Posts Tagged ‘#hd’

HD revisited

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis June 15th, 2012

High definition, right?  Nope, in this case I’m talkin’ about Hard Drives.  I’ve written posts about the drive shortage, backing up, and solid state drives.  But there’s a whole new fleet of External USB (or networked) drives that deserve a closer look.  Several companies are making drives that you plug in and can access from all over the planet.  Others create their own WiFi network that you can log into from smartphones or your PC.  There are also some very stylish drives that are much smaller these days.  I have clients that will buy several pocket-sized drives and rotate them for offsite backup.   They also have some really tough built HD’s that can withstand a lot of abuse.  This would be perfect for industrial sites or college students :-)    Here’s an article  that shows them in detail (thanks to Marc Saltzman at Digital Crave).

Storage Speed

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis September 19th, 2011

WOW I just discovered something really interesting.  There are a lot of ultra-thin laptops out there, but most of the ones that are less than $1000 have 5400 RPM hard drives.  That sucks.  You get this screaming fast PC, but it will be constantly bogged down every time it tries to read from your hard drive.  So videos, large files, bootup, etc. will make you drum your fingers waiting.  The one exception I found was Lenovo, so I ordered one for my client.  Lenovo used to be IBM, but a Chinese company bought them.  But the REALLY funny part (to me) is that i-PADS DON’T EVEN HAVE A HARD DRIVE!!   If you shell out $700 for the BEST they offer, you get a whopping 64 Gb of storage!  [giggle]  Most Windows PC’s, even the cheapest, junkiest you can find, come with AT LEAST 160 Gb of storage.  What a joke.  They don’t even have a USB connector to add a drive.  Really, these are popular?!  No, REALLY!? 

WIN7 Media Center (WMC) III

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis January 17th, 2011

Until about a year ago, WMC was hamstrung by one major omission:  you couldn’t record HD pay channels.  These are encrypted by your provider, and if you wanted to be able to get all your HD channels, you had to buy a Media Center PC that was certified by Cable Labs (for cable HD).  These were very expensive, but allowed the use of a cable card, much like TiVo.  Finally, in 2010, a do-it-yourself solution emerged (a couple, actually).  Cable Labs finally eased the restrictions so that you can now buy tuners to add to your PC.  Some are external, like those made by ATI and SiliconDust, and would be recommended for the easiest setup.  But if you’re brave, you can order the Ceton InfiniTv 4 card.  It’s internal, but has 4 tuners!  So you can record up to THREE OTHER SHOWS while watching one.  The demand for these is so high that the factory can’t keep up.  I’ve had mine ordered for two months now.  All these solutions require a cable card, so be prepared to hassle/haggle with your local cable company.  But they are REQUIRED BY LAW to provide the cards, so don’t let them bully you.