As you may have read previously, I’ve tried getting the ramen at the main Tsujita Artisan Noodle located on Sawtelle. Unfortunately, they only serve ramen for lunch and I cannot seem to wake up early enough to get there for lunch. Once again, I missed the deadline but noticed the “Annex” across the street.
As you can see above, it’s a tiny location right next to a garden supply store. What’s strange is, apparently George doesn’t like people from the Noodle place parking in his micro 3 car lot. So much so that Tsujita has cones with signs reminding people not to park there.
So then, the Annex decides to put chars in it’s single parking space they have, since apparently there are tons of people waiting to get inside. I guess Tsujita couldn’t make some kind of deal with George to allow their customers to park on his lot.
But I digress.
When I was at Fry’s to get my 4TB drive, I came across this tiny tripod (if you can call it that) by Joby, called Gorillapod Micro 250 for $16.95. Apparently, it’s supposed to be used for point-and-shoot cameras, but I want to use it for my JVC ADDIXXION camcorder.
As you can see above, when in the closed it’s tiny. In the picture below, you can see it being used with my ADDIXXON. The head pivots 36 degrees so you can put it on the table and point it up towards the action. Too bad the ADDIXXON doesn’t come with this imbedded in the camcorder itself. That would be a good idea.
The only small grip I have is that it’s so small, I think I’m going to lose it. It would be great if there was a way to keep it tied to my camcorder.
Otherwise, this little micro tripod has made my ADDIXXON more useful, especially when used in time lapse mode.
Last time, I went over the process of signing up for a “free” FreedomPop account. After getting the Freedom Spot Overdrive Pro in the mail, now it’s time for a test drive. What you get is a refurbished Sprint Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro with the Sprint logo covered with black tape. On a side note, Netgear has bought the rights to these Aircard products from Sierra and sell them to Sprint.
Also, by the time I finally got my Overdrive Pro in the main, my FreedomPop dashboard told me that I only had 17 days left on my “free” month of Internet. Frankly, I don’t think they should start the clock on your service until you activate your device. I lost almost half the month waiting on delivery.
But I digress.
As you can see below, the Overdrive Pro is small and can easily fit in your pocket or purse. It has tiny rubber feet so that it won’t slide if you have it on a precarious angle.
The battery is removed by sliding the back cover off as shown below. On the top side, there is an SD card slot and a mute slider switch. On the bottom, there is a micro USB connector and 2 external antenna connectors with sliding covers. On the main side, there is a lighted large power button as well as an LCD status screen.
Goole Wallet (smartphone payment system) is now available on Sprint if you have a Samsung Galaxy S4, Note II or HTC One. After downloading and launching the app, you will get a screen that says it’s setting up Wallet and that it may take 5 minutes.
Usually, when you get a message like this, it takes a few seconds. In this case, it actually does take 5 minutes so don’t do this with an almost dead battery or right before trying to purchase something at a store. I assume it takes this long because it has to setup the encryption and security for Wallet before it can start.
It will first ask for a PIN, then later you can add a credit card to your account. Once you are setup, when you launch the app, you will get a login screen asking for your PIN. It’s nice that the numeric keyboard is imbedded in the app so you get very large keys to login with.
Starting with #10…
#10 – Optical Reader
The optical reader app allows you to grab phone number and addresses off of marketing ads, banners, and even business cards. I don’t think this is new but it’s new for me. This is perfect for super lazy people like me that don’t want to read the phone number off of a business card, as shown below.
It doesn’t always work perfectly, especially if it’s dark but if you hold the phone steady, you can usually get it to grab what you want.
#9 – Google Now
Once again, this is not new in the Android world, and now it’s even available on iOS, but it’s a great feature. Google Now tries to figure out what you are interested in and will show it to you automatically.
Big Google Brother is watching but when it works, it’s almost magical. After doing some searching on my desktop browser, I left the house and looked on my phone and saw that it estimated how long the drive to that location would be. Creepy? Maybe a little. Sometimes, I wonder how it knows. Then I get scared and try not to think about it.
It’s been over 4 years since I bought my HP Pavilion and after recently backing up my old Epic 4G, and other stuff, I started to run out of disk space. As you can see, Windows shows a red bar when I look at the drives.
After looking around online, I decided to go to Fry’s to get the Seagate 4TB 3.5″ SATA HDD for $199.99. Actually, I ended up getting 2 of these and a bunch of other stuff while there. The longer you stay at Fry’s, the more money you spend. More on the other stuff I bought there in another post.
But I digress.
