Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The New Year's Aftermath

My regular schedule of updating this blog over the Xmas break was shattered by the New Year's Wrestlefest which occurred nearly a week and a half ago. It has taken me this long to recover and to reestablish some sort of structure back into my life. Neil, the mastermind behind the whole debacle, has the first installment of wrestlefest coverage up on his site. After several hours of wrestling (no pun intended, har har) with cables and software we (mostly Neil) were able to digitize and edit video of the event, so make sure to check it out. The wrestlefest was one of those drunken ideas which seem funny at the time but which you know will never see the light of day. Amazingly, we managed to pull it off - all without serious injury or jail time (which is the real miracle of this story).

On a totally different note, my friend Temi who is in the Marine Corps and currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan has decided to start up a blog, and his first post goes hand in hand with my rant about television. Listen to him - He is black, ripped, and now able to kill human beings in hundreds of ways with just his bare hands.


For those of us into tech, the first two weeks of this year have been both heaven and hell. So many new tech gadgets, so little money! The Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) held January 6th-9th, is an annual trade show where electronics companies showcase their latest products. The sheer number of products that are previewed can become overwhelming, so thankfully the internet has come to the rescue! Both CNET and Engadget really went out of their way to cover the event.

The biggest news story to come out of CES was not on some groundbreaking product, but centered on Bill Gates' glitch-filled keynote address. During Gates' demonstration of the capabilities of the Windows Media Center software, the computer froze and crashed, leaving Conan O'Brien, Gates' co-host, to awkwardly joke, "Who is in charge of Microsoft anyway?" Later, a demonstration of a new Xbox game ended when the audience was faced with the dreaded blue screen of death.

This week, it is Apple's turn at the annual MacWorld Expo. Apple has an innate ability to create products that compel me to own them, and I thank God every day that I have a limited amount of disposable income, otherwise I would be literally drowning in a sea of electronics and peripherals all branded with that cute little apple logo. Today, Steve Jobs announced more products that continue to taunt me:

Now this is what I am talking about! Dubbed the MacMini, it is Apple's latest attempt to break into the entry-level computer market. Starting at $499, this headless CPU is a fully capable G4 with a 1.25Ghz processor, 40Gb hard drive, DVD/CD-R combo drive, 256 Mb of RAM, and is 100% pure sex. An upgraded version with a 1.42Ghz processor and an 80Gb hard drive is $599. All you need to do is plug in a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and you are ready to venture into the fabled world of the Mac. This is a great device for a person who wants to take the Mac plunge but has been weary of dropping thousands of dollars on a product that he/she is unsure of, or the person who wants a second computer for their living room. I WANT ONE!

This is Apple's rumored flash-based music player, the iPod Shuffle. Smaller than a pack of gum, it comes in two flavors: 512Mb and 1Gb, and costs $99 and $149, respectively. It has a reported (rechargeable) battery life of 12 hours and can be used as a USB thumb drive. Why the "shuffle" title? Since it has no display, Apple envisions it to be loaded with random tracks from one's iTunes collection, allowing people to bring a small but different chunk of their music library with them every day. It is an interesting concept - the displays on similar flash based drives are often too small to even be worth including, and Apple is showing some major guts to do away with it. Unfortunately, Apple is late to the party, and is only now moving into a market which is on the verge of being rendered obsolete. I believe that HD based players are small and cheap enough to totally push flash based players out of the picture. It still looks cool as hell though.


Anonymous said...


So what are you going to buy with your LIMITED resources -- a hd-based IPod or MacMini?


2:34 AM  

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