Thursday, 11 December 2008

Amarok 2.0 Released!

Amarok 2.0 has finally been released! Amarok is an excellent music player and manager for Linux (primarily). Version 2.0 features a complete interface redesign and beta support for Windows and Macintosh.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Removing Plasmoids when Plasma crashes

I had some trouble with Plasma the other day. For some reason, it suddenly crashed and wouldn't start up again. I tried pressing Alt+F2 to bring up the run dialog, and typing "plasma", but it still wouldn't start. I then tried the command line.
david@suse:~/.kde4/share/config> plasma
plasma(5728) KWallet::Wallet::openWallet: Pass a valid window to KWallet::Wallet::openWallet().
plasma: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/kde4/ undefined symbol: _ZN6Plasma14ToolTipManager4selfEv
plasma(5727): Communication problem with "plasma" , it probably crashed.
Error message was: "org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply" : " "Message did not receive a reply (timeout by message bus)" "

Something seemed to be wrong with the plasmoid "Show Desktop". Only problem is - it's pretty hard to remove a plasmoid when plasma won't even start. With a bit of help from Google though, and a few bash commands, I found the configuration file that plasma uses to configure the applets:
david@suse:> kwrite ~/.kde4/share/config/plasma-appletsrc

In this file, I simply had to search for the text "plugin=showdesktop", remove the configuration section associated with this, and start plasma again.
This is a simple way to remove a plasmoid (plasma applet/widget) without starting plasma.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Typing speed

According to Facebook typing speed app, I'm "blazing fast" at 92wpm. Now you might ask - "what accurary?" The answer to that particular question might also surprise you. But then again - maybe it won't. 100% accuracy at 92wpm is not particularly impressive for an every-day internet user. But according to this same app, I'm faster than 96% of Facebook. That's quite a large segment of the population, even if you remember that the user had to install the app to be rated in the listings, and therefore the percentage rank.

Catholic Matching

Now this is a site for all the Catholics out there. If you're tired of trying to meet people on other sites and encountering countless problems, maybe you should try out catholic Dating for a change. The main advantage of it as opposed to other similar sites is the demographic range - it's much more likely to be suited to your needs, if you are looking for a site like this.

Old Computers

Like many others, I am faced with the problem of having far too many old computers resting in my shed. I have at least 5 of them, many missing parts or containing faulty parts. And yet I can't bring myself to throw them away. One of these days I'll take them out, look at them and see they're worthless, and probably sell them as antiques by that time! The oldest system is a pre-pentium model, so they're already pretty rare. Most people have just thrown out any computers as old as that - which is what I should have done long ago!

More Public Records!

Divorce Records are become more and more prevalent today in searching public records. Unfortunately there has been an increasing number of divorces, especially in America. You can search the public records and along with births, deaths and marriages, divorces may come up. Use this site to search the divorce records by name, address, post code, state and more.

Seamless Remote Desktop for Linux

Does anyone know how to connect to a Windows RDP server from Linux, and create a seamless integration between the two (window managers)? I have had a look at VirtualDesktop, rdesktop, SeamlessRDP but can't figure out how to work them. I know it sounds silly, but I can't work out which goes on Windows, which on Linux, where you should stick the IP address - the documentation seems to be made for people that already know what they're doing!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


What kind of stuff do police get? tactical pants. These are tough and cheap - just the thing for a busy policeman. Some people think our lives are being made easier by technology today, but that doesnt neccessarily apply to the police. They still have to do a fair bit of rough, tough, on-the-job stuff. These clothes are perfect for situations like this as well as office work.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Blacks Chat

If you're black, and you wanna chat, chances are you'd like to take a look at the new Black Chat Rooms. There's quite a bit to see, including live video chat, all of which is free to register for. Meet and chat with other blacks, share interests, projects and life experience. You might even make those business contact's you've been looking for - they dont' all use LinkedIn!

Time vs Money

Time vs Money - that is the question. For sure, one can spend a heap of time doing a job for yourself, but is it really worth the small saving in money? Usually not. Usually you could have earned far more in the time you spend doing it yourself. But then there's the question of experience. Was it more enjoyable to do it yourself? Did you find the experience valuable? Are you likely to need those skills sometime in the future? These are all questions that I have to ask myself when blogging and completing other computer activities - what's the cost of outsourcing, vs the advantages of doing it yourself.

Meet People, Share Stuff

Emo Chat Rooms are a great place to meet new friends and share stuff with them. It's got features like live video chat - and best of all, it's free! No more paying huge fees to connect with people - this website does it all for you, and in quite an advanced way. So long as you have available bandwidth for video streaming, the skies the limit.

Linux in the mainstream

Some people say that Linux isn't in the mainstream. That it isn't known to a great many people. I tend to disagree. Of course, it's not as widespread as Windows. Everyone agrees with that. But more and more libraries for example are offering free Ubuntu CDs, spreading the love through means of education. And the popularity of the eePC and other mini-laptops have helped as well to spread the concept of a light-weight linux distro as an alternative to Windows. In fact, I have met quite a few people recently who have been asking about Linux as they hear it is "the best OS".

Jewish chat

I've just found a new site dedicated to providing the perfect place for Jewish Chat online. They've got a pretty good feature set, including live video chat. A great place to meet and share with others online. You could then continue to use the features provided onsite or move to another hosted solution such as MSN for your interaction - it's up to you.

Late night experiences

I know there has been a lot of scientific research done into the concept of staying up late at night, but I'd like to get you're opinions too as users of the internet and blogdom in general. Do you find that staying up late improves your concentration? Or the opposite? Are you more cranky during the day after a late night, or more amiable? Post your responses here or email them to me.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Public Records Database

One of the most sought-after uses for the internet, in my opinion, is public records resources. Nowdays noone wants to go down to their local library and browse through old archives and books to find out the information they are searching for. Far more convenient is the new option - find national or county public records online.

You can research marriage and divorce records, birth and death records, business information, property records, court and criminal public records, links to employment searches, unemployment benefits and more. It's absoulutely luxury after having spent an afternoon down at your library, as anyone who's been through that experience will know.

The state of Android

I honestly can't wait to get my hands on Android, Google's latest offering in the mobile arena. The interface itself is nothing revolutionary - after all, the iPhone is wonderful in terms of it's GUI. What excites me about Android is the openness of it. The whole platform is open-sourced, meaning that we're not going to have any of the restrictions previously imposed by money-hungry monopolists.

That's not to say that it won't be secure. Of course security measures are built in, and all the apps run on a Java VM. But the owner of the device will have far more control, and if a provider decides to lock you out of particular options - well, rest assured that someone will have a hack available to fix it!

Find out about people - today

I've often wanted to look up some local public records, but not wanted to go down to the local library. Do you feel the same? If so, you might want to check out this site. It's a complete US Public Records search engine. The interface is actually quite clean and uncluttered - an improvement over many public records sites that I've seen recently.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Google and Privacy

Just thought I'd add my thoughts on the Google privacy controversy. Google has certainly made a good stand with their new 9-month anonymization process. Whether they were forced to or not is irrelevant - the key is that consumers are concerned about their privacy, and Google has actively responded to this need by reducing their logs substantially. It's not that long ago that they kept logs for 24-months! I personally like to see this happening before it's brought to a court of law - unlike Microsoft's standard process.

Tattoo Lovers

If you've ever felt lonely because of your tattoos, or have been looking for a place to meet others with similar interests, maybe you should check out Tattooed Match. It's a place to meet and chat with others. You can quickly and easily sign up with the online form, making getting started a snap. If you give it a try, leave some feedback here so I can tell others about your experiences!


