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DJ's Reviews
DJ's Reviews
I review "Stuff" in this section of my website. There are a few categories you can select from below. I encourage you to read about my experiences and opinions on Stuff. Hopefully this will help you decide what to watch, buy, wear or eat *smile* ...

Contact me with any question or comments.


Sort By: Alphabetical, Date, Rating

Acer PH530 720p DLP Rated 4 out of 5
I purchased this project when it first came out. It was pretty expensive at the time, and for 720p HD DLP, I was excited.

The picture quality is great; I project the 9 feet horizontal image onto a white painted wall in my bedroom. In lower power mode, the noise is minimal and doesn't bother me. The image is sharp and smooth, the brightness is acceptable. I have no complaints about the image.

The only complaint I have is my unit is a bit faulty. It occasionally pops up with a "Overheat" warnig and powers down. The fans are working, I keep the unit clean and dust free. It's been doing it since day one. I couldn't get it replaced under warranty because Memory Express is a bad company to deal with for warranty items.

I've taken this project to the beach, to parties, hotels, and even my back yard. I'm not a hi-fi critic, but I think this projector is a great purchase. In fact, any projector with similar stats will also be just as good.

Android HTC Dream Phone Rated 1 out of 5
My Windows Mobile HTC Kaiser was getting a bit clunky in size. I figured that I would upgrade to a newer phone. Blackberry's are boring. iPhones are for wanna-be trendy Starbucks addicts (But sadly I prefer the iPhone over android)

I decided to try out the HTC Android Dream in white. I am very fond of the white. At first, I enjoyed visitting the App Market and downloading programs to try to mimmic the functionality of my previous Windows Mobile 6.1. What a failure that was. This Android OS has zero business calendaring feature and very poor contact management. The syncing ability is limited to Google Calendar/Mail/Contacts. *frown*

Outlook Contact Sync support to your PC is done through a partially completed application called HTC Sync 2.0.8. It rarely works and only supports USB Syncing (no bluetooth). Outlook Calendar Sync is done through a collection of apps that first syncs with Google Calendar, and then to the phone. Watch out, calendar sync sometimes results in duplicate events in both Outlook and Google. So enjoy cleaning out your duplicates!

There is no Bluetooth wifi tethering. And the wifi tethering apps for USB cost money, unlike Windows Mobile. There are hundreds of games, but only 5 are "interesting" and functional. The market place consists of very poorly written software by a bunch of java/linux hippies and kids. Most of the software that costs money isn't even worth the $4.99.

The home screen "widgets" are implemented poorly in the SDK; they don't seem to have proper events to support realtime updates (i.e. clock, calendar, contact updates). I've gone through a few clocks that don't update to the current time until focused. The weather widgets have poor geographical support and have horribly ugly UI's.

I know there are some linux hippies out there who beleive the world should be a free and loving place, but love doesn't write stable code! The Android OS feels incomplete, you can tell it's OpenSource Linux due to the lack of finesse.

When you talk on it, the screen doesn't turn off until the timer shuts it off. Unlike the iPhone, which shuts off the screen when it's against your ear. So on Android, your face will dial numbers, dial voice mail, put people on hold, and hang up on them.

** Addition: I just tried setting up my hotmail account to the mail reader. It doesn't download attachments or images. I hate this phone.

Don't buy an Android phone! Android Sucks!
- Here is my outlook sync rant: Click
- Support Android sucks: Click

Archos Rated 4 out of 5
I've had various ipods throughout their lifetime. Right now I use a 120 GB Black Ipod in my S4 hooked up to the Pioneer Avic via USB. It's good.

But in my bedroom I wanted something different. So I picked up a Archos with the Media Docking Station. It has Component/Composite/Svideo video ouput, input and a remote control. The screen is big, easy to read and use.

I use it for listening to music in my bedroom, not for watching or recording video media. I find the buttons a little difficult to find in the dark, but the remote control makes up for that.

