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Sunday, 29 March 2015

OptiBay and External Optical Enclosure

Ever wish you had more hard drives on your laptop? As in more space to store files? Well you can actually do that without modifying the laptop to make it bigger or something like that. You can actually replace the DVD or Blu-Ray ROM with a hard drive or SSD by using a special caddy to fit the space where the optical drive was. And then you can put the optical drive in an USB enclosure and use it with any computer of your choice!

Be careful when installing new drives though, Windows may mistakenly mark it as active and try to boot from there. To fix that, go into recovery console and follow these instruction in the command prompt: http://superuser.com/questions/681956/drive-letters-swapped-after-system-restore-c-%E2%86%92-d

Note that the above screenshot is actually a test drive that is almost full. I am actually going to get a 320 GB blank hard drive. Where did I find such things? Actually, I spent just $30 on craigslist buying them locally, which means no shipping waits and stuff. And the 320 GB drive will be my birthday present from a friend. So yeah, always getting good deals here. So enjoy your new-found space!

An update to my setup, now with maxed out connections!!!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Today's lack of update...

Wondering if I lost motivation again? Don't worry, that is not the case. Unfortunately, it has been very busy for me today, and will continue to be so during the weekends. So don't expect many posts yet. Just an idea of how busy I was:

The sci-fi story wasn't updated either, and I'm sorry about that. I won't give a definite due date this time, but please know that I haven't given up on it. Thanks.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A new video

Just a video of my little sister unboxing her new EverAfter High doll... And a tour of my room! Enjoy.

OTG and Camera Connection Kit

Ever want to access your camera directly from your phone or tablet? How about a USB stick, card reader, or even mouse? That is possible thanks to an OTG cable for Android, or Camera Connection Kit for iOS. An OTG cable is basically microUSB male to USB female. A Camera Connection Kit is basically 30-pin or Lightning to USB female.

The first is very powerful, and will let you connect any USB device as long as the microUSB port outputs enough power. The second only appears to support cameras in my testing with a 30-pin to Lightning adapter, but it may be more powerful on older devices.

On Android, you need to pay for a non-root software I believe, but if you are rooted, StickMount works great! On iOS, just open the Photos app to import from the camera. Although with jailbreak you may be able to mount USB stick with a terminal emulator and access them via iFile, I don't think it worked for me even after formatting the stick to HFS.

This is top secret info guys! Just joking, yet another not well-known tip by yours truly. See ya!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

MMA-based anime?

Being a fan of both art styles and forms of entertainment, I would really love to see something like a combination of both. That would be truly special. Unfortunately, such a series is few and far in between, with the most popular being Kenichi: History's Strongest Disciple. Unfortunately, although very entertaining and martial arts based, there is little grappling and it's not true MMA. I would (re?)watch it sometime in the future though.

After browsing online for this subject, I found something even more interesting. It's called Baki the Grappler. This appears to be exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, I haven't watched it yet, nor have the time to delve deep into the series, but I expect this to be a good show.

If anyone have any ideas, please feel free to comment below (even anonymously!). I will review both anime once I've completed them, so don't feel as if I'm not serious about this.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

How I used up almost 100 GB on my system SSD (600 GB on my data HDD)

Think you are lacking space? Think again, I'm using more than 700 GB here... On my 128 GB SSD, only 24 GB of free space is left. That is thanks to 109 installed programs, many portable apps, and their components (heck a SSBB ROM takes up 8+ GB!). It's amazing how much space I need for my games, Internet programs, multimedia, office, programming, security, system, and utilities.

Heck, I recently used up 3 GB installing the complete Netbeans and Python (plus all their requirements) so that I can program HTML5, PHP, C++, Java, and Python apps. As for my data disk, most of my downloads, backups, and other personal stuff are stored there. It's lucky I have an external 1 TB HDD as well, or else I would really run out of space.

Feel free to post in the comments below on how much space your stuff takes up. Until then, bye!

