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Gadgets of the Geek Elite 89

Jag sent us a link to a story about Geeks and Their Gadgest. Its at the NY Times so ya need to register to read it, but it includes some esr quotes, as well as just the interesting commentary on something that I suspect many of us are all to familiar with. I've gave up cell phones and my Palm Pilot stays in my drawer. My only real gadget is a Leatherman Wave. I think I need a VAIO-- if only they had built in knives and screw drivers.
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Gadgets of the Geek Elite

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  • Regarding CmdrTaco's "VAIO" comment...

    You know, I too had "the bug" to buy a Sony VAIO F180 a few weeks ago... 333MHz PII, 14.1-inch, 24bpp TFT display, 6gig HD, 128MB ram, and a DVD rom drive... all for $2899.00. Drewl. Sony's website said "It's yours for only $53.23 a month"! That didn't sound all that bad, so I called for details.

    It was something like 13.3% interest, over a term of *8 YEARS*, with a 8.85% origination fee (meaning that the actual principle of the loan was 1.0885*2899,) which would bring the total outlay to over 5 grand, by the time it was paid off!!! I'd hate to pay for ANY computer for 8 years, given how poorly they hold their value.

    Ah, well... perhaps simplicity is the spice of life, after all.
  • If I could have, I would have. :(

    I'll re-evaluate the laptop market offerings once I've saved up enough dough. But for now, no VAIO for me. :(
  • No need to register -- you can just use cypherpunks/cypherpunks as the login/password :). FWIW, this works on all NY Times articles, and many other sities as well...

    PS Cmdrtaco, how about mentioning this next time you post an article from the NY Times?

  • > I just dont have enough palaces to put my stuff.

    If you measure the amount of stuff you've got in palaces, I don't feel sorry for you at all... :)

  • by gavinhall ( 33 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @10:27AM (#1961652)
    Posted by Mike@ABC:

    Man, a year and a half ago, I was a wire service hack covering politics. I could barely surf the Web. I hated gadgets.

    Now, I'm talking with folks who are developing a single set of code libraries for LSB, I can tear apart my testing box and put it back together (and have it run), I can write stories about hackers and Linux without getting flamed and spammed back to the stone ages...and I love gadgets. I've been reviewing one of those Windows CE Clio devices...clever little thing. This article made me drool.

    I had a realization today. An epiphany, if you will. I ... am a nerd.

    Gotta go. My world-view is getting a little shaken up at the moment. I want to go hug a Linux box.
  • Let's see...

    StarTAC phone (VM calls pager when message left)
    Pilot w/ alpha pager built in
    Digital Camera (Don't usually carry it)
    Schrade ToughTool (like Leatherman)
    keys to Mailboxes ETC "office space :)"
    Amateur Radio, 2meter band handheld

    Not bad for less than a kilobuck. And essential for one who has a "virtual office"!

    And you don't want to know what I keep in my van. Let's just say it's Y2K compliant. ;-)


    ETLA Technical Services [etla.net]

  • Actually, I just hate to be interrupted. I go out several nights a week and if someone needs to get a hold of me, I'll get back to them when I get home. Maybe it's selfish but I would not want to be interrupted by friend B when I'm visiting friend A.

    Maybe it's just the interruption problem. The phone in my bedroom does not have a ringer. I don't want to be woken up in the middle of the night either. Someday that may be important, but in my current family situation, it is not.

    Agreed. To each his own.
  • by Joe Mucchiello ( 1030 ) on Friday March 26, 1999 @10:32AM (#1961655) Homepage
    Call me a Luddite if you must but I don't even wear a watch. My computer clock is good enough. And if I'm at the mail and need to know what time it is, I ask someone who's foolish enough to wear a watch.

    I own no cell phone. The only reason to have one that I applies to me is for calls to AAA. If I were to buy one I would leave it in the car and forget the phone number so that I could not give it out. Or if I had kids, then it might be necessary to be "available".

    I quit a job that tried to give me a pager. There is no way I want to think about work when I am not there. My time is too precious to be wasted with work when I'm not there.

    When I'm at work, there is a phone on my desk. If I'm not at my desk, there's an intercomm which can be used to get my attention.

