Category Archives: Gadgets and E-Readers

Grandchild #5 has Arrived!

Spike and his Papa

Spike and his Papa

Our fourth grandson (and fifth grandchild) arrived yesterday morning at 9:55 a.m.  Nana and Papa couldn’t be prouder of little Spike.  Of course, that’s not what his actual name is but since all of our grandkids have “S” nicknames, I decided that Sweet Pea, Spud, Sprout, and Scooter needed a “Spike” to complete the picture.

Skipper2

He’s already nursing well with quite a good appetite.  We’ve also been told that he soothes himself by sucking on his hands.  His daddy took a cute video of the nurses giving him his first checkup and he kept alternating between crying jags (Spike has very healthy lungs) and quick cat naps.

Skipper3

We think he might have lovely reddish hair like his brother, Sprout but we’ll know more as the days go by.

Frosting the Cake

Frosting the Cake

Speaking of Sprout, his daddy’s side of the family arrived the previous night to cook dinner and they let Sprout help frost the cake.  He LOVED that job.  Our son-in-law’s mom made a great shrimp scampi meal which introduced me to something new.  Have you ever heard of zoodles?

Apparently they are zucchini noodles made with a tool called a “zoodler.”  We had a good laugh when we were serving the scampi and as we pulled the spaghetti out of the pan, one long greenish strand just kept on coming and coming and coming out of the pot.

“What in the world is that?” I asked.  I’d never seen a spaghetti that long.

“It’s a zoodle,” explained my daughter.  She explained that it helps if you occasionally break them up as you use the zoodler.  If you want to check out the tool that you use, this will take you to one on Amazon.

Today we’re heading off to visit Spike and his parents while the Sprout is in preschool.  So far he has been very good for Papa and me, only occasionally asking for his mommy.  When I explain that Mommy is still in the hospital with Baby Spike but will be home in a few days, he seems ok with that.

At the end of the day, though, when Papa and I are collapsed on the sofa with our feet up, dozing off to the news, I can easily understand why it is a lot easier to be a full-time parent when you’re younger.

Mayday! Mayday!

Kindle

I opened up the smart cover of my Kindle Fire this morning as I settled down at the table to eat my breakfast and noticed a book showing on my “Special Offers” screensaver that looked interesting.  I knew that there was a way to look at the special offers once you unlocked your screen so I figured I’d just unlock my Fire and go to check it out further.

Kindle2

Oh, oh…after I unlocked the screen, I couldn’t figure out what to do to get to where the special offers where.  I fiddled around for a bit but at the back of my mind I kept thinking, “Gee, I’ve never tried the Mayday feature.  This might be a time to use it.”

Kindle4

So I touched “Help” and my Kindle informed me that a representative would be contacting me shortly and I was reminded to make sure my volume was turned up.

Hmmm, I felt around the sides of my Kindle and couldn’t feel any volume buttons.  OK, I know what you are thinking.  Sheesh, how many Kindles has this woman had now and she can’t even find the volume controls?  Yeah, yeah, I know.  But the previous ones had volume buttons on the sides.  I decided to hope for the best and just wait to be contacted.

Within a matter of several minutes, a little window popped up in the corner of my Kindle screen with a young lady asking me how she could be of service.  Wow, pretty neat.  I explained what I wanted to find and she talked me through what I needed to do, even as she was highlighting where the “offers” feature was located.  She did this by drawing remotely on my Fire.  I was so enthralled that I almost forgot to touch the “Offers” word.   Of course, not to worry.  The highlighting these Customer Service folks do on your Kindle completely disappears when they are done showing you what to do.

My rep’s name was even helpfully displayed on the bottom of the little window.  When she asked me if there was anything else that she could do for me, I was able to say, “No, thank you, Winona.  You were very helpful.”

I DIDN’T ask her how to adjust the volume.  I do have some pride.  Sure enough, I kind of figured that I just had to go to the settings and I could adjust it there.   I was correct and that’s what I did, after the conversation was finished and she had disappeared from view.

Oh, and another neat thing?  When you are in a Mayday conversation, the customer service person can’t see you.  You can only see them.  So I was happily sitting there in my bathrobe, with orange pulp no doubt stuck between my teeth and she was none the wiser.

Thank you, Amazon, for this neat feature.

How Can You Keep Them Down On That Keyboard?

It's Just So Easy!

It’s Just So Easy!

