Monday, July 16, 2001

Playing hooky

Left to go to class today and once I arrived at NYU decided to skip class and do some of the homework. This started out well, having gone to the Bobst library to work on my characters, but has degenerated into a morning of playing with this very site. So, in lieu of learning more Mandarin I learned a bit more about weblogs.

I'll get back to the homework later, I guess.

In other news

I broke down and bought the Sony NW-MS9 Network Walkman. So far, without even using it once, I'm already disappointed.

All information on the box, on the website, etc indicates that it uses native MP3 format files, no translation.

Bzzzt... Anything that you want to put on it must be converted to Sony's proprietary ATRAC3 format. That, plus the severe MS Windows bias has me thinking of returning it, without even trying it out yet. I have plenty of time to consider this given that the battery takes a whopping 7 hours to charge (for 10 hours of use...something does not compute there).

Having the MagicGate stuff alone was a reason to hold me off from buying this initially (MagicGate, in short, is Sony's attempt to prevent you from using Magic Sticks and other devices from swapping songs...I don't really care since I've encoded most of our CD library myself).

Sony seems to be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the MiniDisc (which was fantastic initially, but as MP3s became more popular it quickly lost luster). I bought an Aiwa MD player in the fall of 1998, enjoyed it for about 18 months, then got tired of recording music to it in real time. Sony has since come out with an MD player that it advertises to be "mp3 compatible" which simply means you convert your mp3s to a proprietary format (not ATRAC3 from what I can tell), and then record them in real time to your minidisc. Argh.

I'll let the battery complete charging and see how the sound quality is (another irritating gotcha was that there's a separate charger for the battery. It makes sense that they don't have *any* DC charging ability in the player (it's quite small) but irritating nonetheless.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:49 GMT on 16-Jul-2001 .

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Wo hen hao

Loaded up the new Sony NW-MS9 with music overnight for the subway ride to NYU. I found that another downside of the way it's powered (solely by rechargable battery ..charger being a separate item) is that I ran down the battery simply loading music on to the two cards I have (64Mb and 128Mb). The sound quality is excellent though and in general I'm happy with the player.

The software to load the player runs on MS Windows only though (I'm hoping to find a way to load the memory stick from my mac since that's where my mp3 collection is). This software, OpenMG, is circa 1999-2000 and only reads ID3V1 tags, unfortunately Apple's iTunes only saves ID3V2 tags. Argh.

e.p.c. posted this at 14:49 GMT on 17-Jul-2001 .

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Two days to go

Second to last day of my mandarin class (the penultimate day as a TEXTer might say). Unfortunately today my brain went into neutral and what little I have learned over the past couple of weeks seemed to disappear overnight.

e.p.c. posted this at 16:32 GMT on 18-Jul-2001 .

Friday, July 20, 2001

Five weeks to go

Now that Mandarin's over, I'm entering the final phase of my sabbatical. Finish a few books, do a bit more travelling (Chicago tonight, San Francisco in two weeks. (Had to cancel the trip to Sydney as United utterly failed to exceed my expectations and kept us stuck in economy).

e.p.c. posted this at 10:31 GMT on 20-Jul-2001 .

Friday, July 27, 2001

Still five weeks to go

I miscounted last week...I have five weeks left of sabbatical before returning to work (I hope!).

Slipped off the update-daily track this week. That said, there wasn't much to update on this week.

I saw the movie Ghost World with my girlfriend on Tuesday. The movie is quite good, though personally it feels a bit long. Then again, we saw it in the cramped, barely air conditioned Lincoln Plaza cinema.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:23 GMT on 27-Jul-2001 .

Monday, July 30, 2001

Still five weeks to go

This is just a brief update, using Radio Userland to edit the page instead of the webform. This weekend's adventures consisted of playing Black & White and looking for houses in Brooklyn Heights (a task not for the faint of heart given the price ranges). TTFN.

e.p.c. posted this at 07:36 GMT on 30-Jul-2001 .

Slightly acerbic and eccentric dog walker who masquerades as a web developer and occasional CTO.

Spent five years running the technology side of the circus known as www.ibm.com.

More about me here.

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