Saturday, February 12, 2005

Free Software from Microsoft!

No More Spyware
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
I know what you are thinking - "Hey Gadget Guy, did you hit the Captain Morgan early this evening? Microsoft doesn't give you anything for free. I mean even customer support is not a free call."

And how could I blame you? Free and Microsoft go together about as well as low calorie, tastes great or alcohol free beer. But, I kid you not. Microsoft has released for download the beta version of its new AntiSpyware software (click the post title for download page). According to the Microsoft site:

"Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) is a security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Known spyware on your PC can be detected and removed. This helps reduce negative effects caused by spyware, including slow PC performance, annoying pop-up ads, unwanted changes to Internet settings, and unauthorized use of your private information."

When you download the beta, Microsoft will ask you to validate your Windows version. You can skip this part - for now. Future versions will most likely require the validation. Get it while it's still free. You're welcome.

Crazy Glue for Open Wounds

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Did you ever get one of those nasty cuts that just doesn't want to heal? Did you ever think, I wish I could just glue this thing shut? Have you gone so far as to read the label of your super glue to see if you could use it to glue your that wound of yours closed, only to be disappointed by the big warnings that say "Don't Use on Skin"?

Well, Johnson & Johnson is now marketing its Dermabond product and describes it as a medical glue for the skin that doctors can use in place of stitches or staples to close wounds and incisions. It is spread on top of the wound while your doctor holds the skin edges together. Only your doctor can apply DERMABOND adhesive. It dries to form a strong, flexible bond and protective covering for the cut. DERMABOND adhesive does not require a bandage, and you can get it wet in the course of normal activities.

I don't know why, but I like the idea of gluing a wound shut. It makes sense. What doesn't make sense is why the glue is purple and the device is designed to look like one of those "Blo-Pens" that you see advertised on TV. Should be available at your local hospital. I don't recommend wounding yourself to check it out. Instead, click on the post heading to go to the Dermabond web site containing a video demonstration.

Give Your Kid a Feeling of Self-Importance

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Is your child's self-esteem low? Want to give them an inflated sense of self-worth? Then this just might be the product for them. It's the Hasbro ChatNow Communication System (I don't own a "communication system" and I'm a grown-up) which allow kids to "call" or "text" their friends as much as they want within range. From the website:

"Each CHATNOW communicator has its own seven digit "Buddy Number" which can be used just like a phone number so kids can contact each other directly. Users can create a personal "Buddy List" with their friend's numbers so their best friends are never more than the touch of a button away. With a built-in digital camera kids can save and assign a photo to each of their friends "Buddy Numbers" so when they chat their stored picture will appear on their CHATNOW screen. No time to Chat? Not a problem! With CHATNOW tweens can send a private text message to anyone in their buddy list."

I'm sure this is just the beginning of a whole line of toys - the Hasbro briefcase, the Hasbro I won't be home for dinner because my boss is making me work late and the ever popular Hasbro it's not you, really it's just that I am busy with my career right now.

Whatever happened to playing kick ball? Oh, and about $75.00 for 2 communicators.

All You Have To Do Is Ask

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
I've got invites. Lots and lots of invites. About 200 or so from a few different Gmail addresses that I have. 1000MB of free storage! FREE! You don't want to use all that space for emails,no problem, use the space to store important files that you can then access from anywhere that you have an internet connection.

You know you want one. Or maybe you need an extra one (for that double super secret email identity that you need). Send me an email or leave a comment to this post and I'll send the invite out. First come, first served. No purchase necessary. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.

Friday, February 11, 2005

flickr, I Hardly Even Know Her

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
I've been using flickr for little more then a week, but have no problem declaring my undenying devotion to her (can you sense a Valentine's Day theme this weekend?). This web site painlessly uploads my photos on to a photo page, let's me manipulate the pictures, tag it by category, and then allows me to easily email it, blog it, mark it for public viewing or even hide pictures(you know, of that night that I or we, ummmm, never mind).

It still considers itself beta, but I don't know why, I have software that I paid for that doesn't work as well.

Oh, and did I mention that it is free, although you are limited to 10MB per month, determined by "throughput" (I don't quite understand it either) as opposed to bandwidth. A pro account is $42.00 for the year and gives you a 1GB monthly upload limit and lots of other stuff. Give it a try and if you are not completely satisfied, I'll give you double your money back* (*free account only). Click on the post headline to go to the site.

Treasure Hunt!

