Make us your home page

Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Notes from a traveling Gadget Guy



I flew to San Diego this week to give a gadget presentation at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention and seized the opportunity to test some gadgets in flight and while traveling. Here are some random notes from my experiences so far. I fly back late tonight and may add to this later. Also, some of the things mentioned briefly below will be expanded upon in future posts.

Scottevest men's travel vest

  • Using an iPad on the plane is so much easier than using a laptop
  • If you travel with an iPad be prepared to answer a lot of questions about it because many people still have not seen one
  • Having a Scottevest travel vest is like having another carry-on. It holds lots of gadgets with 22 pockets and one large enough to hold an iPad.
  • Lots of cool gadget stores at airports but the prices are insane. Don't buy the cool gadget you see there on impulse unless you really need it. Instead take a photo of it or use a barcode scanner app and shop for it later.
  • I used my iPad for more than four hours in flight and when I arrived in San Diego the battery was still at 70%. Do that with a laptop.
  • The best reading on the plane is always the SkyMall catalog and I'm tempted to order one of almost every item in there.
  • On US Airways I used Gogo Inflight Internet and it was unbelievably fast. Even though I understand how WiFi and satellite Internet technology works, it still blows my mind that the connection can be so good at 36,000 feet while flying in a moving target. The service was $12.95 for 24 hours and could be used on multiple flights if you stayed on the same airline. Other plans are available. Facebook, chat, text messaging, streaming video...all of it worked. Cool.
  • I have been testing an iPhone/iPad app called AirVideo. It basically lets you store movie files on your computer at home so you can stream them to your iPhone or iPad. The server software is free and works on PCs and Macs. Works with your iTunes library too. I was watching Dodgeball on the plane, streaming from my iMac at home.  Unbelieveable!
  • Pandora Radio and Gogo Inflight Internet FTW!
  • If you can't find your bag at the airport, be prepared to offer a better description than "it's black and it has wheels." (A lady next to me actually did this)

OK, that's it for now. I'll test some other things on the way home. I'm particulary interested in what many of the GPS and mapping apps will show as my location when I'm at 36,000 feet.

[Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 1:50pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours