Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy New Wii-ear


It turns out that Santa was quite computer- oriented this year, so we've got a Nintendo's Wii (it seems many people had trouble getting one this season) and a Creative Zen Vision:M.

I knew nothing about the Wii but it's silly name and how much my children wanted to get one. It turns out it has integrated WiFi and even an Opera browser (as the sample figure shows a zoomed in page). Who wants to have another browser? But ... wait, this one can even deal with flash contents ... never wanted to get those videos from YouTube on your TV set? Now you can! (provided you have a wifi network nearby).

Regarding Creative Zen Vision:M I already mentioned on a previous post: It seems to be a better deal if you plan on watching videos on it as the screen is brighter than iPod's. The white unit looks cool and quality made. The weird thing is that the four backlighted buttons require you to actually press them but when you want to click on the central scroll area no presure is required (nor a click will be felt). Scrolling through the music or video files is carried out quite nicely with the vertical scroll pad.

It is a pity that neither Creative nor Apple recognized that customers might want to attach Creative players to Apple computers. I want to thank Richard Low for his superb job on a software solution to this problem. And to me a much easier solution than the iTunes software (yes I do have an iPod too but I am not buying any DRM'ed music).

Another year, another (larger) hard drive for my kid's computer. Once again I want to rearrange partitions. This time I used the HDClone 3.1 without noticing the free version does not seem to offer an auto-expand feauture, so I ended up (10 hours later) with the same partitioning the old drive had but on a larger one. I fixed the problem with a LiveCD of GParted (as Knoppix 5.0 QTPart did not work this time on one NTFS partition). Fortunately GParted nicely expanded the size of the C drive from 60 to 150 GB in a minute or so. I really recomend you this tool for your partition table plumbing work.

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