Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finally... VX Nano!

I believe that this is the first Malaysian review of the Logitech VX Nano Cordless Mouse for Notebooks. Quite a mouth full huh? I had been hunting it down since The Star reviewed it a couple of months before (http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2007/9/18/prodit/18857588&sec=prodit).

I tell you, I dunno whether is because of the size of the Nano receiver or what, but this has been the most slippery mouse to hunt down ever! I was visiting Low Yat Plaza every week for the past months (that's 4 crazy week of driving down into KL city center) to return disappointed and empty handed. I almost wanted to call up the distributor to reserve one for me.

Anyway, I guess my luck turned this week, maybe because it's my birthday and it's high time to reward myself :)

Getting to the chase, let's see some unboxing shots:

Box Shot - Pre 开包


Back shot - look at the nice marketing CG explaining that a mouse is...


Bottom of pack - list of contents


For the Macs, SetPoint available in Universal format! In another words, upgrade to OSX first...


Open flap, slide the content out...


Take out the mouse + receiver. "Where is the receiver?" you said? look closer...


Slide out the CD/manual pack from the side...


Here are the complete content, minus box. Clockwise, the mouse+receiver, manual box, piece of paper to tell you that you can use it with the USB desktop extension, the user guide, the 2xAAA Duracell batteries, the (dingy) pouch - more on that later, the USB desktop extension, the SetPoint CD.


Deng deng deng deng... Here is the talk of the town... the Nano Receiver! "Tear to open" huh? Actually no need to tear la. Just pop out the receiver, as the bottom of the case is not sealed at all.


Look at the size compared to the mouse itself!


I might have small hands, coz it looked quite big in this picture...


OK, a better quantifying comparison - note that those are triple As, not AA!


Look how it fits in my hand. But actually I don't use the mouse like that. I am a crow-hook guy, not the "lay-on" guy. More on that later.


Front view... Doesn't it remind you of some luxury car? Hint: Bugati.


Bottom view. There are two switches. The top slider is to release the battery door, and bottom one is the power button. Hmm. Why a power "button" instead a switch? Maybe it finally knows how to auto-turn off? Note the laser sensor...


Battery door popped open.


A closer look. Notice I have inserted the receiver 1/2 way. The red button pops out the receiver into this position when pressed down. Also notice the battery compartment. Unlike other mice, the battery is loaded on top of each other, not side by side. Kinda like loading a Gerald rifle, if you know what I mean.

P1020797 P1020798 P1020799

Look at the size! Compare it to the keyboard... Take note of the Red color PCB! Very nice touch...

P1020802 P1020803

Here is how it sits in my office's D630. You might think it's a bit far out for permanent storage... but...


Now you see it,


... now you don't. Trust me, it's still there, no optical illusion here. Just to illustrate how discrete it is.


Here is a nice touch that Logitech had think off. It comes with a USB desktop extension. Actually, it's just a USB stand, which you can use for anything else. The cable is thin, which I hate, but the USB port is actually angled 45 degrees! Hugh kudos to the design team.


OK, here is my major gripe about the package (not the mouse itself). Why in the world would they bundle such an el-cheapo case???

  1. The material is cheap, thin, transparent, and has holes. Definitely not waterproof,
  2. It's too big. Too deep for liking. I hate to fish stuff out, and
  3. The logo is sewn on, like an after thought. The red label is actually empty! Some be some cipalang (cheap skate) OEM stuff.

My previous Logitech wireless mouse came with a fantastic nice pouch with Logitech logo embedded on the zipper handle, and is made of think Neoprene, and has a small compartment for the long USB stick-like receiver. It has perfect size, and it's so well build that I simply throw it in my backpack without second thought. I think I am gonna recycle that one for the VX Nano.

Shame on you Logitech. You build the greatest mice on the world and you packaged that?!

Here is how it looks like. The picture does not do it justice (on how bad it is).


Down to the review itself (huh? no started yet?)

Hardware (4.5 out of 5)
Man, what can I say. You have all read about the Micro Gear Precision scroll wheel which its siblings has (MX and VX Revolution), performance laser sensor, the the quick find button. Anyway, like all Logitech mice, it's build like a tank. I will expect it to survive 5 years of (crude) labor with me. My last Logitech wireless had lived through skids, drops and button mashing. It's 3 years old and still going strong.

My only surprise is the Micro Gear Precision scroll wheel activation. Although I like the free flow scroll action which actually gently slows down before stopping, just like a well trained limo driver, but I am surprised how much I have to push down to get it to switch modes (between free flow and geared). And there is a loud "klack" sound. The action is not as smooth as I like it. It's like almost stuck.

