VLC Media the Top Video Player?

Video players are one of the most common software in the world of computers but there are so many of them and very few which are actually decent and reliable. VLC is been considered for sometime the best player out there. Is that claim true or just hyperbole? Let’s find out.

VLC originally started as a school project by students at Ecole Centrale Paris in France. The project started out pretty barebones but the students approach to create an open environment for fast customizations and add ons by anyone in the net, made the program expand rapidly. When the program started gaining momentum and gaining support, the creators decided to make it a freeware. Since 1996, the program has achieved a billion downloads as of the last download check in 2011. The interface of VLC is very modular and standard; it has the top bars and the bottom video modifications buttons. The options for customization and optimization go really deep in VLC, though many people are just happy with its array of codecs which allow it to play pretty much any video you have. Also unlike Windows Media Player, VLC has a very light usage of cpu even when playing massive files and this largely increases it’s stability. The program being written in C makes it also very fast due the lower level language. Programs written in lower languages such as c, c++ are a lot faster than programs written in higher up languages such as c# etc… VLC also runs in every possible os with the same speed and reliability. It’s also available on android phones. With all these features and abilities, VLC is one of the top video players out there.

Is Google Chrome the Best Browser?

 

In the early days of the internet, they were few of these things called web browsers and there wasn’t much of a choice as of which one to get. Now though these days the choices have augmented largely and the choice isn’t as simple as choosing the least suspicious one.  Each browser has features unique to it so choosing might be up to you and your preferences. Here are a few features about chrome.

Google Chrome

Chrome is a web browser created by Google in their recent expansion from search engine to multimedia conglomerate. The browser’s aim was simple to be a faster, more secure and integrate the various properties of Google into one simple portal. Chrome’s aims were admirable like all good browsers but did Google achieve that? The speed factor is definitely there, thanks to a new Javascript engine, Google’s Chrome ranks as the fastest web browser as of its creation. But the most important feature for anything interacting with the unknown web should be security. The security is fine from what the using population suggests but most researchers done as to which browser is the best have been very controversial. For example one research that suggested Chrome was the most secure had a conflict of interest in which the research itself was funded by Google. Such is the way of these researches, the best way to find about security is to do a survey on your own to find out what the users in the web and review sites suggest. The aesthetics of the browser are also unique to it, with only safari having a similar look to it. Chrome has a very minimalistic look, if Apple made a browser this is how it would probably look. Although this looks great and slick, it can be annoying to do some simple customizations especially without looking on the web. Another thing positive for Chrome is its fast ability to implant new web features such as html 5, new video codec supports and many more. Google initially promised a lot with Chrome and under delivered. But like Rome, Chrome isn’t going to be built in one day; it has come a long way to being one of the best browsers out there.

Microsoft Office or Open Office?

If you work in an environment where computer work is involved then you surely use of these applications. And even if you don’t these are universally known applications at this point, at least one of them is. But which one is better, is it just a case of comfort? Or is one program technically just better than the other for what it sets out to do.

Like the title says Microsoft Office or Open Office? Those are the two main programs used in most offices for works such as spread sheeting, creating data bases and word processing. First we’ll look at their interfaces, Microsoft Office like all its iterations get’s the look of the new windows OS. If you are running Windows 7 you will be very familiar with the interface of the new office. It has the same start icon for each of its different applications. For those who don’t know, MS Office is not itself a program but a hub for the entire sub Microsoft apps such as Excel, Word and others. The interface for open office isn’t slick looking or with a high design style but its simple and functional which is the most important. Although if you are one for style, you can change the look of Open Office, as you might have guessed Open Office is pretty open to modifications and customization unlike the mostly closed Microsoft Office. Getting to learn the features for Open Office are way easier, since they all have the bare-bones interface which point out the actions you want to do. In Microsoft office software’s, a lot of the features are hidden behind tabs and bars, unless you go looking around a bit you won’t find them. Talking about features, Open Office has everything except the email client, Microsoft has Exchange but it isn’t the best email client out there but at least when you buy Microsoft Office you get it. Other than that they offer the same software’s, one for word processing, spread sheets, presentations, math and a few others. Office has even more software types but those are really niche for specific stuff. Those are a few differences between the two programs, hopefully you can make a better choice with this article.

