Unity

Unity Technologies ApS, 2011, freeware or proprietary

Do you like games? Do you like 3D games? Do you wish you could make your own 3D game? Well now you can! Unity 3D is your free (or not free) ticket to making games that can be released to PC and Mac, iOS (iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.,) Xbox, PS, Wii and more! (Pro license required for game systems, Macintosh computer required for iOS publishing) Unity is a very simple to use program, but not so simple to setup. Allow me to explain;

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How to use VirtualBox

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Looking for some good software for your virtualization needs? Look no further! VirtualBox is a great software for running the obvious, like Windows, to running the unknown, like JRocketVE or L4. This simple tutorial tells you how to make a virtual machine in VirtualBox. Here’s what you’ll need:

VirtualBox and an Operating System of your choice.

I will be installing Windows 3.1 on my Virtual machine today. Let’s go ahead and get started!

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The history of computers–Microsoft Windows

Who here likes history? Nobody? I don’t blame you. Luckily for you, I have a nice twist to this history lesson; it’s about computers. Microsoft Windows to be exact. I have a long post for you guys, because I start from the very beginning to into the future generations of Windows and what I would like to see out of the next few versions, so let’s get started.

 

 

Cute-Ball-Windows-icon

Microsoft Windows 1.1

Microsoft, 1985 (One year after Apple Macintosh Classic was released.)

250px-Windows_1.0_logo.svg

Before Windows was an operating system, it was a program for MS-DOS. It was a window manager to say, hints the odd looking icon next to the text above. The reason they called it “Windows” was because it was able to have programs open in a window. Though Windows today is pretty nice, having what we call windows, early versions of Microsoft Windows didn’t have this. Instead it had this…

windows1forpost

The cursor may seem somewhat familiar, but the rest of it doesn’t even look like Windows. Believe it or not, this is Windows. Allow me to prove…

aboutwindows1

Yes, it says “MS-DOS Executive,” but look above that, “Microsoft Windows.” It also shows you how much RAM and disk space you have free. I run Windows off a 200 MB virtual hard drive, so I don’t have to worry about space as much as the real deal users did. Windows was only available from a floppy disk. You can’t even find those anymore. Funny fact about me, I have a few. Two empty (almost empty, that is) small ones, 5 small (3.5”) and 3 large (5.25”) for “Key Fonts for Windows 3.1” (Softkey, unknown year,) 2 small for Microsoft Entertainment Pack for Windows (Windows 3.1, Microsoft, unknown year) Volume 2, 1 for Volume 1, a large for “Version 1”, 3 smalls for Microsoft Visual Basic, 2 large for the same title. Confused yet? That totals to about 13 small and 6 large, for a total of 19 floppy disk drives in my house! In 2012, that’s a bit weird. I salvage. I never even owned a Windows 3 and don’t have a floppy disk reader. Now that I’ve gotten you off topic, back to Windows 1. My opinion of it; it’s the best Windows version ever made. My joke: “Why can’t Vista be like this?”

Microsoft Windows 2.3

Microsoft, 1987

windows2forpost

The second version of Microsoft Windows was way different than it’s successor. As you can see, it’s not quite our Windows yet, but it’s getting there. The new thing here, moveable, sizeable windows. It is also the first Windows that allows you to carry your theme over to Windows 3, if you choose to upgrade at a later date. Other than a few changes, Windows remains Windows. According to Wikipedia, Apple filed a lawsuit towards Microsoft for “using Mac OS’s icons.” I have no opinion in this, as I have yet to use Mac OS. My opinion about Windows 2 is this; I like how they put the ‘”windows” in it and it has a new color scheme, but it’s just Windows 1 with some tweaks.

aboutwindows2

Microsoft Windows 3.1 (“Janus”):

