Archive for the ‘Accessories’ category

Turn an old notebook hard drive into a USB drive for $10.99

January 24, 2008

So you pulled that cramped old 40GB hard drive out of your notebook and replaced it with 160GB of storage goodness. Ever wonder what you should do with the leftover drive? Simple: Stick it in an enclosure and use it as a portable USB hard drive.

You supply the drive; Meritline.com has an enclosure for just $10.99 shipped (after entering coupon code HW1971413OFF, which expires 1/25). It’s compatible with all 2.5-inch IDE and SATA drives, and it includes both IDE and SATA external interfaces (cables, too). You also get a carrying case and a little screwdriver for opening and closing the enclosure. The drive itself gets powered by the interface, so there’s no need for an AC adapter. For 11 bucks you can get yourself a terrific little portable hard drive for transferring files, on-the-fly backups, and so on. Sweet.  

Incoming: Military-grade carrying case for the PSP

August 25, 2007

Over the years, we’ve gotten letters from soldiers stationed in Iraq, and they’ve talked about how hard the place is on electronics gear–and I’m not talking bullets and bombs, but just the raw elements (dust, sand, and so on…). Well, I just noticed this item on PSP Fan Boy: a $100 military-style PSP case from TAD Gear that claims to be military-grade.

A note on the site about the PSP Pod reads:

“This is a very special, limited custom run of nylon accessory pouches. These PSP Pods were produced at the request of some our associates and customers deployed overseas. The Sony PSP has become a common sight in many a soldiers’ kit these days. The PSP has become ideal for personal entertainment for many while in transit or stuck at barracks. This is built with MILSPEC construction and materials thru-out. There is no sturdier, better built, and versatile storage pouch for the PSP available anywhere. TAD Gear is not a video game store, but we clearly see the merits of the PSP as a personal electronic device and wanted to offer this very special case to carry yours. Due [to] the high cost of production it is highly unlikely we will produce these again.”

A hundred bucks is a lot to spend on a case, but it looks pretty sweet, and I suspect a few civilian commuters might pick one up for that rough train or bus ride between the ‘burbs and the big city.

Alesis unveils the iMultiMix 9R rack mixer with iPod dock

July 31, 2007

Take a look behind the sound board at most small-to-medium size concert venues lately and you’ll probably find the sound guy is playing the pre- and post-show tunes from an iPod jacked into the mixer — a trend Alesis is hoping to capitalize on with its new iMultiMix 9R rack mixer with built-in iPod dock. While we’ve seen a lot of mixer / iPod dock combinations in the past, this is the first we’ve seen targeted at the pro market, and it shows in the lack of chintzy features — in fact, apart from the iPod dock, you’re looking at a pretty standard seven-channel rack mixer: five mic preamps with phantom power, two line inputs (one switchable from the iPod dock to the external input), three band EQ with bandpass controls, and an effects loop.

Interestingly, the unit also features a composite video output, which presumably will allow videos to be played right from connected video iPods. Expect these to start shipping later this year for around $299.

A Scented USB Flash Drive???

June 26, 2007

OMG! This is just what we geeks need, another USB flash drive that holds a smell in addition to flash memory. Debreu has a new high speed flash drive that uses USB 2.0 sporting not only storage space from 128MB to 1GB , but a bamboo motif cleverly hiding a disk that holds your favorite scent for up to two hours of use. This may be the perfect valentine’s gift for the aunt that smells like cabbage. At least for a few hours anyway she will smell better. That is assuming she knows what a flash drive is.

Isaburo Rucksack

June 25, 2007

Isaburo is a boutique Japanese leather goods maker that applies century-old craftsmanship to modern design. Isaburo was established in 1889, and is headquartered at a small but pristine venue in Tokyo’s exclusive Minami-Aoyama fashion district, around the corner from Herzog & de Meuron‘s famous Prada “Bubble-shaped” store.Isaburo’s City123 rucksack is the ideal, exclusive accessory for downtown Manhattan. It has taste without emphasis on brand, and an urban style without trying too hard.

