Apple iPad 2

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Apr 12, 2011 in Apple, iPad, Tech

As you know, I already have the original iPad, or should I say, I had the original iPad (C is now the proud owner of a shiny, carefully used, original iPad).

I decided that due to my iPad 2 shipping early (the 9th, and not the 15th that they originally stated), and C was working away for a week, I could survive a couple of days without the iPad and handed it over on Friday night. To be honest, you don’t realise how dependant you become on tech, I felt like I’d lost a limb…..that was until today when my iPad 2 turned up 🙂

A few noticeable things,  it’s definitely a lot thinner, and seems a lot lighter….as for the speed…much snappier

Like most people getting the iPad 2, I threw on Infinity Blade to see how it looked. Infinity Blade is one of the games that has been enhanced for the iPad 2….and yup, the additional textures really do make it look at lot better, make me almost forget that it’s the same resolution as the first.

To be honest, I was slightly annoyed at the official announcement of the iPad 2, and how it was keeping the same screen and same resolution. Being an iPhone 4 user, the resolution difference is very noticable.

The only other real addition that affects me is the front and rear facing camera. I’ve had a quick go on Facetime with C, and all worked well, but I can’t see me really using it much. I currently have a front facing camera on the iPhone 4, but can’t remember the last time I used it, and with the recent purchase of the Panasonic DMC-TZ10, I don’t really see a use for the rear camera.

The improved gyroscope is a god send, as I couldn’t play Rage HD on the iPad as I’d got so used to playing it on the iPhone. As for the rest of the games, to be honest, it’s still early for the new hardware, and expect more developers to hit the “More Textures” button as time goes on, as they did with the Retina Display patches they provided. Right now, I’ve just got a thinner, faster, lighter iPad.

All in all, it’s new, it’s shiny and it’s Apple 🙂

One last thing, before I had the official case for the original iPad, this time I thought I’d give the Nude Case a go as it was meant to be lightweight…..to be honest I’m blown away buy it, you can hardly tell it’s protected 🙂

Unboxing photos below.

iPad 2

iPad 2

iPad 2

iPad 2

iPad 2



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Harmony remotes FTW

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Dec 15, 2009 in Tech
logitech-logoAs time goes on, and I buy myself more and more gadgets, these obviously come with more and more remotes. Over the last couple of years I’ve tried various “All in One” remote controls, from the cheap “enter the device ID, and hope for the best”, to a Cambridge Audio MI+ “Smart Remote”

I’ve been more than happy with the Cambridge MI+ however I made the mistake of leaving another remote on top of it, which drained the batteries….

As I couldn’t really be bothered reprogramming it all (which took me ages to get everything how I wanted, also all the macros I had set up), I decided to give the Harmony remotes a try.

Logitech_Harmony_515I found a good deal on Amazon, and got one of the basic Harmony 515 remotes just to give them a try. The major selling point to me, was that it backed up the remote to an online database.

A couple of days later, the remote arrived, very simple PC/Mac GUI interface, pick your devices and bobs your uncle !
One of the limitations of the 515 remote, was the fact that it will only run up to 5 devices, however this is where the limitations end.

The major thing that makes the Harmony remote series stand out from all the rest, are the way they work. On the “All in One” remotes, you basically switch on device a, then device b, then device c, then switch device a to channel d, etc etc. The Cambridge remote did attempt to combat this, by giving you the option of macro, which meant with 1 button press, you could macro “switch on device a, then device b, then device c, then switch device a to channel d, etc etc”.
The setup of the Harmony creates Activities. Once you have set up your devices, it will give you a list of suggested activities based on your devices. An example of this would be “Watch TV”. The setup runs through, and asks the following question.

Assume you want the TV on (and what channel, AV, etc), the PVR on, do you want the amp on, if so what channel, when the activity is complete, do you want the volume controls to control the amp or the TV, etc. Once done, you plug your remote into your PC/Mac and download the information to it, and your done. When you then click the “Watch TV” activity, it turns on the TV, switches to my HDMI channel, turns on the Sky HD, turns on the amp, and switches to CBL/TV, sets the control to emulate the Sky+ remote, and the volume control to control the amp.
This setup works for DVD, PS3, Xbox, and anything else I throw into the mix !

logitech_harmony_oneWith being so impressed with the 515 remote, I treated myself to the Harmony One remote, and moved the 515 up into the bedroom. This gave me chance to use the “Replace Remote” function within the Harmony software, plugged in the Harmony One, clicked Replace Remote, and within a few minutes it had configured the new remote with my configuration, all the devices worked as before ! Brilliant !

The advantage of the Harmony One, is that it can control up to 15 devices, has a colour touch screen and comes with dock/charger, and to be honest looks the business.

If you are looking for a smart, all in one remote, look no further than the Harmony series !

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Ozaki iPill Microphone

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 23, 2009 in IPod Touch

As some of you may know, in just over 2 weeks I’ll be heading to the Holiday Inn in Birmingham for Dimension JumpiPill-iPod-Nano-493x369 XV, this year Red Dwarf Convention, and as we do a Red Dwarf podcast (ScutterCast), I thought it might me a good idea to record some footage while I was there.

I’ve been looking at a number of solutions and came up with the idea of using Audioboo from my iPod touch, then picking up the Audioboo feed using WP-o-Matic, which will then post the audio on the Red Dwarf Forum homepage, which will then tweet this out.

One major downside to using the method, was that the iPod Touch doesn’t have a built in microphone, although I do have the “earbud with built in microphone”, which would be find for recording my own voice, but probably a little intrusive if I wanted to record anyone else.

After a couple of days of looking at different mic solutions, I read a review over at iLounge and they did a mic comparison, the audio from the iPill sounded awesome, so decided to go with that. After an evening of trying to buy one, it seemed that these are only available in the states, and they seemed to be out of stock, having heard the quality difference, I was adamant that this was the mic I wanted, in a bid of desperation, I decided eBay it was. Luckily, I found a company in the Republic of Ireland that had these in stock, and instantly bought.

This morning the mic turned up, and I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed. The first thing I noticed was the packaging, and the look of this thing. The plastic container is in the shape of a petri dish, with a small clip holding the pill shaped microphone in place.


The iPill itself pulls in half, to review the 3.5mm jack plug, that plugs into the bottom of the iPods headphone jack, and the other half has a small loop where you could potentially add some string so you don’t lose this thing.


So, the audio quality…what’s it like ?…pretty awesome ! I plugged it into the bottom of my iPod Touch, and it was instantly recognised, and I gave it a quick test in Apples “Voice Memos” software, and attached my recording below


So, the audio quality…what’s it like ?…pretty awesome ! I plugged it into the bottom of my iPod Touch, and it was instantly recognised, and I gave it a quick test in Apples “Voice Memos” software, and attached my recording below.

iPill Test

Final thoughts ?, granted this isn’t the same quality as my M-Audio mixer, and my condenser mic at home, but think it will do an awesome job, of getting some footage at Dimension Jump.

I can highly recommend this microphone to anybody who want to turn their iPod Touch into a decent dictating machine, and for £13 delivered, it’s worth every penny !

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