The Whole Enchilada

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Archive for the ‘gadgets’ Category

Cool iTunes Tip: Burn A MP3 CD with folders

Posted by wholeenchilada on February 6, 2008

If your audio system (car/home) supports MP3s and can navigate folders, you might want to check out this great iTunes tip:

If your car CD player or media center can play and navigate MP3 CDs by folder, using iTunes you can burn your tracks in album-specific folders automatically. (MP3 CDs have the songs burned on them as files, not audio, and as such can fit a whole lot more music than a regular audio CD.) The Internet Duct Tape blog explains the iTunes tip: the trick is to sort the playlist by album first before you burn.


Posted in Entertainment, gadgets, Technology | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Tech Buzz: Microsoft Set To Launch Vista Plus! Pack

Posted by wholeenchilada on January 16, 2008

Interesting post from downloadsquad: Microsoft launching Vista Plus! Pack

Once upon a time Microsoft came up with a product called Microsoft Plus! that offered a handful of games and extra features that probably should have been included with Windows in the first place. There were Plus! packs released for every version of Windows from Windows 95 all the way up to XP. Plus! packs included everything from the first version of Internet Explorer to desktop themes and utilities for managing media files.

But when Microsoft launched Windows Vista, we thought they had killed off the Plus! pack in favor of Windows Ultimate Extras. But now it looks like Microsoft is bringing back the Plus! Pack.

Read more here:

Posted in Business, Entertainment, gadgets, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Tech Buzz: 10 Unique Keyboards

Posted by wholeenchilada on January 16, 2008

ComputerSight has a fun list of  10 Strange Keyboards. Some are pretty slick, others seem futuristic and quite bizarre. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Combimouse

The Combimouse keyboard was created to try to combine the mouse and keyboard. The right keyboard is used for the mouse, with a two keys doubling as a left or right click. The spin wheel is located at the bottom of the left keyboard. This keyboard wasn’t created to help you type faster, rather to universalize the keyboard and mouse. This is the first of many attempts to come at a universal keyboard. At the time you cannot purchase one of these, but they should hit the market in 2008.

The SafeType

This keyboard is meant to put the keyboard in as comfortable of a position as possible. You can move the different sections to different angles, as well as take them apart and put them on your lab. However you choose it’s all about putting it in such a way that makes typing more relaxed for you. You can purchase one of these for about $300.

And my personal favorite:

The Tidy Tippist

Here is a decorative keyboard with the keys disguised into the washable tablecloth. The keyboard and electrical components are sealed inside layers and layers of water resistant felt. It hasn’t been put on the market yet, but you can expect its release in late 2008.

Read more here:

Posted in gadgets, Internet, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Top 10 technology flops

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 5, 2007

The news blog is reporting a list of Top 10 technology flops. Some you might agree with (digital watch – aye!) and others you might not have heard of (Gallium arsenide – huh?), but here’s the run down:

  1. Manned space travel. At the 1964 World’s Fair I saw a mechanical enactment of a space shuttle docking with a space station. Aside from a few moon launches, that’s exactly where we stand–43 years later.
  2. Bubble memory.
  3. Superconductivity.
  4. Digital watches. Come on, tell the truth; back in the ’80s you thought plain old analog watches were finished. Heck, we all did. Then retro came back. Go figure.
  5. Gallium arsenide. In the ’80s, lots of experts thought GaAs would supplant CMOS semiconductor technology in computers. But CMOS’ remarkable scalability has limited gallium arsenide to relatively niche applications.
  6. Head-up displays. The technology has been around forever, but, for some reason, has not caught on in commercial applications. It’s been available in limited car models for more than a decade, but I’ve never seen one.
  7. Pen computing.
  8. Information appliances.
  9. Speech recognition. This has to be the biggest disappointment of all, especially for Star Trek fans. But here we are, still banging away on our keyboards. At least biometrics is starting to gain some traction.
  10. Virtual reality. Yes, I know we have Second Life and it’s still the early days of VR. Nevertheless, the technical issues are way tougher than with speech recognition and we’ve been waiting for decades for that to become mainstream.

Read more here:

It’s an interesting list but nothing mind blowing. You could argue for years over what constitutes as a “technology flop” and what the real top ten list should look like!

