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dreaming of products

This might be a little off topic, but perhaps a good way to take your minds off of work for a little while.

I want to ask a very open-ended question. What types of product dreams do you have? Any particular thing you'd like to be able buy from BestBuy, Amazon.com, or your local RadioShack that unfortunately doesn't exist? Anything that could potentially make you a more productive, better, happier person? Anything lacking in your life or perhaps needing augmentation? Anything annoying you to death that needs fixed?

There are great things that lurk around us everyday. Some of them we could see coming, some we never saw until they hit us. Some of them got shoved down our throats until we eventually accepted them. I always wonder how these ideas formed in the first place... Lots of brainstorming? Luck? Dreams? Alignment of the planets? :)

I thought I would ask for some (random) ideas that you might have heard from others or you might perhaps have yourselves. We all have different circles of friends, different backgrounds and different lives basically. I thought it would make sense to see what you all might be experiencing in your own lives.

If you don't think it is a very silly topic, please respond with anything. I am open to any silly, weird, crazy, goofy ideas.

Thanks in advance!

entell
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I'm still waiting for an affordable virtual reality helmet I can put on and watch movies. And I want it to be good enough that I need a barf bag.

Tom H
Saturday, February 21, 2004

girl robots?

Dan Brown
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Radio Tivo.  Even better is a way to record internet radio, but I'd spend $100 for an audio Tivo that just grabbed FM.

Snotnose
Saturday, February 21, 2004

why do use ask, how much money do you have to create a new product from our ideas? :)


Saturday, February 21, 2004

I want Verizon to offer a smartphone with bluetooth built-in.

Philo

Philo
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I want a decently fast wearable computer with goggles that don't make me look like a deep-sea diver, for a price under $3000 and a weight under 5lbs.  Think you can do that for me?  ;>

Sam Livingston-Gray
Saturday, February 21, 2004

this may not be totally whiz-bang - but something i'd actually use.

i want a vcr that you can program to tape radio shows. there's a couple of weekly npr-type shows up north here that i want to see, and miss.

yeah - i know there are ways to patch together a system to do this, and my linux box does it in kind of a crummy way. i just want a simple out of the box system to take care of it - or have somebody add the 50 cents worth of circuitry to every new vcr today to include this.

pbcanuck
Saturday, February 21, 2004

pbcanuk,

A lot of radio shows (including most of NPR) have web archives.

I listen to What 'da 'ya know and all those weekend shows via streaming archived audio.

The real Entrepreneur
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Interesting ideas!

Why do I ask? Well, as I said, just curious... How much money do I have? Probably not enough for the girl robot!
Sorry Dan Brown.  :)

I had a few ideas of my own, but they were mostly shot down by friends and colleagues. Oh well...


Philo,

The cellphone you mentioned with the bluetooth built-in. What good is bluetooth in a cellphone? You can connect a mouse and a keyboard to it? :)  Seriously.. Does it allow cellphones to talk to each other somehow when they are close by or something?  I thought bluetooth was pretty much dead before it even took off.

entell
Saturday, February 21, 2004

You can connect bluetooth enabled headsets, or connect your laptop to your phone over bluetooth for web access.

  --Josh

JWA
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Entell,
  I'm in the UK where loads of cellphones have bluetooth.  There are a few main uses for it, mainly:

Laptops can use the phone as a modem (or GPRS device on some) without cables
Wireless Hands free systems (especially good for cars - just get in the car and it just works)
Syncing of address books / calender with PC or other cellphones

r1ch
Saturday, February 21, 2004

JWA nailed it.

While I'm waiting, I just bought a plantronics headset (like the ones in Minority Report, except with a wire) - my god, how did I live without this thing? Anyone who spends any time on cell phones should really try it.

Regarding Bluetooth - there are also cars now with bluetooth receivers that will hook into your cell phone. I also think Garmin just released a bluetooth GPS unit (tablet PC on the seat of your car, GPS unit on the dashboard, no wires necessary).

