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Latest 7 Posts
$17 third party Apple Watch Sport Loop Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Nov 29th 2017 7
Why I'm excited for the upcoming Apple HomePod
Mon, Nov 27th 2017 3
Shure MV51 microphone - thumbs up!
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 5
Ommegang 20th Anniversary Ale 2017 Review - Thumbs Up!
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 8
Apple TV 4K review - thumbs up!
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 6
Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Smoker Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Sep 27th 2017 8
Dashlane password wallet - thumbs up!
Wed, Sep 20th 2017 9
Top 10
2016 Technology Year in Review
Sat, Dec 31st 2016 13
Why I bought a new laptop and a new desktop computer in the "post PC era"
Fri, Feb 21st 2014 12
Looking for faster in-home wi-fi performance? Consider the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (R7000)
Tue, Oct 14th 2014 12
Google Chromebook for Back to School
Tue, Aug 26th 2014 11
Star Wars Rogue 1, Super Mario Run, Man in the High Castle season 2 and Apple AirPods
Fri, Dec 16th 2016 11
Apple AirPods wireless headphones - thumbs up!
Wed, Jan 11th 2017 10
Uplift standing desk - thumbs up!
Mon, May 22nd 2017 10
One Week with the Apple Watch - Hits and Misses
Thu, May 7th 2015 9
Apple iPad Pro review - Thumbs down!
Tue, Apr 5th 2016 9
Dashlane password wallet - thumbs up!
Wed, Sep 20th 2017 9


Christopher Pepin
Blog Title Chris Pepin
Blog Description technology, gadgets and enterprise computing
Blog URL http://www.chrispepin.com
RSS Feed http://feeds.feedburner.com/chrispepin/rss
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Recent Blog Posts
7
$17 third party Apple Watch Sport Loop Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Nov 29th 2017 8:36p   Christopher Pepin
I like the new Apple Watch Sport Loop but the $49 price tag is a bit too much to swallow. Here's my THUMBS UP! review of a $17 knockoff I purchased on eBay from happyline9988
3
Why I'm excited for the upcoming Apple HomePod
Mon, Nov 27th 2017 6:48p   Christopher Pepin
The Apple HomePod is delayed until early 2018 and will be more expensive and have fewer features than Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos One. I don't care and I will buy one anyway. Our family is a heavy user of Apple Music, we have thousands of uploaded songs (iTunes Match) and dozens of playlists. Current speakers aren't great for our family, here's why: Bluetooth speakers. Portability is great but it's far too difficult to connect/disconnect multiple devices to play music. In addition, m
5
Shure MV51 microphone - thumbs up!
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 7:21p   Christopher Pepin
In November, 2017 I purchased the Shure MV51 microphone for $150 and I'm a fan. Listen to my audio review below, recorded using the microphone connected to my iPhone 7 Plus and using the MOTIV mobile app available from the Apple App Store.
8
Ommegang 20th Anniversary Ale 2017 Review - Thumbs Up!
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 7:30p   Christopher Pepin
I'm a big fan of Ommegang Belgian-style beers brewed in Cooperstown, NY and I've made two brewery visits over the last three years. 2017 is Ommegang's 20th anniversary and to celebrate, they brewed a special anniversary beer aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. I'm a fan of barrel aged beers and this one doesn't disappoint. It pours a dark, chocolate brown with aromas of dried fruits and tastes of bourbon with nice mouthfeel and a smooth finish. From the Ommegang blog: "For 20th Anniver
6
Apple TV 4K review - thumbs up!
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 2:31p   Christopher Pepin
I've owned each model of Apple TV since the first release ten years ago in 2007. I upgraded to the latest 4K 64GB model and recommend it. Pros 4K supportFree 4K movie upgrades for selected movies if you've paid for the HD version. New 4K movies cost the same as HD versionsSupports both HRD10 and Dolby Vision HDRUser interface and integration with other Apple products (e.g. AirPlay)App and games support Cons The only 4K content the Apple TV 4K plays is iTunesExpensive ($179/$199 for 32GB and
8
Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Smoker Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Sep 27th 2017 6:16p   Christopher Pepin
Watch my video review of the Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 30" propane two door smoker below. This is my first smoker and I recommend it. I ordered it on sale for $99 online from Blain's Farm & Fleet
9
Dashlane password wallet - thumbs up!
Wed, Sep 20th 2017 5:36p   Christopher Pepin
I've been a longtime Dashlane password wallet user and couldn't live without it. I use Dashlane on all my devices for work and personal use including Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android devices and store my passwords, credit cards, secure notes and ids. Pros All of my passwords synchronized securely across all my devices with easy accessDigital wallet for all my payments and id cardsPassword generatorChange multiple passwords automatically with a single clickAlerts when one or more of my
4
Apple iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad - thumbs up!
Tue, Sep 19th 2017 5:05p   Christopher Pepin
As expected, Apple released iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad earlier today and I highly recommend the upgrade. Pros New App StoreNew Files appMore human sounding (less robotic) Siri voiceNew Lockscreen, Notification Center, and Control centerAutofill app passwordsDo not disturb while driving with auto replyCreate a video of what displays on the screen (great for creating demos)Swipe down on the keyboard instead of hitting "shift"iPad: add as many apps as you want to the dock, drag and drop Cons On
7
Apple's iPhone X event - thumbs up!
