The Haswell Desktop Built

US41_1

Took a bit to get all the parts together, this was the first time a processor was flagged before they could ship it from my mailbox, but after a few days they shipped it out. Got all the parts together and a few pieces from Professional and I was good to go.

Hardware

  • Thermaltake Urban S41 ($130)
  • CoolMaster 1000W
  • Samsung 840 SSD 500 GB SATAIII (Windows 7) ($331)
  • OCZ 256 GB SSD SATAIII (Windows 8) ($239)
  • Intel Core i7-4770 ($320)
  • Gigabyte Z87 LGA 1150 Dual LAN ATX ($230)
  • Corsair 16 GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengence ($128)
  • Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 ($400)
  • Digistar BlueRay Drive (Slot Loading)
  • 2 x Seagate 3TB SataIII

US41_2

The other components I got from Kuwait for 254 KWD which isn’t too bad overall the most expensive parts in Kuwait was the original OS and I wanted both on it since I do love Windows 7 and I wanted to try Windows 8 on a Desktop, but its going to be missing the Gestures still an interesting item to try.

US41_3

Installed Windows 7 First and then installed Windows 8, then it comes up as an option which one Operating System to Start at Boot, and when you choose, its up in only a few seconds. Years ago it would have taken over a minute and a half, and now its 10 seconds tops, I love SSDs.

US41_4

I’m planning to install a few games on the Windows 7, nothing crazy just StarCraft II & the latest addition as well as Diablo III. Just worth having on my machine, and I do want to play those games. And what I love about this machine is that it is powerful and VERY quiet, no sound from it what so ever, I wouldn’t know it was on without that blinking lights on top.

My Experience With Windows Phone 8 – The Last Mobile Platform From Microsoft

WP8_01

My experience with Microsoft dates back to the original CE phones back in 2003, I wanted something different and that phone was different and to configure it you needed a doctorates degree in physics. But I like the bubbles game on it, then i tried Windows 3.0 for work and that had decent integration with Microsoft exchange. But nobody did integration like Apple & Google did, so I switch to Android the moment it came out and before that I was on the SonyEricsson platform.

WP8_02

With the introduction of the Windows Phone 8 they are finally trying to make a decent competitor to the Apple & Android platform and right now its a few steps behind but still impressive. With Windows Phone 8 has some decent integration with Windows 8 such as auto photo updates, and the Microsoft Office Suite integrates nicely with the Windows Phone 8, especially OneNote which is probably the best note taking tool I have ever used, even better then Evernote. As well as SkyDrive integration which can sync your photos as well as your documents, trying to be a better DropBox for Windows which isn’t too bad.

WP8_03

The operating system itself gets a little getting used to, its like visiting somewhere for the first time, you know enough to get around but need some time to get really familiar with it. There is smooth feeling to the operating system that I like, and after 6 months of abuse the phone has not hung on me once which is great for a smart phone of this caliber.

WP8_04

What I Like:

  • Easy to sync Google Contacts and emails with the WP8 interface, even after Google extended
  • The App store is pretty decent, has some junk in it but they all started off that way, they have about 80% of the Apps that iOS & Android have.
  • Music integration has been fantastic, you can load up all your iTunes playlist as well spotify which is exactly what I’m doing.
  • Has some fun XBox integration so the games you play are displayed.
  • It sort of between the strict Apple platform and the loose Android platform, its formed but flexible and I really like the tiles and options of the live tiles.

WP8_05

What I Don’t Like:

  • The email display feels wrong, it just doesn’t do a good job of displaying emails no matter what email I use. I think they can do a better job with that.
  • They don’t have instagram, I won’t kid myself I’m addicted to it.
  • Slow to get the necessary Apps into the App Store, App Store needs some more Apps, not everyone is developing for it yet
  • Better integration with Windows 8, I want it seemless, just as Android is integrated with everything Android.

WP8_06

Hardware:

I’m using the HTC 8X and I’m honestly loving it, its a light phone with an excellent camera. And the battery lasts over a 30 hours with a lot of abuse. Even when I was riding over 5 hours in San Diego while listening to Spotify the whole time it only lost 25% of the battery which is insane, if i did it with the Nexus 4 it would have lost 50% and with the iPhone 5 only 20% battery would be left.

