gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for the ‘Gadgets’

Dark Matter #2: A review

February 09, 2012 @ 01:02 By: gordon Category: Comic books, Reviews

Dark Matter #2 by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Scullie was released yesterday, so I dropped by Silver Snail at lunch and picked it up along with a copy of Green Lantern #6. The second in the four-part series, #2 picks up with our heroes 40 seconds away from being blown up by missiles shot at them by another ship that they know nothing about. Fortunately, they make it out of the encounter safely so we get to learn more about the ship they’re on and where they’re going.

Their robot companion has been able to recover some information from the ship’s computer and they determine they’re en route to a planet. When they arrive, they meet quadrium miners on the planet who are happy enough to help them repair their ship, but curiously would like them to do so very quickly before some aliens known as the Raza show up and kill everyone. The miners are waiting for help to arrive, but the Raza are going to arrive first, so things don’t look too hopeful. (more…)

Dark Matter #1: A review

January 11, 2012 @ 14:25 By: gordon Category: Comic books, Reviews

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s new comic day. And today it also means that it’s Dark Matter #1 release day, which regular readers will remember me writing about in the past. Accordingly, I headed out to Silver Snail at lunch and picked up the disturbingly large pile of comics waiting for me. I got back to the office in time to read Dark Matter #1 before having to head to a meeting, so I thought I’d post a quick review.


WordPress for iPad app updated

September 24, 2011 @ 13:24 By: gordon Category: Gadgets, WordPress

I mentioned the WordPress app on my list of essential iPad apps recently. In my write-up I noted that the editor was very basic without any formatting controls. This morning I checked the AppStore and found that an update for the WordPress app has been released. And lo and behold, they’ve added some formatting controls to the editor to make it easier to markup text.

Now, instead of having to manually enter HTML tags to bold something, for example, I can highlight the text and poke a markup button. This is long overdue and makes the app much more useful. There are still some tweaks they need to make, such as allowing you to specify whether a link opens in the same window or new one, but this is a good start.

My list of essential iPad apps

September 16, 2011 @ 20:08 By: gordon Category: Gadgets

I’ve had an Apple iPad since Christmas and I love it. I was a little skeptical when they came out, but that quickly passed. Since getting it, I’ve found a collection of apps that I consider essential and I thought I’d write about them because many of my friends are starting to get them.


Introducing the dew.is YOURLS-based URL shortener

October 28, 2010 @ 01:01 By: gordon Category: Gadgets, Meta

Caution: This post contains higher than normal levels of geekery. You’ve been warned.

Looking for the story mentioned in a comment on Gizmodo? Try here.

If you’ve been around the ‘net for a while, you’ve probably seen cryptic URLs (like http://bit.ly/b36LBg) that “magically” take you to a real URL (like https://gordon.dewis.ca/2010/10/25/municipal-election-day/). This “magic” is thanks to URL shortening services like bit.ly, tinyurl.com, and a whole bunch of others.

Well, a little while ago I noticed that Iceland has the .IS top-level domain. And that my last name ends in “is” (well, I’ve known that for a long time).

€39 later and I’m the proud owner of dew.is.


So, now I’ve set up YOURLS and have my own URL shortening service at dew.is.

Very cool. And very geeky.

The Duracell MyGrid commericals

September 17, 2010 @ 12:47 By: gordon Category: Gadgets, Seen on the 'net

I’ve seen a couple of commercials for the Duracell MyGrid, a charging mat for cell phones and other gadgets. Every commercial ends with a URL (duracell.ca/mygrid) that will, presumably, take you to the product page on the Duracell Canada website.

Faithfully typing the address into my browser, I was rewarded with a 404 error.

Hopefully Duracell will sort this out soon because I wanted to check it out and give a bit of a review of it. (Also, it really defeats the whole point of advertising a URL in an ad.) image

Update: As commenter Ken pointed out, www.duracell.ca/mygrid does take you to the product page, but it still doesn’t change the fact that the advertised URL is broken.

The Vango Banshee 300

September 02, 2010 @ 21:41 By: gordon Category: Reviews

I love camping, but except for my recent trip to the UK, I haven’t been camping in several years. Going camping in Scotland and near Haltwhistle reignited my interest.

I picked up a Vango Banshee 300 tent from a GOoutdoors store while on vacation. It’s a very nice three-man tent that consists of an outer fly with two aluminum poles that you pitch first, which will be great in the rain because you can keep the inner tent dry while setting it up. Once it’s set up you then attach the inner tent to the fly using a simple toggle and loop system and you’re done. There’s even a small vestibule to leave your boots in so that you don’t track mud into it.

Weighing in at just 2.5 kilograms, it can be packed into a 12L compression sack, making it ideal for backpacking. It took me about 20 minutes to set it up the first time, which is twice as long as the Vango website suggests – I wasn’t in a rush and I’m sure I’ll get faster!

The inner tent has a waterproof floor and is made of orange material. The outer fly is made of a heavier material that is dark green.

There are vents on each end of the fly the can be closed if you want. Inside, the “head” end of the tent has a large screen for lots of ventilation.

Overall, I’m glad I bought the Vango Banshee 300 for under £90 when I was in the UK because I think a comparable tent here would cost several hundred dollars.

I’m looking forward to my next camping trip! 🙂