Dell

MacBook Pro with Retina Display; Why We Bit

Dan: In last week’s newsletter, Judie and I began to address our first impressions of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display. I sat down to flesh out a more in-depth post but soon realized that what might be more compelling was why we both felt this computer was worth the price of admission in the first place. I certainly won’t speak for Judie, but I thought I would lay out my reasons for buying the MBPr and why, after  using it for a week and a half, I realize they were spot on. In order to fully explain why this…


Satechi Audio Cube Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

I love my iOS devices and use them constantly– but I have one problem. The speakers on the devices are terrible and I love to listen to podcasts, especially when writing for Gear Diary. Headphones or speakers are nearly a must, even in a quiet room. Maybe it is too much blasting of speaker systems in high school, too many car races or too many guns, but, for me, ambient noise washes out a voice on a podcast. Given the choice, I would always prefer to go wireless. (And once you have used a wireless speaker for a time wired…


DryCASE’s New Backpack Keeps Your Gear Dry and You Happy

As a frequent rider of mass transit, specifically buses, I have to be prepared for the elements.  This includes making sure my gear remains safe if I happen to incur a sudden downpour or get caught in a snowstorm.  While my current gearbag, a Swiss Gear Cobalt does an ok job but I still wonder with the thunderstorm season upon us here in Central Ohio.  That’s why the bag above from DryCASE peaked my interest. The bag is the DryCASE Waterproof Backpack.  This bag has many features a lot of bags don’t that will help the stuff inside stay bone dry as…


Murse-Off

Had you told me not long ago that I would happily be carrying a murse I would have told you you were nuts. It’s not like I’m insecure in my masculinity but… there are limits. And the whole murse-thing crossed a line for me. That was then. This is now. The New iPad is so fast and the iOS apps that run on it have become so powerful, that it is now possible to carry the iPad instead of a notebook and not feel like you are compromising much- if at all. Yes, the iPad means there is now the…


Dell Unveils High Performance XPS and Vostro Computer Series

Dell keeps working hard to add value to the lines of desktop and laptop computers for home and business use, and as part of that initiative today Dell has announced new entries into the XPS and Vostro lines. These new desktop and laptop computers offer options targeted towards pretty much everyone – families, multimedia users and businesses. The new systems start as low as $549 and are available through Dell.com now. Here are the details from Dell: The XPS 8500 Desktop: Advanced Performance for CreativesThe XPS 8500 desktop delivers a superb user experience for creatives who demand uncompromising performance, whether…


Alienware Discontinues the m11x ‘Gaming Netbook’

Just over two years ago, I wrote my first impressions of the initial Alienware m11x ‘gaming netbook’. I found the build quality and processor a bit lacking but the design and graphics performance were excellent. About six months later, Dell released the R2 version, this time with a low-power Core i7 processor, and I absolutely adored the updated laptop. Well, except that the Optimus graphics switching system was nearly useless at launch and took some time to get correct. I always preferred the manual switching of the original system (and the Sony Vaio S-series) as it gave better battery life and…


Final Reminder to Support Dan on Zinio and Help Foundation Beyond Belief Charity!

As you might have read here, Dan is entered into the ‘Biggest Influencer’ contest at Zinio. Each day (well, 24 hour period) you can enter a new vote at Zinio and help him win the vote and by doing so gain a $2500 donation to the Foundation Beyond Belief Charity! Great cause, great way to help out – and all you need to do is click a link! And now we are into the final week – so this is a reminder to hop on to Zinio every day this week and support Dan! Here are his details: Here Is…



Intel Ultrabook Temptations, Random Video Series of the Day

Judie and I had the chance to use the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook before it was even out. We live blogged, edited images and video and came away pretty impressed with Intel’s move into the “ultralight, ultraportable but still affordable” space. Now Intel is kicking things up with a series of amusing video ads. I’ll say one thing about them… they sure kept my attention! And here’s one more.


Tales from the Apple Store

(image courtesy Macrumors) The other day Judie and I were in Manhattan for the Dell/Intel create work inspired event and we decided that we needed to make a pilgrimage to the Apple Store at Grand Central Station. If you have not been there you should make a point of stopping in the next time you are in Manhattan. The place is amazing. To have such grand open spaces as the terminal and then to have the Apple store fill in the different rooms on the balcony is nothing short of impressive. Traditional grandeur filled with the most innovative new technology –…


Vinyl in a World of Digital Music An Interview with Tom Tom Mag’s Mindy Abovitz

While Judie and I were attending the Create.Work.Inspire event sponsored by Dell and Intel last week we had the chance to sit down with Mindy Abovitz, the founder and editor in chief of Tom Tom magazine. (As an aside, we both really love the magazine and highly recommend you check it out.) While the conversation was ostensibly about the Create.Work.Inspire project, Mindy was the driving force behind it, we couldn’t resist using the time with her to ask a few other questions. One that we had been dying to ask had to do with the recent uptick in vinyl record sales. As…



