Opera Kestrel: My first experience

Weeks after the release of Opera Kestrel I can finally use and test it myself and it’s even so stable that I decided to keep it on my PC here for daily use.

Major differences are the ability to search inside websites you have aready visited by entering just a word in the addresss bar.

Also faster is the moving of spam emails to the trash.

However, I have noticed a few issues (which I already reported):

1) The CPU load is very high, much higher than with the old Opera 9.23 final.
And the perfomance was never good on Vista X64 anyway! (bug#287972)

2) Opera doesn’t really close when I decide to close it, it’s sill stuck in task manager as running procces, I have to kill it manually, sometimes I even have to restart Vista (bug#288010)

3) I have a ghost email in Trash (bug#288011)

I want to thank Daniel Goldman and Tim Altman for their dedication and emails. Especially thanks to the emails with Tim, the bugs could be fixed and other problems and issues I had could be solved by his very helpful hints!

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Windows Vista anti-advertising video

This one is a pretty interesing anti-advertising mentioning the new Windows Cement, err Vista.

Actually, I do not think it’s that bad or that slow or crashing. I use it since it’s out and I am pretty much happy with it πŸ™‚

Found it on Skype-Watch blog.

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I have added BlogRush

Because of a positive and descriptive post at The Pisstakers mentioning BlogRush, I thought myself to try it.

Since How Much Is Your Blog Worth isn’t a dynamic banner which automagically updates the numbers, I decided to remove it in favour of this.

(if anybody is interested: from 2800 two years ago, it climbed now to $18,065.28. for my blog!

Thanks to all that helped!

My visitor amount also gained a little, which could maybe becaue of BlogRush or because of Mr. Dew’s new blogtemplate for me!. I will have to check that in detail.

Interesting is the raising amount of Safari for Windows users to my blog, and I can gurantee you it displays there (tested it myself) and even does with IE6 (tested too) just IE5.5 and below is a problem, but nobody uses that anymore.

My Swicki Search tags do not display in Sarafi now but I received an email from them telling me thy are working on fixing this!

Thanks to all again for being involved, including my steady readers and fans πŸ™‚

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RealVNC for 64bit and Windows Vista is out

Just figured that a new version of RealVNC is out which is supposed to be optimized especially for 64bit and Windows Vista: version 4.3. But not the free open source version, only the commercial personal and enterprise version.

The free version is still version 4.1 and is available for download here.

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Gmail security problem

I am more than happy that GMail is not my primary email address. Reason for this is not only the bad customer support and the lack of interest regarding fraud reports by its users, but also the security problems.

A blogger found one and made it public. The blog post can be read here.
Think twice to use something as your primary email that is still in beta even (since 2004!) and made Blogger flushing down the toilet.

Orkut isn’t better even.

You think I complain a lot? I only want bugs fixed, that is all. And replies to my emails.

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Orkut’s new Help Group – will it actually help me?

I just read on the Orkut Blog that they just opened a Orkut Help Group which is even moderated and watched by the Orkut Team according to them:

“The orkut Help Group is a forum where the knowledgeable and the curious meet to discuss orkut. You can post about your favorite features, tell us your suggestions, and find out what others are saying. From complex questions to new features to bug fixes, anyone can post a question or response on an innumerable array of topics. Think of it as one big orkut community: It’s a one-stop shop for you to visit and share your comments about orkut with everyone.

An especially nice thing about the help group is that you can get an answer in minutes or hours by anyone in the know, instead of having to wait in the huge queue of email messages our team sifts through each day. You’d be surprised at how helpful you all are to each other. In fact, we’ve got a group of volunteer helpers who have proved to be both expert orkut users and super-helpful question-answerers called”orkuteers.” These folks are on hand to take almost any question you could have. In addition to learning from and sharing with others, you’ll also see friendly orkut Guides (look for the cool Guide logo on our posts). Guides are Google employees who pop in to monitor the action, answer questions, tell you new features, and follow up on problems and bug reports.”

I already sent tons of emails, airmail letters to Orkut and even made my problem public, but aapart from yadda-yadda emails I got no help, no fix from Orkut!

Now this is my last (maybe in vain?) try to get the Orkut Team fixing my problem. I have written my problem in the How Do I? section, with hope to get a working Orkut again!

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Logitech QuickCam Ultra Vision

Just like the Trio, I also got a Logitech Ulta Vision also kindly contributed by AmprerorDirect

This is at the moment the top-notch webcam model from Logitech. This one is even more expensive than the QuickCam Orbit MP and features a few advantages lika 5-lens-techniuqe which offers clearer picture.

I have to admit the picture is really more clearer and the same video effects like for the Orbit MP are also there and they even work better! I could even wear a beard and it would not misdetect it as a mouth unlike other webcams with this feature! So the face recognization works much better even in bad light conditions!.

