Monthly Archives: May 2013
Pad & Quill is going through some growth changes and this has reminded me of my own awkward transitions. The passing through of eight middle school springs now, I’ve noticed a certain trend associated with the greening of the landscape and the return of song- birds from the south. The inevitable homework assignments beseeching a parent to walk down the tortured, awkward, memory lane of their pre pubescent youth.
“Who taught you health?”
The gorgeous 6th grade substitute that all the girls had a crush on, who later decided to teach “health” to my best friend’s mom and well, that was awkward.
“Mom, I can’t write that!”
“Who were your friends?”
I was so shy I was left choosing between the girl who spoke in a self-invented language somewhat akin to Farsi and the boy who ate paste. Since I was no linguist, I chose paste boy. As I was ravenously hungry all the time, it worked out ok.
“How did you feel about how you looked?”
I was a skinny, flat-chested tomboy. The one effort I made to correct this failed miserably. Taking a cue from Margaret of, Are you There God? fame, I borrowed a bra from my mom but stopped short of stuffing it. My attempt at a feminine figure fell far short, so instead of looking like one of Charlie’s Angels, I looked like some disgruntled animal had burrowed under my shirt and died.
“Did you have pimples?”
“Did you get along with your parents?”
“Did you do well in school?”
Sort of, the shyness part was certainly a detriment.
Posted: May 28, 2013
Smell the fresh ink of a new paperback or the musty pages of a classic, feel the bumpy texture of a book jacket, or run your finger along the crease in the spine, and you'll get a sense of the nostalgia that holding a book in your hands can trigger.
For avid readers, making the switch to a Kindle or other electronic reading device can feel a bit traitorous when faced with the collection of hardcover and paperback books that line the shelves of your living room. Rather than mourn the transition to digital books, however, we prefer to look at the bright side of holding on to both mediums—both for those who stubbornly hold on to the old ways and for those who embrace the technology of a Kindle.
Arguments in favor of the Kindle:
1. A lighter load
Face it. If you're one of those people who walks out of the library or bookstore with books piled up to your chin, it's a whole lot easier (and lighter) to carry a Kindle than it is to haul your books with you to the coffee shop or beach. Your carry-on will be that much lighter, and you won't regret leaving one of your books at home just because it was too heavy, too thick, or too oversized.
2. No losing your place
If you've ever read a Russian novel and lost your place, you know how thrilling it can be to read a book on Kindle and never lose your place. No bookmarks needed
3. Read what you want, where you want
Since the Kindle is discreet—and even includes privacy settings to keep nosy family members out—you can read whatever you want, wherever you want. No need to hide the book jacket out of embarrassment or to avoid a controversial argument. E-books make it easy to make book choices based on what you really want to read—not what you think others expect you to read. So break out the Superman comic books—no shame needed.
There are seasons in life, and the past 20 years have been a season I’d call the diapers to braces season. While Mr. PQ and I had every intention of seeing the world, even booked a tour of Europe as a celebration for completing college, the good Lord and oldest kid had other ideas, so as I shopped careers the end of senior year, I also shopped for cribs, strollers etc. Each time I began researching travel brochures, another quill happened on the scene. Not to be deterred by the growing population of our family, I dragged our tribe to the four corners of North America, loving every experience. However, I still wanted to see the world beyond the pages of a book or someone else’s slideshow.
So, when Mr. PQ said he wanted to travel to Mexico to visit our tannery and manufacturer that is supplying some of our amazing leather dry goods, I was eager for the opportunity. One, because I’d finally get to use my passport, and two because I wanted to meet and experience the people who help us design and craft some of our products.
We arrived in central Mexico, home to the largest leather suppliers in the Western Hemisphere. It is a beautiful country and as we’ve spent the past four days working along side our partners, eating with employees in their cafeteria, talking with designers, touring tanneries and factories, and finding the same level of attention to detail and hard work our employees invest at home.
At one point as we chatted with a line worker, bent over a Little Pocket Book. She was so immersed in the wrapping and pleating process. My impulse was to grab her up in a hug and thank her
Since the debut of the first iPad three years ago, how consumers use technology has shifted largely in favor of tablet devices versus the more traditional PC or laptop. Consumers love the speed of the device and how easy it is to take with you and use on the go.
How Consumers Use the iPad
Business Insider has launched a reader survey every year since the iPad came out. Their third survey, conducted in July of 2012, showed that while iPad use is increasing, how iPad owners use their tablet hasn't changed much in the last three years.
