Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Electronica

Christmas was pretty extravagant this year. I suppose that's a result of having a smaller Christmas last year because of unemployment. It was sheer bliss from an electronics point of view. Here's what we got:

Vizio 37' 1080p LCD TV
When you've had nothing but an computer monitor for several years (albeit a respectable 22" monitor), a TV seems really, really big. Strangely enough, the TV's primary function is a computer monitor. We were lucky to get this the day after Black Friday on one of those doorbuster deals where the store only carries 2-3. Thank you sparsely populated Hurricane, Utah!

As we already have a tuner card in our computer there is little benefit to buying a TV. The only reasons we wanted it was 1) bigger screen and 2) the ability to hook up a...

I got a Wii! I got a Wii! I finally got a Wii! (And yes, it is black.) So now that I had a TV I started looking around for deals on a Wii. We were actually thinking that a Wii would be a gift for Christmas 2011, but Wal-Mart had the console for $125 and I couldn't pass it up. I don't care if it's not the #1 selling console anymore, it's still the most entertaining.

Call us if you ever want to play Mario Kart, Mario Strikers Charged, Dr Mario Online Rx, or Tetris Party via Wifi Connection! Our console number is 4421 0628 5280 7464.

MP3 Player

I finally joined the bandwagon and got an MP3 player. I haven't needed one since I sold my PocketPC back in 2006, but computer restrictions at work are becoming more intensive so I need something else besides my work computer to play music. Enter the Sansa Clip+. Does the job, durable, cheap, non-flashy. Perfect.

Chumby (Alarm Clock)

So maybe you guys have heard of a Chumby before, but I was completely late to the table on this one. A Chumby is a simple internet appliance with a speaker, mic, accelerometer and a touch-screen that is surprisingly difficult to explain. It can run several different flash-based applications that you place in different 'channels' (I have channels for news, wake-up, photo frame, shopping, games, etc.). It can play FM radio. It can hook up to your Pandora account. It can play from any other internet music service or streaming radio site. It has an infinite number of alarms that you can fully customize to either wake you up or silently start a new channel or dim the lights or shut off. It is a remarkable little device.

I got it to primarily act as an alarm clock. So it wakes me up (M-F) to Pandora at 6 am. But then it automatically goes to my "Good Morning" channel which has a word-of-the-day program, the weather, quotes-of-the-day, a clock, a pregnancy countdown for TLC, and a moon chart. At 8 am I have it set as a digital photo frame that pulls images of our Picasa Web Albums. At 9 pm it switches over to my 'Shopping' channel so I don't miss any good deals. It cycles through our email accounts at 10 pm. At 10:30 it goes dark and plays a sleep timer of our local classical radio station. I'm completely enamored with this thing.

Here are two of my actual 'channels' just to give you an idea of what I mean. They are flash-based, but no guarantees that they'll work correctly on here. Consider it just for show.

"Good Morning!" Channel

My favorite app in this channel is the pregnancy countdown. When you click on the app, it gives fun little tidbits about the swimmer TLC is carrying around.

Games Channel

Why else would we have technology if not to play games???


  1. I was just discussing with my co-worker that Wii for 125$ Is that accurate? We got Wii-fit and I love it. Also, Jeopardy, which you would probably dominate. Really fun. I'm not a gamer but those are fun. Happy New Year.


  2. You read it right; the Wii cost $125. It was the weekend before Christmas at Walmart...they had Wiis at the normal $199, but you got a $75 gift card with it as well. They only had black and white Wiis, but Amazon heard about the news and decided to offer red Wiis at $125 the same day - no gift card needed.

  3. OK so I have not heard of this thing, either - and based on what you said, I believe I must have this! I can't tell you how much I have struggled with alarms over the years and how dependant I am on apps and information like these! Too bad my b-day just passed with Christmas! I'm going to look into this right now!!

    Oh, and - Dr Mario Online Rx???????? Where do I sign?

  4. Dr Mario Online Rx is on WiiWare for $10. Purchase and rejoice. It's not quite as good as Tetris Party, but still very good.