The Stochastic Game

Ramblings of General Geekery

Posts with tag 'hardware'

    The Roku Remote

    From The Verge: In a sign of how far Apple is willing to go to continue raising the profile of Apple TV Plus, the company has worked out a deal with Roku that will give the streaming video service its own shortcut button. This is the first time a branded Apple TV Plus button has appeared on any remote control. I’ve been a Roku user for years, dating back to when their devices were basically shitty under-powered little pieces of cheap plastic with a laggy interface (the current models in comparison are good, decently smooth-going, and get the job done).
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    The iPad Turned 10

    The iPad turned 10 a bit more than a week ago and I was somewhat shocked, although pleasantly surprised, to see the Apple blogosphere express their disillusion about ipadOS, led mostly by John Gruber’s piece: The iPad at 10 is, to me, a grave disappointment. Not because it’s “bad”, because it’s not bad — it’s great even — but because great though it is in so many ways, overall it has fallen so far short of the grand potential it showed on day one.
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    Southpaw Keyboard

    I was recently made aware of a group buy for a “Southpaw Full-Size” keyboard that has its numeric keypad section moved to the left-side of the keyboard: As a southpaw myself, I… just don’t get it. I mean, sure, as a keyboard nerd, I get it – it’s a cool looking keyboard, it’s customized to someone’s needs, and, in the mechanical keyboard community, more form-factors are always welcome. I just don’t get it that it’s marketed at left-handed people – or at least marketed as a “left-handed” keyboard.
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    Is Bluetooth Even Working Correctly?

    I’ve been critical of Bluetooth before. In my mind it’s nowhere near ready to be the default way we listen to music… but when my dear Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones1 started exhibiting balance problems, the nice people from the support department offered, among different options, to replace them with a discounted Wireless P5 model. I figured what the hell, let’s try this brave new world where everything has to run on batteries and on different versions of different protocols.
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    Design For South Paws

    Sarah Baird talks about what us left-handed people have put up with all our lives, and all the way back through history: Day in and day out, though, the biggest hurdle faced by lefties isn’t discrimination — it’s mundane, basic functioning. Almost all facets of society, from ink pens to urban design, are crafted and structured to support, abet and cater to the right-handed majority. For lefties, functioning means a constant, conscious consideration of how they can reverse or modify their natural behavior in order to most effectively move around in the world.
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    The post-PC era

    You can see this kind of headline all over the web these days, especially with Apple fanboy tech bloggers: the PC is dead, all hail tablets and smartphones. The argument is also made for video games consoles, who are supposedly on the way out to be replaced by, guess what, tablets and smartphones. Even Jeff Atwood is getting on the bandwagon. I don’t disagree with the facts here: most indicators we have on the market right now show that, indeed, desktop and laptop computers have declining sales while mobile products have an ever-accelerating growth.
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    This is why people buy Macs

    A few months ago I set out to get a new laptop for my wife. She only had one requirement, after having shared a Macbook Pro with me for the past couple years: that it ran Windows (queue OS flamewar). I quickly decided I wanted to give her something slick and light, and look at the new line of ultrabooks. I then narrowed the choices down to the Samsung Series 9 and the ASUS Zenbook by reading reviews online… but that was just the easy part.
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    The Journey to Digital Comics: Reading Device

    The first step in the journey to digital comics is to figure out what you’re going to read them on. These days, the answer is pretty much going to always be “a tablet”… but which one? I had a quick look at the market back in late 2011 and here’s how I made up my mind. First, I focused on the main ~10 inch tablets of the market. This included, for instance, the Motorola Xoom, the Asus Transformer and the Apple iPad 2.
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    Simple workaround for the iPad's smart cover's design flaws

    I recently got an iPad (more on this later), and with it I got the much hyped smart cover. I loved the simplicity of it, and how quickly you can take it off and put it back on again… However, I quickly realized that I probably had more dust on the screen while using that thing than if I didn’t have any cover at all. Among the problems I had the infamous “dust lines” – those three lines you get on the screen at exactly the same spot as the cover’s folds.
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    From Archos to Amazon

    As you probably already know, Amazon’s tablet, the Kindle Fire, was announced a few days ago. Priced at a pretty amazing $199, its purpose is more focused than your general usage tablet like the iPad or the Xoom: it’s specifically designed for consuming content like books, music and video (preferably through Amazon’s own services, of course). Although it will probably be possible to install some other apps (through Amazon’s AppStore) to do some email and chatting and gaming and what have you, it will probably be more limited than on those bigger tablets, and will likely be only advertised as the last bullet point on the list of specs, if at all.
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    Don't brick your ReadyNAS

    I have a ReadyNAS NV+ at home to store most of my data and I’ve been pretty happy with it so far… except for one thing: although it’s running a flavor of Linux that you can access as root user (if you installed the EnableRootSSH add-on), you can’t do everything you would normally do with a Linux box. First, like most pre-2010 consumer grade NASes, the NV+ runs on a sparc CPU, so there’s a lot of packages you don’t have access to unless you recompile them yourself.
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    Little wireless keyboard

    A couple months ago I made a new addition to my home entertainment setup: a little wireless keyboard named “Rii”: It’s a lot more practical to use than my previous Logitech wireless full size mouse and keyboard combo because it’s so easy to grab, do something quick, and toss away (e.g. restart a program, copy or move a few files, type a search query, etc…). Obviously it’s not as good if you want to do anything that takes more than a minute, so in that case what I do is use my living room laptop (a Macbook Pro that’s always sitting on the coffee table) to either remote desktop into the HTPC or control it with Synergy.
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    My new shiny toy: the Archos 70

    Tablets, and especially Android tablets, are going to be all the rage this year, with more new tablets announced every week than Lindsay Lohan had rehabs. Because I’m a geek with money to waste on unneeded electronics, I’ve decided to be part of the early adopters with my new shiny toy, the Archos 70. I would have usually waited on more mature tablets, along with a more mature version of Android (hopefully Honeycomb), but there are a few reasons I jumped on this one:
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    My home media & entertainment setup

    I was working on this article when I spotted that my friend Bertrand Le Roy posted on that very same subject so I’ll turn this into a reply to his. The new year seems like a good time for bragging about one’s home video setup, it seems.

    First, you may notice that my setup is quite simple because I don’t have any audio gear. Yet. That’s because until recently, my apartments were too small for me to have any decent speakers.

    Home Theatre PC (XBMC Dashboard)

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    Disable windows from resuming when opening your laptop’s lid

    One of my laptops is getting old and the lid is not as sturdy as it used to be. It now has the unwanted tendency of triggering a “laptop lid open” event when you barely touch it because the lid moves up a bit and back down. This is problematic because it wakes up the operating system, which doesn’t always detect that the lid was closed immediately. When you run an internet search about laptop lids and putting Windows on stand by or hibernate, you find a lot of stuff, but nothing useful about disabling resume.
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