• What is your favorite home consumer tech thing?

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    What’s your favorite technology thing that you use at home? I’ll start with mine. A kindle. But only for books, not for gardening magazines. One can g
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2560661

      I typically purchase “two at a time” so that I can be charging one while I’m reading the other.

      The “two at a time” part is my tie-in for a reply.

      I’m a home user, but have two ISPs.  I use my own router full time and when the ISP I’m using goes down,  I just quickly move one Ethernet cable to the other modem and I’m back up in 15 seconds.  While very simple, I have to say it’s a “favorite technology” of mine.


      Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
      Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
      Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

    • #2560679

      My Apple watch Ultra. For me it is indispensable.

    • #2560696

      My two desktop PCs. I use them for routine home admin stuff along with the usual browsing and  emails etc, but their primary use is for my gaming hobby.

      The other favourite thing is something that was installed on my mobile phone as we began to worry about the impending first Covid lockdown, namely WhatsApp. I wouldn’t be without it these days, it’s so useful for keeping in daily touch with the rest of the family and to a lesser but just as useful way with friends too.

    • #2560705

      Probably my Dell XPS 13 (9310). Despite its idiosyncrasies, and it has several, it’s still my favorite, as it is just so portable that I can grab it and go anywhere (and I often do). Makes it kinda seem more personal, you know? It’s the PC I can count on to do what I need wherever I am, and it has a sturdy enough build that it can handle the inevitable impacts that come with being a computer owned by someone as clumsy as me.

      My gaming laptop is a close second, as it is the workhorse that replaced my desktop, and I use it each day just as surely as I do the Dell. In addition to gaming and a lot of general computing stuff, like web browsing, it also handles all of the A/V stuff, so it is also the media PC, but its less portable nature (it is big and heavy… and so am I, so I could lug it around, but it wouldn’t be convenient) makes it feel less like a discrete computing device and more like a household appliance. I guess that means it is doing its job really well.


      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
      Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

    • #2560706

      I think it’s a tie between my iPad mini and my Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. I use them both and often.

      For me, the mini is the better form factor size in a tablet as compared to larger iPads or other tablets. It is easier for me to hold for extended periods and to work with. It is much faster than Kindles or Amazon tablets, both of which I own, but use sparingly.

      The watch lets me monitor physical activity, motivating me to move rather than sit in front of a computer. It has excellent battery life for a high-end smart watch. It lasts three days in normal use before needing a recharge.

    • #2560712

      My favorite is my cell phone base unit. It’s a small device that runs off regular house current but with a self contained battery for backup; it looks like a small Wi-Fi router with its two antennae and green lights; and it has my cell phone provider’s SIM card installed. It connects to the cell towers and has its own second telephone number assigned to it, separate from the other number for my smartphone; and it basically converts my traditional landline type desk phone into a cell phone. The desk phone connects to the cell phone base unit with a typical standard pinch-clip phone connector and phone wire, and then connects to the cell towers via my cell phone service provider. This allows me to have the convenience of the desk phone, with its hand held receiver and curly wire and own separate answering and recording features, without the expense of a landline; it’s just a second line on my cell phone service. I’m thinking of getting a newer model that can also be used as a 5g data hotspot for the computer.


    • #2560736

      I’m running Win 11 Pro 2H22 (since 10 days after initial release-never a problem) on AMD Ryzen 7 CPU w/32Gb Memory and a 27in Asus HD monitor.
      This is my work and everyday use computer and I have over 550 computers I log into for service – so I’m on it alot (been a tech for 24+years). Second is my “newer” 10 in Kindle Fire for reading and relaxing with.
      Computer Backup is by VEEAM (veeam.com) w/free version for Windows backup (Huge, Huge, Huge company). Remote is w/Splashtop (splashtop.com) and I was one of the very first subscribers & got a lifetime subscription for $60/yr unlimited computers. WOW -that’s almost like winning the lottery! Tom

    • #2560751

      Based on my usage, it would be my Samsung Galaxy S-2 tablet. It does email, tracks my investments, maps, weather, AP news, You Tube of course, photo gallery, notes, internet, calculator, provides copies of instruction manuals for tools and kitchen appliances, and stores my 120 or so books on the BN NOOK reader. The only thing it is not: a telephone… so no junk calls coming in!

    • #2560752

      I thought to myself… what’s my favourite gadget, the one I use most frequently and like the most?

      It’s got to be my 6-ltr Instant Pot Duo.


      Is it tech? Yes, I think so.

      Essentially it’s a computer-controlled heating element linked to pressure, heat and ‘burn’ sensors for safety. and offers both pre-programmed and user-programmed modes.

