Tuesday, August 5, 2008
First and probably the biggest is the speed, this computer, as I expected, is not a speed demon, with XP on it, it kind of trundles along at its own pace, but its certainly not unusable. The display is great, it is super bright, and very readable at 800x480, if you need more screen real estate there is a 1000x600 setting which isn’t that bad albeit a little small for me. The sound, well what can I say about the sound? It makes noise I don’t think I would really want to listen to through the built in speakers but like I said before this is not a walkman, headphones sound pretty good though. I guess the last point I would like to touch on is the heat, it dose get hot but its no where near as bad as I was expecting from the reviews I had read. I had the unit running all day today, installing software and doing windows updates and at the end of the day it was hot but not as hot as some other laptops that were in the store today, I guess what I am trying to say is all laptops get hot and this one is no different, I am not sure why people expect otherwise just because its little.
So to sum up, after one full day of use I am actually quite impressed, it isn’t perfect, there are a few kinks I am still trying to work out, like the webcam doesn’t work in yahoo messenger, but all in all its not a bad gizmo. The speed really isn’t that bad and should only get better with a little more memory but I think the hard drive is what is really holding it back. In my humble opinion, if you have an extra XP license, this laptop is well worth $299.
I can’t wait for the extra memory to arrive, there are lots of mods that I am already planning, I will try and find time tomorrow to post a list of the mods I want to do.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
All that said I don’t have the little bugger yet so I could be wrong about everything, stay tuned to find out, the good folks at Wal-Mart say I should have it early next week.
One last note, if you are into modding this thing looks perfect, have a look around on Google for what people are doing to them :)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yes I did it, I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer, I broke down and got myself an Iphone. I really don't want this to be a long in-depth review about this cool looking gizmo, there are plenty of those out there and I am sure there will be lots more to with the release of the 3G version. I do however (as usual) want to through my two cents in.
Visually, I think the world is in agreement, the device is beautiful, it's sleek, shiny black and silver exterior screams "touch me" and you simply cannot resist. But looks are not everything they can indeed be deceiving. On a whole the Iphone is wonderful it’s probably the first gadget that I have picked up that actually does everything it says it does. Let’s start with the phone part, well it’s a phone it makes calls and surprisingly enough it receives call also, call quality if perfectly fine and if you find you have to dial a number that’s not in your contact list the onscreen keypad is very useable. The contact list I have to say is not great, it works and it’s useable but it’s not great even with the new search feature that the 2.0 firmware added I still prefer the contact list on my windows mobile phone. The web browsing is awesome it works better than any mobile device I have used so far even without Java and Flash (I am sure it’s just a matter of time before we get both on the Iphone). I do really like the instant message style text messaging (This has been added to Windows Mobile 6.1) and the email functions work just fine also. Oh and I almost forgot it’s an iPod too, that’s right it plays music and video, is it better at it than my Windows Mobile device? Well to be honest I have to say no. All in all it’s a cool gadget but I do think there is a lot of room for improvement. I have to admit that the only reason I am continuing to use the Iphone is because of the web browser, and yes it looks cool. If my HTC S620 surfed as well as the Iphone I have to say I would go back to it (I have Windows Mobile 6.1 running on the S620).
I want to briefly talk about some of the problems I have with the Iphone (maybe apple will read this) first of ITunes, I know this is a personal gripe I have but a gripe it is, I hate ITunes, it monkeys with my music, my album art doesn’t work and it feels rather cumbersome. Second is the lack of productivity software no word processor no spreadsheet program this also leads nicely into the lack of a spell checker (I had planned on writing this whole blog entry on the Iphone but it was just too frustrating). Third is the lack of support for media formats, NO DIVX, you have to let ITunes monkey with your files again before you can watch them (Divx is available for windows mobile devices) Last (this could be the most important though) is the lack of software, there are thousands if not millions of developers out there itching to write software for this device and you can’t use any of it (unless you jailbreak your phone) come on Apple this device is a remarkable piece of engineering and I don’t think we have scratched the surface of what it is capable off yet but let people help.
