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June 30,2008 (MakeItFeelBetterMonday)

iPods have been around for a while now.  Its immense popularity also mean there are a lot of broken ones out there on Craigslist and EBay.  The economics of fixing vs buying new is a little unclear with iPods as the price of the new ones keep dropping.

However, we did manage to pick up a broken 60 GB 5th generation Video iPod up on Craigslist for $50.  At that price, it was worth fixing.

The seller had spilled tea on it and fried a portion of the circuit board.  The iPod will boot up, sync, and do all the other iPod things (calendar, games, etc...)  It just will not... [More] - iPod Restoraion Project


June 28-29,2008 (WeekendEdition)

Our recent brush with the all electric Tesla Roadster got us thinking if we were to get something practical (ie: <$100K) for commuting around Boston, what would we get?  Would it be something such as a Vespa? Or perhaps something less well tested, but potentially more forward thinking?

Perhaps something like this carbon fiber Enertia.  The Enertia is light weight (280 lbs) all electric motorcycle with a cruising range of about 45 miles.  Acceleration is a peppy 0-30 mph in under 5 sec.

Even though their PR shots shows it cruising out in the country side, its current range is really sufficient only for city dwellers zipping around town.  The other limitation to the Enertia is... [More] - Electric motocycles


June 27,2008 (FotoFriday)

We had always wondered how they got this shot of the Porsche zooming into the future.  Some here thought it was Photoshopped, but other thought it was done by zooming during the exposure.  Tricky to do either way.

When we were at Tesla Motors last week, we thought we would take advantage of the opportunity and try to do something similar with the Tesla Roadster.

Any idea how we did it?  If you do, drop us a note with the subject line "It's a Tesla, baby!"  In the body of the email, tell us what we used to create the effect.  The prize is a CD of high rez images from Porsche. Contest ends at the end of June.  If you need a hint, you have not been reading RainyDayMagazine consistently this month... yes, that was a hint :-)  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 26,2008 (TeslaGalleryThursday)

Here is the promised collection of photos from our visit to the Tesla Motors showroom in LA.  There were three Tesla roadsters on the floor day we visited.  In the collections we tried to select various views of the exterior and interior components.  Note the carbon fiber shots!

The car is light and very stiff due to the extensive use of carbon fiber through out.  The curb weight is... [More] - Tesla gallery

June 25,2008 (WirelessWednesday)

Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for short haul device to device communications.  It is found in computers, PDAs, printers, cell phones, and headsets.

One of the leaders in Bluetooth products is an Australian company call BlueAnt.  A few of their products were reviewed here in the past (BlueSonic, SuperTooth2).  BlueAnt has recently... [More] - BlueAnt


June 24,2008 (TechScamTuesday)

There are a lot of companies with substandard products in the market place.  RainyDayMagazine tend not to waste any time telling reader about them because... it's a waste of time. 

This national ad in various local papers from Universal TechTronics is so misleading that we felt compelled to mention it.  The "deal" is a "FREE" digital coverter box, IF you buy a warranty for $59 + shipping. They are just preying on those that don't know any better.  With the goverment's $40 coupon, a similar box can be had for about $20.  We know most of you will not fall for this, but our reason for posting this is... [More] - TechScam


June 23,2008 (MotorMonday)

Visiting the Tesla showroom was one of the top agenda items on our LA to-do list.  Friday morning was the only gap in our schedule so we headed down and hoped the place was not to busy for us to wander around and get some shots.

Fortunately for us, the morning was not too busy.  We pretty much had the run of the place and were allowed to shoot undisturbed for almost an hour.  We are sorting out the images now and will have a gallery of images up soon.

Tom O'Leary, the general manager, was about to take someone out for a test drive when we arrived, so we grabbed a few shots of the car starting up and... [More] - Last Day in LA


June 21-22,2008 (WeekendEdition)

Our friend Junko left Boston for LA almost three years ago to pursue her acting career.  We caught up with Junko today and are happy learn that she is doing great.  It appears LA has been good to her.  We all miss you back in Boston and look forward to your visit in the Fall!

Even though it was unseasonably warm, Carolyn and others still got in some LA shopping.  The ArtWalk in Hermosa Beach was nice, but what everyone really wanted... [More] - Last Day in LA


June 20,2008 (FunInLAFriday)

Yesterday's graduation ceremonies when off like clockwork.  Even though Sarah was the SECOND person to receive the diploma, we all sat quietly as all six hundred other names were called.

