Monthly Archives: August 2013

  1. Capturing an experience, remembering a loved one.

    Capturing an experience, remembering a loved one.

    “If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man” -James Dean


    The Holmes family lost it’s patriarch when Mr. Pad and Quill’s dad passed quietly through the “grey rain-curtain of this world to the white shores of a far green country”.  At times like this, when your heart is stricken with grief and loss,  you search, at times in vain, for words that give expression to what this dear loved one meant to you.  I imagine this is why some of the greatest works of art are born in anguish and adversity.


    Artistic people are always looking to capture the essence of an experience, to emote a moment or to leave an impression of themselves in their little corner of the world.  In this way, technology is a great friend to artistic people allowing the easy capture of a photo, or the quick jotting of a lyric, while certainly increasing the volume and space of our corners.


    Mr. Holmes was a great man who traveled widely, served profoundly and loved deeply. He set his own story. It is in honor of him that we launch our new Author Series of cases.  Sometimes we need to craft our own experience, during those moments we don’t want someone to tell us how the story unfolds, we want to author that ourselves.  The Author Series case is yours to design, and dare I say it (Mr. PQ might wince) a perfect blank canvas for your expression.  I look forward to seeing pictures of what you all create!




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  2. WSJ Reports Next iPad Mini Likely to Have Retina

    WSJ Reports Next iPad Mini Likely to Have Retina

    by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster
    One big advantage that the iPad has over the iPad mini is the option of a Retina display. That may be changing soon with the introduction of the next-generation iPad mini. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the next iPad mini that Apple launches will most likely come with a high-resolution Retina display.

    Retina Rumors

    ipad mini case
    Samsung, LG, and Sharp are rumored to be the suppliers Apple is using for the new Retina display on the iPad mini. The screens on the current iPad mini are supplied by Sharp and Taiwan-based AU Optronics.

    Color Options

    Wish you had more options for colors? You might get your wish with the next iPad mini. WSJ stated that a wider variety of color options are possible for the back cover of the iPad mini—similar to rumors heard about the low-cost iPhone 5C.

    Tablet Competition

    Since Apple routinely tests out new options and suppliers, no one knows for sure if the next iPad mini will really have Retina display and multiple color options, but with Apple facing stiff competition from Google Nexus 7's high-resolution display, chances are that the Retina display will be a must-have on the new iPad mini.
    However, rumors are still surfacing that the next iPad mini may launch with a non-Retina display. In fact, just last Friday, reported that Fox News announced the iPad mini with Retina display won't be available until early 2014. According to Fox News, a new iPad mini will still be released this year but it won't come

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  3. iPhone 5S and Possible 5C Rumored to Launch on Sept 10

    iPhone 5S and Possible 5C Rumored to Launch on Sept 10

    by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster
    When there's a new iPhone about to launch, rumors start flying. Some of them are wild guesses. Others are fairly accurate.
    The rumor that Apple will be hosting a media event on September 10 to announce the launch of the iPhone 5S and possibly a low-cost iPhone 5C seems to be true, however. The rumor was reported by AllThingsD, which has a strong track record when it comes to making predictions about Apple's next move, according to

    iPhone 5S

    Rather than using a pattern, PIN or password to unlock your iPhone, the new iPhone 5S will feature fingerprint sensor software that authenticates the user without the need for remembering passwords or patterns.
    While analysts predict that the fingerprint sensor will eventually be able to authenticate purchases using your iPhone, they don't believe iOS 7 is currently able to handle anything beyond user authentication with the fingerprint sensor currently built in.
    Other upgrades for the iPhone 5S include a 12-megapixel camera, dual-LED flash, a custom A7 chip for faster processing, and iOS 7, which has already been announced by Apple.
    Whether or not Apple will discontinue the iPhone 5 after the 5S launches is still up for debate, but Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple will continue to offer the iPhone 5 alongside the 5S and a possible low-cost iPhone 5C.

    iPhone 5C

    [caption id="attachment_1105" align="alignright" width="300"]iPhone 5C rendering MacRumors Rendering of the iPhone 5C by[/caption]

