In the technology industry, one the things that define you, is your bag.
For travel I have big boy, mid sized and overnight Samsonite wheeled suitcases. I wheelie suit carrier, and a one night away, fits in overhead locker, wheelie case. (Never travel with what you can’t wheel.)
My laptop bag is an issue.
My #1 bag expired a few months ago. It was a Line7, canvas bag with rubber handles. It had a big, but dated, Xero logo embroidered on it which was great for starting conversations and flashing 120 people at a time on the plane.
I was saddened when the clasps went as it it took me a long time to locate last #1 bag. But our logo had changed so I knew it was time.
I saw some OK bags in Sydney a few months ago and splashed out on 2 that we could brand up. After a 3 hour flight I had bag buyers remorse. They weren’t quite right.
My current squeeze is a WAS bag generously sent to last years Small Biz Expo exhibiters that was lying in my conference bag collection. WAS bags are made up from the billboard skins of the their ads. I needed to find a bag quickly and as I was heading into this years expo season so I thought I’d get points with SarahT. (It worked). It’s safety orange so is off brand.
The time has come to find a new #1 bag.
I need your help.
Rowan brought a nice bag from NY but his taste is german cars is at the opposite end of the spectrum to mine so is not suitable The bag is such a personal thing we need a model to assist with selecting.
I’ve plotted my bag related personality on the model below.
So I need a dark coloured, mid+ sized, primarily canvas with leather trimmed, brandable, executive laptop bag.
Probably a great opportunity for some rails guys to turn this in a web 2.0 start up.
So please help, send me links to your best bags.8700, my old friend
Managed to get back up and connected with my old BlackBerry 8700 that seems to have been passed through the office. While the 8700 is chunkier it immediately feels easier to use than the smaller and newer BB 8310 Curve. The click wheel is much more natural to use than the trackball and the keys are better spaced.
When submitting my Curve for repair our tech guru Keith quipped … you may have exceeded the lifetime number of messages a blackberry can send.
I got a cheap phone in Queenstown to get by for a couple of days and it was awful having to do txt on a kybrd. Smartphones are so much easier to communicate with.New Telecom Data Card
Just upgraded my data card.
My Telecom 3G MiniMax finally gave up the ghost. The MiniMax has been great for the last year or so but as is often the case for early adopters it became an unsupported orphan. The mobile stores didn’t really know about them, the reseller doesn’t support them anymore and drivers are hard to find.
But anyway, I’ve upgraded to the new Sierra Wireless Rev A card. Installation was a snap from the Sierra Wireless site - they had Telecom specific drivers. And the Rev A speeds are noticeably faster.
The flip out USB bit works on a MacBookAir.
Very happy so far.Christiaan Postma clock
From JoeB in the UK …
Click on clock on the left, and then click on ‘3’ in the bottom right, sit back and watch.Air’d
This morning I caved and brought a 80GB MacBook Air. I thought I did pretty well holding out as long as I did. It is too hard to get down to 64GB and for the money I thought the hard disk version one will be good for now. I’m sure there will be a better model in 6 months but I’m sure we’ll have new staff coming on board then who will be delighted in a slightly used Air.
I wish I could say it’s been a great experience so far. It hasn’t been.
The hardware is great but getting from my old MacBook to the Air is a pain. The Migration assistant failed after 2+ hours twice so I have to reinstall everything manually. At least it will be a clean machine and the I should have plenty of disk.
Not having FireWire is a drag. I had to get the USB Network adapter which speeds things up a lot.
I think it’s going to take a couple of days to move things over completely. If Migration Assistant had of worked it would have been a few hours.
It is cool having server side applications though. Entourage just works against our Exchange Store (but may take 8 hours to sync) and the Move to NetNewsWire for RSS reading has paid off as it maintains a server side list of feeds and status.
It means a new set of dongles and power leads. I have 3 for my MacBook and none of them work.