Microsoft, 1992

win3

If there was ever a Windows that described the word “reimaged,” Windows 3.1 would be the version! New everything. This is one of the greatest Windows operating systems out there. If Vista is Windows 1, than 8 is Windows 3! Now you can have program groups, have a background image and say that you own an operating system named Windows, although it is still powered by MS-DOS. In the first generations of Windows, Windows 3 had the most users and programs available. For example, I own 8 titles for Windows. Some on CD, some on floppy (Oh, please don’t go through that again!) Also, Windows 3 was the first Windows OS to easily and somewhat painlessly surf the Internet. Turns out, our great friend, Mozilla Firefox was used by my family when it was still called Mozilla. Gone is Reversi, never to return to the Windows OS. But Windows 3 is one of the best operating systems I’ve used, period. (Here’s my list: Ubuntu, SuSE, Windows 1, Windows 3, Windows 8, MS-DOS.) Unfortunately, it was also the first to have the infamous Blue Screen of Ducks. (Wait, no death…)

All programs are responding

You can intentionally cause a BSoD by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL, shown above. Windows 3 is still a good operating system and I like it a lot, that’s my opinion on the OS.

aboutwindows3

Windows 95 (“Panther”):

Microsoft, 1995

250px-Windows_95_logo.svg

Windows 95 was the new Windows for everything. It was the first to have the taskbar, which defines the Windows operating system now. It was the second time Microsoft had “reimaged” Windows, and it kept happening. I never really used Windows 95 before, but it looks a lot like Windows 98, which was the first computer I used.

290px-Windows_95_Desktop_screenshot

I don’t have much to say about Windows 95 except for it was Windows 95-like. Winking smile I cannot voice my opinion on the OS as I have not used it.

Windows NT 4.0:

Microsoft, 1996

250px-Windows_NT_logo.svg

Again, I never used this version of Windows, but I can say it was Windows NT-like. It was a very big version of Windows, starting way back in Windows 3’s age. I chose version 4.0 because I saw no point in choosing an earlier version.

290px-Windows_NT_4.0

It looks a lot like Windows 95, so there is really no seen difference between the two.

Windows 98:

Microsoft, 1998

250px-Windows_98_logo.svg

This was the first operating system I ever used. Coincidentally, it was released 15 days after I was born! This is one of my favorite Windows operating systems, even though some would say it was horrible. It was the first for both the quick-launch bar and it was the only Windows operating system to allow you to actually have an .HTML file as you background, which could present security issues if not used carefully.

290px-Windows98

My opinion on the OS, is that is is the best modern Windows operating system released before 2000 rolled around, and that’s not because it was released on my birth month and year!

Windows Neptune (Never released):

Microsoft, 1999

If there was ever an unreleased version of Windows that I think would be a hit if it was released, it would be Windows Neptune! I like the new login screen, which makes me think of a past that never even happened.

290px-Aneptunelogon

I can’t say anything about this OS, because it was never even released! But it looks cool. Winking smile

Windows 2000:

Microsoft, 2000 (No, really?!)

Windows_2000_logo

In the year 2000, everybody thought computers weren’t going to work ever again and the world was going to end….. And then there was Microsoft, who make Windows 2000, the 7th version of Windows. Hints the name, it was released on the 17th of February in the year… wait for it…. 2000! Smile I have never really used Windows 2000, but I would say it’s similar to Windows 98.

290px-Windows_2000

It was the first Windows to introduce the blue background which, to this day, is used on the Windows classic theme. I like the new Windows Explorer design (See above) and the new little icon. My opinion on the OS is that, it’s Windows 2000’y!

Windows ME:

Microsoft, 2000

250px-Microsoft_Windows_Millenium_Edition_Logo.svg

Said to be the worst Windows OS, Windows ME came out only a handful of months after Windows 2000, and still looks about the same.

290px-WindowsME

This OS crashed all the time and was very slow. Of course, IE probably didn’t help with that. Winking smile I have never used (and don’t ever plan on using) this OS, so I have no opinion on it except for it was very bad… or so people say.

Windows XP:

Microsoft, 2001

250px-Microsoft_Windows_XP_Logo.svg

Well here it is, guys! The new era of Microsoft Windows, Windows XP! Released 11 months after Windows ME, XP gives a new look to Windows. I have used Windows XP before and suffer from a few headaches, but have never gotten a blue screen… yet. The new look comes with some new applications, including 3D Pinball, which was retired when Vista rolled around. I never really liked the OS, simply because we own a XP machine, and it is the biggest pain in the house. My sister’s Vista is better! But other users like it. If you had to choose a Windows before Windows 7, it would be XP. The new style, which I name “Luna,” didn’t last too long. Only Windows XP had it, but you can probably find a transformation pack somewhere.