Chrome Remote Desktop: Quite the convenience

Have you ever wished you could connect to any one of your computers using another one, or even a mobile phone? Well, with Chrome Remote Desktop, that is very much a reality. After signing in and verifying your Google account, you can set up sharing the computer on Windows, OS X, or Linux (I believe) after installing the app and host software. Then with a secure 6+ digit pin, you can access those computers using any device you own, including Android and iOS!

With a mouse and keyboard, it's like controlling the computer yourself in person. With touchscreen, you can emulate those, but it's not exactly the same. Unfortunately, there are no host options for my Chromebook, iPad, and phone. Those are devices I carry on the go to access home computers anyways, so no worries there.

The only problem I've had with the service is my dual 1080p setup being shrinked too small, although you can adjust it. Also, I've had problems connecting from a different network at home with the same public IP address, but dissimilar IP subnet. That is rarely a problem though, unless you have 2 or more routers at home. Otherwise, my experience with this software is great, you just need Google Chrome installed.


Monday, 23 March 2015

How to avoid being infected or scammed

Ever had this unknown person contacting you on Skype? I did, twice recently. Being skeptical but bored at the same time, I took to the challenge of accepting their request. Of course they pose as women. But although you could probably tell in the beginning, I had nothing better to do but to amuse myself with their company. Also, you may remember being infected by a file you've downloaded. That can also easily be avoided. Here are some safety procedures everyone should take:

  1. Look for any errors or suspicious qualities about the name, title, or URL. Usually scams have something striking out in one of those texts.
  2. Always ask for identification before entering your credit card or whatever into some shady website. That means more than just pictures, you need to confirm they're real via video chat.
  3. Although they may be using a fake webcam, that should is far from foolproof, just ask them to perform some random actions and see how they can respond.
  4. If they only provided images, examine them carefully. That includes using Google reverse image search, TinEye, or something similar.
  5. If the above are not met, just block the person and report them to the proper authorities.
  6. As for files you download, a simple way to check is via file extensions. Make sure that is enabled on your computer settings.
  7. Unless you're using some outdated versions of Windows Media Player or something, video files such as AVI, MP4, MKV, etc. are safe to open. If they're hiding something, that will either not run since nothing is executed or display a corrupted file.
  8. The same can be said for text files (TXT, LOG, etc.) and images (JPEG, PNG, GIF, etc.)
  9. Watch out for executable files and scripts. Those can run malicious programs on your computer. For example: EXE, BAT, SCR, etc.
  10. If you still want to see what they are, upload the file to VirusTotal so it can be scanned by virtually all known anti-virus engines. Then open it in a program like Sandboxie or VirtualBox, where it never touches your real system.
  11. VirusTotal can be used to scan URLs you suspect as well!
As always, I hope you guys learn something out of reading this, and have a good one!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

An awesome dream

Just woke up at 6:30 AM after trying so hard to sleep back at 12:30 AM last night. My body was very sore, and I wasn't feeling well (depressed almost). But suddenly, I had this crazy dream that was awesome in every aspect. The problem is as soon as I woke up, although rejuvenated with energy and ready to continue my short story series or even another totally different one, I forgot most of it.

Even the basic concepts are hard to recall at the moment, but I think I've written down some good ideas to be used for the future. Expect something to be written by Thursday, which is the date I said I will try to meet. Even now after 15 minutes of staying awake when I should be sleeping, I feel more motivated than I ever was in the past week. Hopefully that will have a positive impact on this blog and my life in general. I seriously thought I wouldn't recover in time LOL.

Anyhow, excuse me while I try to remember more details one way or another. Might just go back to bed cause I'm actually feeling tired again. But I'm kinda afraid that will sap my current energy when I wake up again. So for the mean time, some serious brainstorming and thoughts will be jotted down on my LibreOffice (too cheap to buy Microsoft Office, not sure why I didn't get it back in school). No worries, like I told you guys before. *Inserts gesture of goodbye in yet another language or term.

