Author Archives: Voltaire
So I’m writing a post from my dorm in college. Obviously, this is pretty new for me, its my first day here; I met my roommate, a cool guy from Michigan. I dined with a guy from Poland, a guy from South Africa, and a guy from San Fran. And I’m meeting new people all the time; a guy from UK lives in my friend’s dorm, another guy is from Trinidad and Tobago, and of course there are a ton of people from the States.
I have to keep this post really REALLY short because I have meetings to go to and things to do as its my first day here. But I leave you with a short note:
Have you been to college? If so, what are some important tips you can provide everyone reading (and me of course!). Leave me a note and if you’re curious about where I am, do ask. Be proactive!! =P
6-1-10: Initial release.
6-2-10: Added mirror for download.
6-3-10: Added video.
6-7-10: Added media fire mirror.
11-17-12: Removed video, fixed mediafire link.
6-3-13: Fixed the download link.
Never has the “Print to PDF” button looked so useful until today. After what feels like a year in fruition, the e-book, book, diary, journal, memoir, or whatever you want to call it is finally released! Although I have been working on this book personally off and on starting end of summer 2009 and through the winter of 2010, the book is finally released today as promised. No delays, no excuses. On time as expected (relative to my time zone of course!)
I have been talking about this book off and on over the past few months, not really giving a strong synopsis of what the book truly is about. I think after you read it now, you can see why it would be hard for me to fully describe it. I am so glad that the book is now done, because now I can focus on other projects.
Yes, that is true. This summer I am looking at the UCC and see what I can do to help grow it and cultivate it. Perhaps do a “Underground Summer School?” 🙂 Anyway, I have another side project that I will reveal sometime this week that will involve the community. If you are able to participate, then I think the end effects will be amazing. We’ll see what happens.
What is the meaning behind the Title? I’ll let Voltaire explain that one, as it was his idea at the last minute. I really wanted to go with a whistle blower idea, but then decided in the end it was not the image or perception I wanted to portray. If you read the book, you will know what I am referring to, hopefully.
I am dead tired right now, but I can’t sleep because I am too excited. I want to thank everyone who is an avid follower of this blog. For those who are new, this book is the result of hard work and dedication to what we love to do here. I will most likely make a promotion video of the book on Youtube, but not tonight. Soon though, I promise. Now its time to rest until tomorrow. 🙂
See Book Overview:
Video will need to be re-made/uploaded since Youtube banned my previous youtube account.
The Underground Book – Day 7
It’s been a while since I’ve posted.
News on the book coming from me: I’ve finally finished my two chapters of the book along with some editing. Plus the title has gotten a slight update. Versatile updated a bunch of other chapters as well. The book as really gone far this past few months and it’s finally culminating into the piece that Versatile dreamed it would be. I finally gave him the material he wanted from me for a year. Getting into college took longer than I thought!
Next task: Finding a title cover art. It’s difficult; trying to find something interesting, inspiring, unique, and yet something that makes sense is somewhat hard. Plus we can’t just steal something; hopefully free things can be used in a clever way.
Let’s hope Launch Day will go as planned!
New Music On The Scene: The Arka Teks
Recently, I was trawling through YouTube, looking for new music to listen to. For weeks now, I have been listening to music by this 2-person band, The Arka Teks. Created by Producer/Songwriter Nick Fowler and Singer/Songwriter Tyler Lombard, this band is one you will want to check out; they will stun you!
Man. They are good. I will not lie, I haven’t touched much else outside of the songs they’ve put out there. The Arka Teks focus on precise club and dance music (dance, club, pop, and electro music), with some heavy bass, great vocals and lyrics, and some insane beats. With their own recording studio, they have created some great songs.
From the first song posted on YouTube, “Showstoppa”, to the recent postings of “I Know You Know” and “Night Life,” these guys keep putting up new material to listen to. The playlist includes “Can’t Stop The Rock” (incomplete), “Hypnotize”, “Ayo”, and “Under The City Lights.” They are also working on a cover of “Days Go By,” a 2001 song by Dirty Vegas. You might know it from its Grammy in 2002 (when it was a radio hit) or from the commercial for the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The remix that I’ve heard so far is undoubtedly one of the best versions (if not the best) out there.
And what about the 2 men behind it all? Fowler and Lombard hail from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. As Nick tells me, he and Tyler came from opposite ends of the music world. Nick worked with electro-house music, glitchy intelligent dance music, and electronic dance music while Tyler used acoustic guitars and sang. This combination really shows; excellent lyrics are combined with unique beats which really move the music.
Currently, the Arka Teks are 5th most viewed on YouTube under Musicians; they are really moving up in the ranks and with all the songs they are pushing out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a record label soon.
Check them out!
