Oh, hello there iPad

Yeah, sorry there was no “app of the week” post today – you would think that if someone just got a new iPad they’d have lots to talk about. But really? Not just yet. But we’ll see. Now that I have all of the major platforms in some form or another (Android 2.3 phone, Windows Phone 7 Mango phone, iPad (3rd gen / 2012 edition), I’ll have apps galore to talk about! So stay tuned!

PC Decrapifier makes quick work of removing bloatware

Bloatware is the term that geeks in the computer industry call of that junk that comes preinstalled on your computer when you buy it from the store. To uninstall all of the programs that HP, Dell, Acer, Sony, Fujitsu, ASUS — any of’em put on your computer, it can be quite a chore. You don’t want Xobni games, you don’t want the trial version of Office Home and Business, you don’t want a trial of Quickbooks… you just want your computer. Well, even though I don’t usually talk about tools, this one is a time saver and I think people should know about it.

To do a mass unisntall of several programs on your computer, there’s only one good tool out there: PC Decrapifier. After a quick installation, you can let it find the most common bloatware, or you can go through a list of all of the installed programs and run through them yourself. Although the process isn’t 100% automated, it will save you from scrolling through your “add/remove programs” list or “Programs and Features” to find the applications you want to uninstall one at a time. The occasional uninstall screen may prompt you for a few additional mouse clicks, but the rest of the process will just roll on. You make the decisions once, and away you go. I encourage you to head on over to PCDecrapifier.com and check it out!

In the interest of disclosure for anyone interested, this is a completely unsolicited endorsement of an application I find quite useful. Revo Uninstaller is a similar application, I just like the ease of PC Decrapifier better, personally.

2011 – Blink 182 – Neighborhoods

I’ve talked to more than a few people who had no idea this album was ever even released. Yes, in 2011, Blink 182 got back together and released an album entitled Neighborhoods. Those that know it, have mixed feelings about it, from what I’ve heard. And I feel some of the same ways. I encourage people to at least check the album out, but the rest of this post goes in depth a little more for the people who have known Blink 182 for years and years.

Basically, the album is very much Tom’s album. If you listened to and enjoyed Angels and Airwaves, you’ll most likely enjoy this. Although the songs aren’t as ethereal as “AVA” songs (so nicknamed after Tom’s daughter), lyrically AND musically, this sounds more like Tom’s project Angels and Airwaves, than the Mark and Travis project Plus 44. It’s a lot less Blink 182 punk rock or pop punk, and it’s trying to be much deeper.

Trying to be is the key word here, though. I find the album to be repetitive. I think if I hear Tom DeLonge sing one more song with the word “ghost” in it, I’m going to drive my car off a cliff. Only one track on the album seemed like it was one of Mark’s, and it had the trade mark “I’m going to drive these lyrics in to the ground by repeating them until you hear them in your nightmares.” Although Neighborhoods is worth listening to, just don’t expect to hear Blink 182. Although the band changed slightly with every album they released, this just isn’t the same as any of them that came before. Still, since I know more than a few people didn’t even know the album was released, so you owe it to yourself to check it out!

How can I tell if Xbox Live is down right now?

Whenever there’s the slightest hiccup, people want to know if Xbox Live is down. Microsoft makes it extremely easy to find out if Xbox Live as a whole is down, or just certain aspects, services, or applications are unavailable. All you have to do is head to the Xbox Live Status page and make sure everything has a green check mark! If it doesn’t, then you can start to freak out. 😉