simplified overthinking

making it easier for those that make it harder

Archive for the ‘Ankits’ Tech Help’ Category

www.wheredoifindmusic.com

Posted by ankitbhardy on October 16, 2008

Music is honestly on of the hardest things to enjoy on the internet. If we go on youtube, watch some music video or some fan compilation, the quality isn’t that good. If we go to the band’s myspace, the page takes AGES to load and they don’t have any of their old songs. iTunes provides 30 sec clippits while sites like mp3.com and music.yahoo.com are just two commericialised to use. What we need is a decent search engine that does take up any time to load and that delivers your song with the capability of making a playlist. Also a music reccomendation site won’t hurt.

  • Songza – Truly what a music search engine should be. Clean concise and good quality. Load times are quick and there is a wide vareity of songs. This website also allows us to make playlist with the songs cataloged on this website thus allowing us to make a playlist and leave it instead of searching for every song.
Songza has a very cleab interface and recently added a youtube plugin, thus you can seatch you’re youtube videos from right over here If we click on the song the menu that you see pops us thus enabling us to play the song, add it to our playlist etc.
Songza, for me, is the youtube for songs. In some cases it is youtube.
Another website for music searching is mixturtle, however it doesnt have an as big catalog as songza.
Is more of a tech-demo than a music search website but its fun nonetheless. You select the mood you’re in (Dark, Happy, Energetic, Calm) or the Dance mode you’re feeling in (+/- Tempo etc) and than musicover forms a sort of song-map for you and plays them in order of what it thinks are correct. You can switch on and off your genres to make its a more ‘you’ kinda playlist. Intresting nonetheless and its free music.
Very very useful site if you want to hear new bands similar to bands you like. Just type in a band and last.fm makes a never-ending(seemingly) playlist for you on bands that sound similar . Very useful and very easy to use. Also has suprisingly good taste.
  • If you don’t like indie music you don’t have to read this bit, but if you appreciate a good song by a band no one knows about check out these sites
  • Indieball These guys have impeccable taste. Every time they find a band i like them. They provide free downloads to the songs the feature and album artwork. Amazing site for anyone with a good taste in unknown music. This website is soo indie, it doesnt even appear on google.
Indieball is a blog so you gota scroll down to find the songs, but when you do i am sure you’ll be surprised
This basically sifts through most of the music blogs and finds the hottest music out there. Great stuff here if you want to litsen to the newest stuff on the market. A good selection of genres and a great site format. Hypemachine also has a search tool for easier usage.
  • Remember that song you know the tune about yet you just can remember then name. Well in comes midomi. It has an average music reccomendation section but provides an excellent tune. Just hum your song into the mike and it will give you a list of possible songs. You can even get this on you iPhone!
I did a rudimentry test and yea i hummed Snow (RHCP) 5 times into the midomi search. 4/5 times it was in the list while once it was in the top 3. Not bad and it is as fun as song-tapper
  • My last point is more of a tip. You know that song on your new favourite band’s myspace that you love, and its not on limewire, and its not on torrents and its not out in stores yet and its not availible for download. And you REALLY want that song on your iPod or computer and there is no way to gettit. Well now there is. File2HD
This is probably the ugliest site i will EVER put on my blog but its works extremely well
Copy and paste the URL into the text bar and select the filter(basically what you’re searching for) and than hit  ‘Get Files’. In a matter of seconds the files come up and you get to download den wid a simple right click. Extremely useful even for youtube videos ( if you’re not using downloadhelper for firefox of course)
  • Grooveshark – my newest find. Easy to use, effecient and looks good. I havent really used it but i am throwing it out there just try it out and see how you like it

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The Macbookies

Posted by ankitbhardy on October 16, 2008

Well firstly a comment on the new macbook. Beautiful, first comes to mind. A beautiful alumninum body. But you already know that. I want to talk about what the new graphics card means. The 2 gb RAM mean. The 2.0 GHz means. 

 

Good All Steve Jobs donning the Apple uniform

Good 'old 'Steve Jobs donning the Apple uniform

RAM for those who don’t know is like a mini hard-drive. It is so that the computer doesnt have to go all they way back and search the hard-drive for the file you’re using when it can search a much smaller RAM. gHz is just the unit of how fast the computer processes information

Well currently running 256 RAM and 1.6 gHz. 256 RAM is honestly nothing compared to the 2GB of the entry level macbook such as the 1.6 gHz compared to 2.0 gHz or the 2.4 gHz Yet i can run iTunes, Firefox (on facebook and another tab searching images), skype(chat), msn messenger and photoshop. Though it jerks a little from time to time hangs for a couple of seconds. I get my work done. I end up finishing my designs. Litsening to my new album, chatting with my friends from around the world and surf the internet. All of us use the computer, on a day to day basis on the same level so a 2gb ram and a 2.0 gHz will be perfectly fine for our work.

