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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dude I Want That! The Strangest, Weirdest and Coolest Stuff for the Geek You Love.

Generalizing is a dangerous act- it presupposes common traits among vastly different people and doesn't provide for personality differences, wants or needs.

But, in the geek world, there are a few assumptions one can make in relative safety when speaking about the material wants of that geek-centric world:
  • A state of the art computer or tablet
  • A cool smartphone
  • super-big HD TV
  • gadgets galore
It's the last bullet point on this list that raises the topic of today's post. As a rule, geeks love non-mainstream gadgets. Things that go ping, beep or flash laser lights. Often associated with geek culture icons like Star Wars, Star Trek or comic books, uber-geek nirvana is often strewn with little machines whose intended purpose is not immediately clear. 

The shopping site Dude!!! I Want That! delivers to geeks in one place what they would otherwise spend hours looking for, have no idea where to find it (whatever "it" may be) or had no idea it existed in the first place. 

Want a hover bike? Sure.
Lollipops in the shape of a Star Wars Deathstar? Yup. 
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit? Right over here...

Presidential Monster Action Figures? They got 'em.
The items range from the mildly interesting to the downright bizarre. It's obvious the audience for this website is overwhelmingly male as many of the items appeal to the prurient and salacious interests of the predominantly male geek culture. 
This is a "Black Cat" costume. Don't know who that is?
You obviously don't read comic books!
Not to worry, most of the items are just plain cool to look at. Many items are reasonably priced for what they are and some are waaaay expensive as they are one-offs or super luxurious. 

Think of this site as for geeks. Heck, it's just fun to browse through the offerings and imagine what it would be like to have a jet-powered Batmobile in your driveway. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, the UPS guy is here with my Zombie Head Bowling Ball.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An Alternative to the iPod Touch- the Samsung Galaxy Media Player Review

I check my reader stats from time to time and what strikes me as one of the most interesting factoids is that several of my older blog posts always seem to be in the top five for number of hits per month. Time after time, the articles that start with the phrase "An Alternative to..." always seem to be of consistent interest to people seeking out something else, something past the mainstream other don't consider.

If you read the title of today's post, you'll see that I'm no fool (usually) and today's alternative product is a legitimate contender for the title of "iPod alternative". The Samsung Galaxy 4.0 Media Player. It looks just like a standard Samsung smart phone without the phone part and that's pretty much what it is. The Media Player sports a 4" screen, dual cameras and even GPS(!) as well as the Android operating system (but only runs Gingerbread, a three year old OS).
The Samsung Galaxy Media Player

However, the best part is the price. Ipod Touch's can easily run north of  $250 for the 32G model while the Samsung starts at $150 (street price) and can be expanded to as much as 64 gigs by adding a 32 gig micro SD card to the 32 gig version.

So, how does it work? Based on the thousands of reviews posted online, it seems others agree that the player is an ideal "other choice" for those who have had it with the bugs and self-imposed limitations of iTunes. The reviews state the player is easy to use- especially with Google Music- and others also report using the player a type of poor-man's cell phone when paired with Skype (free calling!). There's is also the 100,000+ apps in the Google Play store with games, video players and other applications available to anyone with an Android OS system.

The pros are:

- Decent battery life
- A micro SD slot to expand memory up to 32G
- dual cameras
- uses Flash to play videos
- 100,000+ apps
- good external speakers
- Also available in 5" and 5.8" sizes
- Price! Less than $150 online.


- Older Android issue OS
- far fewer accessories
- screen not as sharp as iPod (ok, but not great)
- Bland styling
- Plastic construction
- Managing MP3 files not as intuitive as iPod

But nothing says as much as the opinions of others and hundreds of those regarding the Samsung Media Player can be found at by clicking here and at by clicking here.

If my stats are telling me anything, they say consumers are starting to seek out choices beyond the mainstream that deliver just as much satisfaction as the most popular one and if Samsung can update the player with the latest software- at least the Jellybean OS- then Apple better start working overtime with an iPod Touch replacement.