The Good and Bad of the Microsoft SideWinder X8 Mouse

This mouse gets high marks for performance and features, but falls a bit short when it comes to comfort. 

The Microsoft gaming mouse operates at resolutions up to 4000 DPI and the advanced tracking offers image processing of 13,000 frames per second. You get the precision handling you need, plus you can switch sensitivity between high, medium, and low with a single click.

Lag-free play is important, and this mouse is speedy enough to give you just that. The mouse can conveniently be used wired or wirelessly. No need to halt the action for recharging – just connect the cord to a USB port and keep on playing or working.

The mouse is highly customizable, with five programmable main buttons and right/left tilt that you can tailor to your individual needs with the software. In addition, the scroll wheel with indents delivers smooth but easily controlled action.

With the three different types of mouse feet, you can select which material gives you the best glide for whatever surface the mouse is on. People with small hands may find this particular mouse uncomfortable to use. Some gamers might also find it’s a bit on the weighty side.

All in all, this is a feature-rich mouse that is very good for performance gaming.

Here are some of the features of the Microsoft SideWinder X8 Mouse:

  • – Play and Charge delivers up to 30 hours of active gaming on a single charge
  • – BlueTrack technology – world’s most advanced tracking technology for gaming
  • – 2.4 GHz wireless for lag-free play
  • – Instantly switch sensitivity between high, medium, and low with one click
  • – 7 programmable buttons

Here is what current owners have to say about the Microsoft SideWinder X8 Mouse:

Shawn Chesak: “So how does this mouse perform? Flawlessly, I’m happy to say. Custom bindings are activated properly with every single game, a feature I’ve too long not had consistently. And the precision and control of the X8 felt, suprisingly to me, better than the G500. I particularly liked the ability to bind a button to precision mode which slows down the tracking rate of the mouse without changing the dpi whenever the button is pressed (or held, depending on what you set it to). This proved to be quite handy when going into “sniper mode” in several of the shooters I like to play. You also have the option of binding keypresses, or even custom macros, to buttons… Hands-down, I consider this an excellent gaming mouse.”

Panasonic SR-MS183 10-Cup Rice Cooker

To cook rice is a real tough task if someone is a non professional chef like me. But Panasonic has solved this problem. As I was never good in cooking (specially rice dishes), my colleague who was facing the same problem gave me the advice to use this mini rice cooker. At 1st I thought it would be again little tough to understand this gadget. But to my surprise it was so simple that even a little child could handle it easily. That was a sign of relief for me. The second part was little tough as my fingers were crossed to find out the result of rice. Then to my surprise when the rice got cooked, it was way above my expectations. Perfectly cooked no meshing or breaking of rice, no starch marks on the bowl. The texture was intact.

It can be a long list if we start to write down the best features. Some of the very important features that makes it stand apart from its competitors are the capacity of cooked rice is up to 20 cups. The color is white which gives it a clean and glowing look. The display is in orange LCD. Inner cooking pan is black bottom dimpled coated with aluminum. Push button lid cover. The micro computer controlled with 8 menu options. The menu options for rice are white, brown, sticky and quick cook. And the other menu options are steam, slow cook (up to 12 hours), cake and porridge.

The pre set timer is for rice only i.e. one can set the finish time up to 24 hours in advance. The Panasonic SR-MS183 also comes with the auto shut off function. The “keep warm” time is 12 hours in which the lid heater and the side heater do their job.

The inner lid is removable and the display is very easy to read. The lid is push button release. The start and keep warm function is also equipped with indicator lights. Accessories contain the measuring cup, rice scoop, steam basket and a detachable chord. One feature that I like most in it is the multi-lingual operation instructions which makes it the best choice for people of many nations. It comes with a power supply of 120 AC that is 60 Hz. The dimension of this machines is width 13in, depth 10in, and height 9 in.

 In short for me and for a large family even this is one of the best kitchen item that can be put into use, not only that it can also be given as a gift as in this fast pace life time is the most important thing that one has to take care of. We cannot afford those old traditional ways of cooking like stove-top cooking as it consumes a lot of time and this quality and taste varies every time it is cooked. By using Panasonic we are absolutely sure that we will be enjoying the same great taste every time we cook it.

Traveling in Rome: Maps and Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians

1. Traveling Through Rome With Maps

If you are looking for a simple and basic map of the center of Rome, there is one that has the streets and main monuments and sights clearly laid out. To get a copy, you can go to the “Information” booths or offices located in the airports, train stations, and other areas in Rome. This map and other materials are provided free of charge, and the staff can help you with directions and information. Hours of operation differ from location to location. With a contigo autoseal travel mug the wait is pretty easy as you can keep sipping your drink.

