Monday, 18 September 2017

Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Stealth 2014 Keyboard


I have a very old keyboard that I used for my home PC. I think it's more than 10 years old. I cannot remember when I first bought it but it was very reliable. It's an Acer Wireless Keyboard. It was catered for home entertainment because it has an integrated mouse knob on the top right hand corner of the keyboard with 2 buttons for left and right mouse click. It was using infrared and the sensor has to be line of sight for it to be effective. The sensor is connected to the PC via the old PS2 port. This was long before bluetooth was the norm. The keyboard uses 4 x AA batteries and it lasts for about 3 months.



My old keyboard with the huge infrared
dongle connected via PS2.


Unfortunately with all things, the keyboard finally died on me. It simply refuse to give any response. I tried everything to resuscitate it,  to extend its life just a little longer. New batteries, bought a new PS2 adapter to USB. But there was simply no response.  It  was with a heavy heart that I had to accept its demise . I am being sentimental because the keyboard was like an  old friend to me.  All the times we played games together. All the work that we did together. 

I had to get a replacement. 

I bought the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Stealth 2014 on a trip to Lowyat Plaza in KL in Oct 2016. The shop I bought it from was having a Razer promo and I got the keyboard for RM198 which costs around SGD66. In Singapore, it costs around SGD149.90 at the Computer Exhibition in September. 

The Razer keyboard is a ten keyless (TKL) format which means there is no number keypad. I hardly used it because I use the keyboard for gaming purposes. Another key requirement is the keyboard has to be silent. With a family, I can only play late at night and having a noisy keyboard is ineffective for me. However, despite it claims to be a silent keyboard, there is still a distinct keyboard clickety sound. Well, so much for being silent. I had to do away with a wireless keyboard. Keeping stock of batteries is quite a hassle.

The specs for the Razer Keyboard:

  • Razer™ Mechanical Switches with 45g actuation force
  • 60 million keystroke life span
  • Compact layout
  • 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • Detachable braided fiber USB cable with cable strap
  • Carrying sleeve for protection
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • Approximate size: 366mm/14.40” (Width) x 154mm/6.06” (Height) x 30mm/1.18” (Depth)
  • Approximate weight: 950g/2.09lbs
  • PC with USB port
  • Windows® 8/ Windows® 7 / Mac OS X (v10.8 - 10.11)
  • Internet connection (for driver installation)
  • At least 200MB of hard disk space





Box Front


Box Front




Box Back



Box Back




Comes in another box.





Inside is the keyboard in its cloth bag.



Braided cable and instructions.



View of the keyboard.



Another view of the keyboard.




Comparing the Razer with the old Acer
Keyboard.



Comparing the Razer with a normal
layout keyboard.



I just have to live with its clickety sound.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Minix Neo A2 Lite Remote

In my previous blog, I mentioned about the Minix Neo U1 Android Box. It comes with a remote which is, in essence, just a pointer.


The included Minix remote.

I bought the Neo A2 Lite remote. 

Specification:
Six-asix gyroscope accelerometer
Spacious keyboard
Advanced power management
Uses 2 x AAA battery
Operating range up to 10 meters


For me, the dealbreaker is the the keyboard. During the setup of the Minix, I had to input numerous URLs and navigate the settings. Although using the included remote pointer would suffice, the NEO A2 Lite makes things much faster.


Box Front.


Box Back.


Remote front


Keyboard behind.



The 2 remotes front.


The 2 remotes behind.


Location of battery

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Minix Neo U1 Android TV Box

I bought the Minix Neo U1 android box from Comex 2016 PC Show in September. Although the Neo U1 comes with its own remote, I bought the Minix A2Lite Airmouse.

I have an AC Ryan Playon HD2. You can put an HD into the AC Ryan and it becomes a media storage. So you can download movies and songs direct into the HD and the AC Ryan can play the movies straight to your TV. I have a NAS at home, so I placed all my movies into the NAS. So the AC Ryan becomes a media streamer. Although it can work on wifi, it is very slow sometimes with numerous buffering. The AC Ryan has served me well but its time to move on. I realised from the AC Ryan that I just need a media streamer.

That is one the reason I bought the Minix. The other reason is to watch Live TVs from the neighbouring countries, channels which I cannot receive from my current cable provider.

However, I found out that there are load of other channels which I can have access to and watch i.e. movies, tv series, sports, documentaries. Its features and abilities are worth it.

