tech gizmos & stuff

saying goodbye to my MacBook

damn… i just handed my 5-month-old MacBook Pro (13.3) to its new owners, and it feels like i’ve just sold one of my kidneys.

mac & coffeeit was just one of those things that had to happen. i’ve tried to postpone making this decision for as long as i could, but the time has come for me to cross this BRIDGE — in order to acquire a hardcore laptop that fits with the nature of my work, i needed to let my MacBook Pro go. the economics of my situation demanded it.

bottom line, i had to sell my MacBook because the bulk of my work hinges on Windows-based applications and my other laptop (a weather-beaten Dell that has fought too many wars) is basically giving out its death rattle. i needed a new laptop fast, and my all-important client decreed that i had to use Windows, or else…

my life's main course

and so, after a last fond tap on its silver polycarbonated casing, i accepted the money from the buyers and took a long walk.

later, there will be time enough for me to buy a new replacement (ASUS Zenbook). for now, let me mourn the departure of an old friend.

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zen vision m (60gb): a review

zvm2.jpgafter months of anticipation, the shipment my sister promised finally arrived. it contained several things including stuff i’d recently ordered online — books, DVDs, etc. after throwing things haphazardly in all directions, i finally dug out the item i’d been waiting for all this time: my new 60-gb zen vision m. yayy!

this isn’t my first Creative mp3 player. last year, my sister gave me this (my first) shiny, black 30-gb Creative ZVM, which tickled me no end. it took a me few days to figure things out (i had to learn an awful lot of things in a hurry) but it was worth all the aggravations i went through. what really clicked for me was its video capability, which was far, far better than the iPod’s, and the fact that it was compatible with more formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, XviD, WMV9, Motion-MPEG), which is great time saver because it meant i didn’t have to convert my video files in order to view them. plus it had a gorgeous 262k color screen (as compared to iPod’s 64k screen) and an FM tuner to boot. it also had a slightly longer battery life and a voice recorder.

i loved that player. it was practically the first thing i took out of my bag as soon as i arrive in my work area, and the last thing i check before leaving home. so, you can imagine my horror when i accidentally dropped it last christmas as i was clearing the table. there was this dull, hollow thud and the sound of something cracking as it hit the floor. recovering from shock, i quickly  scooped it up and checked if it was still working. the glaring crack at its side was disheartening but i kept at it for hours, with zero results.

it flickered back to life the next day, and for a while i thought it was still possible to nurse it back to health. however, as days passed, it would often hang for no reason at all. 5 days later it blinked for the last time and it was like i had lost a friend. it took me a few days to finally decide to get another mp3 player. still,  i couldn’t face the thought of settling for an iPod, so i placed my order for another ZVM, this time for a 60-gb unit (it’s cheaper to order online; i got mine for $287).

and so, here it is. although it comes in a smaller box, it’s definitely bigger and heavier than the 30-gb variant. it has a similar set of controls, with a slightly longer battery life than the 30-gb unit (4 vs. 5 hours for video; 14 vs. 16 hours for audio). the box also includes an installation cd for windows media player 11. the only major downer for me (aside from the ZVM’s bulkier size) was the glaring lack of an AC adaptor, which you need to purchase separately. fortunately, i still have the old charger that was provided in the 30-gb version. the transfer of music, videos and images was quick, smooth and easy. all in all, it’s like my old mp3 player has never left.

along with the player, i picked up a ZVM docking station, which really makes things easier especially when i feel like watching some videos, and a leather case to keep the unit marginally protected from unsightly scratches and smudges.

interesting stuff

here’s a passel of interesting news from various fronts lately

In Science, a number of scentists are suggesting that there may have been living creatures in Mars when NASA’s Viking 1 and 2 landed on the red planet in 1976. in an ironic twist, a recent analysis of the Viking mission data is hypothesizing that these space probes may have inadvertently killed the very same life forms that they have been sent off to study (tsk tsk… talk about stumbling in the dark!).

viking.jpg

For a more comprehensive explanation, you can check out Astrobiology.com‘s news release on this

and here’s also the latest update on dark matter, invisible stuff which apparently  takes up a huge portion of the universe. you can check out the details at Space.com.

dm.jpg 

In Technology (Consumer Electronics), SonyEricsson recently announced the arrival of its newest Walkman phone — the W200. It features a VGA camera and a 128mb meory stick (memory expandable to 2Gb). SE’s Walkman products have great audio quality. i know, because my current mobile unit is an SE W800i (bought a year ago). it looks like a toy and feels like one but the sound quality (it has radio and mp3 player) is comparable to that top-of-the-line mp3 players.

on a more wistful note, i’m still dreaming of the time when i can finally have a Wiimote of my own (reminder: tv screen guard is a must). it’s the perfect foil for couch potatoes like me (*sigh*). it’ll also give me another incentive to visit wiihaveaproblem.com every now and then to check out the amusing idiocies of some Wiimote users.