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J.A.B.S. (Just Another Blog Site)


My current 5-year-old PC doubles as my media center, and it’s starting to show it’s age. It’s slowing down when I add new media to it and it’s time to get something a bit more different.

Anewish Z4 Android TV Box

Anewish Z4 Android TV Box

The “ANEWISH Z4 Android 5.1 Rockchip 3368 TV Box” is what I was looking for. It’s small powerful android OS based machine. It comes preloaded with “Kodi” media center and a few other apps like Facebook and Media players.
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Pour Over Coffee Maker

I have been looking out for something other than another cafetière or one use Coffee filter kits for my Sunday morning ritual of Coffee / French bread and he leftover take-away from the previous night. So I’ve amassed a few 1-cup and 3-cup cafetière, but not been able to find a good quality 2-cup version locally.

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PONATIA 2 in 1 USB Borescope for Android and PC

I was kindly given a discount so I could purchase the the “PONATIA 2 in 1 USB Borescope for Android and PC” for a review. My views are my own and I point readers to my “Review Deceleration” link for more information.

I was looking to pick up a bore-scope/endoscope like this for some time . So I jumped at the chance to take a look at the PONATIA 2 in 1 USB Borescope for Android and PC 2.0 MP HD Endoscope Borescope, IP67 Waterproof OTG Endoscope, Snake Tube Pipe Camera, Video Borescope (5M)

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Cleer “DU” High Definition Dual-Driver Headphones

I was kindly given a discount by Cleer.us so I could purchase the Cleer DU Headphones With Dual Drivers for a review.
My views are my own and I point readers to my “Review Deceleration” link for more information.

img-DU-specificationCleer “DU” High Definition Dual-Driver Headphones, Classic with a twist of modern style, The headphones sweep slightly forward from the headband so the headband sits slightly forward on the head (that’s the most comfortable position I used while wearing them. The cups cover the ears nicely as I usually have problems with the pads sitting on the top of my ear or my earlobe. But theses did not bother me over extended periods of wearing.

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Suaoki Aluminum Monitor Stand

I was given the “Suaoki Aluminium Monitor Stand” to try. Check my disclaimer here. 

It’s not that complicated, it’s a metal monitor stand.

It’s not that complicated, it’s a metal monitor stand.

Living in a small flat, usable working space is at a premium. Couches and Tables do double duty as Office chair and Workstation. I do have a small PC desk which I try to use. But once you have a lamp, my laptop, laptop cooler, mouse, keyboard and assorted cables and USB and Portable drives sitting on the desk, things get very cramped very quickly. So anything that gives me a few more square inches of room is very welcomed.

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Avantek “AudioMax HB-8A” Bluetooth Headphones.

AUDIOMAX HB-8A Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless On-Ear Stereo Headphones

I’m reviewing the “AudioMax HB-8A” Bluetooth Headphones.

I was kindly given a discount by Avantek so I could purchase the Headphones for a review. My views are my own and I point readers to my “Product review policy” link for more information.

My first impressions were good. The Headphones are supplied in a very nice and sturdy “Presentation / Gift” box. Once you slip of the top cover you are presented with the folded headphones with a small instruction booklet. Under the headphones you’ll find a storage bag with the AudioMax logo on it, the USB charging cable as well as a line in cable for direct audio input.

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Avantec CP-07 Premium Cooling Pad Review

First off I am grateful to Avantec who sent me the Avantec CP-07 Premium Cooling Pad for the purposes of trying and posting a review.

Inside the box is the Avantec CP-07 Premium Cooling Pad in bubble-wrap and 2 rubber feet and a USB cable. The pad is nicely designed, 15 inches wide X 10 inches deep and just over 1 inch thick. Black plastic moulding has a black metal grill on top. The CP-07 Premium Cooling pad is lighter than it looks clocking in at 146g with the USB cable stowed and 116g without the cable. So it is light enough to carry around and sturdy enough to handle any laptop up to 17 inches in size.

Cooling pad image

Avantec CP-07 Premium Cooling Pad

The large white translucent 140mm fan can be seen in the middle of the pad through the grill, with the Avantec name on it. When in use it is quieter than I had imagined it would be, in the past my biggest annoyance in cooling pads (well with fans in general) were always that they were always loud and noisy when in use.

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Aventek 2.5” USB3 Enclosure Review

OK first things first. I was given this 2.5” USB3 enclosure From Avantek to review the product.


USB3 enclosure From Avantek

2.5” USB3 enclosure From Avantek

I have been looking on and off for a new enclosure for a while now but life and other things (like paying bills) tend to get in the way. So I was very delighted to receive this enclosure to try out.

First thing I noticed was the “No frills / Frustration free” packaging (which in my opinion is a godsend). Nothing worse than having to cut open those annoying plastic blister packs or have a box full of Styrofoam packaging that you need to get rid off.

