Category: Pictures and Video

Cosplay Pictures And Video From Aniventure Comic Con Bulgaria

This past weekend over 10,000 people by my estimates attended Aniventure Comic Con Bulgaria, in the country’s capital city Sofia, including myself. One the best moments for me was meeting The Awkward Yeti cartoonist, Nick Seluk. His personal story of quitting his job and it’s connection to Heart and Brain, Lars, and his other comics was very inspirational. It’s a video I highly recommend you watch, especially if you’re pondering whether or not to follow a dream in your life.

I’ve been to lots of Star Trek conventions but this was my first dedicated comic convention. In terms of cosplay, Comic Con Bulgaria attendees had more elaborate, high-quality, handmade, work in much larger percentages than you see at a Star Trek convention. Cosplay was a big part of the Aniventure Comic Con and I took as many pictures as I could to share with you.

aniventure comic con bulgaria

comic con bulgaria cosplay

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aniventure cosplay

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sofia bulgaria cosplay

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cosplay bulgaria sofia

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aniventure cosplay

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comic con sofia

cosplay balkans

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Since I’m not completely up on anime, I don’t have the descriptions of the costumes above. But, if you recognize any, please let me know in the comments below!

All The Tech Gear And Gadgets I Travel With (And Why): Sept. 2017 Update

foxnomad travel tech guide

The electronics I travel with allow me to run a business (not to mention have a lot of fun while doing it) from anywhere in the world. Being so mobile though means the gadgets I carry have to be portable, powerful, plus durable. Reliability is also important which is why I often use electronics that are one, if not more, model behind the latest version.

Frequent travelers often have to make some compromises with their technology, sometimes exchanging power for reliability, plus at the same keeping in mind that shiny scuffs fast and gravity loves to show off on hard airport floors. When I am in one place long enough, I use and test a lot of products sent to me and out of pocket, to find the travel-tech-sweet-spot for common gear so you don’t have to.

Here’s a look at all the electronics that have made it into my backpack in the photo above that yes, all fit into one ScanSmart 1900 carry-on bag.

Laptop: Macbook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015): 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7; 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory; 500GB SSD; AMD Radeon R9 M370X

macbook pro mid 2015

Main Video Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds

panasonic g85

As I mention in the video above, the main weakness of the point and shoot Lumix I carry, is the video quality. For the price, the Panasonic Lumix G85 is the best 4K camera (that records without time limits as many 4K cameras have) in a mirror-less body that’s smaller than a standard DSLR.

Point And Shoot Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS45 [Here’s my full review.]

lumix dmc-zs45

  • Recommended SD Card: 32GB SanDisk SDHC
  • Case: No link for the case, just a cheap one I grabbed at a shop somewhere.

Tripod: Joby GorillaPod Focus with Joby Ballhead

joby gorillapod

On top of the Lumix G85, I’m using a Rode VideoMicro for recording audio and an Aputure AL-M9 Amaran LED Light when needed. When I need to use both at the same time, the Movo Photo HVA20 Dual Shoe Bracket does the job well.

Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones [My full review.]

bose 20i headphones

Phone (Daily Driver): iPhone 6s (64 GB)/Space Grey

iphone 6s 64 gb space grey

I also travel with a Nexus 5X, primarily because it’s stock Android and gets updates from Google before most other phones, making it ideal for testing development versions of my WiFox and DroneMate apps. Speaking of app development, I also carry an iPhone 5s, 5, and 4s, all for app testing.

Drone: DJI Mavic Pro

dji mavic pro

Backpack: SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Laptop Bag

swissgear smartscan 1900 laptop bag

Cable Organizer: Cocoon Grid-It 10.5 x 7.5-Inch Organizer

cocoon grid-it

  • This is a major time-saver when going through airport security because you can pull out all of your cords and adapters at once. I’ve also noticed having cables organized like this means less time waiting for additional bags checks at security – a clump of cables often means re-scanning your backpack.

Portable Batteries: PowerStick+ (2300 mAh) PowerTrip (6000 mAh).

powertrip powerstick

These batteries have a standby time of up to a year so you’re much less likely to be on a train and realize your batteries died on the road. Read my full review here.

Connectors, Converters, And Other Accessories

For reading books or when I need a larger, mobile screen in general, I use a 64 GB iPad Air 2 protected by an Apple Smart Case.