WP8_07

My Top Apps

  • TVShow – Best TV Show App I have seen, better then anything on iOS or Android
  • Weather Flow – Great Weather App
  • SkyDrive
  • Spotify
  • WhatsApp
  • NextGen Reader – Fantastic RSS Reader – Displays Images and information perfectly without having to visit the site
  • Flixster – For the movie fanatic
  • Battery Status – Updated information on your battery
  • MyTrips – For the TripIt Addicts, I use it all the time when I travel

WP8_08

Conclusion

Overall I’m honestly loving the windows platform. This phone got a high rating for stability and the long lasting battery and a great selection of Apps. Microsoft have a good thing, they just need to clean up their App store and integarte it with Windows 8. They really are in need of Youtube and Google Maps, there are replacements but they don’t beat out the originals. They built an excellent product I just hope they keep on improving it, and I love that when other phones run out of battery this one is still going. The success of this platform depends on the Apps available and Microsoft knows this, Blackberry failed because of this, thats why they are throwing everything they can at it and hopefully it will keep growing. They have substitute Apps for most of the major ones, but hopefully the major App developers will develop for Windows.

Rating:

WP8_09

WP8_10

The Microsoft Store – A Different Experience

MS1

I think there is a lot of inherent dislike towards Microsoft, they have just done too many wrong things over the years and Apple has done an excellent job of painting them as idiots with their Mac vs. PC ads over the past decade. Also it doesn’t help that Microsoft made Microsoft ME which is probably the worst iteration of Microsoft out there, Vista was pretty bad too off the start, but got progressively better.

MS8

Microsoft does try and in this case they launched the Microsoft stores, after all this time they know that Apple is successful with their stores and every Apple store employee is supposed to know everything about every product that Apple has and they inherently love Apple. So people love the Apple stores.

MS7

Recently I had a chance to spend some time in an Apple store and this one had people in it. I have recently gotten into the Windows Phone 8 and so I decided to venture into the store and mess around with the machines. I played around with the Microsoft Surface Pro and it is a very interesting machine, very solid and smooth, I liked how it felt. they had a selection of hardware from Acer, Asus, HP, and Sony, not including the Windows Phone section and the XBox Section. People get a hands on feel for Windows 8 across different hardware and the Windows Phone 8 platform as well.

MS6

Microsoft is really trying to make you feel that you are in one environment, that everything is connected and they are trying to connect things but they aren’t there yet. Apple doesn’t release a feature unless it knows it works 100%, except for Apple maps, that was a blunder that Apple has never seen, but Microsoft would rather release a broke feature then no feature, that is their problem from my aspect.

MS5

The store was a fun experience and honestly they have a good range of products, and the staff who are there are good but they are lacking a bit in information, sometimes I know that I knew more about a product then they did which shouldn’t be the case.

MS4

MS3

MS2

Review: Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A

Having lived with this laptop for about three months now, I can safely say it is without question the best PC laptop I’ve ever owned. Every review out there just raves about this machine. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Retina-esque 1920×1080 resolution in an amazingly high quality 13.3″ IPS display
  • Intel’s latest 17 watt Ivy Bridge processor with (finally!) decent integrated graphics
  • 128 GB SSD with fast 6Gbps interface
  • Just under 3 pounds
  • Decent 5 to 6 hour runtime
  • Classy brushed metal case and cover

Pros:

  • The best ultrabook currently out there, it seems Asus just keeps stepping it up, if you are looking for a thin powerful Windows laptop then this is it.
  • 4.5 to 5.5 hours battery life with full media use
  • Amazing Screen, Very Bright and clear Details
  • Light Up Keyboard, and a very nice feel to it
  • The SSD & Processor are insanely fast, about a 17 second boot time from scratch and 5 seconds from sleep. These are numbers we wouldn’t even dream of before.
  • I love the aluminum clean cut finish of the Zenbook, surprisingly it doesn’t get too hot
  • it has just enough ports to make it useful
  • With the USB 3.0 I managed transfers of 100 to 130 MB/s from my External Seagate HD
  • The best thing is the price as well, its an amazing machine for $1299 and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an ultrabook

Cons:

  • The only downfall is the annoying sensitivity of the touch pad
  • Windows 7 that came wwith the ASUS was the home version and had bloatware, so I decided to do a clean install which worked perfectly, and it booted even faster, it is up and running within 12 to 17 seconds, nice and smooth.

Specifications:

  • Intel Core i7 -3517U 2.4GHz
  • Widows 7 64bit Unlimited (I reinstalled it because of the bloatware)
  • 4GB Ram
  • 128 GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics

Simple Conclusion:

I love this laptop and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a thin and powerful windows laptop. I started using it everywhere, I take it everywhere with me and it has taken a few odd drops with no issues at all. Its fast, lightening fast and it boots up within seconds, I can’t recommend it enough, and the price honestly is very reasonable.