Today in Apple history: PowerBook 100 series is a smash hit

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The entry-level PowerBook 100 fueled a laptop revolution.
The entry-level PowerBook 100 fueled a laptop revolution.
Photo: Danamania/Wikipedia CC

October 21: Today in Apple history October 21, 1991: Apple launches its PowerBook 100 series, the most important laptops in Apple history — and one of the most important tech gadgets of all time.

These devices almost single-handedly turned notebook computers into a mainstream technology. Apple’s subsequent success in this category — whether it’s the current MacBooks or even the rise of mobile devices like the iPhone — owes a huge debt of gratitude to the PowerBook 100 series.

Book Block lets you design your own custom notebooks

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Custom design your own notebooks with Book Block.
Custom design your own notebooks with Book Block.
Photo: Mustard Design Agency

There are so many ways technology helps us record information. Yet, the analog notebook hangs in there. Paired with a pen, nothing commits information to memory quite like sketching or jotting thoughts and observations by hand on nice paper.

A London design agency, understanding how personal notebooks inspire creativity, has created a platform called Book Block for creatives to design their own notebooks.

iPhone 6 is so good it’s even eating into notebook sales

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The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are ten weeks away.
Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

When you sell 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices in your first weekend on sale, it doesn’t just disrupt other smartphone companies, but notebook manufacturers as well.

According to a new report from Digitimes, notebook sales took a massive hit in August due to customers waiting on Apple’s new handsets. Since sales of the iPhone 6 family devices will most likely continue through the fourth quarter, many notebook vendors are reducing their orders from manufacturers to avoid unsold inventory piling up.

Gadget Watch: Staying home with robots

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Who needs to go out outside this week? Not us: We have headphones, a home-monitoring video camera, a robot to clean the floors and a keyboard that sleeps on your desk, all ready to play with your iDevices. Determined to leave the house? Take the GoPro PowerPole with you and then offload the footage to a new wireless, battery-powered hard drive from Western Digital.

Who needs to go out outside this week? Not us: We have headphones, a home-monitoring video camera, a robot to clean the floors and a keyboard that sleeps on your desk, all ready to play with your iDevices. Determined to leave the house? Take the GoPro PowerPole with you and then offload the footage to a new wireless, battery-powered hard drive from Western Digital.


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Gadget Watch: Cameras, cameras and even more frikkin’ cameras

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Cameras, cameras, cameras. German photographic trade show Photokina is just around the corner, and the big names are outing their latest models before the news pipes get completely clogged with the tangled hair and soap scum of new releases. So this week we have a bunch of cool new cameras and accessories, including a GoPro harness for your pooch, along with the usual mix of gadgets designed to make you want to part with your cash.

Cameras, cameras, cameras. German photographic trade show Photokina is just around the corner, and the big names are outing their latest models before the news pipes get completely clogged with the tangled hair and soap scum of new releases. So this week we have a bunch of cool new cameras and accessories, including a GoPro harness for your pooch, along with the usual mix of gadgets designed to make you want to part with your cash.


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Evernote Business Notebook will thrill rich kindergartners

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It's worth buying this book just for the pattern embossed on the cover. Photos Charlie Sorrel -- Cult of Mac
It's worth buying this book just for the pattern embossed on the cover. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

What’s the difference between a businessperson and a regular person? According to Evernote, a businessperson has secrets, whereas a regular person is happy to share everything. This somewhat cynical take is a pretty good model of the world, and it is embodied in the Evernote Business Notebook, a “collabo” with Moleskine that lets you snap/scan a photo of your pages into Evernote, and selectively share the result.

Let’s take a look.

Maybe tablets were better than desktops all along

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wpid-Photo-24-Sep-2012-1439.jpg

With Apple’s mobile and desktop platforms growing closer in iOS 8 and Yosemite, I started wondering: Is the laptop inherently better for computing than a tablet, or does it just seem that way because we’re so used to the folding form factor?

Could it be that, if the iPad had launched before the Mac and we’d spent the last 30 years using touchscreens, we would balk at using keyboards, mice and dumb screens to do our computing work? Or, in my time-reversed world, if Apple unveiled the Mac in 2010, would we all cling to our iPads and claim Cupertino was nuts for foisting OS X upon us?

