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Archive for the ‘everyday life’ Category

Kisai optical illusion wrist watch hands-on

I haven’t worn a watch for years now, relying on my cell phone to catch a glimpse of the current time. But when Tokyoflash released their Kisai Optical Illusion watch, I had to buy it. I already loved the concept and now, I am the proud owner of the watch. The nice guys from Tokyoflash even offered me a discount since they’ve  been using my qTranslate plugin on their site. Unfortunately, I ordered before the discount code could reach me. Read more »

HTC / Google stole my pixels!

Now after the HTC Desire is finally available in Germany, my cousin immediately ordered one, which finally arrived last saturday. I couldn’t resist testing the 1 GHz Snapdragon compared to the Motorola Milestone I own. But I never got to doing that…

When I looked at the HTC Desire’s screen, I found it to be looking really odd. I could see red pixels between black and white transitions, which is really irritating when reading text. When looking at a pure gray image, it looked like I was looking at a white background through a mesh. It gave me the feeling of looking at a cheap $100 low-res phone where pixels still could be seen.
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Office 2010 for €52? Just another spam mail, wait, it’s from Microsoft?

If someone would offer you Office Ultimate 2010 for only €52, there is only one explanation for the price: bootleg! No need for discussion, unless… it’s Microsoft’s own offer for you! You heard it right, Office Ultimate 2010 for €52. I mean, 93% savings, isn’t that something we only know from those illegal pirated software spam mails?

But this time, it’s a legitimate offer from Microsoft. It’s called “das wahre Office” here in Germany and offers Office 2010 for the unbeatable price of €52 to students. You can only buy Office Ultimate 2007 right now, but as soon as 2010 is released, you will get a free upgrade. I’m a big fan of Outlook with Exchange, so well I guess the €52 are well spent here. Don’t hesitate, the offer is limited to the end of june 2010!

Not only Microsoft is offering these increadible cheap packages, if you use Adobe Software for example, they offer 80% savings for their CS5 packages on their education store. Adobe even allows commercial usage of their software, so if you happen to design websites with Photoshop or create videos with Premiere Pro, the production premium set is available for around €350 on several online shop.

Speed up your WordPress Blog!

Well, making your blog really fast is quite a nice thing for your visitors. And lately it’ll even fall under SEO, as Google now takes Page Speed into account for ranking your website. So how do you get your freshly installed wordpress site really fast? It’s actually really easy.
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Byebye Logitech diNovo, hello Microsoft Arc?

Well, I’ve complained quite a lot about Logitech already, so after my problems with the diNovo edge started, I finally switched to a Microsoft keyboard, at least for the period until the repaired diNovo edge returns. I wanted to switch the brand for quite some time now, but there was simply no alternative if you are used to low profile keys from your notebook or diNovo keyboard. Luckily this finally changed as Microsoft has presented an ultra-flat keyboard called the “Arc Keyboard”, which features quite a nice design while being really small (and 60% cheaper than the diNovo edge). Well, the Arc keyboard looks really great. You can’t complain anything about its looks, but does it work as well as the diNovo edge?
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Fingerprint Reader and Windows 7

Windows 7 is said to have great biometric support. Well, it does, if the Fingerprint Reader would be working. I own a Medion MD 85264 for years now and it was really problematic to setup, especially in XP and Vista. So I was really astonished when I plugged the Fingerprint scanner and Windows 7 installed the drivers right away. A quick look at the device manager revealed that the device was powered by an Authentec AES2501A. But if you tried to actually use it, Windows 7 complains that there is no management software.
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Lunch at the TU-Berlin

Being a student at the TU-Berlin is quite nice. Our campus is right in the city, so it’s quite easy to go shopping right after your classes. We have a canteen called “Mensa” for the students too, serving really cheap food. You usually pay around € 1.90 for some meat, plus € 0.30 for some potatoes or rice and another € 0.30 for a little salad. € 2.50 for a meal, sounds good right? Unluckily, there is a catch. The food tastes incredibly bad. Most students know that, but the alternative is the workers canteen, which offers quite nice food, but for € 4.00 a meal. So what about students like me who don’t have the money to eat the expensive food every day but don’t want to puke after each € 2.50 meal from the Mensa?

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Buying stamps the smart way

BriefmarkeUsually, when you need to send a letter, you would probably walk to the post office to buy a stamp, or maybe a full set with 10 or more. In Germany, post offices are usually really full and it takes quite some time until you can buy your stamps. The Problem is that the post offices here are also a bank, so there are a lot of customer doing bank business there. They do offer vending machines for stamps, but they printed ones are really ugly and not self-adhesive, so you have to lick them, which I can’t stand a bit personally. So is there a better way to get your stamps?
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Editing Images Online

pixlr Online Image EditorAdobe Photoshop is pretty much the standard program everyone use to edit images. It is a great piece of software, but unlucky, incredibly expensive. It has a lot of features, but sometimes, I just want to quickly crop an image or change its contrast and it is annoying to wait ages for it to load. Anyway, while searching for a way to allow users of my German Anime community (animechat.de) to edit their avatars online, I stumpled upon pixlr.

WOW! I never knew that it is possible to edit images that comfortable in my browser. The best thing is that it starts instantly. No need to wait at all, I can just open it up and use it. Perfect. If only Photoshop could be like this… Anyway, pixlr supports a lot of features, not only the basic ones like Painting and Cropping/Resampling. You can use Layers and apply quite a lot filters to your image. I strongly suggest you giving it a try.

It also offers an API to integrate their image editor to your page for editing Images on your website. I am using it on my community now. You can see some more screenshots of pixlr on the tutorials on the community site.

Merry X-Mas

weihnachtliche A Klasse + Elche Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! I have released qTranslate 2.0.2 for you all as my little Christmas present. Thank you all for supporting me, especially those who bought me really nice gifts, send me greetings cards or donated some money! Thanks a lot! I really appreciate it!

I’ll be playing “Junta” and “Siedler” over my holidays all day long. ;)