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Julie’s gadget diary – How I set up handsfree media control in my MINI Cooper

on Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I love everything about my 2013 MINI Cooper except the stereo system which is pretty lame by most gadgeteer standards. When I ordered the car, I opted not to go full tech and buy the premium connected package because it was an expensive upgrade and the sales person at the dealership talked me out of itRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – Nexus 7 powered car mods

on Friday, June 20th, 2014

I was at work the other day (Cummins, Inc), when someone walked up to my desk to ask for some help with his laptop. As I was talking to him, he happened to notice the Nexus 7 in the Zagg Auto-fit keyboard case next to me on my desk. He asked me which laptop it wasRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – The great sneaker mystery

on Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Posted in: Articles, Home, Kitchen

We returned home from a one week epic road trip vacation at 1am Saturday morning. After some much needed sleep, Jeanne decided she wanted to unwind from the 1000+ mile trip with an afternoon of working in the garden. Yeah, I know, she’s weird. While she was out sweating in the sun and dirt, IRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – Is Gmail sucking the life out of your Android smartphone?

on Sunday, February 16th, 2014

This is a quick tip for all my fellow Android users. Have you noticed that your Android smartphone is always warm to the touch or that your battery life has taken a nose dive? When I was using the Samsung Galaxy S3 as my primary phone, it would often feel warm even when I hadRead More…

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

on Friday, February 7th, 2014

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 andRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – Hacking my Samsung Galaxy Note 2

on Friday, January 10th, 2014

I recently switched over to a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 so that I could work on a review of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch (review coming soon). In the past when I had tried to use phablets like the Note 2 and 3 as my primary device, I quickly gave up due to their size.Read More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – A week with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Back in March of this year, I test drove a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for a couple weeks to see if a phablet was the right device for me. If you’re not hip to the latest gadget lingo, the term phablet refers to smartphones that approach tablet dimensions. I came away with mixed feelings from myRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – Back from vacation, how did the Nexus 7 work out as my laptop replacement?

on Monday, October 14th, 2013

Last week I was down on Sanibel Island, Florida for vacation. I had the bright idea that I would leave my 13″ Macbook Air at home and use my shiny new Nexus 7 (2013) Android LTE tablet as a laptop replacement. For those of you who are regulars here, you may remember a similar scenarioRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – One month TV detox complete and going on vacation with the Nexus 7 2013

on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Yesterday signaled the end of my 30 day self-imposed TV detox. During the whole month of September, we watched zero TV shows. When the TV was on, it was playing one of the DirecTV music channels. It was surprisingly easy and liberating. I didn’t miss it at all. However, according to one of my friendsRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – Apple is boring and I miss Steve

on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
Posted in: Articles, Miscellaneous

I really tried to be excited about yesterday’s Apple iPhone 5C and 5S unveiling. As I watched the live stream, I kept telling myself maybe Apple will surprise me again. Maybe there will be “one more thing” to wow me. Maybe… But there wasn’t and it made me sad. Today I visited Apple’s site andRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – 30 days without TV

on Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

If you look up the term “couch potato” in the dictionary, you’ll probably see my picture. I’ve always loved TV and easily get hooked on shows which I’ll faithfully follow from the premier episode to its finale. I like sitcoms, movies, medical dramas, sci-fi, fantasy, talent shows, some reality shows, etc. At one point lastRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – it’s time to crack open a new journal

on Friday, August 30th, 2013
Posted in: Articles

Although I enjoy using electronic gadgets and gizmos, I still love simpler products like journals, pens and pencils just as much. Earlier this week I finished up my latest journal – the 80 page Quo Vadis Habana 4 x 6 inch plain page notebook shown above. I really liked the soft cover and bright white 85-gram paper. AlthoughRead More…