Gadget Watch Apr 10 2014

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Each week we pull the best Apple-related gadgets from the Cult of Mac and collect them here for your perusing pleasure.

Luxi, The Little Light Meter For the iPhone

The little Luxi turns your iPhone’s front camera into a light meter. A what? A light meter, a device that measures the amount of light falling on a subject so that you can set the exposure correctly on your camera.

But wait, doesn’t you camera already set its own exposure? Doesn’t it have a light meter built in for when i want to kick it old school in manual mode? Yes and yes, but this $30 widget might still be handy.

Buy it $30

COVR Photo Case Lets You Shoot Around Corners

COVR Photo Case Lets You Shoot Around Corners
Ever wanted to take photos of people without them knowing? Perhaps a sneaky shot of a pretty girl to help you “remember” her later, or some equally creepy bit of deceit? Well then, we have good news for you, you pervert: it’s the COVR Photo, an iPhone case which lets you shoot in secret.

The COVR has a little prism stuck on the back, and when want to use it you slide it into place. Now you can hold your iPhone like a TV remote and shoot whatever is in front of you while looking down at your iPhone’s screen.

Buy it $75

The New Das Keyboard Looks So Cool Your Desk Will Feel Ashamed Of Itself

The New Das Keyboard Looks So Cool Your Desk Will Feel Ashamed Of Itself
Here’s the Das Keyboard 4, possibly the most bad-ass clacky keyboard in existence. No keycap markings, USB 3.0, Cherry MX switches and a huge knob. All that plus Das’s trademark feature: it’s as big as a boat. A “Das Boat” if you will.

You know how when you leave a pack of cookies open instead of sealing them in an airtight jar? They still taste the same, but they get all mushy: the satisfying snap has gone out of them. That’s how I feel now when I use even Apple’s excellent keyboards. They’re mushy compared to my clackety Filco keyboard.

Buy it $169
Elgato Thunderbolt Dock Great For Podcasters, Video Pros

Elgato Thunderbolt Dock Great For Podcasters, Video Pros

Elgato’s Thunderbolt Dock has a few unique features that are appropriate for a company that makes video accessories for Apple devices. First, there’s an HDMI port around back, and second, the USB ports put out enough juice to charge your iPad at a decent speed.

Buy it $230

Pad&Quill Traveler Case Looks Like It Feels As Good As It Looks

Pad&Quill Traveler Case Looks Like It Feels As Good As It Looks
Pad&Quill is at it again, this time with a low-profile rear-shell style case for the iPhone 5/S. While calling anything from Brian Holmes’s P&Q “minimal” would be a stretch, the Traveler Case gets pretty close. It is also gorgeous to look at, and would surely be just as lovely for the hands. It looks like the kind of case you couldn’t stop fingering.

Buy it $80

Baron Fig Confidant Is The Best Paper Notebook I’ve Used [Review]

Baron Fig Confidant Is The Best Paper Notebook I’ve Used
The Confidant is a 192-page notebook, packed with blank, ruled or dot-grid paper. It opens flat, has its own cotton bookmarker, is covered in pale gray fabric and has neat, extra-wide pages.

There are also 12 perforated pages at the back of the book so you can tear them out without ruining the binding. My copy doesn’t have these, so maybe I have a beta version.

Buy it $16

Baron Fig Confidant Is The Best Paper Notebook I’ve Used [Review]

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Yes, we’re reviewing a paper notebook. The thing is – spoiler – this one is awesome. Forget Moleskine, which is nice marketing wrapped in faux leather wrapped around thin, porous, easy-bleeding pages. The Baron Fig Confidant is what you want.

The Confidant by Baron Fig
Category: Notebooks
Works With: Pen or pencil
Price: $16

It’s packed with clever “features,” and yet you don’t notice the book at all when you’re using it. Does any of that sound familiar to you Apple users?

Mod Notebooks Sync Your Paper Notes With The Cloud

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Do you get creeped out by the fact that Google reads your emails in order to serve you ads (even though every time you search any web-based email it’s doing the exact same thing)? Then you should leave now, because the Mod Notebook is a service that scans your filled-up paper notebook and sends you back the digital version.