Zune 30 gig players locked up worldwide!

On December 31, 2008 I joined the universal club of people who own 30 gig Zune players and found that their Zunes are completely locked up!

Microsoft is in almost total denial about this problem. Their site at www.zune.net states:

"Customers using the Zune 30 might experience problems starting their players. We’re aware of the problem and are working to correct it. The Zune Social might be slow or inaccessible. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!"

Every non-Microsoft forum discusses the fact that there is no problem "starting" your player. They all are FROZEN!!

Nice quality control and software testing there Microsoft! Maybe you could bring over some more H1B idiots to work for low wages, take away jobs from Americans and in general do the shoddy work that they are famous for.

Just as a P.S. (Feb. 3, 2009) I think Microsoft will NEVER fix this issue of the last day of leap year locking up Zunes, as they figure most of these older Zunes won't be in service at the end of the next leap year in 2012.

In addition, they lost over $50 million on the Zune in 2008, due to their poor marketing and product support.

Vista Ultimate x64 with 8 gigs of RAM

Due to a failing Samsung hard drive that shipped with my system, I decided to do a full upgrade on my system. I went to a 10000 RPM Western Digital (WD3000GLFS) drive for starters, then upgraded my system RAM from 3 Gigs (all that is really useful under 32x Windows) to 8 Gigs.

Even though I got the fastest RAM available (upgraded from 667 to 800), the Windows Experience program only boosted my RAM rating from 5.3 to 5.5 (everything else is 5.9).

Since there is a dearth of 64x applications, I have yet to see the system utilizing more than 3 Gigs of RAM at any time. So basically I have 5 Gigs of RAM sitting around being bored and wishing they were in a server.

I can say though that overall performance is much faster and crisper. Then again perhaps I am just imagining that to compensate for the $500 ($300 for the drive and $200 for the RAM) upgrade price.

Let Nader Debate

Ralph Nader is on the ballot in almost every state. He is intelligent, articulate and concerned about America.

He should be in the Presidential debates, even for nothing more than raising issues that need to be discussed.

Unfortunately the debate process is controlled by the two major parties so that isn't going to happen.

That's too bad as we all lose out when our two party candidates gloss over the issues.

Thermaltake cools the XFX 8800GT

I haven't posted in 5 months but wanted to mention that I did research cooling the nVidia 8800GT that I bought from XFX. To cut to the chase, I purchased the Thermaltake DuOrb which sports a lot of copper and two fans. It only cost $50 and was well worth it. It keeps the 8800 cool and runs silently.

Thermaltake no longer sells this model as they are always improving their product line, but I highly recommend them for cooling your video board.

Sony BDP - S300 Blu-ray player

Yeah, I broke down and bought a Blu-ray player after Toshiba threw in the towel on the format war.

A few things to note:

1. The Blu-ray player takes much longer to start up than the HD player which I thought was pretty slow. This is like a couple of minutes, I swear, even with the latest firmware.

2. The upscaling of SD DVDs is not anywhere near as good a quality as the Toshiba HD player.

3. Blu-ray DVD prices (which were already high) have actually gone UP since the end of the format war. $40 as a retail price for many Blu-ray titles is ridiculous.

Well, my price point is first any Blu-ray DVD under $15, then $20 and on rare occasions, $25. $15 to $20 being the sweet spot.

XFX GeForce 8800GT review

The XFX GeForce 8800GT video board is just so over the top in value! This is one of those purchases where you say to yourself “why didn’t I buy this sooner?”.

My previous video board was an EVGA GeForce 8600. The difference between these two boards, for example, in viewing and playing a game such as Hellgate: London is like comparing a drawing done with a crayon to a high resolution photograph. Without any performance tweaking other than installing the 8800GT, the frame rate in that game went from 7 frames per second to 42 frames per second. So not only was there a massive visual improvement, the speed of game play was also greatly enhanced.

The Alpha Dog graphic theme of the board, rendered on the box and the board itself looks very professional. In the box there is also an “I’m Gaming Do Not Disturb” card to hang on your door.

Although it is not documented on the XFX web site, you do need to have a 400 watt or higher power supply unit (PSU) with a PCI-Express power cord to plug into this board. I have an HP Pavilion with a quad core cpu and 3G of RAM that only had a 300w PSU. I purchased a Raidmax 650w modular PSU just to install this board. Uninstalling your present PSU is very straight forward. Simply unplug all the PSU connections in your PC, take out the four screws holding your PSU to the case and remove it. Reverse that procedure to install your new PSU. When you are shopping for a new PSU, get a modular one so that you only use the cables you need inside of your PC, which will help keep it cooler.

While the XFX GeForce 8800GT video board does have its own cooling fan, with the large fan on my new PSU as well as the case fan on my PC, I have not had any overheating issues and I tend to run my PC 16 hours a day.

This is a great board, and I highly recommend it.

April 19, 2008 - P.S. The board is too hot for me to run with my PC case cover closed. Unfortunately my PC is an HP Pavilion and the space inside is too tight for me to add a cooler to the video board.

Margot At The Wedding

Almost unwatchable. A serious waste of time for any viewer. Nicole Kidmann, Jack Black and the rest of the cast mumble their lines, allude to characters that aren't in the film and generally laze about doing nothing of any interest or meaning. Don't rent this film on DVD. It is terrible.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

A film about a back alley abortion in Communist Romania. I'm not anti-abortion, but this was possibly one of the worst films I have seen in a long time. It was boring and pointless to say the least. The acting was dreadful as was the dialogue. Avoid this one at all costs, even on DVD. Amazingly, metacritic.com gave this a rating of 97, which pretty much reinforces my belief that most media film critics are uneducated and totally lacking in taste or any amount of artistic experience.

Hillary for President and Bill for First Lady

Vote for Hillary!

Plus, as an added bonus we get Bill back! Woot!