Hey there, this site is pretty old now. I've decided to leave it up as I put a lot of work into it and would hate to see it disappear.


Sort By: 

Star Trek: The Movie

 Star Trek: The Movie I just finished watching the re-boot of Star Trek: The Movie, so I figured I'd write a review on it. Like all remakes I was very skeptical of how good the movie would be. Too often in remakes, they lose the meaning of the original work. I think the Star Trek movie kept much of the original meaning, but also presented it in a much different way than any of the previous Star Trek TV shows or movies have before.

I'll first start our by reviewing the casting choices for the movie since characters are very important to the success of a remake. I think probably the character that was most like the original series was Dr. McCoy. It was almost a dead-on impersonation of DeForest Kelley from TOS except for his appearance. The next most similar character was Scotty. I would say that Spock also bore an extremely close resemblance to Lenard Nemoy that it was scary. The only difference with Spock was his voice was a bit different and that was hard to get over. Finally Captain Kirk, probably bore the least resemblance to the original. The characters appearance seemed a bit off, and his actions did as well. Overall, I think they did an excellent job with the casting, which had to of been a difficult task.

Next I'll review the special effects. This movies had by far the most complicated and advanced special effects I've ever seen in a movie. This is something not typical of any of the other Star Trek movies or shows and will probably annoy a few Star Wars fans who have always had the monopoly in this arena. J.J Abrams did a wonderful job creating some of the stunning scenery in the movie.

The plot of the movie was a bit confusing at first, and in a sneaky way, the movie does away with the timeline of events of the series by the use of time travel (in a Back to the Future sort of way). Because of this, Abrams won't have to worry about canon from the franchise by using an alternate timeline. This is both good and bad. It's good because we'll get fresh stories and won't have to strictly adhere to the past rules, but it could be bad because Abrams could start creating a really bad alternate storyline.

Here's a few other random thoughts about the movie. Spock quasi-dating Uhura was stupid and very unlikely for his character. The Romulans also did not look 'enough' like the Romulans we've seen in prior work. The interaction between Spock+Kirk+McCoy did a very, very good job in bearing resemblance to the original series, and in essence WAS the original series. It was extremely funny to see a 'Red Shirt' die in the movie (like the old shows).

Overall it was a really great movie, and I hope they decide to make sequels. I give it a 10/10....View Comments (0)
Vote  |  Comment
Rating: 6/10  |  Votes: 2

MP3tag - MP3 Tagging Software

 MP3tag - MP3 Tagging Software

MP3tag is a MP3 tagging program. If you're not familiar with MP3 tagging, you should be, especially if you listen to a lot of music on a MP3 players such as the iPod or the Zune. MP3 tagging is also useful if you have a lot of songs on your computer. If you properly tag your MP3 files your MP3 player will group/sort your files in a more logical manner which will allow you to find the music you are looking for faster. This also holds true on your computer whether you are using iTunes or Windows Media player. Many people will tag their music within iTunes or Windows Media player; the problem with this is, if you were to clear out your library within those programs you lose all your track information, because the programs do not directly edit the MP3, but just store the tagging information in a separate database file. If you use a tagging program like MP3tag, you won't have to worry about this anymore.

I recently ripped my entire CD collection as WAV files (for backup) and then I ripped it all again as MP3 files. I did this because I plan to buy an MP3 player in the near future to basically put all the music I own on (which in MP3 format, appears to be 35gb). Fortunately when I ripped the music as MP3's I ensured that my files were tagged. What I discovered was, while my ripped music was properly tagged, my other MP3 files on my computer were not. There was one saving grace for me, which was that I had named almost all of my MP3 files in a similar structure i.e. ARTIST - TITLE.MP3.

MP3tag fortunately has a parsing feature that can loop through my MP3 file's naming convention and automatically tag my files. I first ensured that all my files were named according to my naming convention and I then had MP3tag do the rest. It was really easy, and I managed to tag 2,000 MP3 files in a short amount of time.

Another cool feature of MP3tag is it can actually take your tag information and rename your MP3's file name. This was especially helpful when I had all the tagging information correct but had an inconsistent file name.

MP3tag was also useful because I could 'mass tag' files by selecting them all at once, then in the left column apply a value to all of the files. MP3tag also comes with an auto-numbering track number feature where I can automatically assign track numbers to a list of MP3 files. I found that many of my tags within the track number column were inconsistent such as 1/13, 1, 01 etc.

MP3tag also makes editing one-off file tags much easier than using the Windows interface which requires you to right-click on a file, go to details, and then edit the file there. With MP3tag I can just down-click on a file and the tag automatically turns into a textbox. The program probably saved me 20 hours of time that it would have taken me to do, in the Windows interface.

There are a few cons when using MP3tag. It comes with a 'tag sources' feature which will try to identify your songs and auto tag them. It uses a few different sources to achieve this. I tried using the tool but it appears to be very unreliable and difficult to use. For instance I can search for an album name by supplying the program with an artist and a title. The problem is, the results it returns only lists album names, and not the artist and track name. Without those two columns I am unable to determine whether the album actually contains the track or not.

Another complaint I have is the program doesn't appear to be able to edit iTune/Apple's .M4A files. While I don't have many files in this format It's annoying that I can't edit them.

Overall, MP3tag is a really great program and I recommend it for anybody remotely interested in organizing their music. I give it a 9/10.

...View Comments (0)
Vote  |  Comment
Rating: 10/10  |  Votes: 19

Microsoft Windows 7

 Microsoft Windows 7

Chris Retlich recently encouraged me to download VirtualBox which allows you to run a separate OS simultaneously with your default OS. I then decided to install Windows 7 beta which I had downloaded a few weeks earlier but did nothing with.

