Monday, June 23, 2008

Would you believe...

While it may not seem I'm part of the generation that would appreciate this, I'm a big fan of Get Smart. I watched it on Nick-at-Night as a kid, and of course also liked it's animated counterpart Inspector Gadget. I was excited that they were making a movie of it, but a little worried they would mess it up, as they did to so many others. Thankfully, the new movie was great. Steve Carell didn't try to mimic too much (he used his regular voice) and played a smarter, nerdier, more competent but still bumbling Agent 86.
The plot was predictable. The villains were caricatures. But it was still a lot of fun.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Other Wrist Adornments

I've always been a fan of wrist-based technology, and a few other nerdy watches have had brief tenures on my wrist.

The Casio VDB-1000 was an amazing watch, besting most anything on the market today (and it was released in 1991!).  It had a dot-matrix face with a full touchscreen.  In addition to the typical phone number storage, it also had a calculator and a full calendar display.  Sadly, the screen on the one I got recently on eBay has lost it's sensitivity and clarity after 17 years.

The On Hand PC is, as it's name implies, a full little PC.  It has a sharp B&W screen, a joystick-like mouse, and runs small programs.  Unfortunately, it's HUGE.  It also drains batteries so fast it comes with a keychain that holds spares.

Casio's WVA-510A Waveceptor is solar powered, and sets itself with signals from the atomic clock.  Cool concept, in that in theory it never would need any maintenance, but the little digital display is hard to read, and it isn't very comfortable.   It was my first purchase from

Abacus resurrected....

My first nerdy watch was a Casio Databank DBT-70W.  I'm not sure when I first got it, but I can be seen wearing it in my 2nd grade class photo.  It held all my friends phone numbers, and while I was able to fix the worn button by shimming them with tinfoil, eventually it wore out. 
Around middle school it was replaced briefly by a calculator watch I earned while selling wrapping paper door-to-door.  I then upgraded to a Casio Databank DBC-61 (mine was black), a calculator watch that could hold 50 phone numbers.

It too, wore out and in high school was replaced by a DBC-150, with more robust buttons, more memory, and a new EL backlight.  Arguably one of the most popular nerdy watches ever, it is still sold new today, over 10 years later.  Until a few months ago when it's battery wore out (again), it was my bedside alarm clock.

In December 2004 I got a Fossil Abacus Spot Watch.  It was already being phased out, but with the ability to get news, movie times, and weather reports wirelessly, I couldn't resist.  Rumor has it that it even helped me get my current job.  It died this past winter, and I went watchless for several awkward months while searching for a suitable replacement.  I didn't find one.  If they're still selling my 10 year old calculator watch, there hasn't been much innovation.

Finally this weekend I replaced the Li-Ion battery with one from another I got on eBay, and it's back on my wrist until something better comes along...

Monday, June 2, 2008


This weekend I watched the 2 hour season finale of LOST, and was reminded of just how much I like the show. It's rare to see a true mystery, and have it feel like it's going towards a very definite conclusion, but still have no idea what it is.

J.J. Abrams knows the value of a good mystery, and with a definite end-date, the final seasons don't have to tread water like other shows.
Such as, say, X-Files, which took so many surprise turns to prolong the mystery, that by the end it just didn't make any sense.

Sadly, ABC is trying something new with the schedule, and rather than spreading new episodes out, are going to run them continuously from Jan to May, in 2009 and 2010. That's an 8 month wait between.
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