Tag Archives: Belkin

My travel kit

5 Jul

My travel kit
I am a frequent flyer and I’m packing again for a 5-days trip abroad, don’t like packing … I always forget something, always! It’s a rule, so lets make the exception and at least help you pack the “survival kit” and forget what you can easily buy at destination.

1. The hardware.
Cables and chargers.
photo-9You will of course bring your chargers and adapter with you BUT if, like me, you have 1 blackberry, 1 iPhone, 1 iPad, a Fuelband, …
You already need 3 plugs and you’ll have to search the room for plugs, unplug lights to charge your devices, scatter them across the room.
I don’t like to have my phones scattered across my hotel room!
So I bring with me my Belkin with 3 electric plugs and 2 USB plugs.
This is handy and you will gather  all your electronic devices in the same area so you don’t forget them when you leave your hotel.

Especially when you travel you need power. Power to charge your phone or camera or computer while visiting new countries and taking so many pictures.

Photo 27-06-13 11 57 51 AMI always carry my Guide10 or Sherpa50 depending my needs. Usually a Guide10 will be enought, but if you need to charge 2 phones, 2 cameras on the fly better go for the Sherpa50.
I also bring the solar panel that I tie to my backpack while walking, so I can charge my charger during my busy working day and enjoy free-from-plug charging.

2. The software, the travel apps.
Worldmate app will accompany you from the booking to the landing of your plane at destination. Delay, changes of gates, … You’ll be able to communicate the details of your trip (departure, arrival, gate, …) and if you want share it with friends (twitter, facebook) and LinkedIn contacts (no worries, you have the option to keep your trip private too), you can.
Currency convertor, tips calculator are included as well as weather forecast at destination and local searches are available thanks to Yelp!

You are not a star in languages and you didn’t take French or Japanese as 2nd language?
Don’t stress, great translator apps are out there ready to help you.
Of course there will be mistakes and it’s not perfect but you’ll get understood and your iPhone will become your personal translator.
Try Google translate, type or just say the sentence you want to translate and let it do it’s magic.
Lots of languages available, easy to use, and handy to read the translation.

Also, if you want to understand the local newspaper, give a try to Pixter which will scan the article and translate in to own mother tongue! Impressive results!

Need a cab? Get a personal driver with the Uber app!
Don’t book in advance, just on demand.
The closest car will pull down in front of you.
Prepaid fare and invoiced to your mail (no surprise with the price), you’ll receive a text on your phone to alert you when your driver (professional taxi driver) is there. You’ll love it ! Alittle bit more expensive than with a regular cab, but better driving and service.
PS: Uber works with iPhone, Android, web and even SMS (Canada and USA only).
The countries covered are France (Paris, Lyon and Cannes), UK (London), Australia (Melbourne and Sidney), USA, Italy (Rome, Milan), Sweden (Stockholm), Canada (Toronto), Germany (Berlin), The Netherlands (Amsterdam).

Passwords? Your passwords, bank cards details, and passports number will be always on you with the Dashlane app.
Lets say you lost you passport, your bank cards have been stolen, … You need to access your emails from a computer in a cyber cafe and don’t remember your password or credit cards numbers? Just launch the Dashlane app and all of your important informations will always be within reach, you got yourself an eVault! Free trial than 17,99euros a year.

The convertor
Centimetres into inches? Kmh into mph? Degrees Celsius in degrees Fahrenheit? You never got it? You are not the only one!
With Measures app, this is all a bad dream.

