Dear Dell

Aug. 21st, 2009 10:07 pm
trixtah: (boom)
I broke my vow, drunk the Kool-Aid, and ordered a very spunky new Studio XPS from your website. It has an excellent spec (1GB graphics, 4GB RAM, 64-bit OS freely upgradeable to Windows 7 (of course, I'll be dual-booting Linux), back-lit LED HD screen, and Blu-Ray), gets great reviews, and is pretty damn good value for money. After all my previous experience with Dell, personal and professional, I compromised myself to order from you (but I still won't buy a desktop or server from you!1!).

But this is all I see on your website now, day after day after day:
We have received your order. It may take up to 3 business days for your estimated delivery date to be available. Please check this page again to view your estimated delivery date. 

It's been 6 days since I ordered!!! FIVE business days!! I give it all up for you, and you scorn my sacrifice. I feel taken advantage of, used and abandoned. The little greyed-out delivery status icons that step through "Work in Progress", "Manufacturing Build Complete", "Shipping", "Arrive in Australia", "With Carrier", "Delivered" are just there to tantalise me. Woe!


No love,


P.S. Dear libido, you can fuck the fuck off as well right now. I'm not in the mood.

trixtah: (Default)
While I'm on the topic of listening to music, can anyone recommend to me a piece of (preferably free) software, for Windows or Linux, which allows me to cue up two tracks and play them simultaneously, while being able to flip the output channel from one track to another?

What I'm doing is encoding some music and I'm trying to decide whether I'm imagining I can hear the difference between q6 and q7 in ogg vorbis encoding (equivalent to VBR MP3 192 and 224 kbps). It'd be nice to be able to flip between the two tracks while they're playing in parallel, so I can see if the cymbals sound discernibly different in a particular passage, for example.

Of course, this isn't helped at present by the fact my headphones have started buzzing on some of the bass notes on the right side. Meh.

trixtah: (Default)
Gadgets useful for cutting things - I found an Australian-based "law enforcement" site that has some very handy little items.

Five-in-one tool on a carabiner - including a rounded-end knife, screwdrivers and (of course) a bottle opener. And it's a pretty blue colour (also comes in black, of course).

Serrated rescue knife - serrations that look like they'd cut through anything, with a screwdriver tip and incorporated window punch. And another one, which also comes in orange (no window punch). Or "combi-edged" rescue knives, which come in blue and black.

A more standard knife with a nice rounded end. This knife looks pretty gnarly, and has a bright orange lanyard, but not too sure about the tip (blunt chisel end, but might be hard to get under things). And there are lots and lots of other kinds of knives, which may be somewhat less practical unless you're going to stab things or cut them up.

A very sharp-looking rescue hook that will cut through belts, rope, strapping, etc., and handily flicks out of a very compact case

I like the multiple-use aspect of this rescue hook, and the bright orange lanyard, but again with the ouchy finger holes.

Another rescue hook that looks easier to actually use, with a larger case/handle rather than finger holes, and which will apparently cope with cutting diameters of over 3¾ cm.
trixtah: (Default)
But I really think he should stick to music, rather than "designing" ridiculously-priced, diamond-studded vibrators. I won't be hanging any such thing around my neck for a night "on the town" either - even if I happen to attend an orgy. As for the accompanying guitar pick, well, I might come up with a sexual use for that. I suppose it's important to some people to protect their fingernails. Or look like a pretentious wanker.

Steel vibes look great, but diamonds, graffiti, the stupid guitar pick and 2 grand? I suppose some Americans might be able to pay for them out of their "stimulus packages".

trixtah: (techie)
I will be getting the Sony Ericsson G705 next year. Sexy looking (a slide-out number pad), fast internets, nice interface, and, hah-hah, wi-fi support. And the capability to install all those Java apps like Gmail that I currently use.

So I'll be getting naked internet (no phone carrier) at home, and using Skype Mobile installed on the phone for the few people who require a "landline" (like my mother). The phone will be hooked up to my wireless LAN while I'm at home, and I can take calls that way. Eee!

My current phone is still chugging along ok after its recent washing exercise, but it'll be 5 years old next year, so I don't feel too bad getting an upgrade.

PS. Still only supports Memory Stick Micro for expandable storage. Glargh. At least there are those memory stick -> SDHC adapters available.

trixtah: (Default)
Well, after my phone had its lengthy wash yesterday, I took the battery and sim out and left it near the heat pump vent, which blows warmish air into at least one room of the house. After a couple of hours, the screen looked mostly clear, so I put the battery in, and it went BING! "Insert SIM". Eee.

So I left it there a full 24 hours, and came home to find the screen entirely cleared up. On reinserting the SIM and battery, it booted with no problems, alerted me to a new voice mail via a text message, and successfully made a call to pick up the message. So it appears to be working.