Backlit keyboard is my favorite feature so far.
Copying iTunes now … hope the authorization works.Blu-ray in New Zealand
Rob from Fatso got in touch and gave me a bit of run down on Blu-ray in NZ.
There are 3 region codes, compared to 6 DVD codes. We are region B grouped with Australia and Europe. I guess that is a good thing.
Rental companies have been sitting on the fence with regard to Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. They are naturally easing out of HD-DVD.
Fatso has around 43 titles. Demand is still low. In our region there are around 160 titles available. Universal still has nothing.
- Roadshow – approx 50 BR titles
- Universal – no BR as yet
- Sony – 78 titles
- Warner – 35 titles
Amazon lists 837 results for Blu-ray which must be Region A.
So I urge you to go out and get a Blu-ray player so we can get a bit more choice on our fair shores.Xambox
I thought this was a joke but now I want one …Blu-Ray player
Now that Blu-Ray has won, and as I’m not expecting to be able to download iTunes movies anytime soon I decided to tackle my aging stack and get a Samsung Blu-Ray player - to match my 1080p video wall.
These Blu-Ray players don’t exist in New Zealand according to Samsung.co.nz and Noel Leeming. I asked a question on the Samsung website and got this thoughtful response. (I think they are supposed to write something between the lines)
Welcome to Samsung Customer Care Center. We thank you for your interest/
valuable feedback. Please find hereafter, our response.
Your Transaction no. is nnn. Please quote this reference in all
You are receiving this e-mail because you have previously made an
enquiry about Samsung Customer Care Center through our web-sites.
Please do not reply to this mail as it is an automated email and cannot
be responded to. If you wish to send feedback or queries to Samsung
Customer Care Center, please send a new e-mail or contact us at:
Samsung CustomerCare Center
Call: 0800 SAMSUNG
0800 726 786
Samsung Customer Care Center
Undeterred I found Harvey Norman on Tory Street for the first time. They had a lot of gear in there including the Samsung BDP-1400 in stock. I also need to replace my 8 year old Sony 5.1 Receiver with an amp that had HDMI inputs. I went for an Onkyo 7.1 with 3 HDMI inputs.
That will handle the Blu-Ray player, AppleTV and apparently Sky is out soon with an HD receiver that should plug into the 3rd slot.
The sticker price of the BDP-1400 is $1400, but just a glance at the sales dude and it’s $1000. So I was feeling good until I got the question = ‘What HDMI cables do you have?’.
Apparently there are HDMI cables and there are HDMI cables. Standard HDMI cables are not rated for HiDef. The super duper cables are $499 sticker ($400 with a glance) and of course you need two. What!?!
I definitely have a problem with spending $400 on a cable, and even worse $800 on two. That really took the gloss off the purchase. How can a cable cost that much? I smell a rat.
Anyhoo, it all installed easily and works well.
HDMI really cleans things up.Â I pulled out around 8 cables from my old system that I no longer need. I still had to run left/right/video from MySky and a 2nd old Sky box through to the receiver and up to the tele. You only get out what you put in (you can’t get composite in and HDMI out of the Onkyo).
Samsung (they should change their name) seem to have the best game in town right now. They work well and the remotes are easy to use. The Onkyo Receiver seems good but they haven’t nailed their interface as well as Samsung has.
I don’t really watch movies more than once so for Blu-Ray movies I’m looking at signing up for DVDUnlimited. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Also what have you heard on HDSky? Sales dude reckon’d April.Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote
I’ve been enjoying Fake Steve Jobs lately. This video linked to today is amazing.
More of Johnny Lee here …Blu-ray won
Phew, it appears the HD format wars are over. Apple is about to push Blu-ray and it sounds like the XBox will go Blu-ray at some point as well.
The industry woke up …
…. consumers were holding back from buying either one of the two formats … we thought it was the right time to act,” Tsujihara said, noting that even sales of standard DVDs were affected because consumers appeared unsure over which format to go with. “That was kind of the worst of all worlds for us,” he said.
