Home Gadget Geeks

HP MicroServer, WHS 2011, Low Power CPUs, Samsung Galaxy S II, Tom Tom, Issuu.com and Viber – HT054

Jim 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 Listen LIVE at 6pP/8C/9E/1aUTC every Thursday night over at Listen Mobile: 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 ” 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. For 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! If 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 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 , which takes a Mini-ITX board and up to 7x ” 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. 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! 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

GPS Watches, the iPod Nano recall, Online Collaboration, OpenVPN and Microsoft Surface for the Masses! – HT052

Jim, Andrew and Christian are joined this week by Bill Paulmenn for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. Bill has also caught the “new microphone disease”, and the show starts off with Bill telling us about his new Samson Microphone. Jim talks about using a studio microphone along with a set of Yurbuds earphones, which let you hear ambient conversations, as well as the conversation you are partaking in. Listen LIVE at 6pP/8C/9E/1aUTC every Thursday night over at Listen Mobile: Bill tells us about the projects he is working on, building an HTPC for a neighbor, a new gaming rig, and consolidating some hardware for other folks. Jim talks about the recent software upgrade coming through to his Samsung Galaxy S Android phone, which has bought some additional functionality, and saved him from upgrading to a new phone, although the Samsung Galaxy SII is a very nice device. The guys talk about GPS-enabled exercise watches, with Jim favoring a Timex GPS enabled watch over the early entrant to the market being Garmin.  Andrew talks about using a Polar Heart Rate Monitor in conjunction with Runkeeper to overlay heart rate over a GPS-plotted map. The guys move from running to cycling, and talk about the new exercise bikes, that simulate an actual bike ride.  Andrew talks about the XBike 1000, which is the next best thing to riding a real bike, which let you simulate riding in some of the major cities in the world.  Jim talks about the new exercise bikes in the gym at work, that let you plug in your portable music device. While talking about portable devices, Jim reminds 1st Generation Apple iPod Nano users, that Apple is performing a recall due to battery issues, which under rare conditions can result in the battery overheating and pose a safety risk. Jim and Andrew talk about the incredible ability to collaborate on a project across the world, when the guys worked on a website together, using Skype for a video call, and Dropbox to share the files needed in almost real time.  If you’ve not yet adopted these technologies, you should check them out, and see how they can work for you.  The guys talk about real-time collaboration using corporate tools such as Microsoft Lync, and the public tools such as Skype.  Christian tells us that his peers even use Skype for a study group tool! Bill tells us about the way technology works in the automotive body repair industry, with assessing and estimating applications being built on the Apple iPhone / iPad ecosystem, allowing much faster quoting of repair jobs.  Bill talks about the changes in the repair industry, with the advancements in the technologies being seen in vehicles, and the necessity to be able to get information on the vehicle quickly in order to facilitate a the repair. Christian gives us an update on his projects, in particular his OpenVPN project to be able to connect remotely to the family home, and access the network as if he were in the house.  Christian talks about the niceties of being able to utilize the HD HomeRun tuners on the home network, and consume content from wherever he happens to be. Christian’s Deal-of-the-Week is the SUPERMICRO 1U Atom Server, from , a 1U rack mountable server, ideal for offloading critical Windows Domain functions such as directory services, DHCP and DNS on your network.  This server is currently out of stock, but be sure to check out all the details over at SUPERMICRO. The Tweak-of-the-Week is the Logon Changer from , which is a utility that allows you to change the logon screen to any image of your choosing, and send the stock Windows 7 logon screen packing! Bill brings us an article from Bloomberg which talks about why the price of hard drives has increased, and the timeframes that may be experienced while the hard drive manufacturers wait for the flood waters to recede, and bring their factories back on line. The guys discuss the Samsung SUR40 “table of the future”, which promises to bring Microsoft Surface to the masses at a bargain price of $8,400 a throw!  The guys discuss the value of a device like this, versus buying a regular large-screen TV.  Is touch worth the extra spend? The guys close out the show, talking about Google Music rolling out in the US, and the incredible potential of using Christians’ OpenVPN solution for streaming TV via Subsonic or the HD Home Run. Don’t forget our feed location has changed – 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

