Friday, August 28, 2009

Snow Leopard--OH YEAH!!

Hey,

Not sure if any of y'all are Mac fans, but I sure am! You may be aware of Apple's new OS, Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6. You can get it at: http://apple.com/macosxuptodate/ or http://store.apple.com/us/product/MAC_OS_X_SNGL

In the past, Mac OS updates have been more like $130ish. S
o why the big price change?
Snow Leopard is more of a "Leopard refinement" OS rather than a "new feature" OS. So now the question is, is it worth it?

Some key Snow Leopard features are:

--If you have Boot Camp, supposedly you can now open Mac files from Windows. Yay! :D (I would assume Mac OS X has a way of keeping Windows viruses from spreading into the Mac system, however?)

--signal strength for Wi-Fi. Now we will know which network to choose, rather than just choose one and hope for the best!

--put-back command in Trash. Like Windows (yes, Windows had it first...sort of... :P), SL will now feature a put-back option to restore deleted files.

--select correct text bodies in PDFs. When we are selecting text in a PDF, Leopard doesn't select just the body we want. But SL does, by means of "advanced algorithms" so yay Apple for doing that. :D

--windows minimize into dock icon (system prefs>dock>change those settings) so now instead of making your Mac dock go WAY OFF THE SCREEN!!!!! (yes, you know who you are and you know what I mean!!! :P), now the windows just minimize into the app icon. Windows 7 copies this feature.

--smart eject (tells you why you can eject drive). So when you can't eject your flash drive, it will tell you why so you know what you have to do to eject it.

--screen recording w/ QuickTime X. QuickTime X looks awesome and is awesome and you can record screenshots, edit videos and....yeah. I would like to see the QuickTime X theme used throughout SL, just as an alternative option to the white color. :D I really like the black QuickTime X look.

--new backgrounds/screensavers. Apple techs added some awesome looking backgrounds/screensavers. Check out the new backgrounds Macs are shipping with on Apple.com.


Besides those cool features, there are a few more, like black menus for easier viewing.


Basically, SL does an improvement of performance and productivity. For 10 bucks (if you bought a Mac after June 8th) it is a great deal.


Isaac :)


Windows 7--To upgrade, or not to upgrade?

Hey,

For all you Windows users out there, you may have heard of Microsoft's new Operating System (OS), Windows 7, which I will hereby refer to as Win7. Win7 is the succesor to Vista, the object of much complaining and critisizm--and not without reason. Windows Vista requires a lot more memory to operate smoothly and quickly on, and a lot of programs are still not compatible with it. For this reason, many users have downgraded or stayed with XP.

Win7, however, actually looks pretty good (that is a big compliment coming from a Mac user and fan!). So the question is: upgrade for $120+, or don't?

Here is the deal: Many Windows PCs that have Vista on them are eligable for a free upgrade to Win7, so yay for all you Vista users! Just look up your PCs manufactuer and see if they are offering a free upgrade.

Now...for all you XP users.... (duh-duh-duh!!!) here is your deal: wanna upgrade? Not without wiping your hard drive clean and starting over! AND the Win7 Premium edition costs a staggering $200!! That's not even the best version (Professional) which is $300! :O no way I am gonna buy that!! And you would also have to back up all your files so they wouldn't get erased when you upgrade.

So....Win7 Features (and comparing them with Mac OS X features):

-Win7 = refined version of Vista: Vista is slow and bloated, we all know. Win7 attempts to fix this by improving performance. Check 1. (Mac is still faster)
-New taskbar: the taskbar now has new features like: being more blocky than Vista; items are now a cube on the taskbar, not a long bar; AeroPeek allows you to view the desktop without having to minimize everything; you can now rearange your open programs on the taskbar. (Mac OS X Leopard uses Expose to do this.) Check 2.
-Multi-core performance: have an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, or anything with more than 1 core? Win7 utilizes those cores better, helping out with improved performance. Check 3. (Snow Leopard also has this feature.)
-Multi-tocuh: do you have a PC with multitouch trackpad? Not many are out there, because Windows doesn't support them--until now. Rotate pictures with a twist of two fingers, scroll up and down with 2 fingers, ect. (Mac users will be aware that this feature has been on MacBooks for a while.)

For more, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7

So..if you have Vista, by all means, upgrade! If you have XP, there are a number of things you can do to make your PC look like Win7, and in some ways, act like it (hint at future article!).

