September 13th - Death of Tupac Amaru Shakur

Tupac Amaru Shakur aka 2Pac aka MakaveliToday is the anniversary of the death of Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage name of 2Pac or Makaveli, who died on September 13th, 1996 as a result of the four shots he received 6 days earlier.

But probably many of you that are familiar with his music already knew that, so there's no point in reminding it. Songs like "Dear Mama", "Changes", "All eyez on me", "Keep Ya Head Up" or "California Love" are forever engraved in the memory of those contemporary with Tupac. And most likely in the memory of those that followed, seeing as they're as popular as ever. And how can anyone forget, Thug Life ("The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody")? Not just the group Tupac was a part of, but the way of life. Because, you see, in his eyes, thus is "someone who came from oppressive or squalid background and little opportunity but still made a life for himself and was proud".

So what can we say about such a great character that hasn't been said already? Even after so many years from his tragic death, 2Pac still remains an icon, and one of the great artists of his generation. I guess it's safe to say that his death only made him more famous. And, sadly, allowed others to take advantage and earn celebrity off his name.

I heard a lot of people claim that they're big fans of 2Pac's music, but that's not the only thing about him. Tupac was also a poet and an actor. His poems are published in the volume "The rose that grew from the concrete" and are very similar to the things he depicts through his music. Here's one of them here. All the others can be found in the book, which I'm sure you can buy on Amazon, and some of them are scattered all over the Internet. I got this one from

In the event of my Demise by Tupac
In the event of my Demise
when my heart can beat no more
I Hope I Die For A Principle
or A Belief that I had Lived 4
I will die Before My Time
Because I feel the shadow's Depth
so much I wanted 2 accomplish
before I reached my Death
I have come 2 grips with the possibility
and wiped the last tear from My eyes
I Loved All who were Positive
In the event of my Demise

I sometimes wonder what other thing would he have accomplished, had he lived. He is one of those artists that I never get tired of seeing or listening to. From my point of view, and I'm sure others share my opinion, Tupac Amaru Shakur reinvented hip-hop. You could say that he was the successor of The Sugarhill Gang, bringing a new type of music to the people, a different way of seeing things.

Google Chrome: First impressions

Google Chrome Logo

Finally, it's here. As you might already know and as I said earlier today, Google recently announced the launch of their own browser, Google Chrome, version I can't emphasize enough how much I waited for that download link. And the second I reached it, I immediately installed Chrome.

I said in the previous post that I'll get back to you with the first impressions I have about this new application. And here they are. In fact this entire post is written from within Google Chrome.

The first thing I did was check the About section of the browser. I have to say I did't make head or tails from it. I've seen there Mozilla/5.0, AppleWebKit/525.13, Chrome/ and Safari/525.13. Well, they did say they took the best from all browsers and improved it, but this is getting me dizzy. Let's keep moving on.

One thing that annoyed me from the start is the fact that it installed with the language based on the country I'm in. Although this is seen as a feature for many people, let's put it this way. I hate the way Copy/Paste and other "standard" actions sound in my language. They don't seem natural. I looked for them once for 5 minutes in a drop down menu (a different application) and they were right there in front of my eyes. I know I could have used the shortcuts, but I had a sandwich in my left hand :). Anyway, it's a good thing you can change that from the Options menu.

The next step in the installation was very pleasing. It detected that I have other browsers installed on my machine an offered to import the default search engine, which was Google. And of course, later on, I was able to import the History (visited pages, user settings, passwords) and Bookmarks from my already installed browsers. But one thing eludes me tho: where are my imported bookmarks taken to?

I told you about the Options menu. Well this has been moved. In fact the entire Menu bar has been moved and cut down to just 2(two) buttons. Since it's still in Beta, I imagine this thing will change over time, maybe more buttons and menu items will be added. The Menu bar is now located at the same level with the address/URL bar. The Status bar has disappeared completely. It just appears in the lower left corner when you hover over a link, with a fade in and fade out effect. That's a nice touch in my opinion. Also the standard Title bar that we encounter at almost all Windows applications is gone, being replaced by the Tabs bar. All of these changes are meant to help the user in it's online activities, reducing the screen space taken by the browser to the bare minimum. Another change that I enjoy is the fact that the "Bookmark this page" button that in Firefox 3 was incorporated in the Address bar is in front of it in Chrome. I like this because in Firefox I continually bookmarked pages trying to click the "Go to" (this replaces the star only if you edit the current address, but I sometimes use it to refresh the current page. And yes, I know I could have hit F5, I just don't feel like taking my hand off the mouse sometimes. Or putting down that sandwich :) ). The Search box we encounter in most of the modern browsers has disappeared completely. In fact it has been incorporated into the Address bar. Multitasking?

