Monday, October 30, 2006

ah yes, the 'next/new'-gen console wars...

well, i've been lurking in the shadows of many forum boards and blogs.. studying the possible prey.. costs, speed, games, fun-factor, supply, history...

we all know what is about to happen around Nov 17th and Nov 19th. the next-gen/new-gen console wars will officially be on.. Microsoft is a good year ahead of everyone, but yet whose numbers are really not that amazing. Hardware defects and lack of first-rate games (more like ports than anything) and limited supplies plagued the x360. But Microsoft got the picture; replacing defective x360s and now the influx of some great looking games. Almost seems like the first year of x360 is more of a 'practice' lap before the real console wars started. Now with the upcoming PS3 and Wii release, some first rate games are gracing the x360.

The PS3 is Sony's big guns. However, i'm a bit warry of Sony since my PSP purchase on launch and its history. Sony's PSP is a hardware killer. It has a beautiful display, modern design, and a cpu that is equivalent to a PS2 (333mhz). Also, does anyone remember the Neogeo or 3DO?

Nintendo relied on the DS and its touchscreen and 'fun factor'. The DS was honestly inferior (hardware spec-wise) to the PSP. Nintendo wanted to change the way we play, making the DS a dual display unit with a touchscreen on the bottom. Combined with a great library of games and ability to play GBA games, the DS was ready.

And what did we learn, that the DS is outselling the PSP even though its an inferior console. I got myself a nice Onyx DS Lite and have really enjoyed playing it on my commute to work. Starfox rules!

So what i see happening is that Nintendo is gonna have a great thanksgiving and xmas profits. Wii's will be hard to get the first month but not nearly as hard as a getting a PS3. Nintendo's approach again is for fun not super realistic graphics. To me, i agree that Nintendo is the only real next-gen console. x360 and PS3 are just the same old thing w/better graphics and sound. Sure you do in turn get a Blu-Ray player w/the highend PS3 (sorry budget PS3'ers, 20GB version lacks HDMI and ability to play bluray movies). But i always argue w/my pals that if i wanted good graphics, i'd go out and drop $500 and get a kick ass video card for my pc. I know not as many good games but you get my point.

The PS3 isn't going to just lay on its back and fade away. PS3's will all sell out. Getting one might actually cost you your left nut and first born. The graphics are amazing, sound will be topnotch. So the PS3 will also sell very well.

It all really comes down to which of the 2 newbies can shell out the most consoles to consumers on launch. Sony has cut their numbers a few times now and its looking a bit bleak at their estimated 500,000 units for North America (however, Europe got totally overlooked and will get it in 2007). Also, Sony loses quite a bit of money with each PS3 it sells, again hoping to make their money through the software side. Anyone remember the xbox? It did pretty good but was a bit like the PS3; superior hardware, manufacturer takes loss on each unit, a slim initial offering of games.

Nintendo on the other hand will be making money from the get-go. They also plan on having a good 1 million units available on launch. So Nintendo already would seem to have the edge just by release/launch numbers and profit/loss factor.

No matter what, we gamers, are really winning in the end. competition = innovation. i believe in the Wii. But i probably will get a PS3 after the prices drops $150. x360 gets no love from me. I was pretty disappointed w/it from day one. Madden 06 was a total joke.

The Wii and Nintendo are aiming at a totally different market (i know, you've heard this on EVERY post/blog/editorial). How many nongamers are there? But who knows, maybe the Wii will end up just to be a gimmick; falling by the side of the virtual boy and robbie.

I'm pretty excited to see what happens!

wow, i probably could right a term paper on the next-gen console wars  i'll now get off my soap box.. :P

Sunday, October 29, 2006

picasa and web albums, nice!

For the longest time, i could never find a decent photo organizing application.  Most of them were memory hogs and had limited options and web integration.

Google's Picasa changes all of this.  I've been using Picasa since they released it and must say each update that google adds is always a bonus!  the most recent feature add-on is the integration of web albums into picasa.  So if you have a gmail account (who doesn't! if you need one, i can send you a referal) and use picasa you can instantly upload pictures from Picasa to your Picasa web album.

