I fancied buying a couple of USB cables with in-built power meters, as well as a pair of multimeters with interesting aspects. For some reason all the brand names are capitalized in real life; I didn’t do that just for the title. I’m not yelling, I promise.
Don’t let people make fun of you for wearing this not-a-smartwatch, because it’s actually pretty good. If somewhat impractical to live with.
The reMarkable 2 hardware has a solid and pleasant feel. The software just seems to work as advertised. However, almost every feature of this product relies on a connection to reMarkable’s cloud — the future of which is uncertain, as with any smaller tech company.
I test out the new Amazon Glow device, and also completely destroy it via my incompetence.
The WAudio W-3900 Power Conditioner is a well-made PDU/power strip, with a couple of bucks worth of filtering components inside. If it were sold in the $50 price range, I’d definitely recommend it for its solid build quality, decent quality components, and retro looks. But at $180, the amount of power “conditioning” (it’s really just filtering certain frequencies of noise at low levels) doesn’t justify the price, IMHO. To be fair, the product can be found on AliExpress for $137 at the time of this writing. Though the marketing materials promise “the highest level of surge & spike protection”, in reality it is not what I would call a surge or spike protector. One weak PTC thermistor is presumably the … Continue reading
I was searching for an “affordable” power distribution unit for some video-related equipment in a rack. The Technical Pro PS9U looked very appealing with its multiple light-up switches on the front, because they made me all sentimental and wistful for the days of switched under-monitor PDUs.
It took a dark turn when I looked at the negative reviews on Amazon, wherein one person uploaded pictures of a melted-down unit. I still bought the PDU, not because I wanted to use it, but purely because I wanted to take it apart for YouTube.
And indeed the Amazon review turned out to be accurate. I would not feel comfortable using the Technical Pro PDU in my house. In my opinion as a random guy on the internet, it is a fire hazard, is poorly made, and shouldn’t even be on the market.
For my actual use, I also bought a Cyberpower CPS-1220RMS PDU. It’s a bit different than the Technical Pro in that it doesn’t have independently-switched outputs, offers surge protection, and is rated at 20A rather than 15A (though “rated” is a strong word in the case of the PS9U). That’s just on the surface, though. Inside, the Cyberpower shows every mark of quality and clearly supports its 20A rating.
In the video I open up the Cyberpower, just to show you what a quality PDU should look like. The comparison between the two products is day and night, even though I got the Cyberpower unit for a mere $15 more (on sale). It’s absolutely worth the higher price (even when not on sale).
The bottom line here is that when it comes to power distribution — be it rack-mounted or a typical power strip style — you should spend the extra money to get the higher-quality unit. Your fire insurance provider will thank you, as might your family (if it comes to that).
I got this because it looked like a cool little project, and a neat (if tiny) gift for the missus. So that’s about the extent of my motivations. If you’re trying to put one of these together, I’m hoping that this video might answer a couple of your questions. It’s not really meant to be an educational video, though; More a demonstration of what’s involved in assembly for anyone considering a purchase. Speaking of which, if you want one you can pick one up for about 5 bucks over at banggood.com.
And in case you were wondering, this is not a paid advertisement. I actually paid them for this thing, so it’s pretty much the opposite. (If this kit were complete crap I would tell you.)
For viewing with Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Rift, etc.
A couple of people have rightly told me that you can just set a 3D video to 2D viewing mode, and therefore don’t need to upload 2 versions of the same video.
There are a couple of problems with simply uploading one 3D video, however:
- Because the two sides of the video are compressed horizontally, viewing it in 2D stretches one of the “eyes” to full screen. That means it’s much lower quality with half the horizontal resolution versus a regular 2D version.
- As far as I can see, YouTube defaults to anaglyph (red/blue) mode when browsing 3D videos on a regular monitor. That’s a potential turn-off for any viewer that doesn’t know about the switch to view it in 2D instead.
If I’m off base here, please let me know. I’m still learning this whole 3D creation process.
This one went up on the ol’ Extras channel because, to be completely honest, it’s not a very good video.
I know you might ask, then why bother uploading it at all? Or, why not re-shoot it?
Good questions, and ones I ask myself. But I figure that a) there’s a lot of worse crap on YouTube anyway, and b) it’s not really worth re-shooting because the subject matter is never exactly gonna be thrilling. This is a bit of a tangent, but here’s why I’m making YouTube videos in general: Because I like making videos.
I don’t so much like being on camera, though. I like planning, lighting, camera setups, editing, and all the little stuff in between. So reviewing a random piece of crap from AliExpress is just a vehicle for video production.
I also used to be a big-time perfectionist, and that would stop me from getting anything done. A few years ago I’d never have been able to release this video, and I would have driven myself crazy over it.
So now you get to sit through a sh|tty video in the interest of my self-improvement. And that’s the internet.
Here’s a tiny cellphone from Aiek (your top brand for cheap-ass mini phones, maybe). I got it for $10, and surprisingly it works pretty well!
I forgot to mention in the video, but it’s GSM and definitely compatible with AT&T’s network. (I tested it using H2O Wireless, but they’re just a virtutal provider on AT&T’s system.)
You can pick one up from Banggood, but unfortunately the price has jumped up twice since I bought it, and now it’s at an unfortunate $18.47 (October 8, 2016). I’m sure it’s sold elsewhere, so hopefully you can grab it for ten bucks from another source.
The free delivery option was surprisingly fast to me here in NY at just over a week.
This definitely won’t be replacing your iPhone 7 or Google Pixel, but as a backup/emergency phone to keep in a handbag or backpack it’s pretty cool.
Also, Matrix Something Something Relarded.
Here are some collapsible LED “camping” lanterns from Etekcity. The reason I put “camping” in quotes is because there is no sign of waterproofing on these things.
I suppose if you’re camping in the desert they’d be fine.
Wait, no they wouldn’t be. Because one out of the four didn’t work, and the soldering was abysmal. If you want to see details, I do a tear down in the video.