The Gadgets Page

March 18, 2013

The iPad Vs. Paper

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 8:23 am

This commercial made me laugh out loud! It reminded me of the sometimes importance of paper over the iPad.

The next time someone is chiding you because you’re using paper instead of your iPad, remember this commercial and chuckle to yourself!

iPad Vs. Paper from The Gadgets Page

Via: Clever commercial weighs the benefits of the iPad versus paper | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

October 5, 2012

I Can’t Believe Steve Jobs Died One Year Ago

Apple is memorializing the death of Steve Jobs on their website. You can see the video here:

Here is what’s on their website:

A message from Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us. I hope that today everyone will reflect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place.

One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple. No company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself. Our values originated from Steve and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We share the great privilege and responsibility of carrying his legacy into the future.

I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing, delivering products that our customers love and dreaming up new ones that will delight them down the road. It’s a wonderful tribute to Steve’s memory and everything he stood for.

  • Tim

Here is Jonathan Ive’s tribute to Steve Jobs:

When we found out that Steve Jobs died, Stacey, Dan, Michael and I were driving on our way to a quickie trip down south. We listened to Steve Job’s Commencement Speech.

I think Apple hasn’t been the same since Steve Jobs died. I don’t know what it was Steve did that made everything they did great, but whatever it was, the world is a worse place for his loss.

via Apple Marks One-Year Anniversary of Steve Jobs’ Death – Mac Rumors

June 21, 2012

DecalGirl Skins: Second Verse Same As The First

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals,Laptops,PDAs and Phones,Reviews — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Decalgirl Skins by LauraMoncur from FlickrBack in March 2009, I wrote a review for DecalGirl Skins. You can see it here:

Because I had written a review, I was surprised when DecalGirl contacted me and asked if I wanted some free samples to do another one. I gladly agreed and waited for the skins I had selected to arrive in the mail.

I dug out my old gadgets that were still adorned with DecalGirls skins. My Acer Netbook computer was being stored in a box of outdated gadgets. Here’s a current picture of it: (Continue Reading…)

January 26, 2012

CES 2012: Fujitsu Waterproof Phones and Tablets

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals,PDAs and Phones — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

The day before the official start of CES this year, I dropped my phone in a cup of coffee. The width of the phone just barely cleared the size of the cup and it was a one in a million shot. It only dropped in for a second, but it was long enough to short out my poor phone.

You can understand why I was obsessed with waterproofed phones and other gadgets because my entire life had just been short circuited by a simple cup of coffee. That’s why Fujitsu’s booth at CES this year was so appealing to me.

The first thing we saw as we walked past the booth was a huge aquarium with a working phones and tablets within it.

My eyes were immediately drawn to the brightly colored phone at the bottom of the aquarium. Was it really running or was that just a fake screen?

The girl at the booth saw my fascination and reached her long arm into the aquarium to retrieve it.

She removed it and handed to me. Yes, it was a fully functional phone that had been sitting in that aquarium for at least a couple of hours.

I was shocked and amazed. My poor phone had been in my coffee cup for no more than a couple of seconds and it was completely destroyed. This phone could take hours in an aquarium with no problem. And, it wasn’t just the phone, there was a tablet with the same capability!

I was drawn in to the bank of phones available for hands-on play.

They were called Arrows and I loved that they came in a wide variety of colors. They felt really good in my hand.

Unlike the iPhone, they are made of plastic, so I was shocked at how light they were in my hands. After years of holding wafers of glass and aluminum, I had forgotten how light a phone could be.

The Arrows wasn’t the only waterproof phone they were showcasing. There was also a phone that claimed to be the thinnest smartphone on the market.

Actually, they only claimed to be the thinnest phone to be accepted by the FCC, so there must be a thinner phone out there that is still waiting for approval.

It was an impressive design as well.

The specs of the phone were the disappointing aspect, however. They only run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), so they are a few versions behind the curve and no guarantee that I’d be able to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich when it comes out.

I was really attracted to the waterproof feature of these Fujitsu phones, but I have been less than impressed with Android Gingerbread. The fact that these phones use an operating system that is so far behind makes them unsuitable for me, so I kept on looking.

November 21, 2011

Keep Track of Your Favorite Interests with Pinterest

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals,PDAs and Phones,Software — Christy Strebe @ 10:26 am

When I used to browse the web and find something I wanted to remember, I’d bookmark it with a description of what it was. I’m crafty, so I would do this with crafts. I also have three kids so I’d bookmark an educational site or ideas for decorating.

This worked great for me, until the hubby decided I needed an iPad upgrade (okay, I wanted it too). I’m not super technical and he is, so I let him do it for me. Everything went great until tried to go to a bookmark on the new iPad – everything was gone, and the bookmarks on my old computer had been wiped clean. I no longer knew where that cute headband idea was, or the great site for math games, it was all gone. I was able to remember some of the sites that had catchy names but for the most part I was back to ground zero.

