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Pixlr Online Photo Editing - Recommended

Pixlr is an free online photo editor that works great if your not on a pc that has photo editing software or if your restricted on a company computer.

My New Touchpad and Thoughts

Checkout my new Touchpad review.

Baseball Collector's Dream Site - Zistle.com

Great place to keep track of your card collections online.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

OWC introduces first external Blu-ray drive with quad interface

It's debatable whether or not Apple is losing its touch with FireWire, but you can rest assured that OWC hasn't. Said outfit has just announced the industry's first Blu-ray external drive with a quad interface, meaning you can link it up to your PC or Mac via FireWire 400, FireWire 800, USB 2.0 or eSATA. The Mercury Pro SW-5583 arrives with the capability to toast BD-Rs at a rate of 4x and includes a pair of 25GB BD-R discs for $499.99; the closely related Mercury Pro SW-5583T throws in a full retail version of Roxio Toast 9 Titanium (OS X) and sells for $579.99. Now, if only we could convince Steve that Blu-ray and Macs could indeed get along together, we'd really be satisfied. Full release after the break.

Monday, October 13, 2008

XBMC PC (Atlantis) with Beyond TV demo

Here is a short demo with XBMC PC (Atlantis) with Beyond TV. The skin for XBMC is MediaStream. The skin for Beyond TV is just one I made. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Microsoft reportedly ready to ship Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive

Redmond (WA) – Microsoft still denies that it will be offering a Blu-ray extension for its Xbox 360 game console and gave every indication that it might skip the Blu-ray trend altogether and focus on movie downloads. Not so fast, says Xbit Labs, which learned that an external Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360 is ready to ship. Guess which company allegedly manufactures this drive.

We will leave it up to you to decide whether this news is actually a surprise or not, but considering Microsoft’s negative public stance against Blu-ray, it is worth the note that the company might ship an external Blu-ray drive with the same strategy as it shipped an external HD DVD drive in between November 2006 and March 2008.

Microsoft repeatedly mentioned that it would consider a Blu-ray drive, but said as recently as this May, that Blu-ray “isn’t taking off” and essentially squashed the rumors about such a drive back then. But if Xbit Labs is right, then the company may have been working a Blu-ray drive for some time: The site reports that Microsoft might launch the drive just in time for the holidays and aim for a $100- $150 price tag – in order to steal some sales from the PS3.

Xbit Labs also said that Toshiba-Samsung Storage Technology (TSST), which is owned by Toshiba (51%) and Samsung (49%) – essentially the same company that previously built the HD DVD drive extension for the Xbox 360. In a global view, Microsoft’s move toward an external BD drive may be viewed as surprising, since Toshiba actually skips Blu-ray in favor of high-priced DVD players.

The argument that an external Blu-ray drive may pull in extra sales from the PS3 is somewhat shaky, as Microsoft learned that the strategy of an external HD DVD drive did not work. Blu-ray still has not significant traction in the market despite the fact that HD DVD is gone and player prices are approaching the $200 mark. Offering an Xbox 360 BD drive may capture lots of headlines, but we believe that selling such a product may be a big gamble for Microsoft.


Cooliris web plug-in. Highly recommended.

This is a neat little plug-in for browsers that allow you to quickly scan photos and videos. I've been using it for a little while now and it just keeps getting better. Here is a better description for what it does.

Cooliris, formerly known as PicLens, is a web browser plugin made by Cooliris that provides interactive full-screen slideshows of online images. The plugin is available for Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. At present, the software is compatible with Google Image Search, Yahoo! Image Search, Ask.com Images, deviantART, Flickr, Facebook, Live Image Search, Photobucket, SmugMug, Fotki, YouTube (for videos), and any web site that implements Media RSS tags in their HTML pages. The software places a small icon in the corner of an image thumbnail when the mouse moves over it, which launches into a full-screen photo viewer when clicked, but without giving an option to save any of the pictures shown. Currently, versions are available for Windows and Mac. Support for Linux is planned for the future.

Get the plug-in here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Deviantart.com Wallpapers

Here are some of my popular Deviantart wallpapers. If you want to use any of them, just click on the image and go to the download button on the left.

Visit http://dhrandy.deviantart.com/ to view all my wallpapers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MediaStream v0.94 Released

The major change this week is to switch around the themes in the skin so that the Richer theme is now the default theme and there's a new lite theme which you can use if you're having memory issues running the default one.

