The Ultimate Geek T-Shirt? It Reads Email.

I feature a lot of T-Shirts on this site that fall under the category of “geek”, however, I don’t think I’ve featured one as geeky as this email counting tee. The shirt, which was designed by software designer Chris Bell, keeps an up-to-date count of the number of unread emails in your email inbox. Think that I’m kidding? Watch the video. It’s kind of unbelievable and all kinds of awesome.

The shirt is a one-off so don’t even try to look for a “buy now” link. The shirt is open source (ever thought you’d hear the term open source in reference to a T-Shirt?) so that means if you pick up the same components from Spark Fun Electronics you could theoretically make your own. The shirt makes use of LilyPad Arduino on the software side of things. The script needed to run the T-Shirt can be found here.

10 Essential Tips For The Traveling Blogger

Traveling does not have to hinder your blogging. Instead, you can use this time as an opportunity to engage and interact with your community even more. There are many tools available to you and with the prolification of wifi hotspots in major cities, getting on the web while on the road is as easy as ever. Your next vacation might be just what your blog needed.

Disclaimer: I’m a very Mac-centric kind of guy and because of these you’ll notice that a few of my tips make use of making use of the iPhone. I’m sure the same tips would also apply for any other smartphone, such as an Android, Palm Pre or BlackBerry.

10 Essential Tips For The Traveling Blogger

1. Use location based social networks to keep track of where you’ve been.

I’ve been using Gowalla for a few months now and just started using Foursquare at the beginning of my last trip. Both of these location based social networks allow you to “check-in” and ultimately track where you’ve visited during your trip. In my opinion, Foursquare is the better option of the two and I will tell you why.

The great thing about Foursquare is that often times special deals will appear when you check-in to certain places. For instance, after I checked-in at a small cafe on Powell Street in San Francisco during my last trip, a little icon popped up on my screeen mentioning that another establishment nearby had a special deal waiting for me if i checked in there as well. Gowalla recently announced that it has partnered with the likes of Adobe and Chipotle to hand out special offers, but why wait, take advantage of what Foursquare has to offer now.

Here’s another example: When we did the Napa Valley Wine Train, I was awarded with a physcial voucher for eight free glasses of wine on board the wine tasting train. The “mayor” of the wine train, who was there at the time, actually greeted me and handed me a voucher. How awesome is that? Pretty awesome, I think.

  • Use Foursquare to keep track of where you’ve been (because you know you’ll blog about it later) and to score some awesome deals.

2. Use Google Docs To Store Your Itinerary.

Google Docs is a life saver. Why? Because even when your laptop is not available, your documents still are (give that you’ve got a computer with Internet access available). That’s the beauty of cloud computing. Even when you need to rely on the dreaded hotel computer running some argaic version of Windows, you’ll still be able to access your itinerary by simply logging into Google Docs.

  • Keep your travel itinerary safely stored in Google Docs.

3. Bring An Extra Media Card.

This tip is a no brainer. I always bring along an extra media card for whatever camera I am using. I typically take enough pictures during the day to fill my memory card up to the max. To make room for the next day of photo filled sightseeing, I upload my photos to my Mac.

But what if I forget to upload my photos before I leave the hotel? The last thing you want is to have to spend time flipping through your photos on your camera trying to decide which ones to delete just so you can take even more photos. Have an extra media card ready and this will be a non-issue.

  • Bring an extra media card just in case you forget to upload the photos from your camera.

4. The iPhone Makes For The Perfect Travel Companion.

The built in GPS on the iPhone and the plethora of apps make it a powerful travelling companion. Lost? Use Maps on the iPhone to help you find your way to your destination.

For instance, during my 2008 visit to San Francisco, despite having pre-printed Google directions, road changes and sign removals ultimately caused me to get lost in the middle of wine country. The solution? We found a Wal-Mart that was nearby, used the GPS in the iPhone to track our location, and then input the address of our destination. The iPhone got us out of that little pickle in no time.

  • The built in GPS on the iPhone makes getting lost a thing of the past.

