Category Archives: My Reviews

Swype is the best virtual keyboard for touchscreen mobiles and tablets offering unique finger or stylus gestures.

Swype is a virtual keyboard for touchscreen smartphones and tablets where one enters words by sliding a finger or stylus from the first letter of a word to its last letter.  I have been using the app since 2010 on all my touchscreen devices. In my opinion it is the best swiping finger gesture keyboard available.

What makes it stand out as the best you may ask?

Just like every hardware keyboard that has a Ctrl or Command key, Swype has Swype shortcut button button. Every gesture shortcut starts from this button.

The most useful gestures are similar to hardware keyboards and are universal and easy to remember.

A list of universal shortcut keys
A really nice touch to have the universal shortcuts keys.

Another great feature is the ability to punctuate a word such as CAPITALIZE all letters in a word, or Capitalize the first letter of a word, or remove all capitalization from a word. Simply use the Swype shortcut button + Shift button.

Swype up to shift to see punctuation choices
This option to CAPITALIZE words is unique.

Continue reading Swype is the best virtual keyboard for touchscreen mobiles and tablets offering unique finger or stylus gestures.

An Awesome ‘Home New Tab Page’ Chrome Extension.

I stumbled upon an incredibly useful and beautiful new home tab page extension for my Chrome browser. It is called Home – New Tab Page.

Chrome home page

On my 27-inch Dell monitor it looks incredible while on my Surface Pro 4, touching the icons is effortless. All my key apps or favorite websites are right at my finger tips, as well as notifications, calendar events, time, date and a large Google search bar.

It is perfect especially since my Google profile follows me where ever I go. Not to mention I can select from a bunch of awesome backgrounds. The crazy thing is this extension is free. Kudos to the author, but there really should be a donation button.

Some of the features of the extensions are as follows:

Continue reading An Awesome ‘Home New Tab Page’ Chrome Extension.

How did folk buy stuff in the old days without quality reviewers?

Normally before I buy anything, I spend many hours researching or reading reviews on the item in question, and then I make a formal decision based on a dozen or so positive reviews from random sources. It has eliminated the need to ever return faulty goods,  because good reviews mean good quality products.

I wonder how folk bought stuff in the old days? Did they have reviews they could reference in the papers or did they buy stuff because their friends or colleagues bought it?  I wonder how did they did it without the internet? Perhaps a question for my folks, who have lived through the times of no internet? (Maybe another post). 😉

Dell UltraSharp U2715H

Dell UltraSharp U2715H

The world wide web is such a wonderful medium. Take for example this website called “The Wirecutter” and specifically a chap called David Murphy who spent 56 hours researching 33 monitors to pick the best 27-inch monitor, which is the Dell UltraSharp U2715H. That is dedication. David says;

The Dell UltraSharp U2715H has the best picture quality of any monitor we tested right out of the box. It’s the monitor to get if you want a bigger picture and more workspace in Windows or OS X, since its 2560×1440  resolution is ideal for photos, videos, and gaming.

I just ordered a Dell UltraSharp U2715H and if it is anything like the review, then it is going to be awesome. I plan to link it to my Surface docking station, that houses my new Surface Pro 4.

Thank you David Murphy for your wonderful, well written, quality, detailed review of the best 27-inch monitors.

Here is video review by PlaytechNZ.

Hello world, Bowen got a Raspberry Pi.

I bought a Raspberry Pi model B+ starter kit yesterday.

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It came with a full-size USB keyboard, mouse, Wi-Fi Dongle, 4 port USB powered hub, HDMI cable, and standard USB cable and an 8GB sdcard containing NOOBS.

I set it up today, which was dead easy, but to be honest having all the wired hardware (keyboard & mouse, HDMI cable and power cable) plugged in, made the tiny Raspberry Pi board a little messy.

My solution: one Bluetooth dongle + the Ranger Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

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I was going to do a review on this incredible keyboard/mouse/pointer and then remembered I did a review on it a year ago. (See the link above).

Continue reading Hello world, Bowen got a Raspberry Pi.

Green Day Wembley Stadium 19th June 2010 Review.

We witnessed the most fantastic, incredible, awesome Green Day concert at Wembley Stadium. We’ve never seen them live until tonight, but wow! was it worth the wait? Singing along to all their songs with the crowd singing in unison was an amazing feeling. Wembley Stadium as a venue for bands such as Green Day is just brilliant!

They kicked off their show at 8pm with four songs from their latest album “21st Century Breakdown”.

The crowd went ballastic. Then a few recent awesome songs from the American Idiot album and then Billie Joe got into gear singing some of the older songs from Dookie (Basket Case, When I come around, Burnout etc).

The three main band members – lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tré Cool were brilliant and played their part well and looked like they were really enjoying themselves on stage.