In the long run, Win7 looks like a good upgrade, besides the cool features i listed, it focuses on trying to make things easier to understand and better performance. You will need at least:
1 GHz processor
1 GB RAM (32-bit)
16 GB hard drive space
128 MB graphics memory to use Windows Aero

So if you have the money, upgrade--but back up first, XP users! Vista people, check out that free upgrade, and if you can't do that, save up some muula and go get Win7!

Isaac :)

Windows XP Theme Hack

Hey,

Ever wanted to change the Windows XP theme to something MORE? Like the look of Windows Vista, but prefer XP? Or like the look of Windows 7, but don't have the money/don't have it considering that it hasn't even been released yet? Well, now you can make Windows XP look like pretty much anything you want!

One reason geeks like Windows XP is because of how easy it is to customize. With a little tweaking, hacking, or modifying, you can make it look even more visually appealing.

Note: read this all before doing anything!!!

1. Download UX Tender

You will need to download a program called UX Tender which can be found at this address:http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/UXTender/1209580756/1
Click "Download Now" (its a big blue button on the right). Save that somewhere you can find it again later.

2. Get Windows XP SP3

Now, make sure you have Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) installed. Some people have SP2...the way you can know is by going to the Start Menu, right-clicking on My Computer and clicking Properties on the drop-down menu that will appear. There, find where it says Windows XP (whatever edition you have), and then below that it will say Service Pack (2 or 3). If it says 2, you will need to go here:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?familyid=5B33B5A8-5E76-401F-BE08-1E1555D4F3D4&displaylang=en
This is Windows XP Service Pack 3--it will install very important updates that are necessary for your security, as well as improve Windows performance. Anyways, you will HAVE to have that installed before you do the hack. Now, I am going to explain why you have to do the hack.

3. Why?

Microsoft only allows a total of 7 themes to be used (the three that come with XP, the classic theme, Royale, Royale Noir and Zune which you can Google), those 7 are the only ones that have been "digitally signed" by Microsoft. There is a file called "uxtheme.dll" in the filepath: C:\Windows\system32\
This file contains the signing stuff. So when you download a theme not made by Microsoft, it won't be able to run unless you remove the digital signing file thing. So the program I told you to download first simply hacks the file and replaces it with one that is not digitally signed. If you ever want to change back, simply run the program UX Tender and click Restore.

4. Hacktime!

Ok, after you have installed Windows Service Pack 3 and restarted the computer when prompted to do so, you will need to run the file you downloaded, UX Tender.

It will open a window with two buttons, Patch and Restore. You will click Patch and it will require a restart (if you ever want to change back, just open the program and click Restore). After you have restarted, you will need to move the attached files to the following directory:

C:/Windows/Resources/Themes/

Now you will need to Google search some Windows XP msstyle themes to use (you can also email me and I will send you my favorite themes), and then put them in that directory that i just told you. I assume you know how to change a theme (right-click on Desktop > Properties > Appereance > select a theme and settings from a drop-down box).

Note: You need to have Windows XP SP3 installed to do this. I have done this hack on 4 Windows XP computers with SP3 installed and i have had a problem on my friend's computer, but only because he had SP2 installed and he told me he had SP3, but if for some reason your computer won't get past the splash screen where it shows the Windows Logo, just press F8 when prompted (before you get to the splash screen) and boot into safe mode, do a system restore or unpatch the file and you will be good).
It really makes your computer look awesome! Good luck and happy hacking!

Isaac :)

Clean up a slow PC

Hey,

I know several people who have slow PCs. You know Windows has always been kinda slow...but you also know that your computer can be faster than what it is right now.

The following tips to clean up/improve a slow PC running Windows XP. Please don't do this if you aren't confident with messing around with Windows a little bit...if you know me personally, next time I see you I could try to fix the computer myself.

1. Remove worthless programs:

Go to Start Menu>Set Program Access and Defaults>on that window that opens up, choose Add and Remove Programs (on the left side of the window) and go through the list and remove programs that you don't use. After you have removed some programs, close out that window.
2. Remove worthless startup programs:

Go to the Start Menu again, click Run, type in "msconfig" (without quotation marks) and click Ok or hit the Enter key. A window will pop up telling. There will be several tabs at the top of that little window; choose Startup, (note: only do the following if you can make sense out of what is displayed) there will be a long list of programs that automatically startup when you boot. Go ahead an un-check items that you KNOW what they are and that you KNOW that they don't do anything (like games, other programs, ect) useful. You will want to keep your antivirus program, computer drivers and system files on at startup. PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL!!! I keep this as a general rule: if you don't know what it is, leave it alone!!! If you don't know what it is, but you still think it is not a necessary program to have running, Google it! What is Apoint...hmm...OH that is my trackpad driver! Don't want to disable that! :P After you have removed some programs from Startup, click Apply. Don't close the window just yet, though.

