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Glowing Endorsements

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 , Posted by Bradd McBrearty at 6:49 PM

This is just a quick note to let you in on a few things I've fallen in love with lately.

First of all, Microsoft. Yes, you heard it me correctly. M$ has gone to huge measures lately to shed it's early 90's "Evil corporate empire" image. I have no idea if this is the direct result of all those law suits we heard about a few years back, or as a shot across Macintosh's bow. Either way, the consumer is the winner in the end.

-Their Xbox 360 gaming platform has proven itself as the pace setter in this generation of Video Game consoles. The combination of powerful hardware at an affordable price put the in a good position to start, but their constant support to developers both large and small is impossible to argue with. I'm sorry Sony, but if the God of Video game programming, John Carmack, says your platform is "less optimal for the game developers," then theoretical performance goes out the window. In the words of Dr. Wei Xu, "It's all about the Aaaahgorithms. Bitch." I may have added that last bit.

-Next, the Microsoft Zune. If you don't have one yet you're seriously missing out. Not only is the device itself a joy to use with it's excellent sound quality, beautiful screen and insane number of features, but it's backed by legendary M$ support. In the past, the entire world has whined about the bugs in M$'s operating systems. But guess what, they fixed them for free right? How many windows updates have you received free of charge? How many XP users used Service Pack 2? Well guess what? The other major operating system provider charges Retail price for every little upgrade, and if you want a feature rich makeover like SP2, you're going to find yourself laying down serious cash in one of their snobby little stores for the privilege of adopting their latest cat flavored offering. But this is about the Zune, not my unquenchable hatred of apple/mac/anal fanboi's. The point I'm gettting to is that when M$ launched the Zune 2.0, they showed all of us 1.0 owners the love and fully updated our devices to include all the new features. Top that off with the new Zune desktop interface, and hands down M$ Zune > Apple Ipod. And since I just discovered bullet points on my blog, here's a list:

  • Price - $249 80 gb Zune versus $249 80 gb Ipod You're probably going, "Wait Bradd- like many of your x-girlfriends, I'm not exactly a mathematician, but I'm pretty sure those numbers are the same. I think." And on the surface, you'd be right, until you look at my next snazzy bullet point:

  • Features - A new Zune for the same price as a new Ipod is the equivalent of getting a new 2008 Subaru WRX STI for the price of a new 2008 Honda Civic Si. Yeah, everyone you know seems to have one, but that's hardly a good argument. You try explaining away an STD that way and let me know how it goes. (I actually saw a poster where they had changed the name to 'Sexually Transmitted Infections', or STI's and I about screamed.) Speaking of STI's: Now I'm just getting randy...

  • Unexpected Features -In addition to all the baseline comparisons like Screen Size(Zune 3.2 in vs Ipod 2.5 in), lower Weight(Zune 128 grams vs Ipod 140 grams), inclusion of FM tuner (Zune -Yes vs Ipod - No) (geez...Zune 3 - Ipod 0) The Zune is packed with features you wouldn't expect. Here's one of my favorites:
    Go ahead, have a Click. I'll wait here. Yeah, that's right. Not only can you see what I've been listening to, but you can listen to it right there. Plus, you can see what my all time fav's are. Oh, and see all those people below my name? That right, those are my friends. I can see their info as well, but you know what's more? Those are my Xbox live friends. It takes the social aspect of the Zune to a whole new level. I can be playing Halo 3, and get a message on screen that YOU sent me from that link up above. Or if I'm out somewhere with Wifi, I can get those messages on my Zune itself. Yeah the future is here.

Because this post it already long, the following things are also awesome:

  • M$ Xbox 360 Thumb-board It's deceptivly light, and fit's in your hand as if it were a part of the original ergonomic design. With the built in Voice functionality of the 360, you wouldn't think you need the thumb-board but it comes in handy more often than you can imagine. Plus, it has a handy messenger button that calls up your MSN messenger contacts and active chats in-game. No more pausing the game and calling up the dashboard!

  • Even if it Kills Me - by Motion City Soundtrack
    This may just be me, but I'm fairly certain that lyricist Justin Pierre is crazy in all the same ways as I. The album goes a long way to support my growing theory that love's true value is directly proportionate to how much you're willing to suffer for it. (Which lately has been not at all...)

    "My panic research was no help
    I sink into myself
    Afraid of the fall that never ends
    I wait, but I'm too tired to play pretend
    I'll suffocate until the end"

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