Another great reason to get an Eye-Fi

I found a rather interesting and amusing story on Yahoo! News, this morning when I logged into my account.  It seems that, while a woman was on vacation in Florida recently, her digital camera went missing.  She feared that her camera, and the pictures that she had taken during the vacation, were lost forever.

Much to her surprise, though, her Eye-Fi memory card connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot somewhere along the way and uploaded not only her photographs, but the photographs that the thieves had been taking with her camera.  There is no word within the story as to whether or not the criminals were found and arrested, but at least she got her pictures back. If I was a little more skeptical, I would almost swear that this was a publicity stunt arranged by Eye-Fi. :) It sure seems like a great reason to drop the extra cash for the gadget.

More About the Zune

Zune LogoIn my last post, I discussed the latest software and firmware updates for the Microsoft Zune. There are a few things I forgot to mention in that post, and in my initial review of the Microsoft Zune. One of those items was the fact that the player refuses to recognize DRM-protected audio files in your “watched folders”. I also neglected to discuss the options available in the Zune software for converting your audio files before adding them to your Zune. I also failed to mention the fact that the Zune software updates finally added the ability to tag your video files.

DRM Files

For me, the fact that the Zune software would not recognize DRM files was especially annoying, because the only DRM-protected files I had on my computer were ripped directly from CDs that I own.

I did not realize, however, that there was an easy solution to my particular problem. I must have initially ripped the files using the Gigabeat Room software that came with my old Toshiba Gigabeat, as all of the files in question were in WMA format.

Zune Software Update – Zune 2.5

About a week ago, Microsoft released Zune 2.5, the latest update for the Zune media management software.  Apparently this software update adds in some functionality that was previously removed (smart playlists) and adds quite a bit of new functions.

Other than the addition of smart playlists, Zune 2.5 didn’t really add any functionality that I envision myself using very often.  I found a very good, accurate review of the new software and firmware on Paul Thurrott’s Web site.

I Wish Everything Was This Easy

crucial.com logoAs I mentioned in a previous post, I recently went through the trouble of restoring our family computer to its original factory settings in order to try to get a little better performance out of it. However, even after all of that work, the computer is still performing fairly poorly.

Therefore, I went to the Web to look for some fairly inexpensive options to upgrade the computer. I happened upon crucial.com. Now, I’ve heard the name of that Web site thrown around on a lot of forums, but I have never bothered to visit. In the past, it was fairly easy to purchase memory upgrades, because there were only a handful of different kinds, and every memory stick worked on every motherboard.

Reformatting a Computer is a Tedious Process

About a week ago, my parents provided me with the recovery discs that originally came with the eMachines computer they gave my family last year.  The computer has been running dreadfully slowly since they gave it to us, and it’s been getting worse by the week.

Of course, the kids are the main users of the computer, so I’m sure it’s become chock full of all kinds of tracking cookies, spyware, adware and everything else from the various things they try to download.  Therefore, I decided to completely reconfigure the computer, starting with the recovery disc.

I backed up the handful of files that were on the computer that I needed, and then restarted with the recovery disc in the drive.

Zune 2.0 – My Review

Well, I’ve now had a Zune 2.0 80 gig digital media player for a little while, and I’m ready to offer up my review.

First of all, let me preface this review by getting the following facts out in the open:

  1. I, personally, have only owned one other digital media player, which was a Toshiba Gigabeat F-40 (which was actually an early predecessor of the Zune). I have a bit of experience with a Creative Zen and using a PSP as a digital media player, too.
  2. I have extremely limited experience with iPods, so I can’t comment too much on how the Zune’s features compare to the iPod’s
  3. Although I am in many cases anti-Microsoft and to a certain extent pro-Mac; I am, oddly enough, pro-Zune and very much anti-iPod.

Now that I’ve explained my limitations and biases, it’s time to move on with the review.

What’s in the box?

The 80 gig Zune comes with the Zune itself, a user’s manual, a pair of “premium” headphones and a Zune sync cable. It’s quite a step down from the box my Gigabeat F-40 came in (which included a cradle, a software CD and a remote control, too), but it seems fairly standard for today’s media players.

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