There are many good maps and guidebooks available for sale. You can find them at bookstores or order them online. If you fly in to Rome before you pick up a map, you can still purchase one in some stores in the airports and train stations. Guidebooks and maps are also carried by some street vendors in popular tourist areas such as the Roman Forum.

At some point, if you are planning to take public transportation, you should probably get yourself a map with the bus and metro routes clearly labeled. The public transportation authority is ATAC. You can get bus and subway routes from them.


Another source of directions you may encounter is the local police. Many of them speak English and can be very helpful in directing you to where you need to go.

2. Roman Streets- What You Need to Know

When you are actually on a Roman street, you will see the street names when they are posted (sometimes intersections are not labeled) on either street signs or carved into the walls of a corner building. Please be aware that street names can and do change. Also, pay careful attention to 3-7 way intersections because your street may go in an unexpected direction at the intersection. Many streets are one way, so be sure to read up on traffic symbols if you plan on driving while in Rome.

Crosswalks are marked by thick parallel lines. They aren’t always at the exact intersection of the road. Sometimes they can be a few yards away from the actual intersection. You have to weave your way through traffic when walking across the street. The cars will not stop for you on both sides. You simply have to go ahead and they will maneuver around you.

Some streets and sidewalks are made with cobblestones. If you are planning to bring a car into Rome, be sure that it can withstand the unevenness and massive dips in the older roads. For pedestrians, the cobblestones can cause greater wear and tear on your shoes and shock to your feet. Try to wear shoes with cushions or springs of some kind to reduce the stress on your feet.

Good luck with your vacation in Rome!

The Panasonic ER430K Vacuum Ear, Nose and Facial Hair Trimmer

The Panasonic ER430K Vacuum Ear, Nose and Facial Hair Trimmer is an excellent design and shows the level of thought and care that went into it. Using a nose trimmer is not the same thing as a beard trimmer. They both trim hair. Yes, and that’s where the similarities end.

Unlikebeard trimmers where the shavings don’t cause too much of a problem, shavings of nose hair can aggravate a bout of sneezing. The Panasonic’s vacuum solves that problem easily. The Panasonic ER430k makes fine grooming effortless and precise and is listed as the best men’s beard trimmer.

The Inside Story with the Panasonic ER430k

A trimmer is just a trimmer, right? Wrong. Well, at least not in my experience. You haven’t felt pain till you’ve been on the receiving end of a trimmer that yanks out nose hair rather than cuts it. The Panasonic ER430k has overcome the problem of that and redesigned the blades in such a way that they tilt at a 60° angle allowing the blades to engage and slice rather than grapple and pull. The blades are also dual-edged and are sharp enough to do the job.

Since it is entering the nasal cavity, Panasonic also made the blade hypo-allergenic. Whether you need to use it wet or dry, the entire device is submersible in water. So trimming in the shower is not a problem. It also makes it easy to keep the handle and the blade clean just by running it in water. I periodically use a mild soap to just keep the outsides clean from water marks and smudges.

The trimmer operates on a single AA battery. You’d have to get these separately and it depends on how often you plan on using the trimmer but the battery does last a reasonable amount of time. Personally, I use rechargeable batteries. So I leave the battery in there and once I feel the power waning, I get the other battery on deck, ready to go when its needed.

There is also an integrated vacuum in the trimmer. This is absolutely a necessary especially when it comes to trimming nasal hair. I have had trimmers that didn’t have this feature and the shavings that result from a session always irritate the sinuses and get me sneezing. With the vacuum, I no longer have this problem. The trimmer is a designed well in shape, so that it affords a comfortable grip that allows the wrist to move within its natural range of motion. This is a major consideration because improper angles can cause typical trimmers to be inefficient or worse, yank on nostril hairs.

The shaving fixture consists of a rotary blade rather than an oscillating plate. It has a safety cone that protects your delicate nostrils and it serves to also prevent the blades from pulling the hair. The entire assembly is then tilted at a comfortable angle that makes the natural articulation of the wrist sufficient to maneuver the rotating blade to the extent needed, precisely.

Speaking of blades, they are sharp and made from hypoallergenic stainless steel. In fact the entire casing that you introduce into the nostrils is constructed from hypoallergenic steel to prevent any irritation within the nostrils.

What’s to Like with the Panasonic ER430k

The first thing that’s great about this trimmer is that it feels tight and solid in your hand. None of the flimsy, cheap feeling here. The grip is encased in a soft rubber that is easy to clean yet provides adequate positive grip to confidently accomplish your nasal task. The motor is powerful and when that comes together with the sharp blades, they slice through hair effortlessly.

The Panasonic ER430k is pretty much the top of the line (although not priced that way!) and so it comes standard with all the bells and whistles. I like the fact that it can be rinsed clean and that it doesn’t need to be oiled. Rinsing it clean and pat drying it is sufficient to get any shavings or clippings loose from the crevasses and nooks of the trimer.