You can see from the progression of the gadgets in my backpack from 2012, earlier this year, to now, that the larger electronic purchases are usually one or two off from the latest version. The longer a product is on the market the more time there is to see how well it was or wasn’t designed *cough, 2016 Macbook Pro* but being just behind the newest version means specs are still quite good. Most often, there aren’t major jumps in improvement between a version or two of phone or laptop these days.

Also, the cases I use are also more adapted to protecting electronics when they’re in a backpack, not from falls when they’re out and in use. This means I’m generally using sleeves and prefer a good fit (even from improvised cases like the lens case for the Mavic controller or SwissGear toiletry kits) than cases specifically designed for a given product.

When traveling, the best technology is often potent, portable, but not precious enough that your travel budget (or mental state) can’t handle a loss from damage or theft that might require a replacement. What are some of the electronics or gadgets you travel with and would recommend? I would be very interested to hear so let me know in the comments below!

I’ve Got Good, Free Coffee For You That Supports A Great Cause

Although coffee might not seem directly travel or technology related, it fuels a lot of our days when we’re on the road – and back home as well. A good friend of mine Felipe and his wife recently created a coffee subscription service that brings unique blends right to your door. At 1723 Coffee Roasters, you can choose single-origin, organic coffee blends from South and Central America to be delivered to your home or office on a weekly or monthly basis. For every subscription purchase, 1723 Coffee Roasters in partnership with the non-profit Techo, will help rebuild a home for a family that has been affected by a natural disaster in Central and South America.

1723 coffee coupon code

Felipe was kind enough to give all of us a coupon code so you can get your first order free on any subscription. There are more details in the video above but go to 1723Coffee.com, use the code “NOMAD” at checkout, and enjoy your next brew!

Double Your Macbook Storage: A Review Of The Coin-Sized TarDisk Expansion Card

tardisk storage

The amount of storage space on your laptop is something most people think about twice: when first purchasing a machine and after warnings start popping up that your storage is nearly full. Frequent travelers often need larger storage capacity for their laptops while at the same time trying to minimize the amount of bulk in their backpacks. The TarDisk storage expansion card is designed to expand your laptop’s hard drive space in the absolute smallest form factor possible.

What The TarDisk Is And Isn’t

The TarDisk is a piece of technology that’s evolved into a very, very specific niche. TarDisk come in two versions, 128 and 256 gigabytes (GB), both of which are only designed to work with either the Macbook Air or Pro line. (A TarDisk needs to be specifically ordered for your particular Macbook Air or Pro model.) About half the size of an SD card, the TarDisk fits right into a Macbook’s SD card reader, giving you 128 or 256GBs of additional storage.

tardiskTarDisk 256GB Storage Expansion Card for MacBook Pro 15″

buy from amazon

Small But Integrated

Clearly, one of the main advantages of a TarDisk is its size. Traditional portable hard drives for travelers, a primary option for getting more space on your laptop, are bulky. Portable hard disk drives (HDD) are also a lot more vulnerable to damage, depending on whether or not you’re willing to shell out some extra cash for a solid-state drive (SSD). Durability, speed, and ease are all problems the TarDisk tries to solve, with varying success.

tardisk 128gb

The TarDisk is small, as you can see from the photos and video above, tiny by any standards, especially when compared to a portable hard drive. Though this tiny size does come with some big limitations, mainly in terms of storage space. Most portable hard disk and solid state drives give you an additional 500GB to several terabytes (TB) of additional storage space.

A Seagate Backup Plus, about the size of a pack of playing cards, is 4TB at less than half the cost of a TarDisk. You’re saving money to give up durability, speed, and size for an external HDD. SSDs like the Samsung T5 with double the storage capacity of a TarDisk are aren’t quite as fast but nearly as durable, though still an added accessory with cable to carry around. Compared to a typical Macbook Pro however, a TarDisk is going to double your storage capacity.

You might be thinking you could simply swap out a few TarDisk to compensate for the size restriction but one advantage of the TarDisk has a downside. By modifying your Macbook’s (MacOS 10.12, OSX 10.11, and 10.10) operating system configuration, a TarDisk integrates with your existing storage drive. In other words, once you run the TarDisk software, it becomes a part of your Macintosh HD.

