Archive for September, 2008

Official Google Chrome Logo
image: http://www.downloadgooglechrome.org/google-chrome-official-logo.html

Google Chrome, the web browser by Google, has pros and cons.

First of all, it’s very neat. Unlike Internet Explorer, Google Chrome’s tabs are smaller and the interface is spacious. It’s fun to use because it gives you the freedom to drag and drop effortlessly. I read that Google Chrome is also stable. Whenever it crashes and closes, which barely happens on me, you can reopen all of the tabs that were working before the crash. The URL box, which is called the Omnibox, could be also be used as a search box.

What I don’t like about Google Chrome is that you cannot organize your bookmarks easily. For those who were using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome may first seem impractical because there is no drop-down menu on the Omnibox, but actually you can drag any web address on the toolbar as a shortcut.

Google Chrome is still on Beta stage, and it is not integrated with some services, including StumbleUpon. Right now, it is only available to Windows users.

Overall, I’m impressed and delighted to be using Google Chrome because it is very practical once you get used to it, and is definitely more stable than Internet Explorer.

Although Google Chorme is not available in all countries, read this post to know where you could download it wherever you are.

Some useful links:

Download Google Chrome as a zip file

Google Chrome blog

Google chrome comic book (read all the features of Google Chrome)

Google Chrome on Wikipedia

The Inspiration Behind The Logo Design of Google Chrome

A Blog on Google Chrome Web Browser (this site has lots of Google Chrome tips and tricks)


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image: wikipedia

Another Cinderella Story, starring Selena Gomez and Drew Steeley, is a modern “Cinderella” style movie, just like Hilary Duff’s A Cinderella Story.

The Plot is like any typical Cinderella story. Mary (Gomez) is a maid who works for her evil employer and guardian, Dominique, along with her silly, wicked stepsisters. She dances with the popular star, Joey Parker, in the school dance disguised behind a mask, and when the clock strikes, she hastily leaves before revealing her identity to him and drops her “slipper”, a Zune. Joey wants to know who the spectacular mystery girl is but his ex-girlfriend and Mary’s wicked stepsisters stand in the way. Her best friend, Tami, is always on her side.

The music was great, and both Selena and Drew’s voices and dance moves were astounding. I loved the songs Tell me Something I don’t Know and New Classic because they were very energetic. Selena’s clothes were cool too.

The only thing that bored me in the film was the tedious storyline. The parts of Mary’s ugly stepsisters were dull because their personalities sounded too ridiculous and brainless.

A Cinderella Story is not a favorite nor is it worth buying, but it was an entertaining teen drama.

Visit the official site

Watch the music video of Tell me Something I don’t Know

my rating: 3/5

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The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is a best-selling book by the Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho.

Its concept is to follow your dreams, heeding omens and listening to your heart on the way.

Santiago is a young Spanish shepherd who dreams to finding treasure on the Pyramids of Egypt. The story follows his journey to Egypt, where he encounters several wise people who guide him on his journey and teach him many valuable things about life, especially achieving your dreams.

The story says that everybody has a Personal Legend or a goal in life, and no matter how difficult that legend is you will fulfill it if you remain persistent and recognize small details or omens, which will lead you to your objective.

I loved this book because it was very simple, and the message behind it was filled with wisdom and it was inspiring. It’s not a very long story either; it’s worth your time and money, and teaches you great lessons, too.

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Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Kung fu panda poster.jpg

Kung Fu Panda is an animated movie starring the voices of several well-known actors including Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, and Jackie Chan. It is directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osbourne.

Kung Fu Panda tells the story of an unlikely hero who shall become the warrior of the Valley of Peace.

Po is a light-hearted panda who dreams of becoming a kung fu master; but he works with his father in a noodle restaurant.

After being unexpectedly chosen as the Dragon Warrior instead of the highly skilled members of the Furious Five, he has to bear the burden of defeating the evil enemy of the valley, Tai Lung, who has just escaped from prison.

Although the movie wasn’t realistic, I enjoyed how simple it was. It taught many lessons such as believing in yourself at all times, and not underestimating others.

The story was beautiful and humorous at the same time.

It doesn’t cause the type of tension you feel when watching action movies, even though the theme of the movie was based on martial arts and fighting. Instead, the fighting and action scenes were mild, focusing on the touching story and good personal values. The music, composed by Hans Zimmer, added a touching feeling to the movie and the detailed animation made the movie very enjoyable to watch.

Kung Fu Panda is a very good movie that has a poignant story behind it; and you shall learn lots morals from watching it.

My rating: 4/5

According to Wikipedia, there will be a sequel to Kung Fu Panda.

visit the official website

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Ebooks and e-newspapers

I have no choice but to read ebooks because in Sudan there is no access to the latest books and Amazon service is not available here. Thankfully, most ebook websites allow even those living in Sudan to create accounts and purchase ebooks.

Since I don’t have a laptop, I have to read my ebooks on a desktop computer, which is very uncomfortable.  A disadvantage of ebooks is that you cannot print them out because they are protected.

I wish I had a kindle.

Some months ago, I made an account on ebooks.com. I downloaded The Film Club, The Shack, and Atonement. Something very strange happened when I downloaded The Shack. I received the wrong cover! The picture looked scanned and it said "So you don’t want to go to church".

In my opinion, diesel-ebooks, another place to purchase ebooks, is much better than ebooks.com. It definitely has newer ebooks and a wider collection that ebooks.com.

Two excellent programs to read ebooks on your computer or laprop are Microsoft Reader and Adobe Digital Editions. Both of them are free and they’re clear and easy to use.

The iRex Digital Reader 1000, is the same as the Kindle except that you read newspapers instead of ebooks on it. Read more

read this also, about e-newspapers in general: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/08/technology/08ink.html?scp=1&sq=e%20newspapers&st=cse

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The Taste of Melon is one of the set texts of the IGCSE 2010 syllabus.

It’s about a person who recalls his inconsiderate doing as a sixteen year-old of stealing a watermelon.

The boy had just moved to a new home with his parents and had stolen a watermelon from the fiery Mr. Wills, whom nobody dares to touch his crops.

Mr. Wills had raised the biggest watermelon in the country and was guarding his patch with a gun.

When the boys and his friends passed by Mr. Will’s patch one night, the boy successfully manages to steal the great seed melon and enjoy it with his friends.

Mr. Wills soon discovers about his stolen watermelon and becomes desperate and angry; the boy is touched when he discovers that Mr. Wills wanted to give it to his sickly wife to make her feel better. He decides to collect the seeds and go confess to Mr. Wills with his father, expecting Mr. Wills to try to shoot him.

Instead, Mr. Wills makes a deal with the boy that they’ll grow together next year instead of this one, which is ruined.

I’ve found The Taste of Melon a very entertaining 16-page read.

The end is very ironic and witty. This short story is worth reading.

Click here to read the story.

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