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I try not to be or become too “gadget” oriented. I try to do my work, with what I have and which I can afford, at the time.

However, that doesn’t mean I can’t dream about those ooey gooey fun and gadget-y machineries, right?

Anyway, I can say that I love gadgets. If I was a millionaire I’d be looking into many things gadget (but I’d be lying, because I’d be getting custom cafe racers, a Ferrari, and many other finer things, in addition to this list).

That is why below are my next “kinda-realistic” gadgets I’d think I could/should be able to afford in the near future” (knock on wood), office equipment (I’ll do a “Tier 1” level gadget wish list later).

Drobo, Maschine, Canon, oh my!

Suffice it to say, my list here is a bit eclectic. It isn’t catering to a pure single category, for sure. It does however does cater to some tastes of mine- both practical and indulgent.

This list would satisfy my data security dreads, my data processing/collecting power trip fantasy, my taste-making old skook hip hop fantasy, and my Speedy Gonzales  output proper.

I think, all in all, these practical gadgets will quell any guilt for the new owners because of the practical and usefulness of existence, and also satisfy the purity of owning some of the most powerful consumer electronics out in the market.

So, cheers all.  Lets try and get there. I sure will.

Drobo Pro (Drobo)

Easily add up to 24TB of storage to a workstation or small office server without having to learn anything about storage administration. Just insert up to 8 disk drives into the DroboPro.

It’s a RAID system, so hot swap away! And from Drobo’s PR department, this machine will be able to efficiently use the maximum amount of the total space available from the inserted HD. This means, data will be duplicated on multiple HDs, correctly preventing any one HD failures from ruining a perfectly good day at the office.

My initial thought of this came from paid and non-paid sponsorship of the brand from pro photographers. I’m a photographer, as well, so when you think of all your hard earned images being destroyed, the Drobo (or systems like it) would be a good way to go.

I think it is a sensible way to go.

One of these 8 Bay models will reel you back about $1,300 (which is without the cost for the 8 HDs). But as witnesses tell, it is one of the more easier NAS systems out there. Which is important for us non-server geeks.

Canon 1D X (Canon USA)

The 1D X is for the moment, the new flagship of Canon’s EOS professional line of DSLR.

It boasts 18.1 MP CMOS sensor and new Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors for high grade image quality. The shutter pumps out 12 fps. A ridiculous 51,200 ISO range (which can be adjusted to hit a whopping 204,800 in H2 mode).

The big change is the new 61 point High Density Reticular AF system and 100,000 pixel RGB metering sensor (with dedicated Digic 4 image processor).

In addition, there is an improved HD video capture standard, numerous connectivity options, combination of processing power, durable/weather sealed construction, and a 400,000 cycle battle tested shutter durability.

The debate whether Canon or Nikon makes the best flag ship DSLR, will always rage on. But the Canon 1D X, no doubt, has high marks for the “drool factor”

It surely is a beauty in practical application in photography. Kudos.

Oh and this one will cost around $7,000 (just the body).

HP Laser Jet P4013n (HP)

I usually don’t prefer All-in-One printers of any kind.

In the past, All-in-One printers just was average at all of its functions. They were done satisfactorily, but not at their best.

Unlike working for a big company, at the home office, it’s easy to look past those All-in-One blues. For it’s more efficient to get one of these, then shell out for multiple printing machines.

The HP Laser Jet P4013n is a good one. It’s HP, a great brand for printer category, it spits out 21 pages per minute (black and in color), holds around 2,500 regular stock sheets in its ‘belly’, quality is very much acceptable from other sources, and at around $700, it looks cool and it does its job. This printer also is a Laser Jet, so it is the quality of print that we mortals are seeking, day to day.

So, lets make those invoices shine for the clients!

Apple Mac Pro (Apple)

“The Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor is available in a single-processor, quad-core configuration at speeds up to 3.2GHz. For even greater speed and power, choose the “Westmere” series, Intel’s next-generation processor based on its latest 32-nm process technology.”- Apple PR

Choice of 3,6,8 GB models, 1TB of memory, ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 card, and one Server model is also available.

The Mac Pro has been a favorite of designers alike for many years and still is a gold standard for designers everywhere. Hands down the most elegant, in my opinion, as well as powerful.

As do any Mac, the pro model demonstrates its power from its OS X.  From many many USB, Firewire, built in wi-fi, bluetooth, the Mac Pro is stacked in standards. Plus, it is expandable to a very high level of performance. Make it a small group server, with just an addition of OS X Server software.

Nice. And so cool sitting on the office table.

The Mac Pro towers will set you back, starting from $2,500 and up. No monitor included of course.

Native Instruments Maschine (Native-Instruments)

I am not a full musician of any kind.

Sure, I’d dabbled with my Ibanez bass & some acoustic guitar during my high school “Battle of The Bands” stint. But I am not, by any means, skilled at making repeatable and original beats, as the pros.

