Friday, April 30, 2010
The 30-day free trial versions of all Adobe CS5 applications are now available for download on adobe.com. These are fully functional so you can test-drive every single feature that’s available in the retail version of the software.
You can either download your favorite CS5 program individually, or if you want everything in one go, just download the complete Creative Suite 5 Master Collection that includes the trial of every single Adobe software (except Acrobat 9).
Before you hit the download button, here's a warning – the downloads are pretty bulky. For instance, the Windows version of Photoshop CS5 trial is about 1 GB in size while the trial of CS5 Master Collection is about 4.5 GB.
If you are on a slow connection, you can even order a trial DVD of the software – it costs around £13 and they don't ship it to all countries. Later, if you decide to buy the software, you can enter your serial number and convert the same trial software into a full version without having to reinstall anything.
Direct links to the Master Collection: Part 1, Part 2
Direct links to the Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended: Part 1, Part 2
Don't forget about the free video tutorials @ Adobe TV
Monday, April 26, 2010
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City has been out for almost two weeks now and I've been playing it recently to catch up on GTA goodness. Episodes from Liberty City comes with two episodes; "The Lost and Damned" and "The Ballad of Gay Tony" which was made exclusively for the XBOX 360 back in late October 2009. So yeah the XBOX folks have had their fun and it's now the PC and the PS3 folks turn.
I've only just finished the "Lost and Damned" episode which was rather short really but still fun. According to Grand Theft Wiki, it has 22 missions with a few random character missions + other bits in total. I guess if you're a seasoned GTA player, you'll get through these missions pretty quickly.
One thing that had occurred while I was playing the "Collector's Item" mission was that the PS3 froze on me just as you exit the Libertonian. After performing a couple of force restarts and replaying that same mission (about 5 times) I gave up. Later I found a fix for the problem. Some have said that it is caused by the PSN sign-in and suggested that you log out and try again. I did and that didn't work for me.
What eventually worked was that just before you exit the Libertonian, call up the Lost Boys (either Clay or Terry) and request for backup. Shoot the exit door so it swings open to the other side to give you enough gap to tackle the others waiting outside. After a while you should be able to exit the building without freezing and continue on with the game mission.
I'm now playing the "Ballad of Gay Tony" and though there are some slight differences, for example after finishing each mission, you get a small summary of tasks you've completed for that mission. That is ok but can be abit annoying.
Anyway is it worth the £24.73 as what I paid for through Amazon? I don't think so. I think you're better off with the original Grand Theft Auto IV which is selling for about £12.99 now through Amazon which give had a lot more to offer than the spin-off episodes.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Just saw this this morning over @ Engadget about having the Android OS on the iPhone. I was skeptical at first watching the video I was amazed that this was done. Obviously you need a Jailbroken iPhone to do this because you need to install a loader to dual boot the iPhone. Below is a long video illustrating Android on the iPhone.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
What is MyCityDeal and how does it work? Well first of all the deals are UK based so you'll have to be here to use them and everyday you get a different deal. Each day they'll feature something cool at an unbeatable price. Whether it's 90% discount on famous coffee brands, half price drinks in a swanky bar, 2 for 1 at an exclusive restaurant, or discounted treatments at a heavenly health spa - MyCityDeal caters for every taste.
Here's how it works:
1) Reserve your deal by clicking the "buy now" button and entering your credit card details.
2) Once the required number of people have signed up to the daily offer, the deal is on - so invite your friends!
3) If the required number of people signs up then the deal is closed! Only at that point will we charge your credit card for the deal. Once the payment is completed you will receive the voucher by e-mail or by post within 14 working days.
4) If not enough people sign up, the deal is cancelled and you will not be charged a penny.
Anyway if you're interested head over to MyCityDeal to see what deals are available to you today.
Over the last few weeks there has been a string of natural disasters occurring all over the world. There were several major earthquakes in the northwest island of Sumatra in Indonesia, coast of Chile, Qinghai in China, and I think they are all related to the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano. The planet’s crust must be shifting all over which may have caused the volcano that had laid dormant for over 200 years to erupt.
