I’ve choosen the Dell XPS 1210

Dell XPS 1210

I've made my mind up, I'm going to go with the Dell XPS 1210. It really came down to the MacBook vs the Dell XPS but ultimately the Dell won because its simply very powerful and the 9 cell battery can give up to 4.5 hours worth of normal use (wifi on). This is insane, and although its thicker and heavier that most 12 inch laptops, its got all the features you would normally see on a 15 inch laptop. The Thinkpad X60 lost out because its hard to get it very configured in the UK and the price made it a non-starter
when you added the 2.0ghz Core Duo 2 processor. Dell also just added a discount of 50 pounds on the XPS and a free USB TV tuner if you order before 2007.

What tipped me over was the reviews by a few bloggers and notebook reviewers (notebookreview, cnet, ). Don't get me wrong the Macbook did well in these reviews (notebookreview and cnet)
but I got the general feeling that its lack of extras really let it down and although I can get a good deal out of it. I would always feel like I was missing out on things like card readers and usb's ports. These might sound stupid to most, but everything I own supports SD cards and even my new batteries for my camera support USB. So realistically I can take a XPS and Canon S3 on holiday and nothing else. (no card readers, no usb cables and no charge cable for the camera).
Once Moixa bring out device driven batteries I'll be able to add my Sanyo Camera to that list too.

Dell also offer a 2 year warranty and support as standard with the XPS which suits me perfectly. I can extend it later if I like and I know the Apple Care is good but I was really put off by some of the things I heard about long delays, etc. Dell tend to be quite good about replacing machines.

So what about the 2gig of ram I loaded into the MacBook? Well I've selected the 1 stick 1gig option for the XPS and decided I might put in a 512meg or another 1gig myself using Crucial's memory wizard (41 pounds for 512meg and 82 pounds for 1gig). Also please note, once you add a 120gig hard drive to the Mac Book it hits £1000 with only 1gig of ram, so the Dell isn't that badly priced (although you do get the faster 667mhz memory
with the Mac).

Some people will also turn their nose up at my choice not to include a Nvidia Graphics card but its an extra £230 and I'm not planning to do anything more complex that second life or some X3D stuff. The intel card can support OpenGL and DirectX 9.0 and runs cooler – so I'll be happy enough. This means I can spend the extra money on the 9 Cell battery and Bluetooth card. I was also tempted to get the 802.11(pre) N card but I'm worried about it using more power because its dell not Intel, plus I really don't
need it. You may also notice I didn't add the free Vista upgrade to my list, I might add it because its free (11 pounds p&p) but just not use it. I looked into installing Linux on the XPS 1210 and it seems not too difficult.

The Dell XPS 1210 isn't as beautiful as the Mac Book but nor is my current Toshiba Portege 3500. But Funny enough the XPS 1210 is built from the material which kept my Toshiba safe all these years and it looks like the same machine from the lid. Its certainly road ready. The last thing which I think convinced me was Dell Media direct. This is buttons for DVD and CD playback without having to boot into Windows. The latest version goes one step further by being able to play mpeg3's from the HD and Storage cards,
do file transfers, play office files, etc. It seems to be a cut down version of Windows Media Centre 2005, so I'll be very happy being able to do quick and dirty things like watch files on the train without booting up windows.

Anyway, here's my current setup in the Dell basket,

  • Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7200 (2.0 GHz, 4 MB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB)
  • Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005
  • Premium XPS Service, 2 Year (incl. Gaming and On-Site Support)
  • 12.1″ WXGA (1280×800) TFT Display with TrueLife™ and integrated 1.3 mega pixel web cam
  • 1024MB 533MHz Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM (1×1024)
  • 120GB (5,400rpm) Hard Drive
  • Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW with Software
  • 5-in-1 Multi Card Reader (MS, MS Pro, SD, MMC, xD)
  • Intel® Media Accelerator 950 Graphics Up to 256MB shared graphics memory
  • 9 Cell, 80Whr Lithium Ion Primary Battery
  • Intel® Pro WLAN 3945 Internal Wireless (802.11a/b/g 54 Mbps) for Core 2 Duo Processors
  • Dell™ Wireless 350 Bluetooth 2.0 Module (up to 3Mbps) with Enhanced Data Rate
  • Money Off Savings: Save £50 inc VAT
  • £1,041.35 (includes VAT & Shipping, nothing to Pay Until December 2007)

Thanks to everyone who helped me decide what to get. I almost got a macbook but its lack of features is perfect for someone who just wants a great laptop. I'm more a tweaker and the extra features on the dell will be used by me. Now does anyone want to buy a Toshiba Protege 3500 Tablet PC with a noisy fan?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

