Gadget Review - AIVX Portable Media Player


Sorry for the long silence folks. Been a busy bee these past couple of weeks. Work deadlines and World Cup isn't exactly a good combination for the once-in-awhile part time bloggers like myself. Good to know that we have finally heard a voice from his purpleness, Suresh. (BTW, How's the world cup fever there? Are you watching the live telecast, adakah?)

As you prepare anxiously for the match tonight between Argies and Germany, I'm sure you are reminded of the finals of 1990 WC where the difference is one penalty that Goycochea couldn't save. Of course, it didn't help Maradona who captained the Argentines with 9 players on the field before the end of the game. And guess who else was there for the Germans, Juergen Klinsmann, yes, the manager of the current German team! I hope Saviola and Riquelme can cope with the pressure and return the favour to the Germans. Let's hope for an entertaining match tonight!

Anyway, as Arul know, I've been toying around with this new gadget called AIVX, which is a portable harddisk media player. It's a notebook harddisk (2.5") casing integrated with a media player that plays almost any video files. Since Arul thought of buying this for his wife to watch Desperate Housewives etc, I thought I better give you a low down on it.

First and foremost, the size is excellent (125 x 75 x 18.5mm) to carry around, excellent for those of you who travel around quite a bit. With this, you don't need to watch your downloaded movies on the PC and you need not convert them into DVD format to watch on TV. I bought the case for around RM360 at Low Yatt and attach it to my own 60GB 2.5" HDD which can fit in about 30 movies, a complete TV series, several music albums and then some. What's good is that it's a portable external hdd which you can attach it to your laptop to transfer files, including your work files or whatever. It has various functions including video player which can play divx, xvid, mpeg, iso etc with subtitles (if you have); music player which can play mp3, wav and also ogg files and picture viewer where you can view jpg. The package comes with a the enclosure, composite cables to your TV, component cables for HDTV, S-Video Cable, USB Cable, remote control, 5.1ch conversion jack, AC Power Adaptor and a very nice carrying bag. What you need to do is to connect the unit to the TV and start playing whatever movies or tv shows that you have downloaded. The device even boasts on a capability to transmit FM to play music in your car but I have not tried that yet lar. You can read about it more on link in the header.

At first when I bought it there was some problems with the device getting overheated very quickly and after seeing a few movies the picture turns green and has a cracking sound. I sent it in to the shop to be repaired and the nice folks exchanged a brand new one for me and I've been using the new one for about 2 weeks now. So far, the previous problems hasn't arise even when I continued playing for several hours. What I liked about it is the portability and the ability to play higher res files where my previous CD divx player couldn't. So I could now download higher res (e.g 800x336) files and see it on the TV. The picture quality is quite good and it's smoother compared to my Philips DivX player which requires me to burn the movies onto a DVDR to view it on TV. Mind you, I've not tested the HDTV capabilities yet (because I don't have a HDTV yet lar), apparently it is compatible but of course, you need a HDTV to see it. On a normal TV, you can only hear sound and view a blue screen. Overall it's an excellent media device for home use and travel to view movies on the TV. You can even copy DVDs on your HDD either on iso or vob or ifo format and still able to watch it. You may find that unnecessary if you already have a DVD player, but then again when you travel, you can always prepare for the movies you want to watch to be downloaded onto the device to act as your personal movie jukebox to watch in hotels and anywhere you go that has a TV. The bad side of it is that some AVI movies are simply not playable on the device because of the encoding of some files using SGMC and QuarterPixels feature. However, you can download a neat software tool from their site to check the video's compatibility called AVICheck and if it's not compatible, the kind folks at Sarotech has generously included a Media Converter Software that comes in their installation CD to help you convert or re-encode the AVI files accordingly so that you can enjoy your movies on the device. Another plus point is that you can download latest firmware from the Sarotech support site which improves the functions and capabilities of the device which can be updated very easily to the device following their detail instructions on the website. It's only good if Sarotech continuously upgrade their firmware to enable the device to function more effectively and perhaps play files that they couldn't play before and eliminate whatever bugs that they currently have.

For WC, you could download the games or record the games via a TV card and download onto the AIVX and watch the games as you please. So far, this device is serving me well, leaving my current DivX and DVD player in hibernation mode until I require it later. If you ask me whether it's a good investment or not, I'd say absolutely yes. Apart from it's ability to deliver what it promised, the price is quite acceptable. The main reason is because I've been using an external HDD for work and the AIVX enclosure becomes a natural extension to let me do 'more' with my current 2.5" HDD. But if you were to buy it complete with the HDD it would cost you RM36o plus the price of the 2.5" HDD which can come up to RM600 or more depending on the size of the HDD, then it would cost quite a little more. If you factor in the time and costs associated in downloading or converting movies that could perhaps come up to be a little more. Still, IMHO, it's a good buy!