290px-Windows_XP_SP3

Windows XP created a new path in personalization which Neptune tried to bring out, user images. This is a new thing that is included with the new start menu, new control panel, new Windows explorer… Shall I continue? My opinion on the OS is, if they released a SP (Service Pack) that fixed some of the bugs found in some computers, it would be up on the top Windows OSes list!

Windows Vista (duh duh duh…):

Microsoft, 2007

250px-Windows_Vista_logo.svg

Windows Vista is THE worst Windows OS. Sure, it brings out the brand new theme, Aero, which is still being used, but it still works terribly! I had a Vista (I upgraded to 8 when I got my 7) and it crashed about 20 or 30 times. The first few times it crashed was because of a faulty spyware program that suddenly became incompatible with Windows after updating my SP. That is one of the worst things about Vista; the compatibility is horrible!! It is also unstable (understatement…) and slow as a slug. Windows Vista brings not only new games (oh what am I saying,) but also brings a brand new Blue Screen of Death! Now it reboots itself!! Goodie! From Windows 3.1 to Windows XP, you had the choice to continue working with Windows. With the Aero era of Windows, you lose that ability! Now, it shows the screen, makes you wait 10 seconds, doesn’t even close your services, and reboots. Got to love fails like that.

290px-Windows_Vista

The new start menu is snazzy and I like the shutdown options right there on your start menu, as well as the window ribbon color being changeable, but my opinion stays the same; worst OS.

Microsoft Windows 7:

Microsoft, 2009

250px-Windows_7_logo.svg

This is the most recent release of Windows, and the only OS used to produce the content on your screen! It sports a newer taskbar, dumping the quick-launch to replace it with a new feature that has no name. It also has the show desktop button on the far right of the bar. The start menu changed a bit, now having a direct shutdown button on the menu. All else is about the same as Vista, except for the issues. it does run into some compatibility issues trying to install Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, but other than that, I have had little problems with the OS. In fact, I’m using it right now. It loses the Windows Movie Maker, to be replaced with the live version, which both of the writers of GB7 hate. I use Pinnacle Video Spin and might do a review on that one some day soon. Anyways, it’s a great OS, really kicking the full power of the Aero era.

290px-Windows_7

My opinion; I trust this OS with my life… not really. Winking smile

Microsoft Windows 8 (yet to be released):

Microsoft, 2011 (Developer Preview)

You might recall me doing a first impressions on this OS earlier in the blog’s span. This is the newest OS, planned to be released to the public in September of 2012. You can grab yourself a copy of it on Microsoft’s website, but hurry! Windows 8 expires at the end of March! The new Windows 8 dumps the start menu completely and makes a new “metro” menu for Windows. Why? Windows is going tablet now. I’m hoping they change Windows 8 to Windows Tablet, but that probably won’t happen. The new start menu is said to be based off of Windows Phone. All I know is that I don’t want that to be the future of Windows’ start menu.

290px-Windows_8_Developer_Preview_Start_Screen

This OS is very Internet-based, even asking you if you would like to use your Windows Live (MSN) account to log in! I like the new lock menu and ways to access your system. They are password, PIN or picture password. Microsoft has been reimaging Windows from the very beginning. And at Windows 8, they’ve done it again! One new thing about Windows 8 is “Rainbow.” Now your color scheme changes with your background! My opinion on the OS is that it should become Windows Tablet, and give back the start menu without a registry hack, but it will be a big hit when it goes out to the public.

What I would like to see in a Windows OS:

Ben, not released yet

I like how Windows has really come along since the very beginning, but here’s my idea of a perfect Windows… in Paint form!