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 9:22p   Christopher Pepin
Earlier today, Tim Cook kicked off the Apple iPhone X event at the new Steve Job's theater at Apple Park. You can watch the full replay on Apple.com. The following are my impressions: Apple Watch Series 3. Apple added a new dual-core processor to the Apple Watch Series 3 that is 70% faster than last year and a new LTE option which means you no longer need to have your iPhone with you. The Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329 without cellular and $399 with integrated LTE, and it will be released
5
Novaform Comfort Grande (Costco) mattress review - thumbs up!
Mon, Sep 11th 2017 10:39p   Christopher Pepin
In December, 2016 replaced my 14 year old Sera Posturepedic king size mattress with the Novaform Comfort Grande (Costco) memory foam mattress and I recommend it. I'm sleeping better with less discomfort than my old mattress. After almost a year of use, I'm still a fan. Pros Comfortable (medium firm)14 inches thickResists bounciness and eases movementNo hassle return policy from CostcoVacuum sealed in a small box for shipping. Easy expands. Watch my videoInexpensive ($700 for king)Excellent r
8
My visit to the US Open Tennis 2017
Wed, Aug 30th 2017 1:35a   Christopher Pepin
Last night I attended opening night at US Open tennis tournament in Queens, NY with my sons. IBM is a sponsor of the event, creator of the US Open mobile app, championship website and sponsor of IBM Cognitive Court, an interactive event showcasing Watson technology. Shania Twain performed several of her hits including "I Feel Like a Woman" to a capacity crowd filled with celebrities After a 19-month absence, Maria Sharapova returned to Grand Slam play with a thrilling victory over #2 seed Simo
2
Amazon Prime Store Credit Card - thumbs up!
Thu, Aug 3rd 2017 4:41a   Christopher Pepin
If you're an Amazon Prime member, the store credit card is a no brainer as it offers 5% off on all purchases, everyday as a statement credit. There is no annual fee. Alternately, you can choose special financing for purchases of $149 or more. On Amazon Prime Day earlier this year Amazon offered and additional 20% selected items when paying with the Amazon store credit card. Note that Amazon offers two store credit cards - one for Prime customers and one for non-Prime customers. Only the Prime
3
Jackbox Games for AppleTV - thumbs up!
Thu, Jul 6th 2017 9:24p   Christopher Pepin
Jackbox Games including Fibbage, Quiplash and others have breathed new life into my AppleTV series 4 with a series of great party games. The latest model of AppleTV is the only one that has an app store, just like iPhone and iPad that allows you to install apps and games. Don't have an AppleTV series 4? Jackbox games are also available for PC, Xbox, Playstation and even Amazon Alexa (Lie Swatter) Once you purchase the game on your AppleTV, participants login to http://jackbox.tv on their smart
6
UGREEN Elastic Organizer Board review - thumbs up!
Wed, Jul 5th 2017 9:45p   Christopher Pepin
I recently purchased a large UGREEN elastic organizer board from Amazon on sale for $8.13 and I'm a big fan. The zipper on a Vaultz mesh bag I had been using recently broke and I needed a replacement. The 8.5 x 11 inch board contains a variety of elastic bands to hold all your cables and dongles. A key advantage is that the organized board provides easy access to all your cables and adapters without a need to hunt through a bag. The disadvantage is that the organizer board takes up a bit more s
5
Amazon Dash Wand - thumbs up!
Fri, Jun 16th 2017 8:48p   Christopher Pepin
The new Amazon Dash Wand puts Alexa in the palm of your hand complete with a barcode scanner to add items to your shopping cart. It runs off two AA batteries and it took all of one minute to setup and configure by connecting to my home wi-fi network. The Dash Wand has a magnet built in to stick to your refrigerator so it's always handy. Questions you can ask:What's the score of the Red Sox game?Buy sushi riceWhat's the best pizza nearby?Where's my stuff?Will it rain tomorrow?How many cups i
5
Amazon Basics laptop/tablet sleeves - thumbs up!
Mon, Jun 12th 2017 6:06p   Christopher Pepin
I've used Amazon Basics laptop/tablet sleeves for several years and I'm a big fan. I own 6 in a variety of sizes - one for each of my device. Here's why I'm a fan:Protects my laptops and tablets from scratches when traveling. I load all my gear in a High Sierra Elite backpack and the sleeves help protect the devices from rubbing against each otherSleeve come in 8 sizes from 7 inch to 17.3 inches for a perfect fitReasonably priced from $5.95 to $11.99Well made neoprene-like padded material wi
7
My take on Apple WWDC 2017 keynote - thumbs down!
