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Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Samsung SyncMaster 226BW

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Samsung SyncMaster 226BWI got a new Monitor on Saturday! I got the Samsung SyncMaster 226BW. It’s about time I got rid of my old 17″ CRT Monitor (although, it still worked well). 😛

The Samsung SyncMaster 226BW is a 22 inch, LCD, Widescreen High Definition Monitor. It’s got a 2ms response time, HDCP, 16.7 Million colours and DVI (Digital) input. It’s high gloss black, with a silver “bezel”. It also has regular D-Sub (VGA) input; but who wants to use that? Not to mention that it’s Windows Vista Premium Certified (not quite sure what that means 😛 ).

This monitor is freaking awesome! The colours are perfect, it’s huge, no backlight bleeding (that I can see right now, at least) and it’s just… awesome! Brilliant, awesome, words hardly describe how great it is!

The colours on this Monitor are great. I’d recommend setting MagicBright to “Intelligent” for really vibrant colours. It’s also a nice clean, clear and crisp picture.

There’s actually quite a bit of “controversy” around this Monitor. Back when the Monitor originally came out, it was using a Samsung LCD Panel. Which is a great panel. Which all of the reviews from back then are based off of, the Samsung Panel. But, it was such a great Monitor that there started to be a shortage of them, and Samsung couldn’t keep up with demand. So, they decided to outsource some of the Panels to two different companies. One of them was AU Optronics and the other one was Chi Mei Optoelectronics. Thus, making the A, C and S panel. The A panel bring made by AU Optronics, the C by Chi Mei Optoelectronics and the S (the original Panel) by Samsung. Now, all these different Panels are not equal. Although, they were given specific instructions by Samsung. Both the A and C panels have different problems. The biggest ones are that the A has a noticeable Blue Dominance and that the C has bad backlight bleeding. The S is basically perfect. Now, they may have fixed these Problems by now, they’ve had 6 months.

I was lucky enough to get an S Panel. The first one we bought was a C, but we returned that and picked up another one, at another store, and got and S Panel.

The way to tell which panel is which, is that on the back of the Monitor (behind the plate that hides the inputs) there’s a sticker. That sticker has the model number, serial number, etc. Right after the model number (226BW), there’s a letter, either A, C or S. There’s your Panel type.

I didn’t think this Monitor would look this great. I mean, it looked good in the store, but once I got it home, and plugged it in, it looked awesome. Really good colour. I guess because of the lighting in the store and since I’m using DVI.

Overall, this is a great Monitor!

(yes, I did take that picture of it in the top-left 😛 )

iTunes 7.3.1 Released

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

iTunes 7.3.1 has been released which fixes a Library Saving error. I previously posted the workaround.

I must say, it’s good that Apple patched this. But, why did it take so long? iTunes 7.3 was released on June 29, 2007, and the fix was released July 12, 2007. That’s like 12 days! I doubt it took them more than an hour to fix it, and it’s not like they didn’t know about it, everybody was having the problem.

I’m disappointed in you Apple, even though I don’t really like you anyways… 😛

So, go download the update (Go Start > All Programs, click “Apple Software Update”).

iTunes 7.3, Can’t Save Library (Unknown Error -50)

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

After upgrading to iTunes 7.3 a few days after it came out, everytime I would open it up, I would get an error similar to this:

Can’t Save Library (Unknown Error -50)

Which means, that iTunes wasn’t able to save my Music Library to the database files. Which wouldn’t really matter to me, since I only use iTunes to sync my iPod. But, since I download podcasts (NAPPTV 😀 ) whenever the podcast would be updated and I would download it, it wouldn’t be saved to the Library. Meaning, that everytime I start up iTunes, it wouldn’t be there anymore. What a waste of bandwidth…

So, I submitted a bug report to Apple, hoping that many other people would have also reported this, and a quick iTunes 7.3.1 would be issued. Still waiting… 😛

So, I decided to make a quick search, to see how many other people were having this problem, and I came up with this Thread at the Apple Forums. So, it seems like everyone using iTunes 7.3 is having the same problem.

But, among those hundreds of replies, I found a little link. A link that would solve the problem. Apple’s article on How to Re-Create Your iTunes Library.

Really, it’s more of a “hack solution” than anything. But, it works! I no longer get that error, and everything seems to be working fine. You might want to note, that you may lose some stuff while re-creating your iTunes Library. Stuff like Ratings, Play Counts, when it was Last Played, and when it was added. But, that stuff really isn’t important.

So, that’s the simple, but effective, fix.