The most popular activity on the iPad is web browsing (37.3%), followed by email and social media accounts (21.4%). Using other apps, watching video, and playing games were the next most popular ways to use the iPad.
[caption id="attachment_823" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Business Insider's July 2012 poll for iPad users[/caption]
iPads and Tablets Popular for Reading
Although Business Insider's survey didn't include reading as an option in their survey, a similar survey by CNET found that 23% of respondents use their iPad or tablet to read books, blogs, and magazines. iPads often double as a reading device, replacing the Kindle and Nook for users who want to simplify. Although the iPad's screen display is less suited for long periods of reading than the Kindle or Nook screen, it's still a popular device for ebooks and other reading material.
An iPad case can make
Posted: May 17, 2013
According to MacRumors.com, negotiations over Apple's new iRadio streaming music service are still in progress. Although similar to Pandora and Spotify in nature, iRadio will likely be molded around a business model that motivates listeners to purchase music via the iTunes store.
When it comes to personalized streaming recommendations, Apple has a leg up on the competition because of the enormous amount of data generated by iTunes. This knowledge base of listener preferences will allow iRadio to generate finely tuned predictions for new music and artists that a listener might enjoy.
What to Expect
While streaming services like Spotify let users get away with listening but not buying, iRadio will likely be closer to the Pandora model, which provides more incentive for listeners to buy. Expect a well designed interface with plenty of links to the iTunes music store.
When to Expect It
As MacRumors reported, Apple is still in the negotiation phase with Sony and Warner to determine how much it will offer for the number of tracks streamed. Apple originally offered 6 cents per 100 tracks (according to the Financial Times) but later raised their rates to match what Pandora pays, which is about 12.5 cents per 100 tracks.
With millions of users already on iTunes, Apple's iRadio is expected to be an immediate threat to streaming services such as Pandora. The new service is designed to help iTunes listeners find new music, as well as generate revenue through increased ad sales and music downloads.
Apple still has more negotiations to deal with before iRadio is ready to launch, but rumor has it that iRadio will debut later this year, depending on how soon Apple can strike a deal with Sony, Universal, and Warner. News sources expect Apple to announce iRadio at the Worldwide Developers Conference coming up in June.
“Mom do you know if even one kid brings a phone into an AP testing site the entire room of tests are voided?”
Our oldest son is preparing to take his first AP Exam, Human World Geography, and as per usual, in studying with him, I know a great deal more about things like gentrification and dairy circles then I used to know. Taking your third and fourth trip through high school teaches you a thing or two.
Much like taking a trip through a business start up.
You learn the good ways to coax all of the beauty and functionality from a product imaginable, and you learn the bad ways; I’ve got a basement full of prototypes and discarded blueprints.
There are good ways to manage a supply chain and an inventory system and there are not so good ways. What am I supposed to do with 497 Octavo frames with no left rail? (Hint: stacked alternately they make great nesting sites for mice in the winter. Thank goodness those were stored in the garage.)
There are good and bad ways to convey to the public how you care about your customers, your products, and your employees who have become like family. (I honestly don’t think anyone cares that I will retweet pretty much anything coming out of Alton Brown’s mouth.)
In our endeavor to convey all of this to you, we lost our way a bit, but we never lost our commitment to craft amazing things, to be inspired by nature and innovation, and to bring you amazing products from our workspace to yours.
Kind of like Prom, state qualifying long jumps and epic tennis matches all rolled into one, there are exciting changes afoot at Pad and Quill, and we can’t wait to share them with you.
Here's a hint of what we are working on.
Posted: May 13, 2013Categories: MacBook Air
Although a screen protector is one of the most invisible ways to protect your MacBook Air while preserving its sleek design, installing a screen protector can be a challenge, especially if you've never done it before. Thankfully, the pros at Zagg have divulged some of their best secrets for getting a screen protector installed perfectly. Here are some of the tips they have to offer:
1. Wash your hands first.
Sounds a bit like your mom telling you to wash up for dinner, but Zagg's first tip is to wash your hands before trying to install a screen protector. The skin oils on your hands can leave fingerprints on the device and the screen protector, which can make for a frustrating process of do-overs.
2. Line it up correctly.
What starts out as a slight misalignment at the top of the screen can turn into a lopsided installation job by the time you get to the bottom of the screen. Take the time to line up the screen protector carefully at the top edge and sides before applying the screen protector to your MacBook Air. If you're not patient enough to do this, we recommend asking a friend who is more of a perfectionist to do it for you.