Enjoy the game tonight! Vamos Argentina!

Who needs an MBA!

A good read by Rajesh Setty ,if you DO or DON'T have an MBA. Download PDF!

Freebies

Since,there are no Wc2006 fixtures tonight,let's take a breather from football for today.Anyway,Argentina need our prayers as the Germans are strong and have tremendous home support.
Here are some free,small applications that I use and really think gets the job done in minimal time.Obviously,the application may not have the same exact features of the "pay to use" versions but it does the primary functions without the fuss and did I mention that they require very little space in your harddrive?
1.MWSnap (Screen capture utility that works like SnagIt)
2.PDFCreator (Name says it all...who needs Adobe)
3.Gliffy.com(Forget MS Visio or installing other diagram drawing app)

"STAR" WARS


After a good display from the Joga Bonito boys looks like the BLACK STARS will be leaving on a jet plane....my son who was watching some parts of the first and second half was a neutral supporter chanting every once in a while..."brazil...ghana"...brazil...ghana" which resulted in a 3-0 bashing...shortly after he fell asleep...tired frm the cheering...I guess. As for racism, looks like Henry and the french squad did all the talking on the field. Good for them.

So now its all down to England and France - One Star... Argentina - Two Stars... Germany & Italy - Three Stars and Brazil - Five Stars. Leaving us with Portugal and Ukraine - Starless. This would mean that Brazil are out of the equation where upsets are concerned unless the Kristang boys give the Celebrities frm England a beating to set up a clash between the 2 brazilian coaches. Now that would be interesting.

So... plenty stars....some small stars...some not so small stars...some big stars.... Arul how la our tani session....we also want to see stars...i believe Chris will agree....

Enjoy the quarter finals....To ALL Argentinian fans our there its our turn to get tension this FRIDAY!

A tribute to Zidane

The banner read "Adios Zizou" and the Spanish papers boldly declared that they will "Retire Zizou".In the end,you know how it all ended.After all the stick that he got,seeing him put away that 3rd goal simply made me smile.France may not beat Brazil again but seeing the bald,old master win another "short race" was delightful.

And Then Came FRED!




In Ellison's words "Who The F@$%^&* is FRED" was part of our conversation recently over msn but in truth who is he - the mystery man who scored Brazil's 2nd goal against Australia? No No not Ronaldo but FRED...! This finding also lead us to unveil an Indian player in the French squad...and yes both Chris (siah as we know him) and Ell will confirm that Vikash Dhorasoo is an Indian...but I am quite sure the spanish coach might think otherwise!!!



In all said and done during the WC2006, especially with the revived controversy between Henry and the Spanish Coach, you sometimes get the feeling that BLACK POWER might just rule the night plagued with the undercurrents of racism despite FIFA's call to end this ouright nonsense of taunting the likes of Emile Heskey...... eventhough he does look like an ape...sorry guys but I am also a Liverpool fan and use to cheer him on while he was at the reds. Forgive me that was just for laughs.



Ok guys so here's the real deal...as Arul will know..along with Chris, Jacob (Arg and Eng fan!!!) Not to forget Arnold who is cheering away back in the quite home of Klebang in the wee hrs of the morning...all of us wearing our Argentina Jerseys (looking and behaving like small boys), whoever wins the Arg vs Germany showdown will most likely end up in the finals...unless the Azurri pulls off another "Italian Job" (just like the one against Australia). Oh yes guys, if you are wondering...the silly guy on the right is FRED....now read on...

So up till now, we are waiting for the 2006 WC upset. Australia almost did it but... so as we enter the last stage of the final 16 tonight, there can be only two possible upsets left on the cards....I am not mentioning names or teams but you make the conclusion-pretty obvious right! We all know Murphy's Law and many of us like Martin have started saying that wicked prayer already. Happy watching and keep jumping like Fred. May the best worthy TEAM win! Yaa-baa-da-ba-dooo!

You called me "Black Sh#t"?

Will it be pay back for the "Black Sh#t" comment from way back or will Spain truly retire Zizou.
I always favour the underdogs ...that's until they meet Argentina la.So, I am hoping the Ghanian"Black Stars" will give Brazil a jolt.
Both fixtures should be a delight to watch.

