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The One About the Sling Adapter (Dish Network) (Metro Media Complex)

April 14, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The Sling Adapter from Dish Network turned out to be more of a useful product that I expected.  Great for those who own an iPad or iPhone!

I was first offered the Sling Adapter from our local Dish Network when we upgraded to an HD DVR. What I liked was that you can be anywhere around the world and via Internet, access your Dish Network DVR and watch a program anywhere. And I figured, why would I need this? The last thing I needed, was to be busy at work and then having the TV play on our cell phone, iPad or device.

But the reason why I purchased it was for the main purpose of giving my wife and child access to the DVR when I’m busing watching something on the main TV (movie, playing video games, etc.) So, now they can watch Dish Network on her laptop, computer or iPad. So, no more kicking me off the TV or vice versa.


I. THE SLING ADAPTER

The Sling Adapter is quite thin. It just sits on top of our DVR but it’s a device as pictured…just plug it in to the back of your Dish Network DVR, connect to the Internet (I use a Logitech HD Powerline 200a, so one of the Powerline Adapters is connected to the router and the other one is connected to a wall socket that plugs into the Sling Adapter) and that’s it.

II. HOW IT WORKS

You then go on Dishnetwork.com and log in and go to my account and then to DISH Remote Access. And you can access what’s on your DVR, watch any program or schedule your DVR from your computer Laptop, iPhone or iPad. There is an app for iPhone and iPad. Very easy to use and lag depends on if you are doing many things on your computer. Note: Only one person can access the sling adapter at one time.

Aside from giving my wife and son another way to catch their shows when their father is hogging up the TV, I found it important during an emergency situation.

On March 10, 2011, the Sling Adapter had become so important in my life. On the day of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, while I was working and talking with a client from Japan late that night (afternoon, March 2011 in Japan), the earthquake hit and she had no idea what was going on and it was long. I was on Twitter and Japanese news trying to get updates of what was going on and I was able to access CNN from my iPad via the Sling Adapter and watching the US news, while utilizing my other work computers to watch the live Japanese news via Ustream.

The Sling Adapter was so useful as I was on the Internet working on the news of this disaster while watching both Japan and American news broadcasts. Although I was in the US at the time of the disaster, I realized, that if I was in Japan on business at the time and had access to the Internet, I could still watch the CNN broadcast or if you have NHK on your Dish Network service, I could have access that as well. Anything from Dish Network, I could access anywhere around the world from my iPad or iPhone through the use of my Dish Network service, DVR and Sling Adapter.

Also, I was recently at a relative’s place who had Internet access but wished he had access to a sports game. No problem, I told him that I can access it using his Wi-Fi and then connecting to Dish Network on my iPad and sure enough, we were able to catch the game.

Another an example recently was when I traveled with family members. My father had to take a stop to a Ham Radio event and we were left in the car for which seemed like over an hour or maybe even two. Fortunately, where the event was located, there was free access to Wi-Fi and once again we were able to access Dish Network via the iPad through the Sling Adapter and tada…the kids had access to programming.

Overall, At first, I thought this device was something I would never use but now I realized how awesome this device is. It was more useful in our lives than I would have expected and I saw the importance of it especially during emergency situations.

It’s only $99-$100+ and there is no extra cost from Dish Network to utilize this device.

I give this device my highest recommendation!

 

The One about the Augen Genbook 108

March 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


The Good – The Augen Genbook 108 can get you in the Internet and you can be reading a e-book in no time.  The Bad – Unless you are have the disposable income to test your fascination with an android netbook, even priced on sale at $99, prepare for continuous crashing, erratic mouse and spotty wi-fi.

Augen GenTouch Notebook 108 Stats

•1024×600 color 10.2” TFT screen

• CPU: 800 Mhz

• Ram: DDR2 256mb

• Internal Memory: 2GB

• Expansion Slots: SD/MMC card slot up to 16GB

• Wi-Fi Connectivity with Full Web Browsing Capability

• Supports Ebook Formats: Text, PDF, E-PUB, HTML

• Supports Media Formats: MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC

• Supports most popular E-Book formats

• Picture Viewer in JPEG, BMP

• Video Player

• Rechargeable Lithium Battery

WEBSITE

AUGEN GENBOOK 108 INFORMATION:

Think.Fast.Android Powered

Android is an operating system for mobile devices such as tablet computers, netbooks, and cellular phones. Android is based upon the Linux kernel and GNU software. Android has a large community of developers writing apps that extend the functionality of the devices. There are currently over 70,000 apps available for Android, which makes it the second most popular mobile development target.

What is Android™?

Download your favorite books and more anywhere Wi-Fi is available, such as at home, cafe, airports, and more…

Built-in Wi-Fi

The GENBOOK108 has a wide resolution and a 10.2” screen, allowing web browsing in full width. Unlike the experience on other mobile devices( small screens and slow speeds), the GENBOOK108 offers a true web browsing experience, with web pages displayed in full screen. No need of zooming in and out as the text is easily viewable on the 10.2” screen.

A Close to Full Sized-Keyboard.

The GENBOOK108 also offers a 93 % full-size keyboard, allowing you to conveniently IM, email and browse all your favorite websites.

Create and Edit Documents with Ease.

The GENBOOK108 Netbook is the perfect device for creating and editing your documents when away from a desktop/pc. Pre-loaded with many office applications makes the GENBOOK108 your source to a mobile work station.

 

Because this netbook is prone to crashes, expect to see this android image appear often...

Like many people who saw the “Augen Genbook 108” netbook on sale for $99, I instantly jumped at the deal.  Granted, if you read the text from where you bought it, you notice the words “refurbished”.

Personally, I’m fine using my iPad as a portable device and I do have several portable devices to go on the Internet and when it comes to netbooks, I have used a Linux and a Windows netbook before but never an Android version.  So, I couldn’t wait to use an Android-powered netbook.

For starters, the model # for this Android device is Android for Telechips TCC8900 Evaluation Board (multi-language).

So, how did this Android netbook perform?  Read on…

I.  FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Upon opening the box, the genbook was nicely cased and you get a power adapter.  And you get a registration card with an Augen instruction manual.