So while it isn't the coolest kid on the block, I have to say that a Sony Ericsson K750i is a bloody trooper of a phone. This is the second (but by far the worst) time I've immersed it, it's been dropped, kicked into concrete walls, has fantastic reception, and a single battery charge lasts at least a week. The interface is good - not yer iPhone, but also not yer wierd LGs or still-crap Motorolas - synching contacts and suchlike works fine, and so does Bluetooth. I don't care about the camera or music playback (I'm not into device convergence yet), although it does actually play music well, and it has quite good FM reception. It still only has GPRS, but I use my Blackberry for work mail, and the Gmail app that is installed on my phone displays emails on there quickly anyway. Oh, and installing any phone Java app is a breeze, and they all work. Finally, you can update the firmware anytime you choose via the SE config tool, unless you're unfortunate to be on Vodafone or some other network that cripples your phone.

So, yay, I don't need to buy something new, because nothing out there is grabbing me right now. Although I am getting a new Blackberry Bold tomorrow - yay gadget fun!

And if you want to contact me, the usual number is working again (obviously).
trixtah: (Default)
Vroom vroom!

I like mowing lawns, although - memo to self - ensure the doggie poo patrol is carried out before mowing the back lawn in future. Ick.
trixtah: (Default)
I boughted one and I'm posting from it right now.The keyboard is a bit ticky-tacky, but my hands are small, and wireless networking (WPA) and web-browsing is working fine. While some people grizzle about the touchpad, it's fine for me too, although the actual buttons for it aren't great (you can still double-click by tapping on the pad).I got mine in basic black, which alas is not a glossy finish, but the matt effect is probably more practical.

I wish FF had a feature like Opera where a page is zoomed to fit the screen width and you can navigate with the mouse. Scrollbars get irritating, and of course most sites these days are made for larger screens. But I've installed Adblock and some of the menu optimising add-ons, so it's all good. While the speakers take up quite a bit of real estate, their sound isn't much better than the usual tinny reproduction from laptop speakers. However, sound is fine with headphones on. The "Music Manager" is simply Amarok, and that's a nice piece of software that plays well with portable media players, including iPuds.

This is definitely going to be my "travelling device", once I load a few ebooks on it. Movies and music play back fine. It uses a custom version of linux, but in just the same way you don't bother about your phone's OS, the simple interface on this lets you do what you want to do. Fun fun!
trixtah: (techie)
Still happy with my iPod and Rockbox, although I will actually get another iAudio next time, assuming their product remains as good. I avoided it this time, because I didn't want to shell out for a full-blown portable media player (ie. big screen - 480x272 px, and more chunky), and the X5 range has a clunky look I never liked. I had the M3, which was groovy, but it's getting a bit tired in looks.

So, comparisons:
Very very groovy interfaceTired interface, but functional
I looove the touch wheelControls were slightly strange, but the little remote unit was handy - no need to keep taking the whole thing out of your pocket
Case scratches badly - it scratched when I laid it on the pouch you're supposed to store it in! (I bought a protective case for it... for $30)The case is functional and doesn't ding that easily... and it's not so fantastic-looking that you care
Tons of accessories. Although not cheap. Apparently no small line-out adapter with a charging port exists. Paying $125 for a stereo dock+charger suxBugger-all accessories, because it comes with most of the important ones in the box... a line out/usb adapter which also contains a charging port. You can also get a car charger and radio adapter (the only accessories I want other than line-out).
Sound is not that great out of the box (or with the Rockbox loaded), but I'm improving it slowly. Not sure if the audio hardware's not quite as good yet.Sounds great out of the box, using some of the presets, although the earbuds are pants (but better than the Apple ones, actually)
Locked into iTunes to load data, and only MP3 and AAC audio. Subvertable with Rockbox.Comes with every audio format you can think of by default. Acts as a normal USB drive when plugged in
No radio, without buying yet another accessory, or recording functionalityHas both, built in.
Constructs a database based on ID3 tags to play music (so does Rockbox, if you enable it)Uses a folder tree, so you can play directories, or playlists that you construct. I didn't mind this, because I either wanted to listen to an album, or just the whole thing on shuffle

So, all in all, I'm content with my purchase, but I do think clobbering you for so much cost for the extras is ridiculous. I do miss the simple little adapter the iAudio had with its line-out, USB and charging connector all in the space of 2 x 5 x 0.7cm-ish. And the sound quality, although the iPod is ok. The iAudio looks comparatively expensive initially, because the base unit is still only 20GB, and, let's face it, the interface needs major sprucing, as does the unit design, but the value of the extras thrown-in by default certainly compensates to a large degree.

