Friday, March 31, 2006

Nintendo president vows to keep next-gen game prices low

Nintendo has already vowed its next generation console will be cheaper than its competitors. Now it's making the same promise about its games.

Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo of Japan, told me last week that while the company has no control over what its partners ask for their games, "I cannot imagine any first party title could be priced for more than $50."
He also talks about some of the exciting feature of the Revolution such as SD cards for storage. Reading this makes me feel that Nintendo could really pull off a coup with this console. If they can make it cheap enough to aim directly as users who just want to play games then I'm sure they'll have a hit. With XBox360 & PS3 fighting it out in the more expensive multi-function department.

Read more at CNN.com:
Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata vows to keep next-gen game prices low.

BUSlink's 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive PRO 2 Series

Whoa! A 64GB USB Memory Stick. I guess this highlights just what is possible with flash memory now. Surely it's only a matter of time before the price drops. But with a $5000 price tag it must help encourage the user not to loose his/her keys that's for sure!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Westinghouse Digital Announce New 37" 1080p Monitor

The new Westinghouse Digital - 37" 1080p Monitor(LVM-37w3) surely highlights the wisdom is waiting for 1080p screens to become the norm before shelling out on a HDTV. If you want HiDef then surely you don't want to be lumped with half res 720p or clunky 1080i. LCD screens are getting cheaper everyday so it makes sense to keep an eye on the 1080p scene. HD films in 1080p will look amazing. That's the same resolution as digital projection which looks mind blowingly good too.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dell stands by mis-sold server order

Dell stands by server order | The Register
Kate was asked by her boss to contact Dell to buy two new desktop computers and "something to link them". Dell sold her two PCs and a PowerEdge server, ironically with only one network card.
The lesson here is... Don't buy Dell. Dell computers start out cheap but as soon as you call them to order there are a heap of extra costs added on. Then of course there's the upsell. If you buy the wrong thing it'll cost you an arm and a leg in shipping to sort it out. If you're really lucky you'll end up with a PowerEdge that you didn't want or need just like Kate.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

KeepVid: Download videos from Google, Youtube, iFilm in fact almost anywhere!


Online video sharing is a growing craze but something that can be annoying is the inability to save the video to your local machine. Thanks to KeepVid you no longer need to be annoyed. Simply copy the link to the video and enter it into the correct page on KeepVid. You might need a Flash Video player but other than that it's a doddle.

Check it out: KeepVid: Download videos from Google, Youtube, iFilm and Many More

Fitting a Superdrive to my Apple Powerbook Pismo

I love my Pismo, I've had it for over a year now and although it's almost 6 years old it still does a wonderful job for me. The only downside was that it didn't have CD/DVD burning capabilities. After looking at external firewire options I decided to go down the internal mod route and fit a clone laptop DVD±RW drive. Not only would it take up less space but it would work out cheaper too!

Philippe Helman's superb guide: A 8x Superdrive +/-R slot-in in a Pismo gave me the confidence to give it a shot. Here's how easy it was:

Here's my brand new Lite-On SLW-831S-01 DVD±RW drive which I picked up on eBay along side the original Powerbook DVD drive. After removing 6 screws and taking off the caddy which holds the Powerbook drive and fitting it to the DVD±RW I ended up with a drive that looked like this:
That really was the hardest part (a 2 minute job with the right tools). Once the Powerbook caddy is on the new drive all I had to do was slip the new drive into the Powerbook. Obviously the new drive didn't match the curves of the Powerbook's but the slightly degraded looks were easily outweighed by the added features that come with having a Superdrive installed. Also being a slot loading drive makes this new drive a lot easier to access than the standard tray drive it replaced.
Once I booted the Powerbook back up it was a simple job to install Patchburn and have the drive recognised for burning by Apple's apps. One more reboot and everything was working great.

If you're looking to add a DVD Writer to your laptop I highly recommed this method. It would work for most laptops. In fact many laptops use off the shelf drives which would look 100% at home if you replaced them with a stock drive like the one I used.

The Low down:

Pros: An internal Superdrive for almost half the price of an external firewire drive. A really simple mod.

Cons: The new drive won't match the curves of the Powerbook's case. The bright orange light on this Lite-On drive is a little bit annoying. This drive isn't region free, unlike my old DVD drive.

The Giga Hertz War is Over - Intel Launch Final Pentium 4 Chip

The last hoorah from Intel's Pentium 4 family. Good riddance to old rubbish!

AnandTech: Intel's Pentium Extreme Edition 965: The Last of a Dying Breed

Tomshardware Review - Pentium Exreme Edition 965

Monday, March 27, 2006

Northrop Grumman Building Oblique Wing Aircraft

While we're on the subject of aviation gadgets check out this new prototype aircraft from Northrop. The wing will swing to create a leading edge from what was previously the wingtip. Nuts!

Check it out: Northrop Grumman Building Oblique Wing Aircraft

MacBook Pro 2GHz - Review






Using a laptop as my main graphics workstation is often both a blessing and a curse. Having the option of closing the lid, walking to the train, opening the lid and picking up where I left off has saved my bacon on so many occasions. It also means that I know longer have to cough up almost £2000 every three years, as I am free to use my laptop at home, installing games, storing my iTunes and iPhoto collection, etc. The curse comes in the form of having to sacrifice a certain amount of processing power for portability. As of last Friday I am no longer cursed!

1. Expectations
The MacBook Pro is as an almost identical form factor to the PowerBook that it replaced, hence all my expectations focused on the three major interior differences, The Intel CPU, Front Row (with remote) and the powerful ATI X1600 GPU. Back in January I read reviews of early Intel Core Duo PCs, they seemed to be able to holded their own against the fastest desktop Athlon based PCs so I was expecting an abundance of raw processing power. FrontRow looked slick and I was keen to see if it would be useful on a laptop. The ATI X1600 is an astonishing GPU for a portable machine, so I was hoping for graphics to rival the XBOX 360!

2. Observations
I’ve been using the 2GHz, 2GB Macbook Pro for just over a week, here are my observations, in chronological order. Please excuse the odd nature and sentence structure of my observations, I literally just added them to the list as they occurred to me . . .

The Universal (Intel optimised) stuff from Apple is very very quick and snappy. iSquint is amazingly fast, as is Handbrake. Great battery life! (3:45). Loading times for most apps is fast. Safari is quick. Build quality is perfect. Fan is very quiet and hardly ever seems to be audible. Strange graphical slowdown for the first few hours (UI). It really does feel like 2 processors, especially when you are running a *intense* app like Acrobat. Very very quiet, “oh so quiet!” DVD playback is the best I’ve ever seen. Usually run with the display at about 80% brightness. Keyboard is very nice, very bright. Apple file transfer app is perfect! Crazy fast DVD ripping. I mean crazy, crazy fast! Finally got Q running and Windows 2000 is running in emulation at about the same speed as a 1GHz PC. Front Row is lovely to use, and I can easily see how Apple could offer a movie and TV show download service using Front Row as a front end. The remote is cute, very Shuffle like. Games look wonderfully detailed, ever PowerPC games running in emulation are faster than my home iMac G5.

3. Conclusions
The MacBook Pro is a wonderful success! It’s the fastest PC I have ever used (I’ve not had the chance to play on a quad core G5) in the most beautifully designed case I have ever seen. The screen is bright and super sharp. Comparing the MacBook Pro to any other laptop is difficult as no other laptop at this level of performance (officially) runs the Mac OS. However early reports from those who have installed Windows XP on the MacBook Pro (something now possible because the MacBook uses the Intel Core Duo) suggest that it could well be the fastest Windows laptop in production too. If the process of installing Windows on a MacBook can be made simple, would there ever be a reason to buy anything other than a MacBook Pro?

GDC 2006: Playstation 3 without HDMI | TG Daily

GDC 2006: Playstation 3 without HDMI | TG Daily: "Last week, Sony announced to launch its Playstation 3 in November and blamed the delay on technical problems such as the ongoing work to finalize Blu-ray's copy protection technology AACS. At GDC we got a glimpse how far the PS3 may be still away from production, as Sony was not able to run the console through HDMI at 1080p resolution."

