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You Look Like I Need a Drink

**Not Quite Web 2.0**

qliner Hotkeys...BAM!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hotkeys are a must for those lazy bastards who claim to be more 'efficient' but really just want a nifty way of opening up an application that takes 1 click of the mouse (or keyboard) instead 2 or 3. Up until now, I have not installed third party software for hotkeys but when qliner hotkeys came up, I just had to give it a try. qliner claims that after installation, you merely have to hold down the Windows logo key on your keyboard for 5 seconds and then drag and drop applications onto your keyboard. Then when you want to open up an application, instead of digging through mounds of folders, you simply hold down the Windows key and the assigned key and BAM!, your selected application is open. Sounds pretty easy right? I decided to see if it was really that simple.

After installation, I began to find random applications on my desktop and dragged and dropped them to selected keys. It all went easy enough but I did notice that the drag and drop keyboard on the monitor was not adjustable or moveable which meant that if the virtual keyboard were covering a application shortcut, then I would have to move it out of the way first in order to find it after to place on hotkeys. Other than that, setup was a snap. I don't have too many applications on my desktop so I have a screenshot of some of the boring apps (the good ones are on my dead laptop) on my desktop. Also, I had the brilliant idea of combining hotkeys with NetJaxer so I could have hotkeys for the multitude of websites I visit but that was a no go. It will require some work so I am looking into that. All in all, qliner hotkeys gets a recommended from me.


posted by aL, 9:50 PM | link | 0 comments |


Sunday, February 26, 2006

A few days ago, I read an interesting aricle at Lifehacker on writing batch files for web to desktop icons. This sounded quite intriguing so I was just starting to roll up my sleeves and see what I would choose as icons for sites on my quicklaunch or desktop, when I came across NetJaxer. Then I decided to be lazy and save batch file programming for a rainy day. This screenshot above is the result of 5 minutes of work with NetJaxer. Before I get any further, for those not quite sure what NetJaxer is, let me give you a quick walkthrough.

After firing up the small application, we are given options to select favorite and often visited websites. Simply enter in the correct website an title and then you can choose an icon. If your site has a custom icon in the address bar (right before http://) you can use NetJaxer's little 'download site icon' and it will pull up the favicon as your designated icon. Then simply choose if you want it on your Start menu, quicklaunch, desktop or even to run at startup.

After fiddling around with Netjaxer for a few minutes, I was quite annoyed that I overlooked the option to choose my system set browser (Firefox) and initially chose the default NetJaxer browser. So I went back and changed the options to open my icons to the selected websites in Firefox.

So far, NetJaxer has been running like a champ, allowing me to open my browser up to the desired site with one click AND saved me from batch file programming. Sound like an informercial? Hey, it's also free.


posted by aL, 8:37 PM | link | 1 comments |

CrackSearcher (again)

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your actions when using or downloading CrackSearcher. With that out of the way, my brother called me the other day asking for an application for his iPod. As it turns out, I had to put CrackSearcher up, and as people are still directed here to find the old info on where to find it, I thought I would do a quick update.


posted by aL, 8:03 PM | link | 7 comments |

Threads for Geeks, Artists and Internet Junkies

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Courtesy of my buddy Nell (whom I was going to insert a goofy picture here but decided that the ramifications exceeded the amount of actual fun)-well now I have just killed the first sentence. Let me try again.
I have been on the hunt for cool, somewhat inexpensive T-Shirts on the net. The usual sites to visit were Jinx, Thinkgeek and a for punk bands, Interpunk. Quite randomly, my friend Nell sent me a link for shirts at Threadless and I was simply awestruck at the bizarre, simply designed but highly imaginative shirts in their catalog. Unfortunately, all of the shirts I wanted were already out of stock. Luckily, Nell had also sent another link to another shirt site iheartguts. I took a gander at the shirts at iheartguts and found them colorful, somewhat cutesy and fun but decided that if I were to purchase a shirt, I would probably never wear it in public.
So like a one eyed crack addict looking to get high again, I stumbled (metaphorically, and over the net to the West Coast) to pester my friend again about other sites where I could find more neat shirts. Probably annoyed as all hell, I was finally sent this link for Cool Hunting. Cool Hunting is a blog on net t-shirt sites worth checking and now I am satiated. Now where can I find cool socks?


