Good iTunes Alternative?

MediaMonkey, while the gold edition may not be free, they do offer a free but slightly limited version. If you have a lot of music in your collection then MediaMonkey might be the tool you’re looking for, its a great organiser.

monkey media

MediaMonkey is a suberb quality MP3 player, it also looks great, it sort of resembles iTunes, but it doesn’t come with all the bloat you’ll find in iTunes. The interface is also fully skinable.

I could only find one major annoyance with MediaMonkey, just like iTunes there is no way to copy music from iPod to PC Library. I am a bit amazed at how software designers can simply forget to code in this much needed functionality.

other than that MediaMonkey is a great tool and can be downloaded here

Are IQ tests accurate?

This won’t be a long post, but have a look at this question below, take from a real IQ test.


If you really want to, have a go at trying to solve it, when you’re ready, read the official answer below:

Official Answer =  10… because the sum of all 4 values = 26.

I wonder how many people have got this question wrong, just because there is more than one answer.

For example : 6; 4 × 9 = 36 might not be as obvious, but its not wrong either. because the pattern is indeed in the question.

Main problem with these – spot the pattern questions is that any answer is infact correct, because its only a matter of time before you can find a pattern to match the answer, the only thing that changes is the complexity of the pattern.

Do we need to revise the use of RE in the digital age?

“RE:” – yes the famous “RE:” you find all too often in email subject fields, but what does it really mean?

Re: means “in reference to” or “in regard to”. It is from the Latin word “Res”, meaning “thing”. You’ll also commonly see Re: in the subject lines of e-mail messages.

To understand how “RE:” became so well known and used, we have to take a step back in time to when it was originally invented and put to good use. In these times, paper was the most common means of business communication. Paper letters often did not contain pre-formatted fields for subject, body, from, etc. Even after the type writer was invented, handwritten mails were a perfectly acceptable way to communicate in business. This is pretty strange for most new school IT geeks who have almost forgotten how to hold a pen. I think it would almost be rude to write a handwritten letter to your boss. It would indeed be interpreted as an an all too personal interaction.

pre-defined fields were first introduced in print templates, after this Faxes naturally included them, Email as a protocol has at least the  From;Subject and Body fields. Lets pay closer attention here to the subject field.

You wouldn’t exactly start writing an email subject with the word – subject, would you? Or how about the email body, its unlikely you would even think about starting the main email body with “body:”. This would be silly, there is no reason to define the field to the reader, because the field is already defined. Everything in the subject line is the subject, in the same way everything in the body field is the body. If you take this one step further then since the introduction of predefined templates, there is no need to start an email subject with “In reference to”  because without a doubt whatever is in the subject line will dictate whatever is coming in the body field.

Why then do we continue to use our good friend “RE:”, I was amazed to find out a great deal of european non english speakers actually believe the meaning of “RE:” is reply.

The older generation, and those who have retained their business manners usually always start a business related email with RE, but its really totally obsolete, and has lost its practical function of setting standards on paper which was usually blank, containing no predefined fields. Since email now contains these fields, there is no reason to continue the use of “RE”. To many of us it feels informal starting a business email with anything other than RE:. I would especially still continue using “RE” if the email concerned a matter of employment.

I am also baffled at the younger generation / non english speakers who have adapted the meaning of “RE:” to now mean “Reply:” without questioning its real meaning, or offically informing the old school politer generation of the reuse of “RE:”, I’m baffled because they must think a great deal of well spoken business men are being silly starting every email with a reply.

What are your thoughts on this – should we continue to use this old RE: standard, rebrand it as offically meaning “Reply:” or ditch it completely.

Input Locale is missing from list of languages Windows Server – A fix for you

Recently I came across a rather unusual problem on one of my Windows 2008 Server installations, an input locale was completely missing from the list of available languages. This made it impossible to select the currency format for that locale, or the keyboard layout, in this case it was Finnish.

After much sweat and tears I found a quick fix which might help those of you in the same situation, this is easier than reinstalling the whole server. I am pretty sure this fix will work on Vista too, but have not tested it on XP.

Create a new reg file using notepad, this has a .reg extention. Then copy the following into the notepad reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts000040b]

“Layout Display Name”=”@C:\\Windows\\system32\\input.dll,-5009”

“Layout File”=”KBDFI.DLL”

“Layout Text”=”Finnish”

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts001083b]

“Layout Display Name”=”@C:\\Windows\\system32\\input.dll,-5137”

“Layout File”=”KBDFI1.DLL”

“Layout Id”=”002d”

“Layout Text”=”Finnish with Sami”

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts002083b]

“Layout Display Name”=”@C:\\Windows\\system32\\input.dll,-5142”

“Layout File”=”KBDSMSFI.DLL”

“Layout Id”=”002e”

“Layout Text”=”Sami Extended Finland-Sweden”





You’ll need to replace the options with the locale you’re missing in this case Finnish = 0000040b. Once you’ve done this restart the computer and the locale should be back in the available list of selections.

Dell D630 Firewire really slow transfer speeds

Recently I wanted to run some USB2.0 vs Firewire Tests, I was amazed to see USB2.0 seriously outperforming the Firewire drive on my Dell D630. I was about to conclude that USB 2.0 might be quicker than Firewire and all the hype about it being faster, was just that – hype.

Luckily I work for a large corporate, where just about everyone in the company has a Dell D630 at the moment. So a few of my colleagues enrolled their D630s, and we tested some results.

I also decided to enlist Microsoft Support in our quest to find the solution to the crummy Firewire performance, andI have to tell you, Microsoft Gold Support is not 1/2 bad, expensive, but they go the extra mile.

I have concluded that the Dell D630 has a manufacturing defect that is present in 50% of the Dell D630s we were able to test on.These tests were carried out in Czech Republic.

Here are some sample graphs. The very last one is taken from my Sony, and btw thats what it should look like.


Notice how the lines of that graph are not at all straight and average as they should be, in fact just by looking at it, it seems like the drive is suffering from some kind of heart attack, or might be broken, actually its not! It’s just a hardware defect, the drive works, but not according to Firewire specifiction.


Good case graph