Home

Belkin netbook neoprene bag

Leave a comment

Resume:3-stars

.
I’m quite satisfied with this netbook neoprene case although it’s bulky. I put three stars because some compartements storage are almost to small and it uses padding instead of molded EVA/polyester as this Case logic bag. But my netbook is totally protected. 

Maximum dimensions accepted: 240mm x 310mm x 40mm

.

To carry my netbook throughout my travel, I bought a netbook bag. It should be as little as possible to put it in a backpack and good protect my netbook.

Needs:

.

.

Price
Little but big enough for a netbook  & its accessories
Shockproof

.

.

At first, I chose the Case Logic bag. It was molded EVA/Polyester rigid but it was impossible to put nothing more than my netbook.

So I’ve searched out an other solution. I’ve discovered the Belkin neoprene bag. It’s not rigid but it has plenty of padding, and many storage compartments. I let you discovered it!

Product Presentation

Netbook-bag_Belkin_Neoprene-bag

.

It’s not as little than I should like and some pockets are almost to small. Moreover as it’s plenty of padding, it’s not lightweight. But I don’t find an other netbook case with enought space for a netbook and its accessories, a good protection and a good price.

Concessions:

minus-sign.

Lightweight
EVA protection
Bulky

.

.

.

Price: Amazon Website

Advertisements

Mountain Bike_Intense Tracer VP 2010

2 Comments

Me and Mountain Biking:

.

mountain-bike-and-treeAt junior high school I discovered the Mountain Bike. I was 12 years old. From that time I never left it. It began with three friends: Pierre Pichon, Jean-Baptiste (JB) Bouillon, Anthony Piscione and Yohan Cambourieu. Each had their own speciality: Cross-country (endurance), Dirt/Downhill (Tricks and speed) and Trial (maniability). After lunchtime Yvon Regout (a physical education teacher) was training us to Trial Bike. I met Pierre at school bus stop.  With Pierre who was three years older than me, we went really far with our bikes. When I was 13, we rode nearly 62 miles each week-end without cell phone! To be quiet my parents locked up my bike sometimes! Two years after they offered me my first cell phone. With Yohan we was in the same class for 4 years. We liked to watch New World Disorder movies and after we were riding with adrenalin. Tony met us one year after and he became my best friend. We get up to all sorts of mischief  together!

It’s due them in particular that I became versatile on bike. I quickly got good results in France junior high school championships. So my parents help me to increase my level. They bought my first real bike in a selling on consignment: a Cannondale F500. It was nice. Its frame which had the same color that grany smith apple.

Frame_Lapierre_Trail-Ltx-2003As my level was increasing month after month and I mounted the podium at every championship, the next year I decided to buy my first full suspensions mountain bike when I was 15. This time I bought it myself while mowing the law for 4 years… It was a Lapierre Trail LTX (2003 model).

.

Lapierre_wallride-in-MTBIt was an awesome bike. It has opened the doors for me of All mountain and Freeride which will inspire me to move faster, to jump higher and to ride stronger. During 6 years I was riding this bike I broke the frame four times. Fortunatly, my father knew someone who could weld aluminium!

.

Also during 6 years I made money and I sold my motorbike (an other great story). This was time to replace my bike. I was nearly 20.

.

I was falling love of a Intense Tracer VP blue frame in June 2009. It was limited to 50 blue editions in the world.  So I broke open my piggybank in order to buy it. It’s a 6 inches rear travel. I put a FOX 36 fork (2005) that I recovered on my Atomlab General Issue.
I bought this one to Antony to increase in Street and Dirtjump. Wheels came from my Lapierre Trail LTX. I’ve sold many components to buy other more recents.

Intense_Tracer-VP_First-configuration

One year without Mountain Bike and I went to Bayonne.

From high school until second years of university, I rode less than less my bike. Yohan stopped mountain biking, Antony changed his bike each half year bewteen Downhill, Dirtjump and BMX and Pierre liked more than more road bicycle. That’s wind of change. I had stopped championship and I joined JB’s mountain bike club. They liked only cross-country. That was boring but less boring than ride alone.

