Safety first for geeks — ahh, who are we kidding?

The first rule of being a hard-core geek is “safety first”. Actually, that’s a complete lie.

The ioSafe SoloPRO provides 1TB of storage inside a fireproof and waterproof fortress of stealth-black aluminum — just one of the many geek safety treats.

The ioSafe SoloPRO provides 1TB of storage inside a fireproof and waterproof fortress of stealth-black aluminum — just one of the many geek safety treats.

The first rule of being a hard-core geek is “safety first”. Actually, that’s a complete lie. Most geeks secretly hope that after the shine has worn off their coolest object du jour, something horrible will happen to it so they can rush out and buy the even-shinier, upgraded version that has just landed on store shelves.

However, the one exception to this covetous wish is data. Nobody likes to lose data: emails, photos, half-written manifestos on the unique, sentient world growing between your toes, etc. It’s all precious and irreplaceable.

That’s where ioSafe comes in with their practically bulletproof drives. For desktop backup, or attached to your router as a wireless solution, the base ioSafe SoloPRO ($249 US; provides 1TB of storage inside a fireproof and waterproof fortress of stealth-black aluminum. Under that metal skin lies endothermic fire insulation that can handle temperatures up to 1,550°F.

And when the fire department shows up, the drive does double duty with a waterproof barrier that can handle being completely submerged for up to 72 hours. Weighing in at 15 lbs, this drive is no lightweight, but it can also be bolted down to prevent theft and comes with a no-questions-asked data recovery service included in the price. With built-in cooling and speedy transfer speeds (USB3 or eSata), this is the best insurance you can get for your data.

If you’re more of the outgoing sort, ioSafe also makes a 500GB Rugged Portable ($149 US) that has been designed to military specifications in aluminum or titanium and can handle being dropped, drowned, crushed or even involved in a chemical spill. Now that’s tough.

Apart from being safe, I always want my data to be on hand, regardless of what gizmo I’m using. One device I’ve found that makes this as easy as possible is PogoPlug ($99 US; This nifty little device plugs into your router and makes all hard drives attached to it (via four USB slots) accessible from any gadget that can access the web. The free software also makes it simple to share the files on your home computer with your work computer, stream music, etc. Best of all, you don’t need a degree in techno gobbledygook to get it working — if you can click on a webpage, you’ll be up and running. Perfect.

Another safety feature I’m fond of is the new Supertooth HD ($129 US; Bluetooth handsfree speaker. This compact gizmo slips onto your car’s visor, links to your mobile phone via Bluetooth, and actually delivers audio that you can hear.

With dual microphones for noise cancellation, twin speakers and a 5.4-watt amplifier, you can even have conversations with the top down. For the more advanced geek, the Supertooth can also compose and send SMS, emails, Facebook messages and Twitter notes by using your voice. Portable and slick.

And speaking of sound, one of the most frustrating things about my soon-to-be-retired laptop is the lousy sound that spits out of its built-in speakers. Yeeech! Luckily, I discovered Logitech’s Laptop Speaker Z305 ($59.99 US; that easily clips onto the lid and plugs into an available USB port. Although small in stature (and easily portable), the sound difference in both music and movies is so incredible, I feel embarrassed that I didn’t get one sooner. This is one upgrade you’ll definitely rock out to.

Now geeks come in all shapes, sizes and peccadilloes. As a writer, I have an affection for pens. To me, a cool new pen is just as exciting as a new piece of whiz-bang electronics. One of my fav pen makers is Cross and they have a few beauties that you need to check out.

My pen of choice right now is the Cross Edge ($40;, a capless rollerball with a slide-and-snap movement that you can’t resist playing with. I went with the Nitro Blue finish, but it’s also available in black, green and titanium. For more formal occasions, I pull out the Golden Shimmer ($100 US) that catches the light in a slim design and brilliant diamond etchings. And when it’s all business, I turn to the Sauvage ($100 US) in hand-polished translucent blue lacquer over crocodile-engraved chrome. When it’s important to look your best, don’t forget those accessories that let your personal style shine. M

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