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USB chargers and solar backpacks

So today my Nokia E61 battery discharged (after a full charge last night) after a few hours of 3G UMTS connection through bluetooth. I think this means that battery itself is wearing out. I’m considering getting a new one, but an original one really costs too much at the moment (€48!), I’m looking around to see if I can find alternative versions.

Also, I’m thinking to get an USB charger for the E61, possibly a cradle charger. USB would mean I don’t have to hook up a 220->12V converter, which would waste energy unless I unplug it every time; the 220V conversion is already taken care of by Enterprise’s PSU. The reason why I’d like a USB cradle charger is that it’s nicer to have on the desk.

I’m also pondering about replacing the wireless mouse. The one I have now isn’t entirely bad, it’s the one in the LX700 Cordless Desktop by Logitech, but it’s ruining itself, and it’s charged through a 220V converter rather than via USB, I have no clue on why that was designed this way. If anybody can suggest me a Logitech wireless optical mouse with a USB charger cradle, I’ll be considering it seriously.

On a different level, I wonder if anybody reading my blog ever bought a solar backpack like the ones from Voltaic Systems. I’m tempted by this one before summer. I’ll have to see if they support the MacBook Pro charger, but if they do, well, maybe I can use it to power my laptop in the garden, so that I can stay for as long as I want outside rather than inside.

And yes, I do feel green today.

Comments 2
  1. I’ve used the Logitech Cordless Trackman Wheel “(“:…, “IIRC you are”:…here for several years. It’s not exactly cheap EUR 60, USD 50, but works better for me than anything else I’ve tried. It uses a single AA battery instead of built-in rechargeable batteries, but that single battery lasts a /long/ time, I’d say over a month, here. You don’t turn it off — it goes into sleep mode on its own after a bit.I like it because unlike mice it doesn’t require a large working area or a stable surface to work on — I’ll often sit it on my knee to use if just surfing the web or something else that requires only the mouse, not the keyboard. I also have what could turn into RSI if I let it, strain and soreness after several hours of use with most pointing devices, but I’ve found this one quite comfortable, and I don’t get that soreness and pain. Actually, I had one of these a few years ago which eventually died, and tried a few other things after that, but came back to this because it “Just Works” (TM) without the troubles and pain I’ve had with others. It’s even easy to find and use without taking one’s eyes off the screen, moving between typing and mouse. =8^)The detection is optical, with the detector window and three little steel ball-bearing suspension points in the cavity below the ball. The smooth to the touch ball is optically textured (black flecked red), enabling the optical tracking, which works surprisingly smoothly. With use, skin oil does buildup on the three-point suspension just mentioned, but it doesn’t inhibit tracking — just the movement gets a bit more resistance than the free-spinning one can normally do. I end up cleaning mine perhaps once a week — just pop-out the ball and wipe off the accumulation at each of the three points, using just your finger if desired.It’s three button, with the third being the click-wheel, which works well too. Wireless range and sensitivity is great.The biggest drawback would be for left-handers, as it’s obviously designed for right-handed use. My only other complaint would be the lack of horizontal scrollwheel (or additional buttons that could be used in its place).A bonus for those who have cordless Logitech keyboards is that their dual-mode keyboard/mouse receiver works with the Cordless Trackman Wheel as well, so there’s only the one receiver to keep plugged in instead of two. =8^)I’ve been extremely happy with mine — as I said it’s actually my second over perhaps a decade — but if you’re a left-hander…Duncan

  2. I have one of those backpacks and like it a lot. It doesn’t have the juice to power even a tiny laptop, but it kept my Treo going for ~5 days per charge at summer camp, and would charge in ~7 hours of direct sunlight. It comes with about 10 adapters standard, as well as both a car charger, a wall charger with several international plugs, and an extender for the phone end of it.The only gripe I have is that on one side, the shoulder strap is coming loose at the bottom, but I tend to carry way too many books in it at one time.

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