Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm Back

First update in nearly 5 months, I think I need to change the style of blogging. I should keep it short. I have many draft version in my setting, but they've never been published.
I spent most of my time study for TOEFL and GRE in past few months. Now, they already passed. So, I will keep this blog update as much as possible (promise to myself).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Programs for new computer

Finally, I can dig myself up to post new content. Yesterday, I couldn't access Google and Yahoo and there is a advertising pop up on my notebook. So, I realized that my computer was infected by some kind of spyware. First, I tried to remove it by myself through msconfig and regedit, but it's not work. Therefore, I had to format and reinstall Windows. After installing Windows, I still needed to install other software that I normally used. Sometimes, I forgeted the program that I don't frequently use. So, I want to list basic programs, that I used, as a reminder for me and which might prove useful to others.

Open source and Freeware
  • Firefox - Popular web browser.
  • Adobe Flash Player - Flash player plugin for Firefox
  • 7zip - Archieve utilities, free and support zip, 7z, rar, etc.
  • Imgburn - Nice image burner. support ISO, BIN, CUE, etc.
  • Orbitdownloader - Download manager. After testing many download manager, I find it most favorable because of its GUI and usability.
  • Unlocker - Release windows lock unused resources.
  • Notepad++ - IMHO, Best editor for Windows.
  • Daemon-tools - Virtual CD emulator.
  • AIMP - Very nice music player from Russia, replacement for winamp.
  • Itunes - necessary for apple product's owner such as Ipod, Iphone.
  • KMPlayer - Movie player, can play almost every format without codecs
  • Real Alternative - Needed for playing real's files (.rm) on KMPlayer
  • Launchy - Launcher for windows. ALT+Space and there you go..
  • Pidgin - IM, support many protocols, MSN, Gtalk, IRC etc. I hate to open many programs. Digsby is also great, but it doesn't support Thai yet.
  • Skype - Free calls on the internet.
  • Paint.Net - Less feature than Photoshop, but adequate for normal user.
  • Picasa - Photo managerment from Google
  • Sun JDK - Java for developer, normal user use JRE
  • Eclipse - IDE for java developer
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader - PDF file reader
Note: commercial software = nearly free software in Thailand because you can find a lot of pirate cd.

However, when I completed reinstall Windows and all programs, I still get pop up in my new Windows. Therefore, I had to reformat again (What a waste of time!). This time, I back up my windows with Norton ghost in Hiren's boot CD and install program one by one. Finally, the problem was in patch file for acrobat 9.0 which I loaded from Bittorrent. It contained virus. So, I switched to Foxit instead. I spent 2 days on reinstalling windows and finding spyware. This story shows that pirate software is dangerous, please use with caution.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thai font in Firefox 3

A week after Firefox 3 has been released, I notice that I have a Thai language problem with some websites such as, I have never tried Firefox 3 until it is final, so I didn't know how to deal with it. I tried to do some configuration but the result didn't meet my expectation. I quickly searched with Google and found a solution. The problem font is called 'Lucida Grande', which is Mac's font, it doesn't display correctly for Thai symbols.

First solution, I found it by configuring somethings in Firefox's Setting. This one will force Firefox 3 to display all web pages according to our chosen font. The following step shows how to do so.

  • In the menu bar click Tools (Alt + T) -> Options...
  • Select Content Tab. Then in fonts & colors region, select Advanced..
  • Finally, uncheck "allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of my selection above" then OK.
The problem with this solution is that all pages will render with your selected font which in my opinion is not nice.

Second solution, I get this one from the internet[1]. It is very easy, just delete the font from the system and Firefox will use default font for that page.

  • Go to Windows Control Panel -> Fonts
  • Find and Delete "Lucida Grande.ttf" and "Lucida Grande Bold.ttf"

What I don't like about this one is you will not be able to render pages with "Lucida Grande" (oh!, I am quite a perfectionist). It will use default font for instead of "Lucida Grande" in English and Thai.