Philo

Philo
Saturday, February 21, 2004

an ebook reader, in the form-factor of a paperback, with flexible screen "pages" and all of the worlds printed matter available for download. storage of ~100 OEDs would be nice.

dreaming reader
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Cellphones have really made bluetooth take off. People in the UK use it to send messages to friends and strangers nearby, as well as transferring picturesa and a load of other things.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Like WiFi, Bluetooth is a nifty enabling technology for lots of little things beyond the common uses mentioned.  I can right now send and read SMS from my Apple PowerBook through my bluetooth phone, while the phone sits in the bag at my feet (also saving my thumbs and some sanity.)  If someone were to call me right now, a window would pop up telling me who is calling so I can either scramble to answer it, or press a button on the popup window to send that call straight to voicemail and stop disturbing other people in the coffeeshop. 

My colleague can snap a photo with his Bluetooth camera phone of the pretty girl across the shop that Fred has a crush on, and quickly transmit it to my notebook so I photoshop Fred's head onto the guy next to her, and email it to Fred to entice him to come work with us.

Meet a new business prospect at the coffeeshop?  Exchanging vCards between computers and/or phones via Bluetooth is easy peasy.

The infrastructure is also in place to do much more, but some of the software isn't there yet.  For example, since my Mac has a decent microphone and speakers, if the software were fully in place, the Mac could present the Bluetooth headset profile to the phone, and I could use the Mac as a speakerphone calling through the phone still in my bag.

Basic technologies like Bluetooth create unexpected opportunities.  We may see lots of neat-o things happen over Bluetooth over next year or two.

veal
Saturday, February 21, 2004

A wonderful thread.

#1 Something like FIDO for the Web. Like a Usenet reader, but with modern options:
- decent quoting (not the antiquated "quote-body-in-full")
- quick "agree/LOL/RTFM/etc." buttons
- Send/Receive instead of wading through online forums, getting email notifications
- ASKING QUESTIONS: would work like a bug report; asker posts question, answers come in, people chip in, agree/disagree/give their thoughts, and the question DOESN'T GO AWAY until the asker is satisfied.

#2 An iPod-like thingy with a QWERTY keyboard, a color screen, 40GB hard drive and a nice operating system, with a decent game joystick. It would sell like crazy to teenage geeks.

Alex.ro
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Alex.ro,

Your #2 already exists. Check out the following link if you are interested:

http://www.tiqit.com/specs.shtml

I think the price is a little steep, but it has what you want and more!


As for bluetooth enabled cellphones, how easy is it to write software for cellphones? I never dug into phone companies' websites like Nokia's to see if they have any decent appnotes, datasheets, etc. I wrote software for PDAs a few times, but never dealt with cellphones. Anyone with any experience programming cellphones? Your comments would be appreciated.

entell
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Philo,


It looks like your prayers are being answered as we speak as well!  Check this out:

http://www.phonescoop.com/news/item.php?n=787

entell
Saturday, February 21, 2004

The Tiqit looks interesting, but could it be vaporware?  It was apparently first announced in early 2002 and hasn't yet been released.

Interesting line from the FAQ:

"1. When will Tiqit be available?
We *will* shortly be in preproduction in Q1 2003, with commercial availability in Q2 2004."

Emphasis added -- apparently the FAQ hasn't been updated since 2002.  If I were an investor I'd be getting very nervous.  <g>

Robert Jacobson
Saturday, February 21, 2004

It also looks like the girl robot is sort of available (if that is what the person that posted it is looking for).  www.realdoll.com

Not going to disclose it on this one...
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I saw a demo of it on TechTV a little while ago. It seemed to be a *real* device, but I am not sure...

entell
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I saw the demo of Tiqit not the girl robot!  :)

entell
Saturday, February 21, 2004

To the people who asked for radio tivo:

http://gizmodo.net/archives/001915.php

#1 if you search for "radio tivo"!  I know it exists, I think even some of those more geeky hard disk MP3 players have it.  I know many can record from FM radio directly, since they have an FM tuner.  Some of them have various Tivo-like features too, but maybe not all of them.

