Dragonboy IT & Electronics Journey

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Microsoft Visual Studio Express Edition to remain free

Microsoft Visual Studio are the tools to develop applications in Windows environment. Maybe Microsoft would like to recruit all the new people and let them try out the Visual Studio before they convert to different platform i.e. Mac OS X or Linux

Its a good idea too, the visual studio is a very great product, I used it long long time ago more than 10 years ago i.e. Visual Basic. Oops...I am old man...*sigh*

I do not use it anymore no2 since as per usual the reason are:
1. I do not develop code using C++, Visual Basic or any .NET platform
2. My job never needs me to develop using any of the above language
3. My university only needs me to use MS Word :-), and always ask the students to use "vi" to do the development

Enough said, if you are a developer and would like to get your hand on the .NET platform, I fully recommend you to try this visual express edition, please take note since this is a free edition, You know...there must be some catch :-). i.e. Limited feature that you could find in the standard edition.

This will not stop you though, since you can still try it out and get a feel of this product, and best of all: you are allowed to build a COMMERCIAL application using this great product :)

Directly from FAQ in the Microsoft Website:
"Can I use Express Editions for commercial use?
Yes, there are no licensing restrictions for applications built using the Express Editions"

Have fun trying.....

More info: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/default.aspx


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Excel viewer from the Web using Ajax

Do you have an excel file ? Do you have an excel for Windows? Most of you will definitely have one of the spreadsheet application.

The most famous one are:
1. Microsoft Excel
2. Lotus 123
3. Open office
4. etc...*dont ask me what are they*
5. ajaxxls :)

Have you ever need to open an excel file while you are on the go? Maybe you need to see some phone numbers desperately or need to print some document but there is no Spreadsheet applications in the internet cafe ??

This is when the ajaxxls comes in handy. Currently this AJAX Web based application allows you to "view" only an excel file. You will only need a web browser i.e. Firefox 1.5

Internet Explorer currently is still not yet supported just like the other ajax applications from this company. I hope they will support this soon, since more than 80% browser are still using Internet Explorer. Eventhough Firefox is gaining momentum > 10%. but since Most PCs in the internet cafe are Windows Based, there you go, each of them are most likely preloaded with IE instead of Mozilla Firefox.

1. Browser only needed i.e Firefox 1.5
2. Works well, I can see my data appears nicely. -> READ ONLY, I could not modify it at all.
3. simple to use, what can be more simple, beside, File -> Open and point to an excel file. :-)
4. Fast to load *assuming not many people in the server he he he*

1. Only Firefox browser is supported for now
2. Does not support protected excel file for now
3. You can not modify the excel file for now :).

Thats it for now, time to go back to sleep. I still have my jetlag. damn...

More info: www.ajaxxls.com


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Google Calendar is out now

Google Calendar is out now, You can see from the picture next to this. Not too bad, it can import your events from Outlook or Yahoo. I try it myself, and it works perfectly fine.

Do you think I will use Google Calendar then ? Maybe not, I will still stick with Yahoo's Calendar since I use Yahoo Messenger more often than Google talk.

When I use Yahoo messenger, when I have the events due, it will notify me using a baloon on my Yahoo messenger or sending me an email.

While if I use Google Calendar, oops, I seldom turn on my Google talk, so I might miss my appointments :).

Anyway, There is a flight to catch now. So I better go :)

Update: I am having a jet lag now, so let me update some before I go back to my sleep.

You will need to have a google accounts before you can use this calendar application. I am sure everybody has already had a google account. If you dont, please apply one :) There is no harm to have a free 2.7GB email account. You can open your google mail in here: http://gmail.google.com

More Info: http://www.google.com/calendar


Monday, April 10, 2006

TDK - Blu-ray Disc is available now

Blu-ray. What is a Blu-ray ? This is the next generation of the Optical Storage. It will replace DVD. The only competitor for Blu-ray is HD-DVD. So we shall see which one will win.

For now, I will only focus on Blu-ray. So what is so greate about this Blu-ray? Capacity :P, the capacity for Blu-ray is 25GB (single sided), so if its double sided, it will be 50 GB.

Imagine,, compare the size with the current DVD size.
DVD size is 4.7GB. Blu-ray is 25GB, hmmm 6X bigger :-), means you can store up to 6 DVD movies in a single Blu-ray or up to 12 DVD movies in a double-sided Blu-ray.

Sounds interesting ? Yeap, it is, The only thing that I DO NOT like about Blu-ray is the DRM. Digital Right Management. They will put a DRM that will limit how many times you can copy, read, or watch in the Blu-ray.

But I will not talk about DRM, its just a pain to talk about this, as a customer, I do not want to limit how many copies, reading or number of times that I can do with the movie Disc. But if I were a movie producer or movie rental, I might want to limit the "action" that I can do with the disc i.e. Copy

So its a pain to talk about this. Eventhough the Blu-ray player is still "unknown" the status, we will be able to see the player soon enough from Sony, Samsung, Toshiba. But..for now...lets forget it, they keep delay the player for some unknown reason. But for sure it will came out this year.

