Archive for July, 2009

Faces in Places

The man on the moon was the only one really common to me until I came across this blog site. It’s sure to have you smiling.

The best complaint letter ever

All companies receive letters of complaint every now and again and albeit rare, Proporta sometimes does too. It seems Virgin big boss man Richard Branson has a lot to answer for. For fear of taking away the whole hilarity of this letter by reiterating it, check this beauty out

virgin-complaints

The fourth generation iPhone causes tragedy already

Some tragic news has been released regarding one of the factory employees working on the fourth generation iPhone.

The Sun.co.uk has reported that a Foxconn factory worker has jumped to his death after mislaying the top secret prototype of the next fourth generation iPhone.

The worker, 25 year old Sun Danyong plunged to his death from a tower block after he feared he would be in huge trouble with his bosses, and Apple.

Read the full story here

The Eagle has landed… well 40yrs ago

The Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. It launched on July 16th 1969 carrying Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr.

astronauts

On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon, while Collins orbited above.

neilarmstrong

This mission satisfied President John F Kennedy’s ambition of reaching the moon by the end of the 1960s. He stated during a speech given before a joint session of Congress on May 25th 1961:

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

It’s even true to say that this mission was planned with some computers that are less complex than some current day calculators. Wow – what an achievement. As you know Proporta are into all things gadgety so find this astonishing and we’re sure you do too.

Travel Essentials

Lynnette, resident Proporta Marketing Manager and workaholic, recently returned from a three week stint backpacking around Bali and after taking much advantage of Proporta travel products, felt it was only right that she share this information with the Proporta blog readers. You’ll need to excuse the blatant corporate promotion (we don’t usually like doing this), but be assured that our intentions are entirely honourable. It’s sometimes tricky getting across just how useful our products are, so what better way to do it than to momentarily stick you in Lynnette’s flip flops…

lynnette

USB TurboCharger 3400
It’s about a 14 hour flight to Bali, but once you’ve taken into account getting to the airport 3 hours early, a transfer somewhere on the way (which should only be a few more hours, but may be longer if you’re an idiot like me and book a flight with a 12 hour overnight stopover in Kuala Lumpur) – you could end up looking at a 37 round trip… which I did. Brilliant. Even the calmest of fellows would probably start to go a little stir crazy after 15 hours in an airport (naturally the flight was delayed), but not I. I had the new Proporta USB TurboCharger 3400 in my clutches, which meant that I could listen to music, text till my heart was content and surf the internet on my BlackBerry, aaaand still have enough power left to watch a couple of films on my iPod on the plane. There’s a bit of technical spiel which goes with this product, but all you really need to know is that it’s a battery pack that you charge from anything USB powered, and it holds more charge than any of your devices will – quite a bit more. So all you need to do is charge the TurboCharger from either your laptop, computer or a USB wall plug (we sell those too) and the TurboCharger will charge anything from your iPhone, BlackBerry or iPod to your Sony PSP, DS Lite or GPS and more. Even better, it’s really small (about the size of your phone) so you can take it pretty much anywhere.

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turbocharger

Proporta Eclipse – Solar Keyring Torch
Even though I’m a grown up and have been for some time now, I’m still a little bit scared of the dark and after a few late night power cuts at home, I decided to invest in a Proporta Solar Keyring Torch. This little fella was charged when I got it a couple of months ago and has been as bright as a button ever since, even though it spends most of the daylight hours in my bag. I didn’t really think I’d need it in Bali, but took it anyway and it turned out to be one of the handiest items I packed. Apart from helping me to stumble around the Gili Islands during the daily power cuts, you could almost call it a lifesaver after it stopped me from falling off a very pointy volcano, Mount Batung, during an unplanned overnight hike to watch a ridiculously beautiful sunrise.

solartorchkeyring

sunrise

Reversible Drawstring Bag
Being a little bit on the tidy side, I have a real thing for cables, adaptors and such getting tangled up and messy in my bag. Luckily, the Proporta Reversible Drawstring Bag makes this little obsession of mine a lot easier to deal with. It’s essentially just a bag, albeit a very good quality one, but it also includes a free cable tidy that makes tangled headphones a thing of the past (and that my OCD instantly fell in love with). Proporta also do a three pack of them (naturally I’ve got squillions), which means any iPod cables or headphones or adaptor cables stay completely away from each other and never get twisted. Really simple, a little bit boring, but utterly essential.

reversiblebag

Stuff I wish I’d taken, but didn’t
The Morfica BeachBuoy (100% Waterproof Case – ideal for rafting and snorkelling), Stereo Y Splitter (so you and a mate can listen to the same iPod at the same time), Airline Headphone Adaptor (use it with the Stereo Y Splitter and your own headphones for a much better sound quality), UK to EU mains adaptor (didn’t realise they used this connection in Bali and ended up buying one out there), Passport Holder (see previous mention of obsessive tidiness).

Once upon a time

Those of you who have been around long enough might remember the good old days before iPods, iPhones, Smartphones, PDAs, digital cameras and Netbooks.

Those who haven’t might find it difficult to believe there once was a time when TVs weren’t flat, computer disks measured almost the size of a notebook and mobile phones, laptops & game consoles were simply non-existent. Oh yes, and letters were written by hand.

Proporta has been designing and manufacturing accessories for mobile devices for over 13 years now, and we thought it might be a good idea to give the older generation a chance to do some reminiscing and the younger generation an insight into what they have been missing over the last 30 years. Sit back and enjoy!

