My Fancy New Watch that Plays Movies

My birthday was a couple days ago, and I got a series of very unique gifts.  The usual gift cards aside, I’ve been given three movies, two books, a stuffed animal, and a watch (and money to enroll in a class).  The Movies are Tron, Wargames, and Hackers; all excellent films if you need something to do.  I’ve not yet made a dent in either book (one is still on its way here from amazon), but they both look good.  One of the most important gifts was the foot-tall stuffed tux (the linux penguin).  He is currently sitting here on my desk and keeping me company.  Lots of fun.

My final gift was a watch.  Now this was no ordinary watch.  This watch plays movies and songs, displays images and text files, records audio, has a few little games, and acts as an 8GB USB drive.  It’s a super-amazing watch.  I am yet to actually wear it (The band needs to be adjusted), but I can’t wait.  It’s currently charging.  The downside of having all those features in a watch is that it has something between 1-3 hours of battery life.  It makes up for this by turning off the display and only giving the time when a certain button is pressed (it’ll be a weird site for people who walk by and see my faceless watch).  A particularly amusing feature is that the watch comes from an obscure chinese company and is called an mp4 player on the box.

You may not be familiar with cheap portable chinese multimedia gadgets, but they have the most cryptic manuals in history.  The translation was so bad that one of the issues on the troubleshooting page was ‘promiscuous words.’  Also, very few sentences had completely correct grammar.  To make matters worse, the pictures provided had chinese text in the dialogue boxes.  You may think that this made the process of setting up the watch a pain, but it really made it so much more fun.  The interface was really easy to figure out.

One detail which I feel others should be aware of is that many of these devices of chinese origin only support the .mtv file format (designed to avoid having to pay royalties for the other formats), so you need to get a converter to change your files to mtv files.  Although they do give you a cd with a converter on it, it is for windows only.  You can get converters to work on linux through WINE (the linux windows compatibility layer), but it’s a pain.  So much of a pain in fact, that I think I’ll just have to use someone else’s windows computer to convert my videos (for now).

In any case, I’ve had excellent fun these past few days, and I hope it continues despite the imminent final exams.


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