2010 - Gadget Victims


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3G Router with Usage Allowance control

12/13/2010 12:17:00 PM 1
Following a recent horror story with my 3G Broadband operator, I started to look for a router with a security
feature that would warn me when I reach the data usage limit and, if possible, disconnect the modem.

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Firmware updates for FI8908W and FI8918W

11/18/2010 11:21:00 AM 108
The download links are currently active at Foscam Download Center with distincts new Firmwares (complete with both System and WebUI) for models FI8908W and FI8918W.

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Anti-Frustration Freeware

10/27/2010 10:06:00 AM 2
I came across this new system optimization software aimed at reducing the boot time of a Windows computer.
It first needs to add itself to the boot sequence in order to analyse how long each application take to launch at boot.

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Does that toy look familiar to you ?

A neat little add-on for Firefox and IP camera users

10/20/2010 02:53:00 PM 27
If you're an exclusive Firefox user like me, and also happen to own an IP camera (Foscam or other brand), you may also find IP Cam PTZ 1.2 (by DRZ400S) interesting. 
It is not yet listed in the Firefox Add-ons browser, but it can be downloaded here.

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FI8908W old and new...

10/14/2010 12:28:00 PM 7
In addition to the new FI8918W, Foscam is now also producing a different generation of FI8908W.
If you buy it today, it's likely to be the one you'll receive. These two lines of products follow their own separate branch for firmwares, and you cannot flash a "non-logo" camera with a branded camera.

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A quick look at the Foscam FI8918W

10/13/2010 02:20:00 PM 121
My FI8918W has arrived and I had a quick look at its most noticeable differences with the previous model...

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Creating an Android application without a line of code

9/23/2010 04:38:00 PM 0
Believe it or not, not all geeks do Java Programming. When it comes to language, many are happy enough to speak some Klingon already. 
But this doesn't  help much to create your own application for Android...
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Synology NAS just got even better ... DSM 3.0

9/20/2010 05:02:00 PM 1
One of my best purchase in 2010, the Synology DS109 (and family) is getting even better with the release of Disk Station Manager 3.0.

The huge quantity of features added over time during the DSM evolution resulted in a revamped and multi-tasking user interface to make the server configuration even more intuitive than before.

Difficult to tell which AJAX web interface from QNAP V or Synology is the best, but it's clear that the fierce competition between the two leading brands is an excellent thing for us!

Read more at www.synology.com.
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A point regarding the Foscam recovery files

9/10/2010 02:02:00 PM 38
I published my post, Bring your paperweight back to life, in December 2009 with recovery files received from Foscam at that time.

This worked fine for all users of FI8908W (and FI8904W) until some hardware revision that occurred in Foscam's produced during 2010. The initial files didn't work any more for these newer cameras.

I have updated my post with files (+ mirror) that Foscam confirmed to be compatible with all the generations of FI8908W and FI8904W.
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Foscam FI8918W out soon

9/09/2010 01:56:00 PM 27

This September month should see some new things out from Foscam. The most obvious is the FI8918W, a natural evolution of the good old FI8908W.

The picture and description from foscam.com don't give much clue about the changes but, thanks to the information from foscam.us on their pre-order page, it looks like Foscam has been listening to users suggestions:
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About the Download Section on Foscam web site

7/31/2010 11:26:00 PM 0
If you have visited the Foscam Download Page lately, you may have noticed that the firmwares files are now composed of a WebUI firmware, an explanation.txt and another notice.txt file, but no system firmware!

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Rovio with a Chinese twist

7/27/2010 04:25:00 PM 0
Well, the comparison is presumptuous and a bit insulting to Rovio, but reading about its numerous criticisms , this might well be one of the alternative left (aside Spykee). Too bad Woowee abandoned the Spyball project !

An early version of Roomba vacuum cleaner with a Pan and Tilt wireless IP Camera mounted on it.

The CVOA-G182 from Chinavasion.com (€382.92) should make everybody happy: housewife and geeky husband alike.

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Foscam Firmware: once again!

7/21/2010 11:05:00 PM 71
There is a newer firmware on Foscam web site.
It will still show versions and but the time stamps of these files are from June and July 2010! (The last was from May)
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Big fingers friendly app

7/19/2010 02:24:00 PM 0

I recently got totally converted to Swype for Android. This is by far the best Android keyboard alternative and obviously will be found standard on many upcoming phone models.
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Eclair: Update finally available for Irish Spica owners!

Sombrero cable manager

6/17/2010 09:39:00 PM
This evening, I suddenly discovered a passion for things shaped like a sombrero. Or maybe I've been watching too much soccer on TV...

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Blogger's new Template Designer

6/10/2010 12:22:00 PM 0
I like the simplicity of Blogger, but in some aspects it used to be far too simple. The native choice of templates used to be too limited as well as the ability to easily change them.
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Google Navigation on Android 2.1: not there yet

6/01/2010 09:06:00 AM 0
With my Spica freshly upgraded to Android 2.1 (I570EXXJE1), one of the first improved feature I tried was "Maps".

