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Author Topic: Gadget WEEKENDS  (Read 42424 times)
Deozaan
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« Reply #275 on: September 20, 2013, 07:15:05 PM »


I went camping last weekend with a group of friends/acquaintances and someone brought one of these things. I was so impressed with the quality of the sound and the battery life (rechargable from a microUSB port) that I bought two of these. They just arrived moments ago. They're awesome. I can pair them up for stereo sound and put one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen or whatever fits my needs.

Great for my Nexus 7 (2013) tablet, because even though it has stereo sound already, the speakers aren't great quality and sound a bit "tinny".

These Jam Plus speakers are surprisingly good, considering how small they are. I can feel the bass when I hold them in my hand. Thmbsup
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mouser
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« Reply #276 on: September 20, 2013, 10:23:29 PM »

Time for another coffee gadget..

Back on this post in the gadget thread, superboyac mentioned the AeroPress, though he never posted a link to information about it.

It's basically a $30 manual one-cup-at-a-time french press thingy:

http://aerobie.com/products/aeropress.htm

I've been using it for a while now and I like it -- it's sort of fun, and it cleans up fairly well, and its good for if you only have an occasional cup of coffee.



Now the next logical step after getting one of those fellas is to grind your own beans (the home-roasters can talk about that process -- i won't be going there).

As for grinding -- the serious coffee folks will tell you that the more expensive "burr" grinders do a better job of grinding than the cheaper blade grinders.  Personally, i'm not sure i really buy it.  The burr grinders certainly produce more consistent sized grinds and may not leave you with some of the fine particles that the blade grinders will, but i'm not convinced that would be such a big deal.

However, as someone who has a great appreciation for small gadgets that don't take up much room -- the idea of a big burr grinder (and they are all relatively big) is aesthetically offensive.

Which brings us to these little hand (burr) grinders, which take some effort but can pretty quickly grind enough beans for a single cup of coffee.

Here's the one I picked up:

http://www.amazon.com/Har...lim-Grinder/dp/B001804CLY

Like I said I don't care much about burr vs blade, but what I like is that the coffee gets ground right before use and doesn't sit around for weeks, and it takes up almost no space, and cleans up super easy.  Just dumps the ground from the grinder into the Aeropress (or whatever) and you are done.

If you don't mind doing a little work before each cup of coffee, this is a fairly nice combo with minimal counter space requirements and minimal cleanup.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 04:33:30 AM by mouser » Logged
Renegade
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« Reply #277 on: September 21, 2013, 03:37:49 AM »

Now the next logical step after getting one of those fellas is to grind your own beans (the home-roasters can talk about that process -- i won't be going there).

As for grinding -- the serious coffee folks will tell you that the more expensive "burr" grinders do a better job of grinding than the cheaper blade grinders.  Personally, i'm not sure i really buy it.  The burr grinders certainly produce more consistent sized grinds and may not leave you with some of the fine particles that the blade grinders will, but i'm not convinced that would be such a big deal.

However, as someone who has a great appreciation for small gadgets that don't take up much room -- the idea of a big burr grinder (and they are all relatively big) is aesthetically offensive.

Which brings us to these little hand (burr) grinders, which take some effort but can pretty quickly grind enough beans for a single cup of coffee.

Here's the one I picked up:
([url=http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=32886.msg338348#msg338348]see attachment in previous post)[/i][/url]

Like I said I don't care much about burr vs blade, but what I like is that the coffee gets ground right before use and doesn't sit around for weeks, and it takes up almost no space, and cleans up super easy.  Just dumps the ground from the grinder into the Aeropress (or whatever) and you are done.

If you don't mind doing a little work before each cup of coffee, this is a fairly nice combo with minimal counter space requirements and minimal cleanup.

This is the grinder I have:



http://www.brevilleusa.co...conical-burr-grinder.html

There are better ones out there, but it does a great job.

For size, I just have it on a high shelf so it's out of the way.

As for burr vs. blade, I had a blade grinder in the past, but I much prefer the burr grinder. The blade grinder was sporadic, inconsistent, and relatively time consuming comparatively as you'd need to grind for longer to get a decent fineness. Also, it couldn't handle a lot, so you'd end up doing a couple batches if you wanted to grind more than a cup. I'd have no clue about taste differences - the only thing I can see there is the grind size.

I've also used a hand cranked burr grinder - not all that fun for more than a cup, though certainly more decorative. The one above certainly looks more practical than the one I used. (It was sort of a decorative meat grinder/chest of droors/something/made of wood.)

I'm not too picky about grinding just before using it. I grind up enough to last a day or two at a time. That's good enough for me. (I do like Turkish fine strong coffee though.)

