Author Archives

Jeff’s interest in computers and technology began by watching too many Star Trek reruns after school. His first computer was a Timex-Sinclair, for which he had the 16K – yes, 16K – add-on pack. His current interest in gadgets was spurred on by the original Palm Pilot; from there it was a slippery slope to Pocket PCs, Archos media players, Sony Cliés, and various Apple products.

  • Blacksmith-Labs iPhone Cases: Some Jobs Require a Blacksmith

    Blacksmith Labs 5

    Sometimes fine, dainty, pretty stuff just doesn’t work. And sometimes what’s in a name can be pretty dead-on. Blacksmith-Labs does a good job of living up to its name with its new line of iPhone cases. Made of thick leather with strong, sturdy metal clips, their cases really do bring a blacksmith’s work to mind.

  • Pebble Smartwatch’s New App Store Coming Today

    Pebble App Store 2

    I like watches. It’s not as if I have a large collection of them, and it wasn’t until the last few years that I actually started taking an interest in fine time pieces. Before that, it was all about the functions … the gadget part of them, in other words.

  • PhatPad has (Google) Drive

    PhatPad 2

    Gear Diary has written about PhatWare apps on a number of occasions, including here, here, here, and most recently, here. One of their best known products is PhatPad, a note-taking app that features handwriting recognition. I’ve used PhatWare products, including PhatPad, off and on for years. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of its handwriting recognition.

  • Gorilla Band Will Have Your Child Swinging from the Vines

    Gorilla Band 1a

    Gorilla Band is for kids. Completely, unapologetically for kids. Like my 5-year old. Who adores this app. Gorilla Band, by the folks at Wasabi (who provided us with a copy to review), is an interactive children’s book for iOS and Android devices. The main storyline, aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 7, is about gorillas who play instruments… Read More ›

  • M-Edge Has Your New Nexus 7 Covered

    M-Edge Stealth for Nexus 7 open

    It’s that classic dilemma – you want to be an early adopter and buy that newly released phone/tablet/laptop/media player, but you also want to protect it in a stylish manner. Nothing deflates one’s pride at carrying around the latest tablet faster than pulling it out of last year’s case. I mean, sheesh, one must have standards, right? Luckily for you,… Read More ›

  • AT&T FinderCodes Electronics Lost & Found Kit Review – Lose (and Find) Yourself


    FinderCodes is a QR-code based lost and found system that can be used with just about anything to which you can attach a sticker. The folks at FinderCodes — which is now a brand partner with AT&T, as you’ll notice from the logo on the box in the photo above — were kind enough to provide Gear Diary with a sample… Read More ›

  • A Dodo Mini for the iPad Mini


      I’ve been debating whether to get an iPad Mini. So far, I’ve been able to hold off on what is likely inevitable. All of the new iPad Mini accessories are not helping, however. Take, for example, Exhibits A and B, DODOcases bookbound cases and Durables Sleeve for the iPad Mini. We’ve reviewed DODOcase products before and liked them. I’ve… Read More ›

  • DomeSkin Bumps Up to iPhone 5

    DomeSkin screen shot

    With the announcement of any new device come the announcements of matching accessories. And if the device in question is a new iPhone, then you get a LOT more accessory announcements, given the popularity of that handset. Skins for iPhones (and other devices) are nothing new, of course, but the announcement Gear Diary received from DomeSkin caught my attention because… Read More ›

  • KeyShark Takes a Bite Out of That Bottle

    KeyShark 1

    The other day I received a KeyShark from the folks at Cranky Monkee for a review here at Gear Diary. The timing was perfect, as it arrived just before for my annual U of I football tailgate. So, what is a KeyShark you ask? And what does it have to do with football tailgating? Well, I’m glad you asked. A KeyShark… Read More ›

  • CVS Mobile App Update Brings Same-Day Photo Printing


    Since last year when Walgreens (the pharmacy closest to my house) and my company’s health insurance provider failed to reach an agreement on prescription medication prices, I’ve found myself in a CVS pharmacy a lot more frequently. And you know, they’re pretty good places. I haven’t used them for much other than pharmacy purposes and picking up the odd item… Read More ›

