Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

New Intel Macs at last!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006
Apple X86 Logo

Yup, you read that right, and I already have one on order! People think Macs are expensive, but actually, they are quite competitive… a new similarly configured Intel Core Duo Dell 17″ laptop runs around $2900… The new 15.4″ MacBook Pro is $2500… sure, the screen sizes are different, but the MacBook Pro also includes an integrated iSight camera, 1GB of memory on 1 SIMM instead of 2, and software people will actually use (iLife ’06).

These are good times for Apple and their customers. Here is a link to their new advertisement. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Well, I decided to purchase this through Amazon.com instead of the regular Apple Store. I save $200 in tax alone, plus there is a $150.00 Rebate. I also used my Amazon.com associates ID to get an additional 4% off, and my Amex card to save yet another 1%. That’s over $450 in savings, with an estimated delivery of the end of March (instead of the end of February).

Treo 650 as a GPS Navigator!

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Yes, it’s true! I’m using my Treo 650 smartphone as a GPS navigation device. The PalmOne GPS kit includes a small GPS receiver about half the size of a hockey puck. Simply set it on the dash of your car, enable Bluetooth on the Treo, and they connect wirelessly. Battery life for both is quite good too.

I have maps for all of the US and Canada loaded on a SD expansion card and there is still room left over! The TomTom 5.0 navigation software is awesome and very easy to use.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with this solution! Especially well suited for the road warrior who travels a lot as there is hardly any extra gear to carry.

New gadgets…

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

Well, it’s official: I’ve pretty much switched.  I have two laptops (a Powerbook and a new Centrino Compaq X1000) and two desktops (an older G4 DP450 and a dual Athlon 1600+ PC) and I definitely use the Macs more then the PCs.  In fact, I probably use Red Hat Fedora Linux on my X1000 more so then Windows. I haven’t powered up my desktop PC for 2 weeks now either.

So, last week I bought a PCI ATI Radeon 7000 graphics card for the Mac so I can finally use all 3 21″ screens on it instead of on the PC.  Found a great deal on eBay where they have cards (meant for the PC) that have been reflashed with a Mac compatible BIOS.  It works like a charm!  The PC versions have 64MB DDR instead of 32MB too. All I needed was to go out and buy a DVI – VGA adapter so that the card could drive both monitors. I also ran a utility called PCI Extreme so that Quartz Extreme would work with the PCI card and noticed a definite improvement in speed. At only $80, how could I go wrong?

Next, I got tired of using the cassette adapter to use my iPod in the car.  So I bought a Griffin iTrip for $35 at the local Microcenter.  It works great!  I can choose any FM frequency using a playlist stored on the iPod.  Sweet!  Highly recommended. The sound quality was much better then I anticipated.

New PC notebook…

Sunday, January 11th, 2004

Ya, I’m a big fan of the Mac, but I still need to get things done in the world of the ‘Evil Empire’… so, when shopping around for a new machine I decided to go with a Compaq X1000 Centrino.  It arrived the other day, and I love it!

After reformatting and getting rid of all the crap vendors put on factory fresh machines these days, I attempted to install Windows Server 2003.  When configured properly, it makes a great client OS.  Unfortunately, many of the drivers (written for XP) wouldn’t install right.  So, instead of beating my head on the wall, I simply took the easy way out and put XP Pro on it, applied SP1, and then applied the gazillion or so patches… took forever. I’m in the process of installing my apps now.

The 1.5GHz Pentium-M is quite speedy, and battery life is over 4 hours, similar to my 1GHz G4 Powerbook.  I love the screen and am so happy I selected the 1680×1050 WSXGA+.  I was a little worried about how small things would be on a 15.4″ widescreen at that resolution, but it is incredibly clear and crisp.  I couldn’t believe how clear movies looked when playing DVDs on it.  The ATI Radeon 9200 is a nice mobile graphics processor, and the performance is great!

I went with a huge 80GB drive (to dual boot Linux) and also loaded it up with 768MB of RAM (I had a 512MB stick laying around, added to the 256MB already on the machine).  Also got integrated 802.11b and Bluetooth… I might upgrade to a 802.11g card eventually, but I really don’t need the extra speed.

There is even a community forum site just for this machine at www.x1000forums.com.  Lot’s of tips and helpful hints, including all sorts of pictures of the insides of the machine.

So, the total cost was $1400 after $100 rebate + tax (CA strikes again!), included free FedEx shipping.  Found the deal at www.xpbargains.com, a good site to keep an eye on if you are looking to buy something.

Uh… a “G5 opening” photo album?

Monday, October 6th, 2003

When was the last time you saw a PC user photograph the actual opening of the packaging on a new machine?  The bond and affection felt between Mac users and the new G5 is downright scary.  Perhaps this phenomenon should be a topic of study at the Betty Ford Clinic?

Of course, if the opening is documented as well as it is here, then I believe that the affection is well warranted and should be encouraged as much as possible. 😉

30GB iPod… where is it?

Monday, September 29th, 2003

I’m eagerly awaiting the delivery of my new iPod… bought it at the Dell website for only $374 shipped free.  Not a bad deal considering my local Apple Store is selling them for $449 + 8.25% tax ($488).  So I saved over a hundred bucks simply by waiting a few days for delivery.  I’m sure my dog will bark right as it arrives… she loves those UPS / Airborne / FedEx people…

What kind of monitor does $17,499.99 get you?

Saturday, September 27th, 2003

How about 92″ of pure 6400×1200 delight!  Yup, L.com has a really cool looking monitor series out ranging from 45″ at $1499.00 up to the 92″ beast.  Available just in time for the Christmas holiday season.

Intel’s turn at getting pushed around?

Friday, September 26th, 2003

The Register reports that MS has basically forced Intel to support AMD64 extensions in Prescott… can’t really blame them, I mean, how many 64-bit standards were they expected to support anyway?  Good for AMD, their 64-bit strategy always made more sense to me anyway.

Why I’m getting a G5…

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2003

I’ve been watching a few of the free ADC videos from the WWDC 2003 conference held earlier this summer (you need an ADC account to view, which is free).

Just finished watching the G5 technical overview… the design and thought that went into both the processor and the system itself is amazing!  I especially liked the system overview and the detailed thought process that went into the design of the cooling system.  I’m baffled as to why there isn’t a single PC vendor out there doing a similar design for Win-tel platforms.  My dual-Athlon system sounds like a jet airplane… any PC vendors listening?

Cool WiFi Plasma TV…

Wednesday, September 10th, 2003

This 42-inch TV offers built-in 802.11g wireless support, DVD player, support for DivX; video files, and is HDTV enabled.  No word on price or availability…