Category Archives: Technology

The Lucky Few…

I am one of the lucky few who recieved an email this morning that my iPhone 4 will be arriving a day early.  That is to say, I will have my iPhone 4 the day BEFORE launch day!!  Excited…  That’s an understatement.  Tomorrow is going to be a great day!  Well, every day is a great day, but tomorrow will be fun and great, too!  WOO HOO!  Ok, enough bragging. 

I installed iPhone iOS4 yestarday.  It took awhile, I had several issues.  The upgrade hung just as it was about to finish and I then my phone went into restore mode, and I couldn’t get it to restore either.  I tried several times, but it kept getting hung up.  It was a 1002 error, if I remember correctly.  After reading Apple’s help documentation, I followed their reccomendations and it worked.  It turned out hooking my iPhone into the Dock for Dell Latitude instead of into the laptop itself was causing some issue.  I just un-docked my laptop so that the iPhone was the only USB device attached and voila!  It worked fine.  iOS4 is running pretty well on my 3GS.  I’m enjoying the multitaksing with Pandora.  I really haven’t hit upon anything else that impresses me about the multitasking.  Of course, apps launch alitle faster, but nothing all that great.  The folders are awesome!!  Although, I’m having issue catagorizing all of my apps.  I’ve found I have a lot more kids games on my phone than I previously thought.  But at least I’m down to 4 pages instead of 9!! 

Again, can’t wait to get my hands on the new iPhone 4.  I already know I’m going to need a tiny torex driver to take it apart, but that shouldn’t slow me down too much!  If I can make through the first week with it and NOT jump in a lake with it in my pocket, I’ll be happy!

You want the traffic… You Can’t Handle The Traffic!!

Steve Job's at D8 (from

I was reading through engadget’s live blog of Steve Job’s interview from D8 and something caught my attention.  Check out this excerpt:

6:54PM Steve: Well it wasn’t like this. Now it’s huge. And also, when you bought a phone the carrier dictated what you had on the phone. iPhone was the first phone where we said you worry about the network, we’ll worry about the phone/.

Walt: How are they doing on that network?

6:54PM Steve: Pretty good actually. Remember, they’re handling WAY MORE data traffic than all of their other competitors combined.
(excerpt from engadget’s live blog of Steve Job’s interview from D8)
Did you catch that?  “…they’re handling WAY MORE data traffic than all of their other competitors combined.”  I’m pointing this out for all of you whiner babies who complain about AT&T’s network or gripe about how much better Verizon would do with the iPhone… Blah, Blah, Blah…  There it is, straight from the horse’s mouth!  AT&T has more traffic than all of their competitors and does pretty well with it.  They are improving their service as quickly as they can.  I dare say, it is probably ALOT harder to upgrade a network where every city is different, than it is to create one new device and make a billion copies.  So the phones, tablets, netbooks, etc… are going to advance far faster than ANYONE (Verizon included) can upgrade their network. 
So for now…  I’m happy to be on AT&T, just like I have been for almost a decade.  Boom!

My Dell Studio Hybrid – Unboxed… Finally!


Dell Studio Hybrid

My search for a Home Theatre PC (HTPC) began almost as soon we purchased our 32 inch LCD TV for the family room.  I loved having the ability to plug my laptop into our TV and have, what was basically, a huge computer monitor.  That was a few years ago.  Since then, we have done away with our monthly TV service bills and gone the route of free “over-the-air” HD service.  This is complimented by,, and the like.  We do subscribe to Netflix and thus have the instant play feature, but you can read more about all that in my Life Without A TV Bill posts. 

After a couple of years of hooking up and unhooking our laptops, I finally found a deal for a PC that I liked.  I’ve looked at a Mac Mini ($599), an ASUS Eee Top ($375.00), and a Dell Studio Hybrid ($499).  

Mac Mini

The Mac is the choice of a lot of people I know, but having all PCs at home, it just didn’t make sense.  The ASUS was the front runner, but didn’t have an optical drive, which I needed since my DVD player had recently died.  Plus, the ASUS is slightly under-powered since it is basically a netbook without a screen.  The Dell was the best choice, but I just didn’t want to lay down $500.  Then…  EARTH DAY!!!  