Apparently we have all adjusted to LA time as none of us got up earlier than 8:30, which is 11:30 EDT.  We did... [More] - Graduation

A few of us opted to brave the LA traffic and visited the new Tesla Motors showroom in West L.A.  We had been doing periodic updates on the electric Tesla since 2006 and were... [More] - Tesla Motos Visit


June 19,2008 (LATripThursday)

As many of you know, our intern Sarah has finally graduated high school, and will be attending RISD this Fall.  We all decided to packed up shop for a few day and head out to LA to attend the graduation.  The tickets were booked before the price of oil went "sky high", so the cost was not as insane as it could have been.  We like Sarah and all, but there IS a limit :-)

Some of you may remember us raving about a hotel called Shade in Manhattan Beach.  This trip out West gave us... [More] - RainyDayLA


June 18,2008 (WowUsWednesday)

It is not often one gets to watch a game like Game 6 of the Celtics-Lakers NBA Championship Finals.  It was a clinic.  We had it up on the big screen in the main office, but by the middle of the third quarter no one was really paying attention.  Folks were already celebrating Championship #17.

The Celtics were in total control... rebounding, stealing, and dropping 3-pointers at will.  Some were worried about a final run by the Lakers, but we had already broken out the bubbly and there was no way this one was going to slip away.  The last time was back in 1986.  Back then Macs only had 128K of RAM.  Twenty two years may be a long time to some, but waiting is part of being a sports fan in New England!  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 17,2008 (iPhoneDevTechTuesday)

We have been playing with the iPhone SDK since it was first released back in March.  It was installed on our Mac mini because the instructions said the iPhone simulator would only work on the Intel processor.

Some here don't like being tied to their desk.  Others want to use the newly acquired Powerbook G4 for some "at Starbucks" development.  The problem is that the 12" G4 Powerbook has a PowerPC processor, which officially, is NOT supported by the iPhone SDK.  Not only is it not supported, the installer wouldn't even load the iPhone files when installng xTools.

However, "not supported" is not the same as "will not work."  We just spent the day poking around and trying different things.  After spending way too much time... [More] - iPhone SDK on PPC


June 16,2008 (MoreLensbabyMonday)

One way we like to test gear is to see if we can set it up and use it without reading any directions.  Well-designed gear is intuitive in their layout, interface, and usability.  The Lensbaby is such a piece of gear.

In this FirstUse, we want to show some of the photos we took with the lens just after a few minutes of messing around.  It is a tribute to how well thought out the knobs and controls are on this strange looking lens.

I went home for Father's Day this past weekend and took the lens with me.  Remembering the discarded collection of old models collecting dust in... [More] - Lensbaby FirstUse

June 15,2008 (WeekendEdition)

The Barking Crab is one of the best watering hole on Boston's waterfront.  If you have a boat, you can pull right up to the dock and walk up to the bar.  We don't, so we made the approach via the new Seaport Blvd bridge.

The Seaport Blvd also goes right past the burnt down remains of James Hook & Co.  This lobster company has been on the waterfront since 1925.  The fire destroyed about 60,000 pounds of lobsters.  We swore we could still smell it.  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 14,2008 (WeekendEdition)

The Fortune Wheel has been in the Nassau Mall on Long Island for as long as we can remember.  They were there when PathMark was still in business.  Since then, many different tenants have moved in and out of the mall, but the Fortune Wheel stayed. 

Giants stores like BJ's and Best Buy have now completely boxed in the Fortune Wheel.  The ONLY way to even see the entrance to the restaurant is if you were facing at it straight on!

Looking at the restaurant from the outside, you would not expect it to be different from any of the typical mall fast food fare.  However, if you know Chinese food, and trust us, we... [More] - Fortune Wheel


June 13,2008 (FabulousBabyFriday)

Hey!  Its's Friday the 13th!  Suppositely it was not such a great day in history for the Knights Templar.  However, for us here in the RainyDayMagazine office, it is a fabulous day.  Why?  The Lensbaby, baby!!!  As always, click on any of the images to see a larger version.

Today, we will be taking a FirstLook a the Lensbaby 3G, the wide angle, telephoto, and macro accessory lenses.  The Lensbaby and the various accessories are designed for... [More] - Lenbaby


June 12,2008 (TechThursday)

Digital video editing used to take an entire studio.  With the MacBook Pro, a large external drive, and iMovies software, one can turn any room into a digital video editing studio.

Recently, our copy editor Carolyn needed to edit a few hours of training footage for a client down to a something more coherent.  With all of the photo shoots going on and gear strewn everywhere, she decide to claim the only... [More] - Video Editing Studio


June 11,2008 (WhatIsItWednesday)

A LOT of cool stuff shows up at the RainyDayMagazine office.  Once in a while, something so different shows up that it has everyone asking... "Oooh, what IS that?"  If you know, or think you know, what the item to the right of the Nikon is, drop us a note with the subject line "I know what landed on your desk!"  In the email, provide a link to the product company's website. 

