Kickstarter: Omega Compact Titanium Wallet

Omega Titanium Wallet

Over at Kickstarter, the Omega Compact Solid Titanium Wallet was recently fully funded, and there’s still 24 days to back the campaign. The wallet consists of two CNC-machined slabs of titanium held together with rubber O-rings.

I find the Omega wallet exceptionally appealing, but cannot quite put my finger on exactly why. Maybe it’s the titanium, maybe it’s the wallet’s slender low profile, or maybe it’s the elegance of its simplicity.

The classic wallet is currently priced at £50 and the engraved or anodized version is £55. Estimated retail prices will be £60 and £70 respectively. If the design strikes your fancy but you would rather not spend the premium for titanium, the aerospace aluminum version is priced at £25.

With today’s conversion rate, £1 = ~$1.58, so £25 is about $40 and £50 is about $79. £5 ($7.90) is added to each order for international shipping.

Omega Wallet Kickstarter Campaign

Dell UltraSharp 27″ Monitor U2713HM Review

Dell U2713HM Ultrasharp MonitorThere’s nothing wrong with my old 24″ Samsung monitor, other than it being slightly too small for my current computing needs. I have been using it as my primary display alongside a 23″ Dell display for two years, and before that it sat next to a 19″ display for about four years.

But I was feeling constricted by the 24″ monitor and wanted to upgrade to something bigger. After doing some light research I saw that the Dell U2713HM monitor was gaining favor, and going by its specs I felt it to be a good fit for my needs.
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OhMyGuyd is Now GearGuyd

Limited time and resources forced us to let OhMyGuyd coverage slide in recent months. This is something we regret, but it was inevitable. The alternative would have been to shave time and effort from ToolGuyd content, but that really wasn’t a viable option.

The good news is that we have tons of coverage, reviews, and opinions in the works for GearGuyd. That’s right, OhMyGuyd.com is now GearGuyd.com. The scope of coverage will be similar: tech and previews, everyday gear reviews, cool toys, and random other topics.

Basically, GearGuyd will be the catch-all for all the sorts of topics not really appropriate for ToolGuyd.com.

The look and feel of GearGuyd will change, but work on that won’t begin until content flow has been restored.

Send us an email with any questions, concerns, or ideas of what you’d like to see on GearGuyd.

New Official Arduino Starter Kit

I first wrote about the inexpensive and versatile Arduino microcontroller about a year ago. Since then I have worked with it a bit more, and have seen tons of interesting and innovative projects based off it.

There are many ways to get started with Arduino, but until now there have not been any starter kits from the actual official designers and makers of the Arduino platform.

Arduino Starter Kit Message

From the inside cover:

The original Arduino starter kit features 15 simple projects that show you how to use Arduino to turn an idea into reality. More importantly, it provides the basic knowledge and tools that can bring out your inner genius and fuel your creativity forever. What’s your invention going to be?

Arduino Starter Kit Projects Book

What I found most interesting and exciting is that the Arduino team put together their own projects book. Unfortunately, the book will only be available as part of the starter kit. I peeked at the book in the Arduino tent at the 2012 NY Maker Faire, and was deeply impressed at its quality. Please, please, PLEASE make the book available for purchase by itself!

Arduino Starter Kit Projects Book

Look how thick the book is! Seems like a lot of work went into it.

Projects Book Chapters/Projects:

01 GET TO KNOW YOUR TOOLS an introduction to the concepts you’ll need to use this kit
02 SPACESHIP INTERFACE design to control panel for your startship
03 LOVE-O-METER measure how hot-blooded you are
04 COLOR MIXING LAMP produce any color with a lamp that uses light as an input
05 MOOD CUE clue people in to how you’re doing
06 LIGHT THEREMIN create a musical instrument you play by waving your hands
07 KEYBOARD INSTRUMENT play music and make some noise with this keyboard
08 DIGITAL HOURGLASS a light-up hourglass that can stop you from working too much
09 MOTORIZED PINWHEEL a color wheel that will have your head spinning
10 ZOETROPE create a mechanical animation you can play forward or reverse
11 CRYSTAL BALL a mystical tour to answer all your tough question
12 KNOCK LOCK tap out the secret code to open the door
13 TOUCHY-FEEL LAMP a lamp that responds to your touch
14 TWEAK THE ARDUINO LOGO control your personal computer from your Arduino
15 HACKING BUTTONS create a master control for all your devices!

The back of the box gives you a peak at the types of components that are included

Arduino Starter Kit Box Outside

The full component list can be found via Arduino’s website. The USA price and distributor list is not yet available, but UK pricing puts it at £70, or about $112.

There’s also a series of video tutorials by Arduino CEO Massimo Banzi. Here’s the first:

Lego Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sets

LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leo Mike

Lego is coming out with new building sets based off of Nickelodeon’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. The line will be available starting in January 2013. Shown here is the Shellraiser Street Chase set, 79104, which will be priced at $60.

LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Battle Van

LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Foot Ninja

LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Krang and Mutant

Other Lego TMNT Sets:

79100 Kraang Lab Escape
79101 Shredder’s Dragon Bike
79102 Stealth Shell in Pursuit
79103 Turtle Lair Attack
79104 The Shellraiser Street Chase

Above images are mine. If you’d like to see more, some of the other TMNT minifigs (e.g. Shredder!) are previewed over at FBTB.

Canon EOS-M 18MP Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS-M Mirrorless Camera

Canon has just announced their new compact EOS-M camera system, which features an 18 megapixel APS-C (dSLR-sized) sensor. The new camera is loaded with some fancy new tech -a 3″ touchscreen LCD, hybrid autofocus, 100-6400 expandable ISO, and new software settings and controls.

The camera will be launched in October 2012 along with a 22mm f/2 kit lens, optional 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens, optional hotshoe 90EX flash, and an optional EF and EF-S lens adapter.

We have a Canon dSLR, and while it is phenomenal to use, it can be a bit of a pain, literally, to travel with and carry around on long days. We look forward to picking up mirrorless EOS-M once its released and prices drop. The preorder and launch price is currently set at $800, which is about what one would spend on a last-generation Rebel dSLR kit.

Buy/Preorder Now (via Amazon)

Herman Miller Embody Computer Chair Review

Herman Miller Embody Chair

I’ve been needing a new home office chair. My current one, a <$200 leather chair from either Staples or Office Depot, is usually comfortable, but the “memory foam” seat lost its support and springiness, the seat reclines with the back, and the armrests are too high and not adjustable. Long sessions at the computer leave me stiff and achy.

After flip-flopping between buying an ergonomic task chair and buying a standing or sit-stand desk, I decided to upgrade my chair.

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Wolfram Alpha Is Awesome but Still Unbelievably Wonky

Wolfram Alpha, a computational knowledge engine, is an incredibly useful reference tool. In addition to solving mathematical and scientific equations and conversions, it can handle factual answers with ease. Capital of Utah? Salt Lake City. Boiling point of alcohol? 78°C. How tall is a giraffe? 13-20 feet.

But ask it more complex questions, and it will spit out wonky answers. I was working on a ToolGuyd post and wanted to compare a quantity of sockets to the number of bones in one’s hand. So I popped onto Wolfram Alpha for what I hoped would be a quick answer.

How many bones in human hand? Input interpretation: number of bones in an adult human skeleton hands; 206 hands; 68.67 feet, and then it went on to offer a few metric conversions. It also asked if I wanted to use Persian hands as a unit, which doesn’t seem to affect the results in any way.

How long do turtles live for? Assuming tortoise; Data not available. Okay, let me rephrase the query: Average turtle lifespan? Assuming tortoise; maximum recorded lifespan; 255 years.

Color red plus yellow? Additive color mixing; result: yellow. So it recognizes that I want to add red and yellow, but still spits out yellow?

How about blue plus yellow? White. What?! White? Rewording the query only leads to a dark gray swatch.

Will it rain today? No precipitation. (Wrong, it already sun-showered earlier today!)

Okay, so perhaps I’m being a bit unfair. Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine, and so it’s not fair to expect it to mix colors or report back the number of bones in a human hand.

Distance a photon travels in 5-minutes? 55.88 million miles. *Counts fingers* – sounds about right.

Locate Captain Picard. And it does, kind of!

Wolfram Alpha is still an incredible reference, but it’s not quite up to Star Trek-level tasks where you can ask a random question and expect a reasonable answer. Apple’s Siri “digital assistant” and Google’s Knowledge Engine, which is still in development, may push into new frontiers or hopefully at least create some competition.

Audio Technic ATH-M50 Headphones

Audio Technica MTH-M50 Headphones

My trusty Sony earbuds failed a couple months ago, and I have since replaced them with newer Sony buds. Sometime after that, my over-the-ear headphones died as well. It was an older Phillips model, and I’d been looking to replace them for some time even before they stopped working.

Why buy headphones when I had decent-sounding in-ear buds? They’re more comfortable to use at times and provide a richer sound.

After quite a bit of debating, I settled on Audito-Technica’s ATH-M50 studio monitor headphones. Yes, they’re a bit pricey, but they are very well reviewed and recommended.

My previous headphones fell apart long before they broke, and I wasn’t about to go that route again. I wasn’t originally in the market for $150 headphones, but searching for $60-$100 models eventually led me to the M50s.

After using these headphones for a few months now, I am happy to report that they are phenomenal and that I have absolutely no regrets in buying them. They’re comfortable to wear, even for a couple of hours at a time, and deliver pleasing sound.

I purchased the coiled-cord model, and there’s another version with a straight-cord. Since the cords are quite long, the coil helps keep the cans relatively portable and easy to manage. They come with a storage pouch and screw-on 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter.

Buy Now (via Amazon)

Specifications

  • 45mm drivers with neodymium magnets
  • 15-28,000 Hz frequency response
  • 1,600 mW at 1kHz max input power
  • 99 dB sensitivity
  • 38 ohm impedance
  • 10-oz weight (without cable and connector)
  • 1.2m – 3.0m (3.9-9′ – 9.8′) coiled cable.

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