Quick $250 PC Build

Looking to replace an EeeBox PC with something a bit more capable, I recently pulled the trigger on Newegg Combo 864885 (and used ShopRunner to get it here in two days – free!).  For not much more than I paid for the diminutive supplanted machine a few years ago, this combo offers a Rosewill R363-M-BK MicroATX Case (with power supply), BIOSTAR A55MH MotherboardAMD A4-3400 Llano 2.7GHz APUG.SKILL 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, and Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive.  I added a second 4GB stick, technically pushing the total over the $250 goal, but well worth it IMO.  The build was absurdly fast – I stuck the kettle on, then unpacked everything and reviewed the instructions.  The entire thing was together in the time it took to brew a cup of tea and allow it to cool to a comfortable drinking temperature!  I was a little leery of the Rosewill case when making my original purchase, but it turned out to be a very attractive, high-gloss case with an amusingly large glowing power button.  The BIOSTAR mobo impressed as well, with an extensive feature set and clear documentation that quickly quashed any reservations I had about selecting it over the ASUS in the other bundle I’d been considering.  Very pleased with this combo so far, as well as the build experience! □_ヘ(^_^ヘ)

Pebble Digital Watches are a Pretty Neat Idea

Perhaps I’m just amazingly primitive, but the Pebble E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android on Kickstarter may be compelling enough to rekindle my childhood obsession; this was a time when things like temperature and altitude were not so easily obtained as they are now via apps and widgets, and I couldn’t help but bore anyone who’d listen with continual updates of these exciting (to me) measurements (even when up to 50 meters underwater!)!  I can’t recall the last time I donned a timepiece on my arm, but the concept of a fourth screen to supplement my third – not to mention one with its own SDK – may prove irresistible!  ̄~ ̄

[Update 2012.05.09: It did – I’m now a backer!]

WordPress for NOOK Color!

In addition to the great apps I mentioned recently, I just discovered (in what may be the first documented case of “Customers Also Bought…” displaying something useful) that the superb WordPress app is also now available for NOOK Color! The built-in NOOK App browser is somewhat limited, so apparently I just missed it during my most recent combing-through-for-new-apps session – in fact, I inadvertently discovered it while browsing the web-based app list with my iPad!

I really like the functionality of the mobile client – it seems truly optimized for the quick tasks you’re likely to want to do from a small screen with no physical keyboard; though the entire web-based Dashboard is one click away (and can of course be accessed from any browser without app installation), the app is just great for jotting down a quick idea or making a quick edit.  I wrote the bulk of this post on my NOOK, though came back to the laptop before publishing in order to spell check and add links.  The lack of spell check, as well as the inferior stock Android keyboard (vs. e.g. Swype on my Droid X or the easier-to-use stock iOS keyboard) will likely discourage use for publishing extensive dissertations, but for what I want it for: just jotting down a quick idea while reading, or putting together an outline for a book review, it’s perfect!  ̄ー ̄

New For NOOK Color: Dolphin Browser, Twitter

I bought my NOOK Color with one purpose in mind: reading eBooks.  I was also intrigued by the fact that it was inherently an Android tablet, but, I’d not really anticipated using it for much more than browsing – especially given the limited apps and lack of marketplace at the time.  Numerous firmware updates have improved the device by leaps and bounds, improving performance, enhancing the UI significantly, and adding NOOK Apps, including Netflix, Evernote, and of course Angry Birds!  The selection of apps has been rounded out nicely with the recent addition of the official Twitter app, and Dolphin Browser HD.  The stock browser is competent enough for basic browsing, but curiously has been crippled by Barnes & Noble to prevent basic features such as copying and pasting.  The Dolphin browser has none of these restrictions, and moreover includes unique gestural navigation that takes advantage of the NOOK Color’s multitouch capabilities.  Since this is an Android system, Dolphin can be set as the default browser, unlike the iPad where Dolphin exists in Safari’s shadow, with no way to usurp the handling of links throughout applications.  My NOOK is still my eReader, but with extremely powerful browsing and convenient tweeting added to the mix, the NOOK Color just gets better and better!

Solved: Motorola Droid X Performance Issues

I was really pleased with my Droid X when I first got it.  Such a big screen!  So much potential!  But at some point things started to slow down – a lot – to the point where just about everything – even answering a phone call – was somewhere between an unpleasant chore and impossible at times.  I lived with it – I don’t really need a smartphone, I sit in front of a desk most of the time while my X sits in its lovely little docking station – and I have more mobile devices and gadgets than I can count, so, they just took over focus from my frustrating phone.  Then Read More…

1 2 Scroll to top