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Until yesterday I had never heard of Geocaching. What? You hadn't either? A good friend of mine forwarded to me the following explanation which I'm posting here with his permission:

"Geocaching is a new game sort of thing that requires the use of a GPS. It is like a treasure hunt, but also often requires problem solving and can be more like living out an adventure oriented computer game. Here is how it works:

All over the country (and all over the world now) people have hidden caches. Typically, caches are things like old ammunition boxes that are filled with various items (often cheap toys for kids or other trinkets, but sometimes more interesting stuff - books, cds, dvds, etc). These caches are all over the place - I think now there are over 100,000 or something like that. The idea is that you have to find them, and when you get there you take something and leave something. Amazingly, people actually do leave things and do not simply take the whole contents of the cache.

Some caches are easy to find, but others are much harder and require various puzzles and riddles to be solved. Also, some caches are in places that are easy to get to (like hidden off a path in a local park) while others require far more effort.

A good geocache is one that will involve a nice hike of about 20-30 minutes, and then be located at a place that is interesting, often because it has a great view or other natural beauty, and would be a place that you would not normally stumble across.

It is a great thing to do with kids, because ultimately they are
searching for treasure and get to keep a toy (you really can't beat that when your are under 10). And except for the initial investment of a GPS, it costs almost nothing to do, except for the item you leave behind, which is almost always under a $1 or $2 in value. The other great thing is that since geocaches are all over the world, it's a fun thing to do on vacation.

As for the gadget part, you need a GPS -a handheld one, as opposed to one mounted in the car, since you will need to leave the car behind. I bought a GPS to do this, and have found it incredibly useful to have, because it comes with built in maps of the country.

We have been doing it for about 6 months now, and it has been a lot of fun. Some geocaches blow, as they are located in crappy places (like near parking lots) but many have been in places of great natural beauty, that we would have never gone to otherwise.

You find the GPS coordinates of a geocache by going to the website and putting in your zipcode (or other search criteria)."

I checked out the web site last night and was blown away at how many of these caches existed close to my home. Now I'm froogling for a GPS. Click on the post headline to see the site. (Thanks Joel!!)

Dude, the 60's Are Like So Over

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Yeah, so that's why you should toss that old relic of a Lava Lamp for the Laserpod. Back away from the water pipe and get with the times!

Runs on batteries or plug it in and it will display a lightshow on your desk. Take off the dome and now you can watch the light show on your walls and ceiling. Crank up the Floyd!!

About $100.00. Click on the headline for link.

Yes, it Functions, But is it Art?

apple vanity
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
There was a strange article in the New York Times about how some "Apple heads" have taken to purchasing what amounts to a desktop display of their Apple AirPort Express wireless networking device.

Look, I'll admit, I'm an Apple fan, but still - it's a freakin' wireless router. Yes, I understand that due to the design of the AirPort Express it might be difficult to plug it in at certain outlets. That's why they make extension cords. If Apple started making toothbrushes, I'm sure they would be spectacular, but I wouldn't want to display mine on my desk.

Anyway $25.00 from Griffin Technologies (who does make other great Apple related accessories). Click Title for Link.

Have the Celtics Play in Your "House"

Your Name Here
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Bank of America bought Fleet Bank. "So what?", you ask. Well, Fleet Bank owned the naming rights to Boston's Fleet Center, home of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins (if they ever play hockey again). Bank of America has no need to advertise Fleet's name anymore so the naming rights are up for grabs. What's that you say again? You don't have an extra $25 Million dollars to purchase naming rights to the Fleet Center. No problem.

Right now on ebay the Fleet Center is auctioning off the rights to have the Fleet Center named after you for one event day. Your name on the program, a parking space, all phone recordings state that the event is to be played at "Boston's Gadget Guy Center" and press releases too (I bet they still make you pay $5.00 for a hot dog, though).

Lots of dates available, proceeds to charity, current bids are less then $2,000. Awesome! I just wonder how many people in Massachusets are bidding to be the first to name the Center the "Yankees Suck Center". Those crazy Bostonites. Click post title to go right to the ebay page. (Thanks Rob)

Endless Possibilities

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
What to name this post? "Holy Crap", "They're Magically Delicious" or "Valentine's Day Gifts for Future Ex'es" - all good choices.

Laaf Loo (is this stuff funny to some people, must be that cute spelling of Laaf) is the only bathroom attendant among the Laafs. He monitors your bathroom to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Loo is outfitted with a toilet paper holder in his hand and stocks additional rolls on his head.

