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Showing posts from February, 2020

Review: Victorinox Dual Knife Sharpener

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Yep, it's the official sharpener from the official Swiss Army Knife people, available for £9 on Amazon UK. I've had the Huntsman knife for the last 20 years and it's still going strong. But I've lost two generic knife sharpeners in that time and I felt it was time for a new approach.

The Victorinox knives need sharpening several times a year, assuming regular use in that time. I do like to have a razor sharp blade when needed!

The idea here is not to have a little gadget that gets lost, but a pen, shaped gadget with a pen clip, so that it can live in a pen hole in my briefcase or, if I change my mind, in one of the many pen holes in my laptop bag. Surely it can't get lost this way!!


It arrives in very secure packaging, which virtually has to be destroyed in order to get the sharpener out - but that's the modern world, sadly. And is probably designed this way to avoid theft when in-store?


The fit and finish is top notch. Take the top cap off and there's the …

Adding Qi wireless charging to the Fairphone 3

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No, don't worry, this isn't a 'screwdrivers-out' scary hack. As you might expect with the Fairphone 3, it's as simple as taking the back off (3 seconds) and putting it back on again (3 more seconds).

The key is the existence of after-market Qi charging coils, using their slim ribbon cable nature, together with the relatively generous tolerances in the Fairphone 3's back cover/clips.

You'll need this coil (my link is to Amazon UK, I'm sure you can find similar items in your own country etc.) A typical price is £10 (or local equivalent).

You can guess what's coming, but here goes anyway. First, take the back off the Fairphone 3 by prising it off with your fingernail:


Next, insert the coil's Type C connector into the phone and lay the coil against the phone's battery surface:



Replace the Fairphone 3's back cover, it will clip down all around, even over the Qi coil's ribbon, which is pretty cool:


And laying the Fairphone 3 on a Qi charge…

Begone, Android File Transfer! Welcome MacDroid!

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One of the bane of Mac users who have an Android smartphone is that the only way to get media off and on the phone using a wire (typically a Type C cable these days) is using Google's token 'Android File Transfer' utility for Mac. This was written back in the mists of time and never updated. Furthermore, it doesn't work with all Android smartphones, due to differences in MTP implementation. However, the good news is that there's now a modern equivalent! Enter MacDroid.

£135 for a plastic case? Save a fortune on Ford SYNC2 map updates

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It's possible I'm being too hard on Ford here - maybe the truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes, as always... But I acquired a new car recently, a 2016 C-Max, with Ford's SYNC2 entertainment and sat-nav system built-in. All's fine, but the road maps are out of date, with several new roads on my regular routes not included. So... how best to update them?