Hero, Japanese Drama On YouTube

May 20, 2007

Eleven-part Japanese drama (j-dorama), Hero, with English subtitles. Also includes a Hero special.

The user index for the complete set.

Reference: Asian DVD Rentals ala NetFlix

May 20, 2007

Tiger Cinema

Samsung Q1U With Vista: I Wouldn’t Want It For Free!

May 20, 2007

Yesterday I went back to the Samsung Experience to again fondle the new Samsung Q1U UMPC.

They had two units up front and I fondled both. The hardware was identical, according to Control Panel->System.

The one on the left side of the entrance was hooked up to an external flatscreen monitor. I didn’t notice any performance difference because of that.

Here’s the bad news:

To fully populate the Control Panel with all of its icons in Classic View takes about twenty-three seconds! I timed it. This is totally unacceptable. This happened on both units.

YouTube: I came to my blog, went to this post, and clicked on the link there to go to YouTube to play this video. It was a full-out disaster. The audio was loud (this time I did put the audio on the UMPC to max — good sound pumped from the dual speakers) but crackly and choppy and the video performance was just atrocious. It wasn’t just dropping frames — it refused to play at all at times! I tried it both live streaming and then stopping, hitting Rewind, then playing the cached video. Same result! I couldn’t try YouTube on the right-side Q1U because it couldn’t connect to the Net and I couldn’t find a way to make it (and that frustration is a whole separate issue for another time!).

I tried inking again. OneNote 2007 was on it. I called it up, and tried to do some on-screen handwriting. That was a disaster too. I didn’t feel the screen was responsive enough. I got skipping. For example, writing a capital T at my normal speed, I’d get the crossbar but no vertical line! It was as if the software was busy doing something else and only recognized the screen was being written on too damned late! I tried writing with a thicker pen line. Not much difference.

I called up Microsoft Reader. This blared Optimized for Origami on its splash screen. Well, I don’t know what they mean by that. The two triangle icons to page forward/back were much too small in my opinion; better suited for a PDA than for a device that is geared towards using a fingertip. Reader was very responsive, fast, and the type looked gorgeous at all the sizes I tried (using a Star Trek novel already on the hard drive). This was a bright spot. Except when I tried screen rotation with a page open. It was also slow. It took at least 5-6 seconds to accomplish. The on-screen fonts were still gorgeous. This was tested on the right-side unit. I didn’t try it on the left-side unit (someone else was fondling it).

I managed to again crash the Menu button. This time it didn’t go away totally, I got a center-screen dialog box stating it was refusing to respond. It eventually did. But it was slow.

The final bad news involves changing screen resolution. The Samsung Experience staff still don’t know how to do it. But one of them did uncover a new method: right-clicking (or tap-and-holding) on the desktop brings a pop-up menu with two Graphics choices, one of which leads to switching resolution. To review, Samsung itself claims:

7″ WSVGA Touch Screen LCD
1024 x 600 native,
800 x 600, 640 x 480,
LED Backlit, 300 nits

But even using this second method (the first tried during my initial fondle was via Control Panel), the only other resolution offered is 800×600! And when I tried that, I really didn’t see any difference except in the aspect ratio of the desktop icons. So, how to switch through all three resolutions still remains a mystery to me and to the Samsung Experience staff. This was done on the right-side unit (the left being occupied).

On the left side was a Q1 Classic. I opened Control Panel. BANG! It was there with all its icons instantly. It was breathtaking in comparison to the Q1U. And I went to System: This was using a 900MHz Celeron! I wanted to try the YouTube test, but I couldn’t. I’d forgotten that Samsung didn’t load any Flash player on their Q1 Classics, so YouTube was no-go.

My conclusion is that I’ve been down this road before and I’m not going to take it ever again. The Nokia 770 drove me mad with its slowness. The Q1U — running Vista — would do the same to me. Having to wait wait wait for things to get done — or, in the case of inked handwriting, not really get done at all! — is unacceptable to me at any price, including free. If Samsung were to contact me tomorrow and say, “Hey, look, why don’t we give you one for free, no strings attached, and you go ahead and keep it,” my honest reply would be: Piss off!

On the other hand, I still really really want to fondle one that has XP on it. I really do like the hardware (except for its CPU!); the weight distribution is just excellent for holding with one hand, and it just overall feels measurably lighter than a Q1 Classic. Plus, that screen is just so much better than the Q1 Classic. I’m really hoping the bottleneck in all this is Vista and not the CPU being underpowered.

Previously in this blog:
I’m Beginning To Think There Isn’t A Single Tech Site That Can Be Trusted
Blogroll Changes: Tech Sites Removed
Someone Else Fondled The Samsung Q1U
Samsung Q1U Simulation Video
Excellent Samsung Q1 Classic Video Demo
Samsung Q1U Hardware Topped
Samsung Q1U Fondle
What The $800 Samsung Q1U Will Lack
Samsung Intros The Q1U In NYC And Blows It: Doesn’t Invite Me!
Samsung Prices New Q1U To Kill Competitors!
It’s Time To Stop Looking At Cheap Devices!
Tech prOn: More About The Samsung Ultra Ultra MPC
Tech prOn: Samsung Q1 Ultra Ultra Mobile PC
Reference: Samsung Q1 Accessories
I Thought So: Samsung Is Gonna Break My Heart!
This Has Been A Test
Flipstart & Samsung Add To Upgrade Season Choices
Nokia: Samsung Is Gonna Kill You!
James Kendrick: Professional Fiend!
NYC Tech Trawl
Samsung, You Slay Me!
James Kendrick: Professional Fiend!
Digital Life: Loose Ends
This Is A(nother) Test!
This Is What The Future Looked Like — And Will Look Like From NOW ON!