Misc Gear

7Pipe Pro Review: A Pipe for the Self-Contained Medicinal Smoker

When I was first contacted by 7pipe about reviewing one of their products, I sent an email out to the Gear Diary team asking if any of them could use it; I asked if this might be a product they would be interested in. I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised when no one responded affirmatively. Because I thought the 7pipe to be an interesting piece of engineering, I figured I might as well take a look at it myself. I am not going to call this a full review, because I didn’t actually load the bowl and use…


Battizer Review: Charges your Batteries and Helps Save the Planet

If you’re like me and never replace your batteries until it’s too late, then this product might be for you. If you have kids, lots of remotes, RC cars or anything that takes AAA and AA batteries, then the Battizer could prove to be a great investment. My home theater remotes, thermostat batteries, and Wii controllers are the items which to die at the most inconvenient times., so instead of saving money by going to the Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s and buying a bulk pack of AAs, I usually run to the convenience store and spend $6 on a…


Review: Keurig Elite Brewing System

As a geek and blogger, staying caffeinated is a specialty of mine.  One of my favorite things in the morning is coffee.  However, I am the only coffee drinker in my house.  Making a whole 10 cups when I am only going to drink 1 to 2 cups doesn’t make sense.  That’s where single cup brewing systems come in. I used to have a Black and Decker Home Cafe, but finding the pods it used started to become a problem.  I had heard of Keurig and my friend Linc swears by his so I decided to use some eBay sale proceeds to buy my…


If You Need a Breathalyzer on Your Keyring, It Probably Means You Shouldn’t Be Driving (DUH!)

Judie: I have personally always thought that unless you were buying something like this as a joke, buying a breathalyzer — especially an $11.50 one for your keyring — means you are already going to be drinking too damn much, and someone else needs to drive. 😛 Carly: Agreed…plus Wired did an awesome article on these a month or two ago. Essentially the cheap ones vary so much they are useless. Now that would be a fun chat with a cop. “Honestly, Ocifer, my breathalyzer said I was ooooooookay….!” Judie: Right! I mean, I could see some sleaze at the…


Tech Bloggers Prove Obama Right Within Hours

Image from XARKAGANDA Did you hear? President Obama is threatening to regulate the tech industry in the name of ‘protecting democracy’! President Obama is putting technology on his ‘axis of evil’ list! President Obama is calling all new technology ‘dangerous diversions’! President Obama has declared war on technology! President Obama is warning of ‘iPad Perils’! Actually … none of that stuff is true – but I bet you have read something similar today in a hype-titled post at some tech blog coupled with some out-of-context portion of a speech given by the President to the graduating class of Hampton University….


The Lexar USB JumpDrive Secure II Plus Review

Can you ever have enough memory? These days the answer always seems to be ‘no’. Whether for our computers, our smartphones, external backup drives, camcorders, cameras, digital music players, laptops, netbooks, digital picture frames, or any other device that is meant to hold data, the need for more memory continues to be never-ending. But we don’t just need more memory, we need ways to keep the stored data secure. Which brings us to the Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus, a USB flash drive available in denominations from 2GB all the way to 64GB which has built-in 256-bit AES encryption; I…


40 Ways People Still Use Floppy Disks

Last week Dan relayed the announcement by Sony that they were killing off floppy disk production in his article So Long 3.5? Floppy… We Hardly Remember You Anyhow…, and we all had a good chuckle. But for some folks, using a floppy is part of their daily reality. The BBC brings us a light look at folks still using floppy disks. But while many focus on silly things such as: 15. I buy about 100,000 floppies per year as I have a business that makes them into drinks mats, fridge magnets and toast racks. Ken Pork, London The reality is…


Uniden Wireless Power Charging System Review

Though I’ve never had the opportunity to use a Palm Pre, one thing I know I would like from it is the optional Touchstone charger. The ability to just put down the phone and have it start charging, then pick it up when a you want to use it without having to disconnect cables is a great idea. When I was offered to try Uniden’s new wireless charging system I was looking forward to seeing how handy it really is. The Uniden Wireless Power kit consists of two components: the wireless base, and the adaptors that link the base to…


The Wicked Lasers Blu-Ray Sonar Advanced 100mW Violet Laser Review

I am not sure exactly why, but lasers fascinate me. Maybe I’ve watched too many Jedi movies over the years or maybe it’s a by-product of the times in which I grew up, but lasers, and the idea of what some of them are capable of doing, give me a thrill. Wicked Lasers, a company that was recognized in the 1997 Guinness Book of World Records for producing the world’s most powerful hand-held green laser pointer (they also have a flashlight under consideration for being the brightest and most powerful), has long been synonymous with professional quality, high-powered lasers. These…


