Archive for March 11th, 2005

Legend of Zelda trailer

OMG! OH MY GOD this game looks beautiful! Zelda Universe has a high-res trailer for the next Legend of Zelda game up right now. The game looks even better than I imagined. This is actually a pretty impressive use of the Gamecube.

I really, really need to finish Ocarina of Time so I can move on to Windwaker and get ready for the next game. So much Zelda goodness, so little time!

My view of the iPod Shuffle

I’ve had a 512mb iPod Shuffle for long enough now that I feel I can give a fairly informed review of the device. For the most part, I am still very pleased with the Shuffle. The problems that I have with it are minor, and easily addressable.

The good:

  • While Apple is pushing shuffle play as the Shuffle’s main feature, it’s main feature is actually it’s small size. The Shuffle is so tiny and so light it is possible to take it pretty much anywhere. For example, I take the Shuffle to bed every night, so I can listen to music while I read without disturbing my wife.
  • The Shuffle produces excellent sound. Even from less-than-perfect MP3s. Most of my collection is at 192k VBR, and sounds incredible.
  • The price: I still can’t find a name-brand 512mb MP3 player for the same price ($99).
  • iTunes and Auto-Fill. Putting new music onto the Shuffle with AutoFill is quite fun. I have iTunes using my Top-Rated playlist to fill out now. But I just created a new smart playlist that has only songs I’ve rated at three stars or higher, that aren’t Christmas songs, and are longer than two minutes to use for Auto-Fill. I look forward to finding lost treasures in the 10,000+ songs in that playlsit.

The bad:

  • Default volume: While the volume can go up quite loud, there is a big difference between when I am listening through earbuds and when I hook the Shuffle up to an FM transmitter. This is easily addressed using the volume control, but I’ve been jarred by blaring music more than a couple of times when I forget to lower the volume when switching back to the earbuds.
  • Earbuds: I’ve grown accustomed to them, but my wife still cannot stand Apple’s earbuds. Sure, it’s cool that they’re the trademark white, but I’d prefer more comfortable earphones.
  • Lack of an LCD: This is on everyone’s gripe list. It is very low on mine, though. Out of the four or five hundred songs I’ve listened to on the Shuffle, there’s only been three or four times when I’ve wished I could see what song is playing. 98% of the time, I don’t miss the LCD at all. I do wish that Apple would’ve come up with some way to mark a song, so that when the Shuffle is plugged into a computer, iTunes could show a checkmark next to the marked songs. Other than that, though, the lack of LCD is almost always a non-factor.

Add everything up, and I’m still a happy customer. The iPod Shuffle works great as my secondary MP3 player. It provides me with musical entertainment on the commute to/from work and the babysitter, sings me to sleep at night, and theoretically provides me a soundtrack while I’m working out. It won’t replace my monster 10gb Nomad Jukebox, but it’s not supposed to. For the tasks I use it for, the Shuffle is just about perfect.

Inaugural post

A new blog. Yay! I didn’t want to clutter up any of my other blogs with technical stuff. But I’m a computer geek at heart, and love to talk/write about technology. Hence this blog! There should be some fun stuff here, along with some hopefully useful entries, especially for those of you who’re using Debian.

So let the games begin. This blog is now LIVE!

Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

March 2005
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