Tuesday, 15 December 2015


Today at Useful Agenda we are taking a look into Virtual Reality with the Divine Viewer Headset.

Now, I have reviewed a number of these headsets. The idea is that you put your smartphone inside of it. There are different apps like Google cardboard and YouTube 360, giving you a split left to right image, afterwards combining to render a fully 360 degree view experience. There is usually an accelerometer on your phone, so you are looking all around in a Virtual World. Really cool.

We have gone over this and looked at the Google Cardboard stuff, it is pretty inexpensive. But this Divine Viewer has some really neat additions to it which really takes us to another level. So, let us walk you through it.

The headset comes with the nice little carrying bag. The first thing I notice on the device is the padding. The reason why we come to this first, is that the major problem we have with most of the other virtual reality headsets that we have reviewed is that they just hurt to wear after a while. 

This is great because they have put padding on the back so it is much more comfortable. That is one of the things that we want to point out right away. The other thing, again to the comfort, (this is the major thing if you are going to be wearing this, watching a movie, something like that), is the padding. After taking a closer look at the straps reveal they are padded on the back. When you strap this on to your head, you are supported by the padding, adding to the overall comfort. 

The straps are also adjustable. Featuring velcro retention, you can adjust this to the size of your head. And, adjustable on the top as well.

I want to explain another feature here which separates it from the rest, and that is the ventilation. It also has got venting for your phone on both sides, to keep it cool. Also, the plate in  the front can come out – allowing a phone to be placed inside.  Some virtual reality apps utilize augmented reality in combination with your camera phone.

The Divine Viewer is well put together you should also know. There is well placed magnets that hold it firmly together, also snapping shut. It all has a really nice feel.

The other big things here that we want to talk about, is how you can adjust it, both the distance of the lenses, in terms of left/right, of how close they are. And, then you can also adjust the forward and back distance. This is really important if wear corrective glasses.

After opening it up for a closer look, and I want to tell you about another key feature here, and that is the way the tray that holds the phone works. It is spring loaded, both on top and on bottom which allows you to use all different size phones. To test this out, we put in an iphone 6, which is a large phone. Inserting a phone is no problem at all.

One of the nice things about it, is the tab acting as a center point to line up the phone. Some of the entrances on some of the Google Cardboard leave you fooling around trying to get the center point.

The way these work is that they create a left/right image, and then combines it so it looks 3 dimensional.

Now, here is the problem with all these reviews of all these Virtual Reality headsets – We can not really tell you how cool it looks, but you are not seeing it with the full virtual reality 360 degrees from watching a video.

I want to explain a couple of other features in more detail while using your phone with this headset.  If we are using an augmented reality app, you can take the front plate off, making the camera assessable.  So, that is something where you can combine the world you are in with the virtual world so that is pretty cool. Also, the sound will come through ventilated holes which also help that your phone does not overheat. That's pretty neat.

Let us go over and talk about some of the adjustment controls, because I think that they are pretty special. The is a knob for controlling the distance that the phone is to your eyes. You can move it forward or backwards. This is important for nearsighted, farsighted, or corrected vision – You will be able to control what comes into focus. It is really easy to do.

The knob found on the top adjusts for the distance between your pupils. So you can move it closer or further, if you have a bigger head or smaller one, depending on where your eyes are set, you can get everything all lined up. So, these might sound like minor things, but they are key features. You can get this really looking sharp, and looking good for each individual. In combination with the padding it makes for a very comfortable experience.

Again, this is virtual reality, you are going to be turning and looking all around you, and moving like that. I noticed that my phone is staying put, and the door is not flopping open, which is important. Some of the other units, and the way that the phone is in there, they can kind of slip out. This is a major problem, because you obviously do not want to drop your phone onto the ground and smash it! We like this Divine Viewer because it is kept firmly in place. Yet to open it, once you use some pressure, it is not a problem. We really like how it stays in place, snaps shut, and allows easy access. That is a key feature.


We have looked at a lot of these inexpensive virtual reality headsets. So, starting out with things like the Google Cardboard – it is very inexpensive, made out of cardboard,  you put your phone in, and it might sell for 20 bucks. But, this is clearly not comfortable. It might be cool for a demo, but it is not where you are going in terms of comfort.

Now we get to probably the closest competitor: the Noon. This one we actually like. It sells for 89 dollars though, so it is more expensive. The Divine Viewer sells for 65 dollars.  The Noon has got some nice features to it, also using the adjustable lenses, it is also lighter.It has some padding which is nice, and we definitely like this because it is very lightweight. The Noon is another nice option.

What is really cool again about the Divine Viewer is compared to all of those, you get the full padding in the front as well as the padding on the back of your head when you have the strap on. That is important, and of course the ventilation ports.

So, when you think in terms of a long term experience, the Divine Viewer is the way to go because of the padding. We also love the fact that you can adjust both the distance by moving your phone forward and backwards, and then also in terms of distance between your eyes.

Optional Controller:

There is another cool optional accessory that you can buy separately.  That is a Bluetooth game pad. What is cool about this is that sometimes it can be hard in a game to control everything, your phone is in there, and you can not access or touch it. So, most games are fine without, in that you can just look at it and where you are looking you can select it. At other times you need better control. This allows you to just that with a full bluetooth controller. You can find Bluetooth controllers that will work with this for cheap on sites like ebay.

