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My last post October 8, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, iPod, Microsoft, Zune.
10 comments

After more than 12 months, I’ve decided to stop blogging. There are several reasons for this, one of them being that I don’t think WordPress is the right place for me to express my opinions.  That said, I don’t plan to blog elsewhere. I plan to spend less time on the internet and more time enjoying my Zune 80, which is on the top of my Christmas wishlist (yes, I’m one of the 7 people who wants one). So, to the two readers  who were reading my posts (and to the one who turned too snarky for his/her own good), goodbye! Enjoy your iPods while I enjoy (yes, enjoy) the Zune. I leave you with my reasons for liking the Zune:

  1. Supports Recorded media from Media Center.
  2. On screen resolution is 320×240 – but new Zunes will import  720×480 @30fps or 720×576 @25fps without transcoding.
  3. Wireless sync with PC.
  4. May support WebGuide in the future. I don’t know.
  5. I am hoping that by buying the Zune, Microsoft will reward my loyalty by giving me a job.

Ta ta then. Mail me at cspkcats@yahoo.com if you have any questions or comments.

UPDATE: If you want to get your daily Microsoft fix, here are a few sites that may be interesting (organized by tone):

1. I love Microsoft so much, I want to take it behind my middle school and have sex with it:

    • Can’t think of any at the moment.

2. I like Microsoft. It’s not bad:

3. Microsoft’s just another company:

4. Microsoft’s okay, but its competitors rock:

5. I hate Microsoft so much, I want to take it behind my middle school and shove a pole up its ass:

So, there ya go. Enjoy!

P.S.: An update to a post does not constitute a new post!

Microsoft sings new Zunes October 3, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, iPod, Microsoft, Music, Zune.
3 comments

OK, y’all* knew I was going to post about this, especially after writing an extensive article about the first Zune. Microsoft released details about the v2 Zunes yesterday. They’re not revolutionary, but I’m impressed nevertheless (you knew I’d say that too). The new Zunes basically come in 3 versions – 80 GB hard drive based and 4 and 8 GB flash based. The 80 Gig Zune (aka Zune 80) is available in black and is easily the most eye catching Zune in my opinion. The 4 Gig (Zune 4) and 8 Gig (Zune 8 ) models come in red, military green (which replaces brown as the new black), baby pink, and black.  See more images here. The old 30 GB model is not being discontinued. All new Zunes come with a squircle shaped click wheel known as “Zune Pad”, which is apparently easier to use. The Zune software has also been overhauled. Overall, there’s less to separate the Zunes form iPods this year (except for Touch) and I think Zune may do better than the 3% overall marketshare that it had last year. I don’t see it threatening iPod’s dominance any time soon, though.

Here’s a comparison of Zune 80 with iPod Classic.

*the two people who bother to read my posts. 🙂

The Tao of Steve September 22, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, Microsoft.
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Elizabeth Spiers has an interesting post that explains the attitude of some Apple fans such as the one I wrote about in my previous post.

I blame Steve Jobs [for] seduced me into buying his sleek machines, even if their delicate organs seem to fail with alarming regularity, like the beautiful consumptive heroines in Victorian novels.

Steve–we’ll call him Steve because he seems like a first-name-basis kind of guy–is the human incarnation of the average Apple product: He’s good-looking, he overpromises, and he’s notoriously temperamental. He evokes the feel-good indie populism synonymous with the company’s brand and manages to retain a solid reputation as a creative person while managing a $118 billion business.

The image is, of course, a facade. The dollar-a-year salaryman has been rewarded with at least one corporate jet.

We forgive Steve in a way that we won’t [Bill] Gates. We do this because outward appearances are important to us, and the products are a reflection of how we think of ourselves. Apple products are stylish and innovative. (We’re stylish and innovative!) We love Steve for the same reason. He’s creative and he seems appealingly antiestablishment. (We’re creative and antiestablishment!)

Mind you that Elizabeth herself is a huge Apple fan. Paul Thurrott has this to add:

I think this hits it on the head. What’s interesting, of course, is that the bad parts of Mr. Jobs’ personality–his prickly defensiveness whenever one suggests that an Apple product is lacking in some way, for example–seem to ooze down to the fanatics as well, as if by osmosis. You can see it in their vitriolic emails and their rabid and sometimes illogical defenses of the company in online forums. As the saying goes, they are a minority, but they are a very loud minority.

I think I should make it clear here that I don’t think Microsoft is perfect. The company makes a lot of mistakes and it’s not a “convicted monopolist” for no reason. I also think Apple makes some really good products. The iPhone (whether I think I need it or not) is revolutionary in my opinion. What I can’t stand is the attitude of these Mac fanatics. I know it doesn’t justify my vitriolic in my previous blog post, but my intention was to show what happens if one lets emotions get in the way of objectivity. It’s not pretty. I mentioned this even in my Windows and crapware post. I hope the “blogger formerly known as cotton” is listening.