Maybe this is because it's new, and I had it for less than 30 mins of drive time on it. Will update later if it gets better or worst. Anyway, Logitech has a 3 years warranty...

Software (4.5 out of 5)
I am the type that generally hates any kind of addon software, coz I like my computer *clean*. Very clean. But I broke the rule with the G3 I got for my gaming rig, and I broke it again because of the excellent Quick Find button.

It's located just underneath the scroll wheel, and SetPoint allows you to customize which search engine you want to use. It does not only just call the search engine (which includes desktop search engine as well, e.g. Google Desktop), but if there are any highlighted words that point, it will pass the word/phrase to the search engine of your choice! A definite time saver for me!

Interestingly, the annoying part is the installer, not the SetPoint app itself. The installer is.... slow. Definitely not run-of-the-mill InstallShield. I have no idea why they choose to use their own installer. But hack, you only need to endure it once.

Ride and Handling (5 out of 5)
Me and Adrian have noticed over the year of how generally people use their mice, and we have generally grouped them into two. Type 1 = Claw, Type 2 = Flat Palm. It's actually quite self descriptive, as Claw type people (like myself) will use their absolute finger tip for the clickers, where Type 2 people uses almost the entire finger to do so.

Why I am saying this? Because I believe that the VX Nano is for Type 1. This is because of the size. It's rather short, and thin. People that likes tall mice will not like this one, especially when compared to my old one (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mice_pointers/mice/devices/146&cl=my,en - Actually mine is even older, with a larger receiver, but the mouse itself is almost identical). So Type 2 people, be forewarned! It might not be satisfying for you! Anyway, try first before buy.

One thing that hasn't been advertised a lot is the side grip. It's made of soft rubber and the grip is nice! Although it's not the same quality as the DryGrip on my G3, but this has a luxury feel to it. You gonna try it out to understand what I mean.

BTW, have you noticed the FTPE feet? It's the largest one that I had ever seen on a portable mouse (wired or not)! I like! Although it's nothing compared to my G3 (which blows all the competition away, almost 50% coverage!), but I would weigh it in to be around 35% coverage. Very smooth indeed! For the uninitiated, FTPE is Teflon(r) Read = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PTFE

Here is the low down. It's a fantastic mouse. Although I only had it for 1 hour (by the time I publish this), it rocks. I love the plug-n-forget, aptly named Nano Receiver, and the scroll rocks my world. Here's the catch, it retails at RM300. Hmm. Some of you might say it's small change, but I know plenty of people that never spends more than RM15 for mice.

Well, I'll leave it to your good selves to justify the price. But let me tell you, the keyboard+mouse = interface to the computer. HCI. Quick Find it if you don't know what it is (hehe). I don't know you, but I spend at least 8 hours at work, plus 4 hours at home using a computer. Although I pride myself as a keyboard, command-line, shortcut savvy person, yet I believe that mice are important. Very important. Want another acronym to justify it? CTS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpal_tunnel_syndrome).

Another caveat. Try to find it first. I'd been to The Curve, Cathay Cineplex, Pavilion, KLCC, 1 Utama, Digital Mall and of course, LYP. For more than a month. Good luck guys :)

I give the Logitech VX Nano Cordless Mouse for Notebooks (phew) 4.8 out of 5. Too bad they pissed me off with the pouch. Oh well.

My PC not that Crying Liao.

Apparently, it's not Crysis's fault. My Vista required a brand new nVidia drivers. Finally I can play in native resolution with low or mid details... Overall, no more serious jerkiness and feels like at least 10fps increase...

For you all with nVidia cards running on Vista, go get it at http://www.nvidia.com/object/winvista_x86_163.75.html

Fine Food Birthday

We had a small gathering last Friday to celebrate my birthday. Juls and Corra had organized it, and we were suppose to go to some Chinese dumpling place at Mid Valley. Instead, thanks to Juls' nose, we ended up at Mr. Ho's Fine Foods for the best dinner I ever had for my birthday :)

And here is a quick pic to prove it...


Pictures courtesy of Corra's mean ass 50mm http://yoyyo.multiply.com/photos/album/52/Johns_burfday

I tell you har, the sausage will turn you guys gay. Literally. The sensation of having a thick, juicy piece of sausage exploding in your mouth is no kidding man...

And the bacon is fried to perfection, and the first thing I said that "I would die for the fact that if I can eat bacon and eggs every morning...".

Anyway, thanks everyone for coming! It's going down in my books as one of the most (juicily) enjoyable birthday's ever. Other than that time back in SS2 when I discovered that I was....

Friday, November 23, 2007

Of Cars

The question: Should I replace my car?

