Free Digital TV! (Canada, Ontario)

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Since TV stations turned their signals from analog to digital in 2011, I can get signals for at least 8 channels, including PBS in Buffalo. Now I do live in a high-rise on a high floor, so perhaps, with the height and clear view of the CN Tower (though far in North Toronto, close to HWY 7) I am able to get digital signals. It costs little or none! Try it out, so you can decide whether you truly need pay-TV!  Also search the web to find amplified models that may work for house with antenna built inside your attic or on roof; that’s how I got mine going.

What you need:

1) Iron dry cleaner’s cloth hangers

2) Aluminium foil

3)  5 to 900 MHz UHF-VHF-FM Matching Transformer 75/300 Ohm Balun

4) Coaxial cable

5) LCD TV that can decode both analog and digital signals. Most models should be able to handle it. (Use “AIR” for TV setting, and let your TV search for signals… mine displays channels, e.g., 12.1 digital, when found). To get signals, just plug the coaxial cable with home-made antenna to the connector of your TV set.


Fig1. Aluminium antenna with connected transformer and coaxial cable


Fig.2:  I just attached the transformer with scotch tape to cloth hangers, violà!



The New iPad

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English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...

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[March 22, 2012. Finally at Apple Store and did a side-by-side test. Yes, the icons on iPad 2 are a bit grainier, pixelized. I think iPad runs a bit faster and smoother when I looked at Promethus youtube’s trailer on HD.The picture itself is hard to tell the difference, Honestly. It’s called adaptation, so after awhile your eyes adapt to both iPads, and they both look good. So my verdict is the same as I have written before I saw and played with the product. Below]

[March 18, 2012. Went to Futureshop and tried out the “iPad”, seriously, I really not sure if I was finger-swiping an iPad2 or iPad, and how crispier it was with retina-display. Anyway, was on lunch break, didn’t have much time to explore it thoroughly, but beware since it is so similar in appearance between the two, check “About” under “Settings”, iPad model is MD****, iPad 2 is MC*****; it would be funny to think that you bought an iPad, but erroneously was given an iPad 2, and you would go about and saying how great it is!]

Just like there is no rush to get the iPhone 4S if you already have an iPhone 4, I doubt I will line-up to replace my iPad2 any soon. Yes, retina display and the A5X Quad chip sound good for new buyers and value for their bucks, but at the end of the day, most of the functions will be the same, especially for user likes me who read books, pdf, surf the web, and the odd time watch a video. (I didn’t see anything that was hardware specific regarding the apps, iMovie, iPhoto, etc, in the trailer, i.e., they should still be iOS compatible).

Honestly, display pixel becomes important when the screen gets better, i.e., if one buys a 1080p 24-inch TV, that is a waste of money, cause even at 480p we know the differences will be minimal. Certainly it will make graphics and iBook crispier, with less jagged edges, but it’s not too bad with my iPad2 now.

Yes, 4G LTE (Watch SNL parody on 4G LTE network) !

Perhaps, photographer can use it as a portable proofs for their shots, instead of seeing them on a laptop or computer?I am just guessing.

Apple should be careful not to follow the same trap that they made in the 90’s, i.e., multiple products with different names but essentially same hardware ( remember LC 475 and Quadra 605?) …

Two underwhelming products! I hope it is not a trend, and we need to be wow-ed soon Apple!


iPod Watch out!

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English: The "Made for iPod" emblem ...

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Something that watch lover like me may overlook is using the 6th generation iPod as a watch! Why?! It’s cool and way better looking that a Timex or Swatch. Don’t forget it’s also a full function iPod; it means music, radio, Nike’s fitness … In addition, 18 faces to choose from. Now that’s a watch’s enthusiast w**-dream! 18 interchangeable watches in one!

I am not saying this is for a true watch connoisseur with a Hublot, TAG, Patek, Cartier on their wrist, but someone who just likes watch as a piece of art jewelry for the moment.

It’s no coincidence that Apple store is now selling metallic wrist bands that fit iPod; they know there is a market out there, and the trend will catch on.

Since I already own multiple iPods, I think best is to get one refurbished ($99 bf taxes in Canada). The saved $ will get me a plastic watch band @ $30. A Swatch is more expensive and I can’t listen to radio.

I know it’s a geeky toy, but it’s so cool, but totally justifiable with its multi-functions.