Only a week now until the first android device, the HTC "Dream" is released! Although the initial specs of this machine are nothing really impressive, it's Android's first chance to show it's worth. You could call it a "beta" run, but in a live market, with lot's and lot's of competitors watching. And the great thing is - it should be free to upgrade Android whenever you want to - no more "you've got Windows Mobile 5, I've got 6 so I'm better than you" kind of talk - everyone can upgrade their OS - or even customize it if you have the time and knowlege!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Domain Marketplace

Netfleet - Australian Domain Marketplace. It's the latest craze. The domain marketplace in Australia is now open to all, so anyone can buy a domain that is already registered by someone else (with that someone's consent of course!) Do you want to register but it's already taken? Look no further. You can place a bid for this and thousands of other domains at NetFleet. The prices are quite reasonable, and there's every resource available for help understanding the process if you can't quite get it.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Man: What is Woman?

LOL! Here's what you get when you try to use Linux to find out what a woman is.
man --whatis woman
woman: nothing appropriate.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Lookup those prank calls!

Ever wanted to find out who those pesky prank callers were? You can use the new Phone Lookup Registry as a step along that path, among many other uses. It's basically a complete US phone registry, including mobile and landline lookups, with segmented search by state, or by phone number. There aren't many features you could think of including in a phone search website, but all of them are in this! I'd recommend checking it out - try looking up your friends, or even yourself. It's sometimes scary what you will find!

Chrome-ating the Web Browser

We all knew it would happen. Google has just announced their own browser - Google Chrome.
Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier
At least, that's the spin on the homepage. I don't think this browser is very revolutionary, except for in the mobile area. It will certainly do well on Android. But they've done the right thing by open-sourcing it.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Favourite Great American Seafood

I've never been a big fan of seafood myself, mainly because of the price, but after seeing the cook off at I'm thinking differently. I particularly liked the look of Tafari Campbell's recipe from Maryland - Pan Roasted Glazed Rockfish with Peas and Carrots - the peas and sauce just make it look more appetising to my taste than the other recipes. I also like the "Butter and salt to taste" - I personally prefer more butter and salt in my seafood than others, so it's nice to see that written in expressly in the recipe.

Seafood's actually a great food to use around the house. Domestic seafood is a very tasty meal, and could even go well with an alternative main meal. And it will always be fresh, so you can enjoy the taste of fresh meat when people are often used to salted or otherwise preserved animals such as bacon. Let's face it - not all of use live so close to the sea that we've grown tired of seafood!

I would encourage you to drop by at the site and enter your vote of your favourite great American Seafood. You even have a chance to win a trip to New Orleans including two Southwest Airline roundtrip tickets, hotel accommodations, dining experiences and more, if you enter the competition. There are some truly excellent chefs on the roll there, and you could have a look at their recipes for yourself. You could use them as-is, or, if you're somewhat of a seafood buff, you could even modify them to suit your needs and taste!
Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

Google App Store - Android Marketplace

Android Developers Blog: Android Market: a user-driven content distribution system
Google's made the right decision here - albeit a copy of the iPhone App Store.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Pinging Tricks

You’re a blogger and are constantly hearing about pinging. The thing is, you don't know what it is and what it can do for your blog. Well that's fine because a lot of bloggers don't quite understand pinging. In this newsletter, we will explain what pinging is, how it helps your blog, and what the best pinging services are. After you've read this newsletter, you'll know exactly how to use pinging to make your blog popular.

What is pinging?

When a blog is pinged, it essentially tells a web blog tracking system that the blog has been updated. Thus, pinging is the process of telling tracking services that a site has been updated.

So how does pinging work? Well, a ping service scans regularly blogs for updates. Whenever there is a new update for a particular blog, that is reported back to the pinging service’s site. You can almost think of ping services being just like search engine spiders—both scan sites looking for information, and both report that information back to their specific site. The difference is, a ping service only reports back new blog posts.

Why is pinging useful for my blog?

Pinging, in effect, tells people that there is a new blog posting available. Those who are loyal followers of your blog will see the ping and want to visit your blog. Those who haven’t read your blog before will see the ping and perhaps think “hey, there’s a new blog I haven’t been to before, I think I’ll check it out”. Pinging helps to increase your traffic because it tells people when your blog is updated. Those who visit sites with pinging services will see this information in the form of a scroll on the left or right side, or top of the page. The scroll is usually in XML format and typically includes the title and URL of your blog, as well as the date and time of the update.

OK, so now I know what pinging is. Who offers pinging?

The answer is, there are several pinging services available which you can use to have your blog pinged. We’ll go over some of them right now. is probably the most well-known pinging service. monitors sites for updates and then pings whenever there is an update to report. Virtually every blog software is available to use Weblogs.


Another popular pinging service. This one is offered by Yahoo and has a built-in integration with movable type and other tools. One cool thing about this service is that it offers the ability to give out updates via Instant Messenging services like AOL and ICQ. It is a direct pinging service, so those who sign up for subscriptions to your blog will be sent an email anytime your blog is updated.

Blogrolling allows its bloggers to manage their blogrolls (updates) through a web-based interface. Recently updated blogs are also highlighted on Blogrolling’s web site. Data is automatically retrieved from other sites like and every 5 minutes. Often times your blog is already being pinged by Blogrolling, so you might not have to sign up for it. Search on the site first for your URL before signing it up.


Available at, Technorati is another service that pings blogs. It gets its data from a variety of places and is definitely a site you should go to for blog pinging.

These are just 4 of the many different blog pinging services available. A quick search on Yahoo or Google will reveal many other possible blog pinging services to use for your blog. It is best to sign up for as many as you possibly can to ensure that your blog is well-pinged. A well-pinged blog will definitely help your blog attract more visitors. So sign up for as many as possible and watch your blog traffic increase.

Pinging tells people when your blog is updated. It is an incredibly useful, and easy to sign up for service, so be sure to sign your blog up for pinging!

Written by: Len Hutton

Black Friday's not so black as it might sound

Black Friday, as you probably already know, is the day after Thanksgiving. Normally people will stand outside shopfronts from 5am to get the bargains available at Black Friday sales. They then walk into the shop with no idea what they want to buy, and just pick up things because they have the ability to "save"! But what would you say if you could know about these before hand - and actually plan your shop before you walked in the door? enables you to do exactly that. There are sections for all kinds of shops, including CompUSA deals and many others. Recent prices and product details are available for the Black Friday sales, enabling you to easily find the bargain that you want, not the bargain the the store wants you to pick up in a spur-of-the-moment purchase. What's more, items even be bought online, saving you that lineup altogether!

There is also an email subscription option. This means that you can be notified of the latest Black Friday sales almost as soon as they are announced! This should help you to get in before the crowd and grab a real bargain, or just satisfy your hunger for the latest news.

You can search and buy these items from blackfridayonline.

Evolution of the Emails

I've decided to change from Thunderbird to Evolution for my emails. I've got frustrated with TB's many lacking features, and consider Evolution to offer a much more complete feature set. For the timebeing it's working nicely, and I've already started synchronising my IMAP folders.

Evolution and Thunderbird are both GTK+-based email clients. I'd love to use Kmail or another Qt-based email client (I run KDE4.1), but can't justify the lack of features for the aesthetic advantages.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Powerful Media Conversion Software

I've done a lot of converting of media files recently. Whether its to get the "Receive the Power" song on my mobile phone or to convert MPG files to DVD I've just found it a requirement for most of my computing tasks in the past few weeks. And although ffmpeg is very useful on Linux, it really needs a GUI. Now I've found an AVI converter that can do the job for me - and has an immense range of options thrown in too.