When I was 17 I moved to Clermont ferrand to follow sport management studies. I didn’t find other people who liked mountain Biking as I like it. So I got Federated Mountain Bike coach certificate for Virus VTT to teach my expertise to children for one year. But during my second study year, I totally stopped Mountain Biking. It’s only when I went to Bayonne that I found a club which had the same way of ride than me: Bikikoz VTT.

Feed-Back:

4-starsFrame

.

my-intense-tracer-vpI have this Intense Tracer VP for 3 years. I met many riders through my MTB club, as Alexis Delgado and Fabien Cousinier that I met during shooting of Pista Prest Dago.  Thanks to “Couscous “(Fabien’s nickname), I bought his Bos Deville Fork with new settings at low price.

.

With its configuration, this incredible bike is a little heavy (15 kg because of weight of wheels with DH minion 2.35 tyres) but I never had a bike so funny. Since June 2012, I take championship again but this time in Enduro bike with Enduro Bike Pyrenees Trophy.

Lately I participed to Maxiavalanche from Vallnord and I was qualified to run the Europe Cup, less than 4 minutes to Dan Aterthon!

However, the first frame edition (2009) was a little frail. I broke the frame end 3 times. The warranty of frame (2 years) expired since few months but the Barracuda Company (the webshop where I bought this frame) opened a procedure to help me. 6 months later, I was a new frame end. I thank them for that. Its yoke (the part which I cracked) is really reinforced. That’s a good thing!

Also, VPP 2 (Virtual Pivot Point upgrade) doesn’t allow to put a stinger chain tensioner because of low small connecting rod. Therefore I fixed a stinger roller on my right base as close as possible to middle chainring.

.

.

You can find testimonials about this frame on MTBR website.

.

5-starsRear Shock

.

I chose to put a FOX DHX AIR 5.0 rear shock instead of FOX Float RP23 because I practice big mountain and Freeride. I take jumps more than 10 meters or 3 to 4  high meters with my Intense. So I need to slow down the travel end. The Boost Valve on DHX 5.0 does it.

Brake system3-stars

.

Avid_Elixir-CR_Brake-SystemHope_M4_Brake-systemI have an Avid Elixir CR brake system. It’s not very reliable. My rear brake has air bubbles and I need to bleed it after a hard day run. Moreover bleed it is hard compared with Hayes Brake.

But its felling is regular, with good power and progressiveness. I would like changed it for a Hope M4 brake system. Lastly I changed my front disk brake with a 203mm rotor instead of 185mm. I have a 185mm rear rotor.

Fork5-stars

.

Fork_Bos_Deville_2010My Bos Deville runs very well. Compared with my Fox 36 Talas RC2 (2005) it was like night and day. I recomand it for enduro bike. It has high and low speed compression, rebond and prestressing settings. It is very sensitive and it has a linear travel. If you use all travel, increase high speed compression. I use TRC system in brittle trails, never to climb.

.

.

Telescopic seat post4-stars

.

telescopic-Seat-post_KS_I950For enduro trails, a telescopic seat post is useful. With your thumb you can up and down quickly your seat. I have a KS I950. But I amended in swivel  it to 180° to have the remote cable forwardpass. That protects the mechanism to mud. Moreover I use a neoprene sock. But sometimes, the seat post doesn’t back up entirely.

.

.

Transmission5-stars

.

Transmission_SLX-XTSince all time, I put one’s trust in Shimano system. On this bike I use a SLX/XT (shadow) transmission and it runs well no matter mud or hard conditions. Thanks Mr. Shimano!

.

.

.

Tires5-stars

.

maxxis_minion-tyresAt first I used Hutchinson Barracuda rear tire and Panaracer Rampage front tire. Since I ride in the Pyrenees I destroyed many inner tubes with them. So I changed them for 2.35 Supertacky Maxxis Minion 2 ply tires. They are much heavy but they are indestructibles with much grip too!

Netbook_HP Dm1 4136 SF

Leave a comment

One week after:

The touchpad has many bugs when processor runs fast. It’s painful. But it’s enought to access to mouse setting in control panel when you can move the cursor and all returns in order.

