Thursday, December 24, 2009

Top Five: Reasons I Hate Manuals

Recently I have come into a fair few things that have come with a hefty manual, hundreds of pages thick and filled to the brim of pictures that don't even look remotely like they belong in the manual. I have come to find that the manual itself is filled with stuff that just isn't needed (I once had a manual with a chapter on why you shouldn't use the program for a nuclear device) at all. So I've compiled a Top Five list of "Reasons I Hate Manuals", hope you enjoy them.

1. Unneeded Chapters.

In my time of seeing manuals, I've never once seen a manual that hasn't got some ludicrous chapter on some ridiculous problem that I can't for the life of me think of a scenario where it could have happened. In one of my old manuals, about some kind of RAM stick, there was a more than comprehensive manual with a whole chapter on what do to if the RAM stick found its way into the toilet, including the quote taken directly from the manual "If found toilet, take from and put away on computer" . Now I know what they mean, but really, who wants to use a RAM stick that's been in their toilet?

2. English Section Always Has Something Spilled Or Sticky On It

I don't know what it is about the universe and the magnetic attraction to every English section in existence, but I do know that it WILL happen to anybody who actually needs to read it, and that's it will be either unreadable to a stain from some alien substance or it's been stuck together from something that stops you from opening the pages without tearing the page. I don't know how many times I've actually needed a manual for something, major only to find it's been stuck together from the drink I had resting on the "piece of paper", and trying to pry it open without tearing the page is like trying to keep your eyes open when you're sneezing.

3. English Is Typed By A Non-English Speaking Person.

I've seen English sections that would be more helpful if I read them upside down while doing Sudoku! While rummaging in my book-shelf looking for some of my many annoying manuals I came across three very interesting sentences that I felt would've been easily avoided if the person had actually learned English. One said "insert in DVD fuck not for 15..." another said "Wait for click sound before 'cheapest stands' preceding with next step", I do not understand why they'd have "cheapest stands" in the middle of a pretty good looking sentence, and the final one (My personal favourite) "Company's Name Here proudly supports rabies", I mean it's easy to tell they've missed out on something crucial maybe the word "no" or something, but still the typo is just too significant to have not read.

4 .The Drudgery Of Reading The Long Non-important Parts To Find The Small Tiny Parts.

I've once sit down reading a manual from beginning to end, over 100 pages of nothing, with an index that didn't make sense and a font that makes weddings look like some kind of elaborative way of writing in English, only to find the five word answer I needed at the near back of the book. If they placed more time in actually planning before diving balls first into it, maybe they'd have one of the few readable manuals in the world.

5. The Manuals That Go For One Page And Don't Answer Your Original Query.

This one's self explanatory, but I've come across many of these. The most recent one was for a Bluetooth device for a mobile phone that doesn't tell you anything except for the fact that they're not liable for any accidental damage for the device.

I think that one of the most fundamental reasons I hate them for the most is the fact that they actually exist. I feel that with the rise of PDF's and other files the manual should've moved along with technology, being brought on a CD or downloadable from the websites, if this was so, almost all of my problems could be solved because the program solves it, or it's solved because it's intangible. Anyway, that is my Top Five Reasons I Hate Manuals.

Thanks for reading all!

By Matthew Willison

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Experience with Ubuntu

The last time that I had used Ubuntu was all the way back in 2007, which in my world, is a long time ago. On Monday (23/11/2009) I got a copy of Ubuntu 9.10, my first thought was to really just put it on my laptop and see how it was, then go back to Windows and discard the disk into my DVD collection. But to my amazement, I can't get over Ubuntu, and I find myself booting from the disk almost every day just so I can see the desktop and really muck around inside of it.

In 2007 I used Ubuntu for around three weeks and for that three weeks that I used it, I hated it. I wasn't able to use Microsoft word, didn't have the feel of Windows, programs I was dependant on (eg MSN) wasn't very good or nonexistent and for the most part, it didn't feel like an OS more than something somebody put together in their garage. The thing that made me go back to Vista was the fact that it couldn't hold a candle to Vista or OS X, and by that I mean, the programs, the look & the usability. By the time I had finished with Ubuntu I had developed a personal vice against open source programs and really wouldn't use them for a long time. It's only recently that I used Ubuntu that I've had my faith restored in open source programs.

In the small amount of time that I've used Ubuntu 9.10 (which is about a week or so) I've had a complete restoration in my confidence in open source programs and OS's like Ubuntu and Open Office. I don't know what it is, but something in the open source world has just made open source a lot more appealing and generally more acceptable to use in recent times. I also noticed that it's really caught up to Vista (or Windows 7) and OS X in how it looks and the effects that it comes with it, (Like Cube3d and cool features like that) it's almost like they've got their trademark. It's now a lot more of a solid choice between Windows and OS X if not another main contender and the fact that it's 100% free and so is the software on it makes for some pretty good competition in a few years.