In the box was:

  • The enclosure itself,
  • A couple of instruction cards,
  • A USB3 cable,
  • A sticky foam pad.

The instruction card is clearly written and easy to follow. The drive is a snug fit and you have to be a bit forceful to seat it correctly or the case will not close properly. But the snug fit means the larger 2.5” drives won’t rattle around inside the case (like so many cheaper enclosures I own!) so if you are using a 2.5” SSD you can actually knock the drive around a bit while in use with little to no risk of loosing data. (Yup you guessed it, I moved my laptop while running a backup to the drive and a few bangs and knocks later the backup finished with no errors.)

Image of Avantek 2.5" USWB3 enclosure with Users HDD installed

[/media-credit] Avantek 2.5″ USB3 enclosure with Users HDD installed.(With Enclosure Opened)

The outside of the drive is smart and understated looking. The metal top cover adds a nice professional touch. The end of the drive has the USB3 connector, a LED light and a “lock” switch to keep the case securely closed.

The LED light flashes different colours depending on if it’s inserted into a USB 2 (white LED) or USB3 (Blue LED) port, which is a nice touch. On a personal note, the only slight down point of the drive is when it goes into sleep/standby mode, the LED flashes constantly (once a second), it might seem a small thing but personally it was a bit annoying in my room overnight. But saying that it was in my test area between testing sessions. When I am using this drive full time it would not be plugged in 24/7, so the light will not be that big an issue. (also Electrical / Duct tape will come to the rescue) 😉

To sum up the Aventek 2.5” USB3 enclosure is well made and more than up to the task. It’s smart looking and will not look out of place on any professionals desk.

Product Links:

Avantek 2.5″ USB3 Enclosure on Amazon.co.uk

Avantek 2.5″ USB3 Enclosure on Amazon.com

Avantek Facebook page

NaNoWriMo 2014 round up

Well at the start of October I decided that  *this year* I would take part in “National Novel Writing Month”  (or NaNoWriMo for short). I’ve been saying I’ll take part for the past 4 years but this year I felt that extra urge to get a story out of me that’s been bubbling away in my head for a while now.

I had a very basic but interesting story Idea already. So I thought I’d put a few weeks into story prep (Work out : where things happen, who it happens to and what happens to them) and give this thing a go. Prep was going well until… well you probably have already read what happened to me at the end of October! That put a bit of a dampener on things. Took me till the 14th to get my head straight and myself  into the mindset for story writing. Oddly enough writing about what happened to me was a big part of getting me back into the story writing mode.

So on the 15th I started to write my story! I was aiming to try and write 3300 words a day, to try and hit the magical 50k word mark by the end of the month, that would signify a “win” under NaNoWriMo rules. But alas I’m not hitting half that mark. I’ll be lucky to hit the 15k mark by Sunday (that’s when this ends.)

So I’m at a point where I’m thinking do I try and type 6000 words or so a day! to hit the finish line?

Do I just try and make the 25,000 mark which will be about 2300 words a day?

Or do I just give up now! do a bit more story planning and become what’s knows as a “NaNoWriMo Rebel”? those are participants that don’t stick to the one main rule : You should start a totally new story on the 1st of November and finish it in by the 30th of November, and not go back to one you’ve already started!

I might go another way, just ignore NaNoWriMo and plod along, writing what I can when I can, till I hit a good finishing point in the story. It might take another 2 or 3 weeks or it might take another 2 or 3 months. Heck it might take me till 2017 at this rate! Either way I’ll have a story I can look at, be proud of and utterly terrified to let it see the light of day! (Which probably means I’ll ‘Self-publish’ it on Amazon Kindle under a pen-name as an e-book and sell it for a £1.50 or as much as I could get away with.) – note to self : I might be on to something…! ^__~

Now all I need now is a good cover to go with my story!

So that’s my NaNoWriMo 2014 summery. A bit of good, a bit of bad and a little of both.

Now I better get back to writing..

My week of hell and the lovely NHS : Part Three

<-Part One
<- Part Two


 At this point dear reader, I’d love to insert some flashy graphics to clarify what just happened, (Something like the book from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.) But alas I’m reduced to posting something from Wikipedia :


Vasovagal syncope occurs in response to a trigger, with a corresponding malfunction in the parts of the nervous system that regulate heart rate and blood pressure. When heart rate slows, blood pressure drops, and the resulting lack of blood to the brain causes fainting and confusion.[5]

in my case the trigger was :

Pressing upon certain places on the throat, sinuses, and eyes (also known as vagal reflex stimulation when performed clinically)

The packing they pushed into my nose to stop the bleeding cause this response…

Insert nice dream sequence here… Continue reading

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