Macbook Air vs Asus Eee Pc- Expensive isn’t better
 
The whole world is in love with the Macbook Air. From the man I admire, David Pogue, of the New York Times, to every website with the Air’s heading. But from this nerd’s point of view, I don’t get it. The specs don’t dazzle me and the battery life would leave me high and dry if I was stuck in an airport. Then there’s the price-ouch!

I wondered how it would stack up to my Asus Eee PC 1001P netbook…
 
Specs

For $999 the 11″ Macbook Air gives you 64GB Solid State drive, a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo Processor, and 2GB RAM. After you’ve stopped laughing, you realize you’re paying a premium price for an old processor. I understand the price of the Air increasing because of the SSD drive but I’d opt for hard drive space over SSD capability. They are just too expensive at this point. Unless you’re a toddler or running around a war zone, you don’t need a solid state drive.

For $299 Asus gives you 1.66 GHz Single Core Atom 450 processor with 1GB Ram and 250 HD. While I could have waited a few months and spend an extra $200 for the dual core, I don’t need it, nor did I want to want to wait or spend the cash. I did spend $40 to upgrade the ram from 1GB to 2GB. Makes a big difference when I’m streaming video and running two or three applications at a time.

The Air is a bit faster with the core 2 Duo processor, but it still doesn’t justify the $650 price difference. On both machines you’re not going to be editing video. You can do some Photoshop picture editing, but that’s the heaviest lifting.
 
Ports

We’re in sad times when mac fans are rejoicing over having two USB ports. Two. For a $1,000 dollars, I want three, and I don’t think I’m being greedy. You’ll thank me once you plug in your mouse and USB memory stick and realize the celebrating two USB was just premature. The Air also includes a display port but adapters are sold separately (welcome to the cult of mac), and a headphone jack.

The Asus 1001 has three USBs. It’s the minimum I require. It follows up with a VGA, Ethernet, headphone and mic jack.
 
Battery

Jobs and Company are predicting 5 hours of battery life with wifi. So in real world terms let’s say 3.5 hours with wifi on. This is totally unacceptable! The Air is lightweight so of course I would want to take it anywhere if I’m traveling. Even if it gets 5 hours, which I doubt, that number still isn’t high.

The Asus wins again with 9 hours with wifi on, 11 hours with wifi off. Now that’s more realistic I’m stranded in JFK time.

Apple is touting instant on like it’s some type of new technology the invented. Uh-no. The Asus 1001 will open with instant on with the touch of a button. The Air will just open to instant on. Both are wins. Just know that it’s not something new.

 

Design

Asus’ 1001 netbook line comes colors ranging from piano black, navy blue, white, pink, and red. I opted for pink because I remember the days when if you wanted your tech colored, you had to send it off to a company for a couple hundred dollars to be painted. If I was going to have my netbook painted, I’d want pink! While it’s note as paper fine as the Air, there is a compactness that makes it competitive to Apple and HP’s more polished designs.

The Macbook Air looks as sleek the spaceship in 1989′s Flight of the Navigator, and it was sleek! Not even I can deny that it is a beautiful piece of work. There was no need to change the perfect aluminum design that the pc makers have yet to capture in it’s all out coolness. I still don’t understand why they killed the back-lit keyboard, if only to make you pay for the more expensive Macbook Pros. It’s the only winning feature lacking from it’s original design. The only con to the construction is the flimsy feel. When opening it, it’s reminiscent of a wishbone about to snap. Even minus this, the Air takes the win.

Both are so light, you might forget that their in your carry case. If I’m not going far, I throw mine into an oversized hobo bag and still don’t notice the weight. Asus at 2.8 pounds, Air at 2.3 pounds; neither one loses here.
 
Winner

It really does come down to preference, and not capabilities, since both can do the same amount of work. By definition, the Asus is a netbook and the Air is ultra-portable since netbooks are deemed inexpensive. But if we rewrite the definition of netbook (which should be done by now) to mean light laptops with no optical drive, then that’s what these two are.

For me, at $350 with the ram upgrade, the rose pink Asus Ee Pc 1001 is the winner. I can’t justify a $1,000 dollar netbook, because it’s a netbook! Not a desktop or a flat screen tv. Especially, when both provide the same performance.

