September 2009

Review: BugMe! for BlackBerry Phones: Now what was it I had to do?

My wife will tell you that I forget absolutely everything! But she’s my wife so she’s allowed to exaggerate, and the truth is I do forget stuff…as I am sure many of you do too!  I have gotten a little better now that I have my BlackBerry and the calendar and Notes apps, but creating calendars is very tedious and the notes don’t alert me. So what do I do now…BugMe! That’s what. Electric Pocket has just released the BugMe! app for BlackBerry phones, I had the chance to review it over the last week.

Otterbox Commuter Case for Blackberry Bold Review

I have used and reviewed a number of different device cases from Otterbox. They are always impressive cases that provide significant protection for delicate electronics. They do exactly what they say and then some. In fact, I have even submerged a device wrapped in one of their Armor cases in a glass of water to test it! I don’t recommend doing it, but when I did the case protected my iPod Nano perfectly!! Yup, Otterbox cases are the best thing going, but (and there’s always a but) they aren’t the most stylish of cases. Well… they weren’t… With the company’s…

Gene Pool for iPhone/Touch App Review

From the developer: Playing pool is so 2008. Meet Gene Pool. Your goal is to keep your organism healthy by merging genes of the same color. Merged genes grow in size and will eventually disappear. Only energized cells can merge with other cells. How? By bouncing them up against walls ofcourse! *Gene Pool is your ideal travel companion. *Relaxing music. Zen style. Why hurry? *Win all possible achievements *Submit and retrieve localized scores *Uses Weave Connect technology developed by Sticky Studios *Improve your score with multiple wall-bounces and great accuracy. *Destroy viruses that attack your largest genes

Tux Droid: a Nabaztag for Linux Geeks has released the new Tux Droid 2.0.  Tux Droid is essentially a Open Source Nabaztag that looks like Tux the Penguin (Tux was originally designed as the Linux mascot by Larry Ewing).  The Tux Droid is wirelessly connected to your computer via its cute fish shaped dongle, which  has a striking resemblance to Tux himself.  What does Tux do?  He’ll do a little dance whenever you get an E-mail, Twitter message or a Facebook messag; he also has a text-to-speech engine, and by interacting with Tux Droid, you can also complete certain tasks on your computer.  If you aren’t…

Universal Accessibility Becomes Mainstream (and Profitable!)

Loving that new shuffle with VoiceOver? Dictating all your emails instead of typing them? You may not think about it, but many of those improvements and technological bounds come from a specific area of research; accessibility for people with disabilities. Businessweek has a great article about how voiceover, Apple’s love it or hate it system in the new Shuffles, comes from accessibility designs in Mac OS X. Further, there is an argument that many businesses can learn from the innovations needed to create “universal access” for specific disabilities, and turn it into features that can make the experience better for…

Wicked Blogging Right on Your BlackBerry Review

A few years ago someone would believe you were crazy if you told them you were going to manage a blog using only a smartphone.  Today, however, that notion seems just as commonplace as surfing the web, updating your social networks and communicating with friends, family, or colleagues in real-time — all from your “phone.” Sadly, BlackBerry devices probably are not the first device you think of when you consider doing anything beyond sending email or maintaining appointments.  That is changing with more and more applications being developed that help get the most out of the somewhat limited operating system…

Tales of Monkey Island: Siege of Spinner Cay (PC) Review

Arrgh! Here we are, matey … back for another episode of Tales of Monkey Island! While I can’t tell you where things stand at the beginning of the tale without potentially spoiling the first episode for those who haven’t played yet, suffice it to say that we can expect the events that were set in motion at the start of the first episode will be in play for the entire season!

ColcaSac MacBook Pro Sleeves- Review

Last week I reviewed Timbuk2’s new H.A.L. backpack. I like it a lot. I was impressed with the quality of the workmanship, the design itself, and the incredible utility of the backpack for anyone needing to carry a laptop and assorted other items. My one criticism of the backpack was that the area designed to hold the notebook, while convenient, or for no real fall protection. That’s where today’s review item comes in more than a bit handy. The ColcaSac is a simple, rugged burlap sleeve that offers excellent protection for your MacBook Pro from the daily bumps and grinds…

Firefighter’s Self Contained Breathing Appratus (SCBA): How it’s changed over the years

Welcome to another edition of “How it’s changed over the years.” The firefighter’s SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) is as important a piece of equipment as his/her helmet.  The device, which consists today of a high pressure tank, face mask and pressure regulator allows firefighters to breath air in the hostile environments they face. So how has the SCBA changed over the years?

