Abhi 2.0 on Technology

Abhimanyu Radhakrishnan’s Tech Archive: Columns, reports and video

Tech Tonic #4: Tech Audit

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Tech Audit

It’s the end of the financial year and while I collate my bills and claims, it’s also high time I audited FY08’s tech purchases. I bought lots of stuff, some cool, some junk so lets take a hard-nosed look and pass judgment:

ASSETS

– Shower Radio:
Technically I didn’t buy it since it was gifted but what a great gift! It really doesn’t get better than (a waterproof) FM Radio in the bathroom. This inexpensive cute chunky plastic box has just two knobs – one for controlling the frequency and one for volume.There’s a small digital clock and holes for the in-built speaker. It takes 4 AA batteries nevertheless highly recommended!

– Nintendo Wii:
This one was swung by WAF (Wife Acceptability Factor). There was no way an Xbox or PlayStation was entering the home and having me glued to it 24×7. The Nintendo Wii on the other hand is the most fun, stress-busting and yet addictive gaming experience I’ve had. We’ve thrown Wii-kend parties with friends who just can’t get enough of it. Whoever said gamers have no social life?

– iPod Touch
I bought this purely on a whim – no iPhone yet in India and I desperately wanted to “flick and pinch” (before dirty thoughts enter your mind) photos, songs and videos. But once this thing gets on the net, it’s the best handheld internet browser EVER made. Its also among the best resolution screens on so slim a device and my VCD collection is now being ripped for use solely on the Touch.

– SMC Mini Wi-Fi Router
It costs less than four thousand bucks, is incredibly easy to set up (just plug the internet cable in) and doesn’t require software installation. Multiple laptops and Wi-Fi gadgets (such as the previous two on this list) then easily share the single net connection at home. Just remember to password protect your router lest the neighbours decided they don’t need to buy their own.

– HP Scanjet 2400
I had no idea that scanners had become so cheap – less than 3k – though when I did order it, I questioned the need to pick up such a big dust collector. However, a little discipline from my side in scanning EVERYTHING to make life paperless has proven to make this the best decision of the year. I’ve not had to pull out anything from old files to xerox – just browse, attach and email/print!

LIABILITIES

– Skype Wireless Phone
This is nothing but a plastic “phone” shaped Wi-Fi device that has no software except on it except Skype. You connect to Wi-Fi, login to Skype, access your friends list and call them. Its basically a substitute for having to sit in front of your PC with headphones and mic. Nice concept, but not worth 5k considering I’ve used it less than a dozen times all year!

– Digital Photo Frame
I bought two of these as gifts, but was too tempted and opened one to keep for myself in the drawing room. The image quality is poor, it has an ugly cable for power supply that gets in the way and most importantly I haven’t had the time or “enthu” to replace the memory card with pictures that I slotted in, when I first opened it nearly a year ago.

– Onkyo Gladiator 5.1 Home Theatre
This one was heavily subsidized thanks to credit card points but took a dozen follow-ups over 4 months with HDFC bank before it landed up. It takes up tons of space and has created a wiring mess. Moreover there aren’t enough movies out there in the market with 5.1 Dolby sound to enjoy. White elephant alert!

– LG xCanvas 37″ HDTV
Its on the same table that the much bulkier “tube” was on, so the space-saving of the thin LCD is redundant. TV signal in India is not HD (High Definition) so my cable actually looks worse on this than on my old 29″. I don’t have an HD gaming console and I don’t intend to buy a Blu-Ray disc player till prices hit 10k ie. mid 2009! Early adoption be damned, this could have easily waited; I’m sure a 46″ will be the same price by next year!

– Sony Cybershot T-100
Never buy a digital camera which requires that the battery be taken out and charged separately. I have no issues with the camera itself; its only the painful charging that has ensured that I’ve never had it ready when I most needed it. In any case, in the future, I’m going either for a great mobile phone-cam or an entry level Digital SLR . The era of these in-between pocket “digicams”, for me, is over!

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Written by Abhi 2.0

March 23, 2008 at 7:28 am

2 Responses

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  1. […] not going to link to places where you can buy the “liability” gadgets from today’s column (that would kinda defeat the purpose!) but here are some tips on picking up the […]

  2. read ur column in BRUNCH and logged on … loved the blog – links to gadgets are really helpful. But maybe you should change the column from Sunday. Mos ppl are lazing while readin brunch and wont look for a PC immediatly to log onto this blog. Also, why can’t you have a .com instead of .info?

    lavs

    March 26, 2008 at 1:55 am


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