Thursday, December 15, 2011

North London Dim Sum Interactive Map And Reviews

View North London Dim Sum in a larger map 

The aim of the follow list is to create a comprehensive list of dim sum restaurants in the north London area, between zone 2 and Hemel Hempstead.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Play HD MKV 720p Smoothly on iPhone and iPad (iOS) Natively Using XBMC

Playing high quality video on your iPhone/iPad like MKVs in 720p format has never been possible using standard App Store apps. This is because Apple have not allowed App Store apps to access hardware acceleration on their devices unless the video being played is in an MP4 format. This is despite the fact that most MKV files these days simply contain muxed MP4 files. Apps with decent performance like AVPlayer can only produce a slideshow with desynced audio, something I've written about in a previous article.

However, the fact remains that high quality videos are most commonly shared through the internet in the MKV format, especially high definition video. However, a solution has come through Jailbreaking the iPhone/iPad, which allows video playing applications like XBMC to access hardware acceleration. XBMC on the iPhone/iPad plays high bit-rate MKVs in 720p perfectly smoothly. Not only this, but there is an elegant solution to load files onto the iPhone/iPad through iTunes which does NOT require the fiddly operation of OpenSSH.

Video is of an iPad 1 running 720p MKV files on both AVPlayerHD and XBMC.

Jailbreak is required for this hack, here is a a way of searching for the latest guide to Jailbreaking.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Putting Windows 7 Aero Snap In Your Office's Windows XP Machine Without Administrator Privileges

Working with two screen side by side on a single screen improves efficiency.
Aero snap is definitely my favourite feature in Windows 7. By dragging your window to the left or right-most part of the screen, the window automatically snaps to take up 50% of that screen. It allows you to quickly align two windows side-by-side vertically, so that you can do things like refer to one document whilst writing an email.

Unfortunately, most offices are still equipped with Windows XP, which still has pretty poor window management. Arranging windows into the right sizes is time-consuming and fiddly. A great free application which will provide the Windows 7 Aero Snap feature in Windows XP is called Aqua Snap. The version that will be needed can be downloaded from their site as the 'Portable Version'. This allows installation of the application to a personal folder without administrator privileges.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How To Share Google Calendar on iPhone, Blackberry and Android

Smartphones offer hyperaccessibility to shared information - they are as powerful as computers, they always-on our persons and they are always connected to a data network. With the right settings, we can instantly share huge amounts of information automatically thereby making communication powerful and seamless.

My wife often asks me to pick up something from the shops before I get home from work. She has a few options to communicate this information with me whilst I am away:

A) She can call/text SMS/email the shopping list. This would efficiently deliver the information to me. However, if she wanted to add or remove items from the shopping list, she would have to send another call/text SMS/email with the additions or changes, resulting in multiple and fragmented copies of the same shopping list information.

B) She can add the shopping list as a task in her Google Calendar (which is shared with my calendar). This will instantly show up as a notification in my own calendar on my smartphone. Furthermore, she can edit the task to add or remove items from the shopping, and this information will be instantly updated on my smartphone.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Change What Programs Are Loaded When Your Computer Starts Up

It's a common misconception that a computer will work less and less well and get slower and slower the older it is. The reality is that most computer slowness is software is due to what programs are being loaded when you start your computer. Applications that people install on their computers spawn smaller applications that load when Windows starts. For example, if you installed iTunes on your Windows PC, then you have also allowed it to install the 'iTunes helper' which loads up every time you boot your computer. All this program does is open up iTunes when an iOS device is connected, and it occupies approximately 50mb of a computer's RAM. Lots of these kinds of programs are loaded up on your computer. By going through the following guide, you can disable the loading of these programs and make your PC boot much faster.

Step 1) Press Win + R.

This allows a command box to be run in administrator mode.

Friday, February 11, 2011

iPhone and iPad Review Of AVPlayer - The Native iOS MKV Solution

Ever since I made a switch to the iPhone, I've been looking for a solution that would allow me to play the video content that I viewed the most on my device. The iPhone only natively supports MP4 videos encoded to a specific resolution. If I wanted to view any other common third party format, for example, AVI, DIVX or MKV, I would have to convert videos to iPhone MP4 - a time consuming process that often results in errors and audio sync issues.

Up until a few months ago, there were no real solutions to watching an unconverted MKV on your iOS device. The recently released VLC for iOS (now withdrawn from iTunes due to licensing issues) could open a large number of video formats, but was like a slideshow when playing higher bitrate MKV videos. Thankfully, AVPlayer, available for iPhone/iPod Touch and in an HD version for iPad, has much better performance when it comes to playback of MKVs and high bitrate videos as of version 1.3.

The performance of MKVs is much smoother on AVPlayer than on VLC:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse SteelSeries Review and Tips

I recently acquired a WoW: Cataclysm Mouse, the 14 button monster of a human interface device. My impressions of it have been hugely positive for World of Warcraft, and it's a must have for end-game type playing (which requires the use of upwards of 30 abilities to play effectively).

Not Booting Up

I had an initial issue with the mouse out of the box, where Windows 7 was not recognizing the mouse on boot (although a subsequent cycle of the USB would fix this issue). This was due to the fact that the mouse was operating on an older firmware. There is no option later within the driver settings to install new firmware. When you install the drivers you have to make sure that the mouse is plugged in at that point, otherwise it won't detect and update the firmware. Once I uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers and the firmware was updated, the mouse was recognised on bootup without any issues after that.

There are 10 profiles to store on the mouse, but I think it's best to use the WoW in-game native configuration.

Best Method Of Mousebinding

There are a lot of options for mousebinding with the mouse. Personally, I do not recommend using SteelSeries' driver software to do your mousebindings. Working within the WoW interface is much faster for setting up and testing bindings.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stream The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and South Park From Anywhere In The World

Current and up to date episodes of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and South Park are available for flash video streaming for those living in the US. However, these shows are restricted for people outside of the US. With this method I'm about to go through, current episodes can be watched from anywhere in the world.

The method has worked since January 2010. It does not require the use of a proxy service and it works by changing the user agent in one's Firefox browser.

Step 1) Open Firefox and install the Add-on from this address:

Step 2) Restart Firefox, and then click Tools -> Modify Headers.