Category: Reviews

Firefox 4: The Review


By now, you have probably already seen tons of Firefox 4 reviews, previews and whatnot. Firefox 4 will officially be released tomorrow and will be available here, but if you’re impatient, you can get it here. You can also get it off Mozilla’s FTP server, but they politely request you don’t do that since the hordes of Firefox users leeching off those servers will kill them. At the moment, the Release Candidate version is still up on the Mozilla website.

Anyway, here’s an early review of the shiny new browser’s main features!

Continue Reading »

Sniper: Ghost Warrior PC Review


Sniper: Ghost Warrior


This is like, my second review of a game. My first was Race Driver: GRiD, which was awesome after some tweaking. For today, I’ll be reviewing a game from a little known publisher called City Interactive. It is titled with the very imagination-provoking Sniper: Ghost Warrior.

Continue Reading »

Firefox 3.5 officially released: Reviewed!



Firefox 3.5 was officially released today, Tuesday 30th. The released candidate (RC) was available for a while back, but the version we are talking here is what I call the Final version, that is officially released.

If you haven’t done so already, go to Mozilla and download your copy. If you are lazy, you can try Help – Check for Updates directly in your Firefox 3. If you are already in RC, get the final! Got to show Internet Explorer 8 who’s the boss around here (and to stop MS from bragging any further)! Note that some of your addons will not work, such as Tabmix Plus, one of my favorites. Their forum have an updated beta copy, but for now, I downloaded alternatives (TabKit) to compensate. Do a backup of your stuff, if ever you want to restore.

Now is not too many upgrades to comment on, so I’ll just go on and review those I’ve seen worthwhile of mention. And some that operate in the background and that you will not see.

FF 3.5 - Main Window

I have to start somewhere, right? So let’s see what changed in the immediate interface. You will see that Mozilla (now referred as ‘they’) have modified the tab bar to make it more like Chrome’s. Note that small + button near the tab? That’s your new tab button. It follows you now. Apart from that, not much to see in the main window. Looks mostly the same as Firefox 3.

FF 3.5 - Private Browsing Option

Now the menus. All the menus are similar, save for the History and Tools menu. In History, you now have the option to undo closed tabs, but now, also closed windows. That’s pretty cool for people who use multiple windows. As for me, I prefer a ton of tabs rather than more than 2 windows at once.

FF 3.5 - Restore Windows

In Tools, you will find the Private Browsing mode, or what we common folks call the “porn mode” – this is what it’ll be mainly used for. Legitimate use: accessing your bank account. Or so the “innocent” claim they use it for! 😛

FF 3.5 - Private Browsing On

Some other interesting features you might find interesting are:

  • Ripping out tabs: Drag a tab away from the tab bar and release. Voila, you now have a window, with that tab inside. Pretty cool way for creating new windows, rather than using File – New Window, copy-pasting the address and whatever. You can also drag out tabs, and put them in other existing windows. Well, you can do a lot of cool things with dragging tabs now. If you don’t want to drag, right-click and choose Open in a New Window for the same effect.
  • Firefox 3.5 is promoting porn mode or what? In the History sidebar, and some other places History-related, there is an option to “Forget about this site”. I’ll leave this one to your creative uses.

FF 3.5 - Forget about this site

  • Tracemonkey was included. That means faster Javascript. Well, a lot of stuff Javascript-related faster. If you want the gory innards, check out Mozilla’s Tracemonkey Wiki.
  • Video and Audio HTML5 tags are now supported in-built. This will probably mean that sometime in the future, you’ll not need to install Adobe Flash or whatever other plugins to view video and have audio on websites. I can’t begin to imagine what crazy ideas developers will come up with to over-exploit those! Just wait and see.
  • AwesomeBar filters: You know what AwesomeBar is right? It’s the address bar, for those of you who don’t. Well, now when typing in it, you can filter what results it returns. It’s easy enough to use the filters. As for remembering the symbols, I can’t say the same. Who came up with those? I also gave you a way to remember those. My own personal method. E.g. Try “Geekscribes *” in the address bar without quotes.
    • History only = ^    (Up symbol, like, from where you came previously. Assume you are navigating down something)
    • Bookmarks only = *    (The * symbol is on the 8 key, that looks like a B symbol. B for Bookmarks)
    • Tagged Pages = +    (+ for pages that I like)
    • URLs only = @    (The @ symbol is used in email addresses. URLs are called addresses)
    • Title/Tags only = #    (That one I don’t know how to remember!)
  • You can restrict the search to your history by typing ^, or bookmarks with *, or tagged pages with +. To make what you’ve typed match only in the URL type @, and for title/tags only use #.
  • Geo-location. Basically, now your browser knows where in the world you are. So when you are looking for pizzas in Google Maps, it’ll show you what’s closest to you. Haven’t tried that personally. I’m just scared of the implications. My browser knows from where I’m browsing porn! That’s so scary. It may even lead me to some unwanted locations (in the real world) to find what I’m looking for. I hope I’m joking, because seeing Google pointing me to the nearest porn would be awkward! 😛

