Windows 7 Taskbar Issue, Resolved!

An unfortunate, yet minor, issue I ran into with the Windows 7 taskbar.

An unfortunate, yet minor, issue I ran into with the Windows 7 taskbar.

Windows 7 is without a doubt probably my favorite operating system out there. One big reason for this “love” for Windows 7 is its taskbar. Also known as the “superbar.” The superbar is very useful when multitasking and switching between applications. But unfortunately, even this renowned operating system has some unusual flaw in one of its greatest features.

As you can see from the picture above, the Opera icon is currently highlighted. The issue? Wherever my mouse leaves the superbar, an icon remains highlighted as if my mouse was still over it. The solution? All I had to do was hold down Shift on my keyboard and right click on the icon. Then that unusually highlighted icon will go away.

As I browsed the wondrous internet, I was unfortunate to find a permanent solution or even a cause for this minor bug. Five years later, after the release of Windows 7, I find it rather odd that not even this minor issue has been resolved. 

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Thoughts on the Opera Web Browser

Nowadays, when people look for a browser (typically better than Internet Explorer), the two dominant stars of this show are Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. But unknown to most consumers, there is actually an underdog in this “friendly browser” competition. As you can tell by the title, I clearly refer to the Opera web browser.

Once you open Opera, the interface shouldn’t feel very unusual. The address and search bar are combined at the top much like Google Chrome. It also has a single menu tab in the top left corner of the browser much like Firefox. The Opera web browser also offers themes, and an extension store. Take note that because Opera isn’t a very well popularized web browser compared to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, therefore there won’t be much available in the themes and extension store.

One relatively unusual feature that I had trouble grasping to was the Speed Dial option. It appears as a button on the left side of your address bar and is also accessible when opening up a new tab. The Speed Dial is laid out much like the dial pad on your land line phone. But instead of numbers, it has tiles of websites that can also be put together in folders. At first I wonder, why would I need this when I can have a bookmarks bar? Turns out, there is a reasonable purpose behind this.

The purpose of the speed dial is to set a standard when web browsing. What I mean by this is that basically, the developers of Opera want this browser to be snappy and efficient by keeping the amount of pages you’d like to keep to a minimum. Or maybe that’s just how I feel.

As interesting as the feature and its purpose is, I don’t feel the need for it. It may sound ridiculous, but I don’t think there needs to be these medium-sized tiles waiting to be clicked on compared to my single, miniature, mouse pointer. I think the developers of Opera have an interesting concept behind this, but I feel like the design and use of the Speed Dial was improperly laid out. If anything, just bring back the bookmarks bar.

But then that brings me to another topic. I don’t understand why by default, Opera doesn’t launch with a bookmarks bar. It’s just the address bar and the Speed Dial button. I really don’t feel like I need to go through the trouble of finding out how to finally enable that feature by typing in “opera:flags” in my web browser and then scrolling down to enable that feature. I’m not sure if the bookmarks bar is going through beta right now, but I don’t see why there isn’t even one there by default. So Opera, I don’t know what you plan to do, but can you please enable the bookmarks bar by default? Please?

But regardless of these minor issues, the big reason why I really enjoy this browser is the lightness and efficiency it offers. I admit, I don’t have any specific data to prove this. But by user experience, I can tell you that this is the best experience I’ve ever had when surfing the web with a web browser. It is efficient, lightweight, and I’ve had little or no issues with it at all. It really makes me feel like I’m just flying and soaring through the internet so freely at times that I even forget how slow and clunky Firefox and Chrome can be.

Two other features I should mention are the Stash and Discover options. When you go to your Speed Dial or open up a new tab, you can also access the Stash and Discover page. The Stash page lists previews of pages that you “stashed” so you can view them later. Say you found an interesting article that you wanted to read later, just press the heart on the right side of the address bar and the web page will be sent to your Stash. Remember, the Stash page isn’t a bookmark alternative, it’s just another useful way to save your pages for later.

As for the Discover page, it’s basically like a magazine of the internet. What this page does is it takes news from the internet and just compiles it all together for you to view. You can select what categories of stories you would like to see as well as your country. Personally for me, this isn’t feature that I’ve chosen to use during my experience with Opera. However, it’s still a nice little gimmick worth keeping.

Though Opera isn’t a big mainstream browser out there, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t compete. Despite the minor falls of Opera from this near-useless Speed Dial to the mysterious disappearance of the bookmarks bar, it still gets the job done. Surfing through the internet is a breeze and without a doubt you’d run into little or no issues with this browser. For me personally, Opera would be a very nice switch if you’re looking for a fast, efficient, and minimal browser.

Me Repairing My Laptop

Just recently, I ran into an unfortunate issue with my Windows 7 laptop. Every time I turned on my laptop and logged in, it would take minutes for me to actually use it. What do I mean you ask? I mean, during those minutes, I can’t use my laptop for some reason because of the fact that it seems frozen. But it’s not.

It’s almost as if the laptop was trying to warm up during those minutes. Afterwards, the laptop would run perfectly fine with no issue. But then when I wake my laptop up from sleep, I run into the same issue. It slows down and it seems to be as if it’s frozen. But if I gave it like 10-15 minutes or so, it’d be fine. This caught up to be a really weird pattern so I obviously had to find out why.

The first step that I would take in any issue like this was a computer scan. I went ahead and used AVG 2014, the free version, and I also scanned my laptop with Malwarebytes. I started with AVG and all it got was some tracking cookies. Not much I suppose. Afterwards I went ahead to scan with Malwarebytes, it got nothing.

