Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Nifty Softy

It so happens that every now and then you come across some video or the other, say a music video, where the music is used is pretty spiffy. The trouble is that you have no idea what the name of the music is or something. So, what do you do? Download the video and keep it on repeat. For some reason, that goes against my principle. If I want to listen to music, I'll listen to them in MP3 and nothing else, thank you very much.

For this very purpose, there's this really nifty shareware software available on the Internet to cater to your converting needs. 'tis called FormatFactory, and is by far one of the best Freeware software I've ever stumbled upon. The developers are I believe called “Free Time” and I'm not very certain if they're Chinese or English speaking people. Probably Chinese. But never mind that.

What does this hunk of a software do? It does everything you wish windows could. Like convert from .wma to .mp3. Or from .flv to .avi. or ANY other formats. From its website:

Format Factory is a multifunctional media converter.

Provides functions below:




Rip DVD to video file , Rip Music CD to audio file.

MP4 files support iPod/iPhone/ PSP/BlackBerry format.

Supports RMVB,Watermark, AV Mux.

Looking at the application window, you wouldn't think that it's a very good software. It looks a bit sketchy, and can be called retro, at best. But underneath it's meek exterior it's a hulk of a program. I mean, psssh, you can even rip DVDs with this baby. Convert from and to 3GP formats. It'll extract out the audio from a vague file format nobody knows about that you found lying about in your games directory. It happened, trust me. This is kind of a MUST have for anyone who knows his or her way through file formats.

Absolutely useful and absolutely free, this small software gets a triple thumbs up! Here's a link for it: http://www.formatoz.com/

Revo Uninstaller
An uninstaller may, at first glance may seem like a useless tool. It actually isn't. After you've accumulated enough use-time on your personal computer, you'll come to realize that a lot of things matter. For example, unnecessary left-overs clogging up your windows registry, or useless files lying around in your My Documents folder, and so on forth.

Revo's a faster and better alternative to the default Windows' 'Add or Remove Programs'. The Add or Remove Programs software usually leaves around said leftovers, taking up valuable disk space for those short of 'em- a clogged registry can slow the system down, as well. You can of course choose not to delete those files, but it's there for you to do so.

A cool little add-on that comes along with Revo is the Hunter Mode. What, you ask, is the Hunter Mode? Running the application pops up a little icon on your screen, of a blue crosshair. Dragging and dropping it on an application window brings up a menu from which you can uninstall the program, kill the program process, or kill and delete the program process. I never had the heart to try out the later. There's also a shortcut for googling the software, the developer of the software AND the running file name. Thorough, eh?

There's also a simplistic start-up manager with Revo, allowing you to disable startup programs like Java's annoying updater, the sidebar and so on forth.

Yet another thumbs-uppable freeware software that's efficient, user-friendly and simple to use. Here's a link, for your convenience:

By Emil


THE worst thing I ever stole waltzed into my life on high-heeled shoes and left in its wake an aortic pump bumping along on a leash. That she knows how every strand of hair lifted by the breeze drives another through my sanity, I have no doubt. If only I could lose myself in a haze of cigarette smoke, drown my sorrows in brain-thudding heavy metal. But no, I traded in my lighter for her. I traded it in the very first day she slid into the chair next to mine and snubbed out my cancer stick. Like she owned me. She does own me.

I stole her heart and her playlist crammed with Violet Hill. I think it leaves her On the Edge, but the one time I said that out loud she reached over and unplugged the earphones from my iPod. It never ceases to work her up. She says it's because there are lines I cannot cross. She is all lines and boundaries. It drove me up the wall, those first few months when she would sit next to me and steal into my thoughts and leave me feeling a little bit hollow because she had Rules I never lived up to. And now, it's No Talking to Other Women. I wish I could throw that one right back at her but I can't. Something about her turns my resolve to jelly.

I stole her heart and all its Issues. Issues that crop up under every hello. Issues that gambol through my days like nobody's business. She has an Issue with me not telling her which page of Midnight's Children I'm on. She has an Issue if I'm not the first to apologize. She has an Issue if I give her Space. There are nights when she rouses me at four in the morning with her tear-thick voice and claims that she is Done, that she Cannot Take it Anymore, that I have Ruined her Life. And, without so much as a whiff of resistance, I cave. I lay down my defences and let her waltz right back into my hands.

I stole her heart and all its Insanities. I carved out a niche in my soul for the fights she picks with me over who I'm around when I'm not with her, about my insistence to not switch to low-fat mayo, over the newspaper I read that she doesn't approve of. She picks at the pictures I leave on Facebook and the contacts I have on my cell phone and almost every meeting has her stabbing the air with one manicured finger, those grievances rolling off her tongue, that mouth curving to form those words that glance off of me because around her I am putty. And she knows it.

I stole her heart and it displaced all of me. And now I am incapable of going through the motions without her kohl-rimmed eyes across the table from me. Even when she berates me for coming to class late, even when she takes all logic and flushes it down the pooper; even when I sometimes snap back at her. Because the moment the hurt rolls off my tongue I see those sudden tears film her eyes and it breaks my heart, it breaks my heart every single time. The remorse looms deathly grey and in no time, no time at all I am apologizing volubly. She always does that to me.

That ring tone I set for her number goes off now, some Dashboard Confessionals song that she found on You Tube and claims to love. She is calling me now, her voice smoothing over the stab of envy that pricked the back of my neck the moment she told me where she had been. On any other day, I would have a cow. Meeting an Ex is never on my list of Things My Girlfriend Should Do While I'm Gone. But she has a reason. She always has a reason. She got me back my job that he stole from me. Great. I love her.

By Hu and Bloo Somebody

He Just Moonwalked

They call him the king of pop.
I call him the king of hope
Who taught us to rise after falling again
To smile even in sheer pain.
Who told us that we are the world
And told us things had never been told.
They call him the man in the mirror.
I wonder what for
For he was also a man of passion
A man never believed in limitation
A man though kissed by fame and glory,
remained so chaste and holly
A man beat it for our rights,
Broke the wall between black and white.
A man so pure and so broad
He was simply a man of God.
They say that he had died
I say that they have lied
For he lives in the lips of men and in their veins
In their joys, happiness, and even in pains
In every single smile, in every single cry
In everybody who is bold, everybody who is shy
He lives in men, women and in their voices
In us who live and die and in our choices
He lives in men and men to come
In hums of time and hums to come.
If you feel that he has gone
Trust me you are all alone
May be he has left the earth
Can he ever escape the heart?
The king of song will never sing
For he has moonwalked to the King of kings.

By Md. Nazim Ul Islam Khan

Cheap Poetry

I cry in solitude,
My tears so lone;
In the lost corner of my heart
I search for an appropriate notion,
To do the right thing,
To take the right path,
To please god in the right way
So my life won't fall apart.

I sit by the river;
I take a little walk.
I talk to the flowing water;
Request it to stop.
Will you take me with you?
Where ever you go.
I want to go with you,
I want to go with the flow.

The river doesn't take me,
I am alone again.
My emotions are overflowing
I have a world to face!
I sum up all my courage, everything I have;
I tread towards the darkness
To seek daylight's trace.

I am not a warrior.
I never had a clue
That life was such a battle,
And I am unarmed too.

I want to win the battle,
I want to show the world.
I want be a rebel, and
I want to win you all.

This is my cheap poetry
Which you may not like.
But my battle is for real,
Please pray that I can fight.


By Shafia Huq


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2009 The Daily Star