The new LennyHenry.TV show

Lenny Henry.tv show

Ok this came out of the blue – LennyHenry.TV . Started at 22.35 (GMT) for Mins: 30

Lenny Henry takes us through the best comedy shorts available on the internet, from the most outrageous CCTV to exclusive online TV

I can't seem to find anything about it on the BBC site except for the bit above. And for some crazy reason no one at the BBC has even registered the domain LennyHenry.TV! There was some more information on the Tiger Aspect productions site

So about the show. Well its Lenny Henry commenting and playing some of the funniest and most shared videos across the web. Yep its like the a cross between America's most funniest home videos crossed with Diggnation. Graham Norton use to do a section on his show where he talked about something internet related but it lasted all of 4mins while Lenny Henry's show is 30mins. In the first showed classics like the treadmill
and dancing cop.

Although I'm in two minds about this being on BBC One, It was good to finally share this stuff with my parents. Lenny Henry's funny commentary does add to the show and his general natter with the guest nicely takes it out of the America's funniest home videos category. I look forward to hearing what others thought soon.

I'll certainly upload a part somewhere for review
. I've uploaded it to Blip.tv for now

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Day Break has been axed?

Taye Diggs and Victoria Pratt of Daybreak

Oh great! What is it with American networks and getting rid of shows before they get a chance to get going? I'm not saying Daybreak was the next Firefly but you know what – its damm ignoying. I mean its only meant to be a mini series between the break in Lost season 3 but come on. Its actually not that bad and I was looking forward to seeing what else would come from the series. Now I have to watch it on ABC.com via a proxy
because I can't see it in the UK, but it even that looks unlikely.

According to Lost-Media, “Day Break�, the show that was supposed to fill the void during the Lost hiatus, has been pulled by the network.

The entire story-arch of “Day Break� was planned for a single season, so it’s sad to see that ABC doesn’t have the balls to stick with it until the end. Even though the show only attracted around 4.5 million viewers, canceling a show that was going to end pretty soon is both cowardly and unfair to the 4.5 million who watch it and were looking forward to the conclusion.

ABC has said that fans will be able to follow “Day Break� online at ABC.com, but couldn’t promise that all the remaining episodes would be available on the website.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Buying a new laptop, last minute thoughts

So I'm on the look out for a new laptop. The Apple seems like a good deal (I can also get quite a percentage off). Also from what I've been reading I should get a Intel Core Duo 2 chip, at least for the 4meg Cache and future 64bit processing support but its not essential to get a high clock speed. Hard Drives
have doubled again, so I dont need to worry about that. Here's top of my list at the moment, bearing in mind I only want a 12inch laptop (13 if I'm pushed)

Apple Mac Book = 2GHz Core Duo 2 with 80GB HD and 2gig of memory is £1,014.01 (1 year AppleCare)

Lenovo Thinkpad X60s = 1.66Ghz Core Duo 2 with 80GB HD and 1gig of memory is £1,021.98 (3 years warranty)

Dell XPS M1210 = 2Ghz Core Duo 2 with 120GB HD and 1gig of memory is £960.22 2 years warranty)

Toshiba Satellite Pro U200 = 2Ghz Core Duo 2 with 100GB HD and 1gig of memory is £1,173.83 1 year warranty)


All support 12.1inch screens (bar Mac with 13.3inch), WXGA (1280px by 800px) except the X60 which has plain XGA, dual layer DVD burners, Wifi and Bluetooth. Although I had to add Bluetooth to the Dell configuration. The 2Ghz models have 4meg Caches. The PC;s have card readers while the Mac does not. The X60 and U200 both come with biometrics. The Dell and Mac have a built in Cameras and those new Express card slots (aka not PCMCIA). All have Firewire and USB2 ports,
the mac only having 2x while the X60 and U200 have 3x and the Dell has 4x. The mac loses out on a lot of things here but I've loaded it with 2gig of memory and its still cheapest machine generally (and thats before my discount even). I even did a test config at 1.87ghz and it came to under £950, but its also got the 13.3 inch screen. I like the Dell and X60 because they both have options for bigger cell batteries (9 cell in the Dell), Svideo and bigger warranties. Generally the U200 is too expensive
and its really down to the Dell, X60 and Mac.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

When the long tail makes the most sense


Rachel wrote this good post about Twitter.

Twitter is still small enough to be fun – although that may change. Suw today asked if there was an optimum Twitter friend pool size. There probably is, which will vary by person and how much data you can browse. We’ll get the power users, with plenty of friends and far more followers. Others will keep it private and contained. It’s the Long Tail curve all over again.