I’m globally satisfied with this netbook. It’s fast enough for my needs and the display screen is luminous. I’ve download a new calibration profile (.icc) on Digital Versus

Also, I’ve found a forum about this netbook very complete here (French).

.

.

First impression:

.

Till today, you can find this netbook less than € 350. I bought it  under € 300 in July 2012. It looks like  ideal for a traveller with a good battery life, a wide screen of 11.6 inches (1366×768) and reliable thanks to direct access to motherboard/ SD RAMM / Hard Drive. The processor is sufficient for office automation and surf on web. Also you can do some photo retouch (Photoshop or Picasa) or short videomontages with Windows Live Movie Maker. However isn’t so much powerfull and lightweight as an ultrabook and it hasn’t a matt display.
But it’s a very good balance between price/battery life/ performance/display.
Three stars because it doesn’t have mat display and USB 3.0 to become nearly perfect. Moreover it’s little heavy.

CNet_ HP DM1 (fall 2011)

.


Toshiba_Satellite-A350-11B_compared-with_HP_DM1-4136sfFor my travel, I wanted a netbook to replace my laptop Toshiba A350-11B. Indeed it’s heavy and it has a poor battery life too. That’s not the best for travelling as we are limited in space and weight in our backpack to take plane. Also I will take every day. Therefore weight is an important measure.
Moreover, I wouldn’t buy an expensive ultrabook ( altought many of them are powerful processor, lightweight and have a matt display) in case I will break it.

My needs:

Automy
1366*768 display screen
Matt panel
Sufficient powerful processor for photo retouch and videomontage
Reliable
Lightweight
Not more expensive

.

Asus_Eee-PC-1025CFirst, my choice was the new Asus Eee PC 1025C. Its former version Asus Eee PC 1015 had a excellent ranking on DigitalVersus. I didn’t know the Intel Atom N2800 processor but its clock rate looked like good (1,86 Ghz) and it could play HD video. Nethertheless its screen is small enough with a definition of 1024 by 600 pixels. As my job is to write posts on web, that won’t be a good choice because the result will be diffrent between my netbook and yours.

Moreover an article on website had helpt me to find the diffrence between AMD E-450 and Intel N2800 processor. To touch up pictures with photoshop or picasa and realize short videomontage I would know which of them will be the most appropriate. AMD E-450 with its 6320 graphic chipset is better for these application fields.

.

So I discovered HP DM1 4136SF, Samsung N350UA1 and MSI Wind270 which are more or less the same configuration (processor and screen size).

.

samsung_305UA1I liked the Samsung with its matt panel and its ligthweight (1.2 kg) but it has only a four cells battery. Therefore is turned off after less than 3 hours. It has the same features of HP DM1 4136SF (processor/RAMM/OS/HDD). Here its full review on Notebook check.

.

.

msi_wind-U270MSI Wind270 is may be better than HP DM1 4136SF compared with my needs. Indeed, it has a matt screen, a fast processor (E-350) and a good graphic chipset. Its weight is 1.5 kg and it has a direct access to the motherboard and all its components as HP DM1 4136SF. Also it has a USB 3.0 connector. Till Today it is the only one among netbooks in this price. But its line-in has a poor signal, it hasn’t multitouch touchpad and I prefer HP DM1 4136SF design. Here its full review on Digital Versus.

.

Netbook_HP_DM1-4136sfNow HP DM1 4136SF. It has a AMD E-450 processor with a Radeon 6320 graphic chipset and it uses 4 Gb RAMM  with a 500 gb hard drive to lauch Windows 7 64 bits. Its features are lightly better than MSI Wind U270. I don’t really need of USB 3.0 connection because I won’t use external hard drive. All my content will be share and save with my gmail account.  It runs well and is comfortable but I miss a matt screen. Its webcam isn’t high quality. When you move, the video is jerky. It is sufficient to communicate on skype. However its internal microphone isn’t good with much reverb when you are distant. Fortunatly it has a good line-in and you could plug an external microphone.
Also, it’s possible to open display panel to 180 degrees. That allows to work with your netbook on your knees. Lastly, It has a very good battery life compared with its performance. You could surf on web more than 5 hours (economic mode).