posted by aL, 8:38 AM | link | 7 comments |

I Didn't Know Apple Made Kid's Jackets

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Yes, this picture of a kid's jacket with an apple is real (I know because I took the damn picture with my cruddy cell phone). Although not exactly like the old Apple computer logo, it is close enough. I wonder if there is a lawsuit that happened, going on or if Apple is covertly making children's clothes with their logo to engrain young minds to use their hardware?


posted by aL, 10:15 PM | link | 1 comments |

On the Topic of Phones

I'm not big into the IM world as I tend to blather on and on and eventually get nothing done but with Gmail's new integrated chat service, I do have to say that I have been chatting more than usual. But enough about me. For mobile chatters, Agile Mobile has some pretty cool downloads that allow you to bring the world of chatting to your cell phone (it's fun to do while driving). I cannot vouch for their products as I have yet to try them but if anyone has any feedback, that would be great. For regular old computer chatting check out
Trillian, Miranda, Gaim or ICQ.


posted by aL, 10:07 PM | link | 3 comments |

DoS A Cell Phone Easily (script kiddies rejoice)

Monday, February 20, 2006

I don't condone spamming or even email bombs, and anyone stupid enough to get caught using one deserves what is coming. However, I read an article a few months back about DoS'ing (Denial of Service) a cell phone by sending either 900 or 9000 (I don't recall the exact number) text messages to the phone rendering the cell phone inoperable. I got to thinking that there are many free web services that allow anyone on the net to send a text message to a cell phone. Up to now, I have not come across any services that allow you to send more than one text message at a time. This is where textmessage.cc comes in. After typing in the pertinent information and choosing a cell phone provider (be it Verizon, Cingular, Sprint, etc.) We are given the option to send 10, 20, 30, or 40 messages at the same time. Curious but not stupid enough to actually try this, I first recommend you download Torpark to anonymize your IP, or better yet, take a laptop and find an open Access Point, then use Torpark, log into textmessage.cc and then bombard your cubicle dwelling boss's phone rendering it useless. Now I have tried it with one message at a time but simply hitting the 'back' button on your browser allows you to go back to the previously unsent text message and resend it. Do it a few times and suddenly 900 textmessages are sent in just a few minutes. Proof of concept? Well shit, someone step up to bat.


posted by aL, 7:52 PM | link | 6 comments |

Songbird Crashed My Box (the un-review of Songbird)

Songbird crashed my XP box three times all in under 5 minutes so I am unable to do a complete review of this 'newly' released, Firefox based Internet music player. To their credit, the application looks slick, offers a ton of choices on where to go to listen to streaming music, plays formats ranging from MP3, AAC, OGG, FLAC, WMA and more. However, browsing from one site to the next you do feel a somewhat lagging downtime. I am hesitant to give this a try on my linux box, although this application does support non Windows users. Make no mistake, this is a not an iTunes replacement and although I do not use iTunes (due to DRM issues-- wish JHymn still worked!), I still strongly urge you to use iTunes over Songbird at this time. Until the good folks working behind Songbird flatten the bugs, speed up browsing and make the interface smoother, I say wait on this app.


posted by aL, 7:41 PM | link | 0 comments |

Drink of Choice

Sunday, February 19, 2006

It is probably not an accurate poll but it seems like the choice of drink for viewers of Chalkline would be Whiskey. The breakdown for the main drink of choice is Whiskey at 41%, shortly followed by Tequila at 24%. Not too many Gin drinkers at a small 1%. Anyway I should have more updates as soon as my laptop is up and running (again) but tomorrow I will have an update on my views on Songbird, the new Web music player.


posted by aL, 10:28 PM | link | 0 comments |

Enter the World of Geek Tattoos

Thursday, February 16, 2006

First off, I do agree that this is a hideous picture from my cell phone but it is the only picture that I do have of my new tattoo. Liz and I went to get inked on Valentine's Day pretty much spur of the moment so the actual design that I had planned was not on me and will be deferred to a later date. Speaking of Geek Tattoos, I have to say that I have now joined the cult. Word around my work is that it is more or less a kind of geeky. Well maybe my next one will be on my forehead with a message in bold saying 'Death to All Script Kiddies.' Hold on a minute, that is geeky too.


posted by aL, 10:59 PM | link | 0 comments |

the Music Genone Project (Pandora)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Let's play musical association. So you have a bit of time to kill while the boss is on a business trip and you are looking for the something new to listen to so you can 'wow' your musical elitist friends. Or maybe you listen to bad music and want more awful ear bleeding induced crap that passes for music these days. Awhile back, I posted a link called liveplasma that maps out artists according to what other people listen to. The next step would be Pandora. With the actual ability to listen to an artist as opposed to seeing a visual representation, I have to hand it to Pandora for this feature. So let's enter in an artist.