    I tell people to contact me by email whenever possible but I'm not one of those people who HAS to answer an email as soon as it arrives. Unless it's something trivial, I prefer to mull it over in my head and think before I respond.

    At home, my phones do not have call waiting. I do have an answering machine and I do remember to check it occasionally.

    I don't get it. Why do people insist on being reachable at all hours of the day? I prefer my privacy. When I'm in the car, I want to sing along with the radio.

    Oh, and I am certainly not a Luddite. I've been using the Internet since 1987. I own 2 VCRs and more electronic musical equipment than I use. Someday I get around good digital recordings of my band and put them up on the web.

  • I was under the impression that one phone in the 61xx series could alternate between GSM and TDMA.. (At least that's what one of the sales people told me in passing... I thought "yeah right", but he insisted on it...)

  • Oh, btw, try using GSM in Canada... haha! Only major cities have the coverage I believe...

    (CDMA and TDMA are much more widely used here, and I believe also on the West Coast of the U.S...)

  • I just got a Palm Pro a couple of weeks ago, and I love it. I put my class assignments in (woe to me when the battery dies) and I can actually read them now.
    I'm spending the evenings curled up with The Count of Monte Cristo from Project Gutenberg. Almost better than a book--not quite as crisp print, but you don't have to hold the pages open.
    And I have a watch, but never wear it. It irritates my wrist no end.
  • Leatherman Super Tool Nokia GSM phone (voice mail, email, and pager) Pilot 5000 upgraded to Palm III The Leatherman tools are the most essential tools for a geek. I can also receive faxes on my GSM phone, and relay them to the closest fax machine. This way, I only have to give out one telephone number. This phone is also my home telephone. The landline is for a modem. But, since I'm hardly ever at home, the GSM phone does everything for me. I've had my Pilot since it was a 512KB device. I've since ugpraded it to a Palm III and started using the ``pilot-link'' package for Linux. I copy man pages and articles to read in my copious (?!) free time.
  • If you recognized the Dilbert reference, you are one step closer.
  • Don't forget can opener.
  • >PS Cmdrtaco, how about mentioning this next time you post an article from the NY Times?

    Well, there may be issues on legality (I'm not sure how it all works), but even if this is legal, I think that it would be in poor taste to post logins and passwords to other sites. Sure, sites that require passwords may be annoying, but its their site, so they get to pick the rules.

  • Still gotta carry my trusty Victorinox Camper model ...my leatherman doesn't have a corkscrew or woodsaw...both of which I have used in the course of sysadminning...
  • If I'm not mistaken, a Leatherman is one of those Swiss-army type gadgets, only it has quite a few more useful things in it, like pliers & whatnot. Definitely useful for the true geek who's forced to take his computer (and other things) apart a lot :) (Check www.leatherman.com [leatherman.com] for more info).

    -mike kania
  • I met Linus last year at Oracle OpenWorld in SF and asked him how he keeps track of his busy schedule. He reached into his belt pouch and pulled out a PalmPilot (and smiled).

    I carry my PalmIII in the Palm belt clip case (nerd!), but Linus carried his in what appeared to be a belt pouch for a camera! More room for other things, but that's what I use pockets for...
  • My Swiss Tool is much sturdier than Gerbers or Leathermans (or would it be Leathermen?). Somewhat heavier, but nothing unreasonable, and it just has more stuff on it. I guess that's why it costs twice as much...

    "The Constitution admittedly has a few defects and blemishes, but it still seems a hell of a lot better than the system we have now."

  • Something I think we've all experienced is a lack of pockets for all of our gadgets. I just dont have enough palaces to put my stuff.

    Tandy notepad (ye olde Radio-shack newton look alike)
    Pager for work
    Personal pager,
    and so on...

  • I don't know if it's _sturdier_... Gerbers have a lifetime warranty and Leathermans are 25yrs, but that's because the company haven't been around too long.

    Personally, I've seen a Swiss Tool and think it's worthy, but I like my Leatherman Supertool more. Personal preference. (I don't think the lesser Swiss Army knives are very worthy, though.)
  • Scully? You mean the same Scully that nearly ran Apple into the ground? Or is this some other Scully?