 

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2011 Tech Predictions

December 29th, 2010 | Posted by Sarah in PureNerdism - (4 Comments)

 

 

My favorite nerd moment of the year! I get to play Nostradamus and call out tech predictions next year.

 

-Apple Makes a TV: Or more specifically, Apple buy cheap Chinese hardware and puts Itunes and Apps on it. Basically in line with their other products.

-Iphone Goes to Verizon: Because VZ has the money to pay for Apple’s licensing deal.

-No 4D Tvs…Yet: The technology is on the way. Think 2012-2013 to be glasses free!

-HD Wii: Better graphics, faster processors something for Ninetendo to boost sales.

-Someone Buys Twitter: I’m thinking a media company: AOL, CNN, TimeWarner.

-iPad Gets Competition: Real competition. Think Google Andriod software paired with a strong hardware companies, Asus or Samsung, and HTC.

-Andriod Cellphones Surpass Apple: Apple holds the #2 position in 2011, but in 2012 Windows make major gains. Blackberry either revamps with OS or partners with Windows or Google by 2012.

-Nokia Joins Team Andriod: Kills Symbian.

-Playstation Phone:
Flops. High powered graphic intense games needs stronger harder than is mainstream for mobile phones as of 2011.

-Skype Adds Ads: Because Google taught us, the money is in advertising!

Groupon Regrets Staying Single: Nothing proprietary there. Ego or sheer nativity will be the downfall of this company. Most businesses are learning that these coupon sites aren’t generating loyal customers, either.

 

 

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The Trouble with Hulu

November 2nd, 2010 | Posted by Sarah in PureNerdism - (8 Comments)

My coffee was more interesting than the Hulu dissection this morning. Analysts wanted to know why no one was biting on their $9.99 pay-for-play deal. I sat there, laughing, silently at my desk. Really? You have no idea? None? Your lacking content is the first issue.

McDonald’s money maker is the greasy beef and fries, not the salads. Those veggies are only there as a public relations campaign. So, why is Netflix, who has no power over content, winning the internet tv/movie wars? They’re commercial free.

It comes down to simple math. Hulu: $9.99 (considering a price drop to $4.99) for movies and tv from only three studios (ABC, NBC, FOX) with commercials. No cable shows, except for limited previews. Polls still show no one is interested in commercials even with the price drop. They are also blocking their website from working on Google tv, even with a subscription price. Bad idea. If I dole out cash for your app, I want to view it- everywhere- not just on a 10 inch ipad.

Netflix’s $8.99 plan includes multiple studios including those on Hulu. Showtime, HBO, Cinemax movies usually by disc only, but still cheaper than cable tv. They’re integrated with iPod touch, iPad, Andriod phones and tablets, Wii, Ps3, Boxee, and Roku.

Hulu wants to go online with the cable tv model. They want revenue both ways; from the consumers and from the advertisers. In 3-4 years this model will work. When more mainstream Americans are buying pc integrated tvs. These are the people who still sit down on Thursday night at 9pm to watch The Office on broadcast television. Their main revenue currently is via advertising, which is nothing to snicker about. These are the people who are trained to view commercials. In the next 5-7 years when you have Generation Z (born in mid 1990′s) coming out of college and living in their first apartments, the model will have to change again. They’re not going to schedule their life around tv. This affect has already begun to cross over into people in their 30s. Generation Alpha (born after 2010), will eerily be more like myself. So Hulu will win the battle, but not the war with their current model.

The last time I scheduled my life around tv was Friends in high school. By the time I hit college, I built my first media center pc and hooked it up to an analog 13 inch tv. Which is also the last time I had television set. I got to watch my precious Jerry Springer and Oprah while not missing Organic Chemistry. Since those glory days, I haven’t watched a commercial since. I mute the ones on Hulu. CNBC plus, which I pay $9.99 for, has no commercials and is well worth it to me because I can view it online whenever I travel. Sports are the only thing that I do watch live anymore. Even then, when I watch football, I let my Windows 7 Media pc record for an hour. No point in sitting through pizza commercials.

Hulu is a major win for viewers who want to stream online media and for the studios to pull in ad revenue. The only way anyone would pay for it is if it’s completely commercial free, or, keep the commercials and throw in the cable channel Bravo (USA and Syfy’s full season shows are already available). Paying for Hulu at this point feels like I’m getting hustled in a poker game. I can get watch it for free on broadcast tv with commercials; the same goes for online.

