Best Purchases
gadgets, house, misctech, personal
I feel like we’ve made some good purchases in the past year. Here are some of the things that I like the most. Click the thumbnails for more information. Magic Bullet Mr Beams LED Spotlight Roku 2 XD Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan Samsung HW-E551 Sound Bar Teavana PerfecTea Tea Maker  
Free HD With DVR Capability
gadgets, misctech, television
I bought a PCTV 800e HD TV tuner card from Woot! some time ago, but never really used it. While watching The Office last night in high definition (using a cheap HD antenna, not a cable or satellite subscription), we were wishing that we could pause the show as we do with our DirecTV service. That’s when I remembered my tuner card purchase and decided to get that set up with our media PC today.
Network Attached Storage
gadgets, hacking
I just bought a Netgear RND2175 ReadyNAS Duo 750 GB Desktop Network Attached Storage from I’ve been looking at these for a while, and finally decided on this one. The device holds 2 750gb drives which are mirrored for constant data redundancy. In addition, it runs an embedded version of Linux and can do pretty much anything a Linux computer can do. There’s an active user and developer community for help with every aspect of the system, including extending it and customizing it.
More Buying News
gadgets, misctech
I’ve put my big buys on hold for now. I can’t decide what kind of car I want. I test drove the MINI Cooper and did not like it. It was too small, too noisy, and although the interior was pretty fancy, it felt cheap. As for the BMW and Audi, I can’t see spending $40k on a car when I can get one that works just as well for $20k.
Multitasking Television
gadgets, misctech, music, photography, television
Now that I’ve had enough of the Perfect Day (sun is bad), I’ve migrated to the great indoors. There are at least 4 things I’d like to be doing while indoors: listening to music, looking at photos, browsing the web, and watching baseball. As it turns out, I’m doing all 4 at once! Check it out.
I Dig Vagalume
gadgets, hacking, music
I’ve been using Vagalume, a player, on my internet tablet. This might be one of the best and most useful pieces of software that I’ve ever used. I particularly like the neighborhood radio feature, which plays songs from users that have similar tastes to mine. It’s like having a portable radio that only plays stuff that I like.
PDA Coolness
I’m sending this from my Nokia N800 using WordPy. Test.
Seniors Love the WII
gadgets, humor
I bet Nintendo had no idea that their WII gaming console would make such a splash in nursing homes. Apprently, the WII is all the rage in the elderly world. Some homes have regular tournaments with the sports games. For example, here is an article about a recent bowling tournament. When asked to comment on the 202 to 182 stunner, the few other residents who were both awake at the time and able to remember the action agreed that the match was surely one for the record books.
Fun with the Nokia n800
gadgets, personal
The more I use my Nokia n800 internet tablet, the more I like it. I recently upgraded the OS to Nokia’s latest release (which was developed for the follow up model, the n810). Today I discovered that I can use the n800’s bluetooth to connect to my cell phone and transfer files back and forth. I could also use my cell phone for internet connectivity, but I don’t have the network plan from AT&T.
Nokia n800 Screenshots
So the new tablet pc comes with a screenshot program that automatically takes a screenshot and uploads it to That is sooo cool! So far this gadget is perfect. Another suprising feature is that it works perfectly with, which means I can watch TV and view all of the multimedia stored on my home server.
Nokia n800
I broke down and bought a Nokia n800 internet tablet pc. I haven’t received it yet, but I think it will be cool. Features include bluetooth and wifi built in, camera, speakers, sd card slots.
Four Gigabytes
gadgets, hacking
I got a 4gb SD card for my PDA and installed the root filesystem to it. That means I have tons of room for extra software and stuff.
Untapped Power
gadgets, personal
So, now that I have a super cool, tiny, quiet computer that is always on (because it holds all of my documents and multimedia for the other computers on my network), I feel like it should be doing something. It serves up files for my other computers, but it still sits there idle 99% of the time. I thought about having it download illegal media with bit torrent, but that can lead to headaches (viruses, etc).
Zelda and Wiiitis
We have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii. It’s a one player game, but we each take a controller and work together. We’ve already put in about 30 hours of play. In related news, CNN has an article about Wiiitis. One gets Wiiitis from playing the sports games for too long. Read
Ubuntu Linux, enano
I removed Windows Vista on my main desktop computer and installed Ubuntu Linux. It’s been a while since I’ve used linux, and I see it has improved a bit. So far everything is working, and I have all the software I could ever need. Also, I bought a mini computer to hook up to the LCD television. It’s by a comany called Enano. The entire computer is about the size of a CD drive.
Wii Finally Got a Wii
gadgets, personal
After months of looking and waiting, Bren came across a Nintendo Wii yesterday! I guess Nintendo finally caught up with the demand. The last gaming console that I’ve owned was an Intellivision II, back in the 80s. I’ve been waiting for the right system to come along, as I’m not impressed (or good at) the modern genre of games. So far the Wii has not disappointed. We only have Wii Sports, which came bundled, but it will take a while to get tired of that.

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