"We Entertain When It Rains"  
  Premier Subscription
RainyDayShopping HERE !




Web www.rainydaymagazine.com

RainyDayMagazine's content can now be licensed for your print magazine or web site. Please contact us directly here.  If you want to see something reviewed, then drop us a note with a link and we'll be happy to take a look.

Mar 31,2007(WeekendEdition)

Fuses blow in a car at the worst time...sometimes at night or when you are really in a hurry.  Changing them is fairly simple.  Find the right one, pull it out, put in a new one.  Done.

The step that slows most people down is Step One...finding the blown fuse, unless the fuses are SmartGlow fuses.  With SmartGlow fuses, the integrated LED will glow when the fuse blows.  This SmartGlow feature is great during the day, but a HUGE help if the problem occured at night.  No more fumbling with a flashlight in the dark.

The assortment pak is the way to go for most replacement projects. The RainyDayGarage guys got a few for their Spring Fuse Replacement project...they are SUCH Boy Scouts. Obviously keep the ones you pulled as the spare:-)

BTW, Michael B from Garland Texas and 11 other winners from the "Charge It Up" contest will get some of the leftover SmartGlow fuses in the mail to get them started. - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 30,2007(FlameFreeFlickerFriday)

Many of you have written asking about the SmartCandle and the Candela flameless candles. Recently some of you have asked about this new crop of LED candles made with real wax.  We took a look at one from Brookstone and found it to be both better in some respects and lacking in others.

The Brookstone flameless candle has a scented outer wax shell.  It looks exactly like a regular candle from across the room.  The only hint there is something different is when one looks in from the top.

The LEDs are powered by four AA batteries.  We used some rechargeable batteries, but they only lasted a few hours.  We thought they should have lasted much longer...but it may be the batteries.  The SmartCandles last about 15 hours on a charge.  We will try again with some fresh Duracells.

The Brookstone candle may be turned on/off by passing the hand over the top of the candle.  The candle flickers at random intervals but the simulated flame could have been more realistic.

We liked this candle for its wax outer shell, but we would have preferred brighter LEDs.  We liked the easy on/off switch, but wished the battery drain wasn't so quick.  We also had a little bit of trouble with the spring in the battery compartment making consistent contact, but it may have been due to the batteries used.  A few of these Brookstone LED candles will certainly set the mood.  It'll be up to you to set other things on fire.     - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 29,2007(SoundTechThursday)

Folks here have been using the BlueAnt SuperTooth II since last Summer.  We thought it was time to do an InTheWild update.

Even though none of the Bluetooth speakers we tested last year worked all that well when the Boxster's convertible top was down, we liked the SuperTooth II the best for in-car use.

The Supertooth II is what we have in the Boxster today...especially since we have the hardtop on for the Winter. 

The unit turns on when the mic is flipped out from the base.  It never has a problem establishing a connection to our cell phones.  The sound from the speaker is loud and clear.  Volume control is easy to grab and easy to adjust.

One of the "LOVE IT" features of the SuperTooth II is its quick on/off magnetic attachment design. Two powerful magnets on the back of the unit securely mount to the clip.  However, the unit may be removed for storage or transport with just a quick twist.  We didn't really appreciate this until we used it for a while.  Excellent!

The standby time is an incredible 800 hours.  We recharged this unit maybe twice all Winter...and only because we brought it into the office by accident and the charger was conveniently available, not because we had to!  If you are looking for a Bluetooth speakerphone that is easy to use and easy to hide, the BlueAnt SuperTooth II is easily the best choice.  - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 28,2007(WowUsWednesday)

It took us a while to see what was different about this music video sent to us by Stephen K.  Apparently the entire music video was recorded, then played back in reverse...which meant all of the...uh, it is just pretty cool!

Stephen, this was so cool that we are going to send you the InstantMusic gadget that we never did get fitted into the record player.  Yes! You wow us with stuff, you get free stuff :-) - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 27,2007(GarageTechTuesday)

We have been driving the Boxster Project car a lot for the past several months.  In getting things ready for Spring we decide to do a little work on the 1988 Nissan Pathfinder.  The great thing about working on a 20 year old truck is that there is always something to do on it.

