Sunday, December 31, 2006


Two very interesting gadgets have popped up recently. At a bit of a loose end in Berlin yesterday I found myself in a large sports shop which not only had running gear in a colour I liked (black), but where I also found a heart rate monitor at a reasonable price. I had always thought this was something for hypochondriacs and/or wimps, but just a few days before I read something where it was pointed out that these are now cheaper than a pair of running shoes. A great point - and a great purchase it has turned out to be. First I learnt that different heart rates have different effects on the body, eg fat reduction, improving fitness, or something for serious athletes. The fantastic news is that for the fat reduction you only need a heart rate increased by relatively little - for me that's achieved by simply walking fast. Which probably explains why I have found it relatively easy to lose weight recently, since I have walked so much everywhere. And today, whilst out running, I found I ran much more slowly than normal, to remain in the next band up of heart rate - the fitness improving one - and so I was able to run for a much longer time than usual without killing myself. Definitely a worthwhile purchase.

The other gadget, the Roku Soundbridge, is a serious cool piece of kit. If your house is set up for wireless internet, as many homes nowadays are, this thing connects into it. You then connect it to your hifisystem, and bingo, you can get almost all internet radio stations of the world playing on your hifi, even if your computer is switched off. Unfortunately the BBC with its realplayer requirement is not yet compatible with the soundbridge, but that should just be a matter of time. The soundbridge can also play the MP3s and other formats you might have stored on your computer. It's quite small, about 25 cms long, with a diameter of maybe 8 cms, and so quite portable. I will wait till I am at home for longer periods, by which time it might have sorted the BBC question - but it's been fun listening to Minnesota public radio (the classical band) in Berlin!


varske said...

How much does the sound thingy cost? Sounds like we need it too. Except I threw away the hifi when we moved and haven't replaced it yet. I was waiting to see what the next gadget was.

violainvilnius said...

149 quid, see here http://www.rokulabs.co.uk/stores/news_stories_view.do?pubID=4409; and there are other options, too, including a radio if you don't have a hifi.

You threw your hifi away???? Jeeeez