iPhone cases from STM

I have a fetish for laptop bags and iPhone cases. Last I counted, I had a dozen bags and 15 iPhone 5 cases. Yes, you read it right!

While I *wish* to continue using a bag and an iPhone case for 6+ months, I often get bored with the one I am using and decide to lookout for something else. I know, that’s so stupid – I told that to myself, every single time I swiped my card. 😉

Talking about iPhone case brands, I’ve tried the famous BookBook Case (I <3 TwelveSouth), Griffin, Belkin, Case-Mate, Capdase, Speck, Incase, SGP and many more. Wondering why don’t I have Otterbox in the list? Well, I hate the bulkiness.

For the last few months, I have been using STM iPhone 5 cases. I already loved their bags and when I saw their cases at an Apple Reseller Store, earlier this year, I wanted to try using them. Fast forward 5 months and I decided to share my review.

I must say that the build quality and the eye for detail that STM is commendable. Harbour Case is has more rugged look and feel – something I am not very fond of, personally. I look at it as an Otterbox replacement, while being easy on your hands. 🙂

Here are some pictures;

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My favorite is the STM Grip Case. It’s one of the lightest iPhone cases I have ever come across, yet, it doesn’t have a plastic-y feel to it. The svelte design and texture makes it feel good in your hands. I was impressed with the choice of colors it comes in and I was crazy enough to try out the mint color. It looked pretty cool!

It’s been over 5 months and the case is still in good shape, with nothing more than the usual wear & tear, which doesn’t make it look any bad. I washed it once when it got dirty and it was shining as new, within minutes. One good thing about this is, it’s easy to take off and snap it back on to the phone – for days when you’d want anything between you and your phone. 😉

For 899/- it’s a complete value-for-money case. Here are some pictures;

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Which are the cases you’ve used and what do you have to say about them?

 

Lightweight laptop backpack for those on the go – STM Impulse

I am a sucker for productivity apps and tools. As much as I love carrying over a dozen tools, cables, adapters and my 11K mAh (yes, you read it right!) battery pack with me, I try to make sure that I have the right laptop bag before I step out. Yeah, I have a fetish for bags – if there is one store than I’d stop by in a mall, it’s got to be the one which has bags on display!

For the past few months, I have been alternating between STM Revolution, STM Velo and a backpack from Samsonite. While STM Revolution is my all-time favorite backpack, I was looking at something which is smaller in size and lighter in weight – for days when I do not need to carry a lot of stuff. Something that is good enough to throw in the *must haves* and step out without much load on the back. I quite liked STM Impulse Backpack and thought of checking it out.

Fast forward a few weeks and I received a STM Impulse Backpack. I decided to go for the black, medium size bag. Packed in a shiny cellophane wrap, the tag & branding caught my attention, once again. The bag is lightweight – perfect to carry your Macbook Air, iPad, Kindle and a bunch of cables without hurting your back, while you’re on the road.

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Search for the perfect Messenger Bag!

For many of us, a disconnected holiday is a blessing in disguise. Our lives were never the same, a decade ago. It’s interesting to visualize our lives under the prism of personal technology.

It’s a fact that the internet plays a major role in allowing us to work and play remotely or from different places. I keep meeting a lot of bloggers in the country and it’s fascinating to listen to their stories of travel, work and the perfect blend of both. Often, I am overwhelmed to see the stuff they carry with them all day or during their trips.

My current role doesn’t allow me to experiment too much with my lifestyle, but I do love to carry a lot of stuff with me when I am on the move. And when I say that, I mean a LOT OF STUFF!

The stuff I carry

The stuff I carry

Having said that, I have always wanted a bag that’s made with not just a good material but a good thought process – good design & aesthetics. It’s so disheartening to own a bag which has no zippers above the flap to hold your earphones,  so that you can take them out within seconds when you need them. There can be more ways in which a bag can disappoint you to an extent where you would want to switch to a new bag.

I carry a Targus BackPack which I love for the way it is designed. However, I was looking for a Messenger bag to alternate between days. Some amount of research I did left me with mixed reviews on messenger bags from Timbuk2, Belkin, Victorinox, etc. I trolled in forums having threads with as high as 100 posts discussing messenger bags. It was fun! I thank my friend @ShayonPal who helped me with pictures of the Victorinox messenger bag he owns. I almost bought it!

However, I was confused between a couple of options I had. That’s when I stumbled on STM Velo and it’s review on Cult of Mac. I looked at some more reviews and videos and it was not too long before it impressed me! The Australian brand, STM was not known to me but the product looked impressive. The fact that almost no one was talking negative about it on the inter-webs was a convincing enough reason for me to decide on it.

I approached the company and today, I got my STM Velo Small (Burgundy). The bag is designed to perfection and the quality of stuff, the stitches, the zippers – all fall in the right sweet spot. You’ll be surprised to know that it’s the ‘small’ size that I got and it could accommodate EVERYTHING you saw above!

STM Velo - front

The key highlights of this bag include;

  • Good protection to the laptop with great cushioning.
  • Great design. Very thoughtful!
  • Separate section for the laptop to take it out at the security check without opening the flap
  • Space to hold a Kindle & an iPad.
  • Enough zippers and pouches to contain stuff for survival on almost any day!
  • Comfortable strap to carry the bag, plus a soft handle to hold it.
  • Side pouches with zippers to carry a water bottle & an umbrella.
  • Available in Small and Medium sizes for 13″ and 15″ laptops, respectively.

