Misc Gear

The Wizcom Readingpen TS Reviewed; It Helps With The Hard Words

About a month ago, we were sent the Wizcom Readingpen TS to review. With two middle school children I had some curiosity about how it might help them read easier. The concept of the pen is simple – scan across a word or sentence. The pen converts the  information to spoken words  and if needed provides the definition, synonyms and Spanish version of the word. This is useful for anyone…


Is GPS Becoming Information Overload?

Do you have a GPS in your car? I do, and sometimes it gets to be too much in traffic; between stop and go, lights, construction, and the sound of my GPS droning away, it can become a bit overwhelming. I’ve even been known to threaten to throw the yappy thing out the window a few times when it all becomes too much. According to a Tech.view column in the…


Review: Gboard, Gmail at lightening fast speeds

I recently made the move to making G-Mail my full time e-mail client.  In conjunction with the move, I also stopped using the Mac OS Mail application and am strictly reading and writing my e-mail via the G-Mail web based client. The transition has take some getting used to.  Reading and writing via the G-Mail site is a different experience than doing so via a regular mail application.  Simply put,…


The UMID mbook Pink Edition for the Impossible-to-buy-for Girly Gadget Girl

You can stop staring now. Sure, the UMID mbook Pink Edition is only a little bit larger than a Nintendo DS, but this dainty morsel is running full Windows XP! I am completely intrigued by the Handheld PC form factor, and I can’t help but be interested. Starting at $449 (including a storage pouch and 4GB microSD), you get five hours of “actual (not theoretical)” use for surfing, editing, emailing,…


iBend iPhone/iPod touch Stand Review

When Larry posted news about the iBend’s release, he hit the nail on the head with regard to the iPhone accessory’s main draw. As he put it “not everything in life has to be fancy”. He was right and no one could say the iBend is fancy. A few months after its initial release however, the iBend did get a bit fancier with the release of their new Artists Series….


The HeadBlade, solving the tough task of head shaving

I’ll just come right out and say it.  Are you balding?  Are you man enough to admit it and instead of trying to cover it up with hair replacement, comb overs or some other method you simply choose to do “manly” thing and just shave it all off? Or could you have a full head of hair but like the clean, smooth look of your bald head?  Are you BBC…


Amber Alert GPS Keeps an Eye on Your Child’s Location

Amber Alert GPS is a tiny matchbox sized GPS device used to track the movement of your child. According to the manufacturer you slip the GPS into your child’s backpack (or other article that stays with them) and can then track their location for up to 24 hours. There’s also several  interesting features like speed, temperature and remote audio monitoring that are offered as well. For the last few weeks…


PowerCurl Keeps MacBook Cords Organized- Review

When this item arrived for review I thought to myself “dump dumb dumb”. I tried it and then thought… “I wish I had thought of that.” Seriously, if you use a Mac this is something that is worth a look past Judie’s initial post announcing that they were being made. So let’s take one…


Oregon Scientific Marathon Walker Measures Your Progress Step By Step

The Marathon Walker from Oregon Scientific is a pedometer that measures the distance (steps or KM/Miles) you walk  or run. Unlike other more basic pedometers the Marathon Walker uses accelerometer technology. This means you’ll obtain a reading whether you clip it to your belt or slip it into a pocket. I’m an avid walker so when the company sent us one to test  I jumped at the chance.