This past weekend, we tried firing up the truck and found that the battery was dead...probably because no one had driven it since November.  We immediately thought it would be the perfect FirstUse test of the Solar Pro-Logix battery charger.  There is ALWAYS a silver lining to the clouds here at RainyDayMagazine :-)

The Pro-Logix charger was incredibly easy to set up.  Just plug it into an AC-power wall socket, clamp the +/- terminals on the battery, then hit the power button.  The unit will perform an automated battery-voltage diagnostic sequence to determine the state of the battery.

If the battery passes the test, the QuadPhase charging sequence will initiate.  Our battery was determined to be okay to charge and so Phase 1 (energizing step) commenced.

A few seconds later, it switched from Phase 1 to Phase 2 (charging step) and the "charging" LED started to flash.  We left it charging for a few hours, but we had to disconnect it because it started to rain.  When we stopped the sequence was still on Phase 2.   However, we WERE able to start the truck.  Now...if you know what the other two phases of the QuadPhase Charging are, drop us an email with the subject line " Charge It Up."  The RainyDayGarage guys will find something fun to send to those who know.  Hurry...because this I'm sure we don't have a lot of whatever they decide to giveaway:-)

I'm sure we'll have plenty of chances to play with this Pro-Logix charger more soon.  As for our FirstUse impressions...they were highly favorable.  The charger was easy to setup, it self-configured, and it brought our completely dead battery back to life.  It did all that without us having to do much of anything ... that's pretty good! - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 26,2007(MultiViseMonday)

The folks at Dremel Tools have added a very handy accessory to their line with the MultiVise.  This MultiVise is perfect for working with pieces where a "third hand" would be handy. 

The ball joint and the clamp assembly are made with heavy-duty molded plastic and cast-metal alloy.  This very sturdy and well constructed vise is designed for hobby use and not for a production environment.

The jaws slide to fit with the push of a button and the screw handle twists to tighten the grip on the work piece.  The rubber pads are removable.  We can see that it would not be difficult to make other slide-on grippers for this MultiVise. 

The "dovetail" channel allows for various accessories such as a light, magnifier, and future attachments. 

The swivel base assembly will grip onto a surface as thick as 2.5 inches.  Rotation and tilt angle adjustments may be done with a simple twist of the base nut.  A notch in the socket will keep the stem from moving when at maximum side tilt.

Here are a few different viewes of the MultiVise assembled and in various tilt angles.  We found the positions easy to set and quite solidly held.  In our next look, we'll show how the MultiVise may be used as a Dremel tool holder.  - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 24-25,2007(WeekendEdition)

Even though it snowed Saturday night, signs of Spring are everywhere.  Most of the snow had melted by mid-morning.  We went out and looked over the grounds of the RainyDayGarden and found bulbs peeking out all over the place. 

Especially vigorous are the Day Lillies.  Most of the time they don't show up until mid-April.  This year hundreds of them have started poking out already.  While it is true we had some bitterly cold days this Winter, the early Spring is encouraging all of the perenials to get going sooner.

The ground is quite wet from all of the melting snow.  However, it did not dissuade neither Buffy nor Eliot from checking out all of the new scents around the grounds.  They were also quite interested in all of the little feathery friends around the feeder.  We are going to have to get some bells on the collars of these furry interns soon. - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 23,2007(FoldItFriday)

Most home computers don't do much all day long.  Individually, each may not be all that useful for scientific research.  Combine a couple of million of them via the Internet, though, then they can really crank out some results.  The best part is all of this extra work can be done in the background when the computer is not being used. 

All that computing power can be put to good use for projects such as Stanford's Folding@Home distributed computing effort.  If folding protein is not your thing, there are plenty of other projects which could use your help.  You can search for ET with SETI@Home.  You can also help with cancer or Anthrax research. 

So, go find a project that interests you, download the background app or screensaver, and start helping out when your computer has nothing else better to do. - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 21,2007(WowUsWednesday)

OK...what new attraction will suspend visitors 4000 feet above the ground, let them look straight down to the bottom, and 360º around?

You are right if you said the new Grand Canyon Skywalk.  This vertigo-inducing U-shaped platform is capable of supporting 800, but only 120 will be allowed at a time.  The glass on the floor of the skywalk is 3" thick, the walls are 5' high, and the entire structure extends over 70 feet from the canyon's edge.