Formats supported for audio conversion include CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, MPEG-4, AIFF, M4A, AAC, AC3, FLAC, and ALAC, and two-way conversions among MPEG-1, MPEG-2, AVI, WMV, ASF, Flash (SWF and FLV), iPod, PSP, 3GP, and MOV are available for video. MPEG options are available for VCD, SVCD, and DVD compliant output. DVD ripping, and audio compression functionality are also present. When converting from audio CD, track information can be dynamically downloaded from the CDDB and used to automatically name saved files.

Video editing is available for AVI (uncompressed and compressed using any available codec), MPEG-1, MPEG-2, WMV, and ASF. Comprehensive video editing operations are provided (delete frame, delete selection, crop, resize, rotate, mirror, flip, trim, text overlay, adjust audio volume, etc.). In addition, an extensive list of over 30 effects and color adjustment operations allow for powerful video enhancement and alternation. Audio files can be inserted into the video or extracted from the video; and image files can be inserted or extracted as well.

I really like the video editing features included here. They will be very useful for me to be able to use when Im creating videos or simply just cutting and pasting, to be able to rotate them especially. So you might like to check out Blaze Media Pro for your video conversion needs if you're looking round for an easy and flexible solution.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Building Bridges

Finally, an update on what I'm doing! Right now I'm pretty excited that something I was doing on the computer just worked, so I've decided to blog about it. But enough waffling - what did I actually do?

Recently I inherited an older Windows XP machine from a friend (Pentium4, 512MB, 10GB). Of course, I didn't want to use this as a replacement for my nicer Linux box, but it would be nice to run them both side by side for a while. Unfortunately, my basement computer only has 1 Ethernet link. Big problem.

So, since I had a couple of spare NICs lying around, I thought I'd try to tunnel all my Linux network data through the Windows XP box. This is something I hadn't tried before, but I took the first step - installed the second NIC into the Windows box. After trying a faulty network card, I found one that would work, booted the system and identified the network links. All working fine so far.

The next step was to create a tunnel between the two NICs. I tried pinging some internal IPs on Linux to check access - but got nothing. Since Google is my friend, I tried looking up some info with no success. After fiddling round with ICS on XP, I notice a menu option - "Bridge Connection". "Hey," I thought. "That looks hopeful!" So, disabled ICS, bridged connections, and Voila! both computers have internet access, local and external.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Mobile Web in Australia

Frankly, my opinion of internet in general in Australia is extremely low to say the least. Prices are at some of the highest rates for a developed country, and then mobile internet.......... well that's just a joke. Currently with Telstra I pay $2 per MB - yes, that's $2 per megabyte! That means if I want to check my emails, facebook, im and weather forecast I'm looking at maybe 50MB per month - that's $100 p/month, and simply for mobile internet! That is of course at GSM speed - little better than dialup.

Thank you Labor government for giving us a great new, refreshed, high-speed internet!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Quality Glasses

Everyone needs their glasses to looks cool nowdays Whether it's to impress your friends or just yourself, it's important to buy glasses that suit your personality. sell stylish prescription glasses from only $8. The way such low prices can be achieved is that ZenniOptical sells directly to you, with no middle man and virtually no advertising budget. This means that you can obtain quality items for a lot cheaper than at most retail stores.

There area huge range of glasses available, including single vision lens, sunsensor (potochromic)lens, tinted sunglasses lens, bifocal lens and progressive lens. So check out Zenni on Fox for your glasses, and you could come up with a bargain. The range of styles is amazing - you're sure to be able to find something to impress your mates! And with the low prices you might even be able to afford multiple pairs - that's sure to create a good impression.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

SEO and Cuil

Thought I'd just echo what has been going round the blogosphere with my own twist: Cuil (the new search engine from ex-Googlers) has not managed to optimise it's own SEO well enough - search for Cuil using Cuil and the search engine isn't in the top results! This is actually a good sign IMHO though, as it shows that they're not artificially skewing the results in their own favour. This would be very easy to do, although unethical. Personally I wish all the best to Cuil, but really they don't have a chance.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

BillsIQ - Find your IQ and learn at the same time

For_opportunitiesBills IQ is a very well done Financial IQ test which is both informative and even entertaining to some extent. The short questionarre only takes a few minutes to complete, and after that a screen will show you a summary of your IQ, and you have the option to continue the report and learn which factors you did and did not have a clear understanding of, along with practical advice on how to improve your knowledge of concepts such as Debt consolidation, Debt relief and Debt help.

According to this service, my IQ is 96% - much higher than the standard 87% for males in my demographic range. But even with this financial knowledge, there were a few areas where I didn't know much, and BillsIQ was able to provide a concise and helpful tip for improvement, and further resources for how to learn more.

I highly recommend you try out this service one day when you have some spare time. It's worth a go, just remember that they will advise you to try out their own services, so shop around before investing anything. But with the free report, you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. And please let me know your score - I'd love to see if you get more than 96%!
Sponsored by


Right now, I've got too much to do and not enough time to do it in. This means I have to discern priorities and cut out the least important parts of my online activity. Subsequently, I'm asking you, the viewers - do you want to see more on this blog? If so, what sort of subjects? I need some feedback in order to prioritise and create goals. Please take some time to leave a comment saying what you'd like from this blog.

Thanks for your dedication and feedback.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk

Alzheimer's is one of the most difficult problems I have had to deal with in the past few years. More and more people are falling victim, and it presents a very real difficulty for family and friends involved. The Alzheimer's Memory Walk is America's largest walk designed to raise awareness and funding for the assistance of people with this debilitating disease.

One of the great difficulties with Alzheimer's is actually acknowledging that you have it. Sometimes this is possible, and sometimes it's not possible. But regardless of personal acknowledgement, someone has to care for the people affected. This Memory Walk aids greatly the efforts to put and end to this disease, and to assist those who are currently affected, whether directly or indirectly. I strongly advise you to join in and help this good cause, at least by promoting it to your friends, and possibly even by joining in yourself.
Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

Back from WYD

Okay, I'm finally back from WYD. The event has been a wonderful experience for me, certainly the best thing I have done in my life. Now I've just got to sit down and think about what has happened, and process the meaning of it all. It's been a hectic time, and it's quite difficult to realise all that has been going on.

Thanks to all the viewers who are still hanging around. I am open to suggestions, so if you have any ideas for what you would like to see on this blog in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Monday, 7 July 2008

SocialSpark is great for Mommy bloggers!

SocialSpark says
We love mommy bloggers! Not only do you create great content, you also send us cookies and keep our bellies full :)
So it's nice to see that all you Mommy bloggers (or "Mummy" as we say here in Australia) are wanted. And SocialSpark is really a great place to earn a little extra income while still being able to stay at home and attend to the children. You could say that SocialSpark is a "work from home" site in a way.

This paid post service offers you (primarily) a paid task which you can accomplish in your own time. There's not need to rush - once your reservation for a post is accepted you have 12 hours to complete the post - so even if it becomes available just as you go to bed it will still be there in the morning for you to finish.

An average of 2 new qualified opportunies are added every day for me. This gives me a great chance to choose only opps which are actually relevant to my blog and lifestlye, increasing the quality of the posts as well as my enjoyment of the task. And if you're a social kind of person, you might like to check out the "Sparks", "props" and comment features available to help you better interact between advertisers, publishers, and any combination of the two.

So if you're looking for some extra cash, like blogging, or just have some time to kill it might be worth checking out SocialSpark. There's a place for everyone and especially Mommy bloggers are appreciated here in this welcoming community.
Sponsored by SocialSpark

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Optus announces iPhone prices - only $228 with 12m contract!

Optus has officially announced their iPhone prices. And it's cheap - only $228 for the iPhone paid over 12 months.

