Unfortunately, I seem to have caught that nasty bug again - I keep buying stuff. This is fine and good, because I can afford it. It’s also fine and good becase things in this country are about 50% the price that they are in the UK. For example, if I were to buy a [Samsung 244T 24” widescreen TFT] in the UK, it would cost me about £700. If I buy it here, it costs $750, which is about £400. My current monitor is getting a bit senile now, so it would naturally make sense to get a new one.
On a similar theme, I bought an mp3 player. When the ipod nano first came out, I thought “That’s a good idea - if that were 4-6Gb and cost less than £100 and wasn’t made by Apple, I’d buy it”. Sadly, it was more than £100 and made by Apple. However! Fast forward to today and the number 2 in the mp3 player market is Sandisk who make, amongst other things, flash memory. This means they can enter the flash memory mp3 player market and undercut everyone (Apple) because they don’t need to buy the memory chips. So they made this which is a rather small (nano sized) 6Gb flash player. It’s got a better screen than the nano, a user-replaceable battery, radio and most importantly: drag and drop copying of songs.
I used to have a Rio Carbon but it broke and the bastards refused to fix it. Anyway, the thing I loved about that was that you could plug it in and it would show up in Windows (or whatever OS you wanted to use that day) as a removable flash drive. So you can just copy stuff across, unplug it, and play files. Now, I hate iTunes. I hate the idea of being tied to one particular program on one particular PC to copy music to a place where I’m going to listen to it. So I wanted something similar with any mp3 player I bought. I found that the e270 can do this and it only cost me $179, which is about £95.
Success! A 6Gb flash-based mp3 player for under £100 which does nice drag-drop file copying. I had a few initial problems, where it wouldn’t recognise the ID3 tags on half my music, but I solved that by deleting all the tags and recreating them. Now I just need to find out where to buy that monitor from, and then I’m all set :)