Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cars I've Owned Over the Years

Here's a list of all of the cars I've owned and driven over the years. Some are pretty boring, some are mildly interesting, and a few are very interesting and quite collectible. Many had character and a lot of spunk but I have to say every single one of them were extremely reliable and NEVER stranded me except for running out of gas in my high school and college years.

Yep, I'm a sucker for German automobiles. You just can't beat the solidity and bank vault solidness and overall passive and active safety systems. The Audi S6 saved my life when I was rear-ended by an 84 year old man who fell asleep at the wheel of a 10,000 pound Winnebago on the Tappan Zee Bridge. He crashed into me at 45 miles per hour as we were approaching the toll booths on the Westchester  side of the bridge. The rear of my Audi accordion-ed up to the rear glass line and absorbed the brunt of the Winnebago's impact. I walked away with a mild case of whiplash and minor abrasions to the forehead after my head made contact with the sun visors and windshield. The New York State Troopers said I was lucky to be alive and that the car saved my life. I've been driving Audis, Mercedes and BMWs exclusively ever since that accident.
(And so have those New York State Troopers for their personal daily drivers).

Bullitt Chase Scene- Short Version - 67 Mustang Ford GT vs 68 Dodge Charger 440 R/T

1965 Triumph Spitfire 5 Speed manual Racing Red
1974 Plymouth Duster Screaming Yellow with White Biody Stripes
1980 Fiat Strada 5 Speed Manual Ice White
1968 Dodge Dart Convertible Racing Red (Black Power Top)
1984 Dodge Colt Turbo 8 Speed manual Twin Stick Charcoal Grey Metallic
1985 Dodge Colt Turbo Sedan 5 Speed Charcoal Grey Metallic

Car Chase Scene From To Live and Die In LA

1986 Mitsubishi Starion 5 Speed manual Maroon Red
1986 Mazda 626 GT Turbo 5 Speed Manual Sport 5 Door Hatchback Blue Metallic
1989 Audi 200 Quattro Pearl White Black Leather Sport Seats 5 Speed manual
1990 Audi 90 Sedan - Navy Blue
1991 Infiniti i35 Beige Metallic

The Seven-Ups Car Chase Scene with Roy Scheider

1991 Audi 200 Quattro 20 Valve Navy Blue 5 Speed Manual
1995 Audi S6 British Racing Green Sport Seats Turbo with Overboost
1996 Audi A6 (Silver)
1997 Audi A8 - Pearl White/Black Leather V8 All Aluminum Body
1999 Mercedes Benz E320 Navy Blue Wagon
1998 Mercedes Benz E300 Turbodiesel (Glacier White)
2003 Audi A6 Beige Metallic
2003 Audi A4 6 Speed DSG Blue Metallic
2005 Honda Accord Hybrid Silver Metallic
2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Navy Blue 6 Speed DSG
2007 BMW X3  Royal Blue (Currently Driving)

Mercedes-Benz Father & Son 
E320 CDI Turbodiesel TV Commercial

2008 Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec Turbodiesel 7 Speed Automatic Glacier White (Currently Driving)

1995 Audi S6 Modified with Porsche Boxster Brakes

Wesley Lem's 1995.5 Audi S6

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Installing BIRA Brakes
(Finally, some real brakes for the Audi S6)

Here are a few quotes about automotive braking systems that I have collected over the years.
“A great car starts with great brakes”
“Zero to 60 to Zero is the true performance measurement of sports cars today”
“The weakest link in a car is usually caused by bean counters who want to keep the manufacturing cost down to appease shareholders”
“Great brakes do wonders for your high-speed driving confidence. It’s really nice to have gobs of reserve braking under your left foot especially when you need to decelerate from 80 to 50 in a highway emergency maneuver”
This article describes the events leading up to my decision to join BIRA and to perform a BIRA System 1 brake upgrade for my Audi S6.
A number of influences consciously and subconsciously helped convince me to proceed with a BIRA upgrade. Those influences include:

1)      The RONIN (John Frankenheimer) car chase sequence where the nitrous powered Audi S8 rocks in the south-of-France: 4-wheel power slides, massive braking into hairpin curves and a hair-raising chase sequence through the narrow streets of Nice always gets me charged up. (These scenes are best viewed on DVD with a nice high resolution TV screen like the Sony WEGA or Philips Gas Plasma Monitor) I’m blown away by how well the S8 performs on the open road and tight narrow streets that are barely wide enough for Fiat Topolinos or Mini Coopers.
2)      The famous Bullitt chase scene where Steve McQueen (in a souped-up 1969 427 Ford Mustang) is chasing the bad guys (in their 1969 440 Hemi Dodge Charger) through the hilly streets of San Francisco.

