Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PSA: Protect Yourself!

Last week I had this problem with spyware on my laptop. Even with my excessively cautious internet surfing habits I still get infected. Thankfully, there's free, legit stuff you can find on net that will make being online a lot safer.

My PC at home has no such problems with spyware and that is because I have an excellent free spyware scanning utility at home.

I use the excellent PC Tools Spyware Doctor, courtesy of GooglePack. It's legit and totally free if you get it from Google. Unlike some other anti spyware tools, this one includes the all important real time protection that will intercept known malware as it tries to attack your PC. I installed it on the laptop and now the spyware infection is gone.

So do yourself a favour and download GooglePack today. Not only does GooglePack allow you to have a good, free antispyware suite, it also provides other cool stuff such as StarOffice, Skype and Picasa. Always free and always legit. Get it now!

Another bit of free software related good news concerns AVG. AVG8.0 Free is now available. It's been updated from version 7.5 (which I use and highly recommend) and now includes antispyware and linkscanner components. I'm testing it now on the laptop and it looks ok. I'm not sure how good the antispyware part of it is though and I must say that I prefer the interface from 7.5. But that's probably because I'm not used to the new look yet.

Having an antivirus is absolutely required these days and you won't go wrong with AVG Free. Again, it's free and legit and gets updated everyday.

For those people who want other alternatives for their PC protection needs, I know of some other free stuff as well.

For antispyware, there is Spyblaster. It's free and it works quite well, according to what I've read. For antivirus software, Avast! is also quite good. I have that one installed in my dad's PC. Also free and legit and also has antispyware and antirootkit built in.

While I'm at it I might as well plug other freeware that I use.

Like Irfanview. It's an image viewer and has some simple but highly useful editing functions. Very small download and very light on resources. Highly recommended.

For video/audio playback, make sure you get yourself the KLite Codec pack. Having this installed in your PC will ensure that you will be able to watch and listen to almost every video and sound file. Also comes with Media Player Classic.

And finally Flashget. The best download manager I've ever used. Very, very good. And free. Perfect for the serial downloader. Works with Rapidshare and Megaupload premium accounts.

In other news, my 250Gb Maxtor hard disk is definitely getting full. I suppose I could just housekeep my PC and burn stuff on DVDs. Unfortunately, even after that there won't be much free space still due to all the games and apps I like to keep installed.

I'm waiting for some money available (which is soon actually) so that I can get me a 320Gb or 500Gb hard disk. We'll see how that works out.

I'm also still deciding whether to clone my old hard disk over or do a fresh Windows XP installation.

I'm off tomorrow and looking forward to watching Ironman over the weekend.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Damn Good Movie

I've had no mood to blog recently. Don't really know why, there's nothing wrong. I just didn't feel like it. I have a bunch of photos in my phone that I could blog about but somehow the muse wasn't there.

Anyway, last night I watched 30 Days of Night. How good is this movie? One horror movie website called it "one of the most insanely violent, scary and suspenseful horror films in years". I agree with much enthusiasm.

The movie is set in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost town in the US where the sun don't shine for 30 days during the depths of winter. During one such winter, vampires decide to cut the town off from civilisation and proceed to feed on it.

Rallied by the town sheriff, a few survivors of the initial vampire attack attempt to hide and wait out the winter darkness. What follows is a gut wrenching game of hide and seek as the vampires try to find and lure them out. Real edge of the seat stuff. The pacing was just right without any draggy bits. Plenty of tension and it never lets up until the last minute.

The vampires are visceral, almost animal like, merciless, extremely violent and sadistically evil with absolutely none of the mysterious sexual charm you might find in other movie vampires. They may look human but they are clearly not. I think this is what makes them all the more terrifying.

This is what constitutes most of this movie's brownie points in my opinion.

This movie is damn good, the best vampire movie I've watched in years and years. It's right up there with From Dusk Till Dawn. Extremely highly recommended for horror fans who will love the ball busting, no bullshit nature of this movie. Trust me, you won't regret it.