Another plus is the improvement of RightLight technology so it can be even darker around me and it still looks rather good!
However this causes a delay and I cannot switch off the white control that causes this delay. No chance!

The QuickCam controlling software allows users to use multiple webcams so I can switch between the two and use them without a hassle!
Despite the fact the webcam has no tilt, the controlling function is not disabled eventhough it should be.

Another thing I do not like is the fact that the record control LED on the Orbit MP stops working if the Ultra Vision is connected (I already sent a bug report regarding this to Logitech).

The clip holding is also great and fits perfectly to the frame of my ViewSonic VX924!

The rest is like for the Orbit MP.


+Very clear picture
+Better RightLight2 technology
+Has 2 shortcut buttons for snapshop and quick test
+perfect and very stable holding for monitor frames
+Improved face recocnization thanks to better lenses and RightLight2
+Video Effects are supported

-Conflicts a little with Orbit MP on the same computer (software bug which will be fixed)
-Movement delays in dark enviroment, cannot be switched off under certain circumstances.

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C64 Orchestra audio CD to be out on November, 12th!

UPDATE: The CD has been renamed to “Poke20” the producent Mano Scherpbier told me today in an email.

“.. We have also a new myspace site: www.myspace.com/poke20″

The C64 Orchestra sent me another email today (newsletter!) saying that the audio CD is due to be out on November, 12th. So they didn’t make it with June.

Here is what they wrote:

“From: “Mano Scherpbier_ON”
Subject: C64 orchestra Release at 12 november 2007
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 12:20:26 +0200

After massive response we got from fans all over the world, the BIG
question is: when will the cd be released? We release the cd called RUN
10 at 12 November 2007………it’s a limited release and it’s gonna be
a great piece of art! Not only the artwork is something else, but it is
a 2 cd’s release with on the first one the c64 orchestra recordings and
on the second cd the original c64 music tunes, interviews, live footage
and more.
But most important, on RUN 10 we will be releasing zip files from the
c64 orchestra recordings of Monty ON the Run. This allows you to make
your own remix, using the separate tracks of the ensemble. Send us the
remixes you have made and this will be the start of the new cd called
RUN 20. This cd will have the 20 most outstanding remixes we got back
from you.
After RUN 10 is released we will upload more zipped recordings of the
orchestra to our website.

Our record company is: Rounder Europe www.continental.nl
and we are powered by: NCRV, Dutch public
broadcaster www.ncrv.nl

Check for more information : www.myspace.com/c64orchestra”

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Product Review: Ipevo Trio

I recently received a unit of the Ipevo Trio which is a Skype speakerphone.

They promote themselves with “Experience over IP”. My experience is mixed.

Before I received the device, I have emailed their customer support asking whether their “drivers” are Vista and 64bit compatible!

I received never any reply.

The thing is even a bit tricky here, so let me explain a bit further:

The device uses, like most USB sound devices, the Windows default drivers for HIDs (Human Interface Devices) but the TRIO comes with a Control Center software and a Skype API plugin which are supposed to be an interface between Windows, Skype and the extra function buttons on the speakerphone. The buttons are supposed to start Skype, allow to accept or deny calls, mute the mic and it even has a button that is supposed to startup a recorder software.

However, it doesn’t work! I am running Windows Vista X64 and despite the fact the driver download page uses the Vista logo (which usually indicates it works on 32bit and 64bit editions on Vista), it obviously doesn’t work on 64bit!
So, I cannot check the extra functions since they do not work.

I just plug in the device and just can use the speakerphone/handset switch and the volume control (obviously covered by the default drivers)

Now, how about the sound quality? The sound quality is very good! The speaker can be well used for playing music aswell. The speakerphone mode works perfect in Skype2Skype calls thanks to Skype’s echo cancellation but SkypeOut calls still have a slight echo, so maybe you wouldn’t want to use it for this purpose.

The handset mode works very well, however, it’s veeery uncompfortable to my ears and feels like a brick attached to it.

Also one cannot make calls with the handset without being disturbed by the cord, which is always in the way because it’s on the wrong end of the handset!

Oh right, it’s called “Trio”, so the 3rd mode is to switch it to speakerphone mode and have it standing like a large brick on your desktop. However, this “tower mode” has one problem again: The cord is in the way! Okay, Ipevo made a gap into the casing in which you can press the cable, but this is not made very smart since the cable is thicker. So you either end up breaking the cable or it falls down and breaks.


+Very good sound quality
+Works even without software
+handset and speakerphone mode
+perfect for Skype2Skype calls

-Software not 64bit compatible
-Driver download page is inacurrate
-Customer support non-existent
-Cable location not very clever
-“Tower mode” can easily break your phone

My special thanks to AmperorDirect for kindly supplying the hardware! πŸ™‚

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