Home-Tech-Album-125x125_thumb1_thumb1Jim and Andrew are joined this week by Gary Johnson for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast.

The guys start off the show with an update on the solar grid feed system Andrew and his wife installed in May this year, followed by some discussions around if the others would “green” their lives.

Jim talks about his new HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L, which has arrived, and been set up running Windows Home Server 2011 for some testing with a Drobo S

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The guys talk a bit the hardware power required to transcode video, and how some of the hardware we were using in days gone by is reasonably high in power consumption, as well as being somewhat inadequate for the day to day usage we need from a computer these days, not to mention thermal and energy efficiencies.

The guys talk about using low powered CPU/GPU combinations such as the Zotac Nano or the fit-PC3 for uses such as an HTPC, or an always-on device with low power draw.

Jim tells us he has upgraded his Samsung Galaxy S mobile phone to a Samsung Galaxy SII, and is once again a happy Android user, sporting a 4.3” screen, dual core processor and 8MP camera to name a few features!

Andrew talks about his TomTom Sat Nav unit packing it in, and the challenges with trying to find a replacement unit that has comparable features to his 3 year old model.  The guys discuss using Google Navigation, which is built into the Android platform.  Gary tells us about integrating Subsonic for music, Google Navigation, all from his HTC EVO 3D.

Whilst Sat Nav shopping, Andrew happened upon the new Ultrabook’s coming from the usual hardware vendors, and is seriously considering a new personal machine.  The appeal with an Ultrabook, such as the ASUS UX31 or Acer Aspire S, is the form factor bought to the computing world by Apple with the MacBook Air, with the beauty of being a native Microsoft Windows PC.

imageFor those who may have a requirement to create an online publication, Andrew has stumbled across issuu, a service which allows you to publish, and have your content consumed online.  With both free, and paid versions, if you have a requirement to move a printed publication online, this may be a solution to your needs!

imageIf you’re a mobile phone user, and frustrated with the mobile version of Skype, Andrew tells us about Viber which comes in both Android and iPhone versions

The guys talk a bit about our dependency on e-mail, as opposed to non-disposable communication like the various social media platforms, such as SharePoint, Wiki’s or other online collaborative solutions like WordPress blogs.

Gary gives us an update on their migration away to their new hosting provider, telling us some more about the reasons why they moved the hosting of bios-mods.com to the Virtual Private Server provider Christian told us about last week in Show 53.

Gary talks about a nice case for a home builder, being the Lian LI PC-Q25B Case, from NewEgg.com, which takes a Mini-ITX board and up to 7x 3.5” hard disks.

To wrap up the show, Gary shares some of his predictions for the coming year or so, regarding his belief that storage will begin moving away from traditional rotating hard drives to solid state storage units, and the possible start of the demise of Cable TV services as we know them today, with some providers already offering video on demand services, rather than the traditional subscriber model we’ are accustomed to.

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