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I’ve always been a great fan of dual displays, having used the setup since the demise of my old desktop; that situation afforded me an extra monitor. What do I use it for? Primarily when I’m preparing my lessons for teaching: I’d have my Word document (lesson plan) on my main screen (in front of me) and the PowerPoint lecture slides on another monitor to my side. This setup allowed me to work on both documents simultaneously instead of one after the other. How about split screen or alt-tabbing, you might ask. For me, the former is too cramped even on my 15″ MacBook Pro screen, and the latter too tedious and mentally draining.

I haven’t been using it for a while now, because I gave away my external monitor and I’m working on either my 11″ MacBook Air or 21.5″ iMac. Nonetheless, I’ve always thought of myself as a huge fan of the setup.

Ben Brooks recently wrote about how he switched from a dual display setup to a single, large monitor setup since 2008-9[1] and I quote:

At some point in 2008-9 I started just using one display — this only after I measured my use of the second display finding that I rarely used it.

Since that time I have held the opinion that one, large, monitor is the best action to take in the name of productivity.

Now I am even questioning just how large of a monitor you need.

It triggered two things in me: first being the use of a dual display, and the second about the size of a screen.

Let’s look at the first one.

Technically, my 21.5″ iMac has a screen that’s almost four times the size of my 11″ MBA, so I should logically be able to see four times the things right? No. What happens is that I usually have the same number of apps open on my iMac as compared to my MBA, just that their windows are bigger; and since the font sizes on both machines are similar, I end up with a lot of white space on my iMac.

What I can do is to arrange my app windows such that I fit in four apps/windows on screen instead[2]. However, I don’t do that because it’s tedious and repetitive, and somehow, it makes my screen/desktop look cluttered — like some security surveillance monitor.

That’s where the beauty of a dual display comes in.

I used to hate the borders of individual monitors and wished that they were non-existent so I can put together two screens and make it look like one big screen. On hindsight, the division caused by the borders created different physical spaces: in essence, I am told by my setup that I am working on two screens, and how each one has a specific purpose (like how one handles my Word documents and the other PowerPoints). That specificity of purpose gives me more cognitive coherence and flow than the extra space on my 21.5″ iMac.

Weird, but it works for me.

Having said that, I don’t use a dual display setup often, nor wished for it all the time; but when I do need to view multiple things at the same time, a dual display setup works like a charm for me. As an aside, I don’t have my extra monitor now but instead use my iPad as a secondary monitor via Air Display[3].

So what does it mean for you?

If you have never tried a dual display before, give it a shot for the following situations: 1) when you need to edit two (or more) things simultaneously like me with my Word and PowerPoint documents, or 2) when you need to see real-time reviews, like when you are working on coding, graphics or web design (one screen for code and the other for output).

In this sense, Krishna M. Sadasivam from PC Weenies[4] echoes my thoughts:

Most of my work involves working with multiple applications at a time; applications that have tool palettes scattered around my screen. A typical scenario for me involves working with references when digitally illustrating. A dual display setup lets me use the main (larger) LCD for palette blossoming applications like Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro, or Manga Studio Pro while the secondary (smaller) LCD is used for displaying reference photos or a creative brief. A dual display eliminates the need for me to shuffle back and forth between apps, thereby improving my productivity.

So how can you get to try the setup without buying an extra monitor? Use the projector in your office to act as a dual display. Yes I know it’s crazily out of proportion but hey, it’s just for a try-out right? Or if you have nice friends with desktops and standalone displays, go over their house with a pint of ice cream and borrow the monitor while they enjoy your bribe.

Let’s now look at the second point about the size of a monitor.

My first laptop had (I think) a 14″ screen or thereabouts. Moving forward, I have worked on screens at least 13″ and bigger. So you can imagine my hesitation when I was considering the 11″ MBA (which has a resolution of a 13″), but after using it for half a year, I can safely say that size is not an issue. Then again, I need to qualify that I have my iMac if I really do need the screen space, and I don’t do Photoshop on my MBA.

So what does this mean? Basically, the screen on my MBA is suitable for over 90% of my computer usage, and that justifies its cost. In other words, I can’t see myself spending more money just for the additional 10%. Furthermore, I actually enjoy looking at my MBA screen; my iMac just feels too large.

In this sense, I agree whole heartedly with Ben:

For about a month I have been debating and failing to pull the trigger on a monitor for my home. Monetary concerns are certainly a factor, but the bigger factor is that I quite like just having the small screen.

