Tag Archives: Gear

Toddy Smart Cloth

Toddy Gear LogoSince the finger became the input device of choice, I’ve spent more time polishing my smartphone and tablet than I care to admit. I usually use whatever is handy but I know that this isn’t always a good idea – cotton can be more abrasive than you think and there’s nothing worse than a grain of sand caught in the weave. Toddy Gear have the solution to this problem with microfibre smart-cloths designed to keep your gadgets smudge free without liquids and in dozens of brilliant patterns. And they are brilliant patterns.

Toddy Cloths

They’re also reasonably priced with most single cloths at $10 and there’s currently a “3-for-2” offer on in the on-line store. Toddy Cloths available from Best Buy and Target retail stores. Regrettably, it doesn’t look like the Toddy Cloth is currently available in the UK, otherwise I’d be popping out to get one.

Our Todd will be chatting with their Todd at next month’s CES in Las Vegas. Watch this space.

Toddy Smart Cloth News

So you decided to get an iPad or perhaps a Kindle Fire, a smartphone or a tablet running Android for someone’s Christmas present or perhaps for yourself. What do all these devices have in common, a glass screen you touch. Which means after using them for about 5 minutes they are covered by finger prints. Which means you need to find a cloth to wipe them with. You don’t want to use just any cloth, even the softest cotton cloth can leave microscopic scratches. You need a microfiber cloth. You can pick up an generic one at almost anywhere, but why not get one that has style. Why not get a Toddy Smart Cloth.

The Toddy Smart Cloth has two distinct sides, one side is made of microfiber for cleaning and the other side is silk for buffing and polishing. The silk side comes in 44 prints and vibrant colors. The cloth is covered by Aegis Microbe an antimicrobial coating that prevents the spread of germs. It absorbs oils, dust and smudges, no spray needed. It is washable in cold water and tumble dry. It will be something that you will be proud to carry for years to come.

The great news that came out this week is that you can now get Toddy cloths at your local Best Buy,  Target along with Amazon and the Toddy Gear Website.  If you want to get one that is personalized with your brand, you still have to go to the Toddy Gear site. Toddy Cloths are 5×7 for $9.99 and 9×9 for $14.99. Toddy Smart Cloths are great stocking stuffers for Christmas or just pick up some for yourself.

Dijit Your Personal Media Assistant

Andy McCasky spoke to Maxium about their new product the Dijit. The purpose of Dijit is to simplify media discovery and control in the home. There are three parts to the application the first is it replaces multiple remote controls with one. It works with almost all major cable companies’ boxes and Netflix along with other devices. For those devices that can’t directly with the application Dijit is partnering with Griffin Technology who created the Beacon which allows infrared devices to connect to the application. The remote is highly customizable the buttons can be switch around to the user liking.

The second part of the solution is discovery. Dijit makes everything easier to find either by keyword search or by program name.

The third part of Dijit is how it makes it easy to share what you are watching on Facebook or Twitter directly from the application. The application is made for the iPhone, but will work on an iPad and an Android application is coming. The application is free and available in the iTunes, the Beacon is $79.00 and will be available soon.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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LG HD Monitor

201006022058.jpg I was looking for a 23 inch monitor that was HD ready. I was able to pick up an LG monitor Model B233OH for a total of $257.00 including tax at the local Best Buy. I am using it as a media monitor. It was easy to put together, my husband simply snapped the base into the monitor and it was ready to set up.

The first thing I did was to use the HDMI input and connect that to my TiVo Series 3 DVR. I had I connected my Apple TV to the DVI input using a HDMI to DVI adapter I have. This is just a temporary set up until I can pick up an HDMI switcher. Right now I am not sure which one will give me the best value for its price. The next thing I did was to connect the TiVo to a Kenwood receiver I had. The receiver is about eight years old, so the only video connection it has are S Video, and composite video, because of this I decided to use it for audio only. I connected the TiVo to the DVD optical audio input. I used composite cables to connect the Apple TV to the Tape input on the receiver. I plan to pick up another optical audio cable, but for now the composite cables work fine. I then connected the speakers, two rear, two front and one center, with no subwoofer. Obviously, this is not an optimal setup, but it works and it was cheap.

