Home Gadget Geeks

How to Prevent Spam and a Computer Virus, Desktop Protection with OpenDNS and K9 Web Protection from BlueCoat, Mailing List Solutions, Storage Expansion, and Digital Photography – HT042

Jim and Andrew and Christian are joined by Mike Howard for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. After the introductions, Jim reminds us all of the importance of using an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS for those of us who live in areas that experience power issues from time to time. The guys move on to talk about the recent increase in spam, especially around seemingly random people signing up to forums and sites where comments can be posted.  Christian tells us about a site, Stop Forum Spam, which is a service that tracks known spammers, and has plugins for a lot of the popular Bulletin Board and Blogging platforms such as PHPBB and WordPress. Listen Mobile: In an Anti-Spam / Anti-Virus vein, the guys talk about the latest initiatives from the “A Faster Internet” project, from players we’ve all heard of before, including the OpenDNS and Google DNS projects. The Speed Up effort tries to take this another step further by making sure a user’s request for a content goes to a server near her, making delivery faster and more efficient from a bandwidth perspective. Jim talks about K9 Web Protection, from BlueCoat, which is an internet content filtering application that sits on the PC, and makes sure your kids are blocked from websites including those who’s content may contain pornography, gambling, drugs, violence/hate/racism, malware/spyware and phishing.  Well worth checking out if you have young kids who are seeking more “freedom from Mum and Dad” when they are on the Internet. Andrew brings us an interesting item found on the Skype blog this week, which enables you to make and receive Skype calls on your regular phone handset. Whilst talking about Skype, Mike discusses the recent updates coming through to the Skype client, where the client may automatically update itself, even if you are in the middle of a conversation.  The guys talk about some of the tribulations of the branding that we are starting to see in Skype calls since Microsoft acquired Skype in May this year.  The most recent changes to Skype were documented over at the Skype Blog back in July. From Christians’ Corner, the guys talk about the Skype Powered, Facebook Video Calling feature that appear to be gradually rolling out, and which of the guys do and do not as yet have it available in their profile. Christian talks about his recent trials regarding setting up an SMTP mailing service, given most hosting companies don’t tend to like you sending large e-mails, as this is often the attribute of an e-mail spammer.  After trying some alternatives including mailing lists, local SMTP servers, Christian finally happened upon Send Grid, an online service that specializes in sending mass emails, as well as providing analytical data around the emails that you send from your email lists. For the Deal of the Week, Christian tells us about how he added an additional 10TB of storage to their home storage array, using an Intel RAID SAS/SATA controller and a bunch of Samsumg F4 2TB EcoGreen drives from , bringing the home storage up to 34TB, and leaving the other hosts drooling at the performance from the new storage array. Mike gets the photographers amongst us salivating with the specifications of the up and coming Sony SLT-A77 digital SLR which at release is set to bring us a 24 megapixel camera, capable of shooting up to 12 frames per second. Mike also talks to us about Lytro, an exciting new camera that once it comes to market will allow the photographer to adjust depth of field AFTER taking the photograph, something all amateur photographers wish they could have done at some stage in time. In social media circles, Christian tells us about Seesmic Desktop, which will integrate all of your social outlets into one interface, check it out over at   Seesmic have clients for Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone and Windows Phone, so you can integrate all your feeds on a device close to you. To close out, Mike tells us how to change the Mouse Hover Time, before the Mouse Hover activates in Windows 7. Don’t forget our feed location is changing – click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
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Home Gadget Geeks

HP Touch Pad Fire Sale, Steve Job Resigns at Apple, Google Apps or Office 365 for Cloud Services and Hybrid Memory Cube Technologies – HT041

