Growing Up Geek: Richard Lawler

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Welcome to Growing Up Geek, an ongoing feature where we take a look back at our youth and tell stories of growing up to be the nerds that we are. Today, we have our very own Senior HD Editor, Richard Lawler.
This picture was taken in 1985 and despite the time that’s passed, the excitement I felt then holding that Atari joystick returns each and every time I plug in, boot up, or log on to find something new. Like so many other geeks of the era, the world of videogames found in reams of bootlegged games contained on Verbatim 5.25-inch floppies were early training in the value of knowing my way around computers. The initial desire to play The Last Starfighter / Solaris without needing anyone to set it up for me would years later lead to long sessions of editing .bat and .ini files to hear sound effects in Wolfenstein 3D and after that, easy work setting up and fixing computers. Still, as great as using technology is, it’s nothing without spirited discussions amongst like-minded individuals and after the schoolyard debates over 8-, 16- and 32-bit console wars ended (fortunately, Sega is out of the hardware game now or I would have to recuse myself from any news or reviews) I headed online to make myself heard.

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Growing Up Geek: Richard Lawler originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony’s new A, E, and S series Walkmans to get Music Unlimited freebie

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For those that haven’t yet gone down the iFaithful portable media player route, there’s always the Walkman. Sony officially unveiled updates to its A, S and E series line of players just last month, and now plans to dole out a free trial of Music Unlimited to owners of the NWZ-A860, S760BT and E460 when they go on sale this September. The streaming service, formerly known as Qriocity, brings with it a catalog of over 10 million songs and will be available gratis for 180 days, after which it’ll run you $3.99/mo for basic service and $9.99/mo for the premium offering. It might be too late in the game for the company to wrestle back the portable audio crown but, hey, you can’t fault it for trying to sweeten the MP3-playing pot. Official PR awaits you after the break.

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Sony’s new A, E, and S series Walkmans to get Music Unlimited freebie originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nintendo’s 3DS Ambassador Program line-up revealed, games available September 1st

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Early 3DS adopters, your smorgasbord of throwback make-goods is now only a day away. Nintendo recently announced via its Twitter account the full line-up of ten Famicom / NES virtual console games headed for the company’s Ambassador Program. Owners of the 3D handheld in Japan and North America can look forward to re-acquainting themselves with such 8-bit classics like Metroid, Super Mario Bros., Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II : The Adventure of Link, Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong Jr., NES Open Tournament Golf, Wrecking Crew and Yoshi. Those golden games of yore will be available to download from the eShop tomorrow, but gamers looking for the GBA goods will have to wait until later this year.

Update: Turns out the games are available to download now.

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Nintendo’s 3DS Ambassador Program line-up revealed, games available September 1st originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HP promotes ‘$40 billion’ PC business spin-off with new series of ads

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Before today, HP had only expressed that it “will consider a broad range of options” for the future of its Personal Systems Group; and now, said company’s released a series of ads to confirm its intention to spin it off into a separate company. Amidst the lovely (and ironic) mention of HP’s long-lived success with its $40 billion PC business, the underlying message here is all about “staying focused on our customer needs” and to “better anticipate change” — much like being a start-up all over again, as suggested by Executive Vice President Todd Bradley on HP’s website. Of course, the customer in question here is likely from the enterprise sector, as we’ve all learned from CEO Leo Apotheker’s interview at D9, the death of HP’s webOS devices, and the pending acquisition of Autonomy. Still, we’ve yet to hear more concrete plans or even figure out who the potential buyers might be (if any), but for now, you can take a gander at HP’s “sample ad” after the break.

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HP promotes ‘$40 billion’ PC business spin-off with new series of ads originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 15:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Original: Engadget

Sony Walkman Mobile Entertainment Player hands-on (video)

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You may well have missed it in today’s deluge of Sony product announcements, but the company showed off the latest device to carry its age-old Walkman brand. The 4.3-inch handset runs Android Gingerbread, and is still in its early stages at the moment, carrying the fairly uninspired Walkman Mobile Entertainment Player moniker. The device has an HDMI port that can be used to play things like mobile games on an HDTV. Sony seemed far less interested in that functionality than the handset’s Throw feature, however, which offers up wireless transfers to devices like the company’s Bravia TV line. We gave it a whirl, and the whole thing was rather painless, even in a setting like Sony’s booth, where the place is lousy with Bravia sets. The phone, it seems, isn’t quite ready for primetime, so we don’t have any word on pricing or available yet. Check out a video of the Walkman in action, after the break.

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Sony Walkman Mobile Entertainment Player hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 14:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Via: Engadget

Offline Google Mail hands-on

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Offline Google Mail

One of the things that made Google apps the web-based productivity suite to beat was the ability to access your information offline using Gears. When that experiment was killed, many of us let loose a single tear as we contemplated returning to our desktop apps. Well, as promised, HTML5 is finally returning Gmail to its former offline glory. Docs and Calendar will follow in the coming days, but anyone can get access to their Gmail accounts offline now by installing the Offline Google Mail app for Chrome. Before we had even finished spreading the wonderful news we already had it installed and fired up. So, how’s it work? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading after the break to find out.

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Offline Google Mail hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 14:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engadget’s back to school guide 2011: gaming

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Welcome to Engadget’s Back to School guide! We know that this time of year can be pretty annoying and stressful for everyone, so we’re here to help out with the heartbreaking process of gadget buying for the school-aged crowd. Today, we’re getting our game on — and you can head to the Back to School hub to see the rest of the product guides as they’re added throughout the month. Be sure to keep checking back — at the end of the month we’ll be giving away a ton of the gear featured in our guides — and hit up the hub page right here!

Let’s be honest, balancing coursework with recreation is just as important as maintaining a balanced food diet — perhaps even more. After you spend countless hours hitting the books, cramming for tests, and writing papers, you’re just going to need something to turn your brain to mush. Don’t worry, we have just the thing: video games. It doesn’t matter how many midterms you have, we’re sure we can find something to help you slack off. Of course, it’s not going to be easy; you’ll have to wait until next semester (at least) to get your hands on the PlayStation Vita, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have options now. Jump past the break — we can probably help you find something to get you through mid-terms with your sanity intact. Don’t want to shell out cash to have fun this semester? Enter our back to school sweepstakes! Simply leave a comment below for a chance to win, and drop by our giveaway page for more details.

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Engadget’s back to school guide 2011: gaming originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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