The things I liked in Ubuntu were the ability to get drivers without going to heaps of websites, it was all there, with a checkbox asking me to download and install, I found it something that was not only incredibly helpful but extremely well thought out, it's amazing windows has not thought of doing the same. When I turned on Ubuntu, it asked me to install my graphic card drivers and my wireless USB stick as soon as they were installed I was on the net, all within 5 minutes, in windows this would've taken me around 30 minutes. Another thing that impressed me about Ubuntu was how rapidly they'd caught up to Windows and Apple, if they can catch up to major companies like Windows and Apple then what could they do if they keep increasing at this rate, I feel they'll be a huge compony by 2020.

Along with the things I liked, there were some things I didn't like, and keep in mind; I am really picky with some things. The first thing I didn't like was the font, now I don't know if it's the font itself or the OS that gives it a different feel, but something about it just annoys me, I think that the letters are really w i d e and tall maybe it's just me on that one though. Another thing that kinda made me upset for a while was the Cube3d doesn't come standard (that or I couldn't find it), that on its own isn't too bad but part of the reason I would use Ubuntu would be to use the feature, just like I went from Vista Home Basic to Ultimate so I could get flip 3d or somebody on OS X wants to be able to use Exposé, but that was too small to get me worried as I knew that you can get it working without any worries in no time after watching a few youtube videos on it. The only thing that I found hard is it was hard to get the hang of moving from Windows to Ubuntu, but then again, it is much harder going from Windows to OS X, and this is a definitely easier to learn than OS X if you're coming from Windows.

Ubuntu is a great OS that has come a long way in a short time; it has brought open source software a good name and incorporates all programs nicely into "one box". In the short amount of time that I used it I felt differently about Ubuntu and open source software. In my opinion, Ubuntu could rival Windows if it keeps being fresh and intuitive in the future. All in all, Ubuntu is great fun and I recommend getting a DVD even if you're only going to boot from the DVD once to see how it is.

Thanks for reading all.

By Matthew Willison

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Tech Conclave

I have found a new podcast that I have been listening to for a few months now, and I have found it very interesting. I thought that I would share it around by writing a short blog post about it. The tech podcast that I'm talking about it called "The Tech Conclave" and can be found by clicking the link here. The podcast talk about tech news in a fresh new way, with their host, John Raul Joven II, geeks from around the world converge to talk about all the latest tech news, from court cases that involve Pirate Bay, to the latest reviews on laptops and technology.

You can find the podcast on their website or on youtube, but the Tech Conclave has evolved from more than just a podcast, it is also an online community (found here) where you can talk to a wide range of geeks about pretty much anything tech or tech related. If you haven't already clicked onto The Tech Conclaves sites, there is a list of where you can find them below. Thanks for reading all, have a good one!

It's good to be a geek!

Youtube -

Tech Conclave Website -

Tech Conclave Community -

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thoughts on Firefox

It's time for my second collaborative blog post, were I ask people at Geeks! about their thoughts on something. This time I asked them about their thoughts on Firefox, as I recently found it to be extremely slow and I was starting to feel as though it was time to find another browser. The people at Geeks! must've felt the same as I did because of all the people who responded almost all of them felt the same way as I did, they left long, smart comments that back up what I thinking about. Here is what some people said.

"I only use Firefox every so often now once 3 came out Firefox would crash on my at least 2-3 times a day now it has gotten better since then I admit with minimal use hasn't really crashed. But I switched to Chrome on Windows and don't regret it one bit. I love the simplicity of the browser plus tabs on top and searching right in the address bar makes things much easier..." -Beef_Log_FTL

"Me, I switched to Chrome back in January 2009. I tried using Firefox 3.5 when it came out, for like, a week and a half, but I found it too bloated compared to Chrome, so I came back to Chrome. Whenever I used Linux I also got stuck with Firefox, at least until early August when the Dev builds of Chrome finally got awesome and stable" -Condoulo

"Firefox has so many awesome extensions it makes it difficult to walk away from. I have noticed some serious slowdowns over time, especially start up and shut down times. But love the extensions so much I can't leave it. I'm an FF junkie. That said, I am finding myself using safari more often, especially on Geeks" -Renderedcook

The comments that I got from Geeks! are almost exactly my feelings, not only do they reflect the original idea that Firefox is becoming slower and a lot more bloated but they all identify using another browser in place of Firefox. This isn't a good thing, whenever the users of a browser feel the need to have a second browser installed "just in case" it usually means that the primary browser isn't as reliable as it should be. Needless to say that Mozilla don't need this at all. They've had such success in the past with programs like Thunderbird and of course Firefox, why would they want their most popular success to suddenly turn into a flop?

From my perspective, Firefox is going to need more than just a major overhaul from head to toe if it's going to establish its dominance once again. When I use Firefox, it will lag, it will stop working, it will have error reports, just the things you avoid in browsers all together. And this is what I see to be the sole reason that people are moving away from Firefox and to the more reliable Google Chrome. The way Firefox is heading, I think I'm going to wait until my two favourite add-ons are compatible with Google Chrome and then make the leap to better browsing. My Google Chrome has NEVER crashed, or lagged but from what I've read, that's hardly an irregularity, heaps of people share the same experience with Google Chrome.