This $40 million walk of faith is going to be a huge hit...for those that can get past the edge :-) - Wan Chi Lau



Mar 20,2007(TuneYourBrainTuesday)

Can thinking happy thoughts really change one's mood?  Can positive mental images really improve a person's outlook?  New neuroscienc research are pointing in that direction.  Now there is a book which is linking what Buddhist monks had always knew to what scientists are showing now...that thoughts can physically affect the brain.   The book is called "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain."

Another book we got today is Daniel Tammet's memoir called "Born on a Blue Day."  Readers may have seen the documentary "The Boy with the Incredible Brain" on TV.  Daniel Tammet is one of the few (50 in the world?) functional autistic savants who is actually able to give scientists a glimpse into their unique world.   We are looking forward to reading his story.

If you find these topics interesting...check out some of our other past recommendations along these lines.  If you have some favorites of your own, drop us a note. - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 19,2007(MarsusMonday)

The creators of the Moonsus line has released a complementary Marsus line for those who need to carry their portable computing gear in style.  The Marsus bags are designed for the urban professional.  We work in Boston and sometimes we even pay our interns.   So it is entirely appropriate that they give this gorgeous piece of gear the once over.

The leather is Napa, treated to resist stains.  The sides are covered in abrasion resistant nylon fabric.  The Teflon protection makes it water repellant and easy to keep clean.

The metal fittings are custom-molded.  They are chrome-plated and lacquer-coated for corrosion resistance.  Inside of the Marsus backpack has organizer sections for papers and pockets for all the usual business gear (pens, PDA, cards, etc...).

The main compartment has enough room for a good stack of folders, contracts, and assorted papers. The laptop pocket is large enough for a 17" computer.

We are going to use this laptop backpack all this week.  Look for our FirstUse review by Friday to see how it compares to some of the other cases we have tested in the past.  Who knows, if you look sharp, you may end up with a Marsus of your own. - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 18,2007(SitBackSunday)

Most small office/home office (SOHO) workers probably have laptop computers instead of desktop units.  The reasons are no doubt the size and portability.  But, as many have discovered, laptops don't really sit that well on one's lap.  They get hot, slide off, or are uncomfortably angled for productive work...though many of us try to make it work. 

We have found an elegantly designed solution for this problem.  It's called the Belkin CushTop, part of the Laptop@home series from Belkin.

The CushTop is a stiff cushion with a washable microfiber cover.  On the side is an opening for stowing the power adapter and/or excess cords. 

The top and bottom of the CushTop are different sizes.  You can choose the size that is most suitable for your lap or laptop just by flipping it over :-)

The slight angle makes it comfortable to use whether your preference is from the floor or on the couch.

We have enjoyed the CushTop around the office for about a week now and working from the couch has never been more confortable.  Now if we can just keep folks from dozing off, then we would actually get something done around here! - Wan Chi Lau

Chinese New Year was almost a month ago, with all the stuff happening at RainyDayMagazine, we didn't have time to celebrate until yesterday.  As with all previous celebrations, we cooked up a storm and ate until we couldn't get off the couch.

The folks in the RainyDayKitchen have been cooking this annual feast for the past 10 years.  Most of the recipes comes from one well used cookbook.  We are going to have to either scan the pages into the computer or find another copy of this book!

As with most Chinese cooking, the prep is most of the work.  Many of the dishes take only minutes to cook.  Having the sauces prepped beforehand not only cuts down on time spent in the kitchen during the party, but also reduces the confusion when we are trying to quickly cook one dish after the other.

A few of the RainyDayCrew are vegetarians so we made a mix of meat and vegetable dishes.  For some we substituted tofu for beef and for others we just made a version of each (Beef & Broccoli, Tofu & Broccoli). 

It worked out just fine since everything was eaten...which was pretty impressive since we had nine different dishes for sixteen guests.

Even though we had a Nor'easter the day before, almost all of the RainyDayCrew was on hand to enjoy the feast.  We look forward to many more "food fests" in the Year of the Pig! - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 17,2007(SignsOfSpringSaturday)

We LOVE being in New England!  A few days ago it was 70º.  Yesterday Boston got 8" of snow.  However, even a mid-March Nor'easter could not hold back the signs of Spring.  The tips of some early bulbs are starting to peek out.  A beautiful red cardinal was spotted in the RainyDayGarden this morning.  How cool is that? 

This little storm will make getting the roast duck for this weekend's Chinese New Year party a bit more challenging, but we are sure the interns are up to the task. - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 16,2007(Food&WineFriday)

When we were just about to grill up the Omaha Steaks last Saturday, someone remembered that there were still some of Dave's Gourmet dry rubs from last Summer's RibFest.  We wondered if the rub would really give more flavor to the steak. 