Further proof that DRM stinks. HDMI is going to be the bane of all early adopters of HDTV.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Airbus A350 with BMW 'help'


Pictures: Airbus A350 interiors featuring BMW 'help' to be revealed next month-15/03/2006-London-Flight International

Airbus A350, the world’s biggest gadget! (^_^)

BBC to screen World Cup in HDTV

The BBC have announced that they will be transmitting this year's World Cup in HD format as part of an ongoing HDTV test. The broadcast will be available in 1080i and you'll need a compatible HDTV and Tuner to view it.

Read all about it: BBC to screen World Cup in HDTV

Of course this does mean that England's painful exit from the competition will be broadcast in greater than usual detail. Not so sure that's a good thing. Also I wonder if the sound quality will be any better? Often the live sport broadcasts don't have very good prologic surround.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hot News: Dell Buys Alienware

Dell embraces high-cost model with Alienware buy | The Register

So the kings of economy have bought the kings of over-pricing!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Shaving technology - The cutting edge

How many blades on a razor are too many blades? Is there a Moore's Law for razor blades? The Economist finds out.

Jesus Lopez talks about his role in getting XP running on a Mac

AppleTalk Australia have an interesting interview with Jesus Lopez about how and why he installed XP on a Mac.

Windows Vista coming 2006.... erm 2007

Microsoft have confirmed that Vista won't hit the OEM and Retail channels before Jan 2007. No real surprise really. Vista has been delayed so many times already that another delay won't shock anyone. I wonder if this opens up the chance of us seeing OS X 10.5 before Vista? Considering so many of Vista's features are already in OS X 10.4 it'll be interesting to see how 10.5 will better Microsoft's latest OS.

Incidently does this make Windows XP Microsoft's longest serving mass market OS?

Windows 95 - 1995 - 1998
Windows 98 - 1998 - 2001
Windows ME - Zero
Windows XP - 2001 - 2007

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

PC Sticker Mayhem


It never ceases to amaze me just how many stickers get stuck on brand new laptop computers. What really bugs me is how many people don't remove them. You wouldn't leave stickers on your desk telling you how it's made of solid mdf and has four legs. Why would someone want to leave these stickers on their computer!?

Monday, March 20, 2006

TechCrunch » Firefox 2.0 Alpha Released

It'll be interesting to see how Firefox 2.0 compares with IE 7 which is now in Beta 2 and very stable. : TechCrunch » Firefox 2.0 Alpha Released

Vista and the Quest for More Memory

With Windows Vista needing 512mb as a minimum and 1GB of ram as a recommended size now seems like a good time for users to be thinking about putting more ram in their PCs. It also begs the question as to why so many new PCs come with less than 1GB or ram and many with as little as 256MB. Don't buy a PC with less than 512MB and certainly think about 1GB as a min. Of course pure memory size is not the whole story. When you consider than many base systems use graphics cards which use a shared memory buffer the situation becomes more severe.

DailyTech - Vista and the Quest for More Memory

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tommy Tippee Nappy Wrapper - Review


Tommy Tippee Nappy Wrapper - Review - Tommee Tippee Nappy Wrapper:

Advantages: Saves going outside to bin everytime you change a nappy.

Disadvantages: Slightly bulky

;-)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tommee Tippee Nappy Wrapper

Review Coming Soon!

;-)

MacBook Pro 2ghz

Review coming soon!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lovely Lighting


Inhabitat

Personally, I think good lighting will make or break an environment. I’d be interested to see just how effective these oil lamps are at creating a natural mood.

Dual Boot is Here!!!


Mac Guides: Booting Windows on the Mac
16th of March, 2006. The day that frustrated Apple gamers have been waiting for! \(^_^)/

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This Explains a Lot . . .

A Recording Engineer's Guide to the Secrets of iTunes and iPod:
"I couldn't hear any defects. 128kbs VBR AAC sounds the same as my CDs. Any defects I heard were accurate reproductions of flaws in the original CDs."