FF 3.5 - Crash Restore

  • Session restore improved. If ever your browser crashes, on the next restart of the browser, you are prompted to restore the previous session, complete with ticks to choose what tabs and windows to restore. That’s very nice of Mozilla. It’s directly there in the browser window, like one of those Pages not Found messages. You get the idea. Fortunately, I was able to recreate it by End Task’ing Firefox via Taskmanager.
  • Did I mention that Firefox 3.5 is fast? It’s amazingly responsive, and hardly lags. Memory usage is still quite too. 127MB for 5 tabs and around 20 addons installed. It also loads fast. Less than 2 seconds it seems.

Not much to say apart from that. I’ll leave the rest of the goodies for you to discover. After you go, come back here and give us some comments and opinions about Firefox 3.5! 🙂

(Some info taken from Lifehacker)

Randomly fill your audio player using RandomFill


EDIT: I’ve found a better application to randomly fill my audio player. Click here to jump to the review of Mr. Random.

So, there is another freeware review today on the menu. This time, I’m looking for way to randomly fill up my mobile phone with tracks from my music collection found on my PC. Why? Because I’m just too lazy to randomly select tracks myself. Because I’ve got no idea about what I want to listen to. Because I love using Google to find freewares and share them with you. Voila! Now you know, and on with the review.

For this job, we will be making use of a creatively named software named… RandomFill.

Mind you though. RandomFill will work with classic “drop-and-play” audio players and mobile phones, and not iPod-like players with advanced library features, requiring specialized software to upload tracks to them. Anyways, you can download RandomFill and give it a try with your favourite player and see if it works.

Using RandomFill is a 4-step process, as shown below.


The steps are as follows:

  1. Add folders or playlists from which the tracks will be chosen. Usually, this will be your MP3 directory. Optionally, if you have used RandomFill before and saved your settings, you can load these in this step.
  2. Here, you are going to select where to send your random tracks. This can either be a location (your player?) or a playlist which will contain a list of random tracks. You can choose to delete everything at the storage location before the random tracks are moved there. I chose to send the tracks to Drive E, which is my mobile’s memory card.
  3. This step is quite interesting. You can choose to bias the selection process to include more tracks from a particular folder which you add. For example, you can bias the search to include more tracks from your favorite album. Just add the folder, and you will be prompted to add a weight. Weight should be greater than 0. (positive real numbers!).
      If you add a folder and set the weight as 0.1 or 0.2, tracks will probably not be selected from it, and if you add a folder with a weight of say, 20, there will be more tracks from it in the “random” selection”. Add your favorite albums, and bias the weights as you wish.
  4. This is the final step. Now, you select the total size of the selection in Megabytes, or how many hours of music you want. Useful if you want to only fill up your player or mobile up to only a certain limit, and not completely. You can also choose to fill up by hours if you want, but remember that more hours = bigger file size, so don’t go overboard, keeping your player’s maximum memory size in mind. Save your settings if you want, so that you don’t have to repeat the same steps completely every time. After that, just click Finish and let RandomFill do its job.

Now, there is a small “bug” I’d like you to be aware of. After the copy, if you click Finish again, it will try to re-copy a random selection to your destination, which can cause problems such as full memory. So, after the copy part, you will need to click on Cancel instead. A bit weird, but it’s useful to know. Another potential disadvantage is that the last folder used is not remembered. This will probably be made in future versions. For now, it’s not available.

That’s about it for the RandomFill review. It’s not perfect yet, but I hope you can find some use to it. Give it a try, and drop us some comments. 🙂

Ps. iPod users, you might want to check Floola as an alternative to managing your device with iTunes.

