Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

CES Day 0 – The Nethrone

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Adventurous marketing companies are always trying to make the perfect, ergonomic computing environment, but I have yet to see anyone come up with an ideal solution. And the latest entry I saw at CES Unveiled was no exception.




This is the patented Nethrone, from EMA Innovation.

According to EMA, the Nethrone “is the latest advancement in high-tech digital entertainment centers engineered with comfort & style in mind” and the company claims its design is the result of keeping up with user’s demands and is therefore supposed to be perfect for serious work and intense play.

However, the Nethrone looks pretty uncomfortable (and when I asked to sit in the demo unit, I was told that it would not be possible as the unit was a prototype and still fragile), and the effort the EMA employee pictured above had to go through to get in and out was not insignificant. The specifications I picked up also indicate the unit weighs 132 pounds (without a computer or monitor), and the maximum weight capacity is 200 pounds. That rules out many of my fellow couch potatoes and myself (presently weighing in at 202 pounds).

The real kicker is the price tag – a mere $2495.00, scheduled to be available in March 2005. I hope they haven’t scheduled a large production run.

Firewire Networking

Friday, January 6th, 2006

As I mentioned a couple of blog posts ago I had significant issues with setting up my new Sony TX-690P notebook. Ultimately, I had to do a system restore and start over, but am pleased to report that it all works just great now.

However, from the onset I had an issue to resolve, namely how to get my data from my older Sony S-series notebook onto the new one. That data includes about 4GB of e-mail archives, 17GB of documents, and another 10GB or so of miscellaneous data. The options I had considered were an Ethernet cable (max data rate of 100Mbps, but requires an Ethernet crossover cable or switch), or a peer-to-peer wireless (max data rate of only 54Mbps, but more realistically about half that).

Neither was a great option.

When I mentioned this to the sales person at the Sony Style store (a Sony trainer visiting from New York during CES) he suggested I use the Firewire ports on both notebooks to transfer data. That would be a 400Mbps connection, and as Windows XP sees Firewire as a TCP/IP network connection, it should work.

And work it did – I bought a 4-pin to 4-pin Firewire cable, configured the IP addresses for each notebook’s Firewire port to a local address (10.10.10.2 and 10.10.10.3 respectively, with a net mask of 255.255.255.0, and a gateway and DNS of 10.10.10.2), and after disabling my firewalls on both notebooks, I was able to see the drives on the other (same user name and password being used on both systems). In Windows Explorer it was a matter of using “\\10.10.10.2” as the address to browse the file system on the first notebook from the second notebook (the latter was the one with an address of 10.10.10.3).

From there it was simply a matter of dragging files in Explorer from one file system to the other. With 30 or so gigabytes it still took the better part of an hour, but it was much faster than either the cabled Ethernet or WiFi network solution would have been.

So, if you’ve been wondering what additional use you can put the FireWire port on your notebook to, networking and file transfer are definitely cool and useful options.

E3 – Rude Tonz

Thursday, May 26th, 2005

Wandering the depths of Kentia Hall at E3 last week, I came across a variety of odd products. Perhaps the most amusing while at the same time disturbing was Rude Tonz.

Rude Tonz are downloadable ring tones for one’s mobile phone. We’re all used to being serenaded by obnoxious melodies, alarms, whistles, vocals, and more when a nearby phone rings, but Rude Tonz escalate that to a whole new level.

The makers of Rude Tonz, Bonus Mobile, have come up with a descriptive tag line: “Ringtones Guaranteed to Offend” Living up to such a high standard, Rude Tonz consist of burps, fats, laughs, sneezes, gagging, and comic routines “from a wide range of stand-up comedy acts featured on the Comedy Time network”.

Looking at their web site, where you can sample these auditory delights, are ring tone names like “Dirty Fart”, “Gagging”, “Deep Burp”, and dozens more like these.

As a person who almost always keeps his phone on silent/vibrate mode, I don’t quite get the statement that folks seem to want to make with personalized ring tones. Unlike when a cell phone rings somewhere in a room or restaurant and a dozen people nearby clutch their cell phones to see if it was theirs (even if they personalized the ring, since one apparently nevers knows if the phone’s reverted back to its original ring I guess), I know when my phone rings because it can feel it on waist – or if I miss the call, at least I’m not bothering others with a song no one wants to hear.

That said, it might be fun to abscond with someone’s phone, download a Rude Tonz ring tone onto it, and return the phone without the owner knowing, and then calling them… Of course, this would only work once or twice (and cost the owner of the phone or you $1.99 for the pleasure of embarrassing them).

Recap – E3 PS3 & Xbox 360 Events

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

Quite an interesting day today attending both the PS3 unveiling at Sony Pictures Studios and the Xbox 360 Kick Off.

Key Announcements of things I hadn’t heard before today:

Sony PS3

– Sony will launch the PS3 at E3 in May 2006

– All major game developers appear to be on board, no exclusives announced (although it’s presumed that Sony’s own games will work only on Sony platforms)

– The PSP will be able to be used as a remote control for the PS3, and the PS3 is intended to be the center of the living room, as a media center

– Up to seven wireless controllers, connected via Bluetooth.

– Will support up to two, count ‘em – two! – HD displays simultaneously for a 32:9 aspect ratio, 4K by 1K pixel display. Wow.

Xbox 360

– Will offer backward compatibility with with the leading Xbox games. This implies that not all original Xbox console games are guaranteed to work. As I stated below, this is not particularly surprising, as the Xbox 360 hardware is radically different from the original Xbox, and thus Microsoft has to run in “Xbox emulation mode”. Ill behaved games will break the emulation.

– Still apparently, for an “HD Era” device, will apparently not feature an HD or Bluray DVD drive.

– Will offer support and integration with a variety of media devices, and an image shown by J Allard at the briefing also showed the Apple iPod as one of the supported devices, and a Sony PSP as another – wow! (if they can pull it off without Apple or Sony getting all ballastic on them)

– Will ship in time for Christmas 2005 sales, with 25-40 titles available then

– Has convinced Square Enix, previously a staunch Sony supporter (although recently also Nintento Gameboy too), to support the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live! with a forthcoming release of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI.

– A number of exclusive titles – including Activision’s Call of Duty 2 and EPIC’s Gears of War

Live pictures via Cell Phone cam can be seen below.

More details available at:

http://www.xbox360.com

Engadget and Joystiq’s Coverage of the Xbox 360 Kick-Off

Engadget and Joystiq’s Coverage of the PS3 Briefingand more pictures of the PS3

MAKE: Blog – PS3 Specs vs. Xbox 360 Specs

Ployer’s PS3 Coverage