On sale now for *only* $149.95 (are you shi*** - nah, too easy). Better hurry though, it appears that the sale is good only through Valentine's Day. "Hey Hun, I know you said you wanted a bracelet, but look what I got you instead." (Thanks, Chris)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

You Light Up My Life

Swiss Army Night Vision
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
It's a watch. And a flashlight. The watch lets you know what time it is. The flashlight lets you see in the dark. Positively Brilliant! Three flashlight modes. Water-reistant to 100' (if you're 100' below water, chances are you have bigger problems then wondering what the time is and whether your watch is water-resistant or water-proof).

Built for the Swiss Army(?!?). Made by the Swiss Army(?). Anyway, sells for $295.00 from Hammacher Schlemmer (click on the post heading for link).

Next Generation Movie Recorder

Neuros Mpeg4
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Wouldn't it be great to record MPEG4 movies directly on to an SD or CF card? Imagine being able to tuck yourself into bed early knowing full well that while you are sleeping you are also recording that obnoxious housewife show.

What's the big deal about that when you already own a TiVo, DVR or even (heaven forbid) a VCR? Well, you can't pop an SD or CF card out of your TiVo prior to your commute to work the next morning and be able to watch last night's episode on your PDA or laptop, now can you? This little (about the size of a large PDA) recorder will record from any analog video source, including cable or satellite tv, VCR or DVD player (for copies of your own DVD's only of course - Wink Wink!). Oh, and it should be available for less then $150.00. This one looks like a real winner.

How do you know when you have been single too long?

Deer Singer
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
When you decide that you want to spend your Saturday nights singing to a deer's head. She moves, she grooves, she sings "Rawhide" and "Sweet Home Alabama" and if that weren't enough use the included wireless microphone to sing karaoke style as your new "friend" sings along. Think of how great this would look in your den. Invite all of your friends over with the knowledge that no matter what happens, at the end of the night, this one is staying with you. Rawhide!

Just a Brick House - Ow!

mrobe 500i
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Those were some interesting commecials for the m:robe 500i during the Super Bowl. All that snapping and popping without a clear explanation or demonstration of how exactly the m:robe was supposed to function. Now we know why. Thanks to the AP, newspaper articles across the country (including the New York Times which is bookmarked above) are slamming the device as basically a "Shiny Brick". Ouch! Not quite the buzz olympus was hoping for I'm willing to guess.

The primary complaints seems to center around the wonky picture quality and touch screen music controls. Looks like a case of form over substance. And definately not worth it at $459.00 from Amazon.

Have It Your Way

BK Activision
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
OK, as much as I love new gadgets, today we are going to start off Old School style. Remember when the best thing that you could hope for as a kid going to Burger King was that the stupid golden crown that you wore like an idiot would last until you got home before the paper fastner ripped and you ended up having to scotch tape it or staple it, just so you could continue pretending that you were some kind of King of Grilled Meat? Right, me too.

Guess what? BK is giving away handheld games with kid's meals featuring old style Activision games Kaboom!, Grand Prix, Tennis and Barnstorming (only one game per handheld). Who didn't love Kaboom! or Barnstorming? You need to head over to the nearest drive-through window and order kids meals galore (just tell them the kids are at home - as if they didn't know that you were full of it).

Then, to complete the experience, go home, pull the shades down, turn up the J.Geils Band ("My Angel was a Centerfold") really loud, start playing and then call your best friend from junior high school and swear to them that video games cannot get any better then this.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Putty Paradise

Big Putty
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
When you were a kid you loved Silly Putty. You probably still do. Between stretching it, rolling it up into a ball, bouncing it - and then of course as soon as you learned that you could press down on a comic book with it to create images that you could then stretch and move - well that was Putty Nirvana.

But you grew up, or so you thought. And that little container of putty just wasn't going to cut it anymore. Thankfully there is Crazy Aaron. Who? It doesn't really matter - all you need to know is that he sells putty - by the pound - and in colors. Lots of pretty colors.

Think of the possibilities, maybe you can bounce it as high as the moon. Or copy "War and Peace" and tear it to shreds. Less then $30.00. Be a kid again.

New Tablet PC tc4000

Tablet PC tc4000
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
I was an early adopter of Tablet PC's, having owned the Compaq tc1000 almost as soon as it was released and having sold a brand new Toshiba Tablet to buy the Compaq. The Toshiba machine was beautifully built with a swivel screen, but I found it too big and too heavy to use daily. The tc1000 had a detachable keyboard, smaller screen and was much lighter to carry around.

