Decking Out Your 'Man Cave'
BURLINGAME - There's a dearth of gadget leadership these days. When billionaire Bill Gates built his multimillion-dollar mansion on the shores of Lake Washington, it was tailored to be ahead of the pack. It was T1 broadband in a time of 56k dial-up modems, flat panels in a time of cathode ray tubes, trampolines in a time of linoleum.
BURLINGAME - There's a dearth of gadget leadership these days.
When billionaire Bill Gates built his multimillion-dollar mansion on the shores of Lake Washington, it was tailored to be ahead of the pack. It was T1 broadband in a time of 56k dial-up modems, flat panels in a time of cathode ray tubes, trampolines in a time of linoleum.
Replete with such technology, Gates' lair was the envy of gadget guys worldwide. It was the ultimate "man cave"--the kind of place embellished with high technology, not throw pillows.
These days, you don't have to be the world's richest man to build a man cave stocked with digital minions. Yet rather than moving on to the latest wireless electricity or OLED screens, Gates' zest for gadget luxury seems to be languishing. The latest word from Lake Washington is that Apple devices are banished from the premises. On what other technological goodness could Gates be missing out on?
Maybe Gates grew bored of it all during Microsoft's race to lower price points for its own consumer gadgets. Or perhaps the ennui set in after changes in retail commerce meant that a couple clicks on the Internet could bring Batcave-like functionality to any room.
Whatever the cause, anyone looking up to Gates for gadget leadership shouldn't let the loss deter them. Budgetary choices are one's own business, of course, but in Gates' absence we have a couple of guiding technologies that will get any man cave going. They fall into three categories: networking, displays and robots.
Today's over-the-air gadgets suck down wireless Internet from all corners. For supplying ample bandwidth, a Cisco Linksys Dual-Band Wireless-N-Gigabit Router will do the trick. It uses the new, faster 802.11n wireless Internet standard, which offers multiple-input, multiple-output connectivity that makes connections stronger as the signals bounce around the room.
To be taken seriously, any good lair needs huge display screens. It will behoove you to have lots of little ones too. The 27 million pixel CineMassive OmegaPlex would take care of the computer display. On the other end of the spectrum, the 3.5-inch LCD color touchscreen on a Chumby device could help you keep up with your stock portfolio.
Since robots are finally here, functional and friendly cyborgs are a must have too. Assuming they play well together, iRobot Roomba and WowWee Rovio could tag team to clean your gadget den and keep it secure.
We've pulled together a list of 20 items that we think would be fine components of a man cave. But why stop here? Let us know what's on your dream list. With Gates moved on to architecting company strategy, gadget lovers are on their own when it comes to figuring out the next best thing in home technology.