      Is it a favourite?
      I think it’s the best gadget I’ve *ever* bought and it’s used as much as my other tech (laptops, iPad, iPhone), if not more.

      I bought it massively-reduced in an Amazon Black Friday sale in November 2020. I don’t use either my oven or hob these days (which saves loads of energy) and my microwave only very occasionally. Next Black Friday sale I’ll get either an air-fryer lid for it or maybe even a new Instant Pot combo.

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      • #2560754

        Just logged in to say the same but you beat me to it! 🙂

        Never Say Never

      • #2560829

        Next Black Friday sale I’ll get either an air-fryer lid for it or maybe even a new Instant Pot combo.

        We bought an Instant Pot with the air fryer feature (called “Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer”) and, like you with your Instant Pot, rarely use our regular oven any more. The only program we haven’t used on it yet is the one for steam.

        Just as a “heads up” for you, ours came not only with the dedicated lid for the air fryer feature, but also a special metal basket that’s coated with a nonstick surface for use with the air fryer feature.

        More importantly, our unit has a special 6 pin connector on the top ring where the lid attaches that’s only for the air fryer lid, so you might be able to order the air fryer lid, but it might not be usable on your specific unit. The regular lid for our unit goes on without needing the connector and without us having to do anything to the connector to remove it to use the regular lid. However, perhaps there is an air fryer lid made for units that weren’t designed as air fryer units, and perhaps said lid plugs directly into the mains and works like a charm!

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      • #2560831

        Don’t mean to go too far off-topic but funny story. I have an air fryer built into my oven. Used it once and had so much smoke I had to open doors and windows in addition to the vent hood running and the fire department showed up after someone called reporting a possible house fire. Bought a portable and again, too much smoke, but at least no fire department response 🙂

        I have 3 instant pots and love them. Set it and forget it until it beeps. Saves so much time and does a great job importing flavor. Not like my stove-top pressure cooker which has to be monitored (at least I haven’t had one explode yet which is a major mess) but I do still use it occasionally

        Never Say Never

        • #2560835

          See if your Instant Pot does pressure cooking. Our does, and it’s been a better experience than our older pressure cooker with better food quality when it’s done.

          Our air fryer feature also hasn’t ever set off our installed smoke detectors, but HAS consistently tempted us with delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen after several minutes!

          OK, /thread hijack off!

          Sorry, Susan.  🙁

        • #2560862

          I have 3 instant pots and love them.

          I bought a second Instant Pot 6 months later. They’re amazing. I’m about to throw out my halogen air-fryer… too much trouble to keep clean.

    • #2560755


      For me that’s like saying which is your favorite child! LOL

      This house is just loaded with tech and I don’t think my wife or I could get by w/o any of it. We both read extensively on Kindle PaperWhites, read the morning paper and play word games on Kindle Fires then get down to serious stuff with our 5 computers. Let’s not forget our Alexa and all the connected smart devices and our Samsung S22 Ultras and my Samsung Watch 5.

      Almost forgot the iPad and Smart bed.

      Favorite…ALL OF THEM!

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!


      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

    • #2560757

      For a desert island question it’s hands down no doubt my Ipad Pro.

    • #2560803

      Keurig K-1500 coffee maker, makes it quick and easy to get a cup (or two, three, four…) of my favorite brew to start the morning. 😛

      A very close second favorite that I need to mention are my two desktop computers each with two 27 inch monitors that make things a lot easier to see for the ol’ aging eyes as well as helps increase productivity and ease of use with the extended screen real estate to more easily use multiple applications at the same time. They are also invaluable for when I work from home (via Citrix) as it duplicates my work desktop computer environment that also has two 27 inch monitors. But also because I can use either system for work and still have the other available for anything personal.

    • #2560804

      I’d have to say that my Roland 5500s piano gives me a lot of enjoyment, and I plug my Roland Juno 106 synthesizer into it via midi to make lots of neat music.

      Being 20 something in the 70's was more fun than being 70 something in the 20's
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      • #2561065

        Analog bliss with that Roland Juno 106, nice early eighties synth, lovely strings. Look after it charlie, those are worth a tidy sum if in good condition. I have 5 synths a mixing desk and drum m/c, all of which are my aural paradise and creativity zone (when time permits)

        Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
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    • #2560826


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    • #2560834

      By far, my favorite “tech thing” is Windows Media Center on our Windows 7 PC. We watch a lot of cable and broadcast TV, and WMC enables us to to use the PC as a DVR with virtually unlimited storage, as opposed to those cableco DVRs that have a 2TB capacity at best. (We’re up above 18TB of programming stored now.)

