XBMC for Mac’s

Post by Mark

xbmc

I’ve posted previously about XBMC which is currently the best media center available on the market. The only problem is it runs on the old original xbox and it doesn’t support 720p or 1080p. Recently though a Mac version of the software got released and its turning out to be exactly like the Xbox version (which is a good thing) except that it plays 720p/1080p movies flawlessly. I’ve been playing around with it for two weeks now and the progress thats being made in such a short time is ridiculous. The fact that they manage to make XBMC even more responsive then the already fast xbox version is unbelievable and the specs needed to run it are very low. I am running it on my 1.8ghz core duo MacBook for example and streaming 720p movies over Wifi without a hitch.

If you have an Intel Mac download the software and try it. You just drag and drop the app onto your desktop and run it. Here is a link to the website. [Link]


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Operating systems for really, really old computers

Post by Mark

I have an old PIII 500 with 256MB of RAM and a 20GB hard drive lying around which I wanted to give to someone. I didn’t want to install Windows on it since the person isn’t very good with computers and always ends up getting viruses and trojans installed on his system. The computer was going to be used for Internet browsing, chatting on MSN and Yahoo and copying and view pictures from his digital camera. I decided to install a Linux OS.

gOS

The first Linux OS I installed was the latest version of gOS which was released two days ago. From the screen shots it looked like a really friendly and easy to us version of Linux and thats what I was looking for. After installing it I realized that the operating system was running very sluggishly on this really old computer, it wasn’t going to work.

I then remember I had bookmarked a website from Digg which had a list of Linux distros that were meant to be run on really old computers. I went through the list, did some research and in the end decided to try two different ones, TinyFlux and Wolvix.

Wolvix

I tried TinyFlux first and although it ran really well the user interface wasn’t very friendly. I then decided to try Wolvix and not only did it perform really well but the interface was fairly friendly looking with a Mac like dock at the bottom and large friendly icons everywhere. I decided to stick with Wolvix and after playing with it for an hour I think its pretty impressive for an OS thats under 250MB in size. It has Firefox, a music player, video player, photo viewer, and a whole bunch of other softwares all included and there is a ton more I can download all for free.

This is actually the best part of Linux, its free and the majority of the software for it is free. Another good thing is you can try out the OS without installing it, you just run it straight from the CD and if you like it you can install it if not you just eject the cd, reboot and you are back to your old operating system.

If you want to check out the list of Linux distros for old computer click [Here]
For gOS click [Here]
and for Wolvix click [Here]


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FlipSilent for Nokias

Post by Mark

N95

This is a cool software that works on some Nokia phones. Say you get a phone call while in a meeting, all you need to do is flip your phone over and it will give the caller a busy tone and put your phone on silent. You could also just put your phone on silent by flipping your phone over anytime and taking silence off by flipping it back. Currently only works on the N95, N95 8GB, N93i and N82. [Link]


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Best Freeware Games of ’07

Post by Mark

Sam & Max

Something for everyone except us Mac users! [Link]


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Vista to XP

Post by Mark

A guy “upgraded” his computer from Windows Vista to Windows XP and then wrote a review. I found it pretty funny. [Link]


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Two cool Mac tips

Post by Mark

Make your Dock be flush against the corner of the desktop, instead of centered vertically or horizontally. This means your icons will stay put, regardless of how many windows are open:

defaults write com.apple.dock pinning -string start ;
killall Dock

Turn off menubar transparency on 10.5:

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer EnvironmentVariables -dict CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE 1

and then reboot (logging out isn’t enough). [Link]

via DaringFireball

TinkerTool
update: Or just download TinkerTool


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OpaqueMenuBar

Post by Mark

transparent menu

Just found this great little software that will make the menu bar in Leopard non-transparent. Now if only I can find a tool that swaps out the new dock for the old one. I am seriously not liking Leopard. [Link]


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Leopard

Post by Mark

Leopard

I got the latest version of OS X with me from London and I installed it today and its pretty cool. No major upgrades but instead lots of tiny ones here and there. My biggest concern was the dock, I was worried I wasn’t going to like the redesigned version but not I don’t think I can go back to the old one. Overall Leopard is just much prettier. I am now going to just format my Macbook and reinstall it again fresh. I don’t have a particular reason for doing it other then its a good way for clearing up space.


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Apple Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

Post by Mark

Leopard

So the new Max OS is available to pre-order from Amazon.com for $109. I placed my order but I wish they had it available as a download on the first day of release. Kinda like the Radiohead album. Actually, like the Radiohead album, it would also be cool if we could decide on the price ourselves, I would have paid $50 instead of $109. [Amazon Link]


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Travel Software

Post by Mark

I know a lot of people will be traveling to Europe during the Eid so I just wanted to share some handy travel software that will work on Nokia phones and in some cases other smartphones, iPods and PDA’s.

I already previously posted about A-Z Maps which I purchased before I traveled to London for the first time last month. It was an incredibly easy to use software which allowed me to navigate London very easily as if I had been there before. The company has maps for other cities also including Paris, Barcelona and Helsinki. The map starts up instantly when you run it and then you just type the name of the street you are in and the software will show you where you are on the map. It’s also not expensive costing around KD10. More details on this software is available on the publishers website. http://www.lumisoft.net/

ipod map

Another software I recently purchased in my preparation for my London trip later this month is Tube 2. When I was in Paris last month I had a hard time navigating the underground subway system and this software will be making my life a lot easier this time around. I purchased two versions of the software, the Tube 2 London and Tube 2 Paris. How it works is you type the name of the station you are in and then type the name of the station you want to go to and the software will visually show you your route on the underground map AND it will also give you step by step instructions. Here is an example of a trip from the Marble Arch to Waterloo station:

Marble Arch to Waterloo
Time: 13 minutes
Changes: 1

1. Marble Arch to Bond Street
Depart Marble Arch via the Central line (Eastbound) towards Epping for 1 stop.
Service runs every 5 minutes.

2. Bond Street to Waterloo
At Bond Street change to the Jubilee line (Southbound) towards Stratford for 3 stops.
Service runs every 5 minutes.

3. Waterloo
Arrive at Waterloo.

As you can see it makes things a lot easier. The software costs like KD3 and its available for the London, Paris and New York subway system. You can get more information from the software publishers website. They also have versions that work on iPods but they work differently. http://visualit.co.uk/


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