Friday, September 10, 2010

5 Port FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs Ship for just $1.00 in September

FireRepeater-800 Pro 5 Port at EverythingHerePlus.comCheck out's latest deal: $1.00 Priority Mail Flat Rate delivery to every address in the United States on the FW8-FIO-UB5PRH FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 5 Port. Purchase a power supply (PS-12VDC-UB or PS-12VDC-UB-EUROPE) at the same time, and both items ship in the same box for the same price — will subtract power supply shipping at time of order processing. For international orders or shipping other than USPS Priority Mail, they'll apply a $4.00 USD discount to quoted shipping prices. This offer is only available on USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Small Boxes shipping to United States destinations. Offer expires Midnight, September 30, 2010.

Monday, September 6, 2010

FireRepeater resources

FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 4 PortThe folks at EverythingHerePlus have been busy as of late. One of the more important piece they've put together is Power Supply Information for FireWire Repeater Hubs like Unibrain's FireRepeater Line, which takes all the mystery out of when and why one would need a power supply for a FireWire repeater hub. The information is especially valuable for those using FireRepeater-800 PRO and FireRepeater-400 products.

Along with that, they make brief mention in Store News for FireRepeater-800 PRO gets a glowing review from IT Enquirer, of an excellent review which discusses the FireRepeater-800 PRO Four Port. An excerpt:

In contrast to its competitors, Unibrain’s FireRepeater-800 PRO has a wall mounting bracket to secure the unit in place, and the ability to screw-lock your FireWire cables in place. I would recommend the Unibrain FireRepeater-800 PRO to anyone wanting to connect more devices to his computer than he can daisy-chain, and up to a longer distance than is possible without a repeater device.

Given their breadth of FireWire knowledge and glowing customer reviews, you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to purchase FireWire products.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Farewell to the clickwheel?

Out of all the iPod's I've been fortunate enough to own over the years, the 4th Generation model iPod Nano has been my favorite. It struck the perfect balance of size, screen usability, and heft in the hand.

What made it best for me though, was that incredible click wheel. There are people that will probably be happy to see the venerable clickwheel go, but they're are superior to multi-touch screens in two significant ways.

  • Pause/play, skip songs, without looking at the device.
  • Fine tune volume without looking in a more elegant way.

While younger folks might not appreciate the second too much, for most of us, turning volume up and down with a knob seems more natural. Sure, that's a relic of potentiometers. Nevertheless, I find the circular motion of clickwheel volume far more granular and controllable than a series of buttons or onscreen controls.

Multi-Touch screens are great for some things. Yet I can't help thinking that Apple has gone a little overboard here. Some people argue that music collections are too big for the original iPod navigation system chickwheel support. There may be something to that, but I have never felt the replacement (I do have a 1G iPhone) music interface was better. In fact, I find that interface so awkward that I don't use the iPod functions on my iPhone at all.

That's probably the rub. I use the iPod as a music playback device only. While device convergence is inevitable and all the rage, the simplicity of clickwheel based iPods make them, in my eyes, superior music playback devices. Further, I think some of this has to due with how a person listens to music. For people that buy mostly singles and songs, features like shuffle and genius probably seem heaven sent. For many of us that import full albums from our CDs (hence being album oriented to begin with), those features aren't that compelling. I'm typically listening to full albums (occasionally skipping some songs). When I do listen to playlists, they're usually carefully crafted ones that I listen to in order. Like this:

I Can't Quit You, Baby Willie Dixon I Am the Blues
I Can't Quit You Baby Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I
You Shook Me Muddy Waters Muddy Waters, Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues
You Shook Me Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I
19 Years Old Muddy Waters Hoochie Coochie Man
I Can't Quit You Baby Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions (Disc 1)
Killing Floor Howlin' Wolf Blues You Can Use
The Lemon Song Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Bring It On Home (Single) Sonny Boy Williamson His Best
Bring It On Home Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed Blind Willie Johnson Dark Was the Night
In My Time Of Dying Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti (Disc 1)
In My Time Of Dying Led Zeppelin DVD (Disc 2)
When The Levee Breaks Memphis Minnie Queen Of The Blues
When The Levee Breaks Led Zeppelin IV

As for dropping video on the nano (display and recording), I'm not too disappointed. I've never used the video capability on any of my iPods, and friends with 5th Generation model iPod nanos don't use the video recording capabilities on theirs. Those features have always fallen under the "I'm glad it can, but never use it" category for us. Other than using the world clock function on the rare occasions that I am traveling, my iPod only sees action in the music section of the menus.

I'm not alone in these concerns. Chris S. and Michael wrote very similar pieces in the OWC blog concerning the new nano's transition to screen based controls. The Register has a write up on all of the new iPods. Their comments on the iPod Classic are interesting. My second most used iPod is my 40GB pre-classic iPod, something that I would only replace with an iPod classic as opposed to an iPod touch.