So as I stare at this 24″ Apple LED Cinema Display as I am typing this post, I can’t help but wonder: what if I ditched it for just my MacBook Air screen?

How about for those who only have one laptop as their primary machine? Two options: 1) Switch to the 13″ MBA (which has a resolution of a 15″, or any other laptops with bigger screen), or 2) add a dual display when necessary.

In conclusion, forget the concepts of productivity or efficiency. Try out different setups and see which allows you to produce better.

It might not be faster, but it can be better.

Or even more comfortable or happier.

———-

[1] Ben Brook’s take on why he’s not using a dual display anymore.

[2] I use the app Cinch to manage the windows in my Mac and I love how easy it is. There’s another more powerful windows management app for the Mac called Moom but it just didn’t grow on me.

[3] Air Display as a extended display works really well and it’s selling for US$9.99 now as a Universal iOS app; much cheaper than getting an extra monitor. However, do note that it runs over Wi-Fi and hence not as responsive as a display plugged into your computer: meaning video streaming and gaming is not recommended for it.

[4] Krishna’s take on why a dual display setup works for him, and if I may add, myself.

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YouTube Video Editor

YouTube recently added a video editing function for users to combine videos, trip clips, rotate clips, add music, insert transitions and stabilize clips. There’s also color filters like Black and White or Cartoon, just to name two.

One small caveat though. Videos which have more than 1000 views will have to be saved as a new video after editing. It’s probably to keep the popular video unaltered.

Personally I haven’t tried it, but it looks like a great thing for those who want to make small changes after they have uploaded their video; I mean, there really isn’t a reason to use it when there’s other free video editors out there right?

In case you are not sure, there’s always Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. For photo slideshows, there’s always Animoto and MixBook.

Link to YouTube’s blog post about the editor in header.

Social media during its puberty days

Social media sites like FaceBook and Twitter didn’t use to look like what it does today. Like all pretty grown-ups (sort of), they also went through an awkward puberty. Kottke put together the first sites of FaceBook, Tumblr and Twitter, and as a bonus, threw in Google and Yahoo.

Link in header for a good laugh! Thanks to Gizmodo for sharing.

Quickly add events in iCal

David W. Martin did a short post about how one can quickly add events in iCal using simple human speech. It’s a nifty little tip that’s worth your few minutes to check out, especially if you are a heavy iCal user.

As an aside, you don’t have to click on the + sign. Instead, you can just hit Apple (Command) + N.

Link to post in header.

Wired’s short update on Canon’s S100

Frankly, when I saw that Canon has released a new camera (S100), I didn’t pay much attention to it until I saw Wired’s article, and realized that it was a successor to the S95, which is a successor to S90, which, is one of my favorite compact cameras. Basically, the 100 didn’t hit me; after all, 90 and 95 are double digits.

Anyhow, the S100 looks to be really good, so check it out if you are looking for a compact this holiday season.

Link in header.

Thoughts management using Thoughtboxes

Web.AppStorm ran a review about Thoughtboxes, a Web app that allows you to capture your thoughts on a free-form canvas. It’s pretty similar to Popplet, another Web app that I love, but this one is a little different in that they allow you to mark thoughts and classify them linearly within different thought boxes, instead of the concept-map approach of Popplet. I haven’t tried it myself but it looks pretty good.

Train-example

How Thoughtboxes look like. Credit: Thoughtboxes

Link to Thoughtboxes in header; review by Web.AppStorm can be found here.

Plain text and Simplenote

Simplenote was one of the first few iOS apps I ever had, and it has stayed with me ever since. And I don’t think I’m pushing it if I said that it was the app that made plain text (note: rich text refers to text with formatting, like bold and italics; plain text are just words and spacings) popular again.

In short, Simplenote is a note-taking app but the true power of it (to me) is how it syncs across devices and apps that support it. For such a great service, Web.AppStorm did a review of it and if you haven’t tried Simplenote at all, you really should.

Link to Simplenote in header; review by Web.AppStorm here.

Password management with Mitto

Web.AppStorm very timely ran an timely article about Mitto, a Web based app that helps you manage all your online login credentials. Why did I say it was timely? Well, it happened after we finished our three-parter on password security over here at TOOZE, and while I mentioned the benefits of a password manager, it’s a habit that many are not prone to undertake, unless compromised (which I hope will never happen!)

To do a quick recap, here’s what we haven been talking about:

  • Part 1 covers the need for a unique password for each site that you go to, and highlights the computing power of modern hardware in hacking.
  • Part 2 covers the difficult choice of choosing a good yet usable password.
  • Part 3 covers the usage of a password manager to well, manage all those pesky individual passwords.

