Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Toshiba HD-DVD player for $200


toshiba-hd-a2.jpgHave you been waiting for a cheap but good quality HD-DVD player? Well, your wait is now over. You can now buy Toshiba’s 2nd generation HD-DVD player (HD-A2) for $200 at Circuit City and, starting next week, at Wal-Mart and most likely Best Buy.

I was an early adopter and own the 1st gen Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player and love it. The picture and sound quality is amazing…assuming you have a calibrated HDTV and a good surround sound system.

FYI, the latest HD-DVD player is the HD-A3 and HD-A35 (3rd gen). You can check out the specs of the HD-A2 and the rest of the HD-DVD players on Toshiba’s site.

[via ArsTechnica]

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Filed under: Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies, Surround Sound, Video

Mac OS 10.5 Leopard Feature: Remote Desktop


leopard-2.pngOkay, this new feature has convinced me to upgrade to Leopard: Screen Sharing via iChat. In a nutshell, it’s a built-in remote desktop feature that doesn’t require any fiddling with your router or NAT settings. Why am I so excited about this feature? Because it will make my life SOOO much easier in troubleshooting and fixing issues on my Dad’s iMac. Yes, you can use VNC (which is what I’m currently using as my ‘family tech support’ tool) but it’s still a pain in the ass due to router config settings, telling my Mom or Dad to start the VNC server, etc.

Here’s the description from Apple’s site:

Instant Screen Sharing from the Finder

Start an interactive screen sharing session with other Macs on your network. Just select the Mac from your sidebar and (if authorized) you can see and control the Mac as if you were right in front of it. Change a system preference, publish an iPhoto library, or add a new playlist to iTunes.

Truth be told, I haven’t tried Screen Sharing but it seems to ‘just work’ like almost everything else in the Mac ecosystem. GWhiz posted a video that shows how easy it is to use this new feature.  You can also see a high quality video of Screen Sharing via the Leopard Guided Tour video on the Apple site.

Filed under: Apple, MacOSX, Software

MacBook Pro processor upgrade in January 2008?


This is a pretty old tidbit but I thought I’d post it anyway since a few friends didn’t know about this rumored update. The processors will be upgraded to Intel’s new Penryn processor. Here are the details of the new Intel Penryn processors. There aren’t any rumors as to which ones Apple will use in the MacBook Pros but my guess will be the 2.4Ghz and 2.6Ghz processors.

The size of the Penryn chips will also be reduced from 65 nanometers (nm) –> 45nm, which should allow the chips to run a bit cooler.

For reference, the current MacBook Pros come with either 2.2Ghz or 2.4Ghz processors.

macbook-pro-penryn-chips.gif

FYI, the price reflects the purchase price in 1,000-unit trays from Intel so it’s not the price we would pay. 😉

So, if you’ve been thinking about buying a MacBook Pro, I’d recommend waiting another 3 months…that’s what I’m doing.

EDIT (January 16, 2008): Well, Steve Jobs did NOT announce any updates to the MBP during yesterday’s MacWorld keynote. Needless to say, I’m extremely bummed b/c I’ve been waiting for 6+ months to upgrade my Powerbook G4. There are rumors that Intel is having/had an issue with the thermal sensor on the Penryn chips and that supply will be tight through February. If this is true, we prolly won’t get updated MBPs until March/April. I’m hoping when the MBP is updated with Penryn we’ll also get the multi-touch trackpad and the revised keyboard layout/design like the MacBook Air.

EDIT (Jan 28, 2008): More rumors that the upgrade will happen within the next 1 – 4 weeks.

EDIT (Jan 30, 2008): Some actual evidence of the new MBP?

EDIT (Feb 27, 2008): Finally!

[via AppleInsider & Engadget]

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Rumors

It’s official: iPhone will support 3rd party apps!


Ah, finally…Jobs has stated that Apple will be releasing a SDK in February, 2008. Man, I’m psyched! Hopefully, I’ll see SplashID (or an equivalent) come out for the iPhone early next year.

Jobs announced it on Apple’s Hot News section of their website – here’s an excerpt:

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Software

Apple to allow 3rd party apps on the iPhone in January?


BusinessWeek has an interesting article that says Apple may offer a SDK for the iPhone in January, 2008 – i.e., at MacWorld.

Hmm, very interesting.  Personally, I think it’s only a matter of when Apple will official support and allow 3rd party apps to run natively on the iPhone.

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Software

Bought a Ducati 1098 Superbike!


Ducati 1098As of last Thursday (October 4, 2007) I’m a proud owner of a brand new 2008 Ducati 1098. 😀 Some of you may know that I bought a 749 Superbike this past May…why did I buy another one? Because I low-sided it and my insurance company totaled it. I’ll miss my 749 since it was a great bike and because it was my first Ducati but the 1098 is just awesome…and visually stunning.

I’m not going to post a comparison between the two bikes since this is a technology-focused blog but if you’re interested in my thoughts, feel free to post a comment.

Filed under: Ducati, Motorcycles