After opening the box and turning it on (it had about 50% power), so I figured before recharging, I want to deplete it to 100% before giving it a full recharge.

Upon turning it on, I was bummed to see a single dead pixel.  Fortunately, it was on the far right.

Also, I noticed how light the Genbook 108 is and also how it uses plastic that may break easy.

You notice that it feels quite basic as it is light and the plastic casing for the netbook feels as one drop would shatter the netbook.  So, for those considering on bringing this genbook for travel or anywhere and you are prone to dropping things, like a cellphone, unlike a cellphone, I don’t think this Genbook would survive a fall.

I was happy to see three USB ports on its side, headphone and mic inputs plus an ethernet port on the left side.

II.  THE MAIN TEST

Main layout of the Genbook 108. The orange bar on the right is how you access the main important files such as settings and other applications that you have downloaded.

Turning it on, you get the Augen Genbook 108 screen and it goes to the main screen in which you see various icons.

The first thing I did was establish a wi-fi connection.

NOTE: Wi-Fi and Ethernet Connection must be set first as it may be automatically set at off.  For Wi-Fi, unlike other netbooks which will detect various incoming Wi-Fi sources, for the Genbook 108, you need to manually input your Wi-Fi settings.

Now, this is where things get a bit sketchy.  For Wi-Fi, it tends to fluctuate for this device.  Sometimes, it will just conk out on you for no reason and the only way to get everything back is my shutting down a browser or other applications and then it comes back up.  For the most part, it was stable 70% of the time but the wi-fi does get a bit spotty at times.  As for Ethernet, you need to make sure the settings are correct.

II.  THE MOUSE

This is probably the most frustrating mouse I have used.  You can be using the touchpad for the mouse and somehow it is so sensitive that tracking your finger on the pad may accidentally be misconstrued as a left click.  Also, when you are moving around, you find yourself zooming in and out at times. So, although it has a mouse and two buttons for left and right clicking, it’s erratic.   There is something about the bottom left corner of the track pad that registers as a click.

I recommend using a mouse or else you will find yourself getting frustrated.

It’s important to note that my experience with touchpads from PC or Mac laptops have never been the greatest and I always recommend purchasing a mouse for a laptop or a netbook.  I test a Logitech and Kensington mouse and it detected the mouse perfectly.  Tried a cheaper, no-name brand and while I was able to move around and right click, left-click was off.  So, I would stick with a good brand of mouse for the Genbook 108.

III.  GETTING STARTED

The first thing you want to do is update your App Store that comes with this device.  It’s important to note that this App Store is not the Google Android App Store.  In fact, I have tried to get the Google Android App Store to work with this device to no avail as it keeps saying “no device detected”.  So, you can use this App Store or Amazon’s Android App Store.  The problem with Amazon is that it utilizes one-click when it comes to purchasing things.  Because the erratic nature of this device, the last thing you want is seeing the mouse automatically clicking on an app while trying to move the cursor up or down and then purchasing an app accidentally.  So, I would stick with the App Store for now.

Updating the App Store on this device took about 15-20 minutes and when you get started, I highly recommend downloading the A+ Elite Task Killer.

The reason being is that because this device is prone to crashing or stalling, it helps to have the A+ Elite Task Killer to kill programs that may be on.  In fact, part of the problem of this device running sluggishly is that the device tries to open so many programs all at once and thus giving you sluggish performance.

IV. APPS

If you have a compact flash card, a lot of your documents, photos would best be on the flash card and not using it’s built-in 8GB flash.  In fact, it often looks for that flash card on your system, even when downloading an app.  Otherwise, if you don’t have one, you can use it’s internal 8GB flash.

As for downloading apps… for those not familiar with Android Apps is that you must be careful because unlike Apple which screens their Apps, nothing is screened for Android Apps and it may contain malicious software to steal information.   I would NOT use this device for purchasing items.

Using Augen’s own App Store that is included with this device, I was able to download the full versions of Angry Birds for FREE.  Problem was that the game may require much more memory on the Android because the backgrounds don’t show.  So, right away, I knew that this device is not good for gaming at all.  I noticed that when I downloaded Angry Birds Seasons from Rovio, unlike “Angry Birds” and “Angry Birds Rio”, “Angry Birds Seasons” featured a Chinese layout.

After looking at the many apps featured on the store, the good stuff that you want are on the Google Android App store and because you can’t download from the marketplace is a major caveat for this device.  You can’t download any major apps, watch YouTube, install Flash Player or anything because the marketplace does not detect the Android device.

In fact, I even tried downloading Mozilla Firefox for Android for this device directly and it wouldn’t install.

Also, it’s important to mention that the manual gives you three links to download apps but when you visit the sites, they are Chinese websites that are not in English.  So, unless you can read Chinese, if you can’t, you have to depend on the main app store that came with the Genbook.

V.  THE BROWSER

The browser for this device works.  You can go on any site but the more intensive that website is, their is a possibility that your Genbook will crash.  Forget accessing a site with video because if it uses Flash, it won’t work and because you can’t download from the Google Marketplace to download Flash Player, your out of luck.  So, while videos won’t work on CNN or YouTube, I was able to watch video from sites such as the Wall Street Journal.

For the majority of the time, I was able to get to the site with no problem.  But there are some sites which this browser or device does not like and it locks up and crashes on you.

Personally, I wish I could have gotten Firefox to install and I wish Opera would have a direct download instead of making a user go on the Marketplace (which you can’t access with this device).

VI.  E-BOOKS

I was able to read e-books fine with this device.  But as I mentioned, mouse can get erratic at times.  PDF’s opened fine as well.  Although, I found that using a tablet like a Kindle or Nook or even a cellphone much easier to use because you can easily increase the size with your fingers as opposed to using the mouse.

NOTE: There are several e-books you can download for free on the App Store and these do not work for some reason.

