Keyboard companion for the iPad Mini

Backlit. Sleek. Perfect.

The iPad Mini Folio by Zagg.

Zagg was kind enough to send me a Folio Keyboard for the iPad Mini. This is one of several keyboards I have had a chance to try, but the first for the iPad Mini. If this keyboard would fold all the way over, it would be perfection for some. Of course if you use this case with the Bracketron Universal Tablet Floor Mount, it’s perfect.

First off the pairing was quick and easy. It did not give me any issues. I charged it last week, and still going strong. It has great battery life so far!

The worst thing about this keyboard (any keyboard for the mini I would expect) is learning to type in smaller area. We are all use to full size keyboards, and were able to re-train our self to type on iPad keyboards. It did not take me long to adjust once again to a smaller keyboard. Once you get used to the small form, Typing feels natural, and the keys respond with out having to stomp on the keys. The keys are backlit so your able to see the keys when you start to type.

The case does not feel like it adds a lot of extra bulk . It still fits nicely into a bag or sleeve made for the iPad mini (read the blog about the  STM D7). As I mentioned, it worked well with the Bracketron Floor Mount. I was not able to use a Bad Elf GPS. I might be able to modify the case or just add a extender if I needed to. The outside of the case has a leather like feel, and it feels great in my hands. The case holds my mini securely, though its easy to remove the mini when needed.

For $99.99, it is well worth the investment, if you work out of your mini like I do. Its nice to have a mobile office this small! You can get the Zagg iPad Mini Folio directly from Zagg with free shipping if your in the states at: http://www.zagg.com/ipad-mini-folio/8800

 

Yes, I will have a Coda POP with that iTunes please.

iFrogz Coda POP blue tooth speaker and hands free device.

Cons: Takes a special plug to charge. Only a few hours of battery life. (I have played it more then two hours on one charge, but its advertised at two hours)

Pros: Size, Water Resistant, Easy to Pair, AUX Jack, Many colors.

I like to play bad 80’s songs from Pandora while I work in my office. Many times, I just like the background noise, and the iFrogs Coda Pop is a refreshing treat to use. It takes up very little room on my desk, about the size of a silver dollar and just 2 inches tall. Don’t let the size fool you. Big sound fills the office as I rock out to The Bangles. When I start the Coda it plays the sound of a soda can being opened. It makes me want “To Walk Like an Egyptian” But if some one calls me while I am walking like an Egyptian, (probably the neighbor asking me to turn down the music) The Coda Pop is also a hands free device. If I really want to go all retro I can plug my tape deck into the Coda, slid the switch to AUX and it’s like the 80’s all over again!

The Coda Pop retails for just $29.99 on the Zagg/iFrogz website

Disclaimer: I really listen to Disneyland Park music.

Look! A rainbow of colors! Seven in all!

Purple I47IF-POP-LLM I47IF-POP-ORGC I47IF-POP-SPRF I47IF-POP-STR I47IF-POP-BCHY I47IF-POP-BRB

One of my scarriest times as a photographer

New Hampshire Flume State Park

New Hampshire Flume State Park

After shooting a job in New Hampshire, a friend and I walked through a state park. At the time I was a heavy smoker and the idea of walking really did not appeal to me. To make a long story short, It was this defining moment, a little scared I met a bear, but at the same time happy I met Him because I walked. It was this moment I realized I needed to quit smoking if I wanted to continue shooting things like this..

How would this world be if all of corporate America did this?

Chic Fil A gives out free food to motorists stranded in Southern snowstorm. Here is the story http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/01/29/chick-fil-gives-free-food-to-motorists-stranded-in-southern-snowstorm/

Just think if all companies had this kind of heart. This is what happens when a company puts Christ first.

Powramid. When you get round to plugging it in…

Powramid Power Center and USB Charging Station

Being a geeky gadget guy, you can imaging the amount of power adaptors I have. And he ones hated the most are the ones that take up two plugs, or worse, three because of the size or the orientation of the plug. Sometimes I have to add a power strip to a power strip because of this. Of course, this is not something I really like to do. Not only is it unsightly, it’s also dangerous. Accell has a round about solution. Its called the Powramid. It’s not only a power “round” with two usb charging ports, but a Surge protector too.

Now many power strips have a short cord. The Powramidhas a 4 ft. grounded plug so you can put it just about anywhere with enough to reach the main power outlet. And it comes with a 5 year connected Equipment $100,000 limited warranty! Its a cool power strip  round that gives you enough room to plug in the big power adapters. Its small enough that it will fit on top of your desk. Great way to charge a cell phone, blue tooth, tablet, and still be able to plug in a battery charger. You know the normal things you need to have plugged in at the desk.  I know several media rooms that need a few of these on every table.

