New toy
Tuesday, January 13, 2004 12:53 AM

My parents were nice enough to get me a DVD burner for Christmas. So far it's been working great; very fast with both DVD+RW and CD-R (the only two media I've tried so far). And as a bonus, it's far quieter than my aging PlexWriter 12/10/32.

Several other toys have caught my eye lately. One is the Echo Indigo, a CardBus sound card that supports 24/96 playback and has incredibly good specs. At work, I've got my poor 580's plugged directly into my laptop's headphone jack, and it sounds terrible--very audible line noise and distortion. Seems like the Indigo, on the other hand, would do justice to even very high quality headphones. At $130, it's even a decent value, though I'm not sure I personally could justify buying it over the cheaper, less elegant alternatives [1, 2].

The next is VIA's new(?) P4-ITX motherboard, which supports most P4 or Celeron processors and includes S-video out, USB 2.0 ports, optional FireWire support, network adapter, and a PCI slot, all in an area smaller than 7" squared! Stick it in one of these and you've got the start of a book-sized PC with some serious grunt.

And finally, in the "Stuff I'll Never Own" category, Meridian, one of my favorite hi-fi manufacturers, has launched the G Series line of components--and wow. These things are drop dead gorgeous. The G Series is a step up from the already expensive 500 Series, which means these components are well into "Should I buy a lightly used BMW instead?" range. (Scroll to the bottom of this page for the damage.)