I do feel as though Mozilla is a good company, with more than good intentions. I think that we're going to see Firefox come back. It's just such a good browser, so many people are using it, it was just a matter of time before something went a little wrong, and I'm sure that they're going to make sure that the newest Firefox is going to be the best browser out there. I do hope that when they announce the new features, they tell the truth, the last thing they need to do is follow Microsoft's mistake with the whole lie that was Vista's "the wow starts now".

By Matthew Willison

Monday, August 31, 2009

Are Quad Cores Worth It?

That was the question posed at Geeks!, one that has been popping up a lot recently. When I first read this I was quick to think that it was going to be filled with a long question as to "are they worth it", but it was just a general question, so I thought it would be no better time to write a blog post on the matter.

One of the people at Geeks! said:

Quad cores will be worth it, in about 2 years. As I've said many times before, the reason they aren't worth it not is that parallel support isn't where it needs to be. This is rapidly changing, and quad core processors will be worth more as time goes by simply by virtue of better code. That said, buy core i7. - Kitty

A more neutral comment was:

Quad cores are extremely useful... If you enjoy playing games. Unless a program that you use will utilize all four cores, it's useless. Just get a Dual and OC it, you'll do fine. I was going to get a Quad, but then my friend told me that Duals can still be used and they do really well. He was right. Dual cores still have a while to go before they become obsolete. Heck, even Pentiums can still be used without too much hassle.

Or to go with a simpler and broad comment that is still to the point and damn entertaining:

To answer your question simply...YES! -Stormy

For me, this quote says it all. From the basic idea that they will be worth it in time, to the whole argument that the i7 is better than the quad due to the Quad Core's not being as good as they could be. This proves to be true as the i7 which has eight cores in it and can outperform just about every single processor that is out, whereas the Quad Core is sometimes better sometimes worse than the dual core. The reason I love this quote is because it gets right to the point and gets across the point, which is what I hope to do in this blog post.

The reason that I'd suggest Quad Cores opposed to Dual Cores is simply because of the amount of work I've been able to complete and the ease in which I've done it with, also the general fact that I've had a worse experience with Dual Cores in the past than with Quad Cores, put simply Quad Cores have worked better and have been more reliable in all the years I've used them both and I come from a variety of computer backgrounds, from Pentium II all the way to the Core i7. I've just found the Quad Core to be more practical to use and more reliable, I cannot stress this enough, of the three dual cores I've owned, they've all become slow and struggled in a short period of time, even though the system running on them had hardly anything installed of them, so be it just general crap or a problem with what I've done with them, I feel that it was the processor that let them down.

In my experience I've found that the pro's and con's of Quad Core to be left up to speed, cost and the fun factor. I found the pro's to be

  • Speed of the processor, which was remarkable when being compared to Dual Core. If you'd have to ask me it's a major win in the speed section.
  • Fun factor of Quad Cores, I mean really, something about saying that I've got more processors than somebody else is enough to make me feel good and secure about my computer, even if that does suggest that I have somewhat of a superiority complex (Joking)

Some Con's however

  • Cost can sometimes be against you, the more expensive you go, the more powerful you get, but it most often results in Dual Cores becoming better for the price they're offering.

By Matthew Willison

Friday, July 31, 2009

Are Browsers Conforming?

When I first saw the pictures of Firefox 4 the first though that crossed my mind was "That is too similar to Google Chrome" so I got a incentive to instead of just writing up a blog post about my own opinions I've decided to ask the community at geeks! about their opinions on the matter. With mixed responses I decided to show a whole communities thoughts and feelings before I go on with my own opinions, hopefully this will create a more diverse post, rather than a single faceted post.

I don't think anything is sacred anymore, but if IE copies chrome interface, all hell will break loose – Matthew Medina

I thought I was the only one who noticed this. And I don't like it. Every browser used to be original, but now even IE8 is just like Chrome. If you ask me, Chrome is by far the most original when it comes to features, design, and not to mention coding. - Robert

I really think there are more and more similarities. Not only in look, but also in features. I mean, of course browsers are all meant to do the same so, that's what happens. Someone creates a new feature, and as soon as the feature isn't patented anymore, all browsers start to implement it. But the thing that makes Firefox the best is its customisability. - Frederik

Good observation, I've also seen it ever since Safari 4 or whatever came out. Well, I guess we'll be seeing this forever: Firefox starts tabs (or whoever did) and now it's a must in every browser, even internet explorer. I guess soon transparency, themes and add ons will be a must in every browser, and the circle of browsers taking features continues. I guess the developers maybe (just a possibility) see that they're better off just adapting a nice feature so it's a plus for their browser, and there's nothing in the way of them doing so: if IE can do tabs, then I guess Firefox can do Chrome's long as it doesn't make the whole browser look and feel like Chrome (for example). Then it's just worrying.
- Phill