How do you keep them down on that keyboard after they’ve touched the screen?  It’s harder than you might think.  I’ve been enjoying playing with my Surface RT and my Google Chromebook this week.  They are both super portable and easy to use.  One of course is a Microsoft product and the other features Google’s web-based services centered around Google Drive.  I’ve used Word for years for my word processing so that played into my decision to get a Surface RT.  Plus it is just so darn cool with that magnetic keyboard.  What can I say?  Girls and their toys!  I also am a dedicated Google fan.  I use Gmail for my email and Chrome for my browsing.  I’m taking more and more advantage of Google Drive to store files in the Cloud.  (Of course, I’m doing the same thing with Microsoft’s SkyDrive. )  Since I’m already so familiar with Google, it’s been very easy to switch to using the Chromebook almost exclusively during the day, negating the need to hop on my HP laptop which is fading fast.

Nothing's Happening!

Nothing’s Happening!

In my opinion, the one area where the Surface RT has the distinct advantage over the Google Chromebook is the fact that it has a touchscreen.  When I am using my Chromebook, I find myself constantly touching the screen and wondering why it isn’t responding.

Selecting and Organizing is a cinch

Selecting and Organizing is a cinch

Selecting or moving an item on my Surface laptop is so simple.  For example, in the picture above, I’m up in my SkyDrive photos folder and I am rearranging how I want my pictures to show up.  I just touch and drag them into their new location.  Easy!

Grrr!

Grrr!

On my Chromebook, I can touch those pictures all I want to and they aren’t going to do anything.  I have to move down to the touchpad and select what I want there and then work my magic via right-clicking or drag-and-drop.  If you aren’t used to a touchscreen, it’s no big deal.  If, however, you’ve gotten spoiled by things like iPads or smartphones with touchscreens, you’ll find yourself doing just what I’ve been doing for several days now…..reaching out and jabbing at the screen and wondering why the heck nothing is happening.

I can get a Chromebook that has touchscreen capabilities but do I really want to shell out $1300 to get it?  No, thanks.  I’ll just enjoy my $249 Chromebook and consider it an exercise in keeping my brain young and save my shekels for that new MacBook that will be coming out any day now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a Drag!

 

What do I do?

What do I do?

If you are the new owner of a Samsung Chromebook (the basic model), you might be having some trouble figuring out how to do a “drag-and-drop” using the touchpad.  Then again, maybe you have figured it out with no problem.  If you fall into this latter category, go off and enjoy a cup of coffee.  This post is NOT for you.  If you are having problems, on the other hand, perhaps I can help you.  You see, I unboxed my Chromebook and powered it up with no problem.  I logged into my Google account with no problem.  Then the first thing that came up was a touchpad tutorial.  OK, this was good.  I use a laptop every day but I don’t usually use the touchpad because I have the thing jury-rigged up to an external keyboard coupled with a wireless mouse, unless I’m traveling.  Then I rely on the wireless mouse.  I hate touchpads.  They’re fiddly.  But I decided to give it the old college try.  I was batting 1000 and getting the “green light” on all the gestures until we came to the “drag-and-drop” gesture.  I could NOT master this one for love nor money.

I went online and researched the problem.  There were other folks who seemed to be having similar problems but I didn’t see any solutions offered.  I kept on tapping and swiping.  No luck.  I suspected it was operator error but after an evening of trying a number of different ways of doing it, I began to wonder if I had a deficient Chromebook.

How hard can it be?

How hard can it be?

This is supposed to be a simple machine.  I’m not an idiot.  I have a high IQ.  How could something like this be giving me such fits?  Overnight I had the bright idea that I would take it back to where I bought it and ask them to show me what I was doing wrong.  That’s how I found myself in front of the Geek Squad desk this morning explaining my problem.  I’ll tell you what.  This particular “geek” wasn’t inspiring me with confidence when a.  he couldn’t figure out how to connect me to the internet and b.  he wasn’t having much luck getting it to drag and drop either.

Location is everything!

Location is everything!

FINALLY he stumbled across a different picture of illustrating the drag-and-drop technique.  This one showed that you had to hold down one finger in the lower left section of the touchpad and then you could “drag” with another finger around on your touchpad and whatever you had selected would move.  Aha!  That was the trick.

Let’s review, shall we?

1.  Select what you wish to drag and drop.  You do this by moving your cursor to hover over the item and tapping with one finger anywhere in the middle of the touchpad to click on it.

2.  Using one finger, click and hold down the lower left section of the touchpad while you use another finger to drag the selected item to where you want to place it by moving that other finger around on the touchpad.  The selected item will move accordingly on the screen.