    • #2560850

      I have five Echo devices.  I use them to turn on lights, remind me to take my pills, add things to my shopping lists (I love the OurGroceries app), etc, etc.  Close second is Apple Watch.

    • #2560863

      My favorite home consumer tech thing is my wife’s old iPhone 4. I use it primarily to stream internet radio while I work. I also use it as a digital camera – it takes great pictures, and they are very easy to transfer to my desktop computer. Finally, I use it to record my lectures when I teach at my church.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
    • #2560997

      I suppose my somewhat modest home theater system. It provides many hours of fun and frustration.

    • #2561049

      For us, it’s our iPad, dummed -down simplicity together with all the catchup TV, movies online, ebooks, cognative games and puzzles. Digital bliss when we want to wind-down.

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
    • #2561061

      My electric cordless Black and Decker weed wacker and edger combined into one.  Especially when you have to string it.  Unlike the gas powered one ‘s.  where you have to wind the string  and cut it.  These are  spools . Just pop them on.  Push button auto feed instead of wacking it on the ground to feed the string and they won’t   feed sometimes.  Great for home owners not commercial  use. I recommend buying an extra battery pack for large lawns.

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      • #2561064

        I’ve got one of those and they are very convenient!

        Being 20 something in the 70's was more fun than being 70 something in the 20's
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    • #2561187

      My espresso machine. Over 20 years old, built like a tank, simple to use, consistent in brewing, and used almost every day. I’ve pulled around 13,000 shots.

      No tech at all. None. Probably why it’s lasted this long.

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    • #2561196

      Windows 98. It is my favorite OS. I still use it daily at home. Never liked any other OS after. All of them seem to be useless.

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    • #2561306

      QuickMill ?

      Starbucks Barista (branded version of Saeco’s Via Venezia). Sadly, Saeco discontinued it more than five years ago, making parts hard to find.

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    • #2561312

      QuickMill ?

      Starbucks Barista (branded version of Saeco’s Via Venezia). Sadly, Saeco discontinued it more than five years ago, making parts hard to find.

      Do you have favorite coffee beans?

    • #2561317

      Aside from my Windows desktop and ThinkPad X230 my favorite home consumer tech thingie is an Audioquest Dragonfly Red DAC and the couple of cables that allow me to use it on any USB-A and USB-C device. It’s about the size of a pack of 5 sticks of gum, very portable, and greatly enhances the quality and enjoyment of the music output delivered by computers, phones, tablets, etc.. I use it with earphones and headphones but it can also output to receivers, amplifiers, etc. . . .

    • #2561320

      Do you have favorite coffee beans?

      Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast. About $14/lb.

      The best espresso I’ve used is Illy, which comes in vacuum-sealed cans, already ground. About $27/lb.

    • #2561325

      I’ve got spare keyboards, trackballs, etc., and numerous redundancy devices for storage, and even a second computer that’s almost identical to my main machine. However, Nr 1 on my list (of false security?) is my spare router.

      It’s a relatively new one, but they’re available for only 30-40 euros online. It’s branded with the name of my ISP (German Telekom), and if I’ve got it right, the Telekom has a copy of the settings for my entire little phone system and can download it to the (replacement) router if/when necessary.

      Thank God, I’ve never needed to test whether the concept works, and I hope I never will.

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    • #2561368

      Do you have favorite coffee beans?

      Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast. About $14/lb.

      The best espresso I’ve used is Illy, which comes in vacuum-sealed cans, already ground. About $27/lb.

      I’m a drip coffee and cappuccino guy, espresso gives me palpitations. 🙁

      But I do use Blue Bottle Hayes Valley Espresso blend for drip, cut to about 70% BB with the balance a variety of medium roast blends to take off some of the espresso edge.

      Blue Bottle used to only be available online or from one of their cafes of which there are very few outside of California. Downtown D.C. used to have 6 or 7 of them pre-Covid. Now there are only three.

      Nestle bought BB a few years ago. I see now you can find their coffee at some Target stores of all places. I have a monthly subscription for Hayes Valley Espresso direct from BB, $21\12oz. shipped on the day of roasting.

      I’ve never tried Illy coffee but I did score a Baratza Vituoso grinder from them at a great price during a Mother’s Day promotion about 10 years ago. That was very unusual because Baratza does not approve of discounting their grinders unless the discounting originates from them. Shortly after I bought mine Illy no longer sold Baratzas . . .

    • #2563647

      Better late than never… my NAD Hybrid Digital DAC Amp and my Bluesound Pulse 2i networked speaker/music systems. All can stream internet (Tidal is amazing) and play my 2GB music library on my NAS using the Bluesound OS. The sound and tech is awesome.

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