VII.  WHEN IT CRASHES

When it crashes, most of the time it restarts with the Green Android on the front (see photo above) but there are times when you get a screen that asks to restart computer or wipe everything out.  I’ve often thought about this, to see if I can install Windows or Linux to replace Android 2.1 but I believe that Android can’t be wiped out as its part of its memory.  And I’m guessing you can’t upgrade the Android OS to 2.2 or 2.3.

I tried to look on Augen’s support forums and online and haven’t read of anyone successfully installing any other OS on this device.

JUDGMENT CALL:

This device was primarily created for those to view e-Books and go on the Internet.  The positive is that the browser does load up quickly most of the time.

The negative is that an erratic onboard mouse and spotty wi-fi can make you even more frustrated.

The fact that you can’t access the Google Android Marketplace with this device (note: this is not the problem of the device as if you go on the marketplace, you will see others complaining that their Android cell phones are unable to be recognized as well) or some direct downloads will not install on this device.

This leaves you with few options and that is to use it’s own App center and again, I caution people that if you are going to mess around with the apps from app center, because there are hardly any reviews for them, I would not use this device for using important personal data.

In fact, if you were just going to use this for browsing on the Internet, reading e-books, the device works and if you purchased it for $99 or less, I guess you can’t complain. You can go on the Internet, read e-books, view photos and videos, listen to music.  But I wish it was more user friendly.

Like other e-book readers, it does a good job and going on the Internet is much faster than my color Nook.  Granted, I am able to go on the Internet with a Nook and not be worried it may crash or access Wi-Fi.

It’s not a device I would use to create Android apps but possibly one to test out apps.

But I would have not purchased this for $150 or $200.  If I was able to access the Google Android marketplace with ease, I would probably have loved this Genbook a bit more.  Because the majority of the apps I want to use are on there.  As for its erratic mouse problem, it’s erratic but it can easily be solved with a mouse.  And again, the erratic Wi-Fi really sucks.  You can by farther just using an Ethernet cable plugged in.

I would recommend purchasing a Linux or Windows Netbook and even recommending saving up for an iPad.  If your primary goal is for e-books, Augen sells its own e-book reader but you can also purchase a black and white nook with 3G and Wi-Fi capability for the same price.

But if you are able to get this device for $99 and lower, it does do its job for Internet browsing and e-book reading.  But if you can save up more to purchase a better netbook or tablet, I would do just that.  Otherwise, if money is an issue and if you need something under a $100, then the Augen Genbook 108 may be for you.

UPDATE:

We gave a few staff a chance to use the Augen Genbook 108 and here are their thoughts.

From junior reviewer, Crish:

This netbook is not cool!  I can’t even get the wireless to work in the living room and even when I’m a foot away from the wireless router, it would show a strong signal and then it would lose connection and say it can’t detect wi-fi.  I can’t go on the Internet easy, I can’t even play Angry Birds correctly.  This one is bad! Don’t buy!

From Usagi:

If there was an emergency and I needed to contact someone for help on Facebook or Twitter and Wi Fi was around, this device will not work when you need it.  It works sometimes and when it does work, your browser will crash or the netbook will crash.  Forget it!  I don’t need the frustration.

 

The One About the Steve Madden Men’s P-Tremon Dress Boot (Metro Media Complex/a J!-ENT Shoe Review)

February 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Steve Madden Men's P-Tremon Dress Boot

Absolutely Comfortable, stylish and offered at a great price point, the Steve Madden’s P-Tremon Dress Boot is highly recommended!

SHOE: Steve Madden Men’s P-Tremon Dress Boot

MADE OF: Leather

COLOR: Black

SOLE: Rubber

OTHER MATERIALS: Elastic Band for easy stretching

MADE IN: China

WEBSITE

STEVE MADDEN HISTORY

Steve Madden is easily America’s most successful shoe designer. Considered the fashion footwear mogul of the 21st century, Madden has been responsible for the design and marketing of the company’s trendsetting shoes for the past two decades. His vision to give young, fashion forward women a unique way to express their individuality through style resulted in millions of customers worldwide and propelled his designs to the forefront of the fashion industry.

In 1990, with a mere $1,100 in his bank account, Madden started crafting shoe designs from his Queens-based factory and the Steve Madden brand was born. With sheer guts, years of experience in the footwear industry, and unique creative designs, Steve Madden formed his own successful enterprise.

A year later, Madden introduced a redefined version of platform shoes, resulting in one of the most spectacular success stories in the early 1990’s. Inspired by his favorite rock and roll stars of the 1970s, the thick, chunky heel became Steve Madden’s signature and a phenomenon in women’s shoes.

Madden’s footwear vision is continuously evolving. Steve once said, “What inspires me is what I see people wearing on the streets of the world from New York to London and beyond. I get my ideas and inspiration from pounding the pavement all over the world. Today, fashion is dictated by individual style. To me, the fashion of the future is anything that a young guy or girl feels good wearing as long as it’s put together in the right way.”

Today, the Steve Madden brand represents a lifestyle. It is about embracing fashion while still maintaining that funky independence that first defined the brand 20 years ago. Expanding now into apparel and other accessories such as dresses, handbags, belts, sunwear, cold weather, outerwear and hosiery, Steve Madden is always looking toward to the future. As 2011 begins, more exciting opportunities are on the horizon including re-packaging, new store design rollout and expansion in global markets.

Shoe Information

Add a polished sense of style with a dash of panache to your wardrobe wearing the P-Tremon boot from Steve Madden. This sleek dress boot is perfectly acceptable for work, but it’s after hours when this exercise in sophisticated footwear really comes into its own. With a lustrous leather upper, sleek elastic side panels and low-profile, your favorite night-out-on-the-town look gets a big boost in the cool department. This boot is also easy to wear thanks to a soft-leather lining and lightly cushioned leather footbed. A flexible outsole with a treaded heel also gives you stability out on the streets.

Steve Madden's P-Tremon Dress Boot

I have been looking for a dress boot that would work well with dress pants but also jeans but most importantly a shoe that can be used for a variety of occasions or even daily use (ie. the dress boots that work as a beater shoe). I have purchased Steve Madden-related clothing before but I have never purchased their shoes.

