Technomad Favorites

Stuff I use to help me be awesome on the road.


Home screen

Fancy Widget – sets up different launch options for each area of the screen. Drastically reduces how much real estate is taken up by often-used applications.

  • – it’s super easy to drop balls when you’re constantly shifting gears. This display cycles through tasks – I use it for things that are too small to put in Basecamp or email. Things like “call mom and dad” and “send that letter.”
  • Blik calendar is just pretty. It shows me all the things coming up for the day in an easy-to-use format.

Travel drawer:

  • Latitude has the effect of making me feel close to people, no matter where they are.
  • Geoloqi is the perfect way to let people know you’re on your way without the constant texting, and without the privacy issues of Latitude. Especially handy when on a motorcycle (can’t contact to say you’re stuck in traffic).
  • Local reminds me of awesome places through bookmarks. Wonderful when you’re jet lagged and just want a sandwich, but forget what food-rating app they use in that country.
  • Offi does great mapping and maps in the cities it’s available in. I like it way more than google maps, but sadly it’s not available in many US cities.
  • OneBusAway is the Seattle transit live update – tells you which buses go where, and what timing they’re ACTUALLY on, not what they’re schedule to be.
    Translate for obvious reasons.
  • Uber is my favorite fancy thing. Town car service at just a bit more than a taxi. But here’s the thing – all done through your phone – payment, requesting a pickup (usually within 10 minutes), map, receipt. Perfect for when you’re drunk or tired or just feel like splurging. Also, the same app will get you service in NYC, BOS, SEA, SFO, and likely other places.
  • EmbarkNYC will help you figure out if you’re on the right metro train while you’re underground. Invaluable, if a bit crashy.

Travel screen:

TripIt: Next flight, and all your confirmation codes etc at a tap. I used to store everything in my gcal, but this can now automatically update that with a forwarded confirmation email.
TouchCal: I load my WorldWideWillow calendar into this as its only displayed calendar – I can tell where I am, when. “How long are you in Chicago for?” “When do you get back to Seattle?” At a glance, I know.

On my computer

  • Boomerang is the best thing since whatever was the best thing after sliced bread. Does two things. One, sends an email later, which is wonderful if you’re in a weird time zone, have insomnia, or don’t want to be lost in the deluge of email someone is getting right after a conference. Second, it will return a message to the top of your inbox after a set amount of time (based on if someone has responded or not, or regardless of that). Makes you seem REALLY on top of your shit. (“I haven’t heard back on this yet, and we were talking about doing it next week. Do you still have time?”)
  • Pomodoro: 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of play. This working method has been fantastic for me, especially because it logs the time (easy invoicing) and it gives me this cool little reminder of what I’m up to – invaluable for constant context shifts.


Thank you for contacting Acer America. Your computer has the capability to reinstall the original factory software without needing to use CD’s, as long as the hidden PQSERVICE partition still exists, and the Master Boot Record has not been damaged.

*Please note, this will erase all data on your hard drive. Back up all important information prior to following these steps.*

There are 2 ways to access the eRecovery feature:

1. If Windows Will Start
At the windows desktop, close all open programs and windows. Press ALT (located to the left of the space bar) and F10 at the same time, then release. A program should start up called Acer eRecovery. Follow the onscreen instructions. You want to choose Recovery Actions, then Install the factory default system.

2. If Windows Will Not Start
Shut down the system. Press the power button to turn the system on, as soon as you release the power button, press ALT on the keyboard and start tapping F10. The ALT key is located to the left of the space bar and the F10 key is along the top of the keyboard. Continue holding ALT and tapping F10 as the unit boots up. It should show a screen stating “Starting Acer eRecovery”, when this screen comes up you can release the keys on the keyboard. Follow the onscreen prompts. The default password will be 000000. Next you will need to choose “recovery actions”, then on the next screen choose “restore factory default settings”. This will erase your hard drive and reinstall the original factory settings and programs.

If you are unable to start this process, please contact Acer Technical Support at 1-800-816-2237 M-F 7am-9pm CST and Sat-Sun 8am-5pm CST excluding holidays.

Acer America
Online Technical Support

Dear Acer,

How am I supposed to press keys to activate a process when my keyboard isn’t working?