leisure 08.12.03


Gadget freaks that we are, we had to satisfy our curiosity. Who was the guy behind the gadget blog Gizmodo, www.gizmodo.com, and, more important, what did he have in his apartment?

A few weeks ago, we set off for the Lower East Side to find out. We got caught in one of this summer's downpours and arrived at chez Gizmodo (aka Peter Rojas) sopping wet. We were slightly disappointed that there was nothing like a high-tech super-dryer for us (paper towels only), but from then on, cool stuff.

We took inventory around the apartment:
· Three laptops — one primary laptop with a widescreen, designed by Porsche, one used for travel, one for backup (which has been on loan to Liz from www.gawker.com since hers died).

· A wireless network with the WiFi access point in his window, so he can be online downstairs at Teany, Moby's tea/vegetarian joint.

· Sharp's 22 AQUOS, www.sharp-usa.com, a flatscreen TV.

· A DVD player.

· TiVo, www.tivo.com.

· Vonage, www.vonage.com, the net phone service, for which Mr. Rojas pays $26 a month for unlimited local calls (and 500 long-distance minutes).

· Two Pocket PCs.

· Two cell phones: a Samsung A400, www.samsungusa.com and the Orange SPV, www.orange.com, which has not been released in the U.S.

· A Sony Aibo, www.us.aibo.com, the robot companion. "I feel bad I don't pay enough attention to it," says Mr. Rojas.

· A Canon S20, www.powershot.com, digital camera.

· And the newest gadget: a handheld WiFi detector, so you can find a signal whether you're roaming the city or traveling.

Peter Rojas definitely had better toys than we did and we were starting to resent him. Hopes that he might be a dull misfit were dashed: The twenty-eight year old writer went to Harvard, got an MA at the University of Sussex in English lit., worked at Red Herring, freelanced for a number of newspapers and magazines, then hit upon the idea of Gizmodo (which celebrates its one-year anniversary this Thursday).

Well, nothing worse than a smart guy with a wide range of interests, who's engaging, attractive, and a good writer. We did feel better that there are some things that Mr. Rojas wants that he doesn't yet have:

· A ONEbox Media Center, www.oneboxmc.com, which is a digital entertainment hub.

· New cell phones, neither of which has yet been released: the Treo 600, www.handspring.com/treo600 and the Samsung SCH-I600, www.bargainpda.com.

· An NEC Versa Litepad Tablet PC, www.necsolutions.com/mobilesolutions.

· A Pentax Optio S, www.pentax.com, which is a digital camera so small, it can fit into a tin of Altoids.
This month's Esquire has a wrenching (and beautifully written) article by Tom Junod called "The Falling Man", which reflects on a nearly taboo subject: the victims of the World Trade Center who jumped to their deaths, and what the photographic record of those acts means.

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