Sunday, March 19, 2006

New toys

I got several new geek toys this week.

First and foremost is a new monitor. I bought a Dell 2405FPW. This is a 24" widescreen LCD monitor. It has dual inputs and seems to play nice with KVM switches. It is attached to my Mac G4, Mac Quadra, Windows PC and Linux PC. It also has a built-in USB hub and memory card reader. Native resolution is 1920x1200. See the photo (to the right) for an image of it hooked up to everything.

I am very pleased with Dell here. I placed my order on Tuesday. The charge went through that night. I received it Friday afternoon. This is with the free UPS-ground shipping. The monitor includes both VGA and DVI cables, so I didn't have to buy either - which is great, since I'm using both inputs. The total cost, with tax and a 5-year warranty came to $880.

The second new toy is a PlayStation 2. Once I learned that the PS3 will be delayed at least until November, I decided to go and buy a PS2. I don't want to wait over 8 months to play Katamari Damacy in my living room!

The new PS2 consoles are small!. (See the image to the right. Note the size of the DVD in the drive and the controller.) Sony isn't kidding when they say it is 75% smaller than the original PS2 console. When I took it out of the box, my first impression was "this is it?". Significant changes from the original PS2 are:

  • Different DVD drive. This one is top-loading instead of tray-loading
  • No mechanical power switch. Only the electronic power switch.
  • No expansion bay. So the hard drive add-on doesn't work
  • No network expansion port. Instead, Ethernet is built-in. According to Sony, the North American models also include a modem, but mine didn't. So they must be shipping two different models to the US. (Or Sony's web site is wrong, which is also possible.)
  • If you use a multi-tap, you need a new model. Previous ones are incompatible.
  • The vertical stand is different, because of the new case-shape.
I still have to buy the Component video cable and an optical audio cable, to make the system complete, but it seems to work well. I played Katamari Damacy for many hours tonight (from about 7:00 until 3:00am, so I'm just a bit wired right now. )

And now it's time for bed. Tomorrow's a day with nothing to do but laundry, so I've got plenty of time to play with my new toys.

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