LOGITECH WOES

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Logitech 570 wireless trackball

I haven’t used a Logitech device for a long time which explains why I purchased a new one. Let me make myself perfectly clear; the reason why I haven’t purchased a logitech device is the fact that I was dissatisfied with their performance in the past and the difficulty in setting them up. To say the least they are now and always have been a nightmare for an average guy like me. I won’t get into the problems that I had with my former keyboard and mouse, but apparently nothing has changed to bring them into the 21st century. I am admittedly old fashioned and I don’t take to new technology, but the Logitech 570 wireless tracking ball is nothing less than a throwback to the days of my first PC, a Sears eMachine that cost all of eight hundred dollars in 1998. I used the mouse that came with it, until it no longer clicked and then I discovered Tracking balls; once cutting edge ergonomic technology, now  relegated to the old peoples section with the other archaic devices, and that’s exactly were it belongs.

I have gone through three tracking balls  since 2000, which means that they’ve each endured an average of five years of daily use. My third one is still in service but I’ve always wanted a wireless tracking ball and now after a decade and a half I finally found one for about half the price they wanted back in the day. Up until now I’ve always had the plug in tracking balls because until now most of my PCs were not set up to be wireless, although my  Micron had the capability I am tech lazy and never bothered to hook it up.

Now I am a Mac user and have familiarized myself with a wireless keyboard and mouse, but I hate moving my hand around a mouse pad just to use the cursor. So I forsook my wireless apple mouse and plugged in my old faithful tracking ball. But alas the sticky clicker syndrome hit and my poor tracking ball was afflicted. Time for a new tracking ball. So I went to Best Buy and found the Logitech 570 wireless tracking ball with unifying Receiver. It seemed simple enough buy it plug it in and go to work. If only it was that easy!

I did everything that I was supposed to do, I went to the Logitech site downloaded the manager and installer, (already too much work), I read the prompts very carefully followed the directions and failed miserably to pair my tracking ball with my mac. I have unplugged, restarted and started from scratch and so far I have not been able to successfully pair the device. the closest I came, was being able to assign right click and roller, but before I can finish I have to assign a function to to the left click, which the manager will not let me do. So the tracking ball remains unusable and so far the help site doesn’t help. My next step is to call customer service and hope they don’t charge me for the call. This is more trouble than any tracking ball is worth in a world of plug and play devices. Unfortunately Apple only offers the same piece of junk that I already own. My Advice is, don’t waste your money on this tracking ball. If I get the problems resolved after contacting customer service I’ ll update my progress, otherwise my opinion still stands.

Tech review: Vizio Smart TV

IMG_0578 (1)             MY STUPID SMART TV.                                                            Don’t be fooled by the name of a product. Just because something has the name smart in front of it, doesn’t mean that it is. I recently purchased the VIZIO E-Series Smart TV. I shied away from Apple TV because I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with MAC products, meaning I own an iPod touch an iPad and a iMac All in one computer. They have an incredibly steep learning curve for a guy like me, who started with a simple PC. My main beef with Apple is that their customer service is nothing more than a money grubbing scheme to bilk their customers. I swore to myself that I would never again buy another APPLE product. When they finally wear out or can no longer be upgraded all of my Apple devices will be replaced with anything other than Apple.

Back to Vizio. After setting up and tuning it, I discovered that almost everything available on the menu of internet apps, (most of them are subscription services), which means they charge a fee, are apps that aren’t needed , not wanted, or are redundant. I am an HBO subscriber but unfortunately They don’t make that available on this product. They do have Hulu plus, but why should I pay for that, when I have HBO GO. I feel that with a smart tv I should be able to access the same things that I can access from my iPad,or my TV. The Yahoo app store is so limited that it only took me two minutes to check out their inventory, pretty lame! I feel that I should be getting much more from a smart TV, especially when all of the hype and the sales pitch that I got from the guy at best buy. This thing should be amazing, but it’s not.

Here is what I expect but didn’t get. The ability to browse the internet, the ability to use a wireless keyboard, the ability to watch HBO GO, Adult Swim, Crunchy roll and a bunch of other favorites. I thought I would be able to play Mahjong,slots or download the Sims. None of these things which are common on my iPad are available to me. The only good thing that I can say about it, is that it functions as a normal television with a very slow remote and You Tube. I can not figure out the use of the pairing feature, since you can only  use it with You Tube and you see the exact same thing that you’re watching on your iPad. I can rent or purchase movies but I can do that on my  regular television and have a bigger screen. I can also and have watched movies on my Mac and my iPod and iPad, so no big deal. I can not lay up in bed and work on my blog. In short it’s just a TV that isn’t very smart after all, just a scam to sell more apps.

The Sony, Google TV internet player

My Beef of the week is the Sony make-believe google TV internet player, that’s a mouthful. I know that I have a technology deficit in my brain, but I did manage to get the thing up and running. The problem is that you have to have a Google account to do anything with it and that for me is a BIG PROBLEM. I recently dropped my Google account because I was dissatisfied with the way it kept dropping mail and being very intrusive about my personal history. I don’t hate them as much as I hate steam, but they aren’t the sharpest tack in the box.  Recently,( Wednesday as a matter of fact) I purchased the Sony make-believe internet player; and that’s just exactly what it is because if you squint real hard, you can pretend that it does all of the things that it claims to do.

It handles like a blimp in a thunderstorm and then it crashes liKe the Hindenburg, “OH THE HUMANITY!” So far I have paired all three of my apple devices but according to the onscreen prompts, devices are paired but not connected. What does that even mean? they are turned on they are receiving the internet so how are they not connected. While still trying to figure that one out I moved on to the next phase trying my Amazon account. It doesn’t recognize my old email or my password so I can’t edit my account I can’t do anything. So I put that one on hold and moved on to phase three playing videos, I am a fan of J-Urban girl group Foxxi misQ, I know they have been defunct for three years now but I miss them.  So I put them on my all regions DVD player which usually works fine when only connected to the TV, but connected to the Sony device they freeze they skip and they crash. Just to make sure that the flaw wasn’t with the disc I played them on my Mac and they worked just fine. so obvious the problem is with the make-believe player. Who came up with that loser name anyway they probably jinxed it.

With You Tube my luck was a little better but I couldn’t navigate as fast as with my i Pad or i Pod touch. It seemed very insistent that I open up an Amazon account. It won’t let me just rent a movie with out an account.  I haven’t tried NETFLIX yet but I am wondering what hazard that holds for me. I did try Pandora however and again it tried to force me to get an account. I have been listening to Pandora ever since Last fm decided to charge Americans for mobile devices; after I scobbled hundreds of dollars of my personal collection of music for others to listen to. I am not one of those persons who gets free music and doesn’t ever buy what I listen to. I buy  the music that I like and that amounts to a lot. But back to my main point I couldn’t do anything on pandora it just kept crashing and restarting.

Now comes my biggest beef I have been watching HBO GO on my I pad since I first discovered that I could get Deadwood from start to finish for free. I am already a subscriber to HBO and Starz so why should I have to pay $1.99 for episodes that I have already seen or that are more than a year old. The answer is, I shouldn’t. To my surprise and angry astonishment I Went to HBO GO and found that I have to pay to watch programs that I have already paid for through my subscription to HBO. If this is the business model of google TV they can shove it. I can truly say that this was a waste of time and money, and although I do not plan to return it I am thoroughly disappointed I thought Sony was better than that I do own a Sony. TV my first one lasted 20 years with only one repair.

I should have known better, google chrome on my mac was a nightmare I finally got rid of it and received a refund after many hours of fruitless fixes by customer service.  Still Sony takes some of the blame it is definitely not like browsing on your computer. It’s clunky, glitchy and odd. It detected my mouse but not my keyboard. What’s up with that? My mouse wasn’t even connected. As Siskel and Ebert would say I give this internet player two thumbs down.