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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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SF Goggles
If my rather awful memory serves correctly, I once waxed lyrical, as much as it's possible to wax lyrical, about the ridiculous product that is a dishwasher freshener; a device that hangs in your dishwasher, much like those things that hang on the edge of toilet bowls, and removes malodours. Naive fool that I am, I couldn't believe that a dishwasher - a thing that washes itself to all intents and purposes - would need such a thing.

So, what did the wife and I buy last week? A dishwasher freshener. Yes, we have a smelly dishwasher. We've also bought a thing (well, technically Lu bought a thing) that you run the dishwasher with to eliminate limescale, although that's on the basis that we live in a place that has water harder than Vinnie Jones; for lack of a better metaphor.

In other news, as life is relatively problem free my mind is wandering to other deep and meaningful topics such as: what do I spend my birthday money on? Technically I've yet to have my birthday as it's a couple of weeks away, and chances are I'll be mostly self funding my own present, but I thought I'd make a head start nonetheless. So far I'm torn between:

1. An HTC Diamond mobile phone. Pros: looks nice and has in-built GPS. Cons: lack of keyboard, and TomTom might be bundled when the locked version makes its way to a provider, although currently no UK provider has mentioned it.

2. A Canon 400D SLR digital camera. Pros: might allow me to take better photos. Cons: will the cost justify the quality difference? Lugging a large camera around.

3. An Oregon Scientific WMR 200 Advanced Weather Station. Pros: yep I admit it, I'm a weather junkie, and find external temperature, rainfall levels, and wind speeds of vague interest. This particular weather station has data logging, that is it retains data with or without a PC attached, although it's very much entry level compared with some other (more expensive) "amateur" stations out there (we have the Davis VP2 Wireless Special Bundle at work, along with the flippin' expensive WeatherLink... although I could "borrow" work's copy). Cons: will I get bored with it after a few days of geek-ery?

4. Waiting until something else comes along.

What would you do?

Buy the HTC Diamond
Buy the Canon 400D
But the WMR200
Wait until something else comes along
Other (please comment)

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I could never see the point in dishwasher cleaners. We've had one for well over twenty years, and we've never had to clean the inside. Not once.

So you don't suffer dishwasher stink?

Mine does smell. And we have a hanging smellies thingy which we hang on the tray. Works great.

Ahhh, you've fallen into the same trap we have ;-)

Nope. Not a bit. Never have. It must be the water, or the frequency of use or something.

Strange, does sound very much like it's the water. It's evil stuff down 'ere.

I think you and Tony are both in the hard as nails water area, but ours is a bit nancy.

I've recently got myself a canon 450 and it's fantastic. I'd recomment the 400 given that there isn't a massive difference between the two as fas as I know.

I had some rather snotty (and annoyingly rich I guess) teenager in the queue behind me at the supermarket the other day who was waxing lyrical about whether she was going to get a 400D or wait for the 500, although I can't find anything substantial about it.

Is it worth paying the extra for the 450D?

The major differences are the 450 has 12Mp sensor over the 10mp for the 400, a larger LCD screen (Which is only usable as a viewfinder in the manual modes, not when set to any of the auto modes but will allow you to read the settings info in any setting) but it's only 1/2" bigger and it shoot at 3.5 frams/sec on continuous where the 400 shoots at 3fps.

being realistic I guess the most important difference is the CCD size which may or may not be worth the extra cash. I'd guess that unless you have a really high end printer and plan on printing out large size photos then the 450 might not be worth the extra £100 or so

Hmmm, interesting.

Argos are, or were, doing a good bundle with two lenses and the 400 - it meant you got some good flexibility. But they probably aren't brilliant quality lenses.

The kit lenses are ok, well the one with the 450 is alright. Not top quality obviously but it's good enough at the momnet.

I suspect the 400 is being phased out as Currys had a deal on them very similar to that when I got the 450. I actually went for the 400 but they were out of stock so I coughed up the extra for the 450.

(between you ,me and the gatepost I didn't actually physically pay for it as my company brought me it as payment for doing some product shots for them. We'd agreed a price for doing the photos and I reasoned with them to buy me a damn fine DSLR instead of paying cash as that way I got a good camera and they get the benefit on better images lol)

I also had the same feeling about the 400 being phased out, but can't see anything concrete about a 500. Could just be Canon being coy though.

And nice deal on the camera ;-)

I've been tempted by a weather station too... I like the idea of somehow hooking it up to a computer and having it tell me if I need to take a coat/umbrella with me when I leave the house. Kind of like this.

As a 350D owner, I can vouch for Canon's DSLR's - but the downside is you'll end up wanting more lenses etc... can be expensive. As far as I know the 450D has only just launched so I don't think the 500 or whatever they call the next one will be along too soon.

Oh, and on the phone, get a 3G iPhone when they launch in a week or so's time :-)

Ha, now that's an umbrella!

The camera is tempting, other than for the reasons outlined.

I just read on the Beeb about the iPhone v2, at least the rumours about it. I'd also read that iPhone v1 supplies had dried up, which suggests something is imminent. Without GPS and 3G though I won't be interested (and some satnav software!).

I wish the umbrella worked in the UK - it uses a proprietary network to get it's forecasts :-(.

The new iPhone will be 3G and is rumoured to include a GPS receiver. There is a big Apple conference on the 9th where it's very likely they'll announce it. The existing iPhone has a Google Maps app on it which is pretty slick.

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