3. Use a squeegee to remove bubbles.
Zagg screen protectors for MacBook Air come with a squeegee to help you work out all the little bubbles that get trapped underneath the screen protector. You can also use a credit card to work out the bubbles. If things just aren't lining up right or you get too many bubbles, you can always remove the screen protector and start over again.
4. Get the corners and edges to stick.
Other than bubbles, getting the corners and edges to adhere is one of the trickiest parts about installing
Have you every caught your reflection in a window, paused and asked, “when the heck did I start wearing Dockers?” Well, that's sort of what happened to us.
This January Mrs. PQ and I fired up Safari and ventured over to padandquill.com. That's when it hit us, our site is not Pad and Quill. Not at all. We're fun people with a passion for technology, art, literature and life. Our current site does not convey who we really are. So we began a journey of discovery – and we'd appreciate your advice! We figure if you're interesting enough to own a Pad and Quill case, you're probably clever enough to have some darn good opinions too.
So far, it's been an illuminating journey. Turns out Kari and I weren't even on the same page at times. But we're getting close to something pretty amazing. So throughout the upcoming weeks we'll be sharing all sorts of ideas, designs, logos, fonts, colors and who knows, maybe a product idea or two. We're out to make padandquill.com every bit as interesting, unique and well made as our products we offer. And we'd love it if you'd come and share an opinion or two.
Come on, let's build something together.
Well, if only the website was currently as awesome as our front door ;)
Posted: May 06, 2013
If you’re looking for a portable media player, you can’t get much better than Apple’s iPod Touch. According to a review by PCMag.com, the iPod Touch scored an “Outstanding” rating for its sync capabilities, retina display, and top-notch music playing and organizing features.
There’s not much to complain about when it comes to the iPod Touch. Although the price tag is steeper than other media players out there, for most Apple fans, the price is worth it, considering all of the features packed into this handheld device.
The iPod Touch is much, much more than just a portable music player. The high-res screen is perfect for playing music videos or HD videos shot with your iPod Touch. You can also shoot photos, although the camera resolution on earlier iPod Touch models is less impressive than expected.
What sets the iPod Touch apart from other MP3 players is everything it can do beyond playing music and videos. With iCloud sync, the iPod Touch syncs content between different iOS devices. The iMessage feature allows you to swap virtual texts between iOS devices, along with interacting through FaceTime video chat and GameCenter social gaming. The newest iPod Touch is almost on par with a smartphone—minus the phone—with its more than 700,000 iOS apps. The 2012 iPod Touch model also addresses some of the flaws in earlier models with improved headphones, camera resolution, and speed.
How can you make the iPod Touch better?
If you’ve upgraded to the 2012 iPod Touch model, there’s not much else you need to do, except upgrade your accessories—most of which aren’t compatible with the newest Touch. For older iPod Touch models, we recommend nabbing a high quality pair of earbuds. The standard earbuds included with the iPod Touch are sorely lacking in bass levels and audio quality. A new pair of earbuds (we recommend
It's the never-ending debate: does the iPhone 5 need protection or not? While most Apple fans like the sleek, slim design of the iPhone 5 without any embellishments, the thought of scratches and scuff marks is worth adding extra protection. No one wants to look at a screen marred with scratches and fingerprints. We have a whole range of protective iPhone cases to keep your screen safe and sound, however sometimes a little additional protection will go a long way too.
Why a screen protector?
The iPhone 5 screen is constructed with Gorilla glass, which means it can withstand quite a bit of abuse without getting scratched or cracked. But as accidental (and intentional) drop tests have shown, the Gorilla is not without its weaknesses. Too much abuse will crack, scratch, or dull the glass.
So how does a piece of plastic protect the screen?
Good question. If Gorilla Glass can't get the job done, how is adding a plastic screen protector going to help? Can a thin piece of plastic really protect your iPhone if you drop it?
Zagg screen protectors are made from the same material designed to protect military helicopter blades from damage due to dust, dirt, and debris. The strength of the Gorilla Glass screen is magnified by this military-grade screen protector for iPhone 5, adding more protection than the glass alone.
What about drop protection?
Although Gorilla Glass holds its own fairly well when it comes to scratches, cracked screens are another story. According to a drop test by one reviewer, an iPhone 5 with Gorilla Glass cracked when dropped face down on a tile surface, while the iPhone 5 with a Zagg screen protector wasn't damaged at all when dropped. The same reviewer found that filing the iphone 5 screen