Bissel Little Green Machine Rated 5 out of 5
This little cleaner is my life saver for so many reasons! I'm not OCD when it comes to cleanliness, or am I? I do like clean!

I use this thing for cleaning my car interiors. You can wet clean the seats, carpet and mats. It's good for your trunk liner too! I also use it for cleaning couchs and matresses. There really isn't anything you can't clean with it, as long as it's fabric of course.

The cleaning mixtures you can buy at Walmart, Superstore, Canadian Tire, etc.. So it's not one of those rare items that is hard to find solutions for.

Boxee Media Center Rated 1 out of 5
Want to see Open Source hippy garbage? Buy a boxee.

It has the worst interface I have ever used. Most opensource crap is made by unemployeed hippies that don't know how the real world operates; or they have too much time on their hands and think a 4 hour setup time for a media center is normal. It 8 clicks to get back to the homepage from any submenu. The homepage is useless. The remote control for the DLink boxee has the button centered, so you can't tell which way you are holding it without looking. The letters on the keyboard are Blue on Black, can't read at night. I have had my Boxee for 7 hours and it is being returned tomorrow. I'll build a new mini PC instead and run my own media center software.

My Boxeebox Video, My Experience

Cranky Geeks Rated 4 out of 5
The best geek podcast that discusses the technology industry. This doesn't mean that it couldn't be better, it merely is just the best of the worst. I like the host John C. Dvorak, although his name sounds like doctor who would expirement on his patients. But he has great opinions and perspective on technology.

The guests are always idiots. Always. They're wanna-be journalists who write consumer reports for websites. They don't deserve an opinion lol.

Digg Nation Rated 1 out of 5
The hosts should get a job at McDonalds. They seem to surprisinly have enough intellegence to find things to talk about, but everything they say is so ameture. They wear "nerd/geek" styled clothing, and talk like uneducated social rejects about technology that they don't understand.

I have no idea how some podcasts become popular when they're so horrible! Every opinion out of their mouths is sooooo wrong and distant from the technology itself. You should listen to the fatter gay guy talk about his iPhone, wow!

HeidiSQL Rated 5 out of 5
Sometimes I'm forced to work with hippy stuff like MySQL. And to be honest, I don't mind it. Well, let me clarify... I don't mind it now that I have HeidiSQL.

I had nitemares of having to create databases using MySql's command line, or any of the other incomplete opensource apps out there. And then someone came along and wrote that ridiculous web MySQL front end; what a great security flaw that was.

Anyway, somehow, somewhere, someone made HeidiSQL and since then I actually encourage people to use MySQL. I can't say anything more about it. It's just really good.

HTC Kaiser Rated 5 out of 5
The only fault I have with this phone is the size. It's an older design, so the shell is a bit fatter then most phones. It's made of a nice brushed aluminum case. The processor and hardware is still competitive to newer phones.

I ran Windows Mobile 6.1 with SPB Mobile Shell. What a fantastic combination! SPB Mobile shell provides a VERY configurable interface to all features of the operating system. Windows Mobile 6.1 is very fast and a lightweight installation without any fancy add-ons let's SPB Shell take over and run lightning speed.

The sync ability with Active Sync to my PC is perfect. Calendaring, Tasks, Email and Contacts from outlook get sync'd both directions with zero conflicts.

You can trigger a sync over bluetooth, so you don't even need to be in front of your PC.

The one feature that is lacking on these Windows Mobile phones is an accelerometer. It makes gaming fun *smile*

Linksys WRT120N Rated 5 out of 5
After my WRT54GS' wireless started to fail, I went down to Best Buy to purchase a replacement. Funny thing, these routers are priced from $39 to $300! I couldn't beleive it, that people would pay that much for a router.

I purchased this router because it was linksys, and it had Wireless-N which I hear is fast. *smile* For $69.99, I wouldn't have spent anymore.