Now according to what I read before buying the drives, Windows does support drives above 2TB using some drivers and tricks. However, after bringing the drives home, I discovered that if you have an old PC from before 2011, your BIOS does not support hard drives over 2TB using one partition. This Seagate article explains everything clearly. Basically, if you have a PC from before 2011, your drive will have 2 partitions.
This Friday, May 17th, X-Lanes will finally open in the Little Tokyo Shopping Center in downtown Los Angeles. This much anticipated is 50,000 square feet mega entertainment center, which includes a 24 lane bowling alley, arcade, sports bar and pool table area.
As you can see, everything is state-of-the-art equipment, bright and shiny. These pictures were taken during their soft opening last week. The arcade is full of gigantic machines that are brand new to the market.
It will be interesting to see how the other arcade does in this same mall. Along with bowling at LA Live, this is now the second new bowling alley to open in downtown LA in recent years.
333 S. Alameda St., #300 Los Angeles, CA 90013
Samsung quietly released a new version (1051.2) of their Smart TV firmware on May 10. As it turned out, it was not as easy as I thought it would be to upgrade the firmware.
In the past, I simply using the option to upgrade via the Internet but there were a couple of problems that I encountered. First off, from the Smart Hub, I would press the “Menu” on my remote, then scroll down to “Setting” to get the following screen.
As you can see, the “Software Update” option is not available. In fact, when I click on it, I get the following dialog box:
This stumped me because I had done an upgrade before without any problems. After some scratching of my head, and other parts, I used the support email on the Samsung website for help. Unfortunately, they just sent me instructions on how to upgrade the firmware. Not deterred, I then used the “Live Chat” support on the Samsung website and quickly found out that you cannot upgrade the firmware from the Smart Hub.
In other words, you have to press the “Menu” button on your remote, directly from TV without first going to the Smart Hub. The support guy also told me that you have to wait at least 30 seconds after turning on the TV. The documentation says, wait 2 minutes but apparently, that’s over-kill.
When I did as told, I was able to access the “Software Update” option, but when I tried to update via the Internet, it told me I already had the latest version. Damn it.
The support guy told me that I would have to upgrade via USB drive and sent me the link to the full instructions. He also sent me the link to the new version of the firmware. Actually, I got my download from the Samsung support area so I’m not 100% sure this link is correct but the support guy seemed to know what he was talking about so it’s probably okay.
After I unzipped the files onto my USB drive, I plugged it into my Samsung LED TV and used the USB update option and got this prompt:
After this point, it was just a matter of waiting the update to be copied to the TV and eventually, the TV “rebooted” and the new version was installed.
Frankly, after looking at the list of new features, I don’t think there is anything there that affects me except perhaps #9 (improve picture quality). So unfortunately, this was not the “big” upgrade I was hoping would be the new Smart TV that was announced at CES 2013.
If you click the image above, you can see everything including the release date (today). However, when I went to my TV to upgrade the firmware via WiFi, the menu item was not available. I’ll have to look into this more to see why I can’t upgrade my firmware.
After reading the website more carefully, the firmware upgrade (1051.2) is as follows:
- Supports 2013 Evolution Kit(SEK-1000)
- Solves Netflix login issue
- Support iOS Smart view app.
- Support Angry Birds app. and Yahoo SyncPlus app.
- Improves performance of Smart Hub
- Adds print function in photo applications such as the Photo function of AllShare Play or Picasa.
- Supports Samsung Audio Dock and Wireless Keyboard VG-KBD1500
- Resolves compatibility issue with DLNA devices and network router/switch.
- Improves picture quality.
- Enhances Voice Recognition feature.
- Change the TV Power On command from ”Hi TV” to ”Hi TV Power On” or ”Smart TV” to ”Smart TV Power On.”
To actually install the firmware, you can see how I did it.
Last time, we looked at one of Samsung’s feature list. Amazingly, Samsung has yet another webpage that touts the features of the Galaxy S4. This one seems to be geared more towards a younger audience than the last one.
Up first, what to do with your S4 when you are at a party – Fun:
This camera feature allows you to include yourself into your picture by using the back facing camera. As you can see in the Samsung “demo” picture below, this is for people that always wants to make sure they are getting their fair share of attention, even when they are not in the picture.
You can resize and move the thumbnail, and even change the way it looks to fisheye, heart shaped, and other useless options. You can even use split the image in half and see yourself on the left, and the front facing camera image on the right.
So far, I’ve not had any reason to use this feature. I suppose if you want to make a video showing your kids and your reaction to your kids, this might be handy. But for me, there’s a reason why I’m taking the pictures. Because I don’t want to be in the picture.