Not until I saw a video promo made by Native Instruments, the marketer of the Maschine line of music producers. At least I could try to be like the pros, on this Maschine, machine.

Some sources say that there are 2 eras in hip hop production: one BEFORE Maschine (BM), and one AFTER Maschine (AM). There was a time beat producers had to choose from MPC style machines and non-tactile computer softwares.

Then came Maschine and producers everywhere, didn’t have to choose any longer.

I can’t explain how cool the Maschine is. So, go click HERE and see some demos on vid.

The Maschine line starts from around $400, but it has so much packed in power, it’s like having all your essential instruments in one. Bass, drums, percussions, guitar, synthesizer tools, and etc.

So, go try it, and you’re surely closer to hip hop beats stardom.

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”- Winston Churchill

Oblivious>>It wasn’t like I hated Apple products. I was just oblivious to them (Apple products), back then, like many millions.Sure, I’d heard and played around with some Apple products (Macintosh in grammar school), but never got around to thinking Apple computers and products would be influential in my future daily life.To me Apple was the “other” computer company, back when. It was the “alternative & much smaller” computer manufacturer and marketer in a large field of computer makers and marketers. It was for “designers” and “creative types”. And for sure, Apple’s business and marketing model was exactly that.

“Golden Age”>>It was the “golden age” of computer makers (aggregators) in the 90’s, as I recall. We, consumers, were drenched with new computer makers/brands every month (it seemed).Do you remember these computer brands? Apollo, Convex, Everex, Micron, Systemax, Wang? I surely do (FYI, I had bought 3 computers from Micron, way back when =D).Well, these were companies riding the Microsoft platform, and technically just “aggregators”. But hey, they marketed in magazines like “Computer Shopper” (remember how thick this tabloid sized magazine was?) like crazy! You can see the legacy in “aggregators” still today, for companies like Dell started, just as an aggregator.And this is what I’d thought our computing lives would be, forever. Filled with junky PC based computers, with just bad service and products.

Grammar School>>My consumer relationship with Steve’s products didn’t start to be intimate until 2008. However, my first experience with an Apple product was with the Macintosh, in my grammar school.  As with boys, I thought the new computers were very cool. Did play some cool.
You see, the more prevalent computers that my school invested in was the Commedor 64 (oh yea, Karateka!). The C64s were the legacy computers for the school. We all liked its chunky keys and cool games we could play on it. Can’t blame us, eh?
But suddenly, there they were, two (2) shiny new Macintosh’s. And they seemed very, very slick (well, to our grammar school minds).
The school (through our teachers) told us that these Macs were for “serious” learning. Never thought about why they’d say that, but I’m sure being very expensive was one of the big reasons they didn’t want us to use it without a teacher next to us when we used it. And of course, no “drinks, food, gum, etc” allowed.
We had some good fun with them, though.
However, the fun didn’t last, for when I went into high school, they only had IBM and typewriters to play with.
Perception>>It wasn’t until 2008 that I thought of using Apple products for personal use. Of course, because of so many Microsoft computers used, it was inevitable that I had a slight bias against Apple products. My ‘perception’ from 1993-2008, was that Apple products were very hard to use, were only great for designers, didn’t offer “serious” machines (unless buying the top flight Apple computers/servers), were very expensive, and that PCs offered more in its variety. After all, my employers were using Microsoft based PCs, so they can’t be all that bad, right?
These were true for a time, but it soon changed for Apple and my outlook on its products.
Gateway “drug”>>To make it short, I’d converted to Apple products, starting with the Nano and slowly building courage to invest in the iPhoneMac Pro laptop, and iPod Touch. Plus, many products that I’d given out as presents for special occasions. Ease of use and ‘dependability’ of use (for the long haul) is paramount. And, so far, your Apple products have been doing a great job.
In hind sight, one can call my experience with the Nano was that, it was the “gateway drug” into the world of Apple products. It was very cool.
What if?>>While watching the news about Steve last night, I’d asked my girlfriend, “what if the iPhone wasn’t there to push the concept of phones to another level?”  I’d say, we’d be stuck with “stylus” pens, bad mobile OS’, hand flip Nokia handsets, forever RIM Blackberry devices (all gray & black texts only), and still have Palm units to play with.
Cheers Steve>>Well, cheers to you Steve. Was good drama through out the years. I’m sure you gave it the very best. And hope the company carries through many more years with fabulous products.
I am pretty sure you were a quirky and as nasty/focused a person behind closed doors.  Those stories of you being demanding is culminated by your past and demands of your own future. I respect that to the fullest. You sure made an imprint in the world. Your persona and drama will last far longer than your company has long disappeared (hope not too soon, though).  Cheers.
PS  By the way, I do watch his Stanford commencement speech from several years ago, for inspiration, here and there. It’s a good one. Click HERE to see it.
Jason
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