Tech: Thoughts on Apple’s announcement at their recent WWDC

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Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 10.12.12 pm While I am not a programmer or developer, listening to Apple’s recent World Wide Developer Conference announcement, the bit take home from me was the Continuity and Wifi linkages between IOS devices under IOS8. This will mean that when my iPad Mini 64Gig Wifi and my iPhone 5 64Gig are on the same wifi networks then essentially they will behave the same - if I receive a phone call, both devices will ring, same for messages - no longer just iMessages.

What was your favourite announcement at the recent WWDC?


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My Every Day Carry (EDC)


First up, let’s get it clear, I am not a crazy prepper.

I love my gadgets, and I like to keep them powered!

When some one first sees my Maxpedition Fatty and scoffs, it isn’t usually long before they are back asking if they can use my charger for their phone or do I have a screw driver they can borrow.

I have divided the kit for the purpose of this post into: Tools, Writing, Charging & Cables, Medical & Boo Boo, Wifi and Apple connectors.

In the past I have written before about the kit that I use for overseas travel, such as my iPad Mini in a waterproof LifeProof case along my iPhone 5 also in a LifeProof case.


I know looking at the picture above, it looks like a lot. I assure you, I use almost everything inside this case at least weekly.

So I will run through my different sub groups so you can see what I have:


So what I have in this section is:

  • A tiny Gerber Multitool. I use the straight blade to open boxes and I really like the spring opening pliers
  • Stanley pocket screwdriver set – I like the former factor giving me 4 different heads (2 different sized phillips head, and 2 blade) all in a hard plastic pen body
  • Small water tight container that contains some spare cash and a pair of needle nose tweezers


Nothing is worse than needing to take a note, or leave a note such as in the recent case of our trip to Horse Gully Hut - I left an emergency note on our car’s dashboard so people knew were to look for us.

In my daily kit is the following writing items:

  • The last item is a just a generic metal body black ink pen – looks less tactical.

Medical / Boo Boo kit

Firstly, I am sorry for this blurry picture, in this kit is enough things to just make me feel better, rather than cure the ills of the world.

It contains:


Panadol x 2 tabs

An alcohol wipe

Gastro stop type pills or mouth dissolvable buttons

The only thing missing from this group is a bandaid that is normally folded inside the container

Now for the most used group of my kit

Charging & Connections

I am an apple boy, not a fanboy but an apple boy – The OS  does what I need.

By gosh does the iPhone and iPad mini chew the juice! Hungry little things.

The above includes:

A YellowStone short iPhone 5 lightning charger

Pebble Smart watch magnetic charger

Fitbit force usb charger

Small “BlueLounge Kii’ that I have shaved down to fit through the charging port of the LifeProof Fre case.

Griffin short usb connection cables – Mini, Micro and large apple connector

Plox 6000mAh usb external battery with inbuilt micro us charger

Belkin extension usb cable

USB power adapter from the iPhone 5s it’s small and easy to carry.

LifeProof Fre 3.5mm audio adapter so I can use headphones with the waterproof case on (the apple EarPods work without using any adapter)

Apple and Wifi converters plus USB and EarPods


Now this group is one that is not used as often, but when it does – it’s a real saver.

The first is the white USB stick - this is a Huawei E355s-2 - one of the most versatile HSPA+ modems I have ever seen. I picked this one up outright from Celcom in Malaysia.  I pop a sim in, plug it into anything with a  USB port - the battery above, the wall charger above etc and it creates a mini wifi network.

I am a massive Amaysim fan here in Australia, in essence they are a 4G reseller of the Optus network. I have 2 accounts with them - my phone is on the 49 unlimited plan - unlimited calls and sms (in AU) with 9gig oData.  The USB stick uses their $99 for 10gig (lasts 365 days or until 10 gig used).

I can not rate them highly enough.

Also above you can see the following

Apple micro USB to Lightning converter

30pin to lightning converter

30pin SD card reader

With three items above I can easily convert any USB micro cable to a lightning charger, I know people will be saying ‘but there is a lightning SD card reader’ yes - but it is longer - on a short cable. I like the compact nature of these 2 items.

