My Morning Routine

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I got a new HP notebook at work, along with a 30″ LCD monitor. As I said in my original post, I am really happy with the way the thing performs. I was able to convert a 30-minute video in about 10 or 15 minutes (a process that took upwards of four hours on my old computer) with no major slowdowns while working on other activities.

However, I am annoyed each morning when I have to go through a rather rigorous process to get the computer started up and configured properly.

Following are the tasks I have to perform every morning before everything on the computer starts working the way it should. If anyone has any suggestions on how I might be able to get these things working a little more efficiently, I would be grateful to hear them.

  1. Start up the computer, login to Windows.
  2. Restart the computer to get dual-head working properly (my HP LP3065 30″ monitor always seems to be recognized when the bios starts up, but once Windows logs me in, it is nowhere to be found in the device manager or display setup, no matter how many times I press the appropriate function button on my keyboard – after a restart, however, it is usually recognized just fine and my dual-head configuration goes back to the way it was when I shut down the computer the day before).
  3. Connect my Bluetooth headset.
  4. Go to the Bluetooth settings and disconnect “hands-free audio”, then connect “Bluetooth stereo audio.”
  5. Remap all of my shared network folders.
    1. Because I am logging into my local computer rather than logging onto our Windows domain, I have to sign in with a separate username and password.
    2. If I instruct Windows to reconnect my mapped network drives at login, I end up getting locked out of the network altogether; to the point where I can’t even login to our Exchange server through the Webmail interface.

Microsoft Announces HD Zune

Microsoft announced today that the new incarnation of the Zune will feature a touch screen, HD radio and HD video out (720p), among other things. The Zune HD will also feature a Web browser with a QWERTY keyboard. Strangely absent from the list of new features is bluetooth support.

At this time, that’s about all that’s been officially released about the Zune HD, but I’ll be interested to see how this shapes up. I honestly don’t understand why bluetooth (A2DP) is not being added to the new Zune, as that’s one of the big ticket items still missing from the iPhone and iPod Touch. If Microsoft were to introduce more high-quality games and add support for bluetooth stereo headsets and bluetooth file transfer, the Zune HD could finally begin to rival the iPod.

I have to admit, though, that the HD radio tuner built in is kind of cool. I still think that Microsoft needs to develop its own app store for the Zune, though.

My New Toys

For the first time since I began working at my new job, I finally have a computer better than my home PC. I got a new custom-built HP 8730W laptop last week and packed it to the hilt with the top-of-the-line materials available from HP.

This, along with my iPhone, is another step toward preparing for any type of crisis or disaster that may occur at the College. Until now, I’ve been tied to either my desk or my home whenever updates needed to be made to the Web site. However, in the future, I’ll be able to go anywhere in the world that has a wifi connection (or, based on some rumors I’ve heard about “tethering” being part of the upcoming firmware for the iPhone, anywhere there’s an AT&T cell signal) and update the Web site.

What’s Missing from the iPhone?

As I use my iPhone 3G more and more, I notice more and more things that frustrate me about it. Please don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining about the iPhone; I am simply positing ideas as to what I would like to see added. As a Web developer, there are quite a few things I would love to see added to the device. If you know of any iPhone apps available that perform any of these tasks or actions, please let me know.

Let me make this clear, however: I will not be jailbreaking my iPhone. Even if the phone was not owned by the government (which it is), I would still have no interest in jailbreaking it.

The iPhone Vs. The Zune

Having recently acquired an iPhone, I thought this might be a good opportunity to attempt to compare the iPhone with the Microsoft Zune and see how the two stack up against each other. Obviously, the iPhone is going to have some capabilities that simply cannot be matched by the Zune, but I think you might be surprised to see how they stack up when evaluated strictly as portable media players (PMP).

I do love my Zune, which will show through in this article a good bit. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am not a Microsoft fanboy, nor am I an Apple fanboy. I do have a certain bias against the iPod (mainly because of the iTunes software), but I have tried to write this article as objectively as humanly possible. I am definitely open to comments about any mistakes, incorrect assumptions, etc. I make in the article. I am not, however, looking for fanboy comments from either side spouting subjective opinions about whether Apple is better than MS or the other way around.

In my personal life, I am almost exclusively a Linux user, which makes it difficult to truly enjoy either device. Keep that in mind as you read my opinions on the matter at hand.

The iPhone – My Review

A few days ago, I got an iPhone from work. I have played with it a bit, and have to say that I’m impressed for the most part. However, there are still quite a few issues that I would love to see solved. Following is a list of the pros and cons of this gadget, as I see it.