Archive for the ‘gadets’ Category

A quick review of Digital picture frames.

December 17, 2008

One of the hot items this Christmas is digital picture frames. I’ve been looking at various models, bought several and returned a couple.

First, what not to buy. Omnitech digital picture frames. Omnitech is a Staples brand name. Don’t let the low price suck you in like it did me. The quality is absolute dreck! Very low resolution pictures. Here is a tip, if the resolution of the screen isn’t printed on the box somewhere, it’s probably safe to assume that it sucks.

I found two models that I’m happy with. The first is an HP 10.4″ model. The resolution is 800×600, it has a remote, support for music files, movies, CF/SD cards…all the usual stuff. A bit pricy, Amazon has it for $165, but then you are paying for the brand name and the perceived level of quality. It will show your digital photographs off quite nicely though. It also has different colored mats that can be swapped out to match your room’s color scheme.

The other model I like is the Smartparts OptiPix Pro 10.4″ digital picture frame, which Amazon has for $99.99. According to data on the box, the resolution is 640×480. I’ve got it set next to the 800×600 HP, loaded with same pictures, and I can’t see $65 worth of difference between them.

Bottom line, if you want a decent digital picture frame, be prepared to spend at least $100, and while it’s probably safe going with a well know brand name like HP, it may not be the best buy available.

New posts at Urbin Technology

September 9, 2008

New posts over at Urbin Technology.

Rev1 iPhones go up in value.

Google buys rights to new high res satellite photos.

Is Google planning a Navy?

A Good etext reader for the iPhone

August 17, 2008

It’s called Bookshelf, and yes, it costs money. I found it worth the $10

It supports a wide range of formats including ASCII text, HTML, AportisDoc, unencrypted Mobipocket, rft & Word Docs (not docx).

I can access my Baen webscription account from it and download books directly as well as tapping their free etext library.

There is also a Java app that you can load on your computer in order to load books you already have from other sources.

So far, I’m really pleased. A good move by Baen to support this, since Mobipocket has been very quiet about exactly when they were going to produce an iPhone app.

First posted at Urbin Technology.

New iPhone firmware

July 11, 2008

I’m installing it now. Details to be posted later at Urbin Technology.

Good and bad news for Palm

March 21, 2008

The Centro is a hit, but at $99 the profit margin is slim.

Opening up the iPhone

March 10, 2008

Apple finally released a SDK. MIT Tech Review looks at what this could mean:

“This is a huge deal,” says Ken Case, CEO of Omni Group, a company that implements ideas from David Allen’s Getting Things Done in organizational software for the Mac operating system. “Apple has built this small handheld computer that’s based around the same fundamental technology of the Mac. What [the SDK] means for us is that we now have the opportunity to build software that people have been clamoring for since the iPhone was announced.”

Businesses will be more likely to dole out iPhones to employees because, in addition to e-mail compatibility and synching ability, Apple is now offering a way for employees to access business servers that are behind firewalls. Moreover, the phones can be cleared of all data remotely, if they are lost or stolen.

Nonetheless, says Allen, it’s still not a complete free-for-all. It’s not clear whether programmers will have access to certain layers of information about the phone, such as those that could allow them to build Bluetooth peripherals like keyboards. Allen says that he hasn’t yet had a chance to dive deeply into the SDK, but he’s not sure whether it will allow for software that lets iPhone users receive data, such as instant messages, while they’re placing calls over the cellular network (something that’s not possible now).

A few bits of upcoming Cyberpunk tech

February 24, 2008

A 3D tissue printer.

CONTACT LENSES WITH CIRCUITS AND LIGHTS.

Electronic tattoo display runs on blood.

“Jim Mielke’s wireless blood-fueled display is a true merging of technology and body art. At the recent Greener Gadgets Design Competition, the engineer demonstrated a subcutaneously implanted touch-screen that operates as a cell phone display, with the potential for 3G video calls that are visible just underneath the skin.”

Mobile Internet Devices and mobile carriers

January 15, 2008

Internet Evolution has a pair of good posts on the subject.
Carrier Garden Walls Are Tumbling Down

and

Are Mobile Internet Devices the Next Big Thing?

I was on the bandwagon early with my old Palm i705, but I’m currently sans such a device. I’ve been looking at Crackberry, Treo and iPhone devices, but none of them have all the features I want. My wish list is includes the big sharp screen and browser of the iPhone, and the openness and expandability of the Treo (a SD slot is important).

Coming into the light…

August 26, 2007

The photographers who photographed my oldest sons wedding has embraced the light and switched from Nikon to Canon.

They didn’t refer to the same way I did, but in their own words,

…we’ve had a taste of the forbidden fruit and it tastes goooooooood!

If you look at their gear list, they spent a lot of cash on Canon L series prime lenses. They just love that Canon “extra buttery bokeh” the prime lenses give.