After, having this set up for about three days I am happy with it for the most part. The picture is nice although during the daytime when the sun comes thru the blinds, there can be a problem with glare. This doesn’t last very long though and it depends on what angle you are watching from The sound is good. The biggest problem I have is getting Comcast HD to stay up, when it comes in its great, unfortunately I keep losing the signal. This unfortunately is a problem I can’t solve, other then that I am very happy with my set up. I do have a question for the readers, what HDMI switcher do you recommend and who should I purchase it from. I was looking at Buy.com, are they a good company to buy from? Any other recommendations?

Bose Mobile In Ear Headset Review

I’ve owned an Iphone since it first came out and have always used the earphones that came with it. If for some reason I can’t find them I use a pair of cheap Sony headphones. I have also tried the Jawbone, but found it uncomfortable. Last week, my Iphone headphone broke, for the second time in less then a year the seal on the ear piece split. This left me with only the Sony headphones, which are ok for listening to music, but they have no mic. I decided it was time to get a good pair of headphones.

I ended up getting Bose In Ear Headphones. They were about $137 with tax at Best Buy. As I said before, I had gotten use to the sound of the Iphone and Sony headphones and thought they were ok. I was wrong. I did a completely unscientific comparison between the Bose and the Sony Headphones and the sound is definitely improved with the Bose. I choose three songs to use as a test, Simple Gifts, with Yo Yo Ma and Alison Krauss, Everything I Do Gonna be Funky, by O’Donel Levy and Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Earl Scruggs. I chose these three songs, because they are so different. Simple Gifts is just vocals and strings. Everything I Do Gonna be Funky has a lot of percussion and base. Finally, Foggy Mountain Breakdown because of its fast moving notes. All these songs were at 256 kbps and had been ripped from a CD into Itunes. The first thing I noticed was that the music was much crisper with the Bose earphones. The base was clear and the treble was not as tinny. This was especially true on the song Everything I Do Gonna be Funky, with the Sony headphones there was a definite background sound sort of like salt being shaken in the background. I didn’t hear that when I had the Bose on, it was much clearer and pristine. I also noticed because I was hearing the music more clearly I didn’t have the urge to turn the volume up.

Do I think the Bose earphones were worth another $110.00 over the Sony or Iphone headphones, that I am not sure of. They do sound better and are much more comfortable. The Bose do come with three sets ear tips; small, medium and large and it is important to chose the right tip for your ears. You may need a different size for each ear. The Bose does have the mic that the Sony headphones do not. However, the mic control only turns Itunes off and on to allow you to take calls, it doesn’t control Itunes itself like the Itunes headphones do. Also they are not noise canceling earphones.   I certainly think they were worth more then I paid for either the Iphone or Sony headphones, but $110 more that I am not sure of. I’ll need more time to make a final decision.

Snowflake Mic from Blue

This week I received the Snowflake Mic which is made by Blue. It is a USB portable mic, which can be used with the Mac, PC, (not sure of Linux). It is there lowest price model and I got it on sale for 49.00, and so far it was worth it. I have been looking for a desktop mic for awhile. I have head phones with mic attached, but I have never been happy with them. I can never get it to be the right distance from my mouth so I don’t produce the popping noise or its sounds garble. Once in awhile I get it set perfectly, but usually something happens and it gets messed up and I have to try to reset it again. It got to be so irritating that I started to use the internal Macbook microphone instead, which of course sounds even worse. For these reasons I have been on the hunt for a good desktop mic that wasn’t too expensive and was Mac compatible. I have seen microphones in stores, but most of them were for Windows only or were way too expensive. I had heard a lot of good things about microphones made by Blue, from various podcast I listen and watch. I had  long ago put the Snowflake on my to buy list, but there always seemed to be something ahead of it. However, when I saw the Snowflake on sale for 49.00 on Amazon, I could not resist purchasing it. I am very glad I did.

Snowflake Mic in desk mode

It is a very simple looking product, but like most things simple I sure it took a long time to produce it. The mic is a ball that can be swivel 360 degrees in any direction. Its is attached like a elbow to a small box and there is a hole in the box that the mic fits perfectly into for traveling. You can simply pull the mic from its cradle and sit it directly on your desk.  Your other option is to pulling out the bottom of the box and removing it. You can then hook the mic directly on the back of your Macbook.

Snowflake attached to Macbook It comes with a usb cord with a mini connection which you attach to the mic and the other end attaches to your computer. That is all there is too it, its ready to be used. I have tried it with Audacity and it sounds great. It is also Skype and Ichat capable. Even if I had to pay full price for it, it would have been worth it. If you are looking for a good mic at a reasonable price I don’t think you can beat it, at least not on a Mac.