  • Grove Makes Your Moleskine Pop

    Grove Notebook

    I’ll be flat-out honest about this: I like the idea of Moleskine notebooks, but I’ve never used one. Having a tried and true methodology for capturing information that becomes part of a personal tradition and eventually results in a shelf full of old notebooks representing one’s history over a number of years is so old school and so cool at… Read More ›

  • Bamboosa’s Lap Log for iPad and Tablets review

    Lap Log logo

    Enjoying our electronic devices can, at times, be at odds with our desire to be more environmentally friendly in our daily actions. While we here at Gear Diary like our energy-consuming, heavy-metal-containing gadgets, we also appreciate having the opportunity to select gadgets and gadget accessories that are more sustainable in their approach. That’s where the Lap Log by Bamboosa comes into the… Read More ›

  • mGifts Organizes Your Last-Minute Shopping Frenzy

    mGifts screen shot

    Let’s say that you’re the type of individual who likes to wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping (in other words, there’s a strong chance you’re a guy). Or maybe for you, it’s just not the holiday season unless you find yourself in a crowded shopping mall, just a few days before Christmas, surrounded by grouchy, inconsiderate… Read More ›

  • Review: mSecure 3.0 Password Protection

    mSecure promo shot from website

    I have been using the same password protection program for quite a few years. I’ve thought about switching on a number of occasions, but it’s always is too much of a hassle, or the software that interests me isn’t available on enough platforms. So when I was recently offered an opportunity to review mSeven Software’s mSecure 3.0 I was at… Read More ›

  • Quick Impressions: Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Speeds

    Samsung Skyrocket speed test

    As a small town guy living in the Chicago area, there are a lot times when I get frustrated with the traffic, the density, and the general inconveniences that are necessarily associated with urban living. Then again, there are times like today, when I’m happy to be living in one of the larger metropolitan areas in the country because we… Read More ›

  • AT&T Lets Us Down Again

    AT&T fail

    Ah, AT&T. So, I’m sitting here staring at my shiny new iPhone 4S. It’s unusable right now, thanks to AT&T’s lack of preparedness. They’ve had several years to figure out how to handle the spike in the load on their servers that accompanies the launch of a new iPhone model. Yet they still manage to hack up a hairball when… Read More ›

  • mSecure 3.0 Puts a Blowfish in the Cloud

    mSecure logo

    Largely because I tend to switch devices and platforms regularly, I keep coming back to the same password manager – who for now shall remain nameless – because it is available for Blackberry, Android, and iOS devices, as well as having desktop applications for both Windows and Mac OSX. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing software from my perspective, but… Read More ›

  • Shine a Light on It with iShuttr


    Okay, we all know and recognize that the cameras built into our phones are not the best around. Could we do better with a dedicated point-and-shoot? Sure. How about a full-blown SLR? Yeah, of course, stupid question. But the reality is that we use the cameras that are included with our phones because they are convenient. We don’t have to… Read More ›

  • Helps You, uh, Walk off into the Sunset


    We here at Gear Diary thought we’d make you aware of a way to rid yourself of technology; automotive technology, that is. Old, unwanted automotive technology, of course. (You don’t really think a site called GEAR DIARY is going to encourage you to dump your technology and go all monk-like, do you?) If you have a car you are not… Read More ›

  • MLB At Bat 2011 Review Featured at AlliOSNews

    MLB At Bat Screen shot

    Our friend Clinton Fitch of and AlliOSNews is a big baseball fan. And big fans need robust apps like MLB At Bat 2011 for iPad.  It was actually one of Clinton’s past reviews of this app that caused me to purchase it last year and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Now, as you read his review, you’ll need to bear… Read More ›

  • NewerTech Helps You Tear Apart Your iPhone Properly

    NewerTech 7 pc Toolkit

    I’m not really one of those guys who likes to take apart my electronics to change, alter, or fix things. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things around my house on which I like to work, but electronics, no. So, I’m somewhat in awe of the folks who are willing to do such things. And if you’re inclined… Read More ›