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Author Archive for Julie Strietelmeier – Page 4

ToneRite claims to bring vintage tone to new instruments


People who play guitars and other stringed wooden instruments often covet vintage instruments because they usually have better tone due to years of vibrations from being played. But no one wants to wait 50 – 100 years for their newer instrument’s sound to “open up” and resonate more. ToneRite is an electronic device that uses special frequencies to vibrate the wood, simulating playing the instrument without actually strumming the strings. There are versions of the ToneRite for the guitar, violin, mandolin, viola, cello, ukulele and double bass. The unit is placed to come into contact with the bridge without touching any of the instrument’s varnish. According to the claims, two to three “treatments” of 72 hours will result in added volume with a fuller and more balanced sound. The price for accelerated aging is $149 for guitars and $199 for ukuleles.

I’m actually waiting for a custom ukulele and think it would be interesting to try a gadget like the ToneRite to see if their claims are real or just imagined.

For more info, visit ToneRite.

Ladies, forget about backup batteries, the Everpurse is all you need


We covered the Everpurse iPhone charging purse back in 2012 when it was a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. Now the folks at Grand St. have teamed up with Everpurse and the designers of New York based Stitch Collective to create a new version of the handbag which offers a built in Lightning charger dock that features a 2,800 mAh battery. The Everpurse is compatible with the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c, and starts charging the device as soon as it’s connected to the inside dock. How do you charge the purse’s battery? Wirelessly. An induction charging mat is included which makes recharging as easy as can be. Just set the Everpurse on the charging mat and you’re done. No cables to plug and unplug. Wireless charging is definitely convenient. It’s all I use anymore and I just love it. That said, I think the $300 price tag for this purse is very expensive – way too spendy for me. If the price doesn’t scare you away, find more info or order at Grand St. (affiliate link).

Surfing Faveable for gadgets on a Friday afternoon


It’s almost the weekend, so what better way to pass some time than browsing random gadgets! Continuing with our series of partnered posts from Faveable’s gadget discovery site, we have a selection of cool gadgets for you to check out. First up we have a 28″ 4K Monitor from Dell (coincidentally, they happen to be running a big sale this weekend offering a 20% discount). This monitor was revealed earlier this year at CES (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) and received a lot of praise and popularity thanks to its incredible $699 MSRP. Dell P2815Q has a 28″ diagonal screen size and offers four times the resolution of Full HD (1080p). It also doesn’t skimp on connectivity options.   Read More →

Help wanted – become part of The Gadgeteer team!


Updated (02/14/17): Once or twice a year I post a help wanted notice asking for people to try out for a spot on our growing team of crazy gadget loving geeks. Right now I have 2-3 spots to fill. Are you one of them?
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Wizor – a pair of scissors you don’t have to search for


Loose threads, labels and tags. Three things that require an ordinary every day tool to remove – a pair of scissors. But where is a pair when you need them? Probably at the bottom of a drawer, but which drawer? One way to solve this problem is with a Wizor. What the heck is a Wizor you ask? It’s a wall scissor of course! Wizors are peel and stick cutters that you can affix to a handy location so it will always be exactly where you need it to be. Wizors are made of plastic with a special blade behind a protective shield making this tool safe for even smaller kids to use. Instead if trying to break off labels or threads by pulling or biting them, you can just cut them with the Wizor.

Wizors come in packs of two for $8.99. For more info and to order, visit

Top 7 ergonomic chairs perfect for your office and your back

It’s mid-February, and most of your new year resolutions about staying fit may not be going as per plans. But there is one thing you could still do to avoid undue stress on your body – get an exceptional ergonomic desk chair to make lower back pains and cramped neck a thing of the past. Our friends at Faveable have compiled one such list of best ergonomic chairs in the market right now. Check out the article linked below to find out which chair is best for you and why it’s worth the upgrade.

Reading the Faveable article has made me think about upgrading my own office chair at home. I’ve been sitting on the same chair for the past 20 years! I ended up buying the same chair that I used at my day job because I liked it so well. Back then I think I spent $600 or more on it. It was pricey, but worth it… But, it might be time to shop for a new chair for my next 20 years. #2 and #7 on Faveable’s list interest me. I’ve always wanted to try a Herman Miller chair.

Check out: 7 Ergonomic Chairs That Will Soothe Your Back

WaterField Designs gets rough with their new messenger bag


WaterField Designs has just introduced the Rough Rider Leather Messenger Bag. It’s a gorgeous distressed leather bag that is available in one size: 15″ x 10.5″ x 3.5″ and with a choice of six different accent colors: black, copper, pine, green, flame and pearl. The Rough Rider easily holds a 13 inch laptop and features four additional pockets to hold your gear. There are two waxed canvas pockets on the inside and two soft-lined pockets under the flap that are large enough to hold a small tablet or phone. The Rough Rider Leather Messenger is designed to get better with age. All the scuffs and scratches will just add to its rugged good looks. You can pre-order now, with shipping scheduled to start on February 28. The price for the Rough Rider is $335. More info at WaterField Designs.

