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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PCI or USB TV Tuner? Which one should you buy?

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Which TV Tuner is better?
Which TV Tuner is cheaper?
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a USB TV Tuner?
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a PCI TV Tuner?

Nowadays, many TV Tuners are available in the market. You can purchase it under 100 dollars so its really very cheap compared in the past. You can use it for your personal computer/PC and laptop/notebook. It also comes with 2 different interfaces: these are PCI cards and USB devices. In addition, some Video Cards also function as a TV Tuner. But before you decide on which TV Tuner you would like to buy, please read the text below.

Features, factors and other things you would consider before purchasing or buying a TV Tuner for your computer:

  • Video Recording - record TV shows
  • Time Shift Feature - buffer or record the TV signal by using your Hard Disk
  • watch it in full screen just like a normal TV
  • watch it in small screen (minimized window) to give space for you browser and surf the web
  • FM Tuner
  • Scheduled Recording
  • Image Capture or Screen shot
  • Video Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Video Editing Software
  • Remote Control
  • internal PCI card or external USB card
  • Transmission type of your television: DVB-S, DVB-C, DVB-T
PCI Card Advantage/s:

  • your desk is free of clutter
  • one time installation, close your CPU and thats it
  • cheaper than USB

PCI Card Disadvantage/s:
  • can't use it on your laptop
  • you have to open your CPU again if you plan to use it on another computer
  • bad if your PCI slot is full

USB TV Tuner Advantage/s:
  • good if your PCI slot is full
  • portable, you can watch TV on your laptop or on your PC
  • quicker to install, just plug it in your USB slot

USB TV Tuner Disadvantage/s:
  • some USB TV Tuners are bulky enough to fit in your USB Slots which means you have to detach some of your USB components to make room for the TV Tuner.
I have probably missed something. I am not an expert with TV Tuners but I just want to share my ideas and opinion. So feel free to comment.

Friday, February 13, 2009

How to setup Scheduled Recording using TerraTec Home Cinema Program

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This is a Step by Step Tutorial on how to setup Scheduled Recording using TerraTec Home Cinema Program. The specific model that I used is Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner. But this tutorial may possibly work on other Terratec Cinergy TV Tuners. What I am trying to say is that Terratec have different models of TV Tuners but the Software Program it uses are just the same. I believe the differences might be its features and skin.

1. Open TerraTec Home Cinema program.
2. Click on New or F5.
3. Choose and click on the TV station.
4. Select the recording Mode.
5. Set the Date.
6. Set the Start Time and the End Time.
7. Set the Afterwards Mode. This means what do you want the program to execute after the recording. You can either choose:
  • Close the application
  • Hibernate computer
  • Standby computer
  • Power off the computer
8. Click Save or F5.
9. The next window will just show you the Scheduled recordings. Just Click Exit or F8
10. When the recording starts, your Terratec Home Cinema program should have a Record icon.
Please watch the slide show to better understand these steps.

In my sample screen shots, I set the TV Tuner to do a record on TV Station ProSieben on February 13, 2009. It will start at 10:25 AM and will stop recording at 10:30 AM. After it stops it will close the Terratec Home Cinema Program.

For example if you always want to record the 5 PM to 6 PM news every Monday to Friday and after the recording it will shutdown the computer, just set the Mode to Mon-Fri and the Afterwards option to Power Off.

My Observations
Terratec's Home Cinema Program is not that easy to use if the user is not really into tech stuff. The options, like the New-F5 and Delete-F6, does not look like a button. So ordinary users will not immediately know on what to do next. It should look like more of a button since most users are getting used to it. Displaying text as a clickable item will not tell the user that it is clickable. I hope Terratec will improve their User Interface in their next Software Release.

