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.

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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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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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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Jumping the netbook bandwagon

I blogged about the original Asus Eee-PC when it was first announced and, as you can probably tell from that post, I basically fell in love with the concept of a small laptop-like, lightweight portable device that could be used for casual browsing. But then the introduction price turned out to be nowhere near $199, and versions with bigger, more useable screens were announced. So I decided to wait. Until today.
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Roy | August 13, 2008 | English,Gadgets | Comments (2)
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Nabaztag!

Nabaztag

Last week’s Christmas celebration at work also marked my last gettogether with the people I’ve worked with for all these years. Saying goodbye to collegues I’ve come to regard as friends wasn’t easy, but the gift they got me really made my night. It will take a while to be delivered, but I can’t wait for my Nabaztag to get here.
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Roy | December 24, 2007 | English,Gadgets,Personal | Comments (5)
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USB hub with on/off switches: It’s here!

Brando USB hub with on/off switches

I wrote about this a while back, and it seems someone had the exact same idea. Brando just released a USB hub with switches that let you turn the connected devices on or off as you please.

http://usb.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00394

I’m not too fond of the design (which does little to hide the wiring and uses slide switches instead of more convenient push buttons), and a couple of more ports would have been nice, but this is a great device nontheless. Every time someone does not power up that little-used scanner and saves rain forests as a result is important.

Roy | December 8, 2007 | English,ideas | Comments Off
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