Cool Products You wish you could buy

One Laptop per Child, it sort of started, but then died, and then came back, but I still can’t buy a rough and ready filed laptop for even sub $500. And apparently now they are selling crappy tablets to Walmart.

BioLite Stoves are finally available, and not too unreasonably for what they are, it’s going on my buy list soon. The grill attachment is awesome.

Adaptive Eyewear, $105 dollars from one website. Really? These things should be all over Amazon and Wallmart, for less than half that price. in 2012 only 30k were sold, 20k to the military. Even at $50 I’d pick up a pair or two for the house. I’ve been stuck on vacation without any glasses, and driving cross country with no glasses is not possible for me.

Anyone else ever run across something that should be a bigger deal than it is?

The biolite stove looks really cool. I’m thinking I may want one for my emergency kit.

It’s an emerging technology, so it’s not quite as cool as it should be, but yeah, I think it’s an awesome oh shit stove.

So you can find a backpacking stove that weighs a tenth as much, and solar chargers that work better, this is still freaking awesome. Though I’d like to buy the home version.

I have the biolite. There’s a few problems with it.

a) fuel. It needs to be 6" maximum length or else the stove doesn’t work properly.

b) charging … it just doesn’t go all that quickly.

c) cleanup… It takes a lot longer than I’d like.

@milFox - tell me more about the cleanup. I rather like the idea that I can use the pine cones that liberally litter my backyard as fuel, so the size limit doesn’t bother me. I expected the charging to be slow, but it does allow you charge your device when you don’t have access to a charging station.

It’s just standard ashes. But all the air holes makes for a lot of places to go. I find myself using more water to get rid of it.

As for pinecones … I wouldn’t use too many, or at least add in a wood mix. The tar in pinecones might very well not do very well in that combustion chamber design. See or for some typical comments in a normal fire. Mind you, the hotter fuel air combustion of the biolite might help a bit.

Oh and the smell of burning tar isn’t exactly good eats.

Hmm… the biolite stove specifically mentioned pine cones as fuel. The pine cones I was planning to use are ones that have fallen from the tree and are pretty dry. According to the forum you linked to, they should be okay. I’ll have to test it and find out, I guess.


Trying very hard right now to get Tesla to loan me one overnight to review. Success is possible. Will know more soon. Excited :grin:

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I know someone who has a Tesla. He loves it. I haven’t had the chance to actually see it yet, since this person is not someone I’m very close to, and he lives a couple of hours drive away.

Yeah, it’s a fairly cheap thing. I don’t regret having one, not that it’ll replace my MSR multifuel stove.

Chromebooks are looking pretty nice, especially with the potential that it’ll be a good transitional tool for school homework for the kiddos, considering online work is a requirement on a weekly basis and I only expect that requirement to become more and more extensive. That said, I think they’re cheap enough to not worry too much about their destruction (Squaretrade warranty should make short work on that!). Not sure how easy it is to manage the operating system on it, but I presume it’s similar to an Android Phone.

Wonder if you can get Cyanogenmod on it?

Chromebooks don’t run Android. It’s a stripped-down & customized Linux that doesn’t have any of the Android stuff layered on top of it.

Oh, I didn’t realize that (guess I assumed). Perhaps I’ll have to rethink this idea of mine.

Regardless, I still think it’s a neat device and should still meet the need.

My ex got one of the initial free sample ones (which was a travesty, but that’s a whole other conversation). The thing to be wary of is that it requires an internet connection to do most things. It does have a small SSD for the OS and to cache whatever you’re viewing & working on, but its primary storage in the cloud. As I recall, the ex’s came with a basic cell data plan (courtesy of Google for a pretty generous time period - like the first 2 years or something), but when she was outside WiFi range and couldn’t get a cell signal, she couldn’t do much.

Any idea of externdal drives are recognized? I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve assumed less and been surprised before.

At the time, she could connect a USB mouse, but it didn’t seem to acknowledge when a flash drive was plugged in. (But I think it would see her camera - might have started an import wizard or something.) That was an early version of the OS, though. They may have added more flexibility.

It depends on which one you buy. I got a steal around $150 for a specific model (Acer C710-2834). It’s a good size for small-but-useable for me. It had a few things I prefer (multiple USB ports, 16GB SSD, SD card slot, removeable/replaceable battery). I’m not fond of the power cord, which is small and packable but has the huge box right on the plug. That was easily solved with a 6" extender or a generic power cord replacement.

Using the SD card slot, you can run Ubuntu or whatever on it; there are online articles with all the instructions you could want. TBH, I ended up using the Chrome Remote Desktop feature to just hop on a Win7 PC when I needed anything beefier than it could handle. For $150, it was cheaper than the tablets I’d been considering.

I WISH I had enough money to buy a Tesla. I’d trade my 300 in for that in a heartbeat. I’d have to find a place to plug it in from the house, though…no garage, no driveway would make it a bit of a pain.

You could just bum off of power plugs in dark alleyways :stuck_out_tongue:

I wish I had enough money to buy an elephant.

I don’t want an elephant.

I just wish I had enough money that I could buy an elephant. :wink: