Monday, April 16, 2007

From Video to Shuffle: an iPod story

A few weeks ago I had my black 30Gb iPod Video stolen from my car while it was parked less than 30 feet from the front door of my house. I certainly could have protected it a little bit better than I had, but that is not what this post is about. This post is about my new iPod Shuffle that I recieved as an Easter gift. Now that I have had a Shuffle for about a week here is a list of some of my favorite things about it.

1. The Price

This little sucker will run you $79.99 which actually pretty good when compared to other 1 Gb mp3 players, which range from about 70 to 120 dollars. Also, this is much easier to replace if stolen.

2. The Included Dock

My favorite part about the iPod Shuffle is the cool dock that comes with it. As you can see instead of some sort of usb port on the Shuffle, there is only the head phone jack, which doubles as a data port when docked. This enables the Shuffle's size to be even smaller than before.

3. The Size

The most obvious feature about the iPod Shuffle is the miniature physical size of the device. Here I have my Shuffle compared to a U.S. Quarter, and you can see this iPod takes up far less pocket real estate than my Video iPod.

4. Song Selection

When I got my new mp3 player, I was worried about how my songs would sync with the device considering I now had 1/30 of the amount of space that I used to have. Well iTunes has really thought this one through and gives you many options for syncing your music with your iPod. You can have it set to sync a predefined playlist, or you can have it load random songs from your library. Even better, you can have it load higher ranked songs more often so that you get a nice random mix of songs that you actually want to listen to. It is because of this feature that I have totally abandoned trying to replace my Video iPod with another high capacity media player.

5. The Simplicity

Last but not least, is the fact that this thing is extremely easy to pick up and use. Although this is true with most Apple products, it has never been more true than with the iPod Shuffle. All things considered I need an mp3 player, and that is all I need. I don't want a video player, or an external hard drive, or another game device. I already have devices that do those tasks much better than any iPod.

So thats it I hope you have enjoyed my little rant about why the iPod Shuffle is my favorite mp3 player on the market. I strongly urge you to seriously consider a Shuffle instead of an iPod Video or Nano. I had a Video, and now I have the Shuffle and I am not looking back. Thanks for reading. Peace.

Friday, April 6, 2007

How To: Burn ISOs Directly in Windows Vista

There are a lot of programs out there to burn ISO files, some free and some quite expensive. However, now that Windows vista is out, I have found myself running into many computability problems with my favorite burning programs. More specifically Nero 7 and DeepBurner have been giving me the most problems so far. But fear not, because there is a solution which is free, easy, and best of all is a windows Vista power toy, so it plays very nicely with Vista.

1. Download the ISORecorder Power toy.

Windows Vista 32

Windows Vista 64

Windows XP SP2 and 2003

2. Unzip and Install.

You may notice that there are 2 files Setup.exe and ISORecorderV3.msi. It shouldn't matter which one you choose, but I would start with the msi, and if that does not work then try the exe.

Continue through the installation as normal.

3. Burn the ISO to a disc.

Now you will have to locate the ISO file that you would like to burn.

Right click on it, then go to Open With->ISORecorder. You can also click Choose Default Program and then select ISORecorder so that it will open the ISO in the program on a double click.

Next, you will want to choose all of the settings to burn your ISO file i.e. speed, source, destination, etc.

When you are done, click next and let the burning begin. After that is finished your cd tray will open, and you will be notified that burning has completed.

This is an awesome simple tool for burning ISO files. Please go have a visit to the creator's site, Alex Feinman. Also, if you like the software give Alex a donation via PayPal at the bottom of his page.

Monday, April 2, 2007

My Experience With Ubuntu 7.04 Wireless

So it seems everyone is getting extremely excited over this new Ubuntu wireless madness with restricted drivers being a part of the official repositories. However, I just had to check it out for myself. I, like most people, have had a bitchin' time trying to get my wireless to work with any sort of linux, but now it seems as if the days of hacking together a half-ass solution are over.

The card that I am using is a Dell 1450 802.11 a/b/g Broadcom 43xx card (BCM4309 to be specific), and the laptop that I am using this on is a Dell Inspiron 9300. For me, the wireless card worked right out of the box, but this will not be the case for everyone. A lot of you are going to have to enable the restricted repository, which you should be notified as soon as Ubuntu recognizes your hardware during the initial boot up. It took me a second to get used to the new interface for managing the wireless cards, but once I spent a few minutes with it, its very easy to use.

First off, this is probably my favorite part about this whole article. The WiFi ssid list actually looks great, and functions way better than I had expected.

Next, once you click whichever wireless network you want to connect to it will ask you for your password to log onto the network.

The network settings window looks very similar to the one in 6.10. You may have to check the box next to wireless, because I think it is disabled by default. To get to this window click System -> Administration -> Network, and then type in your admin password.

THATS IT! Your wireless should now be working as long as you have a wireless card that does not require restricted drivers. If your card does require restricted drivers, Ubuntu will notify you, and then prompt you to choose whether or not you would like to turn on the Restricted Drivers repository or not. Here is a picture of where you can find the Restricted Driver manager.

I hope you have enjoyed my guide, and that it was somewhat helpful. Leave me a comment if you have any questions or things you would like to change or add to my post. Peace.