22 Jul

Geek Toys On My Radar

Currently on my shopping list:
Draytek 2910G Dual Wan broadband modem. I own a Draytek 2600VG already — Draytek is probably one of the best modem manufacturers these days. Once we’ve relocated (more on that in future posts) I want to get both cable and dsl broadband so that we’re never off the internet. When our ISP goes down, our life stops dead in its tracks. We rely on web apps and VOIP for work and family stuff. It’s a redundancy priority for me to have two ISPs.
QNAP TS-109 NAS server with 750GB Seagate hard drive + Squeezebox combo. This seems to be the real deal as far as PC-less media distribution is concerned. I need to make sure it’s possible to run slimserver and TwonkyMedia at the same time on the QNAP so it can serve music to my Philips WAK 3300 (yes I own a WiFi alarm clock. And your point is? By the way I’m not linking to the device because it has too many shortcomings to be recommended.)
The whole wireless PC-less media thing is quite complex. Many media players and NAS boxes look great on paper, only to be thrashed by people who own them (see for instance what people have to say about the Buffalo Linkstation Live or the Maxtor Shared Storage, among other duds). Slimserver on the TS-109 looks like a well-supported solution based on reliable components. A lot of the stuff out there is junk. And some products, while receiving good reviews (eg. HP Media Vault) are lacking in the hackability and interop departments.
– Creative Zen Vision M 60GB. Its main benefit is that you don’t need to use Itunes junkware. (I own an Ipod Shuffle, neat device, horrible software.) More seriously, it works as a USB host so you can dump pictures directly from a camera into it.
I’m also looking for a good world phone/PDA (i.e. quad band GSM + email). You can get old unlocked Treos (650/680 gen) for $300 or less, but they don’t run Skype natively and once you add WiFi to them, they’re bulky and not that inexpensive anymore. If someone knows of a reliable quad-GSM + Skype device (with support for encrypted WiFi) that doesn’t cost more than $300-400, please email me (comments are still broken).

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17 Jul

I Am Murloc

I Am Murloc is the summer ’07 hit for WoW players. Winning a Murloc scream contest against your guildmates on TeamSpeak is a key element of geek cred. I’m glad I quit WoW a couple months ago though, gear-based MMOs are really too time-consuming. I may look into Warhammer Online when it ships but only if it’s possible to PVP without submitting yourself to the constant PVE grind for gear and enchants. Mythic is insisting on its self-proclaimed RVR strengths, but given how people ended up dual-boxing buffbots in DAoC, I have my doubts about the end product.
(It’s ok if you didn’t understand a word a wrote. Scratch that, it’s actually healthy if you didn’t.)

08 Jul

Isheep Fanbois Should Get a Life

Seriously, don’t you people have better things to do with your time than stand in a line for hours to buy a phone? There’s a world out there, you know. Here are a few hints for the desperately clueless to improve their life. Standing in line to buy junk: not fun. Skying in the Andes in July: fun. Wanking over a phone: not fun. Sex with someone you love: fun. See, it’s easy enough, if you check it out there in meatspace, you’ll find out that the video resolution is extraordinary.
ski in Chile, El Colorado, July 2007
I’m just saying…
(This post tries hard to be as obnoxious as people twittering about their iPhone “experience”, but let’s face it, there’s nothing more obnoxious than that, except maybe posting about it on Facebook while thinking you’re cutting edge.)