3.  Once you have moved your selected item into position, raise both fingers from the touchpad.  Your item will now stay in its new place.

4.  Finally, just tap anywhere in the touchpad to deselect the item.

Organizing my photos

Organizing my photos

That’s all there is to it.  I left the store happy.  I’ll bet the “geek” was happy to see me leave.  I didn’t have to pay anything for his help.  Hopefully he will file that tidbit of knowledge away somewhere where he can easily retrieve it for the next Samsung Chromebook owner who comes in asking for help.

 

 

 

 

Waiting on my Toyota

This is my first time taking my Surface RT out in public. I have to tell you that it was really nice being able to just slip this thin little slip of a computer into my purse and head out the door. In the interest of full disclosure, it WAS a BIG purse; more like a knitting bag/purse but hey, I was able to fit my Surface AND my Kindle Touch AND my normal purse items into it. Just in case I found myself not really enjoying the computing experience on the RT out in the real world, I brought my knitting along, too. I mean, really, that’s a given, isn’t it?

I figured that it was going to be a LONG wait because the van was due to get a complimentary 15,000 mile checkup but also an air-conditioning tune-up because my son thought it wasn’t working properly. In fact, I also had my doubts whether or not it was working properly. At times it seemed to be cooling just fine but other times, it was lukewarm, to say the least. I wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t human error, though. Apparently the technicians at my Toyota dealership suspected as much, too, because the first thing they did was have me sit in the driver’s seat and turn on the climate control as I normally would. Aha! Seems that it was working correctly after all and that I just needed to tweak it a bit, which they patiently explained to me.

I plaintively said to them, as I followed them back to the check-in point, “Gee, this thing has so many controls that I feel like I have to go back to college just to figure them all out. I REALLY miss my little sporty car that I had before this. Not that this isn’t a wonderful van but I only got it to haul the grandchildren around and I have to say that I really miss my little Vibe.”

My technician smiled patiently and said, “I’m sure you do,” as he crossed off the Check air conditioning off of the work order.

So now I’m sitting here in the Techie corner working on this blog post. I had read a lot of criticisms by users who say that the Surface RT isn’t conducive to blogging. Then I stumbled across one user who said that this was incorrect. He mentioned how the Office Word version included on the RT had a template called “Blog Post” that made it easy to compose your posts and to include images. I’m trying out his suggestions today.

I did try to connect to the wireless here but their wireless is hopeless. I didn’t have any problem finding the way to discover available networks using Windows 8. You just swipe from the right and then click on Settings and you’ll see a “bars” symbol and the word “Available” near the bottom. You just touch that and the available networks show up on the charms bar on the right. Then it is a simple matter of picking one and entering the password, if one is required. The available wireless network here for customers is super slow so I finally just gave up and went back to working on this post.

Speaking of working on the post, I’m using the Type Cover and it makes typing up this post pretty sweet. I suspect if I was trying to use the Touch Cover, it would be taking me much longer. That said, I’m still getting used to this keyboard. I spend a lot of time backspacing to get rid of mistakes. Thankfully, I’m a fast typist so even with the backspacing, I’m still making good progress. I have noticed that the keyboard gets rather dirty quickly. I’ve only used the keyboard sparingly for a few days and already it seems to me that it looks like I’ve been using it for a LONG time, judging by the look of the keys. I mean, I don’t have grubby hands or sit and eat greasy food (or any food, for that matter) and then type on my keyboard. I might have to do a little research into cleaning off this keyboard. I DO really like how it has such a low profile and provides a nice protective cover for the face of the Surface.

Well, I just took a little side trip to check on cleaning the keyboard. Seems I’m not the only one wondering how to do this which leads me to believe that it is a common problem since Microsoft has been selling these nifty little keyboard covers. Microsoft’s website says to use a lint-free cloth dampened in soapy water to clean the keyboard but not to get the cover wet. They suggest cleaning your Type Cover frequently but also caution that you should be sure to disconnect it from your Surface laptop before you clean. I guess you’d really have to wring that cloth out to avoid getting any liquid on the keyboard. Others on the forums have suggested special wipes you can purchase or just using a microfiber cloth made for cleaning computer screens. I happen to have a very good microfiber cloth right here and tried it on the keyboard (oh, I first disconnected the keyboard, of course) and it cleaned it somewhat but you can definitely still see where I hit the spacebar and the keys that get the most use.

And now to try inserting pictures from my Microsoft Sky Drive account. It seems to have worked slickly. I just touched my Insert tab and picked Online Pictures and then chose my Skydrive account and then browsed for the pictures I wanted. Next up, I’m going to try to Publish it to my WordPress blog and lets see what happens. Wish me luck.

