Steam's Autumn Sale - Deals change daily at 1PM EST.
I picked up Portal 2 for $10.79 (sale has expired), the Oddworld Box for $3.74 (expired), Orcs Must Die for $3.74 (expired) and Two Worlds 2 for $13.74 (yep- also expired). Check back after lunch to se if there are any deals you can't pass up... :)
Amazon's Black Friday Sale - Deals on all kinds of games and accessories for the three day weekend:
So far, I found Duke Nuke'm Forever for $6.79 and The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings Digital Premium edition for $16.00; these deals are still rolling as I write this... :)
It is, however, pretty thick- I assume this is to allow for a larger battery- but this can be over looked.
One feature that really annoys the Hell out of me is the lack of physical volume control buttons; I do not like scrambling to find the soft menu volume controls when an app/game volume is much too loud.
I can definitely say that this device will NOT be a suitable replacement for me as an e-book e-ink device; scrolling down a zoomed in page in a magazine is way too jerky- the image tearing reminds me of a video game that has v-sync turned off.
For some reason the Kindle Fire is a 16x9 screen format- and none of the books or magazines in the market are natively this size; makes me wonder why Amazon didn’t go with a 4x3 screen format… I mean this was primarily designed to be an ebook/magazine reader, right?
About an hour after I opened the box, I became bored and figured out how to root it…
After that I installed the Google Apps and fixed the Android Market, I installed ADW launcher to replace the Kindle Desktop.
Just for the irony, I also installed the Nook reader…
In summary, the Kindle fire is a decent Android tablet, good for games and web browsing, terrible as a book/magazine reader. For the $200 price, you will be hard pressed to find a similar device- unless you look to the Pandigital devices.
Personally I am seriously considering returning my Kindle fire and picking up a HTC Flyer from BestBuy for $100 more…
I have been using a D-Link DGL-4500 for a few years as my home router. I have tried many different models from Cisco, NetGear, D-Link, Buffalo, Belkin and Asus looking for a better router, but the DGL-4500 has been a very solid performer and has features that I want/need- such as DHCP reservations, specific port forwarding and port translations. Tonight I gave the Apple Airport Express a try- and so far it looks pretty good.
One issue with the Airport Express is that it does not do MAC address cloning- which is fairly useful for carriers such as Comcast that cache the MAC address and tie it to to the provided Internet IP address.
I have a Motorola Surfboard SB6120 cable modem and I found that it has a standard IP address of 192.168.100.1. Putting this address into a web browser brings up some interesting information about my cable connection- including a ‘Reset All Defaults’ option that should clear the MAC address that is bound to the CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) info for the modem. I say ‘should’ as it did not appear to actually reset when I tried it. Instead I found a way to have the modem recognize a new MAC address.
- Unplug power from the cable modem and the router (Airport Express)
- Disconnect the Ethernet cable between the modem and the router
- Plug in both devices, letting them boot independently and complete their startup (look at the lights on the modem/router to see when it is done).
- After the Cable modem is done, wait another full minute.
- Plug in the Ethernet cable between the cable modem and the router broadband connection
If all works like it did for me, the cable modem should recognize the new device and use its MAC address for the new CPE. It takes about a minute to reconnect to the internet, but it should complete. If not, then you will probably need to call Comcast tech support and tell them you have a new router and they can clear the CPE info remotely.
To setup the AirPort Express, you will need an iPod/iPad or a Mac with the AirPort Utility. This will be detected in network settings on an iOS device, or it is under Applications –> Utilities under MacOS. If you are using a PC, you will need to download the Windows Airport Utility from Apple before you start trying to configure this new Internet connection.
I have been fairly impressed; the AirPort Extreme allows for separate private & guest networks, has a decent DHCP reservation system and has a pretty intuitive port forwarding setup. Fore example, I was able to create a forwarding rule that forwards TCP 80, 21, 3550, 4550, 5550, 5511 and 8866 in one statement (these are used for GeoVision remote monitoring).