Enjoy Recording! ^_^

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Exercise and Weight Loss on Wii Fit

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Wii Fit is used in almost 1.5 million homes across the USA. Using Wii Fit is a painless way for people to get healthy. But the problem is that not everybody is using it to its full potential. It seems that people only play the game because it is so popular. After weeks and months of using Wii Fit, people tend to lose interest with the game which means that it is just an exercise hype. To make the story short, Nintendo created and marketed the gadget very wisely and they are not responsible if people use it or not.

"Don't blame Nintendo for people's sloth, observers say. The company has marketed its new cash cow brilliantly, and it's not responsible for whether consumers play the game or not. Nintendo declined to comment for this article, but Wii Fit creator Shigeru Miyamoto has previously gone on record and said that the game is less about people losing weight and more about broadening the videogame market. Still, it seems a little disingenuous for Nintendo to heavily market a fitness tool that's sitting in more than a million American living rooms collecting dust". - Source

People's claims who succesfully used Wii Fit
  • At the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, kids are not participating in physical therapy. With Wii Fit, kids are motivated.
  • An assistant manager at WalMart who uses Wii Fit faithfully for 2 months has lost weight, stopped smoking and feels more energetic.
  • A woman who uses Wii Fit for 6 to 7 days a week loses 40 pounds.
Bottom Line
The benefit you will get from Wii Fit depends on how you use it. Its just like enrolling in a Fitness Program (Wii Fit) and if you are not faithful in participating with it, then absolutely you will not get positive results.

Article Sources:
The Truth about Wii Fit Weight Loss
Wii Fit Backlash

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wi-Fi Detector Shirt by ThinkGeek

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ThinkGeek has developed a cool product for Wi-Fi lovers. It is called the Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. This is very useful especially if you have no phone that detects wi-fi and you want to access the Internet. Instead of turning on your laptop, you just have to look at the glowing bars of your shirt.

"Here at ThinkGeek we're pretty lazy when it comes to technology. We expect our gadgets to do all the busywork while we focus on the high level important tasks like reading blogs. That's why we hate to have to crack open our laptops just to see if there is any wi-fi internet access about... and keychain wi-fi detectors, we would have to actually remove them from our pockets to look at them. But now thanks to the ingenious ThinkGeek robot monkeys you can display the current wi-fi signal strength to yourself and everyone around you with this stylish Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. The glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates. Finally you can get the attention you deserve as others bow to you as their reverential wi-fi god, while geeky chicks swoon at your presence. You can thank us later. " - ThinkGeek

Product Features

  • Glowing animated shirt dynamically displays the current wi-fi signal strength.
  • Shows signal strength for 802.11b or 802.11g
  • Black 100% Cotton T-Shirt
  • Animated Decal is Removable (with hook and loop fasteners) for Easy Washing
  • Battery Pack is Concealed in a Small Pocket Sewn Inside the Shirt
  • Runs for hours off three AAA Batteries (not included)

Washing Instructions

  1. Carefully peel animated decal from front of T-Shirt
  2. Unplug ribbon connector behind decal and remove decal
  3. Unplug battery pack and remove it
  4. You can leave the ribbon cable inside the shirt
  5. Machine wash gentle cycle on cold
  6. Hang to dry
    Please Note: If you plug the connector into the battery pack backwards the shirt will not animate properly. It will not damage the shirt. Simply reverse the connector.
The shirt is available on and it costs $19.99. Click here for Customer Action shots.
I love this shirt! ^_^

Monday, February 9, 2009

Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD Problem: Remote Control

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Having problems with your Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner's remote control?

Until now I have experienced problems with my Remote Control. The problem is that the Remote Control will not function when I press any buttons. Volume, Mute, Channel, Record, Stop - every button will not work. Luckily its just a minor problem with a simple workaround or fix.

Workaround or Fix

This particular problem occurs after launching Terratec Home Cinema program. If your remote control is not working, all you have to do is perform these simple steps.

1. In your TaskBar, just right click Terratec Remote Control Editor and click Exit.

2. Launch Terratec Remote Control Editor again and your Remote Control should now work.

I always do these steps whenever my Remote Control is not functioning and the problem will be fixed.

