Articles by Christopher Gavula

Que Publishing Releases Windows 7 Your Way by Michael Miller

Just published is Windows 7 Your Way: Speed Up and Customize Windows  by Michael Miller from Que Publishing. This book promises to help you make your Windows 7 experience “faster, smarter, easier, better.” They talk about removing bloatware, surfing the web safely, getting better performance and battery life out of your notebook, fixing some of the Windows 7 annoyances, and even finding alternatives to some of the built-in MS software.  Better still, they promise to help you with all of these things in a way that is easy to understand – no advanced degree required! Not long ago I reviewed Microsoft…

Review: Hotel Mogul for iPhone and iPod Touch

I like casual games.   I’ve said that before here on Gear Diary and I’m sure I will say it again.  I recently got to review Montezuma 2 from Alawar Games and now I’m back to review another Alawar title – Hotel Mogul.

PocketMap Navigator 2010 Released

Space Machine, the makers of Pocket Map navigation software for PNAs and Windows Mobile, have released Pocket Map Navigator 2010. This release doesn’t add any major new features, but rather the big news with this release is that they’ve included the newest updated Navteq maps and they’ve improved some of their routing. PocketMap Navigator has been a long-time favorite of mine on the Windows Mobile platform due to its excellent interface.  You can read my review of PocketMap Navigator here. PocketMap Navigator is available from the PocketMap store.  The price is now only$59.95 for the full USA version.

Apple Wins a Permanent Injunction Against Psystar

It looks like Apple has won a permanent injunction against Psystar. The judge has ordered Psystar to comply with the injunction by December 31st. The injunction specifically calls on Psystar to stop: * Copying, selling, offering to sell, distributing or creating derivative works of Mac OS X without authorization from Apple. * Intentionally inducing, aiding, assisting, abetting or encouraging any other person or entity to infringe Apple’s copyrighted Mac OS X software. * Circumventing any technological measure that effectively controls access Mac OS X, including, but not limited to, the technological measure used by Apple to prevent unauthorized copying of…

Christmas Sudoku for the iPhone/iPod Touch Review

I love to play Sudoku. There’s something about the challenge of getting all those pieces of the puzzle into the right combination that appeals to my inner geek. Keeping with the season (if you celebrate Christmas, that is), I felt compelled to check out the release of Christmas Sudoku from 99 Games. 99 Games was nice enough to give me a copy to check out!

Review: The treasures of Montezuma 2 for the iPhone/iPod Touch

I’ll admit it. I really like playing games on the iPhone.  This time around, Alawar Games sent me a copy of Montezuma 2 to take a look at. So again, I’ll make an a small admission and mention that I never played the original Montezuma, but I have played many of these match-three type of games like “Bejeweled” or “Alchemize”. So let’s take a look at this one!

AT&T Wants to Know about Your Network Problems

AT&T has released a new program for the iPhone called “AT&T Mark the Spot”. The purpose of the program is to help you, as an AT&T customer, report network outages, issues, and dead spots. In this release AT&T makes it really simple to report problems. It will capture your GPS location or you can submit about a location not specifically where you are at. The app has some basic things it wants to know: Is it a dropped call, failed call, no coverage, data failure, or poor voice quality problem? Does it happen once, seldom, often, or always? You can…

Popularity Contest: Learning a Language on a Budget, Week Five

photo credit: woodleywonderworks So this week we are going to talk about what to do when you are trying to learn a language that just isn’t as popular as some of the biggies.  One of the nice things about living in the Internet Age is that we are so connected – all over the world.  So I’m fortunate because I’ve got friends all over the world, some of whom speak English, some not.  Either way,  I like to learn at least a little of their languages so I can better communicate with them.  If you haven’t guessed, it’s kind of…

In for a Penny: Learning a Language on a Budget, Week Four

So you’re learning a new language.  We’ve mostly focused on free or nearly-free resources that you can use to assist you in this process.   So now you find you are willing to spend a little money, but not a lot, or you need a little more assistance or you just need a little different approach than the free resources have available for you. What kinds of things are available to you? Like you, I’ve been studying a few languages using mostly free, or nearly free resources I’ve found on the Internet, but sometimes I’ve wanted to use tools that…

Book Review: Microsoft Windows 7 Unleashed by Paul McFedries

A few week ago, I received a copy of this book to review. I’ll admit it, I’m primarily a Mac user, but I use Windows XP at work, and I run it on my Mac in a VMWare session so I can support my Windows Mobile devices and do those things that are available only for Windows. And yeah, I’m one of the many, many, people who played with the Windows 7 betas – and I like it. Not enough to give up my Mac, but it’s nice to see what Vista should have been finally come to fruition. It’s…

