May 2009

Take Control of Time Machine

I’m a Apple fanboy through and through.  This I admit freely.  But I’m also man enough to admit that not everything Apple does is perfect. Time Machine, Apple’s default back up program, is one of those not so perfect things. My biggest problem with Time Machine is the inability to customize just when Time Machine backs up.  The only time management setting offered by Time Machine is on or off.  When it’s on it backs up everything on your Mac, every hour.  I find this to be a major nuisance as it seems my iMac is always backing itself up and it’s…


Clue for iPhone and iPod Touch Review

Life, Sorry, Monopoly, and Clue were just some of the board games I grew up playing.  Times change and with new technology comes new, updated versions of some of our favorite classics.  Sometimes the updates are improvements, while other times the original seems better. Electronic Arts has become one of the premier iPhone and iPod Touch application developers.  With hits like Spore, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Need For Speed Undercover and more, they are setting the bar for gaming in the iTunes App Store. One of EA’s newest releases is a remake of one of those games I grew up…


Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 Storage Array Review

If your drive goes south, without backup storage and some type of backup strategy, you could be in a world of hurt.  Everyone here at Gear Diary knows what that means… We’ve had a couple of server issues over the past few years that have caused all of us some major pain. Enter the Elite-AL Pro Qz2.  It’s a RAID drive system and backup device that will accommodate up to 8TB (yes… that’s 8 TERABYTES) of data in a single drive array. Let’s take a look and see how it does with both Windows and Mac systems. The Elite-AL Pro…


Spb TV for Symbian S60 Review

A while ago, I ranted on a Symbian forum about what a piece of cr disappointment the Nokia N96 was, and how it’d put me off Nokia smartphones forever. Until a recent firmware update, the N96 was slow, buggy and practically unusable. It creaks so much, I’ve actually come to think of the squishy casing as a feature – use it as an expensive stress ball, and it’s entertaining; the built-in DVB-H TV tuner is essentially useless anyway. Given the vitriol, you can imagine that it’d take a lot to get me interested in using the N96 again. Spb TV…


Innocase 360 case for BlackBerry 8900 reviewed

About three weeks ago I noticed that online case and accessory distributor Seidio was introducing a new Innocase 360 for the BlackBerry 8900. What’s unique about this case is that it includes a full keyboard cover which looks nearly identical to the BlackBerry keys. I thought the cover would be useful against wet weather and keeping stray debris away. After having spent a couple weeks using the case I can say that it indeed excels in protection while falling short in a couple other areas.


Card Mystery Review

Are you a fan of magic tricks?  I’ve always been fascinated by card tricks and while in the back of my mind I know there’s often a reasonable explanation for how most tricks are done there’s still a part of me that’s happier not knowing. Card Mystery from Sunphonia is a recently released application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that will leave you wondering, “hey how’d they do that? ”


Mobiola Snapshot for BlackBerry Review

Mobiola Snapshot is an application from Shape Services that gives BlackBerry users the ability to quickly take screen captures of applications running on their device.   How well does it work?  Is it worth trying out or even buying?   Read on for the full review.


GV Mobile – Update Makes It A “Must-Have” iPhone App

I would normally do a quick post over on whatsoniphone.com about an application update but this update for GV Mobile is so significant that it deserves an entire post in its own right. The application takes Google Voice and makes it a truly usable application/service on your iPhone or iPod touch. In fact, this app has now replaced the phone application at the bottom of my iPhone screen. Here’s why —


Pogo iPhone/iPod Touch Stylus from Ten 1 Design

I know, I know, why would anyone need a stylus for their iPhone or iPod Touch?  It’s designed to be finger friendly, right?  Well there are a few reasons I can think of and I’ll bet, if you think about it, you’ll think of them too.  Still not sure?  Read on to find out and learn if the Pogo fits the bill!


2 Games from Astraware Review

I’ve always been a big fan of Astraware.  As a former Palm Pilot user I can remember playing Bejeweled on my IIIc.  It’s been a long time since the days of Palm games and Astraware has come a long way since the introduction of Bejeweled.  They’ve turned a blockbuster handheld game into a mega-gaming company with tons of popular titles. When Astraware asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a couple of their games for the iPhone and iPod Touch I jumped at the chance. Today I’ll be reviewing their latest game for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Bubble Babble…


Tap Tap Revenge Review: Dave Matthews Band

There’s no denying the popularity of the video console games Rock Band and Guitar Hero.  Even my daughters, who range in age from 3-8, love to jam along to tunes on Rockband. Tapulous has carried over the fun that is playing a musical instrument to one of your favorite songs over to the iPhone with its game Tap Tap Revenge Dave Matthews Band. Tapulous decided to honor the release of a the band’s newest album with their latest version of the game. Tap Tap Revenge DMB showcases one of the U.S.A’s most popular bands, the Dave Matthews Band.


