5 Gadgets You Should Buy Now Instead Of Later

Everyday we have lots of news about the latest gadgets from Tech blogs and social networks, and everyday we tell ourselves to wait … wait until the reviews are out, wait until the better versions are out or the prices are dropped. Yes, it’s me; but of course, YMMV.

However, there are times that I cannot wait but go ahead to buy the overpriced, not-well-tested gadgets, then find out I should have bought those earlier because the gadgets are soooooo good. And here are 5 gadgets that I think you should buy now, instead of later.

I traveled a lot and really like to have a pair of headphone that can play good music as well as cancel all the background noises. I have other noise cancellation headphones before, but the Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphone is really the best one. This in-ear headphone is lightweight, delivers excellent sound quality, and extremely comfortable. Many times I would turn on the noise cancellation mode in busy cafe or packed subway train such that I can have some quiet time to read. If you have lots of good songs in your mobile device and like to enjoy those even in a noisy environment, this is for you.

bose-headphone

So you have a good pair of headphone with noise cancellation feature, then it’s probably about time you shall get the Kindle Paperwhite (second generation) to restart your book reading project. The screen is simply stunning, and you can read it under bright sunlight or in the dark. Best of all, your eyes will thank you as the other non-ePaper digital readers really will hurt your eyes.

Kindle Paperwhite

Other than a pair of headphone and a good book reader, another essential travel companion for me is a good DSLR camera. I’m never a fan of Canon, Nikon and Sony, but became a big fan of Olympus about 10 years ago (I really love their E-1). So when they released their excellent OMD E-M1 last year, I bought it without skipping a heartbeat (note that I already got the E-M5, ooops). A solid, weather-proof, and responsive camera that will never disappoint you in terms of image quality.

OMD-E-M1

Another “gadget” that travel with me all the time is the Macbook Air. It’s my work computer, research tool, programming machine and social networking platform. That’s not much you can complain about the great machine, but for me I want one more USB port – to charge my iDevices and without syncing. Yes, I can get one of those power supply plug charger, but instead of getting extra bulk I bought the Twelve South PlugBug World. It’s an All-in-one MacBook global adapter with 2.1 amp iPhone/iPad charger – perfect. And the bonus is, this world edition comes with different plugs for different countries.

plugbug

The last gadget that I wish I had bought earlier is the MIO Alpha I. It is a watch and it is also a strapless heart rate monitor. Yes, you read it right, it is strapless (!!). In addition, it can synchronise the reading to the RunKeeper app with Bluetooth, such that the app can read out the heart rate to you during your exercise. If you like to track your heart rate while jogging or running. Get one, period.

mio alpha

So, those are my picks, what are your 5 buy-it-now gadgets ?

 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 in Las Vegas

Even though it’s not my the first time in Vegas, but it’s the very first time to have a chance to visit the museums in Vega – yes, I am not a guy to spend any money in the slot machines. Right after the AWS Re:Invent, I took a cab from the Palazzo Hotel to the Neon Museum. It costed me US$ 20 but well worth the money as it’s really hot to walk miles along the Strip to the museum. In Neon Museum you will find lots of old casino and hotel signs. Thru the guided tour, you will know more about the history of the sin city and those neon sign boards.

Then after that, a casual 15 minutes’ walk will lead you to the Mob Museum. If you are a fan of mafia, organised crime and law enforcements, don’t miss it – all the mob stories are explained in great details with excellent photos, audio and visual effects. Then just opposite the Mob Museum, it’s the Fremont Street Experience – don’t miss the show every evening. So after all, it’s really a good way to spend an afternoon in Vegas, if you don’t like gaming like me, and don’t mind some walks.

But of course, the most important thing is I took my OM-D E-M1 to this short trip and here are the pictures …

Timeline of (my) Olympus cameras

Everyone knows me as an Olympus fan, not because I shoot lots of beautiful photos with Olympus cameras but the fact that I bought many Olympus cameras (Digital SLR and Mirrorless) since they launched the revolutionary E-1 camera in year 2003.

Ten years ago, there was really no original digital SLR (DSLR) camera design in the industry as most of them were just a rehash of the film SLR cameras. On the other hand, Olympus’ E-1 was really a ground breaking DSLR as Olympus designed the camera from ground up with many many new and digital photography specific features. So in the last 10 years, I bought eight (!) DSLR and Mirrorless cameras from Olympus and they are – E-1, E-300, E-510, E-P1, E-5, E-P3, E-M5 and the latest E-M1.

I reckon the best way to illustrate this crazy history is through the use of “timeline”. Unlike typical static WordPress timeline plug-ins, I use the interactive timeline script from timeline.knightlab.com. It lets you move along the timeline and click the image thumbnail to launch the blog post I wrote about the camera. Neat …

http://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline/latest/embed/index.html?source=0AlHjesNCmKHpdDZWVnVuVTdOUXdzMkVJN1E1N25WREE&font=Bevan-PotanoSans&maptype=toner&lang=en&height=450

New Olympus OM-D E-M1

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Free Facebook Timeline cover images

Since the launch of Facebook Timeline, we all look for good Timeline cover images. First of all, one needs to check the size of that image, and we all know it is 800 x 315 pixels. Then we all look for good photos / images that fit this size to download. The trouble is, an 800 x 315 pixels image may or may not be a good image to use. Reason being Facebook will automatically scroll up the Timeline a little bit after a few seconds. And in turn only 800 x 200 pixels of the cover image is shown.

So, here you go, 8 free Facebook Timeline cover images that look good not only in full resolution, but also after the Timeline scrolled up. All these photo images are free because all are taken by me. Check it out, download, enjoy and hope you all like those !!

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5

It’s hard to tell why I need yet another new camera, especially the E-P3 (released just one year ago) is working perfectly along with the E-5, XZ-1.

Olympus OM-D EM-5

But I always want to own a vintage Olympus OM camera, so the new designed dust / splash proof body with fast AF, 5-Axis in-body IS, high-speed shooting, tilting monitor and built-in electronic viewfinder is really attractive. Anyway, I bought the OM-D E-M5 body (without the new kit lens), and gave it a try last weekend. Not to test the new AF, IS, but … the new Key-line art filter.

It’s actually very addictive.

Don’t ever let those memories fade

It’s hard to take good photos in a rainy day, especially you don’t have those splash-proof cameras. But there are times that you won’t have another chance to visit the same place again (or not in a short period of time), so you have to do something – don’t ever let those memories fade.

Of course, one solution is to get one of those dust-proof, splash-proof cameras (like the latest Olympus E-M5), but still there is no decent weather and therefore your photos will probably look flat, moody and in worst case, off white-balance.

I have no bullet-proof solutions on the latter problem, but one of the approaches is to take photos in Black & White (again !!). Here are some photos (with Olympus E-P3) from Taipei in a heavy-raining weekend.