3. Faster boot settings

Now after you have done all that, go over to the tab "BOOT.INI" and click on it. There will be some check boxes. Check the box that says NO GUIBOOT. Note: all this does is disable the Windows XP loading splash screen when Windows is booting. It saves a little time. Now there is a box on the right side under BOOT.INI that says Timeout ___ sec. Change the number to 3. This should improve the boot time a little.

4. Disable eye candy

If you want to, you can disable all the neat "eye candy" or visual effects on Windows that make it look cooler. Your PC won't look as cool, but it will perform faster! Here is how:
Start Menu>right click on My Computer>choose the Advanced tab>click Performance Settings>you can select which effects to use by checking and unchecking the checkboxes in the window that opens, or disable all visual effects by choosing the radio button "Adjust for best performance."

5. Take a look at your system specs

Go to Start Menu>right click on My Computer>on that window that opens, it will give you detailed info about your computer. It will look sorta like this:

System:
Microsoft Windows XP
Home or Professional
Version _____ (some year)
Service Pack 2 or 3

Registered to:
Your name

2398423984238423984 (random serial number)

Computer model
CPU Type (Intel Core 2 CPU is an example)
T5500 (CPU model) @ (some number like 1.66 or 2.25) GHz or MHz (probably GHz)
Same GHz or MHz as previous line and some #.## MB or GB of RAM
If you have less than 1 GB of RAM (aprox. 1000 MB = 1 GB) then you should probably go to your manufacter's website and see if your model can upgrade the RAM, or Random Access memory, common known as memory. This will improve your PC speed.

Also if you have Windows XP SP2, consider upgrading to Windows XP SP3. Free update for Windows can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=5B33B5A8-5E76-401F-BE08-1E1555D4F3D4&displaylang=en
It is large, so it will take some time.
6. Clean up junk files

besides making your PC a little faster, this will help you keep organized. delete files on your PC that you don't use--but beware! do not delete PROGRAMS...you must remove them via the Add/Remove Programs feature I talked about earlier.

7. Restart

Restart your PC and see if you notice a bit of difference. Please bear in mind that Windows gets slower as it gets older...most computers do (Macs are usually an exception, though, as they last longer than a typical PC!). Enjoy (if you can!),

Isaac :)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

MAS™ Windows and Mac Hacks

UPDATE––Old Article Below
==============================================================
I have developed a Safari Extension that uses the same basis for the MAS filters, but with improved performance across the web.  Download it at www.bit.ly/adstopper
==============================================================

Hey,

I don't know about you, but I used to use Yahoo mail (Gmail is better, so I switched to that). The most annoying thing about it is all of the weird ads all over it. And besides just Yahoo mail, when I am doing research for debate or looking up how to hack into people's computers--I MEAN how to hack (as in change/modify) a computer. ;D jk...but the ads can seriously get annoying.

With some serious research/designing, I created some Ad Filters called MAS™ (Mac AdStopper) Ad Filters that block most ads like the ones I am referring to (which is basically all ads on the internet).

They work very well, and if you are interested, email me (darnocs1@gmail.com) and I will send you a free copy. Instructions are included. Enjoy!

Isaac :)

Hacking--What is it?

Hey,


I wanted to let you know what hacking is (yeah that is kinda blunt but hey...people need to know!). Hacking is defined by the New American Oxford as: "a piece of computer code that performs some function, esp. anunofficial alternative or addition to a commercial program."


Most people think of hacking in these terms: "to use a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system."


Although both are valid terms, please bear in mind that I do not hack to "gain unauthorized access to data" such as hacking Gmail accounts, people's computers or CIA secret files (;D).


I simply hack to customize/improve features of computers.


Just thought I would make that clear for y'all!


Isaac :)

Hacktime

Hey!


This is my blog where I will be talking about Windows and Mac OS X tips and hacks.

Beware! Some articles may get rather geekish...lol...so if something isn't clear, tell me and I will try to "splanify" myself.


If you are interested in finding out about some trick, hack or tip that I don't have on this blog, comment or email me (darnocs1@gmail.com) and request an article on it. It doesn't guarantee I will write something...but I will try! :D


Thanks,


Isaac :)