TheONbutton Durham Computer Services

Remote IT Support and Computer & Technology Help in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh NC

Thirsty Girls

In a bizarre moment of brand creation, it turns out that although St Pauli Girls are from Hamburg, their dirndls and jugs on the beer label are Bavarian and the beer itself is brewed in Bremen, which itself enjoys a local rivalry with – you guessed it – Hamburg!

Thanks to K for the research on this one.

Neil Berman

Sep 26, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

A weight off Q’s mind

James Bond’s Q was capable of many wondrous things, but unlike many of his fictional works, Samsung’s Q1 is a wondrous work of fact. That fact, unfortunately, was that the Q1 Ultra really struggled with Vista.

Going to the Samsung Experience at the TWC a few months back, the painful memory was of a killer device killed by its own CPU/OS combination. The Q1U had a couple of other flaws like the Barbie-small keyboard (see photo) and high price, but the basics like watching smooth video and loading up Control Panel in a reasonable time were scarily lacking. Vista was weighing heavy on its mind.

What a difference a difficult-to-stomach-but-sensible downgrade makes. Now that the Q1U comes with either Windows XP Tablet 2005 or Vista Premium, I decided to take it for another test drive. With XP the Q1U simply flies along. Video is smooth, web pages load quickly and battery life gets a boost to 4.5 hours according to Samsung.

I even gave the thumboard another try which, whilst not as tactile as a Blackberry or my HTC TyTN, does a reasonable job once you get used to it. It’s definitely usable and the Q1U would be a great tool for applications which require mainly mouse manipulation with some text input, such as presentation building. I still haven’t clicked with Dial Keys though!

With XP this is really a device that Q would be proud of; especially now he can watch Bond without freeze frame explosions!

Neil Berman

Sep 18, 2007 Posted by | Microsoft, Mobile | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why does my MacBook MacPanic?

Take one MacBook, add one class compliant M-Audio USB soundcard and enjoy one unstable multimedia platform.

Why does my MacBook give a kernel panic half the times I plug in my M-Audio Transit? A quick call to M-Audio later, it seems that in MacBook-land all USB ports are not born equal. The MacBook accepts the soundcard in the near port and generates a kernel panic in the far one. Yikes. Apparently there’s no fix, it’s just the way MacBook’s USB implementation works – or doesn’t work.

Meanwhile my Steinberg and Korg licensing keys prove equally challenging for my MacBook. Sometimes they get detected, sometimes not. It can literally take thirty minutes to boot, crash, reboot, reposition keys, start Cubase, pray for key recognition, start recording, get kernel panic, shutdown, try to reboot, get no display, remove battery, replace battery, reboot…The temptation to install Boot Camp is starting to become overwhelming.

On the plus side, whilst the MacBook’s Airport never managed to connect to my Belkin router it works well with my five dollar Trendnet one. Proof that happiness can come in small packages from CompUSA.

Elsewhere in Mac-land the iPod Touch seems set to be a winner. It looks like Apple has taken the iPhone platform and basically made an iCantPhone. As a portable music player there are probably better options – 300 bucks for a large-sized player with only 8Gb seems a bit steep – but the surfing and video options compensate. A slightly thicker version housing a hard drive would be killer. Pretty please Apple?

Neil Berman

Sep 15, 2007 Posted by | Apple, Audio | , | Leave a comment


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