Friday, July 24, 2009

RockBox for Sansa e200 Series

A few days back I was trying to put some long clips onto my MP4 player - my Sansa e280. I have put short videos onto it before and they all worked fine. However when I tried to convert the long video using the Sansa Media Converter I found some glitches:
  1. The video took a very long time to convert
  2. It split the video 5 times
  3. The audio and video were completely out of sync
I was frustrated and so I went onto the Internet to find a solution. People recommended many other converters but none seemed to work. On one of the forums I was searching, someone mentioned RockBox. I was curious to see what RockBox was so I searched on Google and I found their website.

According to their website:
"Rockbox is an open source firmware for mp3 players, written from scratch. It runs on a wide range of players:

Stable ports

Rockbox runs well on these players, has a complete manual and is supported by the installer:
  • Apple: 1st through 5.5th generation iPod, iPod Mini and 1st generation iPod Nano
    (not the Shuffle, 2nd/3rd/4th gen Nano, Classic or Touch)
  • Archos: Jukebox 5000, 6000, Studio, Recorder, FM Recorder, Recorder V2 and Ondio
  • Cowon: iAudio X5, X5V, X5L, M5, M5L, M3 and M3L
  • iriver: iHP100 series, H100 series, H300 series and H10 series
  • Olympus: M:Robe 100
  • SanDisk: Sansa c200 series, e200 series and e200R series (not the v2/AMS models)
  • Toshiba: Gigabeat X and F series (not the S series)

Unstable ports

Rockbox runs on these players, but is incomplete, less usable or has problems that limit it to advanced users:

Unusable ports

Work has begun on porting Rockbox to these players, but much remains before they are usable:
  • Toshiba Gigabeat S, Cowon iAudio 7, Creative ZVM, Logik Dax, Meizu M6,
    Philips GoGear HDD1600, HDD1800, HDD6300 and SA9200, Onda VX747 and VX767,
    Tatung Elio, Sandisk Sansa m200, c100, Clip v1 and c200v
I was very interested and after some deliberation I decided to take the plunge.

I downloaded the RockBox Utility and using the manual I carefully followed it step by step to install Rockbox onto the player. Within minutes it was ready to go. After testing it out for a few minutes I realised that it was amazing. It could do everything that I wanted and much more - it could play games, videos, radio (if tuner is there), view text files and much more. Best of all it is totally theme-able. It also has amazing support on its website and it was really helpful. You can even uninstall Rockbox if you don't like it and it also allows you to boot to the original firmware.

Overall I think Rockbox is the best thing you can put onto your player, if it is supported, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chrome OS vs Windows 7

Recently Google announced that it would be making an operating system which it called "Google Chrome OS". Now this is quite a bold move to make with Windows 7 just around the corner (releasing on October 22, 2009). Chrome OS is going to be open source and based on Google Chrome their browser. It will be targeted at net books when it is released sometime at the end of 2010. It is based on the Linux kernel but it will have a new windowing system.

They say the design will be minimalistic and it will be mainly web-based with focus shifting from the desktop to the Internet (Cloud Computing). They also said that there will be a completely different security structure making it very difficult for viruses to infect the computer. And best of all it will be completely free.

The big question is will this move hurt Microsoft? Will people be put off from buying Windows 7 and use the free Google Chrome OS instead? We need to wait until Windows 7 is released to know.

I'm Back

Finally all my exams are over and it is the summer holidays at last.

Because of this, from now on there will be regular posts from me. So keep checking back to get the latest information.