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DVD Catalyst Newsletter 113 – 07-21-13




Thank you for reading the 113th DVD Catalyst Newsletter.

Sorry for being a couple of days late with this one. As mentioned last week, my wife and I spent some time camping, and while my work did continue, the newsletter, considering the amount of time it usually takes me to write it, was put on hold.

We have been back since late Friday, but unfortunately, after a trip, the clean-up, laundry and putting things back where they are normally located takes some time as well, and then I am not even talking about going through the mail that build-up as well.

More about all that later, lets start with this week's tech news.

Tech News:

nVidia Shield Shipping Notification:

In quite a few previous newsletters, I have expressed my interest/linking for the nVidia Shield. The device, basically a remote for a desktop PC, enabling it to run full AAA-class PC games, is something I have been waiting for for decades, so of course I placed a pre-order for it. First without a real date, then a date of last month was announced, but near the release date, it was shifted to "late July". Well, it doesn't get any later than what they picked, because I just got notification from nVidia that the Shield will ship on July 31st.

Excited as I am for the nVidia Shield, I do feel a bit of a disappointment already, considering that nVidia is having a hard time keeping its promises.

Moto X phone:

Quite a few rumors and images of the upcoming Moto X phone.
Another Moto X Press Render Leaked, This Time in White ? Droid Life

If there is one company that has been the most responsible for the success of Android, it would be Motorola. Of course Samsung is Android's biggest supporter, but Motorola kicked Android into overdrive with the Motorola Droid, and started the Android tablet-craze with the Motorola Xoom.

So there is a lot of speculation and guessing (and hoping) going on in regards of the upcoming Moto X phone.

iPad Mini Retina:

Also quite a bit of speculation in regards of the next iPad Mini.

Some people believe that Apple will hold on to the lower resolution, and maybe move to a lower price-point, but others believe that the iPad Mini will have a retina display.
LG Shipments Indicate Retina iPad Mini Could Arrive As Early As October - Mac Rumors

It is likely that the iPad 2 will be discontinued by Apple this autumn, with which it will only have the first-generation iPad Mini as a non-retina device. Likely early next year it will drop support for that as well, which would end the lower-resolution cycle and would introduce 4K resolution for the iPad 6.


As mentioned earlier (and last week), my wife and I spent some time camping this week. While the majority of our time was spent either on the road or playing card-games/Yahtzee, of course work continued for me as well, so I brought some technology with me in order to do so.

For my main work device, I ended up using the Microsoft Surface Pro.

For support emails only, I could have used the Surface RT as well, but I figured it would come in handy (it did) to be able to access DVD Catalyst and its code while on the road for troubleshooting purposes, or, in case of bad weather or a great idea, do some actual development, so I needed full desktop PC capabilities, which is where the Pro came in.

I already settled on the idea of using the Surface Pro for the trip, so I had it setup for everything before we left.

The type keyboard (and the touch-keyboard) is something I am not too fond of, maybe because I don't use it enough, so I used it with a standard (full-size) external USB keyboard, which made things a lot easier for me with typing emails, and taking screenshots and such.

I used the touch screen every now and then, but with the high resolution and reasonable small size of the Surface Pro's screen, trying to tap on the one email you need to reply to is quite tricky, so I used a Bluetooth mouse to navigate.

Not my favorite way of clicking things (I have been using track balls for many years), but it did the trick. The laser also enabled me to use the bed sheet, table counter top and even a pick nick table as a surface for the mouse without much arrow-jumping.

The screen of the Surface Pro remained readable both inside and outside, and surprisingly, I was even able to work with it in full sun.

Battery-life, maybe due to the way I used it was good enough. A few times a day, I grabbed the Surface Pro to reply to emails, and I think in a week's time, I charged it twice.

For internet, I ended up using my VZW Galaxy Nexus. I have the (grandfathered) unlimited plan, and before I left, I added tethering to my plan. I know I could have done it for free with some apps, but considering I needed it for play AND work, I figured it would be better to do it the correct way. One thing, if you are looking to making changes to your own plan, don't just take the word of one person in a phone-shop for it. Even though they might know a lot, I almost ended up dropping my unlimited in favor for a shared plan because the guy at the shop didn't know of the tethering add-on. Do your research.

Despite the Galaxy Nexus (and VZW) being 4G, during the entire trip, I have not seen any 4G. The places we stayed were not too far away from big cities, and were actually quite close to the interstates, but it was always 3G.

The camp-grounds we stayed at all offered free wifi, but aside from not knowing what they have running, they also have blocks on streaming video, so Netflix, HBO Go and even Dish Anywhere did not work over any of the free wifi that was offered.

But, surprisingly, 3G is (barely) enough to handle some streaming video.

My wife loves True Blood, and we ended up watching 2 episodes using a TV-out cable I picked up the the gNex a few weeks ago.

I enjoy watching Falling Skies, and watched an episode of that through Dish Anywhere, also through the Galaxy Nexus, and even watched about 2 hours of WWE I recorded as well.

Data usage, as reported by the gNex was quite decent. HBO Go, 640MB, Dish 714MB, and it was all watchable. Not 1080p, but on the road, who cares.

Overall, it was a fun trip, but the traveling, picking up and setting things back up is quite annoying. Next time, I think we will just pick one or 2 spots to stop and stay for a while.


Anyway, thanks for reading the newsletter, and see you next time.

On Friday, it will be more of a "normal" newsletter.


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