Category Archives: Computers

Apple iPod Event 2008 – Summary

Although week behind, let’s take a look at what the event talked about:

iTunes 8

Apple’s music player – iTunes was introduced first during last Monday’s event. The newest version, iTunes 8 is free to be download anytime now. There are a few new features on the player, but the most important of them all was the Genius function.

Genius, is a function in iTunes that automatically creates a playlist for you.

iTunes creates a playlist of other songs from your library that go great together. Genius playlists help you discover songs in your library you never knew you had — and rediscover forgotten favorites. — Excerpt from Apple

Other changes included coverflow, new ways of organizing, view, and searching (just like iLife).

iPod Classic

The only changes to the iPod Classic was – dropping the thicker version and adding more memories to the slimmer one. Since “almost” everybody, as Steve Jobs mentioned, bought the slim version, Apple has decided to stop producing the thicker one. As for the size, the slim iPod Classic will changed from 80GB to 120GB (same price as the old).

New iPod nano

I knew I was right! They have re-design the iPod nano and now introducing the newest iPod nano chromatic. Yes, they are in colors again with more choices this time. The screen is still the same, they added the accelerometer (found in iPhones and iPod touch), they improved the interface, and added a voice recording features.

With the new accelerometer added onto the new nano, you can now shake the iPod the change songs. This feature was first introduced to the iPhone. They also implemented the Genius function, without having connected to iTunes. They are available now in stores near you for:

8 GB for $149*
16 GB for $199*

*In American Dollars

The Funnest iPod Ever – iPod touch

Here’s are the changes to the newest 2nd generation iPod touch:

  • More thinner than the first generation.
  • New designs – like a side volume control.
  • New full chrome on the back of the iPod.
  • Genius added on.
  • The ability to play more advanced games. Games like Spore, Need for Speed Undercover, etc.
  • Nike + iPod support built in – only useful when you buy the Nike shoes that is compatible with it.
  • Maps location-based service – with the Map apps, it detects the closest Wifi location and show where you are.

iPod touch is now available for:

8 GB for $229*
16 GB for $299*
32 GB for $399*

*In American Dollars

Others:

  • Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic

Sources:
Ubergizmo
Apple

The not-so Anticipated Apple Event?

A week ago, it was confirmed that the next Apple Event, which occurs every year, is to held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco on tomorrow – September 9 at 10:00 AM (Pacific Time) when Apple sent invitations along with the tag line: “Let’s Rock”.

It was, however, reported that it would have nothing to do with the Macs, only iPods. This might not be new to people since they does this every year. There has been rumors going around on the Internet for awhile about new iPods, possible new designs, etc.

Somehow the event does not stir as much excitement that it use to have for me.

Anyways, here is what I guess the event would be about:

  1. Dropping prices for current iPod/iPhones.
    Price dropping of their iPods occurs every year. I am positive there will be some price dropping somewhere in the iPod lines this year as well.
  2. Increasing disk space for current iPods/iPhone.
    Probably a 40GB iPod Touch now? I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of large disk spaces! (Need more space for my iPod Touch!!)
  3. New or redesigned iPods.
    It should be about time to make something new or even redesigning the iPod Nano into an iPod Nano Touch? I would not be surprise to see a smaller size Touch though. A slimmer iPod Touch or iPhone would be sexy too!
  4. New apps introduce for iPod/iPhones.
    Surely this must be some new applications for the iPod Touch and iPhone right?! Then again I don’t think people would be interested in it with jailbreaking and hacks spreading across. They might even implement some new type of security feature against this too!
  5. Changes in the iTunes store.
    Nothing much anticipated here, since I don’t use the iTunes store at all. But most likely, Apple might add more options, completely redo of the cover albums and organization, new movies, new cooperation with another entertainment company, etc.
  6. More of those compatible products?
    Remember the AppleTV and such? I am guessing probably some improvements there with the iPods? Or even a new product that goes with the iPod/iPhone lines.

Whatever they present tomorrow, it will definitely change the iPods and iPhones in someway. Hopefully they can get rid of that volume limit thingy or fix their iTunes player. I been having trouble with the iTunes for awhile now.

Hmm… I am still not excited about the event tomorrow though. Hopefully, it will turn out the other way around and blows my mind off!

Spore: Is finally out in North America!


The newest game from the creator of The Sims — Spore is finally out in North America, few 6 days behind Australia and 2 days behind Europe and Japan. (I wonder why games always comes last for us?)

