Tips and Tricks


5 Tips All DIY Tech Businesses Need to Prevent Failure

If you haven’t hired an IT team, you’ve got your hands full. If you only hire outside professionals when there’s a problem, you’re spending more money than you realize. Despite the evolution of the internet, Google doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes you need real people to solve your problems.


In an Emergency, Use Siri to Call Poison Control!

Siri (or Cortana, or Ok Google) often get dismissed as gimmicks, or something you use for driving or otherwise using your phone hands free. My wife Sarah, however, can attest to a situation where Siri was an absolute hero for our family — Sarah used Siri to call Poison Control during an emergency!


Skip The iPhone 6 Wait – Order Online and Pick Up at the Apple Store

Do you have an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+ on backorder, but it’s not due for delivery for a week or two? Here’s a secret  – use the Apple website to order  online. When you get to the checkout page use the “Available for pickup” link on the right side to see whether your local Apple store has the device in stock.



How To Fix a Surface RT Touch Cover That Won’t Type

I have a Surface RT, and I recently snapped up a Touch Cover for it when I saw a great deal. It arrived last night, and I was all excited… except that it didn’t work. Well, mouse and volume were responsive but nothing else. I was all set to do a return, until a post at WPCentral solved my problem!


If You Get a Message About Your “Achieve Account” Being Frozen, Ignore It

Multiple news organizations, in this case all the local TV stations in my area, have reported about this mysterious text message saying your “Achieve Account” being frozen. It also has a number that you should not call because it is an attempt to steal your identity; if you get a message similar to the above message, just delete it.



Features You Will Love or Hate in iOS 7

Although there has been no official announcement, Apple will likely release iOS 7, the next generation of their mobile operating system, next month. It is the biggest overhaul to the OS since its introduction, and while visual differences will draw most of the attention the changes that are less apparent are the ones people will truly love… Or hate. I’ve…



Turn Off iMessage Before Switching Away from iOS

I ordered a new Lumia 928 yesterday, and am anxiously awaiting a shipping notification from Verizon. In the meantime, I am beginning to research this huge leap into a whole new platform. Microsoft has a very helpful website that gives you an idea of how to transfer your calendar, contacts, and email, as well as answers some frequently asked questions….


My Roku 3 Remote Saves the Day!

Gadgets have become packed with more and more features, many of which we end up forgetting about or just never use. When the Roku 3 was announced, we had an internal discussion at Gear Diary about how the headphone jack in the remote was a useless feature — who would hook up headphones to a remote to watch TV, when…


How to Remove Gum from a Smartphone Screen

I am the go-to person among my friends and family with smartphone troubleshooting questions. Last night was definitely a first, though, as someone (who has requested to remain anonymous) managed to stick their iPhone in a pocket with a piece of used chewing gum. The result was a sticky mess all over the iPhone screen, but with some quick searching…


Activating and Using Parental Controls in iOS

It never ceases to amaze me how easily small children can grasp how to use an iPhone or iPad. This past weekend I watched my 18 month old nephew play with an iPhone, and he already knew how to flip through pictures (and stop and admire the ones of himself, of course.) But all this computer savvy from young kids…


The Importance of Reading Customer Reviews

Sarah and I are staying with my parents temporarily, and overall it is working out well. However, there is one issue that makes life difficult: the WiFi reception in my parents’ home is terrible. The router sits all the way on one side of the house, and picking up signal in our room (downstairs and on the opposite end) is…



When It Comes to Streaming Movie Purchases; Measure Twice, Cut Once

My father-in-law Mark is a contractor (yup, he is a Jewish carpenter) and he lives by the maxim “Measure Twice, Cut Once”. After all, once you cut a board there is no going back so it makes sense to double-check the before you saw. It is good advice when cutting wood, but it also applies if you have a subscription…


Quick Tip: Transcribe Audio and Video for FREE

Have you ever had a YouTube video or audio segment you wanted to transcribe but didn’t have the patience to sit and manually type out what the speaker/s said? I ran into just such a situation yesterday and, instead of it taking hours for me to listen, pause, type, listen, pause, type etc I was able to transcribe the two…


Antenna + Roku HD + Netflix = $90 Savings Per Month

I hate bills.  I also hate paying for things I can get for free. I was at Thomas’ house last year just hanging out. We were watching a movie on his Roku box, and I realized that the little box was giving him everything that I watch on TV except for local channels. That was the beginning of my quest…


Evernote Essentials Extra: Howdy Neighbor

As much as I “harshed” on Evernote last week after they released two ridiculous iPhone apps the service remains a key part of every aspect of my life. I’ve also turned countless people onto Evernote, and many find it invaluable as well. Others however, underutilize the service and, as a result, don’t see what the big deal is. That’s where Evernote…


WiFi Sync your iPhone and iPad using Personal Hotspot

One of the coolest features in iOS 5 WiFi syncing, which I now use far more often than USB syncing. Being able to hit “Sync” on my MacBook for my iPad while it’s still in my bag (it only needs charging every few days) makes me giggle every time I do it. It’s just so simple, and works so effectively…