Convenience For Some

Before installing a TarDisk using their ‘Pearing’ software, you’ll need to do some prep. A Time Machine backup is required and if your laptop’s drive is encrypted, you’ll need to turn off FileVault. (Both processes can take a few hours.) Once the Pearing software has done its job, the you’ll notice your disk space is now 128 or 256GB bigger. No need to worry about ejecting an added disk or trying to remember where a file is stored.

tardisk pearing

Being integrated like this means you won’t be able to pop the TarDisk out of your SD card slot without going through the entire Pearing process in reverse. Doing so can make your entire laptop inoperable so know what you’re getting into first. Despite the drawbacks, the TarDisk is small, only steals an SD card slot (which you can replace with a HooToo or Satechi adapter), and is faster than most external drive options.

The TarDisk probably isn’t for people already traveling with a large capactity external hard drive or two because in most cases, those are travelers who are prepared to fill up a lot of disk space with high resolution photos and videos. But for business travelers or those of you whose disk space on a Macbook Pro or Air slowly arrived at critical, the TarDisk can conveniently expand your storage.

Why Do People Travel To Star Trek Conventions?

People travel for many reasons and for 10-20,000 every August in Las Vegas, that reason is Star Trek. Although I’ve been to the Creation Entertainment Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas several times, I still have trouble answering the question I’m asked most about it: why do people go to Star Trek conventions?

As you can see in the video above, as I spoke with other Trekkies at the convention this year, people attend Star Trek conventions for a very human reason – one that won’t feel alien to any traveler or person. Plus, you’ll get to see a glimpse of what goes on at the largest Star Trek convention in the world.

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2017.

All The Cosplay Pictures From The 2017 Star Trek Convention In Las Vegas

klingons stlv 2017

I’ve been to several Star Trek conventions in Las Vegas and while there’s always been cosplay, this year the costumes jumped to another level in terms of creativity and complexity. You can take a look at the cosplay from 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 to see the evolution of Trek fans dressed in costumes but at the 2017 event there were more people cosplaying than ever.

These are some of the best cosplay photos from the 2017 Star Trek Convention held at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino.

TrekPool (Deadpool Star Trek mashup)

trekpool star trek las vegas 2017

From Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

lokai star trek las vegas

The Niners From Take Me Out To The Holosuite

niners copslay

Gorn Beauty Queen!

gorn beauty queen

Tholian

tholian cosplay las vegas

Star Trek Beyond Alien and T’Pol

cosplay star trek las vegas 2017

Andorians

andorian cosplay las vegas 2017

Borg Queen and Data

data and borg queen cosplay stlv 2017

All Species Can Cosplay!

dog star trek cosplay 2017 las vegas

From A Piece Of The Action

piece of the action cosplay

Klingon Family

klingon family cosplay las vegas 2017

Live Long And Prosper, Vulcan

vulcan cosplay

It’s A Cellular Peptide Cake

data troi cake cosplay

Mashup!

star trek las vegas cosplay 2017

Red Shirts

star trek vegas red shirts

Borg

borg cosplay

More Klingon!

klingons las vegas

Jon Snow-Klingon Mashup!

jon snow klingon 2017

Kazon

kazon cosplay

From The Animated Series

star trek animated series

Guinan

guinan cosplay 2017 las vegas

The Enterprise!

enterprise cosplay 2017 las vegas

Antedeans

antedean cosplay

More Vulcans

vulcan cosplay las vegas 2017

Costume Contest Winners

star trek las vegas costume contest 2017

Orions with their Ferengi

orion ferengi cosplay 2017

The Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas draws over 10,000 people per year to the city every August. It’s 5 days of all things Trek, testing the limits of even the most diehard geeks!

trek galaxy cosplay mashup

Nearly all of the cosplay you see above was handmade. These aren’t costumes people are picking up at a specialty shop, but making on their own for the fun of the convention. There’s also an annual costume contest, judged by, among others, legendary makeup artist Michael Westmore. The Klingons in the top photo took first place, winning themselves $1,000 for their creative efforts.

I wasn’t nearly able to fit in all the cosplay photos I took from the convention in this post but you can see all of the costume pictures I took in my Las Vegas album here.

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2017.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


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