Saturday, December 29, 2007

Backup Hard Disk: Western Digital My Book 500

I bailed out on the sophisticated backup system by buying a Western Digital 500GB external "My Book Home" drive at Costco for $139. I really needed to back up my files pronto. So far, so good, but I did have to reformat it for NTFS, as it comes formatted as FAT32 (not a good thing).

One gripe: the included backup software, WD Anywhere Backup is a trial version, and not advertised as such. Also, it seems to be unable to backup my outlook.pst file and large .avi files. So far, the jury is out on whether it works well.

Finally a Rib Roast worth writing about

For Christmas dinner this year we made a 10lb 3-rib, rib roast from the great meat department of Fairway's Harlem store. They sell USDA Prime grade meat, which is the best. (Choice and Select are the others, in descending order).

The butcher prepped it by cutting off the bones and laying them underneath the meat, then tyeing it all together with string. A simple marinade of mustard, garlic and rosemary was rubbed on the exterior. It was cooked to 120 degrees using low heat (250) for, like 3 hours. (It was seared at 450 degrees for 15minutes to start).

We've been eating the best prime rib sandwiches ever for the past 4 days.

PS3, baby

Got the Playstation 3 for Christmas and I am impressed! Why?
  • Its a great Blu-ray player, and a great upscaling DVD player, too.
  • It has wireless everything: Bluetooth for the controller plus built in Wi-Fi networking
  • Acts as DLNA Client, meaning you can view photos, videos and play music that is on another computer in you house, by configuring it as a DLNA Server. This is a work in progress. I got the photos to pretty well now (after using a wired connection from PS3 to my router and improving the performance of my 802.11g wireless network connection to the server computer)
  • Regarding games, I only have one, F1 Championship Edition, which is less exciting than I expected.
  • I've started participating in the Folding At Home project, a distributed computing research project sponsored by Stanford, and supported by Sony via the PS3. The project is a computer model of protein "folding" which may yield medical benefits, like helping cure cancer.
  • Overall, a great machine. More comments to come.

Update on Panasonic 42" 1080p Plasma

Its been a month now, and all is well with the new TV. I have yet to calibrate it (DV Essentials DVD hasn't arrived from Netflix yet), but I used settings from PC Magazine and it looks great.

  • Blacks are very good, though I actually thought they would be better.
  • The 1080p resolution is phenomenal when fed by Blu-ray. You really have to be closer than my standard viewing distance to see it, but when you do it is amazing.
  • The exterior of the set itself is quite good looking. Piano black works for me.
  • No significant gripes!
Still highly recommended.