Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Oct 20

The Inevitable Gaming Computer Comparison

After the giddiness of having ~~a new thing~~ has passed, I’m giving some serious consideration to what I like about my Y50 and what I don’t like. As a whole, there’s nothing that’s a deal breaker that would make me return it, but I do sigh wistfully at a few features that I preferred with my Alienware M15x.

Let’s start with the positives, of which there are quite a few.

  • The Y50 is much lighter. It’s missing an internal DVD drive, but my bundle included an external. Since I won’t need it very often, this is fine.
  • The brushed aluminum looks fantastic, and it still has a profile reminiscent of a car. The velvet-cote plastic surface surrounding the keyboard feels fantastic.
  • The speakers are situated in a position so you get the most sound, and it’s rich and deep. It’s hard to believe these are laptop speakers I’m talking about. I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed listening to music like this before.
  • Using the arrow keys to control volume and brightness just makes sense!
  • Battery life seems longer.
  • Greater pixel density in the screen.
  • Google Play Music free trial? I’ll take it!
  • There’s also a free Intel game bundle including Total War: Rome 2, which I have yet to install.
  • Finally, it’s fast. Of course, the 4th gen Core processors didn’t even exist four years ago when I bought my first laptop, and that was a 1st or 2nd gen i3! It comes with only 8GB RAM, but this hasn’t been an issue at all.

Plus. 1 terabyte hard drive? Who needs that? XD

But there are just some areas in which my Alienware still reigns supreme.

  • I love choosing colors for the keyboard backlighting and various LEDs. I like red well enough, but the new laptop lacks LEDs in as many places.
  • The lack of number pad on the M15X provided more space for keys, which were generally bigger and well space. The viagra ireland hgh human growth hormone number pad on the y%0 should be a boon, but it’s really not. Key placement is less ideal for my small hands, and I am constantly having to turn number lock on and off. Plus, the Backspace and right Shift keys are cut down to make room for the number pad, so I often find myself hitting the wrong key by mistake.
  • My Alienware has an IR port, which I have a Windows remote control for.
  • It also has a row of capacities touch buttons, including those specifically to control music. There are no music control buttons on the Y50, even though there is space for additional function keys on the top row! While music sounds wonderful, controlling it is more frustrating to control music, and this could really cause me not to do so.
  • Those buttons and all settings came with a simple yet gorgeous on screen display. The Y50’s OSD is puke green and ugly, literally.
  • The trackpad is textured in such a way that you get extremely precise feedback, and the haptic feedback on the buttons blows the trackpad of the Y50 out of the water. In comparison, the Y50 is too sensitive while also being finicky. Weird, right?
  • The screen is really impressive for watching movies or playing games.
  • My M15X came with mousepad, leather-bound instruction manual, complete reformat discs, a slipcase for travel and a few more things. It just felt overall more polished.

As a lineup, I feel pretty confident than Alienware laptops are stronger. They’re more intuitive to use for me, which is a huge bonus. The Y50 is, no doubt, better hardware, but that’s also not quite comparable given there were 4 years in between. The portability and design of the Y50 are certainly a nice break from my hefty laptop, but lack of customization options has me bummed.

I’m sure I’ll learn to love my Y50, but it’s just not love at first sight.

Dec 16

5 Times I’d Rather Use My Kindle Than My Smartphone

1. Cooking

The Pinterest app looks especially good on my Kindle because of the form factor, and I save most of my recipes to Pinterest. I prop up the Kindle on the counter and use it to follow recipes. It’s definitely easier than bringing over my laptop, which is heavy enough to kill a man and big enough to bury him under. LOL

2. Playing Angry Birds Space

Man, I don’t know why, but this game is just so much better on the larger screen. Perhaps it’s because the game has such a wide viewing angle and you have to zoom to see anything. On my phone,  I zoom but I lose too much of the background. As soon as I bought my Kindle, I uninstalled the game on my phone.

3. Reading (Books)

The Kindle Fire is, first and foremost, an eReader. With the original, which I have, the bookshelf makes this evident. I love it. It’s a big bigger than a paperback but smaller than most hard-cover books. You can adjust the background and font colors, bookmark and share passages and look up word definitions for actual books. PDFs don’t work quite as nicely, but it’s easier to read anything with a lot of text on my Kindle than any other device I own. I would argue it might even be easier to read than an actual book.

4. Shopping

The Amazon app on the Kindle is especially nice. It better be after all. Shopping as a whole is just easier on the tablet because I can view photos up close and generally see more items on my screen than possible. When it comes to tiny text links in navigation and drop-down menus in forms, it’s hell on my phone. The greater amount of pixel real estate on my Kindle makes this all far less painless.