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What is PageRank? Why are Bloggers and Website owners crazy about it?

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What is PageRank?
How will I know the PageRank if a website?
What can I get from PageRank?
How can I embed PageRank on my browser?
How to view a website or webpages PageRank?
How to install Google Toolbar with PageRank?
Which sites checks PageRank?

PageRank - This is one of the most common items that a website displays especially with blogs. Many people are crazy about this because it shows how great their site is. Do you know why PageRank is popular among bloggers and other website owners? Before I tell you what PageRank is let me give you a very long explaination.

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of "measuring" its relative importance within the set. The Google Toolbar's PageRank feature displays a visited page's PageRank as a whole number between 0 and 10. The most popular websites have a PageRank of 10. The least have a PageRank of 0.-

In my own understanding, PageRank is what Google uses to determine the web page's importance, relevance and POPULARITY. It is one of the many factors used to ascertain which web pages appear when using Google Search. I believe it is not the only factor Google uses but I also believe that it has the biggest weight of all factors. It matters (especially to bloggers and website owners who blog for money as the main reason) because it is one of the factors that determine a page's rank in the search results. For example, if your website or web page is on the FIRST PAGE on the Google Search result, it means that your website or web page has 100% visibility to the user. There is a very great percentage that users will visit your site. Visitors equals traffic. The more traffic or visitors on your site, the more chances that these visitors will click your ads or join your affiliate programs.

Search engines like Google crawl and index web pages. Don't misunderstood web pages and websites. What I am trying to say here is that PageRank may vary from page to page within a website or blog. Your article about animals may have a PageRank of 4/10 but your article about HOT and SEXY women may have a PageRank of 10/10.

Examples of web pages are:
Examples of websites are:
In simple terms or a simple analogy would be: the Internet is a Tree, a Website is a Trunk and a Web Page is a Leaf.

How to view a website or webpages PageRank?

There are 2 ways to do these: Google Toolbar and PageRank checking sites.

How to install Google Toolbar with PageRank?
Click here. This is NOT A SCAM.hehe And also note that installing Google Toolbar may vary with different browsers. But I am pretty sure you can install it easily, anyways its just an add-on or plug-in.

Which sites checks PageRank?
I am not sure if they return the same result as Google's PageRank Toolbar simply because they are NOT Google. Except if they use Google API (if its open and shared).

As of now, I am not really a big fan about PageRank. Maybe because my sites are still very young. I blog simply because I enjoy doing it (and also because I earn money from it, but just a little ^_^). Furthermore, I blog because I want to share what my experiences, ideas, thoughts and opinions.

I hope you enjoyed reading. ^_^

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

TechMata Disclosure Policy

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This policy is valid from 10 February 2009
  • This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact
  • This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.
  • This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.
  • The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.
  • This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

ASUS Eee PC 1000 review

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The ASUS Eee PC 1000 is the most well equipped netbook. It has the largest screen display of all Eee series and other netbooks (as of the moment and please correct me if I am wrong about this). You can purchase this machine with Windows XP or with Linux operating system (cheaper with Linux).

ASUS Eee PC 1000 Specification:

Display: 10 inches
Processor: Intel® Atom N270 1.60 GHz
Wireless Data Network: 802.11 n
Bluetooth: YES
Memory: 1GB (DDR2)
Hybird Storage: 40GB Solid State Drive
Integrated Camera: 1.3M Pixel
Audio: Hi-definition Audio, Stereo speaker, Digital Array Mic
Battery: Up to 6 hrs
Weight: 1.33 kg
Price: $372 to $614 (depending on the customization and store)

