Tag: gadgets

Samsung Removable Hard Drive; Don’t Matter If You’re Black or Gold

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Following up on my review of the SkyDrive service, I thought I’d review something I purchased recently. Is it the most tacky gadget I own? Possibly. But, it is the cheapest 500GB external hard drive I have seen.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Michael Jackson!

What possessed me to buy it, you might ask? Well, blame the other physics nerds – one found it, and the great deal got emphasized to everyone… Now like 8 people in university own it. It really is that fucking good a deal, at £38 with free Amazon delivery, that is under 8p per gigabyte.

MJ HD
Tacky indeed. But price beats style, especially since you get a free slip-case!

Why so cheap? Well… if my sources are to be believed, they are hitting rock bottom in high streets too. It seems that people are in fact put off by the hideous gold plastic cover, and not at all swayed by the included digital movie of ”This is It”. Maybe I would watch it if it wasn’t horribly DRM’ed… no, actually I probably wouldn’t.

Ok so perhaps some actual information. The drive is Samsung, and of course has a usable capacity of less than 500gb due to the on-going nonsense where they measure a gigabyte in their own imaginary scale where gigabytes are 1000 megabytes, which are 1000 kilobytes etc. In the real world the rest of us know that bytes work in 1024s, or 2 power 10. Don’t we have advertising laws?
The casing itself is cheap in look and feel. It is a crap plastic, with a distinctly 90s kids toy texture on the black back. I’m not at all worried about the back though on appearance, the front kinda removed visuals as a concern. I should say that you do get a Samsung black sleeve that the drive fits in and can be used in, eliminating visual concerns.
You also get a shortish usb cable, perfectly adequate. It doesn’t require a secondary power cable or usb.
The drive is also small enough to easily slip into a pocket.
It comes with some software for backing up and security, but personally I recommend forgetting about it and just getting PortableApps.

I don’t know what more to say really. The drive won’t win any awards; it isn’t the fastest, or the most pretty, but its quiet and small, portable and cheap. Did I mention cheap? Yeah, hard drives are continuing to get bigger for less money but this really is cheap. If you are looking for a cheap way of backing up, storing, moving, data, this is great.

Just don’t expect people to react well to the look. Could be worse, they could think you’re a paedophile or something…
…Sorry Michael, but it was too obvious to pass up!

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Quiet
  • Large capacity
  • Needs no extra power cable

Cons:

  • Gold
  • Michael Jackson

Check out the product at Amazon!

Peace, out!

Matt

UPDATE: Price is now back up to £50!

Blackberry OS 6 – A Storm is brewing

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I have been greatly anticipating the upcoming release of Blackberry OS 6, as I assumed that my Storm 2 (released in the UK last November, and I bought it only in January) would be getting the upgrade.

It would seem not.

From GadgetVenue:

RIM just announced the BlackBerry Torch 9800 this morning. The new BlackBerry Torch will run the long awaited OS 6 when it launches in a couple of weeks time. Along with the launch details earlier today, a press release was sent out that indicates that older devices will not be getting an update to BlackBerry OS 6.

Subject to carrier certifications in the months ahead, the new OS is expected to be available for the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700, BlackBerry® Bold™ 9650 and BlackBerry® Pearl™ 3G, as well as future BlackBerry smartphones.

For those who have an older device, it looks like you’ll be stuck on BlackBerry OS 5 and will need to upgrade to a BlackBerry Torch or another new unreleased phone if you want to test what OS 6 is all about.

Hints at older devices not being capable of running OS 6 came recently when some Storm 3 details were revealed that show the device has more memory and power to make it more capable of running the newer OS.

I am gutted. Not because the current OS is bad, but because the additions were to include a new webkit browser, and more fluid scrolling, social network integration, along with just an updated UI. I also don’t understand why it can’t come to Storm 2 in particular. The Storm 2 has specifications that match or exceed the Bold 9700, so there is no reason why it cannot come to Storm 2. Add that to the fact that on the teaser videos all over the internet, it is clearly a Storm 2 screen.

I am still hoping this is a mistake, an error of omission from the press release. I will be very disappointed otherwise. If I wasn’t only 6 months into my contract, I’d consider going to Android.

BlackBerry Storm 2 (9530) Review

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I have recently put two fingers up to both T-Mobile and Sony Ericsson. Sick of my C905; nothing much WRONG with it but just old… bland… dull…

Lol. I wanted a new gadget.

A BlackBerry attracted me for a while – all the benefits of a smartphone, without resorting to an iPhone, with hundreds of useless apps. I also like the email and internet functionality of them. However, I did want a touchscreen phone, and that meant only the Storm series – specifically the BlackBerry Storm 2.

Now, for those who don’t know, it’s a very good idea to research phones etc before buying. And I did. The original Storm was plagued with gripes. The Storm line uses this interesting type of touchscreen, where it IS a touchscreen but it’s also a click-screen too. Sound odd? It is a little, but after getting used to it, I can say it feels great. But the point is, it was kinda poorly executed on the first Storm. As was the OS, a bit slow and glitchy.

Did the Storm 2 fix its predecessor’s problems? Yes indeed it did! And to be honest, I can’t be bothered with a huge review, so here’s the scoop. The Storm 2 is an excellent phone.

Battery life is the smartphone standard of 1-2 days depending on usage and what you have turned on. Email works intuitively and fast, as does SMS / MMS. My one gripe is that SMS and MMS do not flow together in the conversation view. The built in browser, if a little slow sometimes, is dependable, and besides Opera Mini works great. All the apps I have so far have integrated really well into the OS, appearing in context menus and other places where relevant.

Anything more specific… um I dunno. Let’s do a quick pros and cons:

Pros:

* Screen clickyness feels great and allows for fast QWERTY typing. Improved over Storm (1) version which was mechanical. Now is electrical.
* Interface is mostly lag-free
* Decent integrated camera, for a smartphone
* Intelligence around the phone’s tilt during calls etc
* up to 32 GB SDHC Media Card and a pretty good MP3 interface
* Multitouch

Cons:

* No pinch-to-zoom (probably copyright or something :@)
* Cold-start (battery pull) time is very long
* Fingerprint magnet
* Many options in settings – I doubt most people would want to use the more colourful ones but they are mixed in with the regular ones so it would be easy to get confused
* Changes on the media card take a while to reflect properly in the device (it will detect the changes and ‘scan’ for ages, and might still get it wrong. A battery pull works for this though)

That’s all I can be bothered with right now. Sunday night – past midnight. Night.