Jim and Andrew are joined by Rich O’Neil and John Zajdler for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. Don’t be confused at first that the show is an update from the Weather Channel or the “Natural Disasters Podcast”, as the guys talk about the bad weather that has been hitting the US in the past couple of months; this IS the Home Tech Podcast, and this week we’re discussing the news. Listen Mobile: The guys start off talking about the impossible task of trying to locate an HP TouchPad following the news last week to discontinue the now very popular WebOS tablet device, with most retail outlets around the world selling out of their stock within hours, with the closest thing to a global buying frenzy following the price drop last week, with the prices dropping to $99 for the 16GB model, and $149 for the 32GB. If you were lucky enough to get yourself a TouchPad, be sure to check out Jim’s 28 Day Experiment over at TheAverageGuy website, where you get get yourself some handy tips for maximizing the performance of the device. While discussing HP, the guys look at other news from the HP WebOS announcement, and the possibility of the PC division being spun off from the rest of HP, as well as what that could mean to the PC industry as we know it. The guys move on to the Apple announcement that Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple.  The guys discuss what this could mean to Apple as we know it. Moving on, the guys talk about the pricing and scalability of Cloud Services such as Google Apps or Office 365, in lieu of dedicated instances of Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint server, and how much of a business can benefit from an online service versus locally installed applications such as the Microsoft Office suite, given the percentage of applications like Excel that most people use to their maximum capacity, not to mention the real-time collaboration benefits something like Google Docs brings, allowing multiple parties to edit a single document at the same time. Rich brings us some future technology coming from Micron Technologies, being a “Hybrid Memory Cube”, which will bring the following benefits to computing as we know it. The Real Difference is in the Cube HMC will provide a revolutionary performance shift that will enrich next-generation networking and enable exaflop-scale supercomputing: Increased Bandwith — a single HMC can provide more than 20x the performance of a DDR3 module. Power Reductions — HMC is exponentially more efficient than current memory—using just one-tenth as much energy per bit. Smaller physical systems — HMC’s stacked architecture uses nearly 90% less space than today’s RDIMMs. To close out the show, Rich also talks about the next processor line coming from Intel, being the Ivy Bridge series of chips, and what that will bring to the user with performance and thermal efficiencies. As a parting interest topic, the guys briefly discuss the IBM AS/400, the corporate midrange number cruncher that is used in a lot of the enterprise.  For those of you who have heard about the AS/400 but have never seen one, here are some pictures showing the various formats the AS/400 has taken over the years to pique your curiosity Don’t forget our feed location is changing – click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
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Home Gadget Geeks

HP ends WebOS, the cost of AT&T text messaging, and NASA Science and Tech – HT040

Jim, Andrew and Christian, are joined by Chris Lux for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. With the thunderstorms rolling through Jim’s city threatening to stop the recording, the guys kicked it off hearing about Christian’s recent break at NASA Camp, and the various programs of work that NASA have coming in the future. Listen Mobile: A big week in tech news, with Google acquiring Motorola Mobility, and what the guys see as being the biggest news , that HP have announced that they will be discontinuing support for the WebOS platform, and associated devices such as the TouchPad, and various WebOS #160; The guys talk about the implications to the mobile phone industry with both pieces of news, and how Chris believes this may increase the footprint of Windows Phone. After a blackout at Jims’ house, and some Skype challenges getting things back on track, the guys move on with the show. Chris talks about the recent article from Gizmodo from AT&T regarding the changes in pricing to text messaging, which means that AT&T subscribers will be getting overcharged by 10,000,000 percent, when compared with the cost of the data consumption on your regular plan. From Christians’ Corner, this weeks’ Deal-of-the-Week is the Seagate Momentus XT 7200 RPM 4GB SSD, 500GB ” hard disk, from , which will give you an amazing performance increase to your laptop or netbook for a small outlay of $#160; The drive is larger than an SSD, with improved performance over a regular drive. The guys talk about the Linksys E4200 Wireless-N Router, that Jim and Chris have both upgraded to recently, and the network improvements that it brings to your network. Christian talks about The GIMP, which is a great alternative to Adobe Photo Shop, for those of us who edit images, but don’t need the power of, or able to afford the price of Photo Shop. Christian also talks about TeraCopy from Code Sector, which is a nice alternative to using the built-in Windows Explorer copy function, and command line tools such as Robocopy. Don’t forget our feed location is changing – click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network
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Home Gadget Geeks

The Home Tech Podcast is on the Move!

