Articles by Joel McLaughlin

Review: Coghlan’s 0.5 W LED Headlight

After writing the review for the Coghlan’s LED Micro Lantern, Coghlan’s offered to send me 2 new LED headlights to review.  Today I am going to take a look at the 0.5 Watt LED Headlight from Coghlan’s. The wattage of this headlight is serious. If you need to be able to see anywhere you point your head at night, then you should get this light.

Review: Smart for Life Weight Loss Cookies

For those who don’t know, a year and a half ago I weighed a lot more than I do now. It was at that time when I went in for my regular physical at my doctor’s office, and it was at that time when I was told I would have to start taking medicine to keep my blood pressure down. This was nothing serious, but it scared me. I was 36 and I had High Blood Pressure. I was bound and determined to make a real life change: I decided to not let food rule my life anymore. So I…

Review: USB 4-Port Hub with Thermometer and Clock

Are you the type of person who always asks what time it is?  Do you have a clock on your desk even though you have a clock staring you right in the face every time you look at your computer?   Do you always wonder why your office is so darn cold?  Do you need a USB hub?  Well if all of these apply, then the USB Fever USB 4-Port Hub with Thermometer and Clock is for you!

Logitech Z Cinéma Advanced Surround Sound System Review

When I first saw these speakers I thought that they looked great, and the fact that they came with a remote was a bonus.  Let’s see if they stand up to my standards in regards to audio quality and compatibility with my favorite OS, Linux. In the package was a sub woofer with two satellite speakers, as well as a Windows Media Center compatible IR remote control.

Review: Pur Sleep Aroma Therapy for CPAP Users

First, before we get into today’s review, I want to talk a little about Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is when you stop breathing while you sleep. The worst part of Sleep Apnea is a lot of people who have it don’t even know it. Symptoms of sleep apnea can include: Loud snoring. Waking up gasping for air. Waking up in a sweat. Feeling unrefreshed in the morning. Headaches, sore throat and dry mouth in the morning. Sleepiness during the day. Now I know what your going to ask. How do you know for sure if you have Sleep Apnea?

Review: Coghlan’s LED Micro Lantern

Back in the day, about 20 years ago when I was in Boy Scouts, options for a lightweight lantern were rare;  you either took along a big fluorescent lantern or a propane lantern. Lanterns are better than flashlights because they provide a circle of light around your entire work area instead of just one spot. When car camping, this isn’t a huge issue, but if you’re a backpack-style camper, you’ve probably had to live with a flashlight only…not any more.

Review: Sansa Sessions, free music for your new Sansa Fuze

SanDisk has recently announced their new Fuze MP3 Player and also a companion to the player, a card for a free MicroSD card that has music with no DRM on it to promote over 50 new artists.  This is called Sansa Sessions.  Some of the artists included on the MicroSD are All Time Low, Ladytron, Magnet, Nada Surf, Of Montreal, The Coup and many more. Image courtesy of  SanDisk Sandisk sent me the 512 MB MicroSD which not only had  55 tracks of music on it, but it also had 8 music videos and some low res bmp’s of the…

DLO StrapWrap Review

[Ed. note: Just for fun – leave a count in the comments section of how many times the word “strap” appears in this review, and I will choose a random winner (of an equally random prize) from the correct entries on April 3rd. Update: questionfear is the winner!] As summer is approaching, I often don’t have a handy pocket that I can stick my MP3 player into since I’m no longer wearing a coat. Sure, I can wear a shirt with a pocket on the front, but then I couldn’t wear a lot of my wardrobe since I have a…

Review: USB AAA Battery Charger with Torch from USB Fever

Have you ever needed to give your cell phone a little bit of juice to get through a call? Were you near a socket when you needed to do it? If not, then you might wish that you had carried the USB AAA Battery Charger with Torch from USB Fever with you. It’s now become something I never leave home without. The charger holds 4 AAA NiMH batteries and is very compact. It will fit in your khaki pocket, purse or gear bag very easily.

Review: ZaReason UltraLap SR

When I came across ZaReason, I was impressed. Selling machines that have Linux installed by default isn’t new, and many companies support only Linux now, but it’s ZaReason’s service and the communication I received all during the review process that impressed me the most. ZaReason cares about their customers and always puts them first, even over sending out review units, which is why it took about two months for ZaReason to finally get me a unit to review; I was not disappointed.

Why Walmart isn’t the place for Linux

A lot has been said this week about Walmart pulling the Everex gPC and Cloudbook from their stores. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a interesting article on regarding his views. What it boils down to is the people who typically shop at WalMart are probably not even capable of determining what OS their computer is running. All they know is they bought the computer and then bought Quicken and couldn’t get it to run on the gPC.

VIA Artigo Review

We’ve all seen the mini PCs like Lenovo’s Thinkcenter Desktops and Dell’s small desktops. We’ve also seen other PCs about the size of a external CD rom. Now, we have one that’s about half that size. VIA had brought out the Artigo Builders Kit. The motherboard on the Artigo is about the size of a credit card but is about as thick as a stack of credit cards. The whole PC is designed to fit in the same slot as your desktop’s DVD drive. You can take multiples of these and install them in a standard desktop case; it is…

A Open Source Router with more power! The LX800-40 Review

Now, Open Source software has been running on routers for quite sometime, however most routers like the Linksys WRT54GL have limited resources. They have limited ram, limited CPU and limited on board storage. This limits greatly what can be done with the router software wise. So, eventually, you run up against a wall with what you can do with the router. Even if you can get the software setup on the router, sometimes it seems like it’s just slow or you wish it was just faster than it is now. David Samms and New World Data Systems based here in…

The Recon 400X Review

Have you ever dropped a PDA or cellphone and had the screen crack? Have you had it up to here with Windows Mobile’s quirks? Well maybe, just maybe, this PDA is for you. What PDA can withstand drops and use in the rain? What PDA doesn’t run Windows Mobile or Palm OS anymore?? The Recon 400X. Now you might say hey I thought this PDA ran Windows Mobile. Well, it does. However, now, via SDG Systems, you can get a Recon 400X that runs Linux!

The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet Review

The Nokia N800 has been introduced at CES and all of the talk on the Linux based device websites has been about this new device. While I don’t have a N800 yet, I do have a Nokia 770 Internet Tablet and Judie has asked me to write my thoughts about it for Gear Diary. I want to thank Judie for the opportunity to share what is so great about this platform. The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet is the one that started it all for Nokia in a space that has all but dried up for Pocket PC and Palm based…