In other news, some of you may have noticed that my mirror is loading slower than it should. That is because the host website doesn't have any way to separate my news into smaller chunks, and instead loads all of them in the same page. That is very unfortunate, because I like them otherwise. They say that it will be fixed in the new version of their web editor coming out, so I'm crossing my fingers that this will be resolved soon. For the meantime, avoid using my mirror for speed purposes. Try to access it only if blogger is censored in your country. Thank you.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Sorry for the hiatus

No I did not just disappear for one reason or another, but right now let's say I'm in some sort of writer's block. Except it's worse than that. Not only have I written pretty much everything off the top of my head, but I have barely any motivation to write at all at the moment. Don't worry, this is normal for me. As in a roller coaster of ups and downs. Even right now, I'm thinking too hard on what to write. Sure I can just continue the Sci-Fi short story series, but to be honest, I'm at a state where I barely thought about it during the week...

Once again, my apologies. Expect something within a week, but forget about daily updates until I fully recover my creative drive. Please feel free to comment on any ideas for what to write.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Keeping your network (WiFi) secure

Nobody wants people hacking into their network, it's a serious financial, legal, and resource-hogging issue. Here I will talk about steps to ensure that never happens. For now I won't focus on the Internet side of things, such as firewalls, UTM, router web configuration, or whatever, but instead people nearby hacking into your WiFi network. As for Ethernet, nothing much you can do about that if they're already in your house. Anyhow, let's begin:

  1. First of all, ensure you have a good WPA2 password. Using WEP or WPA is dangerous, especially the former which can be cracked in minutes. Do not use correcthorsebatterystaple or something like that, because it can be cracked in a dictionary attack. Ensure you have random numbers, letters, and other digits to an acceptable length (I'd say at least 8 characters).
  2. Reducing the power/range of you access point can make it harder for people outside to connect to your network. That can be an inconvenience if not configured just right though.
  3. Limiting the amount of computers that can connect to your network is an useful security step. This can ensure hackers won't be able to connect as long as all the slots are filled. Can be a problem when having guests over though.
  4. You can also use a network monitor. That can detect whenever a new device connects to your access point, and even add trusted devices. Beware of spoofing when using that feature though. I recommend SoftPerfect WiFi Guard.
  5. Not broadcasting the SSID can make it just a bit harder for hackers to find your network. Unfortunately, it isn't very reliable and can be annoying at times.
  6. MAC filtering may appear to be a good idea, but unfortunately your devices can be easily spoofed. That means hackers will change their MAC to mirror yours and still connect.
  7. Disable WPS and WPA/WEP backwards compatibility. Although they can be convenient, none of those are a good idea for security since they essential increase your attack surface.
  8. Probably the most secure option is disabling WiFi altogether and using Ethernet only. Unfortunately, not every has the convenience of a router within reach though.
There you have it, hope you learned something new as always. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