The thing I like most about it is that the battery seems to last forever. The trimer does not come with batteries in the box, but it takes one AA battery that you’ll have to get yourself. I opted to get a rechargeable and each full charge gets me about 90 minutes or trimming time. That translates to a lot of trims, because unlike beard trimmers, you only need about 45 seconds to get your objective achieved.

I know it’s just a gimmick, but I also do like the little mirror on the cap. It helps me see where I am pointing the trimmer, especially when I am cleaning up the area around the ears and some of the strays that pop up every now and then. The cap then covers the trimmer and I get to store it in the handsome cover that comes in the box.

The product is not perfect, though. Few products are, at the end of the day. What I do not like about this is that the noise levels are rather noticeable. When it comes to trimmers, off course one would expect a little noise, but this one is on the loud side of the meter. The nose trim session is not that bad, but bringing the unit to the ear is rather painful due to the volume.

Much has been said about the trimmers role as a nose hair trimmer. But it’s not just that. The years are well taken care of as well. Except for the sound, the trimmer gets all the strays and vacuums them out so you don’t walk around all day with hair clippings lining the inside of your ears.

Other than that, everything that it says it can do, it does and that’s really all most of us are interested in. I like the way it looks and the way it feels. That is one of the most important thigs in getting something that you handle with your hands – the feel of the device. Excessive vibration or too little power and I lose interest in the product. The Panasonic ER430k has me satisfied.

$500 Gaming PC Parts List

Putting together a gaming PC can be a daunting task for anyone, but the most critical part comes before actually putting it together, and that is selecting the best components to fit your budget. This guide intends to do that for you, so all you have to do is assemble the components. Also note, if you already have a monitor and operating system, that’s great, and you can shave $200 off this list. For those looking to build a computer from scratch however, the monitor and OS are necessary.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz – $60

AMD is king of the low end, and processors like the Athlon 64 X2 7750 are the reason. This dual-core CPU is based on the same core as AMD’s Phenom line of quad-core processors; in fact, it’s identical, but has two cores disabled. At only 2.7GHz, it’s able to keep up with older 3GHz Athlon 64 X2s, and similarly clocked Intel processors. For $60, it’s a steal.

Motherboard: MSI K9N6PGM2-V AM2+/AM2 – $47

Choosing an AM2+ motherboard ensures future upgradeability. For the near future at least, AM3 processors are compatible with AM2+ motherboards, so if you need to, you can plug in a Phenom II down the line. This motherboard also has an integrated GeForce 6100 GPU, but we’ll be using a discreet solution for this gaming system.

Video Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 – $53

The Radeon HD 4650 is simply a slower version of the HD 4670, which is a low-end favorite. This Sapphire model comes with GDDR3 memory, which is much faster than the standard DDR2 usually found on HD 4650s. It will allow you to run all the latest games at medium or high settings on the monitor included in this list. As a bonus, it doesn’t require an extra power connector, like higher-end cards.

RAM: AllComponents 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 – $21

A RAM-starved system is a slow system, so we included 2GB of fast, DDR2-800 in this list. This will be plenty for Vista Home Basic, as well as the gaming this PC is intended for. It’s amazing really that for less than $25 you can get 2GB of RAM, and if you wanted to spend just a bit extra, you could get for 4GB for only $40.

Case and Power Supply: Rosewill TU-155 ATX Mid Tower Case 400W Power Supply – $60

This gaming case has a clear side so you’ll be able to see all the components of your PC. It’s big enough to ensure that you’ll be able to upgrade down the road to a larger video card as well. The included 400W power supply will be plenty to run our system, and more if you decide to upgrade.

Monitor: Acer V173 b Black 17″ 5ms LCD Monitor – $100

This 17 inch LCD monitor has a resolution of 1280×1024, which perfectly complements our video card choice. It also has a low, 5ms response time so you’re games will play smoothly, without the “ghosting” that appears on slower LCD panels.

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1 64-bit – $90

We chose Vista Home Basic because it uses slightly less memory than Home Premium, and it’s slightly cheaper. Really, Vista Home Premium is only $10 more, so you could choose to spend the extra money on it if the extra features are important to you. For most people, however, Home Basic is just fine.

Minor Components:

Hard Drive: HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.B 0A38005 160GB – $40

DVD Drive: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner – $23

Total (Before Shipping): $495

There you have it, a complete Gaming PC for under $500 dollars. This wouldn’t have been possible only a few years ago, but falling prices are making PC gaming affordable for everyone. You can always choose to change components in this list based on your needs, as well. If you already have a DVD drive, for example, you can save the $20 and spend it on a different component, like a better video card.