Category Archives: reviews

Solio Solar Charger

SolioIn the boonies? Need a bit of extra juice on the plane? Use this solar charger/spare battery to charge almost anything with a USB charger or use any of the custom tips that they have available for cell phones etc. This is good for not having to haul around 20 different AC adapters.
Not only does this recharge in the sunlight it can also be a charge though-device for anything it can charge normally. Its built in battery will hold extra charge for when you aren’t in the sun or near an outlet.
I tested this out with a video iPod and I got an extra 3.5 hours of play on the iPod.

SOFTWARE:PortableApps

When they first came out with this idea, my mom was the one who really needed a laptop without a laptop solution. Basically, this installs a set of standalone apps that don’t have tendrils into Windows System files. Not to mention that you can install it on a memory stick as small as 256k (I have it running now – I’m blogging in Firefox on a 512 memory stick – this is the one I got for 4 bucks after rebate. I know it isn’t totally necessary, but it amuses me.)
I do have a small laptop, but frankly, its getting older and the battery lasts about 2 hours but not much more. Its better suited for staying at home and sitting on a comfy chair somewhere other than my desk when I’m not at the setup in the kitchen.
I’m not complaining, i bought the little guy in 2002 so its had a pretty good run and it still is my main machine for all my websites and design. But this next model I’ll be getting is a bit far off (saving up now, but I got the carry case already for xmoose from Ralphie (thanks Ralphie!)…).
So, when I do travel, I either use my Treo to do all my email, but now I have the option of using PortableApps to manage all the heftier bookmarks, a small amount of photo editing and possibly web dev… but I don’t know if my server exactly likes NVU. I’ll have to figure out the quirks.
They do have standard email apps (but I’m so online with Gmail and Treo-ized, its not totally necessary) and the calendar app, but again, like I said, I’m Treo-ized and I haven’t looked into the possibility of syncing my Treo with it, I doubt it since when I looked on their forums, they were discussing the limitations of having the drivers local.
Anyhoo, back in the stone ages (approximately 4 months ago) the installation and set up process was a bit monkey-ish. Now they have an interface, the load problems are cleaned up and installing new apps (not to mention removing apps) is dead easy. FANTASTIC interface… I’ve seen a lot of crap and this is brilliant. They even added a backup utility for exporting either your settings only or the entire drive contents to a zip folder wherever you deem suitable.
So, I’ve taken to just connecting it to whatever machine I’m on and treating it like my desktop so that all my history, linkies and quirky setups will be there no matter where I am.
Its also TINY so I can just stick it in my purse and not have to worry about schlepping even a tiny laptop when I leave for 3 day jaunts.
Get one now and have it ready for emergencies or just handy. Here’s the drive I got the other day at Fry’s on Amazon if you want a decent deal.