Case Logic DLBP-114 Backpack Review - Blog Post Banner

Case Logic DLBP-114 Backpack: An amazing, lightweight bag

I bought this bag as a deal, with the hopes of having my first backpack as a comfortable experience whilst bagging me some style points (knee slap for the pun). After what would be 2 hectic months kicking off 2017, I can definitely say this dude was the gamechanger for me – the one that made the transition from a messenger to a rucksack seamless.

A E S T H E T I C S

From the outside, the Case Logic DLBP-114 14-inch backpack looks clean, compact and minimal as quilted padding on the front and on the straps accentuates the overall simplicity whilst providing some more cushioning. The heavy-duty zips for the main and front areas are rugged and the likeliness of it breaking on you is extremely rare. From my experiences with your average harsh British weather, rain hasn’t seeped in and wet my books yet, so that’s a huge plus!

You get two pockets on the side which just about fit a phone, snack or a 3DS for the gamers, and yes, I’ve tried cramming in water bottles but no, it doesn’t work. This is probably the huge downside of this bag. But on the bright side, there’s a really smart strap-management system with velcro to fasten any excess strap bits left, securing it safely after adjusting the straps to your heart’s content.

a horrible flat lay, but still a flat lay.

In terms of design, it boasts a good look and remains open for boys or girls, despite the tacky logo on the strap that I just had to cut off. The material itself is PVC free – making it environmentally friendly, no harmful chemicals released – which is always a yaaasss from me.

THE NITTY GRITTY

Well it can fit any normal 14-inch laptop, with extremely thick padding for the laptop compartment that allows space for books or a tablet to fit in. You can put a lot in here, and the outer section seems like it can hold much, but it’s bigger in the inside, so you can throw in a pencil case or a jumper.

I feel like that’s the theme of this bag: smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside. Just like the TARDIS.

The front section has a nice few pen slots and compartments perfects for keys and travel cards, with lots of room underneath for snacks. There’s also a zipper compartment that fits an iPad Mini quite snug. There’s a lot of options to suit your general style, so experimentation is the best way to handle this bag.

From the 3 months of having this backpack, I’ve noticed how light it is, it keeps a low profile and is a joy to carry. And I haven’t had to worry about its durability because I feel a sense of rigidity within the structure of this bag. I’ve also realised that I’ve had to change the way I pack things because if it’s out of my sight, it’s in someone else’s. This means that the top microfibre pouch, although pretty cool, was used as decoy otherwise it would just be bait.

For someone who is roughly over 4″, this bag is just right at my waistline, so it isn’t dragging around and smacking my butt rhythmically whenever I walk.

THE DOWNSIDES

I feel like the side pouches are a little too small for anything similar to a water bottle, but is perfect for the “littler” things, like a cereal bar or a 3DS. I would’ve liked a water bottle pouch but it would probably stick out like a sore thumb, so I guess it is what it is.

Speaking of things sticking out like a sore thumb, the decision of putting the Case Logic logo on the strap itself is disgraceful. Whoever declared that in HQ has to be fired, even if he’s hit rock bottom with his life ever since his grandma passed away. I had to cut that and the tag that pokes out of the main compartment which gets the zippers stuck. It is a real pain but it’s nothing that a knife and a little bit of rage can’t fix.

Another downside would be that the bag does deflate if you don’t fill up the bottom part enough. The backpack is made so it expands adequately to whatever you put within, but putting a little can give your bag a rather “meh” look. That’s literally the only way I can explain it; basically it just ruins the aesthetics.

This bag has to be filled up to the brim if you want its full potential, but the issue here is that you can only put so much before it stops expanding.

THE VERDICT

The main pros are its slim profile yet good compartmentalisation, but you can only fill so much.

I think that the Case Logic Backpack is a great backpack. It’s light, compact and perfect for a light commute. For school and work, I think this will definitely serve “the bare necessities” whilst looking stylish af. However, let it be known that this is only for packing light. You’ve been warned.

click-to-buy-ukclick-to-buy-murica

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this blog, and how i feels.

Okay. Ever since I started this blog, I kind of wanted to experiment and play around with it, see how far I can go. It’s been 6 months, and I couldn’t be any happier.

With this sort of stuff, I get way too over-the-top and be a perfectionist when it comes to design and writing because I know I can do better. But recently, I just figured out the look I want on this website (which is rare taking into account my constant uncertainty when it comes to anything) and I smiled intensely, like a real goofball.

I never smile when I’m working on a project controlled by me. I never smile. (yes i do, don’t worry.)

But I feel good about this. Usually when I’m on a client job, I’m never happy about how my work looks, though my customers tend to be, and it leaves me on a bad note. With this blog, I feel otherwise. I feel…

 

I feel like this is a beginning of a beautiful digital era.

Back-to-school-despite-being-december 2016: Things I would use myself

This was originally meant to be my Back-to-School blog but I just procrastinated thanks to Nishat being Nishat (wooooo). But so many YouTube videos have been made on it, I might as well make one long list that’s actually useful. Because nothing is as exciting as back-to-school-in-december tech, and you know you’re ballin’ when you got affordable tech that’s cool and swaggy af.

