Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Akuyume@AD is down...

My homepage for the last year, Akuyume@AD is down [Googe Cache]. Last I checked my host still owns the domain name however his server subscription has run out. I'm tempted to grab the domain name myself if my host doesn't decide to continue running the website.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wallpaper: Anime

Done some work on a few wallpapers over the last few days. The first two, a Death Note wallpaper and an Eureka Seven wallpaper, can be found at my homepage (Anime Backgrounds 2008/11). My latest (and so far, my favorite) work can be found at Advanced Anime, a Gaara+Hinata wallpaper featuring characters from the anime Naruto.

Anime Review I: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

I've been watching plenty of anime lately. The latest series to grab my attention? The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (宮ハルヒの憂鬱, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu). I'm halfway through the series and several things are tempting me to write about it. I've been watching the English dub as I tend to watch whatever is easiest to get my hands on and all the eng dub episodes of this series are currently available on Veoh (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Video Channel).
Basic rundown, its a sci-fi comedy. The plot itself has several wtf..? moments (if you don't know me, I enjoy these kinds of plots) and the sci-fi dimension goes very far out. Anyhow, the plot stays very novel, original even. Its not quite one's usual sci-fi; as for the comedy aspects, I have been ROFLing frequently watching this anime. The part that gets me is this: the graphics and artwork are definitely over top. Its simply a very beautiful anime. At this point I'm even considering checking out the manga this show is based on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

TextToWav 1.4

Text-To-Speech, whether for fun or for a purpose, can be a very useful technology. TextToWav 1.4 streamlines making WAV files from TTS input.

TextToWav, from Download.com

The Microsoft SAPI plugins can be obtained separately from Microsoft, however TextToWav's installation process streamlines the download and installation of these plugins.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ozark Trail @ National Geographic

National Geographic has an article Intimate Wild of the Arkansas Ozark hiking trail.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Review: Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2

After a few minutes using IE8b2, I've got a few notes about it to share. Mostly positive changes, but this is a beta release, thus the feature set isn't set in stone quite yet. Nevertheless, I must add, I'm still posting this note from Firefox.

What's new?

  • Domain name (and TLD) highlighting - The address bar now by default dims the "excess" text such as the directories and subdomains, showing the domain name of the website you are visiting with clear emphasis. How does this help? Preventing phishing; spoofs become more obvious.

  • Tabs colored by where they came from - Tabs are grouped by the referrer tab, and colored accordingly. Example: You visit Google News and open a link to the NY Times there in a new tab, both tabs will be shaded the same color.

  • Bookmark and history search in the address bar - For those of you who have used Firefox 3, this feature will feel very similar to the AwesomeBar. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the title of this item says it all, the web browser searches your history and bookmarks as you type in the address bar, making it easier find places you have visited without having to remember the full address.

  • InPrivate - This feature, under the Safety menu to the top right, allows users to open a new window and allows the user to surf and leave a minimal footprint on the computer they are using. No cookies, no temporary files, no history. It also attempts to block third-party websites from tracking you across the web (think advertising groups). I particularly see this being useful on public computers.
  • Web slices - This feature leaves me scratching my head. I feel if it takes me more than a minute to figure out how to use something, it isn't very intuitive. It looks promising, although I'm not totally sure what it's supposed to do. I'm routing for a RSS/Atom previewer, but for now I'll be keeping my fingers crossed as at the moment the only way I see to modify it is to using a Microsoft list of feeds.
  • Quick Tabs - Another positive here, the quick tab button, to the left of the tab bar, gives a quick graphical view of each tab open.

If you wish to read more on the subject, I suggest visiting Wikipedia's article.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Firefox Stuff

I've been playing with various arrangements of Firefox lately. I've found some interesting extensions I'd like to share.
  • Personas for Firefox - This extension allows a user to apply lightweight "personas" to their browser, which are essentially wallpapers for one's browser. This extension is still a prototype, so much improvement can still be expected; yet as of now it already allows one to get various refreshing new looks for Firefox, and unlike installing themes, applying a different persona does not require Firefox to restart.

  • All-in-One Sidebar - The All-in-One Sidebar (AiOS) integrates the user's bookmarks, history, downloads, and more into a convenient sidebar.

  • Web Developer - This extension adds a toolbar packed with functionality which can help anyone from the amateur web surfer to experienced web developers.

  • NoScript - A powerful extension which allows users to dynamically disable and enable JavaScript and other types of script on a site-by-site basis greatly increasing browser security.

  • WOT - This expansion takes advantage of the online community Web of Trust and provides website background information based upon the input of dozens of users and supports blocking websites based on their product reliability (scam-avoidance) and their degree of child safety amongst other options.

Monday, March 31, 2008

HP Printers Ready Message

I learned of a great way to bug people (or at least get a few weird responses) using an Printer Job Language-capable printer's LCD display. Telnet to your printer on port 9100 (default) and send it the following commands:

*I believe the \e% is interchangeable with ESC%, but I've only tested this on one printer.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Photoshop Express

Adobe has released a free online version of Photoshop, Photoshop Express. I'm undertaking a "test drive" at the moment, and will update after I've formed some opinions on Adobe's new webware.

Monday, March 24, 2008

-=[:::: OTAKU NO DENKI ::::]=-

Drop by this website for an utterly different (and amazing) music experience. This Liverpool artist's music definitely matches the title, Japanese which I interpret as being for House of Electricity.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Boston Dynamics has posted video of the latest version of their quadrupedal robot BigDog to YouTube. Powered by a small engine, the robot uses a gyroscope and stereo vision (and probably a myriad of other sensors) to guide itself across various surfaces and even recover from unexpected impacts and collisions.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Urban Exploring: The Ozarks

I stumbled on an Ozarks urban exploring website whilst doing some researching on Arkansas ghost towns. Some good bits there. I'm trying to find info on Ledwidge, AR...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wallpaper: Firefox background

I made a Firefox background! I'm usually not much of a graphical artist, despite the fact I love trying. I had an idea itching in my mind and wanted a background to go with the Windows Zune Theme so I decided to spend a few minutes doing some image editing. I pulled up a huge render of the Firefox logo SVG (I'm too lazy to do it myself?) and found a nice felt-ish texture.

My work:
JPEG, 1280x1024, 108KB
XCF, 1280x1024, 5.88MB

The font used is DS-Digital (Italic).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Update: Internet Explorer redirects to Firefox?

I've yet to figure out why my Internet Explorer crashes on half the web pages I visit, and I know now its definitely a specific type of code causing it fail as the problem persists if I go to the same website multiple times. I've done some digging and found a similar error that was caused by KB918899; which applies to IE6 with SP1, but this isn't helping me (I'm on Windows XP Media Center ver. 2002 with SP2). SFC didn't help. And reinstalling with ie.inf didn't help. I've even gone as far as doing a repair installation of Windows, which didn't help. Anyone have suggestions?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Internet Explorer redirects to Firefox?

Normally, I wouldn't complain about having a screwed installation of Internet Explorer. For the longest every I've used iexplore's address bar, it launched the link in Firefox instead. This was starting to get annoying as I like to check my web designs in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. Anyway after searching for answers over a few days I came across a blog on MSDN with a solution to this problem. Apparently, however, this wasn't all that was wrong with my Internet Explorer install as now it freezes when rendering web pages more advanced than a little text. I'll update when I figure this one out.

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