If you opt for an unlocked phone, it's going to cost you quite a bit more - $736 for the iPhone 8GB. This means you're far better off committing to a 12 month contract, even if you never use the phone during that period - you've saved over $500!

Unfortunately I'll be at World Youth Day when the iPhone is released - anyone want to buy me one?

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Cisco Training

Cisco SystemsImage via WikipediaAs a young IT professional I never really had a Cisco certification, although I have always wanted to give it a go. Cisco is a rapidly expanding sector of the IT business, which is itself rapidly expanding, so it shouldn't present any problems as far as work opportunities go. So now I'm seriously considering getting some kind of Cisco certification.

So far most of my experience has been in the Internet area, with both HTML/Java programming and Network infrastructure, so Cisco will certainly be a good area for me to move forward into. The infrastructure is actually very well supported, and there is no lack of companies using it. The IP Networking looks like a good starting point for me, and should give a good solid founding in core Web technologies for a business environment.

Hopefully this training will provide me with a good founding in searching for career opportunities. From what I've seen, it should put me in good standing with a good many local companies, and is a widely recognised certification option. In terms of advancing my personal career this should go well.

In terms of training I believe this will be a useful option as well. The training programs appear to be vigorous enough for my liking, and there's not much trouble with too little workload.

Does anyone have some useful experience with Cisco training that you would like to share with me and the readers of this blog? Just post a comment and I'll update this post with the details.
Sponsored by Cisco


Time is of the essence. With computers this is especially true, and as all IT enthusiasts (otherwise known as "geeks") will know, the computer can gobble up literally your entire day. But how much is really necessary to get done what you have to get done. The answer might surprise you.

Just think, for a start, how much time to you spend on Facebook (or MySpace)? For me, maybe 1 hour per day, and most of you will spend more. Then what about blogging. For me, about 2 hours. Then add another 1/2 hour for checking the news, and 1 hour for emails, you're looking at 4 1/2 hours spent online each day! That's over a quarter of the daylight hours! And of course, all this estimate is ignoring the time spent playing games and watching TV.

And they wonder why we are getting obese.....

How to get your money back on a crash

Have you been in a car accident lately? I was nearly in one the other day, it's amazing how easy it is to run in to other cars on the roads today. What many people don't know though, is that if you get in a crash that wasn't your fault and your vehicle value decreases, you are eligible for a payment from your insurance company.

Advocate Auto Claims is a US firm that specialises in this. Check out their website for a free estimate of how much you should get paid by your insurance. And, best of luck if you live in Georgia - you are entitled to this payment even if the accident was your fault! :)
Sponsored by Advocate Auto Claims

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Mozilla Firefox - The Browser (tm)

Mozilla FirefoxImage via WikipediaMozilla Firefox has become a legendary success story in the history of computing. Over 39% of people use Firefox according to W3 stats. Never since Internet Explorer was bundled with PCs has the world seen a single web browser become so widely used in such a short period of time. So what makes this browser such a success? Here are some of the best features of this award-winning browser (although I advise you start your Mozilla Firefox download now so that it can be ready by the time you finish reading :-):
  • One-Click bookmarking
    Don't you hate it when you bookmark something and immediately have to type in details about it or click OK? Well, your troubles are now gone. Just click the "star" once to add a quick bookmark. Click it again to edit the details.
  • Increased browsing speed
    Did you know that Firefox is one of the fastest web browsers around? I run Firefox on Windows Vista and it runs like lightning. Not that Vista's fast. :)
  • Platform native look and feel
    This is specific to the new Firefox 3. Run it on a Mac and it looks like Safari. On Vista, and it mimics IE7. Perfect for those aesthetic-freaks.
Besides these there are also a heap of cool features, including tabbed browsing session restore, an smarter integrated Google Search, a popup blocker that blocks the right sort of popups, solid protection from spyware and adware, automatic security updates, real privacy protection, and most importantly, an enhanced Internet browsing experience.

So why are you still browsing this with IE? Download Mozilla Firefox today!

Finished Exams

I've finally finished my exams now.....
(Sorry, I couldn't resist that!)
So, basically I'll have a lot more time to spend on this and other blogs. But, as usual there's a catch. I leave for World Youth Day in two weeks. If you want me to post about something in particular, please let me know (my email is ignis.animi @tt geemayl dot 6om.) Otherwise, I'll just keep doing my normal stuff.

Btw, paid posts have made over $150 in the past month off this blog. w00t!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

It's Magic!

In the olden days (yes, I'm talking about the 1900s!), magicians used to perform dazzling feats of physical endurance and courage. Harry Houdini was one of the most famous - he could open any lock ever made, and not only that, but he could perform many other marvellous tricks such as breaking out of a box filled with milk, which required great physical skills.

Today however, we have a new kind of magic. Performers such as Criss Angel explore the spiritual world more than the physical.

The Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas is currently running shows starring Criss Angel. His illusions and performances will be showing on "Dark Wednesday and Thursday". If you'd like to see his show, check out the Luxor website. You'll be entitled to an amazing show of modern illusion-ism and art.

There is also a new Cirque Du Soleil performance featuring CRISS ANGEL called 'CRISS ANGEL Believe'. This show will be another marvellous showcase of talent. You can see more details at the showcase here.

And if you don't think you can afford it, here's a comp for you. Text 'Believe' to 22122 for a chance to win 2 tickets to the 'Criss Believe' show. You better hurry though, there's not much time to performances and you wouldn't want to miss out!
Sponsored by CRISS ANGEL Believe

Social Networking

Now everyone knows what social networking is. Usually though we associate it with technology - mobile phones, blogs and so forth. I just thought I'd take some time to remind you of another very powerful networking tool: face to face communication.

It's often neglected in our modern world of technological progress, but face to face is still the best way to communicate. Why don't you try it today - actually talk to someone across the desk instead of sending them an email!

A Second Skin Style with Halloween Costume

We all enjoy looking for the best kids Halloween costumes. It's an exciting and happy time for all of us, especially the kids. But did you know you could buy them online too? Costume Cauldron sells heaps of costumes useful for Halloween. The site's chock full of cool pictures which should entertain the kids and give a good idea of what the costumes look like. And best of all - I've got a secret back-door discount to share with you!

To access this secret discount (I won't reveal the amount to you, you'll just have to go and see!), just visit the Costume Cauldron site. Go to the homepage halfway down on the right and click on the brown comma in the line that reads “Our Store now has over 8,000 masquerade items for you to choose from!” This will let you in to a special discount only accessible through this back-door! Now you'll be able to get your halloween costumes for even cheaper and easier using this online store.

Now, what sort of costumes are accessible through this site? Pretty much anything you might wish for. No matter what your child's taste, there should be a costume to match it here. Now-days you need to have a huge wardrobe to keep up with the neighbours, so maybe you could even get a few costumes per child and switch around for a few years! This would save buying new costumes but still keep a fresh appearance for your friends.

So Check out the site. Maybe you'll find a costume for you. You don't even have to restrict the dressing up to just the kids - I've got dressed up many a time myself, and it does help at a party if the adults get in the spirit too! Have a look at these two costumes if you have time, they're my personal favourites.

If you're interested in finding more info about Halloween too, check out this article. It's actually quite interesting to find out the roots of the celebration.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Update on World Youth Day - Australia's Biggest Ever Gathering

World Youth Day in Sydney 2008 is going to be Australia's biggest ever gathering of people. Expecting to attract over 120,000 international visitors, the closing mass should top 500,000 attendance. Run by the Catholic Church, this event will bring in over $180 million in revenue to Australia from the overseas visitors.

