5 June 2011

Logitech M515

Picked up a Logitech M515 mouse from Bureau en Gros/Staples ($40). The mouse is sealed at the bottom, except for the On/Off switch. It has one of those "unifying" receiver for the wireless function.

Here the main points:

  1. Scroll-wheel does not do the middle-click: if you do the middle click, it toggles the scroll wheel to free scroll or clickity-click wheel. The middle-click is done by the [o] button near the wheel.
  2. The specs didn't indicate if it is SFF or full sized mouse. It is a SFF or laptop mouse.
  3. Unifying feature cannot be setup in Linux. As indicated in the document on Logitech Unifying Receiver, Unifying software does not support Linux. You have to setup the unifying feature separately e.g. setup on Windows and then reconnect the receiver and to Linux machine. I did it on a virtual instance but lost the cursor during the setup. Restarted VM and both worked fine.
  4. M515 is designed for couch (read cloth), so it might not function on glossy surfaces. Mouse pad, sofa, table top and paper worked; blue-ray player cover (black), glass, and fridge surface did not work.
  5. Logitech says that it is active when you hold the mouse. They don't lie and it is advised that you hold it properly as I noticed that it stopped functioning when holding lightly with two fingers. You can easily test by pushing it with one finger.
  6. I like the smooth scrolling wheel, but the M510's form factor suites my hand better.
  7. Works even if you are 3-4 meters away just like the M510.
  8. Lacks the extra buttons on the M510.

One important question which comes to mind is the cover at the bottom. It consists of two parts: regular grey plastic cover on the outer side (see image) and the shiny dark translucent plate covering the laser inside. Over time, the shiny central part is going to get scratchy (it is not hardened glass) which would affect the performance of the laser. Would the scratches be enough to cause scattering of the laser so that the mouse gets confused?

Still deciding if it stays or goes back.

29 April 2011

Bash Programming

Been reading some Bash introduction stuff and found that TLDP article contained errors right in the first couple of chapters (grammatical and programmatical both). Need to search further to find better quality stuff. This log will be updated with other links with time.

9 January 2011

6 January 2011

Sony BDP-S370 and NTFS

Warning: If you want to call Sony support, be very very patient. It took me 1h25m to get to a support representative!

Spoke to the Sony rep on Sony support about the in ability of BDP-S370 to NTFS formatted USB disks and he said it will only read FAT32 (as I read in the manual). When I asked him if a software update would add this feature in future, he said that it won't happen as it is limited by hardware.

So for now, it is the Samsung BD-C5500T which stays and Sony goes back as an open box item! Sorry Sony but you need to be more competitive in today's market. Alors tu ne me intéresses plus.

3 January 2011

Seiki BD660

This is an unknown brand of blu-ray player that I picked up at Walmart for the sake of testing.

+ plays almost all kinds of files DIVX, XviD, MKV, MPEG2, MP3, etc from USB stick
+ DVD or Blu-ray region change
+ Reads NTFS formatted disks unlike Sony

- ethernet port is present, but no app uses it!
- no DLNA support
- does not control the TV (TV does not turn on when Seiki unit does)
- @ $78 it is way too expensive
- front panel buttons are hard to distinguish
- no front USB port

Find more info about it here.

For now, it goes back to Walmart this weekend. Had it been $40 or so, I would have kept it as a secondary unit.

2 January 2011

Good Bye Sony BDP-S370

I bought two blu-ray players over the boxing week sales to be able to play various types of media files on the LCD TV. One was the Sony BDP-S370 and the second one was Samsung BD-C5500T. I have tested them for basic functionality. Here are my findings in brief:

Both players have cheap build quality, but at about $100 each and the features they offer; I can live with that. The last DVD player I bought was $90 without any USB port or network features!

Samsung has a touch sensitive plate on the front and it is quite sensitive. I have turned off the player by mistake while attaching the USB drive which is right under the power button! Sony on the other hand went with really tiny, hard to find buttons on the front panel. Both models disappoint for their front panels. Both of them turn the TV ON automatically though - one button to press :)

Both have wireless ready functionality (which I don't care for) as well as a real network port. Connected network cable to each of them and after basic configuration both of them upgrade to the latest firmware. Upgrade of firmware over network was a breeze.

Interface: I prefer the Sony interface as it is similar to the PS3. Samsung has too many things on the same screen and too many colours. Sony interface design simply trumps Samsung.

As far as media playing is concerened: Sony just sucks as it won't understand anything except FAT-32 formatted media. Sony does note that in the fine-print, but hey we are in 2010 and if Samsung does not have any problem in reading content from NTFS formatted USB drive and XFS formatted disc on the DLNA server (and update of the Linkstation Live firmware to 1.07 made that problem go away; Sony reads the files from the DLNA server now), why isn't Sony able to implement that! Samsung is also able to play MKV 5.1/6.0 profile video files unlike the Sony. Maybe Sony can outsource the software development of their blu-ray players (and maybe TVs too) to Samsung!

There was one thing keeping me from returning the Sony but after finding out the media playing ability of the Samsung, there is no confusion.

Update: removed DLNA issue with Sony