Home opinion-and-analysis ShawThing ITY BITY BYTES WE 22 MARCH


A brief roundup of interesting IT happenings and deals.

Battery life remains a key issue for mobile warriors. For some time I have used three of the Engergiser Energi To Go power products (a key ring sized 750mAh micro USB emergency charger, a “tablet” 2000mAh sized unit and a “notebook – 8000mAh with 16-20V output” sized unit – great products. But I saw a 13000mAh “Powerflask” that looks like a hip flask and is reasonably priced at US$89.95. 






PDF is becoming the standard in secure document transmission but don’t you just hate it when you need to edit something. As smartphones become more ubiquitous PDF becomes more of an issue with smaller screens and compatibility problems. Investintech have released three free apps including Able2Extract Mobile for iOS and Android that will both create PDF from MS Office documents and convert PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.



Scuderia Ferrari  is not a name you would associate with active noise cancelling headphones (perhaps rev heads would) but it does have a nice testosterone fuelled R300 (corded with matching carry case) for AU$479 coming your way (where is Xmas when you need it?). There has been quite a bit of movement in noise cancelling headphones space and there are many corded and Bluetooth headsets to choose from but the red and yellow Ferrari logo makes all the difference.




Seagate has released three new storage devices.

Seagate Wireless Mobile Plus 1TB is a portable USB drive with a Wi-Fi connection built in that allows several people to access the storage device at the same time. RRP is $249 and its ideal for the mobile traveller. See full review .

Seagate Central Shared Storage  is a home storage solution providing multi-computer backup and media serving over the home network. Designed to plus into the USB port or Ethernet port on a router it supports Mac and Windows. Software and smart phone apps allow for Airplay and DLNA support as well as direct replay from Samsung smart TV’s. RRP is 2TB $199, 3TB $269 and 4TB $369. A unique feature is that the device can be remote accessed over the internet – their own private cloud. Watch for a review shortly.

Seagate Networked Business Storage solution  is a NAS (network attached storage) for small to medium sized business. It has three models ranging from 2TB (one drive) to 15TB (four drives). It can also provide a private cloud facility via Seagate’s own Global Access secure gateway. The 2 and 4 bay models also feature a Universal Storage Media (USM) slot that allows compatible devices (like the Wireless Mobile Plus) to back up to an external hard disk. NAS devices like this typically scale up to 50 users depending on the number of drives. BlackArmour backup software and a host of apps are available. Suitable for Mac or Windows. Prices start at $299 for 2TB (one drive) and go up to 16TB for $1699.

STM bags  (an Aussie company) have just released a new range of canvas “old school” bags in Olive and black that look rugged and just a little retro – very old school stylish. We will be trialling some of these soon. Price – reasonable but you get what you pay for.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!