All I got for Christmas {Part 3}

So, to continue on the theme of sharing my wonderful tech Christmas presents with you, it is time to share one of my favorite gifts, the 500 GB Western Digital Passport Elite! As you can see in the picture above, I got the bronze color; which honestly wasn’t my first choice, but the vendor it was ordered from ran out of the titanium that I wanted and to avoid a shipping and refund disaster, I stuck with the bronze. It was okay because I ended up also getting a great silicon sleeve cover for the hard drive to give it extra support. I ordered seafoam, as you can see below, and although it looks bright blue, it is actually more of a tiffany blue/robins egg in person. Anyway, back to the hard drive! I cannot tell you how long it took me to decide on an external hard drive for my backup needs, but I knew what I was looking for and what my needs were and this drive is exactly what I wanted. Lets go through a bit of the features and see if this drive is something you might also need to fit your life if you are in the market for a portable external hard drive.

First of all, this drive is obviously portable. Very important to me, the portability factor, especially since I am a laptop user 100% of the time and require that all my accessories function in a “to go” manner. This is a very small drive, it can probably fit into most pockets. It is very lightweight and has a great shape like the rest of the Western Digital Passport series. One difference in the external appearance of this drive compared to other WD models is that the finish is soft to the touch and easy to grip- another plus for the portability. I feel like I can take this drive with me, throw it in a bag, and it can knock around without getting damaged. The soft touch almost seems like shock resistance, as well as resistance to scratches because the surface really can’t be damaged other than through cracking.

Next, this drive is a USB 2.0 only. So no fire wire, but that’s cool with me because I never use firewire with my Mac! The transfer rate is great and the drive has a handy dandy indicator light that marks capacity as well as establishes the presence of its connection to a computer. The indicator lights are located on the side of the drive on a sliding door that covers and reveals the mini USB port so that when the drive is not in use, it has a very flush finish. I like the addition of this sliding door because previous models of this drive used a soft plug to fill in the ports, something I always found to be cheap and easily broken!

Finally, this drive has some major storage capacity! 500 GB is more space than I might ever need, and that is why I bought such a large drive- I won’t have to buy another or replace it anytime soon! I already have an 80 GB WD Passport from a year or so ago that is now too small to fit everything on my laptop’s hard drive. I feel like it was such a waste and I didn’t want to have the same thing happen again if I bought a new hard drive or a new laptop in the next year. This way I cover all my bases! I have enough space to backup my laptop and enough space to keep extras on my hard drive. Right now, I have primarily been using it to store all the videos and pictures I take, instead of putting those files onto my laptop hard drive and taking up too much space. I also use this hard drive for video and image editing because it is recommended that laptop users not use their internal hard drives for such large and complicated tasks. I think this is in case of internal drive failure and it slows down the drive as well to process large files on your laptop’s hard drive.

So, overall, I am very very excited about this new drive of mine! It is everything I could ever need: portable, dependable and functional! I would very much recommend this drive to anyone looking for an external portable hard drive for their own similar interest and needs!

CES 2009: iLuv.

In my exploration and deciphering of all the coverage going on at CES 2009, I have discovered a company that produces some fabulous iPod and multimedia accessories and gadgets, so I thought I would share this information in case anyone out there is looking for another great gadget company! The company, iLuv, specializes in audio and video equipment and accessories that cater to Apple products as well as other mp3 devices. As you can see, they have a great selection of really advanced audio products like Bluetooth headphones, video multimedia systems, and stereos.

The i202 Bluetooth Ear Clips

The i1166 Portable Media Player for iPod and DVD

The i9200 Mini Audio System

For more information on these and other iLuv products, visit their website!

My First iTunes Movie Rental.

This morning I decided that I wanted to watch the movie The Dark Knight, but since I lack a membership to any video rental stores in the area, I decided that I would give the iTunes store a try and rent the movie that way. It cost me $3.99 for the movie, since it is a new release- I assume that is on par with Blockbuster and other video stores? Anyway, I made this short video documenting my experience as I watched the movie download for something like 35 minutes! I am not sure if that is a normal download time for movies on iTunes, but the quality of the video was great and I have watched the movie twice so far today! So, enjoy this little video I made that I hope expresses the boredom I felt as I waited for my movie to download!

iTunes Dark Knight Rental from Miss Trenchcoat on Vimeo.

Macworld 2009: Fun Flash Drives.

I have had my old flash drive for about 3 years now and I am beginning to think I might need a little upgrade. First of all, its only 512 MB, and I can just hear you all right now gasping in horror as to why a tech femme like myself would go for so long with such an inferior product, but, honestly, I almost never use it. It just sort of sits there on my desk, waiting for the day when I will actually need to transfer some files onto it to take with me somewhere. Now, I blame the sparse use of my flash drive on two things: the fact that I rely heavily on a portable external hard drive that I can easily fill with pictures, movies and music to take with me in my bag, and that I am now no longer in college and no longer need to travel with documents on a tiny backup drive.

Well, I think it is time for me to upgrade my flash drive and I have found the perfect little thing! Fruitshop makes a line of flash drives called the Bone Collection that come in fun animal shapes! They have apparently been one of the most popular booths at Macworld this year and I think it is obvious why, no one can avoid cute gadets! Actually, the concept behind these little guys is rather interesting. Basically, the way it works, is you buy one of their flash drives naked, and then buy one or more of the silicone covers that come in animal shapes to protect the drive. The best part is, you can use the same drive and put it into one of many different covers. Some fun ones I liked were the Panda and the Penguins. Imagine, these little fun drives would look much cuter sitting on my desk than a simple flash drive. They are like little tech pets!