3)      The Ford Taurus New Car intro tape (Produced in 1986) with Jackie Stewart doing laps on the Ford Proving ground demonstrating with Jim McKay riding shotgun how to drive smoothly while maintaining full control of a vehicle when doing laps around a race track. This was the most convincing demonstration that driver skill is the most important element in getting around a track in the shortest period of time. It really impressed upon me the importance of driving smoothly and keeping full control of the vehicle and that sheer power of a vehicle could be more of a liability than an asset.

4)      Watching Greg Amy keep up with Porsches and BMWs in his 1991 20V Quattro at Lime Rock Park. I was amazed at how late he was able to brake (BIRA System 2) after entering the turns and still maintain full control of his vehicle coming out of the turns.
5)      The numerous BIRA debates on the S-Car list and the BIRA web site peaked my curiosity as I analyzed the pros-and-cons of 3rd party brake upgrades currently available for the Audi S6.
6)      Finally, I was getting tired of continually wondering if I had enough brake for the Merritt Parkway’s short exit ramps. It seemingly took forever to scrub off speed when I stood on the brake pedal.
A few words about brake feel and braking power……
Braking has always been a very subjective issue.  Brake feel is something that is very hard to quantify, yet we all know when we have driven a vehicle that has excellent brake feel.  Excellent brake feel inspires confidence when entering turns.  Thus, you can enter turns at a higher rate of speed, exit the turn later, and get around the track faster. You can also anticipate emergency braking situations with more confidence, and you feel that there is a much higher margin of safety if you ever have to slam on the brakes for an emergency stop or to avoid a vehicle by swerving to another lane for collision avoidance.
The standard stock G60 brakes that come with Audi’s S6 did not inspire the kind of braking confidence that I was looking for.  The brakes from my 1989 200 Quattro arguably felt better.  The brakes on my wife’s 99 Audi A6 are superb and really bring the car to a smooth, powerful stop with no muss or fuss. They inspire confidence. In addition to the powerful brake booster, the design is just superior to the one that came stock on the 1995 S6.  Now, it could just be that my G60s need new calipers and/or new rotors and brake pads, but I’ve driven other S6 and S4s with factory stock G60 brakes, and the brake feel was very similar to mine. New brake pads with a better pad compound might have helped but after pricing new OEM rotors and calipers, the BIRA solution became more attractive.
BIRA System 1 Benefits:
1)      Uses readily available off the shelf Audi and Porsche parts; it’s about a 95% factory bolt-on solution including brake pads.
2)      Easy installation. Easy to perform as a morning project or a couple of hour installation if performed by a trained Audi mechanic.
3)      The A8 rotor’s larger surface provides greater fade resistance and improved heat dissipation; it’s also less prone to rotor warping than a G60.
4)      The Porsche Monobloc Caliper is a superior brake design that utilizes 4 pistons (the G60s are a 2 piston design). The Caliper housing is compact and designed to be very rigid thus providing a more stable caliper platform.  Further, it is constructed of high strength aluminum and its lighter weight compensates for the heavier weight of the A8 rotors.
5)      The are various 16” and 17” wheel style options to choose from. OEM S4 and S6 16” factory alloy wheels fit with no clearance issues.
6)      The coolness factor of showing off the Porsche Monobloc Calipers when your car is shod with wheels like the RONAL R28s.
7)      A workable braking system for amateur autocross and track events. (You get superior brakes for the street and better brakes for track events).
8)      The approximate $1,500.00 in savings from the BIRA system can be applied to larger diameter wheels and high performance tires.  It can also be used for suspension, turbo, manifold, or ECU Chip upgrades.
9)      A number of third-party Boxster Calipers brake pads are coming to market. In addition to the Porsche OEM brake pads, you can also opt for the Porterfields or Mintex Red Brake Pads.
10)    I believe that the BIRA upgrade has enhanced the resale value of my Audi S6. As there are many arguments for keeping an S6 stock as a collector's car, it's real easy to retrofit the old G60 brakes. If I sell this S6, the buyer will most likely use it as a daily driver. Having great brakes will most certainly enhance the desirability and offer additional value over and S6 that has a stock G60 system installed.
Although I have not tracked my S6 yet I am convinced that the BIRA System 1 set-up is the best (not to mention the most cost-effective) upgrade I have performed on my S6 to date. It has really transformed its performance capabilities.  My objective was to improve braking performance without having to spend $2,000 - $3,000.  I am thoroughly satisfied with this solution. After driving approximately 250 miles on New York metro-suburban roads, I am amazed at how late I can brake into a corner and how much reserve stopping power is now available to me.  The wheel and tire upgrade (Ronal R-28 17" x 8.5" Alloy Wheels and Dunlop SP5000 245/45 ZR17s) that I installed have complemented the BIRA upgrade very nicely. I don't have the stats to show before and after braking distances, but I am willing to offer a test ride to demonstrate the eye-opening braking improvement over the factory stock G60 brakes.
The technical expertise of the BIRA members also helped me quickly work through minor brake line installation problems.  I have complete confidence in the BIRA organization to continually improve upon this terrific braking system upgrade today and in the future.
Wesley Lem
95.5 urS6 His (BIRA System 1 Installed AKA REAL BRAKES)
99 A6 Quattro Hers
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Here's Wes's car with the new Ronal R-28 17" x 8.5" wheels:
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Fujitsu P8020 Notebook Review

