Claire Strodtbeck

Review - ViBook 001 (500x375)

I am a master of multiple monitors. At my last job, I wrangled my way into having a total of four LCDs connected to my workstation, which was pretty fantastic for multitasking. The downside was that such a configuration requires more than one video card (usually). Your run-of-the-mill video card has either one or two [...]

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Computer Gear, Reviews
CatGenie Review 002 (500x375)

I will be the first to admit that I'm a crazy cat lady. Between my partner and I, we have three furry feline "kids" - Princess is around ten years old, Sumi is roughly four, and Ninja is the kitten at a year-ish. Yes, I have a kitten named Ninja. And she lives up to [...]

Posted in: Home and Kitchen, Pet Gadgets, Reviews
Adesso Keyboard Review 002 (500x375)

Like most hardcore computer geeks, I own eleventy thousand computers - including an Acer L310 HTPC I bought on impulse one afternoon on eBay. I love my little HTPC. I can play old-school Nintendo ROMs on it, Windows Media Center looks beautiful on my 40" LCD TV, and I can browse the Internet from the [...]

Posted in: Computer Gear
G-Cube Keyboard and Mouse 004 (500x375)

I have a lot of computers. Part of the problem with having so many computers is having enough keyboards and mice for all of them – and having small keyboards is a plus when you have so many machines. When Julie sent me some information about G-Cube, I was pretty interested in their keyboards – [...]

Posted in: Computer Gear

Several months ago, Julie sent me a couple leather iPhone cases to review. After playing around with both of them and using them on a daily basis, I decided I really wanted a silicone case, so I bought a couple online. When all was said and done, I'd used four different cases with my iPhone [...]

Posted in: iOS
Livio Pandora Radio 002 (500x375)

A few months ago, Julie mentioned the Livio Pandora Internet Radio in her Spotlight Gadget feature. My boyfriend had recently introduced me to Pandora, and I just knew he and I had to check this little device out. Several weeks later, Livio had shipped me the LV001 Pandora Radio. Right out of the box, this [...]

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Wireless

My name is Claire, and I have a problem. With digital audio player addiction. I swear, I have like forty of the things. I don't use many of them...just my iPhone, and my old 60GB fourth-generation iPod jolts me awake to the melodious sound of DragonForce every morning. That doesn't stop me from collecting more [...]

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV

I'm an avid reader of the Consumerist. I also talk to Julie online a lot, which means that I'm frequently sending her links during the day to interesting articles I find. We got into a discussion about texting, after I sent her an article on a girl in Colorado who racked up a $4,756.25 Verizon [...]

Posted in: Wireless

I was excited when Julie told her main article contributors that she was sending us HP Mini 1000 netbooks in December, but for an entirely different reason. See, I'd already purchased an Acer Aspire One only a few months earlier, and I was quite interested in seeing how the HP Mini stood up against the [...]

Posted in: Tablets, Ultra Portables

iVoice sent a Baby-ai headset along with their R1 car kit. I've used a couple of different bluetooth headsets in the past and haven't been too impressed with them. I have small ears and wear glasses, so I've had a hard time finding a headset that would stay on my ear securely while walking around [...]

Posted in: Wireless

Despite my extra geekiness and my affinity for electronic gadgets and toys, I only very recently acquired a cell phone with bluetooth. I'd been using a Motorola V325 with Verizon for three years (try this - they'll start begging you to upgrade to a new phone a few months after your "New every two" date), [...]

Posted in: Bluetooth Gear, Car Gear, Reviews
{ 1 comment }

I'm pretty particular about what I want in a laptop bag. I tend to prefer backpacks because of the more even weight distribution, but I've recently been using messenger bags again. My current favorite is the Ice Red Drift. When Julie sent me the Expand-It from BBP bags, I thought it looked interesting - but [...]

Posted in: Gear, Laptops and Gear

I don't know about you, but I'm...shall we say...a bit of an aggressive driver. Sometimes. My last car was a Pontiac Grand Prix GT in "arrest me" red, which didn't remotely help with my penchant for speed on the interstate. I'm sure you all have had one or two experiences with rude gestures or people [...]

