Thursday, 27 March 2008

Concept laptops

Computer World has an interesting article on concept laptops and what we expect laptops to look like in 7 years. It's an interesting read and I find that there are several things that aren't mentioned that I would expect in future laptops.

Have you had a laptop stolen? How about manufacturers starting to build "phone home" hardware. I think this feature should be built into ALL laptops and activated when the user does the first setup.

How about cooler hardware (as in temperature, not looks) or maybe the head dissipating through the screen cover (I'm tired of warming my pants - except in winter) could be used to partially recharge the battery. It's not impossible according to this press release.

I'm sure there are tons of things that other people can think of that they want from their laptops.


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Karaoke - you know you want to!

I recently bought a Karaoke microphone for my wife. It's the MVK II that I found at Best Buy for about $80. It had some file already in it and the good thing about it was that you could add your own MP3s to it and just add the lyrics.

Now this isn't the microphone my wife wanted. The one she wants has a game mode where players get scored on how well they sing. My sister-in-law has one and that's how she knew about it. However I couldn't find the mic on short notice so I got her the other one.

So finally I decided to add some mp3s to it, but one of the strange things I discovered when I added my own mp3 songs was that you could still hear the original singer instead of getting a karaoke version of the song - no matter what settings you selected on the microphone. Well, I found out why this is. The version that come with the microphone had the original song playing on the right track, while the karaoke version is playing on the left side. Therefore when you make the selection on the mic, you get a non vocal version.

Now this means I'm going to have to make Karaoke specific versions of files... And it also means I have to find version without vocals (maybe midi files?) that I can use. If anyone has a suggestion, that would be greatly appreciated. Still - I'm glad I solved that simple problem.

Time to sing!


Thursday, 6 March 2008

USB Flash Drive vs USB HD

I've been looking around the internet for a comparison of speeds between USB Flash Drive (thumb drives, memory sticks, whatever you want to call it) and USB Hard Drives. I haven't found any so I am going to run some tests myself.

I'll post the results here...


Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Do you remember the weather on your birthdays?

Today is my birthday. It happens that today's weather looks to be nice and mildly-warm, even if it started cold. Last year is was also sunny, even though the weatherman has said it would be cloudy and miserable.

As a matter-of-fact, as far back as I can remember (and have taken note of) the weather on my birthday has always been sunny. For some time, I've even told myself that "It's God's birthday gift to me" not that just being alive isn't a gift in and of itself.

Now March isn't particularly a great month for weather as it's almost Spring, but it's still Winter and therefore you're prone to having some wild weather (at least in the Northern Hemisphere.) I know, Australia probably has great weather ALL of March, but that's not the point. I've lived all my life in places where it's usually Winter-ish but have had wonderful weather.

Still, the question is still valid... Do you remember the weather on your birthdays?


Sunday, 2 March 2008

Hex Hex and Hex Hex Next

I'm not the type that usually will play board games or card games, however a friend of mine introduced me to Hex Hex and Hex Hex Next, a game by Smirks and Daggers that once you learn the basics will having you wanting more.

So I bought Hex Hex Next while travelling and introduced it to a group of my friends. At first, they weren't sure what was going on, but after a few rounds they all agreed to make it a weekly event. Even my wife who is very hard to convince about things like this wanted to play it after that day.

In case you don't know the game, you basically have a hexagon (multiple actually) and cards. You start with one Hex and during play you have to divert the Hex using the cards that you have been given. The cards have basic "deflection" like Turn Aside Right, which basically makes the Hex go to the right. Once you run out of cards and you receive the Hex you are Hexed and lose 1 point (Voice.) The game gets interesting when you play cards like Madenning Compulsion Left which means that everyone has to play a card that makes the Hex go to the left, if they can't they're Hexed.

So, I think you get the idea. The rules are on the website above as well as a page with all the cards for you to look through them. I recommend this game! It's addictive and a lot of fun.