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Friday, October 23, 2009
Windows 7 - First Day!
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Electronics
So on October 22, 2009, the release of Windows 7, I decided to buy a new computer. What better time, right? For crying out loud! I was running Windows Vista on 512MB of RAM for over 2 years! Time for something new. Something wayyyy faster. I wanna be able to watch an HD video, damn it! So I decided to go fairly big this time around. Right after work, I rushed down and bought me a notebook computer. Its a 17 inch widescreen with Intel Core Duo processor and 4MB of RAM. Windows 7 looks a lot similar to Vista but without all the bloat associated with Vista. Windows Media Center is included, and it is quite interesting. If you didn't like Vista because of its slowness, etc etc, but dug the look of it, you'll probably like Windows 7. It does have a redesigned task bar and some other neat features. But overall, it will remind you a lot of how Windows Vista looked. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Posted by +@\< at 11:55 PM EDT
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
My New iPod Touch
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Electronics

I finally decided to buy an Apple iPod Touch. I went with the 8GB 2nd generation one. It cost me around 225 bucks. It was either this or a Nintendo DSi. My hope has sort of given up on Nintendo given their poor choice of titles as well as other crap they pull on their customers.

I have been hearing so much about this iPod Touch, that I figured it was about time for me to get my hands on one. I definitely don't regret my purchase.

This thing is much more than just a fancy MP3 player. It has the ability to play videos. Sure, they have to be in a specific format. But when you get all that cleared up, the display is quite good. If you have access to wireless Internet (via your own wirless router or public wi-fi) you can find online videos. This is where the apps come in. Quite a few apps (applications) for this thing are absolutely free! You can't exactly say that with the Nintendo DSi or the Nintendo Wii. It seems their prices are outrageous at times. Hell, they're trying to sell Commodore 64 games! Come on now! What would they be worth to you? For me? I'd say about 2 bucks. Nintendo charges well over 5 bucks for each one. Gimmie a break! Also, Apple offers some cool games for the Touch. They make great use of the touch screen. Also the Touch has a sensor to know when you're turning it sideways, so this makes for some interesting games.

You first start by installing Apple iTunes on your PC to make things run smoothly with your iPod Touch. Its basically Apple's version of Windows Media Player with a robust online store offering videos, music, podcasts, apps and more! While most apps are free, the pay ones are usually only around 99 cents or $1.99! The app to watch any YouTube video is already pre-installed. You also have the Safari Web browser. Which is actually quite good. Much better than most wireless phone browsers. Other neat apps you can download for free include access to AOL IM, Yahoo Messenger, Netflix, TV Listings, Weather Forecasts, Google Earth, plus so much more. I was quite amazed by the number of apps out there. You can access and download the apps directly on the Touch via wi-fi. Although you are limited to only audio and apps downloads. You'd have to download the videos via your PC, then sync them to your Touch.

Now as with any nifty gadget there are some problems. First off, they might say the battery lasts over 30 hours for audio playback, but that must be with the display off. If you plan on using the wi-fi a lot, expect the battery only to last around 4 hours per charge. If you watch just video (offline), you're suppose to get around 6 hours of viewing time. I've only used it around 7 hours and had to charge it twice so far. Of course, I've been doing nothing but wi-fi on it, so there could be my problem. Another thing is the damn thing is so shiny, that it gets fingerprints galore on it! Sure they include a simple cloth to polish it up, but you're gonna have to live with fingerprints because afterall its a touch screen device! Other than that, I can't really think of anything else bad about it. Maybe that the Apple accessories are outrageously priced, but you can find some accessories from other companies for less. Want an example? If you want to view your iPod Touch on your HDTV for some reason, Apple expects you to pay 100 bucks for its AV connecter! Outrageous! You can find cheaper alternatives. Question is, why would you want to view the Touch display on your HDTV? I don't see myself ever really wanting to do that. Hooking an actual computer up to your HDTV makes a lot more sense to me.

Overall, if you've been considering this purchase, I  say "go for it"!

 


Posted by +@\< at 11:00 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:22 AM EDT
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Sunday, August 26, 2007
XM Satellite Radio Vs. Sirius Satellite Radio
Topic: Electronics

Being a subscriber of both XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, I can now give you some information about both. Both services have its strengths and weaknesses.

First off the price for both services is identical, $12.95 per month. XM lets you pay per month via a debit or credit card. Sirius only lets you pay quarterly (every 3 months) when you sign up online. There is no option to pay monthly online. If so, its hidden.

