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
Continue Reading »
Home Tech

Purchased a New $99 HP WebOS TouchPad? 10 Productive Things You Can Do Forever without HP!

Regardless of whether or not HP supports your shiny new TouchPad in the future, here are 10 things you can do with it, right now, that will never require future HP support and are mostly #160; So pull it out of the box and let’s get started! #160; Connect it to your web or Corporate #160; I already wrote about this in a article, but email setup is fast and easy – even at work!  In most cases, you might even be able to do it by just knowing your corporate webmail #160; If not, just check with your local helpdesk or IT Service Center.   #160; Chat or video conference with your friends. AIM, Google, Skype, Yahoo are already available #160; I was surprised at how well the TouchPad works for IM and Video #160; At first I was disappointed when I couldn’t find a Skype App in the Catalog, only to discover it is integrated in with the OS and works well out of the #160; Add your account and you are ready to #160; You will find the setup under the Messaging App, choose the top left drop down and choose Preferences and #160; Point to Point Skype Chat has clear sound quality both ways and excellent #160; Your results may vary based on your connectivity.   #160; View, create or edit documents with Quickoffice Another preloaded application that comes free with the TouchPad; Quickoffice has the options to pull documents in from a variety of web based services including (where you get 50GBs of FREE storage when you sign up from your TouchPad), Dropbox (another surprise find for me), Google Docs and MobileMe. It handles a multitude of file types across these platforms and is very easy to #160; Since everything is all in one place, you don’t have to open each app individually to get to your #160; Take that iPad!   #160; Watch your favorite YouTube #160; Can’t get enough Kitten videos or dying to see the latest Brad Paisley release?  You have come to the right #160; With incredible screen clarity and resolution and the sound coming from two small speakers on the side of the TouchPad, you will never want to watch YouTube on your phone (and maybe even your laptop!) #160; It turned my wife into a believer!   #160; Browse Facebook The TouchPad comes with a fairly useful Facebook #160; Honestly, I find myself going to the web browser for Facebook and not using the app, but for you iPad clones who need an app for everything, there is #160; Smoke’em if you got’em!   #160; Read Books with Amazon Kindle Another HP provided app is one to read Kindle #160; With the Amazon Kindle Beta for the WebOS, you can shop the Kindle Store for almost a million Kindle books, read thousands of free books and get free samples of books to try before you #160; Whispersync technology makes sure the books you read on your TouchPad will find their way to any other Kindle device you might own.   #160; Get directions to anywhere using Maps One very big surprise to me was just how good the GPS was in the #160; From the very first time I opened Maps and had it find my location, it found me almost down to the meter!  Maps comes with all the various layers (Road, Satellite, Bird’s Eye and Show Traffic) and will even give you directions to your next location if you ask, all powered by Bing #160; A big drawback is since it’s a Wi-Fi only unit, once you leave the network, it does not have the ability to keep up with any changes that are #160; It will however update every time you swing by a Starbucks!     #160; Catch the latest weather with Accuweather or The Weather Channel Two apps that really make good use of all the TouchPad screen space are these two weather #160; They give you all the things you would expect and look spectacular on the #160; The Accuweather app can even be displayed in Exhibition #160; If you are a weather geek like me, these are very handy to load from the #160; You can see the Weather Channel app is not yet built for the TouchPad.   #160; Listen to your favorite music or find your favorite podcast The device might be a little big for listening to music or a podcast in your car, but there is nothing better for watching one that has been downloaded to the TouchPad before you left your Wi-Fi #160; Applications like drPodder (paid) and Stitcher for podcasts, Pandora or iHeartRadio (all require Wi-Fi) for music, will bring the best of the internet sound to your #160; Both Google and Amazon Music (even thought it will tell you the browser is not supported) are available through the web #160; No iTunes support (not such a bad thing) and it appears that the popular doubleTwist is also not supported yet on the #160; There are a million ways to get music or podcasts on your device, these are just a few. Click for larger version   #160; Oh yea, and it has a great browser!  I have mentioned this several times in the post already, but the TouchPad has an awesome web browser. Surf just about anywhere on the web with much of the same functionality you would expect from your laptop or #160; I did discover that it struggles a bit with Google Spreadsheet when showing the cells that go beyond the #160; I am sure there are more, but for the average user, it will satisfy 99% of the requirements. So there is no excuse to not start using your awesome new #160; Once you get good at it, show it to all your iPad friends and ask them how much they paid for #160; Then sleep well at night knowing you made an awesome tech purchase.   Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and and a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP This unit was provided by Forsythe Technologies in Omaha NE for review purposes. Please feel free to leave comments at our Facebook Group Page
Continue Reading »
Rich