Is the Iphone the gadget of all gadgets? I think not, I think it’s a nice insight of things to come and I think its pointed the industry in the right direction but unless Apple become a little more open minded about third party software Microsoft will end up winning this battle. The future is definitely in mobile devices but they have to be more than a novelty or a fashion accessory, the Iphone is almost there but not quite unfortunately I feel it’s just paved the way for a better device. (maybe one that I can actually type a letter on)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Defiantly cool, check it out http://writer.bighugelabs.com/
Monday, June 23, 2008
What follows is a true story about one man’s fight against the oppressive heat of summer and the generously proportioned, money grabbing and all together not very nice industry that is Heating and Air Conditioning Repair. Please be aware that the names in the story have been changed to protect the innocent as one of the biggest secrets in the A/C industry is about to be released. Any information you procure from reading this is yours do with as you please but don’t go blaming anyone if you decide to try this and blowup yourself, your house, or anything else for that matter.
Summer is here at last. Picnics, walks in the park, fishing and sailing, just a few of the common summer activities that I for one don’t partake in. Why? I here you ask, well to be perfectly honest I live in South Texas and it’s just too damn hot for any of those summer shenanigans, especially considering the first 20 years of my life was spent in Manchester England where it gets bloody cold. So I retreat, hide you might say shielding myself from whatever ridicules temperature it happens to be outside. My favorite retreat of course is my house. My house, a place of solitude, a place to unwind and let the stresses of the day wash away in the calming glow of the cathode ray, a safe place, a cool place. This leads me nicely into my story. My name is Smith I live an average life in an average house in an average neighborhood with my beautiful wife Mrs. Smith, our son Smith Jr and another on the way who for now is affectionately named JB (Just Baby). Our lives are what you might call normal, average and for the most part very happy until one day the unimaginable happened, our house was invaded, the safe place violated, solitude desecrated, HEAT it was everywhere the air conditioner had decided to go on strike. This was almost too much to bare it was six o’clock at night, nowhere is open, what to do. Frantically I ran down my mental list of ‘what to do in an emergency’ I called 911 but they lady who answered the telephone said that this didn’t constitute as an emergency, I asked if she wouldn’t mind telling that to Mrs. Smith who is six months pregnant and suddenly we were disconnected, a glitch in their phone system I am sure. So I moved on, hospital yes that’s it, number two on the emergency list, take the sick to the hospital, I sprang into action, ran outside, where to my surprise it was considerably cooler than it was inside, pulled the car around next to the A/C unit and tried loading it up. To my astonishment it was bolted down! Well that’s it out of options well almost there was one left. Looking back though I can see how you may think me foolish but I was desperate. I sat down next to the unit and tried to reason with it, I explained to the unit why it would be better If it worked, how I don’t like the heat, I promised we wouldn’t just ignore it and take it for granted anymore, I begged, I pleaded I cried but alas my words fell upon deaf ears. So I did what any man pushed to the edge of reason would do, yes I started cursing and kicking it, finally after hearing my profanities increasing in volume Mrs. Smith dragged me back into the oven that was previously our house.
I was done, thrown in the towel, defeated by an immovable force. We sat uncomfortably staring at the television, the room was silent except for the mindless rambling emanating from the moving picture box. Time was dragging, minutes seemed like hours as if the heat had formed some kind of time vortex within the house. Then out of the blue Mrs. Smith spoke her words graced my ears as if sung by angels ‘I am going to bed, could you please call the repair people in the morning’ Could it be that simple? Maybe it could, I went to bed and dreamed about cold places eagerly awaiting the morning.
Morning came and the temperature was bearable, everybody went about their morning routine, even the time vortex seemed to have gone. The whole morning was awash with normality, one could almost have forgotten about the events of the previous night. We all piled in the car, dropped Smith Jr of at his grandmothers (its summer, school is out) and Mrs. Smith dropped me of at my office. As I was getting out of the car the angels sang again, ‘don’t forget to all the AC people, love you’. Suddenly like a bad dream the whole night came flooding back, the begging, the pleading, the crying and yes the kicking, realizing now why my foot was in so much pain I shook of the nightmare and opened the office.