I have to admit that I was debating because when it comes to shoes, some makers tend are either exact on size, smaller or larger and when purchasing online, you really need to read the reviews from people how sizing goes. And noticed there were no reviews for this shoe. Well, the good news is that if you are 10.5 and you order 10.5, it fits perfectly.

Putting this shoe on was not difficult and what amazed me was the comfort of wearing the shoes and how it fit perfectly with dress pants and jeans.

There are a few things that I do want to comment on and I hope this helps some of you out:

* There is no zipper on this boot, but it does stretch with the elastic on the side, so you can fit your foot easily.

* The souls are rubber, if you are looking for wood on soles, there other dress boots on Amazon that offer that.

* The boots are not super shiny that sticks out or blind someone (I have had those type of shoes when I was younger and will never wear them again) but it does have that leather that shows off its sheen but not one that sticks out.

* Packaging – The shoe comes in a big white Steve Madden box and there is a lot of rolled up paper to keep the shoe from moving around the box. Also, paper inside the shoe as well. So, no worry about shoes being banged up during shipping.

As mentioned earlier, this boot was something that I want to use more often and that means looking for a shoe that will be walking in various conditions (ie. the beater shoe). Because its soles are rubber, it’s what I wanted. The shoe looks absolutely great for the guy who wants a shoe that looks great for business, great for going out and such. For those wanting more of a high-end look and don’t care for rubber on the soles, then I would look at other brands on Amazon.

But the shoe looks great, fits great and most of all, very comfortable. So, no need to worry of it being too large or too small, if you are a 10 or 10.5, you are going to get that size that you expect. No worrying at all.

Overall, I was very pleased with this boot. I have worn it with dress pants, jeans and tested it in variety of locations to see if my foot would ache and the shoe remained comfortable throughout the day. For under $55, the Steve Madden P-Tremon Dress Boot is highly recommended!

 

The One About the Casio G-Shock Rescue Red G7900A-4 (Metro Media Complex/a J!-ENT Watch Review)

February 10, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Note: This photo of my Casio G-Shock Rescue Red G7900A-4

The G7900’s may not be one of the flagship G-Shocks for Casio but in terms of style, comfort and most importantly, features…the G7900A-4 is awesome.  If you are looking for a red G-Shock, this “G” is highly recommended!

WATCH TITLE: Casio G-Shock Rescue Red G7900A-4

DIAL TYPE: Mineral

DISPLAY: Digital

BAND: Red Resin Strap

CASE MATERIAL: Resin/Stainless Steel

CASE DIAMETER: 50 mm

WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 660 Feet

MOVEMENT: Japanese Quartz

WEBSITE

CASIO G-SHOCK HISTORY

G-Shock is the ultimate tough watch. It was born from a developer’s dream of “creating a watch that never breaks.” Guided by a “Triple 10” development concept, the design teams sought a watch with 10-meter free-fall endurance, 10-bar water resistance and a 10-year battery life.

At a time when it was commonly believed that watches were breakable items, G-Shock’s development represented a challenge to common sense. The number of experimental prototypes built for endurance testing reached over 200. And the structural development and parts improvement took approximately two years. After a long, hard process of trial and error, G-Shock was finally launched. A shock resistant structure that overturned conventional thinking about watches was realized thorough breakthrough thinking, including the ideas of a hollow- structured case, all-directional protective covering and the use of cushioning material to protect critical parts.

These were the fruits of technological development that insisted on “toughness” and a revolution in watch design. Since its launched, G-Shock has continued to evolve for 25 long years, carrying on the toughness of spirit and uncompromising passion that led its developers to persist in their unshakable belief.

Watch Information

From G-Shock, the watch that delivers unmatched toughness, comes a collection of new models that deliver a new level of protection.  These watches are designed and engineered for rough and rugged activities.

Major features include four large bezel screws and protruding surfaces that divide the bezel & case of watch into four sections for a functional four point protection.  The buttons are among some of the largest in the G-Shock line-up for easy operation.  Low-temperature resistance allows operation even under very cold conditions, while moon and tide graphs provide essential information for marine professionals & enthusiasts.  The large LCD, which is divided into sections, makes information easy to locate and read whenever you need

  • New Four Point Design Protection
  • Large Buttons & Display Format
  • Tide & Moon Data

G-Shock Display Size Comparison

I have been eye-ing the Casio G-Shocking Rescue Red G7900 for some quite time.  Casio has released several colors of this G-Shock, one being a limited edition negative display of the red version, but other colors such as white, olive green, black, and another black but with yellow display.

But what caught my attention is the moon and tide graph.  I have a Gulfman and G-Lide and the tide and moon display for the G7900 was one of the best I have seen out from Casio thus far.  The display is nice and clear, not many obstructions as you get a circular moon tide graph on the upper left, tide graph on top and on the right, you get stop watch modes (for stopwatch 1 & 2).  The larger display is the time and date.

Of course, aside from the cool display and what really pulled me in was its red color.  The red bezel and band really pops and love the black highlights throughout the watch.  Unlike other G-Shock red watches that have orange, this one is red and black and really enhances an outfit (especially if you were a lot of dark colors, especially black and blue).  This watch definitely compliments an outfit.

As for the back case, it is stainless steel and you get the usual G-Shock Resist on the back.

The battery used for the G7900A-4 is one lithium battery (CR2025) which lasts approximately 2 years (normal usage). Accuracy at normal temperature is +/- 15 seconds a month.

Now, the band for the Rescue Red is also awesome looking! It doesn’t have a shiny look but more of a matted resin look, which I like.  The band is quite comfortable, but while not as perfect like the Mudman strap, it still fits comfortably on your wrist and at the base of the strap which connects to the case, there is a black guard that goes over the bumps of the band.  Some people complained that watches with those ridges near the base hurt their wrist, so I felt that it was smart for Casio to include those black plastic guards on the back.

I. THE FUNCTIONS

The G-7900A-4 features the moon and tide display on top.  Day indicator on top and at the bottom is the time, seconds and date.

