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Archive for July, 2010

USB Steampunk With Wood Dash And Dials

I am a bit of USB steampunk enthusiast and today Etsy shopping put out a notice on a fine looking piece with a wood body and includes rotating dials.  Unfortunately I’m just an armchair enthusiast and have yet to build my very own, but one day – it will come. Some say this USB steampunk drive looks like Rosie, the house robot, from the Jetsons.  I guess the gear piece around the neck reminds you of the tradition maid outfit for a house cleaner back in the 60s.

usb steampunk

The designer mentions something about an old narrow bridge as his inspiration for the USB steampunk, but I think he’s referencing the piece of wood he probably lifted off the bridge which he used as the body. The design incorporates a gauge of some sort [no it doesn’t work] along with turn dials along the Continue Reading

How To: Make Great Looking iPhone Wallpaper

So here is my tutorial on making a great looking iPhone wallpaper design. The concept is fairly easy, here is the high level over view:  We will set the proper size, create the pattern image, upload the image to a web space, download the image and set it as the wallpaper.  Sounds easy, right? Well it is. First, the correct size for the iPhone screen is 320×480 pixels.  So get into your favorite photo editing program and get a blank file with the size of 320×480 pixels for you iPhone wallpaper. Second, you’ll need to create an image.  Of course you can take a picture and set it that way, but I’m thinking more like a subtle pattern that isn’t obtrusive and is more complimentary to yourself while using the iPhone rather then having an ego trip by setting my kids best picture as my wallpaper. For me, Photochop is my weapon of choice and I created this nice little pattern image which we’ll use for the wallpaper.

iphone wallpapper

Note:  With the new iPhone 4.0+ firmware you have the ability to set the lock/unlock wallpaper and set a different picture as your background image for Home when using your iPhone.  I think the above pattern image is a very nice background image for the Home position. Third, after you’ve created your pattern image, you will save it as a Continue Reading

Wireless USB Dock Station For Laptops

Warpia is a wireless docking station for your laptop to easily connect your keyboard, mouse, monitor and just about anything else without using cables.  Using just a wireless USB dongle to your laptop it will then connect with the base dock station where you’ve connected the keyboard & mouse dongle, the monitor, hard drive and other peripherals.

wireless USB dock station

The wireless connection of the Warpia supports resolution up to 1400 x 1050, 32-bit True Color Depth.  The dock station includes the following ports to support your peripherals – DVI connection, two USB ports and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Warpia wireless usb

The wireless USB dock station does support Mac and Windows operating systems and after a quick scan of some blogs/forums we cannot conclude if the Warpia supports Linux. We found the Warpia as low as $140 here. Continue Reading

Marantz Network Audio Receiver with USB Support

Marantz, a premium set-top audio manufacturer, introduces a new Network solution for home audio.  The M-CR603 is a combination of all good things. Featuring a built-in amplifier, a receiver, a CD player, an AM/FM radio and the ability to stream music from Rhapsody, Pandora or Napster. In addition, the Marantz unit includes a USB port for iPod / MP3 docking, but what we really like about the unit is the ability to stuff a 64GB flash drive in there loading with MP3 files and you’ve now got one hot audio box!

Marantz with USB

No pricing yet, so I’m assuming the executives and sales guys are hammering out those details.  Check Marantz for more info on pricing / availability. Continue Reading

New: USB Powered Blu-ray Plextor Drive

Earlier in the week I pointed out a great mini USB monitor for your Netbook which was under $100, and today I bring you a Blu-ray DVD player to imporve your netbook’s multimedia capabilities…and again for under $100.

USB Blu-ray Plextor

Plextor announced it’s all new PX-B120U Blu-ray DVD player yesterday which is expected to hit retail stores any day for just $99.  Powered by USB 2.0 the player is just that, a player for Blu-ray…although you do have the ability to burn DVD-R and CD-R through the device. Plextor did a nice job with design because this player will also dock with Plextor’s up-and-coming PlexMedia dock station which allows you to connect right to your HDTV in your family room. To learn more about the USB Blu-ray drive visit Plextor here. Continue Reading

Cleanliness is Next to USB Geekiness

No one likes the dentist and it’s tough getter there twice a year like everyone should.  So to help fight the war against plaque you can invest a bit of money into this USB toothbrush cleaning kit.  Powered by UV light, the USB toothbrush cleaning kit will sanitize your brush while you’re out getting your teeth covered in sugar-bugs.