Also, there is the nice collage options, slideshow, basic photo editing/red-eye removal, and blogger integration.

In my opinion, Picasa is so far the best photo organizer i've used and the best part again is that its FREE!  so go try out Picasa, head over here.

joining the team, new blog...

well, this is my first tech-recipes blog post... again, thank you guys over at tech-recipes! they had previously (around 2004) given me my own sub domain,; that sub domain has pretty much taken off. i had about 120,000 unique visitors last year and well on pace to hit the 200,000 mark this year! However, the sub domain will be changing and the info will be consolidated w/the main tech-recipes page. So, i'm very happy to be on board w/tech-recipes again! heck, i still wear my t-shirt everywhere!!

This week has been an exciting week for me. I was able to fix my Sony Ericsson K800i phone i sold without sending it back to Sony Ericsson (which would have taken about a month to get back since i would have had to send it to the UK service center) via Wotanserver. It did require me to buy a credit but the fix itself was free. So, with that extra credit laying around i thought i'd be a bit ballsy and decided i wanted to try my hypothesis that the Z710i and W710i were basically identical phones w/different marketing strategies/targets and cost. About 6 minutes later, wotanserver finished the flashing to a W710i, rebooted my phone and voila! My Z710i is now a W710i! Flash menus look great! Walkman media player is a major upgrade from the Z710i's normal media player (again my main reason for flashing was to get flash menus and the Walkman player). However, the pedometer and fitness apps did not work since the Z710i must not have that hardware inside of it. Also, you get Track ID w/the W710i firmware; i have not gotten that to work yet though.

So kids, if you got a Sony Ericsson Z710i and want the Walkman features/flash menus of the W710i, go over to and get a credit and flash that baby! Plus, you'll save yourself quite a few bucks doing this too. I would assume that you prob could flash a W710i to a Z710i too, but to me that would be self-defeating and a downgrade to the phone (no flash menus, downgraded medai player, missing features).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

jackpot! discovery science channel!

man, i had no idea that there was a Discovery Channel Science one..! been leaving it on while i mess around on my pc and love it! hehe.. me and space, my love... ahh..

anywho.. speaking of cable tv.. well, comcast has taken over my area's timewarner service... so we'll see if things get a bit cheaper or not.. but after using my HD DVR (scientific atlanta 8300HD) got a few gripes:

-missing a 30 second skip forward function, miss that from MCE.
-crappy guide. no searching whatsoever; categories are bad and gui itself is pretty fugly..
-quality of recordings are good
-output options are great, any type of output you need, it has.. hdmi, component, s-video, rca, composite, digital optical sound out..

just wish more channels were in HD.. and also when compared to my parents DirectTV; satellite's picture quality is superior.. especially with non HD channels... hmm.. oh well, can't do satellite anyways..

the next gen wars are really starting to heat up in the console realm.. rumors are everywhere.. should be fun to see what happens.. i personally believe Sony's gonna drop the ball and not be anywhere close to the expected 400k units on launch... but we'll see.. i think nintendo will do very well.. the timing is pretty smart w/thanksgiving weekend the following.. i have not pre-ordered a wii, i plan on going into target and getting me one.. but we'll see if nintendo meets their promised units too..

well, off to bed.. gotta go into work tomorrow..

k800i fixing, site updates

well.. after thinking i had sold my K800i FINALLY to a person, found out when he got it, it would not turn on and the irda would just blink at him.. so had him send back and did some major research.. seems that many K800i users have had this problem.. and the problem seems to be pointed to a bad EROM..

most people get this fixed by sending back to SE and then after a few weeks getting it back..however, i found out on that you can fix it just by using the wotanserver client.. it will update the EROM when you connect your phone (hold 2 and 5 vs the C button)..

so, after getting phone back, updated EROM via wotanserver and now working fine! might end up trading this phone for a W810i since i've found a person who was interested...

also updated my site w/this info on the K800i incase other people where having problems finding a fix for it (took me a while to track down the thread at hofo )

well, back to getting healthier, damn you flu/cold!!!!

aiy.. might do a full/complete rehaul of my site soon.. we shall see!!