Misc Gear

The Purse Hook Review

When I was in college, one of my sorority sisters had a saying that went “Purse on the floor, always poor.” While I used to snicker every time I heard her say that, I just loathed setting my bag any place on the floor where it could be easily kicked, stolen, or worse. I’ll never forget the time that my brand new Louis Vuitton Ellipse sat steeping in a puddle of water on a restaurant’s seemingly clean floor before I realized what was happening. Even though it was just water and my purse dried without any problems (or ugly stains),…


The Sony Reader Review

If you read my intro to eBooks, you’ll know that I’m a big eBook fan. So I was really excited to get a look at the new Sony Reader, a dedicated eBook reader that uses the (new! revolutionary!) e-ink technology. Look, I don’t know how revolutionary the e-ink technology is, honestly. I’ve been in the online doc game for a long time, and I’ve heard proselytizers try to sell me on e-ink, and I’ve never been very convinced. Maybe sometime, when they’ve got it working in color, and they’ve gotten it to be a little brighter, and you can use…


The Digital Innovations airDr. Air Blaster CO2 Review

I’ve mentioned before what a problem dust can be in my workspace, and nothing aggravates me more than watching it try to settle into the crevices of my keyboard. One of ways I regularly combat this unwelcome desktop addition is by blasting it with compressed air. When the folks at CO2 asked if we would be interested in taking a look at some of the items on their site, for obvious reasons the Digital Innovations was one of my first choices.


The NeatReceipts Scanalizer Review

Besides rearing three rowdy (I mean precious) children, I am an independent contractor. What does that mean? I fat-finger expenses into Microsoft Excel and store piles of receipts, reports, business cards, and 1099s, just so I can claim my earnings/losses.At the beginning of each year, I start formulating my spreadsheet and calculate my profit/gains. If I need to recall a paycheck, I just quickly reference my spreadsheet. But, if I need the actual receipt, I gotta dig through piles of paper. To make my life easier, Judie discovered the NeatReceipts Scanalizer while attending Showstoppers at CES, and passed it my…


The Mathmos Thaw Review

When I heard about fire and ice coexisting together in the form of the Thaw made by Mathmos and sold by ThinkGeek, I was very curious as to what really goes on inside the shiny silver casing of the Thaw. Up until now, I never heard of putting fire and ice together in any form. I though to myself that the fire will most certainly melt the ice right away. Well, turns out that I am wrong in thinking that, as a search of the Internet turns up lots of details of people making ice candles and they appear to…


The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet Review

The Nokia N800 has been introduced at CES and all of the talk on the Linux based device websites has been about this new device. While I don’t have a N800 yet, I do have a Nokia 770 Internet Tablet and Judie has asked me to write my thoughts about it for Gear Diary. I want to thank Judie for the opportunity to share what is so great about this platform. The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet is the one that started it all for Nokia in a space that has all but dried up for Pocket PC and Palm based…


The Presto Service and HP Printing Mailbox Review – Part Two

[Ed. note: This is the follow up to Part One of my review on the HP Printing Mailbox and Presto Service, which can be read here.] Shortly after Christmas, the large box containing the HP Printing Mailbox made its way from Texas to Florida. Once it had shown up at Papa’s, his step-son Rand unpacked it, unwrapped it, and got it hooked up. According to Rand, the entire process took less than ten minutes. At the scheduled time Papa received his first Presto email…


IXT Systems Karaoke Microphone Review

Many of the cheaper DVD players these days include inputs on the front panel for connecting microphones for karaoke. More expensive DVD players however typically don’t include such functionality, and that?s where a company called IXT Systems has stepped in to bridge the gap. They have produced a microphone designed to integrate with any DVD Player to turn it into a full-blown karaoke machine. The microphone comes in a coloured retail box showing pictures of the microphone, and descriptions of what it can do. They definitely didn?t skimp on the package, and it comes across as a quality product. Also…


The Presto Service and HP Printing Mailbox Review – Part One

My ex’s grandfather is 88 years old. Papa, as we call him, was stationed in Pearl Harbor and Saipan during World War II, and to this day he won’t ride a plane because of experiences during the war. This means that he doesn’t travel anywhere unless it is accessible by car or rail. Papa has three children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, and they live in various places around the country. He does not have a computer and to the best of my knowledge has never expressed interest in owning one. But by not having one, Papa has missed out…


