PSP Web Browser

Sony have brought out an updated firmware that will stop warez and hacks from working but also adds a web browser, updates to wireless protocols, swapping of pics from PSP to PSP and also theme and background picture support. As I wasn’t using much of the hacks and warez I installed the update and also purchased a wireless router – the KCorp KLG-575 – which although isn’t an ADSL router adds fast wireless connectivity in my house (for £47 at Amazon). The verdict – pretty good.

The PSP can connect anywhere in the house to the router – outside it really slows down but I’ve not really though to much about positioning of the router. If outside browsing becomes a must then I’ll add an aerial to boost the range. The browser is pretty feature rich for such a small device. It can display style sheets, entry forms, tables, frames, and many other web features although Flash and other video formats aren’t supported. The browser also supports tabs although there is a limit of three tabs opened at once. The screen display is good although being a small size you do have to scroll around the screen quite a bit. I’ve put some sample pics on Flickr. Bookmarks are supported although text entry can be a drag even though common entries like http:// and .com are easily added. Even secure connections can be accessed.

Files can be downloaded and played back on the PSP. For example, I visited Graham’s site, downloaded his new song and played it back on the PSP. Nice. Podcasts can also be grabbed this way. From about 10 metres away I grabbed the 3 meg file in under a minute which I think is pretty good for a wireless connection. I’m not looking for massive bandwidth – just speed that allows me to browse and chat. With that in mind a cheap, small laptop will be purchased soon.

One of the other drawbacks is that the PSP only has 32Meg of ram. This means certain websites are too big to display which is a shame – only found two out of twenty today that failed. Ultimately this is a great upgrade and really makes it a multimedia device. While laptops can already do everything a PSP can, nothing comes close when considering cost, size and functionality. The Video iPod (September?) has it’s work cut out.

MX 3100

I’ve given in to geek toys yet again and bought a new keyboard and mouse – Logitech MX 3100. I already owned a wireless Logitech mouse (which will find a new home at work) but the mouse in this pack was a laser mouse, supposedly much smoother and more reliable than the other optical mice. Verdict – it is smooth but only when I through away the mouse pad which is a bit odd considering it’s supposed to work on a larger range of surfaces. Still it’s comfy and the battery charge lights are very useful as are the number of buttons on it which allow for quick web browsing and app switching.

The keyboard is a lot better than my old MS wired keyboard. Very comfy and a nice response when typing. It also comes with a large amount of extra buttons mostly for media playing and easy zooming/scrolling in supported apps. Also some buttons for IM & calc buttons but none for launching a web browser. Easy fixed by customising the apps launched by each button but still an odd omission.

One word of warning is that it was a bitch to set-up. Took about 3 hours of faffing about, restarting and removing all known trace of Logitech products, removing batteries and letting capacitors run dry and eventually a half hour break from it before returning and getting it working…eventually. Not recommended if your not prepared to get your hands dirty but if you are it really is a lovely keyboard/mouse combo.

Aiport Express

Apple have announced the Aiport Express which looks to be the ideal solution for easily adding wireless to your home. Coupled with the new version of iTunes you can stream music to any speakers. A good example can be seen here. This is really tempting. What would seal the deal would be a laptop and then I could be sitting in the garden surfing to my hearts content.

But then reality kicks in – the weather isn’t good enough to justify the outlay as I would get a day a week if I’m lucky in the great outdoors. I’ll stick to my guns and upgrade the desktop later in the year. My current pc is 3 & 1/2 years old. In fact this is my oldest pc so far without an upgrade. With Half-Llife 2 & Doom 3 later this year, it has to be done.