Continuing on the techie front, I loaded the latest version of Ubuntu onto my Toshie (M5) laptop last night. Everything just worked. It notified you about using the proprietary Nvidia video drivers, but loaded them anyway. The wireless networking worked instantly, connecting to my ADSL router/modem via WPA with no configuration other than the correct password. I needed to download VLC for videos, but that's because it pisses over the Mplayer offering (and I couldn't be bothered downloading every codec to make the latter more functional). Even in Firefox, I got prompted to install Flash from within the browser, which it did and it worked instantly.

The only tricky bit was repartitioning the disk to get enough space for Linux. The default live CD install didn't manage to do it, so I downloaded the "alternate" install and used the manual method to shrink the NTFS (XP) partition by 20GB and chuck Ubuntu into the empty space. That CD uses a "text-based" install, which is just as user-friendly as the GUI kind, IMO. Oh, and Ubuntu now loads the NTFS drivers by default - the whole of my C: drive is browseable, no problems at all. Honestly, relying on NTFS permissions for security on a local machine is a joke if you've got access to a Linux boot CD.

So, if anyone is thinking about trying Linux, but hasn't quite gathered up the courage, I feel that the "Feisty Fawn" version of Ubuntu is definitely consumer-ready for those who have a slightly above-average computer knowledge (ie. you've used such arcane things as Usenet, or FTP, can burn a CD from an ISO image, and you've installed software using means other than "next... next... finish"). Although, actually, I think an average computer user would be fine with it if they were willing to get to grips with a slightly different interface, and to poke around a bit.

PS. I've been having a bit of a music festie with myself, as you might imagine, with re-ripping my CDs. I've just done PJ Harvey, and took myself over to YouTube to finally watch some more of music vids that I haven't seen (only bummer about no TV... until now). Man, that woman rocks
trixtah: (Default)
...but I'd love to have one or more of these little dudes on my desk.

(via boingboing)

ETA: Updated link to point to a better pic at Propaganda, who make the cute things, as well as some other funky little gadgets.


Dec. 27th, 2006 06:17 pm
trixtah: (techie)
I have fairly idiosyncratic spending habits. Really, my base ethos is "easy come, easy go", although I am exceedingly anal about paying bills. My two main Achilles heels are spending on travel and food. However, a couple of times a year, I'll go out and spend some money on some gadget or other that I don't have an immediate use for. I'm worse with this when I'm feeling pinched financially - oh, the irony - and if I've been "good" for an exceedingly long time. Since I don't remember the last time I did this, it must be coming up for at least a year.

Since I've been playing around with drawing lately, I thought one of those el cheapo drawing tablets might well be the thing. Sure enough, I found one for less than $150, which was my upper limit. Unfortunately, I also found a very dinky little no-brand network-attached storage enclosure, for just over $100. When then meant I needed to get a HDD that would go in it. I was very restrained, and kept myself down to 250GB. Of course, if I were really going to be economical, I would have ordered all the above online for probably about 20% off. As it was, nearly $500 down the gurgler in the space of half-an-hour. Bad me.

Don't worry, this isn't an angsty post, I can actually afford it. It just means an extra week added to my debt-repayment schedule, and slightly less free cash till the bloody 5th of Jan. It's funny that I never have these impulsive moments when I'm feeling rich, though. :-)

I went off and donated blood as a small measure of penance. But the NAS unit is working beautifully, on both my Linux and Windows systems. It even has a sleep mode to put the disk into hibernation if you haven't accessed it for X minutes. Yay. Now to see if the tablet will work on Ubuntu. ...
trixtah: (lust)
I don't care about what mechanism appears to make astrology work more often than not, but I think it's often just as valid as a lot of stuff that's spouted in the realms of psychology and sociology. However, I don't swallow it whole; I take it as it fits (with much of that realm of stuff).

So, the moon was in Scorpio when I was born. This apparently means that I can be "Brooding, Intense, Motivated, Dominating, Spiteful, Loyal, Creative, Suspicious". Well, hm. I only brood occasionally. I'm not in the slightest bit spiteful or suspicious, and I'm not terribly motivated in general. I don't think I have fantastic willpower. In fact, the only qualities I totally agree with there are "intense" and "loyal". However, Milton Black has some more relevant things to say:

You have strongly pronounced likes and dislikes.  (Really?!)
You tend to hold what others would term peculiar moral and social ideals. (*cough*)
You cannot abide criticism of your actions, because you hold fast to your ideals and try to live by them. (At least my reaction to that kind of criticism has somewhat improved with age!)

But a common theme for us moon in Scorp types is a liking for privacy. For me, this isn't the same as liking secrecy, but it can tip over that if someone starts digging too hard at something that doesn't concern them. Not something that happens to me that often these days. When I was a kid, I used to love reading stories about houses with secret passages and priest's holes and the like. I would spend hours fantasising about building tunnel networks under the house. Ok, literally escapist fantasies, heh, but they have a specific kind of form.