It’s truly a great everyday messenger bag and I would recommend it to folks who carry a lot of stuff with them, people who travel to work  or those work to travel. 😉

Some pictures of the bag:

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In case you find it difficult to get this bag, you can reach out to Sundar at the following address;

Lucky Star Computers India Pvt.Ltd
17& 18, 2nd Floor, Park Square Mall, ITPL,
Whitefield, Bengaluru-560066
Tel: 080 28026551 / 52 / 53

 

Speaker Deck = SlideShare minus the Jazz!

Everyday, the Internet continues to (pleasantly) surprise us! Be it the Instagram acquisition by Facebook or stuff like the best of DrawSomething. Sometimes, it’s the coffee bean for the day that gets you charged!

Recently, I stumbled upon Speaker Deck Share Presentations without the mess. One thing I really liked about the product is the simplicity (No wonder, the GitHub team is behind it!). It allows you to upload a slide deck (in PDF), share and embed. Just that! This reminds me about the early days of how Slideshare was. I really like some of the features of Slideshare , but the ads are too intrusive. For someone who needs to share a presentation and limit it to just that, Speaker Deck is not doubt a good alternative.

With some digging around, I found OrderedList and here’s what Steve Smith, the founder has to say about Speaker Deck. It’s been 7 months since it was launched and I hope it continues to be clean as it is, today!

But, does it make sense to switch to Speaker Deck and toss the Slide Share Pro account I have? I guess I would wait for a while before I take that decision. 🙂

For now, here’s my first upload on my Speaker Deck account;

 

Find a AirSpot Near You!

Today, I came across an interesting concept, that encompasses the power of shared internet. Now, what’s with that?

airspot_logo.pngPronto Networks, the company behind AirSpot has come up with this idea of building up a pool of users in a city who would want to share a part of their bandwidth (which they might not use otherwise, all day long), to their friends and neighborhood. What’s good? The users who take this initiative get a 50 % share of the revenue AirSpot makes!

Technically, the ProntoPoint router, that runs the AirSpot service, has a dual SSID – one personal and the other public. I am sure you got it by now! … 

 

Apple iPad and Sociology

ipad-launch

I am a gadget lover but by no means a freak. There is a hell lot of difference between the two. I read TechCrunch regularly and Engadget often. There lies the difference, if I am in my senses.

While Steve Jobs is adding to the orgasm of Apple fanboys across the world, I have been trying to figure out, how does anything Apple affect the online ecosystem. It’s beyond the power of any agency to build such an ecosystem, community or fan following around any thing. Apple is again a brand.

The sheer ability to build great products is the only reason that I see people getting crazy for such an event. Of course, Steve Job’s’ presentation might just be another reason for people to swarm networks and websites and cause them to go down!

This is a great social effect which could lead to #apple and #ipad trending in minutes on Twitter, timeliness getting flooded with similar updates after every miniscule detail revealed by Apple. Which other brand can think of doing it, at this scale?

Amazon has always ruled the industry for the tablet/reader segment with its Kindle. It would be interesting to see how do things take shape now. Do we see a price war? Apple for sure would not get into it. Apple products have always been priced slightly higher, but it’s a matter of fact that it still excels.

For 499$ for a 16GB WiFi enabled tablet, Apple’s iPad might just attract gadget lovers across the world to opt in. A 3G version is slightly costlier but I guess that’s more value for money when it comes to developing countries where WiFi hotspots aren’t yet very popular. But then, people still get things done over a netbook, which according to Steve, doesn’t do anything great!

I wonder how many people in this part of the world aren’t ready to compromise on the ‘great’ factor, when they get a fully functional netbook for as low as 300$ 🙂 This is still debatable.

Coming down to the key features of an iPad, it is/has;

  • Half inch thin,
  • 1.5 pound in weight (approx 600 gm)
  • Slimmest Tablet
  • 9.7 inch diagonal screen IPS type
  • Capacitive multi-touch
  • 16 to 64 GB Flash storage
  • 1 Ghz A4 Processor
  • WiFi 802.11n Wifi
  • Built In Speaker
  • Built In Microphone
  • Accelerometer
  • Compass
  • 10 Hours Battery with One Month Standby
  • iPad 3G models are unlocked
  • Will be available in 60 days worldwide
  • Comes with Wifi and / or  3G
  • USB Sync with iTunes
  • Uses new GSM micro SIMs

Price Watch

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That’s the matrix. Which one are you opting for?

Thanks to Rohit for collating the technical specs!

 

iPhone unlocking and jailbreaking

Last night was a sleepless battle between me and an iPhone 2G. A friend of mine got this phone for him and wanted to get the latest firmware updated.

28-03-2009 18-27-20

Initially: iPhone on the Apple iTunes

[ad#iphone1]

A genuine iPhone would take a few minutes to get it done without any problems whatsoever. But a jailbroken and unlocked iPhone had an alternative route to success.

Since I never owned an iPhone, it took me a while to search over the web on what is unlocking and jailbreaking all about and how is it done for free!

With some effort, I could download and run a copy of QuickPwn to successfully unlock and jailbreak the iPhone 2G to the latest firmware.

28-03-2009 18-45-12

Finally: iPhone on the Apple iTunes!

[ad#iphone2]

Honey has taken the charge of putting up a detailed post of how I did that. This shall include all the screenshots I took!