Weighing In

Written by admin on July 30, 2010 – 7:11 pm -

How many times have you wondered how much your check-in luggage weighs especially when your overseas with no weighing scale to be found? I’ve been in caught in that situation so many times and just had to get myself one of those portable luggage scales which I actually wrote about a few years back.

Nothing much to write about this gizmo which does nothing but weigh your luggage and give you that peace of mind that you won’t be paying those hefty overage fees that airlines charge.

Powered by two AA batteries this scale is a no brainer to operate, strap one end to your luggage handle, press the power button and select if you want the read out in pounds or kilos then lift the device until you hear a beep indicating that your luggage has been weighed.

Available at R.O.X. for PHP 1400. There were cheaper ones albeit the actual scale being smaller which I figured would be a tad difficult to lift and might break easily, I went for the beefier model.

Posted in Shopping, Travel | 1 Comment »

What’s new in the iPhone 4?

Written by admin on June 13, 2010 – 10:58 pm -

So we all want one. Ok maybe not all of us. Besides wanting the latest and greatest iPhone what do we know about it compared to its predecessor the iPhone 3GS? Heres a quick rundown on what new with Apple’s latest creation and my thoughts.

First lets go through the superficial stuff, the design of the new iPhone is boxier. Two glossy panels of aluminosilicate glass, the kind used in helicopter windshields and high speed trains sandwich a custom alloy stainless steel band which provides the structural rigidity for the internal components. Apple claims that the glass panels are 20 times stiffer than plastic making it more durable and scratch resistant as the previous iPhone. Let’s see if these claims are true as I’m sure as soon as its officially out a few individuals out there on YouTube will provide us some drop tests for our viewing pleasure.

On the hardware side, the iPhone 4 now sports an Apple A4 processor, same as the iPad, meaning we can expect it perform faster than the 3GS. Why are phones suddenly becoming reminiscent of computers where we are looking at CPU speed and memory capacity? Well maybe because these little gizmos are now in fact small handheld computers.

The screen is a major upgrade. It has what Apple calls Retina Display, which boasts a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. Apple claims that the pixels are so small the the human eye cannot distinguish individual pixels. For us mortals that means a sharper text and graphics.

The iPhone 4 now has a gyro. The 3GS had a accelerometer so what does a gyro do for the iPhone 4. An accelerometer senses rotation making it possible for the previous iPhones to sense the orientation of the screen. A gyro would be able to detect full 3D attitude, velocity and acceleration rates. Enough geek talk! What can we expect with this new hardware? New apps such as motion recorders, better interaction with games and other ingenious applications that app developers can surprise as with.

Apple has also upgraded the iPhones camera from 3MP to 5MP. A front facing vga camera for video calls which Apple calls Facetime. I’m looking forward to a future Skype app that will use this front facing camera. The rear camera can also take High Definition video at 720p, I’m just not sure how memory will stack up especially if you choose the 16GB model, especially since the iPhone does not have any external memory slots like most smart phones. Theres also a LED light for low light conditions when taking still photos and videos. Nothing new there, most phones have had this for the past five years.

Lastly the iPhone 4 sports an additional microphone on top near the headphone jack to effectively cancel out external noise making for much clearer conversations. We’ll have to wait to see how effective this is as I’ve tried a dozen bluetooth headsets with so called noise or wind cancellation with less than remarkable results.

In a nutshell we get a faster processor, higher resolution display, higher resolution camera, front facing camera, noise cancellation and a gyro.

So am I getting one when they release it in the U.S. on June 24th? Nah, I’ll wait till it is released in Singapore, although the prices are steeper, Singapore mobile phones are all unlocked (open line) as it is required by law, which means I don’t have to wait to software unlocks or hacks to upgrade to newer firmware versions as they come out.

Posted in Shopping, Tech | No Comments »

Comfy Kicks

Written by admin on December 2, 2009 – 4:49 pm -

Before coming to India I wanted to get a new pair of kicks, something that I would have to worry about keeping clean all the time. I also wanted one that was militarily inspired as I have to let go airsofting.