A word of warning though. This is not for the squeamish or the weak hearted. There are scenes that will make your stomach churn.

Suddenly, I got this urge to go watch From Dusk Till Dawn again. Anybody got a DVD or VCD I could borrow or copy?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quoted for Truth

This is true you know. There were many reasons why I stopped playing World of Warcraft. This was one of it. Sometimes I feel that many online communities like forums, online games and MMORPGs are very elitist and very, very unfriendly to new comers (or n00bs as they are called).

There was an article on Kotaku discussing the potential financial impact of newbies quiting online gaming due to mistreatment by more experienced gamers. The impact can be quite serious. I can't find the article at the moment but it's on there somewhere.

Usually people are behave well enough in real life. I sometimes think that being online brings out the worst in people. Sometimes I think that this actually reflects what people really are if it weren't for social norms that govern behaviour.

Anonymity does that. Anonymity protects people from the consequences of their actions and if people can get away with whatever it is that they are doing or saying, they will.

Such is human nature.

Anyway, I wasn't really planning on writing about this just now actually. It's one of those days when I feel like posting.

I'm still in recovery mode from last week's flu attack. When I'm recovering from illness I often get nostalgic.

I believe that our memories of past experiences impact our present experiences in a really big way. Like right now in my case. I may not enjoy getting ill but recovery from illness always brings a surge of memories and emotions I haven't felt in a long time.

Those memories are good. When I was a kid and through my time in secondary school, a lot of good stuff happened during recovery from illnesses. I'm not sure if I'm just imagining the whole thing or if it's a case of messed up hormones or sheer mad coincidences but I remember a lot of happy times coinciding with being sick.

Me remembering happy times. Now that is rare. Suddenly I wish I could go through those times again. Good times they were. Only I would do a few things differently. Maybe then I would be left with a little more than just fleeting memories...

Anyway, I hadn't really planned on writing about this either. It's one of those days.

What I was planning to write about was me contemplating buying a new and bigger hard disk. My current 250Gb hard disk is getting full.

500Gb. Should I?

Saturday, April 19, 2008


At Colours right now. The place isn't bad at all. I remembered last time some of my friends didn't really like it here.

So far so good. Free wi-fi, nice ambience, the menu is ok too.

Feeling much better now. On Thursday I took some flu medication at work. The pills caused drowsiness, making for a rather... "challenging" day at work. At least it worked as advertised.

I was at Zack's house last night to reconfigure his wifi router. Ended up staying until 2 in the morning. There was vodka. And general merrymaking and jokes galore. And many notebooks waiting for the wifi be set up.

Tomorrow I have another computer related errand at the church.

Yep, these days aren't as dull as some other days.

Playing C&C3: Kane's Wrath at the moment. A lot harder than the original C&C3...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Under The Weather

... is what I'm feeling at the moment. Having a bit of a sore throat at the moment. Fortunately, I went to deal with it before it flared up into a full blown flu/fever like it normally does. It's a good thing I'll be taking a day off this week.

Hopefully today will pass by quickly and quietly.

I got C&C 3: Kane's Wrath. I like it. I particularly like the Global Conquest game mode. It's like a C&C game of Risk where you have you bases around the world and build armies and move them around the map to fight the other factions. After setting up the game this mode was the first thing I tried.

The expansion also features many new units which are very cool, like walkers and attack helicopters. There's a lot of other stuff too. I like the new stuff. Unfortunately, the computer likes all the new stuff too. Last night I was playing a battle in Global Conquest and I got creamed by a new Nod faction with all their new toys... That's the other thing, did I suddenly suck more at single player or did the AI get upgraded?

Still, should be a very entertaining diversion while I try to recover from my under-the-weatherness.

There isn't much else going on at the moment apart from this. Oh yes, Dell is finally releasing an affordable 13.3 inch notebook in May, the Dell Vostro 1310. Should be very cool to see.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Must Blog!

It's been 5 days since my last blog post. A very long time with no new post. I must blog about something.