Granted, Gogol Bordello isn't something easily associable with other bands such as Blink 182 but I wanted to see what this web application was capable of. So after entering in the band name I am given a song I can listen to. Then if I want a suggestion for another would-be-similar band, I hit the 'next' (button which is the universal two triangles facing to the right) to cue up the next artist.

Look, new music that I can listen to. Of course this can go on and on which includes your own account in which you can create new stations, add more bands to a playlist and a few other minor options. Pandora limits its playlist by selecting one band at a time for you which seems to be a small drawback but is still good enough where if you want to check out some new music for free, and hear it streaming, it is worth checking out.


posted by aL, 10:22 PM | link | 0 comments |

Rimming and Snowjobs

Monday, February 13, 2006

Here is a non-tech related post today, but shows what trials I had to face for the last 2 days. Hell, this isn't North Dakota, or even Alaska but when the DC area calls for snow, us Washingtonians run like a newly H.I.V infected madman to the nearest grocery store to stock up on goods for our next ice age.


posted by aL, 9:15 PM | link | 0 comments |

Pixelate this, Bitch...(Recolored Demo)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Recolored is what you will need to turn a Black and White photo to color in a few minutes flat. With permission from a friend, I took a B&W photo and downloaded a free copy of recolored and fired up the small app. Yes, this can better be done with Photoshop but not everyone can plunk down the few hundred dollars it costs for this application (or get it free from a P2P site). Well let's jump into this demo on using recolored. Total time for this project was 10 minutes.

Take your black and white photo and import it into recolored.

From here I take a black ink selection and quite messily outline what I want in black, colors I want for skin tone, hair color, eyes and lips. I can either use a drop down selection of 'human skin' to 'Fabric Jeans.' For other colors in-between, I can select a color from the gradient map. The right most icon will 'colorize' your photo. It may take a few tries so if you get the desired color tone the first time, it is wise to save your ongoing project as a .rcl file so you can further edit and if needed, backtrack to where the tone was the way you like it. Okay, this looks about right so let's hit the 'colorize' icon and see what the result is.

Not too freaking bad. The eyes and lips could better be done with Photoshop but this is not a Photoshop demo. Plus, we are working with a 10 minute overhead. Overall, I say Recolored is worth the download. Give it a try and by the way, the picture in the demo is not included in the application.


posted by aL, 9:46 PM | link | 2 comments |

the Moblog Addiction (textamerica)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I got into the moblog kind of late and for a good reason. I had enough on my plate but recently I decided to sign up (free) to textamerica and I have to say that now I will be sleeping even less. Think Flickr, but add the poor megapixel resolution with a second rate camera phone. Sure, we Americans are lagging behind in the mobile phone race compared to Asia but hell, we have to do something about it. I signed up for textamerica a few days ago and I must say that even through the clumsy navigation the site has to offer, it is still quite a fun experience. I initially signed on just to have the storage for my crappy cell phone pictures but now am drawn into the dank underworld of upskirt cam shots, blurry spring break titty shots and the occasional pee captures from late night binge drinking combined with cell phones. OK, maybe not all that but I bet if I were to delve a little deeper, I could find the depravity mankind has to offer with on-the-go poor resolution cameras built into cell phones. Anyhow, if you are up for a gander at what catches my eye, the set of my cell phone pics are at al999.textamerica.com, aptly titled 'Chalkline.'


posted by aL, 11:02 PM | link | 0 comments |

Poor Product Names

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sometimes excess verbiage just kills the joke. Does anyone other than me think that this is an awful name for a product? Really now, the i-mate? At a loss of words.


posted by aL, 7:35 PM | link | 0 comments |

Beautiful and Deadly, But Does She Fly A Kite? (Flyakite 3 Review)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

With much anticipation with the new release of version 3 from Flyakite, I could not wait to get my stiff Chinese fingers around this new transformation pack. Essentially, to turn the boring old WinXP shell to something new, radical, Apple (I swear they did not pay me to write that). I didn't think I was a big fan of aesthetics over functionality but Flyakite version 2 sold me well enough to keep it on my laptop for a solid 6 months. So the screenshot abover is the new 'dock' featured here in v3. Seems to be okay so far. Let's move on. The rollover is smooth. But when we try to change the icons on the dock to another application, we are forced to use the .png file extension which means most windoze users will have to download a separate icon pack. But aside from that, not too bad.

