All That I Want

Joe Lavin's Humor Column

All That I Want

From Computoredge Magazine

January 31, 2003

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Like many, I have wishlists all over the web, but unfortunately nobody's really buying anything from them -- even after I placed links to them here at my web site. I got this idea after hearing about several women with web cams who linked to their Amazon wishlists and suddenly started receiving gifts from strangers. It seemed an ingenious plan, and so I decided to try it myself. After all, if it worked for the cam girls, why not me? "Um, Joe, because you're not a young, nubile female willing to expose yourself on the web every night," a little voice inside my head exclaimed, but I ignored that voice to concentrate instead on all the loot I might get.

Somehow, the plan didn't work, but don't worry. I haven't given up. I've decided instead to post a column about my high-tech wishlist right here just in case anyone out there would like to buy me something. There's no need to thank me.

A smart fridge. I first read about smart refrigerators in a computer magazine several years ago, and I want one. Partly, I want one because, by checking its contents and then ordering anything that I need at the supermarket, the smart fridge will make my life much easier. But mostly, I want one because my current fridge is really, really dumb.

A PDA with a built-in cell phone and digital camera. This will be automatically programmed to take a picture of its location whenever I inevitably lose it. It will then e-mail that picture back to me so that I can eventually track it down.

A Roomba robot vacuum. Yes, it's a little disc-shaped robot that glides around your house and vacuums while you are gone. How cool is that? It vacuums until its sensors reveal that there's no more dirt, unlike me who vacuums until my sensors reveal that there might be a sporting event on television. As an added benefit, here's one item that will seriously freak out your dog.

A dog translator. Speaking of dogs, in Japan, Takara Toys sells an electronic device that can translate what your dog is trying to say. By taking the noises your dog makes and comparing them to a database maintained by animal behaviorists, this device can translate barks and growls into simple phrases. There's no word yet on whether the company plans to release a similar device to translate exactly what your boss wants. That technology may be years away. Oh, and my guess is that your dog would probably just like a big hunk of meat.

A firewall for my smart fridge. Now that I think about it, you can never be too safe with networked appliances. I certainly don't want anyone to hack into my smart fridge and start replacing the frozen pizza on my shopping list with tofu or something. Yep, I definitely need a firewall.

A cell phone with a built-in digital camera and PDA. You know, just in case I really do lose my PDA with a built-in cell phone and digital camera.

A transmogrifier. This is a must-have. Be sure to get one of those special models that turns into a time machine when you flip it upside down. Thanks.

A special switch to occasionally make my smart fridge less smart. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for having an intelligent fridge, but there's nothing worse than having your fridge get all uppity with you just because it thinks it's smarter than you. There ought to be some way to teach it a lesson when needed.

Cookies. The real ones, not the computer kind. I like oatmeal raisin the best.

A digital camera with a built-in PDA and cell phone. You might think that a PDA with a built-in cell phone and digital camera or a cell phone with a built-in digital camera and PDA are just as good as a digital camera with a built-in PDA and cell phone. But you would be wrong. I need them all.

A SuperStack Dual Speed Hub 500. I don't even know what this is, but it sounds so cool I want it.

And finally: world peace. Wouldn't it be great if everyone in the world could just get along and love one another for a change? That's really all I want. Of course, if that doesn't work out, a PlayStation2 would be cool as well.

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