Dec 012010

My friend Brenda Speidel calls me Gadget Boy because I am always looking for some neat new toy to tell my readers about. But that’s okay, like the old saying goes, “the only difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys.” With Christmas coming, there has to be a gadget out there for every guy on your shopping list.

One of the most useful upgrades I have come by in years is my HTC Incredible Android phone.  I’m not a true geek, so I can’t tell you all of the technical specifics that make the Droid so much better, but it has the Blackberry beat in every way, in my opinion. It’s more user friendly, it gets better reception, it has more built in features, internet access is much faster with it, and there are more and better apps available.

One free app I recently downloaded is ShopSavvy. This is pretty cool. When I am in a store, I hold the Droid over an item’s barcode, and the software scans it, then tells me the price of the item online and in nearby stores. It even gives me directions to local stores stocking the item, and their addresses and telephone numbers. Now I never have to worry that I paid too much, and I can show a salesman the price just down the street and ask them to meet or beat it. Way cool!

I’m finding that I use the GPS features on the Droid as often as I do our Garmin GPS, and usually it’s more accurate and up to date. I especially like the Google street view, which shows me exactly what the neighborhood looks like where I’m going.

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Speaking of GPS units, blog reader Roger Parrish told me about a new techno toy he got; a Garmin Nuvi 465T Trucker GPS. Roger said this has all of the features of a regular GPS, with the addition of specialized routing options suitable for commercial trucks. If you have ever let your regular GPS lead you onto narrow, winding residential streets hardly suitable for an Oldsmobile, you can see the value of this GPS already! Roy said it  displays warning information of upcoming road conditions to make drivers aware of sharp curves, steep grades, side winds, and other possible hazards along the route. The GPS even has an FM traffic receiver to give drivers free alerts about traffic delays, road construction, and detours around the problem area.

Now, I haven’t actually seen this one, but somebody sent me a link that every RVer who uses WiFi to get online should have; a T-shirt with a built in WiFi signal detector! You could be the first in your RV park to have your very own WiFi Detector T-Shirt!

My buddy Phil May from TechnoRV is the guy who really knows gadgets, and he’s always got something new to drool over. Check out Phil’s You Tube video of The Beast, which has to be the brightest LED flashlight I’ve ever seen! I want one of these for the motorhome, and another for the Explorer!

Of course, I can’t afford every new gadget that comes along, and even if I could, I wouldn’t have any place to carry them in my motorhome. The good news is that since I can’t try them all, you can try some of them yourself, and tell me about them!

Now if somebody would just just invent a gadget that makes mornings go away. I have to take the Explorer to Camping Connection this morning to have the base plate installed, which means getting up way before my usual time.  I tried to get Miss Terry to take it over to them, and let me sleep in. But apparently there’s no app for that! 

Thought For The Day – My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Goodies For Geeks”

  1. my last blog i compared the incredible to the droid x and was leaning towards buying it but have heard rumor that the incredible HD is going to be released soon so i want to check it out before i purchase one…

  2. Hey Nick, I have “The Beast” and it is all and more than advertised!! 100 LED’s light up the night! I need another for the car.

  3. We also have the Garmin Nuvi 425 T GPS and we love it. We feel better using it on our travels. It is nice to know just what is up ahead especially the curves and steep grades. My favorite is the fact that it also gives us the underpass warnings. This is great since we at times do not see the low warning and it can become an issue. Mike has been looking at Ipads, and other gadgets. So far he is just looking and I hope it continues to be just looking.

  4. Just a suggestion… how about a panel discussion by Droid owners with audience participation titled, “RV’ing with my Droid” or my favorite, “Why do I have Droid Envy?”. Tom loves his Droid X and I am trading my Palm Pre for a Droid (maybe today). I have to have special dispensation from my very nice Verizon Manager, Jack, as I bought the Palm only 9 months ago.

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