Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hard drives and headphones....

I suppose i'll start with the bad news... I spent yesterday evening taking apart my MacBook Pro, carefully prying out the internal HDD (with a capacity of 120gb) and installing my new internal HDD (capacity 500gb). That all went fairly well. Took me about 40 minutes start to finish (LOTS of little screws!)

My plan was to pop in an OSX Leopard recovery disc (not mine), reload the operating system, and then use a Time Machine backup to restore the information and settings from my old drive.

Plan Fail.

Turns out the Recovery Disc I have refuses to install OSX onto my system. Reading through some forums, I learned that you have to have the correct recovery disc, not just any old OSX disc you find lying around. My girlfriend has restored her machine several times with this same disc, but I don't get to.

Revised plan: use the Disk Utility to restore my old HDD (hooked to my computer via a USB2.0-->SATA cable) to the new one. I'm not optimistic... but I'm going to give it all day to try just in case it actually works. There does appear to be some progress... but the time Estimated Time fluctuates between 3 and 6 hours, so I'm not really sure how much progress is being made at any given time.

The good news: I found myself in need of a pair of decent-sounding, comfortable (lightweight) and isolating headphones. I own some decent Sony earbuds, but for use at home I wanted something a bit more comfortable and with better sound. After some research, I came down to 3 possibilities.
1) Skullcandy Hesh. I was really hoping these would sound as good as the look... but I was sorely disappointed. The isolation was terrible despite the extremely tight fit, so not only were they uncomfortable to wear for more than an hour, but they didn't isolate me from the outside world (dogs, people, birds, etc). The sound quality wasn't terrible... but because I could still hear everything going on around me and they sucked to wear, I returned them for a full refund of $54.21
2) Bose. The price tag on these is insane. Even on sale at Target they run $125+tax. Granted, they are on display so prospective buyers can "try it before you buy it." Unfortunately, you don't get to try them with your own audio source. Instead you listen to the (creepy) Bose demo with its jazz music and (attractive-sounding) female announcing everything the headset does well.
3) Sennheiser HD201. I've never owned a pair of Sennheisers before... but the reviews at places like and (two very different sites) lead me to believe these were a great place to start. They are great. I paid all of $26 for them brand new from I also got a $5 credit toward music off amazon's vast MP3 selection. They have a great big 10' cord (perfect for my room, terrible for the outside world), they're really lightweight and exert only enough pressure to keep me sealed off from the world around me. The sound is fantastic and in a totally different class from the Skullcandy cans I tried. I haven't yet hooked them up to my external headphone amp, but I'm sure that when I do I'll be even more impressed.

Assuming these headphones can handle all I throw at them, which isn't much because they'll be living in my room full time, I will have them around for quite some time to come. 

At the moment, my computer is back at the 3 hour mark until all 103.2gb is transferred from the old HDD to the new... I suppose I'll go have breakfast, go to class, and maybe do a little homework. Hopefully by the end of the day I'll have a functioning machine.
If you've got Twitter, or are just curious about what all the fuss is about, follow me: @mattbeaty. I'll be tweeting (the correct verb, as opposed to twittering or twitting) about my headphones, computer issues, and all sorts of things all day, whenever I have access to the Internet.