So check out Mitto if you don’t already have a password manager, and be safe!

Link to Mitto in header; review by Web.AppStorm here. Link to the first part of our post on password security can be found here.

Kirk Tuck with the Olympus PEN E-P3

Kirk Tuck, a well-known photographer spent some time with the Olympus EP3 and did a very extensive usage review of it. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system as it felt like a weird hybrid between a compact and a dSLR; then again, it is that mix which has created many loyalists. The other thing is that being in its relative infancy, MFT systems are rather expensive, and have a limited range of lenses available. However, let me quote from Tuck’s article:

People on the forums have taken Olympus to task for the price of the camera and me to task for daring to mention how much the EP3’s other branded predecessors cost… You pay a premium for design but then you get to use a camera that’s beautifully designed. Very few people will buy an EP3 with the intention of making it their sole business camera. That’s just not its role. It is an artists camera and while there are many camera choices on the market people gravitate to cameras that make them feel productive and make them feel creative. If you are a person with a spreadsheet mindset and must quantify every camera purchase with a series of metrics and check off lists then the Pen is very much not for you. Stop reading and buy the Rebel T3i. It was made for the check list people. But you can’t really put a hard price on good design and good ergonomics… But the important thing to understand is that different attributes have different values to different people and artists don’t have to justify their tool purchases to engineers.

And another:

If you think the Olympus is overpriced then it is. For you. I am a veteran buyer of many Leicas and, for what they were able to accomplish, I didn’t think they were over priced. You just can’t over estimate how important the feel of a camera in your hand is until you spend hours each day with it.

It’s a brilliant article, even if you are not interested in the PEN; for there is a lot to learn from it about how to judge a camera, and how to evaluate a tool (hopefully) more objectively.

Link to article in header.

Alright, here’s the very first (though brief) hardware review on TOOZE, and the new shiny baby that I’m looking at here is the new Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth Edition Gaming Keyboard (now that is really a mouthful!) that was released on 30 August 2011.

Updated: See Update section at the bottom.

So… my trusty old Copperhead’s scrollwheel was dying and I was looking to order a new mouse when I saw this new baby on Razer Asia Pacific’s website. Seeing that there was not much info on this new product, I decided to order it after testing out its predecessor, the Blackwidow Ultimate at Comex over the last weekend.

Marketing fluff

Here’s the obligatory poster and marketing fluff.

Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth EditionImage Source: Razerzone

“Where the first Razer BlackWidow can be likened to a barbarian ploughing through enemies with ease, the Stealth Edition of this mechanical keyboard is the ninja who sneaks up on opponents unexpectedly to take them down in a quick blur,” said Robert “RazerGuy” Krakoff, President, Razer USA. “Quieter feedback on the keys, lighter actuation force, extreme anti-ghosting on the Ultimate version, and a new matte black finish make the Stealth Edition of the Razer BlackWidow keyboards the best choice for the unassuming but extremely deadly gamer.”

Here are the specs and features of the keyboard.

Product Features:

  • Full mechanical keys with 45g actuation force
  • Extreme anti-ghosting
  • Individually backlit keys with 5 levels of lighting
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling/1ms response time
  • Programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • Gaming mode option for deactivation of the Windows key
  • 10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
  • 5 additional macro keys
  • Multi-media control keys
  • Braided cable
  • Audio-Out/Mic-In jack
  • USB-passthrough
  • Approx size (mm): 475(l) x 171(w) x 30(h)
  • Weight: 1.5kg

Took only 2 days for it to be shipped out of Razer’s warehouse straight to my home.

Razer goodie bag

Shot of the box

The box packaging comes with the text in black to highlight the “Stealth” image, with a cutout for people to press on the keys in the case of a display unit on store shelves. The first impression is that this is really a hefty keyboard. It could probably allow you to win a fight in a LAN shop by simply bashing the unit against the other opponent’s head.

Package contents

The contents were packed neatly in typical Razer style and inside you will find (from left to right), a user guide, complimentary Razer stickers, and a certificate of authenticity.

Cable connectors

Braided cable

The keyboard cable consists of a heavy braided cable which contains 2 gold plated USB cables (one for the actual keyboard and the other which acts as a pass-through for the USB port by the side), and audio and mic pass-through cables for the mic-in and audio out ports.

Individually backlit keys with 5 levels of lighting

Upon plugging in, the unit’s keys came alive with the blue LEDs, which are actually individually backlit (for a total of 100+ LEDs).