Top referee is a Malay dude

So, I was rather suprised to see Holland beaten by Cristiano "Disco Legs" Ronaldo and gang then was also suprised again to see the top referee spot being held by someone from Singapore.Well, at least we can be proud of the fact that the top referee is from S.E.A upon seeing the Russian referee flash cards as if he was playing "Bang Lat" (Hokkien for Black Jack...I think).
Let's say the Mexicans had me worried when they took the Argies into extra time but once again a superb volley to save the day.It will be quite a feat if Argentina can get pass the German machines in their backyard but let's hope and pray la.Anyway, off the topic a bit...doesn't Ballack look a a lot like Matt Damon?Then again you can look like your favourite football stars too as you can cut out these masks and wear them.
I wanted England to lose so much yesterday (sorry,Jake) but that Mike Tyson sounding Beckham did his thing la.Must admit Wayne "Shrek"Rooney is really good and if it wasn't for that no good(actually good defender)Ashley Cole....the game may have changed.

Lucha Libre

Forgive me if you were looking for something "Lucah"...because this is about something else...probably the title was a lil' misleading.I am sure you have seen the Mexico fans dressed like those Mexican masked wrestlers and I bet the reason we see more during this World Cup is because of the movie Nacho Libre... starring, that over the top comedian...Jack Black.I really can't wait to see the movie and so far the movie's official site and the trailer is really funny.So the next time you see a mexican fan with a mask...you know it's Lucha Libre...the Mexican wrestling, a sport considered very Mexican!Click header for movie trailer.


Dell Notebook Explodes(Pic)

In Mission Impossible, the message would self-destruct, usually by spontaneous combustion, in order to leave no evidence of the mission.I wonder if the owner of the Dell notebook was a secret agent like Ethan Hunt...or was he watching some "DVD panas" to quote that Petaling Street DVD peddlers.
looks like this would be some marketing nightmare for the Dell people because this is not the first time this has happened.Remember 2003?The "Flaming" Dell Inspiron?
Anyway, if you use a Dell notebook(ahem!Jake), pls note that you would not be just roasting your "zuriat-zuriat" but you can end up roasting their "home" as well.Then again, it can work in your favour ...."Boss,I couldn't finish the report because my notebook exploded!"
Click header to read in full!
On other news,looks like it's going to be Tango vs Tequila when the Argies meet the Mexicans.

Ecuador vs Germany

Is Ecuador making Klose & Ballack S#$t bricks before the game tonight?
Anyway, I do hope the Argies will do the Tango all over Holland and make orange juice out of Robben and gang.
Hope Maradona is in the stands wearing all the rosaries in the world man!Vamos Argentina!Don't judge me...I will support Malaysia WHEN they qualify for WC.

Check out the Babe man!

Luke thanks everyone for their presents and "ang pows" eventhough as you can see he was busy checking out the chicks.Looks like my son may have a thing for "older women" since Marissa is slightly older than him.
Anyway you can check out a few more shots HERE and I kinda liked the fact that there was "Tosai" being prepared by Luke's Indian grandma, the "roasted suckling pig" by the grand uncle and to add a lil flavour to the occassion we had the"abang"to make some "Satay" for everyone.Though, the most important thing would have to be that on 16th June 2006, also marked the day Argentina displayed to the world once again,how football should be played.What can I say about that second goal and to remember that moment Luke got a adidas futsol ball from his Auntie with the colours and the word "Argentina" printed on it.Somehow I sense Ell's hand in that selection.
BTW, there's a lot of booze left over guys, so I am thinking of organizing a WC finals "thani" session.Well, not to worry la...our so called drinking session are never extreme.We will miss Suresh much but not to worry...Christopher will drink on his behalf.Then again, how about making a trip back for the finals O Purple One?
While we are on the topic of football, install the FootieFox extension for your Firefox browser if you can.A must have during this WC2006 season!

Eat la!Eat la!

Guys,
You know who you are,esp the contributors to this blog...just to make it clear.Pls turn up this Saturday 17th June 2006 around 7pm.I am currently in Penang on work and will be back to Malacca on Friday.Jake, I found a ride...so no worries, I have a ticket out of that forsaken KLIA.

Suresh...as the Pink Floyd song goes...."Wish you were here"..tsk..tsk.

Tramp Stamp

This explanantion of the term "Tramp Stamp" , yup!the lower back tattoo some girls have is pretty funny.Via Mike DeWolfe:Mememaker.

Tramp Stamp
- (noun) . The tattoo women put on their lower back, below their kidneys and above their thong panties. Excellent identifier of whether the female is a Delta.

