Misc Gear

Targus Touch Pen for Windows 8 Review

Let’s face it, most of us who have become adept at using smartphones and tablets have become quite accustomed to using our fingers as the primary input devices. Microsoft took note of this and enveloped Windows 8 in something of a hybrid interface to permit this on touch-capable devices. Right now I’m running Windows 8 Pro on a 16″ Dell…


Starbucks Blond Roast Veranda Blend Is Yummy

I love coffee. When I used to eat ice-cream, coffee was my favorite flavor; by that I mean the coffee ice-cream that really tasted like coffee, not that subtle flavored stuff some brands offer. And when I used to eat cake I loved anything with mocha. And each morning I still brew a pot of coffee in my Cuisinart coffeepot…


Nokia and MakerBot Replicator 2 Shells for the Lumia 820 at MWC

One of the coolest things I saw while at Mobile World Congress was the MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer printing out a plastic shell for the just announced Nokia Lumia 820 (and soon the also just announced Lumia 520).  I had never seen a 3D printer in action, and I found the process fascinating (and mildly hypnotic). When the MakerBot…


Polaris eBike Makes You Go WHOOSH!

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of commuting by bike. It’s not practical for my job, unfortunately, but it just sounds very appealing to combine exercise with commuting — plus it’s far cheaper than using a car. I have a few issues with using a bike as a main vehicle, though: One, I would constantly worry about being sweaty,…


Nifty MiniDrive Kickstarter Project Finally Ships

Judie and I were on the phone together while ordering our 15″ MacBook pro with Retina display laptops, so we could discuss the specific specs we wanted. At the end of the day we both went for the fastest processor (Core i7) and most RAM (16GB) we could get. Judie had just about convinced me to go for the largest…


SanDisk Emphasizes Device Speed at MWC 2013

While at Mobile World Congress, we had a meeting with SanDisk. Going in, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen: would they pull out a bunch of thumb-drives and mini memory cards to show us their latest consumer designs as they had done several years ago? Or would we find something completely new to discuss? As it turned out, my…


Kutsko Cutting Boards Offer Novel Kitchen Solutions

Nate Kutsko is a born problem solver. His day gig is a partner with his father in a handyman service that has earned a reputation for coming into houses and being able to fix just about anything that needs repairing, from plumbing to electrical to woodworking. In his home workshop, Kutsko likes to tinker around with projects, especially with wood….


Kaufmann Mercantile EDC (Everyday Carry) – MacGyver Approved

I was a big fan of the show MacGyver when I was younger. It was amazing to watch as week after week MacGyver would find himself locked in a Siberian prison or similarly nasty situation and save himself and others by turning a dinner tray, a toothpick, a paperclip and some string into a hang glider. Okay, maybe he wasn’t…


FCC Cellular Signal Boosters Certification Specifications Adopted Today

I’ve made no secret of the fact that if it weren’t for the Wilson Electronics AG Pro 75 Celluar Signal Booster, mobile phone service at my house would be pitiful; we would have likely had to incur the (possibly substantial) expense of putting in a landline. I live outside a rural community and in the middle of a ranch; you could…


2014 Kia Sorento Test Drive: Mid-Size SUV Loaded with Luxuries

Last week I joined a group of bloggers and traditional press in Scottsdale, Arizona for a chance to take a test drive and learn more about the 2014 Kia Sorento (SUV)  and Forte (4 door sedan) models. I should probably admit that other than knowing a few people who own or have owned Kia vehicles, I haven’t had much personal experience with the auto…


Everything You Need to Know About Electrostatic Discharge in One Funny Video

Having worked with electronics through instruments companies or the semiconductor industry most of my professional career, I am keenly aware of the potential impact of a minor static shock on electronics. Static is more technically called ‘electrostatic discharge’ or ESD. From my very first job I was introduced to the concept of grounding straps, anti-stat mats, and on and on….


Dorcy LED Headlamp Review

I’ll admit that the first time Kev slipped his headlamp on to go do something outside in the dark, I smirked. Why not just carry a flashlight? Why go out of your way to look like a coal miner or a caver? I’m being facetious, of course. I totally understood why he would want to be able to do things…


Prophet 12 Synthesizer by Dave Smith Introduced at NAMM 2013

One of the first synths I did serious work on was the Prophet 5. That synth was introduced by Sequential Circuits in 1978 as one of the first polyphonic instruments, but the reason it is still popular is the amazing sounds. The Prophet 5 was the brain-child of Sequential Circuits founder Dave Smith. If that name sounds familiar it is…


DryCASE for Smartphones Lets Your Gear Go for a Swim

When we were in Aruba snorkeling, I was able to use a 4th generation iPod touch in a LifeProof case to shoot some under-water video. The experience made me an even stronger believer in the whole LifeProof approach to gear protection. There are, however, times you might want to waterproof your phone or media player, but not have it in a…


Brainwave Controlled Cat Ears and Tail for Those who Really Love Their Pets

  I know a lot of people who totally connect with their household pets.  They can tell me what (they believe) it’s thinking, it’s intentions are, and how it’s feeling today.  Those people will do almost anything for their pets; whether it’s throwing a birthday party, baking homemade treats, or building enormous pet palaces for them to sleep in.  Now,…


Beer Hunter and Drinkmaster Will Keep You Warm and Your Beer Cold

It’s time for slightly embarrassing admissions here at Gear Diary: I can personally vouch that when I was in college (hmmpty-hmmph) years ago, I learned that it is possible to smuggle an entire eight-pack of 8 oz. Little Kings Cream Ales into a movie theater stashed within the various pockets of a denim jacket. I mean, have you seen the…


Just Mobile AluPen Pro Review

As much as I have tried to go paperless, it’s been impossible for me to totally quit writing down shopping lists or jotting quick notes to myself or others. Whether I like it or not, I think I will always need to have a pen handy. Add to that my occasional need for a capacitive stylus — one that will…


No More “Either Paper or Tablet” Decisions Thanks to the New Booqpad mini

Booq has just announced their new Booqpad mini, an iPad case that combines protection for the iPad mini with the tried and true efficiency of paper and pen. As booq explains, the Booqpad mini “allows you to conveniently keep your business cards, stylus, pen, cash and other important documents close to your iPad mini, as well as your important hand-written…


Quirky Ham Radio Gadgets from Yesteryear: The Wouff Hong and the Rettysnitch

Well, the Wouff-Hong is not so much a gadget, but it has been a part of Ham Radio lore since 1930’s.  What is a Wouff Hong?  According to 1930 edition of The Radio Amateur’s Handbook: The Wouff-Hong is amateur radio’s most sacred symbol and stands for the enforcement of law and order in amateur operation. The story goes that T.O.M….


The Good and Bad of HDMI Switching

This holiday season was the season my family finally made the jump to HD TV.  I absolutely love HD TV, and I am really looking forward to watching NASCAR and actually being able to read the tickers!  As result of getting the TV, I ended up receiving or giving products that needed an HDMI connection to the TV.  We got…


The Tricorder Could Be Just Around the Corner

I love Star Trek.  One of the things I like the best about Star Trek is the gadgets, and the gadget I have always thought was the coolest was the Tricorder.  There were, of course, two different Tricorders.  One was used to look at items in the environment to get away teams the info they needed to find people, to…