Wow that was quick

Post by Mark

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Dyson AirBlade

Post by Mark

Ok this might sound weird but one of the things I remember the most about Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport was the hand dryer in the bathroom (video above although it really doesn’t do it justice). It was just incredibly powerful, like it must have been connected to an extra airplane jet engine they had lying around because it was just vicious.

I never found another hand dryer as powerful until recently while I was in Lebanon I was washing my hands in a bathroom at a mall when I spotted the Dyson AirBlade (video above but there are like a million others on YouTube). Dyson if you don’t know make some very cool vacuum clears and fans so it kinda makes sense I guess that they make hand dryers. Anyway although the AirBlade wasn’t as powerful as the Terminal 5 hand dryer it looked really cool and it currently ranks the second most powerful hand dryer I’ve ever used. So I was checking to see how much it costs cuz it would be cool to get one for the house and it turns out they’re selling on eBay for over $1,200!


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WedgePad

Post by Mark

A reader sent me the picture above of the iPad with the WedgePad. I hadn’t heard of the WedgePad before but I think I am going to get one now since it makes the iPad cozier to use. At $27 with free shipping it’s also a pretty good deal. [Link]

Thanks FYI


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Philips BodyGroom Updated

Post by Mark

Back in 2006 I posted about the Philips BodyGroom that had just been released. It became super popular and every guy I know ended up getting one. I personally bought two of them, a 110v first followed by a 220v version. Five years later Philip have gone and completely redesigned the shaver which I ended up ordering from Amazon while I was in New York last month.

The new shaver looks better, comes with a prettier stand and most importantly works better. First of all you no longer need to attach various sized comb attachments to the trimmer since with the new design the trimmer is adjustable. Secondly the shaving head now pivots in 3D which results in a more “comfortable” shave. I am not going to go into a lot of details since you can get all the info from the Philips shaveeverywhere.com website. I will say this though, the new BodyGroom performs a lot better than the older one.

You can order it from Amazon since I haven’t found it locally yet. The price is around KD20 and this new BodyGroom is multi-voltage which means its 110-240v. Here is the link to the shaver on Amazon [Link]


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Are you getting an iPad?

Post by Mark

Now that the initial hype of the iPad has died down a bit I’ve been trying to figure out where and how I would use the iPad and I haven’t really come up with an answer. The iPad works with WiFi meaning for me I can only use it at home or at work. I don’t go and hangout at coffee shops so it wouldn’t matter if I can get WiFi elsewhere.

At the office I barely have time to scratch my head and I’m sitting in front of a pretty 15″ MacBook Pro so the iPad wouldn’t serve a purpose there. I also don’t want to carry the iPad along with my Blackberry and iPhone to work everyday.

At home I’ve got access to three computers, my MacBook, my G5 PowerMac and my MSI Wind (also running OS X). Where would I fit the iPad? The minute I get home from work I get on my MacBook and start work on my blog until I’m tired and go to sleep.

The only place I thought the iPad fit nicely was in bed. Its lighter than a laptop, easier to hold and felt cozier in bed. But again what would I use it for? By the time I get to bed I would have already spent around 15 hours of my day online on a computer so what reason would I have to get on my iPad at the end of that?

What about traveling? I continue to blog when I travel and so I would need a laptop with me. An iPad wouldn’t work for me, I need an Ethernet port for hotels that don’t have wifi, I need a USB port to connect my camera to and I need Photoshop to be able to resize, retouch and compress images so I could post them. I can’t trust the iPad for all of that, its like trying to go off-roading in a Corolla. For in-flight entertainment I’ve got my amazing Archos 7 which has a 160GB hard drive and can play practically any video format you throw at it. It also has an amazing battery life that lasts over 10 hours AND I can get an extra battery for extra long trips. So really the iPad doesn’t fit in my travel plans as well. Even if I wanted to travel light I could always take my tiny MSI Wind.

So will I get an iPad? Yeah of course, even though I don’t have a use for one its still an incredible need to have device and I need to have everything thats this cool. I’m sure as the iPad matures and more people develop applications for it I’ll find a use for it in my life.


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First iPad in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Just got hold of an iPad from X-Cite to review and check out. It just arrived from the States and it’s one of the first iPads in Kuwait. So far my first impression is that the iPad looks even cooler than the pictures, it’s really an incredible device I love it, the screen is amazing, better than the screen of my MacBook which I’m currently typing on. X-Cite just got a small batch of iPads today and they’re on display at their Avenues X-Cite branch so you can go and try them out.

I’m going to play around with my review unit for a bit more and post some more details later today. I’m curious to see if I’ll be able to buy books from the iTunes store.

X-Cite are getting the 16GB iPad with WiFi and the price is KD299. If you want to pre-order an iPad you need to leave a KD50 deposit and you can only book one unit since quantities are limited. It’s first come first served. You can only pre-order the iPad from the Avenues X-Cite branch starting at 7PM today. The earlier you book, the higher the chance you get your iPad in one of their next shipments. As an added bonus, if you mention my blog when booking you will get a free flash drive. If you want to play with an iPad pass by the Avenues X-Cite branch after 7PM today since that’s when they will go on display.


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The Alpine iXA-W407

Post by Mark

My Alpine W407 head unit along with a bunch of parts have arrived. I’ve actually got everything except for the rear view camera which I should get next week. Aramex has been pretty good, my GPS took 10 days to clear but all my other parts took just a few days. So far I’ve ordered the following stuff for my FJ:

Alpine iXA-W407 Digital Media Station $554.48
Alpine HCE-C107D Rear View Camera $176.99
Scosche TA2076B 2007 Toyota FJ ISO/Double DIN With Pocket Kit $19.58
Scosche Stereo Wire Harness Toyota FJ Cruiser $12.31
PAC TR7 Multi control interface bypass module $23.26
PAC SWI-JACK $42.90
Total: $829.52

Currently my plan is to install everything myself just like I did with my Wrangler (1, 2 & 3) except this looks like a much more complicated install specifically the amount of wires I will have to solder. But, I don’t trust anyone with this so I’ll just do it myself. Will post more pictures and details hopefully this weekend when I work on the car followed by a review of the W407 since there doesn’t seem to be a decent one available online.