EarPods - these fit inside the LifeProof Fre case without a converter

Sandisk 4gig USB stick with tiny micro light - cheap and nasty - about $5.

EDIT: Update March 2015

I have removed some items, either because they no longer work, or are no longer needed.

  1. I have upgraded my phone to the iPhone 6 plus, with the Lifeproof Nuud case. Every Lightning cable other than the Apple provided one no longer fits inside the charging port so I have ordered a short genuine Apple cable (30cm)
  2. The BlueLounge Kii is gone - see above
  3. Fitbit Force replaced with the Fitbit Charge HR and matching cable
  4. Plain metal black pen stopped working so was binned and not replaced

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Packing list for Burma (Myanmar) and Malaysia (Redang Island)

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As the count down begins to the big trip (roughly 30 days) through Burma (Myanmar) and Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur and Redang Island, I am putting together my packing list. As you will see most of my packing is actually mostly gadgets & electronics. I LOVE THEM.


Kathmandu 70L convertible ( roller with hidden backpack straps)

Kathmandu 15L Backpack ( day pack) – came with the 70L

I am still tossing up whether to get the Kathmandu 30L ‘Transit’ Day pack and use it as carry on. Additionally it has a secret compartment for my MacBook Air. The lady at Kathmandu kindly talked me out of buying it on the weekend, instead to wait until September when the 40% member discount starts.


2 x neutral coloured ‘zip off’ travel pants for comfort.

3 x T-shirts

3 x singlets

3 x shorts

1 x Swimming Shorts

7 x Underwear

2 x socks

1 x boat shoes ( these are my every day, go anywhere, comfortable traveling shoes- I hate thongs / flip-flops )

1 x pair decent going out shoes (never know when a club night calls)


Go Pro Hero 3 Black

Go Pro Hero 3 Silver

Samsung NX1000


MacBook Air 11in Mid 2011 128gb

Phone / Communications

iPhone 5 64gig in Lifeproof Fre Waterproof Case

Delorme InReach enabled GPS tracker and 2 way communicator


This is really just gear nerd porn, I want to be able to update my family and friends (and you through this blog) on our adventures. Also it would allow me to fire off a SMS style message to my parents who are meeting us for part of the trip, if any plans change. I am still working through some bugs on the posting map locations here. At this stage posting by email is my only option – this does not produce a ‘sexy’ post – more a quick and dirty text only post with links to an external map.

Where possibly I will endeavour to get a local sim – hopefully with prepaid data – in Malaysia this is no problem, Burma I think will be a different story.


iPad Mini 64gig in folio case



Goal Zero Guide 7 Solar panel

Goal Zero Guide 10+ AA Battery Pack with 4 x AA batteries x 2

Portable Power

In addition to the the Goal Zero Guide10+ I have a PLOX 6000mAh battery pack

PIXO USB Camera Battery Charger from Goal Zero – can charge the NX1000 battery from Solar, USB port or via a wall socket.

I know it sounds like a lot of power, but the guiding premise of my whole kit is that it can all be charged from the wall or from the Goal Zero Panels on the road. I am never quite sure of power availability, reliability or how safe it is (spikes). The only item I can not charge by solar from the above kit is the MacBook Air. Goal Zero does have products that could do it easily, but my budget and weight allowance doe not stretch that far this time. Their Sherpa 50 would be great with some folding panels, I just can’t convince the other half to allow me to get that one.

Have I forgotten anything? Comments ??

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New Toys

Since our last holiday a few new electronic toys have been added to my pack.

  • We sold our 2 x GoPro 2s
    • Replaced them with 1 x Go Pro 3 black and 1 x Go Pro Silver.
  • Sold our Spot Tracker
    • Replaced with a Delorme InReach 2 way GPS tracker / communicator
  • My underwater point and shoot was lost during our trip to Penguin Island, off the Western Australian Coast.
    • Point and shoot replaced with a combination of my iPhone 5 (now in waterproof LifeProof Fre case) and my new Samsung NX1000 Mirrorless 2/3rd DLSR
  • iPad 2 given to my partner as I updated
    • Updated to iPad Mini