Derived from Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World". In his fictional ideal civilization, there are Alphas, Beta, Gammas and Deltas. Deltas are the drones who carry out menial tasks and live for doled out portions of soma. In our society, Deltas serve no useful purpose. Rather than carry out base chores, they're seen skateboarding, pickking fights at bus stops and traipsing down the street with a case of Lucky at 2PM on a weekday. Idle Deltas separate our civilization from a utopia. A group of Deltas is refered to as a "grunge of Deltas."

Anyway just read this article that tell's the sad tale of westerners sporting tattoos written in Chinese or Japanese that probably says "I am a dumbass". Here's a tip, learn to age gracefuly , your tattoo would look really uncool when you turn 50.

This Saturday Night Live Skit- (Tattoo Removal) really makes that point very clear...in a humorous way.

Football Urinal?




















I saw this urinal in Schipol Airport in Amsterdam that helps men aim properly.Click image
(on right) you'd know what I am talking about.Though, am not sure if the image of the urinal with the ball and goal post is a great idea.
While we're on the topic of toilets, why is it that you see shoe prints on sitting toilets in Malaysia?May those who "cangkuk" on it,break the bowl and get their ass cut.
Please be considerate to those who have to use the toilet after you la.Surely, we have a long way to go as a nation if we need to have ads to tell us to stop at traffic lights and squating on sitting toilets.

Eight Below

I managed to catch this Disney movie on a SIA flight and must admit that I had a hard time ensuring no one saw me shed some tears.Yup!For dog lovers like me,this is one great movie.Based on a true story about a Japanese Expedition team in 1958 which was also a Japanese movie called "Antartica" in the 80's.
What I learned from the movie?You never quit on those who matter most to you.... humans and animals alike.
Some may find certain scenes a bit corny but please do bear in mind that it is a Disney movie and cut it some slack.
Quoting the words of Frank Marshall the director
: "It's great to arrive on set every morning and have all those happy faces looking at you," he says, laughing. "They don't care what you said to them the day before and they're not mad about having to pull the sled and run in the cold. They're full of unconditional love."
Click header for trailer.

Make your own Motivational poster

Make your own custom motivational posters like this one that I made after being inspired by our very own Tun.The guy is truly remarkable la!I am very sure his latest outburst would not be his last.....yup!you'd see him make the front page news again.

Make your own poster by clicking on header!

List of World Cup Rules for the Mrs

Let the games begin and together with it begins too the puffy panda eyes and acting at the doctor's clinic.So, for all the Mrs out there here are a set of rules I received via e-mail that will help you understand the situation better.I ommited some rules which I felt may put the marriage on the rocks.

1. From 9 June to 9 July 2006, you should read the sports section of the newspaper so that you are aware of what is going on regarding the World Cup, and that way you will be able to join in the conversations. If you fail to do this, then you will be looked at in a bad way, or you will be totally ignored. DO NOT complain about not receiving any attention.

2. During the games I will be blind, deaf and mute, unless I require a refill of my drink or something to eat. You are out of your mind if you expect me to listen to you, open the door, answer the telephone, etc etc. On the topic of making love...."boleh di bincang" as I may need some "comforting" esp when the team loses.

3. The replays of the goals are very important. I don't care if I have seen them or I haven't seen them, I want to see them again. Many times.

4. And finally, please save your expressions such as "Thank God the World Cup is only every 4 years". I am immune to these words, because after this comes the Champions League, Italian League, Spanish League, Premier League, etc etc.

BTW TP, Jake hopes Argentina and England will meet in the final and he can't make up his mind who should win.See, I told you.

Back to KaLi

I had no idea that a place like Lau Yat had the same kinda feel like Sim Lim in Singapore and to boot,some decent cheap stuffs too.Unlike Chris and TP, I did not spend any money there though....and yes I was really tempted to get F.E.A.R,which I know for a fact will never have the time to play.For crying out loud,I am so out of touch these days,that I do not even know what HalfLife: Episode One is.
Meeting up with Jake seems like a real uphill task as he's really busy and I on the other hand only reach the hotel around 9pm daily.I sure do hope to catch up with him tomorrow for some laughs and some nice KL teh-tarik.He'll have milo for sure,I guess.
Since my trip to Bangkok and KL has taken all my time these 2 weeks, I can't wait to spend the weekend with my family and get back to my T-shirt project for my son.
Anyway TP, here's the link to the VLC player which is my default player.The damn thing plays anything you throw at it..at least to me la.It's small,nifty yet powerful!

p.s: Everyone is talking about this big accident that killed some racing "machas"...think it's the same one TP mentioned?