Welcome to biline's blog...
As usual I'm in the process of trying out a few new gadgets and I will eventually get a full review up of each item but sometimes the time I need to flash, build, update, test and try to break these items leaves the site without updates for long periods of time. So I've decided to create a page where I can leave a few details and thoughts on what I'm working on.
Please note that the newest entry is always at the bottom it's easier for me and keeps things in a chronological order so the comments make more sense.
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New cell provider in town WIND mobile, since I don't use my phone that much I took a plan that gives me 100 minutes and 50 test messages a month plus Call display for a mere $15/month they also have an unlimited plan for $10 more/month with No contracts!
Took the kids during March break to a few places
it's really hard to find new places to visit to keep them entertained but looks like we have a winner it's called Climp n' Climb have lots of photos just need some time to get them up. (Done May 25th 2011, click Here)
I found an interesting colour e-reader at Costco it's called the Pandigital Novel and for $149 it runs Android cupcake OS it can handle ebooks as well as PDF files and the 7" screen is fairly decent.
I was tired of always having my main system in use for playing downloaded content to my TV so I decided to try and find a simple and inexpensive device to play content at 1080P that would be simple enough for all family members to use, but it also had to play almost any format. I think I found the perfect solution it's called a Boxee Box. I purchased it and so far it's looking good but Ii need to put this thing through a bit more stress testing before I can write the full review (Done May 25th 2011, click Here)
I read an article about the new Nook e-reader from Barnes & Noble, what caught my attention was the fact you can 'Root' the device and run custom software, since its based on the Android OS it looked like Angry birds was going to be in my grasp for a mere $249. Turns out you can't order it through B&N in Canada, so I turned to e-bay and I have one on it's way for $249 plus shipping costs of $45.
Got my Nook and all I can say is Wow, this thing is practically identical in specs and screen quality to the Galaxy Tab ($600 no contract) I've been trying different roms and I'm running Android 2.3 Gingerbread currently and a 3.0 Honeycomb rom is in the works.
I've been looking at getting a new bike and have noticed that the price spread is from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars so I'm attempting to build a bike from scratch. I hope to add the best components available while keeping the build under $700. the interesting part will be trying to cut through all the marketing to find the best parts at reasonable prices. $700 sounds pricey but the big difference between that Canadian Tire special and more expensive bikes is the quality of parts and the weight of the bike, but where does the fine line between a true difference in quality and hype begin?
I've been doing lost of research and wow lots of details to consider,
I went with a 22" 'Hardtail' frame. I'm 6' 4" and 250 pounds (I lied a bit add 20 pounds) and most frames after getting deep in the user manuals have a weight limit 220 pounds (100 kilos) so I had to dig around to find suitable frame.
Finished building my mountain bike and took it into Kanata lakes for some testing, we ended up riding for 4 hours but mostly because we got lost! Thankfully some guys who were clearing trees that had fallen onto the paths showed us the way out and told us about the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association they work on building trails and hold events in Kanta lakes.
Upgraded my Nook to a new firmware and it's almost 100% perfect they still need to fix the battery drain issue which is related to getting the proper sleep mode to work. I Also have decided to open a new section related to Mountain Biking with information on Bikes, parts and Trails.
I'm waiting for my parts order to arrive to complete my Mountain Bike build but in the meantime I tried the The Old Quarry Trail located in the STONY SWAMP CONSERVATION AREA and plan to try the trails further in which are Jack Pine Trail, Lime Kiln Trail and Beaver and Chipmunk Trails. You can also access the Trans Canada trail from the same area and basically ride from Kanata to Orleans.
I have finally figured why some titles are not showing up on my Boxee Box, It has to do with the naming style apparently. If I name a series 'the big bang theory S01E01' only the first 19 shows are shown in the playable files menu when I change it to 'S01E01-the big bang theory' all 24 episodes are shown. I noticed an update to the Boxee Box software version 1.1 is being pushed out this week so I'm waiting to see it it fixes or breaks any features before writing my full article.
