and the latter often takes hours to get done what only takes 5 minutes with the limited options in Windows. Having limited options in the OS does save me time making decisions and trying this or that as in Linux.

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