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3. Also don’t forget …

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a Knife.
Great to open a carton box, cut food or defend yourself. Don’t need a big one, I have a keyring Curve knife by Gerber  that comes with screw drivers and bottle opener.
Be aware that small knifes are allowed again on planes by TSA but I prefer to put it safely in my checked-in bags.

many Karabiners.
Great to hang my solar panel to my backpack or to my office balcony, but also great to tie your backpack to the chair you are sitting on so no shoplifter runs away with it or simply to hang the keys of your b’n’b. I use the S-Biner (lots of sizes, colors and durable).

a Rope.
Coming in the shape of a good looking and customisable survival strap, you will now always carry a rope with you. Ready to be unravelled when needed (hang your laundry while camping, tie stuff together, …).

a Drinking bottle.
Photo 25-06-13 7 02 55 AMAlways stay hydrated thanks to your vey own bottle that you carry with you wherever you go.
Klean Kanteen, Bladder bottles are great.
Brita bottle or Purificup bring added value with their filter. Brita bottle will take away the bad taste of tap water while Purificup will let you drink safely the water in the river, … Killing more than 800 bacteria thanks to its filter.

Nice to have, a sleeve for your bottle to keep it warm or cold.
I love the Built-in ones or the the Greenspan ones.

And of course, a flash light. Check the key ring size Swipe to Shine by Niteize.

I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, this should be your basic kit and you could face whatever situation.
Now travel safely and dont hesitate to share your travel tips with us 😉

Happy holiday!

Remote your life

16 Mar

If your iPhone is never far away from you hand and you have at least one finger available to push a virtual Photo 9-03-13 5 09 05 PMbutton, then you qualify to use the Wemo switch by Belkin!

The Wemo switch is a device that you simply plug into your home outlet.
Whatever home electronic you have, you will plug on top of it and it will be toggled off and on through your iPhone, iPad or iPodTouch (iOS 4.3). Pretty handy!

Now, think hard about what you would like to use you switch for. Turning on/off, a curtain, a lamp, a heater, a fan, … ?
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I decided to give a try and bought a first switch, I want to use it for our entry lamp up the stairs.

There’s no much in the box but the switch and a nice “welcome to Wemo” note.

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Let’s look at the switch, it’s quite big and thick. There are 2 buttons, one facing you (the manual on and off) and one facing up (if you need to reset the switch).

A little light on the face will tell you what’s going on in your switch.Photo 9-03-13 5 57 41 PM (HDR)
. Blinking orange-blue, awaiting instructions
. Flashing blue, starting up. Let it work
. Blinking orange, no connection
. Solid orange, poor connection bring it closer to your wifi network
. Solid blue, all fine, let’s play

Making it work is super easy
. Plug the switch in the outlet
. Download the free Wemo app on the iTunes Store

Open the app on your iPhone and follow the instructions
. Go to your phone “Settings” and “Wifi” and choose the “Wemo-xxx” network
. Go back to the Wemo app
. The Wemo App, will ask you to select your wifi network and enter the password
. The Wemo switch will then connect itself to your wifi network
. You’ll have the possibility to customize your switch icone, I took the picture of my lamp

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So now that all is set, time to play! From your couch you have the control! I love it.

Basically your switch works with your wifi network and your phone is the remote that uses whatever network available (3G or wifi) to interact with the switch.

Photo 11-03-13 12 47 01 PMThe great thing is that you can add as many switches as you want! You can personalize each switch with a little picture or regular/standard icone.

ChaseIt or BChased ?
ChaseIt because
. it’s a great product that will easy your daily life
. it’s not an expensive device and it comes with a 2-years garantee
. you can link as many switch as you want
. you can push it further with the IFTTT (IF This Then That)

If you are concerned about the electricity consumption, the Wemo plug uses less than 1,5 watts (less than a clock radio).

More infos on
. The Belkin Wemo official website
. Follow @Belkinwemo
. The IFTTT website with its 59 channels so far


Never enough plugs !

20 Jan

Never enought plugs while travelling ? Me too, my rating of a hotel starts with the number of plugs I find in my  room. Now with the Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB charger, I will smoother my rating with a new criteria, “how close is the plug to my bed?”. Usually, I need to plug my iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Blackberry desk charger and my Up. This great device gives  you: 3 power outlets and 2 USB slots,on one plug, all 5 of them protected against power surge. The price is sweet: 24,95$. Extra mention for the rotating plug !

Available at the Apple Store

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