Our morning schedule this Sunday was a bit different because of a combined service and all-church potluck, so after a breakfast at iHop with the nursery staff I had some time to drop in and visit Target. I love Target stores. Their technology department often has clever gadgets and accessories I have not encountered previously, and this morning was no exception. Here are some photos and comments about my finds.

This Geomate Jr GPS unit has over 250,000 geocaching waypoints pre-loaded, so if you’re going geocaching in an area with multiple existing caches chances are you’ll be good to go with this unit. A $25 “update kit” is available (which is just a USB cable) that is Windows-only at this point, but the website indicates a Mac version is in the works. This certainly could make geocaching a less geek-intensive activity, removing the need to pre-load/sync waypoints.

Geocaching GPS

Whenever I’m attending conferences these days, power outlets are generally in short supply in breakout rooms. This small Griffin surge protector has USB ports as well as 3 AC adapter ports. I have seen this for sale in other places (like our local Apple Store) for more than $15. I went ahead and bought one of these today and am sure it will come in handy in the months ahead.

Belkin Surge Protector and multi-power outlet

Transferring files between Windows-based computers and Macs can be complicated. USB flash drives can really help, but this Targus “high speed file share” cable looks like it could make that process even easier. This would particularly be true when you have files to transfer which exceed the capacity of an available flash drive.

Very clever hardware solution to cross-platform file sharing

This is another Targus product which caught my attention: A windows-only Bluetooth adapter which connects to any available USB port. For Windows computers without Bluetooth connectivity, this would be a great add-on.

Add Bluetooth to any USB-capable Windows computer

The item I was most enthused to find (and actually buy) today was this: An Energizer “Energi to Go” iPhone supplementary battery.

iPhone Energy to Go for the iPhone

Last October enroute to the 21st Century Learning Conference in Hangzhou, China, Dr. Carl Owens showed me his Energizer iPhone supplementary battery and touted it as a great product. Since then I’ve looked for one but have not been able to find it for sale. Glad to learn Target now has them available!

Carl Owens and Shelly Fryer

These are the extended iPhone battery usage times the Energizer solution promises:

Power to Go details from Energizer

Energizer offers other battery models which are iPhone compatible, but I like the one which form-fits to the iPhone best.

Portable power charger for iPhone

I have a Mophie “juice-pack air” battery case which I bought awhile back at the Tulsa Apple Store, but I haven’t been super-pleased with it. It gives me 2-3 more hours of additional power on my iPhone 3GS, but doesn’t fully charge the battery after it runs down. It is also more expensive at $80.

This Griffin power-pack option looks promising, but again I’m thinking the “form fitting” iPhone batteries are more functional.

Griffin supplementary power for iPhone

It’s great to see so many colorful cases proliferating now for netbooks! (These also work for an iPad.)

Great looking netbook cases!

I look forward to the day when THIS (a netbook) is on the “required school supply list” for my kids:

I look forward to the day this is on the required "school supply" list

Last of all, I was glad to see multiple options for laptop cooling pads and fans like this one.

This is a big reason I love my iPad and want a MacBook Air

I used a cheaper laptop pad and cooling fan several months ago with my MacBook Pro laptop, and it definitely DID help. The fan eventually broke and stopped working, however, so now I’m back to having a “hot lap” when I use my laptop without a desk or table. The HEAVY weight of my MacBook Pro laptop as well as the ridiculously hot temperatures it generates when I’m using it are two reasons I’m REALLY looking forward to the rumored rev of the MacBook Air. Yes, I’d love to just use my iPad or a netbook for conference presentations and workshops, but neither are currently powerful enough for what I need to do in terms of multimedia content creation and editing. (Neither supports Skitch, for example, although I have found some moderately acceptable workarounds on the iPad.)

Lots of great tech gadgets at Target these days! The Kodak ZI-8 would still top my wish list if I had an extra $180 to spend, however, with its available port for an external mic!


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