I knew there had to be a better way, and stumbled upon it a few days later, when my sister-in-law was telling me about her new favorite site – Pinterest.com. This site lets you pin pictures from the web and categorize them by whatever you choose. Not only that, but you can find other people with similar tastes or friends and follow them to see what they have pinned. You can also browse Pinterest to see what has been pinned lately.

I have to warn you though – it can become addicting. To pin your own stuff, you add a “pin it” button to your toolbar. Then, if you’re on a site you want to save, click the “pin it” button and it will display all the pictures on that page. Select the picture you want to save, select a board (like a folder) and give it a description or note. Viola! It is saved into your account on Pinterest land. You can have your pins posted on Facebook if you want also.

There are different kinds of pinners, those who pin everything and do nothing and those who pin and do. I fall somewhere in the middle. So far I have made a ton of projects:

  • Bracelets and rings
  • Halloween treats
  • Beaded spiders
  • Cookie dough dip out of hummus (not recommend – and I went back and commented on my pin to that effect so my “followers” wouldn’t be led astray)
  • Jewelry holder out of an art canvas
  • Energy balls (these were good)
  • Spelling game for my kids
  • Felt flowers
  • Repurposed a t-shirt into a shrug
  • Dish washer detergent from scratch
  • 72 hour emergency kits
  • Foot scrub
  • Crafts for the kids

As you can see there is a wide variety of crafts to choose from.

You can also pin travel ideas, books, gadgets, humor, etc. Pinterest has a list of 32 categories for you to browse, and assign your pins to, for others to browse, but you can create as many boards as you want and name them whatever you want.

Additionally, Pinterest has created an iPhone app to work with their website. You can download it here:

A few tips and tricks I’ve found:

  • The Pinterest app is a little crashy. When it starts acting strangely, restart the app, or if that doesn’t work, restart the device.
  • On Pinterest.com if you click on the pinterest logo at the top it will take you back to the home screen.
  • You can search for friends to follow by name in the search box, and everyone who has signed in with their Facebook account will have their profile pic so you can see who it is.
  • If the Pinterest web site is too much information for you, try the app. It gives you the top pins for that category and you can pin from there. Here is a picture (above right) of what the DIY & Craft board has on my phone.

So happy pinning, and I’ll see you on Pinterest.

Update 06-21-12 from Laura Moncur: I had avoided Pinterest when Christy reviewed it because it was so difficult to find the original link to the photos on their site. I’m happy to announce that they have fixed that, so I can easily see WHERE the pins came from, no matter how many times it has been repined. I’m happily pinning along with Christy now and I love it!

November 9, 2011

iPad: Every Superlative

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals,eBook Readers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 9:02 am

This supercut video plays every superlative used in the original iPad keynote.

It’s no wonder that by the time a keynote is over, I end up wanting whatever it is that they are showcasing. Not only do they create amazing, wonderful, beautiful, magical and awesome products, they aren’t afraid to say so.

Via: Supercut.org — Steve Jobs’ iPad keynote: Every superlative

June 9, 2011

Easy Meditation with Ambiance

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals,PDAs and Phones,Software — Laura Moncur @ 8:01 am

Ambiance iOS appI can hardly believe that I never wrote a review for Ambiance [iTunes link]. It’s one of my favorite iOS apps and I literally use it every day for both meditation and going to sleep.

There are a ton of sounds to download for free to use, which makes it incredibly versatile. For example, I have downloaded several nature sounds like the one shown here, Scottish Springtime. I’ve set my timer for fifteen minutes and the shuffle to change every minute, so I can meditate to various sounds of nature no matter where I am. When the timer runs out, I’m finished meditating.

My sister Stacey and her husband Dan, however, use Ambiance to distract the dogs. They have downloaded a white noise sample and use it to drown out the sound of children playing and neighbors walking past the house so that their dogs won’t erupt into a fit of barking when the two of them are not home.

There are always new sounds on AmbianceI love that there are new sounds available quite often. When I first downloaded Ambiance several months ago, I only had a few sounds, so it felt like I was meditating to the same sounds every day. Now, I have so many different sounds to choose from that it’s rare that I hear a repeat in a week. I adore that the app will push me a notice when they have new sounds available. I usually drop everything just to see what is available.

I honestly haven’t used all the features available to me in Ambiance. There is a way to record your own sounds to use with Ambiance, so you can populate your meditation with your favorite comforting sounds. There is also a rating and favorites system. I’ve never rated a sound because I’m pretty much happy with all the sounds I’ve downloaded and deleted the sounds that turned out to be jarring or inconducive to meditation.

Ambiance iOS appA favorite for me is the alarm feature so that Ambiance can wake me up. It will bring up a clock to sit next to my bed and it will play sounds to lull me to sleep and slowly fade out after a preset time. In the morning, it will fade in, gradually waking me up to my favorite soothing sounds. It’s a fully functional alarm with “normal” alarm noises and a snooze option as well.