5.  Watching Movies

I don’t understand those people who watch Netflix on their phone. Maybe they wear glasses or all carrying a magnifying glass. All I know is that anything more than a Youtub video isn’t something I’m willing to watch on a 4-inch screen. Plus, the case for my Kindle doubles as a stand, so watching something on Amazon Video or the CBS website is pretty easy. In fact, I did it that way when my laptop was bring repaired and I was using my sister’s computer, which would overheat when I watched videos.

However, I will always reach for my phone when I have to do a lot of typing because the original Kindle Fire keyboard is terrible. Ditto if I want to take a photo (no camera) or transfer something to my phone (no Bluetooth on my version of the Kindle Fire).

So when do you grab a tablet, a phone or even the computer?

May 03

Technological Follies

I have purchased a PlayStation 3.. and I love it. It’s absolutely going to change my life. It already has, in fact. However, the process has been the catelyst to several weird, frustrating and otherwise stupid tech problems in my life.

First, I got the PS3 set up but the actual console was sitting a little too far forward in my TV stand, so closing the door turned it on.. and somehow the game started playing, so when I turned it off.. it wasn’t happy. After powering it back on, I received a notice that it wasn’t powered off correctly and it had to check for corruption on the disk. Everything worked okay, though. However, it did reset some settings, so I had to fix those.

Then, I was trying to set up a media server through WMP. Although I don’t use it, this seemed like the easiest method to use. In fact, it is; but it’s only that easy when you have the PS3 and your laptop hosting the media server on the same network. Oops.

However, network problems quickly arose when I started my computer this morning and it wouldn’t connect to the same network that it’s been on since I moved in here. I could sign on at a guest, but there was some generic error whenever I tried to sign in to the secure network. Oddly enough, both my phone and Ps3 were connected just fine. Later, I started up the computer and it wanted a password, so now I’m signed in just fine.

Nevertheless, my issues don’t stop there. Crazy, I know. When I first connected the PS3 to my TV, it worked right away. I was using the same HDMI cable that I always use with my laptop, but I couldn’t get it to connect for the life of me this weekend when some friends were over. It kept telling me that there was no video signal, even though my laptop clearly connected one. This occasionally happened but I was able to fix it by restarted the computer or switching HDMI ports in the past. Nothing worked at all, so I was surprised when the PS3 started right up with no problems.

That is, until.. I turned it on and the TV wouldn’t register a signal for the life of it (me?) . I figured it must just be the HDMI cable, which is easily replaceable. I grabbed the AV cable that shipped with the PS3, figuring I could just use it in -gasp- SD for the time being. But you know what the fuck happened? No, you don’t! That’s why I’m going to tell you.

The TV wouldn’t detect any signal through the AV cables, either! In either port. So, I don’t know what the hell the problem is. Maybe something’s loose in the television itself, but sometimes all the ports seem to just.. stop working. It’s super annoying but it’s also random. I gave up and plugged the HDMI cable back in.. and the damned thing started working randomly. It cut out when the cat walked by but everything’s been fine since a friend nudged it just a bit. Obviously, the whole thing is stupid, but as long as I’m able to stream movies from my laptop (see above), then I don’t need to touch the system itself or cable.

So, let’s cross fingers that my problems are solved.

Dec 12

Android Takes Over the World [Infographic]

I love the way this infographic is done. There’s so many these days, and so few infographics are done in a way that I find visually appealing, but MBA Online managed to do it with this one.


Of course, I knew all this already. As an Android fangirl, I am happy.

I would love to see someone really tackle the issue of fragmentation, however.

Jul 11

Kindle Fire’s Keyboard Sucks. Oh, It’s Sexist, too

The one thing that I would change about my Kindle Fire is the keyboard. The OS doesn’t let me switch to Swype or FlexT9, a similar app that I’ve actually purchased from Amazon’s Appstore. The Kindle’s keyboard isn’t entirely like that on my iPod, but it works better on the iPod, because it’s so much smaller. However, the size of the Kindle Fire keyboard isn’t the only thing that bugs me, it’s the content. The dictionary doesn’t contain basic words like “recognize”. I’m constantly doubting myself because I type a word but it shows the red line indicating that it’s not a real word. Basic works that you would expect a dictionary to know are missing, while it includes hundreds of useless words.

It’s also sexist. What do I mean? The Kindle Fire’s dictionary doesn’t include any word that describes female anatomy. Vagina? Nope. There’s no vulva or clitoris, either. There’s not even any nipples.  Of course, “penis” was in the dictionary. Now, I’m sure it wasn’t Amazon’s intent, but it means that the Kindle fire doesn’t include medical terminology for the human body, but it’s oddly suspicious that it’s only words that describe female anatomy. One could argue that Amazon wants to avoid words for possibly adult terms, but then again there’s that reference to “penis.”

Am I actually offended? Well, no, but I am curious.

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