Archive for January, 2008

This week marks two years of blogging

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

It’s hard for be to believe it has been two years already. It seems like yesterday that I emailed Kevin Tofel at HD Beat to see if he wanted to co-host my podcast (This Week In HD) with me. Kevin declined, but invited me to join the HD Beat team and co-host a podcast with him. After he explained what a blog was — and WIN took months to process the paperwork — we were off. Although Kevin only ended up recording 10 podcasts with me, he did teach me a lot, and to this day we remain friends.

I had to go back and find my first post, it was a boring piece about DirecTV raising their rates. I’ll never forget my first feature though, it was about how to setup an OTA HD antenna, which even after two years is a top 10 article every week for EHD — thanks to being the number one result on Google when you search for “OTA HD.” But the most popular post I’ve ever written was a week later, it was about how to connect your computer to your HDTV — it’s kinda depressing that I peaked so early. Over the past two years I’ve written 286,319 words spread over 934 posts (including x-posts to classic) but I still enjoy recording the Podcast and writing features the most.

The biggest challenge was being assimilated by Engadget eight months later, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way and CES with the entire Engadget crew is my absolute favorite week of the year.

Sometimes I wonder how long I will continue to blog, as much as I love it, it takes up so much of my time that I can’t explorer any of my other passions — always wanted to learn to program.

Either way, at this point in my life I don’t see an end in sight to blogging and I’d like to thank everyone that I’ve ever worked with at Engadget and every commenter — except the nasty ones — for making Engadget such a rewarding experience. But most of all I’d like to thank Kevin Tofel for telling me what a blog was, and Ryan Block for keeping me on even though my writing skills were are sub-par — at best.

If Apple won’t make a Mac, I’ll do it myself

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Although I grew up on Windows, like most who are on the front of the curve I run OS X now. As much as I love OS X and Apple hardware, I’m very annoyed that Apple doesn’t make a Mac anymore. Sure they have the MacBook Pro, the Mac Pro and the iMac, but what if you want to be able to upgrade your hard drive or video card? Or maybe you want a Blu-ray drive. Apple only has the Mac Pro and while it is an awesome machine, I don’t have much use for a $3k 8 core Xeon powered monster.

I’m sick of compromising portability and power with my MacBook Pro, but now that Apple has the MacBook Air, I can go back to having two computers and rather trying to have one that does it all. This of course means my MBP is gone and I need a good desktop. If I didn’t already have a 20-inch cinema display and the iMac had a eSATA port, I’d just get an 20-inch iMac, but instead I think I’ll build a hackintosh. The funny part is I really don’t want to. While there was a time when I wouldn’t dream of buying a computer that I didn’t build, now I would rather do just about anything than to build a computer myself. I really don’t feel like I have much of a choice and after my MBA is delivered and my MBP is gone, I’ll head down the path. Who knows, maybe I’ll have some fun along the way.

Being quoted never gets old

Friday, January 18th, 2008

HMM_11808_1_sm.pngIf I was famous, then I’d probably get sick of being quoted, but since I’m not even Internet famous, it never gets old. This is the third time my new best friend Chris Tribby has quoted me in Home Media Magazine and I’m glad he feels my opinion is worthy for print. This weeks edition includes an article — on the front page mind you — titled “Web Enthusiasts Abuzz After Warner’s Blu Move” which discusses Engadget HD’s commenters (among others) reaction to Warner going Blu, so once again if it wasn’t for our readers — even the ones who hate me — I wouldn’t be anything. So thanks.


The MacBook Air is perfect for me

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

The funny thing about Apple is although their products are usually very successful, there always seem to be a lot of people disappointed with their announcements. I’m not sure how Apple got to the point where everyone thought they could be everything to everyone, or if those vocal online are just trying to counter all the fanboys, but either way there is plenty of banter going both ways.

My friend Kevin and I have never seen eye to eye on the industry name for Apple’s latest MacBook. Kevin thinks that an Ultra-portable has to be more portable than a laptop can be, and I side with the marketing people in that it’s as portable as a laptop can be. So for me the Air is as close to perfect as any laptop I’ve ever had — and I love ultra-portable laptops. Although I wrote perfect in the subject of this post, I didn’t really mean it — so sue me. It would be perfect if it had more USB ports, built in 3g, and a replaceable battery — oh, and costs half as much, but hey. Despite not being perfect, it’s the closest I’ve seen because it’s super small and light, has a full size keyboard, boasts 5 hour battery, — I’ll believe it when I see it — runs OSX, and more powerful then just about any laptop I’ve had (besides my MacBook Pro). So as you’d expect, I pre-ordered one already. We’ll see if it lives up to my expectations, but so far the only Apple product that didn’t is the Apple TV — and there’s hope for that yet.

The best part of CES is the people

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Steve, Ben and Richard

This was my third CES and although I love gadgets — HDTVs in particular — the best part of all three shows for me was the people I met. While I’m not going to list every Engadget Editor who went, or every press relations person I met for the first time, — despite working with them for years — I’d like to list a few. I talk to Steve Kim (pictured above on the left) every week on the podcast and this is the first time we met, and as I expected, we got along great. Jeremy Toeman with the cool new gadget from Bug Labs was also great, despite the fact that he believe everyone wants to watch crappy video on their computer. I marveled at watching Darren Murph perform his blogging magic in person (200 posts in 10 days, wow!). Unfortunately I didn’t get meet everyone I wanted, at one point I was in the same room as Mari Silbey and we didn’t even know it. And of course I got to hang with some old friends that I only get to see once a year like; Ryan, Zatz; Richard (pictured above on the right) and Tyler (pictured below playing me in the AVP challenge) — as well as so many more that I won’t list. It never ceases to amaze me how well I get along with all these people and they’re the ones that make the trip as much fun as it is. Thanks.


Thanks Gavin, for the TiVo referral points!

Friday, January 11th, 2008

I love spreading the word about TiVo — when you love a product, you want everyone else to enjoy it too. But what makes it even sweeter is when their new TiVo also earns you free gear and today my friend Gavin — didn’t even know I had a friend named Gavin — gave me credit for his TiVo referral.

Thanks a lot! And if anyone else wants to hook me up, my email address is my domain name

My fav Engadget comments

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Every once in a while there is a Engadget comment that just cracks me up, so from now on I’m going to post them here.

“Ben Drawbaugh is an interesting specimen – a Blu-ray fanboy and a
Microsoft fanboy.

Engadget is owned by Time-Warner so Ben is a Blu-ray fanboy.
However, he owns an XBox 360 and many of the ads on Engadget are
Microsoft-centric, so he is a Microsoft fanboy.

So the best way for him to appease both sides of his fanboy nature is
to promote Blu-ray and to bash the PS3.

Remember, the PS3 is connected to the Internet so once any standard
becomes the norm, you can expect Sony to upgrade the firmware to
support it. Ignore Mr. Drawbaugh’s Microsoft fanboy comments.”

Just for the record, I don’t own a 360 anymore, hate Microsoft and if Time Warner told me what to do, I’d quit.

Finally the Slingbox I’ve been waiting for

Friday, January 4th, 2008

I’ve been giving Dave Zatz a hard time cause Sling hasn’t made a real SlingBox HD since he started working for them. Now according to Dave, they added the Slingbox HD pro just for me and with component passthrough and an ATSC and QAM tuner, I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to see how it streams 1080i throughout my house and across my FiOS connection, but I have to wait at least till Q3, but maybe longer.

Now if they’d just make a ATSC RF-Modulator, then I’d be really happy. Ohh and a iPhone client.