Flip UltraHD And MoviePix MP5A4 HD Digital Video Camera

Watch A View From My Balcony Non-HD

First Published: June 10, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

I have been contemplating buying an HD Camcorder for sometime. However, I was procrastinating because I wanted to buy a Flip UltraHD and it was not yet available in Canada. A couple of days ago I found out that Walmart Canada was selling the Flip UltraHD Digital Camcorder, and I decided to visit Walmart to buy one. As I was about to buy the Flip UltraHD an associate walked up to me and asked why would I want pay double just for a brand name.  He showed me a MoviePix MP5A4 HD cam which cost $127 (Flip UltraHD costs about $270) and had more features than Flip UltraHD. He also said that he tried it himself and he is convinced that it was a better deal at half the cost of a Flip cam. He sounded very convincing and I decided to give it a try.

After coming home (that was Saturday), I spent couple of hours learning various features and trying to get acquainted with my new cam. Today (Sunday), I shot my first clip – and the picture quality is just outstanding. I am pleased with this camera, especially its price. I am going to post a clip for you, and I will post a link to a similar video clip I shot before with a regular video camera. You will be able to see the difference yourself.

I will be using my new HD cam at the Toronto Reference Library in The Spring 2009 Toronto Small Press Book Fair. And from now on, expect to see more video clips capturing interesting stuff as I see them through my eyes.

MoviePix MP5A4 HD 720P Video Camcorder Review

MoviePix MP5A4 HD Camera Review

First Published: June 28, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

Ever since I wrote Flip UltraHD And MoviePix MP5A4 HD Digital Video Camera post, I have been getting lots of questions regarding my MoviePix HD video camera. Lots of readers asked whether to buy a Flip UltraHD or a MoviePix HD cam. Today, I am writing a quick comparison Review showing the main differences between these two cameras. After looking at this comparison table below, you should have a good idea of what to pick.

MoviePix MP5A4 HD

1280 x 720

up to 60 fps

4X

2.7”

8 MP

Li-ion rechargeable battery 2.5 hours

Camcorder connects to your computer via USB cable

SD memory slot allows up to 32GB of storage

USB, AV & HDTV Component output jacks allow to connect it directly to HD TV

Mov

148 gms

In Canada: $127 C$ In USA: $147 US$

Flip UltraHD

1280 x 720

up to 30 fps

2X

2.0”

Can’t take still pictures

rechargeable NiMH AA batteries 2.5 hours. Can use standard AA alkaline batteries as well.

Camcorder connects directly to the USB port on your computer.

8GB internal memory

HDMI output on the side for HDTV connections, but no bundled cable

MP4

170 gms

In Canada: $299 C$ In USA: $199 US$

Watch A View From My Balcony I Shot On MoviePix Video Camera In HD

Amazon Echo Dot with Alexa Made My Life Easier

My Top Commands for Amazon Alexa

Amazon Echo Dot products provide a pathway to the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for ridiculously low prices. I picked up 2 Echo Dots (2nd and 3rd Generation) for only $25 and $40 on sale. Since I unboxed my Echo Dots, my world has changed, as Alexa took lots of tasks and worries out of my everyday life.

You can watch my Amazon Alexa Echo Dot Review here. There are so many things Alexa can do and she is always improving. Some of features I have been using since I brought her home:

Flash Briefing – I added 3 of my favourite news feeds together and Alexa will play them together when I say “flash new” or “flash briefing”.

Start My Day – This is another command where you can add several items and Alexa will play them one after another once you command her to “start my day”. I added a random fact, news feed, weather, and my calendar under this command.

When Should I Leave – You tell Alexa your public transit stop numbers and she will tell you the next 2 schedules when the bus or streetcar will leave. Alexa can only save one bus stop, so I saved the one I use most. For all others, you can tell her the numeric bus stop numbers. I see there is room for Alexa to improve, so you can only tell her your intersections, instead of stop #s.

Set Up Timer, Alarm, Reminder – Setting up alarms or reminders are so easy now. I don’t need to go through all those settings on my phone.

I also use features like weather, wind chill, and currency conversion frequently. I am learning more about Alexa and will share my experiences on this site and on my YouTube Channel.

NEW RULES OF RETIREMENT – A Dawn Journal Book Review

A Canadian Retirement Planning Book

First Published: ADawnJournal.com Feb 4, 2009

Bay Street veteran investment professionals and Toronto authors Warren Mackenzie and Ken Hawkins have sent me two copies of their recently published book NEW RULES OF RETIREMENT: WHAT YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR ISN’T TELLING YOU. One copy is for my free giveaway and one copy is for me to review. I just finished reading this book today, so here’s my review.

Retirement Planning Is Not Just Financial Planning

The majority of traditional financial planners will map your retirement planning based on your bank accounts. They will not look at the human aspect of retirement, and therefore will miss the bigger picture of retirement. This may sound odd, but remember that financial advisors are working for the financial industry and your bank accounts are what are making deep-pocketed profits for these financial institutions and advisors.