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • Which one do you have?

    I have the PCG-C1, wot I bought from Japan last year.

    At the time one of only 50 released from Sony Corp. to LAOX, Akihabarat (The Electric City - geek paradise [grin]).

    I don't see what use I'm going to get putting Linux onto it at the moment though - no USB support, and SOMEONE out there needs to get the built in CCD camera working under Linux!!!


  • Man, for a second there, I thought I had written this post. Aside for the music part, I think this describes me to a 'T'.

    I, too, am no Luddite. In fact, my wife and I have 6 computers at home (a mac, two PCs, a Sun workstation, and two laptops). I have a home automation system installed (more to see how it works than out of need--I'm thinking about trying to make home automation products for my next little venture).

    However, I am not attached to technology. I like few things better than spending a week on a river in Idaho, 50 miles from the nearest phone. When I'm on vacation, I absolutely refuse to check my e-mail.

    Quite frankly, there really is more to life than technology. Technology is about making life easier and better. To me, one shouldn't live life for technology's sake. That's exactly backwards. Let the technology serve us, not the other way around.
  • you forgot autofocus, image stabilized binoculars, a laser rangefinder, and an electronic compass.
    some kind of removable storage, if only digital video tapes, would be nice too.
  • by jshare ( 6557 )
    I can definitely see taking a pager on a camping trip. If someone in your family is in a car wreck (or equivalent), I would think you'd want to be at their side, instead of oblivious in the woods.

    That was the hardest thing for me about going to Burning Man. The total lack of contact with the outside world. I've seen what can happen if you don't keep in touch. And I don't want that to happen to me.
  • I don't get it. Why do people insist on being reachable at all hours of the day? I prefer my privacy.

    Well, that's just it. You have your preferences, others have theirs. I like that my friends are able to get a hold of me when I'm out at bars, and meet me somewhere. I like being able to be contacted in event of an emergency. I like that people don't have to call several different numbers to talk to me.

    You control who has your cell number. Sure, it may leak out through friends, but that's usually ok. I'm not sure I'd want it on my business card, but if it's there, *shrug*. You can always let voicemail get it. You don't lose any privacy due to having a cell phone. You may lose some peace of mind due to it ringing...but you can turn the ringer off.

    I just reread your post. I think the main reason you don't understand why people like having cell phones, pagers, etc., is that you don't have a clear idea of what it is like to lead a lifestyle other than your own. I am simply not at home that much. If I want to see my friends other than at planned meetings, I need to be reachable.

    For me (and many others) cell phones are a godsend. For you, a curse. To each his own.
  • Can someone please post a working login/pw? Nytimes seems to be quite busy trying to track everyone. What do you guys think? Shouldn't they just give up? Why do they need to do this?!

  • I disagree. If their editorial is worth reading, why are they making it so hard to read? I'll go to the nytimes because it has *quality* articles.. But they have some cookie/login system that is pure hell on proxies (lpwa.com for one) and other things so that *you can't login*. Makes you wonder.

  • I didn't buy a pilot because I need it. I'm a geek, not an executive. I bought a pilot because it's a fantastic toy.
  • The specs sound awesome. And the price is not too high for such a brand as Sony (IMHO).

    Can't you buy it paying all the sum and get the tou home? If you can, why then you complaining about their credit policy? If you do not have money to pay up frond price, then I am afraid you can't do much with their credit policies.

    Not that I support them, I think it's stupid to buy anything in credit, and that's my perception after being manager in the credit department of one of the banks.

    http://www.investigatio.com [investigatio.com]
  • guys, you all missed the whole point.

    the Geek's gadget is a wallet full of _money_.
    or a gold corporate credit card with no limit.

    that's the GADGET all those CEO's enjoy, not some other tech toys they buy.

