The Office of Information Technology's blog.

The Technology I Bought This Summer

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by JIMMY BALL

This summer, I had to open up the wallet.   My old TV went on the blink, my PC was running in molasses, and my son wanted to go skydiving for his birthday/graduation gift.  Oh, and someone decided to implant a kidney stone where it didn’t belong, but that is a story for another day.

Fortunately, I was expecting most of the expenses, except the kidney stone, so I had the funds in place to appease my inner geek without breaking the bank.  Here is what I learned.

I don’t need a smart TV.  I wanted a LCD TV with a great picture and quality audio, but I didn’t care about those smart enhancements which allow me to talk to the remote, have it talk back, bake brownies, browse the web, and receive more advertisements.   So I chose last year’s LCD model manufactured by LG.  I purchased it from Walmart, and I’m happy.

Those blue lights on my DIRECTV DVR are annoying at night.   So I got these LightDims Black Out stickers.  They work!

My son needed something practical.  Fortunately, he survived the skydiving event and this roller coaster rollback.  I know he keeps that cell phone handy, and he may be traveling a good bit in the fall, so we bought him this solar charger.  So far, it works great!  Granted, this gift wasn’t as cool as the 2,000 Hershey’s Kisses from his aunt, but the solar charger definitely lasted longer at our house.

My PC became too slow.   You can always spend a bunch of money on a new computer, but I opted to upgrade my hard drive with one of these SSD drives.  Wow, the speed improvement is very noticeable!  While it can be a bunch of work to rebuild a computer, this upgrade was well worth the $90 expense and effort.

I saw a friend with one of these, but I didn’t buy one.  Yes folks, you can now buy wood grain covers for your smartphone, tablet, and laptop at The Toast Shop.  I was one of those kids riding in a station wagon with wood grain panels back in the 70s, so I opted out of this fad.

Last but not least, I bought a bike.  It wasn’t a tech purchase, but most techies need some vitamin D, so we’re spending some quality time on the Tanglefoot Trail between Houston and New Albany.  Come join us.   Use of the trail is free!

Have a great summer!