Surprise surprise. Kind of reminds me of the old Vinyl Vs. CD debate.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Intel = "Cheap as Chips"


Intel enters cheap PC market, slams competition - Engadget

Friday, March 10, 2006

Death of the Clone PC?


It looks like the clone pc builders are facing tough times. Laptop and Media Center PC sales are accounting for more than 50% of PC sales now. It's pretty hard for an OEM builder to build a box that will look comfortable in a livingroom. Could be a good time to be selling laptops though.

I built a PC for the first time in ages yesterday. It was a rebuild using a new case an old AMD XP 2400+ chip, motherboard and drives from a faulty unit. Installing Windows XP was the hardest part. It takes about 4 hours to get the install completed when you go through the SP2 update and all the security patches and applications.

LG.Philips develop 100 inch LCD TV

That is a simply huge screen! James looks like you'd better hold off on the 32"!

The Korea Times : LG.Philips Develops 100-Inch LCD

Exclusive: Microsoft's Mindblowing Originality

Look here I am with my very own MS Origami. But wait no it's not! It's a 3 year old Paceblade that has been sitting in our warehouse collecting dust. Why!? Because NOBODY WANTS TO BUY THEM! There is no real market for the Tablet PC. Rebadging tablets as Ultra Mobile won't fool anyone. Come on Microsoft come up with something new. Apple Newton clones just won't do!

I bet Microsoft are waiting for Apple to release a Mobile Mac Mini before copying it and lauching Ultra Portable Series 2.

Casio QV10

Wow this is incredible, it's amazing to think how quickly digital camera technology has advanced in just 10 years. This camera was the first digital camera for sub $1000. 320x240 pictures and 2mb of memory. Now they almost give away cameras like this. It's easy to see why companies who's life blood was film cameras have struggled to keep up.

Check out the QV10 on today's Daily Giz Wiz / Direct Download

Origami Model 2 - Improved Battery Life & Mobility

I knew I'd seen the MS Origami somewhere before! At least we know where Microsoft got their inspiration from.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Apple TV



Apple TV: wait and sue | The Register


"Don't depend on a company as woefully inept as Google." Wow, how the mighty fall!

In other news . . . it would seem that Cory might be the first UK show to make it to the Music Store. Derek will be pleased! (^_^)

Asustek showcases Skype phone at CeBIT 2006

This is one of a number of Wi-Fi Skype phones that are set to launch in the coming months. These are part of the reason why eBay valued Skype so highly. At last Skype could really become a valid replacement for the home phone. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these.

Asustek showcases Skype phone at CeBIT 2006

Origami = Ultra-Mobile PC

Microsoft have finally unveiled the Ultra-Mobile PC (codenamed Origami). The first two models are the Samsung 360° and the Asus 360° (pictured).

More thoughts on this later. . .

Ultra-Mobile PC - Go Everywhere. Do Everything.

Bloggers' Origami dreams crumpled

Bloggers' Origami dreams crumpled | News.blog | CNET News.com

Looks like Microsoft and Intel are in a right muddle with the Origami. 3 hour battery life... Makes me think of the proposed wide screen iPod.

Annoying MacSpeak

"AirPort Extreme Cards cannot be used in AirPort-ready computers with an AirPort Card slot."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

PacPod!


Linux on iPod :: View topic - MAME port (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator)
Ipodmame brings Pac-Man to the iPod - Engadget
Scott's Photo Gallery :: Nano Mame Cabinet
How cool is this? An iPod Nano running MAME (arcade emulator). It will be interesting to see just how much power the little Nano has . . . Hey! Imagine playing Out Run on a iPod 5G, fab!

New Macs connecting to HDTVs: they just work - HD Beat

Anyone who's ever tried to connect a Windows pc to an external source will know what a headache it can be. The same is not true for OS X users. It's just so easy. I must admit that even connecting an older Mac to a non-HDTV is easy as pie. Apple's slogan should be: "It works"

New Macs connecting to HDTVs: they just work - HD Beat

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Microsoft + Security = Nothing

PC World : Researcher hacks Microsoft Fingerprint Reader

I'm rather concerned when people talk about replacing passwords and access keys with fingerprint readers. This article kind of confirms my fear. Microsoft's fingerprint reader is only designed to make logging on easier and they discount any security aspect. Pardon!? What's the point!? I think when someone uses their finger to access a computer they will assume there is some security.