The Internet Is Your Friend: Learning a Language on a Budget, Week Two

photo credit: woodleywonderworks In part one of “Learning a Language on a Budget” I talked a bit about the things you can do to get prepared to learn a language. A number of you offered comments and provided additional information about some resources that are available. Much appreciated! In this second post in the series I’m going to focus on some of the Internet resources that are available for the study of Spanish and, to some extent, other languages. There are an amazingly large number of resources available to language learners on the Internet.  Many resources are free (or near…

Translation and Frustration: Learning a Language on a Budget, Week Three

photo credit: woodleywonderworks So far, I’ve talked about dictionaries and dictionary sites, and other language-learning resources on the Internet.   There is, however, one Internet service that many of us will come across, even if we aren’t in the process of learning a language – online translation tools. Arguably, the biggest sites today for these services are, and This week, I want to talk a little bit about the differences in these sites and how they approach language translation and some things you can do to make your translation more effective and accurate.

Review: MapQuest Navigator for iPhone

Last week, I took a look at MotionX GPS Drive.  The hits just keep coming, and this week a big player stepped into the ring.   MapQuest comes to us with a new off-board (maps are loaded over the Internet on the fly) navigation app which they have kindly allowed me to test drive. With the iPhone Navigation market getting quickly populated, I was curious to know how a big player like MapQuest would do in this space, especially given their long experience in mapping and route navigation.  So let’s take a look!

Learning a Language on a Budget: Week One – Getting Ready

photo credit: woodleywonderworks For a few weeks now, Judie has been writing about her experiences learning Spanish using the Rosetta Stone system.  It’s a wonderful language learning system used by diplomats and business leaders the world over.  But it has one big drawback – it’s really, really expensive! In these times especially, many of us are living on a budget and need more cost-effective options.  So, I decided to pull-together some things I had already been working on and go on a mission to learn Spanish as well, but I’m going to try to do it on a more modest…

Review: MotionX GPS Drive

I’ve been looking at iPhone GPS navigation applications for a while now, and  some products need more work, and I’ve seen highly-polished products. One thing that continues to surprise me is that more companies keep jumping into the competition! One of the new entries is GPS Drive from the folks at MotionX. They were kind enough to send me a code for their $2.99 program (which comes with 30 days of live voice guidance) just in time for my semi-annual road trip to visit my mother – about a 1000 mile long trek. So lets take a look at how…

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!

All Weather for iPhone and iPod Touch Review

I have a number of weather apps on my iPhone. Overall, they are OK, but I’ve generally had two complaints: 1) They never seem to be as accurate as the information I find at the Weather Underground, and 2) They always seem to want to display the temperature in Fahrenheit OR Celsius, but never both at the same time! I grew up in Detroit where they often broadcast both (because Detroit is on the Canadian border). Additionally, I have friends all over the world. It’s nice to be able to talk about today’s weather without having to reset all the…

WunderRadio for iPhone Review

The Internet is proving to be an interesting outlet for traditional, commercial radio. Many programs like iTunes, offer streams from various radio stations. WunderRadio is from the Weather Underground folk, and it brings you literally thousands of radio stations and streams from around the world.  Let’s take a closer look!

Review: Cooking Dash for iPhone and iPod Touch

I am a big fan of time management games. They combine some of the most interesting elements of action and puzzle games into a single package. Cooking Dash is a follow-up to the hugely successful Diner Dash game. Let’s see if it lives up to the expectations created by the original.

Alchemize for iPhone and iPod Touch by Schiau Studios Review

When I saw the press release on this title proclaim that the game “deserves critics attention”, I got myself all ready to dislike this game automatically. Yeah, it’s not fair, but when someone insists that I must like something I’m immediately put into a negative mood. Well now I have spent a bit of time with this game and I may have to change my original ideas. What did I find? Let’s have a look.

CoPilot Live 8 for iPhone (North America)

I’ve been doing a series of reviews of navigation software for the iPhone.  The folks at ALK (the makers of CoPilot) have released CoPilot Live into the market for a very nice price of only $34.99 (for the North America version).  At this price it will appeal to many people.  Here I’m taking a first look at CoPilot Live (with a full review to follow) and give some initial impressions.  So let’s get to it!