August 30, 2016

Cool Stuff for Father’s Day

Filed under: News — csadm @ 8:53 am

Most dads would be happy to get a kiss and a hug for Father’s Day. After all, love costs nothing and it’s the greatest gift of all.

But if your budget stretches a little further and you want to make him feel extra special here’s a few of our greatest hits from 2016.

 

WANT TO GET HIM OUT OF THE HOUSE? BUY HIM A DRONE

Dad is going to feel like a kid again playing with one of these high-tech drones. DJI’s most popular offering is the Phantom series and the company’s best model aimed at consumers and enthusiasts is the Phantom 3 Professional, which flies through the air via an easy-to-use remote control and records stabilized 4K footage with a wide-angle lens.

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The Phantom 3 Professional is a white quadcopter, with four pylons (each with a rotor), a bottom-mounted camera, and landing struts.

The drone measures about 23 inches from wingtip to wingtip and weighs just under 3 pounds.

LED lights at the bottom of each wing help you keep track of it in the air. It’s easy enough to attach the propellers with your fingers—the motors and rotors are both color-coded to ensure proper installation.

It’s bound to get Dad out of the house, and probably hovering somewhere above your neighbor’s backyard.

 

WISH HE WOULD KEEP IN TOUCH? BUY HIM A SMARTPHONE

Smartphones keep hitting the market and they keep getting smarter. These days you get more bang for your buck.

Moto are one company that is narrowing the gap between high-end features and affordability.

Earlier this year Motorola – owned by Lenovo – launched a triplet of new phones in the very popular Moto G family – the Moto G4, the Moto G4 Play and the Moto G4 Plus.

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The Moto G4 Plus is positioned as the premium product in the line-up and a step-up from its Moto G4 Play sibling.

The two devices have much in common including a 5.5 inch 1080p screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 with 2GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh battery, and a 16MP camera.

At the higher end of the smartphone price spectrum is the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The two have everything in common except for the S7 Edge’s larger battery and screen size, and the S7’s conventional display versus the Edge’s curved screen (plus “edge” software navigation bar). Ask someone that has the S6 Edge and they will extol the virtues of the side navigation bar. Screen size of the S7 Edge is 5.5 inches versus S7 5.1 inches. Besides that it really is a matter of taste and budget.

The most remarkable new features of both models is that they now carry an IP certification for water and dust resistance, as well as expandable storage.

As with all phones in PNG, be a smart buyer and go for a phone with dual SIM. Having two SIM cards in one phone is like having a safety net. If one SIM card isn’t picking up a signal, then there is always a chance the other will.

In Papua New Guinea there are two mobile networks and they both offer different benefits. By having a smartphone that supports two SIM cards you have the freedom of choosing features that work best for you across both platforms. So Dad can harness the power, allowances and coverage of more than one network.

Now he has no excuse for not keeping in touch.

 

WANT HIM TO BE ON TIME? BUY HIM A WATCH

A Luminox watch is going to make Dad feel like going commando.

Luminox is held in such high esteem that the watches are used by the US Coast Guard, US Air Force, United States Navy SEALs, and a variety of other special forces, professional divers and EMS teams worldwide.

Luminox-watchesLuminox markets its range watches across four different categories: sea, air, land and yes – even in the darkest of environments – space.

Luminox gets its name from its legendary luminescence – the name comes from Latin: lumi for light and nox for night.

Luminox watches are advertised to possess “always visible technology” and glow in any light condition. The watch hands and markers contain tritium insets which provide the long-term luminescence, as opposed to phosphorescent markers used in other watches, which must be charged by a light source.

So Dad can keep time in the bright of day or the dark of night, with a watch built tough for PNG that will last him a lifetime.

 

TOOLS TO HELP HIM GET THE JOB DONE

We all know PNG is notorious for power blackouts. Well, here’s a few tools that will come in handy for Dad when faced with those awkward moments.

NiteCore make the world’s brightest flashlights – they are ultra-bright, super effective, easy to use and waterproof up to 2m. The ‘tiny monster’ range are hand-sized units that belt out up to a whopping 3,500 – 4,000 lumens, depending on the model. Its thermal protection circuit prevents it from overheating from all that power.

That’s a lot of light that will help Dad with any repairs during times of darkness.

If he needs to find the right tool, well the Leatherman Charge has got just about everything he will need in one.

It’s like having a tool-kit in your pocket, although Dad probably thinks he has one of those already.

But Dad, this one is a multi-tool.

The AL version is upgraded with stronger pliers, diamond-coated files, and aluminum alloy handles.

It also includes scissors that slice through just about anything, with beveled edges that allow them to get extra close to whatever you’re cutting.

Bit drivers for versatility, diamond-coated files for detailed work, and a 154CM clip-point knife are all housed in 6061-T6, hard-anodized aluminum alloy handles.

From a survival standpoint, it has almost everything Dad will need in one tool.

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August 12, 2016

Memory on a stick

Filed under: News — csadm @ 11:36 am

These days with so many storage systems like Dropbox and Google Drive available, you would think that the future of the humble memory stick may be under a cloud.

