New Toys

As you know, my Pocket PC, aka “Sheila” went out of commission at the end of last month. Around the same time, my contract with Alltel expired. Since the service in this area isn’t all that great with Alltel, we’ve had our heart set on switching services to Verizon once our contract expired.

Conveniently, I’ve taken the opportunity to replace my phone and PDA at the same time with the Samsung SCH i720 SmartPhone. It’s been a great phone for me and has all the nice features that I’ve come to love and expect from a PDA. The nice thing about this one is that it has Bluetooth and Wifi built-in… and, contrary to several Verizon phones, they work! The great thing is that it’s a phone and PDA combined so I don’t have to carry two devices. I also like that the phone has actual buttons I can use to dial… though the wireless voice-activated headset makes it a moot point anyway.

The other thing that I had to get in order to replace Sheila was a GPS device. I decided to get an in-car mounted system this time around. As aforementioned in my previous post, I got a Magellan Roadmate 300. I’ve found that a system that’s dedicated to one thing, like GPS, tends to do it a lot better. This one finds and holds a satellite signal much faster and has a much more precise set of directions that Sheila did. It even tells me which side of the road exits and destinations are located so I know which lane I need to be in… very helpful. The nicest thing about the new device is the distance bar that shows up as I near a turn. The bar shrinks as I get closer so I can visually approximate which road I need to slow down for. This method is very helpful and a welcome feature that I wasn’t used to.

Lastly, I got a new digital camera. The previous one I had was a 3 MegaPixel, which was definitely good enough for web projects, but woefully inadequate for any print work. Recent projects have demanded a little higher-quality imagery and it’ll be nice to have the ability to deliver. Another feature is full-motion video and audio capture. It’ll hold about a half-hour of video in Quicktime format.. I might try storyboarding something out and shooting a little video short to quick-edit in Quicktime Pro. Who knows? Maybe my days of importing video into Premier real-time via firewire DV are over. The nice thing about my new Nikon Coolpix P2 is the built-in wireless card. It’s a little clunky to get it set up, but once it’s connected to the network and paired to a computer, it’s really nice to be able to wirelessly upload the photos to my computer without having to use a card/card-reader. It can batch-upload and upload per shot, depending on the job.

I wasn’t really prepared to have to go out and buy new toys… but since they’re mostly all for business and I needed to replace broken devices, this year’s write-off/Christmas list has some nice toys checked off.

Now I just have to keep my butt off my phone so I don’t crack the screen again. At least this time around, it’s insured.