Windows Vista Build 5231

\'Install...\'

UPDATE:

Ok, I installed it this morning (10/23/2005) but I got irratated with the graphics since I don\’t have a high-end graphics card. It\’s also quite slow… so I dumped it. I reformatted my PC again, and I\’m installing XP at the moment. It should have a nicer interface if I have a more decent graphics card installed in my PC.

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Flock Developer Preview

\'Flock I was closely watching Flock\’s development for quite sometime already. Yesterday, the Flock team has finally released Flock 0.4.8

Flock Developer Preview is now available.

Our code couldn\’t wait any longer to be free!

But! This preview ain\’t for the faint of heart! If you\’re the bleeding-edge type and don\’t mind a few scrapes and busted knees from time to time, feel free to give it a whirl.

We\’ve got interesting ideas in this thing. We want to know what we\’ve done right how we could improve. And we\’ve got a lot of work ahead of us!

So if a bucket of source code and developer binaries sound enticing, head over to our Developer page now.

If you don\’t have any idea what\’s this browser is all about, think about Firefox with extended functionality. There\’s a built in support for social bookmarking del.icio.us and native support for Flickr. It also sports integrated blog posting feature; however, it only supports several blog APIs at the moment including Blogger, Movable Type and WordPress.

It has a very beautiful and sleek theme. I just think users may find it quite confusing because the Bookmarks are called \”Favorites\”, just like IE\’s. There\’s also a star feature (reminds me of Gmail\’s!) where you can share your bookmarks to del.icio.us. There are more great ideas about this browser waiting to be implemented. The Flock team are still vigorously coding to surpass the expectations they are getting. If already noticed, Flock is fork of Firefox. Flock Inc was inspired of social bookmarking and web 2.o that they collaborated with Flock browser. In fact some Flock developers where old Mozilla engineers and some of them had worked on several Firefox projects. In fairness, it looked like a rip off version of Firefox with preloaded extensions and modified aesthetics. Die-hard Firefox fans would scorn at it most of the times.

Please note that Flock is not your ordinary browser and steep learning curve should be expected when using for the first time. There are plenty of bugs in this first development preview release so you should not use it in any mission critical browsing tasks.

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Bear in mind that Flock was based on Firefox 1.5 beta source codes, so if you want to try it, prepair for the worst. Now, get your copy of Flock now.

Link: http://www.flock.com/developer

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Opera – Feel Free

\"NoSeveral days after Opera 8.5 was announced free, people all over the world downloaded the fastest browser on Earth. The ad banner that used to be placed on the free version of Opera was already removed. It has completely gone free.

Only two days after the free Opera was released, one million people have download it from the Opera website — and still counting. At this moment the download counter has reached 1.4 million.

Now that Opera is free, you have more options to choose from. In my opinion, loyal Firefox users would still stick to Firefox… IE fanboys would remain a fanboy unless saved by the angels. It\’s like religion — those faithful followers of Firefox would stick to Firefox while the undecided will be converted. The free thinkers would be wiser and use Firefox, Opera, or any alternative browser they feel like using, occasionally switching from one browser to another.

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Google Talk

\'Google

It started as a rumor. Now, the so-called Google-IM is finally online — Google Talk!

Google Talk features a free computer-to-computer call. It\’s like Yahoo Messenger with voice albeit it looks simplistic. It gives you a basic interface for instant messaging or call with very good sound quality comparable to Skype\’s. However Google Talk uses the Jabber protocol, an open standard protocol which is really promising compared to other existing protocols that is kept privately.

Gmail is integrated with Google Talk. You use your Gmail username and passoword to login and once logged in, you can precisely control who you want to block and who can see your online status, much like the stealth setting inYahoo! Messenger.

The first beta release of Google Talk lacks standard features that is already available in other IMs like file transfer, group conference, video conference, and more… Despite these lacking features, Google Talk is a solid piece of instant messenger. More features will be added soon, and the Google team guarantees that they are doing their best to improve Google Talk in future release.

Website: http://talk.google.com

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Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 Review

First of all this review of IE7 beta 1 is just a glimpse of what is going to be there in the next beta version of IE7. It would be improved eventually before it ships for XP SP2 and 64-bit edition. Also, beware that I am not a fan of IE, so I tell my friends that IE is really not the best browser out there at all; but for the sake of this review I removed all my biases against IE to be fair enough.

After numerous request from IE users, IE7 now sports tab browsing, similar to Firefox, Opera, Safari and other popular browsers. It\’s very similar in function but it\’s somewhat easier to use. When you click the middle button of your mouse (provided you have one), IE7 will automatically open the link in a new tab. By default IE7 will also open links in tabs. Other browsers must be configured to function with the exact behavior of IE7 and it\’s very useful for an average user to have this features by default. Not all users are inclined to adding extensions or plug-ins anyway.

Other Firefox-inspired features are built-in RSS reader and an in-line search box. The RSS reader function like the RSS reader found in Opera but the way it shows and activates the RSS indicator on toolbar is very much Firefox-like.

One could argue if the code base of Internet Explorer has changed. In most cases it loads pages faster but the increased speed is not dramatic. The rendering engine might have improved a little but there\’s no strong basis to support it. The speed gain maybe a significant improvement but it does not beat Firefox, let alone beat Opera, in rendering speed. In terms of rendering technique, I tested the rendering engine of IE7 with the Acid Test that is available here. The result from the test is not good at all (try it). Microsoft have already announced that they will not be able to fix the compatibility issue it has on Acid test. Although IE7 supports PNG now, we will still wait longer until IE finally support web standards.

The toolbars in IE7 has significantly changed in appearance due to the addition of tabbed browsing. Refer to the image below.

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From here, you can see the difference in toolbar arrangement from the conventional browser appearance. The menu bar is aligned with the standard buttons (3). Oddly enough, the tabs (2) are on top of the menu bar and the standard buttons. Those users who have accustomed to the feel and look of older versions of IE will get a little puzzled with the change until they get used to it. Navigational buttons are located on the very top bar, aligned with the address bar (1). You might ask where the refresh/stop button is. It�s actually located at the far end of the address bar.

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Let\’s go check the security tools in IE7. Here, we can see the effort of Microsoft on securing individual users. This tool is very promising because only IE7 has this kind of feature built in the browser. Essentially, every time the user visit a site, IE7 will check the phising sites database to identify whether the site is malicious or not. It will warn you if the site has any reported activities similar to phising. This process can be done manually or automatically.

\'Anti-phising\'

It looks like IE7 is playing catching up with security and features. Let\’s hope that Firefox and Opera will continue to take bigger share on the internet which will eventually push IE developers to enhance IE rendering engine and security, and better support to web standards.

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Solaris 10 on VMware

\'VMware\' \'Solaris

I\’m installing a copy of Solaris 10 in VMware right now… I hope I get this OS working.

UPDATE!

Click here to view Solaris 10 JDS mode screenshots

Here is my desktop PC running Solaris 10.
\'Solaris

EDIT: I removed the big screenshot of this thumbnail. ^_^; Please refer to the newer screenie I have posted.

\'Solaris

This time around, I was able to use higher screen resolution. I could use 1024 x 768 resolution but I don\’t want to cover the entire screen with VMware, so I set it to 800 x 600.

To utilize the graphical UI of Solaris in VMware you must run kdmconfig and choose Xorg (recommended). You need to reboot to see the effect. Later you would see the GUI under 640 x 480 resolution. Just run /usr/X11/bin/xorgconfig in the console to configure the Xorg settings. Be sure to read the instruction as it it quite straightforward.

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