Windows Vista, Your Activation Period Has Expired

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

So, yesterday, I installed and activated Photoshop, and then restarted my PC. Only to find a little surprise waiting for me on Windows booting.

I got a “Windows Activation” window saying that my Activation Period has expired! WTF? I activated Vista from day one, why is this happening!?!? So, it gave me some choices: Activate Online, Activate By Phone, Re-enter Product Key and Run Windows in Reduced Functionality Mode (basically you can only go online with IE7 to buy a new product key 😛 ). You could also close the Window and go to the “logged out screen” and either login (which brought up the Windows Activation Window) or Shut down/restart/sleep/etc your computer. In the bottom, right-hand corner it said “This copy of Windows is not Genuine”. What do you mean it’s not genuine? I bought it legally, and the day it was released, to boot.

I decided to press Activate Online. But, that failed, so I clicked close. It went to the login screen. So, I clicked my username and it brought me back to the Activation Screen. So, I clicked activate by Phone. Which gave me a number to call, and the numbers I’m supposed to punch in. But, wait, there were no numbers! Just blank spaces where the numbers should have been.

Okay, so I decided to close out that Window, and restart my PC. So, when it came back up, the Windows Activation windows was still there. Except, this time, it said “Windows has been activated successfully”! So, I close out of that Window, and log in. Everything seems fine. Except that it still says “This copy of Windows is not Genuine” in the bottom, right-hand corner!

So, I right-click on “Computer” and go “Properties”. I then scrolled to the bottom of the Window that came up and it said “Windows is activated”. Weird. So, I decided to Restart my computer, yet again.

So, I restarted, and when Windows came back up, everything was fine! So, maybe what happened was, when I installed Photoshop, some Windows system files got messed up, so when I restarted it said Windows wasn’t activated. But, after 2 more restarts, the files recovered and Windows was fine, and as it should be…

Hopefully, Windows won’t say my copy of Windows isn’t genuine, again…

Apple iPhone, Coming to Canada

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Apple iPhone, Coming to Canada

The very hyped about, and most awaited phone, is coming to Canada. That’s right the Apple iPhone will be coming to Canada! I inquired about it with Rogers Wireless, and I got a response back shortly afterwards. Here’s the key points from their response:

Rogers is actively working with Apple to launch the iPhone in Canada
as soon as possible and will be the exclusive provider of the iPhone in

Please be advised that Rogers will be offering the iPhone exclusively
in Canada.

Launch date and pricing for Canada are not yet available.

Other Canadian wireless carriers will not launch the iPhone; Rogers will be the only Canadian wireless carrier to offer the iPhone.

This is great news! Now, to elaborate a bit on that.

The iPhone will be exclusively offered at Rogers in Canada because it’s currently the only Wireless Carrier in Canada to be using up-to-date Wireless service technology. Telus is using really old technology, and Bell is using newer technology, but still not new enough.

As I understand it, the iPhone is a 2G Quad Band GSM and EDGE phone, while Rogers supports 3G Quad Band GSM and EDGE service. So, the iPhone and the Rogers Wireless service are compatible (and then some).

I’m going to estimate that the iPhone will be released in Canada in August. As for the price, I’m going to estimate… for the 4GB, $599 CAD with no contract and $399 CAD with a 3 year contract. For the 8GB, $699 CAD with no contract and $449 CAD with a 3 year contract.

One problem I see here, is that data plans in Canada are expensive; and with the iPhone you’ll probably be using lots of data. So you’ll most likely be seeing “iPhone Plans”, just like “Blackberry Plans“. The iPhone Plans will have considerably more data for considerably cheaper than the Blackberry Plans. That’s my guess, anyways.

The iPhone itself is actually smaller than people think it is. It’s thinner than the Blackberry Curve, and is just a bit bigger than my closed RAZR V3i. It’s actually thinner than the V3i, too. Which is amazing, since it has way more features. The iPhone is a little heavier, though.

Apple has said that the screen has been “upgraded” from a Plastic screen, to a Glass screen. That may seem like a good thing… until you drop it and the screen shatters into a million pieces (it’s probably temperated, though, so it’ll just crack). The battery life is pretty impressive, at least. Up to 8 hours of Talk time, 6 hours of Internet, 7 hours of Video, 24 hours of music/audio or 250 hours of standby time. Which probably exceeds most (Smart)Phones, MP3 players and even the iPod 5.5 Generation (Video).

For those of you in other parts of the world, Rogers also told me this:

Apple is planning to introduce the iPhone in Europe (Q4 2007) and Asia

I’m looking forward to the release of the iPhone in Canada. Hey, maybe I’ll even save up to get one!