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Brad Fitzpatrick

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recommend gadgets for brad! [Nov. 11th, 2000|08:10 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
Ate dinner. Still tired. Might read a book later.

For now, I invite everybody to help me in a little research project. I want to buy three new gadgets, and I need recommendations on which to get.

1) Digital Camera -- my old one broke, an Epson PhotoPC 600, and I need a new one. Looking for: Compact Flash (I hate Sony Mavicas... no offense, evan), takes pictures quickly, looks professional (no gimmicky Kodaks with cartoon menus... no offense, dad).

2) MP3 Player -- never owned one. Looking for: more than 64 MB of memory, or one that takes Compact Flash (I love Compact Flash's form factor and low cost). Must be able to show long file names and/or ID3 tag info. I don't want one that plays CDs too ... I already have a discman. I don't want moving parts.

3) Scanner --- my parents have one, blythe has one, sarah let me borrow hers most the year my freshman year ... i need my own finally. All too often I need to scan things and can't. Looking for: flat bed, Hewlett Packard (preferred), 8.5x11" (minimum and maximum), high DPI, parallel port or SCSI interface .... USB would be okay, but I'd prefer if it weren't.

It's been awhile since I did research into any of these categories of products, so any and all information will be much appreciated. :-)
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: seadawg
2000-11-11 08:36 pm (UTC)

Digital Cameras

I'd recommend the Canon Powershot S10. I just bought one off ebay and it pretty cool. Not the quickest, but you can put in quick shutter mode. Digital Cameras are hard to shop for though. So many out there. Try activebuyersguide.com.
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[User Picture]From: eli
2000-11-11 08:48 pm (UTC)

Nomad

I'm telling ya, go for the nomad II player. There's always that discman looking thing that holds something insane like 6 gigs of songs(I think it's called the nomad jukebox) but that's just insane. First of all, do you actually think you'd actually be able to efficiently navigate through 6 gigs of MP3s on a 1 inch LCD...hell no. Secondly, that things huge, just as big and heavy as a discman, If you don't mind lugging it around with you then it's not a big deal, but go for something small and compact. The 32 MB I had was defnitely not enough to keep me happy, however, I think a 64MB card would probably do, and a 128 card would definitely do. Also, the nomad lets you listen to other compressions beside *.mp3. If you're listening to *.wma files on a 64 MB card that's 2 hours of music. Shit, that's all I'd ever need. I was very pleased with the player I had, just waiting for another one to come up on auction.
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[User Picture]From: opalcat
2000-11-11 08:50 pm (UTC)
easybuy2000.com has a thing called MPTrip that plays regular music CDs and CDs of MP3s... and it's under $100
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-11 09:02 pm (UTC)

Re:

Don't want moving parts.
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[User Picture]From: whitaker
2000-11-12 04:52 pm (UTC)

Re:

The "no moving parts" thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. I get awesome battery life on my Rio 300 (64mb), but the damned thing resets if you give it a good knock. No, it's never ever skipped, but it resets sometimes. Annoying as hell.
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[User Picture]From: dreadedcunt
2000-11-11 08:53 pm (UTC)
canoscan fb 620p isn't too shabby...
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[User Picture]From: eli
2000-11-11 09:01 pm (UTC)

LOL

Here's a review I got off of amazon, thought it might help ya out. It's for the the Nomad II mp3 player. I'd recommend you go read some of the others, this is one of the lower ratings. But, it was too damn funny to not post :-)

Reviewer: a football music fan! from Washington State!
Ok well I don't really know about mP3 players but I don't like how it shuts down if your idle for 1-10 mins. Like if your listening to it and have in your pocket or something it will shut off so you have to get it out and turn it back on and all that crap. Also If you want to change something on the settings the radio/mp3s turn off if your listening to them. The flash card is also hard to take out with the battery in. One more thing -- the headphone look like they are for a little kid! they are really small even though they go on the back of your head. it's kinda weird, I had to use some old ones. But other than those ... 4 things it's great. I mean the radio and voice recorder make up for some the bad stuff. I mean it's great! You can record up to 4 hours! that's cool! Also it was very easy to use/setup. But this is my only mp3 player and first so i dont really know that much about them so .. yeah! k bye!
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From: ex_ff928
2000-11-11 09:16 pm (UTC)

MP3 player

I'm partial to the Sony memory-stick player, myself. It's not the cheapest around, but since I have a Vaio laptop with a memory stick slot, it's rather convenient... If you'd like, I could show you mine.
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-11 09:21 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

I've seen them in pictures before... tiny! The Sony Aibo dogs take them, their cameras take them, their laptops ... Sony is good at defining technologies and using it all across their product line.