We coated one of the steaks and grilled them for the same amount of time.  Both pieces came out looking very tasty.  The one with the rub was definitely thicker and also quite a bit tastier :-)  Next time, we'll use the dry rub on both pieces.

Last Saturday's steak and wine dinner was also an opportunity for us to use the Le Creuset ScrewPull.  The foil cutter is included with the ScrewPull.  It has circular cutting wheels which make sit easy to score and cut the foil.

The cork extraction process is pretty simple: squeeze the clamp of the ScrewPull around the bottle, bring the lever to vertical to insert the screw, bring it down on the other side to extract the cork. The video gives a better idea of the entire process. 

We were very impressed with how effortless it was to remove the cork.  The ScrewPull is a sleek piece of extraction tech. - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 15,2007(CarTechThursday)

It was 70º in Boston yesterday.  The weather was so nice that we had no trouble convincing a few folks to help clean up the garden.  The RainyDayGarage guys, however, opted out.  Instead, they offered to install the Dual XDVD 8182 player in the Boxster.  The installation was going to be a Spring project, but since the weather was cooperating, who were we to say no?

In our other car installations (iPod, Drive + Play) we were connecting things to the OEM radio.  In this project, though, we are actually replacing the Boxster headunit.  The easiest way to do this is to use a harness to connect the new wiring to the Boxster's wiring.  This makes the entire project "plug and play"

Since the Dual unit is iPod compatible, we will remove the Drive + Play setup once everything is up and running.  We'll miss the cool controller, but the dash is getting too cluttered.

We ran into a little wiring issue, but a quick check with a multimeter cleared up the confusion. The documentation that came with harness had some of the wires reversed.  Once we had it straightened out, everything worked just fine.

A quick systems check confirmed that all the functions were operational.  At this point, we decided that a new DVD player deserves a brand new DVD for its FirstUse test. What better DVD than the just release "Casino Royale?"

Some readers will already know this from our "bench test", but most DVD units have built-in protection against movie-watching while driving.  The Dual XDVD 8182 is no different.  We surmise the logic behind this "technology" is that perhaps the driver should probably be watching the ROAD?  We agree, so we didn't by-pass the protection in our installation ;-) - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 14,2007(WrongWayWednesday)

Not all of our RainyDayProjects work out as planned.  Today we thought we would share a few projects which seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out to be flawed from the start.  Some of these projects had been "in progress" for a few months. Others were more recently conceived "bright ideas."  

We thought up this first project last August, but we didn't actually start it until this past Saturday.  The idea was to somehow install the ADS Tech InstantMusic device inside a turntable, thus converting it into a USB turntable.  That would allow us to connect the turntable directly to any computer.  Why did we think we should do this?  Did we mention we had some really good wine on Saturday?

The installation went really smoothly.  The InstantMusic circuit board came out of the case easily.  There was plenty of room in the housing of the turntable.  Everything came together in less than 40 minutes.  It seemed like we were finished.  All that was left was to try ripping an LP on to the Mac.  That's when the "flaw" in our project was revealed.  It turns out we needed a pre-amp to bring the output from the turntable up to line level.  Can anyone recommend a tiny preamp? And yes...we need it to fit inside the turntable because we need to boost the signal BEFORE connecting the line to the InstantMusic board.

Another idea which should have also been easy but didn't work was an offshoot of a recent DIY project.  We had a leftover SuperDrive from the G4 upgrade project.  The SuperDrive DVD burner would be a perfect addition to the Addonics Terabyte Drive .  There is two slots remaining in the case, so adding it should have been simple: pop off the side panels, slide in the drive, secure it with a few screws and we should have been good to go!

After much fiddling of the cables, jumpers, and everything else we could think of, we had no luck getting the DVD burner recognized and finally had to give up and ask for help.  A quick email the next day to Addonics tech support gave us the reason why...

"The ST4IDEU2 storage tower with USB JBOD adapter is only compatible with hard drives. It does not work with optical drives."