Tue, Jun 6th 2017 4:48p   Christopher Pepin
Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference kicked off yesterday with a two hour keynote. My take: tvOS - thumbs down. Amazon Prime Video app coming later this year isn't enough to compete. Apple did say that new features are also coming later this yearwatchOS 4 - thumbs down. New Siri watch face/assistant, new watch faces and integration with gym equipment wasn't enough. The rumor is that Apple will launch a new watch later this yearmacOS High Sierra - thumbs down. Autoplay video blocking, a new
10
Uplift standing desk - thumbs up!
Mon, May 22nd 2017 8:23p   Christopher Pepin
I recently remodeled my home office and decided to replace my office desk with a standing desk. We use standing desks at my IBM office. After researching several options, I decided on the Uplift standing desk from The Human Solution. My summary and video review follows Pluses: One inch thick bamboo top355lb weight limit, sturdy and well madeAdjusts quickly (1.5 inches per second) from 24.25"-50.25". Optional memory keypad to return the desk to two preset heightsReasonable price Minuses Two b
1
Allagash Brewery Tour 2017
Mon, May 22nd 2017 8:02p   Christopher Pepin
I embarked on a weekend trip from Connecticut to Maine with a group of fellow craft beer buddies to visit the following breweries: Treehouse TrilliumMaine BeerFoundationAllagashBattery SteeleBarreled SoulsTributary Many of these breweries are among the highest rated breweries in the country according to Beeradvocate. Allagash was the only brewery with a tour and it was one of the highlights of the trip. Other highlights included the "Soup Nazi" experience at Treehouse (on the day I visited,
5
Costco hot dog - thumbs up!
Fri, May 19th 2017 9:51p   Christopher Pepin
I'm a huge fan of Costco and my absolute favorite item of all time is the $1.50 food court hot dog that comes with free soda with unlimited refills. Costco sells over 100 million hot dogs a year and the price hasn't increased since Costco first opened in 1985. My favorite way to eat a Costco hot dog: With chopped, raw onionsDeli (spicy) mustardSauerkraut (it's free, just ask)Chilli. Costco started selling a bowl of chilli for $3.99 in the food court and it makes a great chilli dog, However,
4
IBM at the Tribeca Film Festival 2017
Sun, Apr 30th 2017 10:07p   Christopher Pepin
I had the privilege of staffing the IBM Lounge at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City last week which provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to connect with IBM subject matter experts to learn how technology can be applied to storytelling. The exhibits included: T Brand Studio Augmented Reality app for iOS and Android. The feature film, “Hidden Figures,” inspired this Augmented Reality app and brings to life virtual statues of the film’s compelling characters - Katherine J
3
Automatic IoT connected car kit - thumbs up!
Thu, Apr 6th 2017 4:00p   Christopher Pepin
I recently purchased an Automatic V2 connected car kit through Amazon for a great discount - $47. Automatic has two newer models, the Lite and the Pro, that are significantly more expensive and have features I don't need (Pro: cellular connectivity, Lite: missing features). I'm very happy with my Automatic V2 and recommend it. Included in the box is the Automatic connected car adaptor that plugs into the OBDII port under the dash of most cars. Once installed, the adaptor pairs with an app on
2
Circle with Disney parental controls and Internet filtering - thumbs up!
Fri, Mar 3rd 2017 8:27p   Christopher Pepin
Circle with Disney parental controls and Internet filtering receives my enthusiastic thumbs up after one week of use at my home with two adults and three kids. Previous solutions we tried (OurPact, taking devices away, scolding, etc.) had mixed success. My kids would play on their mobile devices and game consoles all day long if I let them. My need was for an automated solution with the following requirements: 1. The ability to set time usage limits for each child and their associated devices
5
iHealth digital wi-fi scale review - thumbs up!
Mon, Feb 6th 2017 6:55p   Christopher Pepin
My employer, IBM provided me a free iHealth Vista HS5 digital scale as part of my company-sponsored health insurance plan. In 2016, IBM provided a free Apple Watch as part of the Apple Watch for Corporate Wellness Program. I'm thrilled with IBM's efforts to promote healthier, happier employees through the use of technology. The iHealth Vista digital scale setup was very easy. Insert the batteries, install the iHealth mobile app on my iPhone which connected the scale to my home wi-fi network
10
Apple AirPods wireless headphones - thumbs up!
Wed, Jan 11th 2017 12:26p   Christopher Pepin
I've been using the new Apple AirPods headphones for a week now and I'm a fan. I ordered the Apple AirPods online on December 13, the first day of preorders. The delivery date was January 12 but the AirPods arrived at my home early on January 4. The AirPods fit my ears perfectly like the similar wired Apple EarPods. I've used the AirPods at the gym and in my home office on conference calls and find them comfortable to wear. Sound and microphone quality is a step above the stock Apple EarPods
13
2016 Technology Year in Review
Sat, Dec 31st 2016 9:38p   Christopher Pepin
In no particular order, the following are my top technology hits and misses for 2016. Mobile was hot in 2016 led by the exploding Samsung Note 7. The iPhone 7 offered incremental improvements and Google double-downed on smartphones with their new premium Pixel smartphones. My most used apps include Messages, Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Super Mario Run, YouTube, Netflix and Waze. From a business perspective, my favorite apps of 2016 included IBM Connections, Box




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