The Fujitsu P8020 comes equipped with a an Intel SU9400 Core 2 Duo Ultra Low Voltage Processor running at 1.4 GHz and 4 GB of DDR3 high speed memory is installed in this machine. The only comparable notebook in terms of weight and functionality is the far more expensive Toshiba Portege R600. This notebook also includes an internal built-in DVD-Rewriter/CD-R optical drive. It also has a built-in webcam mounted in the LCD Frame.

This notebook can be ordered with the Fujitsu Internal Bluetooth 2.0 EDR+ Radio Card which provides full Bluetooth connectivity to Bluetooth keyboards, Headphoenes, Speakers and Mice. You can also connect Bluetooth equipped Cell Phones and a plethora of the industry standard Bluetooth peripherals without giving up any of the 3 USB 2.0 Ports.

Some background Information on Fujitsu's line of P Series Notebook computers. I have been using these notebooks ever since the P2120 came out several years ago. I upgraded to the P5010 and then to the P7010, P7230 and am now using the P8020. have had ZERO hardware failures with these notebooks in the field. Have also used Toshiba Porteges’ and Sony TX and TZ Vaio notebooks and the Fujitsus’ have always had the edge on overall design, engineered features, performance and durability.

In my humble opinion these are the most under-rated (read under-marketed) notebooks as Fujitsu has not maintained a high profile like Toshiba and Sony in the US.......But their build quality is legendary, These notebooks are more durable than the Sony TZ and TX series of subnotebooks and way more powerful with the Intel Core Duo 7100 LV processor if you are comparing it to the new Crop of Asus EEE, Acer, Lenovo, Dell HP Mini Intel Atom equipped notebooks,

This notebook weighs less than most of thoseNetbooks at 2.9 LBS yet it is fully equipped with a built-in DVD RW/CD-RW Optical Drive, a responsive large for its class keyboard AND a large 8700mAH 6-Cell Lithium Ion Battery that will easily power this notebook to 6-8 hours depending on Power Management Settings and LCD brightness settings.

I have personally squeezed out 9-10 hours of battery run-time with the LCD brightness control turned down to 1+2 and using the ECO button (this turns off power to the DVD optical drive, wireless radios and all power consuming USB and Firewire ports.

It also features a razor-sharp 12.1 Inch LED back-lit LCD screen that saves power but is much brighter than your average notebook screen. The native screen resolution is 1280 x 800 and DVD movies and digital photos look terrific when displayed on this screen.

It will also drive external monitors at resolutions topping out at 1600 x 1200.

