Thursday, July 28, 2005

UPDATE!

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Whoohooo~!!! Just received my LCD from Dell. Out of the box a dvi cable, analog cable, usb cable, and monitor w/stand of course is included. I like how Dell included everything that's needed right out of the box like a dvi cable. If it was another company like Sony, I don't know if they would include that.

So I went to hook everything up and a problem came up. I hooked up my pc with the dvi input and the monitor doesn't recognize it. So I tested the dvi connection with my powerbook and bam, it worked. I tried another windows pc with dvi but no luck. So there's no problem with the dvi connection, what else could it be? I thought it might be that my video cards doesn't support the resolution of the display. But a quick google search proved wrong. I saw on a site saying, my stock(crappy) Nvidia Gefore FX5200 supports 2048x1536 resolution at 75MHz, which I assume that's analog VGA. Then it said, highest DVI output upto 1600x1200. On the manual from Dell the max resolution it supports is 1680x1050 Pixels. Going by those specs it should be ok. I ended up just going VGA on the windows and then hooking up the dvi to my mac. I'm happy with that.

After switching back and forth between screen resolution settings, every setting seemed wrong. I realized all the settings weren't in widescreen mode. So I go to nvidia's homepage and download the latest driver version 77.72. Fiddling with the settings I got it working in widescreen format. Man did it look nice. It was so overwhelming to see everything I'm used to seeing on a 20" widescreen LCD.

Another issue came up after updating the graphics drivers. My Windows Media Player files looked distorted along with any dvds I play on the PowerDvd Player. The video looked fine on a quicktime movie file though. So another trip to google and I found the solution for my problem in a forum. In WMP, I went to "Tools", "Options", "Performance", then under "Video Acceleration" I changed the bar from "Full" to the middle portion. Done. That fixed the video for WMP files. Now I need to figure out a fix for playing dvds on the Powerdvd player. Anyone with a solutions or had the same problem will be greatly appreciated.

Back to the features on the monitor. I loved the picture by picture(pbp) and picture in picture(pip) settings. The lcd has regular video rca input and a s-video input. So I wanted to check out the pbp and pip and hooked a gamecube I had laying around. Picture looked fuzzy but playable at full screen running a game. Then I hit one of the buttons and bam, I can run either a computer screen and a game console, dvd player, etc. in the corner throught pip. Or a computer screen and a video game or video(dvd, vhs) side by side through pbp. I love this feature.

I definately recommend the Dell 20" Widescreen to anyone looking for a monitor upgrade. I just saw @ slickdeals a better deal for this exact monitor $359 w/free shipping. So BUY it people!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Gmail Notifier Issues

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I've been going crazy these past couple of days cuz I couldn't use the gmail notifier extension in Firefox. No matter how many times I put in my correct username and password, "login failed" would come up. So I had to take the longer route to check my mail by going to the gmail website and logging in. So I tried reinstalling the extension thinking it might work, but no luck. Finally I did a google search and luckily someone had posted the same problem. All I had to do was update it to the newest version and I would be good to go. So I updated it to version 0.5.0 and I finally logged in with no problems.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Star Wars Episode III DVD Coming...

Star Wars Episode III DVD
For those of you that don't want to make enemies with anyone by downloading a bootleg copy of Episode III, the DVD release is planned to be released on Nov. 1, 2005. Both widescreen and fullscreen versions will be available as usual. For details, check this out.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino

Summer drinks
I'm pretty sure this is a new drink from Starbucks. I haven't tried the Tazo Green Iced Tea yet but the Green Tea Frappuccino was pretty good. I know in Japan the Starbucks has Maccha Frap at a certain time or season. It's good stuff. Go try it!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Deal on Dell 2005FPW

Dell 2005FPW
So I saw this deal on a Dell 20" widescreen LCD at this site. I've been looking at this deal for a while now and at $389 w/free shipping, I couldn't refuse. This deal comes up on and off and everytime it comes up, it seems like the price keeps decreasing. So I thought it was an awesome deal and decided to order one. The site lists the display for $389 free shipping but I live in NY, so I had to pay tax.

If you compare this with an Apple Cinema Display 20" display (link w/specs), they both use the LG.Phillips panel. There are only a few LCDs with widescreen format, so both the Dell and the Apple displays have the same panel inside. Anandtech has a good article comparing the two displays. I ended going with the Dell because of the price. If I can afford it, I would go with the Apple Cinema Displays because they look so much nicer.

Now I'm just excited 'til it arrives and can't wait. It might've expired but you can check out the direct dell homepage if you want @ dell's site. Or you can search on ebay for a better, similar deal.

Specs for the Dell 2005FPW:
Viewable Size: 20.1"
Display Type: Flat Panel Display / Active Matrix TFT - Desktop
Features: Automatic Setup Adjustment, Kensington Lock Slot, 100 mm VESA Mounting, Height Adjustable Stand Included
Dimensions (WxDxH) / Weight: 18.6" x 9" x 15.3" to 22.4" / 17.64 lbs
Image Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Image Contrast Ratio: 600:1
Max Resolution: 1680x1050 Pixels
Max Sync Rate (V x H): 75 Hz x 83 kHz
Port(s) Total ( Free ) / Connector Type: VGA / DVI-D / S-video / Composite / 4 x USB 2.0
Supported features: PIP (Picture in Picture) and PBP (Picture By Picture)
Response Time: 12ms

Linksys WRT54G extended w/an Airport Express

With all the positives about wireless networks, there are negatives: that's range. Some of you may have experience with only a couple of signal bars, resulting in slow web browsing, slow downloads/uploads, etc.

In one room with the wireless router, of course I get excellent range, and then I take my notebook to another room I get only 1 or 2 bars. So I needed a range expander and loving apple products with awesome designs, works seamlessly, very user-friendly, I went out and bought the airport express.

I loved how it's so tiny, it acts as a printer server so I can print out wireless. The Airtunes I didn't care about cuz it's not perfect.
Now, Apple says the Airport Express can only be used with the Airport Extreme base station. But with the help of google, it can be hacked with a firmware update. Every step is shown at this site: Here.

In brief, you download the firmware which is on the link and you update the firmware. Then you change the settings of the router and then the Airport Express. After those steps, you'll be up and running with a nice green light. That's all there is to it! In my experience it took no more than 15 minutes. So go for it. It's well worth it!

After setting up the range expander successfully, I wanted to setup the printer server so I'll be able to print on any of the pcs with a wireless card. I was amazed and very glad to find out that all I had to do was plug in the usb cable from the printer to the airport express. Now I opened up a site and tested it on my Powerbook. I saw in my list of printers, "Rendevous Printer". So I chose it and happily printed wireless! Awesome! I just wish it extended the range throughout my whole house. LOL. I wonder if I can add another Airport Express. Hmm?

Friday, July 22, 2005

White PSP + Version 2.0 Firmware

White PSP
Check out this site (Engadget) and this site for details (IGN).
Sony announced on July 21, a release of a white psp with a version 2.0 firmware. The due date on this is July 27th in Japan. This major firmware update is going to/the major updates that I thought were cool:

Pros
・Internet Browser- basic web browsing whenever you're in a hotspot
・h.264 codec support- high-quality video
・MP4 AAC WAVE support- you can play aac files (YES!) and wave files
・WPA Support- more secure than WEP encyption

Cons
・Security Updates- blocks emulators and self-made apps