Tagged "hardware"

iPad Pro Review

After some thought initially on a new laptop, I decided to spring for an iPad Pro 12.9". So far I am really glad I did, the computer comes with me everywhere. I bring it to work, to visit family, on trips and everywhere in between. It’s the ultimate work computer in many ways, always with you, light enough and comfortable enough for real work™. The keyboard shortcuts in iOS have improved massively from iOS 8 to iOS 9 to the point of actually being useful and the split screen view is actually rather nice to use (I never “got” it on a Mac).

Mechanical Keyboards

Early last year, I purchased two Code Keyboards (one for work and one for home). The Code Keyboards are designed by Jeff Atwood (who founded Stack Overflow). Mechanical keyboards are “old style” in that the switches are from an era where everything was mechanical, unlike today where everything is glass. So mechanical keyboards have ardent fans and people who don’t really care for them. I did a lot of research before I purchased, talking to various people in work who are very knowledgeable about mechanical keyboards (The best community for advice, discussion and group buys is /r/mechanicalkeyboards on reddit.

Roost Laptop Stand

I backed the Roost laptop stand on Kickstarter, which already had a successful run in their first Kickstarter campaign. I’ve been delighted with the result so far, it lives up to the promises of being super light but yet durable and strong. Here’s a photo of it: It came with a really nice case which holds the Roost underneath and has pockets for a portable keyboard (I use a Logitech K811) and mouse (I use a Logitech Marathon M705).

Apple Watch Stand

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e1DiEegB_c h/t; reddit update: I tried this myself, but I’ve obviously no talent for these things:

De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup

I’ve had this DeLonghi machine for a year and a half now, and I possibly am slightly a little in love. It was the best rated coffee machine (at time of purchase) on Amazon and it doesn’t dissapoint. For the purpose, it’s wonderful: Make great coffee fast, without a mess. If you’re looking for more, I would have a look at the more expensive models. When I shopped around at the time, I read that the internals of this machine are just as good as the ones that DeLonghi sells that are twice as expensive.

iPhone 6 and Apple Watch

Interesting announcements yesterday by Apple, finally releasing an iWatch. A lot of the talk on tech sites was reminiscent of the famous CMDR Taco (of Slashdot) line: “Less space then a nomad. Lame.” I happened to own a Nomad shortly after that famous quote was made. So we can see, quoting Steve Jobs “[They] have no taste” is applicable to me! I just don’t get the watch yet. As a permanent contact wearer, I’m waiting for Google Glass in a contact lens!

Ikea in the TV Business?

Ikea the TV Business? Who would have forseen the day. After looking at their video I must say I can see the reasons quite clearly: TV’s look awkward in almost everyones home. They don’t fit in our units, the cables are in awkward positions and you can never find the remote1. I’m a fan of all things cheap and Ikea I must confess, so I’ll be watching this development with great interest!

What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447

Incredibly well-written article. Just shows the power of human misunderstanding and lack of clear judgement.

Why Are Android Smartphones Bigger Than the iPhone?

tl;dr It’s because LTE chipsets are very large and power hungry right now.

@ACR884 Tech Slot #003 – eReaders

Our third slot on Athlone Community Radio. Aired the third Monday in January 2012 on ACR 88.4FM in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland. Topics Covered: Kindle Sony eReader In this episode Patrick and Neil discuss the main players in the eBook market, as well as what eBooks are and the advanatages and disadvantages. Subscribe: Your browser does not support the audio tag. Download Link: TechnologySlot16-01-12

@ACR884 Tech Slot #002 - Tablets

iPad Motorola Xoom HP Slate Android tablet apps iOs tablet apps In this episode Patrick and Neil discuss the main players in the tablet market as well as Neils top Android and iOs tablet apps. Subscribe: Your browser does not support the audio tag. Download Link: Technology Slot Dec 19 11

All About Platforms

If your passion is in technology, you often sigh with the marketing buzzwords used in sales. Cloud Computing doesn’t actually mean anything specific (or could mean a lot of things). It’s that a lot of things to a lot of people who makes it useful as a term, an ideology, a way of explaining why you-oh-so-need-to-do-this-now. Cloud computing for me is a platform description. I think of the myriad of hosting companies who offer a platform to build your service atop.