I’m Not in Any Way Endorsing These Products

After doing a bit of research on the internet, I decided to do a disk check. Now let me start off by saying that doing a disk check may not be a solution for everyone. It’s a really long process that can take hours. Plus, you can’t stop once the scan has started. I’d recommend doing a bit of research first before you do this process. If you’re certain this is a solution to your problem, go for it. Now this disk check doesn’t harm your computer in any way, but it’s a sure long process that may not be worth waiting for.

Turned out that a disk check was just what I’d needed. After waiting for three to four hours for the disk to finish scanning nearly 69 million files, I was good to go. When the process was over, I did a quick restart and my laptop was all back to normal.

What’s the point of me telling you this? Well for me, if you run into any problem with your computer, start with a computer scan. Always have that antivirus program online and working. That’s the first step to keeping your computer safe. The next step would be doing a bit of research on your problem. ‘Cause chances are, you probably aren’t the only one out there with that one single problem.

So remember, if you run into any problem, don’t fret. ‘Cause for every problem you may run into, there ought to be a solution for it. Or else, what’s the point of having problems that no one can solve? 😀

Tactical Intervention Thoughts

Despite all the complaints that I’ll have for this review, take note that this game is still in beta. Things can change a lot from today and even what I think of the game may change. But as of today, this is what I think of the game.

Tactical Intervention is a FTP FPS game developed by one of the creators of Counter Strike. If you’ve seen any videos or played Counter Strike yourself, then you’d realize that much of the game is based off the Counter Strike series. Such as the crosshairs, gameplay, and game modes.

But even if you’re not familiar with Counter Strike, this game does seem to pose a lot of potential. The game follows a slow-respawn kind of system. Meaning, it’s not a game about competition, it’s all about strategies and tactics. Hence the name, Tactical Intervention.

This is apparent throughout the TDM mode where respawn takes 10 seconds and the maps are very closed in. While in other modes such as saving the hostages, you only get one life per round. If you die, you’re dead until the next round.

Another unique aspect of the game is the lean feature. By holding either Q or E, you can lean off walls and fire on your opponent. Making it harder for your opponent to see you and fire.

But one feature of this game that would’ve been my favorite is the driving mission. Two teams are placed into separate vehicles of separate squads. One team is to escort a VIP and briefcase to a certain location while the other must prevent that. It seems like really fun. Ramming into other cars and shooting at each other down the highway. But, then you’d come to realize how poorly done the game was.

Despite all the opportunity that this game has to offer, it fails to do it well. When I first spawned into a match, the gameplay just felt awkward. I didn’t really feel like a person walking through the construction site. Instead, I felt like a robot collecting samples off the ground on the planet Mars. It was just that awkward.

Then when I see an enemy and attempt to take fire, the recoil was so bad! I literally had to drag down my mouse in order to keep track of where the enemy is every time I fired a shot. It was so difficult to get the enemies.

But one that I have to complain about the most is the driving mission. Controlling the car was very difficult and I felt like I was going to steer off the highway and crash into the wall. But when I was a passenger and I leaned out of the car window to shoot, I couldn’t aim. The car went too fast and it was far too difficult to set my aim correctly. Especially after I fired some shots. But in the end, I couldn’t even figure out how to get out of the car! I was stuck inside until the end of the round.

As great as the developers tell you about this game, it was poorly done in the end. Poor gameplay and controls and too much key strokes to memorize are well to overwhelming to the average user.

The developers of this game have some great ideas, but that need to learn how to minimize all the features into a couple of keystrokes. As well as smoothing out the gameplay.

I wouldn’t recommend or play this game for a very long time. The only thing I can say about this game is that I see a lot of potential in it. But it’s obviously going to take some time for all of this too smooth out.

Reference Links
Official Website
Steam Download
Official Website for Counter Strike: Global Offensive 
Steam Download for Counter Strike: Global Offensive

MacXDVD Halloween Offer!

Digiarty Software is giving out an awesome offer this time of fall. Check it out!

MacXDVD Halloween Offer: http://www.macxdvd.com/giveaway/giveaway.htm

MacXDVD Ripper Pro Review [Video]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1C_mDj62x0

MacXDVD Ripper Pro Review [Article]: https://silentstech.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/macx-dvd-ripper-pro-review/

Listen to the Rain with Rainy Mood

RainyMood

Today, I’ve decided to talk about something short and relaxing for once. It’s called Rainy Mood.

Rainy Mood is a website, founded by Plain Theory, that’s solely devoted to rain. Just listening to rain and thunder. It sounds creepy at first, but the calming sound of rain drops just begins to soothe into your soul.

As you scroll down the website, there is a link where you can check out the music for the day. It just so happens that the music is being played along with the rain and thunder. Some days the music goes along with the rain just well, while others don’t. The developers have also developed an app for this that’s available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

That is of course, if you want to listen to rain.

http://www.rainymood.com/

Support Charity With the Humble Origin Bundle!


Paying for games can be expensive and sometimes even a hassle. Just recently, the famous gaming hub, Origin, has announced its support to charity called the Humble Origin Bundle.

It’s simple. The games included in the bundle are Dead Space, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2 Maximum Edition, Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space 3, and Medal of Honor. Now normally, these games would cost a major $215.00 in total. But thanks to the help of Origin, you can get all these games for the cost of $1.00 or more. So basically, you can get these games at whatever price you’d like. But Origin isn’t finished yet. Pay above the average price (Shown on the Site) and get Battlefield 3 and Sims 3 with an expansion pack.

Now as you scroll down to fill out the information, you can balance things out on how much goes to which charity. The charities listed are Human Rights Campaign, Watsi, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, American Cancer Society, and the American Red Cross. You can also decide how much of a tip you would like to leave for this campaign in order for it to pay the bandwidth and development of this promotion.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get some money to help our folks out there!

https://www.humblebundle.com/