The Gadgets Page

May 17, 2015

One Month with my Apple Watch

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 11:05 am

One Month with my Apple Watch from the Gadgets PageIt has been almost one month since I received my Apple Watch and I would like to give an update. I’ve made no qualms about how disappointed I have been with the watch designers of the world. Nearly ten years ago, I wrote an entry listing the things I wanted.

Here is what I wanted:

  • A beautiful watch
  • Women’s watch
  • Digital
  • Metal case and band
  • Time and Date on the display at the same time
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown Timer
  • Light
  • I would also like Dual Time, but I’m willing to give that up

The Apple Watch has given me all that I asked for (except I opted for the silicone band and am still waiting for third party aluminum bands to make it onto the market). In addition to that, I have had added functionality that I never knew that I would like.

Text Messaging

I adore the messaging features on the Apple Watch. I love that I can easily see my texts and easily answer them. The dictation on the watch is amazing and I hardly ever have to cancel and start over. The silly messaging that only works between Apple Watches hasn’t been useful, but the text messaging has.

Answer the phone

I can LITERALLY answer my phone on my watch. Two days ago, I was sitting outside, reading, and my watch went off saying I had a call. My phone was in the house and I would have never made it in time, but I just answered with my watch and had an entire conversation. It was a phone call that I would have definitely missed had I not had my Apple Watch. I don’t want to talk into my watch all the time like Dick Tracy, but I do enjoy the option when I’m separated from my phone.

Time to stand

One Month with my Apple Watch from the Gadgets PageI LOVE the reminders telling me to stand. I know some people have complained about them, but my job is VERY sedentary. I NEED something to remind me to walk around for a bit so all the blood in my body doesn’t pool in my butt. In the past, I used to have a reminder on my computer, but I would just dismiss it and keep working. On the Apple Watch, there is a circle dedicated to standing every hour. I get a tiny reward every time I do it. Somehow, the goal of closing in that circle is enough to get me to get out of my chair every hour. It’s amazing that it works, but I have been faithfully walking around a little bit every hour.

I LOVE my Apple Watch

All I wanted when I bought the Apple Watch was that customizable watch face that would have whatever I wanted on it. I got that and so much more that other things don’t seem important. That blue watch band? I don’t care what color it is as long as I have this watch. That lack of a metal band? I don’t care as long as I have this watch. I love the fact that I don’t need to wear TWO watches (i.e. a Swatch and a FitBit) anymore. I love the extra features that I didn’t even know I needed. I love my Apple Watch just as much as I love my iPhone.

March 5, 2015

NO, NO! Bad Swatch!! Try Again!

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 12:33 pm

Swatch Touch Zero from The Gadgets PageSwatch made an announcement a few weeks ago saying that they were going to enter the wearable tech market. THIS is what they are releasing.

New Swatch Touch Zero One combines design & cool new Beach Volley functions for players and fans – Step Counter, Power Hits and Power Claps.

So basically, they are giving us an ugly Fitbit Charge.

I am a HUGE fan of Swatch, as I have said in the past, but they have been WASTING their time. Almost TEN years ago, I lamented about the pathetic choice in digital watches and they are STILL blowing it.

Let’s stack it up to my “I Hate The Watch Designers of the World” List: (Continue Reading…)

February 10, 2015

12 Tips for Successful 3D-Printing

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Matthew Strebe @ 7:14 am

MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer at Amazon.comSo you bought a fused form filament (FFF) 3D printer such as a FlashForge or a MakerBot, and your first print turned out great!

But it’s just gone down hill from there, right? Here’s what went wrong and how to get back on track with great prints.

  • A dirty nozzle attracts filament clinging, which ruins prints. Clean your nozzle with acetone if it has accumulated gunk. Learn how to remove your nozzle and clean it by soaking it in acetone (nail polish remover) to remove old printing filament. Use an appropriately sized drill bit (usually 0.4mm) with your fingers to clear the nozzle if necessary.