However when we move into the realm of the 2.4 gHz and the 4 gb RAM we reach a whole new level of computing. Unless you are going to be editing videos with After Effects while running Boot Camp and using all of the other normal apps, 4gb RAM isn’t really needed. However, if you have the money, 4gb RAM is a much better choice. You’re computer will run considerably faster but you won’t feel any slow down if you just use the basic macbook for basic programs

Overall the macbook contains an awesome piece of software and an awesome(r) piece of hardware. Great processing power and a much better graphics card to back it up with, the macbook is honestly a steal. But in the time of economic turmoil, really everything is…

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Searching about Pomegranates

Posted by ankitbhardy on October 14, 2008

The first thing that comes to anyones mind when ‘search the internet’ is google. That is not a particularly bad thing as google possibly has the largest catalog of websites etc etc. However for more specific searches, i find google even with the Xippee extension, which I mentioned in why firefox? why?, quite obsolete. Information is hard to find among the several hundred pages google finds about an obscure topic. This is where web 2.0 search engines come in. For me these are much easier to use and organize the information extremely well

  • Cuil.Pronounced ‘cool’. As you can see from the screen shot, cuil has a very google-like interface. Simple text based design and a search bar

However cuil really comes into use when we actually search something. Lets say we type in a random term…’pomegranate. What cuil does is that it organizes the files into simple thumbnails for easier search. This is much more visually apealling to the eye than google.

Cuil was highly anticipated and even termed the ‘google-killer’ yet it hasn’t done so. However cuil still remains an excellent site for an organized search.

  • Searchme. Is truly a next generation search engine. Again it displays a simple front page similar to Googles’ however as we search lets say for the sake of keeping things constant ‘pomegranate’. We are given a similar interface to apple cover-flow. This method of searching is extremely visually appealing and is very efficient method of searching as it gives you a thumbnail of what the website looks like. very useful tool.

For me searchme is a much better tool to use than cuil. I find it more intresting to search with and it is much easier

  • Viewzi. Possibly the best search tool out there. Viewzi organizes your data into categories. Pretend you’re searching for pomegranates recipes instead of the fruit. Viewzi organizes your search into different categories and allows you to change between these categories extremely easily. This is extremely useful as it allows you to categorize your search

In the screen shot i am in the photo version. As you can see above the photos there are tabs. This is where you switch your search style. Pretend you want to search for pomegranate album. Than the result is similar to this screen

Searching with viewzi is ultimately much more fun and provides much more refined results

  • Joongel. My last example is my latest find. Unlike the other 3 examples it doesnt organize the results by category but omits results from obscure sites. It only searches the big websites in that particular category. This leaves you with an absolutely massive database to search from without all that useless stuff about a blog about a guy living on the South Sandwich Islands.(Thought that would be extremely interesting.

Joongel has a crowded homepage yet it simple to understand and is extremely useful. Joongel searches your term on all ten websites and than allows you to choose which website to choose results from. Obviously you can change your website incase you don’t find what you want. This leaves the hassle of going to ask.com, google and yahoo to search for the same thing

However i am being hypocritical here. I still use google extensively but the baove websites, I feel if I use more, will be much better and will reduce my search time by far

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Why Firefox? Why?

Posted by ankitbhardy on October 13, 2008

Ok firstly i didnt mean my first post to be demeaning.It was just a harsh outtake of the usage of the computer and i am sure all you guys use the internet and/or computer much more than i stated. That was an example of a below average user, and I am sure you guys use it much more than that.

Well you may be asking why should I download Firefox when I have Safari or Internet Explorer.

Firefox is

  • The Fastest (with some tweaks)
  • The most user-friendly (with some add-ons)
  • The most customizable (you can make it do what you want, and make it look like what you want)

Firefox is basically the foundation for a good internet user. And it all starts with the add-ons

These add-ons will enhance your internet experience by far, by increasing productivity and improving the media experience online.

