Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

About MY Gear Tag Archive

66

September 24, 2013 • Editorials

Oh Siri … I Missed You

I had not realized just how much I missed having global voice recognition until I went to Elana’s iPhone 4S while waiting for my iPhone 5S. Some background: I sold my iPhone 5 and had been using Judie’s spare iPhone 4 for the past few weeks. It worked fine, but the 4 doesn’t have Siri …

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June 17, 2013 • Gear Bits

The Atari 800XL, My First Computer

Everyone can recall their first car, a first school, and a first phone, but today I am going to reminisce about how I first got started into computing.  In 1986 my brother and I received our first computer as a gift; that computer was the Atari 800XL.  Back then there were many players vying for …

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May 21, 2013 • Rants and Raves

The iPhone Doldrums – I Think I’m Ready for Something Different

A bit less than two years ago, I excitedly drove to my nearby Verizon store to give up my Motorola Droid and jump ship over to an iPhone 4s. I was sure this would be a great match, and my days of smartphone-hopping were over. And they were, for quite a while. But over time …

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May 20, 2013 • Gear Bits

Sony NEX-6 Smart Remote Control in 90 Seconds

I upgraded my camera to the Sony NEX-6 today, and I am already loving it. At $899 for the body and lens kit, the NEX-6 is pricey. But for the size, speed, and image quality — it really can’t be beat. One of the new features on both the NEX-5r and the NEX-6 is built-in …

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May 13, 2013 • Gear Bits

Mitchell’s Gear, Spring 2013

  We all have our selection of favorite gear; you know, the equipment we have that we actually keep with us on a regular basis. So spring seemed like a good time to take a renewed look at the gear various members of the GD team actually use. First up — from Gear Diary’s Australian …

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121

April 9, 2013 • Travel

Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear

Dunn’s River Falls is awesome, and it is a visit I encourage anyone going to Jamaica to make. There was some gear that made the trip even better, and I thought I might share some of the items; so here’s a rundown of my Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear. Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear #1: …

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March 13, 2013 • Editorials

Is Customer Service the Key to Killing Showrooming?

Moving requires Sarah and me to be good little consumers and spend money. It’s inevitable that there are household items that need to be purchased or upgraded, and we have countless lists of “to buy”. We’re trying hard to watch our bottom line, and yes, we’ve definitely engaged in what has been called “showrooming”, or …

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61

March 5, 2013 • News

Early Thoughts on Ubuntu Touch

At lunch today I was able to load up a version of Ubuntu’s touch based OS on my Asus EeePad Transformer, because I had come across a post on the infamous XDA forums from a hacker who has actually gotten this to work.  Well … it works in that it boots!  So I decided to …

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March 2, 2013 • Gear Bits

Apple Lightning Connector Broken Inside iPad Mini Port – Eeek!

Have you wondered how well the new Apple Lightning connector might hold up over time? I’ll admit not giving too much thought to it, because I chose to focus on the fact that I could plug the Apple Lightning Connector in from either side — a welcome new convenience from the old 30-pin. So far, …

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107

February 11, 2013 • Editorials

Microsoft Surface and Windows RT: Playing in the Windows 8 Sandbox

A Little History… A while back I took the plunge and made the shift from an iPhone to a Windows phone, first with a Nokia 900 and later with a 920.  It was an interesting exercise.  I learned a lot, discovered some new ways of working, and learned to make some compromises.  I even learned …

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96

January 23, 2013 • Yum Log

Tres Generaciones Anejo Tequila, a Taste of Family History

Life is short. I see that all the time in my work, and I have seen it far too often in my own life. Life is too short to fill it with worries about the small stuff, and it is too short to fill it with bad people, bad experiences, bad food or bad drinks. …

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82

January 20, 2013 • Health and Fitness, Reviews

Garmin ForeRunner 10 Still Going Strong All Winter Long

Since I reviewed the Garmin ForeRunner 10 back in mid-October, the YouTube video has continued gathering comments. So I figured it was time for an update. You can see the Garmin peeking out above between my two thermal-tech layers and gloves. You can even glimpse the toll all of the salting and slush are taking …

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51

January 11, 2013 • Editorials

How Well Do You Trust Online Reviews?

Image courtesy of XKCD I recently read a very interesting post by Andrew Leonard about online reviews, and attempts by software companies to (as we say in the high tech world) productize them.  The question is valid:  In an online world with an overwhelming wealth of information about almost everything, how do you weigh reviews …

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110

January 7, 2013 • Rants and Raves

Why I love my Samsung ATIV 500T enough to dump the iPad…

When the iPad first came out, I was as stunned and impressed as anyone, and anxious to have one of my own. My wife is largely supportive of my gadget addictions, but regarding the iPad, didn’t understand where it would “fit in” as a necessity when I already had an iPhone, laptop and desktop computer. …

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44

December 22, 2012 • Rants and Raves

If You Want GOOD Service, Use the Apple Store Instead of Apple Support

Apple has a reputation and standing as one of the best customer support organizations in all of the consumer world. They top the ratings each year; due to their retail stores, the ability to quickly talk to someone knowledgeable has made using Apple products easier than ever for millions of folks. Truth is, in more …

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60

December 20, 2012 • Gear Bits

Set Top Boxes, a Gear Chat

Over the years writing for Gear Diary, we often have chats behind the scenes about all sorts of issues.  Some are private and will never see the light of day, but many times what is said ends up in a long string of comments that would make a great post.  This one all started by …

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December 18, 2012 • Rants and Raves

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Regarding FedEx Smartpost and UPS Surepost

If you have ever bought something on the internet that didn’t ship solely via USPS, then using either FedEx Smartpost or UPS Surepost was likely an option; they are both shipping options that use the United States Postal Service for the final leg. In other words, UPS or FedEx will deliver the packages to your …

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66

December 15, 2012 • Gear Bits

Best Buy Tech Service Gone Awry; a GM’s Customer Service Saves the Day

I came home a few weeks ago to find my almost four year old Gateway desktop rig powered completely off. I tried turning it back on, only to find out that it had decided that it didn’t want to at all. That could only mean the power supply, since it had been on and working …

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122

November 18, 2012 • Outdoors

My Bag: Ham Radio Edition

Hurricane Sandy, the derecho and the upcoming winter season has had me thinking about what I carry on a daily basis. It also prompted me to consider what I might add to it to be better prepared.  In HAM lingo, we refer to this as our GO bag– the bag that serves in an emergency …

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55

November 13, 2012 • Reviews

Gear Chat – the ‘Mike Wasn’t Getting an iPad Mini’ Episode

OK, so just a few weeks ago I made some bold declarations about how I would not be getting an iPad Mini, stating it in our last Gear Chat, then taking a bold stance on the ‘Five Reasons I Won’t Be Getting the ‘iPad Mini’’ (which Dan rebutted with a single reason). Since release although …

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53

November 6, 2012 • Editorials

Weeks Number 2 & 3 of My iPad-Only Challenge!

Welcome to the second ‘weekly’ (yes, it has been a month since my last one) report on my quest for the 99% computer! (Here is my first update) As noted, my plan was to use my iPad for as much as I possibly could, and note whatever functions required me to use a ‘real’ computer. …

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