As all who know me are aware – I’m a fanatic gadget – gizmo freak. The last post that I made on this subject, probably a year ago was either about the Amazon Kindle (One of my all-time favorite toys) or the Sonos home music distribution system (Also, one of my all – time favorite toys).
So, what’s been on my “Geek Radar” since those posts a year or so ago? Well there are several; some are upgrades or advancements of the above themes, and there are a couple of new toys of interest.
First of all, let me say: “I Love-love-love my Kindle”. I use it each and every day. Well, there is talk of a second generation Kindle — the Kindle II which is rumored to be released in February 2009? I don’t know how they could make it better (actually I do have a few ideas in that area), but I’m very anxious and excited to see what they do with the Kindle II.
The Sonos home music distribution system is in my opinion by far the best of it’s class. It consists of a hand-held controller and at least one zone/room player. The first zone/room player need to be connected/hard-wired to your home network router. Subsequent zone/room players can be placed anywhere, and are wirelessly connected to the network. There are two versions of the zone/room player, one is amplified for connecting to a regular set of speakers; the other version is un-amplified, for connecting directly to your stereo HiFi system or to a pair of powered speakers. The music, in most any format you prefer, is stored on a pc or network-attached storage device on your home network. You select the music to play, using the hand-held controller, on zone/room players in multiple zones or rooms. Using the controller, you can opt to play the same music in all zones or different music in each zone simultaneously. That is very, very cool. When Christmas and birthday come around and family members are asking what I would like to receive, I always opt for an Amazon gift card. That way, I can feed my gadget/gizmo addiction and I haven’t found anything that I couldn’t buy from Amazon – and at a good price to boot. So this year, when the family came through with some nice gift cards(thank you family) — I knew where to head.
When I installed the initial Sonos system, I had a single zone in the entertainment/living room. That’s where the AV/ Stereo system is located and the logical location for my initial zone/room player. I had always thought that a good place for a new Sonos zone was in the Kitchen/Breakfast room. We’re in there a lot, and we often play cards with friends there. We could hear the living room system there, but had to crank the volume way up, which I was not comfortable with. So, my latest gadget / toy acquisition was a second Sonos zone/room player for the kitchen/breakfast room. I already had a pair of good quality powered speakers which had been sitting idle in my closet for a few years. I’m very pleased with it and not only do we used it while playing cards, my wife is enjoying it while she is spending significant time in the kitchen. Just a side note, This is one of the few gadget/gizmo/toys that my wife really enjoys and feels has value — in other words, the Sonos has a very high WAV or Wife Acceptance Value.
So, what does the future hold (according to my “Geek Radar”), a couple of things really have my interest right now. First and foremost is a netbook. What is a netbook you ask? Well it’s also called a UMPC which stands for Ultra Mobile Personal Computer. They are very small and mobile as the name implies – generally between two and three pounds, with a nine to ten inch screen. The primary purpose of a netbook is to provide basic internet browsing, email, and office applications in a very small, portable, package which incorporates integrated wireless capability. A number of manufacturers are now producing netbooks, among them are the ASUS Eee PC, Acer Aspire One, and the MSI Wind. There are others from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung that warrant consideration.
My current favorite is the Acer Aspire One. It comes in both a Windows XP version and a Linux version. The Window version includes WinXP Home, a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 160GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, 802.11 b/g wireless, 10/100 ethernet, and a 8.9″ 1024×600 screen. Dimensions are 9.8″x6.7″x1.14″ and weighs just 2.17 pounds.
I need another computer (I have at least six in good working order) like I need a hole in the head, but hey – that’s not the point is it – remember I’m a gadget/gizmo freak. My interest level here is high enough to become a want, don’t know why exactly, but I want one.
My other current and growing interest is in DSLRs – Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras. I’m currently looking at the expected brand names: Nikon, Canon, and Olympus.
My interest is not yet high enough to become a want, but who knows what the future holds.
Geeky Gadgets, Gizmos, & Toys — I love em!
Posted by DRHamp as Gadgets & Stuff at 10:19 AM UTC