How to make sudo/UAC more convenient without disabling it entirely

Marc Chouinard - StockSnap.io

Ever get tired of those pesky prompts? They're actually there for a reason, to isolate most apps that do not need admin privileges from messing up your system. It does help with security, especially when using a limited user account. Here I will be explaining how to make those prompts disappear one way or another, while still keeping your security in check. I will cover all of the operating systems I own except for iOS, which do not have any prompts even when jailbroken.
  1. Windows: Here is where the most got annoyed, especially since it was introduced when people were used to being all-powerful with no limitations (when few should be). I do not recommend disabling UAC altogether, because it gets rid of Internet Explorer Protected Mode, user-privilege isolation of apps, registry virtualization, and all the hard work Microsoft had to enforce for developers to stop coding apps that require admin privileges when not necessary. What you can do is to disable the prompts for your admin account, while still keeping it enabled for you to enter the password for standard users when necessary (otherwise they can't run admin apps). It's called Admin Approval Mode. There are actually other things you can do such as disabling admin execution of unsigned apps and more, all of which you can read here: http://www.askvg.com/a-complete-guide-for-tweaking-user-account-control-uac-in-windows-vista/
  2. OS X: By default, OS X has something similar to UAC called sudo. Since this OS was made with it in mind, you see prompts less than in Windows. But you do need to enter your password for those, much like a standard user. The alternative is using a root account, but I wouldn't recommend that because it's very similar to disabling UAC altogether. Yet how is that less annoying, even with less apps that asks for such permissions? Maybe it has to do with the fact that you don't need to enter your password for 5 minutes after entering it once. You can actually extend that time to an infinite amount until reboot, making things more convenient: http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/10139/how-do-i-increase-sudo-password-remember-timeout
  3. Ubuntu: Pretty much the same as OS X, except the default timeout is 15 minutes. To extend: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudoTimeout
  4. Chrome OS: By default, there is no password for sudo. Therefore no need to change anything since you need a password to even access your account in the first place. But if you were like paranoid old me, and actually added a password, here's how to change it back (although it'll ask for a blank password from now on instead of just continuing): sudo chromeos-setdevpasswd
  5. Android: By default, there's a remember checkbox for Android superuser requests. So why do I even need to write anything? That's because on app re-installs and upgrades, you're prompted again. And for some apps that run in the background, there may not even be a prompt! So, if you update apps frequently, I would go to: SuperSU > Settings > Uncheck Re-authentication.
And there you have it, less headaches without sacrificing too much security! Hasta la vista, baby!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

AlEiLiCeDa PloQu (Part 1)

Character background / Settings

"This way Your Highness", the butler said. "We must make haste and remove ourselves from this unruly place". Celeste nods and silently follows, aware that her life and kingdom is in jeopardy. Since the identity of the princess isn't fully known, every likely suspect is raped, tortured, and slaughtered. It pains her conscience seeing innocent girls being treated like rags, they should be seen as royalty just appearing like her after all. "Butler, is my hair still smooth and silky?", asks Celeste, peering into a heirloom mirror. "Of course Your Highness", replied the butler. "Do not jest! 'Tis in dire need of spa treatment. Filthy dust hath touched it!", complained the princess. "Your wish-", the butler answered before his head fell clean off. "We've found her! Get her!", roared the mob. Although she was in a pinch, Celeste stayed calm and closed her eyes. As they opened, a neon light overwhelms the area, slowing down time into a standstill. As the light fades, poof she's gone! In reality, Celeste simultaneously slowed down the time of the mob and sped up her own clock, running away with ease. "I must head towards a neutral territory like Dundyll", thought the princess as she sped away. The confused villagers look at each other in disbelief, not noticing the shadow looming ahead...

Meanwhile our protagonist wakes up to the sweet smell of bacon. "My lady, how are you-", questioned Liaz before his jaws suddenly drop. "Yes, what is it kind sir?", Alex wondered. As they looked down at where he's staring, Alex blushes and hid away in the sheets. It appears that their morning wood was in clear view. "Young one, can you please explain the co-existence of both a dual bosom and that monstrosity below?", Liaz asks in bewilderment. "I was born like this unfortunately", explained Alex. "I have both tools actually", they continued. Confusion was in the air, and much explaining was done before finally the lizard man is content with the situation at hand. "My apologies, but may I continue to refer you as My Lady?", Liaz inquires. "Of course you may, it will make things much simpler", replied Alex. "Although I may prefer to dress as a man sometimes". And with this, we shall refer them as "her/she" when appearing as female and "he/him" when male. "Actually, do you have some masculine clothing I may try? I would prefer not experiencing that situation with the clown again.", she says. "That would be no problem My Lady, and now Sir". Taking on the new appearance of a handsome playboy, Alex thanked Liaz and they were about to go their separate ways until the Space Ninja Darkstroke decided to play an experiment. He was watching the whole time, intrigued by the otherworldly situation, before deciding to cast a random warp spell on the two adventurers. "That hermaphrodite had a nice figure, too bad she's gone but this'll be fun", remarked Darkstroke. "Now what is that mighty dragon terrorizing at this moment?". Landing in an awkward position, our protagonist and his companion quickly dismissed the yaoi fanservice scene, and take a look around. It appears time, space, and matter are at a standstill...