Review of the Motorola Xoom Wifi

I recently bought the wifi version of the Motorola Xoom. I did not get the 3G version to keep costs down (no second carrier subscription in addition to smartphone I own). Here’s my review, let it be noted I’ve been an iOS user since version 2 (iPhone 3G) and although I have used devices from Android 1.6 and up - I’ve never ’lived’ with them. Motorola Xoom Aesthetics & Design First of all the design is very well executed.

Plantronics .655 USB Headset Review

I got a Plantronics .655 USB Headset mainly for the ability to do VOIP well. Those of you who come here often know I reviewed Sennheiser HD595 before, which is a headset built for the quality of reproduction (I use that one for music). There’s not much you can say about a VOIP headset, so I am going to keep this short! The Plantronics .655 USB isn’t the most comfortable headset and the usb connection seemed like a plus as I’d never owned a USB headset.

Cleaning your PS3's fans?

Below is a neat trick to clean out your Playstation 3’s fans if they become a bit noisy. Before I have used a can of compressed air, but this method is really neat and definitely lowered the fan sound emanating from my PS3. <embed width="320" height="266" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JhU4_Rm0GQU&fs=1&source=uds" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> </embed> Thanks goes to my former classmate Alan Smith for alerting me to this, Thanks Al!

Sennheiser HD595 Review

During last summer I purchased a set of Sennheiser HD595’s - a great product for Audiophiles. I have to say for someone who constantly listens to a lot of music - good headphones like these are a must. They are expensive for sure, but Sennheiser do seem to have a great durability and solid build quality. This is my first set of such high quality headphones, so bear that in mind - I can’t speak for other manufacturers in this space.

iPhone 4 Review

I purchased the iPhone 4 shortly after its release in Summer 2010. I have obviously been so quick to review this device, the iPhone 5 is upon us! My philosophy for reviewing items is you have to live with them. Well boy have I lived with my iPhone 4! As I write this on it, I do marvel at how good the hardware is. I’ve dropped this extremely expensive device on occasions too numerous to count, so luckily it is designed well.

iPad Evolution?

Since Apple released an iPad there have been various competitors announced, so it got me thinking what would it take for me to buy one? I haven’t bought the first generation iPad because the lack of a camera on a device so obviously good for fullscreen video calls has baffled me. I guess they have to store up some ideas since they need a new hardware iteration every year, Apple’s revenue model depends on that vital hardware refresh cycle.

Garmin Zumo 660 Motorcycle GPS

It’s been over a week since I received my Garmin Zumo 660 Motorcycle GPS unit. I thought I’d give it a run-down for potential buyers on my experience for the first week. Firstly I should mention, I’ve never owned another Garmin unit, and had two mobile GPS’ units before (one being Nokia N800 with Bluetooth external GPS and other Apple iPhone 3G). The reason I bring this up is that a lot of the reviews I’ve seen written compare it to it’s predecessor, Zumo 550, which obviously I can’t do.

Honda Bros Motorcycle

I recently purchased - known as a cult motorbike - a Honda BROS (known in the US as a HawkGT). It is a 400cc V-Twin 1991 model, with 33BHP / 24.6Kw out of the factory. That put’s it under the legal limit for a learner motorcycle in the A category of license in Ireland. I’ve been progressing through bikes, slowly gaining confidence and experience. I posted about my Yamaha YQ50, My Yamaha YP125 (Majesty) and now it’s a Honda BROS’ turn!

Dogs chew things?

Lesson learned: never leave a expensive. Take these pictures I shot after the dog attacked my motorcycle! I still love dogs as pets, they are man’s best friend and just like best friends they can screw up. The only thing I am most upset about now is the dog can’t pay for the repairs… Forgive and forget Fritzie? Thats a girl… P.S. If anyone knows anyone thats in the seat repairing business, let me know!

Yamaha Majesty 400c Review

I own a Majesty 125cc 2002. The video below is the updated (and more powerful) model: (Some of the) New features: 2x the amount of space Parking break (for hills! Think handbrake if your a car driver) Liquid-cooled 400cc ABS brakes Dual Halogen Headlights Larger rear lights Csr-like oversize dials on dash It looks good, good, good. I haven’t looked at price, but my last two bikes are Yamaha and I’ve had little trouble with them.