This certainly says to me, its not good to just add contacts to twitter like most people do on social networks. The more you have the less relevance it has and more noise you will get. And in a service like twitter, this could render it pointless (like watching the public feed). Yes I know you can change who your following but this is a pain like sending a user a direct message (notice how many people use the syntax @username). So generally the degrees of separation are kept small. I mean who wants to pay for
5 updates every minute on their phone? Or even see them in their IM client.

I've noticed this is also very key in another social service. Upcoming.org has this great little feature which shows you all the events your friends/contacts are also watching or attending. This is a interesting feature but like Twitter, you don't want to add too many friends otherwise it becomes like the public feed and has very little relevance.

meta-technorati-tags=friends, seperation, degreesofseperation, upcoming, twitter meta-send-pingbacks=true meta-auto-trackback=true

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

The Venice Project

So thanks to Libby Miller, I got my request to join the Venice project fast tracked. I have just loaded it up on my desktop machine and its quite impressive so far. Its by the guys who brought us Skype/Kazaa and is basiclly a streaming IPTV client. Its really made for the full screen TV experience, rather that windowed viewing due to its sofa like interface (think Apple's Frontrow that XBMC or Windows Media
Centre). Anyway, Business week did a bit about it in July and there's more screenshots on Flickr. But expect more details from me with lots of screenshots, once I read the non-disclosure notice again in full.

The Venice project screen

meta-technorati-tags=, , , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

This week in Media: Content is King

This week in media

This week's podcast from those guys at This week in Media was a great review of the media landscape in 2006. The break points are these…

  1. The move to online video, the rise of YouTube, TV networks put shows on iPods and online, movies beginning to sell via digital download and podcasting grows.
  2. The new media economy. New models emerge for the monitzation of online media, changing distribution models, and the rise of those that will sue rather than change or lose control.
  3. Camera revolution – Red, Silicon Imaging, cheap HD with HDMI, dropping cost and the move to full digital heralding the death of actual film.
  4. HD-DVD and Blue-Ray DOA? Is there a future?
  5. Would you like to play a game? Did Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo lay the groundwork for the future of gaming and interactive media, or did they miss the power up?

Its almost a 2 hour podcast, but its worth every second in my view.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Live and Direct at Volume

Volume at the V and A, London

I spent some time experiencing Volume today. I took 256meg of pictures and almost 2gig of video (which I'm uploading now). The video is in 720p but medium quality High Definition Mpeg4. If you really want to get a feel for Volume, do check out the non-flash versions which are as smooth as it really gets online. And of course do actually go and experience it yourself. Here's some of best shots with my new
Camera. Its great having a Digital SLR with 12x zoom!

Volume encorages you play

Volume in action

Walking across the grid of Volume

Somone looking up at a pole

People look on

More Camera shots

Look into the light

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

I’m in the market for a new Laptop

Yes my Toshiba Protege 3500 TabletPC is pretty much on its last legs when it comes to the CPU fan. It works but rubs against the sides making a nasty noise when the CPU is working. I'm not that bothered about selling it because Sarah could use it at home. But I can't even use it at work because of the noise it makes.

So whats my list of features?

  • 12 or 13 inch screen size (which supports at least 1024×768)
  • 512meg of memory min (upgradable to 2gig)
  • at least 40 gigs of hard drive space (4800-5400 rpm, ideally SATA 150)
  • at least 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 802.11 b/g Wireless
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • at least a 1.4ghz Core Duo 2 processor
  • SD reader (8 in one would be better)
  • All this for less that £1000 and interest free credit for at least 6 months.

Currently on my list I have these laptops

There not perfect, but they give you an idea of what I like. Any other suggestions? And please no laughing about the fact I'm considering getting a bloody Mac Book. See I told you I was open minded on these things.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Are you paying attention? My touchstone review

Touchstone in action on the desktop

I just posted up a review of Touchstone's Alpha on my pipeline blog. While I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, it's self described as a alerts/updates and attention management platform. What ever that is – it is, it's certainly a move forward beyond the standard RSS reader or online aggregator. I just can't wait for it to use less resources and
add more adapters.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Why can’t my im app or skype read my current twitter status?

Why cant things read whats currently set as my current twitter

When you see it like this it makes a lot of sense. But I've had to set 3 messages almost exactly the same 3 times over. I should be able to set it once and that be the end of it – surely?

You can read more about this on my Flow * blog

meta-send-pingbacks=true meta-auto-trackback=true

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Molly goes head to head with Bill Gates on Commitment to Webstandards

Molly is simply awesome. She recently asked Bill Gates about his Commitment to webstandards and didn't let him play it off.