I tend to agree. I was too confused but now I’ll happily grab a Blu-ray player.Best gadget of 2007
Over the last couple of days I’ve been exposed to what is clearly the best tech gadget I’ve experienced in 2007.
It was a surprise, my favorite gadget. It had elements of many great designs. For example its simple oneÂ button interface had shades of Apple (now at $200 - woot!).Â The controls of this complex device distilled into a single red button with soft glowing light indicating its state of operation.
It has wireless technology, nothing new in itself, but incredibly useful for it’s specific application.
The best feature was it’s noise canceling design. I wondered if the designers had consulted with the team at Phitek as some deep science around sound management is in play. Every time we’ve used it someone comments “I can’t believe it’s so quiet.” It really is like magic.
Like great gadgets this is a tool.Â Its satisfaction not just in its use but in enjoying what you can make with this machine of convenience.
Great technology needs to be accessible and at a sale price of $74.90 it is affordable for all.Tom Tom Club
One unexpected consequence of blogging is that people start sending you stuff. I like stuff so I guess that works out well.
The latest stuff to arrive is the new TomTom GPS navigation system. I think I got it after Mauricio as it was still bluetooth paired to his phone. That’s right it has a bluetooth hands free system in it.
Mauricio did an excellent review here. Geekzone: TomTom One XL review
Now I’m a loyal New Zealander so have found it hard to look at any other GPS unit but NavMan. The NavPix was my spousal christmas present last year. When I got it I was thinking I know everywhere I need to go in NZ so why would I need a GPS - but over this year I’ve used it every couple of months and found having my own GPS in the rental car very useful.
I have a couple of gripes with the NavMan. The keyboard was ABC and had no QWERTY option, I don’t need another camera (I know that you can put a camera on a car gps, but that doesn’t mean you should), and the unit is too big for it’s sucker mount so it droops. Drooping is bad.
I’m not sure who owns NavMan now so I felt a little less guilty about trying a new unit. TomTom is brand I’ve seen in countless London minicabs. Now it is in New Zealand.
The Tom Tom won me over quickly with some first impressions. USB Power, QWERTY by default, Mac Software and super quick location of satellites. So fast that I was relieved Mauricio had researched how it did it.
… the TomTom One XL has the fastest time to get a fix I have ever seen, thanks small data files you can download and transfer to unit, containing information on satellite ephemerides. With this data the GPS knows where to find the satellites in the sky given the current date and time, instead of having to scan the sky, like other GPS devices do.
My challenge today is now to work ephemerides into a conversation.
It’s a great size and the sucker mount works well. There is only one button and the user interface is natural. The graphics are not as pretty as the NavMan. The manuals are missing so Mauricio if you can remember the pairing code I’ll try to connect my phone
I tested it yesterday by myself and I realized I had not been driving the fastest way to work. This morning with the family we went to the opening of the new Giraffe House at the Zoo. I was willing to forgive that the Tom Tom tried to drive us up some stairs in Newtown but as my wife (in the car) bought the original NavMan last Christmas she wasn’t having any of it. “… a GPS is all about the maps …” she said.
So as long as you don’t use your Tom Tom to find the Wellington Zoo it’s an ideal spousal gift to receive this Christmas.Touch Down
It is the sh#t.
Already I have all my photo’s on it and my music.Â I’ve already bored people to death with photo’s of my kids.
Slightly smaller than an iPhone, it is a wireless tablet.
The game now shifts to hotspot authentication.Â In the Koru Lounge it took me 3 goes to try to type in wD5FLDxxx as a password (thsi is what you see when typing … ***********) before giving up and pulling out my laptop.
Without a doubt this is the coolest bit of kit I’ve had in while. It’s small enough that I think I might even be able to use it while in an AirNZ domestic seat.Curved
When I arrived back at my desk yesterday I was delighted to find a courier box with my much anticipated BlackBerry Curve (8310).