I used the Tablet almost every day, mostly to cruise the web in portrait mode (it was great being able to view web pages like a book) and take handwritten notes. Ultimately, though, despite fairly good handwriting recognition, I couldn't deny the fact that I type with much greater speed and accuracy on a keyboard then I can write with a stylus. This, unfortunately, is the Tablet's greatest downfall.

I finally sold the Tablet and bought the ibook (which is great), but I still miss reading web pages in portrait mode. HP has just released its newest Tablet PC, the tc4000 which abandons the detachable keyboard for the convertible style of the Toshiba (among others) and would allow someone to switch modes quickly. The tc4000 has a 12.1" screen Pentium M, but the problem here again is that it might just be too heavy to carry around and use Tablet style regularly. Someone needs to build a very small and light convertible before I would consider going back to tablets. About $1599.00

Clamshell Phones

T-Mobile MDA IV
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
I've always been a sucker for clamshell style phones and wonder why more manufacturers don't produce them. I would much rather own a device like the Sidekick (which I do) then a Treo or Blackberry due to the more covenient form and superior keyboard.

This phone is a brand new model by T-Mobile (with no anticipated U.S. release yet) with a load of features. The phone is powered by an X-scale processor and will be running on the windows mobile platform. It also has GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and support for WCDMA-based 3G. The screen is a 480x640 VGA.

This is the kind of phone that might make me want to switch from the Sidekick II, if it were ever to reach these shores.

Find a human

Want to call your bank and speak with a human being? Good luck. Have a question about your computer and don't want to choose from a menu of 150 voice mail options? Don't you wish you could simply press "8" and speak with a human being. Well, you can. Almost. Click on the link (the title of the post) to discover a database that is still developing of push key combinations to avoid the endless phone menus and get a human being on the phone to talk with - pronto.

This is a terrific idea which I hope expands as more places are added to the list.


Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
That's right. Enter a url and get ready to have your web page Snoopified. Or as this page became:

"This device claims ta be a video camera, digital stills camera, voice brotha digital photo frame, MP3 playa AND TV/video recorda. It comes wit a mackin' station, connects ta biznoth PC's n Macs has a 3.6" screen, long last'n battery (does anyone fo' rea' claim that they battery stinks), n will connect ta almost any video source mackin' cable tv. Available across tha "pond" fo' 'bout 300 pounds (note ta self - learn symbols fo' foreign currency).

My experience wit convergence devices is that while they tend ta perform a lot of functions, they usually fail ta perform any single function particularly W-to-tha-izzell fo' sho'. But this device does have a real "cool" factor ta it."

Uh-huh. What he said.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Game Time - Fan and Ball

See Fan. See Ball. Use Fan to Move Ball through Maze. Watch Ball fall off of Maze. You Lose. Curse. Try Again. And Again. And Again. Don't let your boss catch you playing.

(click link above - requires flash)

Style and Function

Logitech diNova
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Looking at the Logitech diNova keyboard makes you wonder why more companies don't spend more time designing the one part of the computer that we use most. There's nothing worse then typing away on an ugly, boring uncomfortable keyboard. The diNova is wireless, bluetooth compatible and comes with a Bluetooth (or Bleutooth as it is known in France) wireless hub.

The cool part is the media pad which lets you know if you have received emails, instant messages and can control the selection and viewing of media content such as pictures, video feeds and mp3's.

The drawback - $249.95. Still might be worth it though.

It Does Everything But Make Toast

Vivitar Portable
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
The Vivitar Portable Entertainment Center (click above for link) claims to do almost everything. It's billed as the ultimate convergence device performing 6 multimedia recoder/player functions (hell, I can only perform one function at a time, and I've been told not very well at that).

This device claims to be a video camera, digital stills camera, voice recorder, digital photo frame, MP3 player AND TV/video recorder. It comes with a docking station, connects to both PC's and Macs has a 3.6" screen, long lasting battery (does anyone ever claim that their battery stinks), and will connect to almost any video source including cable tv. Available across the "pond" for about 300 pounds (note to self - learn symbols for foreign currency).

My experience with convergence devices is that while they tend to perform a lot of functions, they usually fail to perform any single function particularly well. But this device does have a real "cool" factor to it.

Shiny Shiny

Stainless Steel Phone
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
A Stainless Steel Phone that plays music through stereo speakers. There is an SD card slot and a beautiful screen. Manufactured by Penck, no pricing yet, but you can be sure it will be expensive. Very.

