Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Do you remember your first Walkman?

The Late Michael Jackson was making top ten records long before i was born, both as a member of the Jackson five and also as a solo artist. Since I was old enough to remember I've been in love with the music that came from his creativity and the dance moves and routines that always had every vein in your body itching to just move. Many times I even tried to copy them, didn’t we all.

The first tracks I listened to on my walkman, were Michael Jackson tracks and I'll never forget the joy that came with enjoying sounds from my own personal music player, my love for technology and music infused in that instant. The Walkman was a revolutionary device in the days before the design office at apple were in full swing, but it wasn’t fun losing your cassette tapes, or having it "borrowed" by your numerous cousins, only to never be seen again. In an era where there were no mobile phones and personal computers, the cassette was a top form of entertainment .

Sony introduced the walkman in 1980, to great applause, although it didn’t stop the B-boys and hip hopers from carrying their boom boxes, it finally meant you could listen to your cassettes in your own privacy, the walkman is an iconic symbol, and had a dramatic influence on the music industry. However the technology swiftly moved on to CD’s and portable CD players came along soon after. The form factor of the actual CD’s made the portable CD players larger than the original walkman, making it bulky and less attractive to users although it had much better sound quality.

Before the walkman we always used to rock to the "bad" album on my fathers LP player, dancing around madly in the living room trying not to break anything. It was also the most common music played at all the birthday parties I went to, the dancing competitions were always held spellbound by the sounds of Michael, and everyone trying to do their best impression, yeah "Who's bad!". Parents smiling and thinking my son can dance, but of course he's going to grow up to be a doctor one day. Fast forward many years and I remember buying the CD of the Invincible album while I was at university. I was older and technology had changed dramatically but the world still had Michael, and although he too was trying to evolve just the same, many of his fans felt he didn’t really have to and loved him just the way he was. Now I listen to him on my laptop and MP3 player, his sound, timeless, no matter the year, and no matter the technology platform. As children today nod their heads to tracks the Jackson five made decades ago and as we all reminisce about the first time we saw the thriller video, his voice remains a part of our history and our life's story.

Old and young, sharing the same moment, like " Do you remember the time when bad was an absolute thriller and it didn’t matter if you were black or white, when MJ said beat it you actually got up and ensured that there would be blood on the dance floor because he absolutely rocked your world just like a smooth criminal and you let out a scream because of the way he makes you feel but you don’t wanna be starting something since its just human nature and you cant stop till you get enough and although they didn’t really care about us, we say say say we are the world and we cant just stop loving you, and for all the joyful memories, you are not alone".

With all that divides us, the love of music has the power to unite us and inspire us to defy the odds and get our voice heard. This is what Michael did, with his words and his songs, he brought many around the world together, no matter their backgrounds he tried to heal the world. Michael Jackson would always be remembered for his many achievements, his contributions to the worldwide music industry and for inspiring many countless musicians all over the world. For all his hard work, his music will live forever in our hearts , MP3 players. And hard drives. It will be played at countless more parties honoring my children and even perhaps my grandchildren's birthdays. "Hey Kids, listen to this one, grandpa used to dance to this when he was your age, you're going to love it".

Thank you Michael,

May your soul rest in peace.

Michael Jackson (29th August 1958 - 25th June 2009)

Michael jacksons U.S top ten's
* 1971: "Got to Be There" #4
* 1972: "Rockin Robin" #2
* 1972: "Ben" #1
* 1979: "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" #1
* 1980: "Rock With You" #1
* 1980: "Off The Wall" #10
* 1980: "She's Out Of My Life" #10
* 1983: "The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney) #2
* 1983: "Billie Jean" #1
* 1983: "Beat It" #1
* 1983: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" #5
* 1984: "Human Nature" #7
* 1984: "P.Y.T." #10
* 1984: "Say Say Say" (with Paul McCartney) #1
* 1984: "Thriller" #4
* 1985: "We Are The World" #1
* 1987: "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (with Siedah Garrett) #1
* 1987: "Bad" #1
* 1988: "The Way You Make Me Feel" #1
* 1988: "Man In The Mirror" #1
* 1988: "Dirty Diana" #1
* 1989: "Smooth Criminal" #7
* 1991: "Black or White" #1
* 1992: "Remember The Time" #3
* 1992: "In The Closet" #6
* 1993: "Will You Be There" #7
* 1995: "Scream"(with Janet Jackson) #5
* 1995: "You Are Not Alone" #1
* 2001: "You Rock My World" #10

The Blackberry Man

Sway's hilariously entertaining track dedicated to the Blackberry device. Its a business phone but they certainly aren't doing any business with it anymore.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

HTC Touch HD – A Review of Sorts.

Ahhh! My second blog. This is the difficult second album. Football fans will recognize this as the second season syndrome. And for those who think I’m speaking Greek, I’ll break it down. You see there is a general belief that the second attempt at anything is always more difficult. It doesn’t matter what it is. Music, sports, surgery, marriage, sex...hell even criminals claim it’s harder to plan a second operation.

Therefore I’ve bravely decided to take the coward’s way out by doing something simple for my second blog. Practically everything released these days has several reviews done on it. I figured that I could get in on the act. I mean how hard can it be? (Famous last words).

First of all a confession. I hate following the crowd. I can’t stand the idea that I am just another faceless person in the world. I like to be different. I want to stand out. So as a result of this, I tend to go for the less popular option or alternative as long as the same result can be achieved. Now with a mindset like this, I couldn’t possibly have an iPhone or a Blackberry. So I trawled through the phone market looking for a phone that was as cool as the iPhone, as functional as a Blackberry, and yet without the fanfare of either of them.

