Gadgets for Geeks: Wish lists
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Gadgets for Geeks: Wish lists

By the MacTech Magazine Editorial Staff

It’s that time of year where people think about toys they want, and how they want to spend their money for the next year. Whether it’s a new budget with the new year, or just buying something you want, here’s some fun things that we’ve used ourselves this year that we thought any self-respecting geek would love.

The basis for these recommendations are technologies we used for travel to keep our staff connected during assorted trips, and even outdoor products that kept one of our editors connected while leading a group of scouts at a National Jamboree.

FileMaker Go

For many years now, "MacTech" used a number of FileMaker databases that have allowed us to create workflows for a variety of processes in the magazine. FileMaker is great if you are connected with a Mac, but in the days of everything being mobile, if you’ve not set up web access, it was limiting. Enter FileMaker Go.

FileMaker Go lets usersview, edit and search FileMaker Pro records on an iPhone and iPad. Databases can be accessed directly from files hosted on FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server, or database files can be copied locally onto FileMaker Go via File Sharing in iTunes. You can work with data just like you would on FileMaker Pro and:

° Add, modify, or delete information;
° Find, sort, and navigate through records;
° Display data in familiar Form, Table, and List views;
° View information in portals, tabs, or web viewers;
° Search for information using Quick Find;
° Connect to external SQL data sources.

Performance is limited by your bandwidth. And, if your databases aren’t optimized to work well over the Internet for your desktop machines, they will similarly suffer performance wise with FileMaker Go (especially over the AT&T 3G network).

Big thumbs up from MacTech on this product. FileMaker Go for the iPhone and iPod touch is US$19.99, and FileMaker Go for the iPad costs US$39.99. http://www.filemaker.com

Leisure Jacket for the iPad

M-Edge's Leisure Jacket for the iPad is an US$49.99 case for the Apple tablet that provides protection against sand, dirt, and moisture thanks to its read-through, clear vinyl cover. While it’s not waterproof, it has a protective double closure zipper allows access to the charging port without removing iPad from jacket. The interior of the Leisure Jacket includes a high density foam frame to provide g device security; the iPad can be flipped over for additional screen protection while traveling.

An exterior zipper compartment contains a pocket specially sized for the iPhone and additional pockets for accessory storage. The clear vinyl front cover allows full functionality of iPad's touch screen.

If it fits your needs, it’s worth the price. The Leisure Jacket weights 8.90 ounces and measures 8.5 x 10.5 x .75 inches. It's available in a variety of colors. http://www.medgestore.com/products/ipad-leisure.psp

JuiceBar Solar Charger

The JuiceBar Solar Charger includes 12 connectors covering a variety of mobile phones, cameras and handheld games such as the iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and others.

The JuiceBar sports a 1500 mAh battery and comes with a free accessory bag. It allows you to charge various portable devices using a solar powered battery. Plus, it reduces the need for multiple chargers or adapters and provides a totally clean energy source.

If you are traveling with a group that has a variety of devices, this is a must have charging solution. The US$49.99 device measures just 0 .5 X 3.75 X 1.6 inches and weighs 2.5 ounces. http://juicebarsolarcharger.com/JuiceBar-Pocket-Solar-Charger-5060171700...

Trendy Digital Waterguard Plus

Ever wanted to submerge you iPad in water? If you have, you need therapy. On the other hand, if you have your Apple tablet around water very often -- say, at the beach or on a boat -- you do need a waterproof case. Trendy Digital makes one in the US$23.99 Waterguard Plus Waterproof Case for the iPad.

It's designed to be submergible with some qualifications. If the case has been checked and sealed tightly, the device inside should be safe if you accidentally drop it in water and retrieve it quickly. In other words, the WaterGuard is designed to protect your iPad from water-related accidents, not for taking it into the swimming pool with you.

Made of UV-stabilized plastic, the WaterGuard Plus Waterproof Case is designed to offer protection when you get stuck in a rainstorm or accidentally drop your bag on a wet surface. When using the WaterGuard Plus Case, the iPad can be slipped directly into the WaterGuard pocket and the transparent surface provides full access to the iPad’s touch interface and keyboard. 

The case features a fitted form with back padding to house the iPad. In addition to water, it protects against dust, dirt, sand and other elements. You can wear the WaterGuard around your neck or shoulder via an adjustable strap. And at 3.0 ounces, it's very light.

If you are taking your iPad somewhere where you are worried about water, rain, or significant moisture, you really need something like this. We were astounded at how well the sound worked even in the sealed bag, and it could be a great solution for watching a movie in the spa. Big thumbs up from "MacTech" on the WaterGuard Plus. http://www.trendydigital.com

Emergency Charge Adapter

The BKRadio Emergency Charge Adapter is an US$34.95 device that turns nine AA batteries into a cigarette lighter socket. You can charge your cell phone with your BK Radio Battery or get emergency power for other portable devices.