Forget about smartwatches, get a Comic Book Watch from ThinkGeek


Smartwatches might be able to tell you when your wife is calling, let you read the latest text message from your BFF and buzz you when it’s time for your appointment, but they don’t look nearly as cool as these officially licensed Retro DC Comic Book Watches from ThinkGeek. There are two versions of the watches, one with Superman and another with Batman. Each watch comes in a gift tin and features a stainless steel case and a leather strap. Either watch would be perfect for the comics geek in your life. The $29.99 price tag won’t break the bank either. Find more details at ThinkGeek.

Starbucks Valentine’s Day giveaway!


Our friends at Starbucks want to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day by offering one lucky Gadgeteer reader a Valentine’s Day gift box that they can share with their #1 sweetie. Included in the gift box are 2 ceramic mugs, one Sweetheart 2014 CD with some of your favorite romantic tunes and two boxes of Starbucks K-Cups (one Blonde Bright Sky Blend and one Blonde Aria Blend). What are you waiting for, hurry up and get your entry in!

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Carry a Lightning cable on your keychain


You know the drill, your iPhone or iPad is warning you that the battery is about to die, forcing you to go on a scavenger hunt to try to find a Lightning cable. If you’re tired of having to scrounge around in a drawer or gear bag to find a cable every time your device needs to be charged, consider a Brando Key Chain Lightning Charger. It’s a very short charging cable that snaps into a keychain style “head” for easy storage and transport. The cable features a USB connector on one end and a Lightning connector for newer iPhones and iPads on the opposite end. The Brando Key Chain Lightning Charger is priced at $12.00 and is available now.

Faveable – a new site for men to discover cool stuff


Today I want to announce our partnership with a new site called Faveable. Faveable is similar to Pinterest, but has its main focus on the coolest gadgets and “guy stuff” from across the web. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we’ll be bring you a short article like this one. The leading introductory post today is a compilation of unique camping gear and accessories to help you with your next hike or outdoor adventure. Depending on your location, it might be way too cold to even think about camping right now (it was -4F here in Southern Indiana this morning!). Reading about these outdoor gadgets is a good way to fight the winter doldrums and start thinking about warmer days. Head on over to to check what it’s all about and don’t forget to tune in again on Wednesday for more fun faves. And btw, just because the site is geared towards men, that doesn’t mean us girls can’t browse it too. :)

Check out: 20 Awesome Camping Gadgets

Belkin Miracast Video Adapter review


Sharing video content from your Android phone or tablet isn’t difficult when it’s just with one other person. But trying to share something with a group of friends all crowded around a small screen can be a little tough. The Belkin Miracast Video Adapter makes it simple to mirror your display on a big screen TV so that everyone can see (and hear) it. Just plug it in, connect and share. Is it really that easy? Let’s find out.

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Gadgeteer state of the site address


In the last couple of months you have seen some obvious changes to this web site. At the end of December we rolled out a brand new layout and at the beginning of this month we moved to a faster and more powerful server. I’ve been running The Gadgeteer for close to 17 years now and during that time we’ve had all sorts of transitions. So I’m used to receiving comments from people who love the changes we make and from those who don’t.

Earlier this week we ran a Valentine’s day contest where readers earned an entry by listing one thing they like about The Gadgeteer and one thing they would like to change about The Gadgeteer. I always enjoy these types of contests because it gives me ideas for things that may need tweaked, added or removed from the site. I know it’s impossible to make everyone happy, but always I try my best to make most people happy.

I’ve read through the 140 comments and want to address some of them now (in no particular order). Read More →

Folditure – origami folding tables and chairs


If you are short on space but flush with cash, check out these tables and chairs from Folditure. Made in the USA of aluminum and stainless steel, these items bring the old school folding chair and card table into the future with unique super slim space-saving designs that fold flat for easy storage. You can even hang them up in a closet when they are not being used. The chairs are available in two styles, with different color options and are priced starting at $590 up to $940. Yes, that cost is per chair. You can add the table for a wallet squealing $1680. Definitely interesting designs, but I think I’ll stick with my generic Walmart folding card table and 4 chair set that probably set me back less than $75. For more info visit Folditure.

Turn a wallet into a purse with the Wallet Wand


Boys, you can skip this one, it’s just for the girls. Girls, you know that carrying around a heavy purse when all you really need is your wallet, can be a pain – literally. The Wallet Wand is just the magic you need to lighten the load without breaking the bank. Take your existing checkbook sized wallet, slide a Wallet Wand under the flap, secure it and now you have a “purse” that holds just the stuff you need and nothing you don’t. The Wallet Wand comes in a kit that includes two wands and two detachable chain straps. The kit is priced at $19.99 and is available from Wallet Wand.

Julie’s gadget diary – high tech solution for a low tech problem


A few weeks ago our 25 year old grandfather clock stopped running. We tried restarting it multiple times by swinging the pendulum and it would run for 30 minutes or longer, but would then stop at some point. We had a clock doctor come to the house to clean the clock 7 years ago and he had remarked at that time that it was showing a lot of wear and might need to be replaced. Luckily it ran for another 7 years. This time we’ve decided not to pay $125 to get it cleaned since that might not fix it this time, but to go ahead and splurge on a new clock movement.

