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Archive for August, 2005

foobar2000 0.9 Beta 7

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The latest foobar 0.9 Beta (Beta 7) is now available. Download here.

Changelog:
-Various bug fixes, fixed AAC streaming, faster tagging of multi-chapter files

As you’re probably aware, foobar2000 is my current media player of choice & if you’re looking for something which offers a *lot* of functionality you should check it out. As per usual, any suggestions for the current foobar2000 guide? Let me know. I’ll be updating for the release version 0.9.

On a related note; I’ve (finally) finished a Winamp guide I’d been working on. The content is similarly themed to the foobar2000 guide, i.e. relevent core options along with Input (MAD, Shibatch mpg123) & Output (DirectSound/DirectSound SSRC, ASIO, waveOut, Kernel Streaming) plug-ins covered in detail (Maximize playback quality). Post suggestions here for what you’d like added (Favorite DSPs, etc.). Edit – Figures they’d post Winamp 5.1 after I finish, luckily there’s no real changes bar a logo update.

Written by Julio Franco

August 31st, 2005 at 9:46 am

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Hurricane Katrina

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My heart goes out to the families and friends of Hurricane Katrina victims. As you probably already know, the hurricane has ravaged several states along the Gulf Coast. Obvious sources of updated news would be CNN, Fox News and Yahoo. Click here and here to read links posted on TechSpot about the hurricane. Click here to be taken to a thread that I have made in the TechSpot forums.

I guess I will now take a few minutes to speak about something that isn’t so depressing. I am going to be a volunteer race marshal for the Barclays Global Investors Grand Prix (San Francisco Grand Prix) professional cycling race. I think it should be an exciting race, especially because there will be quite a few amazing racers taking part in the race. (Go Levi Leipheimer!!!)

Written by Julio Franco

August 30th, 2005 at 9:55 pm

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Kind of busy…

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What have I been doing lately? I just started my last semester (hopefully) at my local community college, and have also been playing with plenty of computer junk. I recently beat Fable: The Lost Chapters and also am currently messing around with the Logitech G5 mouse. You can expect to read my thoughts on F: TLC and the G5 soon enough. ;)

I Just came home from a 30-mile bike ride and 5K run. I guess I should jump in the shower and then get to lounging around the house. :)

Written by Julio Franco

August 27th, 2005 at 5:23 pm

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Search for WiFi Hotspots from TS

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We have partnered with The HotSpot Haven to bring you a new service. You no longer have to leave TS to search for nearby WiFi Hotspots, you can find a search box on the right sidebar in most TS pages, or access the full engine from our top menu under “TS Extra”.

Written by Julio Franco

August 21st, 2005 at 4:13 pm

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I need some more sites to browse!

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I was wondering what other sites you guys sometimes visit? I usually browse about a dozen different forums everyday.

Some of the other tech sites that I visit:

[H]ardOCP
TechIMO
Anandtech
GameSpot

Other non-tech sites:

Cycling News
Cycling Forums
Electronic Frontier Foundation
ESPN

What are some of your favorite sites? Please keep the sites G-rated, I don’t want to see any posts edited! ;)

Written by Julio Franco

August 20th, 2005 at 7:47 pm

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Where are the gameplay advances?

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Am I the only one who’s becoming increasingly disillusioned with games, or am I just playing the wrong games? Graphics have shown consistent improvements. Physics use has been improving too. Audio has seen variable improvements. Interactivity with game world? Hmmm. In Duke Nukem 3D I could shatter windows & blow up objects, at least the ones that I’m intended to be able to – everything else might be decaled to indicate being hit. Fast forward several years, in Doom 3 I can shatter windows & blow up objects that I’m allowed to – everything else is decaled to indicate being hit. Hmmm, does that strike anyone as odd? Almost a decade of technology improvements yet interaction with the game world is still the same? Half-Life 2, perhaps the pinnacle of physics & game interaction (Or so the reviews all indicate); lift/throw/drop objects, buoyancy – Deus Ex had these same features several years ago!
We’ve still only partial interactivity – most of the Half-Life 2 game world (for example) is locked out – you’re in a ruined city at 1 point, a ruined city with only 1 way to navigate it. Similar story with the mini-driving games; you’re stuck in a narrow channel – you get to ride a dune buggy -great ! But on a road blocked on 1 side by a sheer rockface, while on the other side a drop into the ocean & immediate death. Or what about a hoverboat – fantastic! But in a series of channels whose sides you can’t get over. There is no “world” in games like this; it’s just a series of somewhat wider & longer corridors with no ceiling.
More to come.