 

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You Know You’re a Nerd When…

October 10th, 2010 | Posted by Sarah in Humor | PureNerdism - (4 Comments)

 

Happy 10.10.10, otherwise known as, Nerd Day!

 

No, sorry wannabees, owning an iphone does not make you a nerd. Watching tech podcasts- nope. Playing with the Commodore 64, built your first media pc in the early nineties- well now you’re talking!

 

★ You spend your weekend writing code.

★ Paper is your enemy. You prefer the PC-version of Post-It notes.

★ You played with DOS as a child.

★ You’ve met ninety percent of your friends from World of WarCraft.

★ You’ve never bought a pc, you buy parts and build them yourself.

★ You have heated arguments over the better OS.

★ You have at least 3 pc: a desktop, a laptop, a netbook.

★ You know non-nerds buy Apple computers, real nerds run a Hackintosh.

★ You rarely see sunlight, but LCD light is mother’s milk.

★ Cooking means microwaving so that you can run back to you PC.

★ You wish all commerce was done through Cybercash (we’re not just talking paypal).

★ You run Linux.

★ You tell your doctor you have an lcd addiction. The only time you don’t look at one is when you’re asleep.

★ You knew the Syfy channel when it was spelled correctly as the Sci-fi channel.

★ You’re shocked when people pay monthly for tivo and cable dvrs. Don’t they know you can build a media center pc for cheaper!

★ You believe Shareware and bloatware is the devil.

★ Last movie you saw and was in avi or quicktime.

★ You run a dual boot pc with multiple OS.

★ The first thing you turn on in the morning is your pc.

★ Your pc is your phone, your tv, and your best friend that has a name. (Love you, Hal!)

★ You delete cookies, you don’t eat them.

★ You run a server in your home.

★ You can carry on conversations in C++

★ Your hobbies are: convert English into binary, hexadecimal, and octal and ASCII

★ You worked for Microsoft, IBM, Google, Apple, Cisco as a developer at one point or another.

★ You know non-nerds buy Apple computers, real nerds run a Hackintosh.

 

 

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Best Tech 2007 Edition

May 10th, 2007 | Posted by Sarah in PureNerdism - (5 Comments)

 

FLOPS

4. Amazon Kindle. I love books. I love ebooks. I hate the Amazon Kindle. Why? Because for $400 I can buy a whole lot of books. In good conscience I can’t recommend an e-reader for that high a price. Palm OS e-readers are around $100 (it lacks e-ink). Sony’s e-reader which also has e-ink (a display which makes the screen look like newspaper or textbook print with no backlight) is around $299. Given that the Kindle comes with free wireless called Whispernet that they build from Sprint’s EVDO broadband line, they are looking to recoup their hefty investment by their pricing. It’s a neat little gadget, especially it you’re a Mac user like me, since Sony’s Reader isn’t compatible with Mac OS. Amazon would be better off dropping the price, by at least $50. Or, Sony (are you listening), needs to make the e-reader compatible on Mac OS and create a wireless network for it to run on . Head to head. I like Sony’s design on the a similar wireless network. The Kindle is chunky and the buttons are not placed for easy reading. For example, when reading, it’s easy to accidently touch the scroll button and end up on the wrong page. Oddly, enough, the Kindle really is just a piece of wood.

3. Xbox 360 and PS3 (before the price drop). Die hard gamers have professed around the world that their main reasons for loving the Xbox was to play Halo. While PS3 players love the fact that their old games from PS1 and PS2 can play on the system, the price tag is higher than the Wii and Xbox. At $600 (mainly because of the blu-ray player), Sony committed suicide. They tried to win the HD vs Blu Ray war by integrating it into their consoles, but all they did was send gamers to XBox or Wii. But in overall sales who won? (See the tops list.)

2. iPhone. The hype that surrounded it, you can attribute it to the success of Apple’s iPod. While the iPhone is pretty much everything you need in a phone, portable browser, and mp3; that doesn’t leave Steve Jobs’ new golden child without flaws. Apple failed to offer more than one network to use the phone on, alienating most buyers from switching to At&t. Plus with the welded battery, you must ship your iPhone back to Apple to have it replaced. Also, Jobs and Co. wants to restrict what you can do once you buy the iPhone, which means, no cash payments, credit cards or checks only. Sounds like you’re renting the iPhone after paying around $599 for it. Are you kidding me?

