Hi-Tech Strollers with Room for Two

So, I was visiting my sister’s house this week. With a pair of small children on hand, she stays awfully busy, and is always looking for ways to make everything more manageable.

One of those turned out to be the purchase of a double stroller travel system. While I’m a bachelor, I haven’t lived completely under a rock when it comes to these things. I certainly knew that there were strollers that had two or more seats. Still, I was quite fascinated by how the travel system actually works.

If you’re not familiar with these things, the concept is pretty simple: instead of permanent seats, the stroller comes with two car seats that snap securely into the stroller frame. My sis is camera-shy, and wouldn’t let me shoot a video of her demonstrating the stroller, but here’s a video of a single travel system by the same manufacturer as hers:

As you can see, it’s really very slick and easy to use. I was particularly struck by how easily the folding and unfolding process was for the stroller, as well as how neatly and quickly the regular seat could be removed and the carrier attached.

I can see both advantages and disadvantages to such travel systems. The obvious plus are that you can move the child quickly and easily from the car to the stroller and back with minimal disturbance. This would be especially important if they’ve fallen asleep, as you don’t want them to wake up and get fussy.

One of the downsides is that these things are quite heavy and, even with all of the built in conveniences of the Graco stroller my sister owns, it can still be a handful for her to deal with.

But then, so can two little ones!

Making Movies with a DSLR

One of my favorite things to do with technology is find multiple uses for the same gadget. I mean, if a widget that will set things on fire will also make coffee, why by a separate coffee maker?

Among my vast collection of “stuff” is a DSLR camera. Obviously, its primary purpose is to take exceptional still photographs … but did you know that most of them also have the ability to shoot high-quality video?

Here’s a YouTube video reviewing some of the great things that can be done with this technology:

I was particularly struck by the how you can easily control the depth of field to keep the focus on your main subject, as well as how easy it is to edit the recording on your computer. Very cool!

After doing some more research, though, it’s apparent that you’ll get frustrated if you don’t have a few accessories that will help you shoot better video with your digital camera. I found an excellent article on the Popular Photography site that, while somewhat dated, covers this ground very well.

Most especially, you’ll need a tripod or some way to hold the camera steady. Also, because video files will be very large, you will want to invest in high-capacity, high-speed memory cards so you don’t run out of space will filming.

Finally, if you want to include audio in your videos, a separate, high-quality microphone will be a necessity. The little one built into the DSLR itself just won’t cut it under most circumstances.

So, you probably can’t just pick up your camera and go out and start filming the next Casablanca without investing in some additional equipment. On the other hand, unless you are dreaming of winning an Oscar or three, shooting video with your DSLR can still save you money, while producing very satisfying results.

You Found the Geek!

My name is Tim Balfour, and this is my new blog.

I’m a bit of a geek. No, check that: I’m a serious geek! If there is new technology out there, it will nearly always capture my interest. New science, or ways of doing even the most mundane things? I’m all over it.

Simply put, I’m fascinated by how things are done and/or work. In future posts, I’ll be sharing my passion, hopefully in a way that non-geeks will find interesting and understandable.

That last bit may be a challenge for me, since I love jargon and terminology almost as much as the technology itself. Specialized vocabularies are fun, I think, because there are so many words in them that were made up for a specific purpose. I mean, when was the last time you invented a new word?

Anyway, I hope you’ll bookmark this blog and stop by once in a while to see what kind of techy things I’m up to. Thanks for visiting!