Hymini - The wind powered gadget charger

Hymini Well I may have got pretty excited when I told you about the solar powered charging unit - the Freeloader, but my excitement is set to reach new heights thanks to the Hymini - a 'soon to be launched' mobile charger that primarily harnesses wind power as its main charging input.

Looking very much like a slick portable mini-fan, the Hymini is being marketed as a mobile charger for all 5v gadgets (which means iPods, digital cameras, mobile phones etc.) However the real 'seller' for me is the promoted idea that the Hymini can be attached to the handlebars of your bike allowing the unit to be charged as you cycle, which I think is really nice!! However when the wind is just not happening Miniwiz, the company behind the Hymini, also provide the option of charging the unit via mains adapter, USB and optional solar battery attachments.

Due to the lack of summer sun I've only had relative success with the Freeloader as far as solar charging goes (charging via USB works perfectly) but the fact that the Hymini utilises much more readily available wind power may make it a more viable eco-charging solution for my mobile gadgets.

Prices, releases dates and availability are not provided at the time of writing but I'm hoping it's not going to be long before I get to test out the marketing claims to see whether the Hymini is a step-up solution to the FreeLoader or not. Meantime I invite you to get yourself along to the website to gen up on all of the details or charge times etc.to see if the Hymini is the eco-charger for you.  ::via TreeHugger    

Mac purchase - Coming to a home near you...eventually

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Am I being too naive in expecting that my soon to be delivered (hopefully) Mac Mini would have shipped from somewhere here in the UK? I must be because a quick input of my order ref. number on apecode (a great place for getting a lot more tracking info than even Apple themselves offer) dutifuly informs me that my precious package, having now finally hit British shores, has worked its merry way across mainland Europe having originated from the Czech Republic.

Macmini_cargo Ok so I'm well aware that all computers more or less originate from distant shores anyway (more often than not the Far East) but I find it somewhat disturbing that each and every Apple order is individually shipped. Given the popularity of Apple merchandise, maybe that isn't a problem. Although I've got an image in my mind of my poor lil Mac rattling around on its lonesome in the cargo hold of a plane I'm perhaps way off the mark and in fact every shipment that leaves Apple's distribution centres does so en-masse with cargo containers packed to the gunnels. At least that's what I hope is the reality.

Of course the more cynical among you may think I'm only venting because my eagerly anticipated order is taking so long to get  to me. Well I'd be lying if I said it wasn't, at least a little bit, but mainly I'm venting because I've got this overbearing sense of guilt that all of this environmental damage due to shipping is being caused on my account. I'm just thankful that  Greenpeace are continuing their concerted efforts to encourage Apple to turn their operation a lot greener. Although  Greenpeace's campaign is primarily targetted on Apple's manufacturing processes, one can only hope that the knock effect, if successful, will also see a change to the greener for Apple's logistical policy too.      

Freeloader – A few ‘unboxed’ pics

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As it’s going to take me a while to 'field test' the Freeloader solar charger before I can post a full review I thought I’d upload a few initial pics of the unit to my Flickr account so that you can get a better idea of its construction. Aren’t I nice? :o)

Expect to see my full review of the Freeloader soon.

Freeloader is in the house

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This morning Mr. Postman dropped off the Freeloader solar cell charger unit I was telling you about last week. Looks interesting doesn't it?!? :o) First impressions, just from taking the unit out of the box, is it's low in weight and looks like it's sturdy enough to withstand the trials and tribulations of a gadget bag. Anyway expect to see a full review in the next couple of weeks.  

Juice your mobile gadgets via the sun

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One of the biggest problems facing the mobile paperless operative is keeping his/her paperless gadgetry juiced up throughout the day and this problem can be compounded if, like me, you're a bit of a 'greenie' paperless operative who also likes to keep an eye on the eco-friendly side of things.
Well we need worry no more because thanks to Solar Technology Ltd. (here in the UK..yay!:o)) and their new Freeloader charger the problem's solved (at least to some extent). Weighing in at a respectfully manageable 185g, and shrouded in a tough aluminium body, the £29.99 Freeloader is a portable charger system that allows one to remotely 'juice up' a multitude of portable gadgets i.e. PDA's, ipods, a large number of phones etc. using one of the equally numerous connectors that comes supplied with the unit.