Mr. Random: A better Random-filling App

RandomFill did not particularly suit my needs, so I ended up finding a better app called, Mr. Random. It’s Java-based and requires the Java Runtime Environment and this needs to be installed if you don’t have it. Just Google for it. 🙂

Mr. Random Main Window

The Settings window is accessible by going to Options menu. That Settings window will allow you to customize all the aspects of Mr. Random. Here’s a list of the important options there:

  • Collections Folder: Where your music is found. Where the selection will be made.
  • Device Folder: Where the music will be copied. I’d advise you to put it as a temporary local folder, then manually move the files after the random selection is made. It’s safer that way. Less risk of messing up during transfer.
  • Device Type: If you have a Sansa, choose it there. Else leave it on Generic Player like I did.
  • Capacity Slider: The total size of your player. I use it to choose what will be the combined size of all the files copied.
  • File Types: What files will be copied. Eg. If you want only MP3s, uncheck the rest. There is a box for Custom extensions. Eg. for .flac files if you have those. Put .flac there.

The rest, you can just leave blank. The Advanced button allows you to select which random algorithm to use, or just leave things default.

Now, click on Ok to go back to the main window. To make the random selection, repeatedly click the “Fill List” button until the list stops filling. At the bottom-right corner, you can see the number of files selected, as well as the combined size. I marked that with a red dot.

It’s a bit annoying to repeatedly click the button, and I hope it will be fixed in future versions. I don’t know if it’s just at my place that I have to click many times though.

The Add File / Add Group button are there if you want to include some particular file/folder in the selection, that is if you want to override the random selection for some selected files. Move Up/Down is for re-ordering files. This is because Mr. Random also creates a playlist out of the files.

After that, just click the Copy to Device button and wait. If you have selected a local folder as I recommended, you will need to go there and copy all the files to your device manually.

That’s all. Mr. Random is free, and does not crash as often as RandomFill. I need to mention that Mr. Random seems to have a 20GB limit. To overcome that, I guess you just run it multiple times.

Informational credit:

Firefox 3 Final: The Review


Firefox 3.0 Final has just been released today, 17th June 2008 (it’s already 18th in some countries though), and I already downloaded my copy to help establish the Firefox World Record. Now that it is installed and ready to work, I am going to review it. I’ve been using Firefox since the early 1.x versions, and I kind of saw its evolution. If I could resume Firefox 3, it would be “Shiny Search Boxes”, with respect to the glass buttons and the large number of new search boxes scattered everywhere.


Without much delay, on with the review. But first, you might consider getting your own copy here, and help with the World Record initiative (you need to download from the official mirrors of Firefox, else the download does not count!). Beware though. Some of the pages of the Mozilla website have yet to be updated, and are still showing Firefox 2.0 downloads. Also, the page is taking a significant time to load, probably considering that lots of people are currently downloading.

A word of warning. Before installing Firefox 3, make sure all your add-ons are compatible with the new Firefox. A number of my add-ons are not yet compatible with the Firefox 3 Final. Specially Tabmix Plus, which is not yet compatible. Even Unplug is not yet compatible, according to the default install. So, check beforehand, or simply backup your Firefox profile before upgrading, in case you want to revert. As you can see below, some of my extensions are not compatible with Firefox 3.0. Unfortunately, you will have to check manually via the Mozilla Addons site.


To backup your Firefox profile, you could use the FEBE extension (cross-platform) (doesn’t work with Firefox 3 Final yet), or you could use the MozBackup (Windows only) application. More info about manual profile backup is available from Mozilla, here.

Read the rest of the review

Brief VS Sage – The Feed Reader Duel


In today’s article I will be talking on how to read feeds (your favourite ones). Brief and Sage are Firefox’s two most popular feed reader. Hanging out with one is a wise decision, that’s another chance to take your browser one level up. Before going any further, we must not forget, there are also web based feed readers like Google Reader, Bloglines, alongside we also have specialised applications meant just for reading feeds.

Continue Reading »

What is a Feed?


This entry is specially for Abhi, and for others who do not know what a feed means and how it can be used. In the simplest terms, it is only used to get updates. What this means? Let’s say you love a particular web site and want to read what latest stuff has been published (only if the platform used supports feeds). A feed will allow you to have these latest contents directly without going to the URL. That means, you can have a common pool where you have all the updates of your favourite sites to “feed” on. The feeds can be in two formats Atom and RSS… Continue Reading »