The update for the Boxee Box fixed lots of small annoying issues but I'm still having issues when indexing my collection through it's media selection. My Harddrive with 180 .mkv files will only display 114 titles in the Boxee media selection, as always using file manager allows these files to play but why are they not being picked up is beyond me. I have used the recommended naming conventions and even split the files up into smaller directories in case it was an issue with the number of files per directory. I'm still working on it and refuse to write the review until i get this nagging issue resolved as I feel its the main draw to using the device.
I have been working on the MTB section and my bike build project but today I was bad and ordered a new dual-suspension frame from www.chainreactioncycles.com I picked a inexpensive frame from a unknown manufacturer located in Belgium who actually builds the frames by hand! I suspect the frame will stand well against frames costing twice as much and I just need to get it installed but with a Canada Post strike looming overhead I may not see it delivered for a while, hopefully that will not be the case!
Updated the Nook to phrimod 6.3 firmware and it supports overclocking to 1300mhz I have been running mine at 1200Mhz for a few days and will try higher speeds later. Lots of small improvements UI seems better and more responsive.
I was tired of getting lost when riding the trails so I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 205 for $149 I'll be heading out for more pictures of SMH and should not get lost this time.
Been busy building a new shed as the old one is falling apart. Luckily my bike parts arrived just before Canada Post locked out the Postal workers so I'm in the middle of switching my components to the new frame I'm hoping to try it out this weekend and grab some photos at the same time.
I've had a chance to extensively test the new Viper frame and I'm very happy with the frame and completed bike. I was astonished by how light the bike feels, I hardly notice any difference in overall weight compared to the original hardtail configuration. Now that I've driven both I can say I prefer the full suspension ride to that of a hardtail, it's not to say hardtails are bad they just offer a stiffer type of ride and full suspension bikes are smoother and much more forgiving to rider error. Have a look at the completed bike Here.
I've pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 after reading some reviews hopefully it will be everything I wanted from a tablet Great screen and better specs than the iPad 2 now if Honeycomb could just get a few more useful applications I'll be in Tablet heaven! Review will be coming obviously and my long delayed review of the Nook should actually get done now as I feel it's had all the little niggling bugs ironed out.
After having the arrival date for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 pushed from Aug 19th to the 26th and then still not seeing mine as shipped on Aug 28th I decided to cut my losses and try a different Tablet entirely. I read lots of good reviews of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 so I picked on up at my local Bestbuy so hopefully a review will follow soon.
I went through a slew of tablets, my Nook is gone It was a great tablet at the time for it's price but it took so long for a decent Custom Rom that it's not even on the same playing field because of the newer Nook tablet that has been released and the cheaper Amazon Kindle Fire. I went from the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 then I tried a lo cost Tablet called the Le Pan TC 970 from Amazon.ca . I then got on the Windows 8 bandwagon and picked out a Asus 12.1" Eee Slate Tablet and for good measure I tried the Samsung 7" Galaxy Tab 2.0 Plus. All in all each one has strengths and weaknesses and as I found out it really depends on what want to use it for on day to day basis, More on my thoughts later.
Lastly I ditched Bell Canada in favour of a new product called the netTALK Duo and before writing a review I really wanted to full test the device over a 3-6 month period which I have done and the review should be up very soon.
I have not added much content over the past few months and I guess the biggest reasons are finding the time and secondly the pace at which everything is changing. New android and windows tablets are announced at such high intervals that long term testing and reviews like the ones I like to write aren't feasible simply because by the time I fully test a new device and get around to writing a review it's obsolete and a new model seems to have replaced it! I could write reviews on new devices not tested for more than a few days (like most reviews I read) but those are available everywhere from youtube to various blogs. So I will try and write full reviews of products that may actually be around more than a few months (or development cycle). I plan to keep the Ottawa section as updated as I possibly can as it's still relevant to anyone who lives in the area and wants to find places to take the Family.
Well it does seem like a while since I bothered to update the site with new content but at last I'm working on a new section all about 3D printing. My experiences with printing and building my own 3D Printer along with insight and tips and tricks. as they say watch this space 'opening soon'