Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Jeff Frantz Author

May 4, 2014 • Reviews

Blacksmith-Labs iPhone Cases: Some Jobs Require a Blacksmith

Sometimes fine, dainty, pretty stuff just doesn’t work. And sometimes what’s in a name can be pretty dead-on. Blacksmith-Labs does a good job of living up to its name with its new line of iPhone cases. Made of thick leather with strong, sturdy metal clips, their cases really do bring a blacksmith’s work to mind.

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February 3, 2014 • News

Pebble Smartwatch’s New App Store Coming Today

I like watches. It’s not as if I have a large collection of them, and it wasn’t until the last few years that I actually started taking an interest in fine time pieces. Before that, it was all about the functions … the gadget part of them, in other words.

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November 25, 2013 • News

PhatPad has (Google) Drive

Gear Diary has written about PhatWare apps on a number of occasions, including here, here, here, and most recently, here. One of their best known products is PhatPad, a note-taking app that features handwriting recognition. I’ve used PhatWare products, including PhatPad, off and on for years. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of its handwriting recognition.

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September 30, 2013 • Reviews

Gorilla Band Will Have Your Child Swinging from the Vines

Gorilla Band is for kids. Completely, unapologetically for kids. Like my 5-year old. Who adores this app. Gorilla Band, by the folks at Wasabi (who provided us with a copy to review), is an interactive children’s book for iOS and Android devices. The main storyline, aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 7, is …

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July 31, 2013 • News

M-Edge Has Your New Nexus 7 Covered

It’s that classic dilemma – you want to be an early adopter and buy that newly released phone/tablet/laptop/media player, but you also want to protect it in a stylish manner. Nothing deflates one’s pride at carrying around the latest tablet faster than pulling it out of last year’s case. I mean, sheesh, one must have …

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July 17, 2013 • Reviews

AT&T FinderCodes Electronics Lost & Found Kit Review – Lose (and Find) Yourself

FinderCodes is a QR-code based lost and found system that can be used with just about anything to which you can attach a sticker. The folks at FinderCodes — which is now a brand partner with AT&T, as you’ll notice from the logo on the box in the photo above — were kind enough to provide …

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December 9, 2012 • News

A Dodo Mini for the iPad Mini

  I’ve been debating whether to get an iPad Mini. So far, I’ve been able to hold off on what is likely inevitable. All of the new iPad Mini accessories are not helping, however. Take, for example, Exhibits A and B, DODOcases bookbound cases and Durables Sleeve for the iPad Mini. We’ve reviewed DODOcase products …

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October 29, 2012 • News

DomeSkin Bumps Up to iPhone 5

With the announcement of any new device come the announcements of matching accessories. And if the device in question is a new iPhone, then you get a LOT more accessory announcements, given the popularity of that handset. Skins for iPhones (and other devices) are nothing new, of course, but the announcement Gear Diary received from …

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October 9, 2012 • Reviews, Yum Log

KeyShark Takes a Bite Out of That Bottle

The other day I received a KeyShark from the folks at Cranky Monkee for a review here at Gear Diary. The timing was perfect, as it arrived just before for my annual U of I football tailgate. So, what is a KeyShark you ask? And what does it have to do with football tailgating? Well, …

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September 2, 2012 • News

CVS Mobile App Update Brings Same-Day Photo Printing

Since last year when Walgreens (the pharmacy closest to my house) and my company’s health insurance provider failed to reach an agreement on prescription medication prices, I’ve found myself in a CVS pharmacy a lot more frequently. And you know, they’re pretty good places. I haven’t used them for much other than pharmacy purposes and …

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August 13, 2012 • News

Grove Makes Your Moleskine Pop

I’ll be flat-out honest about this: I like the idea of Moleskine notebooks, but I’ve never used one. Having a tried and true methodology for capturing information that becomes part of a personal tradition and eventually results in a shelf full of old notebooks representing one’s history over a number of years is so old …

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March 2, 2012 • News

Bamboosa’s Lap Log for iPad and Tablets review

Enjoying our electronic devices can, at times, be at odds with our desire to be more environmentally friendly in our daily actions. While we here at Gear Diary like our energy-consuming, heavy-metal-containing gadgets, we also appreciate having the opportunity to select gadgets and gadget accessories that are more sustainable in their approach. That’s where the Lap Log …

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December 20, 2011 • News

mGifts Organizes Your Last-Minute Shopping Frenzy

Let’s say that you’re the type of individual who likes to wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping (in other words, there’s a strong chance you’re a guy). Or maybe for you, it’s just not the holiday season unless you find yourself in a crowded shopping mall, just a few days before …

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November 14, 2011 • Reviews

Review: mSecure 3.0 Password Protection

I have been using the same password protection program for quite a few years. I’ve thought about switching on a number of occasions, but it’s always is too much of a hassle, or the software that interests me isn’t available on enough platforms. So when I was recently offered an opportunity to review mSeven Software’s …

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November 7, 2011 • Gear Bits

Quick Impressions: Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Speeds

As a small town guy living in the Chicago area, there are a lot times when I get frustrated with the traffic, the density, and the general inconveniences that are necessarily associated with urban living. Then again, there are times like today, when I’m happy to be living in one of the larger metropolitan areas …

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October 14, 2011 • Gear Bits

AT&T Lets Us Down Again

Ah, AT&T. So, I’m sitting here staring at my shiny new iPhone 4S. It’s unusable right now, thanks to AT&T’s lack of preparedness. They’ve had several years to figure out how to handle the spike in the load on their servers that accompanies the launch of a new iPhone model. Yet they still manage to …

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September 17, 2011 • News

mSecure 3.0 Puts a Blowfish in the Cloud

Largely because I tend to switch devices and platforms regularly, I keep coming back to the same password manager – who for now shall remain nameless – because it is available for Blackberry, Android, and iOS devices, as well as having desktop applications for both Windows and Mac OSX. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing …

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June 20, 2011 • News

Shine a Light on It with iShuttr

Okay, we all know and recognize that the cameras built into our phones are not the best around. Could we do better with a dedicated point-and-shoot? Sure. How about a full-blown SLR? Yeah, of course, stupid question. But the reality is that we use the cameras that are included with our phones because they are …

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May 19, 2011 • News Helps You, uh, Walk off into the Sunset

We here at Gear Diary thought we’d make you aware of a way to rid yourself of technology; automotive technology, that is. Old, unwanted automotive technology, of course. (You don’t really think a site called GEAR DIARY is going to encourage you to dump your technology and go all monk-like, do you?) If you have …

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April 7, 2011 • News

MLB At Bat 2011 Review Featured at AlliOSNews

Our friend Clinton Fitch of and AlliOSNews is a big baseball fan. And big fans need robust apps like MLB At Bat 2011 for iPad.  It was actually one of Clinton’s past reviews of this app that caused me to purchase it last year and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Now, as you read his …

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April 4, 2011 • News

NewerTech Helps You Tear Apart Your iPhone Properly

I’m not really one of those guys who likes to take apart my electronics to change, alter, or fix things. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things around my house on which I like to work, but electronics, no. So, I’m somewhat in awe of the folks who are willing to do such …

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