The City123 has a hard PVC shell that is covered in custom leather. The bag can be configured as a backpack, as a messenger bag, or as an attaché. There is one internal pocket, one subpocket, and one strap that can hold a notebook in place. (The ideal configuration depends on the notebook in question.)Isaburo’s showroom doesn’t carry stock, rather dozens of sample leather from which to choose, and every City123 is custom-made to order in about a one-month span. But Dynamism has worked with Isaburo to pre-make some of the most popular configurations and colors. So, you can choose from an on-hand version or choose your own leather. Three types of leather are available: smooth, textured, or imprint. (Please note all City123 bags are special order, so we cannot accept returns.)

Kata Ergo-Tech Sensitivity V Backpack

May 16, 2007

It’s like a
James Bond backpack!” That was the reaction of the security folks searching my Kata Ergo-Tech Sensitivity V Backpack at the entrance to the
American Museum of Natural History. More-restrained strangers simply offer “Cool backpack.” But I don’t carry this camera backpack because it draws attention; I carry it because it’s a durable, waterproof bag that manages to be both compact and roomy simultaneously. Coolness is just a gadget-girl bonus.

On the outside, the backpack consists of a black, neoprene-like material; the bright-yellow inside material has a flannel-like nylon texture, which serves as the loops for hook-and-loop-based attachments. Though some might consider the yellow innards a bit too bright or flashy, it also renders every object in the bag immediately visible, even the smallest microSD card.  

The main body of the bag consists of two horizontal compartments with zippered oval covers that open to two different sides. The top has places for pens and cards; the bottom has two fixed-elastic segments with a third resizable opening in between to secure larger objects, such as lens barrels. You can attach the flash-size bag and flash-media-size pouch anywhere within the pack. I routinely carry a digital SLR with the lens attached and a flash unit, both of which fit snugly into the bottom compartment. Larger dSLRs with integrated vertical grips, such as the Nikon D2Xs, require lens separation to fit comfortably. And as long as you don’t mind the pages getting a little ruffled, the top compartment can hold a paperback book and some extras. For stuff that won’t fit into a single compartment, you can unzip the barrier between the two for one traditional-backpack-size space.  

On the body side of the pack, a full-length, padded-and-zippered sleeve fits a 12-inch notebook, though I think you could get something slightly larger inside–my Dell Latitude D420 fits with enough room leftover for a hardcover book.  

Outside pockets abound. Each compartment cover features a pocket for objects such as sunglasses and tissues. Each strap has a pocket for portable electronics, including a phone and an MP3 player. A small, zippered pocket at the top also can fit either and has an opening for a headphone cord. A small pocket at the bottom can carry an even smaller bottle of water. I find the pockets on the shoulder straps a bit too snug for my phone, which is a largish candy-bar style device.  

No matter how much I cram into the backpack, the tough elastic material acts like a girdle, keeping the bag from expanding. It always fits comfortably under an airline seat, and rarely whacks bystanders on the bus or subway. Plus it slides easily off one shoulder to hop into a cab or plop onto a seat. The girdle effect makes it possible to fill the bag until it’s quite heavy, but as heavy as I’ve made it, it’s remained comfortable to carry, distributing the weight evenly across my shoulders and upper back. Even after a day of schlepping a full pack around the show floor for CES, my back didn’t complain. The stiff straps do take a while to get used to; I initially thought they’d chafe my inner arms, but that never happened. On the other hand, if you routinely carry your backpack slung over one shoulder, this might not be the bag for you; it’s hard to keep the bag from sliding down your arm with a single strap. If I have one major complaint about the Kata Ergo-Tech Sensitivity V Backpack, it’s the unbreathable material that rests against your body, retaining heat and moisture. Ick. But a little heat’s a small price to pay for having the coolest backpack on the block.

Turn your Nikes into a Megatron

May 16, 2007

Nike seems to have joined GM on the Transformers bandwagon

Manolo’s Shoe Blogyes, we even read shoe blogs here and we’ve noticed these Transformers that convert from a sneaker into a toy robot. The fake sneakers, which come as the characters Convoy or Megatron, are half-size replicas of actual Nike sneakers and even come in a shoebox. (Have fun explaining these to airport security.)The sneakers, available this May for about $30 from Takara Tomy, are no doubt part of the marketing blitz for the July 4 release of the new Transformers action movie. A Japanese ad for Nike Air Max Q sneakers, showing a pretty incredible life-size transformation, has already been put up on YouTube.