Posts filed under 'Gear'

3DHD TV – Coming to a Living Room Near You

CES – LAS VEGAS via NBCU Blogger Lounge – I was the last to get a projection TV, then I held out for as long as I could to get an HD plasma TV. I like being a late adopter, not just because I’m frugal, but also because I figure that most first generation products have some kinks to work out and stand the best chance for improvement in the few years following their release. I also don’t like experiencing things that then make all other things seem outdated.

Continue Reading January 8th, 2010

Review: Amazon Kindle 2

kindle2I just got my Kindle 2 last night and here are my first impressions. Downloads are extremely fast. I bought a Malcolm Gladwell book, Outliers, from the Amazon web site. Within about a minute I looked down and my Kindle was telling me it was downloaded and ready to read. I also subscribed to a few magazine free trials, like Newsweek, The New Yorker, The Motley Fool, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and US News & World Report. All of them updated really quickly.

Continue Reading February 26th, 2009

Apple iPhone Review

iphone-thumb.jpgFinding an iPhone at the 6PM launch yesterday took some creativity. Using the iPhone though is absolutely a dream, compared to previous phones I’ve owned. The iPhone sets a new standard for smart devices and I probably won’t be buying another make of phone for as long as Apple keeps making iPhones. Having three Macintosh computers in my life, the compatibility factor just can’t be ignored. The interface is beyond slick, the size and weight are pocket-friendly and the web, music and video capabilities are unlike anything I’ve ever seen, short of a desktop computer.

Continue Reading June 30th, 2007

Patagonia Wetsuits

psuit-sm.jpgReading a thread on Scubaboard, I came across these new Patagonia wetsuits. They look pretty good, though I’m not sure that the insulation they claim to provide is actually as good as advertised. I dive in the PNW regularly, and I can’t picture going diving here in a 3mm fullsuit and also staying warm. But, Patagonia does make very good alpine gear, usually of excellent quality for a premium price (which is why the company is sometimes referred to as “PataGucci” by climbers and hikers) – so I wouldn’t be surprised if these suits measured up against some of the best, when it comes to diving in warm water.

Continue Reading April 3rd, 2007

Casio EX-Z1000 & EWC-80 Housing Review

casio-ewc-80front-thumb.gifFour months and forty dives after buying my latest underwater camera and housing kit, I’ve ended up with some great impressions of Casio’s 10.1 Megapixel EX-Z1000 camera and EWC-80 polycarbonate housing. With very few shortcomings and a lot of resolution in a small package, this little rig delivers as does no other in the compact digital market. Extremely quick on the draw, unequalled battery life (~360 shots per charge!) and intuitive user interface all add up to a superb record of my recent dive history. If you’re in the market for a small, affordable, easy-to-use underwater digital camera, look no further.

Continue Reading November 23rd, 2006

BlackBerry 8100 Pearl Review

bbpearl-front.gifAfter a disastrous spill of a cocktail into my shiny new Nokia E60 Smartphone, I started looking for another mobile phone (I wouldn’t think of buying the same gear twice). I ended up coming upon the newly-released BlackBerry Pearl (8100), recommended to me by a phone-junkie friend. In a nutshell, the new Blackberry offers up one of the best form factors of any phones I’ve come across in my searches. It employs a trackball similar to the Apple Mighty Mouse and does away with the scroll wheel on the side. The phone is surprisingly slim and light and has a usable camera with flash. If you generally like Blackberrys, you’ll love the 8100 Pearl.

Continue Reading September 26th, 2006

Nokia E60 Smartphone Review

nokia-e60-small.jpgI’ve been through four different phones in the past several months, ranging from small, light and good looking…. to big, ugly and (dys)functional. Yet, I haven’t been able to find the right mix in any one device, though several of them seemed promising at first glance. I pretty much end up hating a phone after about a week of using it if it has any major flaws (or a number of minor annoyances). I must admit that my need for having a small phone that is capable of handling my business needs as well as sporting an intuitive display and being able to sync with my Mac is a tall order for any mobile phone manufacturer. I became disheartened at the fact that there were no appealing phones on the market to replace my string of duds. Enter the Nokia E60 Smartphone.

Continue Reading June 8th, 2006

Victorinox (Swiss Army) Eiffel – Slim-Line Vertical Brief

I seldom stray far from home without my laptop and my Victorinox Vertical Brief. I’m also a big fan of keeping things light and simple, yet functional. The Eiffel is rugged enough to stand up to any amount of abuse (the bag itself, not the laptop inside), yet sports a sleek design that exhibits sophistication minus the pretentiousness of a traditional briefcase. A 15″ Powerbook and a few magazines or a book fit perfectly into the Eiffel’s main stowage compartments, and the front organizer has precisely the right amount of additional room for accessories and all the rest. The piece can also convert to fit nicely onto the handles of rolling luggage for easy transport when traveling. Add to all of this Victorinox’s reputation of offering extremely well-made products and a trusted warranty, and you’ve got yourself a lot of bang for the buck. Bottom line: this product offers stowage for the essentials, yet maintains a streamlined profile for both quick jaunts around town and extended travel abroad.

Continue Reading May 15th, 2006

Canon SD500 Elph & WP-DC70 Housing Review

elph-thumbnail1.jpgThe 7.1 megapixel Canon SD500 digital Elph is a great camera with quick and accurate image processing. Its loaded with features and takes vibrant sharp photos. The interface is easy enough to use and is an evolving model used by all previous Elph/Ixus cameras. The biggest complaint I have with the unit is that its very heavy, weighing in at 200g. This results in it being a pretty dense brick in your pocket and lessens the likelihood that I’ll bring it out to the bar with me to catch that killer shot of my buddy falling flat on his ass. As an underwater camera, I think this thing takes incredibly clear photos and has an terrific variable flash. There are several serious shortcomings though I must admit. One is battery life. The SD500 has good batter life, however….

Continue Reading October 9th, 2005

Minty Fresh Stats

So, as you might’ve noticed, this site is rather new. I scrapped most of the elements of my previous site that annoyed me, and one of the greatest moves was to a new hosting provider, Dreamhost. I’m happy with just about everything Dreamhost provides save one aspect, the statistics monitoring. I was complaining about that the other day when my buddy Mike offered a solution: Mint.

Continue Reading September 14th, 2005

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