Back in 1999, before smartphones and when we carried cell phones and PDAs (like the PalmPilot), several companies were trying to come up with ways for us to carry all of our gadgets comfortably when we travelled about. One of the cleverest ways was pioneered by a website called eHolster, which produced a line of products collectively called…the eHolster! As you can imagine, the device they engineered was a shoulder holster similar to the ones seen in police and detective movies, only designed with holsters that carried electronic devices (their inventory covered holsters that fit all the major brands of cell phones and PDAs). The holsters were designed with a slimness that enabled them to be worn undetected under a suitcoat or jacket. Call it the James Bond look.
Then 9/11 happened, followed by Homeland Security and airport check-ins, and suddenly wearing a holster under your coat in public or going through airport security didn’t seem like such a smart or cool idea. I know – I had just purchased an eHolster. Oops.
eHolster continued to turn out their product, but at some point they decided to drastically scale back their product line. Introducing the e-Volve Gadget Shoulder Holster, a kind of hybrid between a shoulder holster and a sidebag. It still retains its cool spy shoulder-holster appeal, while enabling the wearer to carry his electronic devices, credit cards and other wallet-friendly items. Of course I now have one (even though in Florida I only get to use it three months of the year when it’s a bit nippy out), and it does its job admirably. Check out their site for this and other products, and hope that in the future they expand their lines – and maybe even bring back their signature eHolster.
Whenever I see a gadget that sends my drool meter to an 8 or above, I know that I have to pursue it and, if possible, get it! So when I came across this image of a steampunk mouse, I was determined to track down and buy one. There’s only one hitch: it doesn’t really exist. Oh, the image is real. It’s a piece of modern art created by Moscow artist Alex Neretin. But it’s just a model – a mock-up
For those of you who don’t know what steampunk is, it’s loosely defined as a sub genre of fantasy and/or speculative fiction set in an era (usually Victorian) where steam power is still widely used and is the driving force of things otherwise thought of as being futuristic (computers, etc.). Examples of these kinds of machines can be found, for example, in the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne.
So this is how an artist views a mouse and flash drive in a world where said items would be powered by steam. To get an idea of some of the other objects that have been imagined as steampunk, check out this webpage and this webpage.
And someone please turn this man’s vision of a steampunk mouse and flash drive into a reality. I’ll be the first one in line to buy one!
You saw this coming: We mourn the passing of Steve Jobs. His was truly a pioneering spirit in every sense of the word, and his many innovations not only continue to touch us today but also continue to fuel the drive of his competitors (would there be a Samsung Galaxy Tab or a Motorola Xoom without the advent of the iPad?). It’s no secret that this site is becoming more Apple-centric (although we’ll still cling to our Windows 7 netbook with our last breath), but perhaps that’s because Jobs made his gadgets so much fun to use. We’ll miss you, Steve.
Check it out: Run, don’t walk, to your local bookstore, magazine stand, Walmart or wherever you buy periodicals to pick up National Geographics’ Exploring History, the latest ongoing offering from National Geographic. This incredible new magazine is a true joy for anyone with an interest in history, and displays the superb quality and intelligence of its parent magazine. One reading convinced us to subscribe, and if the quality of future issues holds, this magazine will have a permanent readership in this office.
Sometimes my blog posts come back to haunt me. Yesterday, I went to Best Buy to wander and see what was new and fun that might inspire me (or cause me to impulse-buy). A year ago – geez, only a few months ago – I would have spent an hour or so in the store; yesterday, I was in and out in 10 minutes. Tops. Empty-handed. And the feelings of disappointment and frustration were almost overwhelming. Where did the fun go? Not to mention all of the gadgets that I used to see and covet.
And then I remembered the words of one of my earliest posts: it’s not about the hardware anymore, it’s about the software. Case in point: the iPad2 (no great secret that it’s a personal favorite): what kind of hardware/peripherals can you find for it in stores? Covers, sleeves and chargers. That’s about it. Not a lot of variety there. Simple fact of the matter is that there is little new in the way of peripherals and gadgets for computers anymore that the big-box stores will carry; a recession-based bottom-line mentality ensures that.
So we evolve again here at SFN and refocus more heavily on websites (both product- and news-based) and magazines to find the type of items that we know will excite and entertain you, and to point you in the directions you need to go to find these small gems. Some of them we’ll review, and some we’ll just lust after and explain to you why we want (to try) them. And we’ll focus more on software and apps that are both fun and productive for you.
Strap in again. Our growing pains may make the ride bumpy at times, but hopefully always fun.
We told you that we would be sharing our favorite sites with you from time to time, and it seems only appropriate that I start with a site that I check almost religiously every day: Yugster. If you’re looking for interesting items (gadgets, electronics big and small, appliances, etc.) at reasonable (cheap) prices, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to start. But here’s the curve: the site features only one product a day, and only until their supply of that item sells out. Understand, this is not an auction site; the price is set, and the item sells.
If you decide to become a member (a Yugster), you get two potential perks: a sneak-peek at the next-day’s offering (with a chance to order early) and the chance to advance to higher-discount status as the number of your total purchases increases. It doesn’t take long to become addicted to this site; their propensity for finding unique and interesting (yet useful) gadgets is amazing, and I’ve purchased more nifty little items from them than I’d care to admit.
There is also a mobile app for the site available for the iPhone that makes it even easier to order things while you’re out and about. Check out Yugster and see if you don’t get hooked yourself.