Rich’s Random Podcast Generator: HP TouchPad Fire Sale, WebOS’s Future – RRPG003

Were you one of the lucky few who found and picked up a “couldn’t give ‘em away a week ago” HP TouchPad tablet for $99? Well, people all over the US went crazy this past weekend trying to track down and acquire the elusive 16/32GB tablets which had been retailing for $399/$499 respectively. Listen Mobile: There had been some price drops the weekend before but nobody really saw this one coming. By late Friday night here in the US, folks were abuzz with the prospect of a fire sale.  By Saturday morning, they were roaming the aisles of their local big box stores looking for the bargain tablet, or as one person said, an early Christmas gift. Were you able to lay your hands on one? Were they all sold out? Are you still looking? Well, don’t despair. We suspect there are more stashed away somewhere. We spend some time this week talking about HP’s fire sale, WebOS’s future, and much, much more! Rich’s RPG is a weekly show hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil. They talk tech with other tech-minded folks, using Google + hangout to facilitate the discussions. Together they cover whatever’s interesting – hot or not, current or historical, high-tech or low-tech. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. Join ‘em live – , or be a part of the show and join the discussion itself! In the show this week: Jim Collison, RIch O’Neil, John Zajdler, Christian Johnson Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact the show at If you have a product or a topic you would like us to discuss, please tag your articles in Delicious using the tag “TheAverageGuy”. Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Intro and Exit Music used by permission from “”In the Shadow Of The Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos
Continue Reading »
Home Tech

HP TouchPad / WebOS: 28 Day Experiment – Day 14

I had no idea when I started this series of posts two weeks ago, that the events of this weekend around HP and the WebOS would cause this much upheaval.  At the end of my last post (Day 11) I came to the conclusion that if the price of the TouchPad dropped to below $200, it was worth buying.  I had no idea of what was to come. By Saturday AM, I awoke to a bunch of emails and tweets (some from you all) alerting me to the fact that some retailers had dropped the price of the 16GB Touch Pad to $99 and the 32GB to $149 here in the US.  The race was on!  I looked online but found that most sites were already out of stock.  There were some rumors that local stores had some in stock and so I headed out to find them.  No luck there either!  I gave it about an hour of searching and figured the hunt was over.  What was there, had already been taken. What kind of caught me off guard was the intensity and which folks were trying to pick up these deals.  When I was in OfficeMax on Saturday morning, 4 guys came in and asked about the TouchPad in the 10 minutes I was in the store trying to check out.  There is a Best Buy in the same mall and I could see a hand full of guys milling the parking lot hoping that one would appear.  Some of them looked like they had been up half the night and rushed out the door in the morning to search for their game (you know who you are!).  Come on guys, you were some of the same folks who believed all the hype when the TouchPad first came out and said you would never buy one.  Guess $99 changed your minds? The dust has settled and it looks like there will continue to be fire sales throughout the next couple of weeks.  I just checked the site and they are officially selling them at $99 but they of course are out of stock.  I tried using the feature that would allow me to be notified when more become available, but it didn’t seem to be working right either.  It would just hang.  Maybe that is an indication of what is going wrong with HP today? I did find it interesting that when I attempted to sign up for the notification that let me know they were selling them again, I got this form.  Notice the text on the bottom. Redirected to the website?  What does that mean?  When I go to it redirects me to which has a like that says “Notify Me When Available” that just redirects you back to the HP site.  I’m sure this is driving some folks crazy! I think I will hold on to this TouchPad for the remainder of the evaluation just to see what will happen.  If I find one for $99, I may jump on it.  Very worth it for the price.  I will continue to post my finding every couple of days.  If you have things you would like me to test, look at or comment on, just email me at With 100,000 new owners out there now, a few of you should have some questions. Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and the and a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP This unit was provided by Forsythe Technologies in Omaha NE for review purposes. Please feel free to leave comments at our Facebook Group Page   Update 8/21/2001 Found this while I was hunting for some $99 TouchPads.  What, did the demand get that high?
Continue Reading »
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
Continue Reading »
Home Tech