ASUS eee Box
ASUS eee Box

Dell covertly offered $200 instant savings during the week following Earth Day on its “Earth Friendly-Power Sipping” Studio Hybrid.  It was hard to find, but I stumbled across the link while reading a tech forum.  That’s was the deal I was looking for.  A dual-core CPU, 2GB of Ram, and optical drive, and best of all ROOM TO UPGRADE!  Since the Studio Hybrid is basically a laptop crammed into a tiny space, parts would be easy to get.  So that’s what I ordered.  

IOGEAR Keyboard


I was none to happy when I received my first, second, or third delay notice from Dell.  I still don’t know what the issue was, but it took over a month to get my HTPC.  I’ve never this sort of problem ordering from Dell’s Small Business Division, with whom I do business weekly at FBC.  I suppose it is just the curse of dealing with Dell’s Home Division. It was well worth the wait, however.  I’m loving this little computer.  It sits perfectly on our entertainment center, and paired with a wireless keyboard with builtin trackball from IOGEAR, and a Logitech Webcam with builtin Microphone, I’m loving this setup. 

Logitech C250


We’ve used it mostly for Hulu and Netflix, but with the addition of the webcam, and the family being home for the summer, I’ve been skype calling home just about every day from work.  We also skype my parents every now and then.  It’s a lot more fun to do it on the big TV than on our desktop computer.  This little camera works really well for us, even in low light, and its microphone pics up very well, even sitting on the sofa 5-7 feet away.  

If you’re looking for a HTPC to help you cut the chains of Cable or Satellite TV, I would highly recommend the Dell Studio Hybrid.  Just wait for Earth Day to roll around again…  

 Unboxing Picture Below: 

Sleep Cycle App

I found and downloaded a new app last night.  It’s an alarm clock that uses the iPhone’s acceleromator to sense movement. Basically, you put start the app and then lay the iPhone on the corner of your matress nearest your head.  As you move in the night the phone registers it and analyzes the movement patterns to determine how “deep” in sleep you are.  It seemed to work pretty well.  The point…  To wake you up during the lightest period of sleep nearest your set alarm time.  This is suppossed to wake you up easier and more pleasantly.  We’ll see.  It didn’t work last night, due partly to the boys both ending up in the bed with us.  That’s alot of extra tossing and turning.  Anyway.  Here is my sleep cycles from last night.  You’ll notice about 4am I appear to be awake.  That’s right, Kayce and I woke up to see if school was closed (it was).  So, it registered that pretty well.  If you have an iPhone, its a 0.99 cent app.  Here’s a link to check it out, it’s called Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock.

ExoPC on Video…

If you read my previous post about the ExoPC (The iPad Killer, well kind of…) you know that even though I’m an ocean away from the nearest prototype of this device, I’m already in love with it.  It has all the makings of a great mobile computer…  At least for me.  It appears to do everything I need it to do very well.  I love all the I/O ports that are available on it most of all.  Very handy indeed.  So, I get most of my daily tech news via the folks over at  They have a great pulse on technology, but don’t take it too seriously, which I appreciate.  They also have a great snarky sense of humor when writing about things that might not otherwise be so interesting.  Ok, enough for the engadget commercial…  Here’s a video they posted recently of the ExoPC (Looks like they have a English version of the site now) in action.

The iPad Killer! Well, kind of…

With all this talk about the iPad, I thought I might as well chime in with my two cents worth.  I, along with most folks, were eagerly awaiting the reveal of the iPad.  And for those of us who aren’t Apple Fanboys, the iPad is alittle bit of a let down.  I was expecting a very useful and user friendly tablet.  That not exactly what we got.  The iPad has several pros, don’t get me wrong.  Let me run through my list very quickly:

1) Size-It’s extremely compact and light.
2) Display-Very bright, good resolution, responsive.
3) Interface-The iPhone OS is a great platform for mobile computing.

