by Mike

Anker A7908 Bluetooth Speaker

May 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

If you use services like Spotify or Google Music, or simply have a massive SD card in your phone, you likely keep a lot of music which is sometimes awkward to play when entertaining. Your phone speaker is awful and not everything that sounds good in your house or car may support bluetooth connections. Aux cables can be clumsy and besides, what year is it? Anker® A7908 Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with Super-Sized 4W Driver has been such a great addition to my travel bag.

Moving around the device there are only 3 buttons which serve as volume and play/pause. There is unfortunately no way to skip to a different song. I looked at many devices that supported this but the benefits of this outweighed that feature. An LED indicator which is for Bluetooth connection status and low battery indicator. Around the back is an on off hard switch, AUX in port and micro USB port for charging, as well as an additional LED indicator for charge status.

There are definitely a lot of thins done right with this device and I’ll start with my favourite. Read the rest of this entry →

by Mike

AUKEY 20000mAh Power Bank

April 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

AUKEY 20000mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank
I spent a great deal of time debating between various sizes brands and form factors. To give you a bit of a tour of the hardware, this model features 2 powered quick charge USB ports at 2.4 amps each, one charging micro USB port and one charging thunderbolt port. The powered USB ports will go to sleep if not being used and need to be activated using the power button on the top. This button is illuminated with a 3 colour LED which serves as the indicator for remaining capacity. If you hold the power button it will turn the LED flashlight on or off. It’s not super powerful but it will do in a pinch and given the capacity of this battery, the light could stay on for a very, very long time. AUKEY took the cake for three big reasons. Read the rest of this entry →

by Mike

AUKEY 42W 3-Port USB Wall Charger

March 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

If you are always on the go with a handful of devices this is a great companion. Many hotels now have USB charge ports but they are slow and may only have 1 or 2 ports available. This wall charger has a convenient folding outlet prongs, good for travel bags and 3 high amp USB charging ports. All 2.4 amps each, great for tablets or phones with high battery capacity and with the top one supporting Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 this is a total time saver when you need to charge many devices in a short time. Great design and functionality!

by Mike

Tom Clancy’s The Division™ Beta

February 5, 2016 in Kwappy Weviews

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One of the most anticipated games of 2016 held their beta over the weekend and though I was added in late, I was more than eager to try out the game mechanics and check out the fantastic graphics.


The story line itself is pretty straight forward but may hold much more in the full release of the game. As the trailer reveled, there is an outbreak in New York city and players have to command a team to fight back against the anarchy. As far as the game play, many elements feel the same as something like Destiny. There are many unique features and controls that set this game apart and make it a very fun experience.

Game mechanics were pretty good and everything felt very comfortable. The cover system was like a better version of Gears of War and I was able to take cover and maneuver very smoothly. It plays a key element in the game so it’s nice to see it very well polished. Though only one story line mission was available it was easy to see there would always be lots going on in the game. Many side missions and objectives will keep players savaging around NYC for a long time. Many buildings can be explored and looted which gave some extra motivation to explore. Read the rest of this entry →

by Brian

Lowering my GPU temperature by 20 degrees – The cleaning of an ASUS Radeon 4890

September 24, 2015 in Hardware

With pictures, not too much text, and an exciting “Woops my computer won’t start, what have I done?!”

Removed the card from my case and set to work taking it apart by simply removing every screw I could see, dusting along the way.

Part 1

 

Got the card apart fairly easily all things considered. Went into the heatsink and removed a good layer of dust. Things are running quite a bit cooler for me now!

 

Part 2

After removing the duty with some tweezers, I carefully put it back together again and went to boot up my computer. Though the computer wouldn’t even POST so I was a little worried there. Some tinkering later, I re-seated the RAM and she was fine! I had taken the RAM out to have a look at some part numbers, but wasn’t sure why it needed to be re-seated.

Results (pictures to come later): 20 degrees cooler across the board, 70 to 50 idle, 80 to 60 at ~50% load and 90 to 70 at ~100% load.

Success!

