Easily View Home Media Anywhere!

If you are looking for a way to listen and view your music and photos wherever you are, Tonido might be for you. It offers an easy way to setup a home server with a great looking graphical interface. With Tonido running, and web access enabled, you are able to listen to music, view photos, and share any files on any computer with an Internet connection. For users on the go, this is great to have.

After installing Tondio and setting up web access, you are given a url which you can use to access the server. After logging in on the page, you are brought to the administration page (seen above) which allows you to edit various settings, as well as launch any of the Tonido ‘applications’ (jukebox, photos, etc.) Each ‘application’ is simple to use, and  Jukebox is especially useful as it allows you to stream your home music colleciton anywhere, at a bitrate of your choosing.

Overall the interface is very clean and professional looking, and everything is easy to find. If you are looking for an easy solution to serve your home media collection, Tonido is a good place to look.

System Explorer

Ever wish you could replace Windows Task Manager with a more powerful alternative? System Explorer is the software for you. I recently tested System Explorer out and found that it does everything I need in a process manager, and then some.

Not only does it allow a user to see all running processes, and how they were launched (hierarchical tree), but you can also upload a file to be scanned by the leading a/v companies, search the process name in google with a single click, and even determine if you want the process starting with windows. All that, in the first two tabs.

As you continue to the next tabs in the “monitoring section”, you can view a history of programs accessed, what files are being used, what programs are accessing the net, and even create and compare “snapshot” of running processes.

In addition to the monitoring section, there is also an Autoruns viewer built right in, where you can view exactly what is starting with Windows, and have the option to disable or delete any entry.

Lastly, System Explorer includes an Unistaller tab as an alternate to Windows add/remove programs, and a Settings tab which allows you to enable/disable various components of the System Explorer tool.

Overall, System Explorer is a must have for any power user who wants to keep their system under a watchful eye without paying a cent.

Introducing MP3.PC-pad!

We’re happy to introduce a new feature on PC-pad: The MP3 section. Basically, we now offer a small on-demand music streaming service at http://mp3.pc-pad.com. We’re filling up the playlist with our favorite electronic songs, including trance, house, techno, hardstyle, and industrial. You simply select what you want to hear and it plays, or just sit back and let the player shuffle the playlist for you. It’s all Creative Commons, so while you won’t hear Basement Jaxx, we think you’ll like our selections. If you feel something’s missing though, there’s a link on the page where you can recommend us your personal favorites. Before you inundate us with Daft Punk’s “Alive 2007” (and rightfully so, it was an excellent album), remember the songs must have a Creative Commons or similarly permissive license. We’re not trying to profit from free music (there will be no ads or similar capitalist ventures), we simply don’t have the funds to pay the RIAA’s protection money.

Give it a spin now and be sure to send us some feedback.   😉

Electric Sheep gives your PC a wooly zap!

Sheep frolic in the electric fields

Screensavers today are in a sad state—either you’re stuck with the mindbogglingly dull defaults that came with your operating system, or you walk through a minefield of spyware and gaudiness.  There hasn’t been an After Dark release in over a decade.  Our thirst for satisfying imagery for our idle computers will leave us dehydrated.

Or will it?  Enter Electric Sheep, the open-source lovechild of Scott Draves and thousands of computers worldwide.  On the most basic level, it’s a distributed computing project like [email protected], but instead of curing diseases, Electric sheep renders animated fractal light shows.  With an Internet connection, you can swap these animations (called “sheep”) so that the show never gets old.

Video of some sheep (transitions are more fluid in screensaver, this is just a demo):



No video? Get the DivX Web Player for Windows or Mac

For PCs that are Internet-impaired, you can download premade sheep from elsewhere and simply throw them into the right folder.  The amount of premade sheep available is staggering—ArmoredCavalry casually told me that he had downloaded eight gigabytes of the critters.  Just be sure to set your cache to the amount you download. If your cache is smaller, it will automatically delete the excess. For music lovers, electric sheep can be used as a Windows Media Player visualization with a free plugin.

One cool little feature is that the sheep can “evolve.”  By pressing up or down on your keyboard when a sheep is running, you say that you like it or dislike it, respectively.  The most popular sheep will “mate” and develop new sheep that have characteristics of both their parents.  If you aren’t scarred by the suggestion that love is a popularity contest, you can be treated to some pretty cool images.

Hulu.com

If you’re looking for a site for streaming your favorite tv shows, and movies, look no further. Hulu.com is the has all this, and more. Hulu was created in March 2007 by NBC Universal and News Corp, and has been improving and building ever since. Content is always expanding, and currently Hulu hosts shows and movies from FOX, NBC Universal, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Brothers, and others.

As for quality of the content, video can be streamed in either 360p, or a higher quality 480p. I watch shows and movies on a 1440×900 widescreen monitor, and the 480p stream looks great. You may be wondering what the catch is by this point. Well, as you may know, streaming video takes huge amounts of bandwidth, which in turn costs huge amounts of money. To pay for this, Hulu has advertisements during the shows. An average TV show has about six, 20 second long advertisements. However, in my mind, this is well worth the ability to stream high quality video on demand.

You can watch most shows without registering on Hulu, but there are some nice advantages if you don’t mind registering. By signing up for an account, you can have email updates whenever a new episode of your favorite show is put up, queue videos to watch later, and write reviews about any clip, episode, or movie. Another feature of Hulu is the ability to embed custom clips of shows (lower quality) from Hulu on your own website:

The only downside to Hulu is the inability to set a larger cache for video. This means that, instead of the video continuing to load while paused, it will simply stop loading altogether. So to stream 480p video, you will need a fairly high speed connection able to continually load the video.

Overall, Hulu is a great site for free, high quality, legal, content. It shows real iniative into the world of online television, and is hopefully a sign of things to come.

Auslogics Freeware

If you have ever visited the download section of PC-pad, you may have seen (and used) Auslogics Disk Defrag, a completely free, speedy disk defragmentation program. What you may not have known is that Auslogics also offers two more great products completely free of charge. The first program is called Auslogics Registry Defrag. Like the title states, this program defragments the registry, keeping it compact and hopefully increasing the performance of your computer. Running the program is extremely easy (and relatively quick), but does require a restart. Here is a screenshot of the interface:

The second program is called Auslogics System Information. This program shows you a huge amount of data about your system, broken down into easy to navigate categories. It also allows you to create a report (with all the info included), in HTML, XML, or plain text. The program is very useful if you want to easily find a detail about the system you are currently using. Here is a screenshot of the starting screen:

Auslogics puts out quality software, with great looking interfaces, for free. So, if you haven’t yet, give one of the above programs a try.

Intro Page

I created an intro page, done in flash, I started with a great flash template (free!) from a website called flashmo. From there I applied a few tweaks to make it personal, and now you see it on the front page. Of course, I’m the kind of person who loathes flash intros, so if you are too, then make sure you bookmark this page (as in the one your on right now), that way you don’t have to agonize through hitting that “skip movie” button again!  Feel free to leave a comment about what you think, but only if what you think is something along the lines of “man that is awesome”, “boy that is cool”, or “yo, dog, that is off the chain”.

Update: You can view the intro page here. Tell me what you think of having it as the main page.