It's far too easy to fake a fingerprint.

Monday, March 06, 2006

iPod Still King?


On TV - The Gadget Show
The Gadget Show tends to be a bit hit and miss with the reviews, but I thought this article was mildly interesting . . .

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Macworld: First Look: Benchmarks: Intel Mac mini scores a mixed bag

Macworld: First Look: Benchmarks: Intel Mac mini scores a mixed bag

These are interesting benchmarks. I think we can discount the Rosetta aspect on the Mac Mini platform since it's pretty much designed to run iLife apps which are all Universal. Anyone who wants to run Word or Photoshop will probably have another PC or Mac.

I think the benchmarks for the Solo vs G4 highlight how much room there is for tweaking in Apple's code. The Core Solo is not as quick as the Core Duo but it quite clearly should be a fair bit quicker than the G4. So far the benchmarks don't quite show that. I would expect to see Intel Macs getting quicker over the coming months as Apple tweak their code to get more performance from the x86 chips.

Bottom line... The G4 Mac Mini is still a sweet little box if you can get one on the cheap. Other than that there is no reason not to go for either of the Intel Minis. The Core Solo will do everything just fine. The Core Duo will suit users who plan to do a little more with their Mini such as large video encoding projects.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A *Real* Apple iPod Hi-Fi Review


Apple iPod Hi-Fi review by PC Magazine
Amazing to me how so many people have given their opinion of the iPod HiFi without ever hearing it. It’s somewhat like those who disliked the video playback on the iPod without seeing it. Anyway here is what PC Magazine thought . . .

"Listening to the iPod Hi-Fi, I could clearly hear that Apple paid a lot of attention to sound quality. I put on some music I had encoded in Apple Lossless format, including tracks by Stevie Wonder, A Tribe Called Quest, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Maurice Andre, Yo-Yo Ma, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Zakir Hussain. The first thing I noticed is that Apple had the presence of mind to shield the dock well, so there is no audible digital noise during play back. On all tracks, the bass was tight and punchy with virtually no muddiness. Mids are prominent but not overwhelming, and highs are very crisp. Detail and articulation are very good, and the stereo imaging is impressive if you have the speaker properly placed (with side walls equidistant). If you've got the speaker in a bookshelf, though, you'll still get very good sound thanks to the double-walled airtight enclosure, which keeps sound from leaking out in all directions. The Hi-Fi definitely deserves its name.


I cranked up the volume a few notches below maximum and I could feel the wind coming out of the two bass ports from several feet away—not to mention the remarkably low-distortion aural assault on my ears. In fact, since it had no problem filling up our 20-by-20-foot audio lab with clear, crisp sound, I took it into one of our carpeted "Town Center" meeting rooms, which can seat a couple hundred people and has acoustical tile on the walls and ceiling. I put Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke on, cranked the volume all the way, and realized that this thing is capable of powering a serious party in just about any size room without appreciable distortion. (The remote, however, stopped working once I got about 40 feet away from the speaker.) On AC power, the Hi-Fi puts out 108dB at 1meter; on alkaline batteries, the output is a bit less at 102dB, but that's still impressive. The output power also doesn't appear to be affected whether you're using the auxiliary input or the dock connector."

The iPod HiFi would be awesome for parties and get-togethers. Instead of getting all the decks, speakers, stands, amps and stuff down there, just take this. Excellent.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Apple OSX Hints. No.1



This is my top tip on OSX. It’s dead simple and takes only a minute to set up but will change the way you move things around in the finder to the extent that it could well save you an hour a day!


1. Apple + N to create a new finder window.
2. Apple + 3 to view it in column mode.
3. Resize the window to about 85% of the screen width.
4. Close the window by clicking on the red gum drop button. This is an important step as it sets the default size of a new widow to the size of the window that you have just closed.
5. Apple + N to create a new finder window.
6. Apple + N to create a another new finder window.
7. Now position these windows as shown above.

