Nemo Memo
Travels with Techie, v2007.2

Part two of our series. You can read part one here.

A small, portable two-button scrolling mouse is handy when traveling with a laptop, especially if you’re accustomed to using a mouse back at home or office. Iogear makes the best mini-mice, and you can read our reviews of their first edition porta-mice, posted many years ago, here and here, complete with photos. Newer versions of these mice are available from Warning: older laptops don’t send out enough USB power to work with Iogear’s original USB wireless mice, but newer Mac laptops should not have this problem. RATING = 4 out of 5

My cousin Jim provided a Netgear 54 Mbps Wireless Router for our use during the San Francisco housesitting part of our current vacation. Setup procedure is confusing, but I eventually figured out how to secure the router and its wireless signal from casual intruders. Linksys wireless routers are still my first choice, but you can’t beat free, so thank you again, Jim. Extra thanks to David Weeks, for helping create and verify our security settings. RATING = 3 out of 5

FireLite FireWire 400 portable pocket hard drives are among the best in the business, but the SmartDisk company appears to be leaving the business completely. I use my FireLite almost daily for temporary backups and file transfers, and it is one fine piece of equipment. Look for these gems on eBay and other aftermarket shopping sites. Read our review here, posted an eternity ago and still valid. RATING = 5 out of 5

David Weeks purchased a cheapo multi-format photo storage card reader at Fry’s Electronics in Phoenix for me at the beginning of 2007, and I use it very frequently. I don’t care which brand of combo card reader you own, but one day you’ll be glad I insist you get one and keep it and its USB cable WITH your digital camera. Send Nemo a thank you note when you’ve used it for the hundredth time. RATING = 4 out of 5

Do a web search for “canon digital rebel” and you’ll come face to face with the camera I borrowed from my uncle to photograph a family event last weekend. Photos are consistently great. I have helped several clients who possess digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, but I don’t own one. The Digital Rebel is a good entry-level DSLR that can be used with a zillion Canon-mount lenses, new and old. Hint: get a lens hood or shade for bright daylight or early/late day photography, to keep flare and glare out of your photos. RATING = 4 out of 5

i.Sound Max is the most versatile compact portable iPod docking or mini-jack speaker we’ve had for review at Our full evaluation will be posted in a few weeks. Become familiar with this dandy device here. List price is $100, and sells it for $85, which is a screaming deal. Every person who sees and hears my Max speaker is impressed. Poolside? In the car? Bedroom? Dorm? Kitchen? Wherever, whenever, whoever, wowever — Max delivers splendid sound. RATING = 4.5 out of 5 [provisional]

Glance is great. I’m addicted to it, as a tutor, troubleshooter, and helping hand, even on vacation. Try for free before you buy, read our description of it here, and then use Glance to see and be seen by the favorite computers in your life, Mac or Windows. RATING = 4.5 out of 5

SX70 ultraEars in-ear headphones by ezGear are the best under-$50 earphones we’ve heard. Read about them and several competitors here. For that price, buy several sets, one each for car, house, friends to borrow, and dog to chew. I use mine daily on vacation. SX70 provides comfortable, quality audio for every type of music and talk, even the Podcast. RATING = 4.5 out of 5

After a long period of silence, WiebeTech is again shouting about their great new portable pocket hard drives. I’m midway through a review of their ToughTech XE mini combo-port premium drives, and they are the most versatile we’ve ever seen at If you need durability along with style and portability, save your money for the highest-capacity TouchTech unit you can afford. Learn about them here. RATING = 4.5 out of 5 [provisional]

New York Times crossword puzzles can be played online or downloaded and printed for offline puzzling. I’m a Monday-Friday newspaper subscriber, so I quality for Times Select and some premium puzzle access, but I think everybody can at least play the daily crossword and/or “classic” puzzles from the past. Here is the link to the Times’ puzzle page, containing all pertinent info plus instructions for Across Lite, the software that displays and plays/prints crossword puzzles on your Mac. You may need to register here, but it’s free and non-invasive. RATING = 4 out of 5

[Part Three is coming later in the summer.]

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