Nintendo Switch: The company itself on portability

IGN posted excerpts from an interview with some Nintendo execs about the portability of the Nintendo Switch — arguably one of 2017’s most notable pieces of tech — in an environment where smartphones dominate the mobile gaming experience.

The interview points to an acknowledgement of the product’s differentiators, but it seems they missed a few important points.

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WyzeCam: Let’s disrupt a product segment and see what happens

So four ex-Amazon employees get together and decide to pair shamelessly inexpensive, off-the-shelf* tech with some decent software and services, sell it for a jaw-droppingly low retail price. Then, in the course of just a few months, they manage to both get a whole lot of attention — and launch a live experiment into how disruption of a product segment works in the wild. So how’s that experiment going so far?

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Baratza Coffee Grinder revisited: DIY repairs; really? (Cool!)

In the summer of 2016, I bought a Baratza Encore coffee grinder, and wrote about it while this blog was still under its previous name. Unfortunately, my love affair with the grinder waned a bit last month when my beloved grinder crapped-out; it just wouldn’t run anymore unless I nudged the burr a little (thereby rotating the motor shaft a bit). Hmmm; curious.

I immediately sought troubleshooting information from Baratza’s web site, and it was there that I discovered something quite peculiar: detailed information — on diagnosing, and repairing the grinder. Repairing? Really?

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Splatoon 2: Nintendo arguably misses the mark

As I said in a recent post about the Nintendo Switch, I bought the system specifically for one game: Splatoon 2. When the Switch was announced, I couldn’t really care less. When Splatoon 2 was announced, I was as excited as any kid less than a quarter my age; I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the game, or the console required to play it. As I wrote in the aforementioned Switch post, I pre-ordered the Switch in a narrow window from (luck of the draw), and was ecstatic to ensure I had one of the highly sought-after consoles well before the Splatoon 2 was scheduled to ship.

So was it worth all the excitement and the long wait?

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Nintendo Switch: Nine months later

It seems like it was only last month that my new Nintendo Switch arrived via UPS, the result of a lucky preorder, made online within a tiny window of availability at, when “Switch Fever” was at its worst. Alas, that was last March, and it’s now December.

At the time, how the Switch would fare in the market was anyone’s guess, although judging by the early excitement, it seems obvious in retrospect that it was destined for success. The past nine months have borne that out. So what’s it like owning a Switch at this point?

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Instant Pot: Indian food made easy

About 24 hours after getting my Instant Pot, I ordered a cookbook from Amazon: the Indian Instant Pot Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre. About the same time, I discovered a great blog, Ministry of Curry, written by Archana Mundhe. I’ve always loved Indian food, but it’s expensive to go out for it, and I’ve always believed it’s not difficult food to make — it’s just knowing the recipes and technique needed. Both the book and blog I just mentioned are great resources to obtain both.

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Instant Pot Plain Grits

One of the things I wanted to try making in my new Instant Pot was traditional southern grits for breakfast. Making grits is not difficult under any circumstances, but there are challenges:

  1. It takes an inordinate amount of time (and patience) to cook them well;
  2. That’s made worse when you use traditional, “old fashioned” slow-cook grits (and any other type, namely quick or instant, is sacrilegious); and,
  3. Making them makes a mess and requires constant attention and/or perfect regulation of heat to avoid that.

I’ve had a small, early-generation electronic pressure cooker for years, and making grits in it was a nightmare. They’d bubble-up, much as they do with conventional cooking, and the process spattered starchy “grit juice” everywhere. Not to mention a layer of grits stuck like glue to the bottom of the unit. But in the Instant Pot, things are much easier — and far, far less messy. (In fact, not messy at all!)

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Late to the Instant Pot craze

I first heard about the Instant Pot about 18 months ago, when a colleague posted something about getting one to his Twitter account. Intrigued, I checked-out their web site, the Amazon pages, etc. Unbeknownst to me, Instant Pot in its various incarnations has collectively been one of Amazon’s top sellers for awhile now, it’s been the topic of countless blogs, cookbooks, social media pages and groups, etc., and it feels almost as if you’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of it (or own one already). Whether late to the party or not, I finally broke down and bought one last week. In short, I now “get” the excitement.

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