Billie Joe is certainly a wonderful showman and could easily get the crowd to sing and clap at his command. Even Tré Cool is a showman in his own right and quite a funny guy.

Tré sang a song or two while Billie Joe played the drums and there was a moment where the two of them went for some record by singing and dancing to the song “shout” made famous by the Isley Brothers. It was quite funny though.

The band even dressed up in drag and sang one or two songs while lying down on the stage.

Some people in the crowd went mental especially where we were standing. That can be a good or bad thing depending on what you are expecting from the concert. I personally don’t mind people jumping around if they think of others, but when they push and kick and punch just for the fun of it, then it can become a bit unpleasant. There were definitely a few English idiots in the audience.

There was a good mix of stage videos behind the band and on the side screens.

With the various lights going on the atmosphere was electrifying.

The concert went on for well over 2 and a half  hours with two encores. The last 6 songs were just incredible, with spectacular fireworks, fireballs, ticker tape even toilet paper being thrown up into the air.

Below is the playlist for the concert.

  1. Song of the Century
  2. 21st Century Breakdown
  3. Know Your Enemy
  4. East Jesus Nowhere
  5. Holiday
  6. The Static Age
  7. Give Me Novacaine
  8. Are We The Waiting
  9. St. Jimmy
  10. Blvd. of Broken Dreams
  11. Nice Guys Finish Last
  12. Burnout
  13. Waiting
  14. Geek Stink Breath
  15. Dominated Love (Slave Tre on Guitar and Vocals, Bille Joe on Drums)
  16. Hitchin’ A Ride
  17. Welcome To Paradise
  18. When I Come Around
  19. Metal-Jam Iron Man/ Sweet Child of Mine/ Highway to Hell
  20. Brain Stew
  21. Jaded
  22. Longview
  23. Basket Case
  24. She
  25. King For A Day
  26. Shout/Hey Jude/I cant get no satisfaction/Teenage Kicks/Always look on the bright side of life
  27. 21 Guns
  28. Minority

Encore:

  1. American Idiot
  2. Jesus of Suburbia

Encore 2:

  1. When It’s Time (Acoustic)
  2. Wake Me Up When September Ends (Acoustic)
  3. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

33 songs in total made it one helleva good evening. If they were playing another night in London I would definitely go again.

All photos taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 and belong to lookatbowen.com

Well done Overclockers & DPD on a speedy delivery.

One cannot fault Overclockers.co.uk for their delivery speed. I placed an order on Sunday evening for a 2TB Hard Disk and true to their email, the delivery arrived within 10 minutes of the estimated time of arrival. They use a company called DPD for parcel delivery and it looks like they are top notch.

Well done Overclockers and DPD on a speedy delivery. 🙂

It just shows you how brilliant the Internet can be when on-line shops give good service and the whole process works effortlessly.

Messenger Live + Winamp = MessengerAMP.

If you listen to your music through the best music application in the world “Winamp” and use MSN Live Messenger (2009 is now out) to chat to friends and want to switch on the feature that allows you to show what you are listening too, then download Messenger AMP. It’s a cool little plugin for Winamp, and takes about 5 seconds to install. Once loaded your friends will see what you are listening too at the top of their messenger window. 🙂

listeningtoo

Insurance – we recommend Keith Simister.

Keith Simister Personal Insurance Services

Insurance, it’s one of those hard to justify services one pays for life. If you are lucky or unlucky enough you may never have to make a claim. Normally making a claim means something bad has happened (your car got smashed by some idiot or your house was broken into or some kids threw a stone through your front window or worse case scenario your partner decides to die on you). Someday it will all be worthwhile but I suppose in the short term you just hand over your money to the insurance company and hope you are covered.

Continue reading Insurance – we recommend Keith Simister.

An awesome review site called Test Freaks.

testfereaksnewlogo2

I found the most awesome review site. It is called Test Freaks and it reviews just about everything you can think of in the digital world. (Computers, Video and Television,  HiFi, Cameras, Camcorders, Outdoor equipment, Car equipment, etc).

It lists popular products, top products and even lists recommended prices and best prices and has reviews from experts as well as user reviews.

Paypal – Safer. Simpler. Smarter.

Paypal are really jacked up these days. I recently received an email from them telling me my account had been suspended or given limited access for whatever reason.

I figured this was one of those prank emails, and just ignored it. Tonight I logged into Paypal, only to discover they had indeed suspended my account, but had picked up the fact that my card had expired. They do various checks and then give you a call to the telephone number / card holders address. This is actually a damn good idea, that way they can verify the card holders address and details. And it all happens instantly.

Kudos to Paypal. it’s good to know there is someone looking after my online financial affairs.