Archive for the ‘Toys’ Category

Are you getting the most out of your DVI port?

October 16th, 2007 3 comments

Did you know there are five types of DVI connectors? I didn't. DVI-D dual link, DVI-D single link, DVI-I dual link, DVI-I single link, and DVI-A. Of course, I learned this the hard way, and I bet most people still haven't. I don't have much previous experience with DVI, but now that I have a Macbook Pro and an HDTV, I wanted to connect it at 1080p once I realized I could (using an HDMI port on the TV, not the VGA connection.)

I thought it would be as simple as going and picking up an HDMI to DVI cable. Not even close. After I picked one up at a local shop and brought it home, I realized it was "missing" pins. It would function still, but not at its full potential. I wondered about this and hit up Wikipedia, and sure enough, there are multiple types of DVI connections.

After shopping at five different stores (including the Apple Store and the Mac Store) I realized that nobody actually sells DVI-D or DVI-I dual link cables (or even adapters) which is what is required for 1080p. I had to go down to Fry's in Wilsonville and finally was able to pick one up. 15 feet for $24.99, actually much cheaper than most of the single link options at all the other stores (and those were shorter cables, too.)

Sure enough, DVI-D dual link saves the day. I can now use the Macbook at full 1080p on my 47" Vizio GV47LF, although I have to say the text is pretty small. Using Front Row and watching movie trailers through it using all 47" is pretty neat though.

Categories: Consumerism, Toys

Say what you want about Best Buy...

January 10th, 2007 No comments

... but they're a big company, and big companies can be useful.

I won't mention the obvious bad points - the stupid salespeople, incompetent techs, people getting arrested for using two-dollar bills...

Instead, I'm going to share my positive story tonight. Best Buy pulled through for me, as I had hoped. Most big companies will price match (especially in the consumer and office electronics markets) and I'm always looking at the weekly ads. Not just to look for a deal, but just to get a general feel for how the prices are rising and falling.

Anyway, this week Fry's had a sale on Seagate 750GB PATA hard drives for $309.99 - not an amazing deal, but I am in need, and I had a gift card to Best Buy, so the timing was right. I took the ad to Best Buy and had them price match that (after the salesperson told me "750GB PATAs don't exist" and I had to correct him...) - on top of that, because at one point or other Best Buy decided to add me to their mailing list, I get monthly coupons for 10-12% off of various things; this one sounded promising. It said only "external hard drives" on it, and I was hoping it wouldn't be an issue. Sure enough, they either did not care or did not know that it wasn't applicable to my item.

Anyway, now I am the proud owner of another 750GB drive, which is good, considering the 400GB in my Linux box is about to die. Total price: $272.79 (original price was $399.99 - a 32% savings.) While most people can't use the coupon since it's mailed to individual people, the Fry's price match is still valid for anyone to use, so if you want a 750GB drive without the drive to the local Fry's, I encourage you to price match it.

Categories: Consumerism, Toys