Gadgets s4

Published on March 22nd, 2006 | by Greg


Information Wants to Be Free

We like to support the little guy. The inventor, the ideas man, who comes up with something and just works and works until it becomes reality. The small business where the president is also the secretary, the PR team, and the design group.

Today’s gadget, the Pertelian LCD screen, is just this sort of invention. It’s the sort of thing you might think of when you’re playing too many video games, and you really wish you could check your email without leaving the game. Alt+Tab doesn’t always work and sometimes can make your computer crash, but quitting out of Quake or Counter-Strike just really isn’t an option.

Eureka! An external LCD screen that you plug in via USB and that can check your email, show sports scores, work as a stock ticker, etc. Brilliant!

Maybe. It’s a fairly simple idea that they are aiming at serious gamers, which is why their introductory text reads: “With the next generation Pertelian you will never have to leave your game again while staying connected to your friends.” Brokers and investment professionals might find it interesting, but many of them have multiple monitors or Blackberrys or many other ways to get the information. If you are part of the serious gamer niche, you might very well enjoy Pertelian- it’s hackable, well-supported, Mac and Linux compatible.

The backlight works well, though we’ve grown accustomed to better detail on LCDs. The cord is plenty long enough, and the software is mostly easy to use. The biggest complaint we have is that controlling the Pertelian can be annoying- it doesn’t have any buttons, so you setup hotkeys. But there is often a delay, and in addition it can be quite frustrating to read email on a small, scrolling screen.

Nonetheless, we salute you, gamers with ideas! $70 isn’t bad at all- for those who need their information a little bit more free.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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