About

Welcome to The Gadgeteer! Are you obsessed with the latest smartphones, gadgets, and geek toys? Then you are definitely at the right place! Our reviews will tell you what it’s like to use the products. We always give you the good with the bad and do our best to keep it simple, informative, and fun.

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Julie Strietelmeier
Owner, Editor in Chief
[Columbus, Indiana]

I was born a gadget freak. This is a fact that can be proven by looking at a note written by a teacher on the bottom of one of my grade school report cards. “…Julie continues to bring little toys and things to school to trade with the boys…” Lucky for me, my parents never condemned my love of tech. My Dad actually encouraged it, by allowing me to dismantle old household devices in order to retrieve the magnets from their motors. As for computers, I started out with a Texas Instruments TI/994a computer, then several Commodore 64’s, an Atari ST, various home built Windows boxes and currently a 13″ MacBook Pro. My smartphone usage is in constant flux. I get bored easily and can never get enough new devices to try.

After running 3 successful dial-up BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems – remember them?) from 1990 – 1996, I started The Gadgeteer as a small hobby site on the Geocities free community pages back in the summer of 1997. By December of that same year, I purchased the domain name of the-gadgeteer.com and within 3 years, The Gadgeteer grew to become one of the most trusted product review sites on the net. Recognized by Microsoft, the Wallstreet Journal and many other industry sources as the site to go to for real hands-on reviews without the fluff…

Since 1997, we’ve reviewed hundreds of products and I want to express my appreciation to the more than 150 product reviewers that have contributed to this site over the years. The wide range of expertise from these folks has contributed to the credibility of our product reviews. So thanks again to everyone who has contributed thus far to The Gadgeteer.

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And now, here’s information about my team:

Alex Birch
[Oakland, CA]

Alex has been developing consumer products for over two decades across multiple industries. Roots in snowboarding and cycling let his passion lead throughout his career and its many paths. Gadgets, bike parts, and guitars can be found strewn throughout the home he shares with his wife, teenage children and two dogs that actually rule the house.

kathleen-chapmanKathleen Chapman
[Fort Worth, TX]

I’ve always enjoyed technology and the sciences (mostly biology and entomology). Growing up, I loved catching fireflies, caterpillars, and butterflies (and then releasing them), and watching Star Trek, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Dr. Who, and Beyond 2000. As an adult I’ve worked as an entomological research technician, an end-user services tech, a home educator, and an engineering project administrator. I continue to enjoy learning about technological and scientific advances.

ryanchapmanRyan Chapman
[Kent, WA]

Ryan Chapman is a proud Husker fan, martial artist, and avid reader of sci-fi/fantasy. Her passions are gadgets and gaming; preferably FPS or RPG games, and, as one of the younger Gadgeteers, remembers the first real gadget of her own being a pair of headphones and a portable CD player. Her favorite type of gadgets are gaming accessories and any kind of case for her iDevices.

Andy Chen
[Oakland, CA]

Andy Chen is a Fire Prevention Officer/EMT and former Electronics Specialist with the FBI. His interests include wireless devices and everyday-carry gadgets.

Issac Chongulia
[Tumwater, WA]

I am a lifetime tinkerer and lover of all gadgets. I prefer function over form and to repair rather than replace so I have taken most things apart and sometimes I’m even successful at putting them back together again. I love being a Gadgeteer and testing cool new things. I live in the Pacific Northwest (Go Ducks!) with my wife, son, and two cats named Han and Luke. I like hazy IPAs and disc golf, preferably at the same time.

Mike Dixon
[Muskegon, MI]

Mike Dixon is a software developer who started writing code in the 8th grade. His love for electronics took him to Washington State via the Navy where he transitioned into computers in the early 1990’s.

He later worked for Microsoft Press as a technical editor and then Microsoft as a tester and developer support engineer. In 2000 he went out on his own as a software developer with CoffeeCup Software and is still writing applications for them.

He is a lover of anything tech related and also an avid photographer. You can see some of his photography at www.mikedixonphotography.com.

David Ferreira
[Montgomery, TX]

Born in New Jersey, raised in California and since then I’ve been in every town in between (plus more than 16 countries). I am a lifelong gadget freak, building an Altair 8800 computer when I was 15 (you do the math). Although I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, other than a brief stint owning a comic book store I have never worked outside of tech. I’ve written two books on software that disappeared weeks after the books were published (the original Microsoft Access – a terminal emulation program – and Volkswriter, a word processing program). These days I am the CTO of a boutique consulting firm based in Seattle although I live in Houston, which means lots of air miles and a wonderful vacation on Mars paid for with miles. In the meantime, I get to do two of my favorite things: play with gadgets and write about them for the Gadgeteer.

