Friday, March 6, 2009

Deep Pockets?

Gadgets. People are carrying more and more of them. First there were Sony Walkmans. They used batteries that could be replaced. Later came CD Walkmans...they used batteries that could be replaced. Car Phones came on the scene. I got my first CAR phone in 1993. It was truly a car phone. I plugged it into the cigarette lighter and it could not be used outside the car.

Cell phones then became portable. People still had to buy a car charger and maybe an extra charger for work. Cell phone batteries became better....but cell phones became more powerful.

The phones Kelli and I carry are amazingly sophisticated. In addition to making phone calls we can get instant email, use the power of GPS satellites to figure out where we are, browse the Internet at near DSL speeds, listen to music, watch videos, play high quality games, take photos of a higher quality than the best digital cameras made less than 5 years ago and of course send text messages.

All the sophistication takes power. My cell phone does pretty good with casual use. When I browse the Internet a lot or use the GPS often the battery begins to go south. I bought an APC mobile battery pack from Fry's for $14 a few months ago. It was a steal as it sold normally for $60. The battery could be charged via USB and could easily recharge my phone from 10% to 100% three times. I soon figured out why it was so cheap.

Last week the battery died on my way back from Chicago. I figured it just needed to be charged. No joy. The battery would not respond to a charge. I contacted APC. They advised they can do nothing for me as it has been discontinued! SONOFA$!% !

This was a great product. In addition to charging my phone it charged my Zune as well. When I was using my computer I could recharge the APC battery and my phone at the same time. I love USB charging. Boo.

I searched for a similar product. I found one. The Black & Decker Pocket Power battery pack. They too had been discontinued and are available for just $3.99 a piece (they used to be $60!). I read the reviews and most people were happy with them. I somehow missed one important detail.


The Black & Decker Pocket Power batteries are HUGE!

The APC battery is truly pocket sized. For size reference I put a hotel key (from Las NEVER go there) next to the APC battery.

The people at Black & Decker must be HUGE with HUGE pants and HUGE pockets. This damn thing won't fit in any of my pants. Maybe I should buy some "thug" style baggy pants....then it would fit.

To the defense of the Black & Decker Pocket Power it can power USB devices and regular 2 prong electrical devices. Thus with a simple 3 prong to 2 prong (non-grounded) adapter, the Black & Decker Pocket Power can charge/run my laptop.

I bought 3 of $3.99 a piece why not? Yeah. I figure I will keep one in my laptop bag, one in my flight kit (to charge my phone when I fly) and give one to Kelli. For kicks on the day these batteries arrived I tried charging the APC battery came back to life.

Kelli and I are both looking forward to Vegas. We are meeting our friends Jason & Jackie and Eric & Angela. The last time Kelli and I were with them in Vegas was our wedding....four years ago.

Getting to Vegas might be interesting. For the next two weekends flights from DFW to Las Vegas are very full. The weekend we are going has very empty flights. Of course this is still 3 weeks away. My backup plan is for us to fly to Los Angeles and then to Las Vegas. Even this crazy routing get's us into Vegas by 11:30AM.

Good times.

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