Why do I still not love GDGT?

GDGT logoWhen I first heard about gdgt.com, I thought the startup founded by Peter Rojas and Ryan Block was terribly clever, and right up my alley. The idea of having gadget freaks keep “had”, “have” and “want” lists makes sense both from a user’s perspective and from an advertiser’s. When the website opened to the public I was quick to register and started adding things to my lists. Some stuff that wasn’t in there yet. It was amazing to see how much stuff was entered by users.

But I don’t buy a new gadget every day, so keeping the lists up-to-date doesn’t require me to visit GDGT daily. Considering how Rojas and Block were also involved in Engadget and Gizmodo, I was hoping their new effort would replace both those blogs and become a one-stop shop for technology enthusiasts. So far, at least for me, it hasn’t.
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USB hub with on/off switches: Buffalo does it right

Buffalo USB hub with switchesIt’s been over a year since I first posted the idea of a USB hub that would let you switch each port on or off. To save energy, avoid peripherals from waking up each time you fire up your PC or simply because you won’t be needing the USB missile launcher today. Soon after that, Brando actually released one, but it wasn’t quite what I had envisioned.

Buffalo seems to have done a far better job, with what look to be decent switches and a power supply in case you need to connect things that need the full 500 mW of power that USB can supply. I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to think of this, especially since the Brando came out a month after my blog post. But it’s nice to see the idea catch on.

ActiFry is like a Roomba for cooking

Tefal ActiFryI don’t think I’ve ever blogged about a kitchen appliance before, but in my opinion Tefal’s new ActifFry multicooker qualifies as a gadget. It makes cooking easier, and gadgets are all about making our life’s easier, right?

The ActiFry is a hot air over that stirs your food while frying it. All you need to do is put stuff into the circular pan and press to ‘on’ button. If some of your ingredients needs to cook longer than others you might need to add things later on, but other than that you can just sit back and watch things unfold. The rotating vanes will make sure your food gets cooked evenly, and there’s a timer so you can go do something else while it does the work for you.
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Gadget history: Personal computers

Apple IIcFor the second instalment of my ‘Gadget history’ series of posts I thought I’d look into the personal and home computers I’ve owned and/or used. I added the ‘or’ in that sentence because the first two computers I used extensively weren’t mine. Not even my dad’s. They were the property of the local University, and the only reason I got to play with them was because I was friends with a professor’s son.
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Does anyone else’s Eee-PC power adapter look like this?

Eee-PC 701 power adapterI wrote a few days ago about how I’d bought my daughter a somewhat older model Eee-PC. In that post I mentioned that I didn’t like the AC adapter that came with this netbook. I’ve always thought very highly of the build quality of Asus products, but this thing is downright dangerous.

The adapter plug for euro sockets (the black thingy in the pictures) came in a separate envelope, so it might have been added by the store where I got the laptop. Can anyone tell me if their adapter for the 701 model looks the same?
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Roy | January 16, 2009 | English,Gadgets | Comments (6)
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Gadget regret: Cordless mouse

I usually do plenty of research before buying gadgets so there are very few purchases I regret, but this year there’s one that I feel really bad about. My Logitech MX1000 laser mouse. Not because it’s a bad mouse, quite the contrary in fact, but because it lacks a tail.
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Has the Google Talk desktop client been abandoned?

I’ve been using the Google Talk application for years. It’s a lightweight Instant Messaging client that was built upon open standards and doubles as a pretty good Gmail notifier. My reason for not using another Yabber client like Miranda was that that wouldn’t allow voice chat, which I often use professionally.

Things turned a little ugly when Google decided to add a web-based gtalk ‘gadget’ to Gmail. All of a sudden I found myself being logged into the same account twice, with messages popping up in either the web or the desktop client without any sort of logic. I was quick to disable the Gmail gadget, but yesterday’s announcement of ‘Google Talk voice and video chat‘ had a big surprise in store for me. It’s a web-client-only feature.
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Nabaztag flash movie source files

A few days ago I got a comment asking me whether I would release the source files for my Nabaztag Flash movie I created when I first got my wifi bunny. I couldn’t think of a single reason not to, so here they are…
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Roy | August 25, 2008 | English,Flash,Gadgets | Comments (6)
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Setting up XEPC on the Eee-PC 901 XP

Wow, that was easy! I just installed XEPC (Linux) on my 901 Eee-PC, and it required nowhere near as many steps as most (probably older) tutorials will have you believe. All you need to do is download the iso image from Sourceforge, use 7-Zip to copy its contents to a USB stick (2GB or more) and run the included ‘makeboot.bat’ file. Your USB stick will then be bootable, and all you need to do is boot off of it (by pressing ESC during boot). The onscreen instructions will guide you through the rest.
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Asus Eee-PC 901 OS recommendations?

This is the first blog post I’m writing from my Asus Eee-PC 901 netbook PC. In terms of hardware, I think it’s a marvel. It looks slick, is small enough to retain that true gadget factor and seems exceptionally sturdy. The Atom processor feels snappy enough and runs XP with ease. But I don’t. After more that a year of Vista it’s amazing how many things about XP bug me. It’s really one of the worst Windows versions when it comes to usability. And besides, all the security updates and stuff make my netbook less fun than I think it could be. This is why I find myself looking for a better OS for my tiny new friend.
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