Just Point, Stroke and Shoot

benq touch camera
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
BenQ (which has been releasing some beautiful devices) has released this 4 megapixel, 4x digital zoom (no optical zoom - boo hoo!), camera with a 1.5" touch screen. It's supposed to appeal to the "ladies" out there who apparently would enjoy running their fingers along the touch screen to scroll through menus. Ummm, yeah, I'm sure that is exactly what to get my beloved for Valentine's Day.

Free Music

Ray Chalres
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
In honor of this week's Grammy Awards, MSN Music is giving away some free downloads of songs which they expect to win. Today's free tracks are from Norah Jones and John Mayer. Click on this post's headline to take you there (this clicking thing also goes for some of the other items or places mentioned in previous posts).

Your Powers Are Weak, Old Spud

Darth Tater
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Hasbro has announced the release of the first Mr. Potato Head based upon the new Star Wars movie, "Revenge of the Sith" which is being released later this year. "Darth Tater" comes with lightsaber, cape, helmut, eyes, etc.

Your pride sold separately.

Monday, February 07, 2005

ipod mini competiton?

iRiver H10
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
The new iRiver H10 has just started shipping from Amazon and is taking direct aim at the ipod mini. It has 5gb, plays mp3 and WMA and has a 1.5" color screen and jpeg viewer (and it comes in assorted colors like the mini). Voice recording, FM tuner and FM recording and a purported 12 hour battery life in a 3.4 ounce unit could make this one to consider.

On the other hand at a $279.00 asking price you also might want to consider something else.

Only on TV

Bauer Sunglasses
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
As much as I like "24", almost every week I am forced to suspend credibility to fully enjoy the show. I mean, I can totally buy into the premise that 117 nuke facilities were taken over by terrorists in cahoots with rogue U.S. Defense contractors who have built a control device specifically for that task. And of course I can believe that in less then an hour, a single computer programmer was able to whittle the number of nuke plants at risk down to 6. I can even believe that one person can rescue the kidnapped Secretary of Defense and his daughter with a single gun during a daring daytime attack against a fortified terrorist compund.

But, c'mon, how is it possible that Bauer can drive all over California, from L.A. to the Northern Mountains, use his cell phone constantly and never have a dropped call or need to have his battery recharged?? It's stuff like this that brings you back to reality and reminds you that you must be watching a TV show.

Hey! Crank up that Remote

Batteries Not Required
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Tired of running out of batteries? Does the thought of having to actually get up from the LaZBoy fill you with dread? Then here is the miracle solution - the Pogo Products EZ Power Universal Remote Control. Just crank it up and it should generate enough power to last a week. About $25.00 plus some burnt calories. Turn your couch potato into a french fry.

Portable Media Player

Sony HMP-A1
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
This is the Sony HMP-A1 portable media player, which, unfortunately, has not been released directly in the United States yet. It's a 20gb MP3 player, a video player and will also serve as a portable hard drive (but why you would use it as a portable hard drive when it has a 3.5" TFT is beyond me). Plus, it has an AV out line so that you can hook this up to your TV to play your videos.

Video playback appears to be MPEG1, 2 or 4. It's available through the website (which is a great place to drool over stuff that is not yet avaiable here) for U.S. $699.00.

W O O T !

Do you woot? Woot is far and away one of the most interesting gadget/sale sites out there. Once a day from Monday to Friday, at midnight Central Time, woot posts one item for sale. That's right, one and only one item at a terrific(usually - that's what Froogle is for)price. How many of a given item do they have in stock? Woot gives you no idea - could be 1000, could be 20. What if they sell out? Too bad, you have to wait until midnight for the next item. What if the item doesn't sell out? Doesn't matter - new item at midnight.

I've purchased everything from a vacuum to a Robosapien on the site. Shipping is $5.00 and you are only permitted to purchase a maximum of 3 of any given item. I've woken up some mornings only to find out that woot is already sold out. There is a very active community of buyers and the descriptions of what they have for sale are always worth reading. I have no idea how or if they make money - but since it doesn't seem to matter to them, it doesn't matter to me either.

