Thursday, July 31, 2008

Off-topic...but so worth it :-)

Last night I bumped into this lady in the most famous Ice Cream place in Cascais, Portugal. And as kindly as she is beautiful, she said to me: "Paaaarrrrdon!"

Ahh, beautiful Summer nights!

This is so true!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How to really cool down you Mac (or any other laptop, for that matter)...

I used to work on a glass desk, which always kept my Mac's temperature under control. But ever since I had to change to a wooden desk (the glass one no longer fitted the space in the new room), my Mac started heating up more than it should.

At first, I tried using some leftover pieces of wood to place the Macbook Pro a little higher...that is, to avoid having direct contact with the table.

This helped maintain the computer's temperature a little lower, but doing some CPU intensive tasks (like my PhD simulations) triggered the Macbook's fans to work at its maximum, thus making the aluminium case hot enough to turn it into a nice frying pan where I can make some scrambled eggs.

As I was thinking about following Ikea Hacker's suggestion to use the Lämplig trivet as a cheap laptop stand, a friend of mine that had similar problems with his Asus laptop, recommended using a cooling laptop stand with extra fans that he bought on Amazon. So, I bought the Antec Notebook Cooler.

This nice notebook cooler stand works like a charm. It's very silent (due to having two speed settings - "low" for normal use and "high" for some hardcore cooling) and it's USB-powered, which means that I don't have to carry an extra charger. It is also very light, making it possible to carry everywhere in my laptop bag.

It really keeps my Mac's temperature down, which in the long run means that the hardware will probably last longer. And I know what you're thinking: "But the Macbook Pro only has 2 USB ports and keeping one of them occupied with this might be a waste of USB connectivity". Well, the guys at Antec thought of that too. The very own notebook cooler stand's USB connector is a small USB hub making the USB port still usable for other devices.

Cool, isn't it? (see what I did here?)

Source: The Mac Newbie

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thank God for the Internet

If you don't get it, try reading some info on the "2 girls, 1 cup" phenomenon.

Comic Source:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Activities that you can do with your old 3D glasses

No, this is not another post on 3D tetris. This is a more interesting and old school approach to enjoying some 3D content. Do you still have a pair of those red-blue 3D glasses lying around? Yes? Lucky you, because there are some interesting stuff you can do on the Internet:

3D images from Mars - Looks like the Phoenix Mars Lander is a little old fashion when it comes to looking at Mars' surface. NASA has decided to post a few images in 3D of what the little robot is doing out there in the red planet. Check them out, some of them are really psychedelic.

Draw 3D shapes - This website allows you to draw your very own 3D shapes, rotate them and view them from any angle. Really cool!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another way to generate power while dancing

If you thought that dancing to charge your cellphone was a wild idea, check out this new power-generating dance floor:

It's always good to appreciate all these efforts for some eco-friendly gadgets.

Source: Engadget

Choose your browser wisely

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Testing your website in different browsers

With the diversity of operating systems and web browsers that we have today, it is very difficult to create a website that will look nice in every computer out there. And instead of annoying your (still unenlighted) IE-user friend with URLs that he has to test and report to you, why not use a web service like

Browsershots makes screenshots of your website in different browsers. It is a free open-source online service that allows you to submit your Web address, which will be added to the set of websites to visit. After a number of distributed computers have opened your Web site in their browser, they will make screenshots and upload them to the central server. You can then have a look at them and make the necessary changes in your web site (if any).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A nice cellphone holder

Most of the times, when I charge my cellphone, it turns out that the power outlet is far away from some table, desk or chair in which I can place my cellphone while it's charging. That's why a gadget like this would make so much success at my house:

Source: Gizmo Blog

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just don't click it!

Whether it is by researching for new interface technologies or modifying everyday devices to operate in a new environment, we have to consider that there may be other ways of interacting with a computer. Pointing and clicking has become a very common task in our everyday use with a computer. But if we want to improve the way we interact with machines and increase our productivity, we have to start thinking outside the box.

Don't Click is a website dedicated to explore a new interactive experience which doesn't require any clicking with a mouse. Using different types of mouse movements and events, the website is as fluent as if we were moving it with our own hands. It's amazing how something that is so different than our normal interactivity with computers can be so intuitive and familiar.

