Watching The Codebreakers on my phone

I never got to watch the BBC documentary on free and open source software that first aired in May. I missed the first few airings because these were broadcast at crunch time in the newsroom, when I’m off chasing page deadlines.

While browsing Google Videos for clips to watch in my phone during times when I’m off the PC and waiting for an appointment with nothing else to do, I found The Codebreakers clip.

I immediately downloaded a .avi version of the clip and converted the video to play in my phone using instructions I wrote about earlier. While searching for articles about the documentary, I found this page in the Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme. It turns out that the documentary is available for free download on a Creative Commons license. If you’re interested in a 3GP version of the documentary, let me know and I’ll upload the file.

Make your Windows PC look, act like OS X

Refresh your boring Windows desktop by transforming it to resemble the sleek Mac OS X with the FlyakiteOSX transformation pack. The free software package automates the installation of tweaks, third-party programs, desktop themes and menus to make your Windows PC look and act like OS X (see screenshots below).

I tried the software and found the installation easy. I did not encounter errors when I installed it into my Windows XP with Service Pack 2 office computer. You need to restart your computer after the installation.

I was concerned that the transformation would be such a resource hog and would slow my system to the point that it becomes unusable. It did not. I was surprised that I did not notice any noticeable speed difference after I installed FlyakiteOSX.

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Adobe releases Lightroom beta for Windows

Adobe Lightroom, the software “built from the ground up by photographers, for photographers,” now has a Windows version of its beta. I tried it and I was blown away with the way it allows you to edit your photographs.

The Windows version is labeled Beta 3 but Adobe’s announcement says the program is slightly behind the Mac version.

Adobe LightroomLightroom, according to Adobe, “is an efficient, powerful way to import, select, develop and showcase large volumes of digital images. It allows you to spend less time sorting and organizing images, so you have more time to actually shoot and perfect them.” Here’s a comprehensive post on the capabilities of Lightroom.

To run Lightroom in Windows, you need to have Windows XP with Service Pack 2, a Pentium 4 processor with at least 768MB of RAM (albeit they recommend 1GB), 1 GB of hard disk space and 1024 x 768 resolution screen. I tested Lightroom with less than the required RAM and it was slow. Even then, I was still blown away.

Running Bon Echo Alpha; uninstalling Google Browser Sync

I have been using Bon Echo Alpha, the test version of the upcoming Firefox 2 release, these past few days and Google Browser Sync for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, I decided to stick with Bon Echo Alpha, removing my Google Browser Sync extension, which doesn’t work with the program yet.

Ive decided to stop using Google Browser Sync because I find Foxmarks more dependable in synchronizing bookmarks in the Firefox installations in the different computers I use: at home and in the office. At first, I found exciting the idea of synchronizing cookies, saved passwords and browsing sessions between different PCs.

I could just close my Firefox in the office without logging out of my mail or blog accounts and resume the browsing session at home, with all the tabs I left open when I closed Firefox in the office re-opened at home. But then I started encountering synching error and my bookmarks went awry, they were no longer synchronized. Ive never encountered these problems when I used Foxmarks.

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Download, er, borrow e-books, e-magazines for free

I found UP2U (site already down) through and I’ve been hooked. UP2U lists a lot of e-magazines and e-books in PDF format for download. It’s a site you’d know won’t last long because I’m sure, pretty soon publishers of the magazines listed there would be ganging up on it.

UP2U offers The New York Times e-paper, Time, Fortune, eWeek, PC Magazine, PC World, Macworld, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Science for download. It also offers a lot of adult e-magazines, from FHM to Playboy to Penthouse and even Private.

It recently placed prominent notices in its site and even in the PDF files that the magazines were meant for “borrowing” and you’re supposed to delete the files after 24 hours and buy the original publication if you like it. Yeah, right.