(NOTE: I do have affiliate links but that in no way affects my love for these damn products and they don’t bump up the price either. Now scroll, young padawan!)

Continue reading →

New camera bag!

So recently, I bought the Lowepro Stealth Reporter D100 AW and to be honest, there were better choices – like the Tenba DNA 8 (should have got that one dammit). But to think optimistically, I think it’s best, especially being my first ever camera bag, to have the bag with flaws because when I get a better one because then, boom. You can tell the difference distinctly.

That’s really all I had to say. You can continue with your lives now. (review coming up soon!)

My experience with homework – a student’s perspective

Homework seems more like a neverending battle of stress, anxiety and detention as you attempt to pull yourself together to get that stupid, tedious task out of the way. It’s actually affecting student’s health and ironically their grades.

“Don’t forget kids”

The intro should honestly be enough to convince schools to ban homework, period. But they have their reasons too. One of which is so they “don’t forget”. This is a valid point and practically the sole reason homework exists, however going through the strenuous ordeal of doing buttloads of it outweighs the benefits.

You load them with too much homework to a point where that stress, which leads to a shrink in a certain part of the brain, consumes the thoughts to an extent where memory loss is more likely than remembering the topic. You’re overwhelming them, dude.

Your homework makes us smart in the wrong ways

It also ignites a rage within the student to lash at you, either aggressively with verbal or physical attacks, or assertively by outsmarting you with authorities or some rather plausible excuses. To back up this point, it is proven that the stricter the teacher, the more deceptive a student becomes to avoid consequences. Here’s some facts.

It’s not that hard man

Come on teachers, if you want to give us homework, give us something that is fun or lets us be creative and incorporate our own skills and passion into it. I may sound like a cliché, but you’re giving us depression here, jeez just bring it down a notch.

My productive routine (or daily ritual or whatever you call it, i don’t care)

Everyday, I strive to be as productive as I can so when I’m done, I can spend my time enjoying Bloodborne or even the old Crash Bandicoot.

For projects/lists: Trello

A great minimalistic board showing your tasks, ideas and lists. Trello integrates with many other apps (Evernote, Slack etc.) to optimise the workload and generally make things more efficient.

For weekly and daily planning: ToDoist

This is a really clean app organising your everyday tasks. It’s got those little things that makes life much more easier, like creating a task which you can prioritise with flags to know what is the most important to get through. I love it.

Note-taking awl day err’day: Evernote

This is a no-brainer. Evernote syncs on nearly all platforms as it takes in notes that you have full control over. I’ve used it for YT scripts/scenes and general brain farts I want to remember later on.

Notebook: Notebook

Pour out your heart and soul into a physical notebook. Stylish, improves handwriting and writing things down is generally just awesome. Any notebook would do, but I would like to use the Evernote Smartbook so I can save whatever precious stuff I draw/jot.

TIPS:

  1. Sunday should be planning day as you’re about to get right into the thick of school/work.
  2. Spend every night reading a book or just writing in a journal to gradually create a ritual that your brain remembers so when it’s sleepy time, you’re prepared.
  3. Always read one light or factual book (e.g. 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades) and an emotional, plot-driven story.
  4. Look at Thomas Frank’s videos on productivity. If you watch closely you’ll soon realise that I based everything off of this dude.

Would like to introduce:

The Five Minute Journal – keeps me motivated and happy. Don’t do all of this without a clear goal in mind.

My YouTube progress

Well, I’ve been experimenting around with referral links and affiliate programs whilst prerecording and editing videos.

So far, I’m more concentrated on improving my channel content and hopefully make a YouTube series where I tell people my experiences and other advice on maintaining my channel. The blog, in all honesty, hasn’t been my main priority but rather a place to ramble.

I’ve made a Sellfy store, a Kit profile, many partnerships with companies and more importantly, I’ve made more videos.

Ok, that’s all I think.

What we can learn from Bruce Lee

“Be like water” is one of his many famous quotes, but Bruce Lee taught us a lot more than just that. I’m picking some bits out of this article because there are some parts that really reached out to me. I suggest you read the full post.

He was a very philosophical man, a person of integrity and peace. He believed that philosophy was a vital part of life, everyday and more. Lee kept a pocket notebook and took it everywhere with him to capture any ideas and reinforce the beliefs he established upon himself.

Willpower:
Recognizing that the power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise it daily, when I need the urge to action for any purpose; and I will form HABIT designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily.

Emotion:
Realizing that my emotions are both POSITIVE and negative I will form daily HABITS which will encourage the development of the POSITIVE EMOTIONS, and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action.

Reason:
Recognizing that both my positive & negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not controlled and guided to desirable ends, I will submit all my desires, aims and purposes to my faculties of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these.

Imagination:
Recognizing the need for sound PLANS and IDEAS for the attainment of my desires, I will develop my imagination by calling upon it daily for help in the formation of my plans.

Memory:
Recognizing the value of an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall, and by associating those thoughts with related subjects which I may call to mind frequently.

Subconscious mind:
Recognizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my CLEAR PURPOSE in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture CONSTANTLY BEFORE my subconscious mind by REPEATING IT DAILY.