If you're using the Xbox we highly recommend using the lite theme as it'll be more responsive and will work much better with the tight memory constraints that the Xbox imposes

We've also made Media Preview style views availalble for TV media and did a bit of a tidy-up of the skin options. There's been quite a few posts over the last few weeks where users couldn't find relevant options so hopefully it should be a bit easier now.

As usual you can download the skin from our website, http://www.teamrazorfish.co.uk/mediastream.html

The changes since the last release are as follows:
  • Added: Option to hide No Thumb images
  • Added: New lite theme
  • Added: Seek Slider to Video OSD
  • Added: Create Episode Bookmark button to Video OSD
  • Added: Media Preview view for TV Shows & Seasons
  • Added: Media Preview view for TV Episodes
  • Fixed: Music Vis to work in 4x3
  • Fixed: Coverflow view to work better in 4x3
  • Updated: Removed Richer theme as this is now the default theme
  • Updated: Tidied up the Skin options to make them a bit easier to find
  • Updated: Made sure episode thumbs are shown in projector screen area if option is enabled and default tv background is visible
  • Updated: Tidied up height of dialog buttons
  • Updated: Widened buttons in Add Source and Plugin Settings dialogs
  • Updated: Swedish, Portuguese, Greek, Polish and Dutch translations

XBMC ‘Atlantis’ Beta 2 released - added Apple TV support

Team-XBMC is proud to announce the second cross-platform Beta version of XBMC Media Center for Linux, Mac OS X (Leopard, Tiger, and Apple TV), Windows, and Xbox, in preparation for the upcoming point release of XBMC, code named ‘Atlantis‘.

New in this release is multi-core video decoding for Windows users, courtesy of a rebuilt FFmpeg by WiSo and AreaScout, and XBMC now runs on the Apple TV via the easy to use USB installer created by Scott Davilla. We have also updated the skins (PM3.HD, Project Mayhem III, and MediaStream by Team Razorfish) to their latest versions.

With almost 80 tickets closed, and close to 200 commits to SVN since Beta 1 was released, Beta 2 represents a clear step forward in terms of stability. Thanks to all in the community who have made this possible by reporting bugs and suggesting improvements!

Go grab XBMC ‘Atlantis’ Beta 2 and let us know how it goes!

Yours sincerely / Team-XBMC


View Maximum PC for FREE!

Just in case any of you didn't know, you can view the PDF version of Maximum PC for free on there website. This is great for anyone trying to save a little money. Now maybe you can afford that new upgrade. Enjoy.
Link to PDF Archive

Monday, October 6, 2008

New blog and website design

If you've been here before you'll notice a change. You were probably like "Did I go to the right site?" I just did a re-design on my webpage and blog. Hopefully it's a big improvement. I'm not able to do a whole lot with the website since I am limited on how much bandwidth it can use in an hour. Something else new for the website is the HTPC section. It has info on my HTPC and the build. Maybe it'll give some of you some ideas. Hopefully I can get a real web address soon. Hope you enjoy the new look.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

AMD presentation talks about Windows 7 in '09

Could Microsoft release Windows 7 next year? The rumor mill has been grinding away about the possibility these past few weeks, and AMD has just added fuel to the fire. As PC Watch reports, AMD showed an interesting slide during its presentation at the Cutting Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) event near Tokyo.

Under the title, "What to Expect in 2009," the AMD slide lists a number of items: the move to 40nm process technology, the arrival of the OpenCL general-purpose GPU API, widespread use of GDDR5 memory, consumer GPGPU applications, "HD+" televisions, and... Windows 7. To be more specific, the slide says "Windows 7 and DirectX 11" on one line.

PC Watch doesn't say much on the subject, so it's not fully clear what AMD was referring to there. Perhaps the firm let slip Microsoft's release schedule, or perhaps it's just talking about getting drivers working with pre-release versions of the OS. Judging by the context, though, it certainly looks like AMD expects Windows 7 to come out next year.

A 2009 launch sounds plausible, too. Microsoft has apparently been cutting fat from the OS by removing apps like Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery, and Windows Movie Maker. Also, recent reports have claimed Microsoft's internal calendar sets the Windows 7 "gold" date in early June. According to ZDNet's Ed Bott, Microsoft would have to trim the OS's beta cycle to get it out before next summer, but that schedule "would be downright leisurely compared to the one Microsoft followed for Windows XP, which was launched in October 2001, only 20 months after its predecessor, Windows 2000."


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