RockBox Review – Breathe new life into your iPod

I have a confession to make.  I love iPods.  I have been a consistent user of the iPod since I got my first one about the time Mac OS X Tiger came out.  Back then I was a Mac OS X fan and I had a PowerBook.  I loved my PowerBook.  I used iTunes on my Mac back when it was still clean and sleek.  Now iTunes is a bloated mess that I just dislike dealing with.  I have also transitioned to using Linux as my OS of choice, which can make life difficult if you love iPods, but not…

eBook Gains and Losses

Welcome to another installment of “State of the eBook”. A few quick news-y items, and then onto the major heart of today’s discussion, where we’ll be tackling the greatest debate in the book world today. Interested? Read on… First, in the “cut up your nose to spite your face” department, we have the news that both Sarah Palin’s book “Rogue” and Ted Kennedy’s book “True Compass” will not be released as eBooks until some time has passed after the hardcover release. Let’s consider that for a moment. At a time when people are looking for better deals, trying to find…

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Week Five into the Rosetta Stone TOTALe Program

¡Hola mis amigas! This week, I was greeted by an instructional video that started the minute I signed into TOTALe. It gave a great overview of what the different parts of the course entailed, and how to navigate the various sections…and I couldn’t help but wonder why it didn’t show the first time I started the program! Of course, the likely culprit is my slow satellite connection of doom; it is totally possible that the screen tried to show when I first started the program five lessons ago, but was reset in all of the screen refreshes. Ah, country living……

Years for iPhone Review

One of the things about the built-in calendar app on the iPhone that surprises me is that it lacks the ability to view more than one month at a time.  Sometimes it’s just handy to see several months – or a whole year – at once.  So when Zicron Software, a new software developer based in Scotland, offered Gear Diary the chance to evaluate their new iPhone app, Years, we agreed to take a look.

Soda Stream Penguin Starter Kit Review

I’ve been writing for a long time, and one of the things that I learned early on, is that there’s a lot to like about most everything you get to review.  Your TRUE opinion usually hits after the honeymoon period is over.  THAT can last a couple of months, depending on the device/gadget/thingy you’re reviewing. Getting past the WOW factor is important, and most product reviewers just can’t do it in a couple of days to a week. When I saw the Soda Stream Penguin Starter Kit, the wow factor for me was pretty high – a nine or a…

The Motorola H790 Bluetooth Headset Review

In the time I have been writing here at Gear Diary, I have made it my mission to find the perfect Bluetooth headset.  Although we have tested dozens of headsets, that quest continues.  In fact, considering the rate at which new headsets are developed, I would not expect this process to reach a conclusion anytime soon.  Today, we will be looking at the Motorola H790, the latest entry in Motorola’s already extensive line of Bluetooth headsets.

SPB Brain Evolution 2 for Windows Mobile Review

A couple of years ago I got hooked on the original SPB Brain Evolution. It is a “brain training” game that helps you improve your brain skills in a variety of areas. The original Brain Evolution was fun and had a lot of different games, but the graphics were very simplistic, and the overall look left something to be desired.  Still, the game received a lot of awards and was a bestseller in 2008! Now we have SPB Brain Evolution 2. Improvements in appearance and usability have clearly been made. How does it do? Let’s take a look!

Guitar ToolKit for iPhone: Quality Tools In One App

Last week I reviewed Tab ToolKit from Agile Partners. The app is a must have for any guitarist wanting to learn songs using tablature. What about all other guitar needs?    Agile Partners have an app for that too:    Guitar ToolKit. There are many apps available that do what Guitar Toolkit does. This is a collection of all of these apps in one place. Not only are several apps rolled into one, but stand alone apps do not perform as well. Lets take a look at the features. Chromatic Tuner The tuner is the most responsive and accurate I have found…

Timbuk2 H.A.L. Notebook Backpack – Review

I’ve never been a huge backpack fan. Instead, I have always been partial to messenger-type bags such as the Acme Courier Judie and I both reviewed a few months ago. The H.A.L. Backpack from Timbuk2 may just change that. It is versatile, well-designed and pretty impressive! Let’s take a look.

Crime scene toilet paper is a perfect gift for that Uncle you see once a year during holidays

This roll of crime scene labeled toilet paper is perfect for that hard to shop for person or even a grab bag for the office holiday party. Imagine their glee when they open this in front of their peers only to be greeted with a suggestion that their use of the bathroom could be considered a crime scene. Given the current economic climate it’s best not to gift this to the boss but it’s probably ok as a gift to relatives you see infrequently. Crime Scene Toilet Paper

White collar grime – disposable shirt protectors for those who hate washing their neck

Are you someone who wears collared shirts? Do you hate to wash your neck (or your shirts). Here’s the product for you. The White Collar Grime protector is applied inside your shirt to stave off those stubborn rings around the collar. You try scrubbing and scrubbing yet those dirty rings still stay on your collar. Why bother with pesky personal hygiene chores like washing your neck when instead you can buy these collar grime protectors. At the end of the day, peel off the tape, dispose, and your white, blue, pink or any color collar won’t look criminal. It’s perfect…

Bioshock Bento is too Cute to Eat!

I’ve long been fascinated by the patience and artistry that goes into making a Japanese Bento Box; if you aren’t familiar with these, then you should start by looking at these images on Google as well as this Flicker Pool. As explained in the introduction on one of the multitudes of Bento Box sites I’ve found: As with so much of modern Japanese culture, the aesthetic (especially for children and young women) is strongly based on a compact cuteness. If you went to a school where kids brought packed lunches, you know how much it means to a kid when…