Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Wednesday, 17 June, 2009

Gadgets

Filed under: General — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:17 pm

I love gadgets, health care and better yet I’m not too old to learn how to use (most of) them.

Unfortunately many of the gadgets I get lie around unused, I feel guilty, gadgets need love too.

Here’s a brief rundown of recent (ish) gadgety purposes:

Sony PRS505 eReader

The latest gadget. It’s surprisingly good for what is very nearly bleeding-edge. The contrast is verging on the fantastic indoors and still very readable in bright sunshine (I expected it to be the other way around). I have already read a book and a half on it and have no complaints whatsoever. I’ve even put a couple of WoW guides on it including PanzerCows Prot Warrior leveling notes. This is one cool gadget.

Garmin Forerunner 205.

forerunnerBought as a present for moi some time ago so I could keep an eye on speed when riding (an important part of endurance riding), but I (and my GF) love it because the “Course” feature has virtually replaced map reading.  It doesn’t actually display maps, just a “course”, and where you are on it. You can tell if you’re on course, need to turn sharp right in around 300m, and so on. Think of using a Car SatNav. Oh and it displays average speed and all the other kind of rubbish you expect from a small GPS. Not actually   replacement for map reading, but really useful. It is fairly bulky though.

Bluetrek ST1

bluetrekst1A pair of Bluetooth stereo headphones, actually I’ve bought two of these, the first ones were around £35 and got returned them since they didn’t match what I wanted – a gaming headset, I posted about this a while ago. Recently they were available at Play for £17, this time I knew what I was getting, a pretty decent sounding pair of wireless headphones so I bought them. I’m listening to My Chemical Romance on them even now. I love wireless.

They are fragile though and I’ve got break in one arm that’s been patched up with some bits of old pen, glue and cable ties.

Bluetooth for my laptop.

I’m on my third attempt at adding bluetooth to my lappy after going through a couple of really crap external mini USB dongles. The first one installed a really old version of IVT’s Bluesoleil which I didn’t really like. I replaced that with a natively supported dongle ($5) – that couldn’t play music without breaking up! So I’ve recently bought a “pucker” dell internal jobbie and that works fine. Now I can play WoW without needing to have wires running from my head to the computer like some sad cyber-punk geek! Instead I look like a sad cyber-punk geek without wires!

Samsung T200HD

t200hdA Monitor with Freeview tuner. Apart from tinny sound (which is OK since it’s just in the bedroom) it’s lovely. Vibrant clear colours and impressively low standby power consumption. Unfortunately I never get to use it as a monitor, but the rare times I’ve plugged my laptop in I’ve been impressed both with the colours and the fact that my framerate plummets.

Nostromo N52

n52Two words: too big. My hand doesn’t fit it, the buttons are too hard to press, the software is hard to install under vista, etc, etc. Anyone want it?

Saitek Cyborg Commander Pro

cyborgI’ve been using this for leveling my warrior, to such an extent that using just the keyboard for playing him is difficult. It fits my hand better than the N52, and the Beta software works fine under Vista (the original software sucked in so many different ways).  I’ll eventually get around to posting my layout when its settled down. But the verdict so far is good. I’ve noticed from scanning around the web that SCCP users use the thumb joystick for movement and N52 users typically use the thumb D-Pad for ctrl etc, I think this shows how hard the flat “D-Pad” on the N52 is to use.

Mustek ScanExpress A3 Scanner

mustek-a3An A3 scanner for less than £100. I use it for scanning out of copyright maps, double the size means around 1/3 of the number of scans needed. Looks a bit “agricultural”. There were some issues with installing under Vista, and finding the right piece of software that doesn’t crash with it (IRFAN VIEW) otherwise it does the job just like a good piece of agricultural hardware should. I know the picture doesn’t make it look big, but it is!

16GB SD Card

transcend-16gb-sdhc-cardI keep WoW on this, it’s got about 150Mb free, so the next big patch update will render it useless. Until then my WoW is reasonably isolated from disk thrashing, something my laptop does for 30+ seconds at erratic intervals.

Garmin Forerunner 205.

forerunnerBought as a present for moi so I could keep an eye on speed when riding (an important part of endurance riding), but I (and my GF) love it because the “Course” feature has virtually replaced my map reading.  It doesn’t display maps, just a “track” and where you are on it. You can tell if you are on course, or need to turn sharp right in around 300m and so on. Think of using a Car SatNav. Oh and it displays average speed and all the other kind of rubbish you expect from a small GPS. Not a replacement for map reading, but really useful. it is fairly bulky though.

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