I have personally good news to share with everyone. I actually finished a book I started reading. This happends to me about once a year or two. I'm pretty sure I have ADD and cannot finish anything I start. (Maybe this is why it's taken me five years to finally buy a car?)
The book is Leo Laport's 2005 Gadget Guide. Here are the products from the book that I am looking at purchasing.
pg 3 Logitech diNovo Media Desktop
Never has technology looked so good! I am still reeling about the fact that my sister has taken it upon herself to abduct my $80 microsoft keyboard and mouse combo from our old family PC because she didn't like her Vaio mess. The plus side to this system? I love the wireless everything and I'm excited to see the LCD calculator in action. Leo lists the price at $249.95, which I have no problem paying, but Amazon may very well let me have it for $184.62.
pg 6 Logitech io Personal Digital Pen
This ballpoint pen has an optical censor that tracks everything you write and deposits the info to its onboard memory (stores 20 pages of 29 lines per page). This would make a great gift to anyone who writes. Ever. I'm thinking of getting one for Don. I personally love this idea because it uploads via USB and has handwriting recognition software that decodes your handwriting into Microsoft Word. Perhaps I'll be handwriting my blog entries before long! Gotta love it when tech's on sale.
pg 10 Mirra Personal Server
The funny thing was that I had just discovered this product the day before I read it in the new book. I was actually toying between getting this server and one from Linksys. Needless to say, Leo made my mind up for me. I like this product because it's always on (so no one can complain that I shut off my PC and external hard drive to go on vacation and they can't access my music library) and it offers remote access without me having to go and learn server administration (soon, my pets).
pg 16 Logitech Z-680
I've been toying with the idea of buying myself some new speakers for several years. Unfortunately, it took Leo that long to realize that I needed some guidance and I finally found it after reading this book. This system got stellar reviews from Amazon buyers and because I trust reviews (hello, I just bought a book chock full of them), I'm going to take the plunge--perhaps after my next paycheck. And after I buy a car. ;) The best part? Leo's price of $399.95 makes Amazon's $209.99 super enticing.
pg 35 FujiFilm USB Drive
I've never felt the need to own one of these USB flash drives. Sure, whenever my PC breaks down at work, the IS guys hook up their necklaces and all seems right with technology again. But I've got a desktop, a notebook, both with hefty drive space. And I've got a 120gb external drive on my PC full of music that I share on the network. Do I really need the measly 256mb, 512mb, or even 1gb at $300? I've decided that the answer is yes. I haven't made my decision yet, mostly because I've been reading the reviews on cheaper units and they are not good. Leo's pick (the FujiFilm) is the most expensive 1 gig they sell at Amazon, but it's also the one without poor ratings. I'm cheking Costco and I'll be getting back with you.
pg 49 Streamzap PC Remote
I cannot tell you how much I made fun of DJHens a year or two ago when he told me he was getting a remote control for his PC. And then I ripped 900 CDs to an external hard drive. For Amazon's price at about $30, this gizmo doesn't seem like such a bad investment anymore. The deal was really cinched when I was sitting on my bed, under the covers, typing on my notebook and listening to my PC speakers accross the room and a crap song found its way onto my iTunes playlist. I had to get up and out of bed and then I realized it was like 4 degrees in the house. The only deal breaker is that my surround sounds may come integrated with one already. When the situation warrants it, I will deliver the breaking news.
pg 78 iSkin eVo iPod Protector
This makes me nauseated that I don't already own one. Did you see the pic of me and my new iPod? So clean, so scratch free? It's been a week and I can't even see myself anymore. Those iPods I love, but they ding up just by you looking at them. Nonetheless, I just bought one from Amazon in glow-in-the-dark Wasabi color.
pg 119 Roomba Pro Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
I've been dreaming of the day that I would own a Roomba. Several years ago, when the product was first released, I almost plopped down the $199 and would have regretted it. With every release, the product gets better and better. This new Pro version has a docking station that the Roomba will find when it is low on battery life (it runs for about 2 hours before it's drained). It will recharge itself and then keep on doing what it was doing. The sheer brilliance of the product has kept it on my wedding registry (the list of stuff that I want for when I move out but don't need it just yet so I'm not going to clutter my wishlist with it) since the day it was released.
pg 127 Canon PowerShot S500
Yeah so I've already got a digital camera, whatever. But I want this one! If you haven't seen the S500, go check it out at any Best Buy store. It weighs next to nothing and is just an inch all the way around bigger than my cell phone. It's 5 megapixel Canon quality in a freakishly mobile size.
pg 147 Ceiva 2 Digital Photo Frame
Another wedding registry item since the first release date, I've totally been obsessed with this frame. I am a picture frame lover since day one, and the idea that I don't have to print out my digital photos to enjoy them in a frame just kicks my ass. I'm upset that even after paying the $149.95 to buy the high tech frame, I couldn't just hook it up to my PC and have it display whatever pic I wanted. No, you have to buy a $9.99 a month subscription. This is the reason I'm holding off. But it's on my registry if anyone wants to buy it for me!
pg 151 Canon ZR60 MiniDV Camcorder
The irony of my bookmarks throughout Leo's book is the fact that a lot of the "Leo's Picks" are products that I've been studying. Take this camcorder, for example. I originally wanted a camcorder because I wanted to make music videos to convey the mood and theme of my music--and other people's for that matter (silver hot pants and rollerskates, anyone?). Then I started travelling and one thing led to another and I wanted a camcorder. Fortunately for me, gadgets are the one thing I get tired of very quickly (see how I was able to assign the Roomba and Ceiva to the wedding registry?). This is another item left for later--much, much later, when I really have a need for it (and the money to back it up).
pg 179 Pioneer DVR-810H
I've had TiVo for almost a year now and am totally in love with it. My one problem with it is the fact that sometimes I want to save a hilarious moment or a favorite episode (the Scrubs when JD sings my favorite Journey song or the episode of SNL that brings hundreds of visitors to my site everyday looking for Trump's House of Wings lyrics). While I can't see spending $1,199 for a device to record my favorite eps onto DVDs, I'm certain that this is the trend of the future and the prices will fall drastically.
pg 187 Phillips iPronto
When someone has as many electronics as I do, someone needs to replace all their remotes with one. This one. At $1,699.99, this remote prices more like a notebook than a technology controller. Whatever. I still want it. AJ's freaked out about the kickstand. I'm freaking out about how in my dream last night, this device showed up.
pg 191 Delphi SKYFi XM Audio System
XM has been around for several years. My stereo in my car is actually XM ready. I couldn't tell you about the new car, however. Does the top of the line CD player (6 disk in dash mp3 compatible by Sony) make it XM ready? Maybe I'll ask the dealer when I'm picking it up next week. The $9.99 a month subscription fee is too much to justify for me (when I'm the kind of person who listens to CDs way more than radio).
pg 203 Sanyo SCP-5500 / VM4500
I didn't bookmark this phone because I wanted it. I bookmarked it because it's been sitting in my purse, on my nightstand, and next to my ear since March. I'm glad it's a Leo pick. I hate it when I pick crap technology.
pg 258 Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash
As I get geared up to bring my new car home, I get more excited about car gadgets. I've been eying this thing for a few months. It is supposed to filter out the particles in water that leave spots on your car so you don't need to towel dry. I just paid $5 for a carwash, and anyone who knows me knows I hate a dirty car. This is perfect for me.