The techiest guy at CES--my cabbie

Beyond Binary gets driven around by a gadget hound who would make the folks on the show floor proud. He has 20,000 songs on his iPod, thousands of dollars worth of digital camera gear and a watch that acts as a TV remote control.

LAS VEGAS--It's not just inside the CES hotels and convention center that you find technology and tech enthusiasts here in Sin City.

Vegas cabbie Daniel Habtewold has quite the collection of gadgets. Here he shows off a Casio watch that also acts as a TV remote control. Ina Fried/CNET News.com

One of the most passionate techies I met all week was Daniel Habtewold, the cab driver who took AJ and me back to our hotel after visiting with the Pleo robot dinosaur on Monday night.

Habtewold was playing an eclectic mix of reggae and other music, and AJ asked whether it was a CD or the radio. He said the tunes were streaming from his iPod, noting that it was Apple's beefiest model, the 160GB iPod Classic introduced last fall.

"I have 20,000 songs on my iPod," he said. That makes it the largest collection I've ever encountered.

Habtewold said he's had a regular iPod, a photo iPod, and an earlier video iPod as well. At the end of each summer he sells his current model for $50 or $75 less than he paid, knowing a new model will come out in September.

"This is the last one," he said. I told him he owes me a free ride when I see him at the next CES and he has some new Apple creation.

Habtewold's tech lust isn't limited to iPods. He also has a $3,000 camera setup including a Canon D30 and L-series lens, a Windows Mobile phone, and a Casio watch that also acts as a television remote control.

"I'm high tech," he said. "I don't care about clothes. I don't care about shoes that are brand name."

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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