Everything seems intact. Let's take it on a test run on the net with Firefox. I don't know how many of you out there use the gmail notifier but I had just started my browsing experience when an email popped up on the notifier and could not follow through with the subsequent emails causing me to prematurely close the application. So take away another point here.

The new 'system prefences' is pure eyecandy but is really just a souped up version of the control panel. I saw that a new screensaver was on default and wanted my old one of Bender (from Futurama) back but Flyakite v3 jammed and would not allow me to tweak my settings. There goes another point. I unfortunately did not take a look at the CPU usage before and after Flyakite but after 20 minutes of fooling around with my newly replaced shell, I noticed that my applications were much more sluggish. I don't have a state of the art Voodoo PC but my desktop has an ample p4 with over a gig of RAM. Still Flyakite slowed my workpace to that of a parapalegic on downers. Websurfing was the equivalent of using a 28.8K dial up modem (not really that bad but it felt like it). Before new problems arised, I decided that it would be in my best interest to uninstall Flyakite v3. I never did think that I would be so glad to see my old WinXP logos. Yikes, did I just write that?


posted by aL, 10:07 AM | link | 3 comments |

My Laptop Has Taken Up Smoking

Saturday, February 04, 2006

OK, so technically speaking, my brick of a Toshiba laptop which is incidentally the weight of a small baby on my back is not really smoking (the laptop, not the baby) but the power supply or AC adapter is. Can you spot anything wrong with this picture other than careless neglect of cable management? Let's take a closer look.
This morning as I was firing up a Super Nintendo emulator for my kiddo to play Super Mario World, I noticed that my laptop was still running on its battery even though the AC adapter was plugged into the wall. This was roughly the time that an acrid, not somewhat unfamilar burning smell started and I immediately noticed that the cable to my power supply was literally smoking. A nice little message on my laptop popped up saying 'you fuckwad, you messed up my power and now you are on my shitlist.' Well moreso a message saying that my laptop battery was very low and that my laptop was going to shut off. Needless to say, that update I was going to do for this page was put to a smoking (har har) halt. So I will be giving Toshiba a call tomorrow and in the meantime I will check if BestBuy has a replacement which will more than likely cost me an arm and a leg.


posted by aL, 11:21 PM | link | 0 comments |

Back Like (not with) the Herpes

Friday, February 03, 2006

You didn't think I would actually come back did you? But much like that nasty growth that seems to appear on your lower lip every few months, grow full of pus and then prematurely burst when you absent mindedly brush your lower lip with your index finger while thinking, I am once again back from my hiatus. Here is a short list of what has transpired since my last post.

I have...
*consumed copious amounts of alcohol to the point where my body has all but saturated due to the influx of poisons.
*bought a new DVD burner, namely the LG 16X External Super Multi DVD/CD Rewriter (yes, quite a mouthful of words there LG).
*been on a reverse honeymoon. What is that you say? Think honeymoon but trade the sex part with discussion about child custody and visitation rights.
*reviewed and downloaded a number of applications that will be discussed in the very near future.
*had non-biological parents lecture me about the trials and tribulations of life
*not slept much and as a result have been reading books like Kung Fu High School to books by Ernest Hemingway.
*gotten shit face drunk with a bunch of Peruvians playing dice drinking games.
*reassessed my goals and where life is taking me. I have found no visions, bright lights in long hallways, and no religion. In other words, during my time off from chalkline, I have not had an epiphany.

I am however back, and have a number of things to post. Some reviews, some rants, and some applications to try. So sit back and let's get reacquainted. I promise, I won't taint you with any ill-gotten venereal diseases. At least, I will try.


posted by aL, 12:23 AM | link | 3 comments |