Archive for February, 2008

Buying a MBA with a Juniper card paid off

Friday, February 29th, 2008


I’m a sucker for no interest deals, so bad that sometimes I’m tempted to buy things I don’t even want just so I can shaft some bank out of its money. There’s nothing better than not paying the item off until the very last moment knowing that the bank’s plan has failed, and I enjoyed something on a big corporate bank’s dime for some period of time — so far I’ve yet to pay a cent of interest *knocks on plastic*. So when I bought my MBA I decided to take advantage of the 90 days no interest deal offered to new Juniper Visa Card with iTunes rewards customers. So today when I opened my mailbox I had three card sized envelopes from Juniper and each contained a $25 iTunes gift card. So not only have I not paid for the laptop I’m typing on right now yet, but I have $75 to spend at iTunes. The problem of course is that I generally don’t spend money at the iTunes store and the last time someone gave me a iTunes gift card for $50 (Thanks Stuart) it took me about a year to actually spend it. But I hear you can sell or trade these things nowadays. is finally respectable

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

When I started just over a year ago, I was excited about the Apple TV and I wanted a place to talk about it — beyond its HD abilities. At the time I wasn’t sure I’d stick with it, so I didn’t want to waste time on hosts and themes, in case it turned out the first Well, recently a friend asked me to help him start a blog — more on that later — and in the process I figured why not upgrade my own blog and make it respectable.

So I’m very proud to announce the relaunch of And starting now, I’m no longer on — very big pain btw — I’m not using the default theme anymore, and I’ve changed the tagline. Thanks Dave. What isn’t going to change is the quality of the content — or lack there of. But it’s not all good, as I’ve added a few ads from Google and I plan to add a few from Amazon, as I have to find some way to offset hosting fees.

I’m a failure as a Mac evangelist

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008


Ever since I bought my first Mac, I’ve shared my love and I’m not sure if it’s me or those around me, but I’ve only been able to get a few people to switch, but the biggest failure hit me today. I’ve worked on getting my wife to use a Mac for almost four years now, and I just can’t break her. I even try to strong arm her — yes, I feel guilty about it — but it didn’t work either. I thought it was OS X — cause like many Windows users, no matter how much better something is, if it’s different it’s a barrier — so I even offered to install Windows XP on it. So today I gave up, and against my better judgement I helped her pick out a pink Sony Vaio. I know Jeremy, I know.

The reason is the funny part — although she loves pink gadgets, I’m sure I could’ve convinced her to send it off to Colorware. No, the problem was one that can’t be fixed, and honestly I completely understand. The problem is there’s no right click button on MacBooks. Yeah, she knows you can can control click, or tap with two fingers or rest two fingers while clicking, she doesn’t care. She likes to click on the buttons and she there’s no way to add it.

So how ’bout it Steve? You lost this one and you know it, why else would you’ve include the right click on the Mighty Mouse and all the MacBook shortcuts, so give in already and add the button? Like we all need a three inch click button or something.

The HD industry is just getting started

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Now that the format war is over, I’ve had a few people ask or make suggestions about the future of Engadget HD. I’m not sure if they were just making fun or if they really think our site was only about the format war. Sure, we covered the format war a lot, but it was never our identity — but HD movies is a big part of it. All the writers of Engadget HD do it because we love it and while the format war was fun, it was never the reason we got into HD.

Chris Tribbey was working on a piece that was published in this weeks Home Media Magazine and asked me this very question and although he chose to quote me in his most recent article about the format war, he didn’t use the one I think sums up our future, “Sure, eventually when everyone has a HDTV, the digital transition is over, and every channel is available in HD to the point that SD is like black and white, then we’ll run into concerns.” I think as more and more people buy HDTVs and go looking for content and technical information they’ll find Engadget HD and our readership will continue to see the fantastic growth it’s seen over the past few years.

I was glad to see that Tyler from Format War Central was quoted as well and while I do think his site may have reason to be concerned, Tyler is very familiar with the format war. In fact, he is one of my greatest resources on the subject and there aren’t any technical format war posts on Engadget HD that he didn’t help me with.