I already have Windows Vista and despite all the rumblings about it I haven't minded Vista all that much. I think it's more public perception than actual quality of Vista that is the problem. I wasn't expecting Windows 7 to be much of an improvement due to the fact that it's being released so quickly after Vista was released. The installation of Windows 7 went very quick and required very little input from me. When the OS booted the first thing I noticed was, "gee the taskbar looks different". One of the major changed Microsoft has made is the way the taskbar works. It now acts like a mix of the old versions of Windows and Mac OSX (or more like a glorified version of Nextstep which is what OSX is.) What this means is there is no longer a quick launch toolbar. What we have now is icons such as IE8 sitting in the taskbar automatically and when clicked, are the icon that you use to switch back to IE8.

Another useful thing in Windows 7 is the way you can interact with windowed programs. You can now drags windows to the top, left, or right of the screen and they will automatically resize in different ways. If you drag the window to the top of the screen it will automatically maximize. If you drag it to the left of the screen it will automatically consume the left half of the screen.

Another change is gadgets can now be undocked and moved around the screen freely rather than be stuck on the side. This was one of my biggest complaints about them in Vista and has been fixed. There also appears to be a whole slew of things in Windows 7 related to multi-touch which gives users with the proper hardward the ability to use their fingers/hands to manipulate Windows without a mouse.

Finally, Windows 7 has a better manager for UAC and also a better manager for all those annoying balloon tips that popup in the taskbar area.

Another feature I just recently discovered, is if you right click on a file, you're given the option to "recover previous version" which appears to be a version control feature that uses Windows Backup. It will be interesting to see how well this feature works.

Also another extremely needed feature in Windows is a screen shot generating tool. Windows 7 FINALLY has a tool that allows you to grab various regions of the screen and to save as an image file. Lets hope this will mean I won't have to waste my time at work generating screen shots for co-workers anymore.

So what sucks about Windows 7? My only complaint is that since they got rid of the quick launch toolbar, there is no longer an easy way to "show the desktop". They did create a really small button in the bottom left of the screen near the clock to accomplish this, but since I have such a large monitor it's too much mouse moving to quickly access it. I also am very displeased with Internet Explorer 8's rendering capabilities as it appears it is creating new rendering bugs that don't exist in IE6 or IE7 and also IE8's failure to emulate the rendering of IE7 and IE6 in capability mode. If IE8 is officially released as it is now, it will a worse browser than IE6 is.

I give Windows 7 a 9/10.

...View Comments (1)
Vote  |  Comment
Rating: 9/10  |  Votes: 1


 SPORE SPORE is the latest game from the creators of The Sims and Sim City. Having played both of those games and enjoying them, I thought I'd take a chance and buy this game as well.

The premise of the game is to evolve from a cellular organism to a full blown species capable of space travel. The game starts out by allowing you to customize the look of your cell. After that you basically run around eating other cells and then you earn the ability to to upgrade your cell, either with weapons or friendly features. I of course chose weapons every time to start my conquest of conquering everything in the game.

After awhile of that, which is probably the only boring part of the game, you move on to walking on land. There is a great deal of customization in this part of what your species looks like. With this stage you can start attacking other species and also add members to your gang of warriors.

After this the game zooms out more and allows you to control multiple members of your tribe at once. This part of the game is similar to real time strategy games. I found this part to be quite a bit of fun but not to hard to manage like some other games are.

After that you move to outer space. If anybody has watched Star Trek this part of the game is a lot like the original series. You travel from star system to star system contacting alien life forms and either helping them or conquering them.

I slowed down a bit at this stage and got a bit friendlier trying not to aggravate too many other life forms.

The game has got a rash of bad reviews on computer nerd sites due to its' anti-piracy DRM that is included with it. While DRM is evil and all, the game is really great and I would probably only care about the DRM if I owned the game but didn't buy it.

The only complaints I have about the game is there is no way to reverse evolve or return to stages earlier in life (other than starting a new saved game) Sometimes I'd like to go back and be a tribe again. I give SPORE a 9/10...View Comments (0)
Vote  |  Comment
Rating: 9/10  |  Votes: 1

Call Wave

 Call Wave Call Wave is an voice mail replacement for cell phones. I get really terrible service on my cell phone where I currently live so I seldom check my voice messages. To top that off Verizon has one of the worst systems for listening to voice mails (which consists of listing off 100+ key combination to do random actions.) Another problem with them is their delay in alerting me when I have a voice message. Sometimes I'll get an alert on my phone only to find out somebody called 2 hours earlier, and I'll listen to my message and the phone will alert me again as if I didn't listen to it. Call Wave to the rescue.

Call Wave is a replacement for Verizon's crappy service. Call Wave will send me a text message AND an email every time I miss a call or receive a voice mail. Since I check my email more often than my phone this service works perfect for me. You can also turn of the text message alert option if you do not have a plan for texting.

Even more impressive are Call Waves features. In the email it sends me, It send a MP3 file with the voice message attached. It also gives me a link to immediately text message the caller back. Another feature it has is it gives me the location the caller called from, such as Appleton WI. This comes in really handy when trying to determine who the unknown caller was.

By moving my entire voice mail management system online, Call Wave works better for me. For those who still like the old fashioned way, you can still check your messages from your cell phone using Call Waves menu as well. I give it a 9 out of 10....View Comments (0)
Vote  |  Comment
Rating: 9/10  |  Votes: 1