Skype Endless Updates, iPhone vs Android, Drobo Server, Android ROM’s and Photo Imaging Software – HT047

Jim and Andrew and Christian are joined by Mike Howard from Jpeg2RAW for this week’s installment of the Home Tech Podcast. The guys start off with some Skype chat, relating to the aggressive update cycle since Microsoft acquired Skype, and draw some comparisons to the Group Chat feature within Google Plus, as well as talking about the Facebook and Skype integration. Listen Mobile: Jim tells us that his wife is buying a new iPhone 4S, and the merits of iPhone vs Android vs Blackberry devices, and discuss the recent Blackberry Outage, and if the advancements in iPhone and Android could be the writing on the wall for Blackberry. Jim talks about his new server wish list – a small form-factor PC to connect to a Drobo – check out the discussion over in our Facebook group. Christians’ Deal-of-the-Week is the AMD AM3+ 8 core CPU from NewEgg, being the first 8-core CPU to the consumer market; ranging from GHz through to GHz, a very cost effective processor, with fantastic bang for buck! Christians’ Speed Tip of the Week is the news of Adobe Flash Player 11 which includes native 64-bit browsing, enhanced playback and GPU Acceleration. The guys discuss some more Netflix news, relating to plans for Quikster being dropped, and the release of the .XXX domain name suffix – for the more scandalous of the Webmasters amongst us. Andrew talks about installing a new ROM onto his Android phone, in this case an HTC Desire, to gain more space, and better performance from the phone. The ROM Andrew installed is SGBS (Stock GingerBread Sense), which is specific to the HTC Desire, however there are also aftermarket ROMs such as Cyanogenmod which cater for most handsets on the market. If you’re running an Android phone, and looking for a different ROM, it may be something worth looking at – be cautioned, this may damage your phone, so make sure that you research and perform any ROM update at your own risk. Whilst talking about Android, Andrew brings some late breaking news, being the Android Operating System being ported to the HP TouchPad, again by the Cyanogenmod team.  Check it out over at the Cyanogenmod blog. Mike tells us about a new feature that Adobe is working on for future releases of their Photoshop product range, being an unblur feature.  For those moments when the camera moves as you take the shot.  The guys talk about the immersion of the Photoshop products in the consumer market, as well as alternatives including The Gimp,   The guys discuss their retention theories around digital media, be it disposable, or having an extended shelf life.  Images are something that most of the guys would not want to lose, however an album of music is something that most of the guys wouldn’t want to lose.  Andrew see images as being a memory triggers, and Mike and Christian see images as being priceless, whereas Jim is not as concerned about potential loss of images.  The guys discuss the changes over the years with the migration from 35mm to digital photography. Mike talks about the changes covered by Engadget that Microsoft are going to bring to the Metro UI, that people love or hate in the Windows 8 Developer Preview. The guys end the show with a little more talk about Google+, and the news that Duke Nukem is coming to the Android platform. Don’t forget our feed location has changed – 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

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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Home Gadget Geeks

Digital Photography Advice, Google+ vs Facebook – HT035

       Jim, Christian and Andrew. with special guest Mike Howard from jpeg2RAW are together again for show #35 of the Home Tech Podcast This week the guys talk some more about Google Plus, Digital Photography for the novice to amateur photographer, and tips and tricks for improving your images. Mikes podcast jpeg2RAW and photography site can be found over at   Listen Mobile: 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

Android Apps, Google Products, Phones, Getting Things Done, and Loyalty Card Apps – HT030

