iPod SmartDeck

Post by Mark

smart deck

I don’t know how I missed this, maybe because at first glance the tape adapter looks like a regular tape adapter. But, when you read on you realize that this is not regular by any means. The Griffin Technology tape adapter actually allows you to control your ipod using your cars tape deck! Someone told me about this 5 minutes ago and I was like no way, then I checked out the site and turns out its true. This means we can ditch the crappy iTrip and finally get some decent sound. The SmartDeck is coming out soon and you can preorder it now for only $29.99 [Link]

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I Won a Microsoft Mouse!

Post by Mark

Microsoft wireless notebook optical mouse

Today at lunch time I collected my gift, a brand new Microsoft wireless notebook optical mouse. I won it from Fadibou, the Microsoft guru 2 days ago because I told him I loved the Xbox. This mouse turned out to be a lot smaller and practical then I thought. You don’t need drivers or anything to start using it and works with Macs and PCs. There is a small USB receiver which you plugin to an empty USB slot and you are ready to start using the mouse. When you want to put the mouse away, the small USB receiver snaps onto the underside of the mouse! Although the mouse is tiny it fits very snugly into my large hands because of the way the mouse is shaped. It also uses just 1 AA sized battery which provides it with enough juice for over 3 months of use.

To get more information or to purchase the mouse for $34 click here (Amazon.com).

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The Scooba!!

Post by Mark

This is going to be the coolest thing! iRobot, the makers of Rooma the robot vacuum cleaner are coming out with the Scooba. The scooba is a Robotic Floor Washer and its exactly what I need for my hardwood floors. The scooba works by first vacuuming up the flotsam and jetsam, then applying a liquid cleaner, and following up by drying the floor. Its coming out in the fall so it will be on my Christmas wishlist.. Videos and more info here. Here is a picture of my roomba in action.

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Sony Ericsson K750

Post by Mark


According to a Sony Ericsson representative, the K750 will begin shipping this week. The K750 is the updated version of the K700 which I wanted to get but many people told me not to. The biggest change in the K750 other then the fact that it looks better is the 2MP camera built into it. When it first gets released though it will probably cost anything from KD140 to KD160 so I will have to wait a bit for the price to settle down. For a full review of the K750 click here.

Update: I received an email telling me that the phone has been available in Dubai since Friday and its priced at 1350AED 1630AED which comes to around KD107 KD130.

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Nikon D70 Firware Upgrade

Post by Mark

d70 new menu

I just downloaded and updated my Nikon D70 Firmware. The first thing you will notice after the upgrade is how much cooler the camera’s menu looks, they redesigned the menus to make them easier to read. It feels as if I just got a new camera. The second major thing they fixed was the number of exposures remaining when shooting in RAW format. Before with my 512MB card it would display 47 shots although I could take a lot more. Now with the upgrade it shows me 88 shots. Below is a more detailed list of the updates:

1. Performance of the 5-area AF system has been improved (Dynamic area and Closest subject AF-area modes).

1. Changes have been made to the design of menu displays.

2. Page-size settings can now be applied from the camera with direct printing from a PictBridge-compatible printer.

3. The number of exposures remaining, displayed in the control panel and viewfinder, when shooting at an image-quality setting of NEF (RAW) or NEF+JPEG Basic has been changed (the number is calculated based on the size of compressed RAW file).
– Maximum number of exposures displayed when a 256-MB CompactFlash memory card is used:
– Version 2.00: NEF (RAW):approx. 44 exposures; NEF+JPEG Basic:approx. 39 exposures
– Version 1.03 or earlier: NEF (RAW):approx. 23 exposures; NEF+JPEG Basic:approx. 21 exposures

4. The default setting for camera clock has been changed from 2004.01.01 to 2005.01.01. Now you cannot set the clock back to a date before 2004.12.31.

5. A problem that sometimes caused communication between the camera and computer to be unexpectedly terminated when using Nikon Capture Camera Control has been corrected. (Windows)

You can download the 2.0 firmware upgrade from here.

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How To Crack WEP

Post by Mark

Part 1: Setup & Network Recon
Part 2: Performing the Crack

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My E3 Highlights

Post by Mark

Ok, so there is a new PS3, there is the Xbox360, the Nintendo Revolution and the Game Boy Micro. They are all amazing systems and as I told Nibaq, I will need to start saving up so I can buy them all. I just watched the PS3 duck technical presentation and it was good except I wanted to watch the Motor Storm video (check this: 1 and 2). I am also downloading the Dead or Alive 4 video, its 470MB but here are some screenshots for those of you with slow connections. Some cool games are coming out on the DS, Castlevania is one and its in 2D thank god. Sonic is the other game, the cool thing about sonic is the way it uses the 2 screens, click here to see what I mean. Finally I was hoping to see screenshots of GTA for the PSP but all I was able to find was this write up.

I think the next generation of systems is going to be really kick ass. I don’t have a favorite yet, each has its own advantage and thats why I will probably get them all.

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No Empty Frequencies?

Post by Mark

Today I was listening to my iPod via iTrip when I noticed my signal was getting disturbed. I had my iTrip setup to broadcast on 102.5mhz and I am sure it was free the other day. So I turned off my iPod and as I had figured, there was a station that was interfering with my music. So I started to search for an empty station and there wasn’t any! I don’t know why but I think it has to do with todays weather but every frequency had some kind of interference from a nearby station. Really sucks, its like the iTrips worst nightmare.