The Youth of Australia and the world are excited about World Youth Day. It will offer a great chance for young people and adults to grow in faith together. It's now only 22 days to WYD, so the frenzy is growing as Randwick racecourse is prepared for the huge celebration and youth pack ready to leave. See you in Sydney on July 15!

The Devil Sucks! (and cleans your house)

5238dd240x180publicNo, I'm not talking about the ex-angel that lives in the underworld. I'm talking about the new Dirt Devil AccuCharge Vacuum cleaner. This little devil certainly does suck, but in a good way - and it's wireless.

Wireless vacuum cleaners are becoming more popular now-days, and the Roomba cleaner is even robotic. But historically these machines have been power hogs - using many more resources to carry around battery power with them. The Dirt Devil is a huge improvement, claiming to use 70% less energy than other comparable systems.

But enough marketing talk. How is the Dirt Devil really going to be a help? Well, let's take a look at the way I currently vacuum a room.
  1. Locate the vacuum cleaner (usually takes about 30 minutes)
  2. Call in some help to wrench the cord from it's hole
  3. Unplug my computer to find a spare powerpoint
  4. Start vacuuming the room, only to find that "the cord doesn't reach"
  5. Switch off and unplug the vacuum cleaner
  6. Repeat from step 3 until whole room is clean
Does this sound familiar? Not only is this a common situation, but it's really quite a waste of time. The solution is to either buy a vacuum cleaner with a longer cord, or get a Dirt Devil. A wireless cleaner alleviates all but steps 1 and 4, reducing the vacumming process from 6 to 2 steps. To me, this figures.

And if you worry that cleaning the floor is damaging the environment, the Dirt Devil is a good choice. This is the first cordless vacuum to be Energy Star approved, and the 70% energy savings help cut down on your power bill, besides the environmental advantages. I have to admit though - I'm just excited about the wireless, and I'd probably buy this vacuum cleaner even if it was the biggest power hog ever made!
Sponsored by Dirt Devil AccuCharge

Complete Mayhem

I don't know how many posts are going to go up from now until next week, as I have an exam on. So this post will be pretty much a mess, with various things from various different places. I would like to keep up my 10 posts per week, just for PPP's sake. Speaking of that, you know what happened? This blog, The Big Byte, now has a PageRank of only 2. Yes, that's only 2! (Previously it had been 4). I think this is mostly due to the fact that PayPerPost seems to be in Google's Black Book - that is, any blogs that run paid advertising will automatically have their PageRank reduced. So that's not very good for me, but thankfully SocialSpark still works allright.

Anyway, I said this was going to be a bit of a mess, and it is. I don't have time to write this properly, and I've got to go for music lessons shortly. So, don't worry about posts not coming up in good time - just be patient!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Got a light? Or make that a Spark.....

Most advertisers will know about PayPerPost, the online advertising network. But did you know that a relatively new company has been generating buzz since it was launched?, from IZEA, offers many of the features of PPP in a more social environment. Advertisers and Bloggers can create relationships (or "friendships") and there is scope for non-monetary incentives through the use of "sparks".

SocialSpark already has a wide range of advertisers, selling products about as diverse as the blogosphere can handle. But I'd like to see more traditional advertisers adopt this platform, as it's really a great way to connect advertisers and bloggers. Unlike PPP, SocialSpark allows real interaction between advertiser and blogger, so that the unseemly aura of "sponsored" posts is largely avoided. The advertisers don't even need to offer money for the post - you can just offer a "spark" which will let you choose whatever reward you want, or even no reward at all for a truly unbiased review!

I hope that SocialSpark will be able to avoid the plague of issues that have surrounded previous companies in this area of sponsored posting. Most of all, it will be important to see if SocialSpark is singled out by Google and penalised in the same was as PPP. The company is trying to avoid this by such techniques as nofollow links, so it should be relatively safe. Certainly, if you are afraid of signing up for PPP because it may affect your SERPS, you need not have the same fears of SocialSpark.

Although the long-term success of SocialSpark is yet to be seen, the future looks hopeful for this new company. If you're an advertiser looking for a low-cost solution, SocialSpark might be for you.

Sponsored by SocialSpark

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Firefox 3 Downloads Reach World Record - 5 million downloads!

firefox logoWell, they've done it! According to the Download Counter, Firefox 3 has now officially reached the "amazing" target of 5 million downloads in the 16 hours since release. Downloads so far are rolling in at a tremendous rate of 10 thousand per second. That's using up around 20Gbits/s of bandwidth - don't we all wish we could get that! :)

5 million downloads is a heck of a lot! Even Mozilla didn't appear to be expecting this, they said in the faq: "Let's shoot for 5 million--the sky is the limit!"

For those who don't know yet, Firefox has aimed for a world record on the first day of Firefox 3's release: The most unique downloads of any software product in 24 hours. You can Download Firefox 3 Here, or check out the World Record.

Firefox hits 4 million downloads

firefox 3 logoAccording to the official count, the total number of Firefox 3 downloads has now topped 4,000,000. The aim is to reach 5 million by tomorrow, and so far it looks as if that is going to happen quite soon. So if you haven't already downloaded Fx3, click here to join the World Record!

Please download Firefox 3 by 11:16 a.m. PDT (18:16 UTC) on June 18, 2008. That's 11:16 a.m. in Mountain View, 2:16 p.m. in Toronto, 3:16 p.m. in Rio de Janeiro, 8:16 p.m. in Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Rome and Warsaw, 10:16 p.m. in Moscow, and June 19, 2008 at 2:16 a.m. in Beijing and 3:16 a.m. in Tokyo.

Latest project: curl-based login

I've often wanted to check for status updates behind login-protected pages, which doesn't work properly with RSS based solutions. Many programs, like Page2RSS would work for standard pages, but not for login based ones. For this purpose, I'm currently working on a curl-based solution that should login, and check for updates to a page. I'm not sure if I'll actually be able to make RSS feeds out of that, but regardless I should be able to do a unix script to make a desktop alert. Here's hoping it all workes out allright.....

Free Email Marketing

Here's a Freebie for you: GoldLasso, makers of Email Marketing Software, are offering a free email marketing evaluation to new clients. The evaluation, valued at $2,500, includes a free 15 page report. Email marketing is one of the key ways for a business to reach out to customers today, so it's important to make the most of the information you have, both in terms of software and campaigns.
Visit to sign up and get a free email marketing report.

Wine 1.0 Released

Finally! After many years of waiting, Wine 1.0 is released! Although perfect compatability with all Windows software has not yet been achieved, many current titles work well, including Photoshop CS2 and Power Point Viewer 2003. Between this and Mono, Linux users have quite good Windows support.

Web Hosting Ratings

I'm currently looking for the best choice in custom hosting for my blogs. The articles at Web Hosting Rating has helped enormously for me to learn the details of web hosting. From choosing the cheapest web host to learning how to manage a domain with cpanel tutorials, this site has it all. There are a few articles for each category, which helped me to choose between various options. I found the Scripting tutorials particularly relevant - I've never seen a good review of the three major scripting languages side by side before. (From this review I've chosen PHP).

If you're looking for information about web hosting, or even just curious about some terminology used, I encourage you to check out Web Hosting Rating. They're working on a redesign of the site, and although I think the old look is alright the new one is better. And please tell me about your experiences with web hosts - just leave a comment, it only takes a few seconds!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

IT Qualifications

Here's a question for all of you: what did it take to get into your current IT job? I'm having quite a bit of difficulty currently in getting an IT qualification, but somewhat surprisingly I have job opportunities everywhere! Did you need a qualification before you started your current job?

I know the education system in Australia is seriously messed up, but I didn't really know what a managerial nightmare it would be simply to do a basic degree.

