Am I a sucker for punishment?

Zero words down, Fifty Thousand to go. November’s going to be… interesting.

Do your portable gadgets have names?

That’s the subject of today’s Hydrapinion column. I can’t be the only one with this particular quirk — can I?

Do your portable gadgets have names? “I’ve always maintained that if I had kids I wanted to be really cruel to, I’d call them Crispin, Tarquin and Maude, respectively.”

Is Windows Phone 7 Too Little, Too Late?

I love open-ended questions, and that’s one I’ve posed over at Geekspeak today:

Geekspeak: Is Windows Phone 7 Too Little, Too Late? “Windows Mobile was for far too long a lumbering dinosaur with a painful interface that tried way too hard to replicate the Windows experience on a tiny mobile screen, and badly at that…”

Meanwhile, for those folks who think of me as “that reviews guy” (a literal quote from sources who will remain unnamed… for now), I’ve reviewed Clickfree’s Wireless Backup over at

Clickfree Wireless 500GB: “Clickfree’s Wireless backup solution is simple to implement, but it isn’t fast and it doesn’t seem to like Macs all that much.”

Is It Benchmarking If You Hit The Product With A Cricket Bat?

I hope so. Today’s fare is at, where I’ve given Dell’s ultra-rugged Tablet PC a solid going-over.

Dell Latitude XT2 XFR: “We suspect the R in the XFR stands for rugged, and we’ve got sneaking suspicions about what the F stands for, but can’t mention that word in polite company…”

Slick printers and sleek notebooks

Another day, another raft of Apple announcements. Of course I was going to write something on them, although it’s a little different from my usual all-in-grab-bag analysis of everything announced. Instead, I’ve posed a question over at PC Authority:

If you had $1000 to spend on an Apple product, which one should you buy? “We’ve broken down each Apple model by their good and bad points, including the Air, Macbook, Mac Mini, iPad and iPhone.”

Meanwhile, over at, a review of one of the best looking printers I’ve ever seen. Bearing in mind how functionally ugly most printers are, that’s quite an achievement.

HP Envy 100: “Other printers should be envious of the Envy 100’s good printing looks, but they might smirk at its ordinary print speeds.”

And before it slips past me, yesterday also saw my Hydrapinion Carry column take a long hard look at Nokia’s camera-centric smartphone strategy:

Just Shoot Me? “Attending the launch of Nokia’s latest smartphone the N8, yesterday, I was battered over the head with the same repeated message…”

Mobile Apps, Mobile Broadband And A Distinctly Non-Mobile Laptop

An unusual mix of articles today… well, OK, one of them was actually published late last week, and I omitted it then because it skipped my attention. Frankly, a laptop that big and glowing should never skip anyone’s attention. From comes the monster… in 3D!

Toshiba Satellite A660/07R “Toshiba’s 3D-capable laptop works exceptionally well as a desktop replacement, especially for gamers.”

Then at Geekspeak, ponderings on the pricing and speeds of mobile broadband

Could you survive on mobile broadband? “You couldn’t even fill the old axiom about having two out of good, fast and cheap with mobile broadband. All too frequently, it was poor, slow and expensive, and you just had to live with that, because it was theoretically mobile.”

Then finally at MacTheMag, musing on the pricing of mobile applications

The value of an App: “Last week, I had a meeting with my accountant. Perhaps you’re different, but I don’t particularly enjoy meeting my accountant. Not that he isn’t a nice man, or anything like that. For all I know, he spends his spare time helping old ladies cross the road and rescuing lost kittens from trees.”

If there’s one thing that I could never confess, It’s that I can’t dance a single step.

Except I guess I just did. Back to using song lyrics as subject lines, although that’s because it’s a song lyric that’s particularly fitting today. I don’t so much have two left feet as an odd assortment of left-over feet from the design table, back when feet were still in the planning stages. I do have a certain quantity of enthusiasm that sometimes makes up for that to an extent, but it’s still largely woeful.

Which was why I called in a few pinch hitters, including my lovely wife, to help me with the following review at

My Fitness Coach: Dance Workout: “My Fitness Coach delivers a strong workout package — as long as you can dance.”

Too much Coffee: Instant And Caffeinated Penguins

Monday kicks off with a game review at

Club Penguin Game Day! “…the truly bizarre sight of penguins hefting massive sacks of coffee on their heads towards a finish line. We didn’t even know penguins liked coffee. How on earth do they roast the beans?”

and musings at Geekspeak on the filtering implications of Google’s Instant search facility:

Google’s Instant Search Play “Google’s filtering the results you may see, so sometimes, rather like instant coffee, the “instant” option might not be exactly to your taste.”

Every writer needs a Thesaurus from time to time

To finish out the week, a pair of reviews at Firstly, a game review that had me reaching for the thesaurus rather quickly:

The Last Airbender: “As with any good twist, you don’t want to play your hand too early. A twist given away right at the start isn’t a twist, it’s just a plot point.
So instead, let’s head off to Thesaurus corner…”

and then yet-another-Tablet goes under the review hammer. Not literally. Products don’t tend to like hammers, unless they’re nails, and I don’t review those.

Hanvon BC10: “Hanvon’s Windows 7 tablet has some interesting features, but sub-standard battery life and applications that don’t take advantage of touch detract significantly.”

A Spot That Is Hot? This Spot Is Not Hot.

Ooh, I’ve come over all Seussian.

While I recover with a nice plate of Green Eggs & Ham, why not read my review of Vivid Wireless’ ViViFi Wi-Fi Hotspot at

ViViFi Wi-Fi hotspot: “The technology behind the ViViFi is quite interesting, but the end results in terms of actual broadband speed leave a lot to be desired. Vividwireless is going to have to do a lot better than this to compete in the Australian mobile broadband space.”