Range seems pretty nice on the Apple device; I will try it out for a few days and see if it is really worth the $180 Apple is asking for it… :)
The Target store in Buckhead (on Peachtree) is having another awesome blow-out sale on games they are discontinuing- such as:
- PS3 – Aragon’s Quest for $7.48
- PS3 – Hunted: The Demon’s Forge for $7.48
- PS3 – Iron Man 2 for $4.98
- xBox 360: Create for $4.98
Several others around the same prices; these are just the ones I picked up.
The device I purchased is running a flavor of Gingerbread and has a single core 1Ghz CPU and 8GB of built-in flash storage. I immediately installed a 32GB MicroSD to allow for music and other media storage.
The device is very responsive- much more so than any other Android phone I have owned (a list which currently includes the HTC G1, Motorola Droid, HTC Incredible, Motorola Droid X, Google Nexus One, LG G2x and Sony xPeria Play) which is what I have come to expect after trying the Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy S phones in kiosk displays.
This device is designed to be an iPod Touch competitor (even the box it cam in looked eerily familiar to an Apple iPhone package, including white ear buds) and it does a pretty decent job. The main issue I see with this tactic is the device thickness (to accommodate the large removable battery)- however this shortcoming is readily overlooked when you consider the better cameras, inclusion of a GPS module and microSD expansion. If you have a mobile hotspot, another sell point is the Galaxy Player makes for a good turn-by-turn GPS device via Google Maps navigation.
The battery lasts about two days when on 'standby' and lasts most of a day when listening to music or audiobooks. I installed the Audible app and listened to a book for almost 6 hours over Bluetooth headphones and the battery was still over 50%. Video and CPU intensive games do draw the battery down a bit faster (as anticipated). Plants vs Zombies looks great on the 5" screen I and playing for 30 mins dropped the battery charge about 8%; if the battery drain is linear, I estimate I could play for about 5h 20m before needing it would offer a low battery notice.
I love the form factor and performance of this device, but for me personally it will definitely be a YADIRDNN (Yet Another Device I Really Do Not Need). With the upcoming release of the Galaxy Nexus I am sure this device will end up on eBay soon thereafter.
This device is perfect for someone that already has a phone and wants a nice Android device without a service contract. It makes for a good MP3 player, but I find the iPod Touch to be a little more enjoyable to use- and the size/battery life ratio of a Touch is near impossible to meet.
If you are an iPhone user and you want to try out the Android ecosystem, then this is the perfect device for you. However, if you are a Android phone owner with a fairly recent device, there is not too much new here- especially if you are a Galaxy S/II owner- and I would recommend looking elsewhere if you are in search of a dedicated MP3 player.
This morning I opened Google Reader and found it had been updated with a new interface and a tie-in to Google+; the same has happened for Blogger. I like the new look, but the new navigation & search bars are taking up about 20% of my viewable screen of my laptop (1440x900)- hopefully there will be a way to change/turn these off in a future post.
I found an easy way to root my Verizon Sony xPeria Play (R900x) and I was able to use Root File Explorer to free up some space by removing the Verizon crap-apps (Verizon Navigator, MyVerizon, Verizon Apps, etc) and my removing the built-in apps that can be moved to SD card once re-installed (Skype, Kindle, etc). There is a good post on XDA Developers that has info on which apps are safe to remove and where they are located.
I am still waiting on my Google TV update on my Sony NSZ-GT1 player. I received an email stating that updates will be rolling out 'over the next few weeks', but I want this update now!
It appears that USPS has updated their tracking page; it now looks like it belongs in the 21st century.
I am so ready for the Galaxy Nexus phone to be released on Verizon; hopefully Verizon will not screw me over by charging $200+ more for a subsidized phone with a 2 year contract renewal vs. new subscribers on the same contract. If this is the case, I will be porting my number over to Google Voice, canceling my Verizon account and coming back as a new user (except that I will loose my 'unlimited' data plan- d'oh!)