Best DJ software

One of the most popular music styles in the last decade is the electronic and techno genre. A lot of the famous dj’s and producers got started by playing in their basements on their computers or electronic keyboards with very little professional equipment. Learning has truly become easy through the internet and computer. Applications and tutorials exist for nearly everything. Sometimes it becomes hard to know which application to choose from a sea of possibilities

VirtualDJ

It is one of the most recognized DJ software around the world. Like many programs of the last few years, VirtualDJ has strived for more intuitive interfaces; one of the main areas where that shows is the drag & drop utility. With that you can easily add different tracks, mix them in a variety of ways and have yourself a remix. Within the software you can use a feature to emulate the scratching board of a real set, which sounds just like the real thing. All the effects such as backdrop, loop, beatgrid are all there and many more. Some very well-known  djs have used this software, such as Numark, Hercules, Gemini. The latest version has a beatlock feature will make sure your track stays with the beat. There now is also a video engine which lets you mix music videos or make karaoke’s easily. The community is easily the largest among all the dj software ones. This leads to a lot of customization benefits such as different skins and add ons for mixing. Either you want to mix some songs or are already known how to dj this software is for everyone, novice to expert.

Top Video Editing Software

Windows Live Movie Maker

This is the latest update of the simple humble video editor by Windows. Its simplicity is a pro but also a hindrance. If you want to do some really in depth editing this is not the software for that. If you want to do some quick easy cropping, converting and adding a few effects, this will do the job. This is also great for youth because of it’s easy to understand interface and fun functions. The interface is really simple but it achieves what you want to it do while you create layers and playlists, a lot of other programs could learn something from it. If you want to do some casual editing this is the editor for you but if you want to get more serious there are many other programs for that. The best thing about it other than it being simple is that it is completely free.

Sony Vegas Studio

This is one for the big boys, if you want to get serious with editing and formatting your videos, this is it for you.  The program requires a good CPU to use with ease, its functions use a lot of the live ram, so one thing you do need unlike Windows Movie Maker is a good PC. Also if you are willing to get this serious you should know there are some monetary fees ahead. Depending on the version and license you get the price may vary but generally speaking this is a program made with professionals in mind so the price is nearly always high for someone just looking to test it, although there is a 30 day trial for it. If you want the best possible rendering and formatting for your video this is the software for you but be prepared to spend some time learning the ropes.

 

Best Video Capture Software

Capturing what’s going on your screen can be important; some people make helpful videos for others or just to have fun. Either way what you want is software that is capable of capturing your work while not interfering within it or slowing it down.

Camtasia Studio

One of the best video capture software out there, its performance and reliability are unbelievable. The software at first glance looks complex but it is very easy to get into, it also comes in with an in depth tutorial for beginners and even with some tricks for more advanced users. Camtasia has one of the best audio recording systems and most recordings without any tweaking will run at a solid 30fps. One another thing it does is rendering, not only video capture have  this feature, many users will have to use another program such as Sony Vegas to deal with the rendering to reduce the massive size of these videos but Camtasia has this feature built in. A few of the negatives are that you cannot add effects within the software; you need another application for that. That might not be such a big deal but the price for Camtasia might be too much for some who just want capture footage casually.

Fraps

This is another software that is very well known but for very different reasons than Camtasia. Fraps’s interface and design has no complexity but that doesn’t mean it lacks the features to make it a great program. One could even argue the simple design of the interface is better than the more complex and professional one of Camtasia. Fraps will deliver the same quality that Camtasia does, it has a wide range resolutions it can capture all up to 30 fps. Another advantage for Fraps is it’s relatively cheap price compared to the $300 of Camtasia. The most recent version of Fraps will cost you only about $37. Fraps doesn’t have many other capabilities other than capturing the video unlike Camtasia. A negative for Fraps is the many browser plugins it tries to install during the installation process, you got to be careful if you don’t want intrusive search bars in your browser.

