Cool Utilities: ClockX and Hamachi

ClockX

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Its a normal clock Utility that I have been using for the past 4 months. Its really useful and easily configurable. It has at least 50 different skins that can be applied to the clock. The features which I find fantastic is the alarm. You can setup as many alarms as you like as well what the alarm does. It can play an mp3, execute a program. And different variations of when this alarm can go off. I have set 4 different alarms to go off daily from 6:30am until 7:15am because sometimes its hard as hell to get out of bed and having a good song or two playing in the background isnt too bad. The one thing it cant do is play from a list of mp3s randomly, so the same a alarm time but different songs everytime. That would be cool. And you can pretty much execute an program you, and it can shutdown your computer at a certain time if you want. Also the clock icon can be clearly seen, and you can place it anywhere. I placed it on the top right of my screen. I usually look at it from far or close, and it can be resized to any size you want. And if your surfing and you want to click a link thats under it, you can set it so that it goes transparent once the mouse goes over it. Which I find to be an amazing feature! This utility looks like it came from an apple because it looks so good, and clean!

Link: ClockX

Rating:r4.52.bmp

Hamachi

I know a lot of people who want to access information on their home desktops and work, or when your traveling. There are a lot of solutions out their. From paid solutions such as GoToMyPC or VNC which requires some technical saavy. I have tried a lot of things and I have been successful with VNC, but I always have to spend a while checking the firewall settings on the work server, or my incoming ports at my home computer to make sure everything is working properly or trying to figure out where the problem is.

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I have always been on the look for software solutions which are simple to use and implement. And Hamachi is the perfect solution. Ofcourse you will be experiencing a certain degree of lag, but it is the easiest software to setup and use. And they offer a lot of help through their forum to configure different firewalls if you have any problems. I tried it from my work computer to access the information on my desktop at home and it worked perfectly. All I had to do was configure accesss through ZoneAlarm on my desktop. This is an amazing piece of software, because its like logging on to a chat where you see all your friends, but in this case you are seeing all your computers so you may access anything that you have shared on them. And only a person on your network can access that information since you have to have the password to access that person’s network of computers. Its really secure information and I really like how polished the look is. And the best part is that its free.

Link: Hamachi

Rating:r4.01.bmp

Review: Naruto

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Plot Summary:
Naruto closely follows the life of a boy who is feared and detested by the villagers of the hidden leaf village of Konoha. The distrust of the boy has little to do with the boy himself, but it’s what’s inside him that causes anxiety. Long before Naruto came to be, a Kyuubi (demon fox) with great fury and power waged war taking many lives. The battle ensued for a long time until a man known as the Fourth Hokage, Yondaime, the strongest ninja in Konoha, fiercely fought the Kyuubi. The fight was soon won by Yondaime as he sealed the evil demon in a human body. Thus the boy, Naruto, was born. As Naruto grows he decides to become the strongest ninja in Konoha in an effort to show everyone that he is not as they perceive him to be, but is a human being worthy of love and admiration. But the road to becoming Hokage, the title for the strongest ninja in Konoha, is a long and arduous one. It is a path filled with betrayal, pain, and loss; but with hard work, Naruto may achieve Hokage.

Naruto Uzumake is a boy, who has contained the kyuubi demon since he was a baby, now he has grown up, despised for whats inside of him, Naruto trys his hardest to become reconized and hopefully fullfill his dream of becoming Hokage, the leader of his village Konoha.
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I have been watching this anime for over two years now and going. It has aired on Cartoon Network Adult Swim the past couple of months dubbed over. I prefer the original japanese with the subtitles, because the dubbed over episodes dont sound right, and I am far ahead with the series then the one being aired on Cartoon Network.
This is an immenesly successful anime, with a fantastic story line and endless array of characters. The story of course surrounds Naruto, but you get to know all the other characters which make it even more interesting. Once you start watching this series you get caught up more and more, because there are a lot of good story lines with a few fillers. They have also made a Naruto Movie.

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The main story line is the one that draws you in, and I find Naruto to be an amazing character and there is so much to him. Also you can see the development of the other characters through the story lines. Each one of the developing new Ninja techniques to use in the field. Sometimes there are filler episodes inbetween major storylines or just to give some space and thats what kills, because you want to know whats happening next. This show airs every wednesday in Japan, and so we get the subtitled torrents by thursday or friday at the latest thanks to Dattebayo. And this show is at season 8 and still going strong.