1. Window’s Vista: Oh, Bill, what were you thinking? Window’s Vista’s release should have been rescheduled until the Window’s Team put ALOT more work into it. If this is what they spent an alleged five years working on, then I cringe. VIsta reminds me of a crappy book report: it’s Monday morning and you hand in a two pages of dribble instead of the five pages of masterpiece you knew you were capable of producing. Was the Microsoft Development Team on Spring Break? . (I honestly think they spend 6 months working on this version and 4 1/2 years playing Halo on their desktops.) For those XP users who simply wanted to upgrade, the nightmare did not end. From lacks in security patches to Internet Explorer which seems to be only good at crashing, to logging in as the Administrator to run Photoshop (it is a security risk when you do this, but this is the only way I’ve learned you can run Photoshop on Vista), Microsoft let the whole world down (it had to happen sometime, people). My guess, is Microsoft is working overtime on this one. The next version of this OS may not even be Vista to move away from the stigma (see 2008 Predictions). Bill Gates, does not like to be on the loosing end of the stick.

 

Tops

4. Wii and PS3 (after the price drop). No analyst could predict the Wii taking home gold. When Nintendo first reported they would be changing control pads to a single stick, I figured they were trying to re-invent the wheel, and not in a good way. But to my surprise, they made it a more interactive game. The control pad, of course, will not work with all game types, but for Nintendo’s line, it’s a winner.
The PS3, after the price drop made, me more of a believer. Plus a blu-ray player for around $400? If only I could find one to buy. Now, at least, you can compete with the Wii.

3. Ipod Touch: When the iPhone first came out, I was at the Apple store about a week later, just flirting with one. The main reasons I didn’t snatch one up? The $600 price tag and the fact that I was not transferring service to At&t (in Florida we have Metro PCS which gives you unlimited minutes for a flat fee of $50). I said to my friend Robert who was with me at the store, “I really just want the iPod features.” You can imagine my thrill when the Touch came out. The hard drive is small at 16KB a larger hard drive size and price decrease. Plus, you really never want anything generation one. As the iPod minis sell faster than the Grand Slam Special at Denny’s, I’ll wait for an iPod touch.

2. Elgato Eye Tv: When I pass on to the after life, there is one earthly possessions that I will definetly miss. Other from Duffy Dean (my baby persian kitty), my MacBook Pro will probably win this game. But paired with the Macbook Pro, an Eye Tv tuner makes me happier than certain men (to save myself from being sued for libel, I won’t name names). Recording tv on a laptop, not to mention watching tv as I type my many entertaining blog entries, makes me happier than a fat rat in a cheese factory. Set up itself was pretty seamless, I ran the install cd and slipped in the USB tuner, after connecting it to the cable jack.

The downside: These tuners are EXPENSIVE. They cost 10 times what a tuner for a PC would cost ( $20 for PC, $200 for Mac OS). They only reason I can see why the huge price difference is because Apple charges Eye Tv more for licenses for the tuner to run on Mac.

Drum roll please……….

1. Apple’s Macbook Pro. It’s like the Buggati of laptops (or think Fendi bags, girls). If you’re a writer, then this is no better application than Pages. Sorry, not even an open source format compares. With iLife, you can tweak blogs (or video blog!!!), create movies and photo project, record music from a keyboard, and edit videos. All of which can be done on a PC, but MAC OS does it better.

My only complaint to Steve Jobs and his androids over at Apple: you need to lower the price. Now, I’m not saying that the MBP will ever be an $500 Dell. Perish the thought! Or, if you wanna keep charging $2800, MBPs should be a gaming powerhouse! But at close to three grand, it is steep. But what can I say, I still love it. A Windows PC with comparable features will run you about $600-$1500 less depending on where you go. But remember, PCers you all have to deal with Vista and XP. Us Mac heads get Mac OS X and Leopard. At the end of the day with a Mac, you’re paying for the software. If the MBP is way out of your league, go for the 13 inch Macbooks which start around $1099. Plus, I can’t live without a back lit keyboard. I know, I’m such a girl.
Alternatives: If I had to go to the PC route, I’d get a Sony Vaio VGN-AR670 CTO or an HP Pavilion dv9700t. My PC OS of choice: Umbutu Linux or if that scares you, Windows XP with SP2 patch. Bill Gates has alot of work to finish on Vista.

 

 

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