June 2, 2007 | Filed under: Gizmos
TurboLinux just released Wizpy, a portable media player with Linux boot device. You can plug the Wizpy into any PC and boot up your own Linux operating system. Then you can unplug without leaving a trace. Its a terrific idea and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one.
October 18, 2006 | Filed under: Gizmos
Last week I spent $250 (Australian) on a remote for the TV! Even the gizmo loving, gadget king felt that the move was close to the line of reason. 250 bucks on a remote! Come on!
But I have to say, the Logitech Harmony Remote was a purchase that has led to great happiness amongst the whole family. 4 remotes have been sent to the drawer - now there is one remote to rule them all.
Why is it cool? Because, like great software, it is use-case focussed. So, if I press the 'Watch Foxtel' button, it turns on the plasma TV and mutes the main speakers, turns on the sound system with the right presents and turns on Foxtel. The volume keys now control the sound system and I am all setup with shortcuts to my Foxtel Guide and Planner.
And the coolest part is that all this was configured on the web and downloaded to the remote via a USB cable. You'll read the box and think it sounds cool, but it is one of those devices which actually makes life better and creates its own category. If you have more than three remotes in your house - go spend the money.
September 25, 2006 | Filed under: Gizmos
The TOMTOM 910 is one of my favorite gizmos but I want more. It seems like such a small step for them to introduce a community web service that allows users to add themed, specialist Points of Interest (POI), routes, etc. I want to be able to do these things:
If TOMTOM could offer these, they woudl blow the other guys out of the marketplace.
Google Earth and Google Maps are leading the field with this kinda thing but they aren't in my car like the TOMTOM. Or perhaps TOMTOM should do a deal with Google and utilise all the KMZ files already out there.
Update: Wow! It looks like it is already technically possible and TOMTOM simple under promotes what could be their killer feature!
August 9, 2006 | Filed under: Gizmos
Earlier in the year I was on holiday in France and chose to rent a Sat Nav device with the car. I confess that I did this for fun and secretly thought it would not be hugely useful. But I knew that my inner-geek would be satisfied while away from my other addictive gizmos. In fact it was terrific. ‘Delores’ (as it became known) was never wrong, allowed me to look out of the window instead of looking at a map and prevented many a driver/navigator temper tantrum.
And so it was that my amazing wife, against all her instincts, bought me a TomTom 910 for my birthday last week. My new Delores is fab! It has all the usual stuff (detailed maps, accurate GPS) and some extra things like real-time traffic analysis, hands-free phone calls and iPod control.
What’s lacking are the community features we all now expect now that we have Google Earth/Maps. Its all in there because you can download routes from the website, locate buddies… but it is included in a proprietary way and does not encourage upload.
Easy one – upload points of interest (POI in TomTom speak) that are missing. For example: If you find a petrol station that is not in the TomTom and you are sitting there getting a refill, you should be able to send it to the server.
A bit trickier – Wouldn’t it be cool if you could drive around and comment on interesting things and the audio commentary is sent with the route. ‘Look to your left at the old Soviet building…’
Oh, and thanks Mick!