Gadgets galore

Although 52 years old, I seem to be addicted to electronic gadgets. So each birthday and each Christmas I’m looking at saving up for a “something or other” which will be some electronic device. When I was a teenager, it was a hi-fi system, and being in the days of exclusively analogue electronics, we talked about wow and flutter, total harmonic distortion, signal to noise ratio and the like. Unfortunatley I was unable to afford the decent stuff and had to put up with very definately ‘low-fi’ equipment. I just tried to ignore the hiss and the hum from the rather low spec amplifier and speakers. 2 years ago I was saving up for an iRiver MP3 player. Actually I wanted the iRiver because (just to show my geek credibility) I wanted to play Ogg Vorbis files as well as MP3.

Now being digital and solid state, wow and flutter must be pretty well zero. THD is so insignificant, they can’t even measure it and signal to noise ratio is so high that 1970’s hi-fi manufacturers would not believe the figure. This device, which is smaller than a Pritt Stick also contains a radio of unbelievable quality. So it performs all the functions of a 1960’s juke box/radiogram, but doesn’t take up any of the living room. The sound is absolutely fantastic and it records really clearly as well. The only thing is, that the plastic navigation knob has snapped off and it can’t be used properly any more. What a disaster. Update: After emailing iRiver support and asking where I could buy a new switch they asked me to return it to them for repair. What a great company. Well done iRiver.

My phone is a Nokia 9210. This wonderful device allows me to log on to my server from the top of a mountain and fix problems. It also lets me download emails, tells me when to get up and it can send and receive faxes. It will display word documents, excel files, and basically do most office tasks. It is also a phone. But it is a bit of a brick. And now the buttons aren’t working properly and so its getting a bit unreliable. What a shame.

My camera is a Minolta Z3. Again a marvel of technology, there’s nothing wrong with this camera at all. 12x optical zoom, 4M images, and as whole host of clever features. Only trouble is that it can’t seem to focus in the dark, over exposes sunny shots when on automatic and can’t seem to photograph purple, the colours always come out blue. How frustrating.

My son James has just bought a Sony Ericsson K750i. What an astonishing phone. It will just fit into a box of Swan Vestas and can do everything above really well except word documents and faxes and its only got a 4x zoom. How much smaller can technology get. That’s 3 brilliant gadgets in one tiny bar of chocolate. How wonderful!