Claire Strodtbeck

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… Read More

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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… Read More

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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… Read More


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 –… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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)… Read More

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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… Read More


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… Read More


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.


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.