February 27, 2006

Back to the grind. Weekends are so short – especially when you work during them.

Merrill Lynch is estimating that the new Sony Playstation 3 is going to cost Sony approximately $900 to produce at launch, according to this report from Engadget. Engadget says that ML got the addition wrong when they stated $900 and that their totals actually only come to $800 but they have no price listed for the 2.5″ hard drive and if you do some online shopping for the kind of hardware that they are looking at for that particular component then you will easily see where the other $100 comes from. Now, it is unlikely that any consumers will actually have to spend $900 to pick up one of these babies but it does mean that they are not likely to be coming very cheaply. This breakdown really shows why it is so difficult for gaming consoles to compete with computer systems. You could easily buy a regular computer, with far more functionality, for far less money. Sure, the PS3 has some features that are currently unavailable for the PC platform but the reality is that these features are useless on the PS3 for some time (like the Blu-Ray drive, for example which will be used primarily to play DVDs for a long time) and could be added for far less total expenditure to your computer when the time is right. For $700 you can easily have a 64 bit AMD Athlon 64 based commercial HP machine with 512MB of memory, an 80GB SATA hard drive and a GeForce 6 series graphics PCIE card with every single component outperforming the Playstation 3 and blowing everyone away with a three year warranty. Contrary to popular belief, the real money in computers is in buying the warranties. Pay closer attention to how long companies are willing to guarantee their hardware – this is one of the best indicators of a manufacturer’s faith in their own machines as well as their assessment of their customer’s intelligent. And the IBM Cell processor? I am sure it is nice and will do well down the road. But really it is just a rework of the Power PC which hasn’t done that well for video game machines in the past and cost a fortune to produce right now AND no developers are experienced on. Compare that to the super high performance AMD 64 bit family at very low cost and you will have a really hard time justifying the Cell. This isn’t to say that there isn’t value in video game consoles but the value is created artificially by limiting the release of popular gaming titles to only existing on the consoles even when they would perform better, cost less to make and be more useful on the general purpose computer. Once consumers realize this fact and decide to stop paying for consoles the video game makers will realize that everyone loses when consumers have to spend a significant portion of their video game budgets buying unimpressive hardware for every few games that they want to play.

Dominica’s car has to go into the shop tomorrow for its inspection. What a pain NY inspections are. They seem to be way too frequent to me. At least on newer vehicles. What do they think is going to be wrong with them that an inspection is actually going to catch?

Dominica got up a little after ten this morning and we went out to the Omega for some breakfast. It was a little on the late side so we ended up actually getting lunch. We took along some of her A+ study material and did some studying while we were waiting for the food.

Rocketboom fans will be happy to know that today is the shows first official webcast in widescreen. It isn’t quite HD. Actually, HD doesn’t mean anything. But it isn’t in a format equivalent to HD TV. But it still looks a lot better than it did before.

Andy sent me this awesome link to illiterate Kanye West using a relief effort video as a platform to, well, show everyone he is so handicapped that he cannot even talk. I mean this might actually be the dumbest person ever allowed to be on television. Can you believe that people actually pay money to go to concerts to listen to the sound of this guy drooling on himself?

Dad picked us up at 6:00 and we went over to the Omega to grab some quick dinner before going to the Geneseo Cinema to watch Disney’s new film Eight Below. The movie was decently done but it was incredibly sad. It is a really tough movies for children to sit through. Even sadder, however, is the fact that the movie is based upon real life events that happened to a group of Japanese researchers in Antarctica in 1958. In 1958 the Japanese team was forced to leave fifteen dogs behind and returned to find only two left alive.

Apple has finally released the Intel version of the Mac Mini. Personally I think that the Mac Mini is the coolest of all of the Apple products. It’s cost/performance isn’t all that bad, it is really tiny, quiet and attractive. For light computing duties in a space that has serious asthetic requirements this is a very nice unit.

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