So don't feel bad if you are having trouble with your DIY projects... keep banging your head against them until you are too tired to stand up properly.  That's all part of the fun of it!  Now go put together something crazy.  Even if it does't work, feel free to drop us a line so we can share it with others!  What else are you going to do on a RainyDay? - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 13,2007(PhotoTechTuesday)

No doubt everyone is salivating over all of the great digital photography gear announced at the recent PMA.  We were particularly intrigued with Canon's TX-1

It is a 7.1MP camera/camcorder hybrid.  The unit is about the size of a Digital Elph, but it is capable of taking 720P HD video...well, 4 GB worth on an SD card.  4GB of data translates to about 10 minutes video, but it is about 6x short of what most camcorder users are expecting.   Still an awesome piece of "all solid state" imaging gear.

Most of us have thousands of digital images in our collection.  Many of these images are not good for much.  We keep them because it is easier than sorting them and tossing the crappy ones.  Over the weekend, we learned a fun little trick on Instructables which gave us a reason to play with some of those otherwise useless images languishing on our hard drive:-)

The steps are very straightforward and the results pretty convincing.  It took us a little bit of practice to "see" how best to frame the image, but once we got the hange of it, we were able to create them in just a few minutes.

Images which work best are those with strong perspectives, but many others will work depending on how you "frame" the scene.

So go and look in your digital photo collection and see which ones may be good to use for some of these 2D to 3D projects.  This project is a great time-waster on a rainy day :-) - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 12,2007(MyGodItsMonday)

Even though it is only mid-March, Spring is already in the air.  We saw the finches checking out their roost yesterday.   Spring also means rain...and we LOVE rain here at RainyDayMagazine :-)

Our friends at OtterBox also love rain.  Actually, they love making cool gear which protects stuff from the rain.  One of their newest offering is a case for the BlackBerry.

If you want one for your Blackberry, keep an eye out for April's contest. We'll be giving one away to a lucky reader with the best... well, we don't actually know best "what" yet.  In the mean time, go check out the BlackBerry case here.

Yes, yes, yes... we know we left you all hanging on the whole CoPilot/WindowsXP/Parallels project from a few days ago.  There is no need to keep reminding us :-)  We are happy to report that CoPilot installed in the Mac's Parallels virtual WindowsXP environment without any problems.  The USB GPS module was recognized and had no trouble locking onto the satellites even from inside our office.

Everything appeared to be working fine. It looks like it's time to take the setup out for a real road test! - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 11,2007(WeekendEdition)

Readers know folks in the RainyDayKitchen are no strangers to tasty hunks of meat (Buffalo, Kobe, etc...). In fact, since last year's SteakFest, many readers have asked us to do more in-depth articles about various steaks.  We are planning to check back with Morgan Ranch and the Buffalo Guys to see if they have anything new for 2007.

A long-time supporter of RainyDayMagazine sent us some Omaha Steaks (thanks Nan!!!).  The steaks came packed in dry ice, four in a box, and vacuumed sealed in heavy plastic.

Inside the box was a "Quality Assurance" certificate with the promise that if we were in ANY way not happy with the product, they would replace it for free.  You gotta love a company that stands by its products unconditionally.

On the back of the box are the defrosting and cooking directions.  The trick to defrosting is to do it S...L...O...W...L...Y.  Slow defrosting minimizes the damage from the ice crystals that form on the inside of the cells.

The carnivors, I mean editors, at RainyDayKitchen had been looking for just the right story before grilling the filets.  We thought REALLY hard and came up with the perfect approach...there is a reason why we get the big bucks:-)   What goes with eating meat? Drinking wine!

There is a small boutique wine store in Roslindale Village called Solera.  So we figured, why not go to Solera and have them recommend a good bottle of red wine to go with the steaks?

Solera is on the main drag in the Village and has a wonderful atmosphere, packed as it is with wines from the smaller boutique vineyards.  We met Solera's owner/manger Maria Valencia and Michael Sherlock, a rep from Gilbert Distributors.  Michael recommended a bottle of the Victor Hugo 2003 Petite Sirah.  The meat eaters will have the run of the RainyDayKitchen tonight! 

We'll have a write-up of the dinner if anyone remembers to take pictures :-) - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 10,2007(WeekendEdition)

Squeezing toothpaste from the tube is now a thing of the past...if you have the X-Paste dispenser.  When some of our readers told about this device, we were a little skeptical as to its usefulness.  However, enough of you out there asked us about it that we decided to check it out.

The X-Paste dispenser consists of a stainless steel sliding cover, a toothpaste holder, an integrated pump, and a suction mount.  The dispenser is not powered by any electrical motor and does not require batteries to operate.  It is entirely mechanical. 

