Computer Gear

JetPens.com’s Kaweco AC Sport Carbon Fountain Pen Review

In a world obsessed with texting and emails, it’s so very refreshing for me to be able to put away my electronic devices and use something that doesn’t require electricity to convey thought. Oh there are No. 2 pencils, mass-produced and disposable pens galore that I’ve used over the course of my lifetime, but for me the ultimate tool for fine writing is the venerable fountain pen. Directly descended from the first simple cut reed pens and bird feather quills…


Twelve South’s BackPack Shelf for iMac and Apple Displays Gets Refresh and Redesign

Twelve South’s very first Apple-only accessory was the BackPack Shelf for the iMac and pole Display. It is one of those small, unassuming accessories that you might not necessarily NEED, but you can’t do without once you start using it. Now they have gone and made three different enhancements to it. As they note, Three years after Twelve South released BackPack, its very first product, the company unveils an elevated new version of the tiny shelf with three major enhancements….


Satechi 12 Port USB Hub with Power Adapter and 2 Controls Review

When I was using a desktop, I was able to set things up just the way I liked… and leave them that way. I used one of the USB ports on my iMac for an iOS 30-pin cable, one for a printer, one for a high quality microphone and one for a USB hub. That hub connected to a scanner and other assorted devices. Now that I am back to using a laptop as my main… in fact my only……


Rokform Rokstand v1 Desktop Stand Review

There are iPhone and iPad stands, and then THERE ARE iPad and iPhone stands! ApexCarbon was kind enough to send us a RockForm RockStand for review and giveaway and it is, in a word, impressive. Yes, this desktop stand is more than a stand for your iOS device. It is an attention-grabbing sculpture, a conversation starter and, in a word, a piece of art. It is sure to quickly become a favorite. Perhaps best of all, it is also a…


Desktop USB Fundue Set from ThinkGeek.com – You Can Fondue It

I occasionally wonder why they even bother to manufacture new fondue sets. Considering the number of folks who bought one of these contraptions in the late 1970’s to melt cheese or chocolate so that they could dip bread or cheesecake chunks in them, I imagine that there are thousands of these things tucked away in garages and attics all over the country. (Including mine. Don’t judge. It seemed like a good idea at the time.) Perhaps due to the sensual…


Jabra Supreme UC Bluetooth Headset and USB Adapter Review

We took a look at the Jabra Supreme headset back in October. (Read the review.) It was an impressive Bluetooth headset; it offered active noise cancellation, and the headset was designed for noisy environments. The active noise cancellation cut through much of the ambient noise and allowed for clear conversations on both sides. Sure, the active noise cancellation created a funky feeling in the ear, but the pay off was clear, clean, crisp phone calls. Also impressive was the actual…


Element Case Vapor Dock review

Does your iPhone NEED a dock? The short answer is, “No. No, you don’t need a dock for your iPhone.” After all, you can simply attach the sync/charge cable to it and you will be good to go. From there, your iPhone will charge or sync and be ready to go when you are. It will also get buried under papers, be crushed under the box that just came and crash to the ground when you go to grab something…


StarTech’s New USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station

If you build computers or do any maintenance on computers or just want a quick way to offload the data off of an old hard drive, then StarTech.com has a new solution for you.  Their new HDD docking station supports 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch SATA or IDE hard disks and connects to your computer with the faster USB 3.0 standard.  It’s supported on pretty much every OS out there as well.  The dock will allow you to: Connect a…


GoFlex Satellite Drive Firmware Update Arriving March 19th

At CES this past January, Judie and I had a chance to meet with Seagate and see their new and updated offerings. We saw, and later reviewed, their GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter. It is now a key part of my iMac setup. We also learned about a coming update to the GoFlex Satellite drive we had reviewed previously. As we wrote at the time, We were glad to see that an update is on the way, and that it will bring…


The Startech USB 3.0/eSATA Quad Bay Docking Station Review

  Image courtesy of StarTech Those of us in the IT business know that you simply can’t have enough tools to get the job done. Anything to make life easier, and give you more time to for other things is usually worth it’s weight in gold. StarTech makes some of the coolest and hard to find computing equipment on the market. Almost everything I have used from them works exactly as they said it would and stands up to the…


ioSafe Shocks Us Again at CES 2012

  ioSafe is known for keeping your data SAFE. How safe? Well, first we took the initiative to burn and water-soak a drive, and the data was still recoverable. Then, starting with CES 2010, ioSafe decided to show everyone that their drives are capable of withstanding burning, soaking, dropping, and crushing. In 2011, we upped the ante again and took shots (yes, using a gun) at an ioSafe drive, and the data saved on the ioSafe drive came out unscathed. Well,…


Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter Speed Comparison with USB 2.0

We told you about Seagate’s new Thunderbolt adapters last week. Yes, we are finally seeing products come to market that take advantage of the speed increases offered by Thunderbolt. But how fast IS Thunderbolt? Sure you can see lab testing but that doesn’t necessarily tell you about using it at home or work. We shot a video of moving 2.5GB of data from a MacBook air to an external drive using both USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt. This is a normal…


The Drobo Data Storage System Review

Last fall I applied for and received a grant that will allow my synagogue to build a new technology lab. Within the next few months we will have a number of iMac desktop computers and a host of iPads being used by our kids and adults alike. In fact, I’m working on a special tutorial program for students becoming bar and bat mitzvah that will run on the iPad. It uses the awesome iOS application MentalCase. More on that at…


Disassemble Your Tech Gear with the iFixit Pro Tech Base Toolkit

 I have a confession to make. I love to take things apart. Back when I was a kid I had a super-sweet Milton Bradley Star Bird toy, an early electronic noisemaker with revving engines and laser blasts. In the course of kid play, something inside broke loose and rattled around, driving me nuts. Spaceships off to do ground assault ought not to have a broken piece giving away their stealth attack so I, being young and adventuresome, decided to put…


Andrea SuperBeam Phones SB-405 Stereo Headset Review

If you are into voice recognition, then you need to have a good microphone. It’s a basic fact of life. Yes, you can use the built-in microphone on the MacBook Air (for example), and you’ll probably get good results. But if you want great results you’ll need something that’s going to help filter out the background noise; that means a good headset. Among the issues with such headsets? The best of them have boom microphones that make you look like…


What’s ioSafe Planning for CES 2012? We Don’t Know but it is Gonna be Awesome!

  ioSafe is at it again and this time they are looking to outdo themselves. (At least, we sure hope they are!) To recap our experiences with data-storage dynamos ioSafe… At CES 2010 ioSafe fried, soaked, dropped and crushed one of their rugged hard drives. As you can see, it was awesome. At CES 2011 ioSafe sought to outdo themselves when they took their new portable drive for a drag behind a car and then let us all take turns…


Storage Review: The Synology DS211+, A Pint Sized 2-Bay NAS with some Really Big Features

Image courtesy of Synology You can’t be too cautious these days about backing up your data. Time and time again friends, family and co-workers come to me about trying to recover pictures, music and documents on a failed or virus ridden drive. Some even have their small business data lost when the main computer goes down. My first advice to anyone is that they should get themselves some sort of backup device, whether it be Desktop Attached Storage or Network…


Livescribe Issues Mac OS X ‘Lion’ Compatibility Warning – Don’t Upgrade Yet!

If you depend on Livescribe Desktop on your Mac from day to day, they have some advice: don’t upgrade to Lion … yet! Here is what they are saying: Livescribe Software Notice Regarding Mac OS X Lion The current version of Livescribe Desktop 2.7.2 is not completely compatible with Apple’s new Mac OS upgrade (Lion) that will be available to the public this month. We are working hard to complete an update to the Livescribe Desktop that will address this…


iPhone Accessory Review: WOW-keys Keyboard for Mac, PC, iPhone and iPod touch

For the last few months my MacBook Air has been my main computer. It works quite well for me and, thanks to the large solid-state drive and the ability to connect it to a larger monitor, it serves as a desktop computing platform quite well. When I do connect it to a larger monitor, I like to have a separate keyboard and mouse so that I don’t have to worry about the placement of the laptop itself. Until now that…


Review: Samson Meteor Mic

About two weeks ago Thomas mentioned a brand-new microphone that was about to be released, the Sampson Meteor Mic. He told me that it not only had a great look to it but that all reports indicated it worked beautifully. It was small, easily transportable thanks to its fold up design, and it looked pretty cool. Most importantly it apparently offered excellent sound quality. I told him I’d have to look into it. I was fortunate enough to have a…


Review: Seagate GoFlex Slim Performance Drive

Judie’s and my first meeting at CES 2011 was with Seagate. (We posted about it here.) Toward the end of the visit we came upon a hard drive that was as stylish as it was function. At the time all we were allowed to write about it was this: Concept drive – We also saw a drive that is not yet named but will be out late spring (pictured above). The concept drive is super thin and will be $99.99…