The End of Borders Bookstores

Today, upon visiting Yahoo, I happened across a headline that saddened me. It was an article announcing that Borders is closing all its bookstores because it has failed to find a buyer. I can’t say that it’s a surprise, since they filed for bankruptcy protection back in February this year, but the realization that they are shutting their doors hurts. Borders has been around since 1971, and for me they’ve been a place I visited regularly both as a student in the 90’s and now as a parent. In fact, I was there yesterday, flipping through a scrapbook celebrating the Henrietta store’s 30 year birthday.

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iPad2 Screen Cracked! What to do!

My wife’s friend over in Singapore suffered what any iPad2 owner dreads, a cracked screen from an accidental drop! It seems for the all the strength Corning’s Gorilla glass provides for impact resistance, it’s no match for a corner impact! So what can you do? It seems at least in the early iPad2 release days some people said that Apple voluntarily and unofficially gave replacements for the broken units, but that was in the US, and I only know of this from some people posting about it on the internet. That apparently isn’t so in Singapore.

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HP TouchSmart 610 Impressions

Recently HP refreshed their HP Touchsmart 610 series of All-in-One computers, and added some serious umph to their lineup. I reviewed an earlier model a few months back when I purchased it for my elderly parents, and even then, I thought it was a nice machine and a good form factor. It’s not something I would recommend to my buddy Joe who spends the cost of the machine on just a video card, so nope, this isn’t going to float your boat if you’re a heavy gamer or performance monger. But if you’re an average to even above average user, and don’t want hardware all over the place, this little all-on-one might fit the bill just fine.

Read on for my impressions of the new line.

The base model with an AMD dual core processor starts at $599, but this is the wimpiest of the entire lineup. They ramp up to their Quad series, which packs an Intel i7 Quad core processor which starts at $1370. Just for kicks I went to the HP site to see how high I could go with their all-in-one, and this is what I came out with:

  • This configuration was already with an i7 Quad processor, memory card reader and TV Tuner, so the items below are all add-ons.
  • 16gb RAM
  • 2TB 7200 RPM SATA HD
  • 2GB NVidia Geforce GT 425M Graphics Card
  • Slot Load Blu-ray Writer

Total, $1810. Not bad, considering all that stuff is crammed into a 23″ display. Obviously you might do better with separate components, but then you’re giving up the single unit form factor. Granted , you also don’t need to go this insane either. The processor won’t be much use unless you’re going to be a heavy Photoshop or Video editor, the graphics card upgrade might be nice for heavier gamer. The Blu-ray writer might be overkill also, but that depends if you want to create Blu-ray movies or use the Blu-ray media for a backup device… Honestly, for backup devices, you can probably save the money and pick up an inexpensive portable HD which will probably serve you better.

I’ve always like the HP Touchsmart systems, HP seems to do a nice job throwing their own touch apps into the mix that seem to meld nicely into the system. I might consider this type of configuration to replace my wife’s aging PC desktop. If you want to read more about this, Engadget’s got a review of the unit here:¬†http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/05/hp-touchsmart-610-review/.

Now only if HP would throw in a Wacom digitizer into the screen!

Thanks for reading.

 

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It’s July! I’m Not Dead Yet and Steam’s Summer Camp Sale is ON!

Whew, it’s been a while since I wrote anything. It’s not like I haven’t wanted to, I’m a blabber mouth most of the time, and my mind races everywhere, but between work, family, and health, it’s been tough. This week work had me in a virtual classroom learning IBM Websphere Application Server Administration; which in itself isn’t bad, but tack on top of having to fight off some sort of Strep-Flu like thing along with it, and you have yourself a challenge. Luckily the class is virtual, so the instructor didn’t have to witness my pathetic half-dead presence in pajama’s. I was able to do the majority of the class from home, however I did try the class from a conference room at the office on Monday, but my illness got worse, so I opted to be home the rest of the week. The virtual class was the first real company sponsored training I’ve had in quite some time, and my first virtual instructor led too. It has gone rather well, but the only major snafu was the client software wouldn’t run on my Mac, even though I met all the requirements (I tried on my iMac and my Macbook Pro), good thing I have a dual-boot Windows 7 partition on my Macbook Pro. Today’s the last day of class, and now my poor wife seems stuck with what had inflicted me all week. I’m mostly over it now, but there are still a few lingering leftovers.

Before I sign off and prepare for the day, I wanted to mention Valve’s Steam service has just begun their Summer Camp Sale (DAMN THEM!)… So, I will most likely be emptying my wallet on more games than I will ever have time to play – sigh. I might finally decide to buy Oblivion with all it’s mods, maybe I’ll be able to finish that before Windows 8 comes out! – GASP! So Go! Be a good American and SPEND this fourth of July weekend!