Monday, July 31, 2006

Reading for pleasure

When I was younger, my mother had to kick my butt to read anything. I hated her for forcing me to read novels during the summer, and if I didn't then she would suspend my privieges.

Today, I have to thank her for introducing me to the wonderful world of reading for pleasure. But it has been years since I've read for pleasure. Since I graduated from college, all I did was read for function and nothing else. In fact the last book I read for pleasure was the 3rd Harry Potter book, and everything else that I've read were textbooks for grammar and self-improvement.

So from this day on, I promise to read again for pleasure. And as a reminder, I'm going to put here my to-read list:
  1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - I've been putting off book 1 for years.
  2. The Colour of Magic - A discworld comedy.
  3. Neuromancer - Cyberpunk goodness from William Gibson.
  4. Beyond good and evil - I've read this years ago and I want to read it again just for kicks.
  5. The Alchemist - Nydia thought it was a good read so I'll give it a try.

That's some of it for now, though let me share a little technique that I use to make sure you finish what you're reading: Read the first five chapters of the book in one sitting, this will make sure you gain the momentum early to finish the book.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Comicology by Neil Gorman

I made it a habit to listen to comics podcast. One comics podcast that I listen to is Neil Gorman's Comicology podcast. The show is basically one guy talking about a certain topic about comicdom. It's a good opinionated show made by a single person who is very knowledgeable about comics.
Neil Gorman is not some superstar or a comic creator, but he is a comic fan with a talent to communicate well using podcast as a medium. I'm a fairly new listener to Comicology but I dig it as well as many of Neil's show format like character profile, comics reviews, and everything else in between.
If you want comics information in a no-frills, straight forward show, then try Comicoly. You will enjoy it. Let's support the indy podcasts.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Slayers anime

I heard that GMA 7 will re-launch Slayers the anime next week. I have heard a lot about Slayers, but I can't obviously form an opinion about it because I've not watched a single episode of it. But a lot of people think that it's a good anime anyway.

On another note, I found this cool podcast in the deepest bowels of Yahoo podcast beta, it's called Geeknights - with Rym and Scott. The podcast is about geek culture and this two guys knows a lot about geekery. It's a fun podcast if you want to bask in all things geek like anime, manga, comics etc.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Google spider and crawling

Oh snap, Google

Yesterday I've been reading about the Googlebot since my site seem to have dropped out of Google search for some reason. Anyway, I did not find any answer or any logical reason why this happened. I'm a hundred percent sure that I've not been using any cheap or illegal SEO tricks, in fact, I have not been using any complicated SEO tricks at all.

The problem is that my old entries which I believe was indexed 1 year ago has disappeared from Google and Blogger Search Beta. This day, only the fresh entries of my site have been indexed, much to my horror and dismay. Gee, I hope Google deep crawls my site again soon.

If there's anyone who can explain this to me, it'll be much appreciated.

Anyway, this just gave me the oppurtunity to churn out content.

Oh yeah, I have links for you in case you're also curious about Googlebot too:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Site problems

Crap, this sucks
I seem to have a problem with my site and Blogger search beta.  Since my category system is based around Blogger search, it's also broken.  It seems that Blogger search has only indexed some content of my blog that are included in my XML feed.  So if you got here via google and you land on a different page, the only solution I can offer is to navigate the archives below.
Sorry for the inconvenience but until my content is indexed by Blogger search, I have no quick fix.  I'm actually at work at making a nicer manual category system for this site. 

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Free graphic adventure games

My history with adventure games

It was around highschool when my aunt from New York sent me a Lucas Arts adventure games collection. That was when I was introduced to graphic adventure games. The game pack has all the classic Lucas Arts graphic adventures like Loom, Zak McKraken, Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Indiana Jones and the last crusade.

At first, I hated this kind of game, hell, I was walking around the freaking rooms in Maniac Mansion and I had no idea what to do. Maybe it was because Nintendo games were so popular during that time, you know, games that don't really require solving puzzles. In the end, I was stupid enough to ignore this genre until I played Loom. Loom was probably the first adventure game, or could be the very first PC game, that I have ever finished. Loom is the catalyst for my eventual addiction to Lucas Arts adventure games and adventure games in general.

It wasn't until college that I'll get to play a Sierra adventure game. I didn't even know that Sierra pre-dated Lucas Arts for about 5 or so years. The first Sierra game I've played was Leisure Suit Larry VGA. If you don't know what Leisure Suit Larry is, you're probably below 25, in which case I suggest that you go find it somewhere and play it. For a long time, I thought that Larry was the funniest Sierra title, but then I found Space Quest in the 90's. During that time abandonware sites were all over the web so I downloaded Space Quest 1 to 3 and I fell in love with it. Space Quest was just the funniest title of the genre and for me it was even funnier than Monkey Island.

