Kensington Expert Optical Trackball

Post by Mark

I’ve been using a trackball for nearly 6 years now. I used to use a regular mouse before but due to the amount of hours I sit in front of a computer my wrists started to hurt a lot and so I decided to do something about it. I ended up purchasing the Kensington Orbit Optical Mouse back in 2004 which I’ve posted about on this blog before and given it high marks. From day one my wrist issues got fixed and I became a big fan of trackballs. I’ve purchased 3 Orbit trackballs over the years, they never broke down just started looking old and so I would swap them out. But, I’ve always had my eye on the Orbit’s bigger, beefier and more expensive older brother, the Kensington Expert trackball which is pictured above.

While in New York a few months back I got to try the Expert trackball and decided I definitely wanted it. The Expert trackball has 4 buttons, a huge ass ball, a scroll ring and a comfy detachable wrist support. It looks good, I love using it and it makes my old smaller Orbit trackball look like a child’s toy.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about it. You can program the 4 buttons to do a variety of things and the way I’ve set them up, the left two buttons are a left click while the right two buttons are a right click. I’ve then set it up so that while in Firefox if I click the two top buttons or the two bottom buttons together at the same time then it flip between my open tabs. Pretty useful. The problem though is the way I use the trackball I actually only use the bottom left and the top right buttons since these are the two buttons that are under my fingers while using the trackball. I find it uncomfortable to use the other two buttons without changing my hand position so I don’t use them that much. The scroll ring is great and I love flicking it quickly when I want to scroll down a page in a hurry.

Price wise the Kensington Expert Trackball cost’s $79 which isn’t cheap considering it’s younger brother the Orbit costs around $22. But I have to say it’s worth the extra cash since you get what you pay for. For anyone with wrist problems I highly recommend trackballs… any trackballs not just the two I’ve used. They really make a difference.

Kensington Orbit Trackball on Amazon
Kensington Expert Trackball on Amazon


google plus share facebook share twitter share

OrbitShowtime and Dreambox

Post by Mark

Most of you probably already know what a Dreambox is, if you don’t then simply put, it’s a satellite receiver that allows you to watch all the encrypted channels like OSN, HBO, ART, Canal+, Nova etc.. for a flat fee of around KD15 every 6 months. It’s illegal of course since a regular subscription to OSN alone costs around KD20 a month. Well recently OSN have started swapping out receivers and one of the reasons is that they’re changing their encryption from Irdeto to Betacrypt. Once they move over from Irdeto to Betacrypt the Dreambox will no longer be able to decrypt their signal anymore and so you won’t be able to watch OSN. Personally think this is just temporary since everything is crackable but for now looks like the only way you’ll be able to watch OSN is by subscribing through them.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Lumix GF1 + Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 Lens

Post by Mark

I ordered an adapter online that would allow me to mount my Nikon lenses on my GF1 camera. First thing I did when I got the adapter was to mount the gigantic Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 lens onto the GF1 which as you can see above looked ridiculous since the GF1 is so tiny.

So far I really love the GF1, I think it’s my favorite camera ever. My next purchase for it is going to be the digital viewfinder which should make it look pretty ugly but in a good way. [Amazon Link]


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Share your iPhone’s internet onto your iPad

Post by Mark

If you have an iPhone and an iPad you will probably understand how annoying it is that you can’t share your phones internet connection over wifi to you iPad. Well now it’s super easy.

Visit www.jailbreakme.com from your iPhone browser and follow the instructions to jailbreak your phone and install Cydia. Shoul take around 2 minutes.

When done launch Cydia and search for the app called MyWi. It costs $20 but you can try it out for free for 10 days. Using MyWi you will be able to share your phone’s internet connection over wifi which you could connect the iPad to. Very easy.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Royal Domains

Post by Mark

I was searching for something on eBay when I found someone selling three domain names for $21,000,000! The domain names are:

www.sabahal-ahmadal-jaberal-sabah.com
www.sabahal-ahmadal-jaberal-sabah.info
www.sabahalahmadaljaberalsabah.info

Twenty one million dollars… the guy must be living in la la land. [Link]


google plus share facebook share twitter share

WaterField iPad Ultimate Sleeve Case

Post by Mark

I’m a big fan of WaterField products. I got my first Apple iBook sleeve and bag back in 2001 from them and it still looks brand new today, the product quality is outstanding. That’s why when I got my iPad first thing I did was check out WaterField to see what they had to offer. Turns out they had a few different sleeves on offer but I decided to go with the iPad Ultimate SleeveCase which I am reviewing here. The reason I went for the ultimate case is because I could use it in two ways.

The first is like a messenger bag. I ordered the sleeve with d-rings on the side which would allow me to attach a shoulder strap and carry the ipad sleeve over my shoulder. I also got it with a small pouch that also attaches to the d-rings which I could use to carry more stuff like my phone and camera and when traveling I could put my passport and other items in the pouch. That way I travel very light, just the iPad in the sleeve and a few important items in the pouch.

Now the second way I can use this is just like a regular sleeve. I disconnect the strap and pouch from the d-rings and I end up with an iPad sleeve which I could insert into a larger bag.

The build quality as usual is incredible. The bag is made in San Fransisco and the material they use is very durable. The sleeve is padded very well and the inside is covered with screen cleaning Ultrasuede® lining so you basically clean your iPad every time you take it in and out of the case. The cost of my sleeve was $89 without shipping. Depending on your configuration it can either increase or decrease. The sleeve alone without the d-rings, pouch and shoulder strap is $55 for example. Here is a link to their website [Link]


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Dr. Sbaitso

Post by Mark

Does anyone remember Dr. Sbaitso? I used to love impressing friends and guests with it back in the early 90s. [YouTube]


google plus share facebook share twitter share

I can now broadcast live video!