Pressing the illumination button on the front gives you an aqua light which is the blue and blue/green illumination that many G-Shocks do come with. This G7900A-4 has two EL (electro-luminescent) panels that cause the entire display to glow for easy reading in the dark and also comes with an auto-light switch, if set, by a slight angle movement will make the light turn on. I have this turned off because I want my batteries to last long! You can set illumination from 3 to 5 seconds.

The modes that come with the Casio G-Shock Rescue Red G7900A-4 is:

  • Timekeeping Mode
  • Tide/Moon Data Mode
  • Stopwatch Mode (ST1)
  • Stopwatch Mode (ST2)
  • Countdown Timer Mode
  • Alarm Mode
  • World Time Mode (48 Cities/29 Time Zones)

The stopwatch modes have a display range of 999 hours, 59 minutes, 59.99 seconds and there is auto-start. As for alarm mode, is good and audible. You can also mute the tones as well.

II. THE BUTTONS

The buttons are black and flat and not steel and have a feel similar to the Mudman’s but of course, where the Mudman’s are designed to keep mud out and takes much more pressure (and for some people, much harder to press), the buttons are easy to press on the G7900.  There are four buttons and for the most part, one should not have problems with selections.

III. WATER RESISTANCE

The Casio G-Shock Rescue Red G7900A-4 is marked at 20 Bar which means and this means you can go scuba diving and snorkeling with it.

IV.  TIME & MOON GRAPH DISPLAY

The Casio G-Shock Rescue Red G7900A-4 features a circular moon graph on the top left of the display.  The moon phase indicator indicates the current phases of the moon as viewed at noon from a position in the Northern Hemisphere looking south.  The watch performs a rough calculation of the current moon age from day 0 of the moon age cycle and the margin of error of the displayed moon age is +/- 1 day.

The tide graph has six graphic segments, each of which indicates tide level.  The tide graph displayed on the watch is based on the current moon age.  The greater the error in a particular moon age, the greater the error in the resulting tide graph.

IV. OVERALL

I absolutely love this watch! It scores high on style (looks great if you wear a lot of black or darker clothing), high on comfort and the display, is stylishly cool, especially if you are looking for a larger tide display on a chunkier watch. The functions are awesome and you really get a lot for your money for the 7900 (I paid $64.99 during the holidaysfor the Rescue Red but they typically sell for under $90) and you can often find various versions on sale on Amazon by Amazon or third party fulfilled by Amazon as well.

It’s important to note that some people have received their G7900’s in the tin G-Shock cases, I did not. Mine came in a black standard G-Shock cardboard box.  The manual as usual with Casio G-Shock releases are quite thick, especially for this watch.

There is really nothing negative that can be said about this watch.  It’s simple to set (if you are used to G-Shocks), otherwise you get a nice thick manual in various languages to peruse.   The watch looks great, it is comfortable and Casio went all out in making sure that those who care about moon and tide displays get a cool watch.  Also, the fact that you get the guards on the base of the straps is a plus.  I have to say that while the Gulfman was created for the sea and has a pretty cool tide display, I prefer the Rescue Red over the Casio Gulfman in terms of aesthetics and also, it’s a 20 bar watch, so you can go deep sea diving with it.

I do recommend purchasing Vinylex Quick Wipes (or spray) to keep your G-Shocks protected (since Resin does tend to harden or crack if not cared for).

But in the end, I have to give the Casio G-Shock Rescue Red G7900A-4 a pretty solid rating.  For those looking for a red G-Shock, this is the best out there in my opinion.  It’s not too flash, it’s stylish and cool.  But most importantly, it has a lot of the features that make it a pretty awesome G-Shock.

Highly recommended!

 

The One About the Casio G-Shock Mudman G9000-8V (aka “Stormtrooper”) (Metro Media Complex/a J!-ENT Watch Review)

January 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Note: This photo of the Casio G-Shock Mudman G9000-8V was taken by me and has nothing to do with the Star Wars Hasbro Action Figures or the Star Wars.

The Casio G-Shock Mudman series is a tough, durable watch that is specifically designed for those needing a watch for outdoor use in which you think you will be around mud/sand and harsh elements.  A tough watch designed to withstand mud but also means, tough buttons to press (prevents mud from getting in).  Still a wonderful G-Shock and with various versions and colors out right now, it’s definitely worth having in your collection.

WATCH TITLE: Casio G-Shock Mudman G9000-8V

DIAL TYPE: Mineral

DISPLAY: Digital

BAND: Ivory Resin Strap

CASE MATERIAL: Resin/Stainless Steel

CASE DIAMETER: 46 mm

WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 200 Meters

MOVEMENT: Quartz

WEBSITE

CASIO G-SHOCK HISTORY

G-Shock is the ultimate tough watch. It was born from a developer’s dream of “creating a watch that never breaks.” Guided by a “Triple 10” development concept, the design teams sought a watch with 10-meter free-fall endurance, 10-bar water resistance and a 10-year battery life.

At a time when it was commonly believed that watches were breakable items, G-Shock’s development represented a challenge to common sense. The number of experimental prototypes built for endurance testing reached over 200. And the structural development and parts improvement took approximately two years. After a long, hard process of trial and error, G-Shock was finally launched. A shock resistant structure that overturned conventional thinking about watches was realized thorough breakthrough thinking, including the ideas of a hollow- structured case, all-directional protective covering and the use of cushioning material to protect critical parts.

These were the fruits of technological development that insisted on “toughness” and a revolution in watch design. Since its launched, G-Shock has continued to evolve for 25 long years, carrying on the toughness of spirit and uncompromising passion that led its developers to persist in their unshakable belief.

Watch Information

From the Master of G series of timepieces designed and engineered designed and built for professionals come a new collection of mud and dirt-resistant MUDMAN models in a choice of three colors. Dual independent stopwatches include a 1/100-second stopwatch capable of measuring continuous elapsed time for up to 1,000 hours for separate timing of two different events simultaneously.These models come in a choice of three different colors that are often used on FMX (freestyle motocross) and MX (motocross) motorcycles. Mud & Dirt Resistant, Dual 1/100 Second Stopwatches, Auto Dual EL Backlight w/Afterglow.

A size comparison of my Mudman with a few of my other G-Shocks.

