Articles by Travis Ehrlich

Review: GlowCrazy Glow-In-The-Dark Fun

Despite being a gear geek, I still want my kids to have activities for inside that are not on a television or video game system.  In their life, most of what they know come either of those ways.  We do play with Lego toys, slot car tracks and board games, but those get old to the boys.  What we need is something unique that seems magic.  Enter GlowCrazy which happens to be both unique and does seem like magic.  The good folks at GlowCrazy sent me and my boys a sample for review.  My boys play hard and are self…


Video Exclusive: ioSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive Given a Hard Time!

We just posted the release of ioSafe’s newest hard drive product right here.  Just like last year, Dan, Judie and Larry were able to see the ioSafe perform in person.  Last year, the demo showed how well their products stand up to fire which was right up Larry’s alley.  This year they dragged one behind a van then shot it!  To make it even better, the Gear Diary editors get to take the shots!!!  Of course, I am saying Judie and Kevin took the best shots since they are fellow Texans and all.  Watch the video and I promise you…


Astraware and Digital Eel launch Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space on the iPad

Along with all of the gadgets at CES, some new games are also being released this week.  Astraware has just released a new iPad game, Weird Worlds:  Return To Infinite Space.  This is the iPad take on the Mac/PC game of the same name.  The iPad seems like a great platform to engage in space combat.  Here is the complete release from Astraware.  Watch soon for a full review. Astraware and Digital Eel launch Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space on the iPad Staffordshire, UK – January 5th 2011 – Astraware® is excited to announce it’s going to be a…


ToonCamera for iPhone/Touch Review

The iPhone 4 has a really good camera and it shoots HD video.  I have come to be pretty dependent on the phone as a camera device as well as my only video device.  I have collected quite an array of camera and video apps.  In fact, I have started my third folder full of photography apps.  One problem with these apps is that they rarely qualify in price for the Blue Plate Special.  I recently came across ToonCamera which happens to be a simple, yet fun app for both video and photos.  Let’s take a look. ToonCamera is exactly…


iPad Accessory Review: EFO iPad Bluetooth Keyboard with Folding Case

One of my favorite gadgets of not only this year, but also all time is the iPad.  The hardware is elegant and the technology is amazing and cutting edge.  There are some limitations or concessions that must be made using the iPad instead of a conventional computer.  One of the main changes is the use of the software keyboard.  We have all learned to use software keyboards and I actually prefer them on a phone.  The iPad is somewhat different since it is able to be used for tasks commonly performed on a laptop or desktop computer.  Several options are…


Wingnuts MotoChaser for iPhone/Touch Review

We are coming back from my first layoff of the Blue Plate Special since the series began.  Last week the football team I coach for in Texas played for and won the State Championship.  The week was so hectic that I just could not get around to finding apps or writing for that matter.  We have this week off for a much needed Christmas break so I already decided this week’s selection would be a game.  The players and coaches all need some down time to relax and reflect on winning our school’s first state championship.  The selection this week…


Review: BodyGuardz Dry Apply Protector For iPhone 4

Let’s face it, today’s devices are expensive and beautiful.  Unfortunately their function and uses makes it difficult to keep them looking as shiny as they were right out of the box.  It is always so disheartening when the dreaded scratch shows up on the beautiful screen of a device.  There are many ways to protect these works of beauty and a leading product is the clear protector.  They provide scratch protection while not adding bulk or changing the appearance.  There are many brands and kinds of clear protectors, but BodyGuardz has proven to be one of the leaders in the…


Dizzypad-Frog Jump Fun for iPhone/Touch Review

It seems that most of my Blue Plate Specials as well as other games I purchase are puzzle games.  When I am not playing puzzle games, they are often racing or shooting games and almost always contain insane graphics and loud explosions.  Very seldom does a cute game catch my eye.  I saw that Dizzypad was on sale for free and thought it looked interesting, so I downloaded.  To my surprise, I was instantly hooked.  Let’s take a look. Escape into your own tranquil pond to see how far you can jump your dizzy frog from pad to spinning pad….


App Update: Amplitube 2 For iPhone

I recently reviewed the Amplitube application along with the iRig hardware.  Check out the full review here.  The Amplitube app is a robust guitar effects studio used on IOS devices.  Version 2 has just been released and adds some exciting functionality to an already great app.  The ability to use my iPhone or iPad while playing the guitar has been a wonderful experience.  I can play privately in my home without annoying my family with the loud music and am totally mobile.  If I wanted to play silently in the past, I had to connect headphones to my amplifier which…


Flight Control for iPhone/Touch Review

The addition of GameCenter on my iPhone has definitely sold me on several games.  Casual and puzzle games seem to be much more enjoyable when I get to compare my friend’s scores and talk a little trash (or hear some).  It seems like the most enjoyable of these games are puzzle style games that can be open ended.  The latest games my friends and I have been locking horns with is Flight Control.  The game is super addictive and will become surprisingly competitive. Flight Control is a line drawing game that is simple to play, but will prove to be…


Review: Monsoon Vulkano Deluxe Pro

I spent a large portion of the summer building a nice deck just outside my back door.  Once it was finished we would sit out there under the bright Texas stars and I would tell my wife I needed a way to watch sports out there.  My WiFi is full strength on the deck, but I could rarely watch live sporting events.  If only I could watch on my iPad or iPhone or even laptop.  Enter the Monsoon Vulkano to grant my wish!  The Vulkano sports technology for TV placeshifting, digital video recording, internet video playback, universal plug and play…