Conscience:
Recognizing that my emotions often err in their over-enthusiasm, and my faculty of reason often is without the warmth of feeling that is necessary to enable me to combine justice with mercy in my judgments, I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right & what is wrong, but I will never set aside the verdicts it renders, no matter what may be the cost of carrying them out.”

He was diligent, and believed he had all control over himself, his emotions and thoughts. His positivity defined his purpose in life and therefore made him spend every day efficiently. I feel that scrolling through your email or social media feed is what we do as a nervous tick, waiting for something but we don’t know what that something is. But we would still scroll.

Keeping a pocket notebook is important. Writing things down on a physical notebook is proven to be more effective than typing it up. If you write down your affirmations, your goals in life and who you strive to be, you clear up your mind of stress, anxiety and confusion. You solidify your faith (whatever it is) and have the willpower over yourself.

Steve Jobs said that every day, he looks in the mirror and asks, “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?” If the answer was no, he had to change something. There are lots of articles and posts on motivation and being happy, but these are the ones that have come to most use.

For more inspirations from the one and only Bruce Lee, check out the article I mentioned. It’s worth reading.

My favourite Chrome extensions

Chrome is like a hypothetical base of LEGO, you just have to stack it up with more hypothetical LEGO. Those more hypothetical LEGO would be extensions.

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all at my disposal.

HTTPS Everywhere:
This automatically implements HTTPS security on most, if not all, sites. It encrypts the sites that don’t have that “http” or the green padlock at the beginning of the URL bar.

AdBlocker Plus:
This is the free upgrade of AdBlock that not many know about. It functions the same, just with a cleaner UI and stats to show the amount of junk that’s been thankfully avoided.

TubeBuddy:
This is the best helper for those budding YouTubers, small or big. It just makes settings and video processing a lot quicker as shortcuts are available on the TubeBuddy dashboard. You can get the free version but you can buy more features.

I have the Star upgrade (which does require money) but I highly recommend that you buy it. Purchase it through this link – I get a commission from TubeBuddy if you do: https://www.tubebuddy.com/NishatBlagh

AutoPagerize:
This just makes life a whole lot more easier by allowing pages that have several follow-on pages to just flow as one on the page. For example, searching something on Google and reaching the end of the page only to see a line of more pages is prevented because all you have to do with this extension is SCROOLLLLLL.

Whoever made this is a genius because all it does is run in the background without you activating it or something.

Password Alert:
This has saved me from losing my YouTube channel and Gmail several times. It alerts you whenever you’ve typed in your Google password into any websites that don’t have a certified Google sign up page.

Turn off the lights:
Ever have that feeling when you’re watching a video online that everything on the website is distracting you? Fear no more! cue triumphant fanfare music Turn off the lights dims the screen and lets you concentrate on what’s really important, food videos.

Disconnect:
This thing is pretty much a systematic advertisement destroyer. It analyses the adverts and social media on the page and hides it until you say otherwise. There is Advertising, Analytics, Social and Content that it removes and categorises them as requests, which you can decide to keep or not.

“Adblock is your average run-and-gunner whereas Disconnect is the hitman with no remorse. The silent killer.” – Nishat, just right now.

Panic Button:
This one is simple, map the button to a hotkey and whenever you press it, it hides your tabs in a bookmark folder and opens up a fresh new tab. That’s all you need, go wild.

The Great Suspender:
Having a computer slower than me is really bad, and having a bunch of tabs doesn’t help either. This extension just temporarily suspends the pages you haven’t entered for a certain period of time. For the sites you always want open, you can choose to place that on the whitelist.

It does the job, it’s great. My only problem would be that it suspends important tabs when I’m working and it can be a real nuisance.

Checker Plus for Gmail:
I always needed one of these, and this is probably the best. The UI is clean, so separating emails is easy. There’s a variety of settings to play around with and I love it, I use it everyday! Doesn’t even cost a penny.

LastPass:
I use LastPass on the computer because it’s free. I made a post on how to use password managers to the ultimate but that’s not what the title is called.

Yellow highlighter:
When I need to show something from an article, I find that it’s good to highlight and makes it a lot easier. This extension has been enough, but it crashes a lot. Any alternative that has the same features but performs smoother is welcome.

Pocket:
I love this extension, just click and save the article that you’re on so you can read it another time. I also have the app on my iPad and it syncs up quickly as well! Damn, this is probably one of my favourite apps all round!

That’s about it, I organise the extensions like that because I’d like some apps to work in the background whilst others are more accessible for frequent use. I didn’t mention Honey, TamperMonkey or MEGA because they aren’t worth mentioning (except maybe the latter).

 

 

 

Making a cheap, DIY mini photo studio

I’m currently in the middle of making a review for a product. Being me, I thought it would be fun to make my own professional shots with a little handiwork and Photoshop. It’s really nice to do things with your own hands for once, so I suggest you try it as well.

I would do a step-by-step tutorial, but I suck at that stuff. So just watch this section from Buzzfeed. You don’t need to get a clamp light or an X-Acto knife thingy, just get your everyday fluorescent light/torch and a box knife.

Start from 0:51 seconds in and then enjoy.