The roar of a dragon startles the mob. It must be the Matter Dragon Eigarl! As soon as their gaze meets the tyrant, a booming voice commands, "Where is the princess?!". Not one dared to speak up, but he will have none of that. And thus, the closest villager splits in half under the dragon's claw, striking more fear into their hearts. All except for one. The leader of the mob shouts, "Did we overthrow the last oppressive regime only to fall into a new one?! I think not!". Then he signals the charge, only to be blown back by a neutron breath. With most of the mob dead in one shot, Eigarl decides to torture the remaining survivors into submission, and flies off in search of Celeste and Darkstroke. Without notice, a female survivor is kidnapped behind the scenes and escorted to the lair of the Space Ninja. "Welcome my new toy", Darkstroke laughed. "I hope you enjoy your stay, whether as an informant or pleasure slave". "We the people will never-", she screamed before being knocked unconscious by a neck chop. "What a bore, let's see how our little intersex beauty is doing", he decides while teleporting towards what's left of the random warp. Meanwhile a strange scent catches the attention of Eigarl, who then flies towards its location, where everything stagnates...

Monday, 9 March 2015

Me and the last free version of softwares

Have you ever updated a program, only to notice at least one essential feature (or even the entire software) isn't free anymore? That has happened to me several times. Although developers should honour their last free version and keep the download for at least a year or so, that is not always the case. Here I will be describing multiple software that were once free to use without added limitations or other annoyances:
  1. Freemake Video Converter The last free version of this video converter without a promotional frame added to every converted video longer than 5 minutes. I once stuck to it due to features such as Nvidia CUDA, adjustable file size, and the ability to let me choose which audio or subtitles to keep. Turns out the first gave little performance benefit compared to just multi-core support, and the rest is available or better in ShanaEncoder. Althoug I somewhat miss the simplicity and efficiency of Freemake, ShanaEncoder serves my needs better with native subtitles support (not just ugly burned-in ones) and whatnot.
  2. Parted Magic 2013_08_01: Before suddenly going commercial with little to no warning (from what I remember), Parted Magic was once one of the best free rescue toolkits you can boot from a USB drive or CD. They suddenly and abruptly removed all download links from the official website, keeping not even a checksum for us to verify the authenticity of third-part downloads. Although I really feel like boycotting this program at first, eventually I came to terms with what the developer did and continue to use the last free version when necessary.
  3. AXTM Time Machine Although a beta, it is a fully functional version of this amazing software that meant to go commercial in the end due to the requirement of funds. For Windows 7 machines, I've personally seen it run well, but would recommend everyone to upgrade to the newest version for better features, support, and of course aiding the developers. Having already explained what it does in my previous article about disk imaging, I fully recommend everyone giving this software a try. It will save you tons of time.
  4. WPS Office Also a beta, the last free fully-functional version of a once great free office software. They've recently introduced a 30-day trial, after that ends you lose basic features such as saving in DOCX, and I've even heard of reports of watermarked images once you print. Although I still keep it today, because its compatibility with Microsoft Office is remarkable, LibreOffice has made great strides towards that and will eventually replace it on my machine once a killer feature come out.
  5. HitmanPro.Alert This one is actually not much of a loss compared to the others, but a step backwards regarding the free version nonetheless. The last RC version of the new revolutionary HMP.A with CryptoGuard and Process Protection still free, but it is still a capable freeware as described in a previous article. Like AX64, I would recommend purchasing this awesome software to support the developers so that your machine will be that much more bulletproof against exploits, which is pretty much the only danger left to non-click-happy users. Also helps you in case you actually installed CryptoLocker or whatnot.
There may be more since my memory is not the best, but that is what I remember using. As always, spend your money wisely, and enjoy the rest of the day! Later.