Gogo iPhone 3G Cases Review

Do you want to keep the form factor of your iPhone 3G in tact but still protect the back from scratches and scuffs?  Gogo makes high quality snap on back covers for the iPhone 3G.  The have a variety of lines and styles to choose from. The best part about Gogo cases is they’re scratch proof.  Weighing at 1 ounce and adding less than 1 mm of bulk to your iPhone, these cases keep the shape and feel of your iPhone. I was recently sent cases from their Mirror Series and from their Royal Series to review.


iPopperz Review: Headphone or Fashion Accessory?

iPopperz are an earbud/ ear-canal  headphone with added decoration. That sounds like a negative comment, but it’s not as they do not detract from the other. I have been using the headphones I was supplied with for a week on my PC for music, my laptop for Skype and on my Zune for music.


Picsmatch Facial Recognition Software Review

You know that itch you get when you buy a new digital camera, the type of itch that makes you capture everything from kids to office supplies, at least I hope other people do that too :o)  My wife is one of the smartest people I know, but I couldn’t count the times when I get a scream from the computer room, with her trying to manage all of our digital photos or asking me how to find certain pictures…that’s where Picsmatch facial recognition program comes to the rescue!


Bug Catcher Vacuum Review – a Nifty Device

Spring is here, and along with the rains and milder days have come droves of moths, gnats, flies, mosquitoes, june bugs, mayflies, scorpions, spiders and every other weird bug that will scramble in when someone accidentally leaves the screen door open for longer than a second. I live in the country so I might have a few more bugs on my list than you would, but I know that you “city dwellers” have to deal with some of the same. I was recently on the Home Improvements website looking for some heat register deflectors and recycling bins, and I saw…


Little Tool That Packs a Big Punch

I’ve been using the Leatherman Skeletool CX for the last year or so.  It goes with me everywhere I go.  I thought it was light weighing in at a mere 5 ounces.  Now Leatherman has one-upped themselves again with the release of the Freestyle CX. This little knife/tool hybrid is packing one heck of a material list. To start, the Leatherman Freestyle CX features DLC coating for scratch and corrosion resistance, making it great for those adventures that really put your gear to the test. Next the premium 154CM knife blade holds its edge three-times as long as traditional stainless…


Pantone coffee mugs are perfect for graphics geeks

This set of 10 coffee mugs is styled so that the color of each individual mug matches one of the Pantone Color standards used by graphics geeks to ensure consistency in color. There are a few sets available with different colors including one that is specially designed (brown) for tea lovers. The set is a bit pricey at $125 for 10 mugs or 4 mugs for $52.50.


Sony Vaio P Review

When Sony told me they had a Vaio P ready to send out to me, I was more excited about it than any other device I’ve tested in a while. Having converted to the netbook faithful with an HP Mini 1000 a few months ago, I was looking forward to trying out Sony’s attempt. The design really does trump every other netbook on the market, and is extremely reminiscent of their PictureBook series of ultraultraportables from a few years ago. It is thinner than my Mini 1000, not to mention less wide and deep. It doesn’t even make it to…


Spread Head makes using ketchup and mustard fun(ner) for kids

It’s Memorial Day weekend – and that means the start of summer and cookout season. Here’s a unique item called a Spread Head that costs only $3.99 yet gives a lifetime of childish amusement. Place it on top of a mustard squeeze bottle. Kids squeeze the bottle and out of the mouth comes yellow mustard. Stock up on lots of bottles because if your kids are like mine they’ll squeeze this thing dry watching the guy spread mustard from his mouth. There’s also a top for Ketchup – but thankfully none for relish or tartar sauce. Full YouTube goodness here….


Probably Fake (but funny) Houston Airport Homeland Security Urinal Monitor sticker

File this one under “probably fake but still funny” and “guys have a lot of free time on their hands”. According to web site swamplot.com, one restroom patron at the Houston Hobby airport noticed a sticker on the urinal stating “Automatic infrared flush sensors also provide video monitoring for security purposes”: The camera appeared to be in the same panel that carried the flush sensor… a brushed metal panel with an oval shaped dark transparent glass with a red on it. . . . And this panel was located just above the urinal itself. Given how close the user of…


PhoneFace Adds Improved Contact Search Integration

PhoneFace, the Photo Speed Dial application for BlackBerry and Android, has been updated for improved contact search integration to select your friend’s photo ID based on their Facebook or Twitter profile pics — or selecting a photo that you saved directly to your phone.   Simply start typing the name of your contact, and PhoneFace will bring up the listing of all of your contacts’ photos to quickly locate the person you’re looking to reach. PhoneFace has a free 7-day Trial.  The full, unlocked application is $ 9.95 (Pssssssst.  CrackBerry.com currently has PhoneFace available for $7.95 until June 1st for…