When Good Gadgets Go Bad

This month we have replaced our:

  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Phone & Answering Machine
  • DVD player
  • Printer (ok, the old one isn’t strictly dead, just inhaling ink)
  • Alarm Clock

And added to our collection:

  • A mini food processor
  • A Wii battery remote charging pad thingie

All I can say is that I’m really glad we have two recycling bins to deal with all that packaging and it’s another good thing that we went really light on the Christmas presents this year *sigh*.

Hopefully they won’t all collectively expire in 12 months time.

We Wants One

Or actually more than one. We loves it.

Of course my first tactical mistake was to view the video showing it off in all it’s glory. Up till the point I saw it in action I had been quite convinced I didn’t really neeeeeeeeeed one. By the time they got to the calendar with the pages that flip over, I was gone. Interestingly, it was the calendar that started us down the whole slippery slope of Apple gizmos. I found I preferred to use iCal over paper and then it just became inconvenient not having that with me when I was out and about and forever having to get back to people. Which lead to getting an iPod Touch. Which lead to getting and iPhone. Which may lead into getting an iPad.

The second MAJOR tactical mistake was having a 10 year old son looking over my shoulder while I watched the iPad informercial. “Oh!” he says, “I could get that instead of a laptop”. Why, so you could my dear son. In fact in the whole “will it kick Kindle’s butt” debate (of course it will, don’t be ridiculous) and the “oh my goodness it’s not really a full tablet” debate have completely overlooked a whole market segment out there. Kids and Education. Our poor iMacs which are *gasp* ten years old sadly now have less capacity than the kid’s iPods, which is a slight technical problem when it comes to syncing. It’s much more realistic for us to consider replacing those computers with iPads than whole works-burger laptops and just having one mother ship to sync them with.

And of course, I can see the wonderful possibilities with the iPad for travel with kids – it’s a DVD player without the hassles of DVD’s, it has games, it has books and wonder of wonders it has ten hour battery life (at least initially). I can see the enormous potential too for a whole new level of interactive board games. For the adult traveller it will be absolutely brilliant for maps, guidebooks and having a full sized key board has to be better than the tiny iPhone one (sorry iPhone, great for notes but not so much for writing).

If you want the full run down, check out Mashable’s post here.

Motorola Talkabout Two-Way Radios Review & Giveaway

Motorola Talkabout Two-Way Radios Review & Giveaway.

Travelling Mamas have a pair of Walkie Talkies up for grabs. We’ve found walkie talkies to be absolutely brilliant when travelling BUT remember you need to get country specific ones. You cannot take walkie talkies internationally, as each continent has separate band widths for public use. You can take them from the UK to Europe but not to the States or Australia for example.

10 gadgets to make summer travel more enjoyable – The Gadling Gear Review | Gadling.com

10 gadgets to make summer travel more enjoyable – The Gadling Gear Review | Gadling.com.

Some great suggestions here. The Tom Bihn bags look awesome – I’ve read other good reviews of his range. Although what I like best about his bags are the washing instructions. Sadly very $$$ once you convert the whole lot to Aussie dollars.

The Tekkon rechargable batteries are a serious consideration for purchase however!

Walkie Talkies: The Update

So several blue moons ago, I posted about buying walkie talkies. In fact, we didn’t end up getting new ones. We ordered from the online shop but then they didn’t have them in stock and were only offering a lower model as a replacement. The online store wasn’t that great to deal with and in the end we let the whole thing slide. Therefore, when we went to camp last term, we had to rely on our somewhat dodgy old orange and green pair of walkie talkies. We used them constantly but it was quite frustrating with the “calling” beep going off quite randomly and then not when it was needed etc.

However, now I am working my way through the list of what needs to be purchased before our big trip and we’re back to the decision about walkie talkies. Having done a bit more research, it turns out that you cannot use Australian walkie talkies in Europe. And you cannot use European walkie talkies in the USA. And you cannot use the ones from the USA in Europe or Australia and so it goes on. Therefore if you want to use walkie talkies on holiday, they need to be location specific. Here are the models we are currently considering on Amazon.co.uk


Both of these feature a larger range and a “baby monitor” option. Because there are only about 8 channels available in Europe, these models also have an additional 121 channel codes for privacy. There’s a great comparison chart for the Motorola models here:

So now the 64 million dollar question is – do we get 2 or 4? Or do we just get a couple of cheap mobile phones instead?

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Digitalk SP103AA Personal Mobile Radio

Adelong Computers Digitalk SP103AA Personal Mobile Radio TWIN PACK With Mains Charger.

We’ve added these to our wish list today. One of the key features of these walkie talkies is the “vox” function. This allows it to operate like a baby monitor i.e. transmission is triggered by voices or sounds. 

We’ve had a much cheaper pair of walkie talkies which we have taken camping with us. Sadly they no longer work particularly well (one of the pair can receive but not broadcast). When they did work they were ideal for using in campgrounds, large playgrounds and also when travelling in separate vehicles. 

These much flasher walkie talkies can be accessorized with throat mics(!) which should bring out the Spy Kids in all of us.
Digitalk SP103AA