Monday, August 16, 2004

Every boy needs toys

A few cool toys on my gadget list

1. Logitech has a cool remote control I'm tempted to buy. Our remote is generally fine, in only because we don't have a stereo or sound system and almost all of our TV watching is via TiVo, but since the everything I've read makes this seem like the first easy-to-use, all-in-one, programmable (that is, programmable by you and me, you don't have to be an uber-geek to get this to work) remote, I certainly want to add it to my current toys.

2. We have a decent digital camera, but there are new and better ones out there. If I was buying today, I would buy Olympus' new Ferrari Digital 2004. It's a supercool little 3.2 megapixel camera with a 2.5" screen. It's the slimmest, most-compact camera they have ever made, has a 3X optical zooming lens, and comes with a docking station. Oh, and it is an exact color match to your red Ferrari.

3. Sure, my current phone is fine, but having the latest and greatest cellular phone de rigueur for both geeks and business people. I am torn between the two different models. Samsung's SPH-I500 is the best marriage of phone and PDA ever made, but would require me to change carriers and get all new power adapters. The very sleek and functional Nokia 6170 has about all a phone should and should be available through my carrier, but I won't know until the phone is available sometime later this year.

4. I use to spend a lot of time in airplanes. I don't fly much anymore, but when I did, I wanted the Bose QuietComfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. People who have tried them, loved them. And I still want a set now, even though I really don't have a use for it.

DCO7 Low Reach5. And maybe the most important one of toy of all, the Dyson vacuum. It's the product that has revolutionized vacuum cleaning. Now, I'm not saying I want to vacuum, but if you're going to do it anyway, why not have the coolest and best vacuum cleaner *ever* invented?

6. And while I'm talking about Dyson, let's not forget he has invented a great washing machine too. Unfortunately, like some of the vacuum cleaner models, this is not currently available in the United States. But since this is just a dream anyway, let's go for the one that cleans better than any other in the world, kills dust mites, and reduces allergens. How cool is that! Oh, and it's tested to last 20 years.

Null. Oddly enought, I don't want an Apple iPod. I know it seems funny, because the whole world has one or wants one, but I don't really care. Maybe it's because I haven't taken the time to burn all my current CDs yet. Maybe I'm not really a geek. Maybe you have to use it to understand. But I just don't get it.


ABCD II said...

I personally can't wait for the Sony Ericsson S710a which is an updated version of the S700 intended for the US.
-1.3 megapixel camera
-EDGE support
-240x320 pixel 262K color TFT display

As an aside, looking at new cellphones is a minor hobby of mine. For those interested in such things, I've found Mobile Burn to be really good site for reviews, pics, etc. However, since it is a European site, I often check out Phone Scoop for info on what phones will be coming out when here in the states.

ABCD II said...

The link for the remote control doesn't immediately work for me. It asks for a language first. You might try this one instead.

Jeffrey Davidson said...

Link updated. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


Don Norman praises an earlier version of the Harmony Remote on his website. It is the only remote in the world that is designed around activities (tasks) rather than devices, which is what makes it so much easier to use than anything else. It is truly a great product.

I can't condone the Ferrari digital camera, because I don't like small digitals. The lens quality is rather poor when compared to larger cameras, and the lens has FAR more to do with image quality than CCD resolution. Especially considering that this camera is slated to have a street price of £499.99 ($920.00 USD) in the UK. If you're buying it because you like the Ferrari design, that's cool. Just don't expect it to perform like other digital cameras in the $900 price range. For that much money, you can get a Canon Digital Rebel kit, which is roughly 2397239587349587348597 times better. For another $300 - $400, you can pick up the Nikon D70 kit, which is what I bought a few months ago.The cellphone I'm lusting after is the Motorola MPx. It hasn't come out yet, but it's super cool. It folds in two directions, allowing you to use the keypad as a qwerty thumbpad. It runs Windows Mobile, which has had a few problems, but I guess is getting better with each revision. The good thing about this is that you can run any PocketPC application on it. Very cool. When it comes out, I'm sure it's going to be a kajillion dollars. I think this is the first convergence device that has serious potential.

Chalk me up as the lone voice of dissent on the Bose active noise cancellation headphones. I find them exceptionally fatiguing, and actually sort of dangerous. It's important to note that you're actually blasting sound pressure into your ears when you wear those things-- you just can't hear it. When I've used them in the past, I found that I couldn't wear them for more than about 30 minutes before my ears started to get very, very tired. The solution to travel noise that I've settled upon is the Etymotic Research ER-6 in-ear cochlear implants. Aside from providing fidelity that is approximately 2395873945873 times better than any product Bose has ever produced, they also provide ~20dB of noise isolation from the outside world. This translates to near total isolation on a plane, for instance. If you're really serious about isolation, you can step up to the ER-4s or ER-4p series, which provides as much as 33dB of isolation, depending on the tip you're using. I own both sets (yes, I'm insane) and find the ER-6's to be more comfortable, and of marginally lower fidelity given the enormous price differential ($120 vs ~$250). To top it off, they're tiny and can easily be carried in your shirt pocket, unlike the enormous Bose headphones, which also require a battery.

I love my Dyson. Best consumer appliance product EVAR.

And the iPod is very cool, but I sort of wish that I hadn't purchased mine. Since I've always got my laptop around, I basically don't ever use it. I'll get it out on a long plane flight if my laptop battery dies, but that's about it. In fact, I'm sort of trying to sell it at the moment. Interested? :)