Umm, for the Mozilla company browser (the company who makes Firefox), I prefer the developmental Minefield. It uses a different JavaScript engine to speed things up. For Apple, naturally my preference for all browsers is Safari 4. Internet Explorer has been a failure these past 2 years. Now, everyone is copying the other. Well, IE doesn't have anything to copy. Chrome's interface is the most copied but Safari 4 fixed the tab bar and put it back down. Um, doom for all browsers. It's an all out war! - James Luong

With the communities views shown I can now go in depth on my own personal opinions. Since I first saw the things that were plagiarised by Apple with their Safari browser from Google's Chrome I started to think to myself, that doesn't feel as though it should be happening, sure keeping up with the flow is important in maintaining market dominance but by no means does that mean that they should be selling out by plagiarising each other. With the look of Firefox screaming Chrome and the feel of Safari becoming more and more Chrome like it's hard to believe that just a few versions ago they were completely different from one another, sure a few similarities here and there, but the differences were something like the difference between Vista and OSX. Features were different the feeling was different and the looks were definitely different from one another, and then came the next gen of browsers looking and feeling more and more similar.

In this time we saw Google Chrome being added to the market which became a dominant player in the browser world taking up 3.6% of the market in December of 2008, a great deal over Safari and Opera that were at the time around 2.5% between the two. It was Google Chromes sudden hit to the market that saw it rapidly surge to become one of the most popular browsers in just months of its release. From here we see the whole phase of plagiarism start.

With such a rapid success I guess most of the other browser companies like Mozilla and Apple would've loved to have the same growth and success that Chrome had, and who could blame them. I do feel though that there should be a limit to how much they can interpret a browser. To keep the browsers "Heritage" and a browsers individuality untouched should never be changed or plagiarised because then we're not running different browsers we'll just be using one web browser with different logos.

What's great about the web 2.0 world that we're living in is that most things that are picked up on are changed within a while, so if you do feel strongly about this send some e-mails around and try and get some attention to this subject, because after all, you could be one of the people who fundamentally changes how browsers are developed in the future.

All of the above statements were chosen not on how long the quote was, not on what the persons views were, and all of the quotes that I grabbed out of random after being actually read to make sure that they weren't spam or something irrelevant proved to be consistent with what I had noticed with my observation beforehand. This has been my first collaborative blog post and I look forward in doing more in the future. If you'd like to take apart in this you can find me on my twitter account, I always listen and I always reply.

By Matthew Willison

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Aussie Tech Head, Hicks in Tech

For a while now I have been listening to an Aussie technology podcast, one that has always been a source of entertainment rather than a source of information. Since I started downloading it, I've only listened to it for the pure hilarity that goes on. Of course this hilarity is not intentionally done at all, in fact, quite the opposite. For this is the reason that has kept me listening intently, not to bask in the knowledge of the people on the podcast but rather laugh at the thoughts perceptions that the people on the podcast have.

Far from the world of tech, in some misbegotten podcast is where the true comedians of tech are found. Glen, the only one who is not on Skype, plays the role of "Ring Leader of the Zoo" brilliantly. The way he goes out of his way to keep peace amongst the "tech" enthusiasts, even if it's the means of going against his own beliefs and opinion. I believe that is a kind of special person who is able to keep peace at the cost of his own beliefs, and for that I give him a small round of applause, if it wasn't for him I'm sure that the comedy that is so regularly spewed out would just turn into nothingness and lose all forms of comedy.

Mark, now here is a guy, knows a little about what he's talking about but acts as though "His word is law" and carries on as though he is the local expert on the matter at hand. So many times have I heard about his experience with a product that has been so bad that not only does everybody else on the podcast who thinks (and I use this word "thinks" loosely) has their opinion ridiculed but he sometimes even goes so far to insult massive amounts of innocent listeners.

Reg, yes I saved the "best" for last, this man has become somewhat infamous in my circle of friends, we refer to him not by the name of Reg but "Tetris Man" because in one of the podcasts he carelessly described the iconic and most certainty historic game of Tetris as nothing more and mundane as "The game were the blocks fall down" which definitely caused us to think of Aussie Tech Head as a "hick" or lower class humour podcast rather than something of a valued source of information. Reg has dove into some absurd (yet entertaining) topics, it's a joy to listen in and hear about how the Asian companies are ripping us off (even though he doesn't pre-research these things) posing questions that go along the lines of "do they have to save money at the Australians expense?". This man is the proverbial glue that holds a podcast of Jesters together.

Glen, the ring leader of the zoo, the one who tries to keep order amongst the chaos. Mark, the stubborn one who loves the sound of his voice and can't think of people who may be insulted. And finally Reg the behind the times awesome entertainer who more times than most doesn't know he's being entertaining at all. Together they all make up Aussie Tech Head the best "non-satirical" (yeah right...) tech podcast out there!

For all the Aussie Tech Heads reading, have a good one! I seriously can't wait for your comments!

