These are a few of my favorite things: Number 5

I have a lot of gadgets.

Some would say, perhaps, that I have too many gadgets. I don’t listen to those people. I have just enough gadgets, until I get the next gadget, which I will certainly need, only I didn’t know I needed it until just now when I got it.

Got it?

Still, there is a hierarchy for me. My Bluetooth headphones generally stay in a drawer. There’s a netbook in that same drawer because I found a netbook I like better. (And both were bargains, by the way.) My GPS doesn't make many trips with me.

But there are a few gadgets that I would be reluctant to live without. Either they are so useful, or so much fun, or both, that I do not care to contemplate being without them.

So I’m going to list my five favorites, starting today.

Number 5: Fujitsu Stylistic ST4120.

I’ve had three or four Fujitsu tablet PCs and they’ve all been good reliable machines. (I have another that’s a convertible: the screen rotates and lies flat so it will function as a tablet, but rotate it back and it’s a conventional laptop.)

I use this Stylistic as a computer from time to time – I like using the pen function to jot notes or plan out schedules and so forth, and it surfs the Web just fine. But it’s an older machine – it has a Pentium III chip in it. I’ve maxed out the RAM and replaced the original hard drive with a 250-gig drive.

And the primary use for this machine comes from the fact that it fits – just right – on the ledge on the treadmill at home.

I love to walk, and there are terrific places to walk in C-U. But I’m not a glutton for punishment, so when it’s 98 degrees with 95 percent humidity – or 10 degrees with 30-mile-an-hour winds – I hit the treadmill. Not as often as I should, but one of the things that makes it easier is if something will take my mind off the fact that I’m exercising.

So the tablet is a media machine.

I’m watching The West Wing now and I set the treadmill to 4.1 mph and I find that I can walk three miles during one episode. There’s no optical drive on the tablet, so I convert the DVDs to .avi format and transfer them over that way. (One of the drawbacks is the USB ports on the tablet are USB1.1, so transfers take a while, but I just do that when I’m going to be otherwise occupied.)

I’m coming up to the end of season 2, so I need to get cracking on ripping season 3.

Number 4 is a handheld device. There's a surprise, right?

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