Asus has definitely created an ultra portable and well equipped netbook. The 10 inch display is great considering its portability. The size of the keyboard is much better than the "lesser than 10 inches" netbooks as your fingers will have enough space when typing. With 1.6 GHz processor and 1 GB RAM, you can run almost any application you need with this tiny machine. Keep in mind that this is a netbook, portability, not for gaming. Word processors, spreadsheets and other necessary applications you want to install in this system will not be a problem. Battery is absolutely great. I consider this as the most important thing with netbooks as it is designed for portability. The greater the time it can run, the better. 6 hours of using this machine is more than enough if you are just at home or on the go. If you are a blogger (like me) or even a businessman or a student for that matter, you can still do your work or assignment even when you are on a Restaurant, Bus or a Train. Furthermore, you can't disturb the person sitting beside you as this machine is very small. If only I have extra money, I would definitely by this machine. Maybe next month or next year... T_T

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Google Latitude - Locating Friends on Google Maps

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Google Latitude is now up and running! It allows you to see your friends location (as well as share your location) on Google Maps. You can access it using a mobile phone (but not all) and computer.
Image Courtesy of GoogleImage Courtesy of Google
With this feature, the privacy of the user is at risk since it broadcasts his/her location. But Google managed to counter this problem by letting the users manually choose to turn it ON or OFF. Basically to turn off or disable the service so that the user can't be located. This service is very useful and helpful especially to parents who wish to keep track of their children right from their computer or phones.

Unfortunately this feature is only available to the US and other countries.
Try it yourself! Here is the link: Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Google Internet Bus Project Launches in India

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Google India's Internet Bus Project have just launched in India. The purpose of this project is to educate and to distribute and spread awareness about the Internet to the people. This is a very excellent idea and very helpful to people especially nowadays that the Internet is widely used but still many people are not aware of it.

"The bus is designed to make a simple introduction to the Internet for a new user. With a focus on the four themes of education, information, communication, and entertainment, the Internet Bus will be loaded with useful and informative content in English and Tamil. We'll showcase how the Internet can make everyday life simple through services like search, email, social networking, maps and others. We strongly believe the Internet is a great equalizing force, and this project represents another way Google is directly engaging with people in India." - Google India

Google Internet Bus:

Inside the bus:

Image Courtesy of Google

This project would definitely make people aware on how their lives could be made easier with the use of the Internet. How I wish Google will launch this project to all third world countries especially in my home country. ^_^

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How to Fix Login problems with your Google Mail Account

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Just a while ago I have experienced a problem in logging in to my gmail account. I cannot access my account and the odd thing is that I'm just returned to the login page without any error messages. I thought this was just a loading problem. I tried several logging in to my account several times but still I could not get through. After a couple of minutes in investigating on why this happened, I found a fix.

1. Go to Tools -> Clear Private Data (or type Ctrl+Shift+Del).
2. Check Cache, Cookies and Offline Website Data checkboxes.

3. Click on Clear Private Data Now.

4. Login to your Google Mail account.

Note: I am using Firefox browser. The steps above worked for me but it might not work for you.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD - Sample JPEG Image Capture

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This is a sample JPEG Image Capture video using Terratec's Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner.
File Sizes: 90 - 100 KB
Width: 1024
Height: 576
Horizontal Resolution: 96 dpi
Vertical Resolution: 96 dpi
Format: JPEG

If you want a sample recorded video (raw format is AVI) with Terratec inergy HTC USB XS HD, please watch this.

If you want a sample recorded video (raw format is MPEG) with Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD, please watch this.

Please feel free to comment ^_^

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD - Sample Recorded MPEG Video

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This is a sample recorded video using Terratec's Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner.

Duration: 65 seconds
Original File Size: 45,992 KB
Raw Format: MPEG

If you want a sample recorded video (raw format is AVI) with Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD, please watch this.

If you want a sample JPEG Image Capture with Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD, please watch this

Please feel free to comment ^_^

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Why Firefox and Opera are better than Google Chrome as a Blogger?

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Is Google Chrome buggy? No.
Is Google Chrome slower? I did no testing.
What is the disadvantage of Google Chrome compared to Firefox and Opera?