WindowsNeon

As you can see, we can get pretty creative at GB7! It’s an idea! Let’s see if we can get Microsoft’s attention for Windows Neon, eh? Smile Anyways, here is what I would like to see come into play for the next version of Windows…

  • Better stability
  • Better compatibility
  • More transparency
  • New top-bar, losing the taskbar

It’s a small list, but they are good reasons. (Except for the last one. That one’s kind of a bad idea…)

That is all we have for now. I would like to thank you guys for making it this far, and I hope my next run won’t be so long. This took a few days. I got my pictures from Windows 95 to Windows 8 from Wikipedia. Other than that, no other outside sources were used. Winking smile Thanks for reading. I’ll try to make it where it’s small on the home pages so you can read older posts. Smile

Total words: 2322

Characters with spaces: 12475

Characters without spaces: 10214

Paragraphs: 69

Images: 27

-Ben

ContentBurst–Post 3: Acer Aspire 5250 review

This is the first review on a computer we have ever done here at GB7, so here we go!

If you are looking for a cheap, but useful computer for anything you do, the Acer Aspire 5250 if for you, costing only $270. The wireless could be a lot better and it isn’t very tough. Here are the stats:

  • RAM: 2 GB
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Windows Experience Index rating: 2.8
  • Processor: AMD C-50 Processor with 1.00 GHz
  • System type: 64-bit
  • Touch: No

It’s a little large for my bag, but it works well. The power cord is getting frayed up a bit, but it’s all my desk’s fault (bad desk, bad!) My friend said that he had problems running Ubuntu Linux on his, and I haven’t tried yet, so try to stay away from that. I’m running out of time here, so here’s a picture:

Acer Aspire 5250

So there you are!

Thanks a lot for reading the ContentBurst for February and I will continue to post as much as I can! Feel free to post on our Facebook wall over at http://www.facebook.com/GeeksBlog7 and stay tuned to GB7 for more content! See you guys next week! (Well, you’ll see me. I won’t see you… I don’t know…) Smile

-Ben

ContentBurst–Post 2: Stelarium Review

Ever wondered what’s out there, but have cloudy skies? Turn to Stelarium. This open-source software lets you see exactly what’s going on out there without you needing to leave you desk! One great thing about it, it works offline! The setup file is a bit large at 51.2 MB, but it includes everything you need to get started! I like the multiple modes of viewing in Stelarium. You can even see outlines of constellations and get detailed information about every star. If you run out of stars to look at, or you think something just isn’t right, you can update it and download more star packages! Now, I don’t know much about space, but this software is destine to teach me more about space! I like how it will take the time from your computer and then apply that to your view. For example, at noon, it showed a field (which I can change if I want) and it was day. But this won’t restrain you from changing the time.

Stelarium

As you can see, Stelarium is an impressive piece of software. I would go into all the features, but that would take way too long, so just go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/stellarium/files/latest/ to grab yourself a copy!

-Ben

ContentBurst–Post 1: Gedit review

Gedit is a text editor made specifically for Linux, but is available for any operating system, except for OS/2, but nobody uses that, except for Justin Timberlake, and everybody uses him. (That kinda sounds disgusting!) Anyway, Gedit is in some ways a lot like Notepad, but in more ways it’s nothing like Notepad. It has highlighting for certain markups (codes for programming). Another way it’s nothing like Notepad is this; have you ever heard of extensions and plug-ins for Notepad?! If so, please tell me, but I doubt it. Gedit has plug-ins. Some useful, some lame like crazy. Gedit would be a lot cooler by using a theme like Clearlooks, instead of the rather sad Windows 98 style for everything. It kinda gets on my nerves. So, I wanted to do this for ContentBurst February, so here:

Gedit VS. Notepad:

 

Feature

Gedit

Notepad

Plug-ins YES NO
Customizable theme Sort of…* NO
Cross-platform YES ONLY USING WINE OR SIMILAR
Free YES YES
In Linux repositories YES NO

 

*-You can change the color theme, but you can’t change the icon theme.

Now that I’ve done that, here is you link: http://www.gedit.sf.net/

We are doing a “ContentBurst” monthly to make sure you have something to read on this blog. I hope you like the idea! The content was made on Saturday, February 4th 2012, if you were wondering. Winking smile

-Ben

My Final Post: How to record audio from a device using Audacity

Hey readers! I am sad to say that I am leaving GB7. Perhaps only for a few weeks, a few months or even a few years, but my Internet that I use now blocks sites like WordPress (Who hosts GB7) and Youtube, so I am unable to keep up with comments and such. I am happy to say that the comment issue seems to have been fixed! Our friends over at WordPress took a look and seemed to know what was going on. I am keeping my profile up on the About Us page and will keep my account active, if I am able to resume blogging. From now on, Brenden Reeves will be our webmaster. If you have questions related to the website, you will now need to direct those to him. I will probably be lurking about the blog at every chance I get, but I won’t be doing much else. I know what your thinking, “Ben, you started the blog, why is it you are the first to leave?” Well, things happen, I guess. Winking smile Keep on keeping on!

