Posts tagged microsoft

Now a BizSpark startup

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My company, Tall Pine Technology, is now a Microsoft BizSpark Startup. I think with this development, it’s hard not to go all-microsoft for e-mail, etc.

Woes of cancelling XBOX Live Gold

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Just got off the phone with XBOX Live. It takes 3 minutes to enter your corporate card to sign up for one month membership on the console to be able to do a demo at CES, and over 30 minutes on the phone (you cannot cancel on the console or online) to cancel this recurring charge. What a pain!

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Microsoft XBOX360 review

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This one is not going to be easy for you XBOX fans, but here goes.

I bought the XBOX360 on eBay for $540 including shipping and handling. I have the premium console (list $399 not incl. tax). A quick check of Walmart last week revealed this is now in stock. This is the 2nd version of the XBOX360, with the “orange” screen of death problems (overheating?) worked out.
I bought an extra wireless controller, remote control, and a copy of Quake4.

First impressions:

Graphics and startup are underwhelming. The original XBOX had so much more of a WOW factor, but mainly because of the signature Halo title that accompanied it. The XBOX360 is possibly the loudest device in my cabinet, requiring significantly more sound-proofing than any other component, including my television.

1 month later:

Beefs:

  1. Stupid thing won’t stream video off my computer. I BOUGHT IT FOR THAT. (Windows Media Connect gives it the ability to stream music or photos only!) I ended up buying a D-Link DSM-520 to do what the XBOX360 won’t. To summarize the problem, XBOX360’s only stream VIDEO off an attached HDD, iPod, or Media Center PC. So you say, why wouldn’t I move my PC to Windows Media Center? Firstly, Windows Vista will have this feature built-in according to the pundits, just a matter of waiting for the release. Secondly, I run Windows XP Professional, Home and Media Center are huge steps down from this full featured OS.
  2. Games suck and are slow. Quake4 is clearly a bad port onto the console, and graphics are average, and occasionally jerky. Shame on them. On the other hand this is the first time I’ve heard anyone swear in a video game.
  3. Must…… release……….. Halo………… 3.
  4. Can’t download and play, or in fact, download and do anything (need to stay on the download screen or your download is fried).
  5. Can’t surf the net. This would be nice.
  6. No HDMI. And they call themselves high-definition.

Things I like:

  1. It’s kind of a cool, well-designed box
  2. Wireless controllers are awesome.
  3. Plays classic XBOX games like HALO2 quite well, in high-definition widescreen.

What I would buy now:

My XBOX360 is for sale. I really like the DSM-520, and can wait for Halo3 and the HD-DVD add-on drive for the XBOX360. The DSM-520 is really good at what it does! See my review on that in upcoming posts. The XBOX360 is just not what I wanted or needed. I suppose if I had a terabyte of storage on a noisy Media Center PC in another room, this would be an awesome solution for me, but right now it bites.

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