Advice: Don’t upgrade the webcam software, it’s useless. You couldn’t change video resolution (only 320p against 640p or 1024p) and it’s less ergonomic.

French presentation of HP DM1 4136sf

Concessions:

minus-sign.

matt screen
usb 3.0 connector
Many netbooks are more lightweight

.

.

Price : CDiscount Website

.

Features

Digital Camera_Canon Powershot SX220 HS

Leave a comment

5-starsSynthesis:

.

This digital camera delights me. Today I don’t master every set-up or possibilities allowed by this one. However is field of use is biggest than its rivals thanks to its waterproof case WP-DC42 and its community CHDK. Nethertheless it isn’t automatic panorama mode, HD Video (720p.) is limited to 30 frames/s and full HD video is limited to 24 frames/s.
Its upgrade, the Powershot SX 240/260 HS doesn’t change this. It upgrades zoom lens (X14 to X20), it reduces noise to 70% and it has a burst mode in full size (3Mpx to 12,1Mpx).

canon_powershot_sx220-hs_purple

.

digital-camera_sony_cybershot_p-93Before it, I never really have a Digital Camera. Sometimes, my father gave me his one: Sony Cybershot P93 (at right). He didn’t know how setting-up it well to get good pictures. But I didn’t keep it a long time because I didn’t need it for myself. With my friends we lived the moment together and a digital camera wasn’t necessary.

Withal, an event changed this position. Since I live in Bayonne for studies, it’s hard to share my adventures with my familly or friends how live in Vichy. There are 400 miles between us. Though I have nice adventures to share since I found a Mountain Biking CLub three years ago: BIKIKOZ VTT.

There was a long time that I didn’t find a club which share the same conception of MTB than myself. Adventure, escapism, high stresses, adrenalin, …Own versus wild. A digital camera has been necessary to share and to immortalize wonderful landscapes of mother Earth.

However in 2011, choose the right digital camera was so hard. Many brands, many series of products. Since January 2011 to May 2012, I rode lots of articles, forums, I saw many websites,… Fortunatly, I knew a website specialized in every digital products: DigitalVersus.

When I want to buy a digital product, it’s my bible. So I compared every product present on this website compared with my needs. To safety, I search other informations on the website which have the same occupation such as Zdnet, Cnet, Erenumériques.

My needs:

Best balance bewteen processor/sensor/lens for image quality
Panoramic photo mode
High sensivity sensor (BSI CMOS)
Burst mode
Good zoom lens
HD Video with good frame rate
PSAM modes to make progress with my digital camera

.

Digital-Camera_Sony_Cybershot-HX5VFirst, I bought a Sony HX5V.
I chose it because it was a bestseller and it was the first with BSI CMOS sensor. However, my father has always is Sony P 93. It’s a good proof of quality. But after two day, I came back to the shop where I bhought. I was disappointed in it.

.

In the same time, a new digital camera appeared: the Canon Powershot SX 220HS. It reveals as being the best balance bewteen Technologies/Functions/Performance/Price although it has defects.

Concessions:

minus-sign.

Poor Battery life
automatic panorama mode
HD Video: Maximum 30 frames/s in 720p
No accurate colors on compact camera screen

.

.

However choose a BSI CMOS sensor was a gamble because it’s new on the market. But time reveals I make the good choice.

You can see its test on DIGITALVERSUS

.

Good Surprise:

CHDK-logoOne day in surfing on web, I had a good surprise. I didn’t know there were a community naming CHDK who devloped upgradable firmware. You learning more on their website. “CHDK firmware provides additional functionality beyond that currently provided by the native camera firmware.” For example, you wont’ have time limit for short or long exposure, you will be able to save pictures in Raw format (.DNG), your digital camera will be able to detect a motion and take one or many pictures, … and many others things.

.

Canon_wp-dc42-waterproof-caseAlso, Canon is one of rare brand to make waterproof case for its digital cameras. Only two series of products: IXUS and POWERSHOT. For a lower cost (compared with a custom-built waterproof case), you can take your camera in diving, canyoning, rafting, …

.

