New toys

I banged my right hand against the office wall accidentally today and it hurts like mad, hurts to type. But nevertheless, it’s time for a major blog update.

Before I go on the Xbox lelong mode, I’d like to talk about some new toys I’ve gotten lately.

4 brains for the price of one (geek talk, skip if you get bored by it)

Intel® Core™2 Quad processor

The official badge of nerd-dom

The Intel CPU I’ve been waiting forever for finally arrived in Sim Lim a few weeks ago at very limited quantities. So when the Fuwell guy gave me a call, I ran down immediately to purchase my Q9450 quad core chip. At $529, it was a reasonable hole in the wallet, given that the old dual core E6600 used to cost around the same price.

And the difference in performance between the two chips?

Well, geek data from PCVantage benchmarking follows:

E6600 – 3676 score

Q9450 – 4494 score

Well, I’m not sure if you can compare the two like this, but the quad-core represents a 22% jump in synthetic performance, which is pretty good for a year-old product comparison! I bought it mainly for my photoshopping and video work lah, and for that, a quad-core is a dream solution.

Everything runs faster than ever in Vista now, but the bummer is that my Asus motherboard doesn’t recognise the Intel (despite having the latest BIOS firmware) and I keep having to press F1 each time the PC boots up. Oh Asus, please update your drivers soon, can?

HTC Touch Cruise

I never thought the day would come when I would buy a HTC (aka Dopod) phone. I used to pooh-pooh the old HTC-made O2s because they were so big and bulky. It was ridiculous to stuff the O2 XDA down your pants pocket!

And I was a long-time Nokia fan until I found myself preferring Win Mobile for its sheer integration with Outlook and Exchange, and have been using the Samsung i600 for the past 6 mths.

But lately, I’ve been itching for a full screen PDA-phone and after trading in the N73 and an M1 voucher, I found I only needed to pay $223 for the Cruise. And HTC has managed to bring down the bulk of its PDA-phones too.

So why not?

Pros (to cut to the chase):

  • Nice size, but a bit fat
  • All the plug-ins you’ll ever need for work are already in there. Eg battery monitor, one-click-close-all-apps button, T9 virtual keypad…etc
  • Opera browser!
  • RSS feed plugin
  • Decent speed

Cons

  • I hated the HTC Home screen so much, that’s the first thing I removed. All so dull and grey, and even looks so when I change the colour scheme to guava.
  • Most HTC phones are designed by nerds and it shows – deathly boring grey color scheme and uninspired form factor.
  • No keyboard, but that’s why I like this phone anyway, even though it’s so troublesome to type SMSes.

So you know, until the iPhone is official here and works perfectly with Exchange, I’m sticking to WM phones and the Cruise is a pretty good bet despite its cosmetic deficiencies.