Timbuk2 Command Messenger

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I recently purchased the Timbuk2 Command Messenger bag for work to replace my aging Targus back pack that I’ve been using for quite a while now. It’s hard to get used to a new bag because it doesn’t have a familiar feel but there were a few reasons to get the new bag. First I got the bag because my back pack has seen better days and it needed to be replaced as my work bag. I’m still going to use it for vacation and stuff since its already messed up but for work it’s going to retire. Second I need to really reduce the amount of crap that I bring with me while I travel. I picked the bag because it reduced the overall cargo space I had to play with. I’ve removed quite a bit of stuff but now it will be harder to bring food home from my client sites but that’s a small sacrifice really. Third is that it is TSA friendly so I no longer have to take my laptop out of the bag when I go through security. That’s a real time saver for me since I can just grab and go instead of trying to pack my laptop back in my bag when I go through security.

I gave the bag a test this past week on my trip to Dallas and it held up pretty well. I’ll admit that using just the shoulder strap is a bit annoying since it doesn’t distribute the weight that well but it’s not that big a deal. It does take a bit longer to get to some of my stuff but that’s to be expected on my first trip. I do like that there is a dedicated pocket just for my iPad so I can easily pull it out of the bag. Having the bag smaller is helpful for me because it fits better under the seats in coach. I wish I could always fly in First but since I lost all my status with the airlines I’ll be in coach for a long time.

So far so good though. The Command messenger is living up to my expectations. I don’t think there is anything else on my travel shopping list in the near future. We’ll see how much more abuse my travel pro rollaboard can take before I replace it with a spinner.

iPhoto for IPad is pretty cool!

I’m breaking my own habit and not getting a new iPad but that doesn’t mean I’m not getting some of the cool new software that Apple decided to showcase during their iPad event. I decided to purchase iPhoto since based on the demonstration it was just pretty damn cool. I’ve been playing with it on and off for a few days and the results are pretty good so far concerning touching up my pictures.

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The first picture is the original that I took. This picture was taken when me and the Mrs. decided it would be fun to learn how to ride motorcycles. The faces were a bit on the dark side so I decided to use the included brushes to lighten things up and try and fix the colors so that everything looks a bit more vibrant instead of dull. Overall I think the results were potty good. I unfortunately take tons of pictures with my cameras and my phones so I can’t retouch all of them but the cool feature about the software is that it groups like pictures together and you can pick the best one and just edit that one for saving and perhaps publishing.

There is a journal part of the program that I haven’t tried yet but that keeps collages of pictures that are important. I don’t know how much use I’m going to get out of that one since I load so many pictures up to Shutterfly and stuff. One thing that I do wish iPhoto did was the ability to make photo books. I have a photo book in the works that I haven’t touched in a long time because I really don’t have the time to finish it but if I was able to do it on my iPad I think I would be much further along than I currently am. Maybe they’ll put that in the next upgrade.

No new iPad for me

Yesterday was the Apple iPad event where Apple unveiled their new iPad. I already own an iPad and an iPad 2 and I’m quite happy with both devices. I actually only use my iPad 2 these days and let my wife an sister in law use the other one when the need strikes. Unlike the other two devices, I’m not going to pre-order or even go out and buy the new iPad. While the allure of an iPad with a Retina display is quite alluring for some HD fun with all the videos that I have and watch on the iPad, I can’t justify the cost of getting another one. Then there would be an iPad for me, my wife, and the baby. That just seems a bit on the excessive side. I love my technology just like any other guy that works in IT but my cash has other priorities these days and I also just got an iPhone 4S which has a Retina display (actually I carry two iPhone’s and both are the 4S) so my funds for tech have been greatly diminished of late.

There were two things that I did buy in place of the iPad though, it was the brand new iPhoto app that was announced and an updated iMovie app. I haven’t had a lot of time to play with either app but I use iPhoto a lot on my MacBook pro and now that my daughter is moving around and doing a lot of funny things, we might start video taping her more and I’m going to try and make some cool videos with iMovie so that I can keep an online video log of her progress. The only app I’m missing from iLife is Garage Band but I think I’ll skip that and get my daughter a real ukulele when we go to Hawaii. I guess I’ll wait to see if next years iPad is worth getting.