Monday, July 31, 2006

LaCrosse Technology BC-900 AlphaPower Battery Charger

One word - wow!!. This IS the Best charger ever. Its most distinguishing feature - "It shows you numbers". Instead of saying something like - the light is green or the battery shows three bars so it must be fully charged, I hear my self saying the battery has 2250mAh of charge. Numbers man numbers. It appeals to the engineer's heart. Now one can compare good with the bad. Moreover now there is a way of classifying "goodness". Moreover this charger can charge, refresh, test and discharge with various settings. It can automatically charge discharge a battery multiple times to remove the memory effect to get an optimal charge capacity. Mind my words I say exactly what I mean and mean exactly what I say. By charge capacity I mean "mAh" or "Ah" that is how long the battery will last (now that is battery lingo). One can set each of the four compartments to different settings i.e one can be charging one battery while disharging another while testing another one. The LCD can display Voltage, Capacity, time to charge/discharge, the charging/discharging current for the individual batteries.
Also comes with 4 AA, 4 AAA (NiMH - Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries, a bag and a set of adapters to convert AA to C and D types.

"This charger knows batteries" and has definitely taught me a couple of things about batteries.

I considered a few chargers before settling on this one. But none boasted the flexibility or the feature set that this one has. There are some chargers out there that claim to be able to recharge alkaline batteries (tempting)- Renu-it, Re-Zap. But, I don't have that many alkaline batteries. More over why attempt to charge something that was not meant to be recharged, unless ofcourse you already own loads of them. That could make for a compelling reason. But not the case here.

Available from:
Amazon - $52.19

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Mug of vi

Long time back during undergrad a decision was made ... which remained with me for 9 years. Being the new nerd on the block then, I chose joe (Joe's own editor) as my favourite Linux editor then. Not that there is anything wrong with it. ... Untill one "man"s something and by default enters the vi realm (the first time I didn't even know how to get out of that realm shift, :, q). Or one goes to the lab to realize that they did a standard install and Joe was not part of it. With copious amounts of laziness which is instilled deep during engineering studies and good excuses like never having a good handy reference, when I needed one, Joe kind of Schhtuck. Now atleast there is a "Handy" reference to have me favourite joe in and wander bravely into the "man" land. So how do I search for a word in vi again ... whopsie ze joe is too hot and now all over me pants, .... gotta run ...You gotta have this Mug.

Available from
- $12.99

Auto Adjust™ Smart Converter™ 2000 Watt Converter/Adapter Set

They say that its usually the most faithfull one that goes unnoticed and taken for granted. Well this describes this transformer very well. Shuffling between the US and India I have some items that work with the US voltage and some for the Indian voltage (US: 110-120V 50/60Hz AC, India:220-240V 50/60Hz AC). During my last visit I purchased this Step down transformer to convert from 240 to 120 V AC. The best complement that one can accord a voltage transformer is, that it goes unnoticed in 3 months of continous operation. Other transformers usually produce too much heat (which limits their continous use) or breakdown, some even humm a little. This being a dual wattage transformer, another advantage this has over the others, I was considering to buy then is, that it automatically switches to the desired wattage. Which definitely has its advantage - one can't accidently switch it to the wrong level. Also this has a tripover fuse that can be reset by the push of a button instead of requiring a fuse replacement. A bit heavy and expensive.But, I think this is as good as it gets (in this area).

Franzus - $59.99
REI - $49.95
Amazon (Only the converter) - $43.95

Monday, July 17, 2006

Amazon's Grocery Store Beta

What can I say, the worlds biggest store gets bigger. I saw one item out there (via TheGreenHead) which sounded pretty wierd for something to be sold online (below right).Its called a "Badonkadonk Land Cruiser". But, again what can I say, one can buy used soviet Jets (maybe even new ones) online nowadays if one have the moolah i.e.

You can actually buy this at Amazon for $19,999.95 (yes its not 20,000 is 5 cents less than that)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

NitePalm FieldLamp

A torch is fine if you want strong directed light and there are plenty of good options to choose from. But, if you want to light up a small area you have to have a lamp. Most of the options for lamps just conjure up an image of large bulky, inflamable, gas (or Kerosine) lamps. No, the lamp that I am suggesting cannot beat these, but comes close to being a fair substitute without the bulk and flamable nature. Also, much smaller. Produces strong light which is good enough for reading. Moreover it is water proof and has 5 levels for intensity control. Does a decent job for a lamp. Look up its review at imagometrics and Flashlight Reviews. Shown below is the intesity control knob, using which one can select 5 different intensity levels. The pictures above show the lamp at the lowest (top right), middle (bottom left), and highest (bottom middle)intensity levels.

Available From:
Global Military Supplies - £39.99
I want one of those - £39.99

Mfgr's Site:

Friday, July 07, 2006

Einstein Lip Balm

Nopes, I have not tried this out. Was looking up the book reviews for "Road to Reality" by Roger Penrose and a couple of other physics books a few days back and amazon magically associated this item to be something I would be (very) interested in. When you think you have seen it all. You see a lip balm named after Einstein. Wait there is even a hydrating cream lip theory wonder what that is. Maybe the mass in your lips poofs into energy and vanishes. No this is not a vanishing cream (never quite undershhtood why they call it that). Believe me guys I see some serious attempts to associate this with something "Einsteinien". Ah the mysteries of life with a hydrating lip balm theory. If not to the cart definitely to the wishlist... well... just in case this turns out to be something significant in Physics. I mean why just a lip cream why not a whole line with creams for all sorts of parts .. I mean face.

Available from:
ebeautifulyou - $6.00 and wait there is more, free shipping over orders of $65 ..yipee i.e. 65/6 = 10 and 5/6 th of these (we are in the context of physics gotta be exact)

At amazon
Amazon Theory 1
Amazon Theory 2