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The Freeloader's internal battery, which can power a PDA for 22 hours, can be recharged using a computer's USB but better still, through use of its in-built solar cells, the Freeloader can harness the power of the sun's rays - a wholly clean and green solution. I've just placed an order for one (contrary to what you may have read about these elsewhere, they are available NOW - I've just come off the phone to the company) so as soon as I've had a bit of time using it I'll post a full review. Meantime get yourself along to the Freeloader product page and gen yourself up on all of the details (they can do a much better job at that then I can :o)) ::via Treehugger   

PC World go for GREEN

Pcworldlogogreen Good news on the RSS feeds today. Seems that UK computer superstore PC World have announced their plans to produce and sell one of the world's most eco-friendly computers. Aside from using as much recycled (and recyclable) materials as they can, PC World will also be investing in carbon offsets i.e. tree planting, to rebalance the negative impact of manufacturing the units. Best of all, as far as I'm concerned, this green PC will also be manufactured in Europe - which, aside from reducing the environmental impact caused by shipping, means the western world won't be exploiting the Far East for a change...Yay!!

While a lot of bloggers out there seem to be applauding PC World's green initiative there's a lot of concern that the extra cost of manufacturing these green machines will be passed on to the consumers. Well I say bring it on. I told you back in June last year that a Greenpeace survey concluded that consumers would pay more for the privilege of owning a greener PC so it's maybe time for us all to stand up to that pledge, get fully behind this initiative, and hopefully encourage more eco-responsible initiatives from other manufacturers including the real 'biggies' such as Apple (on a sidenote -if you haven't been along to take a look at Greenpeace's 'Green my Apple' campaign then I encourage you to do so)   

However as good as this news is I don't think it quite excuses PC World's commercial director Bryan Magrath's incredibly bad attempt at some kind of pun when, as part of the announcement, he said that PC World were aiming towards ‘creating the first 'PC' PC’......errrrr ok Bryan. I think you need to work a little bit more on that tagline :o)

Seriously though - Well Done PC World!! But let's just hope that the final product lives up to its eco-friendly promise. ::via Which?

Green your PC with a Solargizer

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Genius computer peripheral manufacturer Genius (I know. A bad attempt at a pun) have come up with this neat little wireless keyboard for all of us eco-friendly PCers. Christened the SlimStar 820 Solargizer (impressive name) this wireless PC keyboard takes its power primarily from an onboard adjustable solar panel. I know what your thinking ...how does that work in a dark room? Well obviously it doesn't and to address that little problem Genius provide two other powering alternatives - USB charging and AA battery power (comes supplied with alkaline batteries but I'm sure you could use rechargable). Ok so it's not a 100% solar powered solution (unless you only work on your PC during the day :o) ) but at least it's a postive step in the planet friendly direction. In the words of Borat...I Like!!!! ::via The Sietch Blog

Greenpeace looking for green apples

Logoapple_1 Got to love the ‘green my apple’ campaign from Greenpeace. They’re really working at turning the eco-responsible screw on Apple Inc. and encouraging everyone to do the same. Don’t worry though Greenpeace aren’t interested in encouraging consumers to boycott their precious Apple gadgets. Their motive is focused solely on persuading Mr. Jobs and Co. to make a significant change for the greener (primarily to remove toxic chemicals from their products and launch a free worldwide 'take back scheme') and I think this is such a worthy cause. Given the incredible size and influence of Apple is it not be in everyone’s interest to encourage one of our planet’s biggest companies to be one of our planet’s biggest protectors too?

Well if you agree then get yourself along to the campaign website (if only to admire Greenpeace’s excellent spoofing of Apple’s corporate website) and see if there is anything you can do to help make Apple greener.

Way to go Greenpeace!

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Postie Roger - the paperless demigod

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Thanks to the selfless act of postman Roger Annies of Barry, Wales (who sadly as I write has been suspended for his actions) news has broken across the UK that it is possible for households to opt-out of un-addressed junk mail from the Royal Mail (the kind of mail that's headed 'to the occupier'). Although I've added my name to the MPS this form of unaddressed junk mail has remained a proverbial fly in my paperless ointment but thanks to Postie Roger not any more.

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10 Ways to be kinder to paper

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One of the things I haven't posted a lot of on the blog (well actually never) is lists. Everybody, including me, loves lists so I thought maybe I should get down to producing some and what bettter way to get the ball rolling than a list of paper reducing/eliminating ideas. To avoid information overload I'm only presenting 10 ideas for the time being but I hope the 10 I've presented are useful and somewhat thought-provoking. I intend to follow up this list in the near future with a part deux. Meanwhile enjoy the ideas I've posted and if you have any of your own then please don't be afraid to share them.

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