April 30, 2006

Decisions, Decision, Decisions....

Well, I haven't actually *written* a blog post in a while - I have dugg a lot of stuff, and done a few comics, but I haven't writen, so here goes.

I have recently come into a little bit of money, and there is a possiblity that one of my web-based endevours will pay off in a decent way in just a little while. So, I've been spending the money I don't have yet. I haven't actually been spending money I don't have. (I, unlike most of the free world, do not have a credit card - nor do I want one - my debit card works just fine, thank you.) What I have been doing is deciding what I'm going to spend my money on.

I have several things I want to accomplish with this money.

  1. I need a good new laptop that will last me at least a couple of years.
  2. I need a HDTV.
  3. I need a new game system.
  4. I need a PVR/HTPC/DVR/set-top-box/MCPC/TiVo-killer/whatever-you-wanna-call-those-things.
  5. I need new glasses.
Ok, I don't know if anyone could actually *need* a new game system - but anyway...

So here are my problems.

HDTV is cool, and it is the future - but I don't have anything HD to plug into it. But if I get a new game system and/or a HTPC, then I will have something HD to plug into it. I'd also like to use my TV as a computer monitor, so I can get rid of the clunky set up I have with an actual desktop (complete with 17" CRT monitor) on my coffee table. Well, it's actually like an end table, but whatever.

So if I get the HDTV and not the other stuff, the HDTV needs to have VGA inputs, so I can plug my ancient desktop into it. Also, if I get a HDTV, it's prolly (which is the uberkuhl interwebs way to spell it, btw) going to be CRT. Mainly for price reasons, but they also seem to have a longer lifespan. If you've been keeping up with my blog, (and I know you haven't - I watch my stats), then you know that I'm prolly gonna have that bad boy delievered, or call on my friends with trucks to help me bring it home. And they aren't leaving until I plug it up and watch it a few minutes.

So the other problem I will have is, my 34" CRT HDTV with VGA, Composite, DVI, and HDMI will prolly (see, you're reading that word without thinking about it by now) be way too big for my 15 year old $20 "entertainment center" from IKEA. In fact, I know it will be, since my 27" 10 year old SDTV is too big for it already.

Side note.... Since when do they get away with calling it SDTV? I mean, they have a stinking LOGO for that crap now. They have the HDTV logo, the EDTV logo, and now the SDTV logo - and they all look the same. Some poor sap is going to go in with his tax refund looking for a good deal on one of those new-fangled HiFi TeeVees. Then he's going to see the fancy SDTV label, and see that the SDTVs are much cheaper than the HDTVs, and he's going to buy it, go home, and keep complaining that his wife just doesn't get techonology, and that's why she can't see the difference.

Ok, so enough about the TV. Let's talk laptop.

I've pretty much decided that I'm going Apple on this one. I'm just waiting to see if my predicition of a June release of the MacBook (sans pro) is correct. Think about it. A thousand dollar laptop that can run OS X, Linux, AND Windows! It's 3, 3, 3 notebooks in 1! Some Triple Boot Action going on! but if my magic check comes in, and no non-Pro Macbooks are available, I'll just have to go all out on the notebook.

As we continue jumping randomly around my nicely numbered list... HTPC, PVR, DVR, Set-Top-Box, Tivo-Killer, Media Center PC, whatever thingy... Will I buy or build? Will I Mac, Windows XP MCE, or KnoppMyth? Will I try to hack together my existing systems into a suitable megabox? Only time will tell. I did get an interesting note a few weeks back from the people at MatrixStream asking if I wanted to review their IPTV box. If I hear back from them, (which I hope to do) I'd love to review them. Of course, that means I'd have to have the box to play with before I could render judgment. :-)

That brings us to the game system... I have several ways to go with that, not just DS or PSP. Here's a quick list of my options: wait a few weeks for the North American launch of the DS Lite, import a DS Lite from Japan through Play-Asia, buy a clunky old DS from Walmart for $119, buy a PSP from Walmart for $199, buy a GP2X from Play-Asia for $169, buy a PocketPC or a Palm and run emus, wait for announced price drop of the 360, wait for July and get a Nintendo Wii.... (I hate that name).

I'm leaning towards the DS Lite or the GP2X. I think the DS Lite is the better choice from the pure gaming standpoint - but as a computer geek / geekwannabe, the GP2X is better, because I have to roll-my-own, or at least follow the online instructions on how to install the emus and roms, plus there are no games to actually buy - they are all free. So it's better from a financial standpoint. But I want to play Brain-Age, but I'm sure there's a Sudoku game for the GP2X, or if not, I can try to make one. Not that I have any idea how to do that - but learning could be fun.

Or, I could just load up my as-yet-mythological new laptop up with roms... and there's always the UMPC route.... If Apple releases a UMPC, I'm all over it.

And that just leaves glasses. It's been like 2 years, if not 3, so I need new glasses. Not much to discuss there.

Please note what is *not* on the list. No cell phone - I still don't want one. No iPod - I may be a Mac fanboy, but I'm not stupid. I don't listen to music enough to merit an expensive mp3 player, and besides, if I get the right kind of game system, I don't need an mp3 player.

Well, I'm going to keep dreaming (heck, figuring out what I'm going to buy is almost as fun as having the stuff). I'll let you know what I finally get, if anything.

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