Having a good collection of Casio G-Shocks, I have debated purchasing a G-Shock Mudman because I tend to like my G-Shocks to be slightly larger in size and color-wise, I wanted a normal red version but unfortunately the US release has the negative display, while the Japanese release received a positive display.

Also, I have read about people’s complaints of how the Casio G-Shock Mudman buttons are hard to press.  Typically, when you are driving or out and about, you want to press a button and get a time or function immediately rather than struggle with pressing a button to achieve a mode change.

But like most wristwatches, I prefer not to get too carried away with other watch reviews and experience the watch for myself because when it comes to G-Shocks, there are so many other consider from functions, comfort and it if generally works for you.  Although I am a watch collector and own several G-shocks, I wear mine and I want to make sure that it also fits with the wardrobe I wear.

And sure enough, I decided to purchase The Casio G-Shock Mudman G9000-8V which many owners have called it the “Mudman Stormtrooper” or “Stormtrooper”.

I’ve debated of which Mudman to own.  Atomic/Solar, one with better display, one with negative display, red, black/orange, classic, etc.  But in the end, the watch that caught my eye was the Stormtrooper.  Also, because I have a lot of black G-shocks and a red g-shock, I never owned an ivory/tan version.

I received the Mudman G9000-8V from a watch company fulfilled on Amazon.  I have to admit that because my Gulfman came with a tin, I was expecting a G-Shock tin case as well.  But instead, it was a standard black G-Shock box (I’m still trying to figure out which watches come with a tin as of the many G-Shocks I have purchased only the Gulfman thus far came with a tin).  And you do get the thick Casio catalog, in this case Module No. 3031 and features instructions in various languages.

But taking it out of the box, I have to say that I am impressed, the G9000-8V is an awesome looking watch.

I never quite realized why fans called it a “Stormtrooper” but I realize that since I have so many Star Wars Stormtrooper action figures I have collected over the years, I wanted to compare the look and colors.  And sure enough, the one that did come close to it was the Sandtrooper from “Star Trek IV: A New Hope”.

As for the back case, it is stainless steel and you get the rodent with the wheels on the back and you see the G-9000.

The battery used for the Mudman is one lithium battery (CR2025) which lasts approximately 3 years.  Accuracy at normal temperature is +/- 15 seconds a month.

Now, the band for the Mudmans are awesome looking!  Where most G-Shocks have a single hole for the buckle, the Mudman straps have two horizontal buckles and unlike other G-Shocks that have ridges right near the casing, this one doesn’t.  I have to say that among all the G-Shocks that I do own, the Mudman is one of the most comfortable watches that I have worn on my wrist.

I.  THE FUNCTIONS

While the watch case and band are ivory, you get black buttons and the display has white, black and dark orange/brown while the display module has orange with black digits.  I like the look of the watch with the white and the triangle with silver on top and it makes the Mudman G9000’s quite distinct. But the reason for this display is for the Flash Alert.  When Flash Alert is on, the illumination flashes for the alarms, hourly time signal, countdown alarm and stopwatch auto-start.  On the right circle, you can see an “on” button if you have Flash Alert on.

Pressing the illumination button gives you an orange light and for me that was pretty cool as most G-Shocks I own are all blue and blue/green illumination.  This Mudman has two EL (electro-luminescent) panels that cause the entire display to glow for easy reading in the dark and also comes with an auto-light switch, if set, by a slight angle movement will make the light turn on.  I have this turned off because I want my batteries to last long!  You can set illumination from 3 to 5 seconds.

The modes that come with the Casio G-Shock Mudman G9000-8V is:

  • Timekeeping Mode
  • Stopwatch Mode (ST1)
  • Stopwatch Mode (ST2)
  • Countdown Timer Mode
  • Alarm Mode
  • World Time Mode

The stopwatch modes have a display range of 999 hours, 59 minutes, 59.99 seconds and there is auto-start.  As for alarm mode, I’ve read some people complaining about the alarm not being loud enough and I can tell you that this is not the case.  I have several Casio watches and the alarm for the Mudman is audible, even when kept in a box, you can hear it. You can also mute the tones as well.

II.  THE BUTTONS

This is the big thing about Casio G-Shock Mudmans that many people love or hate about the watch.  Because the watch is designed to prevent mud from coming in, the buttons require more pressure than any Casio G-Shock watch.  I have no problem with it and I actually came in thinking the worst because some people felt it was too difficult to press.  I didn’t feel that way.  Setting the time and everything else did require pressure but it’s not that bad.  Now, if you are driving in darkness and are use to pressing the illumination button easily or in a quick rush to look at the worldtime or use the stopwatch and need simple buttons, then yeah…you may want to wear a G-Shock that is easier to press.

But the Mudman is tailored for those who are outdoors, get dirty, get in the mud, sand, etc.

For me, this is perfect as I surf, I bodysurf and it’s good to know that the Casio G-Shock Mudman has buttons that prevent elements from getting in.

So, this is important to consider.  The buttons are not as easy to push as regular G-Shocks but they are not that difficult to press, it does require a bit more pressure than other non-Mudman G-Shocks.

III.  WATER RESISTANCE

The Casio G-Shock Mudman G9000-8V is Rank V 200M water resistant and this means you can go scuba diving and snorkeling with it.

IV. OVERALL

I absolutely love this watch!  It scores high on style (looks great if you wear a lot of black or darker clothing), high on comfort (the band is one of the best G-Shock bands in look, design and feel) and the display, is stylishly cool.  The functions are great and you really get a lot for your money with a Mudman (I paid $64.99) and you can often find various versions on sale on Amazon by Amazon or third party fulfilled by Amazon as well.

Of course, the biggest thing that will either hook you or push you away are the buttons.  The Mudmans are created to withstand the elements and thus, preventing as many elements or mud to get inside the watch.  So, the buttons take more pressure when it comes to pushing them than other G-Shocks.  For some people, that’s great and for others…it’s a turnoff.

But in the end, I was looking for a G-Shock different from what I owned already, something that can withstand the elements as I have Gulfman and G-Lide for surfing but I wanted a Mudman that is more durable for the beating and also a watch that looks great but also provides the functions that I use a G-Shock for, this one has it all and more.

