SSD Hard Drives

Post by Mark

Awhile back my MacBook was starting to feel sluggish and I was really tempted to buy a newer model but since I was just using the laptop to get online from the couch or for when I travel, I didn’t think it was worth buying a new laptop. Instead, I decided to upgrade my MacBook from a 2.5inch 5400rpm 250GB hard drive to a 64GB SSD.

What is SSD? SSD stands for solid-state drive and to keep it simple its just a hard drive with no moving parts and is around 5 times faster than regular notebook hard drives. I ordered the ADATA 64GB drive from Amazon since based on my research I found it had the best bang for the buck. I also looked at two other brands before deciding on ADATA which were OCZ Technology and Crucial Technology, both of which have extremely fast performance drives but at a slightly more expensive cost.

I could easily review the drive in just 7 words: “It makes all other computers feel slow”. It cut down the boot time of my MacBook to less than half and it also sped up the launch time of all the applications. For example it now takes 1 second to launch Photoshop while other applications like Safari and Microsoft Word launch practically instantly. No waiting or spinning colored wheel just click and they’re open. The SSD drive not only brought new life to my aging MacBook but for day to day use it made it feel a lot faster than all my other computers including my already very fast iMac and Mac Pro.

I got the 64GB SSD and not something larger because the prices became tooooo expensive with the larger drives. For example a 256GB SSD would cost you around $500 which is nearly half the price of a brand new MacBook! The 64GB drive on the other hand cost me around KD35 with shipping to Kuwait and after installing the OS and ALL my software I still had 40GB of free space left. That’s more than I need since I just use my MacBook to surf the web, edit some pictures and for traveling. If you’re planning on storing media like your photo or music library than I highly doubt 64GB would be enough.

I would definitely recommend everyone pick up an SSD drive if you can, it really makes a HUGE difference. But, if you need a large drive and are not in a rush, the longer you wait the cheaper the prices will get. Here is the Amazon link to the hard drive I got [Link]


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InfoConnect starts today

Post by Mark

Today is the first day of the InfoConnect exhibition. If you’re looking to get a new Internet subscription or to renew one, InfoConnect is usually the best time to do it since they usually have the best deals going on. I still don’t have details on any of the offers taking place but as soon as I get them will post them here.

Location: Kuwait International Fair Grounds, Hall 6
Date: January 30th, 2011 to February 5th, 2011
Time: 9am – 1pm and 5pm – 9pm

The entrance is free. For more information click [Here]


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Crowdsourced Activism

Post by Mark

re:kuwait have a good idea which I hope someone reads and decides to implement. A lot of people have phones with built in cameras which can also geo-tag photos. That means you can take a picture and the exact location of where that picture was taken would be stored in the picture. What re:kuwait are suggesting is this:

What if some government entity creates a website where people can upload photos they take of things they feel are broken or wrong, such as graffiti, broken lamps, potholes, whatever. These photos are uploaded to the website by a few people wanting to do good for their community.

The government can then prioritize what needs to be fixed for example and find the location of the problem with the geo-tag. I think that would be an amazing idea. Here is a link to their [Post]


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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


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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.


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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]


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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.


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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]


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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]


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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]


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