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Editor's Note: Best Geek Toys!

Feb 28, 2009, 00:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

by Carla Schroder
Managing Editor

Today's fabulous Editor's Note is all about excellent random goodies that I've encountered recently.

Books As always, I love books. I reviewed Wicked Cool Ruby Scripts recently, and I pronounce both the book and Ruby quite worthy. In the next couple of weeks I'll be reviewing "Pragmatic Version Control using Git" and "Ubuntu For Non-Geeks". The short story is both are quite good.

Digikam The more I use this the more I love it. It almost does it all-- archive management, including an excellent tagging system that lets me actually find photos again, and editing tools that save me from having to drop into Gimp very often.

It took some re-adjusting of my mindset, but I love digital photography more than old-fashioned film photography. I've been saving up for a Canon 5D Mark II because it's not huge like their other high-end cameras, and it has a full-frame sensor, which is the same size as a 35mm negative. But digital photography, just like digital audio, is different, so thinking in old terms messes things up. I don't need a full-frame sensor because the resolution of the higher-end sensors is already beyond what 35mm film could ever do. So I'm going to stick with the 1.6 sensors, which you get in the Rebel and x0D series. You get a lot of bang for your buck with these cameras, and at least in my case they're not going to be very challenged by the photographer.

Audacity It seems that humans always want to align in teams and have enemies, and so the Ardour fans diss Audacity, and Audacity users snark right back. Three advantages that Ardour holds over Audacity are better multi-channel mixing and better support for multi-channel recording interfaces, better support for the JACK audio connection kit/low-latency sound server, and it has some nice tools for synchronizing soundtracks. Otherwise Audacity is a super audio recorder and editor that is easy to use and chock full o useful features. I use it for live recording, transferring legacy analog media to digital, and may someday even make a podcast. Why not, all the other geeks are doing it.

Netbooks! I have not purchased one yet, but I just got a Lenovo to review. I love the idea of netbooks for these reasons: one, there have always been something like netbooks available, like the Toshiba Libretto, but they have always been expensive. Two, it took the OLPC to ignite the netbook industry, when all those big innovative tech corporations like Intel and Microsoft tried to mock them out of existence. Hey, don't you dare use the work "innovation" in the same breath as "corporate" around me. I'll believe in Sasquatch and Yeti before I believe in corporate innovation. Three, they look cool and useful.

So what have you been having fun with the tech world? Forget all the gloom and doom for awhile, and let's talk about our favorite toys.