I have enjoyed Ambiance so much over the last few months that I can hardly believe it only cost me three bucks. I remember looking at clocks at Sharper Image and Brookstone that would play relaxing sounds for me that cost easily ten times that amount and they didn’t have as much functionality as Ambiance has, much less the ability to add more sounds. It has been a great app for me and I literally use it every day.

You can download Ambiance here:

June 7, 2011

Taptic Toys Lets You Have A Virtual Presence

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 8:26 am

Taptic Toys, Inc. has been showing off its virtual presence device at E3. If you aren’t familiar with this sort of device, it will probably help you to watch this clip from Big Bang Theory.

Sheldon decided that he would be safer if he used a computer to experience the world, but this device can be used for employees who live in different cities from their offices. Instead of merely telecommuting and video conferencing, they can wander your office. Here is Taptic Toys describing their product, which uses an iPad to control the device.

This device isn’t available yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see things like this in the near future. In fact, Mozilla uses something similar for their employees. Check out this video from Mike Verdi:

Via: Taptic Toys iPad telepresence robot roams the WWDC keynote line

December 6, 2010

Review: InCase Convertible Magazine Jacket for iPad

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals,Misc. Gadgets — Michael Moncur @ 4:32 am

InCase Magazine Jacket

I’ve gone through about five different cases in less than a year of owning an iPad. Apple’s case is thin and lightweight, but has ugly seams and sharp edges. Most of the others are so thick they double the iPad’s thickness. This new entry from inCase is my favorite so far.

The Convertable Magazine Jacket is loosely based on InCase’s leather Book Jacket for iPad, one of the cases I ruled out because it adds far too much weight and thickness to the iPad. By contrast, the Magazine Jacket is thin—it’s the only case I’ve reviewed that can be considered as thin and lightweight as Apple’s case.

InCase Magazine Jacket

The Magazine Jacket functions as a cover for the iPad, complete with a Moleskine-like fabric band to keep the cover closed. It easily snaps onto the iPad, and the plastic corner mounts offer some protection if the iPad is dropped. It’s very slim, with two plastic protrusions on the back (which facilitate use as a stand) the only thing making it significantly thicker than an un-jacketed iPad.

InCase advertises “One working position and two viewing positions” when using the Magazine Jacket as a stand. I had trouble figuring out what these positions were at first, and the drawings on the package left both Laura and I scratching our heads. After half an hour of experimentation, we figured it out.

The “working” position, shown at the top of this article, works well for typing. The cover folds into a triangle and supports the iPad at a low angle, slightly lower than that of the Apple case. It works great for typing on a table but isn’t completely stable when used on my lap.

InCase Magazine Jacket

The first “viewing” position, shown at right, uses the same triangular fold, which nestles under one of the case’s protrusions for a very stable TV-like viewing angle, slightly leaning from the vertical. This configuration can also be used in portrait mode, which positions the iPad vertically.

InCase Magazine Jacket

The second “viewing” position, shown at left, was hard to figure out—in fact, I just tried it again for this picture and it took a moment to find the position again. The cover folds into an L-shape and rests on the second protrusion on the back. This is a shallower angle that works well on my desk. It’s probably the least stable position, but still works for light typing.

The great thing about this case, once you figure it out, is the ease of switching positions. I previously used a Macally Microfiber Case which was so difficult to put into position as a stand that I almost never did. With the Magazine Jacket I can switch it from stand to cover and back very quickly, and as a cover it’s sleek and comfortable to use.

This case is hard to find right now at most stores, but it’s available in the Apple Store for $49.95.

October 22, 2010

Halloween Apps for iPad and iPhone

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals,PDAs and Phones,Software — Laura Moncur @ 2:27 pm

Halloween is just around the corner! Get into the mood with these apps.

Angry Bird Halloween Edition

I’ve played Angry Birds on the iPad a few times and it amused me, but when Rovio came out with a Halloween edition of the game, they were suddenly my favorite game of the month! Here is a video showing the action.

You can download the games from iTunes here:

Ghost Radar

I talked about Ghost Radar before here:

It is such a fun app, that I’m going to have it running in the background in the kitchen during my Halloween Party. Here is a quick video showing it:

You can download the app here:

Halloween Movie Vault

Halloween Movie VaultFlingsoft has brought us a huge collection of old movies that you can stream onto your iPad. It’s a stroke of genius. I thought maybe all of the movies would be really bad, but there are some good ones there including: Dementia 13 (directed by Francis Ford Coppola), White Zombie (with Bela Lugosi) and The Last Man on Earth (with Vincent Price).

You can download Halloween Movie Vault here:

There’s nothing like a bunch of scary movies to make Halloween feel even scarier!

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