Monday, 16 June 2008 is live!

SocialSpark is the latest big thing in the blogosphere. Moving on from the negative aura that has often surrounded PayPerPost, SocialSpark ushers in a new era in paid-for blogging. Or rather, one might call it a new era in Advertiser-Blogger relationships, because SocialSpark is all about relationships.

Firstly, there's this thing called "props". It's basically the same as a diggs. You see somebody you like, you "give them the props" (click the "prop" button). Someone with lots of props is well-reputed, somebody with less props fades to the background. Besides this, there is the ability to make (and break) friendships. This has the potential to become a powerful tool - if the advertisers make friendships only with the people whose posts they are happy with, then this will be a reasonably accurate measurement of how well a person writes. Only time will tell whether or not this comes to fruition or not.

SocialSpark's slogan is "Get Everyone Talking". My profile certianly lives out this goal: in the 12 days since I joined my profile has received 26 props, and I've got 33 friends! That's certainly a powerful connection machine, it only needs to be seen how to utilize that power for a useful purpose.

There is certainly great potential in SocialSpark. At the moment, it is lacking the leverage of big-name advertisers, but no doubt these will come as the site expands. For now it might be worth checking it out - you've got nothing to lose, and you could end up making a few bucks in the process!

This post is sponsored by SocialSpark

XT3 - The Catholic Facebook. Or is it?
Bringing the Gospel of Xt (Christ) into the 3rd Millennium

The Catholic Church has just launched a new social network called XT3, designed to assist youth in connecting prior to World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia. Some people are calling this the "Catholic Facebook" but I think it goes further than that. There are quite a few uniquely Catholic features, such as "Ask a Priest" and what are you praying for. This site looks like it's going to be quite big, it's already got thousands of members.

Check it out - join the coolest social network here.

Get Hot New Stuff for Cheap offers a collection of discount and bargain coupons for hundreds of popular online stores. The coupons are sorted into categories for ease of access, including Apparel and Clothing, Internet Services, and Pet Supplies. There's even info on free diet analysis and info on the top weight loss program.

Say you wanted to buy a computer from Dell. Instead of checking out the Dell Computers website directly like you would normally, why don't you have a look at the Dell Coupons section of the site? You could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars simply by looking at what is dicounted before you buy. It's just like walking down the street and looking for the sales, except that you have even more choice and flexibility through being able to browse, choose and complete your product choices online.

To help you in keeping up to date with the various coupons, there are special sections for Hot Coupons, Expiring Coupons and New Coupons. There is even an RSS feed, so you can subscribe to be notified whenever a new coupon is added to the online directory, enabling you to really keep up to date with the latest bargains.

This site has coupons for hundreds of sites, so there is no need to worry about missing out on a deal because it's not in the list. The site is regularly updated, and offers a great chance to pick up some real bargains in the world of online shopping. A couple of nice touches like the Related Deals section and store identification help to bring this site out in front of the crowd.

I might be getting an iPhone!

As per latest financial discussions, I might be getting an iPhone! It all depends on whether I can pre-order it to be sent down to World Youth Day, where I'll be at the time of launch. If all goes well, I'll buy it on the 13th and get it sent to wherever I am in Sydney. Then I'll be able to live-blog WYD with WiFi access hopefully - so keep posted (no pun intended!)

I've set a Spark Alight....

socialspark logoMost advertisers will know about PayPerPost, the online advertising network. But did you know that a relatively new company has been generating buzz since it was launched? SocialSpark, from IZEA, offers many of the features of PPP in a more social environment. Advertisers and Bloggers can create relationships (or "friendships") and there is scope for non-monetary incentives through the use of "sparks".

I've just signed up for SocialSpark, and I like what I've seen. SocialSpark already has a wide range of advertisers, selling products about as diverse as the blogosphere can handle. It's really a great way to connect advertisers and bloggers. Unlike PPP, SocialSpark allows real interaction between advertiser and blogger, so that the unseemly aura of "sponsored" posts is largely avoided. The advertisers don't even need to offer money for the post - you can just offer a "spark" which will let you choose whatever reward you want, or even no reward at all for a truly unbiased review!

SocialSpark has 4 main points in their code of ethics:
  • 100% Audit-able In-Post Disclosure
    As you can see, there is a disclosure button at the bottom of this post. SocialSpark makes it easy to ensure the readers are informed about sponsored posts.
  • 100% Transparency
    One big difference between SocialSpark and other blogging networks is that SocialSpark shows the public who is posting what. If you accept a sponsored post, any of your viewers will be able to visit SocialSpark and see exactly what your relationship with the advertiser is. This provides a very meaningful incentive for publishers and advertisers alike to "stay clean".
  • 100% Real Opinions
    Well, this can never be guaranteed, but from what I've seen SocialSpark takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that people are allowed to write what they think, not what they're told to write.
  • 100% Search Engine Friendly
    SocialSpark tries to help bloggers and advertisers to avoid "paid post" penalties in search engine rankings. This is achieved by automatically making all paid links "nofollow". This also helps avoid disputes in the case of a full no-follow blog.
I'm pretty enthusiastic about SocialSpark, and looking forward to taking more opportunities with them. If you're a blogger looking for a more ethical way to make money than PPP, maybe you should check out SocialSpark.
Sponsored by SocialSpark

Friday, 13 June 2008


Official Google Blog: Our agreement to provide ad technology to Yahoo!
Check this out. I knew it was coming!


I've got a lot of pracs to do right now, so don't worry if I'm not posting, or online in the next few days. Exams are coming up too, so I may be missing from places like Facebook, Skype, LibraryThing and the Schoenstatt Youth Forums.

If you have any ideas or want to contact me in the meantime, visit my Nature Photos site and click the email link.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

When you're looking for a break....

There are so many personals web sites today that it's hard to sort the scams from the goodies. Every website in it's own right will claim to be “the solution” to your needs, but how do you really tell which one is best? The answer is to use a review site, which summarizes multiple other sites with a review of the quality of each. One such review site is

This site provides reviews of many popular sites, such as Perfect Match, eHarmony and Yahoo Personals. Each review provides a link to the website reviewed, along with full information about the features of the particular website. Each review is fully investigated and verified, so you can be sure that the information you are receiving is in fact correct – at least, so far as this information is verifiable. All websites maintain some anonymity, so you can never be absolutely sure that what you are seeing is correct anywhere online. You should check carefully before visiting and submitting personal information to any of the sites listed, no matter how good the review. Remember, all human nature is fallible!

That said, if you use Prime Dating Sites you should be fairly safe in terms of what you know about a site. It will certainly help you, if you choose to use one at all, to make a reasonable choice. Review sites are very useful on the web, and Prime Dating Sites is one of those.

Why I posted a disclosure policy

Or: The English version of what I posted yesterday.

Short story: PayPerPost requires you to post a disclosure policy on your blog, to let people know that you accept paid posts. I had to do this.

Long story: Two of my posts were rejected because I didn't have a disclosure policy. For this reason, I had to use PPP's online disclosure policy generator to create a policy for my blog. Basically, it says that I do accept paid posts, but I still keep all my posts honest. So although the available opportunities will affect what I post about, they won't affect what I say about them. Make sense?

Anyway, it's there. You can read all the technical jargon, or you can just read this post. I know what I'd do! :)

MindBody Management Software

According to the website, MindBody online offers "Business Management Software for the Personal Service Market such as Yoga studios, Hair Salons, Spas, Health clubs, Martial Arts dojo, etc.". This sort of business is becoming popular nowdays, but there aren't many software programs specifically targeted at this market.