    Unfortunatly it looks like all of us here miss that ultimate gadget :(((

    http://www.investigatio.com [investigatio.com]
  • When I was an auditor I spent my working days at a different company every week. Even while at a company I often didn't have a desk to call my own, or one with a phone. My cellphone meant my wife or friends didn't have to call my office to find out my contact number for the day. Now that I am at the same desk a lot of the time, my cellphone is less essential, but now I travel a fair bit doing presentations, so it still has its uses. And when we go out at night I feel better knowing the babysitter can phone us if there is a problem. Plus, my ISP sends me SMS whenever I get email on my home account; the message includes the first few lines of the email, which I can read on the cellphone. So my cellphone doubles as an uptime pager. I don't carry my PalmPilot around all the time, but a paper diary doesn't have an alarm reminder and can't transfer all the phone numbers, notes and to-do lists automatically from diary to diary (unless you have one of those huge filofaxes that I can never find cheap refills for). Not to mention the docs, calcs and other apps.
  • Since I got mine a couple of years ago, I've come to depend on it, primarily as an address book and appointments. Yeah, one could just use a day timer, but the ones that fit in a pocket require you to copy stuff from month to month, and they don't go when it's time for a meeting (of course, sometimes that can be an advantage :-)).

    If you're the kind of person who is always writing stuff down on scraps of paper and then losing them, something like a Palm is valuable. If you're organized enough with just paper, then it's probably a waste of money.
  • Pardon me if I'm beating a dead horse, but can anyone tell me what exactly it is that makes Esther Dyson significant? I understand that she's Freeman Dyson's daughter, but has she done anything to merit being considered part of the Geek Elite? Or is she a scenester, clinging to the status of her dead father? (I assume he's dead, I dunno)

    All I've heard anyone ever say about her is some fancy-pants gathering that her company holds every year. That and the odd pundit published in various mainstream news articles.

    Anybody got the lowdown?

  • I've said it before and I'll say it again. ESR is the man! He kicks ass. I really enjoyed hanging out with him at LinuxWorld, although, seeing him "get jiggy wit it" was a little more than I could handle. This geek gadget article is funny and makes some good points.

    Although I have to agree with ESR, that having absolutely nothing to carry around is cool, I have enough trouble remembering my keys in the morning. On the other hand I love my alphanumeric pager with email. I like my cell fone sorta, but I love my pager. My laptop is cool too, but too heavy to carry EVERYWHERE.

    My car is a different story. I want as many useless gadgets in my car as possible. From my radar detector to my stuffed TUX hagging from the rearview, I need car gadgets!!
  • I'd ideally love to have a gerber(right now I just have a leatherman clone), but the leatherman wave is a great change to the traditional leatherman, as far as grip. I tried using both one time to make chainmail, which involves using the pliers repetitively for hours - and it absolutely KILLED the hand that was using the square0-grip kind, while the hand with the wave grip was fine.

  • I agree. All I've got is a pager, which is rarely used. If I had a cellphone, I don't think I would accept incoming calls, i would use it when I wanted to call someone else, just for convenience. Psychologically, I just find it wierd to always be carrying around devices which let people find and potentially bother you. I would probably feel much more strongly about it if I had a family. However, the next best thing is to have the technologies and just ignore them. Only thing that bothers me is when jobs require you to always wear your pager or always answer your cell phone. I hope I never have to deal with that.

    I disagree with it being foolish to wear a watch: some of us have a horrible sense of time(like me), and it's good to be able to get back from lunch on time without having to ask what time it is.

  • by r ( 13067 )
    as a proud VAIO owner, i must say - truly, they're creatures of infinite coolness. :)
  • You run Linux on your VAIO...? I've caught myself drooling after them from time to time, but wondered whether Linux would work...

    oh yes, i've a pcg-731, and it does dual-boot windows/linux without a problem! i even installed silly things like opengl libraries and allegro common lisp (i use linux side for work and windows for games...:)

    there's a page somewhere about "linux on laptops" - it has howtos for installing linux on all sorts of laptops, including a number of different vaios...
  • by r ( 13067 )
    i've 731 - got it at a very reasonable price, and just couldn't bring myself to spend $1000 more on the only-half-an-inch-thinner 505... :)

    c1 is the picturebook, right? you lucky bastard! :) but guess what - as an early adopter of new technology, you get to write device drivers for the camera... ;)

  • Bastards. All the talk made me buy one on the way home. Why is it that I'm addicted to gadgets?
  • Whenever I'm camping (now that spring is here, every weekend!) I would need a satellite phone to be found. Damn unlikely I'll ever spring for that.

