Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cleaning Your Keyboard

An article on the BBC  say that keyboards are dirtier than toilets! Also, apparently women are 3 to 4 times more likely to have a dirtier work space as compared with men. 

This is rather worrying statistic here; I have a Wireless key
board which I can see is slowly, but surely collecting more and more gunk. It really looks nasty. So, taking heed of this article, I decide to spring clean my keyboard. 

There are a few ways you can do this, buy a can of compressed air or use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of all that nasties! Spray away (or vacuum) the keyboard and you should have a fairly clean keyboard.

If like me, you want to do a complete overhaul, then you 
have to do it the hard, and arduous way. I admit, it's a little (?) tedious, but it's worth the effort. Especially when you read that there are dirty germs like E.coli and Staph bacteria. Yuck. 

So, you have to manually remove each key. Make sure you place them in order, if not you'd be in for a ride, trying to figure out which sits where. Trust me, this is not a jigsaw puzzle you want to be playing. 

Once that is done, you can either use alcohol wipes or compressed gas and clean that sucker out! 



GTA IV Release

Hi everybadi!

I will be out of action for a few weeks considering GTA IV has just been released. Yes, I stood in the bloody cold for an hour whilst waiting to buy the game, and I was the only girl in the queue. Lots of stares, yes, but I kept my head down and soldiered on. So, now, let me get on to it. 

Friday, April 25, 2008

ROFLcon 2008

I wish they can bring ROLFcon over to the UK. This two day event, from April 25th to 26th is a gathering of internet memes (Tron Guy!), some academics and people like me, who are addicted to YouTube. 

It's not just a fun and games session where the internet stars get to perform their work live, but it's also a gathering and discussion of internet culture. How do people get famous, why and whether it is sustainable? 

For far too long, the main studios have been in control of who we see on our tellys and cinema. People who are extremely talented but sadly did not win the attractiveness lottery, seem to somehow be sidelined. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule (can't actually think of any so far, drop me a comment if you can come up with an example), but the internet has changed all of this.

By word-of-mouth, these amazingly talented, funny, articulate and interesting people, who may never have been given the light of day by a major recording studio, now get a chance to voice their talents to the world. And this convention, is a suitable tribute to their success. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Space Gives Me a Headache

When I first upgraded to Leopard, I was most impressed with how Space works. Finally, I can get rid of clutter on my desktop and it'd be wonderful to have only one or two applications while I'm working. 



But of late, I'm beginning to find it a teensy-weensy bit annoying. When it jumps from one space to another, the whole thing gives me a headache. It feels like jumping around in hyperspace, I'm disoriented, with a dull ache in my head. 

I suppose it is handy, but I'm not sure how much longer I can deal with this pain in my brain. Does anyone else have this problem? 

Accidentally Deleted Downloads Stack on my Dock

As you probably have guessed, I'm quite un-tech savvy. I know enough to get by, but once I get into a little problem, I get stuck for ages. 

Well, today I accidentally deleted my Downloads stack on Dock and was gutted! I love this new feature on Leopard and it's so darn helpful, especially considering I download tons of torrent files. It's so handy to just drag it to Azureus. 

Being lazy to figure out how to get it back on my own, I decided to google the answer, but strangely enough, there were none. I'm guessing it's because it's the most basic thing ever, so everyone should be able to figure it out on their own. Well, I'm not THAT smart, it took me awhile so when I finally figured it out, I thought, I should write a post about this so next time someone searches for this question on google, you'd be able to find out how to do it. Yay to IT illiteracy and the internet. 

1. Open Finder.
2. Go to your home directory, (ie. the icon with a little house) 
3. There, find your Downloads folder
4. Drag your Downloads folder to Dock and voila, you get a Stack!

One thing I did find was that you have tweak it a little to get it back to how it was. So, Ctrl-click on the Downloads folder in Dock, and change the 'View Content As' and 'Sort By' to how you like it. 

Hope this was helpful. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

YouTube Specials - Shoes by liamkylesullivan

Right, so I'm going to start something new here. Every time I find a pretty cool video, I'll post a link of it up on here, and I'll call the link YouTube Specials. They'll be handpicked specially from me to give you a taste of what's hot on YouTube. Enjoy :)

So we start of the first one with Shoes, from liamkylesullivan. I think this vid is pure genius, with the dysfunctional family, crazy Kelly and her obsession with shoes, pyrotechnic displays, there's fun and games for all in the family. What's not to like? 




Review: Bjork Live in Hammersmith Apollo

A bit off the topic of technology here, but Bjork is a legend nonetheless. First, I'll start with my expectations. Bjork has a history of extravagant shows, like the Olympics closing ceremony in Athens  in 2004, so I was hoping to see a very interesting show. This, coupled with the fact that the last time I was at this venue in Hammersmith Apollo, The Flaming Lips were playing, and boy, did they have a good show. 

Anyway, she came out with Earth Intruders, as expected from her setlist, full of energy, in a metallic pink layered dress with very colourful pom poms on her head. Then the pace slowed, and remained so for more than half the night. She sang Hunter, and then my all-time favourite, Unravel. Lovely rendition and worth my money alone. I took a video of this song and you can see it here.

video


A few songs later, she introduced a special guest, whom I was hoping would be Hercules and Love Affair's Antony Hegarty, but it was a Malian kora player, who played the kora with "Hope". It was an interesting mix and the first time I've seen the kora performed live. Then suddenly, she introduced Antony Hegarty! I was so excited, I really love Antony, his voice really affects me. They did a duet of The Dull Flame of Desire and their voices really melded together in a quite sublime manner. It was such a treat. 

