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 The recently released VLC for iOS (now withdrawn from iTunes due to licensing issues) could open a large number of video formats, but was like a slideshow when playing higher bitrate MKV videos.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.