But amazingly, the "disc" itself has already out :). so here it comes TDK-Blu-ray Disc is already available now for single sided. I roughly can guess why TDK wants to release the Disc earlier than the "player".

For now the Disc is very good as a "frisbie". because there is no player or writer to write/read to the Disc :).

But you can think from the marketing stand point, they will be the "FIRST" player that release the Disc, people will know about their brand, so when the player came out, their disc will be the 1st to capture the market. Well......thats what I think....not so sure what TDK things :).

The disc is available at US$24.99 for single sided. When the double-sided appears at the end of the year , it will roughly cost about US$ 47.99.

So if you want to be the 1st person to own a Blu-ray disc. Dont wait,grab it :)and use it for frisbie for now.

More Info: http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/


Saturday, April 08, 2006

iPod Sync with USB Hub - Tunesync from Belkin

Another iPod accessories from Belkin. This one worth to be mentioned. I like Belkin products, eventhough expensive but the quality is there :).

This gadget will allows you to:
1. Sync your iPod with your iTune
2. USB Hub - Provide additional 5 Ports for your USB 2.0

Its compatible with:
1. iPod mini
2. iPod
3. iPod nano

When do you want to buy this product?
1. If you have not buy a USB HUB
2. If you have an iPod and does not have enough space in your table
3. if you lost your sync cable for your iPod :P

This gadget will allow you to save space. It combines an iPod sync and USB Hub. It does make sense, people now a days got many gadgets but limited space in their table, so if one device can be "multi-function", that would be better and obviously the other factor is the "price" :P. So please give it a try if you want to buy either a USB Hub or an iPod sync cable.

Price: US$ 65.99

Where to buy: Belkin - Store

More Info: http://www.belkin.com


Friday, April 07, 2006

Floppy Diskette replacement - Flash Disc

Remember the old Floppy Diskette ? 1.2MB or 1.44MB? During the golden old days, Its the only way to transfer data. With 1 Diskette, you can fit many games inside it, but in the modern era, to use floppy diskette to store data, people will said, yeah right or...Floppy Diskette ? I do not even have Floppy Drive in my computer. Can you give me in a CD instead?

Every new PC is no longer come with this Floppy Diskette anymore. Its being replaced by CDROM. Its..old..and obsolute and forgotten.

Enter Memorex. This company is trying to revive the Floppy Diskette glamour day with this new Flash Disc.

This rounded thing in the picture is actually a USB Drive. You can see it from the Blue color disc, the middle part is a USB port.

The disc is cheap and durable, they will be sold at US$19.99 per 3 pieces.

The capacity for each disc is: 16MB. At least your "normal" data should be fit into it.

Its cheap, colorful, and durable. So there might be some "value" to buy it. But its still impractival to transfer data between office, since if we are in the office, most of the people now using "network" or "file server" to transfer data.

But to transfer data for Students, maybe its worth it, since normal USB drive can break. so if this device really as durable as it claims, it might be useful for students to transfer data between school computer and home computer.

Beside, the price is low. US$19.99 for 3 ???. Hmm that means, each will cost US$ 6.67. For 16MB, not too bad.

Where to buy: Best Buy
When? Its already available NOW at US$19.99 for 3.

More Info: Memorex - Product


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Digital Player from Samsung - YP-Z5F

Samsung has already came out with Mp3 player many years ago, so what is so special about this new upcoming model.

From the pictures it looks nice, they provide different colours i.e. White, Black, Pink and Gray, so male and female can choose the one they like. The one in the picture is designed for girl :) Pinky colour.

And based on some people said, the previous generation from Samsung mp3 Player has a very good audio quality (better than iPod). But I can not verify this since I am not a musician. My hearing is "normal". or "bad" maybe :P

But you judge it yourself when this digital player came out.

So far the spec is:
1. 4GB
2. ASF, MP3, WMA
3. Able to see .jpg picture
4. Battery last for 35 hours
5. Weight 58 g
6. FM Radio --> iPod does not have this
7. Voice recorder -> iPod does not have this

So let see whether this new digital player can crack the iPod market.

More info: Samsung - YP - Z5F


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Intel Mac to run Windows XP Officially

Finally for those Mac funs, they will be able to run Windows XP without any hacking around the system. Previously at the beginning, it was being publicly known that Intel Mac will not be able to run Windows XP since Windows XP did not support EFI that is being supported by Intel Mac.

Windows XP using BIOS
Apple OS X using EFI

So there is a competition in order to prove that eventhough by "default" Windows XP did not support EFI, there will be a way to do it. The competition started with only US$100..but it grows to US$ 13000, and finally a month ago someone won it :).

After they won it, it does make a big news everywhere from CNet until Video Clip everywhere, but the method to do it is too techie. Since thats the 1st attempt, its already good enough. Its a proof of concept, and they will need to release early since if they are late, somebody might claim the $$$, and they are sure, once they release the technique, there will be a lot of people trying to mimic the method and simplify it.