HP TouchPad / WebOS: 28 Day Experiment – Day 11

It’s been a busy couple of days since Monday and I haven’t used the TouchPad as much as I had the week before.  I had thought I would sit down tonight after the Home Tech Podcast was recorded and drop a few notes about the weeks usage.  It turned out to be a much more interesting day than that. At about 2pm I got wind from a co-worker that HP had announced it was going to effectively scuttle the WebOS platform for the future. Gina Smith over at said this: In a sharp tactical reversal, Hewlett-Packard today killed its WebOS-based HP TouchPad tablet and smartphones. Earlier this year, HP unveiled its Palm-designed WebOS family of phones, tablets and PCs with great fanfare. Find coverage here. The HP TouchPad, released in June, was yet another competitor struggling in vain against the Apple iPad. Recently, HP slashed prices on the tablet. And another one bites the dust. I guess I was a little shocked that a company that spent $ billion last summer on acquiring Palm and its WebOS would give up on it so quickly.   In the same announcement, HP also announced that it was moving away from it current PC business as well.  They are currently the #1 PC manufacturer in the world.  Huge surprise. As of this moment, all the major media outlets are covering this story, I am not going to attempt to do that here.  I am going to lament for a moment however, and then move on.  I do have these thoughts. The TouchPad is a good enough tablet that it could stand on it’s own for a year or two and not need the ecosystem of HP to support it.  In my testing, it did 95% of what I asked it and did it well.  If this tablet now goes on clearance or closeout for less than $200, it’s worth the purchase.  As long as you don’t try to constantly compare it to an iPad every other day, you will be good. Because I love the underdog, I looked forward to seeing the WebOS complete against the big boys.  It doesn’t look like that will happen now.  For the moment, my eyes are back on the iPad and an Android tablet.  It was good to try and I am glad that I didn’t buy. Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP This unit was provided by Forsythe Technologies in Omaha NE for review purposes. Please feel free to leave comments at our Facebook Group Page
Continue Reading »
Home Tech