Here is the breakdown of the features:

· 1080 Joules Of Surge Protection
· Six Adapter Friendly Outlets
· Grounded 4 Foot Power Cord
· Power Stop Technology – automatically stops conducting power once the Powramid’s absorption has reached capacity
· Fireproof X3 MOV Technology
· Green On/Off Switch for White Powramid
· Blue On/Off Switch for Black Powramid
· 4 Rubber Feet that Protect Furniture from Scratching
· Safety Switch Cover

Here is another nice feature: it’s only $24.99 And its available from Accell (also a great place to pick up other cables you might need too)

 

Mini Style!

We have become very attached to our tablets. I know I hardly go anywhere with out my iPad mini now. Of course it being the mini, all of my other bags I have for the iPad are just a tad to big. Sometimes that’s fine, but other times I want something just for a small tablet. When that’s the case, I turn to STM Bags and the Blazer D7 Sleeve. I got the iPad mini for the size. I

The D7 by STM

don’t always need a big tablet to do what I need. And, I don’t always want to carry a large tablet bag either. The D7 fits the need. Unlike a lot of other sleeves out there, the D7 has enough room for your tablet and it’s case like Zero Chroma and the Vario-SC Mini case or keyboard case like the Zagg Folio.

The D7 has two zippered pockets and one open pocket. The front zipper pocket has enough room for a few small things, even a small phone, though its a tight fit. The back un-zippered pocket is great for paper, business cards, things of that nature.

Now all that was the Pros of the D7. Now what I did not like about the D7: The carry handle seemed to be on the bottom of the bag, and if you did a hap-hazard zip, the tablet could fall out. The strap is attached so you carry the bag in a landscape position or horizontal. I would of loved to have the option of carrying it in portrait or vertical by the strap.

Over all, the D7 is a great bag. In fact, my iPad is snug in it right now. You can find the D7 on the STM Website at www.stmbags.com and on Amazon for about $25.

Go undercover tech geek!

One of the coolest items I seen at CES this year was the Tech Slinger (www.techslinger.com). It’s a harness for your tablet, cellphone, and who knows what else you might have to carry. It can be a single or double sling. The Tech Clinger!

I used CES to test out the Tech Sling. I must say a full size iPad3 AND a iPad mini were comfortable to carry all day in the Techslinger.  But comfort is only part of the greatness. Each tablet was easy to get to. For this test I used the TechSling Sport. I did have to make a modification for the Mini, but that’s only because the unit I received to test was more of a first generation unit. They have much more of a selection, including a sling pouch just for the mini. In fact, all the ideas I had given to Techslinger I was met with, yes, our newest has that!

Under-Cover Tech Geek!Now about the go undercover tech geek: This will easily hide under your jacket. No one will ever know that your secretly a tech geek. No one will see the tablet unless you pull it out..

This is a perfect way to carry your Tablet, and cell phone, and a few other small items.  If you count on your tablet for work, this is for you. I see many different variations that can be done, (and are being done) and look forward to seeing TechSlinger evolve. I can see them specializing slings for occupations down the road.

Pockets!

Pockets!

To vape or not to vape, that is the question…

During the CES Show, I received three “vape” devices to try out. These are similar to the e-cig devices. Now, you get my 2 cents on three of these devices, as well as “vapeing”

DISCLAMER: I do not endorse or condemn “Vaping” I would like to see more study on long term health affects that vaping might have on some one, and to know all the ingredients in the juice.  As it is right now, its called “safer” and a “healthier” alternative to smoking. It’s hard to find any solid evidence online that it’s bad for you like cigarette smoking. For some one trying to kick the smoking habit, this MIGHT be one of several alternatives. If you have totally kicked the habit, and are completely smoke free, I would be cautious about trying or using a Vape device. Vaping, even with zero nicotine juice can be addicting. And with out really knowing if there are any ill health effects, I suggest you use strong caution. They once said that cigarette smoking was 100% safe and not to worry.

First, I received vapes from Hangsen, Hoffco, and last Blac Label. Most of the oil was also from Hangsen. We will brake it down by brand.

I will also add, that most of the oils were nicotine free. I kicked the cigarette habit 460 days ago. I knew this would be “dangerous” enough with out adding nicotine.

First up is the Hangsen. The first atomizer, I felt almost nothing, and barely a taste. I later found out this due to the mixture, not so much the device. I did stop by and see Hangsen but sadly had communication issues. They did give me another atomizer to try out that had a longer wick. The first atomizer was considered a bottom feed. The tip was a polished metal. Over all very elegant looking. The biggest con of atomizer is it’s easy to unscrew the tub instead of the battery, loosing quite a bit of your “juice” I have done this very thing at least 3-4 times already. To defend Hangsen, if this was my only device, it would not be hard to train my self to remember what to twist.