It's 4 in the morning and now is one of those times I wish this notebook had a back lit keyboard. Rather tricky to be hunting for keys in the dark.

I've been very busy the last few days. Fortunately I've been working day shifts so I'm feeling quite good actually. As busy as it is during the day, I must say I'd rather be busy than be bored. Working at night is very boring and not good for the spirit. At least my spirit anyway. Another colleague prefers to work at night...

On Monday, I went to set up a wifi network and to activate Streamyx at St. Paul's church in Siol Kandis. It was good fun. I enjoyed it, from looking for and buying the stuff to teaching new users
how to use and control the wifi network. How many churches in Kuching have wifi? I should drive around town, park near a church, use my wifi catcher and make a list.

I would have been happy enough to charge for parts only and not charge for labour as some kind of community service but my dad insisted that I charge for service as well so I made a tidy sum from it. It was a good day and I feel pretty good about helping the church. Now if only I could get off my lazy ass on Sundays and actually attend a service every now and then.

Talking about making some money, I've sold my Playstation 2 to a friend of mine. I really didn't want to but the thing was sitting out in the open collecting dust. I thought I better pass it on before the thing spoils due to neglect. I do kinda miss it but I didn't really play it as much as I thought I would. I still miss Gran Turismo 4 though... It's still the best racing sim I've ever played. Too bad it's not available for PC.

I'm also contemplating getting a Playstation 3 in the future, as crazy expensive and heavy as it is. There are two very, very good reasons for it.

First, Gran Turismo 5. Have you seen the screenshots for this beast of a racing game? Mindblowing. Also, 900 cars. Including Ferraris...

Second, Grand Theft Auto IV. It's the closest thing you can get to starring in your own interactive movie.

I'm sure that there will be many very, very good game for PS3 coming out. Things like God of War 3...

Finally before I go back to bed to get some extra sleep, here are some links I discovered recently.

Overheard in Athens, proof that some college students... don't really belong there. Hilarious... Streaming reality TV clips. Very interesting. Good for boring nights at work.

Like I said in an earlier post, I'll be going for a bit of a holiday trip in November. Very cheap. You can plan your very own cheap holiday package at AirAsia GoHoliday.

That's it for today. I have to go to work in a few hours and I'm going back to bed.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Pink Your 'Putor..??

Hey, check this out...

There's an entire range of this stuff!

Here's the keyboard to go with your Hello Kitty mouse.

There was also a bunch of Hell Kitty speakers last week . No pics because... there are sold out (!).
Now all we need is a pink Hello Kitty LCD monitor and a pink Hello Kitty casing.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Live Free or Die Hard

Better than the last one. I enjoyed that one too but this one edges it just a little bit.

Meanwhile, am at work and kinda busy. Nothing important to talk about this week.

There's stuff to do next week. Need to set up wireless network for someone so I'll be out getting quotes for the necessary equipment. This is a good thing. Extra money will be helpful.

I'm playing Tiberium Wars again. In full detail this time. Looks gorgeous with graphics settings set to max and anti aliasing on. My investment in a new graphics card in December is really paying off big time!

I also discovered that my Inspiron 1420 can also play some games I thought it wouldn't be able to handle. Like Tiberium Wars, although I need to dial down the graphics settings a bit. Still nice enough to play though so that's fine. I didn't buy the notebook for gaming anyway...

The Pikom PC fair is this week. Unfortunately, I can't go because of work.. No big deal I guess, I have enough computer stuff at the moment and I honestly don't know what else to buy.

In conclusion, life is still like that. I'm just going through routine stuff at the moment.

To be honest, I actually felt like writing one of my highly entertaining (or is that highly exasperating?) introspective posts about myself but for the life of me...

... I couldn't think of anything.

Very sorry folks, Riding the Mellow is rather dull these days with its complete lack of drama.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Not much to talk about except I just found out that I might be very busy with work again...

Not much cause for enthusiasm there. The whole story is a bit longer than that but I don't really want to get into that now.

I just hope the extra money will be worth all the extra work.

It better be. I need to save up for a little trip in November...