Now for the tutorial. I will be showing you how to record audio from a device such as a iPod or in my case, a Nintendo DSi. The device will need a headphone jack in order to do this. You will need:

I’m going to do this step-by-step, cause I like it that way. I can’t stand Kelly Clay’s posts on http://www.lockergnome.com/, she NEVER does step-by-step! Anyways….

  1. Start up the device and get to the file or menu with the audio you wish to record.
  2. Insert the line-in cord in the headphone jack of the device and in the microphone jack of your computer.
  3. Download and install Audacity by using the link above or by clicking here.
  4. Open Audacity and make sure the drop-menu to the right of the microphone icon on the second-to-last bar says “Primary sound capture”
  5. Click the large record button and start the media on the device. Wait until that finishes and stop recording by clicking the stop button.
  6. Trim the un-wanted parts by clicking and holding on the large window before the media and after and pressing delete.
  7. Go into File –> Export and save as a WAV, MP3, WMA or your desired format.

There you go! If you want, feel free to use some effects on the audio. I like the “Wahwah” effect. Audacity has tons of great tools for you to use on your music and audio, try them all out! Smile

This is Ben High, for his last blog post for awhile, signing off. Good bye, community! I hope to return to you soon, so stay tuned and try to act excited about iOS posts from Brenden. Winking smile

-Ben High

Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox

If you use the Internet, which you are now, you want a fast an simple Internet browser. In this post, I will cover Safari, Chrome, IE and Firefox.

Internet Explorer (IE)

I would not recommend using IE 9 at all. It slows your system down, it crashes and it’s slow. The first thing I did on the Internet was go and get a new browser (Chrome, of course) Here’s my default IE screen:

IE9

As you can see, it is a basic browser. I like the fact that it blends into the top-level window (which I’ll get into in a minute) like MirandaIM or some other Windows 7 program. Other than that, I dislike IE completely.

Google Chrome

This is my favorite browser and used by both writers here on GB7! It is the fastest I’ve used, has a top-level theme, a great home page, apps and extensions, sugar, spice and everything nice! If you look back in the archive, you should see tutorials and app reviews for Chrome!

Google Chrome

It has apps and some extensions. The picture in the background is a bit ominous, but I like it. A great thing about Google Chrome is that you can customize it with themes. These not only change the home screen, but also change the top-level window style.

Top-Level Window Style on Google Chrome

I would use this for a browser any time!

Apple Safari

This browser is usually for Macintosh, but also has a Windows version. Unlike Chrome and IE, it does not have a top-level window style.

Apple Safari

I haven’t gotten a chance to use this browser very much, but the style is very nice. I like the top bar for the simplicity, but I would still use Chrome over this.

Mozilla Firefox

This is the first open-source browser I have used, and I like the style of it. It has a top-level window style, but isn’t as flashy as Chrome’s.

Firefox

I use this browser on our home computer, because it is connected to dial-up (the really slow Internet connection that nobody likes.) It’s a nice browser. Here’s the top-level window:

Top-level window theme on Firefox

(6 pictures… not done yet!!)

Comparison:

These are the four main choices for a browser. I didn’t go into much detail up there, so I’ve made a table of features!

IE Chrome Firefox Safari
Local Home page x check x x
Apps x check x x
Extensions x check check x
Free check check check check
Top-level window themes x check x x
Downloadable themes x check check x

It’s all about choices. As you can see, Google Chrome has a yes on everything while others stumbled. Especially IE and Safari. Well, that’s all I have for now! And now the image count. Drumroll please.

Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da…

30 IMAGES!! (Man this will take a while to upload.) That’s 3 times Brenden’s record of 10! HA!! Winking smile The war is on!

-Ben