Wednesday, May 5, 2010

MacBook Pro Core i7

Apple announced new MacBook Pro's that would use Intel Core i7 processors; great I thought, quad-core processors here we come!

Afraid not; these new machines have dual-core processors. Fail, Apple, fail, when other manufacturers released this stuff two years ago. Fail.

Disappointing, I wanted to upgrade this year. Guess I'll wait for the next cycle, which should be in six months time.

The iPad (TM)

The Apple iPad is a cool device; its got a gorgeous big screen, its super fast/responsive, and it meets a need in the market; it must, they've sold over a million in 28 days.

But, I am holding out on buying one, for several reasons;

  1. Never buy a first generation device

  2. I want a forward facing camera for Skype, and it looks like one will appear

  3. I want it to multi-task

  4. Micro-sim's are hardly ubiquitous, although it looks like Vodacom will offer them; if you're adventurous, you could certainly hack one

Not sure what I'll use it for, but I won't lie that I want one, but not right now

Blackberry Curve 8520

I have played around with Blackberry handsets, before, namely the Bold 9000. My opinion at the time was that while it was a good device, it wouldn't be my primary device. And I stick by that assertion.

As a second (or backup) device however, its unbeatable. As a result, I've enjoyed the stability, responsiveness and absolute solid call quality of the device so much, that when I had to return my loan device, I needed a replacement. The Curve 8520 is being flogged by all the operators in South Africa, so I took the plunge and bought one. Its great! Same structure and featureset as its bigger and more expensive brother, but without a GPS, a feature I can live without.

A nice device! And even nicer when you hack OS 5 onto it.

Popcorn Hour A-200

Popcorn hour a200 1

A while back, I bought a Popcorn Hour C-200, which is a very fancy (and big) media player.

Fast forward to a new house, another TV (32" Sony BX300), and a requirement for another media player. My desired device was the Popcorn Hour A-200, and first contact with the local agents was that the device would be R4500! That was a bit steep, so I decided to go buy a Mede8er, which is actually a cool device; its better than the Popcorn Hour in that the interface is cleaner / easier to use, the preview features are awesome (compared to the lack thereof on the PCH), and the device is nice and small.

Unfortunately, it irritated my wife to no end that the user interface was different, and there was a different mechanism to view the same content as the C-200. It also didn't help that it suffered to playback some really good quality large MKV's across a gigabit network. I phoned the local agents again, and discover they had made a mistake with the price of the device, and it would only be R2100, which is what was paid for the Mede8er; I promptly sold the old device and bought the new one.

There isn't much to say, other than it does the same job as its bigger brother, in a much smaller form factor. And the wife is happy too :-)




My home network is a gigabit Ethernet network, with Apple Airport Extreme base stations for local access, and wired access to a MacBook Pro which has a Drobo connected to it via Firewire 800 for storage. A desktop PC running pfsense protects the environment. It works quite well.




The new TV (46" Sony EX700) is being installed tomorrow. Watch this space for a review!

Android 2.1

Given my unhappiness with Android 2.01, I was surprised at how boring the upgrade would be. I connected about 3 weeks back (on a Windows machine), did the 2.1 upgrade, and realised not much had changed.

Oh well, it seemed pretty important at the time. Now, not so sure. It does bring a lot of stability to the device, at the cost of the occasional reboot. Progress!