# Saturday, 27 June 2009

I was over at the Section 14 Digital Mall to see if anything interesting popped up during their sale. And then in a mobile phone kiosk near the entrance, they were having an offer on external battery packs. Or... Portable 5V Power Supplies as I'd like to call them. So I decided to see what they were offering since I was looking for a replacement for my old 5V pack which had died a few months back. They were products from a company called Lenmar, the products of interest are those on this page.

They were having an almost 50% sale on their products, so.. the small 700mAh was RM55, the bigger ~2100mAh one (can't remember the exact capacity but it's around 2000+ mAh) was RM99 and the big ass one that outputs enough DC current to recharge notebooks was RM349. Then there was on more thing that was also at RM99. It was a 2100mAh battery, but... it had a solar cell on it, so it's rechargable by the power of the sun as well as any other 5V source.

Oh well.. it is the same price as a normal one, so I thought why not?

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As you can see it's roughly as big as my Diamond 2, and you can see the front carries the solar errr.. collectors. Other than that, there's nothing much spectacular to talk about.

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It has a charging LED, and an output LED. The 5V in port is just a USB Mini A port, which is always a good thing, and the 5V out port is just a USB socket, which is DEFINETLY what a 5V power supply should have.

UPDATE : Mother farker! While the charging light is a normal soothing green LED, and IN USE light is a BLINDINGLY BRIGHT blue LED! It blinded me when I plugged something in to charge for the first time!.

I have never had a good experience with solar cells, they just never seem to work for me. The last one I had, I left out in the sun for the WHOLE DAY but in the end it just powered the phone for 2 minutes before being exhausted...

Let's see if this one turns out any better.

On a side note, after I paid for my battery, the fair organizers rolled out the "ROBOT" for people to take photos with....

If that IS a robot, then I better gear up for a robot invasion soon.


Saturday, 27 June 2009 17:20:38 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Here's a text heavy post that compiles up the common complaints I hear from Windows Mobile Phone users. Complaints like.
- It's unstable
- It's taking too much memory
- It's not user friendly
- The battery life sucks

Read more if you're interested.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009 00:50:12 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 20 June 2009

You are obsessed with it! My wife said to me. To which I replied calmly, no I'm not as I glance at WZ while he played at the fiberglass houses and slides in Toys R Us.

But everytime you come to Toys R Us, you keep checking it out. And then you talk about it for a while. I replied that while I might be intrigued by it, it's just another gun.

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If it's just another gun, would you be so obsessed over it? Aren't you supposed to be the one that tells me not to buy so many toys?

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I don't understand why you're thinking so much about it and not buying it, it's way cheaper than most of the other crazy junk you buy. Well I need to think of the consequences, the aftermath, how much work involved to play with it, where would I put it?

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You know what.. this is probably the only thing you desire that I can afford to get you. And now you who are reading this, think about this image for a second. Your significant other lugs a toy half their height from a shelf and heads for the checkout counter with the full intent on buying it for YOU, just because you're obsessing over it.

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A Nerf Vulcan EBF-25 Dart Machine Gun. Yes it just looks like a big gun in the pictures, so let me explain it in one sentence.

It's a battery powered, chain belt ammo fed machine gun that's capable of firing darts in rapid succession! (about 3 a second)

IMHO I find the belt fed part as the most innovative part about this gun. 

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When I first saw the ammo belt, the following scenario immediately played through my head. It's during the design meeting of the team developing the machine gun.

A : So... how many rounds should we allow the gun to carry? 25, 50? What kind of clip should we use?
B : What if we didn't put a hard limit on how many rounds? What if we made some way of constantly feeding ammo into the gun instead?
A : Like a ammo belt? But that's insane, how would a kid be able to lug around the already heavy gun along with 3 meters of ammo?
B : A Kid wouldn't, BUT... an adult intend on winning out in an office Nerf dart war, would be more than capable of not only carrying, but BUYING as much ammo as he wants!

And that's where the true genius of the designer shine through. The ammo belt that comes with the gun is able to carry 25 rounds, BUT... you can purchase additional belts of 25 and link them into a giant chain (EDIT: Looks like I screwed up, after an inspection of an add on ammo pack, I don't think they made it so they can link up to form a giant china. It does seem hackable to make it work though), and then some how if you can figure out how to coil the thing around your arm and still have the gun fire without jamming, you can finally realize that Rambo fantasy you've been having. (By the way it's kinda hard to coil the belt around your arm and still have it fire properly, and yes.. that's like the first thing I tried to do. You KNOW you would have tried to do it too!)

The firing mechanism is pretty ingenious.

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You have a rotary dial which advances the and primes the next dart into shooting position. And then when the dart is in position, the firing assembly locks the dart in place and then kicks it out.

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The firing assembly is the white thing with an orange ring that you see at the back of the grey ammo belt. What's interesting is that if you run out of batteries, or you feel like conserving ammo, you can actually cock the thing MANUALLY with the pump lever.

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And then shoot off one dart at a time.

Performance wise, as a dart gun, the Vulcan suffers some trade offs. Which might be quite severe to some. When firing in battery powered full auto mode, a dart travels about half a living room before losing power, while in manual mode the darts seem to fly as far as the bog standard N-Finder gun I got previously. But while range isn't the virtue of the Vulcan, the fact that you can keep firing rapidly till you run out of ammo is a fun feeling... until you remember you have to reload the damn thing! :P If you wanted a gun that has a decent rate of fire, as well as having pretty decent firing range, get the 6 shooter Nerf Maverick which I also mentioned previously.