The pad can also activate your phone, and use this bluetooth controller for many tasks, not just virtual reality. I will say, the only downside to it is that everything uses different controls. In Google Cardboard to actually do a click on the screen, you have to touch the screen, so even with the controller you can not do that. Other games which are starting to come out, which are made to work with a bluetooth controller. This adds a whole new dimension, you can be looking around, moving your head around to see different points of view, but if we want to do things like run, kick, throw, things like that, you can do it with the controller. It is also bluetooth enabled, and you just plug it in to charge it up, and then it is pretty straight forward if you have used any video game controller. Different games and different apps will have different controls for them, but without you needing to load up drivers and things like that, simple controls like pushing select, or the B button to go back, can be done like that right off the bat.


Alright, so overall I really like the Divine Viewer , love the padding and the design. I love how you can move the lenses both forward and back, and left and right as well. And also loved the way that the phone sits securely in there.

In terms of dislikes, it is heavy. It is about .85 pounds, and it is heavy to have on your head. The field of vision is not as large as some of the other ones out there. You can also see a little bit of borders. So, onto what do you do with these things.

Just scrolling through Apple Store there are a lot of different apps. There are games, videos, virtual tours, even vr porn, you can surf all over. And, it is only getting better. This is still only in its infancy and more stuff is coming out all the time. It is a wide open field, so if you get in now, there is going to be a lot trendsetting. 

So overall, I like the Divine Viewer , it is an interesting virtual reality headset, and great for only 65 bucks.

Go over to to check it out and pick one up. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Backing Up & Restoring Stickies On Mac

I just had my MacBook screen die on me, I am able to get to my files by connecting with my iMac though. I was able to save a ton of files including my stickies.

Friday, 6 December 2013

House built of hemp / cannabis

Russ Martin, the former mayor of Ashville, North Carolina, likes to joke that if his house burned down, his neighbors could party hearty. Martin built his 3,400-square-foot-home partly out of hemp, Martin used Hemcrete to build the walls of his house. Hemcrete, made by British company Lime Technology, mixes dried hemp stems with lime. Workers take the moisture-laden "shiv" and pour it into wall forms. The slurry hardens, creating a thick concrete-like wall with a high insulation value. A 12-inch-thick Hemcrete wall has an R-value of R-28.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Treating epilepsy with medical cannabis / marijuana

Josh will sift through the propaganda, fear and greed encompassing medical marijuana. Recently featured on CNN, Josh and his brothers developed a non-psychotropic strain of marijuana which is drastically reducing seizures for many pediatric epilepsy patients in Colorado. With millions facing life-threatening illnesses, Josh outlines the hurdles needed to effect social change and maps a path toward helping those who desperately need revolutionary medicine.

Videography credits
Jenn Calaway, Enhancer
Michael Hering, Lodo Cinema
Sarah Megyesy, Side Pocket Images
Satya Peram, Flatirons Films
Sean Williams, RMO Films
Anthony Lopez, Cross Beyond
David Oakley

Charlotte's Web and Zaki's Journey

The Bloom Energy Server (The Bloom Box)

For all the people that know my blog, I am sure you guys know how much I am into renewable energy.
I was surfing the net last night and found something really cool.
Maybe some of you have heard of this technology but for me I was blowen away, specially because I only heard about it last night and this is now a few years old.

The Bloom Box:
The Bloom Energy Server (the Bloom Box) is a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) made by Bloom Energy, of Sunnyvale, California, that can use a wide variety of inputs (including liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons produced from biological sources) to generate electricity on the site where it will be used.
It can withstand temperatures of up to 1,800 °F (980 °C), that would cause many other fuel cells to break down or require maintenance. According to the company, a single cell (one 100 mm × 100 mm metal alloy plate between two ceramic layers) generates 25 watts.

Bloom stated that two hundred servers have been deployed in California for corporations including eBay, Google and Wal-Mart.

Continuity & Disaster Recovery Planning with Digica

In today’s uncertain world, catastrophic natural disasters cause disruption wherever they strike. Whether the incident is a hurricane, a tornado, flood or fire, the devastation can be widespread and long lasting. Businesses and their IT departments risk data loss and out of service systems. Depending on the scope of the disaster, the results can be extreme loss of business and erosion of customer confidence.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Construction grade cables and high-performance variable frequency drive (VFD) cables differ in several key areas.
High performance VFD cables are constructed with high strand count flexible tinned conductors. Construction grade cables usually have only 7 or 19 bare copper strands as required by construction standards
High performance VFD cables are more stable thermally at the connection points.
High performance VFD cables are more flexible.
High performance VFD cables are preferred for high frequency drive output components due to the much larger conductor surface area compared to construction grade cable.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Fire with Fire - Ross Kauffman - GE FOCUS FORWARD

 Who would dare to pit one fatal disease against another... inside the body of an six-year-old patient? The results will shatter all expectations. GE works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

200,000 Tonnes Diverted: Ontario Surpasses Waste Electronics Reuse and Recycling Milestone

Proving their commitment to a cleaner environment, Ontarians have reached yet another electronic waste collection milestone. Since April 2009, more than 200,000 tonnes of electronic waste has been collected and successfully diverted from landfill across the province, greater than any other diversion program of its kind in Canada.
"Waste diversion is a hot topic in Ontario. As we look at new ways to manage end-of-life electronics, it's important to recognize the success and momentum we're experiencing in electronics recycling," says Jonathan Spencer, Executive Director, Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES). "It took about three years to set up our province-wide network of drop-off centers, and then reach our e-waste collection target of 100,000 tonnes. With the help of Ontarians, municipalities and service providers, we recently surpassed the 200,000 tonnes mark in less than 18 months. That's significant progress and proof that Ontarians support electronics recycling."