Scientists Give “Fake Meat” a Whole New Spin

I was a vegetarian for 7 years, so I have eaten my fair share of veggie burgers and fake bacon (actually, fake bacon is why I stopped being a vegetarian, but that’s a whole other story). So the idea of “fake” meat doesn’t bother me most of the time, but this latest news is truly creepy-scientists are working on making “meat” using stem cells and Petri dishes. According to the BBC: Scientists in the Netherlands hoping to create a more efficient alternative to rearing animals have grown small pieces of beef muscle in a laboratory. These strips will be mixed…


Create.Work.Inspire., a Creative Destination Brought to You by Dell and Intel

Dan and I are at Dell and Intel’s third “Create.Work.Inspire” event! This time the XPS 13 Ultrabook™ is a key player in the creation of a music video!  Find more info here. If you’re in the NYC area, come by and see Dan and me as we live blog and watch the event unfold. UPDATED February, 26, 2012: A Conversation with Mindy Seegal Abovitz, creator and editor of Tom Tom Magazine. UPDATED with Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the Suzan’s Ha Ha Ha Video Using the Dell XPS 13 CHECK OUT THE END OF THE POST.


Dell and Intel Use the XPS 13 Ultrabook to Create. Work. Inspire., and We’ll Be There!

  This Thursday Dell and Intel head back to NYC for their third “Create.Work.Inspire” event; Dan and I will be there! This time the XPS 13 Ultrabook™ will be a key player in the creation of a music video.  Find more info here. If you’ll be in the NYC area, come by and see Dan and me as we live blog and watch the event unfold. The Create. Work. Inspire event will be going on February 23rd-24th from 9AM to 9PM, followed by an RSVP event on February 25th from 1PM to 9PM. Want to go? You can! Or you…


The Startech USB 3.0/eSATA Quad Bay Docking Station Review

  Image courtesy of StarTech Those of us in the IT business know that you simply can’t have enough tools to get the job done. Anything to make life easier, and give you more time to for other things is usually worth it’s weight in gold. StarTech makes some of the coolest and hard to find computing equipment on the market. Almost everything I have used from them works exactly as they said it would and stands up to the harshness of the IT worker lifestyle. Today we are taking a look at one of my favorite products from StarTech,…


Chinese Manufacturing Has Always Been Abusive – Why Blame Apple ONLY?

There was a recent article in the New York Times that pretty much singles out Apple as being to blame for the work conditions in China. Sure, they off-handedly refer to ‘other companies’ and repeatedly say ‘other devices’ as a footnote, but again and again it is Apple, iPhone and iPad that are mentioned. Apple, the company that was one of the very last consumer electronics companies making stuff in the US while taking heat from everyone about how much their stuff cost and how slow they were to move from platform to platform? All of those other companies –…


Considering the Move from an iPhone 4S to Windows Phone Titan

Judie: I recently reviewed the Nokia Lumia 710; even though the lower-end phone’s hardware wasn’t the greatest, I came away with a new respect for the Windows Phone operating system. About a week later, Dan and I were at a Microsoft-sponsored CES dinner where we were both given an HTC Titan to try. Maybe it’s because at 4.7″ the Titan’s screen was so amazingly large when I laid it to my iPhone with its 4S 3.5″ screen, maybe it’s because I was at CES and had been looking at new phones for days, or maybe it’s because I was looking…


Alesis Brings a Trio of Awesome iPad Musical Extender Docks

Alesis is a company that came out of Rhode Island in the digital boom of the mid-80’s and after ups and downs continues to be a force of innovation in the music hardware arena. They have three cool new iPad-related products introduced at the Winter NAMM show worth highlighting. Alesis AmpDock •The first professional guitar processor to use your iPad or iPad 2 for signal processing •Works with GarageBand, AmpliTube, JamUp, and virtually any audio or CoreMIDI app •Includes a rugged pedalboard controller with program, effect, bypass, volume and continuous controls •Guitar Input 1 and switchable Mic/Line/Guitar Input 2; professional…


New Alienware Gaming Laptop Cases Unveiled by Mobile Edge

  Even if you don’t have one of those super-powerful Alienware M18x, M17x, M14x, or M11x gaming laptops, you can still carry your all of your gear in style. Mobile Edge has released two new Alienware branded bags, the Orion Messenger and the Tactical Backpack … For the M11x, there are two durable cases offered. The sleek M11x Neoprene Sleeve has easy access carrying handles and an outside zippered compartment for accessories. The semi-rigid M11x Portfolio is ideal for travel with a unique design that allows you to use the laptop while still inside the case. The all new M14x has three case options which…


University Report Attempts to Mathematically Describe ‘How to Make a Hit Song’

Do you know what it takes to make a hit song? Mathematicians from Bristol University in the UK purport that their ‘Hit Equation’ is extremely accurate at predicting what will and will not be a hit. They have a site called Score-a-Hit that describes all of this. Here is a snip: Mathematical Definition To quantify the hit potential of a song, we make use of the regression technique. Mathematically, the hit potential (peak UK chart position) of a song is denoted by a variable y and a set of audio features x of the song are also presented. A pre-trained…