Guanshan Fix
[Neshkoro, WI]

My name is Guanshan Fix and I work as a software engineer for a large insurance company. I love to spend my free time playing with my four cats and my dog. When the weather is nice you can often find me working in the large sustainable garden my husband and I set up.

My hobby is collecting hobbies so you name it, I’ve probably tried it! Which is why I love being a reviewer, I’m able to learn new skills and try new things every day.

James Garriss
[Boiling Springs, SC]

James has a Bachelors in Engineering and a Masters in Divinity. He works as an engineer for The MITRE Corporation and plays Dota and grows veggies and flowers in his spare time. He has been married to his wife for 26 years, and they have 2 children.

Matt Gregersen
[Orem, UT]

Matt Gregersen works by day in the tech industry (online learning software), but his alter ego is a gadget-obsessed techy nerd gamer. From humble beginnings programming Star Trek/Wars text-based trivia games in Basic on his IBM 8088 at age ~12, he’s had a lifelong fascination with the latest technology.

Jacob Haas
[Lebanon, PA]

Jacob is a creative director at a national insurance and financial services publication and has over 15 years of graphic design and digital publishing experience. He has been enthralled by electronics and gadgets from an early age and is always looking forward to his next favorite toy. He loves Moleskines, satchels, and coffee.

Brooke and Mason Hall
[Columbus, IN]

Brooke and Mason Hall are a mother-son team. She’s a freelance writer with a journalism background. He’s a teenager who loves all things electronic, which he often buys secondhand to fiddle with and dissect.

Bill Henderson
[Orlando, FL]

Bill Henderson is a pathetic Apple fanboy who also loves audio, especially headphones and earphones. He has years of experience reviewing music for the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. He is currently an Art Director at Scholastic Book Fairs in Florida.

Steve Holt
[Franklin, TN]

Steve is a financial advisor with Edward Jones, in Franklin, TN. Married, with 4 adult kids (all employed and living out of his house!) he is also a professional speaker who has spoken on multiple continents. He is an avid Android fan, much to the chagrin of his wife and kids (who are all iPhone fans) but his most important role is probably being the tech support person for his family!

Andy Jacobs
[Fort Wayne, IN]

The qualities of a gadget that pique my interest are design, functionality, and practicality. I’m fiendishly fond of getting my hands on a new gadget to plumb the depths of its features and help owners to learn something they might not have otherwise known or to educate potential buyers and aid them in a purchasing decision.

Garry Kolb
[The Villages, FL]

After a successful 35-year career in information technology in mid-Michigan, I am now happily retired and living the dream life in The Villages, Florida with my fun-loving and very tolerant wife of over 35 years. When not playing golf, pickleball or water volleyball, I like amazing our neighbors with our automated home and fiddling with new gadgets.

Lynn Lopez
[San Antonio, TX]

I have always loved gadgets and technology. I have been in IT for over 30 years. My personal interests include motorcycling, photography, Star Trek and of course the latest and greatest gadgets. My phones are always under two years old and if I am not shopping or at least looking at something new, then something is wrong with me!

Dave Moore
[Rochester, NY]

Dave lives near Rochester, NY, and has been a club-carrying card member of The-Gadgeteer since 2017. He’s a big fan of Smart cars, tools, and home automation. His wife is a clothing designer and seamstress and is from Madagascar. They enjoy travel and do a lot of laughing.

Shawna Nester
[Columbus, IN]

Shawna loves any product or gadget that can make her life a little easier, especially those that assist in her love for crafting and organizing. A wife, mother of two, real estate agent, teacher, and dog mom are just a few of her many titles. She loves writing and reviewing for the Gadgeteer, with her favorite part being that she can let her options known.

Bob Patterson
[Philadelphia, PA]

Bob is a digital marketer by day and an artist at night. A lifelong lover of gadgets, Bob is particularly obsessed with everyday carry (messenger bags, briefcases & backpacks) and cooking gear. He’s passionate about music (especially punk rock), cooking, Philadelphia sports, coffee, scotch whiskey and all things rum. His Yoda tattoo is proof positive of his hardcore love for sci-fi and fantasy in all their forms. Bob’s hobbies are tolerated at home by his wife of 25 years, his two children, and their rescue dog Lani.

Julian Perry
[Massapequa, NY]

Julian has been a fan of all things technology from his early childhood when taking every gadget apart, and putting it back together to figure out how it worked and what it could do better, was a part of his every day tinkering. He studied technology and is a confessed gadget nerd. He is currently an IT Manager for a NYC agency, and he is also the owner of 247 Creative Studio Inc.; a photography/cinematography company, and the Founder and CEO of The Perry Foundation Inc., which is a Charitable Organization. He is of course, a Gadgeteer at heart.