Jim, Andrew and Christian are joined by Gordon Schmidt for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. Christians’ latest tech news for the Home Server crowd is that the BIOS for an HP EX485 MediaSmart server can be recovered if becomes corrupted #160; If you have somehow corrupted the BIOS on your MediaSmart Server, you can check out how to recover your MediaSmart Server BIOS over at BIOS-Mods. Listen Mobile: In a Windows Home Server bent, Gordon fills us in on upgrade to Windows Home Server 2011, and his coding project in conjunction with his brothers, to bring additional information into the Home Server #160; Gordon tells us how he manages the storage drives with Windows Home Server, and how he manages his external backups using an ioSafe external hard disk. Christian gives us a sneak peek into his Summer vacation projects, assisting some of the local organizations in his area to bring some efficiencies to their businesses via web based services. Gordon starts off this week, bringing us some Android apps that let you start working smarter, not #160; Chrome to Phone, is a Google Chrome browser extension that lets you send the web page you are viewing on your PC directly to you Android #160; A great app if you are looking at a web page you want to keep reading as you head away from the PC. While talking about Google Products, Jim discusses Google Voice, which integrates voice calling into your GMail #160; The service provides a single contact number, and lets you make free calls and send free text messages within the and Canada, as well as providing an integrated voicemail service directly into your GMail Inbox in the form of a transcribed #160; Jim and Gordon talk about their practical application of Google Voice, using it to advertise a car, yet not advertise his mobile phone number to the public. For the Android users amongst us, Gordon tells us about the Amazon Appstore for Android, who each day, give away a paid app at no #160; Gordon also tells us about AppBrain, which is a a free Android service that remembers what you have installed on your phone, and in the event of having to restore your phone to default, you can easily re-install your applications. Following on from Show #28, where we discussed RSS Readers, Gordon tells us about how he uses Google Reader to manage his RSS reading, tagging, sharing, and podcast management, all from within the Google Reader #160; You can follow Gordons’ shared Google Reader feed via the Google Reader Shared Items feature. Gordon brings us Hard Forums, a reference site he uses for unique hardware configurations, to be able to reference hardware specs and compatibility, the guys discuss their sources for hardware research, including AnandTech, OverClockers, and our good friends over at the BYOB #160; The guys briefly discuss the merits of overclocking for the average home user versus ongoing system stability and longevity and power efficiency. Andrew gives an update on the power output from the output of the solar panel system installed a couple of weeks #160; For those who missed the link previously, Andrew visually tracks the output and efficiency from the solar panel installation over at Launching into Christians’ Corner, we now have an intro, recorded by Christian himself, using Jam Studio, which has enabled Christian to create a backing track, and overlay the audio using Audacity. Christians’ Speed Tip of the Week is more of a power efficiency tip, where he walks us through how to tweak CPU performance via the Windows 7 Power Options, which will in turn slow down fan speed, and system #160; Christian then tells us how to validate the changes after you have made them. The Deal-of-the-Week is the Lian-Li PC-C33B HTPC Case, which looks just like a piece of home entertainment equipment, and will only set you back $, from Christians App of the week is ClipGrab, which is a downloader and converter that will convert videos from online sources including YouTube, Vimeo and other sites and transcode them into MP4 #160; This is an incredibly useful application if you need to embed a video into a PowerPoint presentation or to copy onto an iPod or other mobile media device for sharing with friends. Christian shares the Engadget Review of the HTC EVO 3D, one of the latest Android phones about to hit the market from HTC, a mouth watering offering coming soon to Sprint in the USA. Andrew brings us Natural Reader, an application that will read highlighted text from any #160; There are free and paid versions available for both PC and Mac users. Andrew reaches out to the listener community about choosing a Personal Productivity / Getting Things Done application to better help manage the Inbox in #160; So far, he has looked at SimplyFile from TechHit (which builds rules based on Outlook email movement), and Xobni (which builds statistics around emails that are received and sent).  Jim talks about The Other Inbox which integrates with online email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo!Mail. To wrap up the show, the guys talk about the recent mobile applications released from Starbucks which allow you to pay for your caffeine hit, directly from your mobile phone, as well as the mobile application called CardStar, which allows you to load all of your loyalty cards into your phone, and simply scan your card at the cash register. 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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Deal-of-the-Week

TAG Tech Deal of the Week – Viewsonic gTablet

For the Android user who has been looking for a tablet, this weeks’ Deal-of-The-Week is for you! From , we bring you the Viewsonic gTablet for $ The gTablet is a ” Android Tablet, sporting Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A-9 Processor, and Android , which is also known as FroYo (Google’s shortened name for the Android version called “Frozen Yoghurt”).  An iPad alternative at a great price!
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