Zune HD vs. iPod Touch 3G

September 9, 2009

The time has come, time to look for a new portable media player (PMP). They used to just be called mp3 players, but now they can do everything. So one contestant is the Zune HD, I blogged about it before when it was still just a bunch of rumours. Now, it has been officially confirmed and the release date is less than a week away (Sept. 15)!

Right now, I’m using the iPod Nano 2G mainly because it came free with my MacBook. Compared to what’s out there now, it’s not outstanding. But it was revolutionary when it first came out and I haven’t encountered any major issues, so I’ve been also considering the iPod Touch as well… Apple has been dominating the mp3 player market, so would I be wrong to give them a look?

I was highly-anticipating the Apple event [this morning] because of some rumoured announcements (camera anyone?). What Apple announces could really be the deciding factor for me. I was holding my breath to see how Apple would respond to Microsoft’s Zune HD.

What new surprise did Apple unveil this morning? Well, not that much. Let’s just say that I expected more, everyone expected more. With rumours and photos flying around of an iPod Touch with a camera, the fact that there was no camera was a major disappointment. In fact, all they did was cut the price on an already expensive music player and made it a bit faster… and games. They kept going on about their vast selection of games compared to the PSP and Nintendo DS. I’m not much of a gamer, so this didn’t really impress me. All in all, not much can be said about the new and improved iPod Touch. Nothing that would tip the balance. At least, not for me.

I think the fact that the Zune HD is cheaper, offers HD radio, HD video output, a cheaper subscription service, OLED screen on top of what Apple offers (App Store, iTunes LP) is making me lean towards the Zune HD. Please don’t disappoint, Microsoft.

The one thing that’s holding me back is the fact that I need iSilo. Currently, there is no support for iSilo on the Zune HD, but there is for the iPod Touch. I hope that Microsoft will release an SDK for the Zune HD so that developers can get started on that iSilo application! I really want to get the Zune HD, but if it can’t run iSilo, I may have to turn to the iPod Touch (or iPhone) or a Windows Mobile smart phone (way more expensive). But that’s a different story.

I’ve had over a week now to test my MacBook’s new wireless card after being sending it in for repairs. For the record, this is actually the third time that I’ve had to get my MacBook fixed during the three years since I bought it. Boy, am I ever glad that I got the three-year extended Apple Care warranty! First, the LCD backlight started to flicker; next the keyboard chipped and most recently, the wireless card stopped working. Fortunately for me, I had an Apple-authorized repair shop right on campus. This definitely saved a lot of aggravation of having to find and get to an Apple store. Although, I am quite unhappy with the quality of their hardware, I am extremely happy with the service I received. I was never asked any questions and the turnaround time was really fast (two days in the case of my most recent incident). I cannot stress how convenient having a repair shop on campus was. If I had to drive to the local Apple Store, I think my sentiments would be completely different… so kudos to CHIP. Now, I’m just hoping that this wireless card will hold out for the remainder of my MacBook’s lifespan, and that nothing else breaks. I have just over a month left in my warranty >.<.

Windows 7 Photos

January 11, 2009

Windows 7 on a MacBook

January 11, 2009

The long awaited *official* release of the beta version of Windows 7 was quite a memorable one. The new OS was scheduled to be posted on Microsoft’s site on January 9th, 2009. Ironically, it began with a postponing of the release date. There were so many eager beta users constantly refreshing the download page that it caused Microsoft’s site to crash and they had to bring in reinforcement servers. What a way to begin… at least the downtime only lasted one day.

After getting things back up and running again, the Windows 7 (build  7000) iso file was available for download January 10th. The download was surprisingly very quick. It only took around 2hrs for a 2.43gb file. I was very impressed considering just less than 24 hrs ago, their servers were down. The install proved to be painless using Boot Camp. I popped in the Leopard Windows drivers, everything except the sound card installed without any problems. I had to manually install the sound card (SigmaTel drivers included in the package). Oh yeah, I was using a first generation (2006) MacBook.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the new deisgn of the OS. I went straight from XP to Windows 7, I skipped Windows Vista because of its slower performance. I think the look and feel of Windows 7 is similar to Vista. Of course, the biggest change is the new Taskbar, which actually isn’t new at all! Also, I’ve downloaded the Microsoft Live suite. As a first impression, I really like how Microsoft is integrating their Live suite into the OS, enhancing application functions by taking advantage of the OS. Good job Microsoft. Anyway,I will have to poke around some more, and maybe post some photos of this beautiful hybrid =P.