 

by Mike

Another Music Service Bites The Dust

May 1, 2015 in News, Software

musicWhen I started going to college I felt ahead of the curve and on top of the world. It was only until a family with a younger daughter was sitting around listening to music that I realized I wasn’t “with it” anymore. The service she was using was Grooveshark – something I had never heard of and although the name was strange I made sure to remember it and pass it on.

It seems more and more we are seeing free music streaming services getting targeted and shut down. mrtzcMP3 was a well known spider that hunted out music files and neatly indexed them for anyone to find. Though this website simply indexed them and did not host any illegal files directly, the creator still battled with many legal issues and eventually closed its doors for good. Today the very popular streaming service Grooveshark has shut down as well. With over half the monthly users as Spotify this is a pretty big hit to the music streaming community.

Through my life I’ve watched many free services die. Games were painful until Steam came along. Movies and TV was painful until Netflix came along. Music used to be painful but now there are vast numbers of licensed streaming services. Although I’m a big fan of pay-what-you-want style transactions for artists and believe there should be a better way to find and try before you buy in the world of music, we are moving forward and the trend is positive. What I will miss the most was Groovesharks html5 page which worked fantastic on any mobile device. Soundcloud fills a small gape but there are still holes. Hopefully in time these services will get better and this loss pushes progress forward.

by Mike

No More LogMeIn Free

January 22, 2014 in Software

lmiThere are probably more remote access options out there than most people care to think about but one of the biggest and well known is switching their business model and no longer allowing free accounts. Existing users will either need to upgrade to a pro account or switch to a competitor. Hamachi, Cubby and Join.Me are apparently unaffected at this time but will it be long before these free services will stop too? I personally thought Hamachi would be the first to go.

Let us know in the comments how this change is affecting your business or personal life. If you switched to a competitor, what solution are you now using? If you use other free LogMeIn services, will you now be worried?

by Mike

Next-gen USB to be Finally Reverstable

December 5, 2013 in Hardware

PCMACLINK2.CUSB has been a staple in the world for everything from convenient mobile storage and mobile phones to permanent printers and external hard drives. Work has begun on a new USB cable standard that will not be compatible with existing connectors but WILL fit both ways. The goal is to improve ease of use and allow for thinner devices. The new connector, using the USB 3.1 spec, is expected to be ready mid 2014 and will be the Type-C standard. There are no images yet but its expected to be the size of a Micro USB plug with the reversible functionality of Apple’s Lightning connector.

In their press release, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders said that Type-C will “meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability” while it should also allow for future scalability in charging and data transfer. Type-C “will enable an entirely new super-thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops,” says Alex Peleg of Intel. “This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power, and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”

I’m all for this change but the main concern is also that the new specification doesn’t render countless USB chargers obsolete. This change is a good move not only from a usability standpoint but micro USB has come as far as it can. The USB 3.0 adaptation is pretty ugly and makes the Galaxy Note 3 look like it charges over an old 1990’s parallel port.

by Mike

BBM Channels

November 27, 2013 in Software

IMG_00001147With BBM channels finally being out of beta, I see a lot of potential for us here. Once cross platform Channels is released I’d like to start reaching more people in IT and helping the community to grow. For those with a BlackBerry device, be sure to update your BBM and join our channel using the PIN or bar code in this post. For those on Android or Apple devices, hold tight because I’m sure its in the pipes!

Let me know what topics interest you or strike up a chat in the channel for even faster response!

by Mike

Cross Platform BBM

October 22, 2013 in Software

BlackBerry has finally put it its best application out for both iOS and Android! This time everyone can get it. Lets jump right in to it:

BBM for iPhone – https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/bbm/id690046600?mt=8
BBM for Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bbm

Don’t trust any other apps since there are many, many fakes out there. During the roll out the instructions are:

  • Download BBM – the easiest way is to visit BBM.com from your Android or iPhone browser*
  • Once you install the app, open it, and enter your email address to hold your spot in line
  • We will email you as soon as you reach the front of the line and can start using BBM

It features the core elements of BBM but does not yet feature BBM Voice or Video. This launch has been a great success! I have not seen any service disruptions or issues chatting in groups with several device types. Great sign and makes me very happy!

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