Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Windows XP or Windows 7

Windows XP is a good Operating System. By August 2011 it will be a decade old. But many find it hard to switch to Windows Vista or Windows 7. This is further testament to its popularity.

However, users of Windows XP will no longer be able to take advantage of newer hardware technologies since Microsoft has decided to stop selling last October 22, 2010 and the support is only available until April 2014.

Windows 7 is the latest release of Microsoft Windows. It came shortly after Windows Vista has gathered a lot of unfavorable reviews.

You maybe asking yourself, how is Windows 7 compared to Windows XP? And is it bad like Windows Vista?

Actually, Windows 7 is good too. In the office I have seen a Duron 2800+ with just 512mb of RAM run Windows 7 without any problem.

I myself am running it on a newer PC. If I would compare Windows 7 to Windows XP, I would say Windows 7 crashes less than Windows XP plus it recovers better.

When running computer games, it is just as fast as XP. Just make sure to install the graphics driver from the manufacturers website. Windows 7 will provide default driver for the latest graphics card. But this driver is not optimized, so you may experience some lagging when running graphics intensive computers.

Personally, between Windows XP and Windows 7, I think I'm sticking with Windows 7.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Windows 7 Sticky Notes

Windows 7 has its own Sticky Notes application. It does not have as many features as Morun's Sticky Notes like: you can't hide a selected note, you can't put a title on each notes, and you can't make the fonts bold or italic. But you can change the color of the notes and it is useful enough though it seems bare in terms of features.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Free Software versus Commercial Software

I am a fan of the Free Software and also the Opensource movement. But one must realized that not all free software are good for you. Here is why: Usability.

I realized that you should not choose to use an FOSS software just because it is free. Because a software maybe so unusable that what you save in money will cost you time. For me time is more valuable than money. Don't we all think that way?

So I am trying to discipline myself to use the “best of the breed” approach for choosing software Instead of going with what is free.

Having said that these are the free software I can recommend: Inkscape, Wings3D, Flex, Jquery, PHP, Apache, Codeigniter, and MyPaint. They are very easy to use. They have intuitive user interfaces. No. You won't find yourself pulling your hair when you are using them. They are great.

As for the other prominent free software out there, I won't mention them cause some of their supporters can be frighteningly sensitive and fanatical.

Warning: This problem with usability is not unique to free software. You can also encounter them on commercial ones.

As a rule, always try a trial version of a software first before purchasing them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Adobe CS5 Collection Inconsistency in Installer Database

There are some issues you may encounter when you are installing Adobe CS5 Collection. The installer will run and accept the serial number. But it will abruptly end saying - Inconsistency in Installer Database.

What happened here is that the file were Adobe keeps the list of programs got corrupted.

To fix the problem go to:

C:\Program Files(x86)\Common Files\Adobe

Then look for the caps directory.

Delete this directory and reinstall Adobe.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How to Save and Restore Mozilla Firefox Bookmarks

It is a good idea to save your browser bookmarks in a safe place. It will come in handy incase you need to reinstall the browser when your OS gets corrupted or your browser gets corrupted.

In Mozilla Firefox, You can do this by clicking on Bookmarks on the menu.

And then click on Organize Bookmarks.

The bookmark management window will be displayed. Click on Import and Backup on the menu.

Then click on Backup. The program will asked you where to save your bookmarks list.

It is a good idea to save this in a different hard disk or in your USB stick.

To restore, repeat the whole process except choose Restore during the last step.

Friday, December 3, 2010

GIMP: How to Enable Wacom Pen Tablet

If you are doing digital graphics in Gimp, whether painting or simply drawing, it is best to use a pen tablet. Wacom is a recognized brand when it comes to pen tablets. Gimp does support it but it is not enabled by default.

How to Enable Pen Tablet Support

1. Launch Gimp using your pen tablet. Don't use the mouse to launch Gimp. If you do, Gimp won't detect it.

2. In the menu click Edit>Preference.

3. On the list click "Input Devices".

4. Click "Configure Extended Input Decives". Here is where Gimp gets weird. If you started Gimp for the first time using a mouse, it will say there are no available input device. But if you launched it using the pen tablet, you will see "Wacom Tablet Pressure Stylus" and "Wacom Tablet Eraser".

5. Click the Close Button

6. Click "Save Input Device Settings Now" so that the pen tablet will still be supported when you launch Gimp next time.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Latest AVG Update Corrupts Windows XP 64

AVG is one of the free anti-virus software you can download off the Internet. It is easy to use and good at detecting computer viruses. But today I have a reason to dislike this software.

This morning I received a message from the software that the latest update is ready. So I clicked update.

And then it told me that I need to restart my computer.

I clicked Allow Restart.

After the computer restarted, it no longer boots properly. I kept getting an error that a DLL file was missing and then the OS restarts.

I could not even remedy the problem by loging into Safe Mode.

I ended up reformatting my hard disk and reinstalling the OS.

And now I have not yet installed all the software that were originally there because it would take me the whole day and I would get nothing done.

Ugh. AVG!