One Aging Geek

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gadget Christmas

This year was a Year of the Gadgets for Christmas. My grown daughter must have had a very good year. She and her husband bought new cars just before the end of the year. And she dropped a bunch on gadgets for the old man. One gift didn't quite work out as planned. She bought me a Samsung i730 Windows-based phone. I tried it out for a week and decided we were not a match. The phone was about like having a laptop in your pocket with Word, Excel, and whatnot. But it had several downsides. The thing weighed in at almost half a pound and was ... quite large. Since I do not get along with belt clips, it made quite a lump in my pocket. It had some other downsides like being incredibly battery hungry. And, being Windows, it locked up and had to be rebooted about once a day. Verizon has a 15-day trial period with purchases so before the time was up I did some research and swapped the Samsung out for a black Motorola Q. The Q is only a bit over 4 ounces and is thinner than a RAZR or the LG Chocolate I had. The Q is still a Windows-based device but it uses a "lesser" version of Windows Mobile. In the case of Windows, less is definitely more. I've had only a very few lock ups on the thing. Having access to my calendar and email and to-do lists on the phone has been quite useful. I've still got some stuff on the old PalmOS-based PDA but that device is destined for the dust bin. The other major gadget that the kid got me was a Logitech Harmony 550 programmable remote. The Harmony line is sweet! Plug in to a computer via USB and log in to a web application. Define your devices and "activities" (like "Watch a DVD"). The web app sorts out all the right settings and loads up the remote. So now with one press of a button all the right devices are turned on or off, set to the right mode, etc. Very sweet.