The laptop and me

19 05 2007

It has been a very long time since I blogged, partly because I’m busy at work and the other reason is my new laptop – well kinda new. After I bought the iPod Nano, I’ve been drooling to own a laptop. I admit I’m a jealous techie, having seen people of all ages and races crunched their laptops over at coffee shops I desperately looked for a reason to shelve some descent money. As much as I want to have an Apple Macbook or Macbook Pro, its price is just way off the ceiling for me. Local prices range between PHP 60K for MB and as high as PHP 120K for the MBP. Well my budget only allows me to buy within the range of PHP 30K, so tough luck. Armed with the money I scour to look for budget laptops with good specs and luckily I found one! The specs are:

  • 2.8 AMD64 Mobile Athlon (thumbs up)
  • 1GB DDR (thumbs up)
  • ATI Radeon Xpress 200m (err…)
  • a DVD-RW drive (thumbs up)
  • 4 USB ports with 1 defect 😦
  • Card reader
  • Gateway brand 😦
  • black (yey!)
  • and a glossy screen (thumbs up)

Well it’s not that high-spec but for its price – less than PHP 30K – it’s a bargain. After 4 months of using it I should say that it is one “helluva” good investment. I used it for programming, photo manipulation, audio creation, and everything else. Well it’s not that mobile, it’s a desktop replacement laptop but its weight is tolerable enough. I think I might keep this laptop for 2-3 years down the road and maybe after that I can buy an Apple laptop, but for the meantime I’m enjoying this baby.

P.S. For those who wanted cheap tech gear look no further than , I just bought there my iPod Nano, my girlfriend’s Palm TX and lately my laptop.


Vista in our midst

12 02 2007

Well it has been a long time since I last blogged about any technology news lately due to busy work skeds. Anyway, the last February 3, 2007 Microsoft Philippines launched its newest operating system dubbed Microsoft Windows Vista. A couple of my friends have already installed Windows Vista in their PCs and laptops weeks before it was publicly launced. I was fortunate enough to tinker with the new OS. Asthetically speaking it looks good, the Aero interface which Microsoft trumpeted, is pleasing to the eye, its a pretty nice departure from the Disney-blue theme in Windows XP. I even asked my girlfriend about it and she likes the theme because it resembles Mac OS X – which unfortunately both of us do not possess. I also liked the revamped start-up menu – I never liked the Start button, it feels out of place, seems like it needed another button, a Stop button perhaps. The start-up menu is clean, no more desktop clutter when you click the All Programs menu, there is a built-in search tool, which is a nice improvement to the horrible Search function in Windows XP. The start-up menu is pretty responsive compared to Windows XP start-up menu eventhough both of them are running with the same specs. Good thing also is the revamp of Windows Explorer, about time if you ask me, the addition of bread-crumbs trail is very much welcome, having toyed with that style in Linux, it surely is efficient compared to manually typing “C:\Folder\”.

Overall, the look-and-feel of Windows Vista is refreshing. But frankly I was expecting for more. I havent yet tested the other new features touted by Microsoft in Windows Vista, rest assured I will do that in the upcoming weeks, but right now Im still happy with my Windows XP.

Will you buy a Zune?

16 11 2006

Zune is now up for sale! For those of you who haven’t heard of the Zune, it’s Microsoft answer to Apple’s iPod. Will Filipino flock to buy this new toy or will they stay with their beloved iPod? That question may not be answered for a long time since Microsoft products take months before we can see them at local tech stores. The US price is $249 and probably this will sell here for PHP 15K to 20K.

Zune offers some nifty features that is not available for the iPod, these are:

  • It has a built-in FM tuner.
  • The ability to send photos and music files through Wi-Fi. One drawback though is that you have to share it with another Zune player and music files expire within 3 days or after listening for 3 times.
  • The ability to play music and view photos, well this feature is in the current iPods
  • Wider screens compare to iPods which means good for viewing videos
  • The ability to let the user customized the Zune background

Is Zune for you?

I asked a couple of my friends if they will grab a Zune when it hits the Philippines’ shore and I got some pretty interesting replies. One friend of mine, sort of Microsoft fanboy, admitted that he still wants an iPod and is waiting for the supposedly large screen iPods because the Zune just looks big and looks heavy. Another friend of mine was interested but stated that he is turned-off by its size. When I dropped the bomb that the Zune cannot be used as an external hard drive and the 3×3 Wi-Fi feature then it was clear that he was pretty much under whelmed by it.

Will Pinoy embrace Zune?

This question is really hard to answer, but judging by the sheer number of people who uses iPod these days, then Zune has an uphill battle. iPods have been synonymous with being “cool” and Pinoys love to be “cool”. The good thing though is that a Pinoy is a social being and they may be psych up by the whole photo and music sharing. And since their is no iTunes Music Store here in the Philippines, everything is free-for-all, so the iTMS-iPod ecosystem does not hold ground here, and that maybe one of Zune’s advantage.