  • Any dirt, moisture, or oil (such as fingerprints) on the build bed surface will prevent first layer adhesion, which will ruin your prints. Cover the build bed in an even layer of blue painter tape for an absolutely clean surface every time—but don’t touch the tape! In fact, tear off the first foot or so and discard it, because the outside of the roll has collected dirt, moisture, and oils just sitting around. When you apply the tape, touch only the left and right edges, and overlap the build board so you only have clean tape for the build.

  • Print in ABS. ABS has by far the best viscosity and flow characteristics for 3D printing, and low to no smell. PLA is the next best bet. All other plastics, including HIPS, Polystyrene, PVA, and blends are experimental and for those who know how to disassemble and reassemble their extruders only.

  • Use a heated build-bed. If you don’t have one, get one; most 3D printers have them or have an option.

  • Use an enclosed printer. Not only is it safer and quieter, but also keeps the entire chamber warm and prevents drafts from cooling your model unevenly, which can cause curling and warping. Don’t have an enclosure? Print under a clear plastic box.

  • Level your build bed every time. For ABS, the correct nozzle-to-bed thickness is .2mm, the thickness of a piece of regular printer paper. Adjust your printer’s nozzle to bed thickness by putting the paper on the bed moving the nozzle to at least three different points, and adjusting the bed height until they paper can move with resistance between the bed and the paper.

  • Print only one object at a time, in the center of your bed. While your printing software will allow you to build multiple objects at once, it doesn’t save you any time and it dramatically increases the probability that when something goes wrong, it will go very wrong. Printing one object at a time keeps you involved and watching the printer. Heated beds are also cooler towards the edges, making adhesion in those areas trickier.

  • Save large, complex, overnight builds for when you are an expert. These builds have a lot of opportunity for problems, and if they happen while you aren’t around, you could wind up with a clogged nozzle and a difficult extruder repair. Wait until you’ve got 3D printing down pat before you do your 3D print of Rome.

  • Be ready to pluck off any extrusion from the nozzle just before your print. A “snot nosed” extruder at the beginning of a build can drag around plastic and ruin what would have been a great build. As the extruder heats up, it may extrude a little plastic. Be ready to pluck that away with some tweezers before the print starts.

  • Take your printed part off the bed right after its done printing, or reheat the build bed to remove them. It’s much easier to remove a warm item. If you damage the painter’s tape at all while removing an object, take it off, wipe the bed surface with a paper-towel and acetone to clean it, and then re-apply painter’s tape.

  • Configure your printing software to print a “fence” around the first few layers of the print. The fence provides early warning of any adhesion problems and insulates the warm air around the nozzle to keep the first few layers viscous and more likely to adhere. You may also want to look into printing rafts or “mouse-ears” on corners to help them adhere, but I’ve never found that necessary—fences work well and aren’t connected to the object so they don’t require finishing.

  • Watch the first ten layers of your build directly and stop the build if there are any adhesion, curl, movement, or nozzle extrusion problems. These problems will not correct themselves; they’ll accumulate until you clog a nozzle-requiring repair. Once the first ten layers are down correctly and look good, the rest of the print is highly likely to succeed.

The difference between a good printout and something you have to throw away are these few details. When you pay attention to these few details, you can guarantee a good printout every time.

February 6, 2015

Show Me Love Internet Rage

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 12:39 pm

I adore this Coca-Cola commercial about Internet Rage:

I wish that all we had to do was to spill half a bottle of Coke in an ISP provider’s servers to change the hate to love.

February 5, 2015

Sorry, Swatch. Too Little. Too Late.

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 3:45 pm

Sir Swatch from The Gadgets PageThis article about The Swatch Group’s announcement to release a smart watch to compete with the Apple Watch just makes my blood BOIL.

I am a HUGE Swatch fan. I have a ton of Swatch watches and a huge site dedicated to them:

Yet, when that Apple Watch is available for pre-order, I am going to be RIGHT there, refreshing my computer over and over until I can get mine. I have been screaming into the wind for nearly a DECADE about the incredible suckitude of high-end watches.

They did not listen to me TEN years ago when I complained about their watches. They didn’t try to design something prettier than a Casio or more functional than a watch with ONE complication.

Sorry, Swatch. Too little. Too Late.