The Casio G-Shock Mudman G9000-8V is flat-out awesome and I highly recommend this watch!

 

The One about the Orient Men’s CEM5J005B Automatic Day and Date Black Stainless Steel Watch (Metro Media Complex/a J!-ENT Watch Review)

January 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Note: This Orient Watch image of my Orient CEM5J005B was taken by me and has nothing to do with the DVD's (or their companies) shown above.

The CEM5J005B features style, dependability of a long-standing quality brand name and all for a low price!  If you are looking for a Japanese watch with a great tradition and dependability for the lowest price, you can’t go wrong with an Orient wristwatch.  Definitely recommended!

WATCH TITLE: Orient Men’s CEM5J005B Automatic Day and Date Black Stainless Steel Watch

DIAL TYPE: Mineral

DISPLAY: Analog

CLASP: Fold Over Clasp

CASE MATERIAL: Stainless Steel

CASE DIAMETER: 39 mm

BAND WIDTH: 11 mm

WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 165 Feet

MOVEMENT: Japanese-Automatic

WEBSITE

ORIENT HISTORY

The Orient Watch Company, Limited (Orient Tokei Kabushikigaisha) is Japan’s largest producer of mechanical watches and is owned by Seiko Epson.  Although the company producers both quartz and mechanical watches, Orient is best known for its mechanical watches internationally.

The company was founded back in July 1950 but its roots began back in 1901 when Shogoro Yoshida opened a wholesale watch shop in Ueno.  The company is known for the development of power-reserve indicators and the use of in-house movement production of watches in the hundred-dollar price ranged.

Although the company is owned by Seiko Epson, they operate as an individual entity.

Watch Information

The Orient Men’s Automatic Day and Date Black Stainless Steel Watch showcases a unique dial featuring an easy-to-read day subdial surrounded by bold silver-bar hour markers. This handsome everyday timepiece is constructed with a stainless steel case, a stationary stainless steel bezel, and a stainless steel link bracelet secured with a fold-over clasp. A durable mineral window shields the black dial, which features luminous silver-bar hour markers, slim minute markers, and discrete white Arabic numerals at five-minute intervals. The dial also includes an inner subdial that tracks the days as they pass, and a date calendar at the six o’clock position. Featuring Japanese-automatic movement, the watch is water resistant to 165 feet (50 M).

The reason why I enjoy Orient watches are a) Brand Name and their long standing tradition in Japan  b) their dedication to quality in producing mechanical watches  c) Price.

Orient wristwatches are built for quality and dependability for a great affordable price and the CEM5J005 series wristwatches typically are sold on Amazon for under $60 (list price is $135) which is fantastic!  With many Seiko’s, you do see the movement in the caseback but with the CEM5J00B, it’s stainless steel which is part of the reason why this watch is under $60.

Upon receiving the watch, the first thing I noticed is how cool the Orient case was with stainless steel box with the Orient logo and it came with a warranty booklet but also a pretty thick mechanical watch instruction booklet.

Upon taking out of the watch, the watch fit on my wrist perfectly.  So, I was happy I didn’t have to remove a link. The bracelet is not super shiny and is brushed metal, while parts of the link are shiny.

Setting up the watch was easy.  As the watch is an automatic mechanical watch, the watch starts up upon movement and works around arm/wrist movement.  The crown when pulled out sets the clock arms when pulled out all the way, half way you set the date on the 6:00 position.   There is no hacking (second arm) with this watch for those who are into precision timing.  Above the crown around the 2:00 position is a button to do the days. One click for red (am) and one click for blue (pm) and it’s very easy to set the correct color for the corresponding day.

Although I do prefer watches with a case diameter of over 42″, the CEM5J005B works great using the standard 38″.

But the display is what I love about this watch.  I wanted a watch that showcased the Orient logo and this silver and red logo on the black dial worked perfectly.  Also, I wanted the Orient three stars right above the 6:00 position, so it was great that this watch had that.  Also, enjoyed the matching silver logo, silver stars and the silver 5-minute increments around the watch.  Also, another importance were the little words going around the watch.  It was important for me to have the “Automatic” and “21 Jewels” on the dial.   The dial also has Crystal and Water Resistant 50M.

I like the long hands on the CEM5J005, I’m not really into smaller hand wristwatches, so that was another plus for me.  As for the lume, the lume is probably the weakest part of the watch.  Although the hands are long, they don’t have enough space for the lume and so if your eyesight is bad, you may not see the time well during complete darkness.

I was able to tell the time fine but looking at the watch, there seems to be lume around the 5-minute increment marks but the lume for those didn’t show up.  But other than that, it’s a pretty awesome watch.

There are some key points that people should know about this watch:

  • The Caliber is EM-469.  So, for every 8 hours of use, you should get 40 hours of movement before you stop using it and it the movement stops (and of course, once you wear it again after not using it, you will have to set the date and time up and it will work upon arm/wrist movement like most automatics).
  • The manual does point out that you can expect +25 to -15 seconds of time loss of gain per day.  I’ve tested this for several weeks and I have not seen that dramatic loss at all.  It has been pretty solid with may be a second or two but that’s it.
  • Because this watch is water resistant for 50M, it’s good for swimming, car washes, even showering (although I always recommend not showering with a watch) but it is not suitable for diving or underwater activity.

With that being said, the Orient CEM5J005 series is pretty awesome.  There is a black dial, blue and a white dial available on Amazon.  The reason why I like the black is because the logo and words stand out and so does the blue dial (note: the blue dial is sold on Amazon for $101 instead of under $60 for some reason), while the white dial, I felt the silver logo and the three stars and increment markings didn’t stand out so much.

Sure, you don’t get to see the movement on the back of the case but for its price, its stylish look and the dependability of the Orient name, I definitely recommend the CEM5J005B!

 

The One about the Swiss Military HANOWA Sealander 316L (06-5095-04-001-06) (Metro Media Complex/a J!-ENT Watch Review)

January 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The following image above is my Swiss Military HANOWA Sealander and has nothing to do with the DVD's (or their companies) as show above.

