Gadgets For Christmas with KCLR

KCLR 96 FMTwo or three years ago I was doing a regular stint in the afternoon on KCLR 96FM talking gadgets and technology. That time has long since gone but this morning I was asked back into studio (handy, given it’s only across the road) for some thoughts on gadgets for Christmas, tech suggestions for kids and adults alike.

For those asking for the list in full of everything that was mentioned on air this morning, along with links for where you can buy them, here you go. Check out the video too, I’d mentioned TikTok in relation to the iPod Nano (thanks to Paul Watson for the tip) but there’s straps already on the market as well from Griffin. (links after the video)

Consoles & Games

  • Kinect for Xbox 360 (available in most gaming retails, some high street shops and supermarkets). Expect to pay in the region of €140-€150 to get you started.
  • Playstation Move – Starter packs including motion controller and camera run from €70, again, gaming shops and high street stores (like Argos) will stock.
  • Game suggestions for Christmas: Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fifa 11, Just Dance 2, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Gran Turismo (links to Play.com)

Tablets, Cameras, Video

  • Apple iPad (available from 499)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tablet (available from €650)
  • Dell Streak (available from €499)
  • Apple TV (available from €119)
  • iPods – new iPod Nano available from €159. When talking about the watch straps, look for the Griffin Slap as a starting point)
  • Digital Cameras – Nikon Coolpix 1100pj (digital camera with built in projector)
  • Video Cameras – Flip Mino (available from Argos, prices start around the €90 mark)
  • DVDs – DVDs mentioned on the show this morning included Inception, the Toy Story Box set (movies 1-3), The Wire (big seller last Christmas), complete 24 and Lost box sets and The Pacific. All have been seen recently in HMV, Xtravision and are sure to be available in most good DVD retail outlets.

Also Mentioned…

Also mentioned this morning were

  • Digital Photo Frames – depending on where you buy, expect to pay from €20 upwards, have come down in cost something fierce in the last year or two
  • Limited Edition Streets of Rage Megadrive Handheld Console – 18 games for the retro gamer including Sonic The Hedgehog, Streets Of Rage, Golden Axe 2 and more. Clocks in around the €32 mark via Play.com.
  • Polyscience Food Smoker aka “The Smoking Gun” – Tipped from @avillagepantry this morning, this kitchen gadget lets you smoke your own food – chicken, spinach, drinks, anything goes. Handheld food smoker for those who don’t cook over flame or have wanted to try woodchip flavours like hickory, maple, apple wood, cherry etc in your cooking. Retails online from US$99.

The links above go out to Argos, Play.com, Pixmania and CuisineTechnology.com though you may find items mentioned above cheaper at other local / national stores. No affiliate links are included.

Talking Mice On The Radio

Seemingly, I’ll be heading over to the KCLR studio in a half hour (for an 11:40am slot) talking about mice. Not the run around and eat cheese kind but rather, the clicky kind.

The mouse, as we all know it and love it in its various shapes and sizes has celebrated its 40th birthday and I’ve been roped into talking for a few minutes about its life to date.

In case you didn’t know, the first computer mouse went public 40 years ago, back in 1968, demonstrated for the first time on December 9th at a conference in San Francisco. Xerox developed mice in the 70s before Apple acquired the license to manufacture mice in the 80s and things took off from there.

When you look at the likes of the voice commands, the iPhone, the Wii, and other gesture-based devices, things have come a long way.

The War Of The Worlds Airs Tonight

The War Of The Worlds

The last few weeks have shot by in nothing but a blur. Work life is changing and evolving, music is moving, I’ve been involved in another festival, thrown a bunch of gigs and managed to pull off my third theatre production of the year, again donning one of the producer hats available from The Devious Theatre Company’s hat box.

It all comes down to tonight.

The Devious Theatre Company (of which I’m involved in running and have been since May 2006) proudly present our own version of H.G. Wells’ classic ‘The War Of The Worlds’, airing tonight on KCLR96FM. You can pick up KCLR in Carlow, Kilkenny, south Kilkenny and areas of Waterford and surrounding counties. If you’re well outside the range or would like to listen in from foreign soil, you can do so by hitting the station’s website on KCLR96FM.com.

Fitting it should fall on the 70th anniversary of the original broadcast by Orson Welles, October 30th 1938.

We’ve been working on the show solid for the past 2-3 weeks with many a late night had in the recording studio (including this Tuesday gone) in the buildup to handing over the finished production to the station yesterday.

As a company we’ve built up a nice reputation in Kilkenny. War Of The Worlds marks our fifth production (fifth new production as we brought one show back for two further runs in 2006 and 2007) and our first foray into the world of theatre for radio. We’ve concentrated so much on the visual – sets, costumes, lighting, makeup, props, the venue, our advertising, promotional photos, posters but this show turns it on it’s head.

The Bigger Picture

Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture, I have to hand it to the lads, and ourselves as a company. We’ve come through two tough productions with Trainspotting (June 2008), Smitten (August 2008) and with little or no break we ran straight into The War Of The Worlds, writing an entirely new script, casting, scheduling, sourcing sound effects and learning to concentrate on everything you don’t see. It’s one thing producing a piece of work for an audience who will sit and watch you, but another thing altogether in producing a piece of work for an audience you want to sit and listen to you.

But everyone pulled it together, that’s what we do when we’re working as a proper functioning theme. You’re an actor, but you’re also the producer, the director, the driver, the one that goes for food, the one that remembers to bring biscuits and tea, the one that stays up all night mixing – we’re all of those. So while it’s a brilliant move for the company, it’s a brilliant show of teamwork as everyone had a part to play and everyone played it so well.

Not only that, but they managed to wrap it into a neat bundle that airs tonight around 9:03pm and runs for 53 minutes and 57 seconds. And we did it all without any external technical support. We were offered the use of the radio station for production but we opted to carry the can ourselves knowing we’ve got the ability to pull it off.

I’ve held back from listening to the finished version (we’re having a listening party tonight) though initial feedback from the station calls the show “absolutely fantastic”. Fingers crossed.

I’ll be on the radio later this morning (just after the 11am news) talking about the show. You can listen in live via KCLR96FM.com.

To those of you who are listening in tonight, thank you very much. From myself and all at The Devious Theatre Company I really do hope you enjoy the efforts of the group as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it. If it all goes well then maybe we’ll gun for another one next year. Our thanks too go out to all at KCLR for their support and in giving us the opportunity and airtime to develop another original production.

For those of you who can’t listen in tonight then don’t despair, we’ve something nice in store for you too.

KCLR Tuesday 8pm

I’ll be on the Culture Club with Jenny Nolan (KCLR96 FM) tomorrow night, Tuesday. The show goes out between 8pm and 9pm and you can listen online. Though not certain, I reckon I’ll be on the air shortly after 8pm as is the usual case.

There’ll be talk of the One Take Sessions, whose 2008 lineup continues to grow with some plugs in for CreativeCamp and the Irish Blog Awards amongst other things. Or at least as much as I can fit into the slot. If I can grab a recording I’ll bring it back here or it will possibly end up at my staff blog at KilkennyMusic.com.

The gadget segment seems up in the air since January but you never know…