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Everything posted by Mark

  1. WMP is present on W8, but here's the catch : it won't play DVDs. MS has to pay $2 per copy of Windows it sells to the MPEG-LA consortium, for codec rights. But... you can play DVDs in W8 if you really want to. Just be sure you have W8 Pro (you can upgrade for a price) AND the Media Center Pack (again, cha-ching...). Once you have W8 Pro + Media Center, you can view DVDs (but not Blu-Rays) in Media Center, not in WMP. But yeah, VLC is free, great, and can do it all. I've seen a bunch of factory machines (Asus, HP, etc..) that come with vanilla W8, loaded with a third-party DVD player (free, bloatware). I guess Media Center is mostly for those who like to watch/record TV on their computers. What you heard about big chain stores is correct : W8 on everything now, simply because big brands can't get volume licenses for W7 anymore. But hey, W8.1 will have its Start button, wooo-hoo. It just brings you to Metro though, heh. Ok, to be fair, you can right-click it and get... an ancient looking context menu with a few options, but nowhere near what we want/need from a real Start button + menu. Classic Shell or Start8 for the masses ; nothing like a third-party app to save the day (and make MS cringe...). Edit : took me a long time to write, so... what Ron said ^^
  2. Good morning Ron, Very sorry to hear about that experience with Jewel :-( She had a reputation for being a solid live performer. She has since crossed over to country, after marrying a rodeo star. She can outsing most female country artists living today, but it feels as though she's not comfy within the new genre. She is a true folk singer. Oddly, you can't find any of her older (and better) records on her website now. Even that 2006 concert, which was recorded and sold on DVD to crirical acclaim, can't be found on her site. It's like the old Jewel doesn't exist anymore. She's a mom now too, and has recorded two children's albums. I hope she's happy in her new life, and kinda wish she would go back to her earlier style... ===== Lara Fabian : I saw her live almost 20 years ago, when she was just getting started in Québec. She and then boyfriend/manager Rick came to Québec from Belgium because they knew we loved big, powerful voices here while the French (France) market wasn't into them. They made the right decision. She was an instant success here, and I got to see her in our little town, just before she made it big and decided to hit the more lucrative French market. Earning star status in Québec opened some doors for her in France, as she gained experience and made contacts over there. It was one of the better shows I've seen ; she has an amazing voice and is an excellent performer. I didn't know she had fans in the States though One of my favorite Lara songs Live : You linked to the "Je suis malade" song, which she finished a capella, mic turned off, filling our 600+ seat theater with... magic. ===== Christina Aguilera : she started out as a teen pop sensation. She had it all : the look, the attitude and that voice... Though many critics have said she overdoes it with the vocal runs, I think she's a far better than 99% of the pop divas out there. Oh yeah, miss Aguilera is also known for being quite the Diva... Gotta love what she did with Herbie Handcock as well. Just found a tube featuring her range. Oh man, a trip down memory lane and a good dose of wow... : ===== I didn't know Mirusia. I'm not that much into opera,l but I can certainly enjoy a great singer and she sure is impressive :-)) ===== That young Anna Christine has such a mature voice, and what control. I have a feeling we'll be hearing more from her in the years to come..
  3. I'm no expert on voice quality, especially opera. Having said that, I don't think Charlotte ever had enough *power* to be a proficient opera singer. Her voice, to me, is more about pitch control and emotion with a unique and "warm" tone. Jackie is still too young, her instrument not fully developped, but she's showing tremendous control and power for such a young and petite girl. I think her range will grow as she gets older. From the little I know of her, Jackie appears to be a perfectionist and isn't afraid to work hard to achieve her goals. How much of that comes from pressure from her entourage, it's hard to say... One thing is for sure, she is probably the best known "loser" of a singing competition ever ; she got to the finals of America's Got Talent in 2010 and lost to a guy named Michael Grimm, who has sort of faded out already. Many have said that not winning the contest and grand prize of one million bucks was the best thing that could have happened to her at that time ; the spotlight and money could have been too much for a child, bringing more turmoil to her life than she could have handled.Simon Cowell was already waiting, or circling like a vulture haha, to sign Jackie up for a record deal before she could even realize what was happening. She sold a lot of records that year, and more in the years to come. She's had more work than most classical singers could ever dream of. But pure opera singers are rarely famous or rich, so I have a feeling Jackie will cross over to something more popular in the years to come, similar to what Charlotte did. Ok... I have one more coup de coeur to share (sentimental favorite) in this genre. This may surprise a few people ; I know I almost fell off my chair when I first found it. A great folk singer who reveals a different side : ..and this one. Haunting interpretation.She can do things with her voice that few singers can ever hope to do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGHUKsulK7I
  4. I don't know how many times I've listened to Jackie Evancho ; she's amazing. I remember when some people thought she was cheating on X-Factor, lip synching or whatever. Later on as the competition progressed and she was still there, Jackie did something acapella to silence the critics. "Pie Jesu" is my favorite from Jackie (the first song from the Foster show Ron linked to above. Listening to Jackie always reminds me of another child prodigy I discovered some years ago on a TV show, who has gone on to do very well for herself as a singer : You may have seen this... =============== Ron : I don't know why or how, but somehow Danny Gatton has never been on my radar. That's a tragedy ! Oh my, what a player. Did some reading and listening. Found this interesting bit on Wiki : Wow. Would have loved to sit in at one of those "head-cutting jam sessions". Thanks for sharing him with us...