We are starting to make the change over the Podcast hosting from Podomatic to our hosted #160; For those who have subscribe to the Home Tech Podcast via RSS or iTunes, this will require that you establish a new #160; Please find the new feed at the link #160; This feed will stop working on September 30, #160; for iTunes or for RSS.   If you need help with this or have any questions, email Jim at
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Home Gadget Geeks

The HP TouchPad, Ford Sync, Nook, WebOS, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Home Automation – HT039

Jim, Gordon, are joined by John Hughes from Code Core Technologies, and a late joining Andrew for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. After a brief chat about phones and and the trials and tribulations of dying gaming consoles, the Jim kicks off, talking about his latest project, “The 28 Day Experiment” testing the HP TouchPad.  You can follow Jim’s experiences over on the website, under the “The 28 Day Experiment” tag.  The guys chat about some of the comparisons between application availability on Android, and WebOS, and where and if a tablet device could fit into their lives.  Currently, Gordon is a Samsung Galaxy Tab user, and none of Jim, John, or Andrew currently own a tablet device.  The guys also discuss devices like the Barnes and Noble Nook, and it’s potential as an mobile content consumption device. Listen Mobile: Gordon shares with us his thoughts on Ford Sync, and why he chose to leave this option off the order form when purchasing his new car. John talks to us about Home Automation, and his product Elve, which allows him to automate and control all the lights, alarm, irrigation system, thermostats, and home theatre system in the home.  John explains the differences between automation and control in the home, and how a home automation system can integrate into various parts of the house.  John tells us about his methodologies around how he designed the interface to his system, which was designed to to have a simple interface, with the familiar look and feel and concepts most of us know from Microsoft Outlook.  John shares some of the challenges of integrating various systems.  John’s product, Elve, which integrates with several different types of automation hardware can be found at his company website Code Core Technologies. The guys talk about lack of standardization in the protocols used by the various manufacturers of Home Automation hardware, as well as the complexities of bringing automation to your home, as well assome of the security concerns with respect to being able to remotely access your Home Automation system. Don’t forget our feed location is changing – click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network
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Home Gadget Geeks

Subsonic in Detail, HTC Evo 3D Review and Some Hard Drive Chat – HT038

It was a relatively quiet evening on the Home Tech Podcast!  Gary Johnson joined Jim (Andrew and Christian were both out of town) to discuss in detail a few topics.  The majority of the show focused around Subsonic and how Gary uses it in his Home Enterprise.  From the Subsonic site:   Listen Mobile: Subsonic is a free, web-based media streamer, providing ubiquitous access to your music. Use it to share your music with friends, or to listen to your own music while at work. You can stream to multiple players simultaneously, for instance to one player in your kitchen and another in your living room. Subsonic is designed to handle very large music collections (hundreds of gigabytes). Although optimized for MP3 streaming, it works for any audio or video format that can stream over HTTP, for instance AAC and OGG. By using transcoder plug-ins, Subsonic supports on-the-fly conversion and streaming of virtually any audio format, including WMA, FLAC, APE, Musepack, WavPack and Shorten. If you have constrained bandwidth, you may set an upper limit for the bitrate of the music streams. Subsonic will then automatically resample the music to a suitable bitrate. In addition to being a streaming media server, Subsonic works very well as a local jukebox. The intuitive web interface, as well as search and index facilities, are optimized for efficient browsing through large media libraries. Subsonic also comes with an integrated Podcast receiver, with many of the same features as you find in iTunes. Based on Java technology, Subsonic runs on most platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix variants. Subsonic is open-source software licensed under GPL. If you would like to visit Gary’s Subsonic Server, visit: User Name: Guest Password: Guest Gary’s Subsonic Forums Handle: GJ51 We also chatted a bit about his HTC Evo 3D and a short segment on his thoughts around hard drives purchasing today.  I want to thank Gary for being on the show. Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network
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Home Gadget Geeks

SSD Drives, RAID, UNRAID, Apple, Android and Windows Phone 7, Rich’s Random Podcast Generator Beta – HT037

One weekend, Rich O’Neil (and some of tech guys that hang around the Home Server Show Podcast) thought, “what would happen if we just recorded some of the conversations we have around our tech stuff?”  The result was this podcast that we recorded on July #160; Rich’s Random Podcast Generator was born!  Interested in your feedback. We used Google+ Hangout to record the #160; If this project is successful, we will try it again on it’s very own RSS feed! We chatted about SSD Drives, RAID, UNRAID, problems with Apple, Android and Windows Phone 7 and much, much more. Listen Mobile: Here are some links for the show: ;Tpk=yeti%20blue ;ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&_lwgsi=y #entry23868 , Thanks to those who joined us on the podcast – John Zajdler, Bill Paulmenn, Mike Howard and Mike Faucher Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network
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