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Pimp Star

Toys

I've allways had a knack for wrist watches. They are cheap little devices packed with technology. Just as our mobile phones are, albeit in a less cheaper form. Unfortunately, lots of the watch functionality has been taken over by our mobile phones, cause the watch has a screen that can hardly be expanded, and having limited input functionalities. Which left the watch with basic hour-telling functionalities.

Watch makers have responded to this trend by creating watches in specific designs, giving the watch some sort of exclusivity, targeting specific end user groups. Tokyo Flash is a Japanese shop which creates wrist watches with the purpose of making hour-reading seemingly as daunting as possible. This resulted in handless wrist watches, including LED based watches which tell the time in binary form, having a form factor raising from a metallic plate with drilled holes in it, to metallic cylinders with moving LEDs.

I bought myself the Pimp Star Performer, a 44LED based watch with 4 columns each indicating a portion of the time. The watch lights up one number in each column in a Matrix like animation to tell the time. For example: 1-2-5-3 would be 12:53. Some fun stuff is present like a PM indicator in the shape of a martini glass, as PM stands for drinking time.

Argentum line

Toys

Do you really need a 40.000$ Leatherman ? Before you say no, have a look at their Argentum line.

DVB-T on the eeePC

Toys

I acquired a Freecom DVB-T USB stick. This should extend the possibilities of my eeePC with digital TV capabilities, and make it into a better mobile device. I originally anticipated to get the ASUS U3000 (perfectly supported by Linux), but as these things go, the Loveno shop didn't had these in stock. Finding stuff like this which works flawlessly in Linux isn't easy, so I wasn't happy when I found out I got the Freecom revision 4 model, carrying the RTL2831U chipset, which isn't yet supported. Luckily, I stumbled upon this Ubuntu forum thread, which offers a quick and dirty workaround for Hardy.

After plugging in the stick, only thing left is firing up Kaffeine, and choose a dvb-t region file. After that, I tried scanning with the supplied little aerial antenna, but didn't received any channel. Only after I engaged a decent antenna with amplifier, all channels from the vrt and rtbf mux became available.

Everio

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I recently purchased a small HDD based camcorder, the JVC Everio. It features a hard disk of 30 GB, which should suffice for 7 to 30 hours of recording time. The choice between a regular and a high-definition camcorder was difficult, but the fact that
- I won't purchase a high-def TV within the next 3-5 years
- and that the low-range high-def camcorders only offer recording on micro-SD cards
confirmed the choice for the Everio.

The cam is neat, small and light, so very easy to carry around. Only drawbacks are the video quality (but that's general for this range of camcorders, I suppose), and the battery life.

The camcorder produces .mod files, which are actually disguised MPEG2 files. Plugging the cam in the USB port automatically mounts the Everio's hard disk in Linux, and the MPEG2 files can be transformed to Divx/XVid with the following command :

transcode -i MyFilm.MOD -o MyFilm.avi -y xvid

PowerBall

Toys

Net via-via een PowerBall op de kop getikt - wat een leuk en uiterst verslavend speeltje; en dan heb ik nog de versie zonder toerenteller ! Ik bezit de Blue versie, die blauwe LEDs doet oplichten wanneer de PowerBall boven een bepaald toerental komt. De kracht die dit ding op je hand uitoefent is in elk geval indrukwekkend - bij de hoogste toerentallen begint de Powerball bij mij al uit mijn hand te slippen; maar dat ligt misschien aan mijn prille techniek.

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