Craigslist Tech

The Sony Data Discman

Mrs. engineerd™ has a Kindle. She loves it. No more carrying books around. If she finishes a book she can get another one. However, it’s not a new concept. In 1992, Sony tried to introduce an e-reader to the world. The Sony Data Discman could search encyclopedias, allow the user to read a […]

Craigslist Tech

Kodak DCS 100: The First

Kodak DCS100

Prior to 1990, photography was still stuck with basically the same technology that had been developed (get it?) in the early 1900s. Most of the effort in the photography world had gone into increasing the range and options for film. Because of this, photography could be a very costly and time consuming hobby. Then, in 1990, two camera’s arrived which would change everything. One was the Dycam Model 1, officially the first digital camera available to the public. The Kodak DCS digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera was the second.

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Communications, Free Range Technology

The $30 Cell Phone: Impressively Modest

The Rovan Q2/XP Moon

I recently spent a week using an ultra-cheap Chinese mobile phone I bought off eBay. I have an iPhone 4 that I normally use, and it’s truly a marvel of functionality and interface design. But unfortunately, my longtime cellular service provider is Verizon, whose phones utilize only CDMA network access. That’s a bit of meaningless technobabble if you’re in the US, but the CDMA protocol is nonexistent in Europe, which uses GSM mobile networks exclusively. So if you go overseas, a Verizon (or Sprint or Alltel) phone becomes a very handy paperweight. I spent last week in England. My options for mobile telephony on my trip were to rent a “tourist phone” for a week in the UK, rent a world phone from Verizon prior to my departure, or buy the cheapest unlocked GSM phone I could find. I went with that last option.

My iPhone supposedly cost me $149, but that was subsidized by a lucrative 2-year contract that absorbed much of the phone’s cost. The outright purchase of an unlocked 32GB iPhone 4 will land on the north side of $600. Just to calibrate, I bought the Rovan Q2 for one-twentieth of that cost. I wondered, would it have 1/20th the functionality? Would it drop calls, freeze up, or simply be DOA? It turns out I was pleasantly surprised how much I got for my money. Continue reading The $30 Cell Phone: Impressively Modest


Startup: Optimistic Commercialism

Not actually plated in platinum, despite what the price may lead you to think.

Over on Hooniverse, we’ve damn near raised trolling eBay Motors to an art form. While partaking of this particular hobby this evening, I thought to expand my purview a bit, and discovered that trolling the electronics section can be […]