Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Tag

My Babies…

Being in the consumer electronics industry, it’s really awesome to see your work being used by people… It’s the kind of satisfaction you get when you see your children do well in their school…

Anyway, now that all of them have been officially announced…here are my 11 babies…

1. MotoROKR Z6 – The Small starter

2. MotoRAZR2 V8 – The Large flagship

3. MotoROKR U9 – The belated Pebl

4. MotoROKR Z6w – The WiFi that never was

ROKR Z6w

5. MotoZINE ZN5 – The 5MPixl from the past

6. MotoROKR E8 – The radical Omega

7. MotoROKR EM30 – The Local variant.

8. Motorola VA76r – The rugged Monster.

9. MotoAURA – The round Jewel

10. Moto VE66 – The oldest Brother

11. MotoROKR EM35 – The last Slider

Battle of the iPod and the Zen..

Ed:

So I found that the iPod Classic has some Audio issues. See here and here. Hence, I decided not to go for it.. Might not be a big deal for most, but I won’t be happy.. With that in mind the 5.5G iPod Video looks like a good buy. It’s cheaper, and has great audio, and all the things the Classic has, except it’s only 30G/60G and there is no coverflow (who cares abt it anyway)….


The world of technolgy is full of dualities or battles..Nvidia vs ATI
UNIX vs BSD
KDE vs GNOME
XBOX360 vs PS3
Blue-ray vs HD-DVD
vi vs emacsFor me.. there has always been another one..

Apple iPod vs Creative Zen.

And after I dropped my Zen Vision:M a couple of weeks back (yes yes.. I know I am stupid…), I am looking for a new Portable Media Player.. and I have shortlisted the iPod Classic 80G and the Creative Zen 16G .

Here’s the comparison..

iPod Zen
Storage 80G HDD 16G Flash
Screen 2.5″ TFT LCD 2.5″ TFT LCD
Screen Res 320×240 320×240
FPS 30 30
Color Depth 16bpp 24bpp
Batt (Video) 5/7hrs 5hrs
Audio Formats MP3, AAC-DRM, Apple Lossless, AAC, WAV, Audible, AIFF MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM, WAV, Audible
Video Formats H.264, MPEG4, Quicktime WMV, DivX, Xvid, AVI, MJPEG
Enhanced Podcast? Yes No
Extensibility No SD Card Slot
Built-in Radio No Yes
Built-in Mic No Yes
Asthetics

After all that… I am still lost.. Or maybe I should just wait for Macworld… Till then my old MD player still sounds sweet.. :)

Unboxing the Zoom H4!!

Behold my newest Toy!!!!

This is the Zoom H4. It’s a portable stereo audio recorder.

I had ordered it for almost a month, and it arrived last week. Took me 3 days before I could un-box it. So here is goes.

Zoom H4 Handy Recorder.

Records 24-bit/96 kHz digital audio as well as MP3 format with bitrates up to 320kbps
Two studio quality X/Y pattern condenser microphones for true stereo recording
Two combination XLR-1/4-inch input jacks with phantom power
Onboard studio effects compression, limiting and mic modeling
USB mass-storage interface and SD card storage
Four hours of continuous recording operation from 2 AA batteries
4-track audio in CD quality 16-bit PCM, 44.1 kHz sampling
Built in guitar amp modeling
Records directly to your computer as a USB audio interface
Bundled with Cubase LE, 48-Track Digital Audio Workstation software

Here are the unboxing photos!!

iPhone Mania

On Tuesday, I got to play with the iPhone. Thanks to Paddy from Bak2u!!

My  impression of the iPhone has been a rollercoaster.

Finally when I saw it on Tuesday, I was completely excited. It was smaller and thinner than I expected. And most importantly, it worked just fine!  I tried surfing CNN, ping.sg and my own blog. I even left a comment on my own blog!! Hahahaah

All the sites looked really sweet. The text was crisp clear and navigating was a breeze. Though,  long pages tended to be annoying to scroll through. The map feature seems really promising and the keyboard did not give any problems.

I was not too impressed by the cover flow and the photo gallery, where you can do your mondo-cool finger acrobatics to show it off.

I was unable to testing calling and sms, though, I cant see how iPhone can do either of these things better or worse than any other phones out there.

Then my colleague asked me today, if I had converted after finally touching the iPhone. Well, NO. Finally, I still feel that, from a utilitarian perspective, I see no use for most of the things it can do. On the other hand, all these effects and cool graphics are actually killing my battery. The price is also a killer. It’s just too expensive for something that really is a Jack of All the trades. Even as a “Wide Screen iPod” it has not enough memory for my purpose.

So all in all, iPhone, still not my type of gadget

Creative!! Not again!

I am going to sound like a Creative hater, but this HAS to be said. While enough has been said about the software issues in Creative software, I want to rant about the hardware, the Creative Zen Vision:M

The Zen Vision:M supports video output through it dock. The nice thing is that it’s over a standard A/V stereo-to-composite cable. But, Creative has made it proprietary by switching a few of the contacts in the cable. Anythingbutipod has a nice guide about this.

So if you want to use the video out, you are now forced to purchase a $35 video cable from Creative, instead for a $12 standard A/V Cable.