Since I am a Google fan, I tried using Google Chrome (especially the Incognito Mode. Surfing, downloading, searching, browsing, and video streaming worked just fine like Opera and Firefox. When I login to my Blogger account and tried changing the layout of my blog (Layout -> Edit HTML), a problem came (not really a problem but rather an inconvenience for me as a Blogger).

Do you know what the problem really is with Google Chrome if you are a Blogger and you want to change your layout?

Google Chrome's Browser Search function. (do not misunderstand this as Google Search)

When I tried searching for the word "body" (not body of a woman but the HTML tag), Google Chrome did not find the word. I restarted Google Chrome thinking that it might just be the solution but still it could not find the word I was looking for. I was thinking that Google Chrome's Search Function is buggy. I tried searching other tag such as "head" but still it was not working. Then I searched for the word "html" and now it worked but only yielded 1 result, "Edit HTML".

Because of that, I have concluded that Google Chrome's Search Function could not search text inside the CODE BOX. Opera and Firefox can.

This is the only reason why I use Opera or Firefox over Google Chrome, again if I try to do changes to my layout. It was very inconvenient for me as a Blogger user to search the code manually just looking for the word "body" or "HeaderColor". But I believe Google will fix this in their next software release.

I still use Google Chrome for surfing but use Firefox or Opera when I login to my Blogger account. But I personally recommend Firefox. Please read this post to know why I use Firefox, again if I try to do changes to my blog layout.

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Why I choose Firefox rather than Opera or Google Chrome as a Blogger?

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Since I joined Blogger, I always use Firefox simply because I am satisfied using it. Curios about what the other popular browsers have to offer, I tried using Opera and Google Chrome.

But I was not satisfied using Google Chrome when I tried to edit my blog layout. If you want to know why I don't use Google Chrome, please read this post.

What I am going to tell you is the Search Function comparison between Firefox and Opera.
When you do a search using Opera (pressing "CTRL + F"), it will launch a new window. If you want to search the next or previous word, you have to select Search up or Search down, and then click Find Next.

In Firefox, searching is simple. A search bar will just appear below (pressing "CTRL + F"). If you want to search the next or previous word, you only have to click Next or Previous button.

You also have the option to Highlight all the text found. This is very useful especially when you have manually added your adsense code to your layout. You just have to search "google_ad", click Highlight all, and you just have to browse for the highlighted text.

What browser do you use when you do some changes to your blog layout?
Have you used other browsers which have better Search Funcionality than Firefox?

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

TV Tuner cards - DVB-C, DVB-S or DVB-T?

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Last December 2008, I bought a TV Tuner card for my desktop PC. All I know about a TV Tuner card is that it is a device which you connect in your computer, to watch TV on your computer. A TV Tuner card can be in a form of USB or a PCI Card.

Without any thorough knowledge about TV Tuner cards, I decided to buy a TV Tuner card based on reviews and comments from the people purchasing the product. In my opinion, a PCI TV Tuner is better than a USB TV Tuner. PCI TV Tuner cards are plugged into PCI slots, have enough power and therefore process data much faster. USB TV Tuners on the other hand are plugged into USB hubs, get power from the USB port, process data on the same USB port and therefore process data slower than PCI TV Tuner cards. Again, this is my theory, my opinion. I am not an expert. I could be wrong. ^_^

So I searched for TV Tuner cards and noticed that the brand Hauppauge is the most popular. I browsed Hauppauge's website for products and the label "Hybrid" caught my eye. A Hybrid TV Tuner means that it is capable of detecting or scanning Digital and Analog Signals. I searched for reviews and comments on Hauppauge's WintTV HVR 1100 "Hybrid" TV Tuner card and most of them are good.

I bought the card and was very excited on playing and experimenting with it. I plugged it in an extra PCI slot of my PC and installed its driver and software. I ran the TV software and then a problem came. It can detect 10 analog channels but it can't detect digital channels! Supposed to be it should have scanned and detected 60+ digital channels like my CRT TV.