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Julie’s gadget diary – check out my new gadget transport system

on Friday, August 9th, 2013
Posted in: Articles, Car Gear

How’s this for the ultimate “gear bag”? After years upon years of wanting one, I finally decided to just go for it and bought a 2013 MINI Cooper S Hardtop. I’ve been driving it for a little over a week now and I absolutely love it. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed driving a carRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – Every day carry update

on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Posted in: Articles, Gear

Two months have passed since my first article outlining all the gear I carry with me each day, so it’s time to see which items I’ve dropped and the new gear that  I have added. Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size. 04/29/13 Gear Bag Same as last time Timbuk2 Custom LaptopRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – 2nd look at Qi wireless charging

on Friday, April 26th, 2013

A few weeks ago I published a gadget diary post sharing my experiences with trying to get Qi wireless charging working with my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3. Long story short, I ordered a wireless charging patch (receiver) and a Nokia DT-900 Wireless Charging pad and it didn’t work. One of our frequent readers (Haesslich) leftRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – Qi inductive wireless charging, more trouble than it’s worth?

on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

My first experience with inductive charging was way back in 2004 when I reviewed one of Microsoft’s SPOT watches. The watches themselves were kind of clunky, but I thought it was so cool that they could be charged just by being placing on a cradle. The fact that no  cables had to be plugged directly intoRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – Is the Samsung Galaxy Note II too big?

on Thursday, March 28th, 2013

How big is too big when it comes to the size of a smartphone? That’s the question I’ve been trying to answer for myself lately. I’ve been using a Samsung Galaxy S III for the past 6 months, but only recently I decided to try a Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy Note II. The Note IIRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – My evolving EDC

on Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Posted in: Articles, Bags, Gear

I thought it might be interesting and useful for me to capture a visual and text list of my EDC (Every Day Carry) gear on a monthly basis. Seeing my gear might give you ideas for your own EDC and I’m hoping you might make suggestions for things I should look at that might replaceRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – My quest for an ultimate alarm clock has finally ended

on Monday, February 25th, 2013

I’ve been searching for an ultimate alarm clock for what seems like forever. I even have proof that it’s been at least 6 years… I posted a diary post back in 2007 listing my must-have alarm clock features.  Some of which  included: 1. Wake up by playing a tune from a specific playlist in iTunes.Read More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – Can a Samsung Chromebook replace my Macbook Air?

on Monday, November 19th, 2012

In an effort to cure a raging case of tech boredom, I’ve been trying some experiments to see if various gadgets have the ability to replace my 13″ Macbook Air as my go to workhorse computer. I recently tried this with a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Android tablet to less than a stellar outcome. NowRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – Why I gave up on my 5 day experiment to use the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 as my main computer after only 24hrs

on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

A couple days ago, I announced that I would be trying 2 experiments. Both involved giving up my 13″ Macbook Air in favor of a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Android tablet and a Google Chromebook. The plan was to use a devices for 5 full days to see if it could cut it as myRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – It may be iPad Mini day for some, but it’s Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 day for me!

on Friday, November 2nd, 2012
Posted in: Articles

I’ve been wanting to try the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 for awhile now, and I finally caved in and ordered one yesterday afternoon from Amazon. Thanks to my Amazon Prime membership, shipping was only $3.99 for next day. UPS just dropped it off to me about 20 minutes ago. How’s that for almost instant gratification?Read More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – I think I’m having a mid-life tech crisis

on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I think I’m starting to sound like the grumpy old gadget woman lately, but today’s Apple iPad mini event did not excite me any more than last month’s iPhone 5 announcement. If you recall, I decided NOT to buy an iPhone 5. I dumped my iPhone 4S and defected over to camp Android with aRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – Meet My New Best Friend

on Friday, September 14th, 2012

Ok gadget pals, I put my money where my mouth is and stopped by my local Verizon store after work today. It’s crazy how busy this store is. I think it gets more action than the Best Buy store a few yards away. I had narrowed my choices down to the HTC Droid Incredible 4GRead More…

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Julie’s Gadget Diary – I’ve Decided Not to Order the iPhone 5

on Friday, September 14th, 2012

I sorta hesitate to post this for the world to see because I’ve been known to change my mind. A lot. After feeling more fizzle than sparkle about Wednesday’s iPhone 5 unveiling, I’ve been going back and forth in my mind about my decision to pre-order one. I have been saving my Verizon upgrade sinceRead More…