Xbox Live For $1 Special Plus Added Tweet Function Here

Xbox Live logo since 2005

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For the gamers out there or anyone who pays for a gamer using Xbox Live, you can get up to 5 months for the low price of $1 per month. You can go to the Xbox site at Xbox Live Special Price and do this up to 5 times before it will tell you it won’t do it anymore for you.

I did it five times myself for 5 added months for the 5 dollars. Only thing is that it puts you on the monthly renewal. I had the annual at 33% off special they did for the Holidays last year so hoping to find that again this year or at least before my new renewal date.

Also, I added the ability to link your tweets to posts made here. So you can link things to your Twitter page if you like.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Now Available

Windows 7, the latest client version in the Mi...

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Windows 7 and Server 2008 now has a service pack available for download.

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Tweet in Klingon


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It’s been a while. Sorry. Things came up.

Tweet In Klingon

This is not exactly a tech news. Basically this site will let you tweet in Klingon like from Star Trek. Now others on your following list might wonder what you are saying though but there will be a translation link for them to see what you said.

I tested it and my tweet came out as: DI’ vaj goes Daq may’, ghaH ta’taH ghobe’ lon

This site is affiliated with the online game Star Trek Online. Nice marketing idea.

For anyone who plays that game, they are have a Tax Day sale until 4.19.10. See their website for details.

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LiveCD – Ubuntu

Tux, the Linux mascot

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Last post about Linux, I posted about the Knoppix Live CD option. Ubuntu has this as well which comes with the installation CD. When you put in the CD, it will give you the option to try Ubuntu without any changes to your computer. You can find out about it at Ubuntu Live CD.

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Over the past several posts, I have said a lot of praise about Windows 7. I am just surprised that Microsoft is finally doing things a lot better with 7.

However, Linux is still an OS of choice for me. With Linux the virus scare is non-existent as much as it is with Apple’s OS X. One main reason is the virus/spyware writers aren’t going after the smaller fish as they want to snag the great white shark of the computer world aka Microsoft. But there are a few threats out there mainly because the writers were told it wasn’t possible and they did it just to prove the advertisers wrong.

Now would I say go with Linux right out of the gate blindly? NO! Actually, my first exposure to Linux was one called PhatLinux. This Linux actually ran inside of Windows back in the day of Windows 98. When you were done with it, you would just delete the directory it ran from. But with Windows XP and later, such a thing was not so great. Basically because XP and later used the NTFS file system and back then Linux was not great at writing to a NTFS partition. Read… yes. Write… no.

Now along comes something else that can be a “try before you install for good”. It’s been around for years actually but instead of going PhatLinux route, I’d say a better first try would be a live CD version of Linux such as Knoppix

You would download the image then burn it to disk. Then you boot to the CD/DVD you burned. This can show you a lot about Linux without dedicating hard drive space to it or having to wipe out Windows. I’ve actually used Knoppix to get information off a physically defective drive. Also if you have the know how, you can even crack Windows passwords with it. I won’t say how because that information can be used for very bad things so find it yourself if you want.

As for that Office suite you rely on so much — well, there is something for you there. Most distributions come with OpenOffice or even if it doesn’t you can download OpenOffice and install it on your Linux box. OpenOffice first started out for *nix users but has found a way into the world of Windows as well.

If you need to IM someone — well, we got you there too. Pidgin runs on Linux. Again, it started there and has then been ported to Windows.

E-mail — I can say you can use Thunderbird but why. With Linux you get access to using Evolution which you should try. Evolution has not been ported to Windows.

Gamers — You can get quite a few games running using Wine which can help run a lot of Windows programs. However some games that require DirectX will not run or run that great with Wine. Therefore you may need to pay for a program called Cedega which has a monthly fee. First try it with Wine then if it doesn’t work then look into Cedega.

Now after Knoppix, if you decide to make the jump, there will be some decisions to make and you will need to do some research. Next would be which distro to go with. Beginner Linux I would suggest Mandriva (used to be Mandrake who bought up Connectiva and because of trademark issues with Mandrake the Magician they renamed it Mandriva), Fedora (free version of RedHat Linux), or Ubuntu. Ubuntu is kind of the Flavor of the Month now because it’s based on Debian unlike the other two. Most hardcore Linux users will swear by Debian being the “true Linux”. My first real Linux that required installing to the hard drive was also based on Debian. It was Corel’s Linux SE. Yes, the people who make WordPerfect. Corel dropped it coincidentally around the same time Microsoft gave them a bailout.

After that, I bounced between Mandrake and RedHat. I actually won a CD copy of RedHat off the now defunct TechTV. I know it got put into G4 but it was never the same after it stopped being called ZDTV truthfully. Over the used used Debian, SuSE, Ubuntu (just to taste the Flavor of the Month), and others.