I had my eyes set on Merrell’s Sawtooth hiking boot. After trying it on, my better half didn’t like it, she said it made my legs look really thin especially when wearing shorts. The deal breaker was it wasn’t waterproof.

The sales associate then whipped out a pair of Merrell Chameleon II Stretch hiking shoes. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind but I did like that shape of the shoe.

I tried it on, and it fit like a glove. No laces to worry about with this shoe as its got a self locking cinch. The shoe was breathable and waterproof at the same time thanks to its gore-tex lining. The vibram sole had a pretty good grip but I’d be a bit careful when the surface your treading on is wet.

I’ve been using it for over a month now and its fully worn in and it feels great. Great for the the dusty roads in India. We’ll have to wait for the next monsoon season before I can field test this shoe in wet weather conditions.


Posted in Randomness, Shopping, Sports | No Comments »

Electronics shopping in Seoul

Written by admin on July 11, 2008 – 2:46 pm -

I often receive queries if there is an equivalent of Radio Shack in Seoul or South Korea for that matter. Radio Shack is an electronics and parts store that is available throughout the continental U.S. and a few other countries. In fact there was an official Radio Shack store in Makati located at the car park near SM. 

Even with the prevalence of internet shopping, I often want to see and touch the goods that I purchase so above is a google earth photo of Yongsan and I’ve labeled the buildings with a short description of what’s where over there.

A – IPark Mall

      1F – Camera’s / Navigation / Gadgets
      2F – Home Appliances
      3F – Home Appliances
      4F – Computers  Console games (Xbox, PS2, PS3, Nintendo)
      5F – Computers / Musical Instruments / Pro Audio and DJ Equipment
      6F – Home Appliances / Computers

B – ET Land 

      B   – Electronic Parts / Tools / Test and Measuring Equipment
      1F – Home Appliances (LCD TV’s, Washing Machines / Recliners / Vacuum Cleaners / Heaters)
      2F – Camera’s / Mobile Phones / Gadgets / Hifi Audio and Home Theater )
      3F – Computers
      4F – Computers
      5F – Food Court / Console Games (XBox, PS2, PS3, Nintendo) / Hobby Shops 

C – Mobile phones / Tools

D – Computers / Peripherals / Cables

E – Tools / Lighting Fixtures / CCTV 

F – Lighting Fixtures

Lastly Yongsan RC, where they sell remote control vehicles such as cars / planes and helicopters. The staff are really nice and friendly.

So how do you get there? Find your way to Yongsan subway station and you should be right smack in the middle of the iPark Mall.

Other places that sell gadgets, electronics and hobby shops :

Technomart Gangbyeon (Gangbyeon) Subway Line 2
Technomart Sindorim (Sindorim) Subway Line 2
Kukje Electronics Center (Seocho) 

I will update this post as more information is gathered.



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Posted in Hobbies, Seoul, Shopping, Tech | 3 Comments »

Surprise gift

Written by admin on May 23, 2008 – 7:49 am -

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and my kids surprised me with a gift today. After arriving home from watching Indiana Jones today I proceeded straight to my desk and there I found a gift wrapped box. The funny thing is that I called my kids about noon telling them to meet me at the COEX where we would watch Indiana Jones 4. What I didn’t know at the time was that my son was already at the COEX buying me the gift, so he rush back home to pick his younger brother up to return to the COEX to meet me. 

When my kids arrived here about a month ago they noticed that I was using my mobile phone as an alarm clock and that there were no clocks at home so they both decided to get me an iPod speaker alarm clock. The Ozaki iMini functions as an FM radio, iPod speaker and charger, and alarm clock. You can set the alarm to trigger a bell, FM radio or your play your iPod at a preset time. Sound quality from its two speakers on both sides of the cube are decent but don’t expect any chest thumping bass from it. The best thing I like about this speaker is that I don’t have to take my iPod out of its case to hook it up.

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Posted in Randomness, Shopping, Tech | No Comments »