I have 9 Hulu invites if anyone wants them

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008


I don’t know who I’m supposed to give these things to, as everyone I know either is already in the beta or doesn’t even know what Hulu is. So if you want one, just leave a comment with the email address you want the invite sent to and I’ll hook you up.

Goodbye HD DVD, it was fun while it lasted

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

So it finally appears that the format war is over and while the outcome is what I expected, I’m left feeling a little sad. Sure I knew it would end and I knew someone would win, but I’m sad because HD DVD’s interactive features worked so well and maybe if the two camps would’ve gotten together before hand consumers would’ve been better off if both BD-J and HDi were part of the BD spec.

As odd as this might seem, I really enjoyed watching it all play out. With each announcement was a new debate and although I always thought Blu-ray would win because it has more industry support, HD DVD did have me wondering a few times.

In the end, I believe the consumer would be better served if HDi was added to the BD spec. I doubt this will ever happen, but I think it would be a nice option for the studios, especially when you consider that Warner still says a few titles like The Matrix Trilogy isn’t available on Blu yet because of where BD-J is.

Why the Apple TV still sucks

Thursday, February 14th, 2008


If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably saw that I’m not happy with the Apple TV 2. While I couldn’t wait to get the Apple TV, I wait with baited breath for every update to see if I will actually get the main feature that I bought the stupid thing for. No it’s not the video, the quality just can’t compare to Blu-ray so I’m not interested, the thing I really wanted, was a way to enjoyable look at my photos on my 60-inch plasma. Sure my TV has a memory card slot, as does my Blu-ray player, but I said enjoyably. This hasn’t been the case for the Apple TV in the past and it’s not the case with that latest update. To sum up my issue with the Apple TV’s photo experience, I’d like to share a little IM chat I had with my friend Tyler from Format War Central.

Tyler: so the apple tv still sucks?
me: I’m just bitter that they didn’t fix my biggest grip about the photos
Tyler: what do you mean?
me: go to photos on your iphone and select an album, you see thumbnails of all your photos right?
Tyler: yeah
me: If you hit play you can watch a slide show right?
me: how often do you watch the slide show and how often do you just thumb through your pics?
Tyler: never watch a slide show
me: well on the ATV, you can only watch a slide show
Tyler: thats retarded
me: so even though you can browse all your movies and tv shows with thumbnails filling the screen, you can’t look at your pictures with that UI
which makes it useless

So how about it Apple? Can we please browse our own photos like we’ve been able to in iPhoto, the original iPod Photo and the iPhone? And just like we can browse movies and TV shows on the Apple tV? Is that really too much to ask?

Love my MacBook Air

Monday, February 11th, 2008


I’ve always loved small laptops and as silly as some think it is, the thinner the better. The MacBook Air is my third ultra-portable laptop and so far my favorite for a few reasons that MBA haters will find funny. The battery lasts longer, it is thinner and it runs OS X! The third is the most important of course. The other great thing about the MBA when compared to my older laptops is the keyboard and the screen. Not only does it feature full sized versions of both, but the keys feel good compared to my old um32w and about the same as my m300, but not as cramped. The MBA costs about the same price as my other two as well, but lets hope it lasts longer than my um32w which died after 14 months, with a sporadic power off issue.

The only thing I’m quickly learning to dislike about my MBA is the solo USB port, I’ve already purchased two hubs which will help out, but it would’ve been really nice to have two. So far my favorite thing is the way the MBA looks much thinner than it really is. The thickest part is .76-inches thick, which doesn’t seem much thinner than my um32w which was .8, but when you put them next to each other the MBA sure does look smaller.

In the end I recognize the MBA isn’t for everyone, but it’s for me. I just wish Apple would make a 13-inch MacBook Pro, ’cause I think this would help cut down on the MBA hate, who had their hopes up for a replacement to the 12-inch PowerBook.

Check out all the pictures comparing my um32w to my MacBook Air.