Harry

Almost a Blog

Category: Review

iRiver H320

I bought two of these as Christmas presents ie one for me 😉 and one for Jenny. I am not really a gadget person but I knew I wanted plenty of storage and the H320 has 20Gb which should keep me happy.
What I didn’t know is that iRiver released an American version that has had the hardware castrated by removing USB TO GO (USBTG). This was the facility to plug another USB device into the other and copy files between them in particular cameras. From what I understand hardly any hardware was supported but it still seemed to be a daft decision. I got both the units in Manhattan so I have the American version, bollix.
For the low down on the USBTG issue visit www.misticriver.net
My initial impressions were very good, it looks sleek enough and although there are plenty of complaints about it being a bit big I like the size of it. I have also read a lot of complaints about usability and I for one am getting along fine with it. Of course, I read the instructions which some people seem to miss and assume that it should just do it the way their last one did or the same way an iPod works. It is easy to figure out an like most new bits of tech with a lot of feature it takes a wee bit of getting used to.
I plugged it into the PC and after a while (it needs some charge before it will work on the PC) I tried to write some files to it. This was a pain in the ass because the device is unable to be charged and do this stuff at the same time so I had to wait a while before I could switch data mode and move some files on.
First off it does not tell me in the manual which port I am meant to use to transfer files, I guessed data and managed to get it to work but being curious I tried to see what would happen if I plugged in the media port. On the manual the media port is meant to show up as a device the same way the data port did but it kept asking me for a driver so I can only assume there is something very wrong there since it is touted as plug and play with no need for drivers unless you are using Win98. This annoyed me because now I have a port on the unit and I have no idea what it is for.
Earphones: I have no idea why they supplied these because they are complete shit. They don’t fit and keep falling out but then they all do in my ears but what makes these crap is that as the volume goes up I start to get all sort of crap coming through them. I am assuming they are faulty because they shouldn’t sound that bad out of the box. I have tried them on several different songs using different bit rates etc and they are still crap.
Case: This is OK. Its sturdy and will save the unit from some damage but I have to ask why they blocked the view of the screen. I suppose they want you to purchase the remote control or buy a better case.
Radio: I am unable to get more than three stations and this is in the center of London so I think the radio is a bit crap as well. I will keep trying because this is one feature I really need, I like Radio 2 and Radio 4 so if I cannot get these I will be sending them back. (I know about the European setting on the radio)
Would I buy the iRiver again?
Not at UK prices, its a rip off. I also need to spend more money getting headphones which is another pain. My advice is if you can get either the HI120 or the H140 it would be money better spent. There is just too many little things that tell me that the H320 is a half arsed attempt at an update for the H100 series.
As a first impression with the company I am disappointed so will be purchasing somewhere else in future.
I am currently trying to get the H320 to work in Linux but more in that in another post.

A Mathematician’s Apology

I started reading
A Mathematician’s Apology
Author: G. H. Hardy (Foreward by C. P. Snow)
ISBN: 052142706
this one as soon as it arrived through the post. It is quite a small book and even smaller when you open the cover, at least in this edition it is since they have left over an inch of margin around the text.
I really enjoyed it. I have to say that I enjoyed the forward by Mr Snow as much as the content by Hardy. I think this was because he was writing about the Author of whom I would like to know more whereas Hardy was writing about his subject rather than himself. You can get a feel for Hardy’s character from the text, particularly near the end but I thought that it dealt mainly about his take on mathematics.
The book is definitely some sort of apology, I thinks its open for debate whether he needed to apologize for anything but he obviously felt the need to justify himself in some way.
Personally I don’t think Hardy had any more need to justify himself than Da Vinci, Matisse or Michelangelo, Hardy was an artist its just that his art was mathematics which like some forms of art is not appreciated by the masses. However, this does not mean that what he created wasn’t beautiful or worthwhile. In fact years later it was found that a lot of what Hardy had created was of immense use.