USB toothbrush

The UVmini [as they call it] comes in two models.  A USB version and a USB + battery version.  Obviously the second version is geared toward the germ-a-fobes who travel and uses a lithium battery which can cycle 10 cleanings.  I would opt for the battery pack as keeping your toothbrush cleaning kit tethered to your computer’s USB port is a bit ridiculous [yet again, another reason to get a USB outlet kit]. We don’t have any price information as of yet but they should start hitting Pan-Asian vendors shortly. The rest of the world will have to wait a bit longer. Continue Reading

Mini USB Monitor – Expand Your Netbook

Netbooks are great portable PCs and I would switch from my full sized Fujitsu laptop to my Acer Netbook if it wasn’t for the limited monitor space.

mini USB monitor

I understand there are trade-offs for ultra portable Netbooks verse size, speed and performance.  But with this new Lilliput USB monitor for only $99 it’s really got me thinking.  A switch might be eminent. So for just $99 you get a 7 inch display with resolution of 800 x 480 dpi.  The contrast ratio is nice at 400:1 and connects only through a USB port.

mini USB monitor

I understand there are trade-offs for ultra portable Netbooks verse size, speed and performance.  But with this new Lilliput USB monitor for only $99 it’s really got me thinking.  A switch might be eminent. So for just $99 you get a 7 inch display with resolution of 800 x 480 dpi.  The contrast ratio is nice at 400:1 and connects only through a USB port.

USB monitor

So with the combination of my Netbook [we have 7 at work] along with the USB mini monitor, I’m still packing less weight and space then my full blown laptop. Since there are no drivers needed for the Mac or PC it’s truly plug-n-play and ready to work with any PC, work or home. So for $99 it’s worth a shot.  What do you think? Continue Reading

Switch Hitter USB Connector

There is a new kid on the block when it comes to USB connectors, it is “The Flipper.”  The concept is so incredibly simply you will laugh when you see it.  The Flipper is a USB connector that will make correct contact with the host USB port regardless of how you insert it. Granted it is not that hard to figure out which side is up and down…and I will admit [openly] that if you have trouble with that – then you are an idiot. So if you are having trouble here is a tip:  Seam is the down side, seamless is the up side.

USB side up, side down

So The Flipper will help the idiots who can’t figure heads from tails. I do say, there was a design flaw in the first place with having an up and down position, it should have been universal and hopefully The Flipper will catch on and thus change USB forever…or at least until USB 3.0 takes over. Continue Reading

Paper Clip With USB Flash Memory

They say the best product to invent is taking an existing product and make it better.  Today is a case in point.  The paper clip has been around forever [1870] and just recently have we seen a true improvement.  The USB paper clip is very creative and a fresh twist on an old product.  In fact, TechCrunch quoted, “why didn’t I think of that” type design. So here it is, the USB memory clip.

USB memory clip

Not much more can be said other than an excellent USB promotional item for corporate give-a-ways. Continue Reading

DIY: iPad Cork Sleeve

Don’t dismiss this post because you think a cork sleeve would be cheezy for your $700 iPad.  It’s not.  This tutorial helps you create a well designed, cool looking, durable cork case. Sure, cork isn’t very strong, but with added cloth and fleece the end result creates a strong sleeve and something which will protect your iPad and last for quit some time.

cork ipad sleeve

The materials are not difficult to find and should run you about $20 at most. Bobber does an excellent job of point out the details and making sure you don’t miss the important steps for making a quality DIY iPad sleeve.  He includes a ton of well documented pictures, after all, nothing is better than a picture for projects you’ve never tried. Full tutorial here. Continue Reading

Did An iPhone Really Burn Someone?

We have heard of crazy USB happenings before and they always seem a bit suspicious, case in point is the latest bit of news about an iPhone 4 bursting into flames.

iPhone burning

I doubt it really burst into flames but the temptation to make a social media claim of an iPhone 4 blowing up is all too tempting.  The truth is more likely a slow melt from poor circuitry with an “after the fact” photo to create the drama. Given the aforementioned iPhone 4’s bezel allegedly got extremely hot to the touch during the recharging process, you can stand to wonder if this might be an excellent warning sign for a phone about to blow. What do you think?  Post your comments on our Facebook page. Continue Reading

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