I spent some time today upgrading some software and drivers and felt like lightening the mood a little and talk about a couple of "toys" that I use on a regular basis. I wouldn't say that the information here is super informative so much as a testimonial.
Staying on top of the latest technologies requires absorbing material from the variety of mediums at which folks are publishing information. Videos, podcasts and flash tutorials supplement the many blogs and white papers but can be more disruptive to people around me. Headphones are the natural solution but I have found that those pesky wires are always getting in the way when at the gym or wanting to get up for a drink refill.
Imagine my elation when I came across the Motorola S9 ROKR wireless bluetooth stereo headphones. I first saw them at Best Buy and found the original $150 price tag way too hard to swallow. Once I convinced myself that this was something that would certainly make my life just a little bit better I was on the prowl for a deal. As usual, NewEgg.com delivered and $50 later I was the proud owner of some NCSU Red ROKRs.
The S9 ROKR uses Stereo Bluetooth 2.0 and provides what I consider excellent sound quality for what I was asking from them. I found them extremely comfortable but this too is definitely a matter of taste. The best part? They have built in microphone for managing calls when using a cell phone or use with Skype. I later found out, to my chagrin, that my BlackBerry Pearl does not support Bluetooth 2.0. Naturally my wife's Pink Motorola RAZR connected right away and worked like a dream, but she cares little about these things thus far.
My primary use of the S9 ROKR is with my laptop. I love charging up the battery before traveling and playing whatever media I choose without the fuss of wires. It also comes in handy when I want to watch some training videos and not disturb anyone with the geeky information. I'm able to lean back, move around, grab a snack or refill and simply enjoy life without wires. Since I'm not really interested in walking around the gym with my wife's pink RAZR I'm just going to wait for a new BlackBerry before I get to use them the way I want but I definitely see years of happy use with this rechargeable wireless wonder.
Can you See me? WebCam
The other little wonder that I have found myself loving is my Logitech QuickCam Deluxe for Notebooks webcam. This past fall my mom and sister decided it was time for new computers so I pulled some strings, got them some great deals from the good folks at Dell, and purchased them some webcams for Christmas. The plan was to provide my mom the ability to see her kids and grandkids (coming 2009) without leaving her living room. I set them both up with Skype accounts, configured their webcams and showed them how to use them.
Setup with Skype was a cinch and I found the resolution great for the web at 640x480. The webcam simply clips nicely on my laptop monitor and came with a fantastic little carrying case for my laptop bag. The built in software provides some fun little "effects" but not something I've found much use for. My only disappointment that I've had is the inability to easily use it with my desktop system, but I bought a NOTEBOOK webcam so no complaints there.
My mom loves being able to communicate this way to stay in touch so mission accomplished. I'm sure I'll get some business use for it soon as we roll out new features with our new phone system upgrade, especially if it's going to continue to snow like it did today. Stay warm and take care.