It works with the iPhone, iPod, CD players, GPS devices, most cell phones and more. The Emergency Charge Adapter is machined from solid billet aluminum. If you absolutely, positively need to have power, this is the simplest and most reliable of devices. We’ve talked to emergency crews (e.g., fire departments that use them), and we can see why. Big thumbs up from the "MacTech" crew. http://bkradio.com/

Matias Folding Keyboard

While many people can do occasional typing on the iPad or iPhone via the virtual keyboard, serious keyboarding simply isn't possible without a true external keyboard. While Apple offers two options, they are limiting and the US$99.95 Matias Folding Keyboard provides an ideal third option for serious iPad typists.

Unlike Apple's offerings, this is a full-sized keyboard. There are no tiny key caps designed to look good, but which fail at heavy typing. This keyboard folds to about the overall size and thickness of the Apple Bluetooth keyboard, but unfolds into a full keyboard complete with number pad and a spacious typing area.

If you want to effectively type with an iPad, the Matias Folding Keyboard is an ideal combination of portability and function. You'll have a full sized keyboard that's compact and and a pleasure to type on.

Big thumbs up on this keyboard. If you are traveling for more than a little bit, and relying on your iPad as your primary computing device, this is a must have. We can’t imagine keeping up with email without this keyboard. (http://matias.ca/foldingkeyboard/index.php)

CandyShell iPad Case

Speck's US$49.95 CandyShell iPad case is a case with a case thin, hard-shell coating, soft rubbery interior lining, bezel and button covers.

It sports a flip-back panel for use with iPad dock and the iPad keyboard dock (the latter isn't included). To use you slide the right (button) side of iPad into the CandyShell case first, then gently snap the other edges of the case around the edge of the screen. To use with dock connector cable, iPad dock or keyboard dock, pull open the flip-back panel. (Don't try to use the flip-back panel as a stand or foot.)

To remove the CandyShell iPad case, pull open the flip-back panel at the bottom, and then work off the bottom corners. From the bottom up, pull your iPad out of the top corners of the CandyShell.

As one of our favorite iPad cases, this gets a big thumbs up from the "MacTech" crew. The cusioning, back flap, and feel are just well thought out. http://www.speckproducts.com/ipad/candyshell-batwing-black.html

Waterproof iPhone Case

The DryCASE Waterproof is an US$39.99 is a flexible, waterproof case that allows use of your phone or camera while keeping it dry and clean.

To use, you twist the clasps outward to open the DryCASE, and then simply slide in the device that you would like to protect. Make sure that the contents inside are completely clear of the opening and the closure.

Twist the clasps inward to close and lock the DryCASE. Position your device how you would like to use it inside the DryCASE. When you remove the air creating a vacuum it will secure the device in place. To pump out all the air, just squeeze the pump until you've removed all the air and can’t pump it any more. After you have removed all the air the DryCASE should be tightly sealed around the contents inside and the pump should be completely flat. You can now remove the hand pump and place the safety cap on.


The DryCASE is completely submersible. You can also order DryBUDS waterproof headphones ($29.99 if purchased separately; $64.99 for a bundle of the case and headphones) for use with the case. The headphones can be used up to nearly 10 feet underwater.

The DryCASE is 4.25 inches wide and 6.5 inches long and will fit almost any phone, camera or MP3 player. http://store.drycase.com/DryCASE-Waterproof-phone-camera-and-music-playe...

Invisible Shields for iPad

Zagg's InvisibleShield for iPad is a film that protects iPods, iPhones, iPads, and other devices scratches. The film is made with Nano-Memory technology that covers and shields your device.

Zagg says Nano-Memory technology offers four main benefits:

° Durability -- self-healing properties offer resistance to scratches and damag;
° Coverage -- pliability and flexibility allows the invisibleShield designs to cover the corners and curves of your device;
° Drop resistant -- an improved grip makes it easier to hang onto your gadgets;
° Glare reduction -- the invisibleShield gives your device a slight "orange peel" finish that breaks up glare and reduces finger print smudges, while still creating high res screen viewing clarity.

Zagg lives up to its reputation, and gets another big thumbs up from MacTech on their iPad product. Zagg ensures a lifetime guarantee if the film ever wears or becomes scratched. The price of films for iPad for a full body cover is US$39.99. The price for full coverage for iPhone is $24.99. http://www.zagg.com/invisibleshield/features.php

Folding bikes

Apple users like their computers, MP3 players and phones svelte, so why not their bikes? Ok, not quite a Mac, but it’s cool tech nonetheless. As a surprisingly economical solution, 2KSilver makes 20-inch and 26-inch folding bikes that are good in a variety of circumstances.

