I’ve just had a game changing entertainment experience. I love watching shows in HD about nature, geography, especially those that feature striking photography that adds to my knowledge of the physical world around me. The Weather Channel has launched a show called From the Edge with Peter Lik and it is available both in HD and SD. And WX has simultaneously launched a companion iPad app (FREE) that, like some of the music apps previously available that can listen to music that is playing and identify it, listens to each show as you watch it (Live/Recorded/On Demand) and then download and displays related content to augment the viewing experience.
Tuned in and watching the first recorded episode of this show on my TV.
This is great stuff. The American astronaut was inspired by the TV series to become an astrronaut. NASA encoded the new movie for them and “beamed it up” to them this weekend.
See this NYT article for details.
The BBC filmed just a small piece of the amazing tech found on the MS Redmond campus in the Home of the Future. I’ve been pretty happy with my two TouchSmart PC’s, but I’m drooling again.
I’m especially craving the whole wall interactive piece at the end of this video.
There is a Big Brother is watching you aspect to all of this though…
As a registered geek, I never thought I’d see the day when I didn’t want to build myself an impossible screaming desktop for personal use. My real world personal desktop was getting long in the tooth (i.e., it was Circa Windows XP hardware wise and to beef it up would require a new proc, more RAM, better video, and more HD space).
Somewhere between the list of components for a new box (not to mention a high end monitor), I gave in to temptation and started playing with an IQ504 in a local store last summer. The sleek design actually was (to me) the best of that genre and really appealed to me. And it was just, well, a lot of FUN to use.
The IQ816 was “to die for” but at least $500 more. For my purposes, the IQ506 had enough awesomeness. (And I already have two Media Center OCUR/DCT boxes connected to high res widescreen displays for HDTV goodness). At the time, I didn’t have any Blu-Ray DVDs so I was pretty happy with the specs of the IQ506.
So I ordered myself an IQ506 in early October. Before the stock market and the economy took an atomic nose dive. And I knew someone that could put the old desktop to good use, so I gifted it. I’m not sorry I spent the money even though it is going to now put a cramp in my holiday plans.
Click the image above to watch a VERY entertaining demo.
And after 5 weeks, I’m still as much in love with this computer as day one. This is a FUN machine. It’s possibly the best family oriented machine I’ve seen and unless you are a hard core pc gamer, it is a machine to seriously consider as a general purpose machine.
The touch screen interface doesn’t take long to become accustomed to (and you always have Windows Vista’s default interface available when you want it.
It’s kind of neat to drag my fingers along the bottom to bring up the various applications. And yes, you can add RSS feeds and view web sites within the interface.
Above shows how my blog appears inside the TouchSmart interface. I think it is cool that I can drag my finger up and down over the website to scroll. It’s like having the best of a tablet pc interface with all this neat HP touch functionality at the same time. Did I say it was fun?
There isn’t much not to like about the IQ506. My biggest beef was that these come with Vista x64 Home Premium and some trialware and Symantec crapware with 60 days of Live Update pain. But, I easily formatted the hard drive, installed Vista x64 Ultimate SP1 and then the apps (including TouchSmart) that I wanted from HP, plus all the drivers are on the HP support site. Sure I could have done a Windows Anytime Upgrade, but it’s much better to have Ultimate and do a complete image backup after you get your apps installed and everything running perfectly than it is to use an OEM “recovery” which puts you back to crapified whatever. Shame on Microsoft for not including this in Home Premium. Maybe with Windows 7 this will change.
Anyway, I’m having lots of fun with my IQ506. My advice is – go get yourself one of these. If you are impatient, some of the Best Buy stores have started carrying these. And start having FUN.
Full specs as supplied by HP:
|Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition with Service Pack 1|
|Intel Core2 Duo Processor T5850|
|PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM|
|Integrated Nvidia GeForce 9300 M GS HD graphics module with 256MB dedicated video memory and support for Microsoft DirectX 10|
TV and entertainment experience
|TV Tuner: Dual-format NTSC or over-the-air ATSC high-definition TV tuner, HP Media Center remote control with IR (infrared) receiver|
|500GB 7200RPM [gigabyte is defined as 1,000,000,000 bytes, accessible capacity may vary]|
|Slot-load SuperMulti DVD Burner|
|10/100/1000 BaseT network interface; Integrated Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN with built-in WLAN antenna|
|Integrated High Definition Audio with 2.0 sound capabilities|
|High-performance 2.0 Speakers|
|667MHz Front Side Bus|
|5-in-1 memory card reader supports Secure Digital (SD, SDHC), MultiMedia Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro
1 FireWire (IEEE 1394) port (front); Headphone (front); Line-in (back); 5 USB 2.0 ports(2 front, 3 rear)(5 available); Line-out (back); Digital Audio Out (back)
Software, full versions
|HP TouchSmart Music – Create playlists with your favorite music; HP TouchSmart Video – Watch, record and upload your personal videos using touch; HP TouchSmart Photo – Share your fun and memorable moments in life with family and friends; HP TouchSmart RSS Feeds – Get the latest news right at your fingertips; HP TouchSmart Browser – Browse the web in a whole new way; HP TouchSmart Calendar – Manage your busy schedule and stay in touch with family; HP TouchSmart Notes – Quick and easy text and voice notes right at your fingertips; muvee autoProducer Basic: Automatically create professional looking home videos and burn to DVD; Cyberlink DVD Suite Deluxe: Automatically fix and edit videos and create CDs and DVDs. Edit, burn and archive data to discs; Microsoft Works 9: Includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database and calendar; Adobe Reader 8.0: Read and print PDF files; HP Total Care Advisor: Customizable desktop tool provides support, system health and shopping information|
Software, introductory versions
|Norton Internet Security 2008: Protect your PC out of the box (60 days of complimentary live updates)|
Trial Internet service
|Easy sign-up to major dial-up and broadband Internet Service Providers
High Speed Internet Services Comparison Shopping
|21″(L) x 2.6″(W) x 17.4″ (H/D)|
|One year of hardware parts and labor coverage, 90 day software toll-free phone assistance|