The reason: My car is in half good condition (in another words, half gone).

The struggle: (I should be grateful that I have a car, although it's a 10 years old Proton) vs (As natural human being strive to further better one's life living standard, and safety, therefore a family person like myself should get a least a reliable Japanese car).

OK, more description.

My Wira works for me now. If I get a new car, I would need to work *for* my car. You all understand what I mean right? My current car is fully paid for in loan, and for me to get a Japanese car, I would have to get myself into a huge debt, which would cause the following side effect:

  1. I will lose a lot of chance to buy other shiny, more useful, live improving ....toys. I mean gadget. Did I say toy?
  2. The financial void that from the car installment might impact the family plan to migrate,
  3. Very most the likely that my next car will not be as fuel efficient as my Wira 1.3 which does RM80 = 450-520KM.

On the flip side, (or devil side, if you would)...

  1. Proton = death trap for my family and Iz,
  2. (Lame peer pressure) - everyone around me have a decent car,
  3. I could actually (almost) afford a second hand Corolla Altis, which has a high resale value compared to other cars, so I will not lose too much money when we leave the country.

So what do you all think?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Computer History

Recently, a couple of people asked me what would I have done if I were not in the IT industry. Everyone else have an idea what they would want to be, or what other course they would have taken they hadn't chose C&IS or IT.

Now that I think of it, I don't think I ever thought of doing anything else other than this. Actually, even after graduating from Secondary School, I am the only one that was so sure on which degree course that I wanted to take.

You ask why? I tell you why.

It all started with this:

Image:ZX Spectrum+.jpg

Kempston joystick interface1980s one-button game joystickA typical portable desktop cassette recorder from RadioShack.

OK, I guess 90% of you all are lost. The pictures are:

A Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ with a joystick adaptor with a joystick (of coz) and tape recorder and Sony color TV.

The tape recorder was the storage device, ala floppy disk. The TV was the only output (other than the many fond memories) and most of the time we have to write our own games.

If you are remotely interested, read here => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zx_spectrum

So anyway, the Spectrum broke down a lot, but while it was working, it was a fantastic device that helped me greatly with computer programming.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I was 6 years old then?

Anyway, all those quickly moved onto the great AT era (circa Primary School), also known as 80286, with whopping 2MB of RAM, 20MB of HDD, and 5.25" floppies! You should check out my collections of floppies. We had at least 2 full boxes of them. It was truly our first desktop (not in tower form, mind you).

We missed 386s and 486s, and our next one was the all mighty Pentium 60!!! It was touted to be the same processor that went up on the Space Shuttle! We were really psyched when we got this one. It was an Acer Aspire unit, came with Sound Blaster 16 kit set which included a 2x CDROM! Full multimedia man! That was still when the days where everyone was playing *toot* *toot* sounding games using PC Speaker... Anyway, when we got the Acer we were the only family in town with a Pentium! (mind you, was a very small town...)  Too bad I can't find any pictures of it on the Internet.

The Acer went thru numerous upgrades, even lasted me till college. Which is when I got myself a generic Pentium 233 MMX. Justin and me hand pick and built every component from PC Fair. We were surveying for days and almost all the components were bought from different shops! This was our first home brew computer. Luckily everything worked. The default graphics was not satisfying enough (was something from S3), so I saved up for months to get myself a Creative 3D Blaster Banshee!! It's based on the (then) greatest graphics accelerator company's 3dfx's Voodoo Banshee. Taa dah! Here's a picture from Amazon:

Creative 3D Blaster Banshee - Graphics adapter - Voodoo Banshee - AGP 2x - 16 MB SGRAM - retail

Next was another clone build from Compu-Zone. These were the days when Low Yat Plaza was new, and everyone else is still going to Imbi Plaza. It was a Duron 600 and I remembered when we bought that PC, it was the big Taiwan earthquake, and RAM price was high high high! This PC came with a Samsung 753DF, which IMHO is the best 17" Flat CRT ever made. Basically, the computer is still with me, (albeit a motherboard+CPU change to Athlon 700), acting as my download PC.

And my current PC.... the Core 2 Duo with GeForce 8600GT (which is due upgrade to 9800GTS?).


So, now do you understand why I don't have a lot of career choice?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Facebook = Cry baby?

I tell you har, this Facebook is like my baby at home. Every 3 hours, need feeding (approve). Then randomly, will ask for this and that which you cannot understand (what da hack is Pet Dragon Request???).

Hey, don't get me wrong, I love my baby as well as you guys as friends, but just sometimes...sometimes... it needs too much *attention*.

Check this out:


How to cope??