    Now a 2-way radio, that is a great gadget to take camping. Gotta watch out fo them logging trucks. :-)

  • Someday, if ever I can afford one, I'd like a PdQ--the Palm Pilot/cellphone combination. That's a gadget worthy of a geek... :)
  • excellent machines. I have a PCG-731 from work and linux works great on it...the only problem was no one distribution could get both x and my eiger pcmcia network card working....
  • by OG ( 15008 )
    Most of the anti-pager/cell phone posts seem to be from people who think that people have to work for technology, when the reality is the other way around.

    Example: I was out of town for a few days and took a cell phone (actually PCS). It was much cheaper to call home using it than the hotel system or calling card.

    Pagers have their uses too. And mine has this thing called an on/off button. Some even let you set a time for it to automatically turn off.

    And wouldn't it be a shame to have a cell phone on camping trips for an emergency. People, technology is a tool. It only becomes a burden when you make a burden.
  • I have to admit, I dont think I ever want to be without email on my pager ever again!! cell phone i can live without since most everyone i need to contact has a toll-free number these days.

  • HelloOOoo...if you buy ANYTHING on credit and make the minimum payments your going to pay at LEAST close to double the original value of the item...

    Which is why you pay more than the minimum and pay it off EARLY...

  • To me, the coolest geek gadget is the old HP200LX Palmtop. It may not be as fast as newer ones, or have a color screen, but it does run DOS, letting your run TONS of software programs on it. It's also very easy to code for, there is a great collection of apps written for it, from CAD to web browsers. It's got great battery life (up to 30 hours, something WinCE battery hogs can't claim), comes with a PCMCIA slot for accessories as well as a serial port. Of course, it's got all your normal PIM utils in ROM as well as a stripped version of Quicken that you can use in conjunction with the full version. There are even 'after market' addons like a double speed crystal and RAM updates up to 64M. It's a real, real shame HP stopped making these and concentrated on WinCE like EVERYONE else (I wouldn't touch one of those if you paid me... my Mom has one and has sent it back for replacement 4 times).
  • Someone recently created:
    username: slashdot_effect
    passwd: slashdot

    I like that better than the cypherpunks... it let's them know "who we are..."
  • Okay; I've got a PalmPilot, but it's too big to carry in my hand, and it's too fragile to carry in my pocket. If I can't carry it in my pocket, I don't carry it. End of story. I don't have a pager, because having a pager implies that I have to respond when someone pages me. I don't have a cell phone for the same reason. I've got voice mail at the office, which has taken three calls since I began working here in November, two of which being my mom. I have a single phone line at home, with Call Waiting ID (and 99% of the calls I get are "UNAVAILABLE"). I've had to use the Call Waiting feature exactly twice, both times when I was talking long distance with my Mom. The absolute only thing I carry around with me that I feel naked without (barring clothes) is my Leatherman. Ol' Tim Leatherman's first tool is absolutely indispensible. I used to carry a Victorinox ("Swiss Army") pocket knife, but it didn't have a Phillips screwdriver, nor workable pliers.

    Now, if I could get a PDA that folds up to be less than 2cm by 5cm, full color LCD screen, 56k cell modem, accepts pages, cell calls, and can surf the web, I'd be all over that like white on rice. Until that device comes out, I'll look at public clocks for the time, write down appointments on my hand, and wait until I get home to check my answering machine. If I have to call someone when I'm not at home, I've got a pocket full of quarters.

    I don't even have a microwave!

    -The Cheese
  • I can see some things..

    Pagers - necessary sometimes.
    Cell Phones - Yeah, okay.
    Watch - Nah.. clocks are everywhere. :-)
    Palm Pilot - Why? What all does this thing do that is so invaluable? I mean, I know it can keep notes, do computing on the road type of thing, but how often do you ever actually use that crap? The whole time management thing is simple. Just get a memory for what the hell you are doing! And what's the point of having e-mail on your pager? Or on your belt? Is it really all that cool? I mean, I would find that irksome. For immediate contact, the other person had better page or call me. For not so immediate contact, email. They are two fundamentally different things! ARGH!

    I dunno. I hate palm held devices.. They bug the hell out of me.