5. Yelp Can Be Very Handy.

Bloggers need to eat. And for those times when you need to deviate from your itinerary, the Yelp app is a real lifesaver. We spent an afternoon during our most recent trip to San Francisco exploring the Mission District. And although we had planned to eat at a certain restaurant beforehand, it unexpectedly closed just as we arrived there.

With the Yelp app for the iPhone, we were able to find our location and got suggestions as to what other places around the area were highly recommended by other Yelp users.

And if you blog about food, Yelp comes in handy since you can draft a review of you experience right into the app itself. Neat!

  • Use Yelp for times when you need to deviate from your itinerary or when you’re feeling spontaneous.
  • Draft reviews of your experience directly within the Yelp app.

6. Use Notes and Voice Memos To Capture Ideas On The Go.

When it comes to capturing a passing thought in your head, you don’t need a fancy app. The apps you really need come built right into the iPhone. I recommend both Notes or Voice Memos to document any ideas you have while on the go.

Most of this post was written on my iPhone using notepad (and then edited later in my browser) while I waited for the Urban Outfitters on Powell St. to open. I was killing time before my shuttle was scheduled to pick me up and drop me to the airport. The idea for this post came to my head and so I started typing, errr, tapping away.

  • Capture passing thoughts, ideas or concepts using Notes or Voice Memos on the iPhone.

7. Make Sure Your Hotel Offers Some Form of Free Internet.

If you’re a blogger then you live and breathe the Internet. It might be practical to find a hotel with free Internet access. You’ll often have to pay to use the internet from the comfort of your room but a hotel that has free wifi access in the lobby makes life that much easier (and cheaper).

  • When booking your hotel, search for ones that provide free Internet access.

8. Backup While On The Go.

We all know tht we should back up our most important files (and probably even the not so important ones). Sometimes, uploading your travel photos to iPhoto is not enough. After all, hard drives do fail. An easy backup solution is to use Flickr to upload your full-sized and high resolution files.

If you plan on uploading a lot of photos to Flickr then I recommend that you invest in a pro account. Regular Flickr accounts limit you to 200 “viewable” photo uploads. Worried about other people viewing your more raunchy travel photos? Set your privacy to private and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Alternatively, you could use cloud backup services like the Mozy Unlimited Backup and Backblaze to back up your stuff on the fly whenever you have Internet access on your computer.

  • If you have a Flickr Pro account then use it to back up your travel photos.
  • If you rather keep your previous travel photos private then set your privacy setting accordingly.

9. Don’t Let Your Blog Go Postless.

The savvy traveling blogger does not let his/her blog go postless for the duration of their vacation. That would be a mean thing to do to your dedicated readers! Have a few posts prepared and have them autopost while you’re gone. You can do this easily in WordPress by changing the date of post. I recommend at least one autopost a day, especially during weekdays.

  • Prevent a blog dry spell during your vacation by preparing a few posts beforehand and having them set to autopost.

10. Keep Your Community Involved While You’re Gone.

To do this, I use a combination of Twitter and Foursquare/Gowalla. Keep your community in the loop and they’ll feel like they’re on vacation with you.You might also receive a few vacation tips from locals or tweeps who have lived in the area you are visiting.

Also, you can automate your WordPress blog so that it sends out a tweet each time one of your automated posts are published. With this set up, it’s like you’re not even gone.

  • Use a combination of Twitter and location based social networks to keep your community involved while you’re gone.
  • Twitter Tools will allow full integration between your WordPress blog and Twitter.

I’d love to hear what tips you have when it comes to blogging on the go! Leave a comment below in the comments section and let me know!

If you enjoyed this post then please, please, please, tell you’re friends about it! A simple Tweet or post on your Facebook page will help to get the word out, and a link back on your blog would be greatly appreciated!

Co-Tee TV Facebook Fan Page

Make Bacon Not War

Because there’s always enough bacon to go around. Unless you run out of pig. You can also find Make Bacon Not War in the brought back from the dead Downloads section (in the site menu above). You’ll also find a less nauseating, non-striped version of Make Bacon Not War in the Downloads section.

Who wants this as a T-Shirt? Leave your comment below.

