Thursday, December 22, 2005

Top 3 Websites of 2005

Rating: 11111

Best music recommendation website:
- it's an online radio that will help you discover more music that you'll like. start it off by giving your favorite song or favorite artist and it will construct a radio station (that you can actually listen to!) that plays similar songs! This is where I discovered Brett Dennen's Desert Sunrise.

Best social bookmarking website - this service lets you save bookmarks online and associate "tags" with it--very useful if you use multiple computers to surf the 'net. The power of this service is that you can share your tags with others and they can see yours, too. I use this as an alternative to google when I'm searching because all the entries in here are *filtered* by humans-- minimal garbage here.

Best tech-news website
Digg - "users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do." This is where pandora was "discovered" and is one of my sources for interesting tech-news.

Coming a close fourth is Gmail-- I like that fact that it has 2.5 gigs of storage space and increasing by the second. I like its concept of mail "conversations" which takes a bit of getting used to but definitely reduces clutter and how it does away with folders and uses "labels" instead.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

ReviewsByP's Top 5 Freeware of 2005

Rating: 11111

Ok, ok so even if you're on dialup, some of these will still apply to you but if you're on DSL, these programs become more meaningful. So without further ado, Starts With P presents 2005's Best Free software every DSL subscriber should have:

The best free web browser:No ads. Better browsing.
Opera web browser - Simply the best web browser for me-- built in pop-up blocking, mouse gestures (hold right button and move mouse to the left to go to the previous page), search from within the browser, built in RSS feed reader, "one-touch" toggling of images/setting of proxy servers and so much more!

Firefox comes a very close second. This is the browser I recommend for the typical user (your lola or nanay or non-techies) as it provides a safer, faster and better alternative to internet explorer!

The best free antivirus
AVG Anti-virus by Grisoft. This is a no-nonsense virus scan with a light footprint (doesn't take much memory!). It just sits in the background, updates itself automatically and does its job quietly and effectively.

The best free firewall:
ZoneAlarm. This software protects your PC from hackers and malicious programs. It may be difficult to setup at first and can become annoying because you have to "allow" each program access to the internet but this is precisely why I like it-- control over which applications get to access the net.

The best bittorrent client:
Azureus. Naku if you still don't know what a torrent is, you're missing out! Think of it as a very fast way to download whole albums of music, TV episodes or whole movies! It's like napster or kazaa-- only faster and more reliable. If you're downloading lots of torrents, it could use quite a lot of your PC's resources which brings me to my second best bittorrent client: uTorrent (pronounced meeyoo torrent). uTorrent is smaller and faster than azureus but I just like azureus better.

The best free encryption: Truecrypt. What's so cool about this program is you can create a "virtual" drive (for example drive X:) that you can access like any ordinary drive-- you can open it in windows explorer, you can drag and drop files, etc.. *but* the contents of this drive are encrypted! You can use this on your USB flash memory or use it to hide your photos or important documents.

I hope you enjoy these personal favorites of mine! Let me know of your experiences with these software and tell me your own top five.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Desert Sunrise by Brett Dennen (lyrics and chords)

Rating: 11111
I know it's baduy to post song lyrics in blogs but once you hear Brett Dennen's Desert Sunrise MP3 (five pawikan points!), you'll understand why I spent a night to transcribe this and get the chords. It's about how she's like sunrise on a desert.


Desert Sunrise by Brett Dennen
(play with a capo on the 1st fret)

CM7 G Em D/F#
a desert sunrise you warm my soul
painting me in shades of clay, covering me whole.
and I'm a lizard sunbathing in-- your radiance; oh I crawl out of hiding.
so sweet, so sweet you are.
if I could only have a taste, wrap my lips around your flavor.
just because you are you, just because you are... So beautiful

CM7 Bm Am Bm
and I've been waiting all this life in the company of one
and I know I am young but I don't wanna be alone
if you could only just consider the two of us,
and I know darling I could be so good to you

G D/F# CM7 Am
see you rising on the horizon
bringing light into the day
and I'm coasting on your rhais.
when I awoke you spoke to the mist of the mystic bliss casting shadows
oh no my dismal yesterdays.

G D/F# CM7 Am
do you remember that you told me darling: that I was so real
ill tell you all-- my tears for you are real
well cross that bridge again someday, I know we will, I hope we will.

CM7 G Em D/f#
a desert sunset, a lullaby.
if I could give it all to you if you'd only let me try
sing so sweetly, its my only wish
music drips from your lips like sweet sips of a summer's kiss summer raindrops
precious tongues twist.

repeat refrain
repeat II

CM7 G Em D/f#
a desert moon rise into the night
before we lay our heads I wish to walk under the splendor of starlight
sing so sweetly is the sweetest sound
and I become weak in the knees and I drop down to kiss the ground
and all my cares lie far below
in this earth I wish to die, in this hearth my fire grows.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

White Cove Resort, Nasugbu, Batangas

Rating: 11000
I was disappointed at the dilapidated state of UCPB-managed White Cove Resort:

  • The sand is not fine at all! Dig a couple of centimeters down and you see that the soil becomes dark and black-- looks like it's not natural and they *ship* sand to this resort.
  • Woefully inadequate and poorly designed cabanas. (actually there's no design at all-- a couple of wooden beams and a roof. )
  • So-so food and lousy ambience of the open-air veranda (the Coco Bar was closed for renovations). It's basically a cement floor with karinderya-style tables and white monobloc chairs-- plus, there's no view at all! The cabanas, roof and the fact that it's situated a bit in-land ensures you have a limited view of the sea.
  • The TV in the room doesn't have local channels--they only show piped-in movies and they only play until 1am!
  • The general state and feel of the whole place-- the facades of the buildings really need to be retouched and at night, the place is... eerie, like a haunted house.
Nevertheless, I still had a great time not because of the place but because of the company I brought with me! Things I liked about the place are:
  • The rates are reasonable.
  • the rooms are surprisingly spacious, air-conditioned, clean and the bathrooms are beautiful!
  • no corkage! You can bring in your own food and booze!
If you're on a budget, This is a place that your barkada can go to on a long weekend. It's easy to find because their website provides clear driving directions. Don't expect much from the beach (even the sunset is so-so) but for some good fun, make sure you bring your own videoke mic, mp3 player and speakers, food, drinks and a big barkada to last the whole night!

If you liked this review, you may also want to read my reviews of Terrazas de Punta Fuego and La Luz Beach Resort
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