WHO said that

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Ten Gadgets of the decade
Engadget just put out a list of the Ten Gadgets that defined the decade. I'm a bit of a gadget guy, so the list brought back some fond memories.

Canon Digital Elph S100

First on their list is the Canon PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH camera. I bought this as my first digital camera in preparation for my trip to Seville, Spain for a month of language classes in early 2001. This 2.0 megapixel camera was extremely well built and wonderfully compact. I ended up using this camera exclusively on my trip and did not take a single picture with my film-based SLR I had also brought along with me.

With this camera I took one of my favourite pictures from over the years.

Today we have a Canon SD850is point & shoot that essentially uses the same formula: compact, well-built point & shoot that takes great pictures.

Additional pictures from my trip to Spain can be found in my Gallery.

Apple PowerBook G4

Next on their list is the Apple PowerBook G4. I've been a PC-guy most of my life although I had played with Macs from time to time over the years. It took me until 2009 to finally move into a sleek 13" MacBook Pro and I'm loving it.

Windows XP / Mac OS X

I suppose these two Operating Systems were quite significant over this decade. I'm much more familiar with XP and I'm going through some pain learning OS X now. I can't say I really love either of these OSes... I can live with them as long as they stay out of my way as much as possible.

Apple iPod

It wasn't until the iPod Nano was introduced that I jumped onto the iPod bandwagon. But what a wonderfully music-filled bandwagon it was! It's still going strong although it now tends to be a repository of Canto-pop for others in the family.

TiVo Series 2

The TiVo was revolutionary for me in many ways. I had largely given up watching television after my VCR missed recording an episode of 24 season 3 back in 2004. But the TiVo brought me back from the dark ages allowing me to watch television when I wanted.

The TiVo has served me well with a wonderful user interface, but with the lack of HD capability in Canada, and my not-so-bad PVR from the Bell Entertainment Service has finally led me to retire my Series 2. PVRs from the cable companies, in my opinion, are still playing catch-up to this device that arrived in 2002 in terms of user experience.

Motorola Razr V3

The Razr is a beautiful phone: I loved the flip and its slim profile. I waited until June 2006 to finally pick one of them up (back when I used to use eBay).

PalmOne Treo 600 / 650

Back in 2003 when the Treo was introduced, I had not yet caught onto the smartphone trend. I was stilling using my ancient PalmPilot back in those days.

XBox 360

Growing up I always had a bit of console envy. I didn't own an Atari 2600 until they were obsolete and I tended to side with the loser of the various console wars over the years (I owned a Sega Saturn and later a Sega Dreamcast). This time around Engadget is raising up the XBox 360 as one of their top 10 of the decade, and I ended up buying a PS3.


I love my iPhone... ok, I've said it.

ASUS Eee PC 900

And lastly, Engadget names this netbook in its top ten list. I don't think netbooks are for me, but I can certainly understand the appeal.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's a media centre, honest!

So I picked up a little media centre for Janet and I to use. It's pretty versatile: it lets us play and stream music, videos (including DivX), and watch YouTube videos on our TV. We've been watching home videos of Brayden bouncing on his Jumperoo, a good number of television series on DVD, and the occasional Blu-ray movie.

At least that's how I now justify the purchase of the PS3. Sure, I'm playing games on it too... but we really are using it a lot more as a media centre... really!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good customer service
Like many others, I've had problems with customer service with various service providers from my DSL and wireless companies, so it's nice to be able to share a good experience for a change.

Since switching to Star Choice around a year ago, I've been impressed with their helpful and knowledgeable customer service representatives, and their 24 hour call centre. Yesterday, I started experiencing some problems with the Star Choice PVR I purchased less than a year ago. After speaking to customer service and walking through some diagnostics they decided my PVR needed to be replaced.

Less than 24 hours later, the courier arrived at my door with a brand new PVR along with the necessary paperwork to return my old PVR (with instructions on how to have the courier pick it up from my residence).

I'm impressed.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A new set of wheels

We picked up a new set of Italian wheels over the weekend. No it's not a Ferrari, but it does come with a luxury seat with some serious side bolsters and a 5-point harness, it has responsive "zero-radius" handling, and comes with a cup-holder. Yup, we picked up our very own Peg-Perego UNO stroller in hot "mod blue".

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Smoke, electronics, and a good experience
Last Friday, my 2-month old battery backup UPS decided to die. We had a brown out (just enough to dim the lights in the room) and the UPS to switched to battery backup mode. My computer was hooked up to it, and at first things were just fine.

But then my computer lost power and rebooted: precisely what the UPS is supposed to prevent. So I looked under the desk at the UPS and noticed it was making a strange buzzing noise, which was then followed by the release of some nasty, smelly, smoke.

I quickly powered off the UPS, and opened the windows around the house to try to air the place out. I'm guessing something short circuited in the UPS... electrical arching and melting wires do not smell nice.

I called Dell where I bought the UPS (after calling 3 different numbers each time being informed I needed to call elsewhere) , and was told that because the unit was over one month old it was not their problem. So I called the manufacturer APC told them my smoking story. Within minutes they located stock at their Canadian warehouse and had a new unit shipped out. I received it on Monday.

They'll be mailing me tags for me to ship the faulty unit back. I guess some companies still understand the need to keep customers happy. I'm impressed.


Saturday, March 31, 2007

All charged up and ready to mow

Home ownership has brought on new responsibilities. One of which is gardening and with that mowing our lawn. Many would argue that even maintaining a lawn is not particularly environmentally friendly with the need for constant watering and mowing. While I've decided to keep the lawn, I did opt to purchase a cordless electric lawn mower to try to do a little to keep the environment a little less noisy and a little less polluted.

Now all I need to do is wait for the grass to start growing and I'll throw this baby into action.