Zhooibaal\’s house of the unholy

04 September 2006

Browzar

Filed under: Browsers, Non game, PC — zhooibaal @ 19:53000000

Browzar
A new schoolyear has started and so did my new study course. As you could have read here I graduated from my previous school and now I’m going to Hogeschool Zuyd which is located in Heerlen (NL) to attend to the Network Infrastructure Design course which will last approximatly 3 years.

But as the title of this entry states, I’m not going to rant about school, I’m going to tell you about something a friend pointed me to and it’s called Browzar and the friend who pointed me to it has also been mentioned here before. It’s Frank from Gamesfm.nl. He’s the one I got my Sega Megadrive 2 and the Menacer from and he was also involved in the making of Uberfighter.

Let’s get to the point; Browzar is an internet browser and probably the pronounciating of Browzar will be the same as browser. But what’s so special about Browzar? Well, a few things:

  • it’s tiny (264KB)
  • it leaves no evidence of browsing
  • it tracks no cookies
  • it saves no temporary files
  • You don’t need to install anything

And that’s about it. It’s very simple to use, you have you’re usuals address bar, a few browsing buttons like next, back and home. You can print the current page with the printer button and ofcourse you can stop a page from loading by pressing the stop button or reload the page by pushing the reload button. In addition to that there is a search field next to the address field to save you the trouble of first browsing to a searchengine page.
There are no configuration options available whatsoever, so you can just start it and use it without going through tons of dialog windows before it works. And despite it’s simplicity there is a help menu present. The options in the help menu will make the browser navigate to the Browzar website to the corresponding page you requested.
Thanks to it’s very small size it loads extremely fast and because there are hardly any options integrated, the process of loading stuff on a page is also very fast.
The fact that you don’t need to install it is particularly usefull if you want to use it on other pc’s than your own. Like at school they only have Internet Explorer, so I can use Browzar at school which I can store on my mobile harddrive or USB stick. Simply put the Browzar executable on it and it works. It has only 1 file, so you can’t forget any files it might need to work except for the executable.
And the last good thing about Browzar is that it automatically blocks all popups. Which can be disabled from the menu.

Browzar is available in 2 different styles; black:

And silver:

As you can see in the last screenshot, Browzar is available for more than just Windows. It is also available for Linux and Mac OS X.

My conclusion is that I really like Browzar and because of it’s limited featureset it can be well used to avoid several annoying things that are implemented on various sites, beit clean (read: legal) or dirty (read: illegal) sites.

As far as I’m concerned there is only one minor drawback attached to Browzar and that is the lack of a favorites feature. But such a feature would require Browzar to save something to a file, which is doesn’t do with anything, so that would compromise one of it’s most treasured features: the privacy. If you really want to have all your favorites with you, you could write a little HTML page which you open with browzar which contains links to all your favorite websites. Problem solved 😛

Thanks Frank!

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16 August 2006

Going to Pukkelpop

Filed under: Events, Non game, Other — zhooibaal @ 16:42000000

Today around 19:00h I will leave for Hasselt, Belgium to visit the pop festival that will always keep beating the Lowlands festival (hehe, screw Lowlands >=D).

There I will see various bands including:

  • Morningwood
  • Fear Factory
  • Ministry
  • Daft Punk
  • Turbo Negro
  • Mastodon

And some others as well.

Meeeow b*tches!

..End of line.

01 August 2006

External prevails when internal fails

Filed under: My stuff, PC — zhooibaal @ 22:56000000

Since the past few weeks I’ve been having some trouble with the PCI IDE controller which was installed in SlashDev (SlashDev page updated) and eventually it failed due to some minor overheating. You should know that the temperatures outside have been varying between 32 and 36 degrees Celsius during the past week and my room is in the attic, so my room had about full-sun-access for as long as the day lasted resulting in pretty extreme high temperatures inside. The result of that is naturally that my computer wasn’t able to get rid of it’s heat anymore which made the temperature at the inside of the case rise up to around 60 degrees Celsius and then when I started copying from both harddisks that are connected to the integrated IDE controller to both of the harddisks that were connected to the PCI IDE controller it couldn’t take it anymore resulting in an IDE controller failure.

I turned off my computer to give it a little chance to cool down and booted it again a few hours later to analyse the damage that was done. No damage to the harddisks themselves apparently, but the PCI IDE controller had become pretty unstable and thus it had become useless.

So then I decided I was going to remove 2 harddisks from my pc and use them as external drives and today I could pick up the USB harddisk enclosures required to do this. At first I wanted to get network attached harddisk enclosures, but I couldn’t find any for a reasonable price. They were either way too expensive or they weren’t what I was looking for at all, like a Dynalink NAS solution for 4 IDE or SATA harddisk drives; that would be just a very little bit of overkill in this case.