Written by Julio Franco

August 20th, 2005 at 5:10 am

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Latest Deer Park nightly / Auto updates

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Noticed over on The Burning Edge that the latest Deer Park (Next Firefox) nightly build appears to have fixed the remaining regression bugs, not to mention the dozens of other bug/security/other fixes which have been included over the past few weeks. I’ve been using these nightlies myself for a good while without any major issues & as I may have mentioned before; the new Firefox will enable several features by default which we’ve covered in our Firefox Guide, e.g. Fast Back/Forward cache & error pages have been updated (As opposed to the standard error prompt).
One of (If not, the) final major feature that remains to be thoroughly tested is the improved Auto-Updater. Fancy testing it for Trunk builds?.
For Thunderbird fans be sure to check The Rumbling Edge.

Written by Julio Franco

August 20th, 2005 at 4:40 am

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Just another entry about gaming junk…

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I figured I would use this entry and briefly speak about the different mouse pads that are out on the market for gamers. I promise that my next blog entry will not be technology or computer-related. I am sure that some of you are wondering if gaming mouse pads are worth purchasing. It certainly is fair to wonder whether or not spending up to $50 on a mouse pad is a good investment. Let me explain what I think about mouse pads.

The first thing is that a gaming mouse pad does make a difference. I will admit that casual gamers shouldn’t buy a gaming mouse pad, especially because it won’t make that big of a difference. After you decide that you want to purchase a gaming pad, you have to decide what type of pad you want to buy. You have the option of cloth, metal, plastic, etc. Each have pros and cons, and each cost a different amount. The best cloth pad that I have encountered is the Steel QcK+ from Steelpad. It is cheap, durable and a pretty good overall gaming surface. The best plastic pad that I have used is the RatpadzGS (designed by [H]ardOCP’s Kyle Bennett). It took me over a year of constant use before I began wearing the pad down. It also worked with every mouse that I tested it with. The best metal pad that I have used is the Banshee Pad. The problem with this pad is that you are going to have to shell out a few dollars for it.

If you guys have any questions about the different mouse pads (I have used quite a few of them), just respond to this blog, e-mail or private message me.

Again, this has been enough rambling by me!

Cheers from Mikael. 8.17.05

Written by Julio Franco

August 17th, 2005 at 11:59 pm

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Any gamers out there?

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I decided that the TS weblog didn’t get enough use, so I figured that I should change that! I wanted to spend this time and write about some technology-related crap.

How many of you are gamers (I would imagine that just a few of you are). I just wanted to mention that I am really looking forward to the new products from both Logitech and Razer. I made a thread in the TechSpot forums about some of my initial thoughts. What do I think about the new products from both companies? I guess you will just have to patiently wait for us to write a review on all of these snazzy products!

Another thing that many people really wonder is if the expensive gaming accessories really are worth it. I can honestly tell you that they make a difference in gameplay. The new products that will be coming out in the next year or so will be pricey, and I won’t try to deny that. I urge you guys to think about whether or not you really want to spend the extra money on a new keyboard or mouse. Many stores (Circuit City, Fry’s, CompUSA) now have gaming products setup so you can tinker with them before you buy them. It is probably a good idea to go and check out the design and feel of each of the products for yourself.

Enough rambling for one night! Cheers!

Written by Julio Franco

August 15th, 2005 at 11:54 pm

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Winning Eleven 9, almost here

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Konami Japan released last week the latest installment of its Winning Eleven series (Pro Evolution Soccer in Europe). Unfortunately the preliminary release makes it only to Japan, with Europe and the Americas having to wait a bit longer. As far as I can tell from information from around the net, the game is expected to be released for the PC, PS2 and Xbox, additionally a PSP version is planned for September release.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about then you haven’t met yet the best soccer sim ever made, and why not, one of the best sports game series as well. BTW, here are some gameplay videos for your enjoyment.

Written by Julio Franco

August 9th, 2005 at 5:58 am

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