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Want a Sony PSP with no bundle? Check out Fred Meyer

After I ranted about Sony’s bundling policy for the PSP gaming handheld, and discovered that most of the usual suspects for purchasing electronics, either online or locally, were out of stock altogether, a friend that knew I was looking for one tipped me off to a local Fred Meyer grocery/one stop shopping store that had several in stock.

No luck at the one closest to my house (we shop there all the time), but they called one down the road, and they had about a dozen in stock. No bundles, either – just the straight $249 for the unit, and buy the games you want.

I picked up a PSP, and Lumines (think Tetris + DDR, trippy) and Wipeout Pure, since it has a web browser that you can hijack. I haven’t really had time to dig into either game yet, but I’ve been playing around with the video/audio capabilites, including using PSP Video9 plus iPodder to auto-download the PSP videos that Phillip Torrone has put up over at Make Magazine’s RSS feed. And I’ve got a Logitech polycarbonate hard case on order from EBGames.com.

I videotaped the “opening ceremony” when I got home, and I’ll post it soon, once I get it off the camera, and uploaded to Ourmedia.org.

Anyway, if you’re trying to track down a PSP, check the more unlikely places, like your local “grocery and more” store. If you’re in the west side Portland area, the Fred Meyers on Cornelius Pass, T.V. Highway, and in Cornelius all had several in stock as of yesterday (none at the Walker store). Thanks to Theo for the heads up.

Now, off to play some more Lumines, to unlearn my Tetris reflexes, and retrain them for this game. :-)

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Dell Inspiron 700m Laptop for $899, Free Printer and Shipping

Deals, Coupon codes and Discount prices – GotApex?

Lots of people email me asking about deals on the Dell 700m, after the review I wrote about it. I usually point them to the deal sites I watch, and promise to post if I ever find a good deal.

Well, here’s a deal to get a 700m for $899, with a free printer and free shipping. That’s the best deal I’ve seen for one, so if you’ve been on the fence about the 700m, check it out.

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Bloglines Now Offers Package Tracking

Bloglines | News

Sweet. I’ve wanted this for a long time, and I’ve never found one of the thrid party tools out there that actually works well. I usually end up just popping the tracking number into a Google search.

This is a perfect example of the type of information that’s right at home in an aggregator. Kudos to Mark and the Bloglines Crew for implementing it.

Now, if I could only find a place that would sell me an unbundled Sony PSP, I’d have a package to track to try it out.

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Stupid PSP Bundle Policy

I’ve decided, belatedly, that I want a Sony PSP. Besides the games, the media capabilites are interesting to me (but nothing that my Dell Axim x50v can’t do better), plus some cool firmware update/hacking possibilites. Plus it seems popular among all the cool blogging kids.

So I’m shopping around online tonight, not expecting to find many places that have the PSP in stock. I wasn’t surprised to find that it’s completely sold out at a lot of places, but one thing I found really irritates me. Of all the places I checked (BestBuy, CompUSA, Amaazon, Buy.com, EBGames.com, Gamestop, NewEgg.com, and Costco, to name a few), not one of them is offering a PSP which isn’t part of a forced bundle.

Beyond the fact that Sony already forces a “value pack” bundle on you, including a proprietary Memory Stick Pro DUO card, soft case, SpiderMan 2 movie, etc., all of these retailers are forcing you to buy at least 2-3 games (of their choosing), and sometimes even stupid accessories, too.

The bundling wouldn’t bother me if I could find one that I wanted. I want base “value pack”, Lumines, and another game, probably Wipeout Pure or Ridge Racer. And I want the Logitech hard case. That’s it.

Do any of the forced bundles offer this combination, or at least part of it, without forcing me to buy games I don’t want? Heck, no. I just noticed how many times I’ve used the word “forced” in this post, and I think that’s pretty telling. Sony and the retailers are forcing me to buy their product the way they want me to, instead of the way I want to. I WANT to give them my money, for the system, and some games and accessories. But I’m not about to pay for a game or accessory that I don’t want.

I guess it’s asking too much for them to realize that people want to pay for their product they way they want to.

If anyone finds a bundle that meets my criteria, or better yet, an unbundled “value pack”, let me know.

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TinyPodcast 2005-03-29

Here’s this week’s podcast. About 20 MB, and a little long at 45 minutes this week. Download the MP3 file directly, or subscribe to the TinyPodcast RSS feed in your favorite podcast aggregator (like Doppler or iPodder).