This is the list of my favourite add-ons and for me ,make the internet so much better to use:-

  • StumbleUpon – The ulitmate internet usage tool. You give your preferences and when you ‘Stumble’ it takes you to a random website within your preferences. I use this tool everyday for atleast an hour. It unlocks the internet and shows you exactly what its potential is. You can also make it stumble through specific websites such as youtube and flickr if you’re in the mood to see some videos and/or photos of the preferences you have entered. Download it at –> https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/138

  • – Research tool that organizes all your research links into a simple database. Allows you to take notes and in some cases automatically downloads bibliography Download it @ –>http://www.zotero.org/

  • Stealther – If you’re doing something you don’t want to appear on your history, you just turn on stealther and you go into a mode where none of the files you get from the interent are stored on your computer. Very useful in some cases. No examples needed–>https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1306

  • Xippee – Makes google so much easier. Pretend you are searching for ‘Halo’ the ring around angels, yet when you type it on google all that comes up is a guy in a metal suit with a gun with the xbox logo behind him. Xippee allows you to omit the links that correspond to Halo the game thus making your search so much easier–>https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5309

  • Download Helper – Remember that video you liked oh so much on youtube. The life performance of the wombats?or that video where chuck norris roundhouse kicks everyone? Well now you can download that file easily with a click of a button with download helper–>https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3006

  • Blue Organizer – This makes it so much easier to search stuff on the internet. Pretend you are looking at a page on Johnny Depp or you’re favourite video-game. Blue Organizer recognizes this and makes it easier for you to search further pages on the same topic–>https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search?q=BlueOrganizer&cat=all

  • UbiquityYou want to search a movie on imdb but are not bothered to go all the way up to the URL bar and type it in. Ubiquity makes it simple. Open Ubiquity by using key (Ctrl+Space for PC or Apple+Space for mac) and type in imdb [movie name]. It automatically searches it for you on a new tab. It also inserts maps in your email and searches various other sites including torrent searches and delicious.–>http://labs.mozilla.com/2008/08/introducing-ubiquity/

  • TokBox – Very Very Very useful tool for all facebook users. Facebook is a great tool for communicating with friends but only recently added chat. With TokBox you can extend that functionality by adding video-chat to your facebook chat, thus making it extremely easy to video chat with friends. All you need is a webcam.https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7484


  • Coolris – One of my favourite. it displays all the photos in the page in a beautiful 3D environment and makes picture viewing on facebook,google and flickr soo much more fun. Its like cover-flow on mac but so much better. Probably the best app to look at out there. –>https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5579

Those are addons that will definetly help you in improving your internet experience and are a start on helping you use the internet to its potential capacity.

Firefox, I hope, will be your browser of choice because with it customizability (yup i invented a word) and simple user-friendly interface, it will make surfing the internet so much more enjoyable

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Purpose.Concept.Objective.

Posted by ankitbhardy on October 13, 2008

While watching others using the computer, I feel privileged in a way. People ( Please don’t take offence if this doesnt include you, you are a person), in my opinion, use their computer upto 20% potential (i just came up with that number). They go online, log on to msn messenger, open internet explorer(or safari) and go to facebook. They sit there and speak to friends they normally talk to and browse some pictures of friends they normally see everyday and than log off and open a word document to finish the essay they’re writing. The internet browser is opened again to reveal Wikipedia, where the topic of the essay is also the topic of the article. iTunes runs in the background slowly playing Jack Johnson or Kanye West on repeat.

I have watched some people only visiting 5 websites in their trip to the land of the internet (wikipedia,facebook,google(including its links),youtube and hotmail) . That is like going to Disneyland to learn about mickey mouse, meeting with friends, trying to find the rides, watching some videos about mickey mouse and than sitting there and texting your friend who is next to you, while the entire time there is countless amount of rides around you..

On the desktop we only use few applications. The internet browser, iTunes, a video player, microsoft word and in some cases even Photoshop, so that occasionally you can put your face on your favourite band members head,or vice versa.(this example was for PC but for mac it isnt very different you just have iLife, Microsoft Office and again in some cases photoshop).

I attempt to help you use the computer more effeciently by presenting you more applications to work with on the computer which will increase your productivity ten-fold. I attempt to help you use the products you have more effeciently, by hopefully providing tips you already don’t know. I attempt to enhance your internet experience because harnessing the power of the internet is one of the most useful tools any one could ever learn.

If you’re in the blogsphere and/or are a prosumer this blog will be mostly a repeat for you but its my objective to ‘simply the overcomplicated’ for the general consumer around my age

P.S. You can start by downloading firefox at –> www.firefox.com

P.P.S.I hope this is in no way inflammatory and if it makes me sound egocentric or narcissitical i am…lol no im kidding. ok that is just a paradox now. I am just tryin to help you guys ok!Also if you have any ideas please contact me and if you’re better den me, which many are (im a normal user) u have all right to take over….

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