These bikes are more easily checked on an airplane, or packed in a car. Assembly is truly easy. A single tool is all you need -- and that's just for tightening the bike together. In fact, the most difficult thing about the assembly is probably the careful location selection and tightening the bell on the handlebar so it would ring clearly and loudly.

The 2KSilver bikes are easy to ride. If you're over six feet, you'll want to go with the larger model. The seat will only expand so far on the smaller 16 and 20 inch bikes, and a tall person would need more knee space.

We found out first hand that the bike's seven gears are enough to handle biking up and down hills. For more demanding terrain, more gears would be useful. Realistically, if you're going for a 2KSilver folding bike, you're probably going to use it for basic transportation rather than competitive or mountain biking.
We love the technology and simplicity of these bikes. Big thumbs up from MacTech’s crew. The 20-inch models can be bought for US$179.99; the 26-inch models are $234.99 to $299.99. https://www.2ksilver.com/

Tantango

Tatango is a flexible group SMS service designed to work with different size groups -- from 10-person groups to 10,000 person groups. It’s a must have for a group that needs rapid communication. Messages can be sent out from a computer or a cell phone. Each account can have multiple groups, and each group can have multiple subgroups.

You can create as many groups as you want under one Tatango account. What's more, you can create subgroups to better manage group members and search your contacts by phone or name. You can let others in your group help you manage the group by making them an administrator.
With Tatango, you can send your message to an entire group or select a specific subgroup. You can get a preview of what your group message will look like on your group member’s phones. If you're not near a computer, you can send your group message from your own phone.

To send out a message to one of your groups from your phone, simply send a text to the Tatango short SMS number (68398) with an asterisk at the beginning and your message. Tatango will then reply asking which group to send it to, and after responding with a group number all members of the group receive. We of our editors used it to communicate other leaders, scouts and parents. When the tornado touched down in Washington D.C., it was particularly useful.

All Tatango messages come from 68398, so they never show your personal phone number. Messages arrive with your group name on the top and contain no advertisements.

Tatango stores all past messages sent to your group. Every message sent is stored for future reference, including the date, message and the recipients. If a group member responds to your message, that reply is also stored.

Big thumbs up from the "MacTech" crew. This was the easiest to use, most turnkey system we found for communicating to a lot of different types of devices. http://www.tatango.com

PowerFilm Solar

The PowerFilm Solar lets you charge your electronic devices anywhere the sun shines. Using solar technology, these are foldable chargers that comes in wattage ranges from 1.5 to 60 watts and comes in voltage ranges from 3.6 to 15.4 voltages.

The chargers aren't available for sale directly from the PowerFilm Solar web site, PowerFilmSolar.com; however, they're available online through Amazon.com. The listed sale price on Amazon.com around $250.

The PowerFilm line of product deserves an entire article on its own about how to build a charging station, and more. We couldn’t have handled the longer outdoor adventures without PowerFilm. Big thumbs up from the MacTech crew. http://powerfilmsolar.com/foldable-solar-chargers/f15-1200.php

QuickerTek iPad charging products

QuickerTek makes three products that will let you get a charge out of your iPad. Literally.

The US$249.95 Apple Juicz external battery for the iPaduses the Apple 10 watt USB charger that comes with the iPad to charge the battery (or any USB charger), so there's no extra AC power wall wart adapter to lug around.

The Apple Juicz External Battery for the iPad recharges the device in three hours and has two female USB ports that can simultaneously charge any USB device as well as having the propriety circuitry for the iPhone, iPod touch or any 30-pin iPod while being used to charge and power all models of the iPad.

The Apple Juicz users Li-ion Polymer high capacity 9400 mAh batteries, which will recharge in access of 2000 times. They sport safety circuitry for protection along with temperature and charge/discharge rates, cell balancing and a fuel gauge with a LED indicator showing how much Juicz is left in the battery.

The $299.99 iPad Solar Panel is a 10-watt foldable solar panel that charges as fast as Apple's 10-watt wall charger that comes with the iPad. QuickerTek includes an USB monitor/activator so that you can see the charge current level. Also in the kit is a female cigarette lighter adapter and a USB cable.

The $29.99 Charge Monitor has three functions. The unit will turn on the USB port so that it will charge and the four LED's on the unit shows that the iPad is charging and shows the charging current level or how fast it is charging. The more lights are on the more power being put out by the usb and thusly the faster your iPad is charging. No bigger than a USB dongle with a USB connector at each end, the iPad Solar Charger is compatible with 1.0 or 2.0 USB ports, the iPad, iPhone (all generations), the iPod touch and all 30-pin iPods.

