Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I don't have the latest anything

My desktop computer is based on a ASUS K8V-X motherboard with an Athlon 64 3000+ CPU. This is a socket 754 motherboard, and I built the computer about a year ago. Socket 754 is very passe these days, and if I were building myself a new computer, I would certainly base it on socket 939, and a faster CPU. (Perhaps a 3800 or similar).

My desktop replacement laptop is a Dell Inspiron 8600. This was a top of the line machine when I bought it two years ago, but it has now been superceded by the Inspiron 9300 (as the new top of the line machine, although that is a 17 inch laptop rather than a 15.4 inch laptop) and a new 15.4 inch model named the Inspiron 6000. (Actually the 8600 is nicer than the 6000, as older high end models usually have more optional features than newer mid market models with similar specs). In truth,
though, the Inspiron 8600 is still great. It is a Pentium M machine, which means it is much better than the Pentium 4 laptop I would have bought had I bought a machine six months earlier. And Dell shipped it with a 7200rpm hard drive, which improves the performance no end.

I subcompact laptop is a Sony Vaio T2XP. I bought this in June, and it has since been superceded by the Vaio TX2. This is based on a new motherboard build around the newer Sonoma chipset, has a slightly larger screen with an LCD backlight rather than a cold cathode backlight, it has an inbuild SD card slot (which is amazing for a Sony, and very welcome) and is slightly lighter. (In performance though it is pretty
much exactly the same, as Intel have not yet produced a faster ULV Pentium M than the 1.2GHz unit in my machine, and Toshiba have not produced a bigger 1.8 inch hard drive than the 60Gb unit in my machine. Both these things are expected early in the new year, and at that point Sony will produce a successor to my machine with higher performance.

My PDA is an O2 XDA IIi (aka the HTC "Blue Angel"), which I have had for about three months. Since I got it, the XDA Executive has been released (which is a 3G version with a higher resolution screen) and the XDA II mini has been released (which has similar features to the one I have plus quad band GSM, and is smaller). (Both of these also have little keyboards, whereas mine just operates with a stylus).

My present iPod is a 4th generation 30Gb iPod photo. Since I bought it in about March, it has been superceded by the new fifth generation iPod, which is thinner, has a bigger screen, and can play video. Apple have also since then introduced the iPod nano, which is much smaller and cuter, comes in black, and uses flash memory and is thus more shock resistant.

My present mobile phone is a black Motorola V3 RAZR. This is really cool, but since I bought it about three weeks ago, Apple have introduced the V3i, which has a memory card slot and a higher resolution camera, and runs iTunes.

My present TV is a 20 inch 4:3 Toshiba that I bought in 2002, and which is so out of date as to be ridiculous. At some point I shall buy a 37 inch or larger HDTV, but I want one with 1920x1080 resolution, and they almost all 1366x768 at the moment. As there are no HDTV programs available in the UK just yet, I don't really need to hurry.

I have a Pioneer DVD player that I bought in 200 for about five times what an equivalent model will cost now. The TV and DVD player have not been switched on for months, as I use my computers for watching TV and DVDs. In a year or two I shall buy an HDTV with a native resolution of 1920x1080, a Blu Ray player, and get an HDTV satellite box. Hopefully there will be HDTV PCI cards for my computers too, but it may be that the sort of copy protection placed on HDTV prevents this.

However, these products either don't exist yet, or presently (in the case of the TV) still cost about £5000, so I am leaving them for now. All my other gadgets are great and I love them, even if they are not the latest thing. In the case of TV, the latest thing isn't good enough for me.

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