Molly: On behalf of the constituents that I represent . . . standards-oriented developers and Web standards supporters around the world, I think they see a tremendous leap forward in IE7 and the work that has been done as well as the evangelism, the outreach. What would you say to the people that remain skeptical about Microsoft’s agenda in terms of committing to the implementation of standards for the browser and other development tools instead of this paranoia that seems to be out there that Microsoft
wants to own the Web
. What would you tell the skeptics out there regarding your commitment to the implementation of open Web Standards in your products?

Bill: I don’t know what it would mean to own the Web. It sounds attractive! [group laughter]. We’re a software company, and we write software tools that let people do productivity, content, write applications. You know, we have our track record. I don’t know what date you want to start in. 1993, when we started IE 1.0, or 1995 when we shipped Windows 95, or when we shipped IE 4.0? We have our track record.

Molly: Well that’s the irony. You [Microsoft] were always ahead of the curve until the IE6 issue occurred, and this . . . five year gap really caused some issues for the development world, and that’s continued.

Bill: No, no. Come on! There’s stuff in IE 4.0 that people are starting to take advantage of. I mean . . . script has been there!

Molly: Scripting, yes.

Bill: Well? Now people are finally using it.

Molly: Well, how about CSS support specifically? It comes down to CSS implementation . . .

Bill: Well, okay. That is up to Dean . . .

Molly: [amidst laughter] Oh, I see, passing the buck, Bill?

Bill: No, no, there’s two things. There’s what we expect we’re trying to do; and the state of implementation of the things we’re trying to do. We’ve done the Mea Culpa . . . that yes, we should have kept the browser innovation curve to be a more continuous curve. Believe me, we wish that we’d done that differently. Dean’s group is getting more resources, and so you’ll actually see us not only going back to the state of what we were innovating before but actually innovating at faster speeds than we were before.
A lot of that has to do with implementing standards. It also has to do with doing user interface things that make our browser a cool browser and ultimately preferable for people to use.

Molly: But the question wasn’t answered, which is: What is the commitment?

Bill: Who has done more implementation of Web standards than Microsoft? I mean . . .

Molly: I’m not arguing you. I’m asking a question . . .

Bill: No, no but eventually a question has to be answerable. What did we do in 1995? What did we do in 1996? What did we do in 1997 . . . you can skip like three years and say we did nothing. We didn’t do anything proprietary, either! That’s criticizing not our intent, our strategy, that’s criticizing our execution and we fully accept that. But every year for 13, 14 years now we’ve not just followed and implemented standards, we’ve contributed. This WS stuff, . . . we contributed more Web standards than anyone!
We have our smartest people who go and work on that stuff . . . we just did the OpenOffice . . . our office XML formats we contributed to them . . . we’ve got XML at the core of all our products. Back in 1996 it was us and a few small companies that proposed XML in the first place. At some point you just have to say hey, look at our track record and if somebody’s track record doesn’t prove something you, then I’ll probably never convince you of something. What is it that we’re not doing? You know if you name
some obscure thing and say hey, Microsoft ought to do more on that I’ll probably just send Dean mail and say hey, she said that such and such a thing we should go and do and we’ll go and do it . . .

Molly: That’s absolutely what’s happened, and I’m acknowledging you for that and Microsoft for that. I’m just saying there are a lot of skeptics still out there.

Bill: How can they be skeptical? I guess if your job is to be skeptical, you’d hate to be out of a job!



Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Volume at the V&A

Volume in action

Volume looks like something I dreamed about when I was clubbing in the early 90's. A club with bar graphs through-out the dance floor which react the music in real time. I know it didn't make sense practially but nor did a 6 walls of lasers completely covering the dance floor. I'm going to have to check this out to see what its like in person. Its on at the V&A till Jan 28th 2007. So make sure you don't miss it. I hope to do some recordings in HD and hey get some good snaps with my new camera. The website for UVA is
very heavy on javascript but the pictures are worth looking at. So who's up for going?

Found via We make money not art

Right click here and select ‘Save Target As’ to download video directly.

V&A and Playstation® present ‘Volume’, created by United Visual Artists and onepointsix as part of the Playstation®season. Photographs by John Adrian.

A luminous interactive installation has transformed the V&A’s John Madejski Garden this winter. Volume is a sculpture of light and sound, an array of light columns positioned dramatically in the centre of the garden.

Volume responds spectacularly to human movement, creating a series of audio-visual experiences. Step inside and see your actions at play with the energy fields throughout the space, triggering a brilliant display of light and sound.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]