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Fri, 14 Aug 2009

Hamilton Beach Wave MakerŪ 10 Speed Blender

photo of 'Hamilton Beach Wave MakerŪ 10 Speed Blender'

Rating : * 

So the other day I went to Sears and saw this blender and bought it without researching.It was one of those impulsive buys. 

I was extremely disappointed with this blender.It just did not have the power to mix anything. It was extremely noisy.
I think this product should be renamed as Noise maker instead of Wave maker. 
Overall I would say stay away from this product.

posted at: 00:38 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Thu, 13 Aug 2009

TomTom ONE 130S

I finally bought  a car gps (till now i had a gps mouse to connect to a laptop).The gps i bought is the refurbished tomtom 130s, more details @ http://www.tomtom.com/products/product.php?ID=488&Category=0&Lid=4 for about $67 after rebate.

First impression
No power adapter for connecting it to the wall.
Can only charge battery via computer or car charger.
Sofware updates was very quick and automatic  as soon as you install TomTom Home and connect the gps to the laptop.
You can completely operate the Tomtom from the laptop in a mode called "Operate One" where in instead of tapping on the GPS screen you can use the mouse your computer.
No SD card input or bluetooth as advertised.
Adding favorites is not that easy because it stores the latitute/longitude as the name of the favorite so unless you rename it quickly it will be hard to remember Lat/Long.Also renaming favorites is very hidden under the Change Preferences->Manage Favorites.

Tips


After using it for my major road trip here is my feedback on this gps.

Pros
  • Simple interface
  • Hackable
  • Good community around it which has lots of software (most of them free).
  • QuickGPS feature works.
  • Cheapest with a lot of bells and whistles.
  • Very compact fits in a pocket.I carry it everywhere I go.
Cons
  • No SD card
  • No POI modifications or categorization.
  • Llimited to about 80 favorites only.
  • Battery life of only about 2 hours
  • Lacks multiple route planning facitlity
  • Lacks planning route  on desktop and then moving it to the gps.

posted at: 23:48 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Fri, 31 Jul 2009

Boingo wireless , for wireless on the road and airports

If you are like me who does not have an expensive mobile phone with data plans and want to access internet on the road and don't want to signup for a long term contract etc.
Boingo is a wireless service which allows you to access wireless on all Mcdonald's,T-mobile hotspot ,ATT hotspots etc for just $9.95 per month unlimited in North America.They do not have a contract and  you can disconnect it anytime.
If you go to signup on their website they charge $21.95 for a month.But if you search on search engines for coupons you can get it for $9.95 per month.
I signed up with Boingo with the following website http://www.retailmenot.com/view/boingo.com

posted at: 23:02 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Mon, 08 Jun 2009

KWORLD ATSC 340U Dongle HDTV USB Stick ATSC/ClearQAM AC3 Output - Retail

I bought this tuner from newegg when it was on sale for $35.
I have basic cable from comcast and I was able to pickup local channels in HD(clearQAM).
The video quality is good and overall im pretty happy with this tuner.See updates below.
Buying a USB extension cable for this tuner is an absolute must as otherwise it keeps on disconnecting at the slightest move and sometimes it feels like it will break also.
One thing to remmeber though this tuner will not work with encrypted channels like ESPN etc .FCC mandates that cable comapnies to carry unencrypted channels which are transmitted over the air , and with this tuner you can only see those channels.
N.B. I have read on many forums that KWorld is very bad as far as rebates and most of the people have not got their rebates.I don't have any first hand experience on this .
After having this tuner for a couple of months now and trying it with various software and various hardware I have come to the conclusion that it does not work with HD content even at 720p so overall I would not recommend this tuner anymore. You can try using the following software with this tuner as the bundled software Arcsoft TotalMedia is very limited in functionality.
  • TSReader - Crashes for me on startup on 2 Windows XP boxes.People have got it by  selecting the Hauppage generic QAM driver.
  • Got All Media  - Managed to get it running for ATSC(OTA) signals.Still could not get it running on Comcast cable(ClearQAM or QAM)
  • Media Portal - Tried it a year ago could not get it to work at all.Though there is a link to an article for a similar tuner which I feel might work .
  • WatchHDTV - Could not get it to work and software seems to be abandoned by the developer.
  • GB-PVR - Could not get it to work.

TV Listing sites
Other Tools which might help for HTPC/PVR setup

posted at: 03:41 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Mon, 19 Jan 2009

Acer Aspire One AOA110-1113 Blue Intel Atom N270(1.60GHz) 8.9"

There was a good deal on black friday for this netbook which just weighs 2.13 lb s.
I bought it and it has Linux pre-installed :-) .
I  bought this primarily for my mom in India so that she can voice chat with my family and watch us on webcam.
This is a very decent computer for that purpose .It is very light-weight and packs all the needed hardware like Wi-Fi/Webcam etc on such a small form factor.

