Archive for the ‘gadgets’ tag
I bought an in-car digital video recorder (DVR) from Carrefour after seeing an advertisement for it. It costs only $138, much cheaper than most other in-car DVRs that I’ve seen. One that I’d been eyeing for the past half year costs almost $200.
The DVR I bought is an unbranded OEM – all it says is “Mini DV High-Definition Video Record” on the box, with no brand or model number. They are sold under different brands and models on Alibaba and elsewhere.
I mounted it beside the rear-view mirror, which gives a good angle of the front, but does not obstruct my view.
There are several things I like about this DVR. Of course, it’s cheap. It supports the latest SDHC cards (some DVRs I know do not support SDHC). I also like that it uses a Nokia compatible battery. One thing I do not like about built-in batteries is that they will go through wear and tear and the batteries will die off over time. The DVR I had been eyeing uses a built-in battery, so my concern was that the $200 gadget would be useless after, say, one year. This DVR I bought uses a rather common Nokia compatible battery, so if the battery dies, I know I can easily buy a replacement. I think this was what motivated me to actually buy the DVR. I thought the motion and audio sensing was pretty neat. What it does is that sound will activate video recording, while motion will activate photo taking. This is a nifty function if you want to record any criminal acts or vandalism to the car.
There’s only one main thing I don’t like about the DVR, and that is the video quality. You can see the videos that I recorded below. Not exactly fantastic video, though good enough for evidence in case of an accident. It’s also not exactly very discreet due to its saucer shape.
- Supports SHDC up to 32GB
- Auto overwrite
- Motion and audio sensing mode (pretty cool as a surveillance tool)
- Uses Nokia BL-5C compatible battery
- Other miscellaneous functions like photo mode, USB flash drive mode, PC webcam
- Not fantastic video quality
- Not very discreet (measures ~7.5cm or 3″ across)
Actual video sample (Day time)
Actual video sample (Night time)
Yesterday, I headed to MacRitchie Reservoir Park to visit the HSBC TreeTop Walk. Although it had been raining heavily the previous few days, yesterday was an exception, with nice sunny weather, but not too hot, and it got a little cloudy (and hence cooling) in the later part. Still, it was quite tiring doing all the walking (I need to exercise more).
I enjoyed shooting with my D90 and 18-200mm lens, and in fact, I really appreciated the range of the lens, allowing me to keep that lens on the whole time. You can see the complete album here. Or you can view selected photos on my Flickr.
My favourite shot:
I did my first walk-about shoot yesterday, to practise shooting with the D90, as well as the 11-16 lens. Yes, ultra-wide angle lenses are not easy to use effectively. I definitely learnt a lot after reviewing the photos I took.
There’s still so much more to learn, and I hope I’ll have more photos to share soon.
Some months back, I was on the lookout for a cheap NAS (network attached storage). The idea was that it would be cheaper than buying a second system, and if I used a NAS instead of just adding a hard disk to my PC, I should be able to switch off my PC sometimes, and not worry about shared files being inaccessible. Plus, I just wanted to play with a new gadget.
I had two choices at that time: Planex NAS-01G or Kuro-Box (a.k.a. Kurobox, KuroBox, Kuro Box…). The Kuro-Box was about SGD40 more expensive, but it was essentially a Linux box, and highly “hackable”. The Planex NAS-01G is also a Linux box, but it is meant to work out-of-the-box, and has limited “hack-ability”.