Archive for August, 2005

Roomba, Time Tags and Wolfgang Puck… What do they have in common?

What do Roomba, Time Tags and Wolfgang Puck have in common? Nothing except that two are gadgets and one is a famous chef. But wait, there’s more! Even Chef Puck has gotten in on the technology craze. But let me start with Roomba. I would love to have this small vacuum cleaner robot. However, the way my dog, Fritz, treats the vacuum that I occasionally push around my house I would fear for the life of the Roomba. I think I would come home to find only Fritz or Roomba still standing. But, it still sounds like a great gadget to me.

I came across Time Tags while perusing a technology site.Time Tags are small, wearable clocks. You can tag your collar, sleeve, etc. They don’t do anything but indicate the time but, isn’t that enough?

Now to Wolfgang Puck. You can buy Wolfgang Puck auto-heating espresso at, I assume, specialty food stores. I have not come across this item, nor have I actually looked for it, but I will check Whole Foods or some similar store in the future out of curiosity. A combination of calcium oxide powder and water heats the can of espresso to 145 degrees in six minutes. I had to mention this item because I find it interesting that science and technology were brought together to bring us a hot cup of Joe!

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Podcasts are Far-flung

I love the podcast craze! I use Apple’s iTunes to purchase and download music for my iPod and they have now added free podcasts. Podcasts are audio shows that you download to your computer, MP3 player or iPod so that you can listen at your convenience. The word ‘podcast’ is a takeoff on the word ‘broadcast.’

You can rarely go to a website without seeing a button to download a podcast. Some examples from iTunes include: Ebert and Roeper, The Al Franken Show and Radio Leo. If you go to your favorite online newspaper chances are they have podcasts available.

If you are looking for educational podcasts go to epn.org. This site focuses on K-12 subject-specific podcasts.

Everyone is getting into podcasts. Even Kraft Foods (I know you’ve had their mac and cheese sometime in your life!) lets you download a recipe collection to your iPod! If anyone tries this, please le me know how it works out.

Handheld Applications for Free

I facilitate a handheld users group for employees at my place of work. We just celebrated our second anniversary. It’s a great group of people who are interested in hearing about handheld applications. We had a meeting this morning with 11 participants. I demonstrated 3 handheld applications that I’ve recently discovered. I thought I would share those applications for those of you who are handheld enthusiasts.

The first application I shared is the SixinOne Dictionary. This is a free multilingual dictionary that contains over 6000 words in six languages. It is free so there is no pronunciation of words indicated (like the Noah Lite free dictionary – great resource but no word pronunciation). I can see this as being a very useful application for foreign language teachers and students who need the spelling of a word, etc. You can download this program from freewarepalm.com

The next application is MyPyramid FoodGuide from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You enter your age, gender and how much you exercise and you get a recommended calorie list of food groups. It has some nice features.

The third application is a database created for teachers and school administrators. It is called PDAC Classroom URL and it is a storage tool for websites. You can enter the name of the website, URL, category, user name, password, notes, and indicate if there is any fee involved. This product is also available from freewarepalm.com

Welcome to Tech Scout

Hello and welcome to my new blog. I hear that this is what the kids are up to now-a-days so I had to start one myself. I am an Information Media Consultant for an intermediate school district in Waterford, Michigan. Pretty much anyone with a library degree is using technology quite a lot. I do on the job and at home.

At work I’m on the computer a lot searching databases and websites for information. I also facilitate a handheld users group for employees. We just celebrated our second anniversary. I, occasionally, facilitate the handheld users group for media specialists and other interested school employees after school hours.

I am a Mac user at work and at home. At home I have a 14″ iBook, a 20g iPod, a 1g iPod Shuffle and wifi.

While scanning websites I often come across great bits of information on technology that I find very interesting. I want to share that information and my own experiences with technology in this blog.

Thank you again for checking in!

PS – I will soon be presenting workshops with another team member on the subjects of blogs, wikis and RSS (probably podcasts too). So, I plan to use my experiences with this blog in future presentations.


My book is now available!

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