Multiplayer gaming at my command centre

Now that you've seen my command centre, I must be doing more with it than what I described right? Especially if friends are coming over? That is definitely the case. Just recently I've got 2 more gamepads and an extra mice. That means my gaming laptop, Chromebook, and iMac all have their own input devices. With a LAN game like Hammerwatch, we can play on each system with each other on the same room. Add another computer and controller, and we'll have a full LAN party!

Unfortunately, that was not setup in time during the my friends' last visit, but we did manage to still have fun by plugging in 4 controllers in my gaming laptop. We played Street Fighter X Tekken and Super Smash Bros Brawl. It was a lot of fun either strategically tag teaming your opponents, or just randomly smashing any of the 3 other players on the screen. I hope to have enough people over at my house again for another round one day soon.

Of course, those aren't the only multiplayer games we can play on the same computer, nor is it the only system that can support 4 players. It would be too many to list all multiplayer games I own, so I shall only give you guys the 4 player ones not already mentioned: Little Fighter 2, SuperTuxKart, 2 Player Reactor (upgraded), BADLAND, Quisr, and Slingshot Trial.

Have fun guys, see ya!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The P4P bests of MMA

Skitter Photo - StockSnap.io

As an avid fan of mixed martial arts, where the fighting is as real as it gets within legal and safety boundaries, I watch virtually all UFC numbered events almost religiously. In this sport, not only are you allowed to box, but kicks, elbows, knees, even takedowns and submissions, are all allowed within certain rules. That makes the fight as realistic as possible, but of course some things like rabbit punches, throat shots, etc. aren't allowed. Here I will be describing the pound-for-pound best MMA male and female that the world has possibly ever known:
  • Jon "Bones" Jones: Originally the youngest UFC champion ever at the age of  23, this man is still the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion with 8 title defences. That is just short of the greatest of all time Anderson Silva's 10, and half of those were against former champions. He recently defeated Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier, who recently came down from heayweight and rag-dolled 250+ pound men around. In that fight, Jones was never taken down except at the very end when he was picked up with a lot of effort. He actually took down Cormier twice if I remember correctly, maybe more. His strongest test was actually against Alexander Gustafsson in a fight he didn't prepare 100% for. Jones is not without controversies though. The most recent one was a failed test before the fight for traces of cocaine, which he had to go to rehab for. Because it was not during the contest, and cocaine is technically not a performance-enhancing drug, Jones was only given a slap in the wrist for that mistake. Jones' only loss was a disqualification against Matt Hamill who couldn't continue after breaking his own shoulder. Jones accidentally did a 12-to-6 elbow, which shouldn't really be illegal in the first place. So he really should be undefeated. Overall, I'm a big fan of Jones, not for his personal behaviour (which can be imperfect at times), but for his technical expertise within the cage. He does everything from spinning elbows to keylocks. The new GOAT imo.
  • "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey: The first and only UFC Women's Bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey is the best female fighter there is. She is so dominant that virtually all of her opponents were finished in the first round, the latest a record 14 second armbar. Originally an armbar specialist at judo, Rousey's MMA game has improved leaps and bounds leading to 2 quick TKO finishes while defending her belt, along with those armbars. None of her fights have led to a decision, and she's undefeated of course. Although she can act like a teenage boy sometimes, I look past that and admire her technical expertise. She hasn't limited herself to fighting either, and has modelled and even acted in Hollywood movies. Overall, she is my favourite female fighter and quite the personality.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Immortal life?

