Change Displayed Text SizeGrow Displayed Text SizeShrink Displayed Text Size


Saturday, December 28, 2002

Here's a more in depth [review] of the iRock 530 I got Chelle. The two things that it seems to be lacking are:
ID3 Tag support: It doesn't show track name, etc. info, just the number of the track in memory. Kinda sucks. My old Rio 500, which is pretty much the same thing, had pretty good ID3 tag support.
Backlighting (ie you can't see the display in the dark): Again, the Rio 500 had this. The new Rio players, and the new Nike-banded Phillips players, have all these features as far as I know, but are about 2-3 times the cost of the iRock. For less than $150, the iRock still has great bang for the buck. Chelle adores hers, loves that it fits in her pocket and all. I showed her my Rio 500 and she seemed to like it too (my Nomad, of course, is too friggin big to be of much use to her).
From everything I have seen and heard, the iRock is the best value for the money, and the best thing you can get for under $200.

12/28/2002 08:46:17 PM ] [  ]


Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Crappy Ass Photos Now Up
I put up a couple of pictures I took the other day here in the SF apartment, you can view them [here]

12/25/2002 04:11:45 PM ] [  ]


Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Apparently there is a new Braun razor under the tree for me which is disappointing, since I already got one a couple of months ago *sigh*. Too bad I could not clue my parents into the online xmas list I put up. If we had wireless in the apt. in SF *maybe* they would actually use the net once in a while.
At least I can depend on Chelle to get me kewl stuff! See, while running around SF today shopping for Dad (my amazon order for him would not have gotten here in time, dammit), I realized that just walking down the street I could find stuff that should would completely flip over.... and she can do the same for me. How cool is that? Mind you, we are wierdos who aren't easy at all to shop for.
And [my favorite SF comic store] on Market had a couple of my missing [Gen13] issues, as well as Out There, so I picked a few up and read 2 on the way home on the cable car. Before I went to golden apple last week in Hollywood I had no idea that I missed the end of Gen13, which sucks, and now I have to play catchup to find out what happened. That's what I get for not buying comics for a year.

Dad says he's "not ready" to watch Dog Soldiers. Bastard, he's going to watch it anyway.
Chelle should be in Vegas right now, hopefully finding time away from her family, which is what she needs right now, and hopefully she brought the extra batteries for her new iRock (I went into CompUSA in SF today and found they have a 3 day sale on the kinda-crappy-but-oh-well [10GB Archos Jukebox] player for about as much as the iRock cost.... oh well). I miss her. Lots. Hopefully I'll see her when she gets back. I know what 2 or 3 of the things she got me for xmas are, and yeah, she rocks my socks like you would not beleive.
Man, I love my gangsta bitch.

12/24/2002 03:58:07 PM ] [  ]


Monday, December 23, 2002

A (short) MP3 player buyer's guide
If you're looking for an MP3 player, there are a few things to consider. MP3 players are for all practical purposes broken into two categories: flash memory based (using Smart Media or Compact Flash memory cards) and hard drive based (using itty bitty hard drives). There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Hard drive based players are more expensive usually, and are less durable - but hold gigabytes of music. Flash memory players are skip-free, smaller, more durable, but hold far less music. I've owned one of each, so I have some experience with them.

First, flash memory players. What sucks most about flash memory players is that they can only hold so much music. The Rio 500 I have maxes out at 128mb - 64mb built in an 64mb in a Smart Media card. Smart Media cards suck. They way they work, your player can only address a certain amount. So if I somehow got a 256mb Smart Media card and put it in, the Rio would not even see it. Anything bigger than 64 and it would not know what to do with it. Current Smart Media players, such as chelle's iRock, can see 128mb smart media cards. I'm not sure that Smart Media goes any higher. Yup, that means that her player maxes out at 256mb, which means a max of around 50-60 songs.