Shiny lights

The above shot is with the keyboard on the dimmest level, which is actually pretty glaring in even in light, and more so in the dark.

5 additional macro keys

As you can see in the above shot, there is a vertical column of 5 keys to the left which are the programmable macro keys.

Multi-media control keys / Gaming mode option for deactivation of the Windows key

Keys

The right windows key is replaced by a Fn key, and this allows control of the special functions over the F-keys for volume, cycling of backlight, and the gaming mode, which disables the windows key to prevent accidental tabbing out of games at a crucial moment. Personally I’d prefer dedicated keys for my media control, instead of Razer’s approach of hitting the Fn Key and then hunting for the media keys on the other parts of the keyboard — much like how a normal Fn key works on a normal laptop. Then again, I guess this is a matter of preference and of getting used to the keyboard.

Audio-Out/Mic-In jack and USB pass-throughs

USB and Audio/Mic

The USB and Audio/Mic pass-throughs are located to the right side of the keyboard. It’s not immediately visible from the shot but the there is sort of a recess by the side so your cable connectors do not stick out as much. I question the inputs being on the right side, seeing that the additional cables may interfere with mousing (though lefties may differ). Then again, I believe this is a cost-saving measure as the circuit board is probably located above the numpad. However, it does help plugging a mouse here if yours has a short cable, or if you detach your mouse often.

Programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording / 10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching

Razer

The software that comes with the keyboard has an easy-to-use layout that allows you to map a single key to anything you want, and the keys could be saved to different profiles. Macros which can be anything from a single keypress to a long combination of keys and mouse clicks (including specific timed delays) can also be saved. So you could have one profile for Photoshop where each individual keyboard key is mapped to a different shortcut, and one for Microsoft Word where only the macro keys are bound to common functions like copy and paste.

The software also allows you to set it in such a way that those profiles automatically launch when the associated program is run, or when you tab into it. Macros can be set to repeat once; repeat while pressed; or repeated for n times.

If you are unsure of what commands to bind, there is also the option of “on-the-fly” macro recording. Simply press the Fn+right Alt key and the keyboard enters macro recording mode. From here, just execute the commands normally, then hit Fn+right Alt again and then another key to bind those commands to that key. This can be particularly useful where you realize the need to record certain complicated commands while working on a project, but don’t want to exit the program.

1000Hz Ultrapolling/1ms response time and Extreme anti-ghosting

1000Hz Ultrapolling here means that the USB port the keyboard is plugged into is scanned 1000 times per second for any key press so that you can instant response. Not something I can readily test, but it’s probably good to have. No complains here.

Extreme anti-ghosting is just a Razer-speak to mean that it has 6-Key Rollover (or 6KRO) over the entire keyboard which is the limit of USB. What this means is that you can have a combination of up to 6 keys on the keyboard pressed down without jamming up the keys, with a combination of modifier keys like Ctrl, Shift, Alt or Win. So this is effectively 6+4KRO.

To get full n-key roll over (NKRO) would require the connection to be via the legacy PS/2 connector, but we would lose some of USB’s benefits such as for drivers and such.

I find this is kind of enough since I don’t really find the need to strafe run (W+A), cast a spell (another key), hit my PTT to talk in Ventrilo, open up my map and jump, and more.

Do note that only the stealth edition (for now) offers 6KRO while the previous Blackwidow only has 6KRO around the gaming clusters of WSAD.

Here is a small link to test your keyboard’s roll-over. Hit a combination of keys all at once and it should report the number of keys detected.

http://rollover.geekhack.org/

So, how does the keyboard feel?

For starters, the difference between the Stealth edition and the previous non-Stealth edition is that the Stealth edition uses the Cherry MX Brown keys as opposed to the Cherry MX Blue keys in its predecessor.

For the un-initiated, the Blackwidow is a mechanical keyboard which uses the Cherry MX switches. Where normal keyboards have a rubber membrane below the keys, a mechanical keyboard has an actual switch below each individual key. There are various designs of mechanical keyboard switches and this particular keyboard uses the Brown keys from the Cherry Corporation of Germany.

Most mass market keyboards nowadays uses a dome-switch. They bring two circuit board traces together under a rubber “dome” or bubble. The inside of the top of the bubble is coated in some conductive substance. When a key is pressed, it collapses the dome, which shorts out the two circuit traces and completes the connection to enter the character. The figure below shows how this circuit would look like. You can actually see a dome when you remove a key on the keyboard, which looks like a circular rubber ring. The springiness of the rubber dome then forces the key back up to its default position after it is released.

