So with the insanity of production in the past, I finally had the time and energy to start replacing all my obsolete hardware. For those who haven't recieved an email from me with the pleasantly lame default signature 'Sent from my iPhone' that Apple so humbly provides with every new device sold, I can report that I have given up my 5 year old 6GB Nomad Jukebox Zen, my horrid little Nokia phone and my Palm Tungsten C (which I had stopped using a couple years ago already) and replaced the whole mess with a new iPhone 3G, cheaper and superior to all of those things combined in all ways except one.
Having to have one *.wma copy of all my music to play through Windows Media Player and stream to my X360 and another *.aac format copy for my fucking iPhone is lame. Lame beyond belief. If Billy and Stevie would just stop fighting the world would be a much better place. Although, it looks like perhaps Steve is willing to make some compromises.
I also ditched my starting-to-fail Sony Cybershot DSC -V1 digital camera, which had served me very well for a lot of years in a lot of exotic places. I hardly ever bother to take 5 megapixel shots on it, as 3 megapixel shots always seemed just fine to me for viewing on a monitor or streamed to my X360. Consequently I was happy to get a new Fuji Finepix F100 for Christmas. It only shoots 6 megapixels instead of the now absurd standard of 10+ (something like 4x the resolution supported on a 1080p HDTV... wtf?). It also gives up some of the 'pro-sumer' features of the DSC-V1, but in exchange it is much smaller and lighter, and has a 6x optical zoom. The comparative bulk and the 4x optical zoom of the DSC-V1 (and the standard of most good hybrid cameras) were the drawbacks, and I am much, much happier to have a 6x zoom instead of 4 million more pixels I will never use.
To cap it all off, though, the real wonder purchase is what I am working on as I write this. After 4+ years of use, I am sad to report that my Dell Inspiron 700m is on its last legs. I have been watching for a good quality small (<13 inch) laptop to replace my Inspiron for over a year, but with that family of small laptops all but retired, I was getting a bit concerned. Finally, Dell has released the XPS M1330, which is not only about 10x more powerful than my 700m, it is also lighter, and well... just plain better. Sure it is about an inch wider and a half in deeper, but the form factor is nicer, the screen is bigger and its significantly lighter. Plus - though I haven't installed it yet - I am pretty sure I can run Far Cry 2 on this thing in mid-to-high configuration. The XPS machines we had in development were real beasts, but I've seen them get smaller and faster and better for a good couple years and am more than happy to be working on one now.