Google Nexus 7 by Asus – Review

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Jul 312012

Google Nexus 7 Review

My Google Nexus arrived recently, and I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and play with it.  All I can say is WOW!

Let’s start with the basics.  The Nexus 7 is the latest tablet in the already crowded tablet space, this one is created by the good folks over at Asus.  The packaging was very well done, and the product reveal was quite impressive.  After removing the plastic film, the product launched, and was ready to go. Very nice! Setup took less than 5 minutes, including a sync with my Gmail account.

What’s even nicer, is once you unlock the unit, you’re immediate offered a $25 Google Play credit!  Something that i know that nearly all users of the Nexus 7 will use, and appreciate.

Powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 1GB RAM and either 8GB ($199 CDN)or 16GB ($249 CDN) of storage. This 7″ 1200-800 HD backlit display is quite impressive. However, I do not believe it is as nice as the iPad3 Retina display, or even the Samsung Galaxy units, but for the price point, it’s unmatched.

There is just 1 camera on the unit (thank goodness), a 1.2MP front facing camera, however unlike many of its family, this unit does not come with a camera app. Something that might drive a few first time drivers and other tablet owners a bit crazy.

The home screen is fixed in portrait mode, however will rotate into landscape for functionality such as video or application use.

Unlike many tablets, the Nexus 7 only has a couple of buttons.  A power/sleep button with a two-stage volume rocker just below it on the right side, the rest of what you’re looking to do is done on the unit, including the ‘home screen’ button. Something that Apple fans will find irritating to a point. At the bottom of the unit a micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. While a speaker port is the only feature on the back of the unit. The top of the unit is complete free of buttons or ports, although a small pinhole microphone is located here.

I don’t feel a cheap device when I pick the unit up, unlike the majority of the lower priced units found on the market today.  It feels solid.  One of the key factors to consider when buying a tablet – how does it feel in your hands? In fact, I would say it feels as nice in my hands as any of my iPads, or Galaxy Tabs. However, with the plastic casing, I wouldn’t be using this tablet to cut vegetables or stand on to reach something. It seems to creak a fair bit when you attempt to bend the unit.

The Nexus 7 has many of the more familiar hardware toys we’ve become accustomed to such as Bluetooth and GPS, but also includes an accelerometer (in case you wish to run with it, and play Zombies, Run! now available on Android), and a gyroscope.

The Nexus weighs in at a minuscule 340 grams, which is refreshing in a tablet of this size.  I don’t have any issues with my fat thumbs getting in the way of typing, or viewing the screen.  Very well laid out design.

The biggest knock that i have seen so far, is that there is a fair bit of stutter in the unit when viewing web pages, and a number of people also are reporting the same when navigating between screens. Overall the transitions are smooth and well received.

The “JellyBean” (OS 4.1) keyboard is sure sweet. Easy to use, and even people like me with fat fingers shouldn’t have much issue typing on this unit.

Would i replace my iPad3 with this unit, with the notion of it becoming my primary tablet? No. Not hardly. I do nearly everything on my Apple devices. But for those looking to enter the tablet market, this would easily be the unit I would be recommending to people.  This unit does not complete with the iPad devices, but does enter the market as a great alterative to the Kindle Fire, and other units similar in nature.

I gave this unit a 4.2 out of 5 – A definite buy recommendation!


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Mountain Lion USB Install Disk

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Jul 252012

Mountain Lion USB Thumb Drive

Before you start

You will need a copy of the OS X Mountain Lion installer. You obtain this by downloading it from the Apple App Store on your Mac.

When the download is complete, please do not run the installer. Rather “quit” the installer. If you miss this step you will need to re-download the installer before you can begin

Start the process by navigating to your Applications folder, where you will find the installer. The file you’re looking for is simply called “Install OS X Mountain Lion”.

Right click (or Control + Click) the installer and select “Show Package Contents”, and navigate to the “Shared Support” folder, where you will find the installer “InstallESD.dmg”. I would suggest making a copy of this file, and making a backup for it, just in case something goes wrong. (I put a copy into another “backup” directory)

Open a new Finder windows (Command+N or File>New Finder Window) and Navigate to /Applications/Utilities/ and launch the “Disk Utility”

Attach your USB drive (should be 8GB or more). Once it’s attached and the machine has attached the drive, you will find it in your drive list. Select the drive, and choose the “Restore” tab. Drag InstallESD.dmg into the file-open window and click open – or select Image, and select it by navigating. Next, drag your partition to the “Destination:” location, and drop. Click “Restore” (you will likely need to authenticate as an Administrative user.)

Generally, this process will take about 15-30 minutes. Once your disk is complete, relaunch your installer, and you’re ready to go!

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July 24, 2012 – Weather

 Weather  Comments Off on July 24, 2012 – Weather
Jul 242012

Quite the little light show from last nights thunderstorm that swept through southern ontario. The Ottawa area was hit quite hard with line after line of storms.  Even rotation in the clouds prompted a tornado warning.  Strong winds (over 100 KM/h), hail and torrential rains were observed.



Mainly sunny. Winds moderate at 30KM/h. Highs in the low to mid 20’s in Eastern and Central Ontario, and highs in the mid to uppers 20’s in Southern and Southwestern Ontario. UV index is expected to be very high.


Overnight - clear Tonight, clear. Lows near 15c throughout the region.


Sunny, with increasing cloud later on in the day with an increasing probability of showers. There is risk of thunderboomers. High in the upper 20’s throughout the region.
Have a great day everyone!!

Happy Tuesday

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July 23, 2012 – Weather

 Weather  Comments Off on July 23, 2012 – Weather
Jul 232012

Happy Monday, July 23, 2012

What a weekend. Hot, sticky, and humid. 3 things that I like very little. But with this kind of weather, we run the risk of seeing thunderstorms, as we did yesterday in parts of Southern Ontario. Here in Burlington, we saw enough rain over a few hour span to flood parts of the city. A few stores reported flooding, parking lots are still showing signs of the rain that fell.

So, what about today?

Yes, there is what they call a slight risk for thunderstorms today, and even a chance of seeing tornados through southwestern and Eastern Ontario. If these are to show up, look for areas that generally see snow squalls to see the bulk of the “fun”. Places like Woodstock/London, Barrie and area, Brockville/Ottawa region. Might even see something though the Caledon/Orangeville regions. Could be fun for some of my storm chasing friends today!!

Forecast for the Niagara Falls – Toronto regions, including Burlington and Hamilton:

A mix of sun and cloud. 60% chance of showers or thunderstorms later on today. Wind shifting to SW 40 gusting to 60KM/h later this morning (which should cause lift, one of the necessary elements for thunderstorms).

High of 34 (94f) Humidex reading of 40c(104f)

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