  • i own the std leatherman model. i prefer it to my gerber. i want to get a SOG tool. i'd like a complete list of such gadgets so i can get one of each (and more thoroughly cheese off my wife).

    nevertheless, i've never heard of a "wave" model of leatherman. is there a leatherman web site that describes the "wave"?
  • I don't know.... But I want one! Someone please post an URL where I can buy one. Soon.
  • The only problem with that logic, as I see it, is very simple: Cellular phone battery life: 60 hours (stand-by only, much less if talking); Motorola Advisor Flex Pager battery life: 1.5 months, no matter what.

    In addition, since this is a text pager, I have some e-mail sent to it, get CNN headlines, can store all manner of texts in the notebook, it has date/time AND I can set it to absolute silence.

    Yes, I carry a cell-phone, but it's almost always off unless I'm calling out on it (no one has the number), and, 9/10 times I can leave the phone at home. It's mostly for driving and answering pages when I'm not near a landline.

    FREE TIP: For those who don't like to pay long distance, make plenty of short calls, and can stand a 15-second advert, look at Broadpoint's Freeway [broadpoint.com]. Sure, it's advertising, but whoever said you had to answer honestly?

  • Amen, brother! Preach it!

    There was a story once, I think it may have been on the new Twilight Zone (it's been a few years since I've seen it), where everyone had on them at all times at least three ways to keep in touch. Everyone had a mobile phone, a personal fax, a pager, and a couple other devices.

    One guy got committed to a looney bin for having gone insane and pouring a chocolate malt into his fax machine, so rampant and entrenched was this stuff. At the end of the show, the doc that committed him couldn't get a minute to himself to think in peace, and ended up sending his secretary out for a chocolate malt.

    I thought that was a beautiful statement about the world and the way I saw it headed back then. It's still applicable today.

    When I'm away from the phone, it's because I _want_ to be away from it. When I'm driving, I don't _want_ to talk on the phone. It's dangerous, and stupid.

    Blah, blah, blah...

  • Where's an URL for the Gerber?

  • Keep the leatherman....
    I have both Gerbers needle-nose and regular, and someone just recently got me the attachment set so I can open up the most troublesome cases etc....
    And promptly lose all the screws =^}
  • I've had my original Leatherman Tool for seven years. It even got run over by a truck once (the ludicrously steel-reinforced ones used by a good off-site media storage service), and it's still in great shape. Most of the newer offshoots have more moving parts, which doesn't make me feel like they'd take such a beating -- though I'll admit I occasionally long for locking blades....

    One day last month I left it at home and I almost melted down of insecurity by the time I finished my work-day. I feel like Less of a Man (TM) without it.

  • A buddy of mine just got a 505TX; says RedHat 5.2 loaded up on it flawlessly. I'm gettin' one any day now myself. I hope somebody smarter than me is working on USB support....

  • ...I like to think my brain is a little more powerful than a palm pilot.

    Seriously, I a agree with the last lady in the article, (sorry I'm too lame/lazy to get her name [maybe by brain isn't that powerful]), technology is funner (more fun, whatever) to think up, think about, and to BE ABLE to have, then it is generally to have. This is true to a lesser extent for computers, but CS theory was still a blast. ;)


  • Well I do have a cell phone, and pager, and email, and stuff. But honestly prefer being away. The cell phone stays in my car, unless I need it. Nobody really has my pager, unless they need it. I will ignore call waiting if I'm talking to someone I consider important. Basically I have the tech if I need it, but don't always use it.

    Personally though my favorite gadget still has to be the Cessna-152 (703DF) that I fly. Not that I own it, but boy does it have knobs, buttons, and switches.
  • What is a Leatherman Wave?
  • Freeman's still around. As for Esther, she's something of a mystery to me, too.
  • The wave is cool but I really like my Gerber
  • Okay, so I've got a gerber on me and I tend to carry my Garmin GPS around a lot too...

    I always know where I am at, the exact time, my elevation and I can tell you how far I've traveld today. That is important information and I sleep better knowing it all.