They also come in bone and dinosaur shapes! So check them out here.

All I got for Christmas {Part 2}

This past year, I did a lot of traveling about on mini vacations! Of course, if you read my other blog, Black Alligator, you know this because I usually make sure to post while I am off on these wonderful adventures. Now, being someone who loves to blog, even when on the road, I usually don’t find it difficult to get myself some internet access. Usually, all the places I visited had Wifi or wired (ugh!) internet connections. The problem for me came, however, when I would have to share the one wired connection to the internet with a friend who also brought along their laptop! What is a girl to do in that situation? Well, get an AirPort Express of course! So, yes, I mentioned that my father bought me an AirPort Express for Christmas in a post a few days ago and I did promise to tell you more about it later, so here goes. {By the way, this is not a review of the product itself, as I have not yet actually gotten a chance to test it out, but a product review should follow in the next few weeks after I have had a chance to test the features!}

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the AirPort Express is a wireless router, made by Apple, predominantly for use on the go. That’s right! You can take this little gadget with you and anywhere you have a wired internet connection instantly create a wireless network. It is super convenient for travelers like myself, but it is also powerful enough for use in the home. It has 802.11n wireless connectivity, so it is the latest and greatest technology, and it is basically the size of my laptops power brick. It also comes with a few other useful features: Airtunes and a USB connection. Airtunes makes it possible for you to plug your wireless speakers into the router and play music wirelessly into any room of the house, a very fun feature that I am unfortunately never going to use! I will be using the second feature, however, the USB connection, so that I can plug my USB printer into the Airport Express and put my non wireless printer onto my wireless network! So, basically, with this little gadget, you don’t need to have a wireless printer to print wirelessly, you just plug in any USB printer and set up your network for wireless printing! I am going to LOVE that feature! By the way, the AirPort Express works with both macs and pcs, so if you are a Windows user who travels frequently, you might be interested in this gadget for yourself– don’t let the fact that this is an Apple product scare you away!

For more information or to purchase Apple’s AirPort Express {full retail $99}, click here.

CES 2009.

I just thought that I should remind everyone that tomorrow begins the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, also known as anti-Macworld! Haha, oh, but I jest! I, of course, will be following the updates for CES and sharing with you any news I hear pertaining to amazing must have gadgets, great geek products, etc. For more information, you can head over to their website and take a look at the different speakers and vendors participating in the event this year!

Macworld 2009: Streaming Philnote.

In case you were interested, Apple has put up the streaming video of the Macworld Keynote from this morning. Now you can watch the Philnote yourself here. Enjoy!

Macworld 2009: The Philnote.

So, I am pretty sure I am not the only person disappointed by the Macworld keynote this year! You would think that this being Apple’s final keynote at the event, they would have spiced things up a bit, but really, the best part about it was the performance given by Tony Bennett. Let us review, shall we, the 3 big things Phil Schiller revealed to the public this morning, and also that one final thing!

First of all, Phil gave us a software update, iLife ’09! Now, I will be honest, I think this version of iLife looks pretty cool and it apparently has fixed a few of the issues that came up with the last version of the software. iPhoto has new face sensing technology and geolocation tagging for pictures, iMovie has become even more user friendly, and Garage Band gives you music lessons for different instruments– all really cool.

Then, the next thing Phil gave us was…well… another software update, iWork ’09! This update includes things like easier to use spreadsheets, mixed chart types, new menus, iphone/itouch remote keynote application, ect. Sorry Phil, but this is totally boring and about to put me to sleep even typing about it, so I am just going to move onto the 3rd thing.

Finally, the last thing Phil gave us was the new 17 inch Macbook Pro! This is a little exciting, since it is new hardware and I think we have all been confused over the lack of a 17 inch laptop in the Apple Macbook lineup. Just like its smaller macbook counterparts, this new model has the unibody, magnetic latch, thinner body, ect. The most impressive, yet upsetting, update to this new mac, however, is the extended life battery that is more powerful than anything Apple has previously made. Downside- you cannot change the battery yourself, it just stays in there! Cheers and boos simultaneously!

Now, that one final thing we all need to know before Phil ends this, the most depressing of keynotes? Itunes! Well, obviously iTunes is still number one above WalMart and Best Buy, but in new news, Apple finally acquired those DRM-free songs that were being withheld for such a long time! Oh, and one final piece of news, if you are an iPhone owner, the iTunes music store is no longer Wifi-based, you can download your music right through the 3G network same as if you were using your Wifi connection!

Queue the music, quick before a riot breaks out! “The Best is Yet to Come” sang by Tony Bennett, I am totally feeling subliminal messages from this song choice. Thanks Apple, for reassuring the masses that although this Philnote was no Stevenote, we should look forward to some amazing things this year!

{Images via Apple}

Twitter Hacked!

According to this article in the Huffington Post, the Twitter accounts of Fox News, Barack Obama, Britney Spears and others were hacked yesterday leaving funny but false tweets for thousands of their followers. What has the world come to when our twitter accounts are no longer safe from hackers! Well, I guess if you’re a nobody like me it’s not a problem!

Macworld 2009: The Macumentaries.

One of the most exciting, not gadget related things I am looking forward to during the Macworld Expo is the premier of not just one, but two Mac documentaries; MacHEADS the movie and Welcome to Macintosh. Both of these documentaries will be shown on Wednesday as far as I know, but being that I am on the wrong coast this week, I am obviously going to have to wait for them to hit theaters or at least iTunes!  Here are the trailers of each for your viewing pleasure!

MacHEADS

Welcome to Macintosh

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