COVERSTORY: Schooled, Again


The Breakfast Club is one of the most popular {if not the most popular} and well known teen movies of all time. Five people from completely different cliques meet each other in Saturday detention and ultimately grow to understand where they are all coming from in their journey in life. In this month’s issue of Gadgets, we bring you back to school along with these characters, and put some of the tech world’s latest offerings in their hands. Whether you’re a Princess, a Brain, an Athlete, a Rebel, or a Basket Case-technology makes sure coming back to school isn’t something that you should fear, but rather, look forward to.

by Addie Mendoza


You just got out of daddy’s car, and already you’re getting the attention of the student body, what with your shiny hair, pretty face, and fabulous outfit. It’s no question why all eyes are on you. You are after all, the campus Princess. The perfect mix of beautiful and rich. You love the attention and popularity, but this is a full-time job and it’s not easy pleasing everybody. You have to keep up with grades, school orgs, and boys, all while maintaining your poise and you hair’s full volume. It is indeed a difficult life for the Princess. Lucky for you, though, it’s easier to keep up now with the gadgets you have in your trusty designer bag.

It’s inevitable that you maintain your high profile. There’s no better way to keep your loyal subjects up-to-date than with the help of a chic smartphone running Windows Phone 8. What’s good about the Windows Phone 8OS is that its interface features ‘Live Tiles’ that link to your phone’s applications like your email and Facebook and updates them in real time. You can keep track of latest gossip from your friends and easily check up on who’s dating who. Call your BFF’s up, send blast messages, and stay updated with Tweets on the latest designer sale. Remember that your gadget is also a statement, so make sure your smartphone comes in a pretty color that matches your outfit.

Sometimes, low-res selfies just don’t cut it anymore. You are the Queen Bee, and you need more pizzazz, honey. A trusty point-and-shoot camera would be important in your gadgets arsenal. Take photos of the new Balenciaga bag you’re wearing and post your #OOTD in your fashion blog. While you’re at it, you can document how you were nice to the lunch lady in the cafeteria. This is a good way to show everyone that you are just like everyone else too–except you’re popular, and rich.

As The Princess, you have a reputation to live up to. You’re not just a pretty face after all. You are also a campus leader. You need to sign up for orgs, update your sorority profile, audition new members for your cheer squad, and squeeze in an appointment at the salon. While you don’t have your own assistant yet, the next best thing is to have a tablet to help you organize your busy schedule. Install apps like Evernote, and Wunderlist, and you’ll be juggling through your academic and social life in a breeze. You might even be surprised that you could still manage to fit in your schedule that date with the new ragamuffin you met in campus.

Indeed, it isn’t easy being The Princess. The boys are all over you, and all the girls are jealous. Who wouldn’t be when you’re toting the latest gadgets out there? A combination of charm, good looks, and money at your disposal (all of which you already have) is all you need to survive being the school Princess.

by Jose Alvarez


Anthony Michael Hall played the role of Brian Johnson, or”The Brain”, in The Breakfast Club and also wrote the essay on behalf of the group to which Principal Vernon assigned the five of them in Saturday detention. Brian had the perk of being the smartest kid in school. but as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

Although all students are “The Brain” in a certain capacity, as The Brain, you distinguish yourself by being focused on academics. You’re always studying, getting straight As, and answering the teacher’s questions. You dominate everything from Math, Science, History, English, and more: name it, you probably have an A or better in it. You don’t want to just pass-you want to soar.

You also have the latest gadgets-often on the cutting edge of tech. So at least gadgets-wise, you have quite a reputation to live up to, like Brian did in The Breakfast Club. If you don’t have the latest, the greatest, and the most sophisticated gadgets, what are you to your peers?

What is the most essential gadget for you? First of all, you won’t be found without a laptop. With enough funds, you probably also have an ultra book capable of playing the latest games and watching movies-after all, you do need some rest from all the classes and homework. You may also have one of the convertible ultra books that fuse the function of laptop and tablet in one, or for greater mobility, perhaps a smartphone or phablet.

The Brain is into information overload, and to make sure you have the juice to power all your gadgets, a power bank will definitely be part of the arsenal. While you are hard at work on a paper, you will also be listening to music, so the best earphones (or in some cases, headphones) will also be essential in providing the motivation to continue pursuing straight As.

