Are we all perhaps linked by invisible bonds? Do the actions of one affect others, even if those others are far away? Our lives and the universe itself may be all part of a single mechanism in which all creatures and events are 'entangled' with one another.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Geek Tech Spending Spree !

Being the patriotic American that I am, I did my part to stimulate the sluggish economy by going out and spending some hard-earned cash to buy a mini-notebook computer and wireless keyboard/mouse, and a small wireless mouse to go with the mini-notebook. No need to thank me...I was just fulfilling my duty as a citizen, playing my part in the economy.

Plus, I get some cool, new geek tech toys to play with--yay!

On Friday I bought an Acer Aspire One mini-notebook (or netbook, as they're calling it) computer. Ever since my laptop computer died last summer, I've been wanting another laptop/notebook. When I saw this one was on sale at Staples, I checked it out and read some reviews and decided it was the one to get. It is a cool little mini-notebook that runs Windows XP (I plan to add Ubuntu Linux to it as well). The specs are as follows:
1-Intel Atom processor running @ 1.6 Ghz
2-1 Gb SDRAM
3-120 Gb hard drive
4-Built-in webcam
5-SD card memory expansion slot
6-Multi-card reader slot
7-Built-in Wi-Fi (wireless internet)
8-Three USB ports
9-VGA monitor port
10-8.9-inch CrystalBrite screen

It comes in other configurations as well, with slight variations, but this is the one I bought.
It boots up quickly, and the screen, while smaller than full-size laptops, is very bright and clear.
The keyboard is not that much smaller than other laptops or even a regular desktop keyboard, and I have no trouble typing on it. Even with my poor typing skills! The weight is just over 2 pounds, which makes it much easier to carry around. My old laptop weighed 8.5 pounds, making it a bit of an effort to lug around. Not that I carried my old laptop outside very much, but used it more as a desktop replacement, but I can see myself taking this little computer with me much more often. Which means I can always have access to my addiction, the internet!
It doesn't have a built-in CD/DVD (left out to save on size & weight), but as I have an external DVD drive, this isn't a problem. Of course, you can do anything on this machine as on any the 'net, watch videos/movies, play games, etc. This will come in handy on a long bus/train trip (that I occasionally take) as I can load up a few movies, some music & games and be entertained along the way. This Acer Aspire One is not much bigger than a portable DVD player, and can do so much more than just play movies.
Now for the price...actually it was pretty reasonable at $349.99 at Staples. I saw it through an email from Acer, checked out Staples ad online, and hurried out there Friday to snatch one up.
Luckily I had saved up a little money, and decided to make this my birthday present. OK, my birthday isn't for 3 weeks yet, but why wait?
After I purchased it I went across the street to a mall, where I sat down and unboxed it, as I was anxious to play with it. Couldn't wait 'til I got home...hehe! While trying it out and waiting for the computer to load some drivers and do an initial setup, several people stopped to look and ask me about it and where I'd gotten it. They were impressed to see such a small computer.
I didn't take this photo, found it on a review site.

Oh, and it comes in several colors. I have the Sapphire Blue one, as pictured above.
And one final thing--it's just such a cute little 'puter, you have to love it !
Related links:
Acer Aspire One

Next on my spending spree, on Saturday I headed to a mall just because I was bored hanging around at home. My plan was to maybe see a movie, but there wasn't anything playing that caught my interest. So I wandered into the Best Buy store to kill some time and check out the tech goodies there. I decided to pick up a small wireless mouse to go with my new mini-notebook (see above) which I found rather quickly. On the same aisle were wireless keyboards as well, and I have kind of wanted a wireless keyboard, but never wanted to spend the money to get one, as standard ones are available so cheaply. And I have several at home, from various computers. But then I spotted this one that just looked so cool and techie that I started to drool (well, not literally). After looking at it and a few other ones, I convinced myself that I had to have it and grabbed one before I changed my mind.
It's the Logitech MX5500 Revolution (cool name, huh?).

OK it was a bit pricey, at $140, but it has a wireless mouse, too!

It also has an LCD display that shows time, temperature, media info (such as song title,artist, etc.), favorite key assignments, even a key counter that tells how many keys you've typed (although I really don't know why you'd need that info.).
The function keys are programmable so you can set them to open your web browser, word-processing program, or whatever you would like. The keys along the left side control your media player's (windows media/iTunes) volume, play/pause. They are keys that also work with Windows Vista different screen display features.
Three small keys on the lower right side under the numeric keypad will open Windows Media Center, a photo gallery, or Windows Gadgets (under Vista). One handy feature is that it has keyboard shortcuts, such as copy/paste, printed on the front of the keys, so you don't have to remember them. I rarely have used those keyboard shortcuts, since I usually can't think of where they are located, so this is really nice. A "zoom" key (left edge of the keyboard) allows you to zoom in or out on webpages, which is good on sites that have small print, or you just need a closer look at that hot porn site!
It uses Bluetooth wireless which gives you about a thirty foot range. The wireless laser mouse has some cool features, too. It scrolls very fast, allowing you to scroll through a long document or webpage quickly. Two small side buttons let you move forward/back when browsing web pages, even a tiny button on top that opens up your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo!, etc.) , and a side scroll wheel that allows you to activate Vista's Flip3D feature to flip through documents.
The mouse is rechargable and has its own recharging base, while the keyboard uses 4 AA batteries which, according to the manual, should last 180 days.

Related Links:
Logitech Cordless Desktop MX5500 Revolution

My other purchase was a small HP wireless laser mouse to use with the Acer mini-notebook. Nice and works very well, but not as cool as the Logitech mouse shown above.

So that is the story of my geek tech spending spree. Now I'm broke again, but at least I have some fun new toys to play with, during the coming long cold winter days and nights.

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