Getting to the point (yes, there is one), I WANT one of these secret rooms!!1! Aren't they bloody cool? I wouldn't be sticking a study or a studio in there, though. I'm sure I could come up something a lot more interesting to put in such a funky kind of space. If I ever get to build my dream house, I'm going to get one of those.
trixtah: (Default)
Honestly, it's bizarre. I clear up about 3 things in my head, write two confusion-untangling emails, get one nicely positive answer, AND I just fixed my MP3 player, which had been giving me gyp all weekend.

Why is it all suddenly working?

I'm think I'm going to eat some disgustingly greasy fish n chips. Hormones. Particularly bad this month, it seems. :-D
trixtah: (Default)

One terabyte. USB2. $AU1200.


Actually, I've noticed a trend where terabytes etc are expressed as 1000GB, when of course, they should be 1024GB. What do we call them then? Metric terabytes?

trixtah: (Default)
I like knives, I always have done. I'm not into buying Japanese steelware because I want to pretend to be some kind of samurai, but because they (generally) have the best steel. Ideally, I'd like about 4 (good) kitchen knives, but I'm seriously tossing up whether to just jump for an all-round santoku for now.

So, while I was having a good old browse, I came across the best Japanese knife site so far. There are groovy pics on how the knives are made, and nice wee stories and potted histories on random pages throughout:
Knives in the early days didn't have any decorations. They were tools of beauty, born for simple and practical uses. Knives were made for durability and people carefully maintained knives for a long life. There were very few foolish people who let rust or other problems spoil their precious tools. In those times, neglecting to maintain tools was to repay kindness with ingratitude.

And that's a philosophy that I can go along with. So, I'm wondering if they're any good, because they're bloody reasonably priced. Even if they're just adequate in Japanese knife terms, I'm hardly a sushi chef, so they'd be more than good enough for me. hmmmmm. I don't need one exactly, right now, but I am missing having at least one decent knife...
trixtah: (Default)
I was going to rave here about my new toy ($150 off, woo hoo!), but I saw a BIG omission with my list of things I love doing.

Reading. For god's sake.

Would I rather read than have sex? Generally not. But reading is bloody crucial to my daily life. Not having a book makes me go seriously buggy.

Still, it doesn't mitigate the fact that my preferred activities involve consumption and not creation. But, man, I so value the creativity that gives me the things I love.

[And I can't yet rave about the other toy (not exactly work-safe, although nannyware probably won't react) I bought in Melbourne, since I haven't had an opportunity to try it out on someone yet. And they'd sold out of these (not worksafe either), the buggers! It's my g/f's birthday in a week, what am I supposed to do?]
trixtah: (Default)
I've pretty much tortured my Koss Portapro headphones to death, so I decided it was time to go out and get something suitable for use with a Walkman (and HDD unit), that is something less than $150 and has decent sound. So I found the Sennheiser PX 200s for $100. Bloody excellent buy.

There's a great case that comes with them, which, if I ever put the headphones back into it, should protect them even from ME. There is excellent sound reproduction and separation. It isn't in the slightest "crystalline" though. The bass is excellent too, for the size of phones. The sound in general isn't as warm as the Portapros, but I'm not missing that. There is some pretty effective sound-baffling too (again, for the size and cost), so I probably will not be wearing them while cycling in traffic.

The real test, though, was listening to Massive Attack's Angel (from the Mezzanine album). After achieving that blissed-out, so-totally-immersed-I-couldn't-focus-my-eyes feeling, I decided that they were pretty damn good. The mid-range isn't as prominent as I'm used to, but that might be to do with the fact that everything else is presented so clearly. However, if I had a device with an equaliser, I would probably be boosting that and the upper-low range. Possibly personal preference.


Apr. 28th, 2005 05:23 pm
trixtah: (Default)
Private Eye does a column about once a month called "Neophiliacs", where it enumerates a ton of things which state that X is "the new black" (although this month, everything is apparently the "new rock and roll").

Well, I myself am getting totally sick of everything media-playerish being called the "new iPod killer". I mean, give us a break! Here's a Google search that returns 421 entries...


I admit my prejudice: I wouldn't buy an iPod in any case: a) I encode my music in OGG, and while there're rumours that you can hack the iPod to play those files, it kind of defeats the purpose of buying these devices in the first place; b) I can't stand white as a colour (except on crisp cotton or linen shirts, or tablecloths).

I need to get a Cowan iAudio M3 or maybe an M5 when they finally come out. Apparently the M3 has got pretty good earbuds, but I think I'll go for these (in spunky blue).

Sushi USB

Apr. 13th, 2005 10:57 am
trixtah: (Default)
I want one.

(Well, not really, since they've got too small a capacity and are overpriced, but aren't they cool?)


trixtah: (Default)

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