A good source to keep up with Naruto is Narutofan they always have updated information about the anime and the manga, and they have many things explained in their library of information.

Rating : r4.0.bmp

Review: Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room

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I just saw this movie at the Apollo cinema in London. I had a few expectations but I came out feeling different then what I expected. I knew some facts about Enron but not close to the amount of facts that I know now. This is a documentary type movie, and gives you a glimpse of the corporate giant once called Enron.

I had personal feelings attached to this because I lived during those times in California. And I lived with the ridiculous electrical expenses and rolling black outs in Northern-California. To know the truth I felt enraged but I was happy about knowing the truth. I wish I could do something but I can’t, but at least I know. And knowing is half the battle!

I can’t recommend this movie enough to people. This is really worth watching and seeing what corporate giants get away with in the financial world which is worse then robbing any bank or even Fort Knox for that matter. Many people’s lives have been ruined, and it caused one of the large accounting giants to go down with it. There is a lot attached to it, and recently a judgment was reached for some of the executives of Enron, but still it isn’t enough.

Link: IMDB
Link: EnronMovie

Rating: r4.5.bmp

Review: Confetti

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It’s a good movie for those who have been in weddings will love this movie. It has its funny moments and sometimes it’s annoying! Outrageous English people going crazy cramming three weddings into one venue and seeing the whole competition is pretty funny. And it has a ridiculous amount of nudity, it was very funny! Girls will enjoy this movie more then guys.

Link: Confetti Magazine

Link: IMDB

Rating: r2.0.bmp

Review: Freakonomics

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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Author: Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This is an interesting book to say the least! Im not a finance or economics major. Im an engineer, and the book has information which is easily understandable. This guy really looks at things from outside the box. This book connects real life occurences with substational statistics and information. Its a real easy read and its broken up into different categories per chapter, but sometimes the information overlaps. I finished it in a couple of days, but some people could finish it in a couple of hours if they wanted.

You get to see real reasons for events that have happened. And it makes you think about how things are proceeding in the world and in different countries. How certain things work. And this book also has a lot of comments on parenting. It was pretty entertaining for me since Im not a parent, but he takes facts about what does and doesnt affect in parenting decisions. And the information that is printed can be taken any way you want, because some people were up in arms because of the statements made in this book. But this economic genius was only stating what he saw from the numbers and facts! I think its a good read if you want to tickle your brain.

Link: Amazon.com

Rating: r3.5.bmp

Review: Skype & IPEVO

I’ve looked around for VoIP type service. First thing I looked at was Vonage, but they required a lot of details that I didnt feel like providing. And i had to pay a monthly service charge. So there was a lot things I had to do to get the Vonage service which I didnt want to do.

The first alternative I found that suited my requirements is Skype.

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Skype:

– A fixed number in the US.

– No yearly required fee except for phone number if required. (Which I got)
– I could use it on any computer.

I went with Skype because of the features it had, but like Mark I didnt like using headphones and a microphone so I went with Mark’s review from using the IPEVO. So I got the IPEVO and its a cool looking phone! Well designed and easy to use.

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IPEVO:

+ Its easy to access your contact list from Skype

+ Programmable buttons through the IPEVO software

+ Very clear

+ Feels like a phone

– This part is the only bad point i think the IPEVO has. I dont know how it works with the mac, but on the PC when you connect the IPEVO it takes over all the audio components of the PC. So if you want to listen to music you have to listen through the IPEVO phone, which isnt meant for music. And even if you disconnect the USB connection from the PC it doesnt revert back to the PC Sound Card, so you have to restart the PC to listen to music or watch tv through the speakers.
Other then that its a very good service and a very good phone.

Review: A Year In The Merde

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For the first time in 17 years I went to France this past summer. I went with family since I wouldnt really volutarily go to France. For one main reason. The French are so damn arrogant and full of themselves. And I wish I read this book before going to Paris, because I read it right after and some of the information could have helped me in many situations! hehe

Its a story of an English men moving to Paris for work, and dealing with all the little systems they have to get things done. Also he describes many situations in which I felt I was in. It is a really good book about how person feels when they first move to an unknown place, and how people act differently then the way you are used to. And after spending sometime in Paris he didnt realize that he was changing as well. Stephen Clarke did a very good job of jotting down his accounts, and making you feel you know the character, because I could relate to the guy! Its a good book and an easy read. I would recommend to anyone who wants a light entertaining read.

Rating:  r4.0.bmp