The XPaste dispenser may be mounted temporarily using the suction cups or permanently using screws.  We opted for the suction cup method since we have a large mirror in our rest room.

The dispenser cap can be removed and placed on the tube, but we found it was just as easy to push the tube into the cap and twist.  We are eager to see if this device will indeed get all of the toothpaste out of the tube.  BTW, after playing with it for a while, we still have no idea how it works... feel free to clue us in if you do :-) 

Mounting the dispenser on the mirror was very easy.  The suction cups are very high quality and grabbed on without any problem.  The instruction did say the cups will not work on painted surfaces or across grout lines.

Now that we have had a chance to check the X-Paste over, we are no longer skeptics.  The X-Paste dispenser does exactly what it claims... it dispenses exactly the desired amount of toothpaste with a push of the lever.  It is true not everyone "needs" the XPaste dispenser, but we think everyone will LOVE it once they "have" it! - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 9,2007(FlipTheSwitchFriday)

One of the main goals of installing a Mac Mini in our Boxster project car is to be able to use FrontRow to control all of our in-car entertainment functions.  The other is to be able to run a full featured GPS.  Try as we may, none of the GPS software available for the Mac measured up to the PC based CoPilot Live from ALK.  So we did the only thing we could, we decided to "switch" OSes and install CoPilot on the Mac.

However, before we could do that, we had to upgrade our PowerPC based Mac mini to an Intel based one.  We also had to install Parallels Desktop so we could run Windows XP on top of OS X.

The installation of the Parallels software was incredibly simple.  The WindowsXP installation went without any problems as well.  The entire process was pretty much hands-off and took about 50 minutes for both installations.  We had a little problem getting the screen resolution set properly for the Virtual XP window, but once we got it figured out, it worked great. 

The next step is to see if we can get the CoPilot GPS module and software up and running on the virtualized WindowsXP environment.  We are hopeful :-) - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 8,2007(TechThursday)

We use our old QuickSilver Apple G4 to make a lot of DVDs.  The main problem with our setup is that the QuickSilver's SuperDrive is a 1X DVD burner and it takes forever to cut a disk.  

A few weeks ago, One World Computing had a $29 sale on Apple's 16X SuperDrive.  The deal was so sweet that we could not pass it up.  The drive came yesterday, so we dropped everything and went at the upgrade :-)

The G4, like all of Apple's desktop cases, is designed with ease of access in mind.  We have added a few drives to this work horse over the five years it has been in service.  However, we have never played with the DVD mount at the top. A quick check showed two Phillips screws on top and two others underneath.  Attached to the drive were the usual interface and power cables

Once the four screws were removed and the cables detached, the entire assembly slid out without any problems.  The only thing we had to be careful of was not dropping the screws into the innards of the case.  Putting in the new drive was just the reverse of taking out the old.  We'll leave that as an exercise for the reader :-)

As we had expected, the upgrade went without a hitch.  The only tool needed was a screwdriver and the project took only 25 minutes.  The machine powered on and everything appeared to be working.  A quick check with Toast indicated we can now burn DVDs at 16X...nice :-) - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 7,2007(WowUsWednesday)

Most of you know that we are big fans of MindMapping tools.  We have even suffered through lesser operating systems just to use products such as TheBrain.  Some of us are still holding out hope that TheBrain will make it to the Mac some day. 

For readers who love the concept of mind mapping and are comfortable navigating through that type of interface, there is a tool from ThinkMap which is a "must have" for anyone who writes.  It'll be $40 well spent.

The tool is called Visual Thesaurus.  It runs on both Windows and OS X.  The Visual Thesaurus is a wonderful way to see the connections between ideas and concepts as they radiate from a central word.  We have just started playing with it and we are already hooked.  Maybe ThinkMap will provide a tool similar to TheBrain on OS X...oh, we can only hope! - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 6,2007(TechTuesday)

There is a constant flow of gear vying for space in our review schedule.  Whenever we spend a few days out of the office things tend to get backed up quickly, and SpringBreak was no exception.  We spent this morning sorting through new items and shooting a few quick shots to give you an idea of what we'll be covering this month.

It is almost time to get ready for Spring Cleaning.  The Method people have something new called the oMop.  It can get the floors so clean that you'll literally be able to eat off it. 

