Browse Tag: Hardware

Shipping Forecast

In early December I decided to run the pending updates on my HTC M9, I usually let them build up for several days before installing them. However the following day the phone was acting a little odd so I decided to restart it. That’s when some of the core android files appeared to stop working altogether. So after following the clear cache reinstall applications, complete wipe and then a factory reset I gave up.

The ultimate result was that my phone was screwed. I contacted HTC using their online chat system (spoke to someone named Christine) and after walking through the same steps I had already taken (but you know in an official capacity this time). They ultimately came to the same conclusion as I had, it appeared that one of the updates had gone wrong and had updated into the recovery store.

So they raised a report to start the process for me to return it, only after waiting the allotted 2 days without any confirmation emails, I contacted them again to find out what the issues was, again Christine was on the chat client, (small world) after attempting to send the email, I eventually get it sent to another email address due to reasons. YAY

Only the email states, you will get two additional emails after this one, so I wait another day, then have to contact them again, this time I get another operator, I explain the issue again and we attempt to get the emails resent. Result! the first additional email arrives to my original email address, the next will be along shortly I’m promised.
No such luck, this goes on for another 2 sessions ( only one of which was with Christine) and eventually they have to send the packing label in the chat client as their system refuses to email it to me.

Wiley Fox

With Christmas fast approaching and me likely to be without a phone I decided that I would pick up a phone as a temporary measure. Now I didn’t need something that was going to run high end games, it pretty much needed to do the basics:

  • Phonecall & texts
  • Email & twitter
  • Music Playback
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarms

I have wanted to try the UK brand Wiley Fox out for some time so I bought the Spark+ which was actually on offer at the time, it’s the mid-range offering that seemed to offer a good product and a decent price, especially for a “temp” phone ( possible longer if HTC find issues).

The phone does everything that I need, can handle videos or streaming without too much effort, the screen is a 5 with an average resolution but doesn’t feel too cramped. The phones build quality is good and not overly plastic the camera is ok buy don’t expect any of the bells and whistles you get with high-end devices.

My HTC is apparently heading back to me soon so we’ll see if it’s fixed. Fingers crossed.

Logitech K380 Keyboard

I use my Nvidia K1 Shield as my main interaction device when I’m away from my PC for extended periods of time, as with any touch screen device using the onscreen keyboard takes up a chunk of real-estate, that shrinks the content that you are viewing. To circumvent this I bought a bluetooth keyboard to allow me to type blog posts and the like a whole lot easier and to also keep the screen size maximised for application usage.

Over the Christmas period I found that my existing bluetooth keyboard had stopped powering on correctly.
So rather than try to figure out how to fix the weird power switch issue (that would most likely need some soldering), I used some money I was gifted from my Grandparents to get a new device.

I wanted to pick up the device ASAP so I could use it over Christmas when I would be using my tablet more heavily, but rather than waiting for a delivery, which around Christmas could have a 3 to 10 day delay, I hit the shops to attempt to find a replacement. After checking in a number of stores and weighing up the devices that were on offer, I finally settled on the Logitech K380 (UK Qwerty) which is a Cross-Platform and Multi-Device bluetooth keyboard.

Powered by two AAA batteries (expected to last around 24 months) the K380 is lightweight device weighing in around 420g, but the craftsmanship feels solid with the keys moving fluidly and comfortably within their recesses. The device has 4 rubber feet that hold the device in place when used on a flat surface, however the lightweight nature means that the device isn’t uncomfortable resting on your lap.

Out of the box the keyboard functions in a basic manner, with nearly all core keys performing their expected function, however characters that require the use of shift key function as if the keyboard layout is defaulted to use the US layout so the @ key is on shift 2 by default rather than it being “.

I have to admit that it took me a little time to figure out that I needed to download an additional application to the device in order to utilise those advanced features. If you need the Android version it can be found here: Logitech Keyboard Plus. One of the core features of the keyboard is the multi-device setup and quick switching keys, I didn’t really have much cause to use this but I tried it out connecting to my Phone on the second profile, then swapping between them using the dedicated keys.

I used the keyboard quite a bit over the Christmas break for typing into slow moving environments like forums or sending tweets, I also found it very useful for chatting on faster paced environments such as Discord and Twitch. It was nice to have cut and paste functionality and once I had it figured out plus the ability to auto-complete functionality for names and the like.

The owls are not what they seem

As much as the Steam Box is exciting and the idea of being able to access my game library on the couch is one that thrills me, the fact of the matter is everyone that I have talked too about having a SteamOS enabled living area, has pretty much indicated that they would most likely consider building their own machine.

There are still X number of companies pre-building models to ultimately sell, we are likely to see more about them at upcoming events like GDC but considering the information we witnessed before and some of the most ludicrously priced hardware, I’m not expecting this year to be any different and if it is indeed more of the same then it’s drives me further away from the idea of purchasing a prefab one.

The part I’m really interested in is the (owl) controller, which has been through many iterations as the design has changed
Valves haptic controller is also rumoured to be making an appearance at GDC this year, of course now the central touch screen is gone, the button configuration have been adjusted, modified and rejigged, the directional buttons have been replaced by some kind of analogue stick it’s believed?

SteamController

I’m hoping the final product (whatever the design) will be in my grubby little mitts before the year is out, mind you it could be utter pants, guess we have to wait and see.

#Hardware #Valve

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