Made in the USA Camera Bag Manufacturers

Below is the list I’ve gathered to more permanently record a list of made in the USA or made in America camera bags. There are a number of web sites that have attempted to list manufacturers, but they are often out of date and and worse, missing many options.

The current list is always here (opens in a new window).


I also need your help adding to the list (and keeping it up to date). It took me a surprisingly long time to collect this list and I’m sure I’ve missed some manufacturers. I’d really like to get them all!

For suggestions please use this survey.


Social-up your Business

Dear Small Business Owner,

As a potential customer of your small business, I’m frustrated by your lack of response to my email, tweet, Facebook post, Instagram Message, text message, Skype chat, etc.

I think I know what happened that led to my frustration.


You’ve got an established or new business.

At some point in the business life cycle, you decide to build a web site. (“Hey! You totally need a web site to drive more traffic!”). As you realize building web sites is not core to your business, you spend some hard earned income to invest $200 in a web site.

To your untrained eye, you may not recognize the Microsoft FrontPage style template that $200 bought.

Not only has the web designer created some static content, they’ve thoughtfully created:

  • A blog
  • An e-mail address
  • A “Contact me” form
  • The Full Social-Package™, including but not limited to: Twitter, Facebook Pages, Instagram, and Skype.

After an all-too-brief explanation, you, sit back and wait for new business opportunities to arrive, digitally.

And nothing happens.

Maybe a blog post will help. So, you create the first (and last) blog post.

And still nothing happens.

So, business resumes as normal. The web site goes unmodified. The blog post remains, dull, and outdated.

E-mails aren’t flooding in, so the e-mail address that was set up isn’t checked frequently or at all.

So, when a potential customer uses one of the social options or an email to contact your business, there is no timely response (if there’s one at all).

And then…, you’ve lost a customer.

Sorry, but I’m going to find a different business that meets my needs.


If a small business doesn’t check and respond to voice mails once a (work) day, they may loose business. If that same business does not check their email, social accounts, MySpace pages, etc., they also may loose business.

I’m sure they meant well by having a web site with an email address, etc., but if it’s not used, it’s no different than not answering the phone.

So, what happened? It started with unreasonable expectations.

A blog, social-media accounts, email accounts, do not directly create new business opportunities. They are simply new channels for communication. It’s two-way. If your business doesn’t have a plan for these new forms of communication, they will fail.

You will miss out on new customer opportunities. And worse, you may lose existing customers who may transition to using the other forms of communication you’ve claimed to offer. Spend an extra $100 to have a daily (or more frequently) plan developed to consistently use these communication options. Delete and remove any that don’t fit your business needs or that sit unused. If you don’t understand these forms of communication or how to integrate them effectively, there are lots of on line resources that can help, both paid and free.

I like buying local and will support businesses that work best with my lifestyle and communication preferences.

Small business owners can do better. Please.

My Raspberry Pi 2 Model B setup

I recently purchased a Raspberry Pi 2 in preparation for installation of Windows 10 (and more) (when there’s a version that’s compatible). In the mean time, I installed the current version of Raspbian.

I bought a simple case via Amazon. Nothing too fancy … extremely functional (it allows the LEDs to still display which is nice).  For storage, I went overboard and splurged on a $29 MicroSD card from SanDisk. While it’s definitely oversized for my Linux needs, when I install Windows on the Pi 2, I wanted to have sufficient extra space for whatever tinkering I would do … and not need to worry about buying a larger card then.

imageI also purchased a cable that permits toggling the power to the Pi. The Pi doesn’t have a power switch on it, but now the cable I use does instead. I suppose I could have just unplugged it, but this seemed handier.

I also bought a 2A USB charger/power for it. This power supply apparently is great for preventing what might be considered a brown-out to the PI when there are many devices connected (as it will hold the voltage much closer to the required 5V). As that seemed Like a Good Thing™, I splurged (an extra $4) and bought it. If you don’t have peripherals connected, this isn’t necessary from what I’ve read. Most any 1.0A USB charger should work. Again, as I didn’t want to rebuy down the road, I spent a tiny bit extra. There are dedicated wall transformers that “are designed” for the Raspberry Pi, but I selected something generic that could be reused for other tasks, so the USB cable is removable (there are a lot that are hardwired to the transformer). The dedicated transformers are $4-6 cheaper.

I also picked up a tiny keyboard from MCM (where I bought the Pi from as well) for when VNC doesn’t make sense. (I’d be shocked if the Windows on ARM for the Pi will support Remote Desktop).

I already had a OK USB mouse, so I skipped that.

image of Raspberry Pi desktop

Node (Current)

Node v0.12.0 from Node-Arm.

sudo dpkg -i node_latest_armhf.deb

VNC Server

I couldn’t get the scripts on to run the vncserver correctly upon startup. So, I found a combination that works.

sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
then run:


Log into a terminal on the Pi as root:

sudo su

Navigate to the directory /etc/init.d/:
cd /etc/init.d/

Create a new file here containing the following script:

# First configure the user you want to run this under - this will generally
be pi, unless you've created your own users
export USER='
eval cd
# Check the state of the command - this'
ll either be start or stop
"$1" in
# if it's start, then start
vncserver using the details below
su $USER -c
'/usr/bin/vncserver :1 -geometry 1920x1080 -depth 24'
"Starting vncserver for $USER "

# if it's stop, then just kill the
pkill Xtightvnc
"vncserver stopped"

echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/vncserver {start|stop}"
exit 0

Save this file as vncboot (for example)

Make this file executable:

chmod 755 vncboot

Enable dependency-based boot sequencing:

update-rc.d /etc/init.d/vncboot defaults

If enabling dependency-based boot sequencing was successful, you will see this:

update-rc.d: using dependency based boot sequencing

But if you see this:

update-rc.d: error: unable to read /etc/init.d//etc/init.d/vncboot

then try the following command:

update-rc.d vncboot defaults

Reboot your Raspberry Pi and you should find a VNC server already started.

sudo reboot


.NET/Mono (current)

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 3FA7E0328081BFF6A14DA29AA6A19B38D3D831EF
echo "deb wheezy main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mono-xamarin.list
sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install mono-complete

Then to test:


With HelloWorld.cs:


By installing the current Mono as shown above, you’ll have access to mscorlib 4.0 by using dmcs for C# compilation.