A Most Useful Dog-Walking Tool

The Multisak

The Multisak

I’m always on the lookout for products to make my life easier.  Some time ago, I had purchased the Multisak, made by Freeplay, to use when I walk Toto.  It attaches to your dog leash and can hold a variety of items.  They have a YouTube video that shows how to attach it to your leash but also a nicely illustrated guide on their website here.

Today was the first time that I actually sat down and tried to figure out how to use it.  It seems to be easily configured for those who use a retractable leash.  I’m not one of those people.  I much prefer a regular leash.  When I tried to attach it as illustrated, the sak slid freely down to Toto’s harness.  Well, that wasn’t going to work.  So I ended up putting the leash handle into the side slot, as directed, and then folding it back and looping the little tab through it.  That held it firmly up at the leash handle and still let me grip the handle and “accordion fold”  the excess length in the leash without too much trouble.

Front storage pocket

Front storage pocket

There are two big storage pockets in the multisak.  On one side, you have a perfect spot for putting things like kleenex and waste bags.  There are Velcro tabs so you can easily open and close the pocket with one hand.

The back storage pocket.

The back storage pocket.

The other pocket is a little more secure and I didn’t hesitate to put my iPhone in there along with my keys.  There is an individual pocket designed for hand sanitizers but they would have to be the mini bottles.  It also says you can put in small water bottles and I think it is roomy enough.  I just wouldn’t want the extra weight.  There is an elastic cord attached to a clip and I’m not sure if that’s for your keys or not.  I imagine it must be and if so, you could just clip it to your key chain and slip the whole kaboodle into the pocket.

A satisfied Toto

A satisfied Toto

 

The whole contraption worked great.  I had forgotten how pleasurable it was to walk to music.  I’m sure we were a sight to behold as I strutted around the neighborhood to tunes like “Eye of the Tiger” and “Smoke on the Water.”    Toto probably wondered why the pace had picked up but I think you just have to walk to the music’s beat.

Time to rest, Mom!

Time to rest, Mom!

Now it’s time to put my feet up and read over my Cabletta sweater instructions again in preparation for tonight’s knitting class.  I hope I stopped at a good point and won’t find the rest of the class has surged way ahead of me when I arrive tonight.

 

Those Darn Cheap Keyboards

Where are my letters?

Where are my letters?

It just seems like I’ve gone through so many computer keyboards in the last few years.  They don’t quit working but the letters wear off.  It has been quite frustrating.   I’ve ended up just buying a new keyboard mainly because they aren’t real expensive these days.  However, this latest keyboard was less six months old and already had 4 letters that had completely disappeared and more were wearing off fast.

A New Approach

A New Approach

I went up on Amazon and was looking at keyboards AGAIN when I thought that perhaps I might want to try a different approach.  Maybe I’m getting thriftier in my old age (stop that cheering, Hubby!).  I decided to look for some stick-on labels that I could just put over the keys that needed new lettering.

Starting the Replacing Process

Starting the Replacing Process

I settled on getting some large-print ones.  I don’t really need them since I’m a crack-typist and don’t tend to look at the keyboard very often but since the old eyes are getting older, it doesn’t hurt to “be prepared.”  The labels arrived today and included stickers for an entire keyboard, including all the special function keys.

Special Function Keys Included

Special Function Keys Included

 

After I replaced the few that had worn off, I reassessed the “look” and decided to just go ahead and recover most of the keys on the keyboard, whether they needed recovering or not.  That way it will look uniform.

The Final Product

The Final Product

Here’s the final product.  (Ignore the dust in some of these pictures, by the way.  I realize after seeing these pics that I need to do some keyboard dusting.)  I left some of the keys in their original state but recovered the majority.  I think it came out rather nice.  I’ve been typing on the keyboard all evening and it’s fine.  I can notice a bit of ridge around each key but my fingers are really sensitive and I’m already hardly noticing it now so I suspect within another day or two, I won’t even notice a difference in the feel at all.

So there you have it.  If you’re too cheap to buy a new keyboard when those keys start wearing away, just shell out a few dollars for some key decals and try that as an alternative.