Dome switch keyboard layers

Image Source: Wikipedia

While these rubber domes are cheap to produce, a disadvantage is that the keys often feel mushy as you need to depress them over a rubber dome. You would also need to fully “bottom-out” the full travel distance of the key (typically 3.5 – 4.0mm) for it to activate and register a keystroke. In addition, the rubber does wear down over time and that leads to the keys either being harder to press down or becoming sticky and not as bouncy as before.

Source: Overclock.net

The above image shows the Cherry MX Brown key used in this keyboard. The advantage of this is that it provides a combination of low actuation force (of 45g) and tactility. This means that you require less force to actually activate the key, which leads to lower fatigue and less stress on our fingers. The plastic piece which clicks as the key is depressed also allows you to feel a tactile “bump” when each key is actuated (which is roughly at the halfway point). This allows you to actually feel when a key is registered without requiring to “bottom-out” the key. While the keys have the same travel distance of 4mm, the actual actuation position is at the halfway mark.

In addition, the slight clicks when the key actuates does has the sound of a muted typewriiter. While the keyboard says its “Stealth”, there is still the sound of the mechanical keys actually springing back up and if you hit too hard, the sound of the key hitting the base plate of the keyboard. However, it is an improvement against the Cherry MX Blue key which is designed to provide an additional “click” each time a key is actuated. As such, the Brown keys used in this keyboard provide a nice compromise between tactility and sound.

Closing Comments

After typing for a couple of minutes on the Blackwidow, I can safely say that it is really a joy to type on, and the lighter keytouch does increase typing speed and minimizes errors as you are sure that a key has been registered.

Upgrading to a mechanical keyboard from a normal one is like upgrading from a normal sedan to a luxury sports car. While it might seem an overkill or frivolous, I personally feel that a good keyboard is really a great investment for both our personal typing pleasure and gaming goodness.

After all, the keyboard and mouse are the primary ways in which we interact with our computers. Why cripple your experience with a $10 keyboard after spending $1,000-$2,000 on our systems?

The Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth Edition is currently available only exclusively on Razer’s website for US$139.99. Those who find it too expensive but would still like to have one can opt for the regular non-Ultimate version for US$79.99. What you miss out are only the LED lighting and the USB and audio/mic pass-thoughs. Also, as a reader Garrett pointed out, the regular one is similar to the predecessor Blackwidows in that it only has the anti-ghosting on the WASD gaming cluster. So if the full 6KRO is a consideration for you, the Ultimate Stealth Edition would be your only choice.

Shipping for Razer Asia-Pacific is US$6.95 per shipment (regardless of number of items).

For more information on mechanical keyboards and the various types of switches, head over to The Mechanical Keyboard Guide over at Overclock.net.

Update

Noticed that this post got much more views than I originally expected. Here are some of the common questions that I had received.

Firstly, there were some issues with the old Blackwidow where the space key would activate the alt keys beside it due to some improperly cut plastic. I’m not sure if this was fixed in the Stealth but I did not encounter this.

Second, the keycaps for the ultimate are coated in some sort of rubber like material similar to its mice. In fact the whole keyboard seems to be coated in the same material. It does feel nice to the touch, but I’m not sure how well it will stand up to humidity and sweat over a prolonged time. I know I had my old Razer mouse’s coating on the mouse buttons peel off and it was not pleasant. Only time will tell.

Third, was tinkering around with the profiles. In addition to the auto and manual profile switching via the software, you are also able to switch profiles on the fly just by pressing the Fn+number keys. E.g. presseng Fn+1 would switch to Profile 1 and Fn+2 would switch to Profile 2. The on screen display would pop up with the Profile’s name which you have saved.

Finally, I got an email that you get a free Razer Beanie for orders above US$50 now. Too bad I got mine earlier and am not eligible for it. Anyway, I managed to get a hold of some discount coupons for US$5 off for any return purchase. Since I won’t be buying anything anytime soon. I’ll share these codes with our readers.

North America: RZH1GHF1V3
Europe: RZEUH1GHF1V3
Asia-Pacific: RZAPH1GHF1V3
Australia: RZAUH1GHF1V3

Using OmniFocus as a note-taking app

J. Eddie Smith, IV wrote an article about using OmniFocus as his primary note-taking app on his iPhone. Personally, I use Simplenote a lot more and only on occasion OmniFocus as a note-taking app. However, one thing about Smith’s argument stands out to me:

This is really a message about the power of inbox unification. I’ve always been a believer in minimizing the number of inboxes I have to juggle. The inbox in OmniFocus is one of the best all-purpose inboxes I’ve ever had the pleasure of juggling.