Anyway, the units I got are both from the brand Conceptronic and I got the Grab ‘n Go Hard Disk.
I think the units look very nice and their colours fit in really well with my PC case and my primary screen. But the looks aren’t the most important ofcourse. The performance, that’s what it’s all about and that is where I am very satisfied too. It even seems that the transferspeeds are better than before, but I can’t be completely sure there yet as I haven’t yet measured it. There are no fans installed in the units, so there is no additional noise beside the harddisk rattling itself.
The only weird thing is that the adaptors are pretty noisy. They both make somekind of buzzing noise. None of my other adaptors make such noises at all and believe me, I have a lot of adaptors. But if that is the worst I am very pleased with this product.

And last but not least, a few images, the first is one of the enclures witout it’s foot, the second one is the same enclosure standing on it’s foot, the third one it both of the enclosures while operating and the fourth one is basicly the same as the third one, but then without using the flash on my camera.
External hdd without it's footExternal hdd on it's footExternal hdd activeExternal hdd active (no flash)

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16 June 2006

It’s been long…

Filed under: Movies, Other, PC games — zhooibaal @ 16:54000000

Yes, it’s been long, it’s been long since my last post, I know, it’s bad, but I have been pretty busy. Anyway, I’m no longer very busy, so I have time to blog again. As the people who actually read this blog will probably know that I’m not really a daily blogger and I can tell you that that won’t change, but I’ll try blog at least a bit more than I’ve been doing over the past few weeks.

Anyway, there is some news:

  • Exams are over
  • New DVD’s purchased
  • New game expansion purchased

Exams are over

The heading says it all, it’s done, it’s finished, no more pressure. All I have to do now is wait for the results. Well, not entirely, one little assignment has to be turned in by wednesday, but that’s just a little one anyway, nothing to worry about.
Not everything went exactly according to plan during the exams… The first assignment was relatively easy and they gave us about 4 weeks to complete that one. The second one was nearly impossible to complete as it covered material that was completely outside of our education. It covered something that has yet to come in my next study. We finished CCNA (Cisco Certified Networking Associate) and a small part of the assignment covered a small piece of material from CCNP (Cisco Certified Networking Profesional). This wouldn’t have been much of a problem if that was mentioned before we actually had to do the assignment so that we could prepare for it by looking up the stuff we would need for it, but no, the teacher thought we would know it anyway… Stupid little bugger.
Anyway, they decided to be bit softer on that part, or on the whole, I don’t know, so there is nothing to worry about there either.
But the last assignment was a disaster… We got 2 days for that one while it was significantly more work than the first one to completely. Most of the people worked on it untill midnight or even longer while they had allready worked on it all day. So the teacher decided to move 1 part to next week and that is the part that has to be turned in due wednesday. Overall the assignment isn’t that hard, it was just too much to do on such short notice.

Anyway, I don’t expect to have failed on any of the 4 exams, so I’ll be receiving my certificate soon. June 28 to be exact, but don’t congratulate me yet, I can’t be too sure yet as I haven’t got any insight on the results yet.

New DVD’s

Als je begrijpt wat ik bedoel
Ahhhh… The good old days… I have found one of my all time favourite movies on DVD. It’s a cartoon movie called “Als je begrijpt wat ik bedoel”. As you will probably notice by reading the title is that this isn’t an English or American movie, it’s a Dutch one and a damn good one too.
It’s all about a bear called Olivier B. Bommel who lives in a large mansion and one day he finds a strange glowing egg in his garden. This egg turns out to be a zwelbast egg. A zwelbast is a small dragon and is generally very sweet, but when it becomes frustrated, angry or simply doesn’t get it’s way it’ll swell up to become a huge dragon with a bad temper which will destroy about everything it touches.
Zwelgje

Besides that one I bought CG movie DVDs which don’t really need an introduction, they’re both awsome:

  1. Ice Age (gotta love the Scrat, 2 disc special edition)
  2. Finding Nemo (like any Disney movie, this one is f*cking great, 2 disc collectors edition)

Ice AgeFinding Nemo
I also got the DVD of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Allthough not as good as Tim Burton’s the Nightmare before Christmas, this is a movie I can watch over and over again without getting bored of it. Beautifull songs in a great atmospheric animated movie with the typical Tim Burton style and feel to it.
Corpse Bride
And last, but most certainly not least, I bought 2 special steelcase edition 2 disc DVDs:

  1. Frank Miller’s Sin City
  2. George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead

Sin City and Land of the Dead
To everyone who doesn’t know Sin City; go sit in a corner and be ashamed of yourselves! You don’t need to like this movie, but you must have seen it or at least know it. This is one hell of a masterpiece. Awsome camerawork, great cast, great acting and an exceptional story loaded with violence, crime, corruption and revenge. The visual style of this movie makes it to be the only real comic to movie translation ever made. The rest, think Spiderman and X-Men, are merely adaptations where Sin City really catches the visual style of the comics (or should I say graphic novels?) where the others can’t even come close to that. I’m not saying that movies like Spiderman and X-Men are bad, on the contrary, I love them, they’re just quite out of Sin City’s league…
As for Land of the Dead… That one was just an instant zombie classic. Directed by no one less than George A. Romero himself (Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead), this movie, unlike many other zombie movies, really adds something to the genre. It actually introduces a new kind of zombie: the thinking zombie. Well, it doesn’t really think, but it has the ability to learn things through conditioning. It learns things by accidentaly activating objects. It learns that a gun can destroy stuff by accidentaly pulling the trigger.
Overall, a great movie if you like zombieflicks.

