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Archive for May, 2008

Review: EVGA UV Plus+ USB 2.0 Video Adapter

I reported on the EVGA UV Plus+ USB video adapter a couple weeks ago and today I found this good EVGA USB video adapter Review from TigerDirect. The video is about 4min long and has some terrible comedy – but funny to watch in a pathetic way – like The Office. If you need some more detailed information about the EVGA USB video adapter, or on the fence and need someone to verbally push you over the edge, check this out: Can’t view the video? Click here. Continue Reading

USB Tutorial: Make a Wood USB Drive

One of the most common problems with USB drives is the plastic casing getting cracked and breaking apart.  It’s a shame that such a cheap piece of plastic might encourage some to drop another $20 or $30 on a new device.  Of course fixing the plastic is never going to work as a long term solution – just a stop-gap. Instructables has a nice USB tutorial on taking a UFD and turning it’s case into a nice, customized wood piece.  Sure you could buy a fancy wood drive made from material carbon dated back 600 years or more, but sometimes making your own stuff is much more satisfying.

make wood drive, usb tutorial

The USB tutorial displays 12 steps from start to finish with a list of equipment you’ll need, but after reading through the tutorial, I think a dremel would replace most of the tools required.  And we all have one of those. So get going and as Eric would say “go build something…” Link to USB tutorial lesson. Continue Reading

USB Flex Speaker Looks Interesting But Little Value

Urban Outfitters has a nice looking USB flex speaker which attaches to your PC or laptop via USB.  Looks odd, yet cool but I doubt it’s contribution to quality audio or enhancing the standard laptop speakers you probably already have.

usb flex speaker

At just over 3″ in width and 1.25″ in height the goose neck speaker does give you the freedom for directional audio but if you are using a laptop aren’t you generally right in front of the computer anyway, just crank up the sound. Regardless of my petty opinion, Urban Outfitters feels different.  They offer the USB flex speaker at Continue Reading

Universal SIM Unlock Card

universal sim unlockLooking to unlock your iPhone or Blackberry? Or how about that new Nokie or Motorola?  One this is for sure, if you do want to unlock your phone, you don’t want to void the warranty.  With some of the SIM unlock solutions out there, voiding the warranty is exactly what you have to do. USB Fever is offering a $23 universal SIM unlock which does not require you doing anything to your phone(s).  Simply fit your SIM card on top of the unlock card and start your jibber-jabber. This SIM unlock is made of a very thin piece of FPC (0.10mm) with a Micro controller mounted on, that goes between your Operator’s SIM card & the phone’s SIM socket. Because of it’s very thin & slim design, it fits into most phone’s and can also be Continue Reading

USB Soft Air Gun Mod

Jared Bouck from InventGeek come up with a great mod for those USB Missile Launchers from Dream Cheeky. Rather than toy around with a foam missile, Jared up’d the anti with a soft air gun able to shoot plastic BBs up to 250 FPS. This is an ideal mod for rabbit control or pidgin control with a high level of fun involved. The other benefit from swapping out the foam missile launcher head, is the higher accuracy rate you’ll get from the soft air gun. When I reviewed the USB circus cannon [basically same product] that was a big down fall is lack of accuracy.

usb soft air gun

The full USB hack isn’t listed here, but visit the InventGeek site for the 7 step process.Start your modContinue Reading

Mobile Phone Projectors by Texas Instruments

On many occasions I’ve wanted a projector for my cell phone.  My most common need is for sharing photos stored on my phone to my folks, who’s sight isn’t that great.  Texas Instruments is putting on a full court press to get projectors bundled in with cell phones by year’s end.  Putting aside my trivial needs for a phone projector you take this product into the business world and all sorts of applications pop up.

cell phone projector

It will be interesting to see how small these units are, what kind of power they will draw from either you cell phone or power plug and what kind of clarity will be displayed.  TI did mention DLP technology for some models which would resolve any concerns for clarity and quality.  TI also mentioned by year 2010 the cell phone projector business could be as popular as camera phones. Source [including image] GearFuse. Continue Reading

USB Tutorial: Make a USB LED Greenhouse

With “going green” such a big trend right now you might find yourself wanting to put a little green in your workspace – and no, I don’t mean that green. The following is a video USB tutorial on taking some supplies from around your office or home, LED lights and some USB power to create your very own USB LED Greenhouse. Video is 3 minutes. Continue Reading

More Wood For Your USB Stick

Hmm, that title came out a little weird. Anyway, Vladimir released updated versions of his USB wood drives to include some odd shapes that include, what looks like to me, a mushroom, tree stump, wooden tooth and a fluted casing.