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Kensington Orbit Optical Trackball

Post by Mark

Kensington Trackball

Over a year ago I purchased a trackball mouse to use at home. Because my desk at home was small, whenever I was using the computer my wrist would start to really hurt because my hand was always half dangling off the desk and I was always positioned in a very anti-ergonomic position.

I did some research and in the end I decided to go with the Kensington Orbit Optical. The reason I went with Kensington was because of the way the trackball is shaped and because it uses optics. The shape of the trackball allows me to rest my wrist onto it and allows me to control the ball with my fingers. The use of optics allows the trackball to be extremely accurate and very easy to roll. The Kensington trackball also came with PC and Mac drivers.

The first question people ask is, so is it really better then a regular mouse? The simple answer is no. The trackball works differently from a regular mouse. When you spend years working with a mouse and then move to a trackball, the change takes getting used to. I use the trackball at home but not at work. The reason is I can control the mouse better then the trackball, and this is after using the trackball nightly for over a year. The mouse is just more natural to me and the speed and accuracy I work with the mouse I can not get with the trackball. But, I didn’t get the trackball because its a better tool then the mouse. I got the trackball because my wrists were hurting me, and because of the trackball I don’t have that problem anymore.

The trackball is very comfortable to use. Very comfortable. You don’t have to move your hand or wrist when using it, just your fingers. I work on the computer all day at work and by the time I get home my wrists are hurting. Using the trackball at home allows me to recover while still using the computer. It really makes a big difference, since I have gotten the trackball at home I have never had any wrist issues.

How is the actual Kensington trackball? Its great, if you want a trackball this is the one to get. Amazon have it for only $25. Thats really cheap. Unlike normal trackballs this has an optical sensor which means its ultra accurate and is dust and dirt proof. The trackball is very smooth, the form is ultra comfortable. The size is nearly twice the size of a normal mouse. The dark grey area you see in the pictures is actually a rubbery material. The trackball comes with a USB to PS2 adapter for those of you who dont have a free USB port.

I just ordered and received my second Orbit trackball a few days ago. The reason is my first one got worn out. The rubber feet under the trackball got unstuck, the rubber wrist rest started peeling, and the whole thing started looking.. aged. So I went and ordered another one and it feels really good.

I will give this trackball a 4 out of 5. When comparing the trackball to a mouse if just comes down to how comfortable the person is with each. This review is of the Kensington Orbit Trackball, and as a trackball this is just really hard to beat. I have used the Logitech optical marble mouse but the shape and feel of it is just terrible compared to this. And for only $25 is really a steal.

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How to Install Tiger without a DVD Reader

Post by Mark

Yesterday I installed Tiger on my PowerMac G4. It wasn’t very easy. The problem I have is that my PowerMac can’t read DVD’s and Tiger came on a DVD. To solve the problem I figure I could put the DVD in Nat’s PowerBook, then connect her mac to mine by booting hers up in target disk mode. When I did that though I only was able to see her hard drive and not her DVD drive. Then I decided to try something else. I opened up Disk Utility on Nats PowerBook and in the options chose to create an image of the DVD and saved it on her Hard Drive. A few minutes later I had a 2.3GB image file of the DVD. I then connected a mini ipod to the powerbook, and in disk utilities chose to format the ipod. I then told it to restore an image onto the ipod and chose the Tiger image which I had just made a few minutes earlier. This move basically turned the ipod into a Tiger boot disk. I then plugged the ipod into my Powermac and a finder window opened with the Tiger setup file. I double clicked on it and it told me I needed to reboot my mac. Once it restarted it loaded up the Tiger installation and i proceeded to install tiger on my mac.

The Problem
After finishing installing Tiger I booted up and everything was working fine. When I tried to connect to the internet though it gave me a modem error, something about it not being turned on. I look at the modem and it was blinking red instead of the usual green. Turns out the DSL modem drivers are not compatible with Tiger. To solve this issue I went to Hawalli and purchased a DSL Modem with a built in wireless router for KD30. I then came home and set it up to connect to the internet and share it across the network. It worked. Now since the new DSL modem does not require a computer to be connected to the internet, I can now reboot my mac and shut it down whenever I want without it effecting anyone on my network. Previously I had my powermac connect to the internet and share the connection over the network. That wasn’t practical because if I rebooted or shutdown my mac for some reason, the internet would disconnect.

dashboard widget

Tiger Experience
I have been using it for a short while now and things seem a tiny bit faster. When I first booted up Tiger it was a bit slow doing stuff because Spotlight was trying to index my whole drive. Once it was done indexing things came back to normal. The new mail program looks a lot more cleaner and cooler. Dashboard is interesting, my favorite widget is the flight tracker. It actually shows me the departure and arrival time of any flight plus where the plane currently is on the map. I might post a more fuller review later on but so far I like Tiger.

My Mac Specs
Graphite PowerMac G4 733MHz
1MB L3 Cache

Update: someone made it aware to me that I could have booted the powerbook using the Tiger CD and put my powermac in Target Disk mode. Then on the powerbook when it asked me where I wanted to install it I could have chosen the drive from my mac. Might have worked and been quicker.

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