  • How about a survey or article about the gadgets that geeks who make $50K/year use? Sure, every executive has a Palm V to go along with his solid gold golf tees, but one doesn't mean much more than the other. You can tell when a piece of portable tech is >really cool by how many people who shouldn't be able to afford it somehow find a way to. Pre PalmV's would definitely make it onto this list. Richocet modems as well, where available. What other toys would you still keep in your arsenal even if your salary were cut in half?
  • You run Linux on your VAIO...? I've caught myself drooling after them from time to time, but wondered whether Linux would work...

    Too cool for words... :-)
  • by toolie ( 22684 )
    Alls I can say is that if I ever get cool enough to carry a pager or cell phone (much less both) than somebody needs to shoot me. If I am away from my computer/phones at home, its probably because I don't want to be bothered. Whats really irratating is people who take cell phones and pagers on camping trips. I don't know, maybe I'm just doing my best not to be a "sheeple."

  • by toolie ( 22684 )
    Alls I can say is that if I ever get cool enough to carry a pager or cell phone (much less both) then somebody needs to shoot me. If I am away from my computer/phones at home, its probably because I don't want to be bothered. Whats really irratating is people who take cell phones and pagers on camping trips. I don't know, maybe I'm just doing my best not to be a "sheeple."

  • by toolie ( 22684 )
    Sorry about the repost. I guess I dont know the difference between "Submit" and "Preview" yet...

  • Any self respecting Hardware Geek, will without a doupt come equipt with a Leatherman, or like brand. Most Geeks are addicted to communication, and generally can't live without atleast a pager at bare minimum. Though a cell phone is always nice to have. Many prefer the new ones with the vibrating batteries, as to avoid those embarassing moments when a call interupts a movie, or other comfortable moments of scilence.
    But seriously, what is a geek to do today when it comes to fashion. In days past, a geek would be recognized from afar by his/hers collection of gadgets and not to mention the hornrimmed glasses. But in todays times, the geek blends into society. Where such geek gadgets are common place, even among the most ungeeky of buisness. Some geeks strive toward a new style, hoping to seperate themselves among the herd of sheep. While other geeks are more than happy to assimulate, and blend into the surroundings wishing to be left alone.

  • I do not know how he is doing it, but tell all your friends in Europe. John Sculley's Nokia 6120 has worldwide roaming capabilities according to this article. This is impressive considering the 6120 is a TDMA phone and the rest of the world uses GSM (on different radio frequencies as well).

    The people mentioned in the NYT article would also have much easier lives if they would RTFM. The Nokia 61xx family is fully capable of sending and recieving email, eliminating the need for a pager. Additionally it has an address book, calendar, and games, eliminating the need for a Pilot. Just buy the vibrating battery and nobody but you knows it is ringing.
  • Here's the home page...
    (you can buy them there too.)
    http://www.photonlight.com/ [photonlight.com]

    Love the different colours. (Red for keeping your night vision intact etc.)

  • Despite being a class AA geek/nerd, whatever (yes we do have dual T-1, 30+ machines, etc, etc, in our 4 room apartment), I dont have any of these wascky things, cuz I am waiting for the Ultimate Gadget. It will be a wireless palmtop and will have:
    • High speed net access (>1 mbit)
    • IR/Radio
    • Cell phone
    • High Color screen
    • GPS
    • Voice recognition
    • Digital camera (w/ motion)
    • MP3 player with headphone jack
    • Fully intelligent self management (like different notifications for special emails/phone calls)
    • Voice recorder/playback
    • Last at least 24 hours with a removable battery
    • Drop-in docking bay to home cpu
    • Other monitoring devices, like temp, etc.
    • Communicate with other intelligent devices (like smart fridges and cars) to remind/schedule shopping, getting gas, picking up dry cleaning.
    • Little laser thing to read UPC codes
    I think this is at least a few years off...
  • ive used that for awhile now!
  • My favorite gadget is still my almost-4-year-old Casio Triple Sensor watch. Nice digital watch, digital compass, alitmeter, barometer, and thermometer all in one. It kicks ass.

    I bought a nice CDMA Sony/Qualcomm phone last year, and I use it as my primary phone now (the phone line at home stays just for modem use, until I upgrade to ADSL this summer that is!) It keeps all of my phone nubmers, and I keep my schedule in my head, so there is no need for a PalmPilot or the like. But that's hardly a gadget to me anymore, as it is my main phone now.

