Look all over cyberspace and you'd be hard pressed to find a writer with as much biting wit and journalistic daring as Chicago's own Fruzsina Eordogh. In just a short time, she has established herself as a defiantly different voice in the tech world, reporting on everything from internet pranksters to video games for the likes of Slate, ReadWrite, The Daily Dot, and xoJane.
For a sense of how contrarian and fearless this uber-smart blogger (and skillful poetess) is, she's not afraid to admit being "a weird luddite" even though she writes about technology. "I'm more of a voyeur than a tech geek." How's that for gutsy? Yet Eordogh does have a passel of favorite gadgets, and at last one game she'd love to highlight. Hers is an unusual top five list of favorite gizmos sure, but boring it isn't.
Team Fortress 2 by Valve
Eordough loves this first-person shooter game because the folks that make it have a razor-sharp sense of humor not unlike her own. (Check out this video where a Team Fortress 2 sniper with an Aussie accent describes another day at the office.) "It's a very classy game," she says. "It's very well made, from the graphics to the music to the mechanics, and it's for an older audience. The characters' movement and art direction remind me of Norman Rockwell, in that they're hyper-real...." that is, if Rockwell were into painting militias in action.
HP Pavilion g6-2230us Core i3 2.4 GHz 15.6" LED-Backlit Laptop
($489.95 via $50 mail-in rebate with free shipping, a low by $35)
Eordough got herself an HP G series after her old laptop melted, scoring a $400 deal on a refurbished model. "It's been really good; I use it for writing and buzzing the web, and it's got a built in webcam for video conferencing," she says. It may not have all the bells and whistles of, say, a MacBook Retina, but Eordogh loves it nonetheless, as the HP has never let her down on deadline. She's running Windows 7 on it, which suits her just fine for writing like the wind.
Amazon Kindle WiFi eReader with Special Offers
($69 with free shipping)
Call it the anti-Retina display if you will; there's nothing dazzling or tricky about the way the Kindle does its thing, visually speaking. But it's cheap, runs a month on a single chug, and fits conveniently in Eordogh's purse when she's on the go. "I like it because I'm on my computer a lot, and I read a lot, and it's nice to look at a screen that's dimmer than a laptop," says Eordogh, whose favorite reading material on the Kindle is The Atlantic.
Unlocked BlackBerry Torch 9810 Phone
($419.99 with free shipping, a low by $32)
Eordogh likes having a BlackBerry, though she's put a leash on it so it doesn't take over her life. "I don't use my phone for a lot of things, such as listening to music," she says. "But I use my BlackBerry to record audio for interviews, texting, and using Twitter. I used to have my old BlackBerry set up to check email, but I hated it because I would get notifications for everything. It would be constant.... I'd be trying to sleep and I'd get woken up — even if I silenced it — because it would flash."
Roku LT Video Streaming Player
($49.99 with free shipping, a low by $10)
While Eordogh has hesitations about this particular older model, she uses the handy little streaming device "every single day." "I'm signed up to Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix. Before I had Roku, I watched all of my video via methods that might not have been legal. I'll watch TV when I go to a friend's house, but the last time I watched live TV on my own was about 10 years ago." Now, she's hooked on streaming to the point of wanting the Roku 2 ($79 for the XD model with free shipping, a low by $1; $89.99 with free shipping, a low by $10 for the XS model). "I need to get the Roku 2 because the old one doesn't go well with the streaming services that have updated themselves, especially Hulu. And I'm not the only one who finds this frustrating."