Then the music picked up again, this time with more energetic songs such as Hyperballad, tinged with some electronic beats. The encore ended with Declare Independence, not my favourite song in the world but it was good nonetheless. 


The show was supported by a keyboardist, drummer, synthesizer, pianist and a 15-piece brass band (called Wonderbrass!). The effect was an amazingly full sound, with your eardrums being caressed by complimenting sounds, and it was perfect. Bjork's voice was perfect, and she sounds more powerful than she does on her records. 

A note though, the crowd was a fairly mixed bunch, there were some oldies with white hair and then there were another bunch of fairly young gay men who were dancing so energetically that I wanted to hit them because they were blocking my view! Perhaps the fact that the crowd were so mixed and not united that she hardly communicated with the crowd. There were no banter, and I was surprised she did not shout "Free Tibet!" before, during or after Declare Independence. 

In any case, it was still a fantastic gig, worth every penny. 

Friday, April 11, 2008

Review: Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass DS [9.5/10]



Finally, I have finished the game that have been on my DS for the past few months. It is actually pretty long, but darn is it worth the effort. 

Gameplay is fantastic, and it works surprisingly well and intuitively with the stylus. I also like the interactive and innovative ways that the whole DS handheld is utilised for gaming. There are times when you have to blow, shout, etc.; all very exciting stuff. 

Famitsu, a respected Japanese gaming publication, gave it a near perfect score of 39/40, only the 17th game to be given this score. And I have to admit, this game is truly near perfect. There were only a few things that I think might have contributed to that score. One of them being the repetitiveness of the Temple of the Ocean King. You had to redo all the levels of it over and over again, even though you've possibly done it about ten times. 

Nevertheless, it's still a fantastic game. Story line is pretty decent and as in previous Zeldas, you start to develop a rapport and liking for the other peripheral characters. I was truly sad when I finally defeated the final boss (which was a little too easy for me to kill in my humble opinion).








Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Update on the Mighty Mouse

An update on the Mac Mighty Mouse.

Well, I tried the upside down, wiping the devil out of the scroll ball with alcohol wipes to get it working again. It scrolls properly but now I can't go onto dashboard anymore! Everytime I click the scroll ball, nothing happens. I now have to go to F12 to actually get onto dashboard. NOOOO!!!

Kids, don't try the trick I tried on the earlier posts!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The IT Illiterate Strikes Again


This bloke comes in to where I work to say that the electronic part of the Victorinox Voyager knife he owned have been faulty. He had been using the knife as an alarm clock and timer, and other exotic things when it died on him about 3 months ago. As he didn't have a receipt anymore, he had to contact his bank, Nationwide to get a credit card statement.

However, because they were so inefficient, he had to keep chasing them to actually give him the statement. It took them three months (hence why he waited for three months to come in store to get it fixed) to finally deliver the statements to him, and when they did, they sent him four copies.

Nationwide's inefficiencies aside, he shoes us the credit card statement and the knife. I fiddle around with it for a little while, and asked him, "This may sound like a pretty obvious question, but have you changed the battery?" He laughed me off and said that he did, so I gave him a returns form to fill in. He was a nice enough fellow, but was pretty insistent that we rang him the next day to keep him updated.

As he leaves, I continued fiddling with it longer. I looked at the battery compartment, took it out, saw the (+) sign, flipped the battery round, and lo and behold, the whole thing works again!
So, I rang him to tell him I fixed the problem. Then he said something pretty vindicating, "I feel stupid now!" (At which point I had to coo, ah no no, of course you're not). I felt a bit sorry for the guy because he went through all that effort with Nationwide, and for what? A silly mistake.

Now, I'm not a big fan of knives, especially when they are lumped together with a whole bunch of other tools and you have to pick at the tiny little grooves to get them out, only for it to accidentally snap back in again, dragging a good chunk of your fingers with it. If you think about it, this sort of thing only ever appeals to men who feel the need to compensate for their inability to multitask. And as a general rule, these lot also are not particularly tech-savvy. Add these two up together, and what do you get?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mighty Mouse Lives to See Another Day!

I've had my mighty mouse, using it with my iMac for the past year or so and the scroll down button decided to die on me. I've looked on the Mac website and the advice there is to position it upside down and rub hard with a piece of cloth. Tried that and it didn't work, so I gave them a ring and because it's outside the 1 year accessories warranty, I was told that I had to buy a new one. Well, I'm not really ready to fork out £59.99 for a new mouse, considering that it's still (sort-of) working, and it's such a hefty price tag anyway.

So, had a log on some forums, Max OSX Hints was particularly handy, there was a particularly long thread about the very imaginative ways that people used to overcome this problem. In terms of creativity, top marks go to the blokes who:

1. Used a vacuum cleaner
2. Used a toothbrush
3. Used alcohol wipes

I decided to go for alcohol wipes, 70% isopropyl alcohol, (good thing I have these things handy..?), turned the mouse off, tilted it upside down and rubbed it hard for all my life was worth. Some dirt and gunk did come out, and I kept at it for a good 5 minutes. I then let it dry out a bit, and hey presto! It's working perfectly again! Yay! What a relief!

You can't believe how happy I am, considering that there were several occasions when I have forgotten that my scroll button doesn't work anymore and proceeded to scroll into the screen, only to find out that it wouldn't scroll out again. ARGH!! But now, it works again! yay!! It's lived to see another day!