Make Bacon Not War MacBook Desktop Wallpaper Download

For your desktop or laptop:

Download Make Bacon Not War - 1920x1080 - (200.61 kB)
Download Make Bacon Not War - 1920x1200 - (203.61 kB)
Download Make Bacon Not War - 2560x1440 - (277.21 kB)
Download Make Bacon Not War - 1440x900 - (168.41 kB)

Make Bacon Not War iPhone Wallpaper White

For your iPhone:

Download Make Bacon Not War - iPhone White - (58.13 kB)

And to settle any qualms about Bacon Gate, here are links to bacon lists that existed BEFORE my list of 101 Bacon Products for Fans of the Other White Meat:

Bacon Bacon Everywhere: Top 10 Ways To Love Your Bacon (November 2008)

11 of the Worst Bacon Products Ever Produced (July 31, 2009)

The 10 Weirdest Bacon Products on the Market (October 21, 2009)

20 of The Craziest Bacon Products Around (January 12, 2010)

Wallpaper inspiration credit awarded to OvenRude aka Matt Borchert. Thanks Matt for making my evening so eventful.

Tees: The Art of the T-Shirt by Maki – Book Review

I was fortunate to receive a copy of Tees: The Art of the T-Shirt by Maki from the publishers of the book. This is actually the first T-Shirt book I’ve received for review or even owned. Nonetheless, this book reinforces the fact that the T-Shirt is one of the most successful pop culture products ever. There literally is a T-Shirt for everything. But the T-Shirt isn’t all about showing off the latest cultural headline, but it is also wearable art. Every T-Shirt you wear reflects who you are and what you stand for. You can tell a lot about a person just from the T-Shirt that they are wearing.

Tees the book is an exploration of the artistic side of the T-Shirt. The author of the book, Maki Design, is actually a pair of T-Shirt designers, Kim Smits and Matthijs Maat. Their careers took off after they successfully won at the popular design contest site, Threadless. After a year and a half of blogging about T-Shirts I expected to recognize a few of the designs and designers in the book. And of course, I did. But I was even more surprised by the number of designers and brands that I had not heard of. The authors really delve deep into the indie T-Shirt culture.

The book is 333 pages long and features 82 design studios and artists. Each of the featured studios/designers provide short insight blurbs into their designs and inspirations. The book is filled with T-Shirts of different styles. If you’re looking for a T-Shirt bible, this is as close as you’ll get.

If you have any interest in T-Shirts (and I bet you do if you’re reading this blog) or just a general interest in graphic design then I highly recommend this book. You can pick up a copy now from Amazon9 for $19 (retail is $30).

Mos Def Album To Be Released As T-Shirt

As a fan of both T-Shirts and music, this latest story has got me excited. According to Paste Magazine, artist Mos Def is set to release his latest album, The Ecstatic, on a T-Shirt. The album artwork will be the front of the T-Shirt, the track listings will be on the back and the music itself? Well, you’ll find a special code on the hangtag that you can use to download the album straight to your computer. This is an interesting move by Most Def and I’m interested to see how other artists will be innovating in this age of digital music distribution.

Mos Def The Ecstatic

Threadless Partners With Twitter

Whenever something becomes a cultural phenomenon, you can almost always expect a T-Shirt to pop up here and there that promotes, makes fun of, or applauds that particular phenomenon. Twitter has definitely swept the Interwebs and has become a phenomenal new way for people to connect and communicate. And we’ve seen a couple of Twitter tees op up here and there, but, expect that amount to increase exponentially! 

The popular Chicago based T-Shirt contest site, Threadless, announced earlier today that it has partnered with Twitter on a new project that will bring popular tweets to the torsos of millions. The shirts will feature notable tweets that are submitted and voted on by the users of Twitter. 

Winners will receive $500, a prize identical to that of the Threadless Typetees contest. And to promote the submission of tweets, individuals that submit a winning tweet made by someone else will receive $140. 

The new Threadless/Twitter tees cost $18 and feature the Twitter logo along with the @name of the tweet author on the bottom left corner of the tee. 

