Friday, March 19, 2010

New Google Search on Chrome

Google certainly love their own browser more than any other browsers. Who doesn't love their own child?

Today, Google has changed the entire search experiences just for the Chrome. If you navigate to, you'll get to see a slightly re-styled layout. But as you proceed on your search, you'll soon find out the search results are completely re-arranged, re-styled, and re-worked.

It looks like Google is taking a step up against Bing's decision driven search engine and also they took a step up in terms of user friendliness.
The left rail is now filled with search filters and options. The most used "Everything", "News", and "Maps" is very useful.

Here's a couple screenshots:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

WoW Account Restored

I have finally gotten my hacked WoW account restored by Blizzard. After lengthy investigation and restoration, Blizzard's "specialists" were kind of enough to restore most of my items. They tried the best they can to restore all my lost gears and for other items, they simply gave me 2500g per level 80 characters plus 14 emblems of frost and 70 emblems of triumph to cover the loss.

I am very pleased by Blizzard's customer service quality, except the fact that their hotline was nearly impossible to call in. Everything got restored just in time for ICC.

Now the biggest challenge I'm facing is squeezing time out for playing WoW and I'm slowly getting cornered by other priorities in my life. Time has become extremely precious for me. With LA's traffic, by the time I get back home, it is already 7:30PM or 8:00PM. After dinner and playing with my son, there's pretty much no time left for anything other than going to bed. It has been a few days since I have even touched my game machine. Strangely, I don't feel sad at all. I do miss WoW, but I value activities with my family far greater than quality WoW time. Yah, there it is, I've said it and maybe one day I will quit WoW as well (that will probably be a while :p)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SSH Clients on Windows

One of the thing I really love Mac and Linux over Windows is the built in Terminal. Unfortunately, majorities of computer users are using Windows. For programmers who work for larger corporations are pretty much stuck with Windows.

When it comes to using SSH on Windows, there aren't that many great choices out there. The built in Command-Prompt just doesn't cut it even if Microsoft somehow manages to have ssh support directly built in.

Currently, I'm switching between PuTTY and mintty. Maybe once I have figured out how to overcome windows 7's permission restrictions, I would drop PuTTY completely for mintty.

Here is a list of popular SSH clients on Windows:

  1. PuTTY
    This is probably the most popular SSH client on Windows. It's extremely light weight and straight forward to use. After almost 20 years in development, it is still in beta. There is a long wishlist and most of them have been on pending status for a long time, like the popular wish for having tabs. 
    However, tabbed PuTTY isn't a dream. Currently, there is an alternative solution. It's called PuTTY Connection Manager.
    A little Trick: Once you've downloaded putty.exe, move it to /windows/ directory. This way you can launch putty by simply type "putty" in the Start->Run prompt. 
  2. SecureCRT
    Although not free, but it does come with pretty much every feature you'll probably ever need from a ssh terminal. For larger corporation with enough budget, offering SecureCRT to programmers will definitely put some smiles on their face.
  3. mintty
    mintty is a small but excellent terminal emulator for Cygwin. I'm particularly not a huge fan of Cygwin, but mintty does offer some of the natural features that you'll find on Terminals available on Mac and Linux. Believe or not, mintty is based on code from PuTTY, so do expect that it doesn't have tabs.