Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Joy Of Techs
Hmmm. There's a book title if ever I saw one. But it'll have to be a blog post for the nonce.
Last night my starving artist friend came over so I could give him an early Christmas present. Or late birthday present. Or ... you get the idea. He has been essentially sans TV since the digital conversion after darfing the whole coupon thing and he is, I repeat, a starving artist so it's not like he has cable or sat TV. But he does have a laptop and I saw a TV tuner USB dongle on Woot the other day. That's right. We set it up last night and watched a few moments of TV on his computer. Moreover, he can use it to record shows and play them back. The antenna that came with the dongle didn't get a great signal in my kitchen but he lives in a highrise so should be able to get the local channels fairly well.
TV is not a big deal but he's been cut off from the flow of human interaction as defined by the broadcast medium for some months now. He can now participate in the culture a bit more broadly than only watching Univision and some evangelical channel that gives just a little too much Joel Osteen for comfort.
Needless to say, I wouldn't have bothered to ensure his broadcast experience save that I saw the TV tuner on Woot at a very good price. Serendipitously, I looked at Woot just before he came over and saw a laptop bag for $8.00. It was something he explicitly told me he needed. So I went ahead and snagged him one of those as well. If it only lasts a year, it's still not a bad buy. There is some serious Wootoff action going on the last couple of days. A Shun knife carving set for $185? I don't need one but that's a hell of a price for Shun.

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