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The iPhone… a handheld Mac Computer January 31, 2009

Posted by Donnie in Computers, Gadgets, iPhone.
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main_overview20081217Since I was a kid I’ve been called a gadget freak. I guess it started with a Radio Shack 4 channel handheld police scanner. And of course I went through the CB Radio phase, wristwatch calculaters, a Casio DataWatch, if it was new technology I desired it.

In December 1980 I purchased my first computer, the new Business Computer, a Tandy Model III. This was before IBM had even released it’s first personal computer and, MicroSoft who? I think Bill, Steve and Steve were still working in their garages. If you don’t know who I mean, never mind, haha. don’t even get me started on Laptops, I’ve owned so many different models, to name a few; even a Osborne 1, a Sharp PC-5000, a Toshiba 3100.

But today I own what has to be the ultimate Gadget…. the Apple Iphone 3G. It’s a cellphone… BUT so, so much more. It’d my digital  camera… my iPod…. my PDA (yes I had all the Palms’ too), my alarm clock, my GPS, my handheld game machine and so much more!

I’ve been a Blackberry owner (CrackBerry) but to me the iPhone is generations ahead of the Blackberry or a Palm Treo (yes I’ve had a couple of them also). Apple redefined the Smartphone market with what I like to call the “GeniusPhone.”  Yes everyone is playing catchup and there are some other nice SmartPhone on the market, but none are up to par with the GeniusPhone.

Don’t get me wrong the iPhone is not perfect, depending on who you ask it has many drawbacks. When I first switched from my Treo 750P, I hated the touchscreen keyboard. But today as I have grow accustom to using it I really like it. I have 4 major issues with the iPhone.

1. No cut and paste….. why Apple, why?? It’s such a minor detail thats EVERYONE is screaming for!!

2. No MMS… Every free iphone on the market has it, so why doesn’t the iPhone have it Apple?

3. The SMS app needs work… Maybe it’s just me, but I really liked the capability of sending short pre-defined        text messages, again most phones call do this, but not the iPhone. Why Apple??

4. I guess this last item is more for AT&T, explain to me again what 3G is? I thought I knew, a new hi-Speed data connection for cellphones, right? The only catch is, in the 3 months since I upgraded to a 3G iPhone from my first generation iPhone I have NEVER, I mean NEVER found any 3G service here in North Carolina. So is 3G just a myth that you could charge $10 per month higher for?

I understand the rumor mill has a 3rd generation iPhone coming out in June. So what does Apple have in store for us iPhone addicts? I hope along with the faster processor and  additional memory that I’m sure they will add, that they go back to the BASICS and correct some details that SHOULD have been in the first phone. While I’m dreaming can I ask for true multi-user also??



WD TV™ Media Player January 31, 2009

Posted by Donnie in Gadgets.
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I have a friend who has one of these, so I thought I’d review it.  My first reaction was “it’s SO SMALL”, as he and I unpacked it, I was amazed at it’s simplicity  and ease of  hookup. He has a HDMI connection to his Flat screen (composite RCA outputs are also available)  so it was a simple matter of plugging one cable into both and connecting the external USB hard drive, which is not included.  My friend already had burned his personal movie collection to a WD Passport External Hard drive, so the time consuming work was already done .  In a matter in just a few minutes we were watching movies!

The interface is one of simplicity, which therein lies its power. My friends 6 year old son was operating the device and selecting his favorite movie, “Cars”, in seconds. Long Vacations are great for this media plkayer as you can pack it with you have have hundreds of movies available to you at at a moments notice on that rainy day at the beach.

Bottom line is I give this unit 4.5 stars! It would have a 5 star rating if it had Boxee built in also. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys watching their movie collection. My friend has about 350 movies on his 500GB WD Passport, all at his fingertips! No trips to Blockbuster, no downloads from Netflix, for the $129 retail price and $99 internet price this is a hard item to beat!



The information below is from WD website….

Combined with a My Passport portable drive (sold separately), this player is the most convenient way to play HD movies or user-generated videos, listen to high-quality digital music and show high-resolution slideshows of your family photos on your TV. Also works with popular USB drives, and digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players that can be recognized as mass storage devices. 


Designed for My Passport, works with many other USB storage devices – Play content from most popular USB drives,and digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players that can be recognized as mass storage devices.
Full HD video playback and navigation – up to 1080p – Experience the spectacular picture quality of HD video and crystal clear sound clarity of digital audio. Use the included remote control to navigate through your entertainment choices using our crisp, animated HD menus.
Collect without limits – There’s no limit to the size of your media collection; just add more USB drives for more space.
Advanced navigation  

  • Thumbnail and list views – Browse your content by filename or by thumbnails of photos, album covers and movie cover art.
  • Media Library – This unique feature lets you view all your media by media type in one menu regardless of its location in folders or drives. You can view your content by categories such as genre, album, artist and date.
  • Search – Search by genre, title, artist, filename and partial filename.
Photo viewing  

  • Create custom slide shows with a variety of transitions and background music
  • Zoom and pan
  • Search by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date
Movie viewing  

  • Fast forward, rewind, pause, zoom, and pan
  • View subtitles
  • Search by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date
Music playback  

  • Fast forward, rewind, pause, shuffle, repeat
  • Search by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date
Access two USB drives simultaneously – Two USB ports on the player let you connect two USB storage devices and access them simultaneously. Our Media Library feature aggregates the content on both drives into one list sorted by media type.
HDMI and composite video connections – The High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port lets you connect to the highest quality HDTV or home theater. Additional composite (RCA) outputs ensure compatibility with virtually all television sets.
Includes free media conversion software – ArcSoft MediaConverter™ 2.5 — a fast, easy-to-use application that converts photo, video, and music files into formats optimized for use on the WD TV HD Media Player.
Ultra-compact design – Fits easily into your entertainment center.
Ideal For  

Hassle-free playback of HD movies, home videos, digital music, and photos on your TV. 

System Requirements

  • My Passport portable hard drive or other USB storage device with supported video or audio content stored on it.
  • Standard or high definition television with HDMI or composite video connections

Package Contents

  • HD Media Player
  • Compact remote with batteries
  • Media converter software (Windows only)
  • Composite AV cable
  • AC adapter
  • Quick Install Guide