WordStorm for iPhone/Touch/iPad Review

The other night, my wife said she needed a new game to play on her iPhone.  Being the Blue Plate Special guy, I started spouting off a list of free or cheap games we already owned.  Of course, she said thanks and walked off to find her own application.  I finally noticed that she had been silent for a long while and was affixed on her phone.  She explained that she found a new game that was addicting and challenging and that I could use it in my Blue Plate thingy.  I am a sucker for puzzle style games, especially…


Review: Everki Agile Slim Laptop Bag

I recently found my first laptop bag.  The bag is from an era when laptops were big, bulky and weighed a ton.  Simply being able to carry them made them mobile.  The bag was huge, heavy and had no features.  Today, mobile computing keeps getting smaller.  Full screen laptops are much thinner and netbooks and MacBook Airs seem to be the best way to be on the move.  As our devices shrink, so should the bags we carry them in.  Thinner and lighter have become a must for my gear.  Some of my favorite gear bags come from Everki.  They…


Guitar World Lick of the Day for iPhone/Touch/iPad Review

  Recently, I have reviewed many apps for guitarists.  From tuners, chord libraries, effects, to tableture.  IOS devices have proven to be an exciting platform for musicians.  Virtually any guitar related activity has been available on my devices except a way to improve my playing.  How about I use my iPad and or iPhone to tune up, find my chords, plug in my guitar to get the right sound and then receive lessons?!?!  Agile Partners, developers of several of my favorite musician apps, has just released Lick Of The Day in partnership with Guitar World Magazine.  Through in app purchases,…


Review: Guitar Sidekick For Mobile Devices

If you follow reviews here on Gear Diary, then you have noticed an exciting new trend for guitarists.  A ton of apps have been developed to use while playing the guitar.  Tuners, metronomes, tablature, chord diagrams, effects.  You name it, it can be found on various mobile devices.  As an iPhone user, I have reviewed and been an active user of many of the IOS guitar applications.  Here is the one problem I have found with this new genre of apps:  Where do I hold my iPhone?!?!  I have tried balancing on my knee and setting it on a table…


Review: Charge All Of Your Devices At Once With Arctic C2 USB Charger

I do not know about you, but I have collected quite the array of USB devices.  From iPhones and iPads to battery chargers, it seems that my life is constantly filled with charging via a USB cable.  For a while I did have a wall adapter with a USB port that I could use to charge some devices, but only one at a time, which was not working.  One day, my wife said, “look at all this junk we have sitting here waiting to charge, and you only have one plug?”  After explaining that none of it was junk, I…


Mobile Phone Gear Review: iPazzPort Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard

One reason people tell me they do not choose to use an iPhone is that they would rather have a phone with a hardware keyboard.  Apple, among other companies, have produced Bluetooth keyboards that can be used with iPhones and iPads, but they are almost all full-sized offerings.  EFO Gadget Shop recently sent me the iPazzPort Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard to review with my IOS devices. Lets take a look. The iPazzPort is a Mini Bluetooth wireless keyboard for iPad, iPhone and a host of smartphones including Windows Mobile and Nokia operating systems.  Unfortunately Android is not compatible with this device. …


iPad Bluetooth Keyboard With Folding Leather Protective Case Released

I love my iPad, but have yet to use it for heavy work, including writing my Gear Diary posts.  Typing on the MacBook is just so much faster because of its full-size keyboard.  Later today I will post a review for a credit card size Bluetooth keyboard that works with the iPhone and iPad.  Although that keyboard works really well, I have a hard time using a phone sized qwerty keyboard.  The same company, EFO has recently released an iPad case that contains a full size Bluetooth keyboard.  Now, you can easily carry your iPad, flip it open and type…


Fruit Ninja for iPhone/Touch Review

I have developed a few preferences while gaming on my iPhone.  First, the games have to obviously be fun, but also something I can play in short spurts.  My life has become much too busy to sit around and work through levels and play for long periods of time.  About all the time available now is a minute here or two minutes there.  The IOS as a gaming platform is perfect for these types of games.  Another preference is that the games utilize Game Center.  A group of my football players have began competing pretty heavily with our Game Center…


Release: i-tab Portable Guitar Tab Player Updated

Technology has been wonderful for musicians, especially guitarists.  I know purists think using guitar tableture is cheating, but those of us who are without formal training, tabs are how we learn new songs.  Many years ago when we were poor college students, my wife found a huge folder of tabs I had printed and put them by category in a big binder for me so I could easily find any songs I wanted to play.  Many devices, including the iPhone and iPad, allow players to read tabs, but sometimes it is difficult to read them or scroll through the song. …


Review: Arctic K381 Slim Keyboard For Windows

Our school finally recently replaced the teacher workstation computers with updated machines running Windows 7.  One thing they did not replace was the old keyboards.  I am not sure how old the keyboard I had was, but it was enormous.  I remember a few years ago when keyboard seemed to have the bigger is better phase and this was a remnant from that era.  The keyboard was so high that I had to use a wrist pad to raise my hands up to even use it.  I was not a fan of the large spring-loaded keys either.  (I know some…