Post by Mark

In the post below I was just testing to see if I could broadcast live footage and it worked! For the people who were able to catch my live act I was just broadcasting video of my dog sleeping on the floor so you didn’t miss out on much. I got this idea for live broadcasting from P0ach and wanted to see if there was an easy way to do it and it turned out there was. I signed up for a free account on ustream.tv and downloaded the iPhone app for Ustream called Ustream Live Broadcaster and thats it. All you need is your iPhone’s 3G connection or WiFi and you can broadcast live video from anywhere to the blog. So next time I witness a fire or fight I can just broadcast the video live for everyone to watch. Pretty cool!


google plus share facebook share twitter share

In Focus: Zaharat Al Naseem

Post by Mark

Two weeks back I posted that I ordered the Alpine iXA-W407 from Amazon along with all the parts I needed to get it installed in my FJ Cruiser. Originally I was planning to do all the install myself but I found a sound install place where the people who run it actually know what they’re doing. The place is called Zaharat Al Naseem and they’re located right across from Al Raya. I originally went there to have them solder some wires together but I was pretty surprised when the person I was talking to knew was an SWI-JACK was and what a TR7 did. Not only that but the guy actually spoke proper English and they were in the middle of installing a rear view camera on another black FJ. I decided to give them the whole install project and so I left and went back after I was done with work so they could install everything.

They didn’t have any issues soldering all the right wires together (check out the picture above) and they got it all right from the first try. I had ordered an adapter from Amazon that would allow me to install the Alpine in the FJ but the adapter I bought turned out to be really crap. Turns out they had the right adapter I needed and the price was just a KD1 more than Amazon after shipping. After installing the stereo I had them install my extra 12v socket by the fuse box and run my Garmin GPS charger up inside the dashboard. I had a whole weekend of installation planned and they were able to do it all in under 2 hours. I didn’t have the rear view camera the first day but once Aramex delivered it the next day I went back and they installed it for me in under 30 minutes.

If you want to get your sound system installed I highly recommend them. There are a bunch of places in front of Al Raya so make sure you go to the right store.

Update: They’ve moved, here is their new location [Google Maps]


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Review: Alpine iXA-W407

Post by Mark

Here is a quick review of the Alpine iXA-W407.

It works great with the iPod as expected. I previously had the Alpine iDA-X001 installed in my Wrangler and one annoying thing in the X001 was searching for an artist. It doesn’t get much better in the W407. You can’t search using an onscreen keyboard to type an artist name for some reason instead you need to scroll down to the artist u want. You can scroll down by letter as in if you are looking for Smashing Pumpkins you can press “page down” when u r at A and it will take u to B and u keep pressing till u get to S. A painfully long process which I do not recommend while driving. Once you get to S you then have to scroll down regularly by pressing “down” untill u get to Smashing Pumpkins. Takes forever and not practical at all.

On the bright side, that’s the only negative thing I found. The multi display screen is very cool (see picture above) which basically allows you to display up to 4 different kinds of information on the same screen. I Just wish there were more widgets to add out of the current 6 including calculator and sound adjustment which are not pictured above. What I would have liked to have seen is a weather widget (could use my iPhone’s internet connection for the date) or an RSS reader.

The W407 has Bluetooth built in. Once I get into the car my iPhone connects to the Alpine automatically and whenever I want to call someone I bring up the phone number on the Alpine screen and call it. When I get a phone call I can either answer it on the Alpine or if I want privacy I can talk directly on my iPhone. Now all thats pretty normal but my favorite thing is the fact that I can stream music from my iPhone to the Alpine using Bluetooth. Like my iPod and the Radio I have Bluetooth as an audio source. When I select Bluetooth as a source whatever sound my iPhone makes I hear it on the cars sound system. Other than listening to your iPod’s music wirelessly or playing games and have the sound blast out of the cars sound system, another cool feature is the fact I stream music from the web over 3G and onto my car stereo using bluetooth. I’ve got the iPhone app WunderRadio (which I’ve posted about before) and I use it to tune into radio stations in Lebanon and stream them into my car. I don’t have any problems streaming the Lebanese radio stations since they broadcast in EDGE but Ministry of Sound UK for example streams as 3G and after a minute or so the music cuts off and I have to buffer for like 10 seconds which is very annoying. But, I am going to be upgrading my iPhones internet connection from 600kb to 14.4MB at the end of the month which should solve my problem.

I really like the iXA-W407 and if I had to do the purchase all over again I would in a heartbeat. The final score is a 4 out of 5. The lack of a decent search feature and the fact there aren’t any extra widgets I can download and install are the reasons it’s not perfect. If anyone has any specific questions regarding that Alpine unit or the install just ask it below and I will try to answer it. Regarding the PAC TR7, it worked perfectly with the W407. With the TR7 install I can watch videos and change the stereo system settings while I am driving. Without the TR7 I would have to put the car in PARK and raise the handbrake. I also had the PAC SWI-Jack installed which allows the Alpine to be controlled with the FJ’s steering wheel buttons. The PAC SWI-Jack works on a number of cars and with a number of sound systems.

I ordered all my items from Amazon, here is the list with links:

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


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Page 6 of 24First234567891011Last



Contribute

If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]