A 12.1 Inch LED back-lit LCD Screen cuts the right balance for viewability and portability and is a big upgrade from the previous 1.6 Inch LCD used on the previous generation P7000 series of Lifebooks. LED backlight tecnology allow LCD screens to be thinner and have higher brightness levels (measured in Nits) and consume less electricity than fluorescent tube lighting systems. They last longer and LED back lights are usually found in the higher end models of most Notebook manufacturers. Compared to the 8.9 and 10.1 inch netbook screens this 12.1 inch Fujitsu Lifebook screen looks expansive when compared side by side. To cut
down on extraneous weight, the Fujitsu engineers crafted a magnesium alloy flex free frame for the main motherboard chassis and the LCD Screen. The result is a notebook that does not flex and can stand-up to the rigors of mobile computing. The bottom case is constructed of Magnesium Alloy for light weight and strength and the top part of the case and LCD screen is constructed of lightweight high impact plastic for durability and additional weight savings.

In terms of build quality, you are looking at getting one of the best made notebooks backed by a superb technical support organization. This notebook is manufactured and assembled in Japan.

In summary, this is what the Fujitsu Engineers were able
to build into this 2.9 LB Notebook P8020 Lifebook Notebook Computer:

* Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SL9400 LV (1.4GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB)
* 4 Gigabytes of System RAM DDR3 667MHz SDRAM memory (Dual Channel; 2GB x 2)
* 640 GB 5400 SATA Hard Disk (Toshiba)
* Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
* 12.1" Crystal View Wide XGA display (1280x800)
* 3 USB 2.0 Ports
* 1 Firewire IEEE1394 Port
* 1 32 Bit PCMCIA Cardbus Slot
* 1 SD Reader/Writer (Supports SDHC Memory Cards)
* D-SUB External Monitor Port
* Built In Intel WiFi A/B/G Draft N
* Multinational2 56K3 V.90 modem and Gigabit Ethernet LAN
* Optical Drive Dual Layer Multi Format DVD Writer
* Built In Camera for Messaging
* Windows XP Pro Operatng System with Full Driver Support

Dimensions: 11.2" x 8.26" x 1.37"
System Weight (With 6 Cell battery Attached) 2.9 LBS
AC Adapter Weight: 7 Ounces

It would be difficult if not impossible to match the specs on this notebook. You can get 6-8 hours of battery operation time, decent Core Duo performance, built-in optical drive, 4GB of System RAM, 3 qty USB Ports and the faster of the 2 mainstream operating systems; Windows XP pre-installed, and a decent sized
keyboard all contribute to a 2.9 LB package that provides a highly satisfying computing experience.

Add the 8 ounce lightweight AC Adapter brick and a wireless mouse and you are looking at a total traveling weight of 3.8 POUNDS. This makes a huge difference when comparing the Lifebook P8020 to other Notebooks that weigh in around 4-6 pounds or Netbooks equipped with 3 cell Batteries that weigh over 3 Pounds without any accessories.

Look at all of the money you'll be saving on Chiropractor bills!!!!!

The only other notebook that competes at this level is the ASUS U2 series and even then the battery life is inferior and is much more expensive for what you get. You are also limited to using 1.8" hard drives which are limited in capacity when compared to the 2.5" hard drives. You are also limited to getting Vista instead of XP on this machine as there is no driver support for XP and the keyboard is considerably smaller.....And there is no internal Optical Drive!! You'll need to go out and buy and external one to make the U2 work in the field with CD/DVD support.

Then there's the Toshiba Portege R600. Very pricey for what you get. The screen flexes and the viewing angles on their LCD screen are inferior. The screen is not as bright and It only supports a maximum of 4 GB of RAM.You will get 4-5 hours of battery life with the included 3 cell LiIon battery. In terms of features, value, performanceand stamina, the Fujitsu Lifebook P8020 is un-matched. It is also the priciest at $1895 - $2499 depending on configurations and it uses the same Intel SU9400 Core Suo processor to boot.

There are a ton of older Lifebook P series portables still working in the field which is a testament to the high quality design and durability of these notebooks. Every new P-Series Notebook model release gets incrementally better and the P8010 incorporates all of the latest notebook design innovations with an eye towards future storage upgradeability.

This is the perfect notebook for the Road Warrior that wants a fully featured 2.9 Pound Notebook that can do it all.