The remarkable changes with Android 1.5 are:
- The ability to retrieve the places saved  with Google Maps ("My Maps") from the list of displayable layers.
- The ability to get spoken turn-by-turn directions with the new Navigation tool.
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New Firmware for Foscam cameras

5/17/2010 10:26:00 AM 109
I've been told about a new firmware for FI8904W and received a copy of it (Thanks Neil!). At the same time I also received the corresponding update for the FI8908W from Foscam as I was asking for news on the unfinished FPS parameter introduced in the version still present on Foscam download center.

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How to access your IP camera from the Internet

5/13/2010 07:36:00 PM 9
True geeks come usually with 3 major faults:  they don't do backups, they don't quarantine new fishes, and, they never read the manual!

What follows is actually quite well explained in the IP camera manuals, but remains the most frequently asked question:
"How do I access my IP camera from the Web ?" 

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Samsung Spica GT-I5700

4/26/2010 12:32:00 PM 5
After a long time with Sony Ericsson phones (K750i, K550i, G705i) and overall disappointed with the last one, I decided to return to Samsung (my last one in 2004 was the SGH-E700) by acquiring the Galaxy Lite/GT-I5700/Spica/Portal.
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Irish DTT on MPEG2 only TV

4/15/2010 02:11:00 PM 2
I have a LG Flatron monitor (M2294D-PZ) that comes with DVB-T tuner. Only recently, I gave it a try and scanned for signal and -to my surprise- several channels were found (A publicly accessible test phase begun in December 2009).
Even more surprising, in my remote village where the analogue signal is so poor and provided I only have an indoor antenna, the digital signal strength was strong enough, about 90%!
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Some official download links to Foscam material

2/28/2010 10:16:00 AM 19
I just noticed today that Foscam web site does finally contain some working links to the manuals, softwares (IP camera tool) and latest firmwares for all models in their Download Center (under "Supports and Downloads")
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Interfacting UPS, Synology and WinNUT for Windows

2/22/2010 04:53:00 PM 14
Power cuts are very common in my area with about 2 incidents monthly. So far, the damage has been minimal with just one hard disk full of games lost. It would have been another story if it happened to the NAS dedicated to my  photos, music and movies.
After comparing different brands and models, the BE700G(-UK) from APC appeared as the obvious choice.
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Finding your way in this blog

2/11/2010 04:01:00 PM 0
This blog received several face lifts over time and I try to make it easily searchable. A lot of useful technical information can be found both from the article and the comments.

So check this quick tour on how to find information on this blog, the information your looking for is likely not that far away...
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One step closer to Google Wave

2/11/2010 02:19:00 PM 0
When I saw that little "Buzz" icon in my Gmail yesterday, I though "Oh great it's there finally, let's share some maps, pictures and documents in real time...", but I was mixing up with Google Wave.
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My first FI8904W! (Outdoor IP camera)

1/29/2010 10:29:00 PM 144
Since there is no suitable solution to place one of my FI8908W outside, I decided eventually to go for a proper outdoor IP camera.

So I ordered a FI8904W and decided I'd become a bit more knowledgeable about it by giving it a thorough inspection on arrival.
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Shortcuts to some IP Camera functions

1/27/2010 08:31:00 PM 88
The following is a selection of CGI functions that can be used with Foscam ip cameras. They are issued through the URL line of a browser and can be used as convenient shortcuts to features that are not ideally accessible in the original UI, like the network activity led, which is located on a page that requires a reboot while the function itself could be activated instantly.
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Power Failure Light

1/22/2010 10:52:00 AM 2
There are so many power failures in my area that my next post might well be a review on a clever UPS unit. But the last incident reminded me of a silent but clever gadget I installed some time ago.
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Start up guide for new wireless IP camera users

1/13/2010 11:23:00 AM 159
The information in this post may seem very basic to people who have a wireless IP camera for some time, but, we all tend to forget how confusing and frustrating our first steps may have been setting up these gadgets the very first time.
I'll try to second the network settings chapter in the IP camera manual  (even though a true geek never reads the manual) to help passing the blocking points of the wi-fi setup procedure.
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LG BD390 Blu-Ray player with Wi-Fi

1/10/2010 06:10:00 PM 1
I was watching this Blu-Ray player for a few months and after having compared the features and prices with other Samsung and Sony players, it ended up as the logical choice. It took less thant a week to arrive from a German eBay shop that beats my usual providers (Amazon, Komplett, Pixmania) in terms of price and stock availability.

The installation was surprisingly easy and quick: after about 15 minutes, the unit was Network-connected, Region-hacked, and Firmware-updated ! Never mind the user manual was only in German (I downloaded the EN version from lge.com), it was really not necessary!
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