QuickerTek has been in the Apple market for years, and has a number of innovative products. Big thumbs up from the MacTech crew on making an easy to use solar system that can charge multiple devices. http://www.quickertek.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

CrossOver 14.1.6 - Run Windows apps on y...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Printopia 2.1.14 - Share Mac printers wi...
Run Printopia on your Mac to share its printers to any capable iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Printopia will also add virtual printers, allowing you to save print-outs to your Mac and send to apps.... Read more
Google Drive 1.24 - File backup and shar...
Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé, or... Read more
Chromium 45.0.2454.85 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 45.0.2454.85: Note: Does not contain the "... Read more
OmniFocus 2.2.5 - GTD task manager with...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
iFFmpeg 5.7.1 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a graphical front-end for FFmpeg, a command-line tool used to convert multimedia files between formats. The command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does... Read more
VOX 2.6 - Music player that supports man...
VOX is a beautiful music player that supports many filetypes. The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all... Read more
Box Sync 4.0.6567 - Online synchronizati...
Box Sync gives you a hard-drive in the Cloud for online storage. Note: You must first sign up to use Box. What if the files you need are on your laptop -- but you're on the road with your iPhone? No... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.4 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.3.1 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more

Rock(s) Rider - HD Edition (Games)
Rock(s) Rider - HD Edition 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: *** PLEASE NOTE: Compatible with iPhone 4s, iPad 2, iPad mini, iPod touch (5th generation) or newer *** Do you... | Read more »
Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville (Games)
Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It's been a few years since the zombpocalypse turned the world's cities into graveyards and sent the few... | Read more »
Power Ping Pong (Games)
Power Ping Pong 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do you wield your bat with zen-like focus or do your balls of fury give you a killer spin? Table tennis goes mobile with a... | Read more »
Z.O.N.A Project X (Games)
Z.O.N.A Project X 1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.00 (iTunes) Description: Z.O.N.A Project X - shooter in the post-apocalyptic world. | Read more »
Trick Shot (Games)
Trick Shot 1.0.6 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.6 (iTunes) Description: A game where all you have to do is throw a ball into a box, simple? Trick Shot is a minimalist physics puzzler with 90 levels... | Read more »
Goat Simulator MMO Simulator (Games)
Goat Simulator MMO Simulator 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** Coffee Stain Studios brings next-gen... | Read more »
Worms™ 4 (Games)
Worms™ 4 1.02 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.02 (iTunes) Description: The latest instalment in the worldwide mega hit franchise! Coming soon to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. When the guys and girls at... | Read more »
The Deer God (Games)
The Deer God 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 30% off launch sale!!! “It can be a struggle, but it's all worth it when you're shooting fire out your antlers.” Kotaku “The... | Read more »
AppSpy's Patreon campaign kicks off
Occasionally you'll see us use AppSpy's videos here on 148Apps to support an article we've written. That's because we're part of Steel Media, and AppSpy is Steel's video arm, so we're all part of one happy family. [Read more] | Read more »
We're Sorry to Report that Moonrise...
Moonrise is a very promising-looking, Pokemon-esque monster collecting and battling game that we were really looking forward to reviewing, but unfortunately it looks like that's never going to happen. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Will You Buy An iPad Pro? – The ‘Book Mystiqu...
It looks like we may not have to wait much longer to see what finally materializes as a new, larger-panel iPad (Pro/Plus?) Usually reliable Apple product prognosticator KGI Securities analyst Ming-... Read more
eFileCabinet Announces SMB Document Managemen...
Electronic document management (EDM) eFileCabinet, Inc., a hosted solutions provider for small to medium businesses, has announced that its SecureDrawer and eFileCabinet Online services will be... Read more
WaterField Designs Unveils American-Made, All...
San Francisco’s WaterField Designs today unveiled their all-leather Cozmo 2.0 — an elegant attach laptop bag with carefully-designed features to suit any business environment. The Cozmo 2.0 is... Read more
Apple’s 2015 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
128GB MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP,...
B&H Photo has 11″ & 13″ MacBook Airs with 128GB SSDs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $799.99, $100 off MSRP... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679, save $...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more
Apple and Cisco Partner to Deliver Fast-Lane...
Apple and Cisco have announced a partnership to create a “fast lane” for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps. The alliance integrates iPhone with Cisco enterprise... Read more
Apple offering refurbished 2015 13-inch Retin...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 (15%) off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 MacBook Airs available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Repair Techn...
Simply Mac is the greatest premier retailer of Apple products expertise in North America. We're looking for dedicated individuals to provide personalized service and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the greatest premier retailer of Apple products expertise in North America. We're looking for dedicated individuals to provide personalized service and Read more
*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
Simply Mac- *Apple* Specialist- Store Manag...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. We're looking for dedicated individuals with a passion to simplify and enhance the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.