Roose
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I've heard about the Tiqit. Two turn-offs:

- it weighs half a kilo (WHAT?)
- it runs Windows XP - not the best OS to hack around. I'm intimidated by Windows.

Psychologically it doesn't give you the comfort of a 'sturdy' device. I'd rather have the equivalent of a 386 with DOS Extender and multitasking. That's hackable.

Just my dream product, as per the topic.

Alex.ro
Saturday, February 21, 2004

electronic paper. 

It should look and feel like real ink-on-paper, but with the option to backlight and the functionality of a tablet PC monitor.  Plug it into any computer like a monitor (or more likely, connect by bluetooth, etc).

eaw
Saturday, February 21, 2004

addendum: the technology is nearly available.  I just can't wait.

http://www.nature.com/nsu/030922/030922-10.html

eaw
Saturday, February 21, 2004

How about any ideas like Roomba or Segway?

I keep thinking of ideas that end up being extensions to already existing products and they end up being very boring. It seems like my dronenification through endless commercials and mindless TV shows has been completed!

I once had an idea for a street-cleaning robot, but I can just picture the poor thing getting abused!  I guess our society is not ready for such novelties yet.  :)

entell
Saturday, February 21, 2004

ah, but the Motorola phone isn't a Smartphone (though it's a damn nice phone). BTW, note that Motorola unveiled the phone originally in the summer of 2002 - that's how slow Verizon is in deploying new phones. :(

This is what I *really* want (if it has bluetooth):
http://www.coolsmartphone.com/index.php?option=news&task=viewarticle&sid=642

But I think I'll settle for the Motorola v710 and a new PDA.

Philo

Philo
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Oh. Best guesses are summer 2004 if we're lucky. [sigh]

Philo

Philo
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Cheap broadband access in a rural area. Rule out ADSL as I'm too far from the local exchange and, anyway, there aren't enough subscribers to justify the upgrade cost. Rule out satellite because it's too expensive. Rule out a wireless link to the local telephone exchange because it's line-of-site and I'd need to erect a mast.

You wanted a challenge, didn't you?

David Roper
Saturday, February 21, 2004

David, here's a possible solution, using blimps or other autonomous aircraft, but I admit that I've only heard of it because it was one of the research projects at my university and a few of my old lecturers are involved in it.  I'm sure that I heard a while ago that they're planning to enter trials soon.  The project website is at http://www.capanina.org/

r1ch
Saturday, February 21, 2004

A combination of cell phone/GPS that can be hidden
somewhere in the car and it would send over Internet
it's position two times a day. If I notice my car has
been stolen, I can send email/SMS and it would start
sending its position every 15 minutes ors so. After a
while, with some practice and skills, they could start
making them so small that you could put one into your bike
or notebook or with babies or...

VPC
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I would like some sort of soft drink where I can drink a redbull sized can and become immediately legally sober, without any side effects.

I would also like a similar soft drink where I can drink a can of it and it immediately makes me fall asleep for exactly five hours. When I awake I am totally energized. And no side effects.

 
Saturday, February 21, 2004

A reasonably priced flying car. It's the 21st century. Where's my flying car?

Tim Sullivan
Saturday, February 21, 2004

for GPS to track stolen cars, it won't really work. at least here where i live (central europe) most of the thieves have gps blocking devices which costs around $10. so they just attach it to any car (they hide it as well), and that's it,


Saturday, February 21, 2004

A cheap malaria vaccine.

Jan Derk
Saturday, February 21, 2004

In 1998 I did some 3D graphics for an info-mercial for the "Satellite Recovery Network" which was a system to recover stolen cars via GPS. Guess it never caught on...