January 28, 2015

Interstellar Orchard’s Intro to Travel Photography

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 10:55 am

Travel Photography Tips from Interstellar OrchardIf you want to take great pictures when you’re traveling, Interstellar Orchard has some very good tips for you:

I really love how basic she keeps this tutorial. So many tutorials are so complicated that a beginner can’t really understand them. I have been using Photoshop for decades now and some of them are too hard for me to understand. I really like how simple she keeps it!

January 23, 2015

pplkpr: People Keeper Wearable Tech

Filed under: Wearable Tech — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

What if an app could tell you which people you should avoid and which people you should see more often? That is the concept behind pplkpr. It’s an app that works with your smart watch (like the Mio) that monitors your heart rate when you are meeting with friends and gives you feedback.

pplkpr from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo.

My biggest objection to this would be if I had to wear an ADDITIONAL bracelet to get this data, but if it works with a smart watch that I already own, then that would be information that would actually HELP me. I don’t already own a Mio, however, so I can’t test with the heart rate functions. I can, however, manually add the information, so I think I’ll give it a try.

I’m interested to see how this works…

January 20, 2015

Magzter: It’s Great If You Like Elle India

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals,PDAs and Phones,Software — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

It sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? All you have to do is download the Magzter app, pay the $9.99 a month fee and you can have access to over 2000 magazines and comics!

But I’ve been burned before… so I looked at the list of magazines and I thought I found paradise. All of my favorites were listed on their website! I got so excited.

Magzter It's Great If You Like Elle India from The Gadgets Page

I added the magazines and signed up for the Gold account. Then I tried to download one of my favorites. Oh… that one isn’t included on the Gold account. Oh well, I’ll try another one… That one isn’t included either. Sure, it LOOKS like I can read the magazine, but the only thing that downloads is a preview issue that has about 6-10 pages from the latest issue.

Okay… well… what magazines ARE included?

When I went to the Gold Magazines and chose the ones from the U.S., there were only 34 magazines. THIRTY-FOUR. Not even one magazine in my favorites was included. NOT ONE. When I allowed the magazines to be from any country and chose the ones that were in English, there were a bunch more added to the total, but I’m really not interested in reading Elle India or New Zealand Women’s Fitness.

So, yet again, I cancelled the introductory subscription and deleted the app. Why do I keep falling for these things?

Via: Magzter launches “all you can read” magazine subscription for $9.99 per month | TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004

January 19, 2015

3D-Printed Prosthetic Arm: E-nabling The Future Gives Hope

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

I had NO idea that this was happening:

There is an entire community of people who are designing 3D printed arms for children who are missing limbs. THIS!!! This is the reason why 3D printers are important. This is why they are going to change the world, not all that Cory Doctorow stuff. Being able to print up a prosthetic arm for your child and when he grows up a bit, being able to print up a bigger one is AMAZING!!

It’s all because of E-nabling The Future:

They have a variety of designs available online here:

THIS is the future that I want to see of 3D printing, not silly little toys and gadgets. THIS changes childrens’ lives!

Via: 3D-Printed Prosthetic Arm Inspired by Star Wars | POPSUGAR Tech

January 18, 2015

Tilt Shift Generator App

Filed under: Cameras,Software — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

Tilt Shift Generator App Review on Starling FitnessLONG ago, I bought the Tilt Shift Generator App. It is one of my favorite apps to use to create beautiful pictures.

I mostly use it to add a little pizzaz to a normal photo, rather than making a tilt shift photo. For example, I recently earned my one year chip at Overeaters Anonymous and talked about it on Starling Fitness. Here is the photo for that entry in its original form.

BEFORE Tilt Shift Generator from The Gadgets Page

And here it is with the tweaks from Tilt Shift Generator.

OA Abstinence Chips from Starling Fitness

I really liked how the selective focus on the one year chip really made it stand out. That little extra makes a photo even better at times.

I have been using this app for well over five years and I absolutely adore it. If you are looking for a quick way to make your photos look just a tad bit better, this is a great app for you, and at only 99 cents, it’s a great deal!

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