A Quick Tale of A Changed Mind
So a friend of mine was telling me about how he used some of The Underground knowledge that I gave him to jailbreak his iPod Touch a while back. He was so impressed he decided to start telling his friends about it. As he tells:
“One of my buds wasn’t really up for jailbreaking. I wasn’t sure why, something about a warranty. I tried telling him how great the jailbreak was, but he just wouldn’t do it. Yesterday, he came up to me and asked me what things to get from the Cydia store. After we chatted for a while, he told me that I was right! His iPod was at least 2 times more enjoyable now than it was before, especially because of all the crazy mods you can do and the apps you can get. It was a case of the ‘I told you so’. He was extemely excited to use the jailbroken iPod Touch. Thanks to The Underground, I was able to inform people and get the word around. Thanks guys!”
It seems like we are having impacts in the real world! Keep spreading the knowledge!
How Useful Is Google Voice? Enough to Make Free VoIP Calls.
When I first heard of Google Voice, I had NO clue what this was all about. Nada. I slowly found out information through the various postings online, then was finally moved to make an account. But then I started thinking. How useful can Google Voice really be for someone like me? Most people I know use a phone. Not an iPhone or an Android phone, but a regular phone. Some with unlimited texting, some without. What benefits are we (or just me) getting here? If I want to make a phone call, why would I ever want to make it through Google Voice if I could just dial away on my cell phone?
But then I found out that you could send free text messages. Hooray! That’s useful. But then I realized, it’s only free if its not forwarded to your mobile device. Ok, so I disabled my phone in the gVoice settings, but now what? I’m getting free texts, but only when I have wifi. So what else can I do with this thing? I don’t have a lot of phones that I want to sync with 1 number. I don’t get too many voicemails. Nor do I have a serious need to screen calls. And I don’t change my number, so this “universal” number isn’t a big deal.
But then I found something that would make this whole deal a little more worthwhile. Free calling from a computer. As a heavy computer user, making free calls from my computer would save a whole lot of time, plus it would allow me to keep my hands free off an actual phone. Can’t use bluetooth all the time, needs some recharging, plus my phones are never around when I need it.
1) Make a Google Voice account. Then head over to gizmo5.com and sign up for an account there.
2) After signing up for Gizmo, you can download the software if you so choose (I did, but you can make calls via a web browser.) Then go to my.gizmo5.com, go to the settings page, enter your gVoice number, and enable the gVoice setting.
3) Scroll down and copy your gizmo SIP number. You won’t need to ever use this number again, just copy it for now. Go back to voice.google.com and set up a new phone via the settings tab. Use the SIP number from gizmo and set the phone type to gizmo.
4) Follow the standard Google Voice procedures to enable the gizmo phone. I downloaded the software, so it was easy to use the num keypad to enter the confirmation number.
5) Now you can go to gizmocall.com to test your mic, or use the gizmo program itself.
Here’s how to place a call using the Gizmo program.
Start the Gizmo program, and log into it. Then go to the gVoice page. Place a call like normal, but use the Gizmo phone instead of your normal phone. The Gizmo program should then ring, pick up and follow the standard gVoice phone call procedure.
Do NOT place a call in the Gizmo program itself, you will be charged. Make all calls via the gVoice site. Also, any calls made to your gVoice number will ring your Gizmo program, so you can leave it open if you want to receive calls.
And that’s it! For support, contact us or go to Lifehacker.
Computer Memory – Is Usage An Issue?
In our current time, computers with 4 GB of ram and a 500 GB hard drive is nothing to be amazed at. It’s something we see in stores, catalogs, and television ads. Yet, when I traverse online blogs and forums, I find that people still debate over a major computer issue: memory usage. Many articles on Lifehacker feature desktop modifications using tools like Rainmeter, Samurize, docks, launchers, Emerge Desktop Shells, and other features. Other programs like anti-virus protection, firewalls, and basic plugins are on nearly everyone’s computer. So should you keep things clean and worry about memory usage?
When you boot up into Windows, a bunch of programs can start up right away. Every program that you install typically will have some start up feature. Maybe an updater or a tiny bootloading script which creates a process that takes up memory. All these processes eat up precious memory. Or is it precious? Let’s take a look.
With many new computers having 2 or more GB of ram, processes shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most users. If you are a relatively normal user, then you won’t have to worry too much about most programs killing your memory. You can easily do daily tasks and have a cursory programs running in the background as well as the important ones (firewall, anti-virus/spyware, etc.) After a point, however, it is best to keep the processes down to a minimum, to ensure that you are able to use your computer effectively. By that I mean, not having to wait a long time for a program to load up.
