(You're reading all posts by Staff Writer)
About Staff Writer
Every week, we serve up the best of the Cult of Mac website as a magazine so you can download and read it at your leisure on your iPhone or iPad.
Lust List: May 2014
Life is a blur of cool gear here at the Cult of Mac offices. We put it all through rigorous trials, but it’s like living in a fast-spinning revolving door of flashy accessories, cool bags and high-end accoutrements. Some of it gets dropped like a lying girlfriend as soon as the next sexy thing comes along, but sometimes we develop long-term love affairs with certain bits of kit. The gear featured in our monthly Lust LIst roundups is the equipment that’s made the grade over the long haul: These are the items we couldn’t live without.
Ona’s The Chelsea
There’s something about all the smart compartments in camera bags that works even if you’re not actually toting around a camera. So Ona’s Chelsea ($370) is just the thing: This capacious bowler bag offers protected spaces for a DSLR, up to three lenses, your keys and stuff, plus an iPad or notebook. But I packed it with a 13-inch MacBook Pro, a pear (the lens dividers are perfect for keeping your snacks unbruised), The Economist and all the cords, headphones and chargers carried by a modern-day scribe. One thing: The size and saffiano leather (that’s the grainy type that Prada favors for long-wearing briefcases and the like) can be a little Insta-ma’am if you don’t dress it down. -- Nicole Martinelli
Apple Magic TrackpadThe name is ridiculous -- total Steve Jobs hyperbole. It’s actually embarrassing to say out loud. But the Magic Trackpad ($69) is actually kinda magical. Sitting on your desktop, it works better than any mouse. Tracking on it is intuitive and easy. But the magic is in the gestures. Once you get used to them (there’s a bit of a learning curve), you begin to wonder how you ever surfed the Web without two-finger swipes. -- Leander Kahney
Chrome Industries Excursion Rolltop 37This giant duffel bag of a backpack grew on me, both literally and figuratively. I have to admit at first I was like, “Meh.” The Chrome Industries Excursion Rolltop 37 ($160) has no bells or whistles: no media pocket, no hidden compartments, no velco closures. It has a laptop sleeve and super-nice loop carrying straps, but it’s about as basic as a bag gets. What the lightweight bag lacks in features, though, it more than makes up for in massive gear-swallowing goodness. I keep tossing more and more stuff into this bag and it just keeps grinning back, always ready for more. -- Jim Merithew
Rode PodcasterWhen you have a high-pitched voice like mine that sounds silly and squeaky on any recording, you need all the help you can get. The Rode Podcaster microphone ($369) makes anyone’s voice sound rich and sonorous. OK, I made that up, but the Rode’s audio quality is not to be beat. The entire CultCast team uses Rode Podcasters to produce the best Apple conversation you’ll hear all week long. Since we switched from lesser microphones, soundcheck is a lot less painful. The Rode is a serious piece of pro-level audio equipment at a podcaster’s price. -- Leander Kahney
Mission Workshop’s The OrionIt was pouring buckets, but I didn’t care: I was pedaling with a huge smile on my face, because any time on the bike is way more fun than time spent on the bus or BART. Plus, I was protected. I was wearing Mission Workshop’s The Orion ($415): The hooded waterproof coat is seam-sealed, pit-zipped and cut perfect in the sleeves. No water was getting in and the bone-chilling wind was being held at bay. I don’t really think about getting my upper body wet anymore -- the jacket is just there, doing its job, while I go about grinning like a school boy. Ride on. -- Jim Merithew
Lacie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt SeriesSimple. Elegant. Rugged. What more needs to be said? The Lacie Rugged series is the standard by which all other portable storage drives are judged, and now they’ve got Thunderbolt support ($229 for 1 TB model). If you are on the run and need to back up everything, this is a no-brainer. -- Jim Merithew
Teva Pivot MTB ShoeTeva doesn’t make the Pivot MTB shoe ($150) anymore. They actually killed their entire bike line late last year. Find a pair. Buy them. Seriously. -- Jim Merithew
Ferrero Pocket CoffeeSmart people usually don’t stash espressos in their coat pockets, what with the stains and the blisters and all. But with the Ferrero Pocket Coffee, caffeine fiends are no longer tethered to the espresso bar. These thumb-size miracles wrap a satisfying liquid dose of inky Italian coffee inside a dark chocolate shell. Pop one and you’ll perk right up. Soon you’ll be buying them by the case ($38 for 60 pieces). -- Lewis Wallace
Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit ChainIf the San Francisco bike thieves steal my whip, at least I’ll know they really wanted it. This will be a small consolation for me: I’ll cry a little less knowing I did everything I could to make those scumbags’ crime a difficult task. How to thwart the thievery? After visiting countless bike shops and online forums I settled on the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit ($175). It’s as close as I could get to a safe, for it is a well-known fact that if the bitches want to steal your steed there is nothing you can actually do to stop them. I am happy I can leave the beefy lock at the office, since I’m not sure I am man enough to haul this behemoth back and forth to work everyday. I still double-lock my bike with a u-lock and take my front wheel with me. Here’s to being safe and trying my best to get them to steal someone else’s chariot. -- Jim Merithew
BookBook for iPhone 5There are only two things I carry with me every single day -- my phone and my wallet. Best of all, my wallet is also my phone case. The BookBook from Twelve South ($60) looks like an old, leather-bound pocket book. Slots inside hold several credit cards and my ID. My BookBook is totally beaten up -- I keep it in my back jeans pocket -- but it’s lasted really well. It protects my phone better than any case I’ve had and it gets tons of comments. Everyone says they wish they could ditch their wallet too, but they have too much stuff in it. I thought that too, until I jettisoned everything but a couple of cards. I haven’t looked back. -- Leander Kahney
Over the years, cherubic Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has demonstrated a love of all things two-wheeled, four-wheeled and winged.
