New Year Countdown

Just got myself a New Year countdown ready for this evening. You can get one pertinent to your time zone from timeanddate. Happy New Year!

Me TV – Ubuntu 10.04

I decided to swap my old TV tuner for a new one when I had the opportunity a while back, but I had been more than happy with the results and I blogged about it here. There were intermittent demuxing problems and sometimes I had to fiddle with the reception but not very often. I just thought I could do better. The Artec tuner was 2006 and it was time to upgrade. I decided on a Kaiser Baas USB TV stick netbook N1879 and I haven’t looked back. Not a problem. Not a hint of a problem. It has picked up all the digital TV and radio stations and records well. It changes screen size with a right click of the mouse and shows you underneath the picture, in one of the views, what is available. It works beautifully on Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04 but will not work on my Apple Mac. It may be a netbook TV tuner but I run it on my Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop and Dell hybrid desktop. Not a problem. As for the antenna, I just found an old rabbit’s ears antenna in my cupboard and attached the TV tuner to that. I twiddled the ears until I got a good picture on each channel, which took about 5 minutes or less, and have just left the ears as I set them. For 6 months now I have had perfect TV reception on Ubuntu and Windows 7. Love it!

Top Posts

Time to do a quarterly review again! My last top posts are here. So what were they last time?

1. Me TV – Ubuntu 10.04.
2. Twitter Clients for Ubuntu.
3. What Teachers Want.
4. Use iPad as a second screen.
5. EverNote for Everything.

So, onto this quarter.

1. Me TV -Ubuntu 10.04 by a long shot again.
Me-TV served me very well during the Delhi Olympics . I’ll blog about it again soon because I have tweaked what I am doing. I get a very clear picture and pick up all the channels with no hassles at all.
2. Use iPad as a second screen I guess people like to extend the use of their iPad and make it more than just a gadget. By setting it up as a second or slave screen it gives more computing flexibility.
3. Microsoft pptPlex for PowerPointSo, is Microsoft ever going to notice that this post has been consistently in my top 5 ever since I created it? I’d be using pptPlex for one to one learning if we were using Windows. It is unique and you can create e- lessons very easily in a hierarchical, logical fashion and then zoom in on what you want students to focus on. It is a great addition to PowerPoint and is a powerful classroom tool. I just wish they would develop it a bit more to enable some better customisation. I have no idea why they abandoned it and this blog is living proof it is something which is very popular and in demand.
4. Downloadable online Christmas cards This was a post I put in last week because I had been making Christmas cards to email. It just rocketed into the top 5! People like simple and straight forward things to do which can be shared.
5. Twitter Clients for Ubuntu This post continues to do well and why not? Personally I am still using Tweet Deck even though there were some issues. I resolved them again. My second preference is Gwibber.

Smart Defrag

Apple and Linux computers are very tidy minded with the files, but Windows tends to get fragmented files and to improve performance you need to defrag the computer on a relatively regular basis. You can set it to be done automatically through the Control Panel, but then you might be doing something and find your computer is a bit sluggish when , in fact, it is running a defrag in the background. I always like to see it happening. Windows changed and made a red box throwing up cubes which indicated a defrag and that was nowhere near as informative or mesmerising as watching all the little memory blocks being sorted out. I tend to find it a calming activity. It is better than waiting for the kettle to boil or watching paint dry. I actually find watching a defrag has a good effect on me! Smart Defrag by IObit is very effective and fast. You can see the blocks being tidied up and you can choose your level of optimisation. It’s a free download and a very handy piece of software to have on board. The most noticeable difference for me was how quickly my computer shut down after I had defragged it. Windows 7 has been very good compared with other versions of Windows, but you do need to do your house keeping and, to be honest, I quite like doing it. I miss it on the other OSs, but I have blogged about GConf for Ubuntu and OnYx for Apple. Both those programmes have been more than helpful to me.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone and may you all have an enjoyable festive season with your family, friends and close ones. Enjoy the break and reinvigorate yourselves. Nothing wrong with face time. We can get back to the interface soon! I appreciate your support throughout the year.

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