Netscape Navigator (1994 – 2008)

Unless there’s a miracle, its appears that AOL has taken the decision to cease development of Netscape Navigator. Its a sad day in history indeed, as the Netscape browser family was arguably instrumental in popularizing the commercial internet as we know it, by making it readily accessible to the masses. Netscape would ironically become a victim of its won success later on, falling from grace spectacularly, only to be reborn from ashes as Firefox in an epic tale of the browser wars.

For those of you who doesn’t know, the history of Netscape Navigator and the browser versions.

Firefox 2

An iPod Application you can’t Live Without

A lot has been written about iTunes replacements that lets you manage your iPod without being a slave to Apple. Good examples can be found here, here and here. While all the applications add value by supporting a multitude of features, it can be a bit confusing checking each application out for its strength and weaknesses. Worst of all, some of the applications don’t seem to have support for the latest iPods and can do more harm than good. Fortunately, there is ONE application, that can be truly hailed as a complete and total replacement for iTunes+QuickTime combo. Its comes with the unusual name of Floola.

Floola is an all in all solution that let’s you manage and sync your iPod with no hassle. It includes support for playlists, album artwork, lyrics and loads of other handy features, like playing songs directly from your iPod when its charging. Its so cool that it actually includes built in support for converting videos to your iPod (for the geeks out there, using FFMpeg), so you won’t need a separate video converter application*

Best of all, it runs under Windows, Mac and Linux and comes as a stand alone binary, which means you can carry Floola along with your iPod. Now that’s cool 😉 Enjoy!

*If you still insist for a separate video converter application, Videora looks like a good free iPod video conversion application under Windows.

Buying Your First DSLR? Here’s a Simple Checklist (work in progress)

Recently I bought a Nikon D40, after researching for what it now seems forever! I believe that I won’t be the only one, who spent countless hours looking at the specs, reading posts in DPReview, reading even more posts, getting confused by the flame wars, abandoning the research and then finally on a fateful day, a year after wanting to buy a Fuji F30*, ended up buying a full fledged DSLR. Yes, I still sometimes contemplate on “what if I bought the Pentax K100D?” and don’t even get me started on not waiting for the D40x… Ohh well!

The one thing I totally missed out when I bought the D40 was that buying a DSLR isn’t as simple as buying a compact, it requires you to do homework beyond just the quality of image, usability and price (the never ending trade-off). There’s also the additional equipment and kit that you’ll need to purchase, it just doesn’t end with you buying the camera and the lens. So, here’s a list of what I think is additional must buy, if you are on your way to pick up your shiney new DSLR.

  1. A good and fast memory card: That would be the first thing on any serious DSLR user’s checklist. Its always tempting to use the memory card that might come with the DSLR deal, which will always almost be gauranteed to be a run off the mill card or pickup one that’s cheap. However, what you don’t want is a card that might easily break down, loosing you your precious moments because you couldn’t be bothered to spend $15 more!Why am I insisting on a fast memory card? Well from first hand experience and experiences of other people, a fast memory card is essential if you are taking picture in busrt mode. The camera buffer for burst shots can quickly fill up and if you have a slow card, writing the buffer to the card will be obviously delayed and you end up missing that one shot that you so desparately wanted!How do you know its a good card? Well as a rule of thumb, the card will usually have a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer and a read/write speed of at least 15 Mb/second.
  2. A good carrying bag/pack: No, your back pack will not do (I bet I’m going to create some controversy with this!). I did the same and now I’ve got dust on my sensor. Not to mention that, a DSLR needs extra support and cushioning. And in the future, who knows, you might just decide to pick up another lens and you’ll need carrying space for it too! Now a day, there’s a lot of choice when it comes to camera bags, from trendy Crumplers (I have my eyes on the Pretty Boy M) to tried and tested brands like Lowepro and Tamrac.
  3. A Blower: Dust is a major issue with any DSLR. Heaps have been written on how to avoid dust and clean your DSLR sensor. However, there’s one common agreement, using a good blower to blow out dust from the sensor seems to be the first step for getting rid of those pesky dust particles. The first step in a dust free sensor begins with buying a DSLR with no dust on the sensor in the first place!

It Keeps on Getting Better!

Apple has just announced some last moment news that can only be classified as a shocker. The iPhone will now apparently come to the market with an enhanced battery life of 8 hours, as opposed to the January news announcement of only 5 hours. This is very interesting considering its better than contenders like the Nokia N95, which sports talk time of only 4 hours. Apart from talk time, as you may have already guessed, the enhanced battery life jazzes up all other aspects of phone operation too, including standby and audio playback time.The full press release can be found here.

Update (2007/06/28)

As the world eagerly anticipates the debut of the iPhone, just one day prior to the release, Apple has posted a whole bunch of (obviously) extremely favorable reviews of the iPhone right on their start page.

Safari on Windows: Let the Browser Wars Begin (Again…)

Apple has just released the public beta of Safari 3 and to everyone’s surprise, there’s a version available for Windows too! The safari beta page is interesting because Apple has all sorts of speed benchmark results glorifying the Safari advantage over IE and FireFox (even Opera wasn’t spared…). I still haven’t personally tested the beta, since I’m stuck with my work laptop running the dinosaur also known as Windows 2000, however, initial public opinion seems to backup the Apple speed claims. However, there’s been some concerns also, suggesting that Safari is a total RAM hog. However, since its still in beta, I’d like to wait and see if the situation improves. Continue reading

Thundercats Feature Length CGI Movie Coming Soon?

For those of us growing up in the 80’s, few will dispute that the Thundercats was a hallmark 80’s cultural landmark. I can still remember the times I missed out on afternoon play because of Thundercats. According to this new report, Warner Brothers have already began work on the script for what will eventually become a full blown animated CGI movie. IMDB seems to have already set up an entry for the feature length movie here with an anticipated release in 2010!

Thundercats, Ho!

The Nokia S60 Address Book, Time for a Change?

Recently, Tommi Vikamo of Nokia posted a blog entry, asking for opinion on how to make the address book application on Nokia S60 based phones better. As usual, there was no shortage of feedback, on a wide variety of usability issues and improvement suggestions. Tommi has done a good job of collecting the feedback and has come up with the top ten suggestions, which you can read about here. In the time I’ve been using a S60 based device, the E61, which is just over a month, I’ve also come across a couple of usability issue that I think is worth highlighting.

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Free VOIP/Instanat Messaging Clients for the Nokia E61

I’ve had the Nokia E61, the so called BlackBerry killer for a month or so. The combination of a stable platform (S60/Symbian OS) and excellent connectivity options, makes the E61 a killer business device indeed. No wonder that the phone has managed to attract a large number of users in a short period of time. Recently, one one of my colleague at work asked whether there was any free Msn Messenger client for the phone available. This basically sent me on a hunt for free VOIP/IM solutions available on the E61.

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