 

 

Can You Hear it Ringing?

iPhone

 

I’ve had a mystery surrounding my iPhone for some time now.  I’ve kept missing phone calls.  I just haven’t heard my phone ringing.  Now I know that I’ve been a little deaf these past few weeks but this has been going on long before my temporary bout with deafness.  Also, lest you think I have a soft ringtone or have the volume turned way down, let me assure you that this isn’t the case.  My volume is turned UP and my ringtone is a bagpipes tune.  They aren’t exactly quiet instruments.

iPhone Bottom

 

Well, I think I’ve figured out what is going on.  The other day I was playing a game on my phone and was holding it with my fingers covering the bottom of the phone.  This game has sound effects.  When I made a certain play where subsequent sound effects happen, I didn’t hear anything.  Hmmmmm!  Then it dawned on me.  Could my fingers be covering up the speakers?  I played some more and this time, I held my phone by the sides.  Sure enough, when I made my next big play, the sound effects came through loud and clear.

I further tested my theory by going to settings and ringtones and “previewing” the different ringtones on my phone.  When I had a finger over the bottom of the phone, I couldn’t hear the ringtones.  When I changed my grip, the tones were easily heard.

iPhone Speakers

 

This explains a lot about why I mainly am missing calls when they happen as I’m out and about.  You see, when I slip my phone into my purse, I put it in a small front pocket.  I slip it in “bottom first” so that the bottom of the phone is flush against the bottom of the pocket.  Obviously, the sound has been completely muffled.  To test this theory, I reversed the direction and slipped my phone into the pocket “top first.”  When Toto’s groomer called me in a crowded grocery store, I heard the bagpipes on the very first ring.  No problem!

I just love it when I figure out a mystery.  I was beginning to wonder if my “normal” hearing was a lot worse than I had suspected.  It’s nice to know that this isn’t the case and that the solution is an easy one.  If you’ve been missing calls on your iPhone, Ladies, this might be the reason.  Check how you are putting it in your purse.

A Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Review

Flip Size

Truly Mobile AND Compact!

When I was at a scrapbooking retreat this past fall, I got a chance to see the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.  It intrigued me and the fact that the person who had it was giving it a glowing endorsement also made me sit up and take notice.  I have a flat-bed scanner but the thing is huge, heavy, and tethered to my computer desk and computer.  It isn’t going anywhere.  This little scanner, on the other hand, would be something that I could throw in my purse or bag and take with me on-the-go.  That’s why I put it on my Christmas list and the Commander, er, Santa, stuck it under our tree.  Whee!

First, let me confess that I was waiting for the Commander to help me set it up before I gave it a try.  Well, I got tired of waiting and decided to check out some YouTube videos and the company’s website to see if it would be easy enough for me to take out of the box and figure out on my own.  Let me assure you, it is EASY!  Now that I’ve scanned my first set of pictures, let me tell you what I think of it.

1.  The size and weight are a real plus.  In the picture above, I put a 4″ x 6″ notebook and a 2″ sticky pad next to it to give you an idea of just how big it is.  The scanner measures approximately 10″ long by 6 1/2″ wide.  It weighs about 1 pound, 8 oz.

2.  You can start scanning right out of the box.  The scanner comes with a 2 GB memory card (which is where the scans are stored until you put them on your computer), batteries, and a USB stick adapter that you can put the memory card into, in case your computer doesn’t have a SD card slot.

Scans show up in the Preview Window.

Scans show up in the Preview Window.

3.  A preview window lets you see the scan. The window is small but it’s not there for you to do editing.  It’s there just so you can see that the item was scanned.  There is also a battery level indicator (more on the batteries later) and a counter that shows you how many scans you have remaining that will fit on the SD card.  The stars on the right side indicate what dpi resolution setting you have it set at, either 300 or 600 dpi.

4.  The software program for processing the scans is included on the SD card.  You don’t have to do anything but stick the card into your computer, locate the files, make a few clicks, and the software will load.  If you should ever need to reload the software onto your computer, it’s easy to do at the Flip-Pal website.  Software updates are also made available at the website and registered owners are notified of new updates as they become available.

 

Typical flatbed scanning is a breeze.

Typical flatbed scanning is a breeze.

5.  Scanning pictures up to 4 x 6″ is fast.  I was pretty impressed with how quickly this little scanner scanned my snapshots.  You basically put the picture face-down on the scanning area, close the lid and press the green button on the side.  When the scan is completed, you’ll see the picture in the preview window.

Taking multiple scans of larger pictures.

Taking multiple scans of larger pictures.

6.  You can scan larger pictures and documents using the “Stitch” feature.  If you want to scan a larger document or picture, you pop the lid off and flip the scanner.  Then you start scanning overlapping segments of the picture, using etched guidelines around the edges of the screen to help you overlap your scanned areas.  I found this a tad tedious.  In the above picture, the photo that I was scanning was an 8″ x 10″ photo.  I took six scans to get it all down with proper overlaps.  I have to admit that I was skeptical about the software’s ability to put the whole thing back together again without obvious misalignments or gaps.

