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australia, ocean

Detours off Britta Blvd

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new "kitchen computer"
mardigras2
brittadotcom
Last year I saw this fancy new "kitchen center" Pandigital PANTV1512 15.6-Inch Kitchen Technology Center Digital Picture Frame on Popdgadget & thought it would be a nice space-saving idea to replace my bubble-style iMac kitchen computer for recipe use...however it seemed a bit expensive & overkill since I don't think I'll need an HDTV in my kitchen! The cabling for HDTV service would be annoying so not worth it. Wifi would be nice though...so since I've built up some free Amazon money from my Visa, I thought I'd look for it in case it came down in price yet. Nope, still $400. However the "you might like" Amazon suggestions showed the lesser expensive Pantouch digital photo frames with preloaded recipes from Bon Appetit, one drastically on sale for only $130 ...aha! Completely within the free money I have right now! I couldn't find the wifi USB dongle on Amazon, but I did find it on Bed Bath & Beyond online for $30, so I figured to order the frame, see if I could put my own recipes on it easily enough, then I could always add on the wifi later if I wanted it.

So for a third of the cost (free for me!), this can be a photo frame to put elsewhere if I'm not cooking (in addition to the internal memory it has slots for several types of media cards, plus for a USB thumb drive), plus I can move this around the kitchen wherever is most logical for that recipe. It does have to plug in for power though so can't go absolutely anywhere. This model only comes with the black frame, but it is removable, so I can always make my own prettier frame surround for it if I want to. For the extra cost for the "kitchen center" it would have been built-in wifi, HDTV-ready with a larger screen size, and more preloaded recipes, but I don't think I need all that. I added a couple books & a DVD I've been saving on my list to combine for free shipping, and I still have some free money left. The books showed up earlier last week, so I've already finished reading one of them. :)

I got the digital photo frame yesterday, so I connected it to my computer to see how the recipe files worked. It's not the most elegant navigation system, and I might end up using the remote more than the touch feature since it's only around the border, but we'll see. It will not display text files or PDF, even TIFF, only JPEG, so I will have to convert my text recipes to images to view them, but that's a big plus for scanning from cookbooks or magazines since no conversion to text necessary! To see if it was worth the effort, I took quick & dirty screencaps of most of my online Mardi Gras recipes to see if I could read them. The included USB cable worked fine, mounting as "Pandigital" on my Mac desktop, so I could just drag & drop files to copy them over to the 512MB internal memory, eject the USB drive, then it would reboot automatically after it disconnected. Hooray it worked! The image isn't huge, but still larger than recipe index cards. ;) I definitely would not go any smaller than the 10.4" diagonal image size though if you're going to use one for your own recipes. Unfortunately my nice sale price has gone up $100, but you can still get the frame without the Bon Appetit preloaded recipe collection for $200. The king cake recipe was too long for a screencap, so I cobbled that together in Photoshop (InDesign would have been better but I didn't want to deal with it with my headache last night), and now all my Mardi Gras recipes are on my new "kitchen computer" in time to use for the party in 2 weeks!

In other Mardi Gras news, my fairy wings are complete enough to wear but I would like to embellish them more...but since the dress & bodice are barely begun, those will come first. The Creole Chicken Skewers are prebaked & in the freezer, and the spinach ball goop is in my fridge ready to be rolled into balls & frozen. Glad I have a 3-day weekend inbetween to decorate & make party food! :)

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Free?

(Anonymous)
Excellent! Sounds like a usable item that will take up a lot less space. I think you are going to love it!

love, mom


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