Sunday, January 11, 2009


I will join everybody else in doing a couple of entries about favorite things from this past year. This one will be about technology, and the other about books. Here are my favorite gizmos of the year. I will do a top down list a la Letterman. I am extremely lucky to be able to have use of all these items. Since I teach technology classes, I get to try out a number of things, some which we buy for everybody and some that, after test driving, we find to have more limited use.
  • PoGo Polaroid Printer--Maybe I should not even list this one. We just got one right before Christmas and so far I have not been able to try it out. The reason is because it does not hook up to my iPhone so I cannot use it that way. Next I tried to use it with my MacBook Pro but it does not like Macs. By the time I got a bluetooth USB device installed on my PC clunker, the printer charge had run down, and the cord was in my office. I should add that no, I did not check ahead of time for compatibility. BUT I think they should have told people in the web description that I did read about these issues. I found out by web search which turned up other peeved users who found out after the fact. Plus, while I kind of understand with the iPhone, I do NOT understand not making it work with all Macs, since everybody knows Mac users tend to love images. End of vent. I will write about it again soon, once I get it to work. But it is still last on my list as a matter of principle for having problems. Oh, and of course it works just great with THEIR CAMERA, says the they are trying to force you to buy the cam. Irritating. At the same time I think this is technology to watch. This is the very first iteration of what I suspect will be a new generation of printers.
  • Eee--Actually I LOVE the Eee but think unless you have a real use for it, you might want to refrain from buying just because it is so sleek, light, and inviting. It is all of these things and more. It has a built in camera that you just click and voila, your face appears on the screen and you are ready to film. That is my hands down favorite thing about it. I am not put off by the fact that it is not meant to be a carrier for a lot of memory-hogging software. It has plenty of zip with MS Office, which came on mine. I added Firefox and so far nothing else. What holds me back are two things:
    • I REALLY have problems with the small keyboard. And the shift key is waaay in the wrong place, and it has a way of losing my place when I am keying in stuff because I manage to hit other wrong keys. Given time, I could overcome this, but do I need to?
    • It is NOT a workhorse but rather a device which is lightweight and easy to carry. For these attributes, it is fantastic. But while I travel a fair amount, when I go I like a computer that has a bit more memory and carries everything I need.
  • Sony eBook Reader--I really LOVE this device. I tried it out over Christmas and plan to do a longer blog comparing it with Kindle. It is even smaller and sleeker than Kindle. The huge drawback for me is that it does not have web access. For that reason I regretfully put it aside in favor of Kindle.
  • Motion Computer--What a fun device! Actually I have had access to one for about 13 months. No keyboard, you just run it with a stylus, and write with the stylus as well. I LOVE it for taking notes in meetings and at campus and it has great WOW value. Whatever I write goes right into MS word. But again, it is not a workhorse and has limited use. I like it better for my own traveling than Eee, at least so far, due to my problems with the Eee keyboard.
  • FlipCam--Fantastic! Not one complaint! Works like a champ right out of the box and WITH ANY COMPUTER. I think I expected the PoGo to be as versatile as the FlipCam and it certainly is not. The reason it is not higher on the list is that I just use it less.
  • MacBook Pro--The last three things are pretty much tied for first place. I got my Mac about eleven months ago, after being a PC=only user for about 8 years. I love this computer and have sung its praises before. I do not find that I have compatibility issues Mac/PC very often at all...except for PoGo which I have complained about enough already
  • Kindle--The best eBook reader ever! Again I have blogged about it before but my devotion to it is undiminished. I did finally give it a name, settling on Grendal. I LOVE the fact that I can use it to get to the Internet, follow blogs, and get other online resources as well as Amazon's store.
  • Electric Bike--Oh how I love PeeWee, my little red electric bike. Yes it is a green choice and that makes me feel good. But better than that, with it I have NO PARKING WORRIES at my university job. PeeWee just rides up the elevator with me to my office. Best of all, it is tons of fun to ride. Having a fun way to get to work and back, as opposed to a long commute or even a short drive, contributes a great deal to my day to day disposition.
  • iPhone 3G--Could not live without it. I had a 1st generation iPhone that I lost, and was bereft. Waiting until I could get my new one was torture. I like almost everything about it. I know there are other great mobile devices out there, but for me the iPhone resonates in every way. I love apps, think the camera is fine, and really enjoy all the features.


  1. Do you know if you could put a child seat on the back of the Pee Wee? I can't tell from their web site. This could be great for getting the little one to daycare.

  2. About losing the iPhone-do you think it ended up in the same place as red Nancy? ;-}