Awesome looking!  Nice think Swiss Military watch from HANOWA.  Great watch but I wish the company includes instructions with their wristwatches.

WATCH TITLE:  Swiss Military HANOWA Sealander 316L (06-5095-04-001-06)

DIAL TYPE: Mineral

DISPLAY: Analog

CLASP: Fold Over Push Button Clasp with Safety

CASE MATERIAL: Stainless Steel

CASE DIAMETER: 44 mm

BAND WIDTH: 22 mm

WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 660 Feet

MOVEMENT: Swiss Quartz

WEBSITE

HANOWA HISTORY

Hans Noll came to Biel in 1961, following a broad-based commercial career, and took over the European sales management responsibility for a mid-sized watch factory. In 1963, following a management changeover, he left this company to set up his own business with his wife. As sufficient capital was not available to buy a brand for himself, he used his imagination and blended the founder’s name Hans Noll with the word Watch, giving birth to the brand name Hanowa.

Already after only a few years, watches were being produced under own management, giving Hanowa right from the outset a reputation for fantasy watches (ring watches, pendant watches, clip watches, watch sets and much more). For the past 15 years, the company has adapted itself to the changing market trend and converted its production over to sports watches. Thus the “hw Swiss Military” brand was born. Soon afterwards sister brand “Swiss-Eagle” followed, appealing to the same target audience but offering special, exclusive models.

Watch Information

A flash of color against clean steel makes the Swiss Military Hanowa Men’s Sealander 316L Stainless Steel Silver Dial Watch quite the eye-grabbing timepiece. Sturdy stainless steel makes up the large case, featuring a dark green bezel marked with thick white lines and Arabic numerals at five-minute intervals. The white dial hosts thick black-lined hour and minute hands ticking above a black subdial featuring the seconds in white lines and numerals. Light green lines sit just below blocky black Arabic numbers at each hour mark, while the red and white Swiss Military cross appears for the 12 o’clock. A small calendar display near the three o’clock hour gives the date. The green inside both hands and the lines gives a soft glow in the dark, allowing you to tell the time regardless of where you and your watch are. The band consists of tightly linked steel pieces for a close fit and smooth feel, closing with a fold-over push-button clasp. Water resistant up to 660 feet (200 meters), this bold timepiece boasts the reliability of Swiss quartz movement.

As Victorinox is known for their Swiss Army watches and their Wenger line are known for their Swiss Military line.  But another company that has the Swiss Military designation is Swiss Military HANOWA.  Their trademark is HANOWA very fashionable, well-priced watches and is created by Hans Noll (HANOWA is the shortened word for HAns NOll WAtch).

Among there more popular watches is their Navy Line which the Sealander is part of and my eyes lit up when I saw it for sale during the holidays.  And I figured that it was a good time to give a Swiss Military HANOWA Sealander 316L a try!

So, I went for the 316L (06-5095) which features a stainless steel silver dial, a black subdial for the seconds, a dark green bezel and sporting Arabic numerals with a small calendar at the 3:00 section and red Swiss logo on the 12:00 position.

Upon receiving the Sealander, the Swiss Military HANOWA watch comes in a pretty smooth leather box with an embossed steel “Swiss Military” on top of the case.  There is no instructions when I opened the box but then again, I figured  Swiss Military HANOWA feels the watch is easy and self explanatory.

Upon trying on the watch, it fit perfectly but at the same time, that was a surprise as most watches, I have to take a link or two out to get that perfect fit.  So, it’s important to note that if you have a big wrist, you may want to check the bracelet size as this one is 22 mm.  I really like the watch and its look.  The bracelet is very nice and love the push button, security clasp.  The case is a very shiny, well-done stainless steel case with a screw back to make the watch water resistant.

Pull the crown out from the side to set the watch and to set the calendar date. I like how the Swiss symbol is on the crown but it is very important to screw down the crown for better water protection.

As for the movement, Swiss Military HANOWA uses Swiss made quartz movements and according to their website, HANOWA uses leading producers ISA and Ronda and for mechanical, they use ETA, TechnoSablier or Claro movements.

As for the watch, I love the look of the watch.  The newer 5096 is a chronograph watch but I have enough chronograph watches that I wanted something simple, elegant, cool and the seconds clock dial in black at the 6:00 position was all I need. The dial utilizes a Superluminova numbers and dots.  The hands were easy to see in the dark, as well as the Swiss cross on the top.  The dots could glow but were not as bright as the hand or cross.

The watch is a little heavy but I like that because you can tell it’s the case and watch is sturdy but because it’s uses a mineral glass for its dial window, I wouldn’t want to mess around with this watch and drop it as it may crack.

Although a Sealander and party of HANOWA’s Navy line, according to the specifications, this watch can be submerged up to 660 feet (200 metres).  Because there are no instructions, there is important information that can be found on the HANOWA website:

Any watch that is regularly immersed in water should be inspected for water resistance ability every year. Watch cases and bracelets should be rinsed thoroughly in fresh water after being in salt water.

Watches should never be put in a sauna or a hot tub since the exposure to heat can easily make the gaskets lose their shape and decrease their water resistance. Watches should not be worn in the bath/shower. The soap reduces surface tension of the rubber gasket in the watch, which allows water to get in. The soap can also damage the seal itself. Swiss Military-Hanowa highly recommends you do not bathe with your watch.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this watch.  I typically do not buy quartz and opt towards automatic, I was still pleased with the overall quality of the watch.  I love the look of the dial, love the polished steel of the case and bracelet.  And it’s an awesome watch!  I have read a few reviews from owners who messed up their watch because they didn’t screw down the crown all the way down but this is very important and you can easily damage your watch if you don’t follow the instructions.  And this is where the caveat is with the watch, I’ve read others who didn’t get instructions with their case.

For those who purchase a Sealander as a first watch, people need to know this and its important that HANOWA at least includes a printout or something to let these people know about the screw down crown.

Other than that, I really enjoy the Swiss Military HANOWA Sealander 316L.  Definitely recommended!

 

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