GeekDad Review: Inateck 4-Port Compact USB Charger

USB Charger saves electrical outlets but not cables

The bane of my existence is my kids’ constant battle over chargers for their portable devices. When we travel, the hassle is magnified, with fewer outlets and the need to lug around a bag of chargers. What’s the solution? Continue reading

The Home of Tomorrow Today

LYRIC

As I made my way through CES 2015, I couldn’t help but get the feeling that I’d been lied to. Allow me to explain: the future I was promised was big and shiny and festooned with silver lamé jumpsuits. And also robots. Lots of robots. Continue reading

Replacing the Battery in a MacBook Air

MBA taken apart

I recently wrote a year end post about products that had disappointed me in 2014, and one of the featured culprits was a 2008 vintage MacBook Air whose battery had swollen to the point it was distorting the aluminum case. Since Apple no longer sells components for this notebook — even though the battery is a consumable (thus the reason for my griping) — I was offered the choice of using the MBA only while plugged in, finding a third party battery or buying a new laptop. I bought a replacement battery from Other World Computing (OWC) and installed it, proving that the non user-replaceable battery in these things is indeed easily user replaceable. And so far, so good on the battery from OWC. Continue reading

11 New Gadget Kickstarters You Want to See (and Back)

doodler

Here are 11 cool new tech projects that have launched on Kickstarter. Check them out! Continue reading

Festivus of Gadgets (Products That Disappointed Me in 2014)

MBA swelling battery

As part of GeekDad and in other roles, I have the opportunity to test a lot of gear. Some are loaner units provided by the manufacturer, some I end up buying and writing about. Review periods typically last days to weeks and while I can learn a great deal about a product during that time, sometimes even the best turns out to be less than satisfactory in the long term. I thought I’d do something different this year and close out 2014 with a few examples of products that found a way to disappoint me — giving some consumer electronics the Festivus treatment, if you will. No aluminum pole, but I do have an aluminum notebook on my list of grievances. Continue reading

Hobbyist Kits — Yesterday (200-in-1) and Today (DuinoKit)!

The DuinoKits

I must have been around twelve years of age when I began developing an interest in electronics. I started taking electronic gizmos like alarm clocks and kitchen appliances apart (often without permission) and examining them more closely. Rather than discourage me, my parents switched gears and birthday and Christmas presents moved from toys to more fun and advanced project-like gifts. One of the more memorable ones was a 200-in-1 electronics kit from Radio Shack. Continue reading