Joe Porletto

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.

Tekto Skar OTF Knife review – Release your inner John Wick (just not with this knife)

REVIEW – Some knives are just inherently cooler than others. For me, it doesn’t get much cooler than an automatic OTF (out-the-front) knife. There’s something about flicking a switch and having a razor-sharp blade spring forward that makes me feel like a secret agent, or a notorious hitman named John Wick for that matter. The …

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FlexSolar 120W Foldable Solar Panel Kit review – The power of the sun in the palm of your hand

REVIEW – As my collection of portable batteries and power packs grows, the need for cheap (or free) electricity to keep them topped off increases as well. To avoid forking over my paycheck to Seattle City Light each month I’ve been looking for an effective solar panel kit to address this need. I may have …

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Gadgeteer team – gear we’re using in 2022 – Shooting Range Edition (Joe Porletto)

REVIEW – When the Gadgeteer team decided to do another round of “Gear we’re using” posts I was concerned because I’ve been using pretty much the same gear for the last two years. I documented my Work from Home setup exactly a year ago as I write this and that hasn’t changed at all. Since …

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UGOOS UT8 Pro Android TV Box review – A buggy powerhouse that’s not ready for prime time

REVIEW – Since “cutting the cord” years ago I’ve had the opportunity to try out pretty much every TV media box. I’ve run my media collection and streaming apps through Rokus, TiVos, Amazon Fires, Chromecasts, Xboxes, Playstations, Macs, PCs, Smart TVs, and my all-time favorite, Nividia Shields. Just know, the Nividia Shield hands down outshines …

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SANNCE 2K 4MP Super HD Webcam review – I’m finally ready for my closeup!

REVIEW – Even though I’m using my webcam more than I ever thought I would, I can’t bring myself to invest in better lighting for my frequent video meetings and chats. Further complicating the problem is my cramped work area which doesn’t have much room for additional equipment like a large ring light. Fortunately, I …

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Donner DBA-1 15W Bass Guitar Amplifier review – Big sound in a little package

REVIEW – One of the many hobbies I picked up during my pandemic downtime is the bass guitar. I’ve played guitar since I was a kid but was always a bit intimidated by the bass. Having been in the same band for about twenty years now (insert shameless Spotify plug here) I’d frequently pick up …

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RIIND Compact and Slim Pens review – Simple tools with advanced designs

CROWDFUNDING REVIEW – As a huge advocate of Bullet Journaling, and journaling in general, I take a lot of notes. I go through several of my favorite Leuchtturm1917 notebooks each year and even more Schmidt ink refills. I’m also a proponent of paying more for higher-quality versions of the items you use most often. This …

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Mavix M4 Gaming Chair review – You don’t always get what you pay for

REVIEW – Spending long hours in front of a computer, whether for business or pleasure, necessitates a really comfortable chair. Preferably, an ergonomic, sturdy chair designed to support over extended periods of time. A lot of gaming chairs achieve this but aren’t exactly what I’d call subtle, boasting huge ridiculous logos, bright garish colors, and …

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New York Comic Con 2021 trip report

ARTICLE – The year 2020 was a difficult one for pretty much everyone on the planet. We saw some seriously major catastrophes, some planetwide, some more localized. There were also innumerable minor personal tragedies, things like missed graduations, weddings, birthday parties, etc. For me, the cancellation of an in-person 2020 New York Comic Con, while …

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My Medic Recon & MyFAK First Aid Kits review – Always be prepared!

REVIEW – Even in uneventful times everyone should own or have access to a good first aid kit. In many emergencies being able to respond quickly with the appropriate gear is one of the few ways to prevent catastrophe. Having worked briefly as a first responder, I know that having the right resources available in …

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Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Core Portable Power Station review – Power all the things!

REVIEW – In my never-ending quest to always be prepared for any eventuality I’ve accumulated quite a few portable power units. Large and small, these power packs are strewn about my apartment, stored in pockets and backpacks, or stashed away in bins patiently awaiting the apocalypse. None of the many battery packs I own though …

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Morakniv Garberg BlackBlade Survival Kit review – Use it to fight off a bear and start a fire

REVIEW – Ever since bushcraft knives first came to my attention, I’ve been a big fan, mainly because of their incredible versatility. Bushcraft knives are designed specifically to tackle a ton of difficult tasks and are purpose-built for strength and durability. Swedish knifemaker Morakniv has been in the business of making some of the toughest …

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ThruNite TW10 Weaponlight review – USB-C rechargeable tactical light

REVIEW – When assembling a kit for home defense, one of the most important considerations to make after deciding on a platform, is lighting. Whether you opt for a handgun, shotgun, carbine, or another platform altogether, your choice of a weapon-mounted flashlight is vital to the effectiveness of your setup. Every piece of equipment in …

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Goal Zero Venture 75 Power Bank review

REVIEW – Since long-distance travel has been off the table for a while now, I’ve been making plans for shorter, closer-to-home trips. Inevitably, those trips involve long drives and off-the-grid locations. My usual EDC battery packs work fine to keep my power-hungry travel devices fed, but I have to pack three or four if the …

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