Some New Gear at Home
Picked up some new Gear from Tiger Direct this week...
First off, have been having some fairly continuous outages on my Internet connection over the past few weeks, rebooting my D-Link Wireless-G Storage Router seemed to resolve the problem. The router wasn't that old, but doesn't have a firmware update available, so what can you do???
I decided to get something a little better, decided on Linksys as a manufacturer this time... Model # is WRT54GL - ($93.99)
They're a little more expense than the other brands, but the fact that they're owned by Cisco made my feel good about this... Another neat feature - the Firmware was released as Open Source, and therefore there are a variety of 3rd party, different versions available...
Anyhow, I've had the new unit fired up for about 24 hours now and it's working great.
Next up, when I was in the Tiger store to pick up the router, I saw they had this multi-function printer/scanner Lexmark x1290
unit on sale for $69... Hmmm... Lexmark, good brand... They have some even better deals on the website, one with some free paper and ink, another w/ a 2GB USB drive... Crazy!
Did some research on it last night, seemed to be a half-decent unit and for that price, you can't go wrong...
Anyhow, the drivers on the CD were only for XP, so ended up installing and then uninstalling those, pulled down the Vista drivers from the Lexmark site, and installed those, so far so good, working like a charm, I've already scanned and uploaded some old pics from a high school yearbook.
Dell Ubuntu PCs
Dell PCs Featuring Ubuntu
Well here they are... This story has been bouncing around for a few months now, Dell announced they would begin offering PCs with Linux (Ubuntu) preinstalled. Anyhow, here they are, they look pretty yummy...
Dimension E520N (Core 2 Duo E4300, 1GB RAM, 250GB HD) $599USD
Inspiron E1505N Laptop (Pentium T2080, 512MB, 80GB HD) $599USD
XPS 410 N (Core 2 Duo E4300, 1GB RAM, 250GB HD) $849USD
This is a pivotal moment for Linux, I think the trend is unstoppable. Microsoft is scared of Linux, and they should be...
Microsoft Popfly - New Web-Based 'Mashup' Application Development Interface
This looks pretty cool, I haven't dug into it too much, but sounds like a really cool tool to easily build your own web-based applications using data from various web sites, mashing it together and doing interesting things with it... It's just in Beta at the moment, but will be worth keeping an eye on...
Hacking the Nintendo DS
My son asked for a Nintendo DS (aka NDS) for his birthday, so here's a quick rundown of how to hack it up so you don't actually have fork out hundreds of dollars on games...
Quickly, what is a DS?
<- Here's a picture, it's basically Nintendo's latest 'Gameboy', a portable , handheld gaming unit. Feature-wise it's pretty cool:
- Built-in WiFi, allows you to download some games, and play certain games vs. other NDS users.
- 2 screens, the lower of which is a touch screen, some unique gameplay elements.
- About a 400-500 English, US-released games out so far.
- Backwards compatible, plays Gamebox Advance games
Ok, so a neat little toy, retails for $150.
Alright, so how to hack-it-up.
1) Visit http://www.gamersection.ca
- I found this site just via Google, but it seemed pretty slick, and I read a few external reviews, so I bit the bullet, and it was fine, paid via PayPal, shipping was quick, packaging very professional.
2) I purchased the R4DS
- (Official site - ) For $40USD + Shipping, this is essentially a cartridge into which you can plug a MicroSD card. A MicroSD card is just like an SD card that you probably have for you digital camera, only it's smaller... About the size of your pinky finger nail. You download games (ROMs), stick them onto the MicroSD card, pop the MicroSD card into the R4DS, and pop the R4DS into the NintendoDS! :^)
3) Downloading the Games - Check out your favorite BitTorrent tracker site - I like PirateBay
- and search on NDS. The games are all there - I downloaded a single .RAR file that contained hundreds of games.
4) Setting up the MicroSD Card - I purchased a Kingston 1GB MicroSD Card from TigerDirect ($23.99). It comes w/ a SD Card adapter, basically an SD Card that the MicroSD card fits into. So you pop that into an SD Card reader - most new PC's have them built-in, you can get one for $20 or so... Anyhow, you then transfer over the software that comes w/ the R4, just drag & drop that into the root of the SD, and then - You literally just copy the games onto the MicroSD card and you're good to go.
5) How does it look on the NDS? The NDS starts up and you have 3 icons, the first takes you to a game menu, all the games you have loaded on the MicroSD are displayed, you scroll through them pick the one you want and hit A to load it. The 2nd icon starts up a 'homebrew'
application called MoonShell, which is a mediaplayer application, I guess you can play Movies & MP3's and stuff - haven't played with that yet.
Anyhow, so there you go, with about $80 once the dust settles and perhaps an hour to download the games and set everything up, you're good to go... Enjoy!
Zonbu to Roll Out $99 Linux-Based Computer This Summer
Cheap PC: Zonbu to Roll Out $99 Linux-Based Computer This Summer - Gizmodo
- This is a fascinating story, not so much about the specifics of this particular unit, but because it shows what's possible, and gives us an inkling of what will be possible in another year or two...
Part of the 'catch' of this offer is that in addition to the $99, you pay $25/mo to connect to the Zonbu servers to store data there, however, big online companies like Google, Yahoo or Amazon wouldn't have to charge for that, so it seems like the free or nearly free PC is really just over the horizon now... f'ing brilliant!
Nokia N800 Internet Tablet
Nokia N800 Internet Tablet Main Page
Check out this little baby...
800x600 Resolution, runs the Opera Browser, 3 x 6 " - WIFI enabled... This is the little device you can curl up on the couch or in bed w/ a surf the weeb...