If you do more hardcore computer usage, such as video/image/sound edited, gaming, and other tasks that require more memory than basic tasks, it is vital to keep the computer as clean as possible RAM wise. Turning off all unnecessary start ups
On to the hard drive. This is one memory space you should NEVER worry about. With so many ways to back up and save your data, you should only get rid of files if they are useless or if you don’t have time to save them elsewhere. Invest in DVDs blanks, a burner, a flash drive (or multiple), and/or external hard drives. Save all those extra files elsewhere. If you can, put things like photos, movies, and media that you won’t use all the time on an external source. What I like to do is have a main partition on my computer’s hard drive that is not extremely large. I periodically clean out useless files, back up important data, and move other files to different storage spaces. The other partitions on the hard drive are used for this purpose. Versatile prefers to do this as well. Partitioning the drives also allows you to multi-boot with different operating systems.
So the final word: If you have a computer with less than 2 GB of ram, start worrying about keeping the computer clean so you can work fast and use it to the max. If you have 2+ GB of ram, you don’t have to worry much. You have the power to enjoy programs running in the background to enhance your experience. If you work with programs that need more memory, either keep clean, or turn off the unneeded programs to clear up that memory.
For tips on keeping your pc clean, get a hold of newsletter issue 1, search the blog, or email an author for more information.
Free Music – What It Is and Where To Get It
I decided to write this article in response to a question from a fellow user, “PunditStyle”.
“What is an easy way to find free music online?”
Alright then. This all depends on your version of “free.”
If by free, you mean free to download and use LEGALLY, then you have many different options. First, websites such as last.fm, pandora, idobi radio, and others will stream internet radio. You can pick stations based on types of music, bands, songs, and mix and match your favorites. Recently, I used last.fm to find new bands to listen to based on some of the ones I’m currently into. Last.fm is free and doesn’t require a download or an account to use. Pandora requires you to make a free account and there are limitations to how many songs you can skip over. Idobi allows you to download playlists which stream music online. There’s a new playlist every day, so there’s always something to listen to.
When Underground Values Clash: Part 2
Intro: Part 2 of the series. Sort of like my version of a follow up.
To each person his own. That’s a saying I try to follow a lot in my world. You might be thinking, how does THAT relate to anything? And then I can say, think about it. Everything has a certain meaning, but interpretations will differ correct?
As a team, Versatile and I have been writing articles for the past 2 years. Since the day we really started moving, we were never really sure what “The Underground” really meant. Even knowing what underground material is, where to get it, and how to use it, we could never really be sure of the difference between legal and illegal. There’s that gray area that Versatile talked about in the first part of this series.
The problem is, we have so many things we want to talk about. So many different exploits, hacks, and tricks that we’ve found out about or discovered on our own. Each thing is useful to a different person and can be underground in its own way. So now we have to think about interests. Will this be interesting for our readers? Will this be something that you or I will refer to when the time comes? There are so many blogs out there that just spew information, and not in a relatively easy to read fashion either. Plus there are rules to WP, the lovely TOS that Versatile mentioned.
Here’s where I’m going with this: There is a balance to everything in life. We, as The Underground, are trying to maintain this by staying within a “grey area,” occasionally overreaching the bounds on either side. And because interpretations differ over this “grey area,” people will find some things to be illegal whereas others won’t.
What does this mean? To each person, his own.
Suppose someone wrote an article on the theory behind cracking COD4 and playing it on cracked servers. As a theory, it is free information, and so long as the person is not promoting that people ACTUALLY use it, should it be “illegal” to share that information? Some people will say, yes, because it might be used to actually carry out the task. But I would say, the writer is staying in the darker side of the “grey area” but isn’t really breaking the rules. He might be telling us HOW to do something, but in the end, it is only “underground” if you decide to take the information and use it right?
So really, the interpretation differs. And that’s why we can’t use WP to post major “works” anymore. What we see as informative, they see as potentially dangerous or illegal. And in a sense, that’s correct. Any user can take our information and just break the law.
To each, his own. We’re back at that statement. Just like Versatile said, OUR underground is different from YOUR version. At least, some of you. Everything is underground on some level, whether or not you agree, that fact will not change. I don’t consider something simple like using a Junction to make a “modification” to AIM chat files Underground, whereas someone inexperienced would. Then again, I might consider downloading L4D and playing on the Garena networks underground, but someone who is way past that wouldn’t.
Do you see the difference? So when a comment comes along saying “[but] …I am not seeing any good “underground” content”, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that opinions differ. And we try our best to do the research for you so that we can make everyone’s life a whole lot easier.
So for now, we’ll keep doing what we do. We’ll play the WP game and play hardball on the V2. If you want to see something, sound off in comments, twitter, or emails. Don’t think we’re slacking off and not really looking for things. Just remember: To each, his own.