The scanned photo, after the software stitched it together.

The scanned photo, after the software stitched it together.

Well, here is the photo after the software did its magic.  Wow, it was pretty amazing.  Still, I think for just scanning around the house, I’d tend to use my large scanner for larger photos and documents.  It would be so much faster than taking multiple scans of one document.  However, I can see where you might be at a relative’s house and not have the luxury of having your large scanner available.  That’s when this Flip-Pal feature would really come in handy.  Or you might be at a library or research center and want to make a quick scan of a document.  Incidentally, the Library of Congress and the National Archives allow you to bring in a Flip-Pal scanner when doing your research.  It is sufficiently low-light that it won’t hurt their resources.  Other facilities are apparently on a case-by-case basis.  Some historical societies and research facilities will let you use this scanner and others won’t, so if you are planning to bring one, I’d call ahead to check on whether or not it will be allowed.

Cons:

1. Battery Life – the manufacturer says that the batteries will last for approximately 150 scans.  The good news is that you can use rechargeable batteries in the scanner.  That’s what I plan to do.  I use a Sanyo Ni-MH Battery Charger along with Eneloop batteries so I plan to always have some charged up and ready to go in my little Flip-Pal carry bag.

2.  Getting the Toolbox software to load is initially a little fiddly.  I’m not a computer genius and I’m afraid that my Windows Install Wizard has spoiled me.  I just figure that when I pop something into my computer or download something, an install window will pop up  that will start walking me through the steps to install.  That’s why, when I put the SD card into my computer, I waited for something to happen but nothing did.  I had to go get the Commander.  He had me follow some simple steps to find the file mentioned in the Quick Start Guide and then, once I did some clicking (can’t ever remember if I’m supposed to double-click or single-click so that’s why I get the Commander), things started happening and my scans showed up and my Toolbox window popped up and we were good to go.    I made the decision to “cut and paste” the scans into a folder in “My Pictures”  on the computer (except for the ones I needed to stitch together) and then I imported them into my Creative Memories Memory Manager program where I did final cropping, rotation, and color adjustment.  The Toolbox program DOES do color adjustment but I just happen to prefer my Memory Manager program.  By “cutting and pasting”, I deleted the scans from the SD card, keeping plenty of space available.

Bottom line is that this little scanner is another handy tool for the scrapbooker and genealogist.  You can take it with you to family gatherings and scan photos right on the spot.  You can scan photos that are in albums, without having to try to remove them and you don’t have to take off any protective plastic covering from the album pages, either.  I’m certainly glad that it showed up under my Christmas tree and am really looking forward to exploring even more of its capabilities in the months ahead.

 

 

Displaying Your Ancestry Via Your Smartphone

I really enjoy my iPhone.  It rarely leaves my side.  In fact, I guess you could say that it is as much a statement of who I am as my glasses and my sensible shoes.  That’s why I am always on the lookout for fun or unusual cases for my iPhone 4s.

I was trolling around Amazon the other day and found a series of iPhone cases that I think are pretty unique.  They’re made by Speck and are limited edition cases.  This one’s technical name is the Speck SPK-A1391 Limited Edition iPhone 4s Candyshell Case, Germany Flag and you can find it here.  There are also cases with flags from other countries, including Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, China, Canada, Australia, France, Russia,….well, the list goes on.

As the name implies, it is a hard-shell case with a lovely glossy finish.  There is also a rubberized interior which protects your iPhone.  This rubberized finish extends out around the lip of the case to absorb the shock of a fall if you happen to drop your phone.  The slick finish along with the rubbery edges give the entire case a good feel in your hand.  You know that case isn’t going anywhere soon but yet the glossy part in the palm of your hand is a nice, tactile experience.

The cut-outs are exactly lined up so that you can manipulate the switches on your phone and also plug in your charger and your earplugs.  A nice touch is the little border of the coordinating color inside the cut-out.

I found that the buttons that come with the case jut out just the right amount so that you can easily turn on your phone or adjust your volume one-handed with ease.

A special touch is the country name (in German, in this particular case) on the side.  What a neat way to show your pride in your German ancestry, eh?  The cases run between $35 and $40 currently up on Amazon which is probably a little pricey but I’m well-satisfied with mine.  In fact, I think it’s pretty wunderbar!

 

 

 

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