1) No Front Facing Camera-Having the ability to do video calls seems like an obvious use.
2) Alternate Input Methods-As a tablet, Apple really needs to have some sort of Pen accessory that can write on the capacitive touch screen for quick note taking, etc…
3) I/O Ports-Pushing the 30Pin iPod connector only is not a good idea.  I really need a USB port for jump drives, an SD card slot, an HDMI port for video output and possibly a 4pin Firewire port.  These would open up worlds of usefulness.

Those are my three major gripes.  Without those, this device is not much different than my iPhone (oh, wait, my phone has a CAMERA!!!).  So if Apple just wants us to use this for entertainment and reading (I don’t read, by the way, and if I do read long manuals, white papers, etc… I print them), then they have cut their market way down, and I’ll stick with my iPhone only. 

Now, several of you are saying, “Oh, he’s a PC guys… Blah, Blah, Blah…”.  Yes, I work in a PC environment, but I’m open to whatever hardware/software gets the job done best.  And quite frankly, the iPad doesn’t fulfill any need for me. 

My Needs:
1) Tablet for note taking, basic word processing, spreadsheets, remote desktop, FULL web (including flash)
2) Must be able to store files, and be transferred via USB drive
3) RJ-45 ethernet jack would be great for troubleshooting networks
4) Good battery life (5 Hours Minimum)

So, is there a PC alternative, and iPad killer, so to speak?
Not yet, but a company called ExoPC has a good start.  The ExoPC has your standard netbook specs (Even though Steve Jobs hates netbooks, he seems to have made a pretty lame one…), runs Windows 7, and has all the I/O ports you could want, plus a very similar display to the iPad.  It will cost around $799 when it is released.  Their website is in french, but here is a link to the google translated version.  If you speak French… I apologize.

The ExoPC – Google Translated Version

Will I get an iPad?
Probably not.  My cardinal rule of technology is, “NEVER BUY FIRST GENERATION!”.  There will be a ton of bugs worked out in this version.  Perhaps they might even listen to some of us who want the Front Facing Camera added, along with the HDMI, etc…  Whatever they do.  The next version will be a better product.  I doubt it will get any cheaper.  The price points for the iPad are very good, even if it isn’t the product I was hoping for. 

In closing.  iPad=Big (Not as great) iPhone.  ExoPC=More what I’m looking for in a tablet.

Oh, and I’m not even going to touch the whole Adobe Flash thing.  We all know the iPhone and iPad should support it, one day Apple will wake up and listen… Then again, they never listened to us before, so why start now. 

There is a side by side comparison on ExoPc’s website as well.  You can get the translated version here.

The ExoPC compared to iPad and Archos 6

And to be fair…  Here is the link to all thing Apple iPad.  I guess you could say this is the iPad’s pad…  Maybe not.

The Apple iPad, everything you need to know.

Sad moment…

I opened my laptop Saturday morning only to hear stomach turning crack. It was possibly the second sadest technology moment of my life. Second only to my getting in the lake with my week old iPhone 3GS in my pocket. Kayce said my face was hilarious and it looks like my screen was shot several times. It is my work computer but it is way out of warranty. Dell is checking on a replacement display. Sad day.

Adobe Flash iPhone Blockade

I was looking at my blog on my iPhone to see what my mobile theme looked like and I saw the “flash player required” button… Nothing new, everyone knows that smart phones don’t do flash… But when I accidently hit it it took me to the following adobe page:
Flash Player not available for your device

Apple restricts use of technologies required by products like Flash Player. Until Apple eliminates these restrictions, Adobe cannot provide Flash Player for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Copyright © 2009 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.
I’d never seen that before. Interesting to say the least. I’m a huge adobe fan. I think they’ve done about everything right with there software brands. I live in CS4 now. I’ve been using Photoshop for almost 10 years. I love adobe. Please apple, please allow flash on the iPhone!

Direct Message from AT&T Twitter

I recieved a Direct Message from AT&T’s twitter folks today.  Appearantly they liked my tweet last night “Could have so worked from bed today. With @attnews 3G, my iPhone, and remote desktop… I never need to shower again!”  I recieved this message this morning.  Nothing huge, but nice to know their is a real person working somewhere at AT&T.  Next time I need some customer service, maybe I’ll just message them back.