I have no complaints, it works. It's quick. Has great range; I keep the router in the basement and I get great reception outside and on the second floor. It has a few ethernet ports to plug in my server and media pc's. The Wireless-N seems quick. So yah, it's good.

Linksys WRT54GS Rated 5 out of 5
I purchased the GS version of the 54 series when it came out... That's like 2005?

CPU runs at 200mhz. And if you're lucky enough to get Version 1 like me, then you get 16 mb of ram and 4mb of flash! Of course, that's only awesome if you want to run the hippy OpenWRT operating system replacement.

With the hippy OpenWRT, the WRT transforms into a little 200mhz linux server. Pretty cool if you don't have a girlfriend.

I simply use the standard OS. Lately, I've been experiencing wireless issues. I can only assume the transmitter is slowly failing. After 5 years of service, I'm happy to retire the unit. I just don't know what to get next *frown*

Literal Videos Rated 4 out of 5
I stumbled across Literal Videos. It's not like Wierd Al where they change the whole song around. Instead, they redo the lyrics on the original video and mock it. Because we didn't notice how insane the videos of the 80's were until it's pointed out in song.

Well, maybe we did... At the time. But I think we liked it *smile*

Olympus Stylus 1050SW Rated 5 out of 5
I hope no camera enthusiasts aren't reading this review. My disclaimer for giving this camera a 5 is due to my simple requirements. *smile*

Firstly, I am very active in some extreme sports. I get knocked around a lot and banged up. This camera has a solid shock proof metal chassis. The camera is also water proof! Which is even better because I love swimming. The battery lasts a super long time. It comes in a few different colors (I got blue). The screen is huge.

It doesn't take the best video quality. The picture quality is great for my requirements. There are lots of features, including pre-programmed scene modes. There's a tap feature, where you can hit the camera to change modes (useless).

So far, out of all the cameras I've owned, this has been my favourite. I tell everyone to buy one because it is the most universal camera I've experienced!

Philips Remote Control Rated 4 out of 5
I got rid of my Sony Remote and replaced it with this Philips wireless remote. It works bidirectional so I can control my media remotely... Well, that was the plan.

It integrates with Windows Media Center, that is a peice of crap. So I ended up writing my own Media Center Software so the remote is a bit useless now. However, I do like it's buttons and it feels nice in my hand. It's better then the regular MCME remotes you can get.

Programming this remote is pretty easy because it has a nice screen. The newer ones are color and probably have more options, but i'm happy with this one. Batteries last a long time too.

Pleo - Robot Dinosaur Rated 4 out of 5
I have quite a few robots in my collection (beyond the ones I built). This one was sent to me from Trossen Robotics when my K-9 robot won the 2008 robot challenge.

The Pleo is a very complicated and well engineered unit. Force feedback servos, a few processors for various sensory input, camera, stereo microphones, and touch sensitivity.

The only real downfall to this robot is the programming. The goal was to make it a baby dinosaur. It sure acts like one, but it's too needy. It's far too whiney. And you really do need to baby the heck out of it. Feed it, pat it, play with it, talk to it, blah blah blah.

Roboticists like myself, want something more independent. It's structural design will support a great autonomous robot, but the programming needs to be redone. I've been meaning to obtain an SDK or hack it, but there's only so much time in a day.

Samsung LN52A650 52" LCD Rated 5 out of 5
I got this TV to replace my Sony DLP projection when it first came out last year. It's a great buy for the price. Compared to the other comparable models, this was my choice for price and features. Samsung seems to be the most affordable and best bang for the buck. Even my all trusted Sony has fallen off the podium for TV's lately.

I have no complaints about this TV. However, I don't use the sound so I have no idea if it's good or not; it's hooked up to a receiver. I keep meeting people with Samsung LCD's, that must mean something good about them.

