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Dashboard KickStart

DashboardStarterMainIcon.png Dashboard KickStart is definitely a worthwhile freeware application for MacOSX that I strongly urge to place in your inventory of utilities. If you have ever noticed that when you boot up MacOSX, the Dashboard takes a while to set up. If anything, this is most annoying and not very well thought out. No problem.
Dashboard Kickstart basically launches the Dashboard when the dock runs. So, when you’re going to use it, it’s already up. Pretty neato.

Weatherdock

weatherdock.png Weatherdock is a freeware application for MacOSX that shows you not only the weather in a usual application form, but also in your dock. This makes things very easily accessible without having to open applications or go to your Dashboard.
And if you’re a real weather junkie… you could place it on your desktop on top of your applications, hidden away, or even in your status bar so you can be on top of the weather at any crazy time.. so you know what the weather is like!
Lifehacker < Alwintroost

Reset your Microsoft Office 2003 Serial

Sometimes as a system administrator, you’ll find that some of your employees have loaded pirated copies of whatever on your corporate system. Needless to say, a few complete reinstalls later, you get mighty tired of going through the entire installation process. Especially with things such as Microsoft Office 2003.
Nice thing here? IntelliAdmin has a way to reset those IDs.
Delete ProductID and DigitalID in the registry under:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Registration\{90110407-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9}
If you launch any Office Product after doing this, it’ll prompt you for a new serial.
Note that this is a registry change, so if you don’t feel comfortable with it, backup, backup, backup.

iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes Apple iTunes Apple iTunes

Tesseract – an OCR engine

Tesseract is a very interesting open source project. It’s not only one of the few open source engines for OCR (optical character recognition), the algorithms it uses are by far more accurate than most typical commercial products. Linux Journal has a howto on configuring, installing and running this command line engine.
Obviously the higher the dpi the scan, the better the quality of read. Even so, this open source engine seems to do great against ocrad, and can definitely compete with the best of them. International characters seem to be out, and there’s some definite learning curve if you’re not a command line whiz, but hey…. that’s what learning is all about eh?

Movie Review: Disturbia

Rented Disturbia (Widescreen Edition) [affiliate] from my fave rental service. And I have to say, that for a PG-13 thriller, this was one of the best movies by far in a long time. Starring Shia LeBeouf (you know… that dorky looking kid from Transformers).
Kale (LeBouf) is basically placed under house arrest after punching his Spanish teacher in the eye for talking trash about his father after his father dies in a tragic car accident. During this time, his friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) and new neighbor Ashley (Sarah Roemer) begin to start checking out a suspicious neighbor. This neighbor, Robert Turner (David Morse) is suspected by the trio to be the same killer from Texas that has the same MO. While many of the conclusions seemed far-fetched, they also had some sense to it.
What’s interesting about this movie is two things. One was that the teenagers really acted like teenagers with the angsty approach to life, while they believe that all their parents frustration is aimed at them, and making stupid decisions. Many a time, I was like, “… no no… don’t do that…”, and then I realized they were teenagers during a crisis. Adults don’t even think well in those situations, so what makes them any better? Thus, very good scripts and great acting to pull that off. The other is David Morse’s performance. For a guy that’s done a lot of action and thrillers, he definitely pulled off the creepy factor in this one. What’s even more interesting is that in this movie, he doesn’t have as many lines. It’s all about the moods that are set with him… well, just looking creepy.
Gives me the shivers to think there are people out there that can just be creepy looking. Ick. In any case, Disturbia is definitely worth picking up if you’re looking for a nice movie to sit down and get agitated at teenagers and creeped out by weird neighbors.

Abyss Web Server

abyss.png Buddy Lestat, recommended Abyss Web Server and who am I to judge his sanity? Actually, in all seriousness, Abyss Web Server is pretty sweet looking since it looks like a polished version of what Xitami had back in the late 90s.
You can download the Personal Edition for free which is multiplatform based (linux, macosx, Windows, freebsd), and the only things different between this and the pro version are some rules for bandwidth throttling and the ability to create virtual hosts (which the personal edition does not allow) and the usual technical support feature. The footprint is fairly small, with 1M for space and 4M for RAM constraints but it has the support for PHP, native ASP, ruby on Rails, and all sorts of fun stuff that you see in the more flushed out web server daemons.
Definitely worth taking a look if you need something that’s easy to manage and admin in a nice GUI format. Because these days, who doesn’t like to point and click?

Homebrew team releases PSP unbricker

pandora1.jpg The Noobz team has done it again, this time releasing an unbricker for all PSP systems (to their knowledge). It does do some funky stuff with your battery so make sure you use a spare since you won’t be able to use it again. The nice thing about this is that you could have a chance of resurrecting that brick of a PSP back from the dead.
So if you haven’t already, go get yourself a copy of Pandora’s Battery, and see if you can’t bring some of your lonely PSP’s brothers back from the grave. As always with homebrew, read the instructions very carefully. They’re not to be trifled with. Not that you could possibly screw a brick up anymore than it already is.
Oh, and in case there’s any concern over whole actually gains credit for it, Noobz has also published a list of the respective C+D names with the more publicly known names of the homebrew developers. It’s interesting to note that you can see some names that are fairly familiar in the homebrew world and very established. Should be interesting to see what Sony does to get around this, or if it’s even possible to do so seeing that this battery/memory stick combination seems to be pretty bulletproof for installing the 1.50 firmware.
Via PSPFanboy

nginx

nginx.gif nginx (pronounced engine x) is a http server and mail proxy server that is open sourced and extremely scalable. It’s used on many Russian sites, but one of the major success has been Fastmail.fm. nginx is written in such a way where it doesn’t use the usual one connection, one process method as most linux type server daemons run. Instead, it uses a polling feature, that allows the overhead to be extremely low. Thus, you’re able to maximize many more connections without having to use many resources (10,000 inactive HTTP keep-alive connections take about 2.5M memory).
So if you’re looking for a highly scalable web server or mail proxy server, nginx could be your key to decreasing your load and increasing your performance.

Cheap? Or just practical?

Interesting point that differs between Asian and American (what Chinese call American, but actually refers to Anglo-Saxon) culture. When you buy something, most of the time you do not talk about price. Americans don’t that is. They believe that if you got a good deal on something, and you talk about how much of a great deal it is, then you come off as being “cheap” or what not.
Yet this is not so with Asians. What’s interesting is that the opposite effect comes to mind. Asians believe that a good bargain for whatever the item of choice is at the time, is something that everyone should know and share. Have a nice designer outfit? Hey, I got it at Nordstrom Rack for like half the original price! Sounds cheesy? I don’t think so.
Here’s the thing. It’s all about being practical. Most of the immigrant families came here with next to nothing and only an education. Buying anything required lots of thought. You couldn’t just splurge and go buy something because you had a bad day. There were bills to pay, mouths to feed, and having cable television was the last thing on anyone’s mind. So that same practical shopping sense has moved forward in about twenty years.
Might be better off, but those immigrants have now instilled the same bargain hunting genes in the first generations of Asian Americans. Cheap? I don’t think so. We’re just practical.