One of the main features of Google Chrome is it's ability to generate independent processes for each tab. Although this means a greater stability for the application as a whole, when it comes to closing a process, you got me there. Having 5(five) tabs open means the Windows Task Manager shows 7(seven) active "chrome.exe" processes. How am I supposed to know which one is which so I can close it? I guess it will be the one that hugs my entire CPU or memory. Well, no. Another thing that may prove useful is the "about:memory" page. It shows you how much memory each of the open tabs consumes. And because each tab has it's own process, it also shows the PID's (Process ID's) of each tab. This way you know exactly which one is causing you trouble.

One other thing that annoyed me was the fact that when I closed my last tab, completely by accident, the application closed. Of course, closing all the tabs means I'm done and it's a high chance that I will close the browser. But you're not giving me a chance. It would have been nice that the moment you close the last tab, to have the browser display your homepage or that Most Visited page you see when you open a new tab. That's just a personal choice maybe.

Regarding the JavaScript optimization the Google team promised, I'm waiting for some benchmarks to be made by more qualified people, but from what I could tell, there is some improvement in speed. Also there seems to be a pretty good integration with Google Gears, although I never interacted with that too much.

The download manager is pretty cool, it opens in a tab of it's own, no more pop-out windows. Seems easy to use, even if I haven't tried it out yet. How hard can it be? From what I can tell, it has similar functionality like the one in Firefox.

When viewing various pages I noticed an incorporated box informing me that there are some errors on those pages, things like unclosed tags and such, and it would stop the page from loading beyond that point. While this is a great tool for web site developers, I highly doubt the casual user will find any use for it. Unfortunately I didn't manage to disable it. On the other hand it might convince or at least make aware website developers of the need to validate their websites. And speaking of developers, there is a dedicated menu for them where some tools are located: View Source, Debug JavaScript, JavaScript Console and Task Manager.

And those are pretty much my first impressions of Google Chrome. It still has a lot more things to work on and a lot more features to add and improve. Still, it indeed offers a fresh new perspective of how a browser should work. I'm saying this from a resource management point of view. Anyway, I expect to see great things from this browser. Who knows, maybe one day, I'll even make it my browser of choice.

Google Chrome: the new way we see the Internet?

Google Chrome

Like many other people, I've also learned about Google Chrome, the browser Google is planning to launch. To me and probably to many others, this came as a surprise. The collaboration between Google and Firefox is a long and fruitful one. So why did Google start to develop it's own browser, instead of investing more in Firefox?

One possible answer comes from their announcement made on the official Google blog: "Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web". Everyone likes to say that. But can they really deliver?

I took a look at the comic book they made to introduce the features of Google Chrome. What can I say? Looks awesome. The fact that each tab is a separate process with it's own memory allocation and it's own CPU thread would bring a lot of stability to the browser itself (or we could say "browsers", seeing that this approach actually replicates multiple instances of the browser being opened at the same time). I can't remember how many times I had to kill Firefox because of some crappy designed web pages or pages overloaded with Flash, JAVA applets and JavaScript snippets, taking my CPU to 100%. And keeping it there. And that meant closing even the working tabs. Thankfully there was the Session Restore, but it's still not a pleasant thing. So regarding the multi-threading part, I can hardly wait for it.

Now the JavaScript applications. Well, don't get me started. Yes, they're nice, they're useful. But they're huge and resource consuming, they're sometimes slow and they slow down your entire machine. I sure hope their solution works. You can find a detailed explanation of it in the comic book. But with every solution, comes a whole new set of problems. Making JavaScript driven applications use less resources might mean that people will begin to create even more complex applications, and also begin to disregard optimization. Much like what many programmers did when they got better CPU's and a lot more memory. They got lazy.

As stated by the Google team, the Google Chrome browser is largely based on existing Open Source applications. They took what was working and improved it, in their own vision. And what was not working, they made it work. Or at least tried to make it work. I guess the user will be the judge of that. Things like the quick buttons starting page (Opera had that, from what I remember) and the anti-phishing/malware warning that pops out when you're on a suspected page (I remember seeing that many times in Firefox) just prove that the Google team took really into consideration the user.

Since it's still in Beta (and on top of that I haven't had a chance to try it out) I still can't say for sure what I like and how I feel it behaves under "stress". But I'll consider making a new post after I give it a spin. By then I'll be able to say what I like and what I don't particularly like about it. But being a Google fan, I'll try of course to see all the benefits.

Until then, you can find more information on here and here.