I would like a better way to authenticate myself to the websites I visit frequently (forums, online banking, etc) than typing in a gazillion usernames and passwords. (done by a company with no "privacy baggage" so it wouldn't flounder like Passport).

Dan Maas
Saturday, February 21, 2004

don't most midlevel to high end ($15,000 on up) new cars released in the united states already have a "theft recovery" option?

 
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Re: how hard to program a cellphone.  If the phone runs BREW then you write your code in either C or C++.  They have macros like STRCPY that do pretty much what you think they do.  Everything is unicode, so things like "this would be a stringy type thing" don't work as expected.  Limited RAM/ROM.  Slow CPU.  No floating point.  No stdlib.

Other than that, you just write your code and go.  The hardest thing to work with is the screen, new ones are only 120x100.  Trying to work in that kind of space makes the UI extremely difficult to get right.

Oh yeah.  Unless you pay bookoo bux to get certified ($1500 I think), then you can't get your app anywhere that the typical cellphone user can get at it.  You get the app onto your phone either via over the air transfers, or a cable that isn't easy to come by.

You can get the SDK and a simulator for free at http://www.qualcomm.com/brew.

Snotnose
Saturday, February 21, 2004

>i want a vcr that you can program to tape radio shows

Isn't this just called a tape recorder? Or am I missing some special element (why do we want to tape audio on an audio visual device?).

Speaking of all this, anyone know of any good mp3 archives containing non-music content.
something akin to Microsoft's MSDN TV. I am really wanting to find something intelligent to listen to on long trips when travelling out of radio range...

Aussie Chick
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Aussie Chick,

I usually use books on tape or books on CD when I go on long trips alone. Your local library should have a decent collection. Most bookstores have a good collection too.

entell
Sunday, February 22, 2004

There was a thread like this a while back, and I also wanted a 'radio tivo' like device.  Yes, it would just be a tape recorder, but programmable.  I've looked and couldn't find one.

My new idea of the day is an electronic picture frame.

You'd be able to load a .bmp, jpeg, etc. into the picture frame.  It would come in wall mount or table top mount versions (aka, "form-factors" if you prefer annoying tech-marketing-speak).  I know something like this already exists, having read that Gates' house was filled with electronic art displays similar to this.  But I'm sure he paid plenty for it.  Something small scale and priced for the masses would be good.

Nick
Sunday, February 22, 2004

I want the Treo 600 for Sprint PCS for around $100 :)

Anon
Sunday, February 22, 2004

vcr + radio = can set it to record at different times. Can't change the channel mid tape, but you can set the time.

There are also radio tuners for the computer, they may come with software that does this.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, February 22, 2004

there are many consumer digital picture frames. just google for "digital picture frame."  the reason why they haven't taken off comercially is because when an LCD screen is combined with a CPU , graphics card, memory card reader, and/or networking the frame vendor will be hard pressed to make a profit selling the device at less than $500.  the least expensive frames are about $300. for $300 you can have 50 4x6 photos printed and put into $5 frames from target, and most people don't have 50 photos worth viewing, anyway.

 
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Adding to the audio comments, I want a decent, cheap alarm clock that plays MP3s (and radio).  The vast majority of those clock radio alarm clocks I see have a horrible UI, and even the better ones aren't great.  Thinking about it, the UI challenges are really interested.  I almost think that so many people have used the same clock radios that it's probably hard to use anything else, no matter how "easy."

Rich
Sunday, February 22, 2004

>You'd be able to load a .bmp, jpeg, etc. into the picture frame.  It would come in wall mount or table top mount versions.

I will second this one

Aussie Chick
Sunday, February 22, 2004

I want every clock in my home (all clock radios, wall clocks, TV clock, VCR clock, microwave, car, etc) to stay synchronised via NTP. One NTP server that keeps itself in sync with the outside world, and then everything stays synchronised with it.

When I park my car(s) in my garage they should sync themselves via a wireless link to the NTP server. The wall clock in my office should stay in sync. My clock radio, the clock in my heartrate monitor, everything.