The cost of the Minix together with remote was SGD229. It comes with 3 years of IPTV which I hardly used.


Specs:
Android 5.1.1 OS
Gigabit Ethernet
64-bit Quad Core
2 x 2 Mimo ac-Wifi
4K Video @60fps
XBMC Minix Edition - Kodi


Box Content:
Minix Neo U1
Minix IR Remote
Dual Band Antenna
Power Adapter
HDMI Cable
Micro-USB Cable
OTG Cable
Manuals


Minix Neo U1 Box Front





Box Back - Specifications



Box Side



Box Other Side





Box Content





Ports

There are 3 USB ports. TF slot is for SD Card. OTG port is to connect directly to a PC. The Minix box can be control with the following
- Wired mouse
- 2.4GHz USB wirless mouse and keyboard set
- 2.4Ghz USB air-mouse/gyro mouse - Minix product 





Ports- Other side

The Minix is connected to the TV via HDMI. There is a SPDIF port to connec to an amplifier.






Antenna Connector



Minix IR Remote.

The Minix IR Remote is sufficient for light use. If you need to input URL or commands, it does a good job of pointing to the screen keyboard. Otherwise, the Minix Air Remote is very useful. I will show that in my next blog.

Overall, I find the Minix box very useful.There are a lot of resources online that can help you with what you want to watch. I try to avoid doing any upgrades until I really have to because I have read that the links may not work after upgrades. One app that I used extensively is Kodi. That is a must have. It is open source and there are lots of links that work on it.

If you have an Android box, let me know what you used it for.


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Artemide Tolomeo Table Mega Lamp

25 Feb 2016

I bought a pre-owned Artemide Tolomeo Table Mega. The previous family had it for 8 years. They bought it from XTRA Furniture, in Park Mall which is an authorised seller of Artemide. But there was no documentation and receipt. The lampshade is paper and its the mid-size, 360mm diameter. I am not too keen on paper but the condition of the lampshade is in good condition and relatively clean for 8 years. Furthermore, I can purchase a replacement from Artemide.

The Table Mega uses a clamp and not with the heavy base. I think its because it is quite a long lamp and a heavy base would not be able to support it.

The Tolomeo was designed by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina in 1982 for the Artemide company. It won the Compasso d'Oro design award in 1989. It is a highly coveted award which has been awarded twenty times since its introduction in 1954. It is also on display 

I have always wanted to own a Tolomeo. I like the industrial look to it, with its cantilever structure. Nowadays, the Tolomeo comes in various sizes, from the small bedside version to the XXL floor lamps. It was credited for 'having achieved the perfect marriage between design and engineering that works together in total "sync" to materialize an idea and create the perfect object for industrial production.' 



From the Artemide website.



I bought the one with the 360mm diameter
lampshade.



The whole lamp is in need of some cleaning up. 



I polished up the whole lamp with Autosol. This is the table
clamp.




The Artemide sticker.



Another feature of the Tolomeo. The male part is placed into the clamp
housing. Or it can be placed into the metal base.



Several base options for the Tolomeo.



The arms are cleaned up and polished.



The table clamp is in placed and the lamp is
slide into the slot.



The lamp is placed above the dining table at my residence.



With the lights on.






An interview with 3 great designers. From left, 
Richard Sapper designed the Tizio lamp. He passed away 
31st Dec 2015. Ernesto Gismondi founded Artemide
and Michele De Lucchi designed the Tolomeo.





Sunday, 17 January 2016

The Coopidea Power Block 5 USB Wall Charger

The Coopidea 10.6A Power Block


I bought the 10.6A Power Block 5 USB Wall Charger by The Coopidea at the 2015 IT Show. I cannot remember the price but I am sure it was on offer, as of most products at the IT show. This is used mainly for my corporate travel and it will complement the Arctic Charger which I blog about here.

Specifications:

Input: 100-240V ~ 1.2A, 50-60Hz
Output: 5.0V, 10.6A (4 x 2.4A, 1x1A)
Dimension: 88 x 75 x33 mm
Weight: 210g

After using it and comparing it against the Arctic charger, there are a few downsides.

1. There is no light on the charger to indicate if it is powered on.
2. It would be nice if a bag is included to keep the power cable and the charging block.

Otherwise, it is a very good device.





Box front.




Box side



Box Back



Box side




Box flap cover





Item






The charging cable is not pretty.


Output of 4 x 2.4A.


The charging port.


Details behind the charging block.



Size perspective


Another view.