Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Back To School


It's that time again, I am back in school. I start my first round of classes today with a healthy dose of Psychology and Literature so I thought I would start the week (I had MLK off) with a back to school technology article. Basically I wanted to discuss with all of you the gadgets that make my school routines function.

First and foremost, no student can survive without a computer. I chose the new Powerbook 12" as my weapon of choice. It has built in 802.11b/g wireless (an absolute requirement as BSU's campus is wireless enabled), a DVD-RW/CD-RW for burning whatever, 4+ hours battery life and an 80GB hard drive for storing all of those MP3, oops, I mean "important school documents."

Speaking of music I carry not one but two iPods. I have a 20GB 4th Generation that I keep a good selection of music on as well as a 512MB Shuffle that I use when I am streaking across the campus on my bike. If your curious about why I chose an iPod read my previous article about the "iPod Killers."

All of your tech gadgets need a nice home in a good backpack, I carry the Targus Matrix Notebook Backpack. It has plenty of room for all my gadgets, books and a few other essentials I carry such as: a wireless mouse, 50GB Bus Powered External USB Hard Drive, Compact Flash card reader, all of my cables, a few extra batteries, etc.

Suprisingly all of this technology is rather light when I have it propped on one shoulder so it's not a huge burdon to carry. I find myself always prepared and ready for whatever. Don't forget a few standards like a phone and ethernet cable, your power supply, some tissues and a PEN!

I hope you enjoyed my back to school ravings. I work full time as a Senior Developer/Analyst for a fortune 50 company during the day and I am a full time college student at night. All of this keeps me running constantly so I can't be without my gear!

Happy Spring Semester folks. - JB

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Nikon To Stop Producing Most Film Cameras

We all knew this was coming but most of us wondered who would fire the first shot. I thought it might be Canon since they have been so steadfast in releasing so many new digital products. When Kodak announced they would be scaling back film production we all knew this was coming. So here we have it and Nikon are pushing the film people out the door.

I admit to being a purely digital individual. I scrapped tape as soon as digital recording was available for music, I canned cassettes when CDs came out. I began my foray into photography with a Canon Digital Rebel. My only real experience with film has been disposable cameras and an 110 when I was a kid. I am 31 years old and that says that it is entirely pheasable to live in a world without film. If you look at my work I think the photo quality and prints speak for themselves. Currently I am using an 8 megapixel Canon Digital SLR and I love it.

You can read more information on this topic at MSNBC.com. Link: Nikon to stop making most film cameras

Friday, January 13, 2006

The iMac Intel Duo Based iMac

What you really need to know.

Should you buy a new Intel based iMac or MacBook Pro? Seemingly a touch question but it can be answered by a simple one. What do you intend to use it for? This simple question will put you in one of two categories and answer the question: Should I wait?

If you are a home user and your computer tasks include browsing the web, using office, light application work, working with photos, and your tasks can all be completed with office and or iLife and iWork, the Intel based Mac is going to be a great machine for you. Running the native intel code will scream and non intensive tasks will run on Rosetta flawlessly. This will also exclude most high end games.

If your tasks fall more into the power user category: Audio editing, Video editing, using professional applications like Photoshop, Premiere, ProTools, etc., you are going to be not only dissapointed with the Intel based Macs, but in many instances left completely unable to use your applications. The more intensive applications are all third party applications that have not had universal binaries (Intel compatible code) developed for them yet. That leaves you, and me actually, unable to use the iMac or Mac Book Pro for most of your work.

The bottom line is that the Intel Macs are coming and the software you use and love will be made ready. If your looking for a daily use machine, a school laptop or a second computer, the iMac and other Intel Macs will be great machines. It all just depends on what you intend to do with it.

Jason Burns

The Woes of an iPod Killer


It really is a shame that all of the MP3 player manufacturers don't get it. I am sure the Creative Zen Vision is an amazing MP3 player. Called "Best of Show" at CES 2006. It's a 30GB Mp3/Photo/Video player that looks, emulates and tries to really be an Apple iPod. At $329 it's not exactly blowing the doors off of the competition since the 30GB Ipod Video costs $299. Yes the iPod doesn't have an FM tuner, but other than at the gym, who uses that anyway? I know I have a 20GB iPod and an iPod shuffle and it's the shuffle that goes with me to the gym because it fits so handy around my neck. I used to carry the 20GB but it was awkward to have when at the gym.

It's not that I don't like these other players, it's just that they have one fundamental flaw...they do not work with iTunes. I purchased a Nike 256MB MP3 player on my first run. Something to run with. After 28 days with it, I returned it and purchased the iPod. Here are my reasons for doing so.

  • It was easier to use.
  • It was much easier to get music into iTunes and onto the iPod than any of the other software ways I tried.
  • Purchasing music from iTunes was a breeze.

That is just the simple truth of it. I don't use iPods because they are trendy. I don't use iPods because they are the hands down best player available. I use the iPod because Apple has built the most elegant solution from end to end. I am afraid if Google doesn't get on the bandwagon and realize that users want painless digital media, then video too will fall into Steve Job's mastermind of digital content delivery. It's all about ease of use.

I would suggest you take a bit of time to read some of the licensing, some user opinions and try them out yourself. You will soon realize that even though Rhapsody, Yahoo! and Napster offer unlimited downloads for a low fee, the files are basically unusable except on your MP3 player and that the whole service is just a pain to use. Long live iTunes, it's truly the best way to manage your music collection, iPod or not.

Jason Burns

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Optimus Keyboard


Today I am VERY excited! I was listening to This Week In Tech, the podcast and I learned that the Optimus OLED Keyboard is going to be sold! This is going to be the coolest gadget out this year in my opinion. It's a standard PC/Mac Keyboard in which every key is a small OLED display. This means that every key's image is programmable. So if you are using Photoshop, Pro Tools, Premiere, whatever, instead of having a ton of those funky colored shortcut keyboards, when you hit alt, for example, each key will show it's alt value. That will be way cool for gamers too. If you are playing World of Warcraft for example, you will see the spell icons on the numerical keys instead of just 1 2 3 & 4. I will post a photo for you to see this thing, it's really an amazing piece of hardware.