  5. Ok... why can't I stop listening to Joss Stone right now ?? Jazz... Joss... things are swirling around in my head (no jokes please ) Found something. Oh My.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebOXokj_JsM
  6. Yep, Orlando it is. I mentionned "untouched" because of that unique sky color. I remember thinking it was unusual at the time, so I took a few shots and the color is the same in all of them. Your shot is gorgeous : perfect timing :-) ====== I missed a great oppurtunity when we were there though... I had my camera with me at all times because you never know what will happen at a Disney location. The only time I didn't have it with me was at the water park. And there she was... Snow White, dressed in regular waterpark staff uniform, full makeup and hair, greeting guests at the top of one of the water slides with a wave and a smile. Most folks (including me at first) just gave her a bewildered look as they walked by her. Of course nobody had a camera. After two or three climbs to that spot, I finally and jokingly confronted her on her identity and she gave me that "you got me but I'm not talking" look. I joked about it with one of the male lifeguards, and he just looked up at her and said : Snow White, you're the love of my life ! And then she was gone. I later asked someone at our hotel who knew everything about Disney surprises, and she had never heard of a waterpark Snow White stunt. I had no picture to prove it, darn it ! lol.
  7. Summer 2012, with a point-and-shoot. Untouched. Magic Kingdom just before the nightly parade :
  8. They underestimated the conventional desktop/laptop users, so now red tape AND egos are getting in the way of doing the right thing : allowing us to choose. The "egos" think they can manipulate us into dumping our iOS and Android devices in favor of Surface / W8 phones and the new wonder - Windows 8 as is. Right...
  9. Very :-) Relaxing is good : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArW9SxvV-bk
  10. Maybe this will help also : http://answers.us.samsung.com/answers/7463/product/HT-C5500/samsung-5-1-channel-blu-ray-home-theater-system-questions-answers/questions.htm Two things : 1) Try those "MATRIX or PROLOGIC II" options and see if you get 5.1 2) Try an optical audio cable (Toslink) from cable box to amp (in addition to your HDMI cable)
  11. After reading post #1, I sense a marketing strategy (sigh, yet another one...). W8.1 may very well be easier to install on older machines than W8, but M$ seems to want to push older hardware out and entice consumers to look at the Surface and other new Metro-friendly contraptions. They think we all need tablets. The longer we cling onto our good ol' keyboards, the longer we'll resist the W8 philosophy, so they're feeding us this crap now. Now they want (need) business to get onboard the W8 wagon. Good luck with that, considering their resistance to offer a decent Desktop experience. Upgrade deals for 8.1 could have been possible I suppose, but they've decided against them. For now... I have a feeling the road to W8.2 will be very bumpy.
  12. Here are just two guys doing a little jamming at a hotel somewhere... Steel vs nylon strings. Wish I had been there. Tommy is well known for his hotel lobby performances with fans / fellow guitarists. Doesn't get any better than this.
  13. Metal heads ? I'm almost always up for some metal, especially the progressive kind... ---------------------------------------------------- New guy on drums (for Dream Theater) : Enjoy :-)
  14. @BornSlippy : I hadn't listened to Pat Metheny in a while. Thank you for that ! I'm a BIG fan of guitarists of all genres, so I started looking up my favorites to find pieces that sing. Lots and lots, tough to choose... Oh... found this. Enjoy :-) : I have like 50 more in queue, but let's take it slow
  15. I rarely do that. Did so just now. Yep, it is you alright I wasn't active at CC, but here and there from about late 2002 so yeah, small world. And not too many colleagues are princes, so the name does stand out, hahaha. Fellow Canuck, too. Anyway, it's always nice to read you :thumbsup: Gotta go, The Cat needs attention...