By Matthew Willison

This blog post wasn't anything more than MY honest opinion of this podcast, and while I'm sure that they are all wonderful people, from my experience of them on this podcast, I can only come to the assumption that they are nothing more than lower class humour and are definitely not a tech podcast.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vista Theory

Vista has been labelled as a failed OS from the moment that it was released; it has been the focus of much ridicule from users (and non-users) across the world, it has been subjected to reviews where it has been the sole cause of many problems and also the underpinning reason for people to buy Mac's over PC's. As I have said before, I do not believe that Vista is the sole problem in anything these days; there must be some other problem that you've over looked or maybe something wrong that has caused Vista to have this error. With that said, I do admit that while I do hold the opinion that Vista doesn't have major problems now I do admit that in the past it did have some major problems.

What I've been thinking of lately is what would happen if you could get Windows Vista from today and take it back to before Vista SP1 came out. Would Vista still face problems? Or would Vista continue to run completely normal as it was before you had it in a pre SP1 world. I don't have many ideas of how to get this to happen and get this scenario up and running, so if anybody does have a good idea on how to do this, you can e-mail me at my e-mail address ( or just simply leave a comment below for people to read.

If the results of the test come back showing that Vista is running the same as it was before I chucked it into this time paradox experiment then it will prove that despite it being in the same environment that it was when it was facing its most immense problems, Vista was the problem. This is because the internet and driver support that was available did not account and make the OS run slower or worse at all, it would've been the OS itself, but in this paradox because there is no errors that are similar in this time period, Vista must have been the problem way back.

But if the test results come back showing is running different to it was before it was in this paradox, then it would show that it wasn't Vista's problem and it was the environment that lead to Vista's problems. This is because all the support available on the net didn't compliment Vista and led to some of its problems.

Now I know that some people that are reading this may be confused to what I am saying, and again I ask you to e-mail me at so that you can ask me questions and maybe even solve my question in the first place. I think that this experiment would be one of the most enjoyable things I could do with Vista, rather than the mundane benchmarking comparisons.

By Matthew Willison

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fences, the app that organises your desktop icons

A while ago a Phillip sent me a link to a website called “Fences” an app that allows you to organise your desktop icons without anything that would take up a lot of memory and slow down your computer. The three things that I noticed in the first few hours of using it was the amount of memory that it used (tiny would be an overstatement) how easy it was to use and get used to and also how good it looked and felt why using it. Anybody who has tried to find something that is all of these things knows that it is hard to find, rest assured you’ll find them all here.

I recently installed fences onto a friend’s laptop to try and help him organise a really messy desktop, from the first time I was using it I found that the amount of memory used so low. All of the icons where all organised into files that the app automatically put into place and also was keeping them into place with headings that clearly showed where things where located. This for me was an amazing thing because to do all of that in most other apps you’d expect them to either lag or be so unusable.

As time went on I found out that it was very easy to get used to, rather than having to change how I operated by now having to remember where the files had been organised too I now only had to look around the screen slightly and see where the file was, and usually I’d find a program right next to it that I’d also need. This improved my productivity a whole lot and I really enjoyed this facet of it.

I highly recommend this app, anybody thinking of downloading it I highly recommend you do. If you liked this app then maybe you’d also like another app that I blogged about not long ago “BumpTop

By Matthew Willison
Saturday, May 9, 2009


Readability is a wonderful tool that you can use to easily use to bring a big webpage filled with heaps of words, ads and fluff into a easy to read and convenient web page that from there you can print the page or e-mail it off to somebody to read. You can download it from their website (here) and use it for yourself.

This is a very handy tool if you do a lot of google searches and don't have the time to be looking at sites filled with things you don't need at all. With a click of a button you can turn the web page into an easy to read page with all the text and images laid out easy to read and understand. When you've gathered up all the information you now can print the file to a printer and have the webpage on a piece of paper, and all this in about two clicks of the mouse opposed to having to copy and paste the entire site into a word program and then have to wait to sort it all out and then print. With "readability" you've also got the option to send the page in the same format to somebody via e-mail, so if you've got to send some work into the boss or a teacher you can just by clicking one of the buttons on the side of the webpage.

By Matthew Willison


BumpTop is a new aged app that changes your desktop to emulate a real world desk, where you can drag your items around, stack them, make them bigger, stick them to walls, upload them and more. This app has had glowing reviews from a lot of people from a lot of places around the world and around the internet.

"This program is a real looker. When I showed it to friends, they immediately wanted to play with it, dragging pictures to pin on virtual walls and drawing circles around several icons at once to stack them into piles like magic. BumpTop is a pleasure to use and for no cost, the free version is certainly worth a try. If you like what you see and you're willing to change the way you use your desktop, the Pro version might be worthwhile." — Katherine Boehret, the Mossberg Solution, Wall Street Journal

"BumpTop replaces your desktop with a visual environment unlike any you've used. It's a bit like a futuristic gesture-based interface." — Seth Rosenblatt, Editor,

This app adds a brand new look and feel for the ageing desktop, and it has brought the whole desktop up to date with features that allow you to act more productively. With BumpTop you can also now personalise your own desktop with features that will allow you to move around all your icons and arrange them in a pile, and also by size which was before unheard of.

BumpTop uses next gen UI 3d and physics to give the user a feeling as though they are using a powerful machine; I recommend this to anybody who has a cluttered desktop because this has made my daily life a lot easier now that I've got this app installed.