PC World – Is Apple the New Microsoft? September 7, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, iPhone, iPod, Microsoft.
4 comments

PC World – Is Apple the New Microsoft?

Don’t look now, but the role of the industry’s biggest bully is increasingly played by Apple, not Microsoft. Here’s a look at how Apple has shoved Microsoft aside as the company with the worst reputation as a monopolist, copycat and a bully.

Apple the monopolist

The core complaint about Microsoft in the 1990s was that its Windows market share gave it monopoly power, which it abused in multiple ways. Attorneys General and others zeroed in on the “bundling” of the Internet Explorer Web browser, which they claimed was forced on users because Microsoft offered it as part of Windows.

And “bundling” works. Steve Jobs bragged this week that Apple has distributed 600 million copies of iTunes to date. The overwhelming majority of those copies were iTunes for Windows. And iTunes for Windows’ popularity isn’t driven by software product quality. ITunes is the slowest, clunkiest, most nonintuitive application on my system. But I need it because I love my iPods.

I guess it has to do with success. The more successful a company gets, the more enemy it makes. On the other hand, Apple has a lot of friends too … those starry eyed fans (you know who I’m talking about). Which other company can take an ugly product like the new fatty Nano and turn it into a bestseller? (Of course, the iPod Touch looks awesome.)

Apple launches iPod touch and new fatty Nano September 6, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, Computers & Internet, iPhone, Microsoft.
1 comment so far

 

Another year, another iPod redesign. In my opinion, the iPod Touch is pretty cool and actually redeemed the keynote because the rest of the products were nothing to write home about. iPod Classic may be thin, but it’s also ugly. Same with the new redesigned Nano. With the iPhone, His Holiness, Jobs actually screwed early adopters. Of course, he gave them $100 back but that was a gift voucher. What can you get for $100 in an Apple store? A Shuffle or a keyboard. What can a Windows user get? A Shuffle. Obviously, this forces people to spend more money to buy a Nano or even a Mac. Smart marketing move. Of course, no other company would have got away this easy. Maybe the Reality Distortion Field hasn’t dampened yet.

Yup, the Zune is probably doomed. I’m not ashamed to admit that I actually liked it, even though I never bought one. I guess its days are numbered unless Microsoft can come up with something revolutionary when the v2 Zunes come out this fall. However, I think Microsoft should forget about the Zune and concentrate on the phone platform. The iPhone is a blessing in disguise for Microsoft. They’re obviously working on their own version of a touchscreen consumer phone OS. Thanks to the iPhone, more hardware vendors will be interested in partnering with MS now. Also, unlike the mp3 market, which was really in a nascent stage when Apple entered, the phone market has some huge OEMs and networks. If Microsoft plays its cards right, we could have a PC vs Mac type scenario once again. After all, Apple has a five year contract with At&T.

BTW, I was reading some comments about leaked Nano photos a few days ago (I think it was on Gizmodo). Most commenters felt the product was too ugly to have been designed by Apple. Yesterday, when it was confirmed that the leaked photos were indeed real, the general consensus changed. Suddenly the new Nano was HOT! Funny. 🙂

The i Word August 19, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, Computers & Internet, iPhone, Microsoft.
16 comments

The word being iPhone (well, not a word but…). It’s been nothing short of a success so far for Apple and AT&T. Apple has probably sold a million of them already or at least close to a million. The lack of applications (that’s a feature rather than a weakness), the initial bug reports (hey, bugs are for Microsoft; with Apple, they’re called eccentricities), lack of GPS support (it has Google Maps, that’s more than enough), 3G,… hasn’t stopped people from buying it in hordes. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve checked out the device a couple of times at the local Apple store and it really is impressive – not something that I would personally pay $600 for but that’s another issue.

Frankly, I think this is a device that is capable of revolutionizing the cell phone industry. Microsoft, Nokia, Sony Ericsson all have something to learn from this. Don’t throw in hundreds of applications into the phone if you don’t provide users with an easy way to get to them. With the iPhone, the applications that you see in the main menu are all that you get and it looks . Like every other device designed by them, the first iteration is simple and lacks features. With subsequent iterations of the device, Apple will add more and more complexity without losing focus on their main goal – keeping the UI as simple and uncluttered as possible. I’m pretty sure the iPhone will cause Microsoft to either come up with a better design for Windows 7 or a new OS for casual users.

By the way, it looks like AT&T too is milking the device for all its worth. Blackberry Cool reports that AT&T has locked down “the GPS functionality in their upcoming BlackBerry 8820 so that the only functioning 3rd party software will be TeleNav.” Blorge also talks about a rumor that “the device’s WiFi will only be usable if you purchase an EDGE data plan to go along with it that was reported on Engadget.” Wow!

