for the love of electronic gadgetry
GADGETS 

technology have came a very very long way. from computers that used to use magnetic tapes as harddisks to the PDA we have nowadays that fit into the palm of your hands.  my first electronic gadget was the Palm m100, the cheapest PDA from palm at that time. it woo-ed me with simple but powerful applications that made my life easier.. and my bag lighter.

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-------- Links to Last 5 Posts --------

MBW-150 Review |New Toy | How to Fix... | The Eee PC | Virus In Maxtor HD

----- 04 Mar 2008, 430PM ---- SE MBW-150 Bluetooth Watch Review ----

After researching and finding details of this Gadget, I decided to get myself one of the latest Sony Ericsson Bluetooth watches, MBW-150 Classic Edition. Its very difficult to get a hold of this baby in Singapore, so after searching the local online forums, there was this only ONE shop that stood out. I couldn't remember the name of the shop but its located at the 2nd Basement of Plaza Singapura in Dhoby Ghaut.

<< the MBW150 watch comes in this big box. Bigger than the Phone's Box. >>

The reason I bought this watch was because.. well, I misplaced my older Swatch Watch (I don't know how or when) and I needed to get one coz I have been looking at my naked wrist whenever I needed to know the time. So, I told myself, why not get a watch that I will REALLY like. So I got the myself this Bluetooth Watch.

The functions are simple enough. It simply connects very easily to my mobile phone, the K850i, via Bluetooth. Just press a few buttons, and your done. No settings what-so-ever. If the watch loses connectivity with the mobile phone, The MBW-150 will automatically reconnect to the phone whenever it is within range. The watch has a 4-icon menu system for some functions that you may need to disable when the need arises.

Whenever a calls comes in or when I receive an SMS/MMS, it will discreetly vibrate its ass off telling me someone is calling me or have sent me a message. The OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) Display will tell display the caller's name, or the number if the caller is not in my phone records. If a message is received, an envolope icon will be displayed there instead. Nifty huh?

Also, if there is a caller, I can mute or reject the call just by pressing a button on this watch. This is especially useful if I'm riding my motorbike. I can just glance at my watch, know who is calling and I can decide whether I want to stop by the roadside to pick up the call or just reject the call directly.

This electronic watch can also control the Music Player on my Handphone. One the right side of the watch's face, there are another 3 buttons. Using these 3 buttons, I can Play, Stop, Skip or Control the volume of the music player. Other than all these knick-knacks, the watch vibrates violently when the phone and the watch goes out of range about more than 10meters. This is so that I wouldn't leave my handphone behind.

Overall, I am happy with this gadget. Its a discreet gadget, but useful in my everyday life. Since I keep my phone in my pocket or clipped to my side most of the times, there will be times when I just need to reject/mute a call without taking out the handphone hurriedly, especially when I'm in a meeting at work or at the movies.

There are 2 other versions of the phone bearing the same model. One is the Music Edition: Rubber Strap, Design matches more with the SE Walkman Phones and same price. The other is the much more expensive Executive Edition: Metal Strap and more professional-looking. I didn't want the Music Edition coz of it's rubber strap. I have bad experiences with rubber strap watches. They really tend to split or tear very fast due to our weather, so I got the leather one obviously. The Executive One is out of my budget.

So far, I have been using my Bluetooth Headset HBH970 together with my Watch and K850i. They can work concurrently with each other at the same time. I can still listen to music on my headset without much jumps or skips. Controlling the music or accepting/rejecting calls on all three devices is not an issue.

This nifty gadget really works like how it was advertised. It is fully compatible with almost any Bluetooth enabled Sony Ericsson Mobile Phones ( see the list here ). Its great for wireless-gadget-loving freaks like me. hehe...

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----- 30 Jan 2008, 2AM ---- Got myself a new toy ----

Yeah baby! After waiting for my contract to reach it's 21st month, its finally time to get a new phone and Daddy now have a new toy! A shiny new Sony Ericsson K850i! Woohoo!

I got it delivered by Starhub to my office after I purchased it on my company's Starhub Roadshow last week. They did not have stock for this model on the Roadshow itself but I bought it anyway, coz I have been eying on this baby since it was launched. So, after signing a few documents, I just have to await for it to come to the palm of my hands.

I got it for $288 under my company's Roadshow promo with a PowerValue 100 re-contract. Its a good deal if you ask me. Its normally $388 on the market now. Actually, on the day itself, they were to charge me $388 for this baby but they changed it to $288 just before they delivered it to me. Cool huh. And ya, under my company's name, my monthly subscription is slashed by 20% off. woot!