The eruption caused major air travel disruptions and cancellations all over Europe because when volcanic ashes get into the engines, the particles turn into molten glass which causes engines to fail. Obviously it is not safe to fly at all. In the last few days, BA had conducted their own tests by flying planes through the volcanic ash cloud and from their findings was that it meets their safety guidelines. On the very next days you hear news that NATO had some of their F-16s flying through the volcanic ash cloud and their fighters were damaged. Their official statement was that their F-16 fighters suffered engine damage after flying through the volcanic ash cloud.
So who do you trust? I know that the major airlines are suffering from the massive air travel ban with losses into the millions and the Met Office must have had major pressures from all angles to reopen the airspace. Well after 6 days, it is confirmed that the UK airspace is now open and flights are being resumed back to normal.
Now I don’t have any major holidays planned where I need to fly but for a peace of mind I would rather not fly for the moment until I know that it is absolutely safe to.
Also a note for people with chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma, emphysema or bronchitis, that the volcanic ash can be harmful to them and been advised to wear masks and stay indoors if volcanic ash starts to settle. World Health Organisation (WHO).
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
If you haven't heard of this by now you will soon get the whole gist of it. Yesterday, during my usual morning readings, Gizmodo had announced that they had the next-gen iPhone, the 4G on hand and were posting an exclusive review the best they could. How did they get the next-gen iPhone?
Well the story goes something like this... Someone (who works for Apple) went to a bar to have a few drinks. I guess that after a few drinks and most likely in a very pissed state, they accidentally left the phone behind by mistake. Now a fellow kool-aid drinker noticed this and so picked up the phone to return to the rightful owner not knowing that it's actually the iPhone 4G that he had picked up.
After several attempts were made to Apple to return the phone and with no avail, somehow the phone landed in Gizmodo's lap and thus the review was given. If you want to check out more details on the actual review, head over to Gizmodo for the full low-down.
Personal note: From the images and videos shown over at Gizmodo, the next iPhone certainly looks pretty sweet and I can't wait for release day.
• Front-facing video chat camera
• Improved regular back-camera (the lens is quite noticeably larger than the iPhone 3GS)
• Camera flash
• Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM (like the iPad)
• Improved display. It's unclear if it's the 960x460 display thrown around before--it certainly looks like it, with the "Connect to iTunes" screen displaying much higher resolution than on a 3GS.
• What looks to be a secondary mic for noise cancellation, at the top, next to the headphone jack
• Split buttons for volume
• Power, mute, and volume buttons are all metallic
• The back is entirely flat, made of either glass (more likely) or shiny plastic in order for the cell signal to poke through. Tapping on the back makes a more hollow and higher pitched sound compared to tapping on the glass on the front/screen, but that could just be the orientation of components inside making for a different sound
• An aluminum border going completely around the outside
• Slightly smaller screen than the 3GS (but seemingly higher resolution)
• Everything is more squared off
• 3 grams heavier
• 16% Larger battery
• Internals components are shrunken, miniaturized and reduced to make room for the larger battery
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I'm guessing that everyone out there with the iTunes application is having sync problems since the 9.1 upgrade right? Well I was one that was affected and for a week or so my iPhone's personal details wasn't being sync with iTunes every time you start it up. Everytime you start up the iTunes application you get an error saying "iTunes was unable to load provider data from Sync Services. Reconnect or try again later".
In the Windows System32 folder there is a file called SQLite3.dll and there are a few ways of solving the issue. You can either rename it which is what I’ve done or move that file out of the folder. Once you have done either, just restart your iTunes application and it should be working fully now.
I have found another solution whereby you rename another file called libxml2.dll but I couldn’t find that. Anyway this worked for me so it’s up to you if you want to try the fix.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Amsterdam. What can I say about it? It is the capital and largest city of The Netherlands. It is famous for its canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House, its red-light district, and cannabis, which is legally sold in many of its coffee shops.
Cannabis alone might be enough of an incentive for some to visit Amsterdam but as stated Amsterdam has much more to offer in culture and arts than cannabis alone. This is my second trip to Amsterdam. The first time was when I was touring Western Europe with a tour group and this time round is to travel with my significant other.
