Monday, 6 September 2010

What would a Geek take to the Jungle

Anyone who has read this blog before knows that I am an unashamed geek. With my university I'm lucky enough to be going to Borneo on Thursday. So as a geek what am I taking to the Jungle?

Final Borneo equipment
Click to see a larger tagged version.

So I'm taking;
  • 1x iPod Touch (1st Gen) filled with music and games for the 8 hour coach journey to Heathrow, the 4 hour wait at Heathrow, the stupidly long flight (God knows how long it really is my itinerary goes on local time!?!?!?), and all the journeys back again!
  • 1x pair of Sony MDRNC7B Noise Cancelling Headphones For previously mentioned journey! I've also got 2 airline adapters just in case the in flight movie turns out to be something good!
  • 1x Nokia 6300. One of the downsides to owning a smartphone is battery life and while having the internet with me on the coach would be awesome I'd rather not get to Heathrow and have my battery die just when I need to call people so we can meet up! My 6300's battery comparatively will last me about 8 days and will charge from just trickle of power.
  • 1x Kodak PlaySport Camcorder. I bought this camcorder specifically for Borneo. The damn thing is waterproof, drop proof, humidity proof and leech proof. It shoots in 720p at 30 and 60fps and 1080p at 30fps, has an excellent low light sensor and only a 4 second start-up time so I won't miss the action because I'm waiting for my camera to switch on.
  • 1x 6.3mp Fujifilm Finepix A610. This little point and shoot has kept running for years and years, it takes excellent photos and with a firmware upgrade now supports SDHC cards meaning I'm not going to run out of room (16GB SDHC card = 10,000 photos)
  • 3x 16GB SDHC cards. Enough storage for my camera and camcorder.
  • 6x USB powered AA Batteries. Found these at but discovered that Tesco and some service stations also sell them. The positive end of the battery comes off revealing a male USB port allowing these batteries to be charged from any USB port. I'm probably going to take a backup pack of normal AA batteries but hopefully these will work well
  • 2x Wind up torches. Torches always have a habit of dying right when you need them. I'd rather not be walking to the toilet at night in the rainforest and have my torch give out. One is a head torch the other is a hand torch which includes an DC out port for charging mobile phones.
  • 1x FreeLoader Solar Charger. The Freeloader is an awesome emergency battery pack combined with a large solar panel. The panel charges the battery in 4 hours of direct sunlight and can then be used to charge anything using the included adapters. It also has a female USB adapter meaning that if a device will charge off of USB it'll charge off of this solar panel.
  • 1x Platypus 3.0 litre water container. This thing is just plain cool. I can fill it full of water at the beginning of the day, shove it into my backpack and sup all day long.
  • Non-tech gear/other essentials. X Large Trek Towel, folds up very small, dries very quickly and is antibacterial. Buff Headband, its the rainforest I'm going to sweat this'll keep it out of my eyes. Various waterproof bags filled with silica gel. Pen knife. Handlens. Sun hat. Sun cream. Small first aid kit. A bar of shampoo soap, awesome product from Lush, its shampoo but solid! Autan insect repellent, as good as DEET but without the risk of an allergic reaction. Compass. Alcohol Gel handwash.
So that is what a geek takes to the rainforest. I'll be filming the entire time and will probably put together a review of what worked well and what didn't when I get back. See you all in 2 weeks :-)

Friday, 3 September 2010

In Search Of Tux Episode 2: T-mobile Pulse Unboxing

Episode 2. I think I'm getting better at editing these videos. Let me know what you think in the comments either on this blog or at the YouTube page.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

In Search Of Tux Episode 1: Xbox 360 S 250gb unboxing

Sorry for the lateness of this video. The title and credit sequences took longer to sort out than I expected.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Why I'm excited about the Apple Tabet

The almighty Apple Tablet has been rumoured since before the iPhone but in recent months these rumours have hit fever pitch culminating in the belief that Apple will announce their unicorn tablet on the 27th January.

I have no illusions that the Apple Tablet will be anything other than overpriced. I am however still excited about it. Before the iPhone was released in 2007 the touch screen phone market was stale and unattractive, since then however your not a major phone company unless you have a touch screen smart phone. Apple has a knack for reinvigorating any market they enter. I believe the same will be true for the tablet PC market. It is currently fairly stale with few OEMs making tablets and fewer making tablet accessories.

I'm currently awaiting delivery of a 2nd hand Motion M1400 tablet PC and of course the hunt for accessories has begun. Keyboards aren't a problem as bluetooth is a standard. Things like cases however are a bigger problem. A case in point (no pun intended!) is from a company called OtterBox this company is know for making hugely rugged everything proof cases and they used to make a tablet pc case which would have been perfect for use on field trips etc. However because the market has been stagnant for so long Otterbox no longer make this case.

Being a Linux user and advocate I will be looking to install Linux on my shiny tablet PC. Easy, I thought, Linux is so adaptable that someone will have made a tablet orientated *buntu by now. This however isn't the case. The few tablet orientated projects that exist have not seen new code or refinements for years. The Linux community is renowned for its ability to make new ideas its own. Days after the launch of Windows 7 the community figured out how to get Compiz to emulate Aero Snap. Hopefully Apple will make Tablets "trendy" again making accessory makers and the Linux community sit up and take notice of this platform.

On an unrelated note: I've finally figured out how to get Blogger to notify me of comments on this blog so comment away and I'll get back to you quickly

Also, since when did I actually start getting visitors to this blog? I've got over 30,000 views! Thank you :-)