Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Gadgets - Adidas 1

Ok, I am no runner at all and I do not exercise that much either. But I love gadgets and technology so I HAD to buy one of these. The main problem now is to find one of these shoes here in Ottawa. For some reason Adidas decided to ship only a couple hundred pairs to Canada and worse than that, around twenty something to Ottawa.
After looking for these shoes like crazy I was almost giving up. No one had them in Ottawa. Then I remembered seeing something on a small sign on Bank Street and decided to go there to look around. Voilá, a small store there had them in stock (only a dozen I think) and they told me only two stores in Ottawa were carrying them.
Until that day they had sold not even a single pair, probably giving the price tag on the shoes: CDN$ 404.00, taxes included.
But I had to get one so I took the plunge and bought one. So far, great shoes! They look cool and the fact it has a CPU and batteries on it make them even cooler. :-)
I am not 100% sure how the thing works but you can see for yourself on the Adidas 1 website. Just look for Adidas 1 on Google.
I like them a lot and the automatic cushioning (that according to Adidas is calculated on the fly, real time by the small microprocessor on the shoes, making 5,000,000 calculations per second). I feel like running with a 286 on my feet. :-)
Only time will tell how reliable/robust this thing is and I hope my wife will not wash them the way she does with my other shoes.

Gadgets - PSP

Well as most of you are aware of, I am sort of a gadget freak. So when Sony announced they would be releasing the Playstation Portable here in North America on March, 24th, 2005, I decided to buy one. I did not pre-order it at all (as I did with the XBox years ago) and simply walked in at Toys "R" Us and there they were. No problem at all finding one and getting some games.
Well so far this think is really amazing. I got the promotional pack that comes with the Spiderman 2 movie in UMD format, a memory stick and a bunch of other stuff. And Need for Speed Underground Rivals.
Great little device. The games are great (so far I have five) and the picture is simply amazing. Movies look very good on the 16:9 screen. And it plays MP3s, does slideshows with your pictures (in case you have a camera that uses the Sony Memory Stick Duo media) and can even play MPEG-4 videos. Really impressive.
Battery life for me is around 6 hours but I do not use the built-in wireless (b not g) at all.
After that I got a Sony DSC-T1 camera (very small 5MP with a HUGE LCD screen in the back) and as it uses the same media it is very cool to simply take the stick out of the camera, insert it on the PSP and see all the pictures there. Way too geek. :-)
If you have nothing to do with CDN$ 400.00 get a PSP. You will not regret.

Mac Mini - A couple weeks later...

Ok, when Apple released it I thought the Mini would be perfect to replace my wife's PC (as posted below) and I got one for her with all the nice goodies. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (the mouse I got from US and is the Mac Mouse BT, apple-like design - in other words beautiful), 512MB RAM, OS X. Pretty cool.
So I had the simple task to move all her emails (Outlook Express 6) to the Mac with all her contacts... Plus, make it work on my Windows 2003 Active Directory, getting authentication from the domain controllers, mapping all network (windows) drives AND being able to print to all WINDOWS printers shared on the network. Sounds easy, doesn't it?
Well after some weeks pulling my hair out, I got all working but I must say this is NO easy task. No way the kind of user Apple is targetting would be able to get all this working. No freaking way. Of course the users they are after would NEVER have a network like mine AT HOME. So I am cool with that. I know we are different. :-)
After these couple weeks I must say she is quite happy with the new box. Way smaller, completely quiet and with no wires! That is cool. And she can do everything she could before and I do not need to worry about Antivirus or Spyware removal tools. But I must say for users like me, that rely completely on Microsoft tools (example my Smartphone, Visual Studio etc) there is no way to move to OS X. And XP, when used by someone that knows what an OS and a computer mean, is rock solid, as solid as OS X in my opinion. :-)
For my wife's Mini the next step is to upgrade it to Tiger (OS 10.4) and see if I can break something... ;-)