If you're going to be using satellite radio just in your car, you shouldn't have to worry too much about locking onto the satellite signal. Although since XM's satellite is stationary in the sky and lower sometimes it will be hard to keep a signal while driving through areas of high buildings and a lot of tall trees. Sirius has a few satellites that move around in the sky, plus they are higher up so its a little harder to lose the signal while driving.

Now if you're going to be using the satellite radio just indoors, you'll have a lot better luck with XM. You can basically mount your antenna in a window facing southward (in NY anyways) and the signal will go through windows and even some walls. This isn't the case with Sirius. With Sirius you're more than likely going to have to mount your antenna outside your window or just by your window to get a strong enough signal. Since XM's satellite stays in the same location in the sky, you can just place your antenna and forget it and you'll probably always get a good signal. Not the case with Sirius. With Sirius you'll notice that there will be times where you'll lose the signal completely. I'd say about an hour or 2 a day. There's really no way around this unless you go and physically move your antenna again to try to find the satellite in the sky. Yes, the Sirius satellites do move around in the sky. Some people have overcome this by mounting their antennas directly on their rooftop. This choice is not always possible for some people.

As far as music goes, you'll notice Sirius is probably more similar to FM. The reason I say this is because you'll hear a ton of hits. Sirius focuses more on just playing singles from albums. Sirius is also really bad about expanding their music playlist. After a few weeks you'll notice the same songs playing over and over. XM is a bit better. They seem to have wider playlists on most channels. Also, they open up their playlists to include lesser known songs, and the other NON-single songs on albums. So you'll usually always get a nice variety of music.

Now if you're into talk radio, Sirius has Howard Stern exclusively, while XM has Opie and Anthony. You can listen to these guys for free with your subscription. There is no longer any premium cost. Being a fan of both, I am forced to subscribe to both services. Sirius also has Playboy Radio for free while XM doesn't carry it at all anymore.

Ultimately, its your own choice, but above are some facts to base your decision on. You can also check out each service's website for even more information:

XM Satellite Radio

Sirius Satellite Radio


Posted by +@\< at 3:51 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, December 24, 2007 9:36 PM EST
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Friday, August 10, 2007
New Mt. Dew Game Fuel
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Other
Yet another version of Mountain Dew has been released. Its called Mountain Dew: Game Fuel. The bottle promotes Halo 3. Its a cross between Mountain Dew: Code Red and Mountain Dew: Live Wire. So its a mixture of orange and cherry flavors with a Mt. Dew kick. Its all right. Not as sugary tasting as Live Wire is. But my soda could of just been flat. I still think the best tasting alternative version of Mountain Dew is the one exclusively sold at Taco Bell, Baja Blast.

Posted by +@\< at 8:05 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 10, 2007 8:09 PM EDT
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Thursday, May 31, 2007
New Sanyo HDTV
Mood:  happy
Topic: TV

I have been wanting an HDTV set for quite some time. Problem was that they were so damn expensive. With the FCC promising that all over-the-air broadcasts will have to be digital by 2009, I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. For quite some time I have been watching all local channels via antenna. I don't use some fancy rooftop antenna. I use a 10-20 buck antenna. It worked fine. Well, not really. I was nearly unable to get NBC or CBS unless I messed around with the antenna a lot. I knew that with HDTV you either get the channel or not when using an antenna.

Today I bought a 19 inch widescreen HDTV for just under 300 bucks. First off, its light. Well that's to be expected since its an LCD monitor. After removing it from the box, I had it up an running in about 2-3 minutes. I just hooked up my cheapo antenna (available anywhere for about 10-20 bucks) and after a quick setup I was watching digital channels. Gone where the static lines and ghost images. The sound was much better too. I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to easily receieve HDTV programming via antenna. Well I guess if you can get a regular analog picture with your old TV and an antenna, there's a good chance you can receieve that local channel's digital offerings. I live between two local markets. So in order to get all the channels, the antenna needs some adjusting.

After testing things out a bit here are my findings:

I truly believe this will be the new (and only) format for getting over-the-air channels in the future. People shouldn't be afraid of the new technology either. Its great! The days of bad reception are over! Finally you can see a picture comparable or even better than what digital cable or DBS can provide. Best of all, your local networks are free! With some of the locals you get the regular broadcast channel in digital quality as well as a few other sub-channels. For example the Syracuse NBC local channel offers not only its regular channel in HDTV but a music channel and a weather channel! I am quite pleased with my purchase. If you've been thinking about upgrading to HDTV now just might be the time. At Wal-Mart, they finally have digital LCD TVs that are small (15 inches) for around 200 bucks. These sets have the new digital tuners right in them. Just hook up an antenna and you're ready to watch crystal clear digital broadcasts!


Posted by +@\< at 4:18 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2007 4:24 PM EDT
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