And that’s really key, because I have notes in Simplenote and yet another inbox in OmniFocus. Streamlining down to one helps me to not lose materials or juggle between two.

Do check out his article for more arguments and examples of how he use OmniFocus in this aspect. It’s a great read. Link in header.

Even if you don’t use OmniFocus (yes I know it’s pricy but I love it), it’s still a great read because it’d prompt you to think about how you can minimize the number of entry points. In Smith’s words:

It’s become an efficient single point of entry for nearly everything in my electronic information ecosystem that doesn’t come from email. Even if you don’t use OmniFocus, you might want to think about how you can create a common funnel for the mixed bag of information you invite into your ecosystem.

Sony Vaio Z review

Gizmodo posted their review of the laptop, and it looks to be pretty good except for the tiny trackpad and price. I quote:

The Vaio Z is proof that Sony can still do some things very right. But for everything this computer does well (which is a lot!), I just can’t get over the damn trackpad. Maybe if you have hobbit hands it’ll suit you, but I just wanted to cut my fingers off at the end of the day. That said, if you have a couple of money stacks to throw around and want a PC that combines size, speed and utility in a generally well-conceived way, the Vaio Z is a fine machine.

Link in header.

Adults playing online games

Oatmeal published a cartoon about how it’s like to play online games as a grown-up, and man did it resonate with me!

Link in header.

 

Dropbox updates Lion computability

If you’ve upgraded to OS X Lion for your Mac, you’d probably realize that Dropbox doesn’t seem to work very well, in that the iconic green status icons are missing. Well, Dropbox has released an update and it’s a manual download (bummer). Nevertheless go get it!

Dropbox before update

Dropbox folder before update

Dropbox after update

Dropbox folder after 1.1.40 upgrade. Notice that the green ticks have returned

Link in header.

Web.AppStorm writes about the top Web apps that their staff can’t live without

I’m a huge fan of Web apps for the following reasons (there’s more but I’d stick to 3):

  • they are usually free with paid (usually tiered) upgrades to fit my needs
  • they are always updated (no need to download or buy new versions)
  • they are easy to share and allow for great collaboration

And some apps I’ve been using are Instapaper, Dropbox, Popplet and Sliderocket. So check out their list and see if there’s something for you to use and improve your productivity!

Link in header.

Cheap printers are a bad idea

PCWorld published an article about why cheap printers are best to be avoided. A great read for those looking to pick up yet another printer (and trolley) at the upcoming IT fair (or whatever it’s called) in Singapore.

Link in header.

Scott Adams’ phone reviews

Scott Adams was approached by the Windows Phone team to test their phone after he complained about his iPhone 3GS and Android phone. So the challenge was for him to use a Windows Phone and if he didn’t like it, they’d donate $1000 to a charity of his choice.

Link to his review in the header.

It’s a great read, though one must bear in mind its context (which Adams painstakingly tried to remind readers) in judging for one’s self.

Interestingly though, he didn’t explicitly mention if the charity of his choice got the $1000.

Steve Jobs over the years

Gizmodo ran an article about the fashion of Steve Jobs over the years, including shots of him in his earlier years. No surprise for what he wore since 1998, but the other slides about young Jobs are totally nostalgic.

Link in title for the slides.

Sony Vaio SB Series review

Engadget ran a review for the abovementioned laptop. Need we say more? Just to prime you a little, here’s a little of their summary:

But the VAIO SB is a rare laptop that we’ve been recommending left and right. The price is right for so many people, as is the performance, design and long battery life. This notebook is going to please a lot of people — not just students, but many a mainstream user as well..

Link in title for full review.

Mario in your browser!

Markus “Notch” Persson, he creator of Minecraft ported over a version of Mario over to Java. Robert Kleffner then took the original project and converted the game into a cross-platform HTML5 version, allowing us to play the game anywhere with an Internet connection.

There’s some interesting anecdotes and history behind this project over at the original report by PCWorld, so head over for a read. After you are done, click on the title to enjoy Mario! Do note that the levels are randomly generated so while you can’t master a level, you do get infinite gameplay!

Panasonic DMC-GF3 review

Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) posted their in-depth review about the said camera, and it looks pretty good to me. It’s a great read, especially if you are considering it, and as a primer, here’s a little of their conclusion:

The GF3 is a satisfying camera to use that is small and light enough to carry around all day.

Link in title for full review.