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A New Year, A Blue(tooth) Yeartro650

By Ernest Lilley

It's wet in California, where I spent New Year's Eve before going on to cover CES with Alex Pournelle, David Em, and Dan Spisak. There was more than enough cool stuff to see there without getting to many offerings at the Bluetooth pavilion, so I'll be getting to that here. If it's wet in LA, it's cold here in DC-fifteen degrees this morning. I like the cold myself, but I'm from Yankee stock, so go figure. Oh, and it's snowing-but that won't keep me in, 'cause I've got things to do, ways to keep connected while I'm out and about.

My current mobile suite still revolves around my Sony TR3A ultralight, which just fits into my camera bag's outside pocket. I've had it since the first SpaceShipOne launch last June, and I'm still quite pleased with it. The power supply is light enough so that I don't mind taking it along, even though I can get three or four hours out of the battery. What really makes it work on the go though is the addition of a cellular wireless card, because a computer without Internet is a pitiful thing to see. This month I'm running an AirCard 775 for EDGE networks using AT&T's network. Its got good coverage and good throughput, and I'll talk specifics in a bit. I'm also testing a RIM BlackBerry 7100t for my Cell/PDA combo and I've got to say that if you're going to have a smart phone, getting one with Bluetooth is the way to go.

Though my main camera these days is a 6MP Nikon D70, I always carry a smaller camera for a variety of reasons; pocketability, stealth and backup foremost among them. I took Canon's 5MP S500 along to CES and was very pleased with its shots and its ability to use the same CF cards as the D70, but I was totally blown away by Casio's new Pro-Exilim, the 7 MP mini coming out this month.

Lets take a look as some of this stuff in more detail, as well as some CES notes that didn't make it into my coverage.

Sierra Wireless Aircard 775 Edge