You can get your hands of this app and try it all out for yourself for FREE at

By Matthew Willison

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How to get a DVD video into a single file

Recently I moved houses and due to that I lost a lot of videos and DVD's that we thought we wouldn't need in the new house, how wrong we were. Now we don't have those videos that we may've wanted to watch at a point so what I've done is used the weekend to my advantage and found a neat little tool that allows you to get all of the files from a DVD and convert them into a .mpeg which you can then use to watch the file and move it about and such. I found this tool handy because I don't like clutter on my desk nor do I like to have a big folder with all my movies in them I would rather have one folder on my hard drive which I can access them when I want.

The program is called "VOB2MPG" and you can download it here and use it for yourself, I truly recommend it. I asked for a comment from Phillip who also uses this program, he said

"I'm used to the idea of converting VOB to mpeg since I've done it b4 in other programs, but not as simple. This is very simple and straight forward, simply converts the selection of VOB files into one continuous mpeg file"

I hope that you enjoy using this program, and I also hope that you enjoyed reading this blog post. Feel more than free to leave you comment below and tell me what you think about the program or the blog post itself.

By Matthew Willison

Friday, May 1, 2009

How to make a lag switch

When I first saw this video I just knew that I had to share it with people. The fact that it is so easy to do will make most n00bs feel as though they have done something very hard (That's what she said).

Thanks for watching, please click the video and give the people who uploaded it a friendly hello! Thanks for reading/watching all, have a good one!

By Matthew Willison

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Running Benchmarks on Windows 7

Recently I got my Quad Core PC back and it was time for me to move my Dual Core off the desk and place it back away in the box under my bed, after about three days of it just sitting under my bed I decided to get it out and stick in on top of my amp. Now I've got a Quad Core PC sitting on my desk with a 22" screen, a laptop next to it and a Dual Core with a 15" screen sitting on the left of me.

While I was looking though the files of the Dual Core running Windows 7 I started to think about the performance I had gotten out of using it for about a month and started to wonder if it was even beating my Quad Core that is running Vista, if so this would truly illustrate the power of windows 7 over Vista. So early in the morning I set out to find a program that would scan my computer and give it a bench mark and also give me some feedback and specs onto the hardware that was running on the computer and I came across a program that does just that.

The site you can get your hands on it is here. Download a free trial or purchase it and use it for more than 30 days.

After I installed it onto both PC's I made sure that they were both running the same programs before I ran the benchmarks so I could get a more accurate look at how much of a difference there was between Windows 7 Dual Core on a Machine with less RAM and a lesser CPU and a Windows Vista Quad Core with more RAM and a bigger CPU.

The Quad Core was first to run the benchmarks; the Quad Core scored 1142.0 in the benchmark test

The Dual Core came in second running the beta of Windows 7 scored only a 521.0 which is less than 50% of the Quad Core's result.

After I ran these I could see that the Quad Core had out preformed the Dual Core in everything but the CD reading. From these results I now had my answer. Though my Dual Core is running Windows 7 beta it does not outperform the Quad Core at all, I can only speculate that the Dual Core seems to run smoother is because the OS itself is just a lot more smooth and co-ordinated than Vista is which is sad to say because Vista isn't a beta.

Thanks for reading the blog post all, have a good one!

By Matthew Willison

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Some things about Windows 7

Before I blogged "In love with Windows 7" where I talked about all the features of Windows 7 that I really loved, but now that I've been using it for a long time now I've found three things that have really come to annoy me a lot with the OS. The first one is the fact that they're going to release it in more than three versions, another is that they dumped the sidebar, and the last thing is to do with games that I'm not sure if it's got to do with the beta or if it's going to be a problem with the OS.

Ready for the game "Wheel of 7!"
Recently I read a magazine which talked about the 5 editions of Windows 7, and this blew my mind because for all this time I had been thinking that Microsoft would've learned from its mistake with Vista bringing out all those unnecessary versions that made it confusing for people who just wanted the "wow" to start now, not the "wow" to start in a choice of one to six versions each comprised of different abilities and different features ect... when the beta of W7 was released the first thing I can remember everybody was saying was "I hope that Microsoft doesn't go with more than 3 versions of Windows 7" and now that they've released it with 5 editions it makes me wonder if they listened to us at all, and maybe just kind of felt vibes and made small movements just to keep us happy with what they were making.

The 5 versions of Windows 7 are; starter, home premium, professional, Business, enterprise & Ultimate, I can see why Microsoft would want to make these versions and why they expect them to be snatched up fast but unfortunately this isn't going to be the case at all. I think that Microsoft made all those editions for people who didn't have the money for Ultimate but still wanted all of the "bang" of the new OS, and I can see why they would make them like this way, but still the fact that they didn't listen to what we were saying (rather meet us half way) really bothers me.