The contest ends when we post the FirstLook review of the item.  All correct answers will be tossed into a hat.  At the end of the month, we'll select a winner and give him/her something fun from our pile of goodies.  As always, if you were a past winner, you know what you need to do if you want to enter again.  Good luck!  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 10,2008 (TTLFlashTuesday)

Light is a critical for photography.  Getting enough of it is not always so easy.  Our Nikon D40 has a built-in flash and it's suitable for a lot of situations.  We added the SB400 flash module to our kit for when we need to paint a larger area.  However, neither the built-in flash or the SB400 is strong enough to light up a room.

In order to get that kind of coverage, we looked to the Sunpak PZ42X.  This unit is not as compact as the Speedlight SB400, but it is quite a bit more... [More] - Sunpak PZ42X


June 9,2008 (MobilePowerMonday)

The Brunton Solo 15 is a rechargeable power pack designed to be both powerful and portable.  When fully charged, it offers almost 13 Amp Hours of 12 volts at 3 Amps.  Enough power to run laptops, digital cameras, cell phones, and other portable electronics.

The Solo 15 package comes complete with battery, an AC inverter, and a variety of... [More] - Brunton Solo FirstLook


June 8,2008 (WeekendEdition)

The weather people were correct.  This weekend got HOT here in Boston!  It was definitely too hot to be in the office.  So when we heard that there was an Arts Festival in a Brookline, we decided to go check it out. 

There were a lot of vendors out.  The temp was hovering around the low 90s.  Some were lucky and... [More] - Coolidge Corner Arts Festival


June 7,2008 (WeekendEdition)

A few years back we did a bunch of reviews on the Brunton SolarRoll, Tekkeon powerpaks, and XPower portable chargers.  We had always wanted to combine the gear and see if we can really be "off the grid" for small devices when we are out in the wild. 

Brunton must have had the same thoughts as they are now offering a new line of foldable solar panels (Solaris) and portable power storage packs (Solo) designed to... [More] - Brunton


June 6,2008 (FiskarsFriday)

Another week has flown by and the weekend will soon be upon us.  Today the temp here is in the low 60s, but tomorrow is suppose to get HOT!  Like 90s hot.  Maybe too hot to work out in the garden.  For those of you who may still want to do some garden work, we thought we would answer some of the emails regarding the actual cutting abilities of the Fiskars loppers we had reviewed last weekend. 

We will be lopping of pieces off a bush which did not make it through the Winter.  The branches ranged in thickness from... [More] - Fiskars


June 5,2008 (TechProjThursday)

As we have said many times (G3, Mac mini) in the past, the most important and cost effective upgrade to any computer is to install more RAM.  Whenever we want more memory, we head to RamJet.  Why? Fast service, great prices, and a lifetime warranty!

Apple has made it much easier to get at the memory slot in the 12" Powerbook than in the Pismo or the Mac mini.  The 12" Aluminum Powerbook has only one memory slot and it is... [More] - RamJet memory upgrade


June 4,2008 (WowUsWednesday)

One cannot be anything but hopeful about America. [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 3,2008 (TechTuesday)

We let the BodyGuardz dry for a few hours before handling the iPod (not that it really would have mattered).  Here are a few shots of the cover to give you a sense of what to expect when it has dried.

Below are three generations of iPods (32GB iTouch, 60GB Video iPod, 4GB iPod nano) each covered with a film of some kind.  The two older iPods were covered using... [More] - BodyGuardz dried


June 2,2008 (MoreGuardzMonday)

Readers have sent a LOT of emails asking how the BodyGuardz compared to the InvisibleShield since our FirstLook back in February.  We are pretty sure the BodyGuardz is made from the same 3M stuff used for the InvisibleShield and others.  Last Friday, we picked up a brand new 32GB iPod Touch.  It seemed the perfect opportunity to give the BodyGuardz a try. 

RainyDayMagazine was one of the first to post a write up on the InvisibleShield and had posted a follow-up one year later.  Here is a look at InvisibleShield protected iPod nano three years after the installation.  Amazingly, the cover still looks new.

There is a difference to the "glossy-ness" of the device with these covers applied.  None of these shields are completely smooth.  At certain angles, the bumpiness of the film... [More] - BodyGuardz FirstUse


June 1,2008 (WeekendEdition)

We told you about the four Fiskars loppers and pruners last week.  Today we took the them out to the RainyDayGarden for a FirstUse.  The collection was perfect for the various tasks we had in mind. 

Before we get to the actual trimming, we thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at the... [More] - Fiskars FirstUse


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