The LandAirSea TrackingKey Pro Micro GPS Tracking System Review

I’ve reviewed at least three different GPS Dataloggers.  There were the two loggers from Qstarz which are okay and can perform the function very well, and then there was my favorite logger, the Visiontac VGPS-900.  LandAirSea has brought out one that would probably be much easier to hide than the Qstarz since it is waterproof and has other features I will get to later. The LandAirSea TrackingKey Pro Micro comes with the tracker, a Mini-B USB Cable, the Past-Track Software and a manual. The tracker has only a power button and two LEDs which aren’t very bright.  You could probably stick a…


The Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX Review

You can always get a laptop or a gearbag to handle your larger electronics, but what about the little things — the cables, cords, chargers, memory cards, flash drives, dongles, batteries, and miscellaneous doo-dads — all of the “stuff” that winds up getting lost or forgotten when you’re traveling? Say hello to a possible solution – the Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX, which features “over 15 intelligently organized, flexible spaces hold cords and cables, AC power blocks, adapters, batteries, USB drives, office supplies, even compact cameras and MP3 players.” Similar in style to a zippered binder, the Cable Stable DLX…


The Clipa Instant Handbag Hanger Review

Any time I go out to eat, the first order of business after being seated is finding a safe place to stow my purse. If I’m lucky, I can set my bag on an empty seat next to me; if the seats are large enough, my bag goes right next to me. If there is no better spot to place it, then my bag goes on my lap … and if that’s impractical, my bag goes on the floor. Quelle horreur! Placing my bag on the floor is always accompanied by much anxiety on my part, as restaurant floors can…


Review: World’s Smallest USB 2.0 4-Port Hub

Have you ever actually looked at how many USB devices you own or use?  I recently had this realization while moving my desktop computer set up around.  My mid-2007 Mac Mini does not have near enough ports to connect all of my gear so I have a standard USB hub which is full and only leaves me with one hard to reach port for a drive or other item.  That also led me to realize that my MacBook Pro only has two ports.  Of course, this is not usually a problem except when you need to attach two items and…



The UrbanTrim Squidarella Color Changing Umbrella Review

Although I live in Eldorado, which sits only a few counties away from the ever-creeping-towards-us edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, we have been enjoying the El Niño effect this year, which means a wetter spring than usual. In celebration of our recent (and hopefully continuing) monsoons, I’ve been sporting one of the most unique umbrellas ever seen in Texas or anywhere — the UrbanTrim Squidarella Color Changing Umbrella.


The Wilson Electronics MobilePro Wireless Cellular/PCS Dual-Band 800/1900 MHz Amplifier Review

Many of you know that I live in the country, several miles outside of the thriving metropolis of Eldorado, Texas — population much less than 2000. We have fairly decent EDGE wireless coverage here, but there are areas where the signal typically dips to one bar — and it seems like many of those places are either on the highway between San Angelo and Eldorado or in various spots on the ranch where we typically drive. I took care of our low signal issues at home when I installed the Wi-Ex zBoost, but signal strength in our vehicles has continued…


The Hillcrest Loop Pointer Review: a Mouse for Your TV

It never failed that when someone would visit while I was testing the Hillcrest Loop pointer, they would invariably pick it up and wear it like it was an over-sized bangle — because at first glance, that is exactly what it resembles. But the Loop is much more than just a piece of giant plastic jewelry. The Loop pointer actually got its start as an “iconic concept product to showcase Hillcrest Lab’s Freespace technology and HoME system solutions.” People who saw it liked it, and they wanted one; so Hillcrest, whose primary focus remains “licensing interactive media systems software for…


Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 – Review

A number of years ago I wanted to begin moving toward having a “paperless” life. I was tired of being swamped by piles of paper. It was getting out of control. The first step in my trying to unclutter my life (it is still “in process”) was to purchase a high-speed scanner. I did a good deal of research and eventually ended up with one of Fujitsu’s products, a ScanSnap scanner. It blew me away. It had the ability to handle up to 40-50 pages at a time. It did two-sided scans. It scanned fast, Created high quality scans and…



Super Notebook Stand – Monitor Combi

My man cave/guitar room/sports memorabilia room/computer room is not the largest room in the house.  Last summer we decided to replace a large computer desk with a small one on wheels.  My only problem with new table was finding a place for everything.  I liked the smaller footprint, but needed a way to organize my desk while making it still look good.  One morning on my summer break I headed out the shop and built a small shelf out of some scrap wood.  I painted it black and slapped a couple of Apple stickers on it and had me a…


Hookette with a Twist Purse Hook Review

Photo courtesy of The Purse Hook website Over the past few years, I have fallen in love with higher-end leather goods, specifically pretty (and functional!) purses and bags.  I’ve always been a bit of a purse girl, but I eventually realized that buying one or two nice leather bags a year makes much more sense for me than buying a lot of bags that fall apart on me within 3 to 6 months of carrying them every day.  I started collecting Coach bags one Christmas when I got a particularly nice bonus from work, and it all slid downhill from…