About MY Gear


HP Omnibook 300 at 20: A Retro Tech Look-Back

As we look forward to new technology, sometimes it is instructive to look back to our favorites. I recently looked at the Iomega Zip Drive, but now I want to highlight one of my all-time favorite laptops: the HP Omnibook 300. This laptop was built by the calculator division rather than the PC division and remains one of the best.


Think Those Pricey Glass Screen Protectors Are a Ripoff? Think Again

Numerous companies now offer tempered glass screen protectors to protect your smartphone or tablet; they’re quite pricey — some may think too pricey. If you are one of them, you may want to reconsider your conclusions after I share my experience. You see, as I went to grab a jacket yesterday afternoon I dropped my iPhone. I NEVER do that…


A Request for Reader Input and Advice Regarding My Gear

Here on Gear Diary we often review new products and, sometimes directly and at other times indirectly, we offer recommendations. This time out, I’m turning to all of you for guidance and input: which laptop I should use on a series of upcoming trips. Here’s background on where things currently stand and what kind of input I am seeking.


Give My Yad a Hand – Technology Meets Tradition

That great source of Jewish knowledge Wikipedia describes a yad (literally “hand”) as “a Jewish ritual pointer, popularly known as a Torah pointer, used by the reader to follow the text during the Torah reading from the parchment Torah scrolls. Yads can be made from silver, wood or any material. Mine, however, is something Moses could never have imagined. Since…


Oh Siri … I Missed You

I had not realized just how much I missed having global voice recognition until I went to Elana’s iPhone 4S while waiting for my iPhone 5S. Some background: I sold my iPhone 5 and had been using Judie’s spare iPhone 4 for the past few weeks. It worked fine, but the 4 doesn’t have Siri or voice recognition. Well, I’m…


The Atari 800XL, My First Computer

Everyone can recall their first car, a first school, and a first phone, but today I am going to reminisce about how I first got started into computing.  In 1986 my brother and I received our first computer as a gift; that computer was the Atari 800XL.  Back then there were many players vying for home computing supremacy.  IBM may…


The iPhone Doldrums – I Think I’m Ready for Something Different

A bit less than two years ago, I excitedly drove to my nearby Verizon store to give up my Motorola Droid and jump ship over to an iPhone 4s. I was sure this would be a great match, and my days of smartphone-hopping were over. And they were, for quite a while. But over time I’ve grown frustrated, and the…


Sony NEX-6 Smart Remote Control in 90 Seconds

I upgraded my camera to the Sony NEX-6 today, and I am already loving it. At $899 for the body and lens kit, the NEX-6 is pricey. But for the size, speed, and image quality — it really can’t be beat. One of the new features on both the NEX-5r and the NEX-6 is built-in WiFi. This lets you add…


Mitchell’s Gear, Spring 2013

  We all have our selection of favorite gear; you know, the equipment we have that we actually keep with us on a regular basis. So spring seemed like a good time to take a renewed look at the gear various members of the GD team actually use. First up — from Gear Diary’s Australian Bureau — Mitchell Oke. My…


Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear

Dunn’s River Falls is awesome, and it is a visit I encourage anyone going to Jamaica to make. There was some gear that made the trip even better, and I thought I might share some of the items; so here’s a rundown of my Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear. Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear #1: Vibram Five Fingers I wanted…


Is Customer Service the Key to Killing Showrooming?

Moving requires Sarah and me to be good little consumers and spend money. It’s inevitable that there are household items that need to be purchased or upgraded, and we have countless lists of “to buy”. We’re trying hard to watch our bottom line, and yes, we’ve definitely engaged in what has been called “showrooming”, or checking out items in a…


Early Thoughts on Ubuntu Touch

At lunch today I was able to load up a version of Ubuntu’s touch based OS on my Asus EeePad Transformer, because I had come across a post on the infamous XDA forums from a hacker who has actually gotten this to work.  Well … it works in that it boots! 🙂  So I decided to try it, just to…


Apple Lightning Connector Broken Inside iPad Mini Port – Eeek!

Have you wondered how well the new Apple Lightning connector might hold up over time? I’ll admit not giving too much thought to it, because I chose to focus on the fact that I could plug the Apple Lightning Connector in from either side — a welcome new convenience from the old 30-pin. So far, I haven’t had any issues…


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…


Tres Generaciones Anejo Tequila, a Taste of Family History

Life is short. I see that all the time in my work, and I have seen it far too often in my own life. Life is too short to fill it with worries about the small stuff, and it is too short to fill it with bad people, bad experiences, bad food or bad drinks. Speaking of drinks; I have…


Garmin ForeRunner 10 Still Going Strong All Winter Long

Since I reviewed the Garmin ForeRunner 10 back in mid-October, the YouTube video has continued gathering comments. So I figured it was time for an update. You can see the Garmin peeking out above between my two thermal-tech layers and gloves. You can even glimpse the toll all of the salting and slush are taking on my beautiful new bright…


How Well Do You Trust Online Reviews?

Image courtesy of XKCD I recently read a very interesting post by Andrew Leonard about online reviews, and attempts by software companies to (as we say in the high tech world) productize them.  The question is valid:  In an online world with an overwhelming wealth of information about almost everything, how do you weigh reviews and make a buying decision?…


Why I love my Samsung ATIV 500T enough to dump the iPad…

When the iPad first came out, I was as stunned and impressed as anyone, and anxious to have one of my own. My wife is largely supportive of my gadget addictions, but regarding the iPad, didn’t understand where it would “fit in” as a necessity when I already had an iPhone, laptop and desktop computer. She didn’t get it, even…


If You Want GOOD Service, Use the Apple Store Instead of Apple Support

Apple has a reputation and standing as one of the best customer support organizations in all of the consumer world. They top the ratings each year; due to their retail stores, the ability to quickly talk to someone knowledgeable has made using Apple products easier than ever for millions of folks. Truth is, in more than 30 years of owning…


Set Top Boxes, a Gear Chat

Over the years writing for Gear Diary, we often have chats behind the scenes about all sorts of issues.  Some are private and will never see the light of day, but many times what is said ends up in a long string of comments that would make a great post.  This one all started by a gift I received from…