There are a few other applications for capturing video but these two are the very best in my eyes and with the experiences I’ve had with them. Hopefully this helps you choose a video capture software.

 

The Antivirus Guide

One of the most important parts of your computer is the Antivirus, a lethal bug can not only wipe out your entire data but even render your hardware useless. Each antivirus software will claim some groundbreaking technology that defeats viruses but it’s not long before a virus comes out that circumvents that. The only way to combat that is have an antivirus software that is consistently improving and updating to keep up with the new viruses and worms. Here are a few antivirus softwares which will hopefully keep your computer alive.

The first two are almost symbiotic in their existence. AVG Anti Virus Free and Avast free are the two of the most downloaded software on CNET, there is a very good reason for that. Both being good and dependable free ant viruses. If you are going to chose one of these you need to also get an anti malware software. These two are definitely entirely free but they also have paid versions which are naturally better in every single way. If your someone who uses your computer casually, doesn’t download many files of the web and mostly goes to trusted sites, this might be good for you. To anyone who uses the web a lot and these are not the best security for you, a lot of important features are left out and also the fact that the paid versions have bigger database for virus recognition. Another annoying part of the free deal is that updates for the database occur later for the free versions. These are recommended for anyone you know who might be a light pc user. If you are above the average pc user and want something free, these are the two best but don’t forget to get an anti malware software along with it, something such as Malwarebytes.

There is two other great antivirus software, both are paid but very much worth the price. First there is ESET Smart Security’s, which is a giant killer of viruses. Unlike many antivirus softwares of the old, the interface is slick and easy to use even for non IT folk.  It has an amazing sandbox feature, which will run all registered files in a sandbox to see if they contain malevolent code. This is done when you chose to with suspicious files, it also doesn’t take hours to scan the files like some other software’s would do. The price might seem a bit step but it does carry the value of it. The other is Bitdefender, since its creation Bitdefender has consistently been considered the best by many, an amazing feat for an antivirus software, which seem to come and go. It’s threat to alert speed is second to none and it also has a much more  reasonable price than ESET Smart Security. Another thing to worry with these big fully featured antivirus is how much do they affect the performance of everything else. Some users have had slower response rates with ESET running at full security while with Bitdefender that has rarely been reported. Both are amazing antiviruses and definitely two of the best right now. It doesn’t matter which one of these you get since both will protect you well.

The days of a virus being behind every file, every possible web page are gone but the threat still remains alive therefore antivirus software are still an essential tool.

Recommended links: http://free.avg.com, http://www.avast.com, http://www.eset.com/, http://www.bitdefender.com

The 3D Animation Softwares to Get

Any field as vast as 3D animation is bound to have many software tools to choose from and logically for someone starting it’s hard to decide which one to pick. While experiencing it yourself can be the best way to decide which software appeals the most to your taste, it is bothersome to download a trial or in some cases the only option is to buy and then notice it’s not what you’re looking for. Well this article is for you, interested in getting into 3D animation or 3D modelling? Not sure where to start? This article might be of help to you.

-In no particular order

Macromedia Flash

Everyone knows or at least has heard of flash, its extensive use in web pages and pretty much everything on the internet from video players to flash only sites to games.  It is an absolute giant in the realm of animation or creation of anything interactive. Although being ditched by Apple was a long lasting stain, it hasn’t stopped the millions of applications and assets being created on Flash. Use of Flash on web pages has been long debated, the new wave of advertisement thanks to Flash has made some sites unquestionably frustrating to navigate although it has also created some spectacular sites only made with Flash from ground up. In terms of animation, Flash is still largely the same, it is very much the simple yet with great depths if you so wish to explore them type of program. Many educational institution still prefer Flash over the other choices for its widespread usability. There is a version free to try in their official site.