I hate having 17 clocks in the house all showing slightly different times.

Andrew Lighten
Sunday, February 22, 2004

"digital picture frame." - just bolt an old laptop to your wall.

People do make picture frames from old laptops, the downside is getting one without a broken screen, then they all have custom video drivers, so no two models are alike.

Not cheap however you look at it.

AJS
Sunday, February 22, 2004

I dream to have an iPod + RDS FM Radio tuner.

if Apple can add Cell Phone and PDA features...

Guillermo
Sunday, February 22, 2004

"I want every clock in my home (all clock radios, wall clocks, TV clock, VCR clock, microwave, car, etc) to stay synchronised via NTP."

There was a plan around '97 or '98 to put timecode information into the interstitial gaps in a television data stream. Then VCR's could read the timecodes and set their own clocks.

I don't know what ever happened to the plan.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, February 22, 2004

I've wanted my computer to be able to record and time-shift radio for quite a long time too, and it's finally on the way.

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/radioshark/

The hardware's been ready for a while but apparantly the software took a lot longer than they expected.  They must have farmed out the software work.

veal
Sunday, February 22, 2004

I'd have thought the XDA II would work philo but you'll have to get GSM network (I think Verizon are CDMA?).
http://www.xda-2.co.uk/under_the_bonnet.html has more details Bluetooth + Windows mobile etc
I don't know about availabilty in the US yet. I suspect it'll be available in around six months. (Last time I think o2 got a six month exlusive, then I think the original XDA got rebadged as a Qtek 1010) I nearly bought one last time but the lack of triband GSM meant I bought a grey import P800.
www.expansys.com are saying they'll do it unlocked, at a gobsmacking £500 ($934) plus whatever the US govt wants in import duty.
I think the XDA II will be out as a Qtek 2020 but that shows a price of €800 so it's a very similar price.
Perhaps someone in MS can get you one cheap?

Peter Ibbotson
Sunday, February 22, 2004

1. I want a secure display for my laptop so that other people in the plane/library/cafe/whatever cannot see what I'm doing. I've tried those "tiny monitors built into glasses" products. They're OK for watching TV, but the resolution is too low for computer work.

2. I want free high-speed wireless Internet access *everywhere*.

Keith Moore
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Here's a website full of ideas http://www.lazyweb.org/

r1ch
Sunday, February 22, 2004

many of these exist... sounds like the real thing people need is a way to read what's out there. google is a great start, don't know if it can get much better.

most VCR clocks set themselves now.
you can buy other clocks which set themselves (e.g. http://www.onlinewatchcenter.com/Atomic-Wall-Clocks.html though I don't know if it would work outside of the US).
but people just don't seem to want to pay for this feature; my gym has huge digitial clocks, but they all say something different; i don't see how hard it would be to have a midnight or hourly reset connection between them.

digitial picture frames exist. the target isn't people who have 50 specific photos, but rather to send a daily/weekly picture to grandma.

cars have lojack and immobilizer and GPS units. all hackable, and all frankly scary from a privacy perspective.

secure screens exist. do laptop LCDs still require polarizers? if so, you remove the polarizer from the LCD and wear sunglasses.

mb
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Re: high-speed internet in rural areas:

Define rural. In Saskatchewan, Canada, it's almost easier to find a town with ADSL than without. Aberdeen (population well under 1000) recently got such service. Granted, I still can't get it at my cabin and my aunt can't get it at her farm, but I do know someone on an acreage getting wireless high-speed from a local provider. At least around here, it's just a matter of time.

Note: When you have an area larger than Texas with only 1 million people, there aren't really any options. No matter who you are, if you don't provide rural service then you don't really get to provide any service.

