Posts filed under 'Computing'

Live from Inside a Hard Drive

Have you ever wondered what causes those clicking/rattling sounds in your hard drive? YouTube user joshuamarius has posted a video that will take you on a short trip inside a hard drive in real time as it does certain common operations such as powering up, deleting files, copy and paste.

Video after the jump.

Continue Reading Add comment October 7th, 2006

Outstanding bandwidth tests with

While there are many companies out there offering to test your internet’s connection speed, some will even charge you a subscription fee for a simple Download and Upload rate.

This is where really stands out. It’s FREE and it has an outstanding graphical user interface that overlays your location and that of its servers on a map.

More after the jump.

Continue Reading Add comment August 20th, 2006

Modular PC: Dell XCS Concept PC

In an age where the Hi-Fi is becoming obsolete, designer Matthew Ritter has come up with this Hi-Fi looking concept PC! The idea is to design all internal components as cartridges which the user can very easily take in or out.

“Each component is a modular and shaped so that it cannot be inserted into the wrong place. A number system was also developed to replace confusing specifications that are present on today’s software.”

It would be great, if this design made it to the market. No more digging into the messy internals of current PCs to simply add a second hard drive or more memory!

We’ll have to wait and see whether Dell will bring out the XCS anytime soon. Or maybe Apple will beat them to it by introducing this modular concept in the yet to be announced Intel Power Mac replacement.

[Via Yanko Design]

Add comment July 31st, 2006

Hard Drive Tech explained by Hitachi

During my cyber-travels today I came across this animation from hitachi that attempts to explain perpendicular technology in hard drives in a very interesting and lively way. Thought I’d share the video.

Get Perpendicular

Simply click on the above picture and let the flash animation load. Don’t forget to turn up the volume!

On the other hand, if you want a more scientific explanation of perpendicular recording technology or if you just want to know how hard drives work, here are some links:

If you enjoyed the “Go Perpendicular” animation, then, read on, another educational video from Hitachi after the jump.

Continue Reading Add comment July 16th, 2006

Continued: Manage ALL your e-mail accounts through GMail

Accessing Labels

As promised in our first post on using GMail to manage all your email, we are going to show you how to set up filters and labels in GMail so that you can organise all email from a specific account within one folder.

Continue Reading Add comment June 25th, 2006

Manage ALL your e-mail accounts through GMail


If like a lot of people you find it inconvenient and time consuming to check all your email accounts everyday, there is a way out! Through the use of Mail Forwarding, Labels and Filters within GMail, it is easy to set up all of your email accounts in one place. After this, you will no longer have to remember all the different passwords for each of your email accounts, nor will you have to log into many different sites to check all your email. You can do it all right within GMail. What’s more is that all your email will be searchable to Google’s quality results and with over 2GB of space, what more could you ask for?

Check out our guide after the jump.

Continue Reading 1 comment June 19th, 2006

Microsoft Outlook 2007 Beta: First Thoughts

Blue is the new RedFollowing on from our post on the new Microsoft Word 2007 beta, here are some first thoughts about the new Microsoft Outlook 2007 beta. I realise (and apologise) that more than just ‘a few days’ have passed since the last post on Microsoft Word 2007.
However, this has given me the time to put the new Outlook to the test under the conditions in which it would have really been used by someone on a daily basis instead of a simple tryout of the software.

Continue Reading Add comment June 13th, 2006

Adobe Systems threaten Microsoft over PDF integration!

The new Microsoft Office 2007 beta offers the option of saving your word, excel and powerpoint documents directly in pdf format. However, Adobe Systems see this as a threat to their business and have threatened to file a lawsuit against Microsoft for introducing this feature!

Save as PDF
Adobe threatens to sue Microsoft over Save As PDF feature

Adobe wants Microsoft to charge for the feature, which the Redmond company has refused to do. Smith said Adobe threatened to file an antitrust suit in Europe, and his company was preparing for that eventuality. Now, however Microsoft says it will make the feature available through a downloadable add-on.

It is interesting to see this happen considering that pdf is fully integrated not only within Apple’s OS X but also within the free Office Productivity Suite, Open Office!

[Via BetaNews]

Continue Reading Add comment June 3rd, 2006

Microsoft Office 2007 (beta): First thoughts (with screenshots of Ms Word)

Just over a week ago, Microsoft announced the availability of the beta 2 version of Microsoft Office along with Windows Vista.

I downloaded and installed the Office 2007 beta yesterday and here’s some first thoughts:

  1. Very heavy installation
  2. It took just under 1hr to install on my 1.6 GHz Pentium M running XP Pro (SP2) with 1GB RAM.

  3. New ‘Ribbon’ interface
  4. ms word ribbon
    Click to enlarge screenshot.

    The ‘ribbon’ interface makes it easier to access toolbar items by automatically displaying the toolbar relevant to what you are working with. For example, if you are editing an autoshape in Microsoft Word, the toolbar will automatically change to display the adjustable parameters for the autoshape. I see this as a definite improvement in Office as it makes more efficient use of space on your screen, something which is very precious nowadays with all the existing menus, task panes, etc. It also saves you time you would otherwise spend finding your way through context menus in search of a function.

  5. New Fonts to improve readability
  6. New fonts that take advantage of ClearType technology have been introduced in Office 2007. They have also optimized the spacing of the fonts, which combined with the new document styles ribbon makes it easy to produce more professional looking documents.

    Click to enlarge screenshot.

    I’ve found the styles very easy to use: Simply hovering your mouse pointer over a specific style will give you a preview of what your document will look like before you even apply it.

  7. Opening, Saving, Printing and Publishing Files
  8. The commands for opening, saving, printing and publishing files is now accessed through the rounded (vista style) button:


I shall be posting my first thoughts on the new Microsoft Outlook (beta 2) in the next few days. In the mean time, check out Microsoft’s own overview of Windows Vista here. Just don’t ignore the presenter (Tom Skerritt) during the show or he will come and get you! (your attention that is!)

You can download the Office 2007 (previously known as Office 12) beta 2 for free here. (Microsoft Live ID and registration required) While the beta hasn’t harmed my computer in any noticeable way, I recommend you go though the Disclaimer from Microsoft before downloading it.

Extract from Microsoft’s Page:

Beta software does not necessarily display the same high level of stability of shipped Microsoft products.

2 comments June 3rd, 2006

Make Firefox even Faster with Fasterfox!


Fasterfox is a Firefox extension that tweaks the network and performance settings to give you an even faster browsing experience! Like all firefox extensions, it’s a free download and will allow you:

to tweak many network and rendering settings such as simultaneous connections, pipelining, cache, DNS cache, and initial paint delay.

It also includes a popup blocker for those popups (initiated by flash plug-ins) that keep getting through although you have your built in pop-up blocker enabled!

Try it out for yourself at

Add comment June 1st, 2006

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