Tag: Gear

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There’s Something You Should Know About the ONA Bolton Street Backpack

It’s beautiful but bigger than it looks. I ordered and returned the Bolton Street this week, fulfilled by Amazon from one of its retailer partners. Words cannot express how much I wanted to keep the backpack. The craftsmanship is fine art, attention to detail is finer still, and quality of materials is outstanding. But the thang doesn’t fit my digital lifestyle or my back. Depth is the problem.

My story starts on July 9, 2015, when I walked out of Best Buy with a ridiculously fantastic deal: Fujifilm X-T1 kit body and 18-55mm lens, discounted $250, bundled with the XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS for another $100. The second lens alone retails for $699. My previous digicam, the Fuji X100T, is so compact that I didn’t use backpack or other carryall. But interchangeable lens camera changes everything, so I started looking for an appropriate backpack. 

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Harman/Kardon Nova Review

M daughter’s cat Cali loves to chew cords—a habit we will eventually break. Meanwhile, it’s good excuse to invest in new wireless speakers that diminish some of the cord clutter. Our 20 year-old also is moving home for the summer, putting more wires at risk and necessitating some speaker swaps. She takes my Harman/Kardon SoundSticks, which subwoofer meets her requirement for thumping bass; I don’t need it and switched to a space-saving, cord-reducing duo set.

Spectacular sound is my description for Harman/Kardon Nova, which delivers rich treble, magnificent highs, fine detail, and more-than-adequate bass for the kind of kit. Separation and soundstage are bold—dynamic! The speakers are best appreciated when matched to the right source. I stream from lossless leader Tidal on Chromebook Pixel LS, connected via Bluetooth. The combination is immensely enjoyable and makes me happy while working, which boosts the quality and speed of my productivity. 

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Amazon Warehouse Makes Me Mad

Yesterday, I made the mistake of ordering Harman/Kardon Nova speakers from Amazon Warehouse, which advertised: “Used, Like New. Item will come in original packaging. Packaging may be damaged. All accessories are present and undamaged”. Present, yes. Undamaged, no.

A cord connects the two speakers together, but the pins on one end were badly out of alignment. I did try to straighten out the damn things but failed. I’m not sure success would have been better than what happened: Demanding a refund (that will take days); writing a stinging one-star review; and reboxing and returning the Nova. 

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Movie Time

About a month ago, we switched out the Windows Media Center PC for a TiVo. Of course, what good is a TiVo without a TV to connect to? Quite good, it turns out. Rather than go back to a PC, we returned to a projector.

I shopped around before buying the projector, for which the sale of the Dell Media Center PC paid. Choice—and not the best, but appropriate for the family’s budget: Optoma MovieTime DV10. The picture quality isn’t nearly as wow as I expected, but the overall big-screen experience is more than good enough. No means is it perfect, but perfection we demand spending heaps more money. MovieTime sells for $999.