You hold an edge over your peers gadgets-wise. You are not content with just buying what’s popular; you buy what’s efficient. You don’t necessarily have the gadgets your friends have, being picky about what you want. You are capable of repairing your own gadgets should something go wrong. You may even build gadgets from scratch or improvise on already-built ones. You go the extra mile with your gadgets-running benchmark tests, fixing up the system registry, and downloading extra programs that adjust the functions or improve on your preferred operating systems, such as Windows, Mac OS X, and even the open-source Lin ux, for the truly dedicated.

You are arguably a master of gadgets. In the 21st century The Breakfast Club, my guess is that Brian would be the guy fixing everyone’s laptops, smartphones and tablets, showing people what gadgets one should buy and what they should avoid. And most likely, the 21st century Brian would be far more popular than his 1985 counterpart, who wanted to be accepted by the popular crowd.

by Ren Alcantara


School, particularly university, is a place where kids start to find themselves. There isn’t as much pressure to conform to a set of standards imposed upon them by an oppressive school administration. These budding adults start to become one thing or another, devoting time to achieving academic excellence, others to partying as much as possible, or using school as a front to become an Olympic-level athlete. The Athlete has a particular set of needs, and on top of school, training and a social life, has a lot on his plate. If you’re looking to equip the next college star with some hardware this coming school year, here’s a quick list ofthings you might want to consider.

First off is some sort of device to organize your schedule. Training, classes and other responsibilities can get forgotten. There are a lot of solutions here, but far and away the simplest is a tablet. It might not seem like the best idea off the bat, but bear with me. The tablet is an excellent organizing device. You have access to a huge screen that can handle looking at multiple days with no problem. Calendars now also sync to online accounts, so should the tablet not be handy, they can always go online and check there. While a large tablet might be a little hefty to carry around, particularly given all the gear an athlete carries, look at the bigger picture: a tablet with a keyboard will do more or less the same thing a laptop can, without the bulk. It will also give you more battery life, allowing you to get some work in without being tethered to an outlet. It might be bigger than a smartphone, but it is a lot easier to carry around than a laptop, particularly with the rest of the sports gear student athletes have to lug around.

Working out is par for the course, when you’re on a sports team. It’s also some of the most tedious work you have to put in to get into the shape you need to perform at your best. While research has found that the highest level athletes don’t really zone out when they approach the limit of their endurance, student athletes will oftentimes need a little help. A dedicated music player is great for that little extra push they might need. Again, mobile phones can double as music players, but they tend to be larger, a little more fragile, and already thread the fine line of battery power vs performance that barely allows them to last a full day. A dedicated music player will be much easier to use while working out, and, being a dedicated device, will likely do a much better job at playing music that a phone pulling double duty.

A music player is only as useful when it has headphones. Sure, the stock headphones that came with your device will suffice, but you’d be doing the athlete a disservice by leaving them with those. They just aren’t designed to stay in place during workouts. Plus, they aren’t known to handle sweat particularly well. It would be a good idea to invest in a pair of in-ear sports headphones that have some sort of system in place to keep them seated securely in place. This will allow the listener to focus on the workout rather than have to fidget with the earphones every 30 seconds. They will have the added benefit of being more resistant to water damage, and generally give you a better listening experience to boot.

It takes many hours and thousands of repetitions to get consistent with the kind of movements required in sports. One of the ways one can help get results faster is to see just how you are moving. This presents a problem, as the focus required can easily be broken by having to look in a mirror to observe one’s motions. A camera can help a lot in this regard. Point-and-shoot cameras offer a clear perspective from which athletes can watch their movement. If you don’t want the extra bulk of a dedicated camera, it may be worth looking into a mobile phone with a quality camera. Some models available in the market now even have a slow motion video capture mode, or a very fast burst capture mode, which will allow every detail to be captured and analyzed later on.

There a lot more things the aspiring student athlete needs, but here were a few of the basics. There’s more to school than just study, so it is usually a good idea to get devices that can double duty as something else during downtime. This not only reduces bulk, but allows the user to be more versatile. Still, there is a time and place where the absolute minimum is needed (such as the gym) in which case, going with a few dedicated devices will work just fine. In school, as it is with life, balance is the key.

by Racine Anne Castro


You lookin’ at me, bub? Well, I hope you are, since I’m about to show you the different gadgets you can use to unleash your inner rebel when the school year starts!