Compact Flash, on the other hand, doesn't have those limits. Anything that can take CF cards can take any size. Plug in a 512mb card and it just works. There are MicroDrive cards that have 1gb hard drives on them, those work too.
The i2go mp3 player, the only one I know of that uses Compact Flash media,
[can be found easily on ebay] for about $20-$50. Note that i2go, the company, doesn't exist anymore as far as I know, so you may be on your own for support and firmware updates.
CF cards are generally cheaper than Smart Media too.
[256mb compact flash cards]
[128mb compact flash cards]

Hard drive based players are cool, but many of them (like my Nomad Jukebox) are kind of big and clunky. Right now you can sometimes find new or refurbished Nomad Jukebox (first generation - 6gb capacity) for about [$120 or so], which is the best deal you will get on a hard drive based player. It's about the size and shape of a portable CD player, and while it's great for my car, it's too big to run or work out with. The iPod, of course, is the best hard drive based player out there, but if you want to use it with Windows, you probably need to get a [FireWire card for your computer too] (unless you have an expensive SoundBlaster Audigy card with a firewire port on it)

Apple 10 GB iPod (Win)

Apple 20 GB iPod (Win)

Apple 10 GB iPod (Mac)

Apple 5 GB iPod (Win)

Apple 5 GB iPod (Mac)

There are also portable CD players that play CD-Rs with MP3's burned onto them, but those aren't very practical for day to day use. They could be a decent compliment to a flash memory player - so you always have plenty of music on hand - but cd players that can play mp3's are just half assed. Probably not worth looking into.

And in general, if you are looking for a mp3 player for a PC, it will come with it's own software (none of while, front what I have seen, is all that good. if possible see if your preferred media player, like Real One or WinAmp, supports your player. the deault software WILL suck). If you're buying it for a Mac, you need USB or FireWire support in the player, and it will probably need to work with iTunes (pretty much every player does though!). [Here is a list of players compatible with iTunes]. Note that it is NOT complete - a number of players aren't listed, but it's a good starting point.
The above comments about Smart Media vs. Compact Flash should apply to digital cameras as well. So if you're looking at digital cameras, I would easily recommend a CF-based camera over Smart Media. I don't have any experience yet with Sony's Memory Stick, so I can't comment on that.
And the larger the memory card, CF, SM, or otherwise, the more power it will use, and the faster your batteries will run out. C'est la vie.

12/23/2002 03:04:45 PM ] [  ]


And MAYBE tomorrow I will get one of those radio shack gadgets and see how it works at detecting access points. We'll see.

Since my parent's haven't asked what to get me for xmas, this is what I think they might have gotten me...

1. Money. "Buy yourself something you ass!"
2. A cellphone. I'm not that lucky though.
3. A digital camera. You never know, CJ could have clued them in.
4. An access point. Again, CJ or Elaine might have clued them in.

I suppose I'll have a better idea once I look under the tree, of if mom asks me. Two years ago they basically took me shopping after xmas and told me that since I would never get it myself, we were getting a TV. We went to Corte Madera and got it that day in the Enterprise (dad's BMW). Who knows, maybe they will do that again. Last year they got me the DVD system I wanted after CJ asked me if I would rather have that or an iPod (at the time, I had no computers an iPod could talk to anyway).

12/23/2002 02:14:04 PM ] [  ]


Well, went to cirque du soleil without Chelle, which sucked cause I missed her so much and she would have really enjoyed it, but it was kinda fun anyway. And dinner afterwards at Il Fornaio here in SF just proved that dad is getting wierder and wierder. Even before the performance, I was so tired I had trouble standing up, and when we finally got home I made it through less than a page of my book before completely crashing out. I guess I needed more than 12 hours of sleep.

Hopefully xmas in Vegas won't be more than she can bear, but I'm really glad I got her the mp3 player for her sanity's sake. I just wish I could have found one with a lot more space! 30-something songs isn't really enough for a 6 hour car ride, much less a week with family. Maybe she can bring some CDs and stop someplace to get a cheapo CD player too. Most of her music is on mp3's, but sometimes having CDs around can be a good thing.

I'm pooped, so I'm going to finish up xmas shopping for Dad tomorrow here in SF or later today with mom. I'm thinking that the rest of today is going to be eating, sleeping, and working.... not in that order though.

Man, I miss her. A lot. Sometimes I don't know if she realizes how much she means to me.

12/23/2002 02:08:40 PM ] [  ]