HP TouchPad / WebOS: The 28 Day Experiment – Day 7

I didn’t really get a chance to work much on the TouchPad on Saturday.  I’m finding that when I am at home, the TouchPad has a hard time competing with my 24” monitor and PC.  Today was filled with a bunch of PC maintenance and file clean up.  I also had to edit and post two podcasts and well as do some updating to the website (hope you noticed?).  Nothing I would ever try to do on a tablet. Since the weekend means I use the TouchPad less, I thought I could use it to talk about the applications that are available.  Maybe I should have said, the lack of applications.  When I left the Palm ecosystem a year ago, I really thought that more apps would get written while I was away.  In the first week with the TouchPad, it sure doesn’t look like it! I only have my Android phone and my limited experience with an iPod touch to compare it to, but out of the gate, there seems to be all the bad apps from both Apple and Android and not too many of the good ones.  Now, let me be fair, most of what I REALLY need is there.  Things like access to a podcast app (drPodder) and good weather app (both Accuweather and the Weather Channel have apps).  Pandora, WordPress, Foursquare, Linkedin, Woot and Groupon are all apps I use on my phone and are available in the App Catalogue.  Angry Birds is even available on the device! What is painfully missing is a few titles I use everyday.  First and foremost is Dropbox.  There is a $ app called Dropboxify, but Dropbox is free on every other platform.  I could always go to the browser for this. There is also no dedicated Netflix app to speak of.  Sarah tried to get Netflix running the browser but didn’t have any luck. The last app that is missing is   I could just go to the browser for it, but a dedicated app is nice.  I am just complaining now. All in all, even with a limited apps infrastructure, I can make most things work.  In most cases where there isn’t an app, I could always use the browser to get what I need.  It’s a fair trade. (Update 8/15 from the Facebook Post) I received this bit of update from my new HP TouchPad testing partner John Greenaway.  He writes: Jim, my 14 day point-of-no-return window with the TouchPad ends Friday. Since I got the 32GB version at a $200 discount off msrp (now just $100 with the permanent price drop) for $399, I’m 80/20 leaning towards keeping $200 less than… the equivalent iPad, it’s doing everything I NEED from a home tablet and across the board better than my current home-roaming alternative (a Dell mini-10 laptop or a full laptop). My take so far on the software: The free stuff: general web browsing (A+ – flash sites work as well as flash does anywhere), built-in email app (A-), Twitter (A+: SpazHD Free), free media consumption (B+: plays Amazon Video movies for people with Amazon Prime, Kindle (A), and web-based Amazon Cloud Player (A-: no downloading from Cloud Player to the device). Finally, Skype (A-) is a built-in part of webOS synergy so video-calling grandma is as easy as typing her name into JustType and tapping on her skype contact just below her phone # and email address. (Almost as easy as Apple’s Facetime, but the person you are calling doesn’t have to be using another TouchPad on the other end!!) The paid stuff: There’s some decent stuff, not a ton, but unique things. A new paid Google Reader app (A-) has received excellent reviews, a paid DLNA client (B+) to play media and pics from my home server), and Glimpse (by Inglorious Apps) brings real multi-tasking to a single card – web, youtube, twitter, reader, etc… The missing stuff (everyone is different): I still wish the TouchPad (webOS in general) had certain other apps. it would be excellent to have Netflix — which I have heard rumored to be coming. I’d love to see an app for MyFitnessPal which I use for tracking food intake and exercise (but the website works fine). But to be honest, for me at the moment, more apps might give me more distractions I can’t handle in my life right now (2 month old twins). As for your specific complaints, I don’t use Mint, but there is a paid app called Checkbook by Glitchtech Science software that I use to track finances and then export to Quicken. Also, I use the paid dropbox app which works just great for getting stuff both to and from dropbox – just no auto-syncing, which I’m not sure I’d really want anyway. The apps are definitely getting better in quality too. Between the apps that are available, and the FULL internet as it is currently designed to be used (ahem – Flash), the TouchPad can do anything I need / want it to do. More importantly, my wife actually likes webOS, specifically the card metaphor for managing multiple open apps and JustType which makes finding and doing things easier. The WAF alone is a major plus. She didn’t really love interacting with the Android tablet I brought home for two weeks about a month ago. More importantly for me, as I work my way through the decision about what phones to use next for our family (webOS vs WP7 vs Android), I think I could see the TouchPad having a place in the house even if we end up on phones from another platform. I don’t think I felt the same with the Transformer which would have been great to round out a full android experience, but not necessarily on it’s own. I don’t doubt that is because of having 2 years of webOS experience behind me. Side note: I liked the Transformer a lot and would recommend it to anyone looking to buy a honeycomb tablet — it was very nice, but just not terribly easy to get used to the OS, homescreens, widgets, etc… for me, much less my wife The is more that can be said, but my day (and weekend) has run out of time.  I still have 3 weeks to write more. Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP This unit was provided by Forsythe Technologies in Omaha NE for review purposes. Please feel free to leave comments at our Facebook Group Page
Continue Reading »