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There’s bad news and good news for Sony eReader fans

I just received an email from Sony about their decision to close their US and Canadian eReader Stores this Spring (March 20, 2014). That’s the bad news… The good news is that all the existing eReader accounts will be transferred over to Kobo. See email details after the jump.  Read More →

Handcuffs are no match for the TIHK handcuff key

tihk Remember Dave’s review of the Titanium Escape Ring, the ring with a built-in handcuff key? Well TIHK is another tool to add to your personal security EDC. TIHK stands for tiny inconspicuous handcuff key and it’s a small plastic universal handcuff key for Peerless style cuffs. It has a built-in clip that can be used to attach it (hide it) on your belt loop, sock, pocket, etc so it’s always ready if you are abducted by bad guys or handcuff toting aliens. The TIHK is made in the USA, is available now and is priced at $18 for a pack of three.

[Via The Awesomer]

IK Multimedia iLoud Studio Quality Portable Speaker review


When you’ve reviewed as many Bluetooth speakers as I have, it takes something special for me to be interested in reviewing yet another one. When IK Multimedia asked me to review their iLoud Studio Quality Portable Speaker I agreed because I liked the physical volume knob on the front of the unit. But the ability to use the speaker as a pseudo guitar amp is the feature that really made me say yes to their review offer since this is the first portable stereo speakers designed for musicians. Later I came to understand that the iLoud doesn’t work exactly like a guitar amp… but more about that later.

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Spread the love Valentine’s Day Giveaway!


How do gadgeteer’s celebrate Valentine’s Day? With flowers and a box of chocolates? Heck no, we celebrate with gadgets! This year we’re spreading the love with a giveaway of prizes that is sure to please almost anyone. It’s easy to enter, so what are you waiting for?

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Pad & Quill takes bookish to the next level with their new Author Series iPad cases


Pad & Quill are well known for their book style iPad cases made to resemble a hard back books. They just launched their new Author series cases for iPad Air and mini, where you get to build your very own case from an assortment of colors and unique patterns. You get to choose the outside color, spine color, inside color, and elastic color. You can also choose to include an inside pocket and a monogram.

These custom cases are handmade in St. Paul, Minnesota and are priced at $79.99. You can order directly from Pad & Quill with shipping in 3-5 days.

The new LYNKtec TruGlide Apex stylus is fine – literally


After suffering through years of wide tipped capacitive styluses, we’re finally starting tonsee styluses with fine tips. Last week I posted a review of the Adonit Jot Script stylus. It was the first iOS stylus that I’ve tested with a tip comparable in size to a to a ballpoint pen. The Adonit is a nice stylus, but it has a major flaw – it’s only compatible with newer iOS devices. That means Android users like me are left out in the cold. The day after I posted that review, the people at LYNKtec emailed me to ask if I might like to review their fine tipped stylus too. I thought sure, what the heck. Then when I found out their TruGlide Apex stylus is also compatible with some Android devices, I was even more interested in trying one. The TruGlide Apex is an active stylus that features a 2.3mm fine point tip and is powered by a AAAA replaceable battery. This stylus is available in Brushed Silver and Obsidian Black colors and is priced at $59.95. It’s currently on pre-order with shipping sometime later this month.

As seen on TV: Stone Wave Microwave Cooker review


Do you eat out more than you cook at home? What if you could make an omelet in less than 5 minutes or an “apple pie” in 3 minutes? Would that make you consider staying home instead of going out? The Stone Wave Microwave Cooker from Telebrands (As Seen on TV) lets you cook foods quick and easy. It may become your new cooking pal. Let me show you how it works.

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Whistle tracks your dog’s activity without making a sound


It looks like the next big thing in pet gadgets may be activity trackers. Activity trackers are already very popular for people and now they are poised to become popular for our four legged companions as well. The latest activity tracker for dogs is the Whistle Activity Monitor. This disc shaped device clips to your dog’s existing collar and is designed to track walks, play, and rest. Your pet’s data syncs from the Whistle via WiFi to Whistle’s Internet servers, and then back to the mobile app on the Bluetooth paired iOS device. Whistle also measures togetherness time when it senses the presence of the pet’s listed owners by detecting an owner’s paired device over Bluetooth.

The Whistle Activity Monitor is priced at $129.95. A version from Android will be coming this Spring.

Shark Rocket HV300 ultra-lightweight upright vacuum review


Vacuum cleaners or “sweepers” as we call them here in Southern Indiana, are not a product that I would normally think of as a gadget, but some of the latest brands of vacuums are starting to add features that put these home appliances in that category. In the last month, I have been offered three different vacuums to review. I’m going to start off with the Shark Rocket ultra-lightweight upright vacuum. Although this one doesn’t have any gee-whiz gadgety features like the other two vacuums I’ll be featuring soon, it does suck – but not in a bad way.

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