I think that they should've only made about 3 editions for Windows 7 instead of 5. I would've made; Starter, Professional & Ultimate. Starter would've been for net books and very low spec PC's whereas Home Premium would have been the bench mark for the market for those people who have good machines but don't have the money to get the Ultimate. I think that this is the move that most people wanted Microsoft to make, instead of just appeasing us with their "You'll just have to wait until we get it right next time" attitude.

Who took my sidebar? This is one of the things that have made me rant people ears off in the past. How could you remove the sidebar?! Now I've got no way to see how much CPU/RAM I'm using, how much I've downloaded, change a song, see how the economy's going, check the weather, see who's online ect. I've got a 22" screen with so much room that I want to be able to have the option to use some of the abundant space up with something useful, but instead I've got to hover over a little rectangle down the bottom of the screen and wait to see it, and if I need to do something with one of the gadgets then god help me because I'm going to have to click the square and move about then bring all the windows back to how I wanted them taking away about one minute from what could've been a few clicks with a sidebar. I hope that they decide to bring back the sidebar because I'm defiantly a man of the sidebar.

Laaa... gging it! Not crazy about the fact that some of my old games either don't work at all or are lagging so bad that they cannot be played at all. All the brand new games I've been using are working great and with a good card and specs, the ones that are lower should be working but instead are lagging and not booting up at all. Now for the time being I'm going to say that it's just the beta's fault because let's face it though Windows 7 beta feels finished it's still just a beta.

Thanks for reading my blog post all, have a good one!

By Matthew Willison

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

32 or 64

A long time ago I done a post on 32 and 64 bit systems with a few small with the pros and cons, I just that that seeing that I done so little on a subject so wide that I'd do it again and hopefully shed some more light on 32x and 64 bit OS's.

Now first things first, you may be asking me "What the hell is the difference between a 32x and a 64x OS?" which is fair enough because when it comes down to it there are only a few amount of differences between them. The main differences between them would be the amount of RAM each can hold how well one can run an app and the compatibility between the two.

like with a 64x OS you've got a larger address space which means instead of being limited to having only 3.5gb of RAM you can now have up to 128GB of RAM, this is perhaps the main reason that people using the 64x OS are on it now, they may need the extra address space to have more RAM.

Another aspect of a 64x OS is that the 32x programs that you may be using are going to work better on a 64x OS because each 32x app gets its own 2GB of protected memory space, which basically means that whatever you're using is going to have more space available for it to work with, in a crappy example it kind of like instead of trying to shoot the side of a barn with a handgun it's like using a missile. Another good thing about it is that it will run future 64 apps and the app's that are out today unlike 32 which will not run those programs.

Now that I've gone into depth about some of the facets of 32 and 64, I'll explain what I believe to be the main reason that people may have/want to go to 64.

One reason somebody may want to go to the 64x edition of Windows maybe because of the amount of RAM the person needs, I found this was the reason that I moved from 32x to 64x as Vista 32x would only recognize 3.5 GB of RAM and not the 4 GB I had installed in the PC itself, so I was forced to move but once I was there I didn't have any problems and found the experience quite present and noticed that the 64x apps I was using weren't crashing as much as they did previously on the 32x system. I think that most people on the 64x edition of Windows would consider themselves to be power users, which means most of them should be on a computer most hours of the day because I don't think somebody spending thirty minutes of a computer really needs 8 GB of RAM.

Hopefully this helped you with what you needed, for any further questions on the subject of 32x 64x I would be happy for you to e-mail me. Be sure to leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading all, Have a good one!

By Matthew Willison

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Free Converter

For about one or two years now I've been using a free service called Zamzar which allows me to convert image files, music files & video files to other formats. Just say that you wanted to convert a song from the format ".aac" to the format ".mp3" I would just visit Zamzar and upload the file and select the format I would like the file to be converted to (In this case it would be ".mp3") and leave my e-mail address so it can send me the link for me to download the converted file from. All you have to do is wait to receive an e-mail from Zamzar and you'll soon have a converted file.

This is a very good site to use if you need a file converted and converted fast, rather than use converters that you've got to download and install you can now do it on a computer with internet access. If you give Zamzar your e-mail it will not send any spam at all in case you're worried about that happening.

So happy converting all, have a good one!

By Matthew Willison

Monday, March 2, 2009

Computer Quotes


1. "Software is a gas; it expands to fill its container."

– Nathan Myhrvold

2. "A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing."

– Emo Philips

3. "The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before."

– Bill Gates"

4. "Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes."

– Edsger W. Dijkstra

5. "Software is like entropy: It is difficult to grasp, weighs nothing, and obeys the Second Law of Thermodynamics; i.e., it always increases."

– Norman Augustine

6. "All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer."

– IBM Manual, 1925

7. "I do not fear computers. I fear lack of them."

– Isaac Asimov

8. "Standards are always out of date. That's what makes them standards."

– Alan Bennett

9. "It's hardware that makes a machine fast. It's software that makes a fast machine slow."

– Craig Bruce

10. "Physics is the universe's operating system."

– Steven R Garman

Thanks for reading my special list of quotes. Have a good one all!