Wish to live forever? Personally, I find that unattainable with our current biology, and not necessarily wanted by all. But not all life are limited in nature. For example, the immortal jellyfish and the hydra are both technically immortal if not preyed upon or subject to disease. Unfortunately, I do not know about these creatures enough to warrant a detailed article, so I will just notify you guys of their existence and refer to Wikipedia:


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

My command center

Ever wonder what my room looks like? Well take a look above. As you can see, I have a lot of electronics. Here I will be describing what exactly I do with them.

The machine with the glowing keyboard is my Windows 7 gaming laptop. It is my main workhorse. On this machine, I browse websites, write on my blog, game, consume multimedia, download stuff, and more. While it is running Windows 7, I'm also using other operating systems in VirtualBox and VMware vCenter. I usually connect my bluetooth mouse (excuse the mousepad) and the HDMI monitor on the left there. It is a very powerful machine as you can see from the specs.

On the right are my mobile devices that I bring on trips. They are a Nexus 5, iPad Mini, and Acer C710. I've rooted all 3 as you've read from my previous articles. They are very convenient, and runs Android 5.0.1, iOS 8.1.2, and Chrome OS Beta. My phone I bring everywhere with me, connected to bluetooth headphones (the teal one) and Pebble smartwatch (orange/black). The iPad I sometimes bring if the phone isn't enough for whatever reason. The Chromebook is when I need the power of a full OS, since it's running Ubuntu 14.04 on crouton as well.

On the left is my iMac that I recently got. Not really sure what to do with it right now, other than installing programs I don't want to bloat my main workhorse with such as Skype. I think I'll use it as a multimedia center and guest machine or WiFi access point eventually. It is connected to the wireless USB keyboard and mouse next to the mousepad.

In the corner is my little Asus Eee PC 4G netbook. It is currently running Puppy Linux and rarely used, but I have plans for it. That includes using it as a motion detecting security camera that uploads the images to my Dropbox account.

And lastly are my figures and manga books. They are basically decoration I guess. And there we go, hope you enjoy my command center. Don't get any weird ideas though. ;)

Things have changed a little bit, see the image below:

Monday, 2 March 2015

OS X on a proper Mac at last!

Remember how I always seem to find cheap or free things locally? Well, today I got a 2.0 GHz, 2.25 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD iMac for only $90! It came with OS X Lion 10.7.5 pre-installed, but I decided to downgrade to Snow Leopard 10.6.8, because it is a lighter OS. Now what to do with this shiny old toy? Guess I'll make a list:
  1. Hot corners is a very useful feature. I was wondering how you can turn off the display without putting it to sleep lacking an eject key, and this is the answer. Also has other useful actions like going straight to the desktop.
  2. Parental Controls are even more advanced than the Windows one. I can easily set it up for my guest account, and limit which applications they can access organized in folders. Also allows me to block adult websites of course (more of a safety feature than anti-pr0n).
  3. Most of your favourite apps from Windows and Linux are still there! Examples include Chrome and VLC. What's unique about how OS X manages programs is that virtually all of them are portable until you copy it into your applications folder!
  4. A UNIX terminal is available, which is arguably more powerful than Linux's, and definitely better than Windows command line (or maybe even PowerShell). See BSD for similarities.
  5. A software updater and app store means all default apps and some third-party ones are automatically updated. Not as powerful as Linux package management which updates everything, but certainly better than Windows 8 app store.
  6. Integration with iOS is definitely a plus. I mean you get to share the same mail, calendar, messages, contacts, etc. with the second most popular mobile platform in the world!
  7. No licenses usually. That means you can install most software without worrying about where you put that pesky license!
  8. Time Machine creates an archive with multiple versions of all your files stored on a separate drive. That drive must be formatted first if using NTFS though. When booting from the installation disc, you can create and restore disk images of your HDD.
  9. I actually use neither, because they won't work with my limited memory and NTFS drive. I had to basically enable write support for NTFS, and use SuperDuper! read-only copy. To restore, you have to boot from the image itself, and then copy the files back to the source.
  10. Although newer versions of OS X have native Bluetooth support for my PS3 controller, I don't like all the setup when the Bluetooth master address changes, and I prefer connecting via USB. Therefore, this is the solution: http://tattiebogle.net/index.php/ProjectRoot/Ps3Controller
Hope you enjoyed my article as always, and don't be afraid to ask questions! I plan to master as many operating systems as possible to be truly cross-platform. So enjoy your night as always, zajian!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