School almost always opens with a general assembly, and what better way to show them who’s boss than to pump out thunderous tunes with a loud set of speakers? Pick the noisiest track you have, crank the speakers up to full volume, and watch everyone shield their ears from your mean tunes!

The first day is all about getting to know your classmates. Not interested in hearing what they have to say? Be sure you have your portable game console with you to keep you entertained while they blabber away. Just make sure you put it away when it’s your turn to introduce yourself.

It’s the first meeting of your World History class, and already the teacher is boring the living daylights out of you. Pull out your trusty tablet or smartphone from your backpack and keep it hidden behind your textbook to give the impression that you’re reading. Your teacher will never suspect that you’re chatting with someone on Facebook Messenger instead of listening to her deadpan drawl about the Mesopotamian civilization. She might even silently applaud you for doing some advanced reading in class!

Pissed that your teacher just gave you detention for making a ruckus during that boring old Math lecture? Take out your anger without having to beat him up with the Whack Your Teacher app for Android and iOS. Kick him, throw punches at him, do whatever you want to him without actually laying a finger on him.

Is there a “No Smoking* sign somewhere in the campus? Just between you and me, there’s a way to disobey the sign without actually breaking the rules. lean against the wall coolly and take a drag from an e-Cigarette. They generate vapor instead of smoke, which means that you’re not causing any harm to your environment or your lungs, but best of all, you have a good reason to be off the hook when you get caught. Way to be a pseudo-badass!

Finally, don’t forget to keep your MP3 player and headphones/earphones hung around your neck or in your pocket at all times. These gadgets will definitely come in handy when you want to ignore those deafening students in the hallway who keep nagging you to join their club. Simply slip them on, play some Urban Bandits or The Clash (or whichever punk band you prefer), and witness how the sea of students part as you stride confidently down the hall with your signature sneer.

by Cla Gregorio


Make way for the school’s Basket Case! Or actually, you don’t really care. As the emotionally unstable, independent, and weird social outcast, you boil in a stew of great disregard for what mainstream society considers cool. You are the SO’s hipster or punk. and you believe that your own dark (and seemingly empty) world is better than the whole high school hierarchy nonsense and everyone else. With your stash-of gadgets, that is-to keep you company, you will be all right in a corner.

The important thing for the Basket Case is to avoid any form of social contact. Preferring to blend in rather than own the hallways, you survive going down the hall through a set of noise-cancelling headphones to avoid any form of communication. After isolating yourself from the world, the next step is to immerse yourself in your own fantasy world where everything else is much better. That’s where an MP3 player comes in, as it holds the perfect playlist to keep you in their own insanity.

A Basket Case is most probably seated at the far end of the corners of the room to avoid peers and teachers, so completely unrelated activities in class are fine, but count listening to music as a bad idea since it’s better to pretend that you’re attentive rather than have your Math teacher send you to Saturday detention. Put those handheld game consoles to good use and spend time reading or playing to keep your mind off those crazy square roots and polynomials. Would rather do something artsy? Well, there are actually art programs for game consoles nowadays that let you create art projects on your device. By the time the teacher asks you a question, drop your device on your rucksack and politely explain that she lost you at polynomials and that you’re having a hard time. Who doesn’t with Math, anyway?

Lunch break is another struggle. That hour of endless social contact with the different cliques, lunch tables equating to social status, and the cafeteria turning into a high school jungle is just unbearable, but the Basket Case is smart. You will brave this jungle and teleport into a different world with your endless collection of reads installed in your trusty e-book reader. You create your own world to escape the typical; you are a story master and use stories to your advantage.

You believe in your own truth, and this allows you to create good art. With your powerful views on society and people, you would also make a great journalist. A point-and-shoot camera would likely be in your ruck. A smartphone, too, for surfing the ‘net and micro-blogging your views to the world at large-since you wouldn’t have a lot of friends in real life and on social networks. Well, the Basket Case does not need any of those to get through school. Your highly imaginative and powerful mind will take you to places more wondrous than the classroom.


First published in Gadgets Magazine, June 2013