Guard Against Fraud With the ID Vault

Many people are?getting down to crunch time this gift-giving season, and it is easy to imagine that in the midst of all?of the legitimate purchases, there will be more than a few that are fraudulent.? If you are like me, then you like to do as much of your purchasing online as is possible, and you are probably aware that online fraud is rampant. Between the phishing scams and the outright stolen account numbers and passwords, shopping online can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the solutions being bandied around by credit card companies and banks…


The Brando 1GB USB Flash Card Review

Some days it seems as if I have seen just about every form a USB flash memory device could take, but every now and then a product will come along and make me think “hey, that was a great idea!” The Brando USB Flash Card is just such an item. Measuring 3.4″ long x 2.1″ wide x 0.15″ thick, the USB Flash Card is the exact size of a credit card, and the approximate thickness of three. The USB Flash Card is available in 1GB size, and unlike the Walletex memory card I reviewed last year, it does not have…


The Vaja MiniSD x2 Case Review

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of reviewing a Vaja case for my O2 XDA Atom. As we often do, Judie and I were chatting online about Vaja’s cases, and she described them as “yummy” when it came to their deep leather scent. I laughed this off, but after experiencing their case’s wonderful aroma for myself, I can tell you that they indeed do smell yummy! It goes beyond the scent, though. These cases are just outstanding and really are a wonderful way to luxuriously protect your PDA, phone, or MP3 Player. Enamored by the scent and the…


The High-Powered Green Laser 10mW Review

[Ed. Note: If you have one, be responsible when you play with your laser.] Powerful lasers, a thing that only used to be found in sci-fi movies and TV shows and in the arsenal of the military. Who would have known that in the early 21st century that ordinary citizens would be able to buy pocket sized powerful lasers capable of burning things and throwing a visible beam for great distances. Yes, the day has arrived that anyone can buy such lasers from internet vendors and have them delivered to your door. For almost a year I have been lusting…


The SkinIt Review

Not long ago I was asked if I would like to try SkinIt, a protective and colorful way to personalize many popular consumer electronic items with custom vinyl overlays. Of course I wanted to give them a try, but the art choices were almost overwhelming…and then there was the decision of which gadgets to skin. SkinIt makes overlays for mobile phones, digital musical players, laptops, gaming devices, and various other gear. In the end, I wound up choosing the Asterisk skin, and I included a .jpg of the Gear Diary logo to get a SkinIt custom design; a week or…


The Sumo Lounge Omni Review

Furniture doesn’t evolve. A couch is a couch, a chair is a chair, and that’s it. The chairs of 2015 won’t be more technologically advanced than those of today. By default, furniture is basic, and often serves one purpose. A seat is for sitting, a desk is for working, and that’s the end of it. But that doesn’t mean that this paradigm can’t be changed. A relatively new company that goes by the name of Omni has created a product – let’s call it a piece of furniture – that changes shape and usage as much as you change your…


The Datexx Sentina Outback Rechargeable PowerBank Review

I’m always looking for alternative sources of power for my electronic devices, which is why the Datexx Sentina Outback Rechargeable PowerBank caught my eye. Billed as a super bright LED flashlight, a motion detector / emergency light, a USB charger for electronic gadgets, a power generator, and an SOS siren, the Outback almost sounds like it tries to take on too many properties, a “jack of all trades” if you will. Let’s take a look and see if this device lives up to its billing, or if as the famous other half of the “jack of all trades” saying goes,…


The Vaja Motorola Q Classic MO111 Case Review

The Motorola Q is a very thin, yet wider than usual Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone which was designed to be held to the user’s face when making calls. It also sports a full QWERTY keyboard for thumb-typing and a bright 2″ wide x 1.5″ tall screen. Making a case that would keep the screen from being unnecessarily scratched, protect the majority of the device’s plastic body, and yet allow unfettered access to the keyboard and other ports was the challenge. If anyone could rise to the occasion it would be Vaja; read on to see how they did… There are…


Hello World…

I have had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child. One of my earliest gadget memories was a Christmas when I was given yet another doll, and my brother got the coolest toy robot in the world. It didn’t take me too long to convince him that he wanted to trade…really!

And thus, the monster was born.

I never expected to become a prolific writer, it just kind of happened. I got my start in late 1999 after answering a software reviewer request at the now defunct smaller.com. By mid 2000 I knew that I wanted my reviews to focus not only on software, but also on the PDA hardware which I found so fascinating.

I soon