Joe Porletto
[Seattle, WA]

Joe became a Maker at the age of ten after piecing together a Sinclair ZX80 that his grandfather had given him. The bug bit him hard and he’s been tinkering, building, deconstructing and generally creating gadgetry mayhem ever since. Joe lives in Seattle with Addy, his rescue pitty, and Chino, his blind kitty.

Smythe Richbourg
[Durham, NC]

Smythe Richbourg has been an avid Mac user since getting his first Mac in 1987. A lifelong gadget fan, he’s been hooked on the modern electronic organizer since getting the very first Newton. He lives in Durham, NC, with his wife, and whatever dogs and daughters happen to be home at the time. He’s also an amateur photographer and cyclist.

Matt Sailors
[Gainesville, FL]

I am a husband, father, and scouter. As the son of a farm-boy turned professional engineer and a chemical laboratory technician, I was thrust into the world of gadgets at an early age. I am a biomedical engineer and a health informaticist specializing in data and information modeling, clinical decision support, and information quality.

I am a life-long maker, an aficionado of 24-hour timepieces, a Hewlett-Packard-Packard calculator fanatic, a collector of pre-Golden Age and Golden Age science fiction, and a proud adult LEGO enthusiast.

Professionally, I work for a large health insurance company on corporate health analytics and solutions and quality metrics. I also teach practical ontology design/data modeling and database design.

Raul Sanchez
[Tampa, FL]

Raul is a photo taker and video maker as well as a lover of gadgets, especially the small portable ones. He shoots photos from fashion to concert to portrait to travel photography and makes music videos to commercials to special interest videos. When he’s not running around the streets, on rooftops, or in nightclubs taking pictures or creating videos, he’s probably at the gym super late at night, like around 1 or 2 in the morning. Seriously, like 1 or 2 in the morning.

David Sheneman
[Montgomery, IL]

I learned the value of turning it off and back on again at a very young age. I once helped my grandmother get a VHS tape out of her VCR by unplugging it and plugging it back in. I also used to get all my spare parts by taking things apart and trying to put them back together again. Why did I end up with so many screws left over?

I have a degree in film and video production and I’ve been running church sound for 35+ years. I’m an endless tinkerer and quite adept at troubleshooting audio, video, lighting, and computers. Sometimes I’m fixing the problems I created for myself by not being patient, other times I’m working around bugs or inadequacies in certain products. I prefer macOS and iOS, but I grew up with Windows and dabble Android as well.

I’ve made a happy life for myself with a beautiful wife, two great kids, and formerly a wonderful schnauzer (RIP Sparky).

Howard Sneider
[Burlington, MA]

Howard Sneider lives northwest of Boston and consults in the Bioprocess field. Growing up, he took as many things apart as he could in the house to see how they work. (They weren’t all reassembled.) These days, in nearly every setting he finds himself, he is the resident gadget guru. Howard lives with his wife, two children, and pet turtle. In his free time, he does what he can to stay active and, of course, play with gadgets.

Michael Strange
[Macomb, MI]

I live in the Great state of Michigan with my 8 year old puggle Zoey. I love the change of seasons and think that a Michigan Fall should be on everyone’s bucket list. Huge Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings, and yes, unfortunately, Detroit Lions fan. I also Love University of Michigan football. GO BLUE!
I go to the gym 4 to 5 times a week and in my free time, I love to watch movies, take photographs, and even draw when I’m in an artistic mood.
I’ve been fascinated with technology ever since I received an Atari 2600 for Christmas circa 1980. Self-admitted Apple Fan Boy. I love getting my hands on new tech. Especially anything Apple or Home Theater related. I’m truly awed and inspired by all of today’s technology. It’s a great time to be alive.

Lex Strickland
[Richmond, VA]

As a child, I usually disassembled Christmas toys by lunchtime. I’m fascinated by cellphones, fountain pens, knives, flashlights, Chromebooks, and Chromeboxes. I play drums, workout, throw boomerangs, shoot paper targets, and bike. I try to fit in my retirement when I have time.

Theresa Villeneuve
[Sherman Oaks, CA]

When she’s not testing something cool for The Gadgeteer, Theresa Villeneuve is a film and communications professor at Citrus College in Glendora, California. She is an active micro nationalist and is the Los Angeles Consul for the country of Ladonia, where she won a gold medal in the area of No-Limit Texas Hold’em at the 2022 Micronational Olympic Games. An avid poker player, she earned the nickname “Velvet Steamroller” for her ability to silently roll over opponents at the final table. She also enjoys travelling, skiing, hiking with her dogs and hanging out with her teenage son.

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