* Fujitsu P8020 System Unit
* Set of Fujitsu Factory System Windows XP Home Pro
Application Restore CD-ROMS
* Packing Materials

Mike's Camera - Best East Bay Camera Store

Mike's Camera
Complete Digital Camera and
Electronic Imaging Services Company
Dublin CA

If you are looking to buy a digital camera or need professional quality enlargements done the right way, look no further than Mike's Camera in Dublin CA. Grant Peterson (Store Manager) and his friendly/knowledgeable staff will take the time to answer any questions no matter how basic or advanced they may be. They have a excellent selection of DSLRs, Bridge Digital Cameras and a wide array of Point and Shoots. They carry Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, and the Panasonic Lumix line of Digital Cameras. High end DSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon are on display and you can get your hands on them and test them out in the store. They also have a wide selection of lens caps, filters and rechargeable batteries, chargers, and miscellaneous cables and memory card readers.  If they don't have a particular camera or accessory in stock, they can order it and get it shipped to you or the store pretty quickly. They also sell Kodak film as a lot of local high schools still teach traditional photography classes with the older film type 35 millimeter cameras. I have had several poster sized enlargements done and they came out great. The lamination was perfect and they are hanging in our living room and den.

The sales staff is very attentive, patient and caring.  They will respectfully listen to what you are looking for in a digital camera and will explain the pros and cons of each camera they are offering for sale careful not to oversell or bait and switch which other camera retailers are guilty of doing. I really like this camera store because it offers old fashioned customer service with reasonable prices and you get to pick their brains for advice on taking better digital photos. They also offer beginner, intermediate and advanced digital photography classes that are all reasonable priced. This is one of the few camera stores that allows you to try out the camera and accessories before making your purchase. This is a huge advantage over the big box stores like Best Buy, Walmart and Target.

This is a full service photography dealer specializing in the following products and services:
  • Digital Cameras
  • Weatherproof/WaterProof Shock Resistant Digital Cameras, Digital Photo Frames, Photo Paper and Mounting Accessories, Laminating Scrapbook Accessorie
  • Digital Imaging, enlargement and Finishing Services
  • Photo Scrap Books
  • Batteries, Lens Filters, Lens Caps, USB Cables, Power Cables, AC Adapters
  • Camera Bags - Small Medium Large and BackPacks, Day Bags,
  • Tripods
  • Shoe Mount Flashes
  • Umbrellas and Flash Accessories
  • Kodak 35 MM Film both Color and Black and White
  • Shoulder straps, Gear Bags, Remote Release Cables
  • Memory Cards, SD-HC Compact  Flash, XD and Sony memory Sticks
  • Memory Card Readers
  • Wide Angle Lenses
  • Zoom Lenses
  • Waterproof Digital Cameras (Olympus)
  • Instructional Books & DVDs for most popular DSLR Cameras
  • Binoculars
  • Picture Frames - Regular and Digital
  • Photo Books
  • Lamination Film

If you want to improve your digital photography skills, upgrade to the latest and greatest camera, or need an accessory Mike's Camera in Dublin will provide the one-stop shopping experience without having to make the schlep into San Francisco or having to order it on line and wait for it to be delivered as Mike's will most likely have what you want in stock. I highly recommended this store and you will see how the staff and customer service makes all the difference in the world.

Mike's Camera - Grant Peterson, Store Manager
7192 Regional Street
(Between Amador Valley Blvd and Dublin Boulevard)
Dublin CA 94568

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Toshiba Thrive Tablet Review - Best Alternative to Apple Ipad 2 Yet?

Just got a Toshiba Thrive Tablet in for review. It is an actual production unit and since we have an Ipad2, I will be able to provide a reasonable comparison to the Ipad2 which is now considered the gold standard for tablet computers. The tablet market has really caught on fire this past year as most if not all of the major computer makers have jumped with new tablets all trying to steal some thunder from Apple. Gathering the most attention so far is the Motorola Xoom, RIM Playbook, HP Touchpad, Asus Eee pad Transformer, Samsung Galaxy tab, et al. Being late to the Tablet game has many advantages as evidenced by the introduction of Toshiba's Tablet models.
You can see how vibrant and sharp the Toshiba Thrive Screen is in these digital photos. You'll have no problems using this tablet indoors and outdoors. The resolution is high enough to satisfy the most demanding notebook users.
Late but not last to the game is Toshiba which quietly introduced the Toshiba Thrive in the the middle of the summer 2011. I think Toshiba was wise to wait until every major player introduced their tablet so they could see which features were most readily accepted and requested by consumers so that their tablet would grab a decent market share and sell well right out of the gate. Toshiba was wise to adopt this strategy as they did listen to consumers and read and cribbed notes from the major trade mag reviews of all of the Ipad competing tablets.