This brings me nicely to the object of today’s review, the HTC Touch HD. This is my new phone and having spent a significant amount of time playing with - sorry, I mean checking out - its features, I have come up with three words that perfectly encapsulate my feelings for it. I. Love. It. The phone just has so much going for it that I barely know where to begin.

The picture of the phone above doesn’t do it justice. My God it’s pretty. I like the look so much that I refuse to buy those hideous screen and body protectors that all touchscreen phones seem to have these days. Then you switch it on and the phone boots up computer style with a bit of technical information bottom right of the screen. Then you have to go through some setting up and a few other mandatory things new phones require.

Anyway, once the initial setup is out of the way, you’re taken to the home screen of the TouchFlo 3D (TF3D for short). This is the custom-built user interface HTC have placed on top of the Windows Mobile Operating System. This is a very good idea as all the main features that you use can be accessed very quickly. Appointments, weather info., emails, SMS can all be viewed via TF3D including a section for your favourite programs. Now the windows mobile operating system isn’t the best but the HTC makes the most of what it offers so there are precious few things to bother you.

Some of them include switching the orientation of your screen; the screen is like a CSI-fingerprint-lifting pad meaning you have to wipe it after a few hours of use (sidenote: could be useful if you are a spy or some law enforcement person); I am sure there are other things but that’s all I’ve got. Besides there are a lot of applications out there to rectify software concerns and screen protectors and covers to remedy the screen issues.

Bottomline: This is a very good phone for those looking to be different and not just trying to jump on the Apple Blackberry bandwagon. If you cherish exclusivity, this is the way to go.

Fawaz Hamodu.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Apple Iphone 3GS

Apples new iphone 3GS has just been introduced with a release date set for the 19th of june. The debate has already begun on the strength of the updates provided. Indeed there are good additions like video recording, voice control, and copy and paste functionality, and along with the new iphone OS 3.0 there are certainly new features to play around with. interestingly the "S" stands for speed, Apple are happy to tell us it's much faster than the previous iphone 3G, with data speeds up to 7.2Mbps HSDPA, the unit now comes with a 3 megapixel camera , and it finally supports 30fps VGA video recording. For a brief comparison, see Iphone 3G vs Iphone 3GS


  • 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
  • 480-by-320-pixel resolution at 163 ppi
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

Cellular and wireless

  • UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR


  • Assisted GPS
  • Digital compass2
  • Wi-Fi
  • Cellular

Power and battery

  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
  • Talk time:
    Up to 12 hours on 2G
    Up to 5 hours on 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 300 hours
  • Internet use:
    Up to 5 hours on 3G
    Up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Video playback: Up to 10 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 30 hours

Audio playback

  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
  • Audio formats supported: AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
  • User-configurable maximum volume limit

Camera, photos, and video

  • 3 megapixels
  • Autofocus
  • Tap to focus
  • Video recording, VGA up to 30 fps with audio
  • Photo and video geotagging
  • iPhone and third-party application integration


  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor


  • Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic
  • Volume control
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms

In the box

  • iPhone 3G S
  • Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic
  • Dock Connector to USB Cable
  • USB Power Adapter
  • Documentation
  • SIM eject tool
Iphone 3G vs Iphone 3GS

Sony PSP Go

Full product spec

Product Outline
PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) go (PSP-N1000) Product Name PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) go

External dimensions Approx. 128 x 16.5 x 69 mm (width x height x depth) (excludes largest projection)

Weight Approx. 158g / 5.6 oz (including internal battery)

CPU PSP® CPU, System clock frequency 1-333 MHz, Main memory 64MB)
Display 3.8 inches (16:9) full-transparent type, TFT drive,
480 x 272 pixel, Approx. 16,770,000 colors displayed
Sound Built-in stereo speakers
Built-in microphone
Main input/output Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b) (Wi-Fi)
Bluetooth®2.0 (EDR)
High Speed USB (USB2.0)
Memory Stick Micro (M2™)
Analog Video Out
Main connectors Multi use connector
(DC IN / OUT, USB, Video Output / Input, Sound Input / Output)
Headset / Microphone connector
Memory Stick Micro (M2™) slot
Key / Switches Directional buttons (up/down/right/left), analog stick,
Action buttons (triangle, circle, cross, square), L/R buttons
START button, SELECT button, PS button
POWER/HOLD switch, WLAN switch
display button, sound button, volume (+/-) buttons
Power sources Lithium-Ion rechargeable internal battery pack
AC adaptor
USB power supply
Internal memory 16GB (Flash Memory)
Supported profile PSP® Game
Access Control Region code, parental control
Wireless communications Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b) (Wi-Fi)
(Infrastructure mode / Ad hoc mode (connect up to 16 consoles))
Bluetooth®2.0 (EDR)
Supplied accessories AC adaptor
USB cable

Supported codec (in Memory Stick Micro (M2) / Internal memory)

Video _ Memory Stick Video Format
_ MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC)
_ H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile (AAC)
_ MPEG-4
_ MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC)
_ H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile (CABAC) (AAC)
_ Baseline Profile (AAC)
_ Motion JPEG (Linear PCM)
_ Motion JPEG (Law)

Music _ Memory Stick Audio Format
_ ATRAC3™ - Content protected by Open MG can be played back only when it is stored in M2.
_ ATRAC3plus™ - Content protected by Open MG can be played back only when it is stored in M2.
_ MP3
_ MP3 (MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer3)
_ MP4 (MPEG-4 AAC)
_ WAVE (Linear PCM)
_ WMA (Windows Media® Audio 9 Standard only) - WMA Playback feature needs to be enabled.
_ Photo _ JPEG (DCF2.0/Exif2.21 compliant)

Western Digital's massive 4TB external hard drive

Western Digital has just introduced the new mybook studio edition II with dual 2TB hard drives enclosed and running a RAID 0 configuration with eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connectivity.