First, my DVD player, which wasn't even a month old, had its HDMI port go kablooey. Bummer. I knew when I bought the Philips DVP5990 that some people were having issues with the HDMI port, but I really liked the idea of a USB port in my DVD player and some upconversion of my DVDs. And I usually have good luck with electronics. Still, this one decided to be a butthead and its HDMI port decided it liked the color pink more than any other color. I went to Philips unhelp site and did everything it suggested for the known issue (if it's a known issue, Philips, why don't you FIX IT?!?). It stayed pink. I e-mailed their tech support and they said I should phone 'em. Hell, I didn't want to waste an evening talking to tech support. So I decided instead to switch to component cables and see how long that lasts. It's not been a month yet, but so far, so good. Considering my TV maxes at 1080i anyhoo, and these are just upconverted DVDs not Blue Ray, the quality is good enough for me.
My second betrayer actually lasted more than a year - but not much more. The SmartParts digital frame which my folks gave me for Christmas in 2007 died. I did whatever I could think of to snap it out of it, but no go. But I've gotten used to having a digital frame in my library. So I decided to research digital frames to see what I needed. 7" was sufficient and if it did 400x234 images, that was fine cuz I already had a set of images from the SmartParts frame. Although a remote would have been nice, it wasn't a necessity. After seeing one in person at Staples, I decided that the Kodak EasyShare 720 was the frame for me. And best of all, I found it on eBay for $49.95 incl shipping. What I love best about it is that you can set the length of time between photos in the slideshow mode. I have it set for 30s now - I might go longer in future.
Although I'd had my eye set on an Acer Aspire One netbook, I kept getting disappointed when I couldn't find the combo I wanted: 6-cell battery, SSD, Linux, a color other than black. So I kept my eye on other netbooks. I'd tried HP's mini and liked the keyboard, but the battery size was only 3-cell and they were pricier than other brands. Dell had a linux version on SSD with a 4-cell battery, but it was initially way too expensive. And the only free color was black. But then Dell started to lower its price (as only Dell can). Eventually the 8GB SSD with 512MB RAM linux netbook was $249. It was tempting. But as I intended to get a red one and get at least 1GB of RAM, the price kept going over $300. And then came Tuesday... $50 off the linux netbook just for that day. I couldn't wait to get home to buy it. (Hey, I was pricing them at work cuz I figure netbooks will be my future computer lab there!)
So when I got home, I called dad (cuz I'd called him earlier to let him know about the sale and caught him as he was ordering one - heh). While talking to him about his purchase (he went for the barebones one in white which, with tax and shipping, was around $220), I was busy on Dell's site customizing mine. Although white was now a free upgrade, I decided I didn't want black or white. Indeed, since I'd been to the site at lunch, there was now BLUE. It was tempting, but I went with red. I also upgraded to 1GB of RAM. Even with those two upgrades, the final price incl shipping & taxes was under $300 (around $280). Yay! Our netbooks won't arrive until the middle of April or so.
In non-tech news, tomorrow is the groundbreaking for our new school building. At 1:30pm, the entire study body and community members will congregate near where the new building will be built. And lucky me gets to be one of the high school staff representatives to turn over some dirt - woot! I'll see if dad can get a photo of me turning dirt so I can post it to my blog. :-) Keep an eye on the Newton New Building Updates page - there will eventually be a link to a video camera pointing to the job site.