Now one of the things you're meant to do in Amsterdam is to take one of the canal cruises along its famous canals such as the Grachtengordel (Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht). But due to weather reasons we decided to opt out of that. Blasphemy you say. Oh well, we walked most of our journeys so what we didn't see via a boat we would have seen while walking around the city anyway and we went just after Christmas.
The first we did was to walk around the areas of where we were staying just to get bearings of where everything is. We ended up walking around to Nieuwmarkt, then along the red light district and then the town centre itself. There is a great Indonesian café located near the Nieuwmarkt called Toko Joyce and so we decided to have lunch there. After that we decided to check out the main sights of Amsterdam.
During our stay in Amsterdam, the main sights that we had checked out in chronological order was the flower market located on the Singel canal, the Rembrandt statue located at Rembrandt Square, the National Monument, the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Heineken Brewery for the Heineken Experience, and canals after canals.
The Rijksmuseum was very cool because its exhibition called The Masterpieces shows the most famous pieces of Dutch art from the 17th century, usually called the Golden Age of the Netherlands. Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals reflect in their work different aspects of Dutch national character.
The Van Gogh Museum itself was another awe inspiring museum to check out because this modern museum houses some 200 paintings and 550 sketches showing Van Gogh in all his moods. This biggest in the world collection, combined with hundreds of letters by Van Gogh, and selected works by his friends and contemporaries, form the core of the museum's collection. Now if that doesn't do it for you well then back to the cafés you go then. :P
Apart from that because of the weather decided to cut down the number of other sights to check out. During our stay, it was pouring down half the time so we only checked out the most famous sights. We didn't check out Anne Frank House because partly we didn't want to join the long queue as I forgot to purchase advance tickets online and then it was freezing cold. Lame excuse but there you have it.
All in all it was a decent trip. Only had one bad experience and that was when we were checking into Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam, the staff there was adamant that he couldn't find our reservation. We only stood there arguing for almost 10 minutes before another front desk staff approached us and guess what, they found the reservation straight away in their system. Obviously we kicked up a big fuss and so I did one thing that was sure to get some attention and that was to send a customer comment through the main hotel's website. Sure enough when we were checking out, the hotel manager wanted to know my experience staying at the hotel and was very apologetic. Serve them right for treating their customers this way.
Don't let people treat you like sub class people! For more pictures you can follow the Amsterdam link in the snapshots area on the right.
Please don't mind me... I'm just catching up in my reviews for cities visited in the last 6 or so months. First were Dublin and now its Dubrovnik. Now for those who don't know where Dubrovnik is, it is an old city situated in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea coast. Dubrovnik was not part of my must see places as I haven't heard much of it so I did abit of research before arriving there. What I didn't know what that the city of Dubrovnik is actually part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites
. That excited me because one of my main criteria's for places to visit is that it a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place that is of special cultural or physical significance. With that ticked I was looking forward to checking out Dubrovnik.
According to Wikipedia, the city of Dubrovnik has always been prosperous in the maritime trade and once you get there, you know that they are not far from it. The old city itself that is surrounded by the city wall and the clear blue ocean is absolutely amazing. I would definitely recommend you to climb the city wall to check out the amazing view. The waters itself is surprisingly clear able you to see all of its living creatures roaming in it. With amazingly fresh seafood and oysters that sold me on Dubrovnik.
Now within the walls itself, there are few sights to check out. Stradun is the main walkway in the Old Town, which is ~300 meters long, stretching from the Pile to Ploèe gate that is paved with marble. Another is if you do climb the city wall, you will enjoy the view of the orange rooftops in the Old Town and an amazing views of the Adriatic Sea, Fort Lovrijenac and Lokrum Island. There is a small fee for the entrance to the walls which was 50 Croation Kuna at that time, which works out to be about £6 per adult. To walk the entire outer wall takes about 2+ hours including stoppage to admire the blue ocean views and its surroundings.
