Blog-Carnival: Best and worst gadget 2008

6fireA new year has just started and I'm happy to invite all my readers to datadirt's first blog carnival: I'm curious about the new hardware you bought during the last year. Which shiny piece of technology is your favorite gadget, and which not-so-shiny one disappointed you? Feed the inner geek, write about satisfaction and disappointment. I'm sure that most of my readers experienced both scenarios, so let's just share them and spread the knowledge :mrgreen:

Note: This carnival is also available in German on datenschmutz.net

This blog has received a nice 5 during the recent page rank update, so I'm more than happy to give some link juice back. The entrance is wide open: chose anything that might qualify as a “gadget”.

Rules: There are no rules – except for the fact that I will list all entries on this blog when the carnival is over, so please keep me updated about your entries either via trackback or via comment. The best/worst gadget 2008 blog carnival starts today, 12th of January, and ends in two weeks on Sunday the 25th of January.

I'm really looking forward to your entries – here's my best and worst gadget selection:

My favorite gadget of 2008: Terratec 6fire USB

I'm quite satisfied with my new Samsung syncmaster screens, I love my Energy CB20 speakers and there's plenty more gadgets that come to my mind. But there's definitely a highlight: my new external soundcard Terratec 6fire USB is perfectly equipped for my needs and offers excellent sound quality. 6 analogue ins plus 6 outs in combination with the XLR microphone plug (including a switch for 48V phantom voltage for studio mics) guarantee versatility for all home-studio and podcasting needs.

The driver is stable (I'm running Vista64), the ASIO-latency is extremely low and the simple yet powerful software allows free routing of all available channels. Very good value for money – at Amazon, the soundcard ships for about 200 Euros. I don't dub my vinyl, but thanks to the routing-per-channel features the 6Fire easily qualifies for digital djs and home-producers. Cinema freaks don't need to switch soundcards, there's a digital 5.1 out as well.

My worst gadget of 2008: Logitech Z-10 speaker system

z10Combining amplified speakers with a slick and elegant touch-screen display sounds like a brilliant idea – in theory. But I do not even want to know about the fun Logitech's engineers had when declaring this piece of unfinished work: “Hey, we know that the touch-screen is not working well – who cares? There is not API or software anyways.” But that's not even the worst part: the speakers use USB to transmit music, which is not such a bad idea after all for laptop use, but the big big problem is this: as soon as the speakers are connected, every kind of internal or external soundcard is deactivated. Now ain't that great? I tried using the line-in, which renders all the additional touch screen functions useless and decreases the sound quality quite much. Since the product is way too heavy to qualify as a mobile laptop speaker, there's not much us for the Z-10 in my opinion. The sound is not that bad for speakers of this size – but the money is much better spent on a pair of JBL control speakers.

But now for your gadget-stories of 2008. Looking forward to your postings!

6 replies
  1. MountainDan
    MountainDan says:

    Richie showed me the logitech speakers in person, and while I’m normally a bit fan of almost everything they make, I gotta agree major FAIL when it comes to the z-10 system. Fine enough if you’re a casual, listen to music while I work kinda person, but for real sonic quality, well, yeah, they’re kinda bad.

    And that terratec – holy smokes! Ritchie’s now got more routing options than Hamas has rockets.

    Reply

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