Gadgets. Toys. Things we enjoy using, and that make our lives easier. These are my favorites, and the ones that go just about everywhere I go. Of course, there are a ton more that I use, but these are my favorites.
Canon EOS-10D camera and various lenses - This is the third digital camera I've owned, and it's far and away my favorite. It offers all the control and creative settings that my old film Canon camera had, and as a bonus, uses the same lens mount, so I didn't have to buy new lenses. It feels good to hold, takes excellent photos, and is fun to use. Just what I want in a camera. It works great with the Apple photo application, iPhoto, as well.
Canon PowerShot S500 - My pocket camera. Good photos when I don’t want to carry a big camera around. Small enough to fit in my pocket, and it’s equipped with a 3x optical zoom.
Apple iPod nano  and 80 gig Apple Video iPod - One of my iPods is almost always in my pocket. It's a great way to carry, and listen to, my favorite music and watch movies. Beyond the music, it also keeps my phone book and a copy of my calendar. And it's an alarm clock. And, I can't say enough about how cool it is to be able to select music by artist, album, personalized playlist, genre, or any of the other ways to find the music. It's transformative. Remember how cool we thought we were when we carried our Sony Walkman cassette players and could listen to an hour and a half of music that we had on a cassette? In a slightly smaller package, and without carrying a bunch of cassettes, I now carry more than 10,000 songs, and some audio books as well.
When I'm at home, and want to listen to my music without headphones, I use iTunes on my PowerBook, and through the magic of Airport Express, a device about the same size as the average power adaptor, the music is transported through my Wi-Fi network to my stereo and speakers. And the same device lets me plug my USB printer in, so that it's accessible without cables to the PowerBook, too. And the satellite modem plugs into the Airport Express too. Amazing.
Apple G4 Powerbook - My Apple PowerBook G4 is the center of my at-home entertainment, my creativity, and my communications. I use it to watch movies, listen to music, write, send email, develop web pages, process photos and video, and chat with friends across the country and around the world.
I have access to thousands and thousands of my songs that used to reside only on shelves and shelves of compact disks. And it's interesting, because when I had to listen to music on CDs, I'd choose from the last 50 or so that I had purchased. Now that they're all accessible with the click of a mouse, I listen to a broader selection of music.
I watch DVDs on the PowerBook. It's small enough to move from room to room, but has a big enough screen (15 inch diagonal) that I can watch movies in the kitchen, or in bed, or when I'm traveling in my camper van.
And for those rare times that I watch television, I use eyeTV, which lets me use my PowerBook the same way that other people use DVR technology... pausing live broadcasts, saving them for later viewing, or just watching live.
Windows PC owners can talk about how convergence and integration is going to happen. We Apple owners talk about how it has already impacted our lives.
My PowerBook is both BlueTooth and Wi-Fi compatible, so even when I'm on the road, I can stop at virtually any Starbucks and check my email, or get road conditions. Or I can just wander around the house, or in the garden, and still be connected to the internet and printers without having to drag wires around with me.
Other accessories that are helpful for the PowerBook:
  1. iGo power cord - allows connection to airline power outlets, 12 volt outlets in automobiles, and 110 volt outlets. It also powers my cellphone and recharges the iPods.
  2. FireLight pocket sized external hard drives
Apple Mini - I know it seems like overkill to have two computers, but the powerbook goes with me wherever I am. The mini runs the weather software and the HermitCam software, and provides backup capabilities. It’s cool. It’s small. And I have a bigger monitor attached to it, so sometimes I’ll watch movies with it instead of the powerbook.
XM Radio - In the van or pickup, as I travel across country, at The Hermitage where there is virtually no "normal" radio to be had, or at home in Denver, XM radio is amazing. Virtually commercial free, it offers news, music of all sorts, and public radio. They've got good programming, and now they even offer internet broadcast. Imagine being able to drive across country without having to tune your radio because the transmitter is too far away. It's great. Check it out at
Motorola RAZR phone, with service from T-Mobile - Very portable, smart design, external antenna jack, and comfortable to use. What more can you ask for from a cellphone? And T-mobile offers good coverage in the San Luis Valley!