There are quite a few other sites to check out such as the Onofrio Fountain, Rector's Palace, clock tower, and also the Cathedral of Dubrovnik. There are other sights outside the outer wall of the Old Town such as the Dubrovnik bridge of Franjo Tuđman and the Port of Gruž and a more modern city but if you're there for a weekend then the Old Town would be enough to see.
If you want to try Dubrovnik's fresh seafood and oysters, you can check out a local café called Kamenice located within the Old Town. It is a very small place with only 3-4 tables inside and a few more on the outside but recommend you to go early as when you hit their lunch time, there is a long queue for it. I mean it has been regarded as the local's favourite so yeah worthwhile to try out. Quite affordable for the freshest seafood and oysters where you can order a platter of raw oysters for around £8. Now that is bargain in itself. Oh Kamenice is Croatian for oysters.
Another one to check out is Proto which is also located within the Old Town. According to Google, they were established in 1886 and are the best fish restaurant in Dubrovnik with famous patrons including Edward VIII, King of England and Mrs. Simpson. What I ordered there was the lobster spaghetti and that was beautifully cooked and was delicious!
All in all visiting Dubrovnik was a good choice and if you go there during the months of Summer, you sure won't be disappointed with your trip. For pictures taken in Dubrovnik, follow the Dubrovnik link in the snapshots area.
Not too long ago... back in late August 2009... I had visited Dublin over a long weekend. Dublin being the largest city and capital of Ireland; and of course where the Guinness brewery is, it sure wasn't hard to pick as a must see weekend destination. Actually upon arriving in Dublin, for a capital, it is actually pretty small in comparison to all other major cities that I've visited before. In comparison, if you've been to Melbourne, Australia or Wellington, New Zealand then yeah it's probably around the same size. Everything is relatively reachable within walking distances and if you have a car then it would be easier to get to the outer sights. There are loads of public transports in almost every corner that can take you anywhere within the city limits anyway.
The same goes for the number of pubs/bars around Dublin which is also in almost every corner of the city, which is just absolutely fantastic! You will never feel too parched because there is always a pint of Guinness where ever you are! LOL! And I have to say the Guinness there are so much nicer than anywhere I've tasted it from. Though I have to say that I was a little bit gutted when of all the pubs that I went to, not a single one made the famous shamrock impression on the pints of Guinness that was ordered. I mean it's something that you've come to expect from every pint of Guinness ordered and this was in Ireland as well. It didn't really matter as the Guinness there was definitely the nicest tasted.
At the Guinness Storehouse where they brew the famous porter, one of the activities there is that they teach you how to pour your own pint of Guinness, which was awesome in itself. For me anyway... Though disappointingly, they didn't teach you how to make the famous shamrock impression. Anyhow, a little piece of history lesson... Did you know that the original master Arthur Guinness singed the original lease to the land where the brewery is at the moment for 9000 years for £100 back in the days? He must have been laughing all the way when it was signed.
Anyway apart from visiting the Guinness Storehouse and drinking pints and pints of Guinness, for me Dublin itself offered less of sights to check out. I mean there were quite a few other sights to check out but it didn't WOW me if you know what I mean...
For a list of other sights I had checked out you can see here in Google Maps and of course pictures are available to view here or select Dublin from the snapshots section on the right.
Unfortunately here is one bad thing that I had to say about Dublin... Well not specifically Dublin but while I was there, the only time I had used my credit card was at the Guinness Storehouse and that was to make a purchase of a few Guinness affiliated items. A few weeks after returning from Dublin while I was checking my CC statements I had noticed that my credit card details was used in Ireland not only for when I was at the Guinness Storehouse but also for a purchase of a £2000+ bicycle. I'm just completely surprised that my credit card details was used to make a fraudulent purchase. Now I am not putting any particular blame on anyone but it is quite sad that for an institution such as Guinness, just when you least expect it, someone steals your credit card information right in front of you. I managed to recover the funds but still...
All in all a mixed experience for Dublin. I would definitely go back to visit Ireland as I feel there are much more to see in the rural and coastal areas. You just have to be careful of your personal details. It's not only in Asia that is bad.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
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