This is very bad marketting strategy. While I do agree that it does make the customer spend more money on Creative, its just sad that a company like Creative is sponging money off its customers using such tactics. For goodness sake, you are Creative, not some crappy mp4 player manufacturer from China.

And Creative already rips off people for the “custom” interface for the dock, which does not have any active or passive components. So its just how the connections are routed. And it costs $35 too.

I will surely think twice before getting another Creative product.

iPhone Rip-Offs

They say that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and boy are they right.

Apple took the world by storm with their iPhone at this year’s MacWorld and it seems that the 3″ touch-screen based hand held devices became “the new black”. While I was expecting one or two hand held devices similar to the iPhone, as is the case for the iPods, I was surprised as the devices kept coming. Here is the list until now that I know off.

Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. Not exactly a Phone, but I like it for what it does.

LG KE850. Very similar as well, but looks ‘cheap’.

Meizu M8. Damn too similar to the iPhone. I hope they stay clear of the 200 patents.

Asus Aura Concept Phone. Not too similar, and its still a concept. :(

Samsung targets Ultra Smart F700. Sweet! I’ll take the slide-out qwerty keypad, anytime.

Have you seen more?

There is a Zune Phone??

Just heard about this from CrunchGear.

… it looks like MS is working on a mobile WiMax-enabled Zune Phone, which would have download speeds of up to 2Mbps, fast enough for the Xbox-to-Zune streaming we’ve heard about, and fast enough for just about anything else the Zune Phone might be used for.

Highly speculative rumour indeed, especially since its based on some FCC applications. There have been cases of people getting over excited and misreading the FCC applications, as well as people photoshopping FCC applications.

It is belivable at some level though. Zune was a failure, and with iPhone rumours going around for sometime now, M$ could have already started developement some time ago. And we have seen M$ come up with very successful 2nd generation products.

Personally, I am hoping for this to be true. It will not only revive the Zune, but also boost the adoption of WiMax. WiMax is something that could be really usefull if implemented and deployed properly.

Well.. we can only wait and find out.

NTT + iPhone = On Digital Life??

Wierdly enough, my post on the iPhone was published in the blogosphere section of Digital Life. Digital Life is a suppliment to The Straits Times.

Now, while I am pretty happy with my new found ‘fame’, I wonder why I was not contacted by Digital Life regarding this. As a form of basic courtesy, it would be good to just drop an email.

Don’t get me wrong, I am fine with people quoting me. But, if you are doing it on a newspaper or some other form of media, than the internet, I would like to know.

And, it seems like other users from ping.sg were also  quoted in that segment! So Digital Life uses ping.sg as a source for articles??? Hmm..

iPhone.. The Jack of all trades….

Yay!! Bangwagon.. Let me jump on..

So the long awaited iPhone is out. The last post will give you a clue as to how I found out about it. Let me start by saying, I was only reading the Engadget coverage, and boy was I excited!!!! Apple knows how to create that insane excitement among people.

After a detailed second look at the specs, and long chat with some geeky colleagues, here are my thoughts about the iPhone. I think the iPhone is a Jack… (Oh No! Its gonna be a flame bait..)

Jobs started by saying that its a iPod, a cellphone and a PDA in one. And it is exactly that. While he did say, that the iPhone would be able to seamlessly integrate all three into one device, I am not impressed. The reason being, it takes the basic versions of each of the 3 devices and merges into one. Thus, a Jack.

It has 4/8GB flash storage. That’s like an iPod Nano. OK. So… it can show photos and play videos on the obscenely large screen, but how much can you fit in 4GB? I mean the whole of my music collection is close to 6GB. I am not even going into videos.

The cellphone part is also really the basic stuff. Quad-band GSM and EDGE. No mention of the ‘advanced’ cellphone features like MMS or J2ME support. Hey, even the cheapest of all cellphones these days have MMS. And no mention of J2ME!! Come on Apple!

The PDA part is also not complete. While Jobs compared the iPhone with a Crack-Berry, they don’t support what is the most popular form of email on such PDAs, Exchange! Yes, Yahoo is providing a push email service etc.. but iPhone won’t be supporting the most popular corporate email service. And there is no way corporate users will switch if they don’t get their daily dose of emails. It does support Exchange.. Ooops..

It doesn’t end here. First Apple surprised me by saying the iPhone will run OS X. For one, there is no way it can run the “Mac OS X as it is” on the iPhone (RTOS considerations… yada yada yada). Furthermore, Jobs did not mention anything about any SDK or any way of making/using user created applications. Where is the fun in that? And without J2ME support, the SW in the iPhone is basically frozen to what Apple will release.

Having said all that, I admit I am impressed by the UI. In true Apple fashion, its vibrant, simple and “wickedly cool“. All the features do seem intersting, but I need to try it out. And, with a large touch screen, there are 2 enemies that needs to be addressed. Smudges and scratches.. Wonder what Apple is doing about that.

And no mention about battery management! I don’t want to watch videos on that untill my battery is flat, and realise that both my iPod and my phone are flat…

There is still some time and Apple can, and probably will, change some specs. While it is truely a cool device, no one can tell, untill we have it in our own hands…