Mindbody offers help in three distinct business areas:
  1. Business Management Software
  2. Web scheduling and e-commerce
  3. Strategic Marketing and Education
This makes the product especially useful as Appointment Scheduling Software, Hair Salon Management Software or Spa Management Software.

In terms of business management, Mindbody helps in many areas, including keeping your schedule accessible to clients and staff, client information tracking and staff management. But many generic software packages can do that. One of the best things about this software, is that Mindbody also provides the capability to keep your business open 24/7 - online. Through the integrated online store and scheduler, clients can register for appointments or even buy products!

Even better, Mindbody not only helps you improve the business you already have, but gives you the marketing tools that you need so that you can run your business and build your business - simultaneously. Tools are available to analyze client activities and create reports based on customer needs. You are also provided with tools to manage email marketing.

Overall, Mindbody is a solid product with a rapidly expanding market. The company provides not only this software, but also tracking data integrated with their tools, for the perfect store management solution. Check it out - Mindbody just might be for you.

Microsoft Bashed by the EU

The European commission has accused Microsoft of monopolistic practices quite harshly in a recent speech. Personally I think they deserve it - all the negative press I've ever seen about Microsoft has been true. What do you think? Any Microsoft fan boys out there, or are all the fanatics F/OSS devotees?

An interesting Idea

Pressed4Time is an intriguing new dry cleaning company offering franchise opportunities right now. What's unique about this company is that they don't just dry clean. They dry clean on the road.

To tell the truth, I had never even thought of mobile dry cleaning. But now that I've seen Pressed4Time, it sounds like a great idea. With the on-demand nature of today's culture, this business could really take off.

Here's some info straight off the Pressed4Time website:
Established in 1987, we are an international company with an outstanding track record and a rich future. As the largest company of its kind, we operate 170 franchises in 33 states and Canada.
Obviously they're not really such a small company. Covering two countries and 33 states already, the business has a proven success story. Pressed4Time was named “one of the Best Franchise Buys Under $100,000” by National Employment Weekly. And I believe them. I'm not a dry cleaner myself, but it certainly sounds like a good idea.

So what do you get for investment in Pressed4Time? Firstly, a low-cost incentive based royalty structure.
You remit 6% of gross revenue up to $20,000 per month. For monthly gross revenue in excess of $20,000, your royalty is 3% regardless of the number of vans your franchise operates.
So if you make over $20,000 per month you get decreased royalties, in turn boosting your business. Nice move. Plus, you get training to help you out in the wild.
Travel to our Home Office in Massachusetts where you’ll spend time on the road with an experienced Pressed4Time franchisee and several days in the classroom for formal training;
In addition to this training you also receive manuals and continued assistance throughout your business's life.

If you want to request more information about Pressed4Time franchise opportunities, or just check out the whole idea, visit the Pressed4Time website. If you're looking for an investment in the dry cleaning area, Pressed4Time could be a good idea. With a large established franchise base and intensive training programs, you'll certainly be off to a good start.

Plasma Theming - Doesn't even compare with Vista

Yes, some people have been complaining that KDE4's Plasma looks like Windows Vista. Well, complain no longer. Liquidat has posted a gallery of KDE4 Plasma themes, and boy do they look good! As you can see, you're not even restricted to single colours for the theming!

KDE4 Rocks!

CDEarth - Classic PC games on Mac too

Finally here's another great release of video games available for both Mac and PC. CDEarth is a great combination of many classic software games for the PC, but also available on Mac OSX. Read the press release below:

CD Earth LLC,( is excited to announce the release of the Greatest Classic Video Games CD now available for Windows PC and Mac OSX.

The new CD includes 10 classic games and will be a sure hit with anyone who played the original video games. Stack falling bubbles, break through brick walls, stack colors against the clock, eat cookies while avoiding pesky ghosts, pop balloons with harpoons, smash tomatoes plus rescue a princess all while putting your spaceship back together.

Preview of some of the games on the CD:

1. Break through over 50 unique, challenging levels. Power the bouncing ball to smash through brick walls. Lots of power-ups plus extra balls, energy balls, extra lives, weapons, glue, bonus floors, paddle expansion and extra score make the game even more fun.
2. Gobble up cookies while escaping from hungry ghosts in this updated version of the classic arcade game.
3. Smiling bubbles. Don't let the friendly smiles fool you. Group the falling bubbles to make them explode before they reach the top.
4. Pop balloons with a harpoon and avoid being hit in this fast-paced game.
5. Run and jump through multiple worlds, fighting off enemies by jumping on them or bumping them from below.
6. Eat your tomatoes. How many tomatoes can you smash in ten short minutes? If you have the time to spare, this game has the vegetables just waiting to be eliminated!
7. Colorful, addicting game where you quickly lineup blocks of the same color before time runs out.
8. Guide a lost traveler from outer space, through towers and across cemeteries to collect what he needs to rebuild his spaceship.

Customers can get this Greatest Classic Video Games CD for free by test-driving the CD Earth Software Library Club:

About CD Earth, LLC
CD Earth ( believes everyone should experience the benefits of a great software library. To help customers expand their software library, CDEarth offers a wide variety of some of the finest quality software on the market today through its unique Software Library Club. CD Earth's catalog includes software for families (, children (, home and office (, computer graphics ( and, of course, computer games (

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 11 June 2008

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact David Webb (ignis dot animi at geemail dot com).

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

To get your own policy, go to

Online Coupons

When was the last time you bought something online? If you're like me, that's probably fairly recently. Now, one of the great things about buying online is that you can use coupons from anywhere with your order. If a special deal is available in Australia, and an American wants to take advantage of it, they can in most cases. If they know where to find the coupon codes.

While searching for Godaddy coupon codes, I recently found Best Online Coupons as a source of free vase, cash discount and other online florist promotions. I picked up a few discounts for godaddy here, which worked perfectly when completing my order. This site has the biggest range of coupons I've seen anywhere. Whether you're buying a computer or searching for discounts on food products, chances are you'll find a coupon here. I now check up this site before buying anything, to see whether I could get it for cheaper. Some of the discounts are quite significant, so you could end up saving a big deal throughout the year.

So what if you don't shop online? Now's a great time to start. Postage and handling are often reasonable, so shop around and find the deal that's best for you. If you use the online coupons as a starting point, you can then search to see if that is really the best price. More often than not, the discount coupon will make the store a lot cheaper than the competition.

Using these coupons I was able to register a .com domain with Godaddy for 10 years for $70. That included email hosting and a basic ad-supported webspace. I recommend you try out these coupons - there just might be one for you!

Fedburner finally Married to Google

Feedburner announced integration with Google accounts in April, and are now taking the next step in integration. Feedburner will soon be available from and existing feeds will be transfered to (see here for example).

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

A breath of fresh air

I've had some sort of allergy for quite a while where I'll be sneezing all day some days, and fine the next. At first I thought it was the computer, but thankfully that turned out to be safe! I still haven't found out what causes the allergy, but it seems to be related to the air. When I went on a trip to the mountains recently it stopped completely for a few days. So I went around and had a look for a air cleaner.
The site at Air Cleaners Guide offers a comprehensive overview of the types that are available. From looking here I think the Hunter might be for me, as it's so cheap. Hopefully it will be able to solve my problems for a while at least - I don't want to be blogging in-between sneezes!

The iPhone that everyone's been talking about

The new 3G iPhone is now out! I won't even bother to link to any articles or post the details, as most of you will already know all about this. Just wanted to say that I'll be looking forward to it's launch, as there's a fair chance it's going to be launched in Australia too! Here's looking forward to the 11th....