Feed-Back:

I’ve this digital camera for more than one year. I’ve taken nearly 10.000 pictures and it’s run well.
I have a Transcend 8 Gb class 10 memory card. Class 10 it’s necessary for HD video or burst mode. A Sandisk Extreme runs better but this Transcend is sufficient for my digital camera.
I use it for Mountain Biking, Snowboarding, Rafting,  Aquashooting, lightnights, … often in extreme conditions. I didn’t have dysfunction or bugs.

Lens-Pen_HAMAHowever, the hiding lens mecanism jams sometimes.  All you have to do is do clean the hiding lens with a brush. To do it, I’ve bought a Lens Pen. This accessory is perfect. On one’s side you have an organic brush, and the other side you have a carbon pad. First, brush your lens to remove dirts. After use the carbon pad to remove fingermarks. Also you can clean the  hiding lens mecanism with the organic brush. If isn’t sufficient, use your tumb nail to unjam it.

I bought 2 others batteries. Indeed the battery has a poor life if you take more than 200 pictures or shoot one video more than 10 minutes (altought isn’t a real camera recorder). You can’t use only one batterie for two days.

Laslty, I bought a flexible and magnetic camera tripod of Joby Brand to use Long Exposure (with CHDK) or time lapse. It’s funny because you can use everywhere and take pictures from every angle.

Software:

I really don’t like waste my time to touch up my photographies. So I found a casual software which allows to touch up pictures quickly (to crop, to increase dynamic range,…). His name is Picasa and it’s developped by Google. Also, you can synchronized your pictures with your GMAIL e-mail and download all pictures on “google cloud”. Click on the left picture to access to the download page.

.

Warning: Unless you have a MacBook Pro with Retina screen, for the most part laptops haven’t  screen which restitute true colours. So being carefull for your printing.

Upgrade:

The upgrade of Canon Powershot SX 220/230 HS is the Powershot SX 240/260 HS.
You can see its test on DIGITALVERSUS

Price: GrosBill website

.

Sample Pictures

.

Waterproof Case WP-DC42:

Advice: Spit on the waterpoof case window to avoid waterdrops

.

Price: Amazon website

Hiking tent_Quechua T4 Ultralight Pro

1 Comment

Who I am:

I’m a Mountain biker. Sometimes, I ride my bike in mountains for a few days or during competitions. So I need to a lightweight and compact tent. Also with friends we go hiking in the Pyrenees and in that case it’s better to have a tent in which we can sleep all together! Lastly a good living area is important for cooking when the weather is poor.

Needs:

.

Lightweight compared with space
Compact
Comfortable for 2 persons with backpacks and bikes
Good living area
Easy to use

Concessions:

minus-sign.

Price
Big tent for only one person
Heavy
More long putting up than a pop up tent

.

Product Presentation:

Hiking-tent_Quechua

.

I bought this hiking tent 4 years ago. I use it arround 30 days/year and it runs smoothly. I’ve bent some tent pegs because of stones but it doesn’t matter. By my own, I put up this tent in less than 7 minutes and put it down in less than 12 minutes.

.

I’ve slept in it under three cloudbursts. I’ve needed to do draining trenches all around!
Moreover condensing is reduced unlike pop up tents thanks to space between bedroom and canvas.

Putting up and putting down video:

.

Warning:

tarpaulinTo protect it, I put a solid waterproof tarpaulin under the tent (for stones) because bottom looks like frail and no really waterproof. It’s smaller than the bottom to avoid water seepage.

.

Cleaning is easiest when the product is set up. Hand wash with warm water using a sponge and mild, non-detergent soap. Rinse throughly to remove all soap residue. Wait it’s dry before put it down to avoid molds or hand wash it when you come back home and let it dry.

.

Conclusion:4-stars

I’m totally satisfied with this hiking tent.
You can sleep in it with complete confidence.
However use it with a waterproof tarpaulin because the bottom looks like frail.

.

Price: Decathlon Website

Product Features:

Hiking-tent_Quechua-T4-Ultralight-Pro_Features