I have spent days searching for possible fixes and solutions but still it can't detect digital channels. I scanned its specs and noticed the label "DVB-T". I have also noticed "DVB-C" and "DVB-S" on my searches. I looked at my TV box and found out that it is "DVB-C".

So therefore there really was no problem from the start. It was just my ignorance about DVB-C, DVB-S and DVB-T. The TV Transmition Type provided in my location is DVB-C not DVB-T. That was the reason why the card could not detect digital signals! I returned the product immediately and bought a Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner.

So know first your TV Transmition Type whether its DVB-C, DVB-S or DVB-T, before buying a TV Tuner card . Or you will end up with what I have experienced. Stupid me ^_^ Lesson learned ^_^

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD - Sample Recorded AVI Video

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This is a sample recorded video using Terratec's Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner.

Duration: 26 seconds
Audio Format: PCM
Frame Rate: 25 frames/second
Resolution: 720x480
Raw Format: AVI

If you want a sample recorded video (raw format is MPEG) with Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD, please watch this.

If you want a sample JPEG Image Capture with Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD, please watch this

What do you think? Comments are very welcome ^_^

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Google Chrome - Incognito Mode

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What is Google Chrome?
What are its features?
What is Incognito Mode?

Google Chrome is a web browser. Just like Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. I tried using this browser simply because I am a Google Fan.

- If you want to navigate, just type directly into the address bar and it will suggest popular sites and the pages that you have already visited (same as Firefox with the Google Toolbar).

- If you want to open a new tab, just click on the "+" icon (same as the latest Opera browser). You can also arrange the tabs the way you want (same as Opera and Firefox).

- Very important feature: Chrome's Task Manager lets you view your opened tabs. If there is a tab or a page that hangs, just right click the misbehaving page and click "End Process" (same as the Windows Task Manager but it is better because you don't need to close the whole application, just the misbehaving tab or page).

- My favorite feature, the Incognito Mode (it seems that the logo is like Linux Redhat). During Incognito Mode, you can browse the web without storing any data or record on your computer. The pages you have visited, browser and search history, and cookies will be deleted after closing the Incognito Window. But note that the files you have downloaded and the sites you have bookmarked will not be deleted.

This feature is very "useful" when you want some privacy. Like when you want to research about your "school projects" and don't want your younger brother or sister and parents to know what you are doing. Stuffs like that, you know what I mean ^_^

But be careful when you are using Incognito Mode. For me, Incognito Mode is good to use when you are just at home. But when you use it in your office, you might loose your job. Except when you are the head of the IS/IT department. Again, you know what I mean ^_^

I know you will download Google Chrome because of the Incognito Mode feature. Am I right? ^_^

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

WinRar, Winzip or 7-Zip?

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Which is faster? WinRar, Winzip or 7-Zip?

First of all, I would like to say that I used this machine when performing this test. I did not change any setting when using these compression softwares. I just used their default compression settings. I have no other applications running. No anti-virus or anti-spyware program. No background processes. Just the Windows System files necessary to load the OS.

Single File Compression

File Size Difference: WinRar > Winzip > 7-Zip
Compression Time: Winzip > 7-Zip > WinRar

Multiple Files Compression

File Size Difference: 7-Zip > WinRar > Winzip
Compression Time: Winzip > 7-Zip > WinRar

So which compression software should I choose?
I can't really answer this question directly. As the comparison shows the compression speed of WinZip is far greater than 7-Zip and WinRar. But 7-Zip and WinRar's file compression is better than WinZip. But the tables above might help you decide.

I am sure that there are still other compression softwares that are better than these 3. The performance of the software depends on many factors such as processor, file types, number of files compressed etcetera. I used WinZip before but I am using 7-Zip now because I am satisfied with it and is completely FREE! ^_^

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