Voiis Stereo Wireless Music Gateway Review

Stereo Bluetooth is a great innovation for the freedom it grants from cables.  I was quite pleased when Apple finally added stereo Bluetooth functionality to the iPhone.  Not that being connected to a headphone cable is a huge problem, but it’s nice to be able to set my iPhone on my desk while listening to music, and still be able to move around my office without needing to pick up the iPhone and carry it…


Walmart Selling Caskets Online

Wal-Mart has started offering caskets and urns at prices that are probably cheaper than what you’d pay at your local funeral home. Online casket sales are not a totally new concept as Amazon offers them and so does Costco. But somehow a Wal-Mart casket seems, well, cheap. Take comfort knowing that you didn’t overpay for Mom or Dad to be laid to rest in a specially designed $999 “Dad Remembered”…


Cordless Charging with the Powermat Wireless Charging System

We’ve mentioned WildCharge – the company that allows you to use inductive charging with nearly any mobile phone or other power hungry gadget – before on Gear Diary, but tonight I realized we hadn’t given any coverage to Powermat, another company with a similar premise (but a better looking design). What premise would that be? Why the one that says plugging your devices in to charge them is so passé;…


Review: Novatel Mifi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot

I get asked an awful lot to name my favorite mobile device.  My answer is usually the same.  Well, I like this device for these things, or another device for those other things, but favorite device really depends upon what you want to do.  I never found a device which was perfect for all things.  Until now. Today, I am ready to name my favorite mobile device, and it is…


Review: Orbit USB iML237

Last year Judie reviewed the Altec Lansing Orbit speaker.  It was a interesting speaker that can be used with any device sporting a normal 3.5 mm headphone jack.  The downside to using such a speaker with a laptop is that the internal sound card in most laptops can be a bit noisy. Altec Lansing recently sent me a sample of their  Orbit USB iML237 speaker. It solves the sound card…


Review: Techlasers Infiniti II 95mW 532nm Green Laser Pointer

Back in late June Judie reviewed the SKYlasers 125mW green laser pointer, providing a fun look at some of the interesting things you can do with a laser such as that. Soon thereafter, TechLasers provided us with one of their 95mW Infinity II 532nm Green Laser Pointers to evaluate for review. Judie also sent me the SKYlasers pointer, so I could do a bit of comparing. I will also attempt…


Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo Review

If you have to send large numbers of snail-mail, a dedicated label printer may be just the thing for you. If you want speed and flexibility in your label printer, then the Dymo 450 Twin Turbo is definitely worth a look. While having a dedicated label printer with two different bays that hold two different sizes and types of labels may sound like overkill, it isn’t. In fact, it makes…


Spyderco Native Pocket Knife Review

Every year my family takes a week long vacation to visit my mother at her cabin in Maine.  We make it a habit of passing through Freeport, Maine on the way up to her house each year.  Freeport is not only is the home of L.L. Bean but it’s also the home to one of my favorite knife shops, the Freeport Knife Co. I am a collector of pocket knives…


Gorillatorch: Coming to a Dark Room Near You

I am a huge fan of the Joby Gorillapod, a fantastically flexible mini tripod.  It is one of my favorite gadgets for my camera.  Well, now the good folks at Joby have brought the latest in the Gorilla line, the Gorillatorch.  This is an ultra-bright light, mounted atop the same three flexible legs as the Gorillapod.  At the end of those legs are magnetic feet, which allow you to position…


Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online – Why You Should Consider It

In 1999, I had Lasik surgery to correct my severe nearsightedness and astigmatism. At that time I was 32 years old, and I had been wearing prescription eyeglasses or contacts since I was 12. I have the ugly yearbook photos to prove it — just ask anyone who went to school with me in Eldorado. 😉 Because of my vision problems, it became a yearly ritual to go to an…


The FroliCat BOLT Automatic Laser Light Review

There aren’t many things more amusing than watching a kitten chase a laser pointer’s dot. Kittties are playful and energetic to begin with, but giving them an impossible to catch “mouse” creates a game which never seems to tire them. My cat Avah is two years old, and while she no longer has quite the playful moves she used to impress me with, she still shows moments of friskiness when…


EasyBloom Plant Sensor Review – Help Your Plants Thrive!

I do not have a green thumb, but through much trial and error over the years I have compiled a list of plants I can keep alive. I have also learned that there are some, that when I see them seemingly thriving and beckoning to me at the store…no matter how good they look, I should just keep on walking. When dealing with indoor plants, I know that I do…