AlEiLiCeDa PloQu (Prologue)

"Begone knave!", a harrowing voice echoes. Heads roll across the dune. Amongst them, a crown adorns its gory shape. "We the people will be our own masters!", chanted a crowd, ever thirsty for blood. A young princess sneaks pass the mob, shedding tears, but hopelessly incapable in this dire situation. For if they ever discover her whereabouts, another head will roll. She makes a gesture of remembrance, and swiftly disappears in the shadows...

The year is 6699, 7775 in Earth rotations across the Sun. Unlike other solar systems, this red planet, Ygghaven, is the sole orbiting mass of its blue star (Siriusly) greater in size than an asteroid. The world is in chaos. Whether it's the democratic revolution in the North, ignorance of the East, hopeless nature of control in the West, or unknown phenomenons of the South, the world never ceases to change. In this story, we shall focus on the unlikely meeting between Alex, our protagonist who happens to be intersex, and the leaders of each major power. They will gather in Dundyll, the crater of the collision between Ygghaven and its moon, Dvaven, where time, space, and matter are frozen in nothingness. The journey has yet to begin...

"Please don't touch me", said Alex, as they were being hit on by a grisly clown. His grizzly stature frightens most, especially our young adventurer. After a swift grab, Alex suddenly faces the clown smelling a distinct odour from his breath. S/he falls backwards, into the arms of a Plora, otherwise known as primitive people of carbon base. "Young lady, please ignore the buffoon. His unsightly nature is not for the meek", the Plora said. "What? Who are you?", questioned Alex. "My apologies for not stating that earlier, I am known as Liez", he stated. "Don't just go ignoring me you hillbilly! I wasn't done with her yet!", shouted the clown. "Begone with you vile joker, this will only sting a bit", Liez said as he hits a pressure point that immediately drops the clown. "Oh my god, will he be okay?", Alex worries. "Not to be concerned my lady, he will live another day, only to forget this whole incident", he assures. "Oh thank goodness". Suddenly, the day breaks, and a crowd gathers. "We'll have to take this elsewhere it appears", Liaz commented. Then he promptly carries them in his arms, and jumps out of view. Unfortunately, that made our protagonist faint and darkness envelopes their vision...

"Who does that shady ninja think he is, challenging my empire?!", declares Eigarl, the tyrant dragon. "Sir, we believe Darkstroke is a serious threat to our nation. We must take immediate action!", his subordinates plead. "Now you people dare question my word?! Such blasphemy will not be tolerated any further! Give me that ninja's declaration of war immediately!", commands the dragon. "Yes sir!". Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, the people are blissfully unaware that their ruler has challenged the great Western power. "Fu fu fu... I must say, that dragon is sure easy to deceive", mocked Darkstroke, stroking his pet snake. "But my lord, what should we do with about notifying our people?", asks his subjects. "Sheep will be sheep, panic is not within our interests. Let them be", states the ninja. "I will personally read Eigarl's response if he's ever so polite to make one before attacking". Darkstroke's suspicion were confirmed, his scouts were mercilessly slain in public, and war was declared. Both sides set their sights on the collapsing North, where gaining that territory will be of strategic importance. Here is the start of world war, and the alien Quex's at the South await for it in relish...

Next up will be Part 1: where our princess Celeste goes undercover, Liez discovers Alex's secret gender, and the East collides with the West trying to take over the North. Until then, may you watch in the sidelines with the Quex, hopefully not thinking of invasion.