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  4. Get Ready for iPad 5

    Get Ready for iPad 5

    by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster

    Seems like every time you buy the latest and greatest, a newer version gets released in the next couple of months and suddenly your shiny new toy is yesterday's news. If you're thinking about buying a new iPad, you might be better off waiting a month or two for the iPad 5. Unlike the minor upgrade from the iPad 3 to the iPad 4, the iPad 5 is rumored to be a big step up from the iPad 4.

    iPad stand case

    Lighter, smaller

    Although the screen size for the iPad 5 will be the same as previous generations, the lighter weight and more compact size will make it feel more along the lines of the iPad mini. With consumers expecting lighter, smaller devices, the pressure is on for manufacturers to create slimmer designs without compromising performance or battery life.
    Rumors run anywhere from 25% to 33% lighter than the iPad 4. A big factor in the weight and size change is with a thinner glass panel (0.2mm instead of 0.25mm).

    Touch-Panel Technology

    According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple is borrowing from the touch-panel technology for the iPad mini in order to make the iPad 5 thinner and lighter. Rather than the glass-based touch panel used by previous iPad models, the new iPad 5 will use the film-based touch panel featured in the iPad mini.

    Early Photos

    Just this month, photos appeared showing parts that were claimed to be a genuine front panel and digitizer for the next generation iPad. The photos appear to confirm the rumors that the iPad 5 will be smaller and thinner in size compared

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  5. 5 iOS Apps Every College Student Needs

    5 iOS Apps Every College Student Needs

    by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster
    It hasn't been that long since I was in college, but the dinosaur of a computer that I used to type up research papers in my dorm room would be a laughingstock on today's college campus. iPhones and iPads were still just a twinkle in Apple's eye. Today, though, most college students can't imagine living without an iPhone or iPad—and for good reason! They help you stay organized, keep in touch with friends and family, share photos, and communicate. They can also help you stay sane during your college years. Here's a roundup of 5 of our favorite iOS apps that we think every college student needs. Know of one we didn't list? Share it in the comments!

    1. Amazon Student (free)

    After signing your life away on student loans and tuition checks, there are still textbooks left to buy. Save money with Amazon Student, an app that allows you to scan barcodes of the textbooks you need in the campus store and compare prices online at You can also use the app to trade in used textbooks. Need another reason to download Amazon Student? Free two-day shipping for college students. 'Nuff said.
    [caption id="attachment_1093" align="alignright" width="168"]ihomework assignments Keep track of assignments with iHomework.[/caption]

    2. iHomework ($1.99)

    Forget lugging around a planner. Let your iPhone or iPad do the work with iHomework for $1.99. It's an app that lets you coordinate your homework assignments, schedule your workflow, and keep track of deadlines. You can also log your grades so that you keep

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  6. Kindle Fire Tips & Tricks for Newbies

    Kindle Fire Tips & Tricks for Newbies

    by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster
    There's a certain thrill that comes with getting a new tech device, but there's also a learning curve when it comes to figuring out how to use it—which can be frustrating. That's why we've put together these tips for Kindle Fire newbies on how to help you get the most from your device.

    1. Nix the ads.

    If you've got a nose for a bargain, no doubt you choose the "With Special Offers" version of Amazon's Kindle Fire. Putting up with ads can save you money up front, but if you get fed up with advertisements after a few weeks, luckily there's a way to get rid of them.
    The unfortunate part is that you're going to have to crack open your wallet again. Turning off ads will cost you $15. Just log in to your Amazon account, navigate to Manage Your devices, and click "Edit" under Special Offers. From there, you can unsubscribe.

    Kindle Fire case

    2. Lock screen rotation.

    By default, your Kindle Fire rotates from portrait to landscape when you turn the device. To lock the orientation in one mode, view your notifications and choose Locked under Quick Settings. To allow automatic rotation again, choose Unlocked.