It’s been a long wait but at least Vodafone NZ delivered the very latest model. The 8310 has only just come out in Europe and includes a GPS. The 8310 also has a camera. It differs from the 8800 which has wifi, 3G and no camera.
The 8310 is much thinner than the 8700. The keys are smaller but seem to work OK.
The updated software and nipple (a change from the excellent scroll wheel) feels a bit fiddly. There are more buttons which means you have to think a bit more.
Bottom line, it’s an amazing device especially with the GPS but does feel a bit gimmicky. If you already have an 8700 I wouldn’t rush to upgrade. The 8700 is a good, solid, enterprise grade, phone/email combo with the best keyboard yet and is definitely easier to use.
There is more to learn on the 8310. It doesn’t feel as pure and simple as earlier BlackBerry devices. I’m not sure it’s the ideal first BlackBerry.
If you feel physically ill at not having the absolute latest device (as I do) then there are plenty more things to play with but I don’t think it’s necessarily a must buy.Picture snob
Not even 20 hours into my 1080p goodness (I don’t actually know what 1080p means btw but it sounds cool), and I’ve become aÂ tv picture quality snob.
I MySky’d the AllBlacks first World Cup game this morning. It was TV3 broadcast over Sky. The picture quality was shocking.Â The picture was dropping out, breaking up and flickering.Â I thought that it might be my new screen not being feed enough pixels but chatting to family this morning they had the same experience. (There was also consensus that the camera work was woefull - not tight enough into the action. I think we get spoilt in NZ by sports savvy outside broadcast crews).
What gives? Surely the World Cup is the television event of the year. It’s being shot in Europe where they’ve had flash TV’s for years. How come they aren’t hammering us with quality pictures
It was interesting seeing the difference between a big CRT and a 1080p (snicker) LCD. The CRT is smoother and warmer.Â Watching Inspector Frost last night the line edges around faces were so clear that at times it looked like they were shooting over a green screen.
Over the last year there has been more wide screen content and I was finding on the CRT that often a TV show would be a like viewing through a letter box.
TV3 News is also interesting with picture formats changing every few minutes. Studio time seems to be 4:3 and some stories wide.Â Toni looks normal though at 4:3 pushed wide :) Like me, Duncan Garner doesn’t need to be shown 4:3 on widescreen. Duncan, write it into your contract next year!
Did anyone else notice the poor picture quality of the Rugby World Cup?Caved
Continuing the AppleTV excercise I caved today splashing on a Samsung 46″ LCD 1080p tele with 3 HDMI ports.
Managed to mount it above the cavity of the old Loewe CRT.
The AppleTV just plugged in, was already sync’d and the kids have spent the last hour glued to all the photo’s and dancing to the background music.
The pictures are stunning and sound quality is great.
Very, very cool.
I like that media has moved into the lounge. Not the computer.Rayguns
Another thing that I didn’t know I need and now must have.Nice Rig
Quest UK buddy, Spanish co-tourist and the only person I’ve met with more gadgets than me, JoeB is featured in enquirer.
I also had a Philips Nino.June 29
Is the date for the iPhone in the US.
New website with 3 ads is up.
Speculation of Exchange support on Engadget.BlackBox in ear headphones
There is a bit of a gadget drought going on right now.Â iPhone, BB8800, NAND Mac’s are still a way off.
I have to gush. These are very, very cool! Great packaging and a real rugged feel. 10/10.
InÂ noise cancelling mode they are spooky.Â Takes external sound right down. Great for the office.
Playing music is great. Big sound with good bass coming through. The battery pack is well down the cord with a clip that contains volume and on/off. My ones came with a hard case, carry case, plane adapter, variety of ear buds, battery, and leash.
Just awesome to see a New Zealand company building world class hardware. Mark - quick, change the price from NZ to US or GBP.Â They are worth it.