Mobile phones…

…became popular in the late 80s but really hit the road at the turn of the Millennium. The first ever mobile phone was the Motorola Dyna TAC 800X. It weighed almost a kilo, measured 33 x 4.5 x 8.9 cm and cost an astonishing US$ 3,995 – something only your boss could afford back then. Nowadays a new mobile phone is released almost every month. They have become faster, lighter, cheaper and making phone calls is just one of many things you can do with it. Long gone are the times when you were not expected to be available 24/7. You either were or you weren’t. End of story.

mobilephone_old-gadgets1


Mp3 players

Well, before almost everything became digital people used to listen to their favourite music on a so-called walkman. Inside was a tape that was recordable (on both sides!). You could always put the latest music on it. Occasionally the tape got caught in the mechanics and caused so-called cable spaghetti. The geeks back in the 80s knew of course how to fix it by untangling the mess, cutting out the damaged bits and gluing the rest together. Now that impressed their mates/potential girlfriends.

A 13-year-old boy has recently taken part in an experiment – he swapped his mp3 for his dad’s walkman for a week. He has shared his story here.

walkman_old-gadgets1

Floppy discs and computers

“Floppy what?” we hear you saying. That’s a data storage medium that was composed of a disk of thin, flexible (“floppy”) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. The first edition measured an astonishing 8 inches. This was later reduced to 5¼ inches and 3½ inches. Nowadays no one really uses them anymore (well, my mum does…) and soon the time will come when even discs are an object of the past…After all, USB sticks are so much lighter.

By the way, did you know that monitors used a green monochrome display on a black background?

floppydiscs_old-gadgets1

The computer considered by most historians to be the first true portable computer was the Osborne 1. Designed in 1979 it was later used by NASA on the space shuttle program in the early 1980’s. It weighed an amazing 24½ pounds – the equivalent of 2½ cats.

old-computer_old-gadgets1

Cameras

The first surviving photograph of a scene from nature was taken in 1826 by Nicéphore Niépce in Paris. Later dry plates were introduced. At the turn of the century paper and celluloid films became popular. Can you imagine what it must have been like not being able to check your pictures on your digital cameras display? Not to be able to download your photos on your computer and to send them to your friend to the other side of the globe with a mouse click? You actually had to bring the film to a film processing shop, stick them in an envelope, write that letter and post it. Can you imagine the endurance that was needed? After all it took a while to develop the film. Luckily it is all much easier now. Even if you don’t like your picture you can always edit it. “The camera doesn’t lie” is so yesterday!

camers_old-gadgets2

Whatever your age, we are sure you enjoyed this little insight. By the way, Proporta launched their first cases back in 1999 (the Pod Case for the Psion S5 and Shell case for the Psion Revo). They went down a storm and the Postman struggled to get out of the door. Why don’t you have a look at our company history?

And always remember: one day your kids will be laughing at your “latest” gadgets.

Fancy a cuppa?

You have probably noticed if you’ve ordered with us before that we include a tea bag with every order. This has proved to be very popular, particularly amongst the Americans.

So, for a bit of background on the tea bag (as it was invented this very same month in 1908)…

Thomas Sullivan first invented the tea bag in July 1908. He was a tea importer based in New York City. Before this time, tea was imported in tins but this method was very expensive so was unreachable for many.

Sullivan then came up with the tea bag which was actually just a silk pouch with a small amount of tea inside. This meant that the client could taste the tea as before, but he wasn’t wasting money on tins and mailing costs.

teabags

His clients were amazed on receiving their samples as Sullivan’s idea was ingenious, they automatically thought that the pouches were designed to go straight into the tea pot when in fact they were supposed to be for transport only! The idea caught on and the clients started to order their tea bags from Sullivan as they were so convenient, much better than the tins.

Now you know where your tea bag originates from you should be pleased that you don’t have the extra hassle of removing the tea from a tin, and order from Proporta and you’ll even get a complimentary tea bag – and very nice tea it is too.

The heat is on

July has arrived. It is the favourite time of the year (at least for those who live in the Northern Hemisphere): Holiday time.

Some of our colleagues have left the office in search of sun, heat, beach and good food.

Proporta says: They needn’t have!

With temperatures tickling nearly 30 °C Celsius (that´s 86°F) and a seemingly never ending sunshine forecast for the English South Coast some Proportians find it difficult to cope with these – for British Standards – high figures. Everyone has a different way of coping with the heat.

Darwin, our much-loved dog, prefers to sleep it out and wait for the weather to change. He barely distracts us from work these days. He has changed his quarters and moved to the warehouse which is colder than the upstairs office. However, Darwin hasn’t discovered our fans yet, otherwise he would probably be spending most of his time with us.

darwin_in-the-heat

While some cannot bear the heat and have their lunch behind closed blinds upstairs, others prefer to get some suntan during their lunch-break. Gary is happy to have his tuna & sweetcorn sandwich sitting in the chair and enjoying every ray of light.

gaz_in-the-heat

Hannah reminded us that we are living in England and you never know when you will see the sun again. Patrizia is one of the few left who hasn’t been on holiday yet and doesn’t want to be the only untanned person left in the office.

Not all of us are keen sunbathers though. Mike is known to remind us once in a while about the effects the sun can have on our skin. Time to store up on suntan lotion!

The Meteorological Office has declared a level two heatwave alert and our local council feels the situation is serious enough to give its citizens some heatwave advice. It is hard to imagine that just 4 months ago snow brought large parts of the country to a standstill.

Whatever the situation one thing is for sure: we will be all heading to the beach this weekend. As most of us are Gadget Geeks, we’ll be taking our Smartphones, mobile phones, iPods and the likes with us. Luckily Proporta has the perfect accessories for every situation. We’ll each grab a BeachBuoy and protect them from water, sticky fingers and shingles.

How about you?