• Must have – Flash w/ video hardware acceleration

    Flash Player 10.1

    Flash, these days, is just an evitable plug-in to the world of the Internet; no one can avoid using that although some, like me, don’t prefer to use this resource hog app that much.While Flash never had any hardware acceleration involved, all HD content pushed Flash into limit. Even some Intel Core 2 Duo might not get smooth Youtube or Hulu HD videos or even flash games.

    Now Adobe decided to help us a little bit by putting effort on video hardware acceleration too. Yeah, it’s been a while people asking for this, ARM and x64 support are another highly requested. Although this release is a beta one, as for myself, I have tried and it works way better than Flash 10. I don’t get any few seconds pause in any HD video anymore. Also, games like Farmville, Fishville, that sort of stuffs, won’t make a problem like they did before. I bet Netbook would get the real benefit of this release for sure. Try for self; you will like Flash content better.

    Grab it @Adobe labs. Plus, if you use Adobe AIR too, there is AIR 2.0 coming out. Check it out!

    note: I still hope that Silverlight would be more widespread use than this. We need competition to get moving forward faster.

  • Dell Inspiron Zino HD – cheap nice-looking HTPC

    Dell Zino HD - colorful

    I’m always interested in small form factor PC. yeah, Mac mini is pretty good too, but $500+ is just a bit too steep. When it comes to Dell, Studio Hybrid was introduced late last year, but by the fact that its price is not that different to Mac mini, people might reluctant grabbing one. Now, Dell offers a new line of tiny desktop again. It’s Inspiron Zino HD which has starting price as low as $230. Whoa, what an aggressive move from Dell, I think.

    For specification, nowadays anything cheap, I bet Intel Atom is involved. Surprisingly, yes and no. Yes, for Zino [non-HD], it’s powered by Atom which I don’t care much since it isn’t available in the US as of now. However, Dell chooses to do different route for Zino HD. AMD rules this time. If you keep track of CPU market, Athlon Neo probably comes to your mind and it’s the one although there are options for Athlon X2 as well. Let’s see what we will get for Zino HD:-

    CPU: AMD Athlon™ 2650e (512K L2, 1.6GHz), 2850e (512K, L2, 1.8GHz), X2 3250e (1MB L2, 1.5Ghz), or Neo X2 6850e (1MB L2, 1.8GHz)
    Memory: 2-8GB (PC2-6400 or DDR2-800 SODIMM eventually DIMM?? I don’t know if it’s really DIMM or typo)
    Hard drive: 250GB-1TB 7200rpm (supposed to be 3.5” since 1TB is available too.)
    Optical drive: CD/DVD burner and Blu-ray as an optional
    Graphic Card: ATI Radeon HD3200 or HD4330 512MB as an optional
    Wireless: Dell 1397 (802.11b/g) or Dell 1520 (802.11n) [both optional]
    Ports: 1*SD reader, 4*USB, 1*HDMI, 1*VGA, 1*Gigabit LAN, 2*eSATA, 1*Mic, 2*Speaker (back and front)
    Dimension: 7.8”x 7.8” x 3.4”, 3.53lbs (1.6kg)
    PSU: 65W or 75W if you choose HD4330

    Well, CPUs are somewhat unknown since they don’t appear anywhere, but on this little box. They are absolutely better than Intel Atom though. According the review@AMD blogs, they claimed that it handles Hulu and Media Center smoothly, but no words on HD contents like 720p or 1080p or mkv. I hope the single core CPU could handle things w/o any hiccups. Guess we have to wait and see more reviews about this.

    At $230, I honestly don’t think it will satisfy anyone which choosing this over nettop which is powered by Intel Atom + ION platform, but it’s cheaper, who cares? As for only surfing web, checking mail desktop, $230 is such a good deal to me. Nonetheless, as for HTPC, AFAIK, ATI HD3200 won’t deliver 7.1 sound via HDMI—only stereo, you’d better off with HD4330, $75 more, which will do anything you throw in. Also, dual core CPU is like a must here with $60 more. For RAM and such, you can add your own much cheaper than Dell offers. By this configuration, this little box would cost you roughly $230 + $75 + $60 = $365. It’s not that cheap, but not too expensive.

    My opinion? only if Dell comes up with a good coupon dropping price a bit, it will sell pretty good. By the way, I’m the one who waits this baby on Dell outlet; that will be darn good deal indeed.

    Check it out @ Dell.com or review @ blogs.amd.com

    Dell Zino HD Dell Zino HD Dell Zino HD

  • Change Login Screen background in Windows 7

    login screen win7 If you are sick of vanilla login screen background, there is a way to change =) You have to tweak in registry a bit though, Microsoft just made it easy for OEM partner only :-P

    First of all, you have to prepare your new background. Crop your image to 1:1 to your screen resolution. The catch is you should save your image not to be larger than 256kB. You might think it turns to crap one, but believe me that’s good enough =)

    After getting an image you want, rename it to “backgroundDefault.jpg”. Then copy to the folder

    %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds
    

    in case it doesn’t exist, create your own.

    Secondly, enable the background in Registry, by getting into “regedit”

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background
    

    regedit - OEMBackground

    Create new key DWORD 32-bit, value 1 (1 as enable, 0 as disable) Also, if any of these doesn’t exist, create your own =)

    That is it!, you may lock the computer and appreciate your personal login screen. Make your PC personal again!! lol

  • Free Windows 7 themes

    I’m not a big fan of customized desktop since I regularly clean up my OS every now and then. This is much easier way to spice up the feeling a bit =) Yeah, it’s free.

    image

    Also, it has a lot of interesting wallpapers which, of course, are nice. It’s like looking through Flickr with rotating desktop wallpaper, a feature which Microsoft eventually get after Apple has for many years :-P

    Check it out @ Personalized Gallery

  • Palm Pixie: epic fail again

    You may recall that Palm Pre is kinda sucess, but, in fact, it’s sorta fail. Being in NYC, I usually see any new device being used at all time. Few years ago, Palm Treo was the one. Every time Palm released the new one; yeah, there were tons of them everywhere. For Palm Pre, I honestly say that I haven’t seen one being used yet. The sale figure is just too minimal, esp. when Sprint decided to stick Pre with Simply Everything Plan *only*skull_hero

    Palm made news again! Palm Pixie, aka. stripped down version of Pre or Centro series of webOS. It looks badly similar to Palm Centro, but with webOS, it’s much much more interesting (or not?) At the very first, I was about to grab if Sprint doesn’t tie this tiny phone with any plan. Now I just see that it’s missing WiFi. WTH? My best bet would be like Sprint has something to do with it. They just want everyone to have this tying with data plan, so they can get $ more. No-go for me indeed. Why would I have to pay $30 for data while I’m paying $10 a month for data on my Treo and get the same thing. But if Palm won’t release either Pre or Pixie on GSM board + Wifi on board. Then PALM, this 4-letter, will fall out of the market pretty soon. Not to mention whether they are following App store’s policy from Apple or not.