I’m really quite happy how this little blog has turned out so far. Right now we are getting a steady stream of 3100+ visitors / month, and 75% of them are unique visits! That is quite great for a personal blog that has only been live for a few months. I will continue to focus mainly on DIY projects and the latest gadgets that I own. The point is to give you an unbiased perspective of a honest user who is trying to maximize the value of his investment.
There is not corporate agenda here what so ever. The Google Ads you seen are only there to help pay for some of the hosting cost, nothing more. If you’d like, please do click on them, otherwise feel free to adblock them. =p
Lastly, thank you everyone for your support and kind words in the comments! Please always feel free to voice your opinions! Cheers!
So here is the more interesting stuff… Apple recently announced a new lineup of iPods – Shuffle, Nano and Touch (iPod Classic was NOT refreshed).
First of all, I must say that I wasn’t particularly excited about the announcement since I just bought my beloved iPhone 4, and was not going to flip out more cash for iPods. However, the new devices from Apple just weren’t that interesting this time around.
- Same old features like the previous generations. They took away the buttons in the 3rd generation, now they added them back for the 4th…
- It is cheaper than previous offerings. However, I think at the price range of the shuffle there are better offerings from competitors.
- Voice control is cool but impractical to begin with. Will you really yell out the commands while you are on a bus? or walking on the street even?
- This was an interesting overhaul of existing Nanos. Apple completely removed the clickwheel, and reduced the screen size similar to the size of an Shuffle.
- Multi-touch enabled screen is again cool to have but there isn’t much screen real estate to make it robust.
- Now that the Nanos are taken over by the iPod Touch as the most popular iPods, I feel like Apple is taking a new approach to further dethrone the Nano.
- No more watching videos on this thing!
- Apple actually added some very nifty features to the most popular iPod model, but this is NOT an iPhone 4 without the phone.
- Retina Display is very very sharp and resolution is the same as the iPhone 4. However, it is NOT an IPS LCD panel! The viewing angle and colour production is certainly not as great as the iPhone 4, and depending on your taste and neediness you may or may not notice.
- Apple managed to added TWO cameras to the iPod. However, the cameras are NOT the same high resolution sensors as you find in the iPhone 4. Sorry, no 5 Mega-Pixel camera on this thing, only a 920 x 720 camera on the back. (still takes 720p HD video)
- The A4 chip in this thing sure makes the package a lot more interesting. The battery life is actually very exceptional, and performance is also unprecedented. It’s definitely the good apple out of the bunch.
Ever since Steve Jobs showed the new icon of iTunes 10 there have been crazy discussions and flaming of it. To be fair I understand Apple’s reasons for changing the icon… but I think the critics are right… the new icon does not look very pleasing… especially in iTunes’ weight class.
There are certainly some interesting improvements to iTunes in this version. I’m a big fan of the album view which now displays your album arts! The new movies and TV shows rental are also quite nicely done. It’s cheap and high quality.
One thing I hate, and I mean HATE are the grayscaled icons in the left navigation panel! I want my colours back! It’s difficult to make out which item is which when you are so used to the different colours.
Apple completely abandoned the previous generations of Apple TV’s philosophy and decided to focus mainly on Hollywood movies and TV show rentals for cheap. I think this is definitely an interesting concept, and can definitely help Apple TV to gains some momentum in the market. The much reduced price of $99 puts the device on par with competitors. However, unless you own other Apple made devices like an iPad, iPhone or Mac… Apple TV is of little meaning to you. It no longer carries any storage option to store your content, it only allows for streaming content from your other Apple devices to your TV.
There are recently comments from Steve Jobs regarding the possibility of creating an App Store for Apple TV. He of course did not set a particular date for it, but Apple TV in its current generation is incapable of running apps. Unless Apple will one day flip the switch to allow users to stream apps from iTunes???
Let’s take a break from all the Apple fanfare… for just one minute. =)
I know there are tons of people out there who are frustrated with routers… router firmware… and constant reboots. I know a few friends who keep multiple routers around and use them as backups. The question is… is that necessary? What can we do to get some decent devices around to keep that Internet running without having to reboot the damn thing everyday?
The truth about consumer routers is that they are underpowered computers that were designed to be affordable. These companies usually don’t want to spend a lot of money on firmware development, and the internal hardware. That’s why projects like DD-WRT and Tomato Firmware were created. These projects use a specially-compiled Linux kernel to perform basic routing functions. However, despite common believes… They are not going to magically solve the freezing and reboot issues.
The reason here is simple. The router is a little computer, and it has the same concept of CPU, RAM and storage. Whenever one of these elements becomes insufficient to accomplish a particular task, the whole system becomes slow and unstable. In most cases, the RAM is the most determinant factor. Most consumer routers are equipped with 16mb – 32mb of RAM, which professional Cisco routers can easily have several times that. You can do the math.
Personally, I have used many many routers and firmwares over the years. However, only recently I found my ultimate router! It’s the ASUS RT-N16!
This little device is so powerful that people say you can probably put Quake on it if it had a display! LOL
- Broadcom 533MHZ CPU
- 128MB of RAM (unprecedented)
- 32mb ROM
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Wireless 802.11 N 300mbps
- Dual USB ports for printers and external drives.
Since it is a Broadcom based device, you can happily run DD-WRT and Tomato on this router. The router is a bit pricey, but I think it’s worth the money. I never had to reboot it even once. It’s super stable, and it has plenty of power to handle large file transfers to my NAS.
I would suggest to everyone to take a look at it if you are in the market for a new router. Cheers!