To get back on topic, I want an MP3 player with a memory-card slot with a form factor suitable for use with my home stereo. Remote control, reasonably large LCD display, and maybe a video-out that lets me show better menus on my TV. There's really no reason why something this big shouldn't have on-board radio and CD player with 'record-to-memory card' functions. There's also no reason I shouldn't be able to walk into a 'record' store and pick up music on a memory card. And I'm almost positive that someone will tell me that this is already here :), but I haven't come across it yet.

Ron Porter
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Personal rapid transit.

It's transportation network that uses personal-sized, automated electrical cars that run on elevated rails.  You can simply "hail" a car at any station and program your destination, and it wisks you there directly -- no waiting for a bus.

The technology has been "right around the corner" for decades, although it looks like there are actual prototype systems in development.

http://faculty.washington.edu/~jbs/itrans/prtquick.htm
http://www.skywebexpress.com/

Robert Jacobson
Sunday, February 22, 2004

I want apple (or somebody) to make an "iAlbum" ("iBlum?").. they could make it interface with their iPhoto just how iPods go with iTunes, and it'd be a coffee table photo album form factor that had an ipod sized harddrive in it but was just for looking at pictures. Maybe it'd be nicely leather bound or something. It could have a huge-ass battery in it because it's not for carrying around, just for replacing all the zillions of photo albums people like my mom have in the shelves. I'm not sure if it'd have one screen or two, and what the interface would be like, I'm sure apple could do a good job with that. The thing shouldn't need to cost more than an ipod hopefully.. the only expensive part would be the screen I guess. I know the iPhoto thing's already got this probably never used feature to order a real photo album in the mail from your photos. Rather than that, they'd just have an option to "publish" it to your iBlum.

Josh No-Spam Jones
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Let me steer the topic to a different aspect of dreaming new products. I have been seeing lots of so called innovative ideas on TV that are going to be coming into our lives soon. Here are some of them:

* I have seen many claims that at some near future, many appliances in our houses will be able to talk to each other wirelessly. I am not entirely sure what the promise is, but I think it has to do with the fridge knowing you are about to run out of milk, eggs, etc... and calling the local grocery store, or at least letting you know about it. I can't think of why I would want my appliances to chit-chat.

* Drive by wire. I am personally scared of this one! I like the mechanical link between my feet, my hands and the tires, the engine, etc. Besides, how much is it going to cost to fix something when it breaks? It already costs an arm and a leg and then some to replace the electronic parts of current cars. Are we going to also invent the concept of disposable cars?  :)

I can only think of these 2 things right now. I know there are a few others. Can anyone think of any other?

Do you guys really think any of this would catch on? Can you see yourself buying into this stuff? This is a great audience to ask this question since I consider most of you to be innovators and early adopters (Gorilla Game anyone?)

Please let me know what you think.

BTW, many thanks to all of you who responded to this thread! It has been great! 

entell
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Also, in general, people should make more products that require you to have a wireless network in your house with dhcp running!

Why aren't there cheap little alarm clocks that assume you've got that, and keep their time updated via ntp? And also show the current weather for your zip code?

You'd control these devices through a web interface just like you would your router (they'd just have a little lcd display saying the IP they were assigned via dhcp).

Besides an alarm clock, I'm not sure what else you'd want though. Maybe household appliances?

And if they all had easy APIs to all their functions (maybe SOAP enabled) you could have them all interact happily. You could write your own little scripts that say "when my alarm clock goes off, turn on my stero to this mp3 if the weather is sunny, and if I have a meeting with Tom that morning, send him an email saying I'm going to be late". Or maybe your alarm clock could connect to a traffic web site and adjust your alarm time according to your estimated morning commute.

Josh No-Spam Jones
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Finally,

When is there going to be TV over IP? Enough with the Voice over IP, I want TV! I think 1mps should be fast enough, and with comcast wanting $47/month for just basic cable, it seems like now is the time for it to be done over the Internet!

