Category Archives: Cool Things

Pad and Quill Linen Journal Notebooks- An Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age

I am almost completely digital in my day-to-day life at this point. I keep all files and notes on my devices and use as little paper as possible. I deal with bills and money online. I store my photos online. I file documents using cloud services. I stream music and movies online. When I use ink, it is usually digital ink, thank to my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. At this point, I rarely pick up a pen and paper for anything. As you can imagine, my handwriting has suffered a bit in all of this.

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Noah Leon’s Love Notes to Newton is a Film all Apple Fans Should See

Last May, I had the pleasure of interviewing Noah Leon about a documentary project he was seeking crowdfunding for on Indiegogo. The film, set to be called Love Notes to Newton, would cover both the history of Apple’s ill-fated first mobile device, as well as the still-loyal community of fans who continue to love and use Newton and eMate.

While I own a MessagePad 130 and an eMate today (along with a few other “classic” mobile electronic devices), I missed out on the initial buzz over the Newton. I started using my first PDA, a term that John Scully coined at the launch of the original MessagePad, the year that the Newton was cancelled. As such, I was happy to help fund this project in hopes of learning more about this largely forgotten piece of Apple history and the people who keep its memory alive.

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Cool Things: RetroStone Ultimate RetroGaming Console

I have no problem admitting that I’m a sucker for retro gaming, and have been for years. While things like the NES and SNES Classic have appeal, I really prefer something a little more universal. I know that there is no shortage of DIY gaming-centric kits for the Raspberry Pi, but I just haven’t found the right one….until now.

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Cool Things: The SonorPen is a Creative Alternative to Expensive iPad Styli

I’ve been using an Apple Pencil for a couple of years now, and I have never been anything but happy with it. It is incredibly accurate, tracks fast across the screen, feels good in the hand, and the battery life is just fine considering how well it performs. Lately, my wife and kids have also discovered how good the Apple Pencil, as they keep borrowing mine and pairing it up with the other iPad Pro in the house.

I know what that means- soon I’ll be out another $60-$99 (depending on whether I can find a refurb model, or not). However, if a recent Kickstarter delivers on its promise, then maybe that price will soon be a little lower.

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My Pixelbook Experiment Was a Bit of a False Start

So I ended up returning the Pixelbook that I picked up to review and wrote about a couple of weeks ago. This was more of a false start than a failure, though. I hit day 14 (BestBuy’s last day to return) without being able to say if it was something I would be willing to part with $1000 for, or if I would even be able to take a small monetary hit to have it for a while and then sell it for less. The fact is, I just wasn’t able to spend as much time with the device as I had hoped, and couldn’t be sure about it. It’s better to safe than sorry in that case, but I can’t say that I won’t go back any try again later on.

Here are a few things that I did glean from my brief time with the device:

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Google’s Pixelbook is One FINE Piece of Hardware

I used a Chromebook several years ago and I actually really enjoyed the simplicity of it. It was a super fast, super easy barebones computing experience. Few bugs. No viruses to worry about. No fuss. It shared the same instant on capability of the iPad, but it was even more to the point without the all the apps. That can be both a positive and a negative, but you might surprised by how much you can do in a browser until you actually try it.

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Cool Things- The Power Packer


Now that I have recently backed a Kickstarter (The PaperLike iPad Pro screen protector) and an Indiegogo campaign (The Love Notes to Newton Documentary), I am now getting emails from both more than ever before. I typically don’t bother looking at them, but I noticed one recently for a product that looked like it was specifically designed for me. The Power Packer from Side by Side, which has already been fully funded and completed on Kickstarter and is also in the midst of a very successful Indiegogo run, is an accessory and cable organizer designed with the gadget-obsessed in mind.

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Happy 4th of July from the Big Easy!

My wife and I are in New Orleans for a few days celebrating our upcoming 20th anniversary. I will be posting some pictures from my iPhone 7 Plus and a couple of camera lens cases while we are here.

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Cool Things: The Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden

Here’s one completely out of left field. However, believe it or not, there is actually a strong Apple connection. Smithsonian.com ran a piece last weekend on a very unique museum in Helsingborg, Sweden dedicated to memorializing notable failed products. The museum is the brainchild of Samuel West, a psychologist who according to the article, “specializes in studying creativity and work.”

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Cool Things: ProBack Cover for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil


I don’t usually follow Kickstarter that closely, but this is the second notable item for the iPad Pro that I’ve seen this week. While this product has a higher price tag, and will likely take more effort, time, and money to build than the PaperLike screen cover we looked at previously, it is definitely worth consideration. It looks like a creative solution to a problem many users have with the Pro.

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Cool Things: PaperLike Screen Cover for the iPad Pro


A recent Kickstarter campaign caught my eye that I thought might be of interest to several of our readers. The PaperLike screen cover from Jan Sapper is exactly what it sounds like- a simple screen protector-like cover for both models of iPad Pro. It is made of a proprietary film that gives the screen a feel closer to that of paper when using the Apple Pencil. It’s a very good idea that I was surprised to learn hasn’t really been addressed by any mainstream accessory manufacturers to this point.

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