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Chris Cardell

Google Reader themes… makes sense

Annie Chen a Gmail engineer announced the introduction of themes within Gmail almost two weeks ago. Having tested a lot of these themes, it wouldn’t be controversial to say that many of them …

Stop reading… it’s too dangerous!

According to PC Tools, today (November 24) could be the worst day of 2008 for malicious cyber activity. PC Tools most famous for Spyware Doctor and Registry Mechanic have come to this conclusion …

LunarPages Web Hosting Review

LunarPages is one of the big names in web hosting. Apart from their support, LunarPages is an extremely average web hosting company. We consider their package options, server speeds and prices run of the mill. LunarPages terms don’t leave a lot of wiggle room either, this was demonstrated when we hosted a fairly high traffic […]

Come on Google… Chrome for Mac?

And Linux for that matter. It’s been almost three months since Google launched their very own browser, Google Chrome. Competing with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Opera, Google Chrome launched …

a2z2r.com… that’ll be £50,000 please

Recently we’ve discovered an eBay category home to the cheekiest, confused and optimistic of all eBayers. The sub-category ‘Domain Names’ within ‘Computing’ holds a vast array of astoundingly over-priced …

Western Digital 1TB My Book Review

Back in December of 2007 we purchased the USB version of Western Digital’s My Book Essential Edition 1TB external hard drive for £159.99 from Amazon. Since then the price has dropped to £89.98. Ouch.

Western Digital My Book EssentialHaving always purchased Western Digital hard drives and never seeing any disk or cable failures it becomes difficult to understand how so many people see these drives fail. Its either pure luck on our part or people are not treating these things correctly. In reality it’s probably a mixture of the two. Issue number one, putting all your eggs in one basket, one terabyte is still a significant amount of data. If you have the desk space and an extra socket it may be smarter to spread the risk and purchase two 500GB hard drives for a similar price.

Almost 11 months have passed problem free, the drive looks great, its very quiet, fast and we get 931.5GB of actual storage. The software that comes with device is fairly abysmal, as long as your computer is relatively new (less than 8 years old) it should work out the box without the need to install any software or drivers.

On Amazon you might find some odd reviews and some plain untrue, this one probably slots into the ‘odd’ category. Ms. S. Johnson explained how her 6-month-old hard drive failed,

“Apart from the occasional rebooting of explorer from this ‘My Book’ I thought well that’s a quirk – today there was a bump it jumped about an inch in the air (NOTE – IT JUMPED BY ITSELF – I did not knock it – the inertia of the internal failure was that bad).”

Mr. R. C. Dawson stated,

“If you use Mac, do not buy a Western Digital Drive. It will not partition and cannot be reformatted for Mac. There are tutorials available trying to solve this. They do not work. WD support is useless. The drive is a waste of time and money. Avoid.”

This statement simply isn’t true. Our drive is formatted with NTFS and is fully readable by our Mac Pro. Mac doesn’t come with the ability to write to NTFS out the box. However software is readily available that allows you to write to NTFS as well as read from it.

Although our experiences have shown Western Digital to be only a shining beacon of reliability (our 250GB WD external hard drive purchased June 2005 works as if new) there seems to be an overwhelming number of people who would disagree.

Beware when purchasing hard drives, due to moving parts they will never be 100% reliable.

Remove “For testing purposes only. Build 6801″ watermark from your Windows 7 desktop

Our previous tutorial showed how to unlock protected features such as the superbar, remove the watermark and remove the 30 day trial.

In this tutorial we’ll just be showing how to remove the watermark at the bottom right of the screen on Windows 7 build 6801 desktops in easy steps. The watermark should state “For testing purposes only. Build 6801″ and look a little like the image below.

Windows 7 Taskbar

Too many Vista versions… mistake?

Apple has always kept three words in mind, “keep it simple”. Microsoft (market leaders in confusion) take the opposite approach. With eight different versions of Windows Vista they like to keep customer mystification …

Garmin Forerunner 50 Review

Garmin WatchGadget geeks need exercise like anyone else, however in the time between leaving their place of residence and partaking in a run they can suffer withdrawal symptoms. No longer, thanks to the ‘Garmin Forerunner 50 + Footpod’. The watch acts as a regular, yet rather sleek digital device used for presenting the time. The real beauty comes when pressing the ‘mode’ button that moves you into ‘train’ mode.

While running its possible to check your speed, distance travelled as well as time taken, all this data is wirelessly transmitted from your footpod to your watch. The clever part comes next. Once you’ve cooled down and showered its time to meticulously analyse your journey. This is made possible with the Garmin Training Center, insert the USB dongle (included along with the watch and footpod) into your computer (after previously installing the required software). ANT Agent will allow you to wirelessly transfer the data from the watch to the USB dongle, once the data has been transferred Training Center allows you to view the statistics and a graph of your run or cycle.

Garmin Training CenterOur only gripe is that we purchased too early, bought at Amazon for £64.99 (roughly $100), a few days later we noticed it dropped to £37.99 (roughly $60).

Pros are that it’s affordable, sleek, easy to use, reasonably accurate and wireless. Cons are a less than one-year battery life and an undersized manual.

Unlocking special features and taskbar, removing 30 day trial and watermark on Windows 7 (build 6801)

Windows 7 build 6801 was released into the wild shortly after PDC this year. You may have found and installed a copy simply to find the regular (so last summer) Vista taskbar and wondering what all the fuss is about. There have been some tutorials on how to fix these issues, but they are not all that easy to follow. For example, Rafael Rivera posted a great fix, which allows you to unlock the protected/hidden enhanced Windows 7 taskbar. However, the instructions were a little short and required you to use a command line interface, which simply isn’t necessary.

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