Here's how it'd work. You sign up for TVIP.com's service, pay $30/month for cable or whatever, and get a username and password. Then there's software for windows,macs, unices, palmos, tivo, xbox to stream tv to you. You'd only be allowed one (or maybe two) concurrent streams at a time, but it'd work anywhere in the world you had a fast enough internet connection. Plus, they'd archive EVERY show, so it'd be like the one true infinite tivo in the sky!

Maybe you could also stream movies and music from them anytime (So long netflix and itunes), and maybe if you chose to "buy" a song or movie you would have infinite rights to stream it over and over again, EVEN if you cancelled your subscription in the future. So long dvds!

I already pay $40/month for my dsl from earthlink, why would I need to pay another $47/month for cable from comcast, when if I'm watching TV I'm usually not using my dsl, and vice-versa?

I guess we'll see it in a couple of years as bandwidth gets even cheaper..

Josh No-Spam Jones
Sunday, February 22, 2004

"noise free"

No earplugs, no headphones. Just flick a switch and all noises originating outside of your privacy-sphere will be neutralized (maximum radius: 25 meters).
Pricing < 10.000$

Build it and watch your bankaccount swell to billions overnight.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, February 23, 2004

They already invented that.  It's called an office.  ;-p

veal
Monday, February 23, 2004

"Stress Reducer"...

useful when you get stupid requirements from users...
just touch the gadget for 10 secs and you become normal again......

Sunny
Monday, February 23, 2004

A complete backup solution for home users.  If you could get a software/hardware package combo that is able to backup all of a person's files, hopefully organized as well, and then re-load the files onto the computer.

It's just that everyone (standard PC users) takes for granted that they're going to lose all their files when something goes wrong.  They shouldn't have to.

And they shouldn't have to send off to the local computer store guy who will charge hundreds and hundreds and probably not get it right.


I think that if someone packaged a "backup wizard" bootable CD-ROM with a USB hard drive, in one box, you'd have a lot of happier users.

You could even market this as a value-added benefit for a large PC maker like Dell or HP--"Our machines fix themselves, and with no loss of files*!"

The incredible, insurmountable challenge is to figure out which files need to be backed up, and which can be dumped.  After all, YOU may not care about backing up that savegame directory, but Tom the computer game fanatic cares.  A lot.

--
*but with absolutely no guarantee.  They can't be liable

pds
Monday, February 23, 2004

PDS,

I think there already are solutions out there for backing up files for home users.

There is harddrive imaging software which creates an replica of the software on your harddrive. You can go back to an exact instance in the past if your PC gets corrupted. I don't know how much it costs though.

Win2K has a backup wizard that is free. I am sure WinXP has the same utility. You specify which files/directories/drives to back up, and it does it. It generates huge files, but I think it has an option to break them up into chunks.  You could burn those on a CD.

entell
Monday, February 23, 2004

Veal,

you will not find many 157 square meter soundproof offices at <10.000$ in a desirable location.
Ideally "noise free" would be transportable (hey, ideally it would be wearable) and the range would be dynamic from 0.5 to the full 25 meter radius.
:-)
Hey, it said "dreaming" in the topic, right.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, February 23, 2004

Oh.

Got than one solved too, over an even larger area.  Sharp pencil into the ears.  :-)

Haven't figured out how to flip the switch the other way though.  :-(  Maybe by version 2.0.

veal
Monday, February 23, 2004

Veal,


Jokes aside, I can see how it would be possible to create a sphere of absolute silence. All you need is a special suit with tiny little microphones and speakers woven into the fabric at every possible location. Then you need a computer to sample the microphones and blurt out the negative of the samples thru the speakers. It just might work!

While at it, we could also weave tiny little light sensors and mirrors so that we can be invisible using the same method.

Would that work for ya?  ;)

entell
Monday, February 23, 2004

Emtel, I had a Roomba. Sent it back. There is not enough power in anything rechargable to make it useful. A plug in model that could find plugs and work in shag carpets would be cool.
The same thing to mow the lawn. It must have a built in pooper scooper.

Doug Withau
Monday, February 23, 2004

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