You can move files from one location to the next by a simple drag and drop! Now add all your most commonly used folders to the sidebar and you’ll never look back.

Next time? Smart Folders.

Vista Build 5308


Windows Vista Build 5308

I wonder if the Vista launch will reach the crazy hype levels of Windows 95?

PS3. 3 Years Too Late?


PlayStation 3: Everything We Know from 1UP.com
Are Sony about to choke on the PS3? Will it be the *significantly* more powerful than anything else out there?

"The driving force behind the PlayStation 3 will be the 3.2GHz Cell processor, a multi-core processor designed to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and scale to meet the needs of each task accordingly. The graphics will be powered by the NVidia-designed 550 MHz RSX GPU, which NVidia claims will be more powerful than two GeForce 6800 Ultra video cards combined. In addition, the PS3 will have 256MB of main RAM, combined with 256MB of VRAM. The console will support TVs running in 1080p progressive scan mode, and will be capable of running sound in Dolby 5.1, DTS and LPCM. It will also have a 2.5" detachable hard drive, although little information, such as how much storage space it will offer, has been announced just yet."

Funny really, these specs sounded so incredible at the beginning of last year . . . how quickly things change - welcome to the wonderful world of high end gadgets, by the time the PS3 hits the selves in the UK it will be dwarfed by the power of a cheap Dell laptop. Dare I say, I think Microsoft might win this round? (¬_¬)

PSP Price Slash!!! (^_^)


GameStop slashes price of PSP Giga Pack // GamesIndustry.biz

"The Giga Pack, which includes a PSP, stand, USB cable and 1GB Memory Stick, officially retails for GBP 214.99, or EURO 309.99. However, GameStop is now offering the pack for GBP 189.99 (around EURO 275) in Northern Ireland. Stores in the Republic of Ireland are selling the pack for EURO 289 (just under GBP 200)."

That’s a lot of tech for the money. The 1GB Memory Stick Duo will easily hold 2 feature length films encoded at a very reasonable quality.

RSS? No, RSQ!


Really Simple Quantum (Physics)

iWeb Site into a Template

iWeb review coming real soon, but in the mean time, iWeb users check this out;
macosxhints - A script to convert an iWeb site into a template

Newsvine goes public - Lifehacker


Lifehaker are reporting that Newsvine has come out of private beta and is now open to the public. I've been using Newsvine for about a week now and I'm loving it.

So what exactly is Newsvine? Basically a news aggregation service. You can read news stories, seed news stories, comment on news stories and if you want you can write your own news stories. Everything you write, seed or comment on gets added to your own personal news column which can be viewed by other members.

In some respects Newsvine is like Digg.com but it's far more than a Digg clone. It's more involved than Digg, less sensational than Digg and a very different concept to Digg. In fact it's not really in competition with Digg at all.

Simply put Newsvine is the best way to read, seed and write news on the net!

Cell Phone Handset


















"Take your phone back to the 1950s!"

Apple ER!


The Joy of Tech comic... laughter is the best tech support.

Sony Ericsson K790


Sony Ericsson K790 (MobileBurn)

I’ve had a brief look at some of the sample photos from the K790 and they look very good, not as good as the Sharp 903, but great none the less. The screen looks great and it’s a tiny phone for the amount of features it packs. I see no reason to believe that the K790 will not be as popular as the rather gorgeous K750.

New iPod Display to Rival Sony PSP


Think Secret - Apple thinks big(ger): video iPod to pack 4-inch display

As you can see from the image above the 4" screen on the PSP with it’s 16:9 ratio is far larger and more colourful than the little display on the iPod 5G. It would seem that that particular advantage of the PSP might disappear with the release of the next iPod.

Firefox Add-ons

When you first install Firefox it can be a rather dull experience. Firefox is a simple, secure browser by design. It's also hugely customisable user experience. There are hundreds of add-ons, extentions and themes.

Firefox Add-ons

Some of my favourite add-ons:

Digg Toolbar
Google Toolbar
Qute Theme

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