The tripod is detachable from the gun itself.

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The legs actually close with a spring action, so the idea it's possible for someone to rapidly pick it up and redeploy it in another location.

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Everytime I look at this shot I keep thinking of R2D2, do any of you get the same feeling?

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While the Vulcan is a FUN toy to play with, I'd think the tactical value of the Vulcan in a Nerf war is close to a standard single shot dart gun, while you can have a high rate of fire and a large ammo capacity, once it's gone, it's hard to reload on the field since you can't just pick up a dart and drop it into the chamber to fire. If you're looking for a gun that gives the best bang for buck, I'd say the 6 Shooter Nerf Maverick is the best choice.

That said, it's immensely fun to tell your son to go look at the glass door and then fire darts around him to make an outline... until you run out of ammo and realize.. I need more than 25 darts to encircle him!

PS. In case you feel like commenting about all the various mods I should do to my guns to make them faster, stronger, better. I KNOW about the mods. I'd do them in a HEARTBEAT, if I didn't have a little kid in the house that's just as likely to shoot himself in the head as well as something else around the house! :P


Saturday, 20 June 2009 18:23:37 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 07 June 2009

After 2 day with the pump action Nerf gun, my mother asked me if there was one that didn't require pumping? Cause WZ was constantly asking grandma to shoot darts on the  glass door, and it was tiring for my mother to have to pump it a few times before shooting the thing.

So I got the errr.. standard entry level Nerf dart gun.

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It's a simple gun, stick dart in front, pull level on back, pull trigger. The interesting thing about this is that the trigger is soft, not hard so WZ can actually pull the trigger and fire the gun, now I just need to teach him to AIM instead of just pulling the trigger once I pass him the gun!

The performance of the gun is impressive I must say, I'm thinking back to toy guns I used to play with which use a spring to push a heavy plastic dart out the chamber the dart usually didn't go too far, where as now the spring is use to push a plunger which forces the air out of the chamber propelling the soft, light foam dart across long distances!

And everything was fine, other than the fact that there was a constant possibility that the darts would get lost since WZ kept firing them all over the place, and there was only 3 included with the gun.

So today while taking WZ out for a stroll, mommy asked "So would you like anything for father's day?" Oh... plenty... but that would never be possible but then I remember seeing something the other day while getting the gun...

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This is the Nerf Maverick, it would be just any other dart gun if not for one big difference.

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It has a revolving barrel that holds 6 darts in it's chamber, so it's basically the revoinstead of a crossbow.

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The cool thing about the Maverick is that if you're fast and use to how the gun works, you can basically pump, fire, pump, fire six times in quick succession like an old style western revolver. And I'm not sure if it's because it's still a new gun but when you're hit by the rubber tipped darts that the gun came with. It stings like hell! I know first hand cause I was telling mommy to shoot me so I can see how much it hurts if I shoot WZ with it, and from half a living room distance away she plants a dart right below my nose! After the incident THEN she reads the warning on the gun that says Do Not Aim At Eyes Or Face.

After I returned the favour by pelting her with a mixture barrage of rubber tip and suction tip darts we came to the conclusion that the suction tip darts hurt less. Which was great cause...

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I kinda bought some extra darts!

With the Maverick I pretty much understand why Nerf guns are considered the weaponary of choice for office warfare. In fact with all this escalation of Nerf force increasing in the household, sooner or later I'm gonna arrive at the end game... The Vulcan...

Anyway WZ also seems to have figured out that.

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Suction cups FTW!


Sunday, 07 June 2009 23:02:42 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 04 June 2009

After a full days of photo shooting, you pop the memory card out from your camera, insert it into your PC, browse to the card's folder and.. "ERROR READING FILES!!!"

Worse case scenario time, while writing to the card your camera must have choked, or worse! The camera or card is defective! But you want to try and get back at those files so you need to get one of them file recovery tools! But there's so many which promises so much, and costs just as much.

Before you give any of those apps a try, why don't you give PhotoRec a try? It's a FREE file recover that attempts to recover files from disks. Recovery here means either deleted files, or files that are in the disk but orphaned by the corrupted file table.

Sure, it basically runs via a command line interface and would prove daunting to any novice user, but there's documentation available on the site for those users and also did I mention that it's FREE?

I tried it out and well.. it pulled up a lot of files I deleted previously so... it works... and it's FREE!


Thursday, 04 June 2009 22:09:36 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

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Well... it's a small gun... it shoots foam darts. Yes... it's a bit dangerous because instead of being spring powered this thing uses an air pressure tank to hold the air which you pump using the lower shaft and then when you press the top release valve button all the air is let out with a POP! So if you want to hurt someone pump more air.

Obviously the toy manufacturer thought of people over pumping the gun, hurt someone with it and then suing the toy manufacturer's ass off. So they built in some sort of pressure valve. Basically if you pump too much air and the pressure build up is too high it releases on it's own.

WZ still can't press the firing button himself cause the air pressure is just too strong for his little hands. So I get to shoot it around for him to fetch. Seems like these darts are stronger than the chapalang branded gun I bought, cause WZ can yank it off the glass door without the heads ripping out... YET!

And of course.. SUCTION CUPS FTW!!

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Gear | Gen 2
Thursday, 04 June 2009 01:04:27 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  |