1 EAGLETON NOTES: Technology and Gadgets



Saturday, 2 October 2010

Technology and Gadgets

This week has been a very strange one in lots of ways - highs and lows in all sorts of ways but this is about the highs and lows of my technological week.

I set out on Monday to import all my photos to the Mac (I still haven't given it a name) and it's been quite an undertaking.  The Mac only downloads one copy of each image and so far I have nearly 46,000 images which I have taken (and so far kept) since my first digital camera in July 2000.  That's without all the images scanned from old photos etc.   The time is not so much taken up in the downloading but in the organising.  The iPhoto system is brilliant.   The first digital image I have was taken on my Kodak DC280 and was of the Koala and white teddy bear which used to sit on the back of my parents' settee (and now sit on the bed in my guest bedroom).  The next was of CJ and I taken in Delamere Forest - I still have my 'proper' camera slung round my neck.

My most important piece of gadgetry acquired this week resulted from Mark's post Geotagging way back in September 2008.  I'd logged it away all this time but matters were brought to a head a few weeks ago when I realised that I couldn't place a photo I'd taken and not labeled.  So I bought a Sony GPS-CS3KA.  Basically by coordinating the time on my camera and the GPS and keeping the GPS with me when taking photos I can insert the memory card with the photos on into the unit and it will  embed the location on the photos.  When they are downloaded onto the computer that information appears in the file's information.  It can then be used to show the location in Google Maps.  I think it is going to be one of the most useful gadgets I've got.

However even this pales into insignificance in the surprise stakes for me when I set up the wireless HP Photosmart B111 printer/copier/scanner which Apple were selling for £90 with a £70 cashback.  Although I have a plethora of printers acquired over time for various reasons the idea of getting rid of more wires from the study was too great for me to resist at the give-away price of £20.  I can always find a home for a spare printer or two.  When I set the printer up I noticed that it had its own email address.  Eh??  Why would a printer want an email address?  Answer: so that you can email it.  I have discovered (and it really works) that if I email something (including an attachment) from my phone or a computer to the printer wherever I am in the world it will print out on the printer.  That really amazed me.  It means that anyone visiting with their laptop (and plenty of my guests do bring a computer) can just print things out without having to download drivers or go through my computer on the network.  This is especially useful for visitors during the winter when I and my computer are not here anyway.

The next bit of technology has bitten the dust already!  I bought a diffusing fragrancer for the bathroom.  It was on half price offer.  It has batteries and when you go into the bathroom and stand within range it sends up a little spray of fragrance.  Unfortunately at the same time (and apparently intentionally) it makes a noise like an asthmatic cat on dope.  At 4am or 6am or, in fact at any time at all, that is calculated to shorten my life by 10 minutes.  Having lost several hours of life expectancy I decided that this was one gadget too many.  

Because I was used to the advantages of Windows Live Writer when I used  Windows and now that it's not available to me as a Mac user, I trialled and purchased Blogo.  It's not as good as WLW but it had advantages over Blogger's own editor - until, that is, the day after I purchased Blogo (or thereabouts).  Blogo decided to malfunction and wouldn't post, in fact it wouldn't do anything.  So I had to use Blogger.  I then discovered that the downloading of images which has always been one of Blogger's weak aspects in my mind had been improved so that multiple images can be used and inserted at the original (in my case 800 px size).  So that was one purchase I could have avoided.  I've not actually tried Blogo again since I re-installed it.


  1. I get curious: What is it that makes the iPhoto system brilliant?

    It's only been a year since I went from taking a few hundred pictures a year to thousands, and I'm still struggling with the question how best to organize them...

  2. Glad you found the postings interesting enough to try geotagging. If you ever try the software I wrote let me know if you find any problems -- although I'm guessing from the post that unlike mine the software that came with your gadget works properly!

  3. I don't know how you manged to make all that seem logical! But I'm afraid there's no room in my life for that sort of complexity! I've worked too hard for too long to keep life as simple as possible.

  4. What a great line: "it makes a noise like an asthmatic cat on dope."


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