Tag Archives: SDHC

Improving Garmin GPS units

We’ve had a pair of Magellan 1420 GPSs for several years, but they’ve grown very unreliable. I suspect they have some bad capacitors in them, but I hear a lot of complaints about Magellan hardware quality even today. Recently I was able to buy a couple of 3.5-inch Garmin units for less than $20 apiece. I prefer the Magellan user interface–I think it’s easier to learn and easier to use–but for that kind of money, we’ll learn to use the Garmins. And I’ll note these Garmins are every bit as old as our Magellans, but have held up fine. Continue reading Improving Garmin GPS units

Buying that Nook was more work than it needed to be

I drove to the Kmart the 90s forgot–on Manchester Avenue in St. Louis, if it matters–in search of a $70 Nook Simple Touch. I found it in the electronics section, in the very back of the store, in a glass case with a bunch of obsolete stuff. If you need VHS tapes, I know your place.

The price was wrong. That was a bad sign, but I waited until the clerk wasn’t busy.

Continue reading Buying that Nook was more work than it needed to be

Best Buy needs to clone Micro Center, not Radio Shack

So Best Buy is planning to close 50 big-box stores, downsize others, and try to focus its efforts on selling cell phones, tablets, and e-readers.

Sounds to me like they’re trying to become Radio Shack. Continue reading Best Buy needs to clone Micro Center, not Radio Shack

Micro Center’s 18-minute pickup works spectacularly

It was like ordering Chinese takeout.

I wrote yesterday about how I needed a motherboard to try to solve my ongoing webserver issue. I don’t live or work anywhere near Micro Center. The computer store near my house closed, and I don’t like the one near my workplace anymore since they jerked my friend around. Frequently I order computer equipment online, but Micro Center’s pricing is really good right now, so I asked my wife if she would mind trying a pickup order.

It worked. Splendidly.

I went to the web site, created an account, then added the items I wanted to my cart. I’ve known for a couple of days that I wanted an Asus P5G41T-M LX motherboard, a Pentium E5700 CPU (two cores of 3 GHz goodness for 65 watts and 50 bux0rZ), and 8 GB of Kingston DDR3. I also added a 32 GB SDHC memory card for my wife’s new camera, to make the trip worth her while. I added my wife as an authorized pickup person and created a PIN for her.

Seven minutes later, I received an e-mail message saying my order was ready.

She went to the store, walked right up to a sign at the front of the store that read Internet Pickup, handed them her driver’s license, told them her PIN, and they grabbed a pile of stuff with my name on it, put it in a bag, and handed it to her.

And I know now that you can place your order and pick it up any time within three calendar days.

I already have a 40 GB SSD and a Corsair power supply I’ve been saving for the project. Now I just need to find an ATX case to gut, put my pieces together, install Linux, and I’ll have a new web server.

Cyanogenmod 7 on a Nook Color

I should not have said yesterday it would take 38 minutes or less to turn my Nook Color into a Cyanogenmod-powered tablet. Big mistake.

I have it running now, more or less. It’s nice. Sluggish at times, but once it’s set up it seems to do better. Time can make it better. Getting started is the big thing. Baby steps. Baby steps.

Continue reading Cyanogenmod 7 on a Nook Color

First impressions of a low-tier tablet, plus why I don’t shop at Best Buy

I received my Nook Color this week. I haven’t hacked it yet–I only just got an SDHC card for that, which is a story in itself–but to my pleasant surprise, I’m not certain everyone would need to. Yes, it’s marketed as an e-reader, but what I took out of the box is a viable entry-level tablet. It certainly wants you to read books on it, but aside from the e-reader, it also has a music player and a web browser. Out of the box, it does the basic things people buy tablets for.

I’ll hack mine, because supposedly it’s easy and virtually nothing can go wrong, and I like having maximum control over my devices. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Continue reading First impressions of a low-tier tablet, plus why I don’t shop at Best Buy

The $119 tablet

I broke down today. I’m going to join the tablet game. Barnes & Noble was selling refurbished Nook Color e-readers for $119, so I bought one, intending to load Cyanogenmod on it and turn it into an Android 2.3 tablet.

The resulting tablet is no Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, but it’s $119.

Continue reading The $119 tablet