By the way, the prices above are what I paid for the items. I just checked now and every single item is now available cheaper than what I paid which kinda pisses me off. In addition to the above I also picked up a Garmin 255 for $99 which is ridiculously cheap and I also tinted the FJ which I will post about separately. Next on my to do list is the lift kit and bigger tires followed by the blacking out some of the silver parts.

Update: I originally purchased the Scosche adapter for the Toyota FJ Cruiser but it turned out to be really crap and wouldn’t fit the stereo right. I ended up installing the Alpine using the Metra adapter which worked out a lot better. Here is a link to it on Amazon. [Link]


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Great deal on the Alpine iXA-W407

Post by Mark

The Alpine iXA-W407 which I posted about a few days ago is supposed to sell for around $750 but for some reason it’s being sold for just $379 on Amazon right now. I’m sure its a mistake so I quickly placed an order for one. If you’re interested in it here is the [Link]

Update: I purchased the unit twice and both times the seller canceled my order. Did this happen to anyone else?

Update2: Price is back up now to $550. I placed an order for the fourth time and it seems to have worked now. $550 is still a good deal. I ordered the following items so far for my Toyota FJ install:

Alpine iXA-W407 Digital Media Station
Alpine HCE-C107D Rear View Camera
Peripheral PTR7 Multi control interface bypass module
Scosche TA2076B 2007 Toyota FJ ISO/Double DIN With Pocket Kit
Stereo Wire Harness Toyota FJ Cruiser 07 2007

The PTR7 will allow me to change the system settings and watch movies while the car is in motion and not just parked.

Update: I originally purchased the Scosche adapter for the Toyota FJ Cruiser but it turned out to be really crap and wouldn’t fit the stereo right. I ended up installing the Alpine using the Metra adapter which worked out a lot better. Here is a link to it on Amazon. [Link]


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iPad in Kuwait

Post by Mark

No not really. It’s actually one of the really old Toshiba laptops displayed at the Toshiba dealer in Kuwait City. This one’s from 1993 called the T100x Dynapad. It had a 25MHz CPU, 4MB of RAM and came with a 40MB hard drive. The Toshiba dealer has this amazing display of old laptops from the 80s up till the 90s. It’s like a mini museum.


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Review: Canon G11

Post by Mark

I’ve had the Canon G11 for just over a month now and after using it practically on a daily basis. I did a lot of research before choosing to go with the G11 and I don’t regret my decision. I have mostly great things to say about this camera and will go through the different categories one by one.

Battery Life
I got my Canon G11 on December 11th and I charged it that same day. Its now January 15th and I still haven’t charged the camera since then. Not only that but the battery meter is still showing that the battery is full. This is perfect because it means when I travel I don’t need to pack the charger or buy an extra battery.

Usability and Feel
The camera doesn’t fit in my pocket so I spend most of the time either carrying it in my hand or in my bag if I am carrying one. It comes with a strap but it isn’t long enough to wear across the shoulder just around the neck which isn’t practical for me. The camera feels very solid and it’s also a bit heavy so it gives it a very durable feel. I love the dials on top and I use them a lot. I always keep the camera on “P” (Program Mode) which automatically adjusts the aperture and shutter speed but control the exposure (make the shot brighter or darker) I use the dial on the left to control that. On the right there are two other dials, one for the ISO which I also use a lot and the second to swap between the different programs. Other than the regular programs which you find on most cameras like aperture priority, shutter priority, automatic mode etc.. there are two custom modes called C1 and C2. These two positions contain your custom camera settings. For example I have C1 set the camera to “P”, change the format of the image to JPG, the dimensions to wide shot and the color setting to vivid. That’s the mode I use mostly when taking shots for my blog. C2 on the other hand sets the camera to “P” but then changes the image format to RAW+JPG and at full resolution (not wide). I use that setting in case there is a beautiful shot I want to capture at the highest quality. There are a ton of other settings you could also set for each mode as well but I won’t get into them here. I really wish my Nikon D90 had a custom mode feature and dials on top to control the iso and exposure.

Image Quality
It’s great for a point and shoot camera but no competition next to a good DSLR. The noise at fairly high ISO’s is pretty decent and I find myself often using ISO800 with no worries about the image coming out noisy with ISO1600 also being very usable. The only issue I have is with the white balance. Sometimes when indoors the images come out a bit too cold for my taste and that’s actually the only issue I have with the camera.

Swivel Screen
One of the coolest features in the camera for me is the swivel screen. It allows me to take pictures without having to hold the camera up to my face. I also like the fact that when the camera is not in use I fold the screen to face inwards which protects the screen while in my bag. For people who don’t like the swivel feature they can rotate the screen towards them and fold it in and keep it that way like a regular camera.

So overall I really love this camera. There were a lot of occasions where I wished I had purchased the Panasonic GF1 but in the end I realized the reason I got the Canon G11 is to use for my blog and when I travel and the GF1 although a great camera isn’t as practical (and also twice more expensive). I highly recommend this camera to anyone that is looking for small highly controllable and fully featured camera. I am going to give it a 4.5 out of 5, it looses points for the white balance issue I faced and the fact that it doesn’t fit in my jeans pocket.

If you’re interested in this camera it’s available in Kuwait for KD228 but I purchased mine from Amazon for just KD127.
Here is the link to the Canon G11 on Amazon [Link]


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