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February 27, 2005

Mini review/HOWTO: Roku Soundbridge M1000

My cousin-in-law's husband asked for help in streaming his music library to his home stereo setup wirelessly so when we went to visit I did just that.

Components:
1. Laptop with music collection (Windows or Mac)
2. Roku Soundbridge M1000
3. Linksys 802.11a/b access point
4. Linksys broadband router
5. Digital coax cable for audio
6. Sonic Frontier's Anthem AV Preamp, Anthem amp, B&W 803 speakers and a 600 watt Velodyne sub all bi-wired.

I installed Windows Media Connect on his laptop and added all his music to the library. The Soundbridge picks this up automatically via the 802.11 wifi connection. The music was encoded in WMA lossless so to avoid bandwidth issues his laptop connects via 802.11a and the Soundbridge via 802.11b. I had to configure the Soundbridge's wifi connection to use WEP encryption so it could get on the network. It was all seamless and I was extremely impressed. The Soundbridge also saw my iTunes library and we could switch between both so it has great multiplatform support.

It's a bit pricey at $249 but Best Buy has M500's for $199 which actually had M1000's in the box. The only difference is an LCD display vs. a VFD (brighter vaccuum fluorescent display) and I suspect Roku had to rush the M500 out to market so they stuffed some M1000's in to meet demand. Navigating the Roku Soundbridge was quick and responsive. The Soundbridge also has analog, optical digital and coax digital audio out options. There are a number of different server-side software packages you can run. Slim devices Slimserver is an interesting music server that runs on many platforms. Here's a detailed comparison of what's out there that you can use to sort and stream music to your Soundbridge.

As an aside, the sound quality was amazing coming out of a great audio system.

RokuSetup.png

Posted by beamz at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005

Macsales.com 1GB Apple Powerbook Memory Upgrade

Forget crucial.com, I ordered a 1GB OEM memory upgrade for $265 from macsales.com (OtherWorldComputing) for my 15" Aluminium Powerbook and it works flawlessly. No lockups or anything unlike so many other brands with the 15" Powerbook. According to some folks on the Apple support boards, the 15" 1.25ghz Powerbook doesn't work well with some dimms when the processor changes its clock speed for power management (battery power vs. ac adapter).

If you're looking for some good memory for your Powerbook check them out. They've also got a lifetime advance replacement warranty.

Posted by beamz at 12:52 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2005

Spent weekend visiting family in Dallas

My wife and I had some fun visiting family in Texas. She hung out with her cousin and the kids and I spent a bit of time with her cousin's husband. The weather was around 80 and it was nice outside.

I find that almost any place I visit I would be willing to move to. Anyway it was fun and involved listening to some nice B&W 802 series speakers and a Velodyne 600watt subwoofer.

Posted by beamz at 11:33 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2005

Jeff Gannon, a true journalist

Salon.com | Gannon: The early years

Salon.com has a decent article about a "blogger" who was paid with Republican campaign money to smear Tom Daschle. This is the kind of stupidity that continues to undermine the credibility of bloggers as journalist. I'll be posting a follow up about some comments that those in the newspaper and broadcast industry have made about the legitimacy of "grassroot journalism" shortly.

Posted by beamz at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2005

Looking for a Scottish Fold

Some things with an breeder look like they have fallen through and we're looking for a straighteared shorthaired brown classic tabby & white Scottish Fold kitten. We're looking for breeders in the midwest and this kitten will have to integrate with a Persian/Himalayan male.

I don't think many people troll around this blog anymore but if you can help out let me know. Here's the kittens picture that was supposedly available (after we filled out an application, gave information and received pricing). It's an awesome thing to get your wife's hopes up, let her know she's getting the kitten for valentines day and then have things not work out. Who knows maybe I'm completely wrong.

baxter.jpg

Posted by beamz at 12:36 AM | Comments (3)

February 3, 2005

MCSE slams Mac Mini

Joi Ito's Web: Jorge Lopez, MCSE slams Mac Mini

Or how Jorge Lopez misses his 5.25" disk drive and legacy ports.

...The Mini boots up into a stripped-down operating system which Apple calls OS X, similar to the stripped-down WindowsCE OS found on many handhelds. ...No serial ports, no way to connect a printer, no PS/2 ports, no floppy drive, no 5.25

via Metafilter via Joi Ito

Posted by beamz at 3:13 PM | Comments (0)