After a few minutes within the website, I started feeling that every interaction with my computer should be like this. Give a's guaranteed that you'll like it :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Twitter + Quicksilver = WOW!

Twitter may just be a new trend on the Internet, but you can't deny that this "micro-blogging" is sometimes useful. Whether I want to follow Imogen Heap's third album recording and production progress or the Nasa's MarsPhoenix ice-seeking activities on Mars, this little web service really comes in handy. And most naturally I decided to join in too.

You can update your Twitter status in many different ways (SMS, Web or IM), but the one that I most often use, Instant Messaging, is almost always down. And it's quite boring to have to have Adium logged in just to update the status. Visiting the website is also quite slow and not that handy.

Since I use Quicksilver for several different tasks on my Mac, I decided to give Google a try with the magic words: Twitter + Quicksilver.

And the first result was exactly what I wanted: a way to use Quicksilver to update my Twitter status. It does need some fiddling around with Script Editor and Keychain Access, but the tutorial is quite simple and direct and you'll have this working in no time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This is how GT5 should be played

While cruising at the local mall last weekend, I stumbled upon this instalment whose purpose was to, not only draw attention to the races that were taking place on a nearby race track but also to the Gran Turismo 5 Prologue game for Playstation 3.

Nice scenario, right? No, I'm not talking about the's cool, but I was referring to the "game set" that you can see in the picture. Playing GT5 in that is just amazing and that's how it should be...always. The image quality and resolution on that screen were just amazing. I want one of those ;-) But I guess I would have to put in the attic 'cause I guess my wife wouldn't be happy to have this in the middle of the living room.

Anyone knows where I can get one of those?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Web design resources

A few days ago I posted about a website that was an excellent index of resources for web developers. And while that particular website was great for web developing-based resources (programming languages and standards), it didn't have much stuff on web design technologies. But to complete that index, here's a great website with a lot of material on:

  • Free fonts, images and photos
  • Website templates and inspiration galleries
  • Free Photoshop downloads and tutorials
  • Tips and Tricks and much, much more...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When Safari and Firefox work together...

A few days ago I posted a nice tip on how to download musics from MySpace using Safari and wget in Mac OS X. In that tutorial, I showed how to use wget to download the music because in Safari I was unable to use the "save as..." function to actually save the MP3 file on the computer. I also explained why this tip didn't work with Firefox (because it doesn't have an Activity window such as Safari's).

But then I discovered that I can paste the "secret" MP3 URL in the Firefox Address Bar and then use the "Save Page as..." to actually save the file.

So, since Safari and Firefox can do some team work, you no longer need to install wget on your Mac to download musics from MySpace.

Monday, July 14, 2008

R2D2 and C3PO make a special appearance


Sunday, July 13, 2008

A different kind of security system: paintball sentry gun

If you live in a rough neighborhood, you may want to install this "security system":

Source: Hacked Gadgets

Saturday, July 12, 2008

One of the best indexes of resources for web design

If you're a web designer, you've probably realized how difficult it is to know everything about developing web pages. And even though all the necessary information is available on the Internet, it may be scattered across several different websites and Google may not be able to help you find them all.

While stumbling upon the Internet, I discovered this website that has a great index of resources for several different aspects of web design:

  • HTML and CSS Tutorials
  • Perl, Python and PHP Resources
  • Javascript, DHTML and ASP Tutorials
  • Tips on Search Engine Optimization
  • Forms, frames and images Resources
  • And much, much more...

Friday, July 11, 2008

3D tetris...kind of!!

Ever heard of stereograms, those 2D pictures that turn into 3D images depending on the depth of focus that you're applying to the picture? Now imagine what it's like to use this "optical illusion" to play 3D games. Well, in fact, you don't have to imagine, because there's already some of these games available. Check out the Stereogram Tetris available here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Internet ramblings

There's nothing like having a blog to write your own ramblings and thoughts on the Internet for everyone to see. I guess it's part of Human nature to try and be heard by other people and there's definitely people that always have something to say.

But what if you just need to say something and let it loose out there for someone to see, even if it doesn't make absolutely any sense? You may not want to create a blog just for that, right? Luckily, there's always a website out there ready for your needs.

Write Something - how about participating in an "endless senseless collaborative book"?

