About MY Gear


Life on iOS, 4 Months Later

(yes, I am very obsessive about keeping all my apps neatly in folders.) Recently Thomas commented that he had re-read my “Farewell, Android” post, and he wanted to know if I felt the same way since buying my 4s back in October. At the risk of ruining the surprise, the short answer is “Heck yea!” But that would make this a rather short follow-up, so read on for how life…


Old Cables to the Rescue!

I wrote yesterday about my first impressions of the Case-Mate Phantom for the iPhone 4s, and I pointed out that it was new and therefore in the “new accessory honeymoon phase”. Last night I discovered a potential issue, but luckily for me, the legacy of the original iPhone came to the rescue! See, the original iPhone had a very recessed headphone jack. It fit normal 3.5in headphones, but only if…


What’s Coming to CES 2012 with Judie and Dan?

Well, it is that time of year again. That means CES and our annual “What’s Coming to CES” post. Last year was a bit tricky for me as I was doing CES as part of a SCOTTEVEST No Baggage Challenge for Charity. That meant any and everything I brought needed to be on my person. It was a challenge but it was also rather fun. It didn’t hurt that, due…


Antenna + Roku HD + Netflix = $90 Savings Per Month

I hate bills.  I also hate paying for things I can get for free. I was at Thomas’ house last year just hanging out. We were watching a movie on his Roku box, and I realized that the little box was giving him everything that I watch on TV except for local channels. That was the beginning of my quest to get rid of my cable bill. At first I…


Starbucks + K-Cups = Coffee Nirvana

I know it may sound like heresy but I’m not a fan of Starbuck’s coffee. That’s right, I’m more a Dunking’ Donuts kind of guy. Lately, however, I’ve been drinking a lot of Starbuck’s coffee and really enjoying it. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me step back a bit and explain. If you are going to take blogging seriously, especially if, as is the case with all of…


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 in the country because we tend to be among the first to get new technologies,…



How a $91 Metal Detector Saved the Day!

I got a text message from my husband, Kevin, on Tuesday last week, saying that he had lost his wedding ring while working at the ranch. He’d been digging post holes to rebuild a section of fence that had been damaged during our April Fool’s Day fire, and while he was on his knees flinging the final few rocks from inside the hole, his platinum wedding band had flown off. The rock he…


PowerBags to the Rescue

Yesterday we reviewed the PowerBag Messenger, a messenger bag that carries a 6000mAh battery and has internal cabling that makes charging an iOS device, or one that has a mini or microUSB connection simple. Today I got home and shot a video of the backpack version of the PowerBag for the second part in the review. Little did I know how handy both bags would be just hours later. You…


Gear Bag Review: PowerBag Messenger

CES is coming up, and this year we will have the biggest Gear Diary team covering the event ever. Even though CES is more than two months off, it isn’t too early to start thinking about the ins and outs of the week. As we have mentioned previously, one of the biggest challenges at CES is keeping cameras, phones and video recorders charged and usable. The days are long and…


Farewell, Android

As regular readers of Gear Diary may know, I used an original Droid for almost two years. In fact, up until a few months ago, I was totally convinced my next phone would be an Android device. But Android and I had a falling out, and I picked up an iPhone 4s on Friday. Why? And is the learning curve tough? Read on for my thoughts! First, there’s the “why”….


Which iPhone 4S to Buy?

It is a strange irony that is not lost on any of us. The iPhone 4S is announced mid-day on Tuesday, word of Steve Job’s death comes the following evening, and the new iPhone starts pre-orders start at 12:01 AM PST. No doubt some people will suggest it should be delayed. I never had the honor of meeting Jobs, but my guess is he wouldn’t even dignify that with a…


Things That Make You Go “Hmmm”: iPads on Airplanes Edition

I just landed in Boston on my way to Martha’s Vineyard for a wedding tomorrow. Of course I brought my iPad with me. (It’s how I took this picture and wrote this post during a flight that was shorter than the time it took for me to get to the airport and through security.) It was a 38 minute flight. For the first ten minutes I could not use the…


1825 Days Since We Began, and We’re Just Getting Started!

Gear Diary v1.0 circa 2006, courtesy of the WayBack Machine Five years ago, I stepped off a virtual precipice and left the safety of my regular writing gig at The Gadgeteer to start my own personal blog, an idea that was born while riding on the back of an elephant in Thailand. With the help of Joel Evans, formerly of Geek.com and now with CronkSoftware.com, I learned how to work…


I Reviewed It and Still Use It: Flipside 2X Wallet Edition (News, Too!!)

We reviewed the Flipside 2X wallet last fall. It is an unusual wallet that is made from hard plastic, offers limited storage and has RFID shielding so the evil people trying to steal your information right from your credit cards without even touching them. Our conclusion? What I Like: Keeps you organized; keeps cards in place until you want them; opens with the tap of a button; cards slide out…


Soft-Touch Cases and Suntan Lotion Do Not Mix: A Gear Diary PSA

I love a minimalist iPhone case with a soft touch feel. among my favorites are the Feather cases from Incipio. I have one for my iPhone 4 and I also bought one for my iPad 2. They look and feel great. Here’s what Incipio has to say about them: Measuring less than 1mm in thickness, the feather® for iPhone 4 is a slim, form-fitting case that offers low-profile protection. Don’t…


Judie’s Orbino Padova for iPad 2 Has Arrived: Here’s a First Look

With help from Michael Ventre, Orbino’s owner, we ordered a very special Padova case for her iPad 2. Judie’s case is hand-made from crocodile and it is… oh just take a look… You can check out all of Orbino’s cases on the company website. Prices start at $209, and they go up from there … as you’ll see.


The Circle of Technological Life, or, RIP Kindle 1

(while not actually our bedroom, a pretty close approximation) This is the conversation that used to go on in my house a few years ago: Me: Hey Sarah, would you like me to buy you a Kindle? Sarah: No, I don’t need one, look, I have all these books piled up on my nightstand. This is the conversation that went on earlier this year: Me: Hey Sarah, would you like…


Using Technology to Train for My First Triathlon

I am currently in the final weeks training for my first triathlon here in DC on June 19th.  The race lengths are an 800m swim, 20k bike ride, and 7.5k run, mostly along the National Mall.  (Here are more detailed maps of the swim, bike, and run routes.)  What makes this race particularly challenging for me is that when I began my training on March 19th, it was four weeks…


Adventures in Cloud Computing Brought to Me by WildBlue

image courtesy of toothpaste for dinner Cloud computing. It is here. It is powerful. It is growing. It is a good thing? Had you asked me a week ago my answer would have been a resounding “Yes!” A week later, I’m not sure sure. Read on if you care to join me in my wireless nightmare … For many years, Dial-Up was the only way most people could get online…