Sony Subsidises Supercomputers for the US Military?

Ars has a great article about how Sony through the Playstation 3’s awesome power (can’t you tell which of this generations consoles I own?) and subsidy (based on recoup of selling games and hardware - a model pioneered with the PS1) With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600. Though a single 3.

Is a Mac Pro overpriced?

Gizmodo seem to think so: The $2,500 Mac Pro, desperately in need of a refresh, gives you a 2.66GHz Quad-Core Xeon (essentially an i7), 3GB of RAM (triple channel, but seriously?), 640GB hard drive (again, seriously?) and a nominal graphics card. Spend $800 more and you’ll get a another processor and 3GB more RAM. The $2200, 27-inch iMac obviously includes a screen, plus you get a 2.8GHz Quad-Core (i7), 1TB drive, 4GB of RAM and a nominal graphics card.

3G Coverage in Ireland

I recently used Twitter to post about my journey on public transport from Kilkenny to Dublin. For people outside of Ireland the total Journey distance was about 90 miles. I used only my iPhone on the O2 network and close to 50% of the time it seemed like I had 3G. This was on a train moving at speed, and YouTube played very well with little to no stutter. It did drop to Edge the other half of the time, with about 30% of time I still got speeds web browsing was acceptable on.

iPhone 3G Review

I recently got an iPhone 3G and away from all that Apple mania; I thought I would give an honest review. This is framed in the mindset of all the past Nokia devices (which I have posted about here also) which I have owned. Okay so where to start? Well I think a good place would be what I could have bought instead. Strange place for a review; but its good to see what is out there and what I was looking at beforehand.

Yamaha YQ Aerox - best moped ever?

Well I think so! Got one there 2 months ago and forgot to write a blog post about it. I got a ‘01 model for a bargain price I believe; but this theory has yet to be tested (I’ll wait for a year to be up). As I mentioned before in previous posts my parent’s house is now in a remote location with no train/buses anywhere nearby. So transport was essential!

Summer - One Month On.....

Well one month in Summer 2008! Summer has been okay so far; I’ve had nothing much to report hence lack of Tech posts. Sure the iPhone 3G looks good, Google/Yahoo/Microsoft spats interesting but after a while it become a bit circular and repetitive. I’ve recently started working at the UK’s leading retailer for touring/car/bike and accessories; as well as a move to the south east of Ireland; that much further to the capital: Dublin.

A few days with A Nokia N810

I last discussed the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet in October; when details were only starting to filter out. It wasn’t expected for Nokia to introduce an upgrade to the N800 Internet Tablet (which I also reviewed here) so soon. I certainly don’t envy the position of a small team getting the hardware and software for a mini-computer right in such a short space of time. But needless to say the N810 feels right; in fact it feels more right than the N770 which I thought had the best design of all (be it functionality not so much style).

Nokia N810 Tablet to hit the shops soon...

Nokia have announced an upgrade to the N800 Internet tablet, called the N810. I suspect its called that because it is more of an incremental upgrade than a total visual refresh it was going from an Nokia 770 to N800. Here it is: (Picture Courtesy: Internet Tablet Talk) It sports a nice new hardware keyboard; inbuilt GPS (For satellite mapping) and OS 2008 (an upgrade to the operating system it runs).

Planning the Computer Build

Planning to build a computer can be fun also. Researching parts, making sure they work well together (if they are on Manufacturers QVL). Making a list of all the parts you need is the beginning of the purchasing, assembly and then seeing your machine in action! Lots of guides online help with the planning stage; but nearly all are advice and tips. How do you know which is biased? Are the benchmarks relevant to what you are building your machine for?

Computer Systems - Dismantling PC's is fun!

I found a new pastime: dismantling pc’s. It my not sound like great fun, but its a challenge to do it right and make sure you don’t break your pc at the end of it all. Nothing feels of so much relief when you see the BIOS boot up again after ripping everything you can out and cramming it all back in. It stands to you in developing problem solving skills, which of course employers love.

Gutsy coming along, Update to Dell Windows Refund..

