Cocoon GRID-IT Review

Having a few too many gadgets and having to shift them between work and weekend bags was a bit of an issue. I have a little padded bag that I keep things in, typically:

  • Emergency Battery Charger + tips
  • 3G Dongles
  • Leatherman
  • 4 x USB Cables (Mini, Micro, iPod, and a flexible one
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Pens
  • Emergency software disc
  • Memory Card Adaptors
  • Headphones
  • etc

I thought there must be a better thing than a gadget bag so I looked and found the Cocoon Grid-IT , looked perfect. I decided the 12″ x 8″ would fit everything on and it has a handy little zip pocket on the back for CDs, etc. I couldn’t find anywhere in the UK stocking them so got one in the end off eBay.com – I think i the end it cost about £18 delivered.

First impressions were good, everything fitted nicely and it looked brilliant. The elastic straps have a rubber backing so everything gripped nicely. It was only after a couple of days use I started to notice cables missing, etc. The problem was that with the larger items such as the MiFi and the emergency battery it lifted the strap and took the tension out for the rest of the strap meaning smaller items were lose – I suppose this is common sense!

After a week of moving it almost everything had dropped off, so reluctantly it went on eBay and sold for more than I paid for it, so it was a useful experiment.

If anyone knows of the perfect Gadget Bag please let me know, I’ve gone back to my trusty Proporta Gadget bag at the moment

 

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Netgear DGN1000 Review

After my recent problems with Picasa I decided it was time to replace my ageing Linksys router with something a bit more up to date, modern looking and hopefully would solve some problems with my XBox Live and uploads to Picasa. I’d always installed Netgear kit and other peoples houses so I thought I’d go to the latest version for myself this time – the nice and shiny black DGN1000. Tracking it down was easy, in the end Amazon came up with the best price of £34 which was a bout £7 cheaper than everywhere else but to my horror it received totally appalling reviews pretty much everywhere!

Anyway its specs where exactly what I needed so I decided to give it a whirl, this is what Netgear  have to say about it:

The NETGEAR N150 Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router is a simple and secure way to share your high-speed Internet connection at Wireless-N speeds for surfing the Internet, email, online chat and Facebook. Complete with a built-in DSL modem, it is compatible with all major DSL Internet service providers and Wireless-G networks, allowing hassle-free connection flexibility.

  • Built-in DSL modem — ADSL2+ modem and router combined create complete gateway for DSL Internet connection
  • Surf, email, chat — Wireless-N connection for basic Internet applications like surfing the Web, email and Facebook
  • Share Internet connection — Allows Internet broadband sharing and the freedom of wireless Internet usage
  • Easy setup — Smart Wizard® CD with graphical installation guide and multi-language support
  • Live Parental Controls — Keeps your Internet experience safe
    • Blocks unsafe Internet content and applications and can be managed from anywhere
    • Protects connected devices through the router such as PCs, gaming consoles, and iPod touch®
    • To learn more visit www.netgear.com/lpc
  • Secured connection — Push ‘N’ Connect offers a secured wireless Internet connection at the push of a button
  • Compatibility – Compatible with all major DSL Internet service providers (ISPs)
  • NETGEAR Green features — Power and Wi-Fi on/off buttons, Energy Star-compliant power adapter and 80% recycled packaging

 

I have to says its pretty good, I haven’t written a review on Amazon about it because I’ve only had it two weeks but I set it up in all of 2 minutes and its stable as can be, hasn’t had to be rebooted once and on Wireless N is lightening fast. The only issue I have with it is from my Media Centre running Vista refusing to get an internet connection, it connects using WPA2 well and gets an IP address but for some reason will not allow an internet connection, switching back to WEP all is well and everything in the house connects perfectly. To be honest I haven’t investigated this too much and is probably an easy fix.

I’d buy it again I think for the price, probably not if it was £45 or more.

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I Want !! ~ Microsoft announces multi-touch Touch Mouse

Got to say this looks like its going to be my next purchase for my clean desk at work, looks amazing. Shame its not Bluetooth which means I’ll have to add another transceiver to go alongside the Logitech one that currently does my mouse and keyboard. Unless anyone knows of a nice Microsoft keyboard that would pair this and a MS keyboard to the same transceiver?

Microsoft announces multi-touch Touch Mouse

By TechRadar News January 6, 2011

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Microsoft has debuted a multi-touch mouse, allowing people to use gestures to interact with their PC. With the inevitable Apple Magic Mouse comparisons hovering uncomfortably in the air, the Touch Mouse has a UK release date of June 2011 and a projected price of £69.99.The Touch Mouse comes from Microsoft’s Mouse 2.0 project and enables users to click, flick, and swipe with their fingers on the surface of the device.Interact naturally“The new Touch Mouse is a great way for customers to interact naturally with their Windows 7-based PC,” said Mark Relph, senior director of the Windows Developer and Ecosystem Team at Microsoft.“We worked closely with the Microsoft Hardware team to help develop the multi-touch gestures that make Windows 7 easier, simpler and more fun to use. After just a few minutes with this mouse you’ll see why.”The wireless mouse also uses Microsoft’s impressive Bluetrack technology and comes with a Nano transceiver.

HDD Failure!!

Well after two and half years of trouble free use my excellent Vista MediaCentre is starting to suffer some problems. About 4 weeks ago the DVD drive decided it was only a CD ROM, multiple cleans later and a firmware upgrade and its still a duffer so I was going to have to open the case anyway to upgrade that to a Blu Ray. Now yesterday I came to watch Match of the Day as it has always trustily recorded it on series link to find a strange, ‘failed to boot HDD’ message on the screen. A quick restart and I thought everything was well until I saw another dreaded Windows message, “Windows has detected that your Hard Drive is failing ~ backup now”, which is a handy message to give but gives no indication of why it thinks it is, there’s no clicking, random searching or excessive noise.

Another restart just to check and the message came back a quick backup of everything important and now I’m just waiting to see if the Samsung Spinpoint is actually on its way out or if its just an errounous error somewhere. Looks like its going to be upgrade time though with a Blu Ray, 1TB SATA HDD and while I’m there do I upgrade it to Windows 7 to get the new MediaCentre features?

Either way theres not going to be any recorded TV for a week or so!