WriteSomething lets anyone write whatever you want in a giant collaborative rambling initiative in an attempt to produce a book of thoughts of people from all around the Internet. And you're invited :-)

Interactive Fridge Magnets - creating small sentences using fridge magnets has never been so dificult.

This multiplayer interactive fridge magnets website allows any user to try and write a sentence using the words available in the "fridge". The problem is that everyone can use the same words at the same time, so it might be difficult to finish that sentence when someone else is stealing your letters ;-)

Have you confessed? - your on-line confession...for everyone to see!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The new N-Gage

The promotion website for the new N-Gage platform is quite awesome. It's a mix of stop-motion movies (where they recreate the most popular Nokia's cellphone game - Snake) with playable web games (like the Human Arkanoid) made of pictures of the characters of the video. It's definitely worth a visit. Interesting note: this all video was made in Portugal.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The other side of the World

Have you ever wonder what's on the other side of the Planet? I mean, if you start digging from the point where you are through the center of the Earth and then to the other side, do you know where would you end up? This site will allow you to do just that. It doesn't allow you to digg to the other side of the World, but at least you will discover what's the antipode of your current location on the Planet.

This is how I discovered that New Zealand is exactly on the other side of the World from where I am, Portugal :-)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Retro-blogging: best posts of July 2007

Previously, on The Tech In Me:

Pac-Man is everywhere

Ever noticed how so many things in the world seem like Pac-Man?

Source: Fundivision

Friday, July 04, 2008

A different kind of alarm clocks

Let's face it, even if you are able to work from your bed, you still have to be awake to actually do your work. And to make sure that you have a nice day, you have to choose your alarm clock right. So, have a look at these different kinds of alarm clocks, some more efficient than others:

DangerBomb - To disable the alarm, you must reconnect the red, yellow, and blue cables in the correct order. Fail your mission and suffer the annoyance of a mocked audible explosion. Genius.

Lexon's On-Off - this alarm clock can have its alarm activated by tilting it into the on position, and the alarm can be turned off by (dahh) tilting the clock to the off position.

Smell Alarm clock - this is an alarm clock which wakes you up via smells. Not sure if it's really that efficient. Well, maybe it will if the produced smell is somehow similar to the sweet smell of fresh-baked pancakes with caramel syrup.

Pull-handle alarm clock concept - To set the alarm you simply pull the cord on the bottom of the unit until the numbers on the LCD screen reflect the time you wish to get up. The cord then slowly retracts into the clock as your awakening approaches, until it reaches the end and the alarm sounds. The alarm can be turned off by tapping in the LCD screen.

Helicopter-inspired alarm clock - this alarm clock blasts the chopper into the air whenever you're supposed to awake, and unless you get up, catch the flying object, and place it back into the clock, that awful noise will simply not cease.

Axbo Alarm clock - this alarm clock communicates wirelessly with a wristband that basically keeps track of your movements throughout the night. You set a window during which it can wake you, and it waits for the right moment within that space.

Air sack alarm - this alarm clock uses a compressor, hose and inflatable cushion to make your bed so uncomfortable that you won't have any choice but to get up. Once the alarm is triggered, the cushion inflates and deflates at seven-second intervals.

Clocky alarm clock - this alarm clock will run through the house once the alarm is off and it won't stop until you catch it :-)

Check a video of this alarm clock:

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Rotate screen display in Windows Vista

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Update on this blog: read here.

"OMG! My screen just rotated!" - this was the message I received from my wife through MSN. She was working on the computer at work and all of the sudden, a certain combination of keystrokes made her screen display rotate 90 degrees to the left, which basically meant that she was entering the text on MSN with her head tilted all the way to the left too.

I never used Windows Vista before, but a quick Google search allowed me to discover the correct shortcut that you can use to turn your computer display back to normal: the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Arrow key shortcut rotates the display in 90 degree increments.

Just thought this could be useful to other Windows Vista users out there that will freak out if their displays flip upside down :-)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Now you don't have to get out of bed to go to work

It is a fact that getting out of bed to go to work it's always difficult, but there seems to be some guys that take this a little bit too seriously.

They created the EasyChair Workstation that allows you to work on your computer comfortably whether it's a nice sofa or your own bed. Since I mostly work from home, I would like to see how these "technologies" will evolve to create the perfect work environment (at home) :-)

Source: Engadget