Friday, April 11, 2014

Headphones and Electronics review

All right. I remember at some point in the past I promised you all a review of some stuff and then somehow conveniently forgot to do it. So here it is.


I had previously been using a cheap pair of noise cancelling headphones for flights but grew to use them daily for watching netflix on my Kindle Fire while my wife read or watched something else on tv. After a few years the elastic band that helped it fit on my head, broke. That coupled with the cracking of the ear pad covers led me to look into buying something new. What I latched onto was these Ableplanet headphones on amazon.

The reviews were not all stellar, but I have never been a true audiophile. Perhaps blowing out my ears for two years in a rock band was the culprit. But I have never been very sensitive in any of my senses, try as I might.

Anyhow they worked great for cancelling the engine noise of the plane. They are a little heavy and after four movies my ears physically hurt a tad from being sandwiched between the headphones and my glasses, but they worked great and I found them easy to pack up and cart around. So recommended.

This next bit is less a review of the products themselves as their peripherals and a sort of international travel tip.

I have not done a whole lot of international travel, but I have done some, and one thing that has always worried me is charging electronic devices. Initially I didn't have, nor was as reliant upon, cell phones and computers. My first trip to China I think I only had my cell phone. But what concerned me was a travel mate switching off the breakers on our floor at the hotel when he tried to charge his video camera battery. I want to say that was 2005.

Feast forward to today and things are so much easier. I had my phone, Surface Tablet and Nikon D5100 camera along for the trip to London and Paris. We had brought along a power converter, but after the first two days it stopped working. Now I had read, and seen printed on the charger units, that they were mutli voltage now. In short, many electronic devices now support a range of voltages that should cover you around the world, you only need an adapter for the plug. So I took the plunge and plugged in the power block for my tablet and used the USB port to charge my phone. Success. So if your device's power supply says it can handle 100 - 240 V, it can.

Probably old news for most, but for me it was a revelation.

And just to review the Microsoft Surface Tablet, I really like it. I use it as my main computer now, editing all my photos etc, and have totally replaced my Kindle. It is heavy compared to a Kindle, but sooo much lighter than my 15" laptop. I stuffed it in the pouch in my camera bag that is designed to fit an iPad. I went with the largest storage I could find, you could probably get one with less storage for about the price of an iPad and buy an external drive, or just save to the cloud if it was a problem. Anyway I really enjoy it.

New tablet on top of Laptop, a lot lighter
Well so that's it. I'm still waiting on the Mongols etc, but my Gokstad ship has arrived. Funny how the stuff I don't need always arrives before the stuff I do.

I've got to make enough 2" wide river, and a bridge to go across my 6' table. I'm thinking of using the 3mm craft foam. I suppose I could just use blue, but I did want to paint it. My thinking right now is to just cut it to 2" width and forego banks. It seems you really only need those if you are building up a water effect. I had also thought of printing some on card as a quick solution. I'll see how I feel. Any thoughts?

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