More about this Nifty Gadget:

  • 5 MP Camera, with Auto-Focus (even more MP than the Digicam I have now!)
  • 3 touch-screen buttons (i find these a little unnecessary, but cool nevertheless)
  • Dual expansion; can accept both Sony MS Micro (M2) & Micro SD cards. (how cool is THAT!)
  • Cool Auto-Rotate screen. It means that you can view it vertically or horizontally and the screen will re-align itself as you rotate the phone.
  • Big 240x320 screen. Great for photo viewing!
  • Protected Camera Lens (it closes when the camera is not in use).
  • and other common Sony Ericsson stuff.

The only thing I dun like about this phone is that its a babe magnet... no wait... its a FingerPrint magnet! At the end of the day, if you are CSI dudes, you can find out who have touched your K850i with all the smeared and obvious fingerprints you can found on the surface of the phone. And you can only wipe it clean with those Spectacle cloths!

Anyway, I got the "Velvet Blue" model instead of the common "Luminous Green" one that you commonly see displayed in Handphone shops. I prefer this color coz it basically have all my Fav Colors - Black, Blue and silver. Muahahahaha...

I have taken some different shots in different scenes for you or myself to compare the quality of the photos. One is Night Shot, the other Macro Shot. (click on photos for bigger resolutions)

Next, I need to get a 8GB SDHC MicroSD. My current 1GB M2 card is full. :P

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----- 17 Dec 2007, 1AM ---- How to Fix a Broken SD Card ----

I realised that a part of the casing on my 1GB SD card PLUS was getting loose quite recently. But, I did not notice that the small Write-Protect tab had actually dropped off. This made moving files into the memory card impossible since the missing tab means that the SD Card is permanently "Read-Only".

This tab works like the tab you found on those old 1.44MB Diskettes and even your audio or video cassette tapes. These tabs are meant for one thing and one thing only. To protect your data from accidental erasure. Like, if you want a video you recorded with your Video Cam to be kept along with your memories and wants to make sure that your irritating siblings do not re-use the tape, what do you do? Yes, you break the tab off. Well, it's the same on the SD Card.

So, since my tab is missing, I can't actually use it much.. until our friendly google search helped me out a bit. With Audio/Video tapes, if you want to re-use a tape that has its tab already been removed, you normally would paste a sticky tape over it, right? And that was what I did. Just paste a thin (must be THIN!) sticky tape over the tab and walla! your SD Card can be used as per normal.

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----- 28 Nov 2007, 930AM ---- The Eee PC: Cheap, Portable Laptop ----

Introducing the Asus Eee PC Laptop that is small, lightweight and most importantly.. Cheap. Cheap as in it costs below $1000. How low? S$598 to be exact. $598 for a laptop?!?!? Yes. But it has limited stock at the upcoming SITEX event at Expo Hall 5, Starting Dec 1st.

This Eee PC is an almost full fledged Laptop that comes installed with the Linux OS but can be installed with WinXP (both Pro and Home) by following the included manual. The only downside is that the internal Harddisk is only 4GB and its a SSD (Solid-State Disk) Harddisk.. which means its like Harddisk but it has no moving parts like a normal harddisk, thus eliminating the chance of having your harddisk being scratched or damaged if it happens to get a shock (like a fall or whatever).

<< the specs

It has 3 USB Ports so that you can connect our portable Hard drive to this baby or even connect a USB Wifi dongle to connect to the internet on the go, though there is a built-in Ethernet Port. To make long story short, this laptop has been scaled down to the basic needs of a PC.

Get to know more on the Eee PC Website

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----- 14 Nov 2007, 3AM ---- Virus pre-loaded in Maxtor External Harddisk ----

Just read an article on the web that some Maxtor Extrenal Harddisks that are manufactured in China, comes pre-loaded with some sort of viruses that will infect any PC it is connected to. The model it refers to is the "Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200".

the Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 >>

The virus is called the "Virus.Win32.AutoRun.ah" that will infects the PC and steals any passwords (especially online game passwords) and will send the data back to "some server in China". Yes. You heard it right. So, to check whether your Ext Harddrive of this model is infected or not, just give Seagate a ring and provide them your serial number. Or if you feel adventurous, just simple re-format the whole thing, but remember to back it up first! Alternatively, you could just update your virus definitions.

You can read the entire article on Seagate's website HERE.

Editor's Note: Looks like China is getting really unwanted attention. Bah!

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---- 1 Nov 2007, 12PM --- Eye-Fi: Wifi Enabled 2GB SD Card ---

This 'gadget' should put an end to those useless USB cables that you photographers lug around. Introducing the Eye-Fi; the Standard SD card that have a built-in WiFi. What this means that you can transfer your photos wirelessly to your Wifi-enabled PC or Laptop. Of course, you will need a camera that supports the SD cards as it's external memory.