After spotting his latest hot wheels — a super-spiffy Tesla X — we were inspired to take inventory of what he’s been docking in his garage (that other one) all these years. He’s something of a speed demon, really. Though you’ll be the judge whether he or Jony Ive has the winning wheels.
SAN FRANCISCO — Cult of Mac is on the ground for Macworld/iWorld 2014 at the Moscone Center. We’ll be roaming the show floor and sitting in on workshops all day to bring you the coolest Apple-related stuff we can find.
You can follow us throughout Macworld on the liveblog below. No need to refresh the page; new posts will appear automatically!
It’s billed as the “Ultimate iFan Event” and definitely doesn’t disappoint.
We spotted some old friends and made some new ones while roaming the floor at Moscone this year.
Look who we ran into — Raines Cohen — co-founder of the legendary BMUG (Berkeley Mac User Group) and a colorful character.
He is wearing a vintage BMUG shirt. Look what it says on the back.
These two are hardcore Macworld fans. They’ve been attending the shows since 1983 and they’ve both worked at Apple. The gentleman on the left is related to Elmer Baum, the oldest employee at Apple who loaned $5000 to the two Steves to build the Apple I.
This is brother Gabriel Mosher, he comes to Macworld to explore the “crossroads where the Catholic nerds and the agnostic nerds meet.” He’s also on Twitter.
I convinced these brothers to pose with the MacKeeper robot. I told them to do the robot dance, but they weren’t very enthusiastic. The robot gets just as much attention as a booth babe — if not more. Plus it’s cheaper.
Seven seconds of fame at the New York Times flipboard booth. Photo David McSpadden.
Buster and Erfon, playing it cool at the Cult of Mac table during 6 About to Break contest.
Shopping for new toys. Photo David McSpadden.
MacWorld/iWorld 2014 is less than a week away which means the Cult of Mac team is gearing up to descend on Moscone North for three days of non-stop Apple-related gizmos, speakers, workshops and other nonsense.
We’re bringing the best 30 minute Apple conversation you’re going to hear aaaaaaaall week long to the event live on Thursday, March 27th at 8pm. Come join us for our live CultCast recording party at The Box SF for a night of prizes, Apple conversation, drinks galore and hopefully a couple surprises.
Erfon, Leander, Buster and Alex will be hanging out all night bringing out the laughs and immature humor along with the rest of our SF staff. Hopefully we’ll get around to talking about Apple too thanks to our hosts DigiDNA and MacUpdate.
Entry is free and we’ll be grooving all night thanks to music from producer Egadz and his funky arcade electro button box – a must hear for electronic music fans and geeks.
And beer will flow like wine. (Shhh… yes you know: open bar!)
SAN FRANCISCO — Apple fanpeople are gearing up for MacWorld/iWorld 2014 here on March 27-29, and while we’ll be at Moscone West live to cover all the happenings of this year’s show, it’d be so much better if some fans join in on the fun.You can hang out with us at the “6 About To Break” contest and join the mayhem for a live CultCast recording session, too.
No tickets? We’ve got you covered.
We’re giving away two free tickets to Cult of Mac readers to MacWorld/iWorld 2014. To enter, just tweet why Macs rock your world and include a shoutout to our iPad publication, Cult of Mac Magazine, with the hashtag #CultofMacMag.
The contest is open to all readers, but doesn’t include travel or hotel. Winners will be announced Monday morning at 10AM PST.
This post is brought to you by the Data Rescue Center and Prosoft Engineering, Inc.
Have a physically damaged hard drive or lost or deleted files you can’t recover? If you are facing data loss, contact The Data Rescue Center to recover your lost storage media. Based in Livermore, CA, The Data Rescue Center is a state-of-the-art facility with a secure vault to safely store and service your corrupted hard drive.
The finalists demonstrate just how the Cupertino company inspires people to think different, spanning the gamut from wearables and facial recognition software to the well-entertained pet.
Cult of Mac is chuffed to be a media partner; our own Leander Kahney will be on the panel of judges when the demos battle it out at Macworld/iWorld’s Second Stage on March 27 from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm. You’ll be able to see and test them all out, too.
Want to come? We’ve got passes to give away – stayed tuned to Twitter and Facebook for more…
Jony Ive takes extra pains to keep his personal life private, but Leander’s book Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products shines a light in corners of Jony’s life and at Apple HQ that few have ever seen, especially when it comes to Apple’s design processes.
The book garnered praise from readers during its release last Fall, but we were super-giddy this afternoon to see that the world’s leading Apple analyst, Horace Dediu, just plowed through all 320 pages and says it’s the best book about Apple so far.
— Horace Dediu (@asymco) March 3, 2014
Over the last few years we’ve devoured Dediu’s insightful and intriguing Apple analysis on his site Asymco, but here’s what he had to say about the book: