Category Archives: Technogeeky

Seven days

OK, one week from today, the Thriller and I will have new phones. For gadget geeks, that’s a big deal. For anyone, really. Today’s question: Samsung Galaxy S3, or the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD?

I have been reading and watching, and I’m still on the fence about it. I thought I had my mind made up, until I started, you know, reading and watching more.

Man, I sure love the burst shot photography (you take a bunch of really super-fast pictures of one scene, then choose the best one) on the S3. But the battery life of the Razr — that’s important too. Not going with the iPhone, by the way. Lots of reasons. Not that I’m an Android apologist, but…no.

We will have to see. Software over battery life? Price over ultimate performance? Hmmm.

I have seven days to think about it, and I know there are tons more important things to put in my brain, like rehearsals, upcoming auditions, and HAMSGIVING! :-)

OK, enough dinkin’ around. Time to go make the donuts. I love my job(s)!

Stuff I Want – Technogeeky Edition

Really, what other edition is there?


The Mercator. Now this is cool.


The ad copy says, “Dreamate uses accupressure techniques to gently massage the ‘sleeping golden triangle’ on your left wrist” (emphasis mine). :-) Sounds TGTBT. Probably is — but it looks cool.


The most awesome of the bunch — I want this today.


And finally, I predict I will want allllllll this…..

Want, want, want. I want the works. I want the whole works. Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises of all shapes and sizes. Don’t care how…


Review: the nook

Yes, it finally arrived, and though I’ve had very limited opportunities to play with it, I already like it. Here’s my take:

The first item to remember is that this thing reads like a real book. That is to say there is no “backlighting” on the screen. What you see in the pale afternoon light is what you get. It’s like reading an actual book in the evening — you’re going to need to shine some light on it.

I think the hardest thing for me to get used to was that it is not a computer or smartphone. It doesn’t act like one with regard to feel, light, response or speed. So a minor realignment of expectations is necessary at the get-go, especially if you have a fast touch-screen phone or tablet computer that you’re accustomed to using. I’m assuming it’s pretty much that way for all e-readers.

This is a relatively accurate representation (on my monitor, at least) of the brightness of the nook screen. This photo was taken in the early evening, with one lamp turned on in the living room:


Here’s a view of when I sat right next to the lamp:


Truthfully — I could stand for the screen to be a leeeeetle bit brighter. But that’s likely just my horrible eyesight. Not a deal breaker. And the text renders beautifully outside in the sunlight — no screen glare or whiteout issues.

The page turn transitions are nice, but again, it’s not like swiping to the next menu on your Droid or iPhone. I’m not a page ripper in real-book life; I take my time, so this was no biggy. I shot a quick & dirty Flip video, illustrating both ways to advance the pages:



The Wi-Fi connection is cool — it picked up the wireless signal in my house right away. I also got the 3G for on the road, which will be nice. Here’s a shot of searching the B & N store, again with no direct light shining on the screen:


Again, you’re going to need a lamp or a book light to read in the darkness. B & N sells a clip-on model called the Lyra for $15, but my cheapy little GE book light did the job, too. I turned off all the lights, pulled down the shades and took this photo:


You can change fonts and sizes, of course. (I don’t particularly love serifs, so I chose the smoothy font.) The pictures above show the “large” version of the font.

I haven’t had it long enough to measure battery life with the Wi-Fi and 3G on, so maybe Helen or BoomR could comment on that. I look forward to taking this little gem on the road.

Yay, it’s Finkday for all you people with real jobs.

Another Chrome convert

This morning, I accidentally clicked on an old Google Chrome icon on my desktop, which of course brought up the browser (I’d installed it but never used it).


I’d always dismissed the Chrome claim that it was the fastest browser — faster than Firefox, which I have used since the day it appeared in beta form for public download over five years ago — believing  that no piece of software could really improve on speed that much. Well — I think I was wrong.

So I spent some time fooling around with Chrome this morning. You know, it really is faster. Firefox was starting to bug me a little with its feature creep and extension bloating issues. Chrome is slick and quick, no lie. You might want to try it for yourself. Mac users can, too.

On an unrelated note: thanks to all my RtB fiends who posted nice thoughts on Facebook and sent emails about my icky tests yesterday. All is well in the cancer department — as in, there is none. Now the doc will search for other clues (hopefully using less invasive tests).

Happy, um…I don’t even know what day it is.

Fink, in summer mode

PS – I am putting this ad on my site (the only ad I will ever put on my site) because if somebody signs up through the link, I get 3 months of hosting for free. Such a deal. It helps keep finkweb going. These folks have been good to me, so use them with my highest recommendation, should you ever want to start a little world of your own on the Internets.

I recommend SiteGround web hosting

Crazy gadgets

I’ve seen a few in my day.

Fellow crusties will remember typing class in high school, where we used old manual Royals, Olympias, Smith-Coronas or Olivettis to hone our mad skills. f-f-f-space, j-j-j-space. I loved those exercises because they had a definite rhythm. I remember trying to get the “tempo” of my typing as fast and rhythmically correct as possible. I never wanted to miss a “beat.” Is that music-geeky or what? But it served me well; learning to type fast on a manual helped me immensely on the easy keyboards of today, and even on electric typewriters back in the olden days (remember that old Selectric we had in the office years ago, RD?) I learned from the ground up.

Some of my friends and family like to poke fun at my typing style. I’m like Beethoven; keyboards don’t last forever with me. I type the way I play piano: forcefully, and without a single iota of finesse. But I get the letters and papers written, lemmetellya. Love it. (The secret:  in both playing piano and typing — never look at your hands. Well, almost never.)

Anyway. I was looking at some old typewriters this morning, and saw a few memories. I typed on a Royal manual, pictured above. The typing classroom was loud, loud, loud, as you might imagine (or remember, if you’re old enough).

Then came the portable manual — made of plastic instead of metal, so they were easy to carry around. But it was the IBM Selectric (pictured at left) that made everybody go positively mad. It had a little golf-ball-lookin’ typing head mechanism that you hooked onto the carriage. You could switch it out when you needed a different font, which of course meant that you had to buy a whole box of them to get the ones you wanted. But it was awesome at the time, heh. Progress.

Our mom had a portable electric — similar to the Selectric, but, again, made of plastic instead of metal. I remember typing a paper or two on it in high school, just to be fancy (back when typing a paper was almost never a requirement, except in typing class).  It was all cool and new and impressive.

But get a load-a THIS…

You really got to love the throwback to drop $350+shipping to have one of these crazy thangs. It looks kind of fun, though…

Anyone got a spare iPad on ’em? I’d like to try this.