Retirement is a process which is made up of both financial and non-financial aspects. Of course, you will need to be in a stable financial situation to enjoy your retirement years, but you also need to look at it from a broader human perspective. You need to understand, plan, and consider your emotions, attitudes, goals and so on. In order to enjoy your retirement fully, you have to be ready to face different situations than what you have expected, consider different paths based on those unexpected situations, and tackle them with financial and psychological preparedness. The right preparation, expectations, and attitudes will help you make it through your retirement journey.

Things Have Changed

Nowadays, retirement is not the same as it used to be in the old days. In the old days, retirement was meant to be sitting idly and doing nothing but relaxing. These days, retirement is not just living a life of leisure and sedentary activities. Rather, retirement is an opportunity to take you to the second phase of your life. This is the other part of life which will be filled with activities you have always wanted to experience but never had a chance to do—pursuing your dreams, living in a new place, living a life full of activities, or embracing new challenges to live a more fulfilling and self-developed life.

Stay Away From Old Retirement Myths

The authors talk about some old retirement myths perpetuated in our society. If you are still planning your retirement based on these myths, it is high time you review your retirement road-map and throw away these myths. Here is the list of myths the authors pointed out in the book:

Retirement Means Not Working – Myth 1
Retirement Is Strictly An Economic Event – Myth 3
You Can Determine The Age At Which You Retire – Myth 4
Retirees Need 80 Percent Of Their Pre-Retirement Income To Maintain Their Standard Of Living – Myth 5
Retirees Need To Live Off Their Investment Incomes Without Touching The Principle – Myth 6
Retirees Should Take Little Financial Risk – Myth 7
Retirees Should Minimize Their RRSP/RRIF Withdrawals – Myth 8
Retirees Do Not Need Advice – Myth 9
The Most Important Objective In Retirement Is To Maintain Your Pre-Retirement Standard Of Living – Myth 10

The authors discussed these myths in the first chapter, explained why they are wrong, and then pointed out what you should do to protect yourself. The authors did a good job here starting the book with these myths; it gives the readers an idea of what to expect once you cross the door and also it makes coming chapters more riveting.

Thirty Eight Rules

The book consists of thirty eight rules. Each rule is one chapter. Authors talk about a wide range of topics covering a variety of subjects, such as how to plan for retirement, how to construct a simple portfolio, what government services are available to help you with your retirement, and so on.

What I Like

I like those chapters most wherein the authors talk about Old Age Security, Defined Benefit Plan, how early retirement affects your benefits, Life Annuity (a type of product), and how to make the most out of your RRSPs, RRIFs, etc. I believe these chapters provide invaluable information for lots of readers who have very little or no knowledge on these products and benefits. The authors explained them in simple ways and these chapters are what make this book distinctive amongst its peers.

What I Don’t Like

Due to the fact that the authors discussed so many topics in one place, you will have a feeling that it’s just kind of skimming the surface and not actually taking you too deep. This is understandable, however, as this 220-page book would have turned into a 2000-page book had the authors taken a deep dive.

My Take

If you are a regular ADJ reader, you know that I go by three very simple and straightforward ratings for my book review: A Must Read, Worth Reading, and Do Not Read. For this book, I will slightly modify my rating, still keeping within the range. This book is mainly targeted to baby boomers, and the publication timing is perfect in light of the current global financial meltdown (the first batch of baby boomers will be 63 in 2009 and will receive Old Age Security in 2011). If you are a baby boomer, or if you are over fifty, my rating is A Must Read.

Why Choose Garmin Vivoactive HR (Over Fitbit Blaze)?

Garmin Vivoactive HR or Fitbit Blaze Smartwatch?

First Published Date : January 9, 2017 ADawnJournal.com

I have been contemplating buying an activity tracker or a smart watch for a while. However, I put it off because I did not want to pay full price and I kept an eye on them whenever they were on sale. However, this 2016 Black Friday sale presented me with an opportunity to buy a smart watch at 40 percent discount. The two major options I had were the Garmin or Fitbit smart watch. Today, I will talk about why I picked Garmin Vivoactive HR over its competitor, the Fitbit Blaze.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

Here are my 2 most important reasons:

Bluetooth Concern – Smart watches or activity trackers send or sync information to a computer or smart phone via Bluetooth. Bluetooth does the job via low-level radio frequency waves. These waves are non-ionizing waves similar to those used by cell phones, which have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Although Bluetooth EMF radiation is much lower than a cell phone’s, there is not enough information or research on the long-term health effects of activity trackers.

Lack of information does not translate to evidence of safety and I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing something with Bluetooth always on. Here is where Garmin comes in handy, as it gives the option to turn off Bluetooth as I wish, which Fitbit is lacking. With Fitbit, Bluetooth has to be always on and there is no option to turn it off. For that reason, Garmin is my choice.

Waterproof – Garmin is waterproof to 50 meters. I can swim or shower wearing my Vivoactive HR and it’s no problem. On the other hand, Fitbit is only water resistant, not waterproof. You cannot swim or shower with Fitbit but it’s OK to splash slight water on it like in the rain or washing hands, etc.

There are other aspects where Garmin does better than Fitbit, such as having a GPS, better notifications, and so on. But the above two factors I described are more important and they are the deciding factors for me buying the Garmin.