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*IMPORTANT* This blog has moved *IMPORTANT*

YOU CAN NOW FIND THIS BLOG AT daniscool.net

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"Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight."

— Bill Gates

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Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate

Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate

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Want: Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate

Das Keyboard is a company who produce mechanical keyboards for the gamer, but also a keyboard that can be used by the average consumer. I am an owner of the last Das Keyboard with Cherry MX blue switches and I love using it, mechanical switches definitely improve productivity.

Das Keyboard have now released there new keyboard called the Das Keyboard 4 which comes in two configuration the professional and ultimate, I’m interested in the ultimate. The difference is the professional has letters on the keys and the ultimate’s keys are blank.

A cool feature of the Das Keyboard line is that a two port USB hub is included in the keyboard, however on the last keyboard the hub was on the right side of the keyboard and when moving the mouse you could accidentally crash into USB drives while moving the mouse about (if that makes sense). The new keyboard features the hub on the back of the keyboard this eliminates the problem it caused to the mouse and it makes the hub more accessible, also USB 2 has been replaced by USB 3 which is a big plus.

The overall shape of the Das Keyboard has changed in the newer model, it looks allot more streamlined while not losing the weight that all mechanical keyboards need. Also an anodized aluminium top has been added to the top of the keyboard which looks spectacular, this replaces the glossy finish on the last model which was very hard to clean.

I don’t know if I would use these features but they sound cool either way, the new keyboard features dedicated media control buttons and an oversized volume knob. There is also an instant sleep button so that you can save energy.

I want to talk about the cables used to connect the keyboard to the computer, the last keyboard used two cable one for keyboard connection and the other for hub power. This was a pain for the people who for example only had 3 USB ports on a laptop, but the hub did help to counter that. Anyway the new model has both cables in one USB 3 cable. I don’t type fast enough but N key roll-over on the last keyboard could only be used if you used the PS2 adapter, which was a pain because PS2 isn’t included with many new computers. However on the new model it is included in the main USB 3 cable.

A feature that will never be used by me, is the foot bar of this keyboard it can be used as a ruler. I like the creative thinking by Das, but I doubt it will be useful.

As soon as it becomes available in the UK I will definitely be getting my hands on this keyboard, this keyboard just looks plain bad ass!

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Logitech Performance MX

Logitech Performance MX

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Overview: Logitech Performance MX

Logitech’s Performance MX mouse, is an internet known go to mouse if you are willing to invest a bit more.

On this blog I can’t stop blabbering on about computer peripherals, keyboards are a big passion of mine (especially mechanical). I think peripherals are so important, because you use them all the time when in front of the computer, which is a long time for some.

Anyway back to the mouse, I got the MX for Christmas it was one of the best presents I received. The packaging is some of the best that I have seen, the latch was not connected using the normal plastic stickers that we are used to, it was done using magnets this removes an ongoing consumer problem. The packaging obviously cost Logitech allot of money, but it definitely added to the experience which is important when buying into technology.

This isn’t packaging but the wires included for the mouse, were enclosed in a nice little Logitech pouch. This is a really nice touch that will help the cables not to be forgotten about.

So to conclude the first segment, company’s need to learn from this packaging. Next the dongle, I have had Bluetooth mice before but have found that they can some times be unreliable, this is one of the reasons I went with the MX. The dongle is super small so it’s not as if you need to make space around the USB slot for it (*cough*Badly designed thumb drives*cough*). Oh and before I forget in the cable pouch, it comes with a USB extension cable for the dongle to be plugged into, this would be useful if your computer was far away from where you use the mouse.

I think it was important to cover the previous items, because they really attributed nicely to an awesome overall experience.

Lets move onto the star of the show the mouse itself, the main reason for buying this mouse is because it is super ergonomic which is important because my right hand likes to be comfortable, when I am sat at my computer for long periods of time (this happens on a regular basis #ComputerNerdLife). My hand sits in a perfect position when holding the mouse and there are even indents for where your fingers shoulod be placed, really nice rubbery materials which make it a nice feeling to hold. This mouse is rechargeable, which is awesome. The mouse charging wire is enclosed in the pouch.

The MX has a weight to it which is important for making moves across the mouse pad, that brings me onto another point I use this mouse on a mouse pad, however this mouse can even be used on a glass desk. Here is a feature I didn’t think I would use at first, the multiple buttons on the mouse, using Logitech’s software you can use the buttons do do various functions. I find this useful in OS X for zooming in Safari and for quickly accessing control panel.

This mouse eliminates the problem of a crappy scroll wheel, we have all used a mouse where the scroll wheel goes out of control. This mouse gives you two options with the scroll wheel, with a simple click of the button the scroll wheel can changes to more of a clog feel and click again and your back to the out of control wheel. For me I tend to use the clog effect when scrolling through code and the out of control option for when scrolling through the web.

This seems to have turned into a bit of a review, but at least I got the information across. I would definitely recommend this mouse to not only professionals but also average consumers.The experience is awesome which is important and the build quality and feel of the product is super.

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Pila, Aosta Valley, Italy

Pila, Aosta Valley, Italy

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Successful ski trip to Pila, Aosta Valley, Italy

Yesterday I arrived back from an extended week of skiing in Italy.

Skiing is usually associated with cold and grey weather, which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. However in Italy it was scorching hot thirty degree weather, which helped to give me a sun burnt face.

Snow is important when skiing (well done Dan), you would have thought that there was a lack of snow because of the weather. But this was not the case, towards the end of the week some slopes did become snow deprecated (blue slopes). This is down to how high the slopes were, to put it into perspective the gondola ride up to the slopes was sixteen minutes long. This time was used wisely to take in scenery and to buckle up boots (which is normally a pain).

Since I went to Italy we may as well talk about food, I had roughly seven pasta dishes while in Italy, this obviously isn’t much of a surprise. However one pizza dish is definitely surprising.

My skiing definitely improved. I was in a group with a couple of mates, I find that skiing in a group with friends helps you to improve your skiing versus private tuition. I find that when skiing in a group there is a competitive side to trying to improve and also a better social side compared to skiing just with your instructor(who may not even speak the same language).

Anyway to sum up my thoughts on my trip to Italy. It was very successful had some awesome memory’s and improved my skiing. What else can you ask for from a skiing holiday. Only downside was the 36 hour bus journey to Italy and 12 hour back, as well as my crappy time with Brittany Ferries (as always).

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HTC One M8

HTC One M8

Tags: HTC One M8
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HTC M8: First Impression!

This phone was highly anticipated for along time, this was mainly because of the amount of people who liked the first HTC One. For me the HTC One is the first metal Android phone that looks beautiful and that is rare.

The update to the HTC One the M8, is just a general small time update keeping all those design features we liked and adding more features and improving others.

My impressions are that it looks as nice as the first HTC One and I’m glad HTC have updated it, for the people who fell in love with the first device. But there’s no heart sensors to get excited about, which I think is a good thing.

Tags: htc m8

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Hi I'm Dan
14. Developer. Computer Nerd