Archive for the ‘Gadgets & Toys’ Category

Google Buzz

Posted: 10 February, 2010 in Babbles & Rants, Gadgets & Toys

Google getting into social networking.

Coming very soon in your Gmail Accounts. My account is not Buzz Activated yet but I am eagerly waiting to check it out.

Google Buzz.

I purchased a Nike+ Sportband a few weeks ago and used the gadget Not on a Nike+ ready jogging shoes. I used the Nike+ Sportband system with my old Power brand jogging shoes. Initially, I placed the sensor on top of the shoes where the shoelaces is, wrapped in a small plastic bag, just like this guy here.

The hack worked fine. But, one day I found an old unused belt clip casing for my old PDA and thought of “re-purposing” the clip. and the end result is this:

I started off with the same technique of wrapping the sensor in a small plastic bag. Then, I used a soldering iron to make to holes as in the photo below.

The two holes are for fixing the “circular hooks” that attached to the belt clip. I think pictures will make the explanation clearer.

The sensor will be wrapped and fastened to the “disc hook” like the following;

The larger belt clip is fastened to the shoelaces as so;

And, finally … clip on the sensor to the main belt clip and you are ready to run.

I’ve been using this D.I.Y. contraption for a week now, and confident that the sensor will not “fly” off the shoe.

Nike+ Sportband

Posted: 6 January, 2010 in Babbles & Rants, Gadgets & Toys

A few weeks back, I started to walk around the neighbourhood more frequently. The light workout I get from the morning made me feel better through out the day. I decided to record my morning walk and post status updates to twitter and facebook on the distance I covered.

Initially I used the Nokia Sports Tracker application that comes with my Nokia E71. The app tracked the route and distance via GPS. A facebook buddy introduced me to this Nike+ Sportband when he saw me actively walking. I read a few reviews and decided to get one myself.

The Nike+ Sportband is available at Nike Concept Stores and I got mine at Suria KLCC. The gadget set be back RM229.00 without the Nike+ compatible shoes. A pair of Nike runners will cost me another RM300 or more, so I decided to use the gadget with the pair I already have.

The package comes with 2 pieces of ‘hardware’, a small sensor that is supposed to be placed in the sole of a Nike+ compatible shoes and a wristband with an electronic receiver that gets the running information from the sensor and displays the information on a tiny monochrome LCD screen. The device churns out information on how far I have walked/ran, pace, the time and also the calories burned.

The sensor is about the size of 3 x 50 sen coin stacked together. I don’t have a pair Nike runners, so I just placed the sensor in my socks, close to the shoelace. I tested it out this morning and it worked great. I do not have to hold my mobile phone during the workout. (I have to hold the phone because, if placed in my pocket, the GPS signal could intermittently lose satelite connection and not track my distance properly).

Here’s the data from this morning – http://bit.ly/8oSeMa .

The ‘reciever’ on the armband can easily be detached and plugged into a USB port. The data from the device will be uploaded to Nike+ website – http://www.nikeplus.com . There the workout datas uploades will be available for viewing and the statistics on the run reviewed.

I’ve only used it once this morning, and I like it.

Palm Pixi

Palm Pixi

Inspired by the blog post and photos of inkyjournal’s White Lamy Safari fountain pen, I thought I’d show off one of my favourite pens … A 1969 Parker 45.

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I bought the 45 off ebay and paid $8.00 for it. The good part about the purchase was that the pen came with the original box, complete with the instruction manual. On the manual there was this fine print “1969” making me to believe that this pen was produced in that year. The pen is fitted with an extra fine nib point. There’s an “X’ mark at the bottom rear of the nib collar. The extra fine is just right for me … not too fine … not too thick. It’s just right. (Goldilocks, don’t sue me :D)

The Parker 45 is loaded with a custom mix green ink. A 2:1 mixture of Pelikan Brilliant Black and Pelikan Green. The colour is a dark shade of green almost like the Private Reserve Sherwood Green. I’ve been using this ink mix for this pen for a couple of years now.

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These photos were taken with my Nokia E71 … Not as sharp as I would like it to be.

I have another Parker 45 fountain pen. It’s an early 70’s Matte Red Parker 45 Coronet. I’ll write and post a few photos of the pen some other time.

Posted by Wordmobi

Out of all the methods of brewing coffee, I use the french press and the moka pot … both I have at home.

