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I’ve been getting lots of goodies lately, and I thought I’d break the mold of my blog and provide some product reviews. (Before the conspiracy and conflict-of-interest folks ask, I don’t have a monetary interest in any of these companies.)

1. Yojimbo. This software enables you to create a free-form database of stuff. For examples, order confirmations, passwords–all the crap that you never know how or where to file and therefore where to find a few months later. Old-time Mac users may recall Quickdex–Yojimbo is similar. Now, I put any info on my computer that I’ll need “someday” into Yojimbo. $39.

2. Nikon D200. What a camera. The waiting list was months long until someone helped me at B & H Photo. The wait is worth it. I used to have a Digital EOS–the D200 just “feels” more solid. It’s like the difference you hear when you close the door of a Porsche versus a Corvette. (I’ll do a car review when I can convince a car company to loan me one! :-) )

A great review pitting the D200 against the Canon 5D is here:

3. Traffic Gauge. This is a little gizmo that updates traffic on the major freeways in fifteen or so cities. The one I got covers 900 square miles in Silicon Valley. Now, before I start going somewhere, I check my Traffic Gauge although I am tempted to go to the location that looks blocked in order to test the product. :-) $79.99 plus $6.99/month

4. Cingular 8125 cell phone. Cool phone: slide-out keyboard plus GPRS and WiFi support. Runs Windows; you know how I feel about Windows as a computer operating system, but it’s a lot better than most phone operating systems. (Imagine if Apple ever made phone.) Two bummers: GPRS doesn’t cut it compared to EVDO, and Cingular doesn’t offer insurance for this model.

For one day, I had a Verizon XV6700 which has EVDO and WiFi and insurance. However, Verizon’s coverage didn’t work at my office, and if you’re on EVDO or WiFi, the phone can’t send or receive calls, so I returned it. “Can you hear me?” indeed.

And here’s a humorous story: ActiveSync works very well with the 8125. However, this would mean maintaining my Tiny Vaio–which is too much trouble. So, I ordered a MacBook so I could dual boot in Windows and Mac. How’s that for irony?

Ordering a MacBook has created a chain of other expenses including buying additional power supplies (since that changed), and now my PCMCIA EVDO card won’t work. Oh, yeah, and my Empower adapter for use of the power outlet on United Airlines doesn’t have a connector for the new magnetic power supply thing. Do you think Steve Jobs has these problems?

5. Eskyguide. I travel a lot, so I’m always looking up flights. The travel sites that sell tickets don’t work for me because I need to know all the flights, not all the flights that the site is selling. I have a OAG Flightplanner membership, but an elementary school project team must have designed the site. And it’s being improved at the same rate as Directv’s software–if you know what I mean. I found a better site for my purpose and perhaps it will help you too:

I wish that when you copy and paste the results (as I do to put it in my calendar and to tell people what flights I’ll be on), it would yield a nicer result that this junk:

9:00am Depart San Francisco CA US (SFO)
Arrive Honolulu HI US (HNL) 11:31am United Airlines
5h31m Meal Codes: F 73

The problem is that it’s hard to know that “73” is the flight number, so I have to cut junk away.

6. iClock. A massive improvement over the clock that comes with a Macintosh. It’s great because it shows the time in multiple cities. It also shows day, date, and time in the menu bar.

7. Hard Facts: Dangerous Half Truths and Total Nonsense. A most interesting book. It says that you shouldn’t believe the bull shiitake of experts and gurus without solid, scientific evidence. This impugns my writing, speaking, and blogging, so I have mixed feelings about telling you to read it. :-)
2006Sp Feature Pfeffer Sutton
This is a short article about the topic by the authors of the book to give you a taste of what to expect. (Click on the picture to download)

As Len Posen pointed out in a comment, you can also listen to Moira Gunn interview Bob Sutton, the co-author, at:

Written at: Atherton, California

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