I just tried Herd 5 of Gutsy Gibbon, a beta release which will be Ubuntu 07.10 released in October. Obviously it is still early stages and a lot of things aren’t working quite as they should, but it looks very promising. Here’s some new stuff which should hit the final release: Compiz Fusion - Pretty Graphics that leave you in awe… Bullet Proof X - Making sure you’ll never see a terminal prompt not of your own choosing, basically the graphics server should be ‘bulletproof’ Appearance Manager - Making it easier to change yourbuntu’s look and feel Better Driver Support - More of those restricted drivers to make sure you can see your screen and use your wifi card Simplified Codecs install - It will now be painless, install ubuntu-restrictedcodecs (or kubuntu-restricted codecs) and you can see Youtube in all its glory, play a dvd, watch that porno WMV file (just kidding but I think thats all WMV is used for) and other such niceties of the propreitry world we have to put up with Firefox Codecs Plugin - Firefox will be hooked up to the package manager and prompt to install Flash/Java if you haven’t got it already, much the same way it prompts to get a codec when you throw a file at it that it cannot play in the movie player.

HP Photosmart R927 Review

I just bought a HP Photosmart R927, an 8 Megapixel camera from Hewlett-Packard. While I had seen and briefly used one before, I was excited again upon using my own one (as all tech people are [read: geeks]). First of all don’t confuse me as anyway into photography: I’m not and far from it. I had a criteria in mind when I purchased and this was it: Must work under any OS (Windows [a given], Mac and Linux [latter two I only use]) Every camera I have come across mounts as a disc drive [think looking at files on a cd or your local computer], but there is also PTP or “Picture Transfer Protocol” in other words it doesn’t appear as picture files, rather PTP triggers your computer to open your camera in your photo application.

Mac iPod Video Tutorial

I recorded a tutorial, showing people how to extract YouTube (and other flash based sites videos’) and get them onto your iPod. It was recorded on my Mac, so unfortunately its Mac specific, but really only iSquint program is, so if anyone can suggest a replacement on Windows or Linux, I will add it to the details of the video. I use Garageband for audio, iMovieHD to edit the video and audio and Copernicus to record my screen.

Nokia N800 Review

I have one of those new Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, as many of you know I was one of the first to buy its predecessor, the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. What do I think? Well I have put of writing this for 4 days, as I wanted to really test it out. Before I start, I should say I was part of the Nokia Developer Device program, and I got the Nokia N800 at a big discount, €300 off the €399 retail price in fact.

Nokia 6234 Video Test

I recently got a hold of my Christmas present in advance, a new Nokia 6234 from Vodafone Ireland. I did a short video test, maybe this could be the start of my VideoBlogging career: Well maybe not! But I do hope to have more videos on my blog! The video is of me describing my living quarters and about my laptop. I needed to be a bit closer to the phone as hearing me is difficult sometimes (not so in real life!

Broken Macbook Update Part II

Looks like Mactivate got it wrong, it wasn’t the heatsink, as referred to by my earlier post. Looks like I have seen good advice from the Web, never buy a first generation Apple product, until they work out the kinks! I guess Mactivate have been snowed under with heatsink problems, that they never bothered to check other parts of my Macbook, since it is such a common problem.They have ordered me a new “logic board” (I am guessing the PMU like I thought it was ;-) ).

Macbook Issue Identified

Turns out my prediction wasn’t quite correct, it was not the Power Management Unit (PMU), it was the heatsink. Mactivate have informed me they have one on order from Apple, so it will take a bit longer than I anticipated to get my Macbook back. I found this strange as I had not experienced random shutdowns like the ones that have been widely reported across the web. it was like I described in my earlier post, something to do with the battery not being able to charge.

Macbook Update, Fonero Haven, Commercial Darknet and College!

I have ordered and I am expecting delivery of my brand new Apple MacBook (or BlackBook as some call it)! It will be a Black, 2Ghz Core Duo, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HDD (5400 RPM) MacBook, complete with a remote, Bluetooth 2 and Wifi functionality. Not mention cool applications such as iSight built in Camera, Front Row ( a media center) and Spotlight search technology. It cost me close to €2.

Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

I got it! UPS delivered the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. What can I say? It is pure magic! The features are great, it includes: Web Browser (Opera) Flash Player version 6 Email Client Internet Radio News Reader Media players, Image viewer PDF viewer File Manager Search Calculator World Clock Notes Sketch Games It runs on Linux, making it totally extendable. It even has its own developer site at maemo.org, where applications can be downloaded.