http://www.adobe.com/products/flash

Autodesk Maya

Maya is like a jack of all trades that does everything amazingly. The quality you can get from drawing something (although it’s still suggested to use another app specialized for drawing objects) and then animating is beautiful. Unlike Flash, Maya’s most prominent use is for applications outside the web such as video games, movies, effects. The community for Flash is certainly bigger internationally but Maya has a decent community behind it too. Also the full version is easily available for educational purposes. The possibility are truly endless with Maya but that’s if you’re willing to go through the learning curve.

http://usa.autodesk.com/maya/

Autodesk 3D Max (Formerly known as 3D Studio  Max)  

Another  top notch tool from Autodesk, this one has been around for a long time like Flash. Its use and features have changed tremendously from each iteration it’s had. This one is more oriented to make longer scenes than Maya or Flash. The animation can be as good as motion capture thanks to the IK(inverse kinematics) which is an great achievement by the developers. For longer animated works, 3D studio max is the best possible choice. Polygon modelling is also possible on this but Maya has more tools for that. Many believe the best quality for CGI is only possible with 3D Max. Find out for yourself.

http://usa.autodesk.com/3ds-max/

5 Great Short Books To Read

Here are some of the short novels/books I have read and really enjoyed. Even if you are someone who doesn’t like reading you will enjoy some of these wonderful books.

5- A Descent Into The Maelstrom By Edgar Allan Poe

A very strange yet interesting old man tells the story of the survival of his shipwreck and also how he managed to survive a whirlpool. Mr Poe’s works are often associated with macabre although some parts in the book confirm that, most of the book is about mystery and surprises.

4- Candide By Voltaire

If you like comedy and wits this book is made for you. It will engross you in a world with bizarre politics and different societies. Sometimes the satire is too much but Voltaire knows when it’s enough.

3- Any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Short Stories

As a physician himself Sir Arthur told some of the situation with such depth not seen often in books. All of his stories have wits, intellectuality and mystery. For anyone who loves those three genres, Sir Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes will be perfect for you.

2-The Old Man And The Sea By Ernest Hemingway

Another story about an old man, Ernest Hemingway’s last work, I believe. An old man who fishes hasn’t got a fish for over 80 days. The book reveals how he catches a huge marlin and his struggle to get him back on land. A test of strength between man and nature. Very very short read.

1- The Ebb-Tide By Robert Louis Stevenson

Really liked this, I don’t want to say much about what happens. But the story revolves about a few characters living in Tahiti, all come from different social backgrounds. It’s the classical story where all there problems somehow intervene .

There are so many great books, it is hard to make a definitive list. These are a few I enjoyed.

How to Pick A BBQ Grill Cover?

With the summer in the horizon and the sun coming out soon, you will probably get your BBQ out. But you won’t always be using it! You will surely need a reliable cover to prevent it from getting dirty or the rain rusting it out. There are two types of BBQ grills, electric, charcoal and gas. Charcoal is getting older and getting behind while Electric is getting more popular. The Gas type being around the middle and still useful.

BBQ Grill Cover For Charcoal
Charcoal BBQ’s are the ones that get dirty really easily. Because all of the charcoal dust and other burnt materials collected inside, if you want good protection for this kind of BBQ use a Weber Vinyl cover. If the dust goes on the inside of the cover you can just dust it off. Some other covers get stained by Charcoal but not this vinyl cover by Weber.

BBQ Grill Cover For Gas
Unlike the Charcoal one, this BBQ type doesn’t get that dirty. But the rain might affect some of the mechanics. So any sturdy cover that helps against the rain would a cover to get. A weather resistant and element resistant cover is what you’re looking for. I am not going to talk much about electric BBQs since they still aren’t mainstream but some cover similar to this would do.

Whatever the BBQ type you have a cover will be essential for its survival.