Too bad they're so expensive and so small, though. I believe 32 or maybe 64 mb are the largest size they're available in? That was awhile ago, though. What are they up to now?
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From: ex_ff928
2000-11-11 09:37 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

Still 64MB AFAIK, although I see no reason they wouldn't use more going forward.
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[User Picture]From: niko
2000-11-11 10:35 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

the problem with Sony's digital audio players is that it's NOT an MP3 player.. you have to use their proprietary software under Win98 (and ONLY win98, 2k won't work) to convert wav/mp3/cds into ATRAC format, which they use for minidiscs. this is so that it's sdmi compliant or something.

unless you're completely adamant about having no moving parts in a player you might want to either check out the Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox (6 gigs) or the RaveMP 2100 which uses Iomega "Clik!" discs. they're $10 for 40 megs each, pretty darn cheap.. check out mp3.com's hardware section.
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[User Picture]From: niko
2000-11-11 10:36 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

correction.. RaveMP 2300
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-11 10:41 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

only 40 mb though... 64 mb is the MINIMUM I'd deal with per card... on album is usually 64 mb by itself. (Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty is 65 mb, for instance...)
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From: ex_ff928
2000-11-11 11:03 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

ATRAC is an open standard. There are many converters for MP3 to ATRAC formats around. I wrote my own converter in an afternoon, and use it to convert my MP3s to ATRACs under BSD/OS 4.1, and then write them to the stick writer on my Vaio.

That said, you're right, it's not an MP3 player per se, but it's still a very nice little product.
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-11 11:40 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

I'm curious ... why do you use BSD/OS 4.1, if you don't mind my asking?
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From: ex_ff928
2000-11-12 12:14 am (UTC)

BSD/OS

A few reasons:

1) I have the source code, and have done extensive work on it,

2) My research projects involve my modifying a kernel predicated on BSDI code in obscene ways. What better way to test said obscenities than to run it yourself?

3) It gives me something to play with; also I can point the finger directly at myself or my co-workers when something in the kernel blows up. It's never "damn those MS @#$@s" or "why's linux trying to shove everyone and their dog into kernelspace."

4) Familiarity.
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-12 12:38 am (UTC)

Re: BSD/OS

Very good reasons.

I took an operating systems course and enjoyed it quite a bit.

How hard to you find to port things to BSD/OS? How activity is the community?
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From: ex_ff928
2000-11-12 01:09 am (UTC)

Re: BSD/OS

Well, I should have made one thing clear earlier: I work for a company which makes its own real-time embedded network operating system. It's distantly derived from BSD/OS, but we've taken great pains to ensure complete compatibility, at least with userland apps, and iBCS2 compliance.

It's that OS that I speak of. It's certainly something I do with a passion. I'm involved in the lower level stuff usually - drivers, stack optimizations for packet flow, and vm/paging/scheduling - though we strive to eliminate overspecialization.

And we're very active indeed in developing our OS. It's proprietary, which is something sadly needed in order to ensure market share (there are some really big entities in this area), but the answer to how hard it is to port code to BSD/OS and to our OS is "it depends."

If the (userland) code's been written with some semblance of POSIX.1 or POSIX.4, it's fairly trivial. Even drivers are easy to port over if the spec is clear. The problem is when people get too hacky. (e.g. a certain project which emulates concurrency in userland threads by setjmp()/longjmp() across "virtual-concurrent-control-threads.")

At any rate, this is probably not the right forum to get into this in gory detail. We should meet up some time and generally geek out.
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-12 12:04 pm (UTC)

Re: BSD/OS

Interesting.

Yes, a geek out is definitely in order.

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[User Picture]From: niko
2000-11-12 01:20 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

well what the pain is, is converting files you've already got in MP3 into this ATRAC format. and the software isn't all that stable. my friend jeff has one, and he barely uses it due to the crashtastic software and that it has to reconvert files he's already converted into mp3s..

if I bought one it'd most likely be the Nomad Jukebox or something similar. why bother carring around multiple memory cards or whatever that you might loose? (well, *I'd* loose em.)

there's a great site with a build-your-own mp3 player that just needs a hard drive and case. the fully assembled board is $150, throw in a hard drive for another $100 and voila, lotsa space for albums. It's here. only problem with this right now is that the firmware is pretty immature and dosen't do alot of higher level functions, the souce is available tho.I'm keeping an eye on it, could be a fun kit to play around with once it reaches maturity.
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[User Picture]From: eli
2000-11-11 09:22 pm (UTC)

You've inspired me to research

Thought I might as well look around at some other players before I bought another one. The eGo player seems to get some great reviews and sounds pretty cool. 96 MB memory, also, takes Flash memory cards. Take a look.
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[User Picture]From: steve
2000-11-12 01:10 pm (UTC)
As far as scanners go, I have a Microtek SlimScan C6. It's pretty nice, though I'm sure there is a lot better. The good thing, though, is that it is extremely cheap. When I got it, it was only around 100 bucks...and it gets what I need out of a scanner done. Another good thing, as the name implies, it is really small and fits in a pretty small space conveniently.
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[User Picture]From: rhys
2000-11-12 08:33 pm (UTC)
I've got an extra scanner I've never even taken out of the box. I don't know what kind it is..I'll have to check. You can have it if you want.
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-12 11:55 pm (UTC)

Re:

One of my housemate's dad gave me one so I'm cool... thanks, though. :-)

Besides, shipping things like that is a hassle.
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