Thursday, October 11, 2007

Vacation Tech Observations

I’m back into the swing of things, and thought I’d write a quick entry about my “tech” observations while away on vacation in sunny Florida.

1) Being without Internet connectivity for two weeks straight really leads to a serious form of withdrawal: I really think that “Internet addiction” will grow as a real issue with the younger generation, and may even find its way into the psychological books! “Hi, my name is Christine, and I’m addicted to e-mail…” Anyway, I made it through without sneaking into a Starbucks for some WiFi access, so at least I know my own issue hasn’t escalated to a point where I should really worry.

2) It appears that camcorders have taken over as the vacation accessory of choice for families and couples. I noticed people capturing video just as much as they did snapshots while on the streets and beach. Some took panning shots of the street, architecture, and restaurant patios as they strolled by; while others shot little videos of themselves on the beach having fun. It was promising to see in a real world scenario that people aren’t just limiting their memories to static images, and are actively seeing value in recording their own video diaries.

3) When bringing a point-and-shoot digital camera on vacation, I would highly recommend a waterproof (not water-resistant) model. I brought along the new Olympus 790sw, which is fully waterproof up to 10 feet (as well as shock-proof up to 5 feet and freezeproof up to -10-degrees Celcius), and absolutely loved using it. Aside from being able to take it into the water, I was relieved to finally have a camera I could snap shots with on the beach without worrying that sand or water droplets would damage its innards. Of course this isn't the only feature you should look for in a digicam, but it certainly adds value.

4) Having been in Miami, arguably a very trendy city, I wasn’t surprised to spot a few people with those nifty Lifepop speaker bags I mentioned way back when. I went the personal listening route via my portable audio player (Sansa e270) and some earbuds (I wasn’t going to risk damaging my Bose QuietComfort 3’s on the beach!); while my partner enjoyed his iPod Video, protected from the sand by a leather case (Roots).

5) BlackBerries are great devices, especially for vacation time. My partner just started using one, and loved being able to quickly check e-mails in the a.m., respond to anything urgent, than leave the device at home while we went about our day. Although many argue that such devices make the work-life balance that much more difficult to accommodate, there is definitely a positive side that spells c-o-n-v-e-n-i-e-n-c-e, and not intrusion.

Stay tuned for more entries.

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