TechieJohn

Follow me at @GladiatorApps or @VegasBJJGeek

 

I’m obsessed with protecting my iPhone (4s, in my case) from damage, whether it’s using screen protectors or cases, but I REALLY love the minimalist form factor of the iPhone, so I have never liked the huge “Otterbox Defender” type cases that double the size of the phone, or more.

There’s a similar problem for screen protectors, and that’s optical quality. I hate having a plastic screen protector because it REALLY takes away from the beautiful bright screen. Well, I’ve found a great solution from a company called Spigen.

It’s a high optical quality tempered thin glass protector for the face of your iPhone that doesn’t interfere with touch, allowing for the same feel as the phone’s face, and adds a nice level of protection. I’d also added on one of their swanky bumper cases, and the result is quite nice.

I’ve dropped the phone several times since I’ve had this new setup, with NO damage. The great part is that if you drop the phone, the “glas.t” will break first! If that happens, just peel it off (it’s safety glass) and toss it, and get yourself a new one.

Check it out over at the Spigen site! Available for iPhone 4/4s, and 5

Spigen Glas.T

 

I’m a fan of backups. I have a bootable backup of my machine, I use Dropbox, and I use Time Machine. The problem has always been that I have a ton of movie files I want to keep, but its simply too expensive to get an account on DropBox large enough to store them, so I use a Drobo, which is prone to failures.. I’ve had many a friend suffer the Drobo heartbreak.

bitcasa-logo

Enter Bitcasa. Bitcasa is a new service that is similar to Dropbox in that it mirrors some (or all) of your files. I’m currently uploading 500GB of stuff from my laptop and another 256GB of stuff from my Macbook Air.. and my plan is to also upload the contents of my Drobo, and then get rid of it!

Once uploaded, the files are¬†available¬†anywhere, and if you get a new computer or want to simply recover something, it’s all nice save and (256bit encrypted!) secure.

Try it free for a month and let me know what you think!

 

 

I recently started a project at my company’s “Solution Center” and for the next 3-5 months I’ve actually found myself with a consistent place to sit… a giant monitor for my Macbook Pro, and an ergonomic seat. It’s insane. I love it. I’m getting used to using my Magic Trackpad and my Bluetooth Mac Keyboard, but I find it annoying that they arent connected.

Well, good news. Twelve South, a company that really seems to get the idea of good, ergonomic design has my back with the “Magic Wand“. It’s an amazingly simple concept, as you can see. Basically, it’s a simple plastic tube into which you clip your keyboard and trackpad so they feel as if they’re one unit.

Brilliant!

Admittedly on a desktop you can just place the two right next to eachother without too much trouble, but if you have a Mac Mini attached to your TV, for example, and find yourself with the keyboard and trackpad on your lap often, the Magic Wand will REALLY increase your quality of life.

Definitely recommended.

 

As someone who has to travel a lot for work, I often spend stretches of time on planes browsing the web or working or watching movies, and while some airlines are figuring out how to supply power for laptops, many others aren’t.

That brings me to the Hyperjuice Laptop battery for macs. These suckers REALLY extend the usable life of your Mac, and come in sizes of 60, 100, 150, and 222 Wh, and also offer a 10W USB to charge your iPad or iPhone (or anything really) .. at the same time! Cool, right?

HyperJuice 60Wh

 

In the old days, Hypershop used to offer a magsafe cable compatible with MacBooks, but unfortunately, that’s a but of a no no and Apple sued them for patent violation. Not to worry though, the clever folks at Hypershop have come up with a solution. Two solutions in fact! In order to get the newly renamed Hyperjuice battery with your mac you can

1. Use the Apple Magsafe Airline Adapter with the battery (this requires no modifications)

2. Splice in the “Magic Box” (sold separately) to your existing magsafe adapter. Not ideal, and not as elegant as the old solution, but certainly acceptable. How long can you use your Macbook with these batteries? You may not believe this… but… a LONG TIME!

It of course depends on the Macbook, but with the largest battery you can expect to go outlet free for almost 37 hours. I included the chart at the bottom.

They’re not cheap, but if you travel, I really recommend them 60Wh ($175) 100Wh ($275) 150Wh ($350) 222Wh ($459)

Hyperjuice Mac Performance

Hyperjuice Mac Performance

 

 

One of the few annoying things I’ve found about mobile phones including the iPhone is the lack of good simple solutions for propping them up while I’m working away at my desk or on my nightstand especially. It’s rather annoying to find a great bedside alarm clock app only to have to prop up my phone and have it slide down in the middle of the night!

Enter the Blue Lounge Milo. The Milo’s design is rather interesting. The “sticky” part that holds your device in place is actually a micro-suction area which can be easily cleaned with scotch tape if it ever loses its grip. It works super well with non porous surfaces line the iPhone’s glass back, or a plastic case, but not so well with more porous cases, like the one I’ve been using, the Solo from iSkin. No worries, though, you can just securely prop it up in either landscape or portrait mode.

Milo's Micro Suction

Milo's Micro Suction

The bottom of the Milo also has a micro suction area which holds nicely on your non porous desk!

Overall, I’d highly recommend the Milo, although it’s definitely not travel friendly as its going to take up a bit of space in your bag… but for home use, absolutely!

Milo is prices at $19.95 and is available on Amazon.

Milo

Milo

 

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I’m not going to lie. I’m a little obsessed with keeping my Macbook, my iPhone, and my iPad safely free of scuffs and other cosmetic damage. Part of that is because I’m an early adopter so I end up selling “old” devices on Ebay, and I feel like there’s no better karma than providing someone with a nice well maintained used item.

Enter laptop skins.

For a long time I’ve been a fan of laptop covers of all types, from the Speck hard case to the tight fitting Zagg skins, but I found that the hard cases add too much bulk, and Zagg, while being very high quality, is a nightmare to apply to a laptop, and there’s just something unnerving about a wet application to a sensitive electronic device.

I recently learned about the extremely cool looking BodyGuardz carbon fiber armor… so I had to give it a try. I ordered it directly from BodyGuardz and it came in a little under a week, rolled up in a tube.

So, the first thing I recommend is take it out, flatten it, and put it under something heavy and flat for a few days to make the application easier.

Carbon Fiber Body Armor? Yes please!

Carbon Fiber Body Armor? Yes please!

It comes with protection for the top, bottom, and sides, and took no more than 15 minutes to apply properly. Unlike the Zagg covers, I wasn’t left with a lot of annoying air bubbles either, and of course BodyGuardz provides nice instructional videos on YouTube and right on their site.

Once applied, the armor looks REALLY slick and has a nice tactile feel to it. I’ve had several comments from co workers and random people in Starbucks about how cool it looks.

The full set of Armor is $50 and is available in Red, Black and White, which is slightly cheaper than the Zagg skin, and of course comes with a similar lifetime warranty. It’s good to know they stand by the product.

If you’re in the market for a unique change to the look of your device and want to keep it looking pristine… definitely give BodyGuardz a look!

 

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