The french press is for the light roasted beans or when I want a light but flavourful coffee. Very good to savour the full flavour of coffee without adding any cream, milk or sugar. A light anytime of the day Kopi’O … or add ice on a hot and humid afternoon.

The Mokapot is usually or my morning coffee because it makes strong, dark full bodied coffee. The strong cup, when warm milk is added makes a good latte, in my opinion. The whole ritual of grinding the coffee,placing the coffee grounds in the filter and placing the mokapot on the stove is like an “exercise” to wake up the mind and body. The coffee aroma from the brewing coffee makes my eyes pop open.

I bought a cheap steam powered espresso machine long time ago but it just makes coffee … not espresso. Since the “steamtoy” can only make 2 small shots (if you can call it that), it is not in a box somewhere in storage. My Bialetti Mokapot makes better tasting coffee closer to a cup of espresso.

Here’s a writeup from Gizmodo on how to whip up the perfect cuppa

via Gizmodo by matt buchanan on 8/26/09


You probably brew coffee, like most people, the most insipid way possible: Using a Mr. Coffee that you fill with pre-ground coffee from the supermarket. There’s a million other ways to make coffee, and they’re all better.

Here’s the rub about making coffee: The best ways to make coffee are the super simplest or the ultra-geekiest. The middle ground—i.e., your drip brewer—produces mediocrity. And where I come from, mediocre is spelled s-h-i-t-t-y. What’s universal to every good method of making coffee is that there’s a ton of control and consistency going on. In fact, consistency is the secret sauce to making great coffee. But we’ve got a few things we even get to the part you probably think of as “making coffee.” These are the basic elements, no matter what voodoo you’re invoking to make coffee: The beans, roast, grind, dose, water, temperature and brew time.

Beans

Buy ’em fresh, buy ’em whole, buy ’em sustainably. That’s about all there is to it. Well, almost. If you’re a dark roast drinker, it’s time to branch out. Here’s how Ken Nye, owner of Ninth St. Espresso, which has been at the forefront of NYC’s coffee scene since 2001 explains it like this: Take a piece of dry-aged prime rib, which is loaded with complex flavors. How are you gonna cook it? Lighter, to preserve all of that complexity, or are you gonna char the holy hell out of it? There’s nothing wrong with people who like the taste of a well-done piece of meat, but well, they’re loving the char more than the meat. Same thing with some of the amazing coffees people that are being sourced now by companies like Intelligentsia, Stumptown and Counter Culture—they tend to roast on the medium to lighter side using older equipment to let the coffee’s actual flavor come through. Roasting super dark is a good way to hide what’s going on with the bean (good or bad).

Grinding

There’s no way around this: If you care about coffee, you have to grind the beans right before you make it. As soon as they’re ground, the oils inside the beans are exposed to air, and the thousand different flavor compounds inside start dying. Coffee’s fragile, man.

The grind is the foundation process for everything else that happens afterward. In fact, David Latourell, formerly of the Coffee Equipment Company (of Clover fame) and currently at Intelligentsia, says that the number one thing people can do to “change their world” when it comes to coffee is to fix their grind situation. If the grind up is screwed, so is everything else. Uniformity is what’s key, otherwise you get an uneven extraction, which means mediocre coffee. And the only way to get that uniformity is with a good burr grinder.

Blade grinders mutilate coffee beans, and the heat caused by the friction screws up the chemistry, so don’t even think about it. A burr grinder pulverizes the beans instead of chopping them up. Just because it’s a burr grinder doesn’t mean it’s a good grinder, though. You want one that’s efficient and can grind slowly, otherwise you’re introducing friction and heat that corrupts the coffee. Typically, that means a conical burr grinder, versus a flat burr grinder. While you can get a burr grinder as cheaply as $50, both Ken and David say that you have to spend at least $150-$200 for a home grinder—in particular, David recommends the Baratza Virtuoso, a conical burr grinder that’s about $200. (Ken’s commercial grinder, pictured, is about $3000.) It sounds like a crazy amount of money for a grinder, but if you’re serious about making coffee at home, this is where you start. Fortunately, it’s the most expensive piece of equipment you need to buy.

Okay! Let’s get to brewing, from simple to whizbang.

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Nokia Booklet 3G Video

Posted: 24 August, 2009 in Gadgets & Toys
Tags: ,

I don’t have the full specifications yet … but drooling over the promo video.

Check out the video.