NOTICE: People, moments and passions are much more valuable than things. I know you’ve all been waiting on it - the thing that makes me the preacher most hated by preacher’s wife’s: Dale’s Annual Christmas Gift List. I’m admittedly an “early adopter” and I like gadgets. This might be a link to forward to your spouse :).
- Let’s lead off with some reader/tablet news: The launch of the Kindle Fire has been huge. With a price tag of $199 and the machine that is Amazon behind it on the day of the launch it immediately moved into second place as the most sold tablet (behind, of course the iPad). I could give you a good 1000 word review but for now let me say - pass! It has a LOT going for it, price, size, screen quality, price but it is still a generation or two from being ready for prime time. It’s got several “little things” that will, no doubt, be tweaked, BUT the huge thing is that the Kindle/Amazon/Andriod app store is AWFUL! I looked for my ten favorite iPad/iPhone apps and found two (right 2) comparable ones that would work on the Fire. So, for a first gen device, well done Amazon but hold off on this one. If you are looking for a table that is NOT the iPad plop down an extra $100 (over the Fire) and get the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Of course, the iPad3 is on my list - but it won’t come out till Q1 of next year :(.
- Kindle: What you don’t have a Kindle? Why not? Cause you have the Kindle app? Not good enough. Click don’t walk (off take on “run don’t walk”) to Amazon and buy the $79 Kindle today. At $79 you will save that in no time in cheaper books. Yes, the words are “pretty” on the Kindle Reader. Sorry, I don’t know a better way to say it. I’ve not demo’ed the Kindle Touch yet. But at this price - wow. I love the Kindle because of the size, the convenience, the price and that it is a single purpose, no distractions device.
- Want a new phone - I’ve looked at a lot of them but I haven’t found anything more “everything” than the iPhone. I’d probably get the 3GS for FREE if I didn’t have an iPhone. I personally do not think the 4 or 4S either made significant enough advances to warrant going higher when the 3 is Free! I’m holding out hope for the 5 :). You can get a Droid or some other knockoff but why?
- If you have a 4 or 4S you will want the CaseMate: The CaseMate is both iPhone cover and “wallet” without adding bulk to your phone. It is pretty awesome if you ask me. I stopped carrying a traditional wallet probably 15 years ago and this solves the problem of what to do other than having things loose in your pocket. Check it out: http://www.case-mate.com/iPhone-4-4S-Cases/Case-Mate-iPhone-4-4S-ID-Credit-Card-Cases.asp or here - http://verified.codes/Case-
- Got a few bucks to spend? Looking for the one big item. I’ve now owned three MacBook Airs and it is BY FAR the best computer I’ve ever owned. I’d get the 11 inch Air for $999 - you won’t be disappointed. First off it answers the question of “why” to own a laptop computer. That question is portability - that’s why you buy a laptop and this one travels well and is remarkably durable. At first I thought it was just me but it is taking the market. In July Apple announced that the Air was outselling the MacBook and the Pro. I love everything about the Air.
- I’m a “ear bud” guy. I spend a LOT of time on the phone and when I’m not on the phone odds are good I’ll be listening to a podcast (or recording one - check out TheEquipNetwork.com if you never have). I don’t like having to hold a phone to my ear for at least three reasons (cancer-maybe/maybe not-I don’t like the risk, I like to have free hands while talking, I often listen while on a treadmill. BONUS reason: I don’t like looking like a cyborg :)). So looking for both durable as well as quality sound has been a four year quest for me. Welcome Dr. Dre Beats Pro In Ear Tour Buds. They cost a heap but the quality is excellent and they have a lifetime replacement guarantee. I’ve tested them on this and they just handed me a new pair no questions asked. Nice.
- How about The PlugBug: This is a Mac accessory. The PlugBug is a charger but it works with both any MacBook (Air or Pro) and any USB device (like an iPhone or iPad) at the same time! It's a great, smart device at $35.
- The WowWee: I’ve liked the Pico Projectors since I first saw one in development nearly 10 years ago. The ongoing problem is compatibility and lumens. The newly released WowWee appears to have taken a huge step forward: http://www.amazon.com/Cinemin-Swivel-Multimedia-Pico-Projector/dp/B002AKKF12
- Fantastical: This one is just an app - but it makes the list. I’m betting it will come out for Windows soon. It is a calendar app you can put pretty much anything into and it will figure out what you mean and add it to your calendar. Type in “lunch with Andy at noon on the 29th at McDougals” and it will put it on your calendar as an appointment - correctly. Or just put “lunch, Tuesday, with Andy” and it’ll get it right. Or you can copy and paste from an email or note. It cost $20 but is worth every penny to me. It’s amazing. Check it out. CAN I mention a free app that you need - BlueLetterBible.org - wow, just wow!
- OK, here’s a few little odds and ends that you might check out:
- A trip to the Bible Lands: For $3995 you can spend 10 days with Dan Chambers and me in the Bible Lands. It isn’t going to be a huge group and it could be the trip of a lifetime. Email me for more on that (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- If you don’t already get Hope & Expectation the ezing offered the TheJenkinsInstitute let me encourage you to. We are still in the “free” stage but let me go ahead and encourage you to subscribe. It is also available on the Kindle for .99. http://thejenkinsinstitute.com/journal/
- How about an evening with Nick Sabin? Here we are 24 hours from the Iron Bowl. Everyone said I was just a “homer” when I said the best thing that could have happened was for my Tide to lose to LSU. If the Tide beats Auburn (a taller order than the national pundits seem to be able to grasp) they wheel right into the BCS NC game without even having to play the SEC Championship game (that is unless Ark beats LSU). But enough about that - there is a chance that something might materialize along the lines of a rather small group supper with the Coach. The cost would be NOT CHEAP but if you have interest in knowing more I’ll add you to a list and let you know more when the news breaks. So email me on that.
11. BONUS: Square at square.com - you may not have a use for it but if you do you'll love it.
So, what gizmo, gadget, tool have you found helpful? I know a pencil and notepad - but what else?