It ain't pretty being easy... (soopageek) wrote,
It ain't pretty being easy...

random bits

Word is Bond

I've decided that, once I've finished watching all of Hitchcock's movies, I'm going to tackle the James Bond franchise and watch them chronologically, in order of release. As a kid, I saw many of them because my dad was such a fan, but I'm sure there's many I've missed along the way, and I haven't seen ANY of the new Bond movies with Pierce Brosnan or that other dude. The last Bond film I saw was The Living Daylights with Timothy Dalton.

In preparation for this task I was surfing through various Bond-related websites and have come to the conclusion that, despite having arguably the best character name in any Bond film, if not all of cinema, that Honor Blackman was down-right mannish looking and not terribly attractive as Pussy Galore. By contrast, now in her early 80s, she has an elegance and beauty few women her age can muster.

Fun Windows App #1: Circle Dock

Ever since Mac introduced the Dock interface, numerous incarnations have made their way to the Windows platform. Vista even comes packaged with its own inferior knock-off, Windows Sidebar. I think docks are pretty but I've never found them terribly useful. The real problem with docks is that they either a) take up screen real estate if they are set to be on top of everything else or b) they're not useful because they're under your open windows. The classic tag-team of the Windows Start button and the Quick Launch bar always avoided these two things and Docks simply didn't improve upon this setup, for me. That is, until I recently discovered CircleDock.

The major advancement CircleDock has, is a combination of its functionality and its shape. Since it's circular, it offers an equidistant travel, from dead center, to the icon of your choice. Why is this important? Because you can set it to remain hidden and brought into view, over everything you have open, centered under your mouse with a pre-defined keystroke or, as I prefer it, with a click of the third mouse button. When you click the icon/shortcut/folder you want, it is executed and CircleDock goes back into hiding. It's like being able to bring the quick launch bar to your mouse, anywhere on the screen with a single click. Since this elimintates the need for the quick launch bar, it frees-up real estate on your task bar for those zillion windows you have open. Of course, I'm hoping that a future release will allow Window minimizations to go to CircleDock like it does in RocketDock. Imagine being able to bring the entire task bar to your mouse!

There are lots of other cool features, some cosmetic, others practical. Probably the most powerful feature is the Dock Folder. Basically, it allows you to nest other CircleDocks inside the main one, sort of like subfolders on the Start menu. For instance, I could create a dock folder and name it "Music". When I click it, it takes me to a new CircleDock which I can populate with shortcuts to all of my music applications Winamp, TagandRename, Audacity, EAC, Reaper, etc. Also, while I have that Dock Folder chosen, it becomes the default CircleDock when I click the third mouse button, until I back out to the main dock (or navigate to another Dock Folder).

Best of all, it's open source and totally free.

Fun Windows App #1a: Screensaver as Desktop

Some of you may have noticed that my Windows desktop looked suspiciously like a screensaver. That's because it is. It's a trick that can be achieved by manually changing some settings in Vista, but why do that when someone wrote a small app that'll do it for you and that you can configure to run at startup? Theoretically, you can render any screensaver onto your desktop as the background in Vista. In practice, it works better with some more than others. The only downside, and it's a fairly big one, is that you lose all functionality of your desktop: the animated background covers your "true" desktop, and therefore the icons. But since I use CircleDock, pffft... fuck desktop icons. With the Aero glass on the window frames and the transparent sidebar, the animated desktop looks cool as hell and the performance hit to system resources is negligible. I mean if you're running Aero and Sidebar, you're not suffering in the resources department anyway are you?
Tags: computers, movies

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