Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ubuntu in VPC

Virtual PC 2007 SP1 is a free download from Microsoft.

I don't need it actually because I can dual boot into Ubuntu from my PC here. I just want to give it a try, you don't have too many free products like this from Microsoft.

I haven't tried but I can assume that it'll be a piece of cake if you want to install another Microsoft's OS in VPC. I tried installing Ubuntu 8.04. It certainly wasn't easy and I found a good article telling me exactly what to do.

Don't rush like me, following the article didn't take me anywhere. There are 160+ comments the real wisdom is in those comments posted by readers. Key steps you shouldn't miss are

  • Don't install straight into HDD, run live CD then install

  • Use graphic safe mode (F4) and add additional commands to startup script (F6)

  • Edit grub script during first boot

Enough for VPC, I prefer Wubi

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

DV tape to DVD

I have more than half a dozen DV tapes that I want to convert to DVD for storage. I tried Fotomax which costed me 10 days and $29 for every 60 minutes tape. That was too much and I'm trying plan B.

Plan B would be iLife '08 at $75.6 with free shipping from Singapore by courier, few dollars for a 4 to 6 pins fireware cable and a pack of blank DVD. My first attempt to import from my SONY video camera recorder was successful, once plugged in the camcorder is recognized.

The tutorials are easy to follow and understand, within minutes I started importing.

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Next would be burning a project using iDVD.

In the box it comes with iWorks '08 Trial I have yet to try that out.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dress up Ubuntu

Read this news about ubuntu going to out-pretty Mac in 2 years. I'm not disputing the possibility but I have serious doubts if this is going to materialize. Art is really personal and I don't think "design by committee" really works.

Linux wasn't too attractive at the start to me, I had a book that I never read. I tried ubuntu last year its outlook wasn't attractive either. I would say it is pretty ugly comparing to what you can get from a Mac. Obviously developers have devoted a lot of time in catching up or surpassing Windows on usability and functionality. It's not wrong and look and feel is a matter of taste. I have tried a dozen distros and every time I reinstalled my copy of ubuntu tweaking the font is the first thing I do.

Just more than a year ago when Apple first release beta Safari for Windows I was attracted by it. It was also for that reason I bought my MacBook.

Will a prettier ubuntu attract more users my answer would be definitely YES.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Victoria Park

I have not been to Victoria Park for many years. Last Sunday Douglas was playing/cycling there with his friend. There are a few things that are almost the same all these years the swimming pool, roller skating ground and the pool for boats. These facilities must have been rebuilt a number of times in the past, looking at them does draw childhood memory.


The park is also a well known paradise for domestic workers on Sunday. I saw a few groups of them singing with guitar, some are learning guitar in groups. There was impulse in my mind to say "...hey can I join, hand me the guitar will you?...". I heard a group was singing particularly good, they must have practiced every Sunday.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

iTunes Store in Hong Kong

Thanks to iPhone 3G launch in Hong Kong iTunes store is now available in Hong Kong.

I have an Apple ID because I have a few Apple's gadgets but it's pretty useless although I could fake a US address to get an iTunes account for stores in the US. This workaround would enable me to download cover flow artwork and a couple of free songs, which I don't like, and free TV shows. With iPhone 3G launch iTunes store is now live in Hong Kong with iPhone and iPod Touch applications available. At the moment they have nothing for sales except these applications.

First thing first, I need the $9.95 iPod Touch firmware 2.0 so I edited my Apple ID account filling up payment method and billing address etc. Downloaded 222.6 Mb of this firmware update tonight. I'm going to try a few free applications.

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I noticed that once payment method is filled and am logged into the iTunes Store there will not be any prompts when I click purchase. By this I have authorized iTunes to take my money without further confirmation clicks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Replacement iPod Touch

It was available for collection yesterday and I picked it up this morning. I was told it is a brand new replacement but in fact the 'repair mark' is quite obvious, it's like tool mark between the glass and the frame. Never mind I didn't expect a brand new replacement anyway.

Tested it thoroughly tonight, still disappointed, the sound quality has improved a bit but the broken speaker sound for certain songs is still obvious. My proof is using my iPod Photo to compare playing the same songs. The trouble is that so far I found bad sound is heard only with this album Best Audiophile Voices Selection. I love this so much that I play it all the time. It is OK for my other favorite album such as Carpenters even if I push the volume to the limit.

The service man said this could be a loosen jack to my ears this is like resonance at high pitch (both vocal and piano) of those songs on the jack assembly. I couldn't find any other songs in my library of near 1,000 songs that could produce that sort of bad sound yet.

Perhaps it's faulty by design I'll give up because it isn't obvious unless I'm listening in a very quite environment.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

iPod Touch has gone for exchange

My iPod Touch is faulty. I play light Jazz such as Best Audiophile Voices Selection and hear lousy sound like broken speaker with volume only mid way. My aged iPod photo has those songs from the same library which reproduces the songs perfectly.

I went to the Authorized Service Provider today and the man there said I should be getting a replacement in about a week.

Before doing this I posted my problem at Apple Discussions and never heard any answers. I later tried iLounge, got few responses on the same day. Don't understand why Mac users don't like Apple's forum.

What you believe, what you do?

My sister sent me one of those circulating emails with a powerpoint attachment. The powerpoint is full of very nice images and some messages fit my life philosophy.

  • No lock is made without a key. There is a solution to any problem.

  • There is a painful story behind each successful person. If you are in pain accept it and be ready for success.

  • Judging other's mistakes is easy, recognizing our own is difficult.

  • We can't go back to change a bad beginning, you could always start doing it right for a successful ending.

  • If a problem can be solved no need to worry about it, if it can't be solved what's the use of worrying?

  • Making mistakes is painful. A collection of mistakes is called experience which will be fruitful.

  • Heated gold becomes ornament, beaten copper becomes wires, depleted stone becomes statue. More pain you endured more valuable you will be.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Desktop vs Notebook

Below is WEI for my desktop

This is from my $1,025 Toshiba M600 notebook

I ignore performance on graphics because I don't play games on my computers so I think these two perform nearly the same. Both of them are running on 2G RAM with Core2Duo 6420 (2.16 GHz) and T5450 (1.66 GHz) CPU respectively for desktop and the M600 notebook.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


At last first of July we have sunshine. Below was taken by my Nokia 6300