I’ve been enjoying playing around with my new Media Center PC. It features XP Media Center 2005. I will probably upgrade it to Vista Ultimate in a few months   – after SP1 comes out. I wonder why Microsoft never really advertised Media Center. Their stupid Vista ads focused on Flip3d. Who the fuck cares about an application switcher? Media Center has an amazing UI and has tons of features. It’s not only the Tivo like functionality where you can record, pause, and rewind live TV. You can also listen to FM radio and play songs, videos, photo slideshows on your hard drive. It also has an online spotlight which features material from MTV, NPR, Yahoo!, MSN, etc. Everything accessed with one remote control. Microsoft should change its marketing agency – really. They’re idiots.

Microsoft is dying? – deleted April 9, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Technology and Software, windows.
4 comments

The intent of this post was to start a thoughtful discussion on the topic. Instead, it quickly degenerated into a name-calling session, which is why I have decided to delete it. I have provided a link for those of you who are interested in the topic.

<This is a pretty good read for those of you who are interested in the topic.>

The iPhone Shuffle is here March 8, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, iPhone, Microsoft, Technology and Software, Vatican.
comments closed

iPShortly after wowing the world with the iPhone, Steve Jobs today announced that Apple is already working on a “Shuffle” version of the iPhone. “Like the iPod Shuffle, the iPhone Shuffle comes without a screen,” Jobs announced to a roomful of Apple fans and tech journalists. After a brief standing ovation, Jobs continued, “The phone will also have no buttons and will be entirely voice activated. It also has a unique shuffle feature that arbitrarily picks a number to call from a list of numbers preloaded by the user into the desktop software for Windows and OS X.” Jobs claimed that the “Shuffle” feature is new to cell phones and will change the way people talk. “Our competitor thought the Zune would be a social device but this is magnificent. This is the true social device.” It has also been reported by sources at Saturday Night Live that the phone will have an iGenie that grants three iWishes.

Details about how much the phone will cost are sketchy but sources indicate that the phone will be available with a 2 GB Nand memory and will retail for $59.99 with a two year contract with AT&T.

Analysts hailed Jobs’ announcement and Apple’s share prices rose to an all-time high of $1000 when trading closed on Wednesday, March 7th, 2007.

Close on the heels of Jobs’ announcement a spokesperson for Microsoft claimed that Microsoft was working on a similar product called “Microsoft Windows Live Phone Shuffle edition” which they plan to release in 2010.

In other news, an anonymous commentor on a Windows site has indicated that the Pope has agreed to initiate proceedings for the canonization of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs, as many of you already know, is already known as a “living saint” in many circles.

Macs have no viruses November 23, 2006

Posted by sk in Apple, Humor, Microsoft, windows, Zune.
6 comments

 

Flamebait? No?

In other tech news, Sidebar Geek, Brandon LeBlanc has a nice video of the Zune. By the way, our team is divided over the Zune, in case you haven’t already noticed it. planetsk didn’t like it. I did. ramare is too busy wondering why the product wasn’t marketed well to care about it. parmanu is not interested in it simply because he won’t be able to install LaTex on it.

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1st gen. Zune didn’t impress me a lot.. November 20, 2006

Posted by planetsk in Apple, Blogroll, iPod, Microsoft, Music, Zune.
9 comments

Brown Microsoft Zune

 

Went to an electronic store in the weekend to kill some time and found this..Zune wasn’t the buzz..Zune is no eye-catcher..may have good features..but cosmetically ( I usually dont go just by looks for electronic gadgets but..), iPod is much better..by looking at Zune physically..I forced myself to compare it with iPod..iPod’s wheel is way better than the click thing (whatever MS calls it). Except larger display( it may matter to some) and wireless connectivity..Zune could boast of a very few things to draw attention of the consumers..Did MS make a mistake by spending time and money on this?? I don’t know and it’s too early to say..Brown color and plastic (didn’t reduce its mass a lot) looked sloppy…though Zune seems promising it looked more conservative..Does Zune work with Windows Vista?? If not, there’s a problem..Also heard Zune Marketplace wasn’t that great.. Another problem to Zune’s future is the mixed reviews..but these were expected..My so-called expectations about Zune( its sales, looks, features etc., ) weren’t met in full..Hopefully, marketing helps MS during Christmas holidays..but Zune is competing against the titanic of MP3 players..I also hope that this product gets better with time and consumer will get the best..however, Zune 2.0 might compete against iPod 6.0 PS: I have no plans to buy a MP3 player for now..pretty happy listening to songs on web..just blogged about what i felt..

 

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