wood usb

Wooden Jewelery is offering these for $20 [1GB] and $30 [2GB]. The wood drives come with a leather lanyard and a quality case. The line is called MEMORE and there is a full selection available with larger shapes and sizes to choose from.

usb wood drive

So what else do you get for the $20 or $30? Well, for starters you get a very unique wood USB drive perfect to start any conversation. Not only does your USB drive hold valuable data, but the wood case is valuable too. To prove that point you can explain [depending on what you get] that a Bog Oak drive has been created from wood that is carbon dated back 1,300 years. Or Yew Root drives have been carbon dated back 600 years. A quote from the creator:
…I prefer to work in wood because it is a living material… -Vladimir Levestam
Continue Reading

USB Sound Blaster Card From Creative – Laptop Enthusiast Rejoice

Creative Labs just came out with a hot little box for 5.1 digital surround sound for any laptop or PC.  What Creative did with this new Sound Blaster is rather than make a card out of it, the Sound Blaster is a USB based external device.  The X-Fi, as they call it, operates over a USB interface and will provide full cinematic digital surround sound in hi-fidelity with a 1 second connection.

USB sound blaster, creative x-fi

Two Creative technologies are embedded into the USB Sound Blaster which are X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi CMSS-3D.  I’ve talked about these technologies before which are the key components to Creative’s solution. Not to leave any stone unturned, here are the list of features for the USB Sound Blaster:
  • Supports USB 2.0 for high quality 5.1 audio
  • USB bus-powered
  • Gold plated RCA front outputs and mini-jack surround outputs for maximum fidelity
  • Optical Output for connectivity to surround sound systems
  • 24-bit Playback and Recording ADC, DAC
  • X-Fi audio enhancement technology
  • Easily accessible Headphone out and Mic In for connecting headsets
  • Convenient Volume Control with push to mute feature
  • Line-in monitoring
  • Host-based EAX advanced HD 4.0 and OpenAL support
  • Creative Alchemy software that restores DS3D Games’ 3D audio in Windows Vista
The Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround Sound 5.1 system will retail for $60 – a great price for the package (available now). Continue Reading

VGA, DVI and HDMI to USB Trifecta Power House Adapter

On the heels of announcing the EVGA USB to VGA or DVI adapter comes USB Fever with their power house trifecta USB to VGA, DVI and HDMI adapter.  I believe it’s the first USB video adapter with these three options. So with the news of USB Fevers multi-display adapter we can revisit the idea of boosting your video space.  For me, this product is of special interest as I’m currently running a 19″ wide screen off my laptop dock station.  Unfortunately the laptop doesn’t have enough video processing to push two monitors.  The USB Fever multi-display USB adapter solves this problem.

usb to vga dvi hdmi adapter

It appears EVGA has an edge on higher end resolution, but the USB Fever will still get you a max 1400×1050 resolution.  This is ideal for 19″ wide screens.  The VGA, DVI and HDMI video adapter can string up to 6 monitors together and will work through powered USB hubs.  I would venture to say this solution isn’t ideal for hi-end graphics applications like 3D modeling or gaming, but would be a good product for use of viewing spreadsheets, email, word processing, web surfing, blogging, Photoshop and TV. Continue Reading

iPhone 3G Settings [pic]

Still doubt that the 3G iPhone is coming soon? This settings screen with a 3G toggle switch (see image) was found in the latest beta release of the iPhone’s 2.0 firmware.

Why would you want to turn off 3G? Because 3G drains cell phone batteries very quickly. In this screenshot, Apple has included a toggle setting to turn 3G off, and use AT&T’s slower but more battery friendly EDGE network instead. Probably a very useful feature if you are almost out of juice. When can we expect to see a 3G iPhone and how much will it cost? Continue Reading>>> Continue Reading

Y Shaped 4 Port USB Hub From Apacer

The Y-Shaped USB hub from Apacer is a clever design, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen it.  RiDATA introduces a flash drive with combo two port hub on the back side, which I’m still wondering why it hasn’t gained more popularity, about a year ago.  The Apacer Y-shaped USB hub increases the port connectivity over the RiDATA by two fold, but doesn’t have flash memory storage.

y shaped usb hub

The Apacer PH151 uses a miniUSB connection to the host computer [via cable] and then provides two vertical ports and two horizontal ports.  To me, once you’ve put a cable to the hub, it doesn’t matter what shape it’s in.  Just stick your device in and go.  The clear advantage with this design, is increasing Continue Reading

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