By Matthew Willison

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In love with Windows 7

Since I’ve been without my main Machine (My Quad Core) I’ve had to go back to an older machine my Dual Core and on this machine I’ve had Windows 7 installed. From booting into windows new OS I’ve noticed that it’s not only as sexy as I’ve been told but the way that I’ve experienced it has made me feel bad about going back to Windows Vista.

I’ve got a Dual Core (1.8 GHz) with 2GB of RAM, and the computer isn’t lagging like it did with Vista on it, it’s had no crashed or random explorer errors like I know we’ve all had with Vista. I have to say this is just a great OS all round. I did find some things that where at fault but those errors are only found in betas.

I’ve also fallen in love with W7’s super bar, now not only can I see ALL of the windows and programs I’ve got open but now I can group them all up and close them by simply mousing over the live preview and pressing down the scroll button, it saves me so much time and I can get from program to program so fast. I’ve tried to find a program for Vista but seeing I haven't been on a computer with Vista on it to see if it works I don’t know if I’ve found it yet (subscribe to me so when I do you’ll get the blog post about it)

I love Aero Snap, With this Multitasking has become somewhat of a joke, I’ve got a 22” screen and to use more than one program all I have to do it get two windows opened and “snap” them into place next to each other and away I go, it’s also good when I’m talking to people on MSN and I’ve got Firefox opened I can now use them both without being disturbed.

I also love Aero Shake, it’s my favourite thing in W7 besides the Super Bar but not because of anything that could make my experience better or more efficient it’s just so cool! and that’s exactly what I like about it.

Thanks for reading.

By Matthew Willison

Quad Core Dilemma

I’ve had a quad core for a while now. I bought it in 2008 less than a week after Christmas and two days ago for some reason the computer started to shut down for no reason at all. I didn’t know how to explain it I would be working and it would just shut down. I had just installed a new fan on the system but when me and a friend opened it up it turned out that the fan was not the culprit.

After a day after that I went into the machine and looked around I saw nothing and I mean nothing to lead to me finding what was wrong with the machine. So I called up the place I got it from and sure enough Luke Chen from Treasure PC knew what could be wrong with it. He asked me to email him about my problem and come down to the next swap meet so he could fix it.

Now I’m on my old Dual Core that I was going to sell soon after I bought my Quad Core (thank god I didn’t) I’ve got windows 7 running and I have to say I’m not only impressed but I’m not looking forward to the downgrade from a BETA of windows 7 to Vista Ultimate. It feel so finished and the super bar in W7 has made all my time on this computer much more easily managed.

I’ll keep you posted on the situation, and I recommend Luke Chen’s Treasure PC for buying a PC. It’s gone well for everything I’ve ever gotten off him and now that I’ve got a problem he’s dealing with it wonderfully.

Have a good one all!

By Matthew Willison

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Recently I blogged (blog post here) about a wonderful app called switcher which allows you to get all open windows and arrange them so that you can see what you've got open. While watching a video on YouTube I was thinking just how handy it would be to be able to zoom in on my computer just like Chris Pirillo could on OS X, and just like before I found an app that allows you to do just what OS X dose.

The app is called "ZoomIt" and you can zoom into your desktop by pressing your choice of buttons. I find this app very good in comparison to the OS X zoom, it allows you to zoom in, zoom in live, write something on your desktop and allows you to draw on your desktop. You can choose what the shortcut keys are so you get use it extra fast. But if you do run this on a lower end PC it may slow it down just a little.

Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading

By Matthew Willison

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Expose for Windows

Are you sick of your "flip-3d", thinking that maybe there's something out there better than it? Well I may've found what you're looking for. In OS X there is a feature called Expose that pretty much gets all open windows and arranges them so that you can see what you've got open and you can select them. It's a very good idea and some people have made an app for it inside of Windows (Vista + aero only) and the really good thing about this is that it's freeware!

If you would like to use switcher make sure that you've got a computer with Vista and the aero feature so that you can use it, if you've got Vista home basic then you won't be able to use this but if you've got any OS with the aero feature then you can use this app.

Download Switcher Here

Comments are more than welcome!

By Matthew Willison

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Show your support, stop internet censorship in Australia

If you live in Australia and haven't heard of the internet censorship the Australian government is sneaking out then you probably don't care or live without internet. The Australian government have been trying to place a filter over our internet so that they control what we have access to and what we don't. Even though this has been condemned from almost everybody. When I was looking around on Google I found this site EFA which is a site that is against internet censorship a page (Page here) on that site has media releases on the censorship act and almost all of them are against the filtering. I also found a blog site (Site here) that allows you to keep up to date with the filtering that is unfairly going on.

The defence to the filtering is that it will "stop" child paedophiles and sites that have Child Porn, but anyone who has used a computer for a while can tell you that child paedophiles will soon get around the problem. The thing that the Australian government is missing out on is the education part of the internet, learning how to use it and safely.

If you feel you want to take more action about internet filtering please go to this site and spread the word so more people can hopefully stop it.

Thanks for reading all, Have a good one!

By Matthew Willison

No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia

Matthew's personal golb

Phillip's personal golb