Pros
  • Very light weight
  • Nice shiny/glossy screen
  • Does what it says :-).
  • Good quality parts.
  • Wi-Fi works out of the box(major boon for Linux users)
Cons
  • Very difficult to Upgrade memory or Hard drive.No way to do it without voiding the warranty.
  • SSD on this is extremely slow.
  • Cant use it for a lot of typing on the smaller keyboard

Overall, I like this laptop.

posted at: 18:39 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

NETGEAR RangeMax. NEXT Wireless Router WNR834B

A few months ago I  bought this router when there was an ongoing deal for refurbs.More details about the deaal @ http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/865548?highlight_key=y&keyword1=WNR834B&lastpage=1
My main reason for buying this router was so that I could put open source firmware DD-wrt on it.Now that I have it for couple of months , Im overall happy with it.
Putting DD-WRT on it was very easy and it did unclock quite a few new features which the stock firmware lacked.Overall the router with DD-WRT is quite stable considering that I do a lot of legal bittorrenting .
I have to admit that I really could not get the QOS working on this correctly.Overall the symptoms were that for anything that I put with the Bulk priority in it it would just use 1/10th of the badnwidth when all the other bandwidth was available.So I feel maybe there is a bug somewhere or maybe something is wrong with my configuration.For the timebeing I don't use QOS on this router.

posted at: 18:32 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Mon, 14 Jul 2008

Good Firefox Extensions

  1. FireGPG : This firefox extension is a must if you use GnuPG for encrypting/decrypting emails especially online mail accounts like Yahoo Mail/Gmail etc.
  2. Operator : This is another very important extension if you want to browse the future of the web (like semantic web/microformats).I would encourage every used to install this because you don't have to understand the new web structures like semantic web but you can bear the fruit of it with this extension.Be sure to check out the user-scripts to enhance this extension.My website has a lot of content which can only be displayed with this extension only.
  3. Sage : For the longest time this was my rss reader but this seems to be a dead project and dumped it especially because it did not support firefox 3.0 for a very long time and I definitely wanted to test out the new 3.0 version.Though I like the simple interface of Sage I have now settled on the actively developed Wizz reader.
  4. Wizz RSS News Reader : This is the newsreader(rss) which I have settled on after dumping Sage.
  5. Semantic Radar : Again this extension is a must have if you want to see what the future of the web looks like.It tells you about the presence of semantic data on the page and then you can launch the various semantic data in explores.My website has a lot of content which can only be displayed with this extension only.

posted at: 00:29 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 13 Jul 2008

$2 Media Center Remote for your Laptop/PC

Reviewed on Jun 27, 2008 product photo of '$2 Media Center 

Remote for your Laptop/PC'

So I bought a Media Center Remote from Ebay.My primary purpose is to use it remote control my laptop while it is playing music or DVD etc.
Especially now that I have a KWORLD ATSC 340U Dongle HDTV USB Stick for my laptop I wanted to integrate it with a remote.

Overall the product works well.Though I would have liked the keys on the remote to be softer.
So essentially this is a mini keyboard .What is does is basically send keytrokes like when you press the red button it will send a key stroke Ctrl+r so as long as your app can understand the key pressed you are all set.
It works on Linux/Windows.
Here are the beybindings
Repeat - Ctrl+Shift+r
Red button - Ctrl+r
Pause - Ctrl+p
Play - Ctrl+Shift+p
Guide - F1
DVD - Ctrl+v
Enter - Enter
Stop - Ctrl+s
Reverse - Ctrl+Shift+d
Ch+ - PgUp
Ch- -PgDown
Mute- F8
Back - Backspace
DVD Menu - Ctrl+v
Photo - Ctrl+i
Video - Ctrl+e
Music - Ctrl+m
TV - Ctrl+t
Radio - Ctrl+a
Next chapter - Ctrl+f
Prev chapter Ctrl+b
Media center ??
Power off ??
Vol up 174?
Vol down 175?
Up/Down/Left/Right -  Their usual 

posted at: 21:04 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Mon, 26 May 2008

BU-303 GPS Mouse receiver

Couple of years back I bought a USB GPS receiver mouse from ebay for about $60.Now is is priced at about $10-$20 on Ebay.You can search for BU-303 or you can buy the newer ones by searching GPS mouse receiver.
Anyways I still use it now and I have been pretty happy with it. Also if you have the same GPS then you can download the latest drivers from Prolific's website for BU-303 Receiver.
Also please remember that on Ebay for the price mentioned above you don't get any mapping software but that is where Open Street Map helps.

posted at: 17:53 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Fri, 23 May 2008

Roadnav GPS navigation for Windows/Linux

Roadnav is an open source GPS navigation tool with auto-routing functionality.
If you are using it on Windows I would highly recommend that you move the temporary folder into some other folder as it downloads a lot of files. In order to move to some other folder you need to goto Windows profile folder like "C:\Documents and Settings\BPATEL\" and there will be a file named roadnav.ini and change the variable to something like below
LocalDataDirectory=E:\\DocumentsAndSettings\\roadnavdata
Although , I tried some directions and I don't feel this software is ready for primetime.

posted at: 21:59 | category: /reviews | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

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