Don't know how many days ago that jar of sauce has been in the refrigerator?  Now there is a timer which will track it for you.   It is the DaysAgo counter.  It can count up to 99 days...after which you can just send the jar to the folks over at FearFactor.

Other gear up for review are the EtyCom noise-isolating headset, a USB digital receiver from VBox, and a cool looking Multi-Vise from Dremel.

We'll be reviewing these items and others during the month of March. Keep your eyes peeled for the occassional contests and small giveaways.

Apparently we didn't cover all of the new gear this morning.  Some of the pieces which escaped our attention would be of great interest to our RainyDayPhotography readers.

Quite a few RainyDayPhotography readers asked about using lens adapters, especially whether it is worth trying to use their film SLR lenses with their new digital SLR camera bodies.   In the next few months, we'll be reviewing some of the different lens adapters available to see if the images using the older lens with a new digital SLR is worth the effort.

Last month had a quick mention of Kata's new additions to their awesome line of camera bags.  This month we'll take a FirstLook at the Kata W-92 Waist Pack.

We were interested in this pack because its size is nice compromise between a small pouch like the S-312 and the full pack such as the R-102- Wan Chi Lau


Mar 5,2007(MeowMonday)

We have an iSight pointed at the ColdHeat cat bed.  They love to hang out there because it is heated. Once in a while we would fire up iChat and see what they are up to.  The interns are very attentive when we call in... that "look" is them saying "ah, it wasn't me :-)"

Buffy and Eliot have been running the office while we've been on SpringBreak.  We don't have enough cameras to cover everywhere yet, so it'll be interesting to see the state of the office upon our return. - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 4,2007(SpringBreak)

Some readers asked what we were using to access the net while we are on the road. Normally, we would rely on free WiFi (which our hotel has), but this year we are using Verizon's wireless service.

We have to admit, the service has exceeded our expectations. The software installation and setup was really simple, access speed is very fast, and a connection was available everywhere we tried. Not having to look for a WiFi signal? Priceless! - Wan Chi Lau


Mar 3,2007(SpringBreak)

There have been some pretty good guesses so far as to where we are, but no one has found us yet :-) As with all the puzzlers, clues are sometimes just a click away...hint, hint.

The weather is in the 80's today. The forecast mentioned a slight chance of a thunderstorm. We decided we to get into the ocean before the cloud cover cooled things off too much.

RainyDay Readers know that, regardless of where we are, it wouldn't be a RainyDayMagazine outting without some gear to be tested. We had been using these Aqua Sphere gear in the pool, but brought them along to see how well we like them in the ocean. We also thought it would be a good chance to test out the Timex TX InTheWild.

After a morning of bobbing around in the waves and playing with our gear, we were ready for some lunch. But where? Some of the folks heard about a festival about a 15 minute drive away. A quick shower later, we were all packed into the minivan and heading out to look for cerviche.

By the time we got there, the festival was already in full swing. There were a few stages for music. About four blocks were closed to street traffic. The aroma from the all of the street vendors filled the air. We quickly fanned out in search of lunch.

We were not disappointed. Many of the local restaurants had booths with fares for sampling. An amazing lunch was assembled just by wandering around.

- Wan Chi Lau


Mar 1,2007(SpringBreak)

We heard a storm was heading toward Boston so we packed up and headed South. We'll be down here for a few days catching some rays and sampling the local cuisine. See you all next week :-)

This month's puzzler: can you guess where we are? If you know, send us email with the subject line "We are coming over..." BTW, congrats to our last month's winner, Margaret H of San Jose. We'll send you the DiNova keyboard as soon as we are done with the InTheWild review :-) - Wan Chi Lau


[February, 2007...]

[January, 2007...]

....... 2006 .......

[December, 2006...]

[November, 2006...]

[October 2006...]

[September 2006...]

[August 2006...]

[July 2006...]

[June 2006...]

[May 2006...]

[April 2006...]

[March 2006...]

[February 2006...]

[January 2006...]

....... 2005 .......

[December 2005...]

[November 2005...]

[October 2005...]

[September 2005...]

[August 2005...]

[July 2005...]

[June 2005...]

[May 2005...]

[April 2005...]

[March 2005...]

[February 2005...]

[January 2005...]

....... 2004 .......

[December 2004...]

[November 2004...]

[October 2004...]

[September 2004...]







Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment© 2007