True enough, with only less than 1 month, Apple itself has already announced that they will support dual boot to Windows XP with their latest OS X. *Apple's method might be different though*)

So do you think Microsoft will lost with allowing their OS to run on Intel Max?

Nope, I will never think about that, instead I believe Microsoft will gain since now customer has to buy their products again in order to run the O/S in the Intel Mac.

So who will lost ?

Why??? because normally you will need both Intel PC and Intel Mac in order to run both Operating System. And now customer will only need to buy 1 Intel Mac in order to run both Operating System. So Intel will lost "a bit"

Intel Mac is a bit pricey though, this is the only thing that I dont like :P.
So now if only the other way around happens. Running OSX using normal Intel PC legally :). That would be great.

Time will tell, since now currently there is a way to run this, but once Apple found it, they will close it in the next release. So it will be a police and thief.

How about me? Have I intended to buy Apple OS X ? Nope, I am not interested with it. Why ?
1. I dont need it
2. My job doesnt need it
3. I like Windows XP
4. I like Linux

Anyway, for now, I will skip Apple OSX for now.

More Info: Intel Mac to run Windows XP officially


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another USB Flash Drive - 64 GB

I have mentioned in my previous article that 64 GB is out already, with a *chocking* price.

Now, another vendor has already released 64GB with 1/2 of the price :). oh well, thats competition. The price now ............US$ 2,799.95. Not too bad :-) its no longer chocking me this time when I see the price he he he. Its estimated to be shipped in April 15th 2006. So you can start ordering now :).

URL: Kanguru Flash Drive

PS: It supports both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0. But of course USB 2.0 is preferred since the data transfer will be higher.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

USB 2.0 - High Speed Card

I have been talking about USB 2.0 almost everywhere in my posting. So what is USB 2.0 and whats the different with the previous version USB 1.1?

I will keep it simple. First time I heard about USB is on 1998, when the Windows 98 was launched. The first USB device that I know are mouse and printer.

The difference between USB 1.0, USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 are Speed, and voltage requirement.

If you have an external CD Writer or External Hard-disk and wondering how come its so slow where the speed is suppose to be very fast, thats probably because your machine is using USB 1.1.

How do you know that you are using USB 1.1 ?
When you plug your External Hard-Disk and CD Writer, Windows XP will give you a message "high-speed devices plugged into non-high-speed USB ports"
This shows that your Computer does not have USB 2.0. If you recently buy a computer, you should have USB 2.0, but if you have an earlier Pentium 4 or Pentium 3, you are most likely only have USB 1.1.

So what can you do then? Does that mean you have to buy a new PC or new Notebook?
Nope, you do NOT have to do that.

What you need is depending on your machine
1. Desktop User -> Buy a PCI Card for USB 2.0
2. Notebook User -> Buy a PCMCIA card for USB 2.0

Where to buy ?

For Notebook user:
Belkin-PCMCIA -USB 2.0

For Desktop User:
Belkin-PCI-USB 2.0

Why do you need to upgrade to USB 2.0 if all your gadgets are working?
1. Speed
When you upgrade to USB 2.0, your external storage will transfer the data faster
USB 1.1 -> Speed : 1.5 Mb/s
USB 2.0 -> Speed: 480 MB/s --> Notice the difference :-)
You will be a happy man after that

2. Voltage
When you upgrade to USB 2.0, more gadgets can be plugged to your machine
some of the new gadgets will only work with USB 2.0 i.e. new Web Cam, new External Storage

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB

Happy shopping :)


Fondue using your Computer

Anybody likes Fondue? Raise up your hand :). I am one of them, in fact yesterday I just went out to have fondue with my friends. Its a nice place and nice fondue. But the only bad thing is the waiting time. Wait for more than 1 hour to get our fondue :P.

Anyway, if you are really GEEKS and really love your computer, and think your computer can do everything including Fondue, now its the right time.

The time that you are waiting is over. Its already available in the market now.

The price ??? USD 29.99. Okay not so bad, where ?

Here is the place: Fondue - USB

You will need to have a USB 2.0 in order to use that, for now its only limitation due to the power source only 5v. you can only melt chocolate and cheese. How do you know if you have USB 2.0? If you have Intel Pentium 4 Hyperthread, you had already USB 2.0.

How about if you do not have 1 ? Errr... You can buy a card that will give u USB 2.0 too. You can read this article if you are interested

According to the website, the next version of USB (Most likely USB 3.0) will be better since it will have a higher voltage, that means, more things you can do with your computer.

More info: Thinkgeek - Fondue - USB

Have fun with your new Fondue :).

Update: Oops, its just an April Fool's joke :P. Please wait longer, I am sure this product eventually will come out. :-).


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Quiz - How Geek you are?

Have you ever wonder whether you are a geek or whether your bf or gf is a geek? Wait no more, here is a quiz to determine the level of geek :)

Geek Quiz

There are 20 Questions, eventhough some of the questions are pretty biased, but thats okay :), at least the idea is there.

Have fun. Put your score in the comments if possible though, I am interested to see how many people take the quiz. You can use anonymous option :)