More than a Decade of Gadgets

Posted by Alex Grantz on Sunday, September 16th, 2012 @ 3:03 pm EST

I’m not sure why, but today I got very curious to see what old hardware I still had laying around in boxes. I forgot I had a few of these gems, and they certainly bring back a lot of memories. I would like to thank these gadgets from the past decade+ for keeping me entertained and happy. Even if I slammed them to the desk or ground multiple times in frustration, they never truly failed on me. Sure, most of the mice lost their feet or double-click on a single click, but for the most part you have to hand it to these companies for making products that withstood the abuse I threw at them.

Here’s the info on these gadgets starting from top left:


  • Logitech MX500 – This was my first true gaming mouse that got me through thousands of hours of Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, Call of Duty, and many other FPS games around 2002-2004. This is really the mouse that started it all. The current generation of Logitech mice have the same shape and button layout because nothing really ever got better than this. It still functions, but it’s been through too much abuse to use as a primary mouse anymore. I keep it around for an emergency backup.
  • Logitech MX510 – The 510 was the first upgrade available after the huge success of the 500. I jumped on it quickly, and it served me well for a couple years. I never did like it more than the original 500 though. The slippery grip didn’t agree with my hand as much as the textured feel of the 500. This was the mouse that helped me move up the ranks in the competitive UT2003 and early UT2004 scenes though, so it will always be a special one. I estimate that I used this mouse from 2004-2006.
  • Logitech MX518 – The 518 was the next upgrade in the series and I jumped on it again. This one unfortunately didn’t last nearly as long as the previous two. I can’t remember exactly what went wrong with it, but it was a basic feature like a right click not registering from time to time. I think this was the first mouse I had that allowed me to change the DPI on the fly with buttons on the mouse. That was supposed to be a big thing for FPS games, but I never really used it and I don’t think this feature has ever really been used DURING games. Most new gaming mice still have a DPI switch feature though, so it must have been the right decision. I estimate that I used this from 2006-2007.
  • Razer DeathAdder – In 2007 I finally deviated from the Logitech series after being disappointed a bit in the MX518. I made the correct choice in getting the DeathAdder as my first Logitech replacement. This thing is still going strong today and I might actually switch back to it for my main gaming mouse until I get a new mouse. It’s a brilliant mouse. The only thing wrong with it is that it is a magnet for the dirt and grime from your grubby hands. It’s very hard to keep this one looking new and clean, but it’s still truckin after almost 5 years. To be fair, my gaming time dropped off dramatically during the past 5 years so perhaps it wasn’t used as much as the previous mice even though it’s been longer in time.
  • SteelSeries Ikari Optical – Last year I got this mouse and fell in love immediately. I’ve never had a mouse that fit my hand more perfectly. The weight was right, the tracking was phenomenal, and the build quality is great. The only thing wrong with this one now is that it double clicks on a single click if you press the left button on the side. I’m surviving with this for now since I still prefer it for gaming, but I’ll probably replace it soon.
  • Logitech G400 (not pictured – currently using at work) – I made a triumphant return to the same Logitech shaped mouse when they released the G400 earlier this year. It’s a fantastic mouse and I have no complaints. It isn’t quite as comfortable for my hand as the Ikari, but this one might last me for several years of work usage.

Curiosity lands on Mars!

Posted by Alex Grantz on Monday, August 6th, 2012 @ 7:23 pm EST

Early this morning Eastern time in the USA, NASA pulled off an incredible feat of engineering ingenuity by successfully landing the 1,982 lb Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars! It was an amazing spectacle to watch live as the individuals in the control room called out each milestone during the insane landing sequence dubbed the 7 Minutes of Terror. The joy and elation of everyone in the room when it was clear the rover landed safely was one of the most emotional things I have ever witnessed. Truly well done everyone involved with this project! Check out the amazing first pictures the rover sent back just minutes after it landed.

I have compiled a list of relevant links with even more commentary, links, and video below. Check it out and I hope you can appreciate this event as much as I do.

New 4 minute trailer for season 3 of The Walking Dead

Posted by Alex Grantz on Friday, July 13th, 2012 @ 9:18 pm EST

Comic-Con 2012 has kicked into high gear and we have now been graced with a fantastic 4 minute trailer for the upcoming season 3 of the Walking Dead! If you’re a huge fan of the show like me, you will love this extended look at what is in store for us starting October 14th on AMC.

If Earth had rings like Saturn

Posted by Alex Grantz on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 @ 12:06 am EST

Now this is just cool. Here’s an animation that shows what the view would be like from Earth if it had rings. Very interesting to see the different perspectives depending on where you are on the planet. Check it out below.

Curiosity’s 7 Minutes of Terror

Posted by Alex Grantz on Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 @ 11:33 pm EST

This video is astonishing. It shows in detail the landing sequence that the Mars rover Curiosity has to go through to survive. I absolutely love what brilliant people can do if you give them enough money! On that note, check out Penny 4 NASA. NASA deserves a bigger budget!

Curiosity is currently speeding towards the red planet and is scheduled to go through this incredible landing sequence on August 5th or August 6th depending on where you are in the world. Here’s to hoping everyone got every little detail right so we can enjoy the results of a successful landing and subsequent mission!

New Veloster Turbo info on Hyundai website

Posted by Alex Grantz on Saturday, June 16th, 2012 @ 6:10 pm EST

I currently drive a Hyundai Elantra and have no real complaints. However, when I first started seeing information about the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, I was extremely intrigued. It’s a quick car with funky looks and good gas mileage. It has what appears to be sophisticated technology options and has a very reasonable price. So even though I have no reason to get a new car and it’s a relatively foolish thing to do from a financial perspective, I think I might be getting this.

Check out the official specs and gallery on Hyundai’s site. See a few pictures below.

Neil deGrasse Tyson – The Most Astounding Fact

Posted by Alex Grantz on Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 @ 11:52 pm EST

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the person who reignited my passion for astronomy and space. Everything that he says is done with such personal interest and enthusiasm that you can’t help but be interested yourself. The video below takes one of his best answers and puts it to some lovely video and music. Take a look!


Welcome to the new!

Posted by Alex Grantz on Monday, June 11th, 2012 @ 1:53 am EST

Hello and welcome to the newly redesigned website for! The last version of the site that offered technical communication services has now been replaced with a more personal resume and portfolio site. I will use this blog to post about anything and everything my little heart desires. You might have to endure bad humor from time to time, but some of the stuff I post about should be interesting to anyone who knows me.

For more about what might show up on the blog, check out the home page of the site.

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