  16. Or girl. Don't forget Ballmer probably delayed retirement just so he could get rid of Steven Sinofsky, the former Windows 8 boss who was viewed by many as the next CEO. New W8 bosses Julie Larson-Green and Tami Reller will be considered for the job I'm sure. As far as I'm concerned though, they should look for somebody on the outside now.
  17. The only dog we ever had was a black lab and they are fabulous. Prince_Serendip : I know this isn't a Welcome topic but... is that... you ? If it is, then nice to see you here ==== I'm allergic to most critters' saliva it seems. But we have a cat (*sigh*) and a hamster lol. @David : love that animation !!
  18. Toto fans !!!!!! :D spywar : of course Hold the line is still my favorite Toto song even though I played the 45 - single- sooo many times I wore the vinyl down. The one you linked to is a cover, but a very decent one I must say. I'll just let you watch the real deal Live : Note : singer extraordinaire Bobby Kimball was 60 years old in 2007. Voice in top form, high notes still very much a part of his arsenal. Toto are still touring in 2013, but Kimball is not there (conflicts with Lukather apparently) and Mike Porcaro (bass) is too ill to tour. The actual lineup, sans Kimball, is less than impressive sadly... For the nostalgic, here's the original studio version of Hold the Line :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mkmUdUYgH0 ============================ Speaking of covers... will you all let me live after showing you this one ? Well Ok, not a cover per se because The band is there, but Freddy isn't... Nobody can ever replace Freddy of course, but for me Adam can sing his songs with the boys anytime, anywhere.
  19. Thanks When you know about great music like this, you have to share it Toto is one of those special rock bands that are music driven, made up of pure musicians with classical and jazz backgrounds. Many of them have played and recorded for other famous bands/artists. In one of their shows in Paris, Steve Lukather (guitarist and band leader) asked that all musicians in the crowd raise their hand and a majority of people did lol. He then jokingly said they (the band) would have to play really well considering. The original drummer, Jeff Porcaro, was a legend in his field and died way too young at 38 (in 1992). The guy you see on drums in the video above is Simon Phillips, also a legend. I suggest you listen to the entire Amsterdam 25th anniversary show, to get a sense of just how good they are. I also suggest the "Falling in between Live" performance in Paris - 2007. For that show, their regular bassist had to leave because of illness in the family and Toto were lucky enough to get Leland Sklar (long white beard) and they also had Greg Phillinganes on keyboards, while David Paich was on semi-retirement. Fantastic lineup. Here's a teaser :
  20. Toto is one of my all-time favorite bands. I really like some of their older stuff (prior to the famous Toto IV album). They sure rock Live.
  21. My small contribution ; There is apprently a leaked *near RTM* version of 8.1 that was tested a little while ago by some who got their hands on it. Two things I really didn't like hearing and hope they won't make it in the final version : Smart Search activated by default (you know, all your in-Windows searching tracked by MS) and default *Librairies* pointing to the cloud now (SkyDrive). Yep, even your default "Save as..." for all Documents point there now. YUCK. http://www.infoworld.com/t/microsoft-windows/leaked-windows-81-build-9471-surprises-disappoints-224715 (enjoy... or not !)
  22. As I've seen it : M$ purchased Skype back in May 2011. When that happened, everybody knew WLM's (aka Messenger) days were numbered. Skype did not come loaded with W7, but some OEMs did bundle it like they do with other stuff like... antivirus suites and MS Office trials. There is one Skype for systems older than W8. Video chat between two people is free, so is audio chat and text chat. If you want more than 2 people on the line, you need a "Premium account" which costs money. If you want to call a landline or mobile (telephone) from Skype, you need to pay either via Skype credits, a monthly subscription or a Premium account. For Windows 8, there are two variations of Skype : one is an app (Metro tile), and the other... isn't there. "Skype for Desktop" is the one you need if you want Skype on the W8 Desktop ; when you go looking for it over at the Skype download site, look closely or else you won't find it. It's burried so some will get discouraged and be forced to use the Skype App instead. For Windows 8.1 : as I read it, the Skype App will be included in the W8.1 install files. This won't change much of anything because many OEMs were already installing the App themselves (bundled). You won't get "Skype for Desktop" though ; you'll need to go hunting for that one Whether it's Skype, Skype App or Skype for Desktop, the pricing and rules are the same (I think).
  23. Update : v2013.07.03.08 is now out and I'm connecting to S-X and sosvirus without a problem. That was quick team, considering. Thanks :-) Cheers,
  24. Salut Esperado :-) MysteryFCM pushed an update which should be out in about an hour or so. >> Ça va prendre environ une heure avant que la MAJ ne soit Live. @++
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