Final solution, I come up with the solution when I surf internet on Mac OS X with Firefox 3. I noticed that a problem website rendered correctly in Mac. Therefore, "Lucida Grande" font in Mac must differ from Windows. Fortunatly, I had to port fonts from Mac to Windows for my aunt about a month ago and I now know the way how to do that.

  • Copy "LucidaGrande.dfont" in /Systems/Library/Fonts (Mac OS X 10.5) to Windows
  • Convert dfont to ttf. You can use a program like Crossfont[2] which has 15-days trial period.
  • Find and Replace (Copy&Paste) "Lucida Grande.ttf" and "Lucida Grande Bold.ttf" in Control Panel -> Fonts with Mac's Font.
The last solution provide you with correct Thai font display and also preserve rendering "Lucida Grande" in English correctly.

[1] -
[2] - Crossfont

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 3, One day later

I haven't post new entry for a month. How the lazy guy I am. Actually, the main reason for being indolence is because my current life situation. My daily jobs are only reading, listening, speaking, and typing English for TOEFL, How boring! However, I finally find some time to blog.

After the Download Day for Firefox3 has started, there are more than eight million downloads in 24 hours. Amazing! And total number is still going while I am blogging. Mozilla team tries to make the world record for the most downloaded program "Firefox3" in 24 hours. Due to this Guinness World Record competition, I helped them download 3 times: one for my notebook, one for my desktop, and one for my girlfriend's. For the record, when I am blogging this post, Firefox2 has been downloaded about 500 millions times. I eagerly wait to see how far Firefox3 will go.

This picture was captured on 1:37am 19 Jun 2008 (+0700) from Spread Firefox[1]

Unfortunately, Thailand has only about 26,000 counts for this record. In comparison to internet users in Thailand (2007) [2], there is around 0.20%, I think it is very little number. Although there might be possible that more Thai people use Firefox, but participation in world events is also important. One reason I can come up with is because not many Thai people are in technology field. They are not frequently update themselves with the IT news because it is not their interested and not involved to their work. They will know the stories when the news was reported in Thai media such as television, newspaper, or newspaper website. Another reason is because they don't use Firefox. The question I was frequently asked when persuading someone to use Firefox is why he or she has to change while Internet Explorer is working fine. There are many advantage that Firefox has over IE ,but if the sheep is still fine why we have to build the fence. Last reason that I think it is also reasonable is because of enthusiasm. Thai people are not eager to participate in open source software because they are many illegal softwares available here.

If I am not wrong, the pledge for downloading Firefox is only two millions. But the real downloads is quite fantastic. However, if you help download Firefox3 don't forget to give yourself a certification. here

[1] - Download Day 2008 - Spread Firefox
[2] - Thailand Internet User Statistics - Nectec

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Ipod and Itunes

After I've got Ipod nano from company for free (actually using performance points), I quite obsessed about it. I spent many hours last week playing itunes and transferring to my Ipod.
Next thing I did was going into itune store. Because itune store doesn't support in my country, I tried to get the account with store in US with my credit card and faked address. However, my credit card isn't working in US, so I couldn't have account by this way. BTW Apple charged me $1 (For what reason you charged me, Apple !!!) , so I recommended that you should not use this approach. I googled around and found another method, redeeming code, if you want to know how to have one just google "free iTunes account".

After fooling around many days with iTunes library and album artwork ( the free feature when you have iTunes account), I noticed that some of my album didn't have the artwork. Therefore I double check my songs information with iTunes store. Nothing wrong, it is 100% correct because iTunes will use only artist and album name for searching artworks. So, I google around and found many methods, but they aren't what I want, many of them try to get pictures manually from iTunes server. After spending many hours, I noticed that in iTunes store, they have different albums artwork for clean and explicit albums. As to test, I just append "(explicit)" to my album name. Can you guess what happens, Yes, "Get Album Artwork" does work now. How easily it was.

To sum up, the tip: if you can't get album artwork for your songs in itunes and you're sure that the album's name is correct, try to append "(Explicit)" or "(Clean)" to your song album's name and download artwork again.