Musings about things that interest a "Geezer Gadget Geek" who also happens to enjoy some of the finer things in life that liberty in a free country makes possible.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Technology and Time

I never cease to be amazed at how technology can change our lives!

I'm old enough to know what it was like before cell phones, MP3 players, and PDAs existed - times when we dreaded going to places (doctor's offices, license bureaus, busses, metrolinks, etc.) where huge amounts of potentially productive or entertaining time was wasted on the altar of boredom. I used to dread having to go to these places - and now, thanks to technology, I actually look forward to going to them! You see, I love to read eBooks while listening to music. I love to write as well. I love programming. I love talking and SMSing my son and daughter. All of these I can do and do while waiting now.

You might ask, "but Bill, can't you do these things without having to go to the doctor's office or the license bureau?", and you would be correct. It's just that I don't fear these places any more and in fact, it's the technological evangelist in me that desires to SHOW other people who are bored out of their gored a genuine way out of it.

Unless you were a woman and carried a purse, a paperback book just wasn't an option in those bygone days. Paperback books, as great as they are, just didn't fit in a pants pocket like my Treo 755P, for example, does. But now with my Treo, I can and do carry AN ENTIRE LIBRARY of hundreds of books in my pants pocket! Now that's cool for the literati of our times!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kenwood TH-F6A - The BEST Radio Ever Made!

In my last posting, I briefly mentioned the gadgets that I always carry around with me and one of them was the Kenwood TH-F6A. This is an Amateur Radio transceiver known as a "tri-bander", meaning that it can receive and transmit on three popular HAM Radio bands - 144/220/440 MHz with FIVE full watts of power on all of the bands. Even with just those specifications, it's a valuable radio - but Kenwood goes WAY beyond that!

The nicad batteries are very long lasting, the design is rugged, and the device has that solid, quality feel to it that gadget lovers appreciate. But beyond the basics, the radio is so much more - it can receive far more bands using far more modulating modes than any other handheld radio that I am aware of. And not only does it receive those signals - its sensitivity to them is unsurpassed by any handheld radio I know of either. Amazing!

With the TH-F6A, I can listen to such diverse broadcasts as the standard AM radio band, the standard FM band, the NOAA weather radio frequencies, HAM HF bands such as 20 meters in UPPER SIDEBAND MODE - and on and on. Wow! What a radio! Here are a number of Google links about the TH-F6A and here is a great hyperlink to the manufacturer with more details on this remarkable and best selling radio. I've owned mine for many years and it has never let me down.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Of Gadgets and Shoes

My sexist comment for today is - men like gadgets and tools like women like dresses and shoes. Leaving aside the sexism, a lot of women I know are fans of gadgets too ... no comment on any of the men!

Four gadgets that I carry around with me all the time are my Treo 755P smartphone, my Sansa e280 MP3 player - *, my Kenwood TH-F6A tri-band handheld radio, and my Leatherman Surge multi-tool.

The multi-tool is an extremely useful device for such diverse things as bending, cutting, and stripping wires - tightening bolts - screwing and unscrewing flat head and phillips screws - opening letters and packages - filing rough edges - etc. No matter where you are, there's always a need for handyman work, and the multi-tool is the perfect tool to carry around.

I prefer to have high quality tools and am willing to pay a premium price for them, if necessary. In my opinion, the Leatherman Surge is the best multi-tool ever made, and my faith in that statement grows with every task I discover that the Surge is the perfect tool for the job.

One of my favorite television programs is "Survivorman", starring Les Stroud, and he is a great proponent of the Leatherman Wave multitool - taking it with him on all of his survival episodes. I have big hands, so the Surge, which is larger than the Wave, is my preferred tool, but no matter which Leatherman you choose to carry with you, you won't be disappointed.

* - P.S. I "upgraded" my MP3 player from the 4GB Sansa e260 described in an earlier post to the 8GB Sansa e280 when NewEgg.COM made me an offer I couldn't refuse. (But not in a negative sense like the Godfather series puts it.)

About Me

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Hillsboro, Missouri, United States

I am a netizen of the world. I enjoy fresh air, fine wines, rural scenery, classical music, eBooks, and interacting with the other netizens of the world.

I look forward every day to waking up, writing code, and learning new things.