Tuesday, January 5, 2010


OK a prize to the person who gets the "Shiny" reference ;)

I tried Chrome yesterday for the first time. Well not for the first time but I found I could use Chrome for the first time. And it's GOOD.

I have long been a Firefox fan. The customisations offered by Firefox addons are a god send and enable you to do so much more. Internet Explorer is a dinosaur and always playing catch up. Tabbed browsing for example was in Firefox (and Opera) well before IE got it. I hate to see my workplace is still stuck on IE6 (and have recently blocked my
previous "mods" to enable Firefox to be used!!).

For me the critical Firefox addons that made me never want to use any other browser were:

Adblock, Flashblock, XMarks, Download Statusbar, NZBdstatus, Pleasuredome Ratio addon, Greasemonkey scripts

Anyway, recently I saw a Chrome Portable install and thought to revisit Chrome again. I Googled to see what extensions I could use and found a few that looked promising. Only bad thing was that it seems they don't
like to work on the Portable Chrome so I installed Chrome alongside Firefox.

The extensions for Chrome I chose were:

Adblock, eBay, Firebug Lite, GoogleMail checker, IE Classic, RSS Extension, SABconnect, uTorrent

Now I can do almost all I could with Firefox and more, with that slick and quick operation that Chrome has. Bookmarks synchronised automatically.

Downsides? There always are. Some insignificant (like having no extension to monitor my Pleasuredome ratio) and some significant like in the bookmark department. Google Chrome Bookmarks are not the same as Google Bookmarks. This is strange and a mistake IMHO. It's great to auto sync bookmarks but those synced bookmarks cannot be read via the web. Surely some mistake? It would have been so helpful to have been able to
read my home bookmarks at my workplace during those lunchtime browses!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Oooooooops - AROS

It's been FAR too long since I've posted..... Sorry!

I've long been interested in the Commodore Amiga and in emulating it.
WinUAE does a great job on Windows machines in emulating an Amiga and
I've tinkered before with Amithlon, which is a Linux kernel that takes
over the machine and basically turns it into an x86 Amiga. Well, there
are other options I've not explored before and the one today is AROS.

AROS is a recursive acronym - it stands for AROS Research Operating
System - a bit like MINT on the Atari ST ("Mint is not TOS"). It's a new
implementation of an Amiga OS and runs on x86 CPUs. It's not an
emulator. It's been around for some years but recently seems to have got
to a very usable state and runs on a large amount of PC hardware. I did
however discover that it didnt like to work on very large HDDs. I only
have 1.5Tb drives and that's too big. Luckily there is a "Nightly" build
of AROS that now can cope with larger HDDs.

I have a motherboard that I think is ideal for this purpose, as well as
for Amithlon, OSX (Mac) and Ubuntu (Linux). Hopefully I'll be quintuple
booting shortly. I've also been on a pre-Xmas splurge to get some
different kit - now I have two mATX boards and one ATX board suitable
for all the above OS. For the record, Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3L (ATX),
Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L (rev1, mATX), MSI G31M-F (1600FSB rev, mATX). The
key things to look for are Realtek gigabit ethernet (RTL8111B/C ideally)
and Realtek audio (ALC662 or ALC888 for example) plus Intel ICH7 (found
in 945GC, P31/G31 and G41 chipsets). I went for the G31 as it overclocks
much better than the G41, according to reports.

Anyway, as a taster for Icaros, have a look at these YouTube videos from
ClusterUK who sells the iMica systems which are designed for Icaros.