Archive for February, 2013

Product Review – SoftXpand Duo 2011: Cheap HTPC with SoftXpand

February 21, 2013

As previously mentioned on my ‘Cheap guide to Home Theather PC (HTPC)‘ post – Here is my unbiased honest product review of the key product which makes this all possible…

The SoftXpand 2011 Duo by Miniframe.

SoftXpand 2011 Duo

– The cheapest Home Theather PC (HTPC) –

If you already have a powerful desktop, there is no need to buy another. Especially if you plan to buy a dedicated HTPC which support the latest games with high end graphics – these things are small, but are very much expensive and will require quite an amount of time to setup.

So how about a $0 cost to get yourself a HTPC? I am talking about the hardware that you requires. Reusing your home / gaming desktop computer hardware will cost you nothing! And in turn, the more powerful hardware you have, the more powerful your HTPC going to be! Now I am going to be honest and more specific here when I say $0 cost for hardware – this is just the HTPC itself – not including the monitor / TV, the speakers, the keyboard. mouse, and other peripherals. Got it? Ok, now that it is clear (so you don’t feel cheated) – I am going to tell you the key item which will save you big bucks in getting all this done (plus realizing the $0 hardware cost) – let me present you the SoftXpand Duo 2011.

– What is SoftXpand Duo 2011? –

As quoted from their website “SoftXpand 2011 Dou is a software product that enables two (2) users to work on a single (1) computer simultaneously.

I guess that’s the best and simplest answer to it. However, here is my long winded detailed answer below :

I see SoftXpand Duo 2011 as a powerful visualization software (for those familiar with virtual machines it is like VirtualPC, VMWare, etc). But what sets it apart is that it really turn your PC into 2. All you have to do is plug in another monitor, plug in another keyboard and mouse – and there you have it, another PC that you can use. The best part is that (based on my personal experience) there are no slow downs in performance at all when both PC is at use – and what REALLY sets it aside from the rest is that I can play games in full resolution running simultaneously on both PC without any noticeable loss in performance! Now that’s the real deal.

Here in this post, I will not only review the product, but will also guide you how to setup (don’t worry it’s easy!), show some real life applications using SoftXpand Duo 2011, and how we can use it for our cheap HTPC project 🙂

SoftXpand Duo will turn 1 PC into 2 – so it does not necessarily be a HTPC setup. You just need an extra set of peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers) to make this possible. But because I will be using my 40″ LED TV – that is why my setup is tailored more to HTPC.

So come on in and read on (there is also a Youtube review!). The best is to share, not to keep!

(more…)

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2013 fever – Not dengue but Viral Fever!

February 13, 2013

OK so doomsday didn’t happen (I didn’t believe them – according to Al-Quran there exists a series of unseen events yet before apocalypse) but one thing for sure happened to most of us in 2013 is the viral fever. I had it, my relatives had it, my families had it, my friends had it.. have you got it yet?

2013 fever

Yes it was so bad that I got dripped at the hospital. I call it the 2013 viral fever and here’s an explanation or symptoms of it :

Signs before 2013 viral fever

– stress pain behind the neck- headaches
– tempreture slightly rose when / during / after sleep
– mouth ulcers / sore throat

The 2013 viral fever

– May feel OK during the day, fever during the night (38°c)
– terrible headaches upon waking up from bed
– loss of appetite- neck pain, terrible headaches
– vomiting
– lack of energy & stamina
– increased heart rate
– when fever is about to gone, it comes back!

How long does 2013 viral fever lasts?

I’d say it’s a new strain of virus (an epidemic one perhaps?) and it’s quite a strong one. Those infected with the 2013 viral fever will at least took a week (7 days) to recover. Lucky enough for children aged 6 and below, their recovery is much faster compared to adults (usually in 1 to 2 days). But I was one of the unlucky ones to have it for 17 days! Although one of my friend told me he had it for a whole month.

What to do if you have the 2013 fever?

I know that if you have dengue – you should eat crab soup. Yes I heard of 100 plus and the sort – those doesn’t work. I had dengue somewhere in the early 2000 where my blood platelet count was down to 3 (I couldn’t remember, but my wife told me this) where my skin turned all black, my poo was black too, and to be honest – I was thinking that “this is it” – my final moment alive.

Until I heard about crab soup. So I asked my mom to cook me one. Within some hours my platelets counts increased, and within 2 days I was discharged from the hospital.

So I did the same with 2013 viral fever and asked my wife to cook me crab soup. It does helped by booting my energy for the day – I think I actually went outside a few hours after my meal. But this was another strain of virus – although the crab soup did helped a bit, the fever was still there — and within another few hours, I was bedridden again.

Visits and visits to the private clinic became useless. I have no idea what happened to the quality of private clinics in Malaysia nowdays. Are they run by dropouts Doctors who is just there to gave you panadol when you get a fever? Yes, I was given an actual panadol that I could buy from 7 eleven which is just a walk away from the clinic. I was not even given any antibiotics by the Doctor!

The sad truth now is that most private clinics had lost their quality and capabilities to properly recover patients. If you are sick, go to the hospital – government hospitals. You can see REAL Doctors there.

So yes, if you have a 2013 viral fever, go to a government hospital immediately.

So yes, finally I went to the hospital and the good Doctor there said I had a viral fever. “Your blood is dirty” – Hm, I should be safe from vampires then. “Drink a lot of water to flush it out” – But isn’t a blood transplant better? Urm, come to think of it, that’s isn’t necessary as of yet. The doctor also said to EAT. “Although you have lost your appetite, you must eat. If you don’t, the virus will be at the top of the chain. It’s not you anymore..”

I was also given an antibiotics called KORTA or some sort. I’ll try and snap a pic and update it here later. But I think the antibiotics created a numb feeling on my tongue – which cause tasteless food. This is what I think… although what I really feel is that I still am a little bit sick, but recovering… and it has been 21 days already. No more fever, appetite is slowly coming back. Fatigue is still around.. but alhamdulillah everything is getting better.

I have also discussed about this 2013 viral fever with one of my old friend in Kementerian Kesihatan. Unfortunately this seemed common to her. Heck, I don’t know much – but this “all of a sudden me and everyone infected with the same stuffs” is really a new strain of epidemic virus (although I don’t know how epidemic it is, it is spreading like crazy in Malaysia).

And no one does nothing about it?

“Well, it’s not deadly – that’s why we didn’t care much about it”

So I went out to fly some FPV – it made me feel better a bit (before I crashed, lol).


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