Posted in gadgets, Internet, Technology | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Are folks writing off Amazon’s Kindle book reader too quickly?

Posted by wholeenchilada on November 22, 2007

Saul Hansell has a post titled In Defense of the Kindle which outlines his thoughts on Amazon’s newly released (and recently sold out!) e-book reader. Some pretty interesting insights on why you might want to give it a second look or, at lest, give it time to grow into a better, more useful product.

A lot of people are writing off Amazon’s Kindle book reader much too quickly.The comments on our blog posts on the Kindle are filled with people talking about features it is missing. My colleague Damon Darlin posted that he finds it too expensive.

All these are true statements. The Kindle could have lots more useful features, it is too expensive, and lots of people would rather read books on paper. It’s also true that products like this fall in price and add features rapidly in the two years after they are introduced.

So don’t buy it right now unless you are the sort of early adopter that enjoys playing with, and showing off, gadgets that are bound to be replaced with cheaper better models in a year.

But it’s plain wrong to dismiss Amazon’s innovation because it is saddled with the inevitable version 1.0 problems. Remember the iPod was introduced without the touch-sensitive scroll wheel and no legal way to buy music from Apple.

Read more here:

I for one am passing on this first version. Perhaps if a newer version is slicker, more powerful and feature rich, I might take the plunge. But for now, it just isn’t worth the $400 for me. My two cents 🙂

Related reading:

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Amazon’s Kindle: a review on the new e-book reader w/confirmed details

Posted by wholeenchilada on November 19, 2007

Amazoncnet has a review of Amazon’s new e-book reader “Kindle“: Amazon Kindle: Hands-on first impressions. Some other reviews have not been as, let’s say, “balanced”, but cnet’s basically outlines some details and lets you decide if Kindle is worthy. They start with some condfirmed details and then outline the good/bad points with a not-quite positive summation:

The Good: Excellent high-contrast screen does a great job of simulating a printed page; large library of tens of thousands of e-books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs via Amazon’s familiar online store; built-in “Whispernet” data network–no PC needed; built-in keyboard for notes; SD card expansion slot; long battery life.

The Bad: Design is ergonomic, but not very elegant; pricing for nearly all the content seems too high, especially considering the periodicals and blogs are available for free online; black-and-white screen is fine for books, but less impressive for periodicals and Web content; lacks a true Web browser; included cover is clumsy and poorly designed; yet another dedicated device you’ll need to lug around with you.

The Bottom Line: With its built-in wireless capabilities and PC-free operation, Amazon’s Kindle is a promising evolution of the electronic book (and newspaper, and magazine)–but overpriced content could be its Achilles’ heel.

Read more here, including the confirmed details on the new Kindle:

Details in the review include Measurements, Connectivity, Books, Blogs, Newspapers and magazines available, Web browsing, Notation and bookmarks, Price and availability (hint: it’s available now via Amazon for $400 – ouch!).  Some reviews I’ve read say the Kindle is outdated, lacking features, overpriced, etc. It (apparently) does not support PDFs, there’s no wi-fi and it’s reported that you can’t add blogs that aren’t part of Amazon’s scheme, plus there is a cost to use the available, and browser support is seriously lacking. A quick look at the comments from the above article tells an interesting story:

And those are just the comments related to this specific review. Do a web search and you’ll probably get some more balanced info. Here are a few more links offering info and details on Amazon’s Kindle:

Tags: Kindle, Amazon Kindle, E-book, OS, Ebook reader, gadgets

Posted in Business, gadgets, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tech & Gadgets: Turn your PC into an HDTV

Posted by wholeenchilada on November 13, 2007

Too cool! Turn your PC into an HDTV from cnet:

Sure, you could pay iTunes two bucks for every episode of The Office you download to your PC. Or you could add a TV tuner and record unlimited shows — in high def! — free of charge. eCost has the Viore Portable HDTV Tuner for just $55, a steal at twice the price.

(Credit: Viore)

Just plug this USB tuner into your desktop or notebook, then connect an analog cable feed or the included ATSC antenna. The latter lets you pull down HD channels right outta thin air (provided you live in a metropolitan area).

Read more here:

Can it be that easy? If so, what a great holiday gift for the gadget and electronic gear lovers in your lives!

Posted in gadgets, Technology, WholeEnchilada | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »