Tech Alchemy
Alchemy Infused Tech News



So I was watching GeekBrief this morning, and it gave me the idea for this post. The whole episode was about back to school gadgets. Well it was actually about buying $200 worth of gadgets from K-Mart for back to school, but it made me want to make a list of the gadgets I would want, if I were going back to school. For my list, I am not going to limit myself budget wise, but it is going to be geared toward college. So I will act as if I need to pimp out my dorm room and so on…

Let’s start with the what every college student needs, a computer. Now I love having a desktop, but for school I think a laptop makes more sense. Personally I would go with a MacBook Pro 15 inch. The only reason I would go for the Pro versus the plain old MacBook is because I need the extra power. Because I do video editing, and I know I would need that better graphics card that the MacBook Pro has. For all of my friends though, if they are on a budget, I would say go for the MacBook. They are cheaper and will give most anyone more than enough power than they need. Most people I know really just use a computer for writing, surfing the web, listening to music, and watching movies.

Usually at this point, because I mentioned watching movies and listening to music, most people would then put an iPod on their list. Well I am not going to do that. Mainly because I believe that there will be new iPods coming out in the next few months. So… moving on…

For the dorm, I would get a Vizio VW32L HDTV. This baby is big enough that you and all your drunk buddies can watch football on Monday night, but not too big that it wouldn’t fit into your tiny dorm room.

Now since you have got an HDTV, why not put some HD content on there? This is where I am a little torn though. I haven’t jumped onto the HD DVD or Blu-Ray camp yet, so I can’t really recommend a dedicated player for one or the other. My way out of this would be to get an Xbox 360 with the HD DVD drive ad on, AND get a PS3. This way you will be able to watch both HD DVD and Blu-Ray, and play all the coolest games. (I know, the Wii is awesome, but it can’t play Hi-Def content, so I’ve got to leave it out.)

Alright, now that you have an awesome entertainment set up, lets get back to studying. I know, I know… who actually studies in college? Well, apparently some people do and this next gadget might help.

Everyone could use a USB Flash Drive and the SanDisk Cruzer Titanium would be an excellent choice. Even though it only holds 512Mb, that should be plenty for your papers. What sets this flash drive apart is that is syncs with Outlook and has password protection. So you needn’t be afraid that your secret plans to take over the world will fall into the wrong hands.

Now everyone needs a backpack, and since you have that shiny new MacBook Pro, you will need a backpack that can carry it. I am recommending the North Face Heckler backpack. I used this baby when I went to Spain. It was comfortable to lug around airports and I am sure it would just as comfortable to lug around campus. It has plenty of space for all of your books, and it has a laptop pouch inside the main compartment. Now I don’t think that this is the safest backpack to put your laptop in, but in all fairness, it wasn’t designed for a laptop.

Your parents love seeing pictures of you, and you love taking pictures to plaster all over Facebook. So it only makes sense to get a decent digital camera. You don’t need anything too fancy like a DSLR, so a pocket sized point and shoot camera will work just fine. So I am recommending the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T100. It is the perfect size, so you can take it with you everywhere, and it takes some great pictures. Look out Facebook…

Well I hope you enjoyed my back to school list. If you have anything you would suggest, let me know. I love hearing what other people would spend their back to school money on.



Now at you can get your very own iPhone for a hundred bucks cheaper than those suckers who bought it when it first came out! If you go to the refurbished section in the Apple store, you will find a new icon for the iPhone. They now cost $399 for the 4Gb version and $499 for the 8Gb version.

My contract ends in November with AT&T, and I was thinking of getting a Helio Ocean, but I might go for the 4Gb iPhone now… but I don’t really want to stay with the Evil Empire. What do you think I should do? iPhone or Ocean?

Hit me up at techalchemy @ gmail (dot) com.



I got an email from Apple yesterday that pissed me off. Here is what the email said:
“Get an early start on your company’s holiday shopping with iPod, iPod accessories, and iTunes Gift Cards.** From volume order pricing to laser engraving your message or logo, we have the gifts to simplify the season.”

OK, I can understand wanting to get a jump on the holiday shopping season… but in AUGUST?! Come on! I get pissed when I see Halloween stuff in stores before October (which by the way I have already seen). This is just madness.

On another note, do you think that this means Apple wants to get rid of all their old iPods to make room for new versions? My guess is that we will see new iPods from Apple in September or October. Why? Because it is about time and those are the months when Apple has released new iPods in the past.

So I will be waiting to finally upgrade my 3rd Gen. iPod until later this fall.


From Engadget:

“A diabolical ring of super-thieves has been terrorizing the good people of Tulsa, OK., by conducting elaborate burglaries of stores like Best Buy and Office Depot. In their most recent exploit, the robbers cut two holes in the roof of a Best Buy, rappelled into the store, disabled the alarm system, and then stole more than 40 laptops, a number of plasma TVs and the store’s safe. A local crime reporter claims they “leave behind no fingerprints, no witnesses and no surveillance tapes”. They also reportedly have super-human strength, psionic powers, and can all fly at nearly supersonic speeds.”

read more | digg story


Now that’s what I’m talking about, Nintendo. Combining my two favorite things, drink and video games, and putting them together so I can enjoy them both on a lovely summer day. Portable gaming devices have always been a natural fit in the lives of bar flies because everyone likes a lush who can entertain themselves.

read more | digg story


Good news for everyone who has a 360 but wants the Elite.

Here is what Kataku had to say about the matter.

“After getting various conflicting answers over the past few days regarding GameStop and EBGames trade-in programs for Xbox 360 owners to upgrade to the soon to be released 360 Elite, it has now been confirmed that they will indeed be offering greater trade-in credit for core, premium, and original Xbox systems to aid the purchase of the shiny new black system.

As late as yesterday I was getting reports from stores stating there would be no program, but today all of the stores I talked to yesterday have changed their tune, stating that the premium systems would be worth $250 (from $190), with cores fetching $200 and first-gen Xbox systems being worth $50.

The trade-in credit can be used towards anything, so if you were looking to offload an original Xbox, now would be the time.

I’ll be seeing the GameStop manager who yesterday assured me there would be no trade-in program of any sort later today. If he winds up missing I was at your house the whole time. Michael Fahey”

read more | digg story



As a video editor/DVD author, the Final Cut Studio 2 looks great. I already own Final Cut Studio, and it would cost me only $500 to upgrade. Considering what comes in that huge box, $500 is extremely cheap! I have taken a look at the video demos of all the programs that come with Final Cut Studio 2, and I am impressed, except for one thing. There is no upgrade for DVD Studio Pro! They are still on version 4.

Other than that, FCP can now handle multiple video formats in one timeline. Motion can now do 3D. There is a new program called Color, which is an in depth color corrector, which was badly needed. They also released Final Cut Server, which looks cool, but personally I have no use for it. The company I work for might, but for my freelance work, there is no need for a media server.

Personally I am really excited to play around with Motion 3. I would love to create some cool 3D animations. But I will have to wait until I really get to play around with all of that stuff, because I don’t have an extra $500 to spend at the moment. When I do get the big box, I will let you know what I think.



I was taking a look at and came across this little gem. If you live in an apartment and have noisy neighbors, use this CD to get back at them. Here is a description from the product page.

“A great way to get back at those noisy neighbors! Give them a taste of their own medicine with any one of these 20 ear-splitting sound effect tracks. Anyone who’s ever lived in an apartment will really appreciate this hilarious CD! Earplugs supplied for your listening pleasure. Tracks include: 1) Drill; 2) Party (At Least 200 People); 3) Orgasm (Outstanding); 4) Train; 5) Drum (Played by a Child); 6) Inhuman Screams; 7) Walking (High Heels); 8) Domestic Squabble; 9) Doors Banging; 10) Bowling; 11) Unhappy Dog; 12) Practicing Scales (Violin); 13) Traffic Jam; 14) Garbage Truck; 15) Newborn; 16) Phone Ringing; 17) Ball Game; 18) Pigeons; 19) Spring Cleaning; and 20) Cock-a-Doodle-Doo!”

Have fun with this one!

read more | digg story



So this story broke around Thursday this past week. Apple finally announced their 8-Core MacPro.

So whats all the fuss about? Don’t get me wrong, I know this computer is smoking fast, and I am a Apple fan boy, but still…the only people who should really be drooling over this machine are people who need to render video really really fast. Otherwise, I say go for a cheaper Mac. They are all pretty darn fast, and if you aren’t doing any work that is really processor intensive, you don’t need 8 cores.

I think I will pass on this one, and wait until they update the MacBooks or the MacBook Pros.


Hey everyone… or all 23 people who read this blog,

Sorry that I haven’t posted anything new in about a month. I have been really busy with work, and then I went to Spain for vacation, and I am now just getting back into the swing of things. I am still an avid tech fan, and plan on keeping this blog going with what I think is the coolest tech news. But I think I will do most of my postings on the weekends from now on. That is when I have the most time, and I can take a look at what happened the past week and compile a list of what I feel are the best tech stories. If I have time during the week, I will post a blog or two, but I don’t think I can keep up with posting 10 stories everyday.

So look for new stories coming in on Saturdays and Sundays. Thank you for continuing to visit my blog, even though I have been absentminded the past few weeks.