Posts in category 'toys'

  • On the Apple Bandwagon

    Well, I finally did it. A couple weeks ago, I finally bit the bullet and replaced my aging Palm TX with a brand spanking new fourth generation iPod Touch.

    And so far? Fabulous.

    I’d been reluctant to buy a device to replace my old Palm, as none of the new hardware seemed all that compelling. The Palm, with its 480x360 screen, has been comparable to anything on the market for a long long time. And from a software standpoint, it already handled what I did most with it: read.

    But with the new Touch, with it’s gorgeous 960x640 screen, I finally had a reason to migrate. And in doing so, I realized just how much the limitations of the TX were preventing me from truly using the device.

    In particular, with the Touch, I suddenly find myself using it to:

    • Read and write emails.
    • Check and post to facebook.
    • Chat online with people on Facebook and Google chat.
    • Browse the web.
    • Follow my RSS feeds.
    • Track my TODO items.
    • Keep notes in my personal wiki.
    • Look things up in Wikipedia and IMDB.

    All in addition to the usual tasks of reading and listening to music. Most of this wasn’t possible on my Palm because either the browser sucked, or the applications simply weren’t available or comfortable to use due to the rather craptacular stylus-based input system. Plus, the increased resolution of the 4g Touch makes reading small text a lot easier, and so reading and browsing the web is far more comfortable than on the TX.

    As for apps, so far, my absolute favorite discoveries are:

    Trunk Notes. This has has replaced Wikidpad as my personal wiki, and allows me to create a web of interconnected text that can be browsed and edited from both my computer (through a web interface) or on the device itself. Suddenly my entire recipe collection, my set of guitar tabs, and loads of other stuff, is available wherever I am!

    Appigo Todo. I’m actually getting things done. It’s bizarre.

    MobileRSS. It is what it says, and it works well. Syncs with Google Reader. Easy-to-use swipe gestures for moving between items. Embedded browser. Good stuff.

    Stanza. An e-book reader that integrates beautifully with Calibre, which runs on my laptop and acts as my e-book library.

    Of course, there’s tons of little tools and utilities I’ve bought along the way (GoodReader for PDF reading and annotating, Tunemark for streaming music, Dropbox, Google Earth, Skype, iSSH…), but these are the ones I use on a consistent, day-to-day basis.

    And yes, before you ask, I’ve also jailbroken. I’m not sure why, yet (although SBSettings is awfully nice), but it’s fun to get a shell on the thing, even if it’s just to say I can.

  • The Trip - Day 4

    Ugh, finally home. It was a good trip, I have to say… nice and relaxed for a change, rather than heavily regimented. And I got to spend money. Too much money. :)

    And speaking of spending money, I’ve finally got some shots of my new toys. First off, I have a couple pics of my Palm:

    Left-to-right, there’s a shot of it off. Second, an image of Blazer (the packaged web browsr) rendering this website. Lastly, we have ScummVM playing The Secret of Monkey Island. Pretty neat, eh? :)

    Next, I have a pic of my newest toy, my snazzy earphones:

    After using them for the drive back, I gotta say: awesome purchase! The noise isolation alone makes them worth every penny. Heck, for a while I just used them as standard earplugs. With the foam inserts, they drop high- and mid-range frequency noise dramatically (Shure’s claims are around 15db noise reduction), while still making it possible to listen to conversations when the music is off.

    With the music on, the sound is excellent. High- and mid-range frequencies are really nicely articulated, and, with the plugs properly installed, the bass is surprisingly good. And I’m still amazed at how little power I need to drive these things. They literally require half the volume, as compared to my cheap Sony buds. This is, I suspect, a combination of noise isolation, relatively low impedence, and significantly reduced leakage (due to the plugs and the fact that the drivers are completely enclosed).

    The gist: these are, hands down, the best pair of buds I’ve ever used. Very sweet.