Monday, January 23, 2017

Product review: Image Fitness Tracker with touch screen

This watch has just three functions date/time, steps, and distance and it is very simple to use. Just touch the finger print icon and it flips between time, steps, and distance.  This is exactly what I want during a work out.  Some fitness trackers have a lot of options and menus and  a complex navigation path to see the what I want to see. All I want is steps, distance and time and this is exactly what this watch gives me.


To recharge the watch you need to pop it out of the band and attach a special recharge dongle which plugs into USB port.  I do this several time a week.  So far no signs of the band stretching out. Time will tell how it holds up over time. 

To latch the band with one hand I insert and tighten the tongue first and then push down on the tab. This watch is extremely light (0.8 oz) and it is waterproof.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Product review: Crenova WIFI Endoscope - view on Android, iPhone, PC

The quality of the Crenova endoscope is pretty good.  In attached video I show a text in a magazine as I move the camera from touching the page to being about 10 inches away from the page.  It has a sweet spot for sharpness of the image in the middle of that range, but you can read the text at all distances.  The wire of the endoscope can be bent and it holds its shape as you move the wire around, this allows you to aim it at an angle not just pointing down.

The endoscope comes with app (available from GooglePlay). The name of the app is PLX_WifiCamera. The app also has iPhone version which I have not tried.  Once I plugged in the camera into the WIFI unit I immediately saw the camera hotspot under WI FI connections on my phone and was able to connect to it with the password specified in the manual. The name of the hotspot is PLX_Camera. If you turn off the phone or the endoscope, you need to reconnect to the hotspot (not automatic re-connection).


The endoscope has a light on the end, which is very handy when you are looking at the dark hidden away places. The light switch is built into the cable attached to the camera.  The switch is at the end nearest to the WIFI unit, so you can release the entire long cable and still be able to control the amount of light at the other end.

The app allows me to view the action on the phone. When I select I can take photos or record video.

The camera comes with a couple of accessories: a hook, a magnet and a mirror. The accessories lock onto the camera.  The mechanism is a bit finnicky and does not look very robust but it does work.  You can see me locking and unlocking the accessories in the video.

The documentation is fairly is not very detailed but it was enough for me to figure out how to connect the camera and turn it on.

Bottom line? This is a handy tool for hard to see areas, reasonable video quality, good price, it is a little tricky to control the aim. I hope the video helps you get a good idea of what to expect.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Product review: Neewer 400W Strobe Light for Canon and Nikon

Neewer 400W Strobe Light for Canon and Nikon

I am using this strobe with Canon Rebel SLR camera. The package include the strobe itself, the case, the battery and the battery recharger, cap for the strobe and  Bowens Mount Adapter.  The only thing I am not using is the  Bowens Mount Adapter.  It can be used to mount a defuser.  Defuser was not included in the package and I have not purchased one yet.

The remote trigger and the probes worked with my camera without any problems.  By default both were set to channel one and communicated in variety of modes I have tried.  My video includes a demonstration of set up and my high speed photography session to generate photos of droplets.

The case and the probe feel very solid.  Together they weight 10 pounds 2 oz.  The case is lined with foam, the fit is very tight.  This is both good and bad. It keeps the strobe very secure once you get it in, but it is hard to put the strobe in without pushing down the foam.


The package includes two manuals. One for the trigger and for the foam.  The manual for the trigger is better.  The manual for the foam is detailed about some things, but not about others.  For example, it does not show how to mount and remove the battery.  This is probably the most awkward part of using the strobe. It takes me a few attempts to mount the battery.  Removing it is easier.  The manual does not mention how to remove the probe's cap - is it a screw top or pushes on?  The cap is a push on cap and it is very tight.  Initially it did not budge either when I pushing or when I twisted.  Eventually I won!

Overall, on the positive side the strobe works well with my camera, the battery lasts a reasonable amount of time. it feels solidly made and I like the protective case.  On the negative side, the battery pack is awkward to mount, the foam padded case is a bit tight and it takes time to fit the probe in.  The pluses oby far outweigh the minuses.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, January 20, 2017

Product review: Unger Pro 961350C Moss Rubber Floor Squeegee with Poly Propylene 22 in

I am using my squeegee on the deck not only to dry it but to push snow off the deck without damaging the wood surface with a shovel. I like that it is made out of heavy duty plastic, it does not rust like the metal squeegee.  It is sold without the handle, and fits any standard broom handle. I got mine squeegee at a local Home Depot - same price but I could put it to work faster.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Product review: Tiergrade 3 port Car Charger Adapter

We usually travel with a lot of gadgets so a 3 port car charger is very useful to us.

I checked each port using Nexus6p while its battery was 33% full keeping all other variables (what apps are running, whehter the screen is on or off, and so forth the same). At 31%-33% full level Nexus 6p uses rapid charging if possible.  Nexus 6p does not suppor QC charging so that port performed the worst, the 2.4A port quite well.

QC 3.0 port: 1610 mA / 4.077V
middle 2.4A port: 2300 mA / 4.14V
top 2.4A port: 2270 mA / 4.15V

The charger fits into the port tightly and does not unplug easily. Overall, pretty good charger.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Product review: Nonscents Odor Control Cat Litter Deodorizer

 We have been using the kitty litter deodorizer for four weeks and it does deodorize well.  The key to any kitty product is for the cats to accept it.  We have two cats and both of them had no problems with it.  We started with a clean box and after a few weeks my sensitive nose typically picks a bit of a scent normally.  With the deodorize sprinkled on top it stays scent free longer.

The bottle is just like a large spice bottle, it has opening at the top which control how much falls out when you shake it.  Pretty good stuff!

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book review: Dealing with Relatives: Your Guide to Successful Family Relationships

This book is OK. Some sections of the book are useful (not just theory) and can be acted on such as discussion of blending - minimizing the differences between people. The authors did identified an area I was particularly interested in - how to deal with a person who only wants to talk and does not to listen to others. The authors only offered solution to the person who is reading the book (i.e. make pauses, repeat what the other person said, ask questions) but it does not help the person who is the talker, the person who is not pausing or hearing the others.

The book does not address how to deal with all areas that cause family problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse, co-dependency, and other more serious disorders. It mostly deals with the personality issues. The book is most helpful for self-improvement, it helps YOU to be a better relative.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