Kenu Airframe Portable Car Mount

Ever travel and want to use your mobile phone as a navigation device safely and securely? Our cars have built in navigation systems that we rely on normally, but when we rent a car, that’s rarely an option.

Have you tried a bunch of tricks and found that there generally speaking isn’t a good place to put your phone in many vehicles that is safe and effective? I’ve personally resorted to a cup holder on more than one occasion unfortunately.

Enter the Kenu Airframe Portable Car Mount!


imageI used it all last week while traveling for business and it was extremely useful. Using a rubber-like pincher-like back, it grips onto the vents in most cars. Unlike some vent mounts, it’s just using a friction grip and isn’t the type where it’s physically snapping on to the vent.

It takes only a few seconds to install and remove from a vent.

The front portion expands horizontally to allow a variety of sizes of devices to be held. For the first time on a trip, my phone was held perfectly in place and was easily viewable without taking my eyes off the road any more often that you might with a normal dash or window mounted GPS. It held in place and at no point slid off the dash or tumbled into the seat or onto the floor like often has happened with my previous solutions to this problem.

It shouldn’t block power/cables in most modern mobile phones, so I had my phone charging while in the mount.


Available on Amazon for around $25 USD.


(I also used SyncStop on the trip to prevent the car’s USB plug from doing the nasty with my phone; SyncStop was formerly called the USB Condom… 🙂 ).

Attaching a GoPro Hero with Aero Bars from RedShift

I recently purchased a set of aero bars for my Trek road bike.  After a lot of research, I decided the best fit for my bike and requirements were aero bars from Redshift:IMG_1161

Redshift Quick-Release Clip-On Aerobars – Carbon Extensions – L-bend

I picked these aero bars for a few reasons:

  1. They had decent reviews around the web
  2. There was a carbon mount available (my bike frame and seat post is carbon, so for a few extra bucks, so are the aero bars)
  3. They were easily removed if I didn’t want to always ride with them (a tool free removal)
  4. With an extra purchase, I could get a computer mount (which later turned out to be not so worthwhile)
  5. In about 5 seconds, you can remove a single bar. This may be important to you as it was to me.

While the instructions for the aero bar are unnecessarily and unfortunately terse, they’re relatively easy to install.

Once I installed the aero bars per the instructions I couldn’t initially find a satisfactory location for my GoPro. I like riding with the GoPro set to 1 second time-lapse … then put to video (the results are often mesmerizing!).

A few months ago, I purchased a non-GoPro Hero mount for my bicycle, the K-EDGE GO BIG Pro HandleBar Mount. I bought this to reduce the vibrations and also better secure the Hero to the bicycle. Before the K-EDGE, I simply could not get the mount to stay consistently secure on my semi-bumpy rides. It would slowly change positions and ruin a large segment of the captures if I didn’t notice it quickly. The K-EDGE is certainly a premium product (but made in the USA!).

The K-EDGE is ROCK SOLID. I couldn’t believe how much better the results were when the camera would stay firmly in position. While it can’t solve the problem of a bumpy ride, the camera shakes less on it’s own (reducing secondary vibrations).


With the K-EDGE, the mount takes up very little space on the handlebars, unlike the original GoPro bicycle mount. So, by orienting the K-EDGE down and flipping the Hero, the image nicely captures the scene in front of the bicycle without being obscured by the aero bars.

I also own the Annex Quad Lock Bike Mount Kit for iPhone 5/5S – Black. At first I was concerned that the combination of the aero bars, and the phone would be a disaster (and that there wouldn’t be enough room to properly snap and lock the quad lock case onto the bicycle mount). In fact, there isn’t room. But, in about 5 seconds, you can release the tension on one of the aero bars, flip the small catch, and remove the bar completely. Snap the phone onto the Quad Lock, and replace the bar. It’s a really nice setup.IMG_1160

What didn’t work out was the Redshift Computer Mount for Quick-Release Aerobars. I didn’t realize that the mount was not the same diameter as my road bike handle bars. In fact, it’s small enough that I don’t have a single thing that would attach to it. I had a wonderful steel bicycle bell I’d bought via a Kickstarter that unfortunately doesn’t have a home on my bike anymore. I thought it would attach to the computer mount, but it’s much too large as is. I’ll probably need to rig up some extra padding for it to make up the difference, but I’d hate to loose the bell to my faulty contraption.


From the back …


On my first ride with the aero bars I noticed they’d rattle a tiny bit when riding. After stopping and over-analyzing the situation, I noticed that I simply had not tightened the quick release bolt well enough. An extra turn on both made them both rattle-free.

I also didn’t care for the raw feel of the bars, so I added handle-bar tape to the end where I rest my hands. The Comfort cork is very nice: Planet Bike Comfort GEL Road Bike Handlebar Tape with Reflective Bar Plugs (Orange Cork).