Herewith is a mini out of the box review and initial impressions of th Toshiba Thrive. I will be adding more detailed notes and observations after I've had more time to use it for work and play.

The Toshiba Thrive Tablet sells for $479.99 for the 16GB Model with WiFi and Bluetooth capability built in. It is almost the same length and width of the Ipad 2 but definitely thicker (because it has a user replaceable battery that offers a little less overall battery life than the Ipad2. It offers 7-8 hours per charge. It also comes with an SD-HC Memory Card Slot for unlimited storage. i will be testing that feature out soon and that is a biggie as you don't need to buy the more expensive 32 GB and 64 GB Models.There is no built in memory card slot for the Ipad2. This alone will steer a lot of folks to the Thrive assuming the Memory Card Slot works as advertised.

It is heavier by about 4 ounces than the Ipad2 but almost twice as thick. It weighs about 24 ounces with the battery installed. It is very well constructed and has a nice sold feel and heft to it. There are convenient textured ribs on the back to allow a user to hold the Thrive securely and the power, and volume controls are on the upper left hand quadrant of the tablet. The screen is bright and sharp with accurate vibrant colors and a wide off screen viewing angle.You can view in portrait and landscape modes as it adjusts automatically with a built in accelerometer. The programs open up quickly and overall launching files and programs feels as snappy as the Ipad2. Flash and MP4 videos played smoothly with no artifacts or choppiness even with action videos. The built in speakers were loud and had a good treble and bass response given their small size. The touch pad glass seemed to be very solid and durable too.

I think Toshiba has a hit on its hands as they have married the right hardware components to the latest Android Honeycomb version operating system. The graphics feels fast and snappy and the menus and gestures are all easy to use and quite intuitive. Text was sharp across the board. Photos looked realistic and had accurate colors. Videos were excellent with great color and clarity. The browser was quite fast (thank Google) and viewing documents was easy as the scrolling features were easy to use and quite responsive to the touch and gestures.
Built in accelerometers adjust for portrait and landscape modes on the fly. Changing modes is instantaneous with little to no lag time or latency issues.
The Toshiba Thrive includes a 19 Volt 1.42 Amp AC Adapter Charger, A Quick Start Guide, Catalog of Thrive Accessories, and Warranty Documentation.
The picture of the Thrive below is with the back cover removed. You can see the Lithium Ion Battery on the left which is held in by one Phillips Head Screw. The CPU, & motherboard is to the right and the Back-up Lithium Cell Battery Holder is easily accessed as seen in the lower right hand corner. If you did what I did to photograph the innards of the Thrive on your IPad 2, you would most likely void your AppleCare Warranty.
Here's a screen shot of YouTube where the interface is sharp and crisp and all of the videos, regardless of the windows size are sharp detailed and bright up to the corners and edges with no discernable geometric distortion or artifacts.

Street/MSRP Pricing for the Toshiba Thrive Tablet:
$429.99 for the 8 GB Model
$459.99 for the 16 GB Model (MODEL TESTED IN THIS REVIEW)
$499.99 for the 32 GB Model

Authorized Resellers Stocking it now:
Best Buy
Office Depot

AS OF 7/12/11

1) Less Expensive
2) User Removeable Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
3) Built-In SDHC Memory Card Reader/Writer - Tested with up to
32 GB SDHC Memory Cards - Cheap Storage Expansion (You can
purchase 32 GB SDHC Memory Cards for as little as $49.00)
4) Built-In Standard USB, Micro USB and HDMI Output Ports,
5) Android Honeycomb 2.1 Operating System supports Adobe Flash
6) Tight integration with Google Applications
7) Grippy Back Cover-Textured for easier holding
8) Accelerometer allows portrait and landscape modes in any direction to accommodate accessory wires for easy positioning on a stand or table.
9) Can run virtually any Android software application
10) Nvidia Graphic and CPU chip is dual core design and very fast and
very power efficient.
11) Games platform is stellar and wide open to all Android software developers.
12) Electronic Arts Need For Speed Shift (Demo Version) which is bundled is simply astounding as it shows off the incredible video graphics, stereo speakers and high frame rates to their fullest advantage.