Threadless and Twitter Partnership

Linty Fresh Live Chat #3

Linty Fresh’s Eric Terry announced the date for the 3rd of his Linty Fresh live chats. He’ll be available once more, Sunday January 25, to answer any questions you might have live via ustream. He’ll also have a special guest this time around, a friend and SEO specialist. This should be great for those of you wondering how you can best optimize your blog or online store for search engines like Google. It’s a two hour live show, so come ready with questions to ask, bring some snacks and get ready to gain some knowledge!

Linty Fresh Live Chat #3

Gitchers: The Free T-Shirt Site

I stumbled upon Gitchers as I was perusing the Girl In Your Shirt site, a few days ago. The concept of the site is very simple: you register and tag yourself with a few words and a category and then you wait for participating companies/brands to search out your demographic. If you match a particular demographic (i.e. age, sex, category) of interest then they may select you to receive a free company branded tee. 

Each account registered is associated with one free tee, but they say that you can register for more than one account (i.e. for you, your kid and your dog). And yes, I did say dog, apparently, some of the brands that they work with have doggie wear items as promotional items. 

Registration is quick and easy. There’s no long survey to fill out, nothing to buy and they mention that your information like email and address are protected from the companies searching the database. Companies interested in participating can also register, however, there is a 100 shirt minimum give away policy. Gitchers is currently only available to US citizens. 

If you want to roll the dice to see if you’ll receive a free targeted t-shirt, then go ahead and register from Gitchers!

Softwear by Microsoft

Microsoft has turned to hip-hop icon, Common, to spearhead their new venture into T-Shirts. That’s right, our buddies in Redmond have decided to pour a couple more bucks into trying to be hip. Maybe the Apple rebuttal commercials weren’t working and so they had to revise their marketing game plan? The new collection of tees, known as Softwear by Microsoft can now be found on the Microsoft site, though, there are no links to purchase the tees just yet (it says they will be available by December 15). The collection consists of 4 tees designed by Microsoft, dubbed “Classic Designs” and 4 tees designed by Common.

Being the Apple fanboy that I am, I would never be caught in one of these, but, I am sure that since Windows has more than 90% OS marketshare, there will be people interested in buying these.

We need Apple lead designer, Jonathan Ive, to dream up some Apple branded tee designs. Though if he did design them, they might end up being simply solid (and blank) white, black or grey tees. At least they would match my Apple gear!

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7 Awesome Tech T-Shirts

Technology is a major part of my life and has integrated itself into nearly every aspect of my life imaginable. It has even begun to seep into the clothes that I wear! Back in the day, I remember sporting my favorite Napster tee, or that hard to find Apple tee (usually gotten from an OS release). Now, many tech companies provide tees for purchase making it easy for teach fanatics like myself to show on their chest their weapons of choice. 

Here are 7 different technology based tees that reflect innovations that I enjoy to use (or visit and read in the case of Laughing Squid). I’ll focus on “official” tees for this post and do a future post on some 3rd party tees (if you know of some cool ones let me know). 

Do you have a favorite technology tee that you like to use and show off? Post a link to the shirt so that others with similar technologoy tastes can buy and enjoy!

1. WordPress. Does WordPress run your blog (I do for this blog)? Then checkout this site for a selection of official WordPress t-shirts and other merchandise. You can pick up either a red or olive green WordPress tee for £9.50 GBP. The tees are printed on American Apparel. 

2. Google/Blogger. Is Google the first thing you see when you open your browser? Are you part of the Blogger faithful? If so, then you might enjoy some official Google gear. In fact, there is a wide selection of Google merchandise available in their store, from organic tees to recycle track jackets. They’ve even got tees printed on 70% bamboo and 30% cotton. They claim the bamboo component makes it antimicrobial and feel like a mix between cashmere and silk! The Wearables section in the Google store offers 36 different products! The tees are priced between $13.50 – $20.00. 

3. Laughing Squid. This is one of my favorite blogs to visit in InternetLAND and it just so happens that the Laughing Squid’s Scott Beale sells an official t-shirt printed on American Apparel and available for 20 buckaroos! 

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