Showing posts from March, 2022

Review: Jackery 500 Power Station

(originally published on the All About sites) Following my look at a  folding 120W solar panel  and a  12V 65W adapter , it's time for the pièce de résistance - a way of 'caching' charge and dispensing it as needed. Traditionally in the mobile world we'd be looking at a high capacity power bank, and in effect this is the case - except that here we're talking 137,000 mAh (at phone voltages), compare that to the 10,000 mAh of the familiar pocket bank. This is a serious, serious bit of kit and includes a 500W inverter. I picked the Jackery after much research - it turns out that there are quite a few similar products out there but in terms of ruggedness and clarity of use, nothing beats the original, the Jackery range. They go up to 2000Wh capacity (and with commensurate outputs - 2kW output - bulk, and price(!)) but I felt that this 500Wh unit is the sweet spot in terms of portability, capacity, and match for the solar panel already reviewed . The unit is made from re

The Laptop in your pocket (Surface Duo/Duo 2)

 (originally published by me on the All About sites) So yes a bit of an experiment. Writing about the laptop in your pocket ON a laptop in my pocket. In this case the Microsoft Surface Duo 2. No corrections or additions were made on any other device. It has been the dream of every mobile enthusiast for three decades to have a workable laptop, for Office, email, and so on, in a pocketable form. Think Psion, think Nokia Communicators. This is the latest attempt, in 2022!  I have to start with typing speed, since the reduced size and glass experience will be the bottleneck for some people. Both factors affect input speed, of course, though I'd estimate that I get about 70% of my normal input speed, using four fingers rather than the usual six or eight. On a full size laptop keyboard I type at about 40 words per minute, allowing for corrections/backspacing as I go along (I'm a stickler for not having to go back to fix things later!) On the small glass keyboard, it's more like 2

Getting an automatic Always On Display for the iPhone and iOS

It works. It really does work. How did I not know about this technique (and app?) Anyway, here's my iPhone 12 Pro Max sitting on a Qi charging pad. I put the iPhone on and - bang - up comes a true Always On Display, with date and battery status: Is there a trick? Well, not as such (you may remember convoluted Accessibility techniques for getting AOD on an iPhone), but there are two components to get in place: The app OLEDX from the iOS App Store. It's free unless you want outrageous stuff like fancy colours and weather etc. The latest (iOS 15) Shortcuts application - this is something I've never really dived into in great detail before, but this is a great example of what can be done. So OLEDX is installed on your iPhone? Run it and check it all works. Good. Now run the Shortcuts utility on your phone and then tap on the 'Automation' tab at the bottom: Tap on 'Create Personal Automation'. Tap on 'Charger'. Tap on 'Next'. Tap on 'Open Ap