Toshiba Thrive 16GB Model
Price as tested: $459.99

Hardware Performance Overall:           B+
Graphics Performance:                          A-
Svelte Form Factor/Overall Packaging: B+
Battery Life:                                         B+
Bundled Software Applications             B-
Price Performance                                A-
Usefulness as a Business Tablet            B +
Usefulness  as a Home Tablet               A -
Ergonomics                                         B +
Ease of Use hardware                         B
Ease of Use software                          A -

Overall Report Card Average - A Solid B +

Thrive Review Addenda 7/30/11
After using and living with the Toshiba Thrive it has become apparent that this 
is one of the first tablets that can provide similar functionality of a Netbook 
or even low end Intel or AMD dual core notebook. Having the expandable sd-hc xc. 
Built in card slot and the mini and standard USB ports allows you to easily 
connect a USB keyboard and or mouse. You also have Bluetooth built in so you can 
add a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. These features make the Thrive perfect for 
heavy duty text and data entry. The on screen keyboard works well but for long 
memo, emails or lust long text documents you will be far more productive with a 
real keyboard and mouse. You can choose from a full size, a compact or even a 
mini travels size if you want to keep the travel weight down.  Backing up to 
industry standard sd storage cards and USB thumb drives greatly increases the 
usability as compared to other Apple ipads and competing tablets.

So the Toshiba Thrive is a dual purposed machine as it is a casual Tablet that 
is easy to use around the house but you can also get some serious work done 
with the wide array of text input options at your disposal. Being able to store 
up to 64 GB on an SD card is also a huge advantage and necessity if you have a 
lot of data that you need to have ready access to.

I think calling it a business tablet would not be a stretch as it does have all 
of the necessary notebook features that business men and women are accustomed to.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Emerson Boozer on the Passing of Clarence Clemons

Emerson Boozer, the famous running back for the New York Jets was quoted recently when asked how he felt about the death of his old friend and football colleague (both were team-mates at Maryland State University in the mid nineteen sixties) Clarence Clemons:

“Naturally, it saddens you a little, but I’ve gotten to the point where death doesn’t sadden me too much because I know that we’re not here forever,” Boozer said. “We’re only here for a span of time, and no matter how you go, that was your time span. You accept it and move on.”

Well said Emerson. A sobering reminder that life is way too short to worry about the little things and that we should all do the very best we can to live our lives to the fullest and pursue our dreams with passion like the Big Man did.

"The Big Man is gone, but he leaves a rich and timeless legacy. How many musicians can say they opened holes for Emerson Boozer? How many offensive lineman can say they blazed a trail with Bruce Springsteen?
Either way you play it, that’s a life well lived "

From William C. Rhoden, The New York Times 7/10/11

These quotes are from "Before Springsteen, Clarence was a Big Man on Campus" which appeared in the July 10 2011 print and internet edition of the New York Times.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Check Your Ego At The Door: Famous People I Admire

This is a new list that I have come up with and it is taken from famous people I have come to admire over time not only for their accomplishments and contributions they have made in their chosen careers but the way they have conducted themselves and set examples in their personal lives as much as they have demonstrated the utmost in professionalism on the job. What they all have in common though is that they have kept their egos in check throughout their careers and have let their work do the talking for them. No grandstanding, no out of control binging, and just plain heads down common sense prevails here.  This list covers dead and living people so here goes (In no particular order or priority):

1)  Paul Newman
2)  Bill Bradley
3)  Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice talks about the "Hill" from an NFL Films Interview
4)  Larry Carlton
5) Wally Amos
6)  Neil Young
7)  James Taylor
8)  Mark Knopfler
9)  Greg Kihn
10) Cory Booker
11) John Warnock
12) Chuck Geschke
13)  Mitch Kapor
14) Peter Falk
15) William Gibson
16) Bjorn Borg
17) Ichiro Suzuki
18) Hideki Matsui
19) Dirk Nowitzki
20) Zachary Breaux
21) Pierre Omidyar
22) Bruce Springsteen

Glory Days MTV Video Directed by John Sayles

23) Earl "The Pearl" Monroe