Not so. For most people storing and transferring large files and large numbers of files using online systems is still problematic and inconvenient. There is also the question of online security – always that nagging doubt as to whether your files are safe floating around on internet clouds.

In contrast, a USB flash drive, USB stick or pen drive – among other names – gives you a quick, easy and secure way to transfer large amounts of data including photos, music, videos and documents.

Another big advantage in using a USB flash drive is their portability. The USB stick is easily stored in your pocket or on your keyring, as opposed to a portable hard drive that is comparatively bulky.

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus – self-explanatory. It’s the common port in your computer through which you can connect various devices – such as the USB stick.

A typical USB flash drive and (right) being inserted into the actual USB port.

A typical USB flash drive and (right) being inserted into the actual USB port.

The best USB sticks combine high portability with excellent performance and storage capacity.

Worth noting however is that USB sticks should not be used for long-term storage, as they usually don’t last as long as a regular hard-drive.

Being fairly small, they are also easily misplaced – ask anyone who has lost one, or had one “borrowed”. As such memory sticks are best used as a short-term storage and transfer tool.

And of course, like sticking anything in a hole, make sure you have anti-virus protection and regularly scan your USB stick for infections, especially if you are uploading files from various sources.


Memory test

Before we test the memory stick, let’s test your own memory.

If you are as old as me you would remember the floppy disk from the late 80s and 90s and more recently the CD as portable memory devices.

The USB stick is by far smaller, faster, has thousands of times more capacity, and are more durable and reliable because they have no moving parts. Additionally, they are immune to electromagnetic interference (unlike floppy disks), and are unharmed by surface scratches (unlike CDs).

Until about 2005, most desktop and laptop computers were supplied with floppy disk drives in addition to USB ports, but floppy disk drives have become obsolete after widespread adoption of USB ports and the larger USB drive capacity compared to the 1.44 MB 3.5-inch floppy disk.

OK…who remembers this? (Left) Floppy disks and (right) rewritable CDs.

OK…who remembers this? (Left) Floppy disks and (right) rewritable CDs.

These days USB flash drives come in several different capacities and you pay for what you get.

For simple file transfers you can start with an 8GB capacity. 16GB and 32GB USB flash drives are useful for storing or transferring large music libraries and raw images. You’ll want to get 64GB or more for storing or transferring HD-quality movies or TV shows.

The modern day USB stick has been attributed to a Malaysian engineer Pua Khun Seng considered to be the “father of the pen drive”.  Off the back of his invention he formed a company in November 2000 called Phison Electronics Corporation, which is based in Taiwan. The company has grown to a point that by 2010 it was generating world-wide sales in excess of US$10 billion.

Phison continues its innovation on emerging technologies such as embedded storage, solid state drives and security products.


Pendrive

Malaysia, being one of the birthplaces for the modern-day USB flash drive, has adopted the term “pen drive” for the device.

A company that recognised the marketing potential of the name was founded in 2002. PenDrive Malaysia expanded its operations steadily from a small-scale business into one of the largest supplier and vendors of flash memory products in our region.

By 2006 the company had released products in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and of course Papua New Guinea.

The company now has a range of products including USB flash drives, flash memory cards, SSD, card readers and HDD digital portable storage. More about some of these devices shortly.

There are many other companies around the globe producing USB flash drives and portable memory solutions. If you are a regular user of USB flash drives you would be familiar with SanDisk, Kingston, and Lexar among many, many others.


Other options

There are other portable memory products available on the market. It just depends on your needs. A memory card or flash card is an electronic memory data storage device commonly used in mobile phones, digital cameras, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, MP3 players and video game consoles.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands on the market in various shapes and sizes from as many companies. So you can imagine it becomes somewhat confusing.

Even more confusing when a company like Sony decides to call their memory card a Memory Stick (as a trademark) and then release a variety of Memory Sticks such as Memory Stick MagicGate, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Duo Magicgate, Memory Stick PRO and (wait for it) Memory Stick PRO duo. And there’s more. Ya gotta love Sony. 

Smartphones tend to be moving more towards using cards as a way of expanding the memory of the devices – the latest Galaxy S7 is one such example. It has a tray that you simply pop out and insert a memory card. That also makes it easy transferring data such as photos, music and movies. 

(left) Samsung’s Galaxy S7 uses a memory card to expand the memory capacity and (right) Toshiba external HDD.

(left) Samsung’s Galaxy S7 uses a memory card to expand the memory capacity and (right) Toshiba external HDD.

A SIM card is also one such very common example of a memory card. SIM meaning Subscriber Identity Module.

Another portable memory solution is the external hard disk drive (HDD). The primary characteristics of a HDD is its capacity and performance – way more than the capacity of a USB flash drive or memory card, and more expensive too. 

Of course, all this underlines the real benefits of the USB flash drive as a quick, easy and secure way to transfer large amounts of data. Relatively inexpensive too – the USB flash aka the flash stick aka the memory stick aka the pen drive will be with us for a long time.

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