Well, with all of that said, this post has nothing to do with nostalgia. But if you want to play adventure games click this link for a good collection of freeware (some commercial, some indy) adventure games.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Little free fighting game

Little Fighter 2 is like Street Fighter, only free and much more fun

I've been playing Little Fighter 2 (LF2) for a few days now and I find it pretty fun and enjoyable so far. LF2 is a 2D fighting game for Windows in the veins of games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Dragon Ball Z. What sets LF2 apart though is the responsiveness of the control made specially for the PC, so if you fail to make a special move it's definitely your fault. I have to mention that every character has their own special moves.

The graphics in LF2 are dated but very nice anime style chibi drawings, unlike the first LF, the characters are drawn bigger which makes the special moves look even more awesome.

There are a lot of game modes here. There's the stage mode where you can play a beat 'em up, Streets of rage type game with your chosen character. There's 1 on 1 and 2 on 2 challenges. There's also the Versus mode where you can play against a person or a computer, you can challenge up to about 4 or more persons and 7 computer controlled personalities.

LF2 is a fun game, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Get the game here.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Blogger tips, tricks and hacks

Great sites to maximize your Blogger site

For me, Blogspot is the most versatile free blog service in the web. Though, it doesn't have categories, the sheer amount of hacks and enhancements you can apply to Blogger is phenomenal. Below are some sites that will help you maximize your Blogger site.

Blog University - A lot of tweaks to blogger including how-to to add graphics to your blog tewmplate.

Freshblog - This is one of the best if not the best Blogger resource in the net. The site has a lot of tutorial to customize your blogger site.

More to come soon: I'll be adding more Blogger resources to this list as soon as I find more sites that will help with our Blogger needs. I'll add this post to the side bar eventually for easy access. I'll also add great Adsense tips to this list as soon as I get my lazy butt out of my easy chair.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Simple MP3 to WMA conversion

Using Windows Media Player you can convert MP3's to WMA then stick it to your portable device

There's a use for this, believe me

This is a tutorial for newbies who want to re-encode large MP3 files to low bitrate WMA files but don't want to download any other applications. For another tutorial, click here for my other Cdex encoding instructions.

First thing you need is Windows Media Player (WMP 8 is fine). Plug-in your device to the PC then in WMP click TOOLS>OPTIONS then pick the tab DEVICES. In the devices tab you will see your cd-rom drive/s and your plugged-in device. Choose the drive of your portable device then click properties. In properties choose SELECT QUALITY LEVEL and set it to smallest size. Setting to smallest size will reduce quality but it will be the smallest file size you can encode. This is useful for people who doesn't have a Gig of memory in their device.

Go back to WMP and open the MP3 or MP3's that you want to re-encode and transfer to your portable device. When the music files are loaded, it will automatically play (you can turn this off if you want, it doesn't matter).

For the second step, you have to click on "Copy to CD or Device" or FILE>COPY>COPY to portable device. You will automatically be brought to this screen:


As you can see, the right side is the contents of your device while the left side is the files you have loaded earlier. All you need to do is check the files you want transferred and just click the red button (Copy music) on the upper right hand corner.

WMP will re-encode your checked files then copy it automatically to your portable device.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The best free download manager

FDM a.k.a. Free Download Manager is the best free download manager

This is for internet newbies

There are tons of free download managers out there but I find FDM to be the best among the rest. One of my consideration is that Free Download Manager has good compatibility with browsers like IE, Firefox, and Opera--all of which I use. My primary consideration as a dial-up user is the ability of FDM to schedule download. Say I want to download 100MB of video, I just let FDM catch the download, schedule a shutdown of my system after the file finishes the download, and just watch TV, sleep, and forget about it.

This app can also save files according to your defined categories. If you want to download data, you can save it in the folder DATA or folder MUSIC for your MP3's. You can also reorder the files in which you want to download, so you can make that 5MB download the priority before the 1GB file.

FDM is also quite fast. My ancient 56K modem downloads around 5KB/s on the highest setting and about 3KB/s on average. The 3 settings of FDM is low, medium, and high--where low is the slowest and most appropriate for surfing while high kicks the downloading to the maximum.

FDM has other great functions like a site downloader. I rarely use this function as I have another great app to review for downloading websites. I'm sure there's some other cool functionality of FDM that I have not covered here, just go tweak it around and maybe you can find some other uses for it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Free and fast defrag

Faster than the built-in defrag in Windows, free too

It's been years since I've defrag my system. Using the built-in defrag of Win XP is not a very good choice since it prompts that my defrag will finish in 5 days and 10 hours. Good thing I found Diskeeper Lite. Diskeeper Lite is a liteware defrag utility, the days I needed to do a defrag was reduced to just minutes using this tool. I've also noticed a good system boost after the defrag. My PC felt less sluggish than before.

This product is liteware which means you can buy a Pro version which has more functionality, but just for defragging I find this lite and free version just right for the job.
You can get Diskeeper Lite here.

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