So, imagine that you have a long day of photographing and you are just too tired to find the USB cable or to take the SD out of the camera to transfer the photos to your Computer. This is where this card comes in. Once it detects your PC's wireless capabilities, it will automatically transfer EVERYTHING that you have stored in the 2GB memory into one of your folders in the PC. Yes EVERYTHING.

That is where the down-side of this stamp-sized gadget comes in. It doesn't let you choose which photos or folders you want to transfer. It simply transfer Everything, in any format and just dump it on your computer's hard drive or somewhere on the Internet. It cannot, (w/o your own PC or laptop) upload pics directly to the internet and to your favourite photo site. Yeah, bummer. So you can't, like go to McDonalds and let your camera upload all your pics to the net while you chomp on your BigMac.

Still, it beats having to wrestle with the USB cable to transfer everything yo your PC/Laptop and saves like 300grams of weight from your camera bag.


---- 23 Oct 2007, 12AM --- My PDAs: Part 1 ----

No.. the tile "PDA" does not mean "Public Display of Affection" Haha.. It means "Personal Digital Assistant". For those who have been living underground, these are the devices that are meant to replace those Bulky Keny Paper Organisers that you lug about and adding about 700g of mass to your bag.

Eversince I have watched those movies with high-tech gadgetries like James Bond, I have always wanted to have one for myself. Of course, those were NOT Real and even if there was one for sale, it was a non-color, expensive and have only about 128kb of memory (during the 1990s).

Until one fine day, while I working as a "Industrial Attachment Student" in one of those computer shops in Sim Lim Square (yeay!), I was browsing through a couple of internal product catalogs and something caught my eye. It was the Palm m100: 2MB on-board memory, 160x160 monochrome touch-screen, DragonballEZ processor, powered by 2x AAA Batteries and most Importantly,.. it was affordable. I finally thought to myself I could have my own Gadget-thingy!! (I didn't know what it was called then).

I went home, did a couple of research and even signed up at Palm's website for their newsletters. Lo and Behold, Palm together with Yahoo! Sg., was having an official launch that month in town. I got my hands on the set as soon as humanly possible (and got a Purple Yahoo! Umbrella free! wheepie!).

my first PDA! Plastic, light but sturdy! >>>

After opening the set.. it was like a dream come-true for me. It was my first ever electronic gadget (mobile-phones were a turn-off at those times) and I was really lovin' it! I was installing whatever useful applications I can at home into the device's puny 2MB memory. It wasn't much, but it was enough to keep me satisfied with my purchase. This baby served me well for more than 1year, showing my school timetable when I need it, Keeping my passwords, keeping track of my schedule, etc etc. Well, that was waaaay back in 2000.

I upgraded to m100's little brother, that came with a name of m125. This baby was basically an upgrade from the m100. It has more in-built memory (8MB), faster processor and also accepts SD Card to expand the on-board memory furthur. Other than that, it was basically the same as the its predecessor. I used the m125 for about 1year too when my gadgetry instincts got the better of me and decided to get a colour, hi-res dispay PDA. It was a 2nd hand, Sony Clie N760C.

<<< the am-want-to-fight (m125). Sleeker!

This great device was made by Sony but was running the same OS (Operating System) as the Palm devices. One great difference was that it had a colour screen, capable of 320x320 display. It also have 2 processing chips inside! Yes 2! One for basic PDA processing while the other is mainly for mp3 playback. Mp3 players were beginning its fame back then and having this device completed my hunger for portable music device. But one thing I hated about this device was that is was a Sony. And Sony, as everybody knows, is popular for using its own peripherals for its own devices. That means, I had to buy the stupid Sony Memory Stick which cost a bomb back then. 128MB MS for $120!!! OMG! You could get a 4GB SD card at the same price now! Thank GOD for market fluctuations! wooohooo!

Clie N760C. Comes with Headphones and Remote controls! >>>

Anyhoo.., this device produced great music on my PDA. The screen was easy on the eyes and I installed personal pictures inside the PDA as well. Everything was now in Colour; Documents, Spreadsheets, Timetables were all much more livelier. And eventhough I don't like to say this. Sony was much more ahead of Palm Inc. in the early millennium. Sony was always 3 steps ahead of Palm Inc. in terms of the technology they have on their PDAs. However, sad to say that Sony Clies were discontinued after Sony jumped out of the PalmOS bandwagon in 2004. Luckily for me, I sold my Clie before the news were out.

To be continued...