My particular model needs the base to be cleaned of grounds every so often. It's a tad messy, but nothing serious, and not a worry for anyone that isn't obsessive compulsive about being tidy.
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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
tomos
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« Reply #278 on: September 21, 2013, 04:04:23 AM »

Loads of goodies here today:

that mini grinder might be a good introduction to coffee grinding mouser - could it also be used for expresso coffee, or would one have to get - never mind, I see from the amazon reviews that it can do different 'grades' so would be suitable thumbs up

==========

And those mini-speakers look very interesting Deozaan
These Jam Plus speakers are surprisingly good, considering how small they are. I can feel the bass when I hold them in my hand. :Thmbsup

http://www.hmdxaudio.com/...ss-bluetooth-speaker.html
they're only 2.5" (65mm) tall tellme
I was looking-at/listening-to a cube speaker at a friends a while back. I was amazed by the sound coming out of the thing. It was around 3.5" cubed. (I'll have to get onto to them and ask about the brand/model - I see lots of that type of speaker on sale). It did have the advantage** that one could put a mini SD card in it - it would then just shuffle or play random tracks though.

** advantage to me at any rate: I'm not a smartphone user and never use portable music players - I get 'ear clausterphobia' when wearing earphones for any length of time.
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Tom
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« Reply #279 on: September 22, 2013, 04:27:53 AM »

Oh - quick note about coffee...

If you like a bit of sweetness to take away some of the bitter taste of coffee, instead of sugar try malt extract. It has a distinct flavour, but nicely removes that bitter edge like sugar.

Also, it's full of vitamin B. smiley
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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
Deozaan
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« Reply #280 on: September 22, 2013, 03:08:53 PM »

HMDX Jam Plus Portable Speaker (Blue)

Great for my Nexus 7 (2013) tablet, because even though it has stereo sound already, the speakers aren't great quality and sound a bit "tinny".

I realized a problem with these speakers: They won't work well for helping my tablet's speakers when watching a movie or videos because the sound is slightly delayed. I'm sure this is more a problem with bluetooth/wireless speakers in general and not really a complaint specific to these particular speakers. But I didn't realize at the time that the audio and video wouldn't be synced, so I guess they're mostly only good for listening to music or other audio that doesn't have accompanying video. That's kind of a bummer.

Oh well, they work well bringing my music into my car with me, since my car only has a non-working cassette player and I can't stand listening to the radio (if it even works in my car...).
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tomos
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« Reply #281 on: September 22, 2013, 04:04:05 PM »

I realized a problem with these speakers: They won't work well for helping my tablet's speakers when watching a movie or videos because the sound is slightly delayed.

I'm presuming you can connect one directly, but wondering:
When you have two of them playing stereo, can you connect them up directly (to the one socket)?
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Tom
Deozaan
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« Reply #282 on: September 22, 2013, 04:48:26 PM »

I'm presuming you can connect one directly, but wondering:
When you have two of them playing stereo, can you connect them up directly (to the one socket)?

You can connect them directly with wires, but only the speaker that is connected will play that way. Or in other words, it will be mono. (Though it would probably still sound better than my tablet's speakers, and most Android devices only have a single speaker anyway, so it's not really that bad.)

Maybe if I had a special splitter cable thingy that would take an output and split it into left and right audio channels I could do it. But that kind of defeats the purpose of the nice wireless speaker setup.
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cmpm
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« Reply #283 on: January 11, 2014, 04:58:24 PM »

Fast Tech is a place I found recently.
http://www.fasttech.com/
Quality seems good so far for the few items I ordered.
Picked up a pack of Gillette Fusion razor blade cartridges really cheap.
Ships from China, so, depending on where you are in the world, it could take a few weeks to get your stuff.
And rumor is that this is about "knockoffs". So take some care....full shopping.
Personally I think it's a back door to some name brand items already made in China.

Anyway, it is a gadget place...

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ewemoa
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« Reply #284 on: March 02, 2014, 01:56:39 AM »

Replaced a screwdriver set recently with the following set:



JK 6089C (Amazon Links 1 2)

It far exceeds what I was using before (which was really no good).
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 03:38:58 AM by ewemoa; Reason: Added an Amazon link » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #285 on: March 02, 2014, 04:39:28 AM »

That looks great.  I have a similar set but without the extension bars -- which look very useful.  For those that are curious, the second extension bar there is bendable, which would let you access some otherwise inaccessible areas. 
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ewemoa
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« Reply #286 on: March 02, 2014, 06:54:19 PM »

For those that are curious, the second extension bar there is bendable, which would let you access some otherwise inaccessible areas.  

I've used that feature once so far and for that case it worked ok.



One thing I'd look for in the future is additional larger attachments -- the largest pieces in this set are a little small for some other screws around the house...including the following recent addition to our household:



Ikea Helmer Cabinet Clone (Amazon Link)



As a side note, found the following "hack" of the cabinet:



Helmer-Air Renderfarm via Article at IkeaHackers.net
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app103
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« Reply #287 on: April 11, 2014, 04:13:11 AM »

So, I bought one of these for my husband, so he can make zucchini spaghetti. (he's a diabetic and shouldn't be eating real pasta)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApQJaC6S-RA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApQJaC6S-RA</a>

Seems to work pretty good and he is having a lot of fun with it. And once the zucchini is steamed, it has a very similar texture to pasta. He's a very happy guy!  smiley
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