Spore is a multi-genre “massively single-player online game” by Maxis and designed by Will Wright. It allows a player to control the evolution of a species from its beginnings as a unicellular organism, through development as an intelligent and social creature, to interstellar exploration as a spacefaring culture. It has drawn wide attention for its massive scope, and its use of open-ended gameplay and procedural generation (Excerpt from Wikipedia).

The concept of this game is relatively new and Spore is definitely one of the first to bring it out. While it is hard to classify the game into one specific genre, the creator simply listed as a “god game”. The game itself can fit into the real-time strategy and life simulation genre as well.

This is one of my most anticipated game for 2008! In the game, you first start out as a single celled organism in a new world and journey through time. You evolves and obtain more features that would help your creature in its surroundings. Like a simulation of life on Earth, whereas you play as god.

Ultimately, your creature will become intelligent and form bonds / relationship. Civilization will prosper and eventually expand (or be wipe out). As more advance technology are available, your creatures would be able to build spaceships and head out to space for exploration and expansion.

That is the brief summary of what I know of the game. If you find it interests you, hurry and go purchase the game NOW!!

Sources:

Wikipedia – Spore (Game)
Official Website of Spore

Godson-3: Microprocessor Made “by” China

With the technological level on the rise, the slumbering dragon – China, is awakening itself onto the microprocessor industry. Heading into rivalry against Intel and AMD? Recently, the Chinese had announce that they have successfully manufactured their own CPU chips – one named Loongson 3 – direct translation would mean Dragon Chip. (See photo below)


(image taken from: XinHuaNet.com)

During the Hot Chips conference earlier in California, the Chinese have announce that they will be producing Quad-cores later on this year, whereas the 8-cores would scheduled somewhere in 2009. With the technology available, the Chinese hope to use their new CPU chip, implementing them onto computers, bringing the usage of computers to ordinary people throughout the country by 2010.

NOTE: “Godson” is the codename of the chips for internal developers. The word “Dragon”, which Chinese have always identifies themselves as the “sons of Dragon”, was different from the dragon of the West. Dragons were known as mythical beings that brings peace, good luck, and fortunes, while the dragons of the West contradicts it as destruction, fear, and evil. With that in mind, the Chinese changed it to “Godson”.

Sources:

XinHuaNet.com
Sina.com
Technology Review

Starcraft 2: Delayed to 2009

There is bad news for all you gamers out there that were hoping to buy Starcraft 2 for this Christmas. Actvision had stated that the game would not be ready until somewhere around 2009.

Next year’s offerings from Activision Blizzard should include highly anticipated PC strategy title StarCraft II, the sequel to one of the world’s most enduringly popular games. — mentioned by Activision Asia Pacific VP Phillip Early at the Activate Asia Pacific.

With the affect of the two company – Actvision and Blizzard – merging, I guess 2009 is better than never? Let’s just hope this time they will make it in time!

[via Starcraft Wire]

Google Chrome: Joining the Browser War?

Google, the popular search engine company have finally released their first web browser, Google Chrome yesterday for free downloading. I was only able to get my hands on a computer for its beta trial last night. While spending a few hours using the browser, I came up with the following list:

Pros:

  • Fast, clean, and simple. Instantly, I tested out the loading speed on several websites with IE7, Firefox 3, and Google Chrome. The result shown that Google Chrome was a bit ahead of Firefox, while IE was having trouble loading (which isn’t surprising for me).
  • Lightweight. Since it is still in its beta stage, it is not fair to compare it to the other browsers that are in their full version. Probably the lack of add-on like Firefox has something to do with it? But I do find it consuming less CPU usage. Another neat thing about it is the Task Manager for the tabs. It shows how much memory it is consuming.
  • A new “address bar”. Which is basically a combination between our usual URL bar and the original search bar. You can just treat it like the Google search bar and it does a normal search for you.

Cons:

  • To be honest, I was a bit confused with the buttons and the position of where everything was. I was lost finding the homepage button and the Link bar. I discovered in the setting option and was needed to be unhidden manually.
  • The browser itself collects your surfing trends, history, and other information. I don’t really like the sound of this, sounds like some profiting scheme to me. However, they do offer a function called “incognito” – where it opens up a new tab/window and anything you do there is private and will not be recorded.
  • It lacks many popular web apps supports, such as RSS. Since this IS a beta version of the browser, I won’t comment much on that “yet”.

These are just a few points I have jot down while using Google Chrome during the few hours. It is a decent browser, even in its beta stage, but there’s lot of room for improvements. Unless it have more features like add-ons, I can’t really see it taking over Firefox as my preferred browser.

For more information on Google Chrome or to obtain a copy of it, you can visit the following link:

http://www.google.com/chrome