The second atomizer from Hangsen was a top feed double wick. While I liked this atomizer a lot, feeling it gave better flavor, This atomizer only last me two weeks before it burned out.

As I mentioned Hangsen provided me with several oil or “juice” Flavors like Cappuccino, Juicy Triangle, Cherry Berry, Ice Mint, Carmel,  and Coco-Banana. Cappuccino had almost a buttery aftertaste to me, what ever it was, I did like it. I also really liked Coco Banana and Ice Mint. I did try mixing ice mint with a few other flavors, with so-so results. Its a trial and error.

Next up is the atomizer from Hoffco. This vape I thought at first gave me more of a “throat hit” later I found out it was the juice they had in it. The battery was a little shorter making it a little easier to carry around. This has a top fed canister. The button was also easer to find. It was a little lighter to carry as well. It soon was my favorite device to use. The atomizer was a 4 wick system, which I tend to like just a little more then the double. I think it helps with the flavor. I could be wrong.

Charging was by a micro USB plug at the bottom. It was also a “pass-through” so you could vape and charge at the same time.

Last up is Blac Label. The most interesting thing about the battery is it has a meter letting you know how many times you have “hit” and a battery power indicator. The tip is a soft rubber compared to metal on the Hangsen or plastic on the Hoffco. Of course the tips are interchangeable.

The unique thing about all three of these devices, are that all the atomizers and batteries are interchangeable. It’s nice to see that there is a standard in the sizes so everything can be interchangeable.

A week or so after I got these, our church had a sermon about “reaping what we sow” and few things came to mind about these and the fact there is so much we don’t know about them.

So, take these as you may:

Our Destination Tomorrow, is Determined by our Direction Today (Our actions today play a big role where we wind up later)

We Don’t Reap On The Same Day We Sow. Sometimes there is lag time. (Vaping today might give us issues down the road)

The Danger of the Lag Time? Lag Time works against us in two ways:

1. It tells us the Rewards are Never Coming (By not smoking, I don’t see the rewards of not smoking instantly)

2. It tells us the Consequences are Never Coming (like smoking cigarettes, I never thought I would have issues related to smoking)

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Making excuses to avoid pain

3 The only way out of our habit of excuse-making is: Being Honest and Taking Action.

“Am I being completely honest with myself?” (is vaping completely safe or will I ignore the possibility it is not until I know for sure)

 

 

 

Elegant. Sleek. Functional. iHome’s Type Pro 360

iHome’s Type Pro 360 Swivel iPad 2,3 & 4 keyboard and case.

iHome's Type Pro

iHome’s Type Pro

Pros: Sleek design. Easy Pairing, Great battery life, The swivel function.
Cons: Weight could be an issue. Weight is needed for the way this case/keyboard functions. Thickness might make it harder to use some tablet bags.
During CES I met up with iHome. iHome has a great selection of products of your iDevice. From Docking to blue-tooth speakers, iHome has what you need.
I got the Type Pro 360 Swivel and plugged it in to charge Sadly, I was doing some manual labor in the back yard so I could not start testing it right away.
The iPad fit nicely into the lid, making it one solid unit. Pairing was easy, the Type Pro showed up in blue tooth devices quickly and paired quickly.
In the cons, I said the weight might be an issue for some people. The keyboard weight is needed so the keyboard and case wont tip due to weight of the iPad. The iPad screen can be set to several comfortable angles, so if your at your desk, recliner, in the car, on the airplane, you can find a comfortable viewing angle. Typing on the keyboard felt natural. the function keys like brightness, fast forward, back, pause, stop, and mute are right up at the top. You can even pop the onscreen keyboard with the touch of a button. Using the home key with a double tap will work just like the home button on the iPad.

It Swivels!

It Swivels!

There are times when you just want the iPad, and this is where the 360 Swivel comes in. The iPad can swivel 360 degrees, putting the back of the iPad to the keyboard. This gives you the tablet with out a keyboard in front of you. The keyboard will serve as a base, once again giving you the perfect viewing angle.

Lays flat when needed

Lays flat when needed

The type pro does ad a bit of bulk. It will be a tight fit for some bags. The whole unit will fit great in most bags though.
Overall, I like this keyboard. It’s made well, looks great, and works flawlessly. Its a perfect office addition. It does really class up my office!

 

You can find the Type Pro on Amazon and  Office Depot for about $99