Monday, 9 June 2008

Online Backup

Online backup is a big business today. And surprising to say, it doesn't end with Mozy's Free Backup Service. Today I'm going to review my latest discovery, IDrive - Online Backup.

IDrive shouldn't take long to download - if you have a broadband connection that is. Online backup isn't really an option on dialup, so before you sign up with any service, you should make sure you have a fast connection. That said, it is possible to use IDrive on a dialup connection, but you'll have to leave it running all night and be prepared for frequent dropouts.

For the record, I began my first install of IDrive on Windows Vista. The whole process was fast and flawless, without even prompting me for UAC. This was one of the easiest Vista installs I have seen in a long while.

The setup process, although not explained, is also very easy. In fact, the default settings are fine for most users, with the most commonly used Documents, Desktop, Pictures and Videos selected for backup at 2:00am every day. I had to tweak a few options to enable the Public folder and stay within my free 2GB storage limit, but overall this process was smooth and easy. The one difficulty I encountered was minor - unticking a folder in the top frame does not remove the folder from the backup list. This has to be done manually by right clicking and choosing "Remove". Although this could be confusing for some users, it is quickly mastered and doesn't interfere afterwards.

Other features of this product not covered here include a handy bandwidth check, and "IDrive Explorer", a Windows Explorer clone for your online storage space. There are also recent enhancements including the ability to manage backup set and schedules via the web interface.

IDrive is certainly a solid product, and well worth the free 2GB account. It's good to see innovation in the online backup sector, and hopefully this will continue in future versions. If you're looking for a stable and well-designed online backup service, then IDrive might be for you.

IDrive recently won the PC World '101 Best Freebies' award. The company claims to outperform the competition by a factor of at least 30% for both backups and restores. IDrive offers encrypted online backups for free (up to 2GB) and 150GB storage (for $4.95/month).

Weak US Dollar drives business in Europe

The LA Times reports that the new Nintendo Wii Fit is hard to find on US shelves, partly because of the weak US Dollar: '"[Nintendo] is also is shrewdly maximizing its profit by sending four times as many units to Europe, reaping the benefits of the strong euro," says Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities. "The shortage demonstrates one consequence of the weak dollar. We're seeing companies ignore their largest market simply because they can make a greater profit elsewhere."'"

Hopefully this will help the Australian market too. At present the conversion rate is about $0.95.

Friday, 6 June 2008

No More video plusbox in Google Search

Google search no longer shows Video plusboxes. I don't know why they've removed this feature, as it was quite handy to me and others. Maybe they found it too hard to integrate third party results accurately, but I think there must be another answer. Anyone have any clues?

Looking upwards....

I've always been an astronomy fan. Even before I built my first computer, I was lying out on the ground looking upwards through a small pair of binoculars, pinpointing the constellations and trying to find Orion's nebula. Unfortunately I was hampered to some extent by lack of proper optical instruments. The binoculars were fairly cheap so I didn't get a very clear view. Now I've found OpticsPlanet, which seems to offer good quality optical instruments online.

The site claims to offer a "great place for people to explore, learn about their hobbies and find the best gear to suit their needs". When I first visited I expected to see a flashy, graphics covered store, but was surprised by the clean-ness of this site. It loaded in no time, but certainly doesn't skimp on content.

The pages are clearly SEO'd, with many terms highlighted in bold, lots of specialized pages and lots of content on each page. But this is good for me as well, because I can find detailed information about practically anything on the site. Almost every second or third word is linked, so if you want to find more information, it's not far away.

Verdict: OpticsPlanet offers a wide range of products, and with the best price guarantee offers the lowest prices around. If you don't mind the SEO'd site flavour, and you're looking for hunting, astronomy, or other optical equiptment, this site is for you. Otherwise, you can try looking at the site through Lynx!

More links: OpticsPlanet Microscope

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Google Gadgets for Linux

Finally! Google has released Google Gadgets for Linux. And best of all, it's open source. This is now integrated with Google Desktop, and it will be interesting to see how this pans out alongside Plasma's widgets for Linux.
Google Open Source Blog: Google Gadgets for Linux

Music Lyrics

We all have to take a break sometimes. Even us tech people. Yes, you do need a break!
For those who like rap, check out Rap Music Lyrics. They've got a pretty good range of artists, and although I'm not into rap myself it looks pretty good to me. Has anyone else tried this site yet?

Microsoft Search Together

Here's an interesting idea. Microsoft's Search Together claims to "allows groups of people to collaborate on Web searches" This is quite an ambiguous definition, but in theory is a good concept. Normally you have groups of people standing round a computer offering suggestions while one person types. This can be quite inefficient. If people could collaborate on this searching could become a lot more productive. Only problem is, it's restricted to IE and Windows / MSN.

Anyone interested in helping me develop an open alternative, with either PHP or perhaps the Google AppEngine Python framework?

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Furniture from home (Website Review)

You might think that this post is a little off-topic for a technology site. Well, in a way it is. But what I'm reviewing about this site is mainly it's functionality as a web site, not a furniture site. Although the market is part of it, I'm a tech reviewer more than a furniture sales person. So, without further ado, let me introduce Furniture From Home.

My first impression: this is a very well designed site. Not only the design itself, but the HTML and CSS is clean, and consistent. The site doesn't take long to load on my 256K connection, which is also a bit consideration for many users. Website design professionals could learn from this site.

Diving deeper, the site continues to live up to this standard for the most part. One of my favourite features about this site is that it displays perfectly on smaller screens, while not compromising on the bigger screens. The breadcrumb navigation at the top is also extremely useful.

Overall I would definitely recommend this site to a friend, knowing it is easy to use and functional. Well-designed and coded sites are rare across the web, but this is one of them in my opinion. Certainly if you're a web designer I would take a look, and if you're looking for furniture you can be sure that you won't run into many issues navigating the site.

Further links: Bedroom Furniture | Home Office Furniture | bedroom set for sale

Monday, 2 June 2008

How to Solve the Third Question - Google Treasure Hunt 2008

This third question had me slightly confused. As I had no knowledge of network theory, it seemed at first too big a problem. But then, when I Googled the solution, I found that others felt the same way. And really, you don't need great network knowledge to solve this problem. All you need to solve the third problem in the Google Treasure Hunt 2008 is common sense and the ability to follow instructions.

Firstly, a bit about how network routing works.

Third Question:
  • 1- Start at node S
  • 2- First, add the current network node to the path. If D is the current network node the algorithm outputs the path and ends since the packet was just delivered to D. Otherwise advance to the next step.
  • 3- Iterate each routing table entry:
  • 4- D matches the Nth entry's network? Set the current node as the Nth entry's target gateway and Jump to step 2
  • 5- D does *not* match any of the routing table entries? Set the current node as the current default gateway and Jump to step 2
So what does this actually mean? Basically, given the starting node, look for the destination IP address in the three Routing Table Entries. If it's there, follow on to the IP address specified in that table entry. Otherwise, follow on to the default gateway. Repeat this process until you come to the destination node. It's that simple!

This doesn't even need a program to calculate it. I performed these operations by hand, and it only took about 10 minutes. I'm still waiting on the answer, but I'm fairly confident that it's correct. If you want a spoiler for the default question, click here. The next question's coming out June 3rd (tomorrow) so you'd better hurry if you want to answer this!

By the way, if you're puzzling over those "/24"s, check out Route summarization on Wikipedia.

The Treasure hunt has been a great opportunity so far for the geeks of the world to get creative with some problem solving. I've enjoyed it, as I'm sure many others have. Hopefully Google will continue to promote these "fun" activites, as they get the developer community active and give Google a good image in so far as community involvement goes. Thanks Google!

Update: My answer was correct! :D