Choosing a distro that you like really depends on you. I hate the “true Linux” crowd making that claim because people should choose what works best for them. And the beauty of *nix is unlike Microsoft and Apple, you get to choose the differences that best suite you.

And all this and I haven’t even touched on the server aspect of Linux if you wanted to run a dedicated server like those of Windows 2003 or 2008. One thing is the Active Directory aspect is not there. Yes, I know. Samba 4, right? Um… will it ever come? Samba 4 has been “in development” for about 6 years now so I am really having doubts. But Samba 3 gives a lot of the server capabilities for Windows clients save having Active Directory.

If you wanted to run a web server at home — we got you. Most web servers you browse to are running some distro of Linux. And you can too for virtually free. Now if you wanted to host other people and make money then you will have to invest in a commercial web hosting package like CPanel but there are some lightweight ones that can make setting up web hosting for a site or two really easy.

Again you will need to do research but this should get you started if you have never thought of using Linux.

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Free Data Recovery Program


Recuva –

On the site, you may see the familiar CCleaner. Recuva is made by the same company that brings us

If you ever delete your files by mistake and also empty the
recycle bin, this program may get your files back. The thing is with
any data recovery program, the more you use your machine after the
delete the less your chances become of recovery.

In the event of emergency when you delete the wrong file, you can run Recuva and see if it will find it for you. It will prompt to save the file to another source so you may need a zip drive or a second hard drive to save it to.

The cost again for Recuva is free. All it takes is the time for you to download it which won’t take long.

While you are at Piriform’s site, you can also pick up an faster defrag program called Defraggler. Defraggler is free as well.

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Windows 7 XP Mode

Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate gives you something called XP Mode which is a free XP Professional that you can download from Microsoft’s site.

One issue if you have a machine with a lot of RAM, you may find it slow but can speed it up increasing the amount the virtual machine uses.

You will need to install an antivirus program inside of Virtual XP. You will install whatever programs you need to install also inside this as well. If a program runs fine in Windows 7, then just run it in Windows 7. This is for programs where you have to have XP or a 32-bit OS if you have 64-bit Windows 7.

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Web Hosting Price Drop

Today there was a drop in price with my web host of several years HomeWeb X.

Also now you can use the promo code of “stunbolts” and even get a discount on your monthly web hosting that will stay for as long as you keep your account. This isn’t just for one-time discount. This also would serve as tracking any referrals from me as well too. 🙂

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Microsoft Office 2010 Beta

I have looked over the so-called top 10 reasons to get Office 2010. And for the life of me, I can’t get excited about any of them to the point I’d pay to upgrade from Office 2007. The biggest feature I would be excited about maybe the ability to work online. However, seen it already with things like Google Apps and others. Microsoft seems to be a day late and dollar short on that.

This is still in beta so maybe something else will leap out before release but if not then I’ll bypass Office 2010 unless I get a deal I can’t refuse.

Other Microsoft news is an OS codenamed Windows 8 due out in 2012. Before all the Windows 7 users think it’s another personal OS to shell out money, it seems that this 2012 OS release is actually the next Windows server group as a follow up to Windows Server 2008.

Speaking of operating systems, Google is going to release the Chrome OS based on the Chrome browser. It’s basically for netbooks and mobile devices and not a full desktop operating system.

And Sony is stepping into the online music game. However reports are that Sony will be a little more than music and most Sony electronics products will be access it. I would venture to guess that the Playstation 3 (or it’s next console).

5.1 surround sound help with Windows 7

I am posting this about getting surround sound music in Windows 7 and this could probably work with Vista.

If you are using a motherboard that uses some built-in sound and you installed the drivers from the manufacturer’s website, you may notice there is no way for you to get surround sound. But here’s how you may fix that.

First, have you noticed the surround sound works fine with a movie or other media but not your music. If this is true then your hardware connections are not the issue. This solution is pretty simple to try too. Uninstall your soundcard driver and delete it. You should have a checkbox in 7 to delete the files as well. Reboot and this time let Windows install the driver from Microsoft. Then go into your sound devices and set it to the number of speakers you have. Now you may see only a choice of two being stereo and 7.1. Even if you have a 5.1 speaker system, choose 7.1. After that, go back to sound devices and click Properties. You may see a tab called “Enhancements”. If you do, be happy. Go to that tab and check the box called “Speaker Fill” if you see it. Hopefully it’s there. That is the enhancement that gives music surround sound.

The alternatives if that’s not open to you is another program besides iTunes. With Winamp, you can find a plug-in hopefully that worked with Vista for surround sound. I would link it but I had trouble finding it anywhere and had a copy of it on another computer. The plug-in is called Vista Sound 51 version I found a link to a bugged earlier version which doesn’t work.

Also if you own Nero Show Time (part of Nero), you can play music in that with surround sound.

I don’t understand why the manufacturer’s drivers would remove the enhancement tab ability but this is one time Microsoft got something right and everyone who removed it was dead wrong.

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