To be continued…………………
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The movie opens with our reluctant hero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) giving a demonstration of his companies’ latest and greatest instrument of death, the Jericho. Stark is kidnapped post demonstration by a militia group hell bent on Stark recreating the Jericho for their own mischievous uses. Stark defiantly ignores his captor’s threats and constructs himself a suite of iron in an elaborate escape attempt. Upon returning to the so called civilized world Stark, rebels against his own company, secludes himself from society and improves upon his iron suite.
The movies ends (nobody get mad, I don’t consider this a spoiler because we all know how it’s going to end) with an all out battle involving Stark and his nemesis. Iron Man (Stark in his now fancy red and gold suite) is out gunned but still manages to come up trumps and save the day.
Well that’s the movie in a nut shell, so what did I think? The truth is its awesome, brilliant, stunning, standing on your seat shouting for more good. As I may have subtlety touched on earlier I was unsure of Hollywood’s ability to tell this tail well, well my fears were unfounded. This movie has everything I normally don’t like so much in Sci-Fi movies, big budget and an all star cast (Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow to name but a few) and yet they pulled it off in a stunning feat of visual entertainment. Robert Downey Jr. was perfect for the role, full of alcohol fueled cynicism and witty one liners. His supporting cast was equally as good, very well cast and very well acted. Unfortunately my favorite characters don’t get a mention in the credits, they are a couple of comical robots that assist Stark in his own private laboratory, as far as robots go they are not the smartest artificial intelligent machines in science fiction, in fact I think they share the same robotic gene pool as Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot from Mystery Science Theater 3000 but thankfully they inherited all the same endearing qualities as their afore mentioned mechanical compadres. As far as the story goes its exactly what you would expect, it’s not going to win any best script awards but come on people it’s a comic book movie, the age old battle of good versus evil, we know the story, we have seen it a thousand times with a thousand super heroes in a thousand cheesy super hero costumes but it doesn’t matter, it’s a good story damn it. Visually the movie is great, good CGI, believable (well almost believable) technology and some nice cars thrown in the mix all go a long way in making this one of the best comic book to big screen transitions I have seen. Bottom line is this is a good movie it gets my vote.
For all of you that skip straight to the bottom of a review to cut out all the waffle all the get the author’s yay or nay here you go. If you have not seen this movie yet stop reading about it, turn of your computer, put some clothes on, run as if you life depended on it to the nearest movie house, pay whatever extraordinary amount of money they ask for and sit on the edge of you seat for the next 126 minutes basking in the glory of this wonderful movie adaptation of a timeless comic book classic.
Check out Iron Man on IMDB
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Here is the deal, you have just done a reinstall of Windows XP over the top of your existing install to fix whatever problem might be bugging you at the time (there are many names for this procedure, maintenance install, overlay install, dirty install, etc) and as if by magic all seems to be working just peachy until you hit that all important Windows Update button. The system springs into life frantically downloading update after update, listing them of one by one as if we are supposed to know or care what they do. Finally it starts installing them and as you wait with baited breath to find out if all your hard work has paid off, the computer reaches out its proverbial hand and politely slaps you across the face with an error message stating that it can’t install any of the updates.
Well stress no more because here is the answer.
Disclaimer: Please be careful, I have used this fix a lot and never had a problem but that doesn’t mean you won’t, I offer no warranty or guarantee on this fix. Use at your own risk if something goes wrong please feel free contact me, I will help if I can but I will not be held responsible for any mishaps or damage that this procedure may cause.
Ok so here we go.
Click the start menu and select ‘RUN’
At the command prompt type ‘net stop wuauserv’ and press enter
After the service has stopped type ‘regsvr32 %windir%\system32\wups2.dll’ and press enter
A dialog box will popup saying that the file has been successfully registered, click ‘OK’ to close the box
Back at the command prompt type ‘net start wuauserv’ and press enter
You should get a message saying the service has started again
Close the command window and restart the computer
Run windows update
If all went well the updates should all take and you can stop holding your breath.
If you don’t like all that typing, download the file below, extract its contents, (it’s a rar file, you will need winrar or something similar) and run it. This will do everything listed above. Don’t forget to restart the computer after you have run the file.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
You can read all about this mod over at Instructables.com or click on the link below