Usually I’m not in the city on boxing day, so I don’t have much experience with finding post-Xmas deals. I did venture out this year however, and managed to snag a fairly good deal on a new mouse and keyboard at Best Buy. Listed at $199.99 CDN, I picked up the Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 5500 Revolution for just $99.
I had been using a plain old Dell USB mouse and keyboard since my last cordless Logitech mouse died about a year ago. It used two rechargeable AA batteries, but would consistently kill them with just a couple hours of use. The Dell mouse worked fine, but it’s most advanced feature was a scroll wheel. The Dell keyboard also worked well, and had some handy media controls on top, including a volume dial. Other than that however, I found it incredibly loud and the keys sometimes stuck. I knew it was time for a new mouse and keyboard, but it wasn’t a high enough priority for me to go searching.
I’m really glad I found the deal and picked up my new mouse and keyboard. The MX Revolution mouse has both a tilt scroll wheel and a thumb wheel (for more precise scrolling), back and forward buttons, and a search button. Best of all, it comes with built-in batteries and a charging stand so that I never have to change batteries. The keyboard includes the standard layout, plus media controls on the left and an integrated LCD screen on the top that can display the date and time, temperature, media information, and more. Both devices use Bluetooth.
The mouse feels very comfortable, and the soft built-in palm rest on the keyboard is a nice touch. The keys are incredibly quiet compared to my old keyboard, and feel very smooth. So far the battery life on the mouse has been great (haven’t had to charge it yet). The scroll wheel took a bit of getting used to (it turns into a hyper scroll wheel when you have a long document) but now I really like it!
I’ll admit that the LCD screen isn’t incredibly useful, but it is pretty darn cool. Based on the first week of use, I think I’m definitely going to like this mouse and keyboard.
No longer will I be the target of “old phone” jokes! Today I finally replaced my aging Motorola Timeport with a brand new Motorola V710 (yes I happen to like Moto phones). I got the Timeport back in high school, and at the time it was a top of the line phone. It has served me well over the last 6 or so years, but lately the battery life has deteriorated, and it had started making weird buzzing noises. That and I’ve replaced the antenna twice already. Reception isn’t as good as the newer phones, and let’s face it, for someone who’s supposedly so technically inclined my Timeport was bad for the image!
My phone number is the same, in case you’re wondering. Here are some of the features of my new phone:
- Bluetooth support!
- Voice activated calling
- Built-in 1.3 Megapixel digital camera with 4X digital zoom, and it captures video too
- Speakerphone, MP3 player, picture, text and video messaging, etc.
- Trimode, full color display and color outer display
I also picked up a Motorola HS820 Blueooth Headset today, and it works amazingly well with the phone. I can make and answer phone calls without ever touching the actual phone itself! It’s like geek heaven! I am also planning to pick up a USB Bluetooth adapter for my Tablet PC which should enable me to record audio using the headset (and talk on Skype) – will be an interesting podcasting application.
There are so many features on the new phone, it will take me a while to digest them. It comes with a number of different ring tones, unlike my old Timeport which had only one! However, as I said in my ring tones post, I just like simple ring tones, so that’s what I have it set to (actually vibrate and then ring). I’ve only had the phone for a few hours, but I already have some favorite features. One is the voice activated commands – very accurate. Another is the calendar which is avaiable with a single button press – so handy!
I feel like I have entered the modern age now. I can finally send and reply to text messages without loading up and navigating a clumsy browser interface!
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember toothing? Hooking up with strangers found over the Bluetooth airwaves sounded too good to be true, and yesterday, it was revealed that the whole thing was a hoax:
All we did was register a forum (which has now been taken down by the service provider, but we have a backup) and fill it with fictional posts by fictional Toothing ’sceners. A week later, we had what appeared to be a vibrant UK Toothing community all ready to roll, and I sent the link off to Gizmodo, a gadget blog. They reported it (you can see that first story here, with a credit at the end to ‘S’, my super-subtle pseudonym). Everyone else linked to / blogged / ripped off their story. Things started to roll, and we became a ludicrous, implausible meme. In turn, that brought Real People to our forum. Others created forums for their localities—Sweden, Denmark, Italy, whatever.
Wired, Reuters, the BBC, and many others (including yours truly) fell for it. Must have been fun to start such a meme though!