Taking it with you

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
One of my computers is a Windows Media PC. It's a great machine which I use instead of a TiVo to record television programs (can't dare miss an episode of "24"). But, if I want to watch what I recorded, I'm tethered to the computer. ORB is supposed to change all that. The software is designed to stream any content that I have saved on my Media Center and then stream it to whatever internet connected device I have available - laptop, pda or cell phone. I'm concerned about stream quality, but ORB offers a 30 day free trial. Might have to give this one a shot.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

My name is Bond

Swiss Coolness
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
I purchased one of these from Think Geek over the holidays for my engineer brother-in-law. Sure its got your standard knife, scissor and nail file - but it also happens to have a ball point pen(?!), a red LED light and a detachable USB flash drive (versions from 64MB to 256MB available). He loves it.

This is one of those gadgets that you don't need, but can't live without. I've been carrying around a small Swiss Army Knife since junior high school (can't be doing that these days), with the tweezers and orange peeler/screwdriver coming in handy more frequently then the actual knife ever did. I still carry a small one around with me, but it may be time to upgrade to the USB version.

Gadgets I Want

Beer Cooler
Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
This would be perfect for this afternoon's game, but would be even more fun tomorrow morning back at work. I might even forego the coffee machine if this were available.

The Search for Elegance

I first started playing with computers when I was in junior high school more then 20 years ago - around 1981 or 1982. The school had a collection of PET computers and the computer "class" consisted primarily of figuring out how to program in BASIC so that you could successfully manage to have your name or, if the teacher wasn't watching, something like "school sucks" scroll over and over again across the computer screen. Cool! (at least we thought so in 1981). My first computer was either the original IBM PC (the one in which they used the Charlie Chaplin impersonator to sell the brand) or it was the CP/M based Kaypro "transportable" computer (it weighed more then a fully loaded golf bag). I worked an entire summer in my dad's office to afford the IBM (and he still had to put money toward it).

Of course what we should have been learning in class was not how to program in BASIC, but how to use the software which already existed so that we could spend more time being efficient in tasks we needed to accomplish. What was really needed was the "driver's ed" method for teaching students about computers. The first thing that you learn in driver's ed is not how to build an engine from scratch, you learn how to drive a car that has already been built and assembled. Yet for many years computer classes in schools across the country consisted of teaching all of us how to make our names scroll across the screen.

Which brings me to this blog. I love gadgets. I love reading about them, playing with them, that feeling you get of opening that brand new box of something that promises to make my life better, cooler, simpler - well, I'm sure many of you know what I am talking about or you wouldn't bother reading. Anyway, the one thing I had never previously tried to do was to write about gadgets. I had been toying with the idea of starting a gadget blog for a long time. But, how? Which software? Do I need a host? A domain name? What kind of template? I'm not a computer programmer - although despite those initial missteps of more then 20 years ago (I mean how often do you need to have your name scroll across a screen) - I have learned to use computer software that people much smarter then me have programmed, developed and (hopefully) tested.

So I decided to throw caution into the wind and sign up to start this blog with Blogger. After a lot of reading, it "looked" easy enough. And I guess in some sense Blogger does its very best to make the experience akin to "blogging for dummies". Blogger provides the templates, the hosting and tries to make the experience as easy as possible so that in a matter of minutes you can have a blog up and running. Ah, but looks can be deceiving. If you want a text blog which strictly conforms to the templates - no problem. But what if you want to insert pictures? Links? Feeds? Not so easy anymore. I have never worked with HTML. I can compose an entire legal brief with footnotes and case sites, trigger a Table of Authorities and Table of Contents to be prepared and have it all formatted with proper margins for the courts without much ado. But to insert a picture or a link of or to a gadget in this blog? Whew.....I'd rather argue a losing case to a hung over judge.

Does that mean I am going to give up? No way. My search has already begun for the software and tools to turn this blog into the kind of gadget site that people will want to visit. I'm already experimenting with MacJournal and signed up for flickr for picture posting purposes (try that one three times fast). But since only 25% or so of my computing time is spent on a mac platform, that means that I am going to need to find software and tools for keeping this site up to date from a Windows platform. I haven't even begun that search yet.

Why the long post? Well it appears to me that blogging is currently in that transitional state between learning to make your name scroll infinitely across the screen and learning to drive. Sort of like learning how to use the word processor on the Kaypro - some typing, lots of programming. My goal over the next several months is for me to attempt to bridge this gap and turn this site into a place that I will be proud to call "home" (and where others might like to have a look now and again). I'll be working hard changing, tinkering (and more then likely screwing up) this site until I am happy with it. Any suggestions that anyone may have for software, tools or design suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I hope you stick around for a while.

We have pictures

Originally uploaded by thegadgetguy.
Thanks to flickr, it looks like I can now post photos to the site. Fun shiny expensive things to follow.