    3. Set parental controls.

    Got a Kindle Fire for your kids? Control what your child can access on the device by adjusting the Basic Parental Controls under the Settings menu.
    Do you own a Kindle Fire but let your kids borrow it? Try Kindle FreeTime, an app that lets you control your child's access by setting up multiple user accounts. This allows you to use your own device without

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  7. Crafted Part Deux - The leathers coming

    Crafted Part Deux - The leathers coming

    A post from Mr. PQ


    Really Brian, Part Deux?  Yes, really.  After Mrs. PQ's last post we got a wee bit of feedback from our French loving friends.  Surprisingly they were not that excited that she placed the French language and swearing in the same category.  So I thought maybe pay tribute to French in the title of this post (aka damage control).



    This is the second post about why Kari, myself and the team are really passionate about the word 'Crafted'.  In my previous post I mentioned our hard fought battle to find Buckram cloth that was not butt ugly.  We finally did and could not be more proud of the Cartella Linen Case for the Macbook Air that utilizes a gorgeously strong linen buckram cloth.


    Another battle was to find leathers that we felt met our high standards to be both durable and gorgeous. We have some amazing products planned that utilize these leathers.  Therefore the leather has to be awesome. Touring various tanneries in Mexico we saw in full detail how leather is made, what types of quality are used and why. How quality affects construction and durability.  Here are a few images from our visit.





    Finished product getting ready for shipment on the 'horse'.



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  8. Should You Buy an iPad or MacBook Air for College?

    Should You Buy an iPad or MacBook Air for College?

    by Esther P., Pad & Quill Techster
    It's that time of year again. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the satisfaction of slipping a stack of crisp folders into a brand new backpack are back to haunt school-age kids and instill nostalgia in those of us without a 3-month summer vacation anymore. For students headed to college, however, getting ready for back to school means a lot more than just pencils, folders, and backpacks. Dorm bedding, laundry baskets, and bath towels are also on the list…along with a laptop or tablet for doing homework outside the computer lab or taking notes in class.
    With tablets gaining in popularity, college students are now faced with the decision of choosing whether to buy an iPad or a MacBook Air for college. One is ultra-mobile and fun with a long battery life, while the other is more powerful for bulky software (like Adobe PhotoShop) and easier to use for multi-tasking.

    Why an iPad?

    using ipad
    When you're carrying around a load of textbooks in your backpack, the last thing you want to do is add the extra weight and bulk of a laptop. An iPad, on the other hand, is so light that you'll barely notice it's there. Plus it takes up less space in your bag.
    Since the battery life lasts much longer than a MacBook Air, you can use an iPad for taking notes, keeping track of homework assignments, and Skyping with friends all day without recharging. The iPad is cheaper then a MacBook Air, and if you can buy or rent digital versions of your textbooks, you'll save even more money.

    Why a MacBook Air?

    Although a MacBook Air is more expensive than an iPad, it's also a better

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  9. How to Learn French in a Hurry

    How to Learn French in a Hurry

    From Mrs. PQ


    The other day I saw a book entitled "How to Learn French in a Hurry", and after checking my credit cards to make sure none of the quills were covertly planning to wing their way to France, chucking their education to follow their muse,  I began to ponder how one might "learn french in a hurry".  Teaching a teenager to drive your new car with manual transmission immediately came to mind.  There was a whole lot of "french" *that evening, coupled with the smell of a grinding clutch.  Opening a report card to discover the kid was serious when she decided to "just give up on school" spring semester.   As I confiscated her iPhone some sort of language accompanied the fire blazing from my eardrums, that, while indiscernible, was mutually understood.


    One other way to learn french in a hurry is to go to an e-commerce site, find a product you love, and then become foiled by technology, unable to make a purchase.  I received an email this week from our crack customer service staff regarding a gentleman in Great Britain who had been trying for two weeks to buy one of our lovely new Cartella Linen cases for Macbook Air.  There was so much technical jargon in his letter that it made my eyeballs bleed.  I would have been speaking french at that point, but he was using the lovely Queen's english.  The very fact that he persevered for two weeks to own one of our products was enough for me to jump into the conversation and reward his patience with a Cartella, gratis.  I'll have to sneak my way into the shipping area to send it off to him, as Mr. PQ keeps me largely relegated to my office, (that I affectionately call The Dungeon), where I can do the least damage to servers/websites etc.  But we have one more satisfied customer, joy, and the new web site is coming along

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