Articles by Christopher Gavula

Urban Armor Gear iPad Pro Case Review

Not too long ago, I took a look at the composite case for my 12-inch MacBook from Urban Armor Gear. Now UAG has been kind enough so send a sample of their case for the iPad Pro. While similar in many ways, the UAG iPad Pro Case has some features unique to it. The case has a rubberized shell, similar to the corner material found on their MacBook case, but…


Urban Armor Gear’s Composite Case for MacBook 12-inch

I recently had the opportunity to use and test a composite case for my 12-inch MacBook from Urban Armor Gear. This manufacturer’s sample states it is military grade and drop-tested. Although I’m not about to start drop-testing my MacBook, I have no reason to believe it’s not military grade. It feels very sturdy and well-built, while remaining lightweight. So as I just mentioned, my initial reaction is that it is…


Moshi iVisor for 2015 MacBook

The folks at Moshi recently provided Gear Diary their iVisor for MacBook, a clear (matte) anti-glare screen protector for the new 12” MacBook.   Moshi gives a 100% guarantee that the screen protector will install bubble free and I have to say that it installed flawlessly for me. Once it was on, I hardly noticed it was there, except for the fact that the screen now had a matte look…



Moshi iGlaze for the 2015 MacBook Review

Recently, the folks at Moshi were kind enough to provide Gear Diary with a few of their products to evaluate for the new MacBook 12” (2015). I’m going to look at the first of these — the iGlaze for MacBook, a clear shell to protect the outside of your MacBook.


How I Ended up Buying the New MacBook 12-inch: A Personal Review

It’s common knowledge that Apple makes products that are extremely polarizing. The original iPhone, for example, was very polarizing. More recently, the original MacBook Air and Apple Watch became polarizing products. Add to that list the new 12-inch MacBook. I recently bought one to use as my primary personal computer. Why would I do that? Well there’s a story here.


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 that some things I thought were “critical” to my daily functioning really weren’t so critical,…


Living with the Nokia Lumia 920 – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

A few weeks OK I bought a shiny new Red Nokia Lumia 920.  Generally, I love it, although I am STILL waiting for my wireless charging base to show up.  It’s not perfect, in some ways far from it, but the overall approach the OS takes to delivering apps and services is a good one for the way that I want to work – most of the time.  But the…


Nokia Lumia 920 & Windows Phone 8 – Thoughts from an iPhone & Lumia 900 User

A while back I did an experiment where I switched from an iPhone to a Lumia 900.  I liked a lot of things about the 900, but in the end some of the limitations and missing applications drove me back to the iPhone. Now Windows Phone has made the rather painful transition from 7.x to 8.x and Nokia has released new models including the Lumia 920.  Did things change for…


Babbel (and others) and the Advancement of Foreign Language eBooks

A lot has happened in the past few years in foreign language instruction. It’s a global world and thanks to the Internet, you can be taught a foreign language by native speakers from anywhere in the world. You can converse with them and other learners from the comfort of your own home with just a minimal investment in hardware and software. For a number of years there have been computer…


The Nokia Lumia 900 Gets Updated in US

This has been a busy and bumpy year for the Nokia Lumia 900.  Just released this spring, it was already declared a dead-end device by Microsoft shortly after its arrival as Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 7.5 phones wouldn’t be updated to Windows Phone 8.  Although this wasn’t a complete surprise (due to the hardware limitations of the current devices), many of us hoped some of the features of Windows…


Here I Go Again: An iPad User Tries a Google Nexus 7

A short time ago I tried swapping my iPhone for a Windows Phone 7. If you read my posts on the subject, then you know I learned a lot of interesting things, good and bad, about the platform. This time I’m focused on my tablet.  I’m back to try one of the most heavily discussed gadgets this year, the Google Nexus 7. A Little Perspective… I have always loved playing…


In an Apple and Everything Else Funk

Lately I’ve been in a funk.  I thought, at first, it was an Apple funk.  I thought it might be about the fact that Apple today doesn’t seem to have the same excitement  and vision as it did under Steve Jobs.  I thought it might be about a sequence of products that is becoming very evolutionary instead of revolutionary.  I thought it was about Apple and where it might be…


AT&T Joins the Shared Data Game

So I’m working though my latest summer sinus headache and I see the news – AT&T has finally announced (as expected) that they are going to follow Verizon in offering shared data plans.  And, like Verizon’s offering, the plans all include unlimited voice and texting plus a fixed amount of data.  The primary difference you notice between the AT&T and Verizon offerings is that Verizon charges a fixed $40 per…


Microsoft Previews Windows Phone 8 (But it’s not for Everyone)

Many of you know that I recently made the move over to Windows Phone as my daily driver. On the whole I’ve been pretty happy with it, but my big hopes have been pinned around the potential the platform has. Today MS made some announcements about the upcoming Windows Phone 8 (OS and devices)– some good.. some bad. As a recent Windows Phone convert, these announcements definitely had an impact on…


First Impressions from a Long-Time iPhone User Trying a Windows Phone

Yesterday, the HTC Titan that Judie is loaning me for this experiment arrived on my doorstep. I opened the box she had packed it in, saw the AT&T HTC Titan box inside, and I actually stared at it for a few minutes pondering how this process was going to be a lot of fun. But it was also likely to be kind of painful.  After all, I’ve been heavily into…


Microsoft Windows 8 RT: Really, Microsoft? Have You Learned Nothing?

I’m an iPad user (I write many of my posts on an iPad these days), and I have a big interest in tablets and tablet technology.  Lately, I’ve been reading a bit about Windows 8 and the new “RT” version for is specifically for tablets.  By the way, for those that don’t know “RT” stands for runtime.  There’s a bit of a buzz around the fact that MS is going…


Me on a Windows Phone? The “Hot” Place Must Have Frozen Over (sort of)!

  I’ve been considering something for a while now.  Something that, for me, was almost unthinkable even a short time ago.  But now I want to mix things up a bit and try something new. So after some internal debate, I’ve decided to try a new smartphone platform.  Although the Android platform never offered anything that I found to be compelling in terms of end-user experience, Windows Phone has intrigued…


Mophie and Customer Service “Done Right”

I had a bad purchase experience recently that came to a conclusion this week.  I purchased a Mophie Juice Pack Plus from a vendor on Amazon.  I noticed that the build quality wasn’t quite as nicely done as other Mophie units I had, but I figured it was just a manufacturing variation or maybe it was just that this was a different model than the others I had.  I didn’t think…


Babbel and LiveMocha, the Next Generation of Online Language Learning

Long time readers of this site may remember that in the past, I have reviewed many different sites, apps and solutions to assist with learning a foreign language. Now I’m looking at some newer language learning sites, namely Babbel and LiveMocha, that offer some interesting and unique things. In addition to the sites, Babbel offers companion apps for both iOS devices and Android devices.  LiveMocha offers over-the-counter learning kits that you…


The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad 2 and the New iPad Review

I had a first generation iPad.  It was an amazingly useful and functional device for me  I loved the unit, but it wasn’t the thinnest. I rarely tried to carry my iPad with a keyboard, because once I put the iPad and a keyboard into my backpack I might was well have been carrying a laptop! When the iPad 2 came out, there were a number of keyboard “covers” that…