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24 Days of Gadgets - Day 24

December 29, 2009 - Dave Hecei
Well, the hectic holidays was of course, hectic. So this final, and late, post is a very quick and dirty wrap-up. These are all gadgets that I own, use, or have played with for a while. So without further ado, Days 16 through 24 – in mini form.

Day 16 – Bose Companion 2 speakers. For basic, and excellent stereo sound, you can’t beat these small computer and portable audio device speakers.

Day 17 – Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch graphics tablet. Take a great graphics tablet and add touch and gestures.

Day 18 – Roku HD Box. This tiny little device is mostly used to access a Netflix Instant Queue, but can also play videos from Amazon’s service. They are also adding other free Internet based ‘Podcast’ content.

Day 19 – Drobo – The Drobo is one of the most unique external hard drives available. The name Drobo is short for Data Robot, which sounds ominous but trust me, it is very benevolent. The basic Drobo unit has four drive bays that can hold SATA drives of varying capacity. The unit combines all the drives into a single drive. It is not a traditional RAID (Redundent Array of Inexpensive Disks), which needs all drives to be the same size. About 1/4 of the total capacity is reserved for data backup so if one drive were to fail you can just pop in a new one and the RAID will repair itself. This type of drive is ideal for those looking for ultra reliable data backup.

Day 20 – iPod Nano. The new Nano from Apple brings several new features. It is similar in form to the previous model, but adds a built-in video camera (standard def only), FM receiver, iTunes tagging (via RDS), Nike support, and built-in speaker. The current Nano is available in several colors.

Day 21 – Epson PictureMate Charm. Epson makes some of the best photo printers around. Many professional photographers choose Epson over all others for their own work. The PictureMate Charm is their new mini photo printer capable of printing photo lab quality 4 x 6 prints, and it does so quickly – usually less than 40 seconds. It has its own screen and memory card slots allowing you to print directly from the camera or card. Of course it can connect to you Mac with a standard USB cable.

Day 22 – GorillaPod SLR-Zoom. Looking at a photo of one of these didn’t say much to me. I’ve seen too many little tripods that were absolutely useless. After seeing one in person and getting to use one of these, I couldn’t live without one. The design of the legs allows this little tripod to wrap itself around poles, fences, tree limbs, etc. The flexible legs have an amazing rubber coating and are stiff enough to hold tight. The ball head is machined aluminum and has an excellent fit and finish. All outdoor photographers need a GorillaPod.

Day 23 – Apple Mac mini. If you have read my blog then you know I love my mini. This is one of the most unique computers I have ever owned. While it basically is a MacBook without a battery or screen, it is still a powerful computer. The latest mini is fully loaded with HD, RAM, and Superdrive. With nVidia graphics it at least has some 3D power, though not much. The size is what makes it special. At 6.5-inches square and less than 3-inches tall, it is the smallest Mac. With a price starting at $599 it is also the least expensive Mac, as long as you already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, which are not included.

Day 24 – Apple Slate. While this has not even been announced, there are so many rumors about the immanent release that I had to put it on my list. We don’t even really know what this will be, but most likely it will be a bigger iPod Touch/iPhone. It is likely that it will have cellular network access, allowing it to surf or make phone calls (??). It will also most likely use the iPhone/Touch operating system so it should run most of the over 100,000 Apps now available. So day 24 is my Christmas wish gadget, the Apple Slate/iPod Max/TabletMac/….


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