My New Chromebook isn't a Chromebook, at all.

When my son started at his new school, he needed a conventional PC. After finding him a 2015 MacBook Air in perfect condition for a veritable steal on eBay, I adopted his Chromebook - a Dell Inspiron 3180 with an 11.6 inch screen, Intel Celeron processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC… Continue reading My New Chromebook isn't a Chromebook, at all.

The Adventures of Rosie

I have a history with vacuums. When I was 11 years old, I disassembled the vacuum to see how the parts worked, then rushed to put it back together before my Mom got home. (It still worked.) From that experience, my brother nicknamed me Gadgetboy, so this post is quite fitting. When my wife and… Continue reading The Adventures of Rosie

A few weeks with Coin

As one of the original backers of Coin, I had completely given up on it. 

I figured it was an experiment in crowdfunding, one where I was the butt of the joke.

Imagine my surprise when, after almost two years, I received an email asking me to confirm the shipping address for my Coin. ("Wow. Is it *really* going to ship this time?")

A week later, I was finally holding the impressively engineered device in my hand.

Twelve South BookBook Wallet Case for iPhone 6 Plus

A number of years ago, I decided to simplify the number of items I carried day-to-day and consolidated my wallet and iPhone protection into a single case. (You can find some unique handmade items on Etsy.)

To date, I used a sleeve case with pockets on the outside for credit cards, ID, etc. This is primarily because I always preferred a "naked" iPhone instead of one that's in a case all the time. I've always liked the way the phone felt in my hand but also, a phone without a case is easier to fit into the mounts I typically have in my car.

All that changed when I purchased the iPhone 6 Plus.

Double-Duty Dongles

Chances are that if you have a MacBook Air, you have dongles. You know, things like USB sticks, ethernet adapters, video cables for external displays and, thanks to it's two lonely USB ports, probably a USB hub. Or two. I got fed up with carrying my Bag O'Dongles and in the process of looking for… Continue reading Double-Duty Dongles

Planning for #Sandy (Or, “What to do when you can’t find a generator”)

Almost exactly a year ago, we were without power (And heat. And fresh water.) for almost five days.

My wife and I vowed that we would never go through that again if we could help it, so we planned to buy a generator and transfer switch for this year's storm season so that we could power our home's basic necessities (heat, hot water, sump pump, fridges).

Long story short, we didn't. The money we budgeted for a generator went toward replacing our broken hot water heater, but we vowed to get a generator as soon as it made sense for our budget.

Then we started tracking Hurricane Sandy.

Thursday night, my wife said, "We should get a generator tomorrow." 

Powering our sump pump is critical for us, especially after installing a new hot water and heater and, six months earlier, replacing a broken washing machine - both of which are located in our relatively wet basement.

At 7 AM on Friday I began calling around, looking for generators. Most retailers laughed at my request while others were sympathetic to my search - but they still couldn't help me as there weren't generators in stock, anywhere.

So I started to do some research to find a creative solution. Here's what I came up with.