I’ll put some more detailed show notes up tomorrow, but frankly, right now, I’m beat. Today was a long day. Suffice it to say that we geeked out about the Treo 650, had a new guest (Tom), talked about OurMedia.org, Orb is now free, and how we use our various devices day to day to be more productive.

Read on for this week’s show notes:

  • Tom talks to us about his Treo 650 (Cingular), how he uses it to stay connected to the office with GoodLink, and his new Dell Axim x50v. He’s got a Garmin GPS 10 Bluetooth GPS and map software on the way – look for impressions in the future.
  • Sorry for the IM and email “boing” alert sounds! I forgot to turn them off before we started recording.
  • Portland Podcasting Meetup last week was great! Get a sneak preview of the hour or so of video interviews that I shot over at my page on Ourmedia.org. I’ll be posting the video here, to make it part of the TinyPodcast feed, but you can check it out before then, if you want. I’ve got some audio I’ll eventually post up, too.
  • Our thoughts on Ourmedia.org, why it’s great, and how it can improve
  • Orb.com, which lets you stream your media (video, music, and photos) from your home computer to anywhere, including mobile devices, is now free. I’m going to try it out, and I’ll definitely report. Preliminary verdict: holy crap, this is cool!
  • Using TaxAct.com online tax preparation service, I filed my taxes this year in less than an hour, without printing/touching a single piece of paper. We review the service. Verdict? Excellent. Now to decide what gadget to spend part of my refund on! :-)
  • I have succumbed to the hype, and I’m shopping for a Sony PSP.
  • Geeking out is theraputic, and podcasting is good for your health!
  • Gadget profiles: how our gadgets help us be more (or less) productive.

As always, you can contact us by email at tinyscreenfuls@gmail.com, or leave a voice message at 206-339-TINY. We love to get your feedback, even if it’s nothing more than to say Hi, and that you’re listening.

Thanks, and watch for the video from the Portland Podcasting Meetup soon!

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Orb Is Now Free – Stream Your Media to Wherever

Orb Networks :: Home

Orb has announced that, instead of charging a monthly fee for their service, as initially planned, they’ll be making their service available for free. But what is their service?

You know all of that media you have on your computer at home? Thousands of MP3s, recorded TV shows, home videos, podcasts, video blogs, and all of that other stuff. It’s captive on your home system, and you don’t have an easy way to access it from your PDA or Smartphone while you’re not home. Until now.

Orb runs on your home computer, and lets you stream all of your home media to any mobile device (cell phone, wireless laptop, etc.) with a browser and a media player.

So now you can watch that episode of The Simpsons that your Windows Media Center recorded last night from your smartphone on the train on the way to work.

Way cool. I was interested when I first heard of them, but the fee turned me off of it. I’ll definitely check it out now that it’s free, and report on how well I can access my media from my various wireless devices.

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Took a Geek Break This Weekend

I spent the last three days in Boise visiting the in-laws and checking out the area for a possible relocation. I realized when I got home last night, that the only thing I had used a computer for was to pull up Google Maps to get directions to a friend’s new house. Even more amazing was the fact that the only thing I used my PDA for all weekend was to do a little reading. Even my smartphone was largely unused as I pretended to ignore incoming email (I read a few, but replied to none).

It was actually kind of refreshing and helped to refresh my geek batteries some. The only thing I really wanted on the trip that I didn’t have was GPS for my PDA. I managed to leave my GPS receiver at home…doh!

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I’m Goin’ to Gnomedex 5.0!

I just registered myself for Gnomedex 5.0 in Seattle at the end of June. I can’t wait!

Adam Curry is giving the keynote, and the list of presenters reads like a who’s who of smart people in the blogosphere and the podosphere. You can bet I’ll be podcasting and video blogging while I’m there.

The thing I’m most looking forward to? Building relationships with people. They say the best parts of Gnomedex happen outside the presentations.

Are you going to Gnomedex? Post a comment or email me if you are, I’d love to get together.

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New Multiplayer Maps for Halo 2 Coming

Major Nelson.com – New Maps for Halo 2

A total of nine new maps. They’re going to be released through both offline (DVD) and online (Live) distributions, and they won’t (all) be free (at first). Confused? Yeah, me too. Go read the Xbox.com and Bungie posts that Major Nelson links to for all the details on what will be available when, where, and for how much.

I’ll probably get the $20 retail DVD with all the maps and the extras, because I’m a sucker for Halo 2. Kind of sucks that they’re charging 40% of the price of the original game for some maps, but hey, this is Bungie and Halo 2 we’re talking about, so you know people are going to line up to get these.

You know what I’d really like, and be happy to pay $20 for? The rest of the single player game, and a real ending. *zing!*

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