As you can see, enough for me to watch and keep me busy for a while.

New game expansion

DoWWA
Finally I got the chance to order Warhammer 40000: Dawn Of War: Winter Assault (DoW:WA, what a title…). Which is the first expansion pack for (duh!) Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War (DoW). For the ones that don’t know DoW, it’s a realtime strategy game which is based on the Warhammer 40000 franchise by Games Workshop. In this game you will play as a space marine chapter called the Bloodravens. Your mission is to drive the Orcs off the planet Tartarus in order to restore the piece and order, but on your way you will have to face 2 other foes as well; the forces of chaos (space marines that have fallen to the temptation of the chaos gods) and the Eldar (an alien race). The singleplayer campaign isn’t really impressive, but fun to play through for once, but the multiplayer makes up for that by a thousand times. Spectacular action, great graphics, good controls and simple plain fun.
Now the expansion, it’s actually more of the same. No graphical improvements or changes to the interface or something like that. They did alter the balance between the races a little though. The Eldar were simply overpowered in the original, but this has been corrected in the expansion and they also added a completely new race; the Imperial Guard. Like the space marines, the imperial guard are humans and they serve the same leader. But they are generally weaker on foot and rely more on their armored vehicles than on their infantry like the space marines do. This means that the imperial guard requires a completely different strategy and playstyle as you can’t just pop out all the infantry you can and rush them into the field. Well, you can, but they will get slaughtered in no time.
It also features 2 new singleplayer campaigns, but I haven’t played either of those yet, so I won’t say anything about them (yet).

That’s it for now… Good evening.

…End of line.

Ps.: I also went to the Rock am Ring festival in Germany and took 147 pictures there, but I won’t be showing those pictures here… I think I’ll make a seperate minisite for that one 😛

20 May 2006

Dual screens

Filed under: My stuff, PC, PC games — zhooibaal @ 13:03000000

Yesterday my boss had been very nice to me; he gave me a 19″ iiyama Vision Master 1451. It may not be the newest of the new or the best of the best, but it is actually quite a nice screen and above all, it’s big. So I installed it as the secondary screen for SlashDev. My buddy Atariboy blogged about his triple screens over at his old blog a while ago and there I found a link to Ultramon.

Ultramon is a very nice little app that lets you control a lot more about your multiscreen setup than standard Windows does; you can stretch out the taskbar for instance and then the taskbar for each screen only displays the tasks that actually run on that screen. Or you can choose different wallpapers for each screen or stretch one wallpaper out over both screens. This app actually makes dual screens a lot more workable and it even makes the benefits of dual screens to be even stronger than they allready were.
Dual screens 1Dual screens 2Dual screens 3
Oh yeah, I got that screen for free, that’s actually the best part of it!

Besides that I decided to venture into the computer shopping world to get myself a new mouse and while I was shopping anyway, I decided that I could also replace my old headphones which had been put back together using sticky tape and a few days ago it fell apart beyond repairability.
So, the mouse, well, it’s a Logitech MX400 to replace my old MX500. You might think that that doesn’t sound very logical, but the MX500 is already 4 years old and due to heavy use it’s showing it’s age by hanging buttons and sometimes faulty response, it’s still good enough for my old Pentium 3 comp (stoomketel) though.
The MX400 is unlike the MX500 a lasermouse. It features 2000dpi accuracy which means that it’s very sensitive and pretty much equal to the Logitech G5 which costs about twice as much, but is a bit bigger and has more buttons. The shape of the G5 is the same as the shape of myold MX500 to be exact. The MX400 is slightly smaller and the only thing it lacks are the buttons I don’t use anyway.
MX400 1MX400 2

And last but not least, I got myself a new pair of headphones. Just like my previous headphones, this one is also from Philips. The Sennheisers they had sounded slightly better, but this one just sits better on my head and I still think that that is also very important. It costed only €35,00 and for that price I have nothing to complain about.
It is a Philips SBC HP830. There is no need to adjust it’s size as it adjusts itself whenever you put it on and it retracts when you take it off. The overall sound is very good and I can keep on this one for hours without it irritating me and you can barely hear it from outside due to it’s closed acoustic system which also prevents any outside noises to get inside.
It also has a 3 meter long detachable curled cable. The fact that it’s curled comes in pretty handy considering I sit only about half a meter from my pc and the curling keeps it quite a bit shorter but enables it to stretch out pretty far.
Philips SBC HP830

And before I forget to mention it, I also picked up Warhammer 40000: Firewarrior (which doesn’t seem to have a mobygames entry) for €15,00. I’ll make a seperate blog entry for that one whenever I got to actually playing it.

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