Shark007 Codec Pack Rated 5 out of 5
I don't want to see you run anything else. Right now, go to your Add/Remove programs and remove every Codec video/audio crap app that you've installed. Every little peice of anything that you think is sooo awesome... Remove it!

And then, install Shark's codec pack; make sure you get the one for your OS. Launch his little configuration tool and setup your audio and video preferences. The only thing I do is disable subtitles and set the Audio to always by 7.0.

Now you're rock'n. Watch all media without having to worry, even in media player. You'll thank me. Oh yah, and now you can remove VLC *blech*

Sony Remote Control Rated 1 out of 5
I don't know why I spent so much money on this thing. I bought it many years ago for way too much money. I kept pulling it out of storage and trying to use it again.

It's just a real bad remote. The LCD screen is hard to read. Programming it is a nitemare. The batteries don't last very long. And worst part, the IR isn't very compatible with most devices.

For example, the Windows Media Center remote codes aren't supported by default in the Sony Remote. So you must use the Learn function. It is not capable of learning some of the buttons off the MCME remote.

I gave this remote control away for free to one of my friends. Hope you enjoy it Kope.

Sony Vaio Laptops Rated 4 out of 5
What the heck does VAIO even mean? *shrug*

You know what's funny, as I was about to write this review on Sony Vaio Laptops, the AC adapter plugged into my server just stopped working. I went downstairs, and found the laptop that I use as a server totally dead. No power from the adapter. A wire in the cable must have broke by the connector. So I cut the wire and soldered a new one on *smile* .. Now we're back up and running!

So I used to favour Compac laptops because they had the backslash key in the right place. Then came along Windows Vista, and the only laptops I found to have the hardware to properly boot vista was Sony. Plus, their Sony Style is real nice!

I've gone through 3 Sony Vaio's over the past 2 years and really like them. I go through them quickly because i wear the paint down where my hands sit. My laptops begin looking quite embarassing in front of clients. So I'm always buying a new one.

Sony's cost a bit more, but it's worth it!

Sony Xperia X1 Rated 1 out of 5
I read quite a few positive reviews on this phone. I watched the marketting video demonstrating their homescreen alternative that introduces widgets to the desktop. I am fond of Sony products, so I purchased this phone.

I used this phone for a total of 30 minutes before I returned it. What a total let down.

The casing of the phone is metal, and looks nice. The keyboard buttons are too smooth and hard to locate with your fingers. So typing is a chore.

Sony's homescreen replacement is real "crap". It's a nice idea, but not a complete implementation. The interface merely launches the hideous standard Windows Mobile applications (Contacts, Calendar, etc). It's a end-all solution like SPB's Mobile Shell.

I beleive that if you could stand the keyboard, and remove the Sony crap home replacement, install SPB Mobile shell... Maybe you could tolerate this phone for 2 weeks.

Within 2 weeks, you'll purposely drop the phone in the toilet to never have to use its keyboard again!

Tissot T-Touch Rated 5 out of 5
I got this watch in 2005. For nearly $2,000 it was a very expensive purchase. Having a watch that will last for ever is something that I will cherish because it really does suit me.

It has a touch screen saphire glass that lets you select between different functions (Altimeter, Chrono, Compass, Atmospheric Pressure, Temperature, etc).

The shell is pure titanium. I had upgraded the wrist strap to Titanium from the stock orange rubber.

Also, to have the battery changed you must send the watch away over seas. They will buff and repair any damages and send you a very affordable bill. Tissot is a great watch company, it's worth it.

Windows Media Center Rated 2 out of 5
It has a real nice interface. It has nice transparency and smooth menu scrolling. It makes nice sounds when you click through options.

But, it's a slow peice of crap LOL. My media storage isn't huge or excessive; I delete media after I watch it. But I do always have a fair share of videos and I very large collection of music. So Windows Media Center is just far too slow for me. Scrolling through the interface is literally painful.

Put it this way, I got so fed up with it's poor performance that I made my own Media Center software.

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