    It has a text-messaging feature, so I'm considering hacking together some software that will send me a message when I'm late for an appointment or something. The schedule in my head isn't 100% accurate all the time...

    The gadget I most desire right now is a replacement to the Casio Triple Sensor. As soon as a watch hits the market that is at least as small as the Triple Sensor, and has a built-in GPS, it is mine. I don't care how much it costs.

  • I have had one of these from the first day I found out they were out. The Leatherman tool, (even if its a different brand, like gerber.. had one of those, too.) is just the most handy thing I have owned. I use mine every day as I tinker on systems. Having a phillips screwdriver, regular screwdriver, and a needlenose pliers with you at all times rocks.
    The Wave is designed to be easier on your hands... and you can get to the main blades without opening the handle. The only downside to it is that its about twice as heavy as my previous leatherman. However, thats something I can live with.


  • Suprisingly enough, its at www.leatherman.com. Allthough that made me nervous the first time I followed a link there. I was worried I would end up at some hardcore BDSM site and get myself fired.

    The wave is sweet, BTW.


  • ...is the Photon Microlight. It's the size and weight of a quarter, but as bright as a flashlight and lasts forever. All solid-state, too. I use it every time I'm behind/inside my computer or stereo.
  • REI has 'em for $18. I found that out after I mail-ordered mine for $22.
  • PCG-C1 is available now. You can buy one from Sony Direct. It's cool -- a really small PC with a built-in CCD camera. But has some weird limitations. See http://www.ita.sel.sony.com/jump/c1x/.

    A company called JPD imports the latest coolest notebooks from Japan. Usually the Japanese notebooks are released in the US about 6 months later, so often you can get a preview of what's coming. See http://www.jpd.com. You'll see that Panasonic has a similar computer to the Sony PCG-C1, with a higher-resolution camera.
  • I have modes.

    Light: REX Pro + credit card + drivers license + work card key all fit into the Rex case in one pocket.

    Medium: hook the Beacon pager to my belt.

    If I can carry extra weight, I add a Nokia cell phone and Toshiba subnotebook.

    I used to use a Palm. Now I use the NEC Beacon pager. It is a FLEX pager, address book, and calendar, and synchronizes with the PC. So it is functionally a REX + pager. UI sucks, though. I'm waiting until one of those wristwatch pagers have sufficient capacity to match the Beacon.
  • It's kind of funny. I have a pager, a palm pilot, a debit card, and a camera. I don't need, or want anything else, really. The pager is useful because I'm always out and about. I only have the palm pilot because I have a horrible memory for dates and phone numbers. The debit card is great because I buy all of my geek/photography stuff on-line.

    I don't even have a car. :-) Of course, a large part of that is probably because I live downtown, and the public transit here in Portland is pretty darned good.

    Personally, I feel really guilty when I have a bunch of technology that I feel like I'm not using, so I find myself making excuses to figure out how to use it, which just wastes my time. Besides, I'd much rather spend my money traveling, taking pictures, and experiencing what LIFE has to offer. :-) Hopefully I'll cash out on an IPO in the near future, so I can travel, write, and actually do something useful with the rest of my life. :-)

  • Well here in the UK you can get dual band phones that can roam on either

    a) GSM and PCN (Like my one does)
    b) GSM and TDMA (Only from Bosh that I could find)

    But rumour has it Nokia are doing one that will roam all 3, yummy.

    It's nice (for me anyway) to have both GSM and PCN as my home network is PCN, but at my parents I can only get GSM networks. And it's fun to see 6 networks listed if you try a manual select.

    And as for gadgets, I like my cassiopeia :)
  • IF it makes you feel any better, I make $35K.yr, and have a Nokia 6160. Of course, it helps that I used to work for AT&T up until 3 months ago.

    However, I've found that now that I've gotten so used to the damn thing, I can hardly live without it.

    Still, it needs more memory, and better calendaring/scheduling functions. It's _almost_ perfect. Combine this with a PalmV and I think you've really got something.
  • Where can a guy get this Microlight? Sounds awfully handy ...

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!