Ajit Monteiro

Ultimate List of Quality Desktop Background Websites

Posted in Desktop Backgrounds, Random Links by amonteiro on February 23, 2007

Although this post is going to read like a spam post, it really isn’t (promise). The other day a friend of mine asked me to recommend a web site for desktop wallpapers. The only good one I knew of at the time was Mandolux. But after reading a recent post on digg I came across a lot more. This is that list…

From More Creative and Beautiful Wallpapers (click for full write up)

From Digg

For those of you that want backgrounds that look like they came with Windows, here is the official set that was considered to go into Windows Vista.

Is this list missing any other good websites? Leave a comment and I will add it.

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Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to Make Historic Joint Appearance at the Fifth Annual ‘D: All Things Digital’ Conference

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Random Links by amonteiro on February 23, 2007

“Apple, Inc. CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, the seminal figures in the development of the personal computer, will make a rare joint appearance at The Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital” conference this year. The two men will jointly discuss the history and future of the digital revolution in an unrehearsed, unscripted, onstage conversation on May 30 with D co-producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.”

Yahoo Finance

This should be a very interesting discussion. Hopefully it hits YouTube for those of us who won’t be be there.

Use Your Xbox 360 Wireless Accessories With a PC

Posted in Microsoft, Xbox 360 by amonteiro on February 23, 2007

 

Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows

Till recently you could only use your Xbox 360 wired controller with a PC, but with the release of the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows, you can now use any of the Xbox 360 accessories with your PC.

Tetris – From Russia With Love (BBC)

Posted in Documentary, Games, Video by amonteiro on February 14, 2007

A very interesting documentary on how Tetris came to be.

“A hard to find documentary about Tetris and its creator Alexey Pajitnov. Also covers the rivalaries between Nintendo and Atari and the absurdities of buying copyrights for software from a country that doesn’t believe in property, much less intellectual property. Ultimately, a great documentary about a very important game.”

Tetris – From Russia With Love (BBC)

DreamScene (Preview) Released

Posted in Microsoft, Random Thoughts, UI, Video, Vista by amonteiro on February 14, 2007

DreamScene (Preview) was available for Vista Ultimate users yesterday. For those who don’t know, its a Windows Vista Ultimate Extra that allows users to use a video as their desktp background.

I have been playing with it a bit, and I’m glad its still a preview, not a full release. It still needs some work; The one video that is included with it crashes for me.

Other video’s however do work, and my CPU utilization hovers at about 35% with most of them. This isn’t bad considering my computer is only a Dell Inspiron 6000, 1.6Ghz with 1GB of RAM. I could see it being worth it on a faster computer, however I’m still not convinced I want my wallpaper moving, seems like it would be too distracting; Maybe on a secondary computer.

If you have had the chance to install it, here are some additional scenes to download. Unfortunately they are all on Rapidshare.

Here’s the DreamScene demo that’s been going around…

Windows Vista Tips

Posted in Microsoft, Vista by amonteiro on February 14, 2007

the How-To Geek has a list of Windows Vista tips that might be found useful.

My Exposé (for Vista)

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, OSX, UI, Vista by amonteiro on February 12, 2007

My Exposé (for Vista)

Here’s is an interesting app that gives you OSX’s Exposé functionality, in Windows Vista. If you press F9, or swipe your mouse to the top left corner of the screen, you get to see all your windows side by side. You can then click which window you want and that will be the selected one. You can also customize what button or which corner is used.

A nice alternative to Flip3d and Alt + Tab. It is also open source in case you wanted to learn how its done or improve on it.

My Exposé ( – Via the How-To Geek)

Note: I had to download and install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package to get it working.


How To Use Google Widgets On The Vista Sidebar

Posted in Gadget, Microsoft, Vista by amonteiro on February 7, 2007

Since Vista has only been out for only a couple of weeks, its Sidebar gallery is fairly limited. However using Amnesty Generator you can now add Google Widgets to your desktop. Although not all of Google’s Widgets work well, you now have access to most web widgets created in its library. Besides its really easy…

1. Download and install the Amnesty Generator.

2. Open your favorite web browser and goto http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open.

3. After picking a widget and configuring it. Click “Add to Webpage”.

4. Then click “Get the Code”

5. Copy and Paste the code into the Amnesty Generator window like below.

Amnesty Generator

6. Click “Generate…” and it will add the Widget/Gadget to your Sidebar Gadgets List.

Below is an example of the Google Maps Gadget used on my desktop

Google Maps Widget on Desktop

My Work/Play Environment

Posted in Cool stuff, Microsoft, Random Thoughts, Vista, Windows Media Center by amonteiro on February 7, 2007

Over at Channel9 they have a post called “Vista Desktops – Post yours“. Since I talk about Vista a lot, I thought some of my readers might be interested in seeing what my system(s) look like.

DesktopThis is the main computer I use, a Dell Inspiron 6000, 1.6Ghz with 1GB of RAM. Not a powerhouse by any means but its proof that Vista doesn’t need a high end computer to run smoothly. Aero is turned on and it runs very similarly to XP, although I don’t game on it at all.

  1. The background image is from Mandolux – The left half is another laptop (more on this later)
  2. The top two gadgets are clocks that come with Vista for India and Chicago since I have to keep track of both time zones
  3. The third is the custom gadget I wrote to control winamp
  4. I also use Microsoft OneNote a lot, whose file is store on the server so that all computers are automatically up-to-date. It works better than I anticipated. I can press the windows key + N, write a note and its immediately updated on all computers. More on how to do this here…

The other computers in the network I get to by using a program called Synergy. It allows me to control them using the same keyboard and mouse over WiFi (without a KVM).

So if I move my mouse passed the edge of the screen left, it moves on the desktop of my Windows XP computer. It is a work computer so I can’t post any screenshots; however I use that for all my work related tasks.

HTPC DesktopIf I move the mouse up passed the edge of the screen I end up on my server/HTPC computer across the room. This also uses Windows Vista but is always in Media Center mode. It is an older custom built Athlon 3000+ 64bit with 1.5GB RAM (although it runs Vistas 32bit version). It can also be accessed using the windows media center remote or keyboard.

There is also an XBox 360 in the network that gathers media from the HTPC. Here is a full network diagram (note the XP computer doesn’t show up on it for some reason)

Network Map

Go Beyond Vista. Apple starts spamming!

Posted in Apple, Humor, Microsoft, OSX, Random Thoughts, Vista by amonteiro on February 6, 2007

I am trying really hard to keep an open/unbiased opinion on the Apple vs Microsoft debate. Going beyond their regular smearing ad campaigns, they have graduated to spamming peoples inboxes (mine included). Here’s an email I received on the 4th of February.

Go Beyond Vista

For my skeptical readers, I’d like to first point out that this email was definetely received from Apple, and not some third party. I can say this, because the images that make up the email, http://images.apple.com/chatterbox/us/2007/02/3906/img/ttl.gif and http://images.apple.com/chatterbox/us/2007/02/3906/img/mainimage.jpg are clearly off the apple.com servers.

Apple does have some very slick products, including OSX, the iPod and hopefully the iPhone soon. Why not show these off, instead of playing dirty with their competitors. I have watched a lot of videos on on10 and Channel9 and Microsoft employees very rarely (if ever) mention their competitors, let alone speak badly of them.

Sorry Steve, but I’ve already upgraded to Vista, its simpler, more secure and way more fun”. Not to mention it works with all my stuff like my printer, camera, xBox 360, home theater system and phone.

Doing some looking around on the subject I came to Paul Smith’s blog which had this rather humorous response…

Beyond Mac OS