Posted in: Car Gear

With the massive influx of digital media in the past decade or so, consumers have become aware of the need for some way to use
their media somewhere other than a computer. More specifically, we want to be able to play our music and movies and view our
digital pictures from the comfort of the couch, and with the high definition glory of a 72" plasma television. Apple, of course,
released the Apple TV. However, other electronics companies have tried to come up with good home media center solutions that
don't require a full computer running Windows XP Media Center Edition, or Windows Vista Premium or Ultimate.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV

I mentioned to Julie a few weeks ago that I've been looking for the perfect laptop backpack. Since I started my new job, I've been
using the Ice Red Drift messenger bag. Even though it's
not a laptop bag, it worked pretty well, seeing as my Dell XPS M1330 came with a very nice sleeve. I also really liked this bag. Its
one major problem is that it's a messenger bag. I sometimes have to make the mile and half trek home from work by foot (mostly when
I lose track of time and miss my last bus home), and a shoulder bag eventually starts to hurt my back and shoulder from the
unbalanced weight. I already have a couple laptop backpacks, but neither were exactly what I want.

Posted in: Gear, Laptops and Gear

Last year, I found the Mio DigiWalker C220 on Black Friday for only $100. I really love it, so I was certainly
game to review its upgraded replacement, the C230. This is more or less Mio's lowest-end GPS unit.

Posted in: GPS

I'm a big fan of webcams. Once I figured out how to broadcast a webcam stream on a webpage,
I started broadcasting from work so that my mom and friends could see me. One idea I had related to this was setting up a little home
surveillance system with my two Logitech QuickCams and my eeePC 701's integrated webcam. I'm mostly just curious to see what my cats do
all day while I'm at work. While setting up such a stream is pretty easy, it requires running a computer 24/7 and can be a little power and
bandwidth hungry.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV

I'm a bit of a webcam aficionado. I have several - my Dell XPS M1330 and eeePC 701 have integrated webcams, plus I have an older
VGA Logitech QuickCam and a new 2MP QuickCam Orbit AF. Video chatting can be a lot of fun when your friends live out-of-state - or on the
other side of the globe. Julie sent over a couple webcams for me to review - the
IPEVO PoV and a networked security camera from Brando.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Computer Gear, Laptops and Gear

Last year, Asus rocked the UMPC world with their announcement of a small, ultra-portable laptop - for only $200. Several
revisions, image leaks, speculative reports, and price increases later, the eeePC line was officially released - with
$200 added to price tag and 512MB RAM pulled from the default specs. I've had the flagship 701 model with 4GB of
solid-state disk space and a 0.3MP (300,000 pixel) webcam. Other model options include the 2G ($300) and 4G ($350)
Surfs with 2GB and 4GB SSD and no webcam, as well as the 8GB SSD/1GB RAM 8G at $500.

Posted in: Tablets, Ultra Portables

A few months ago or so, Arriva created a new listening device for Apple's second and third generation iPod shuffle - the "clip"
model. Rather than dealing with a cord that can get tangled up while you're working out or cleaning house, Arriva's given us a
pair of wraparound-style headphones that attach directly to the shuffle.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV

Since getting my Zune 8GB, it has become a full-time replacement for my old 40GB iPod Photo. As such, I was in need of a case for it.
I have a fairly nice pink leather InCase for my iPod, and I wanted something similar for my Zune. However, seeing as my Zune is such a
pretty red color, I didn't want to completely cover it with something. The search began.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV
{ 1 comment }

I've never quite seen the purpose behind owning a photo printer. These days, you can print 4x6 copies of your digital pictures
for around twelve cents a picture, by way of online services like Snapfish and Wal-Mart Online. However, for some people, the
immediate satisfaction of printing photos at home is entirely worth the added expense of ink cartridges and high-quality photo
printer paper. One of Epson's latest all-in-one photo printer offerings, the RX595, should satisfy even the most particular of these
print-at-home types.

Posted in: Computer Gear

Zune 8GB

I got into the MP3 player market a little late. I was in high school during the early years of the
digital music revolution, so I couldn't really afford the players of the time. My very first foray
into MP3 hardware was with a very, very poorly made RCA MP3-CD player. I upgraded from that to a
Creative Muvo2 with the microdrive ripped out and a 512MB CompactFlash card installed. I never used
it much, because the interface was clunky and annoying to use.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV

I work with Julie, and one afternoon we were talking about various iPod accessories. She's never used anything
from the iLuv line of iPod accessories, so I volunteered to write a review. This is a review of the iLuv i177BLK.
This clock is also available in white.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Watches and Clocks
{ 1 comment }