I skipped February in its entirety, but almost half of March managed to slip by before I was able to pull off another Geek Dinner. With
20 RSVPS about 15 people in attendance, we again headed out to Buca di Beppo – a nice choice that is convenient for both South Bay and SF residents.
This month’s participants (following around the table from L-R):
- Seth Kenvin – EIR at Venrock Associates
- Doug Hagan – Netgear Marketing Guy, and more importantly, now a father of two!
- Larry Chiang – Professional Multitasker
- Mehrshad Mansouri – Person of ill-refute
- Alan Peterson – Podcaster-for-hire (seriously, this man has an amazing voice)
- Melanie Westlake – Has more phones than you do (probably because she works for Yahoo! Mobile)
- Heidi Pollock – Mobile Web Guru (recently unemployed, so recruiters take note!)
- Cindy Wang – from her friend Melanie: “she makes cute mobile web apps. also, she is awesome”
- Andrew Kippen – Carries “The Hammer” (when he’s not introducing French tech companies to Silicon Valley for the French Trade Commission)
- Harry McCracken – Knows more about PCs than, well, most everyone else (also Editor-in-Chief for PC World)
- Jeremy Toeman – About to engage in new career as “professional twitter user”
- Daniel Riveong – Just *wishes* he can carry The Hammer, instead is merely a Social Media Expert
- Jason Vagner – Recently employed! Huzzah!
- Dave Mathews – Backward Thinker
- Noah Kagan – Trying to find the appropriate floor to sleep on (also recently organized the Community Next event)
Great group with great conversations all around. One topic we floated through started as “how many gadgets is too many to carry” and ended up being something more like “so what gadget do you really want to carry?” This originated as follows – if you can think back 10 years ago (try, seriously), the most gadgets we carried around regularly was a cell phone (and that’s only if you were way ahead of the curve). By 2000 it probably included a PDA as well. By 2002, throw either an MP3 player or digital camera (or both) into the bag. It seems pretty clear that people aren’t truly pushing back on carrying more than 2 digital gizmos around these days. The thing I wonder about is when is enough enough?
I also gave (another) anti-Twitter-hype rant, which then managed to include an anti-Second Life-hype rant, all at the expense of poor Heidi, who had the backbone to defend her postion and the character to not get all pissed at me for debating to the nth degree. But since I won’t use the T-word more than once per post, that was it, and it’s time to move along! Also (pictured to the right), Heidi and Larry bonded over having the same phones
as 17-year-old girls.
We had another round of “pass around the gadgets” in which I showed off:
- The latest Seagate FreeAgent Go portable hard drive (full review coming soon – but quick verdict is – very convenient, easy to use, and stylish). Group consensus: YAY.
- An AC-DC power converter from TeleAdapt (a division of APC) that works on airplanes AND cars and provides a standard (US) outlet to charge most devices. Beats carrying “tips” around. Group consensus: YAY.
- The Netgear DECT Skype phone which allows one handset to work with both POTS and Skype services. Group consensus: YAY.
- Back for a second time, and thanks to Mehrshad now with one extra feature, my favorite Quik-Pod! Group consensus: YAY.
Also, Dave Mathews showed us a Divx-enabled watch he brought back from Asia. Not bad, although 15fps video still isn’t all that watchable… Hahahah. Oh, sorry. Yes, I know. Yes, terrible. Ok, ok, I won’t do it again.
By the way, for those wondering about the original topic on how many gadgets and ideal gadgets? A common theme emerged: can someone, anyone, just make a basic cell phone that…
- has decent reception across the US
- has good battery life
- doesn’t take photos, play games, show maps, stream TV, or anything else
- doesn’t look like it came free in a Cracker Jack box
- isn’t a Razr
I’d buy one. I’m actually in the market for a new phone right now, and I realized how little I do want/need from the phone. I’ll take anything that meets the above description. Anyone got a suggestion?
Last up, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m trying to rid a lot of cables from my apartment. I brought a box full of them to the Geek Dinner to see if anyone wanted any. There were a few takers here and there, but truth be told, it was as much a purging exercise as anything else. But when Harry told me I made his day by supplying him with a new set of RCA cables, I was thrilled!
As always, email or comment if you’d like to get on the list for the next one…
Great to see you’ve discovered the TeleAdapt Air Power adapter and like it so much. It’s been a best-seller, and the new 90w version is even smaller and copes with higher-powered laptops too.
One minor correction….we’re not ‘a division of APC’. We source the device from APC but it’s branded and packaged just for us.
Meanwhile, check out our US webshop http://www.shop.teleadapt.com for ConferenceHubs and other connectivity devices for your home or office. The Pull-Through Pro is another simple but effective device to keep that pesky ethernet cable under control!
That Netgear dual-mode phone can be used with Vonage in lieu of POTS. Had no problems using it that way here. 🙂
Great event J. Thanks for organizing it and driving me to my friend’s place;)