Monday, August 09, 2004

My Wireless Networking Wishlist

I have had a Wi-Fi (802.11) wireless network in my home for over 3 years now. My first wireless router cost $250 and I convinced my wife it was necessary for the company I was starting back then. I bought my most recent router (Number 3) for less than $40 online. My current wireless cards (I have two) cost me $30 each and my wireless repeater cost about another $30 - so my whole home wireless set up cost me about half of the price of that first router. It seems that everyone and their brother and their sister has a wireless network (this is evident, when war-driving around both my office and home).

And with the myriad of advancements and consumer electronics with Wi-fi, I still think that there are a lot of products out there to be invented. Since I am publishing these, I hope that you'll give me a royalty if you invent any of them:

  1. Wi-Fi USB Multifunction Capabilities - An earlier pet peeve of mine was that most of the earlier routers that had print server had parallel port print servers, while you had to try really hard to find a new parallel port printer. Finally some manufacturers like D-Link and Belkin have created both routers with USB print servers as well as standalone models. But now a lot of people (myself included) have Multifunction printers. Wouldn't it be great to be able to scan without having to plug in my laptop? Or to use it as a memory card reader? It would be great if they made a device that could simply become a wi-fi USB extension cord.

  2. Wi-Fi cordless phones - Yes I know that companies like Cisco and Pulver have wi-fi SIP phones, but I am not talking about those. What I am talking about is taking a standard cordless phone but making it use Wi-Fi instead of using it's own proprietary format. This way it would reduce the amount of interference between cordless phones and Wi-Fi and, in theory help prevent your neighbors from eavesdropping on your calls.

  3. Wi-Fi music jukeboxes and DVRs - I know that these, in theory, exist already, but we need better, standalone versions. AirPort Express is cute but limited. I want something that will play and store my digital music collection, as well as video.

  4. A Wi-Fi display for my Refridgerator - I know that things like 3Com's Audrey and others were major failures, but I would love to be able to hang a 10.4" wi-fi display on my Fridge and have it display not only the family calendar, but also have it double as a TV with a wireless cable link.

Friday, August 06, 2004

What I want for my 30th Birthday

Carbon_main_prod.jpg So I will be turning 30 in a few short weeks (9/28), and I am debating what exactly I would like for my Birthday. Of course, my wife doesn't read my blog, so she won't know, but I am sure that I will be able to get her some not-so-subtle hints.

In some not-so-crystal-clear rationalization, I feel that I am at least worth around $300 for my 30th birthday ($10 a year doesn't sound too steep) and with that in mind, I will list a couple of items:

The Rio Carbon to the left is one MP3 player I would like, and it's a bargain at $250. I could also get an iPod but everyone and his sister has one (especially, it seems, here in NYC), and the Carbon will help me stand out.

Although my body has gone to pot, I still like expensive shirts. I haven't bought any from my favorite store in a long time. (I'd even settle for one at $140. The ones I have now have lasted me for about 6-7 years so far, and have only recently started to fray). I wouldn't mind some custom made shirts either.

However, as long as I get an outpouring of love and support, it doesn't really matter what the gifts are.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

What can't you put a picture on?

Although I have a photo printer and do print a lot of my own digital pics, I also use two photo services to share those pics with friends. Ocassionally, I will also buy photo gifts for friends and family. So far, I bought Photo Books with the boys pictures for Mother's day, and Photo Mugs as a presents for my Wife and my Mom. Needless to say, they were very appreciated (so much so, that my wife has asked me to make a couple of Mugs for her parents anniversary).

There are a whole myriad of products you can stick a digital picture on - the aofrementioned mugs and photobooks, t-shirts, calendars, playing cards (the photo is on the backs of the cards), puzzles, baseballs, and more. But this week two of the companies I use for these gifts each came out with some bizzare gifts:

- Snapfish - - now let's you put a picture on a postage stamp! Of course, there is a premium, a $0.37 postage stamp will cost you $1. Check out

- Sony's Imagestation- - let's you create leather bags with a picture on it. The bags run between $180-200!!!

What will they think of next? :)

What happend to having a friend call you...

According to this article on Infosync, Cingular is now offering a service that will call you in middle of a date and offer you an execuse to get out of it. A sharp contrast from the service in Japan that generates background noise so that your spouse or mom think that your in the street somewhere and not off partying.