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
Back on the laptop today and back to Windows Live Writer for the blog. When I started using the TouchPad early this morning, it gave me the update OS option which in the past 2 days I have just ignored. This morning, it would pop up literally every 2 seconds. I dismissed it several times and then just gave in to the upgrade. Was hoping to get a few more days on the old versions before I moved up, but HP would have nothing to do with that! Maybe they are reading my posts? Here is what the warning looked like: The update took about 15 minutes to complete and the TouchPad has worked great ever since. Still not sure what kind of differences it makes, but I will keep an eye out for them. I was able to get Skype messaging working today as well after the update. Let me tell you, IT’S AWESOME! Was able to make both audio and video calls as well as a group conference call. It was kind of a surprise since I thought the TouchPad didn’t have Skype at all! I will for sure be using this feature both for audio and video calls since this is a Wi-Fi only device. The sound quality coming from the speakers is incredible and the video on both ends in crisp and clear. I make a lot of Skype calls so this functionality is a huge plus. UPDATE FROM YESTERDAY I did have an issue when trying to view a Google spreadsheet from the web browser. It showed the cells that were in view, but would not scroll over to the cells not on the screen. I use Google docs a bunch so this part is very important to me. I will have to search for a fix to this issue. This issue was not fixed when I upgraded to Will have to keep working on a fix. If you know of one, please let me know. I had planned to talk about the apps tonight, but that will have to wait until tomorrow or the weekend. Lots to say about those. More to come… Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and the a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP This unit was provided by Forsythe Technologies in Omaha NE for review purposes.
This is the second time I have written this blog post. The first time I used the WordPress App on the TouchPad to write the entire article. Just before I was ready to post it, I tried to add one more screen shot. The process hung for about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, I never saved the post as a draft (something I will do from this point on!) and so when I closed it, the post was gone. Gone forever. Bummer. Huge WebOS fail. I am still running the software so maybe the update will fix it. I will have to try again another time. The WordPress App looks good from the start. It gives you a way to connect to multiple WordPress Accounts and perform basic maintenance. It makes available things like Comments, Posts, Pages and Stats for each site. From the Posts option, you can select Add New and create a new entry. It looks something like this…from the first time I tried this! Besides the first failed attempt, the post was easy to write with the external keyboard. I wouldn’t be really excited about trying to write a full post on with the on board keyboard, but it could be done. One note about the external Bluetooth keyboard. While it is more helpful to use when typing large amounts of text, it is not necessarily the fastest in its response. It works as expected about 80% of the time, but the other 20% it drags a bit. Just enough to make a difference. Maybe this will get fixed in the upgrade to I hear that lots of things get fixed in that upgrade. WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) As soon as I got home with the TouchPad last night, Sarah wanted to try it out. I showed her a few important icons and where the volume and home buttons were and she was off. Usually she asks me a million questions when I give her new technology, but not this time. The next thing I knew she was showing me her favorite YouTube videos. Here were her comments (written by her in the Memo App on the TouchPad): Sound is pretty amazing for a touchpad. It’s much better than my laptop speakers. The sound from ear buds is very good quality also. However the volume increments are too drastic; not subtle enough. The YouTube at full screen is pretty good quality. Fun to watch music videos on this as opposed to my laptop b/c it’s more portable and the sound is so much better. I love the idea of a Kindle app. Would love to try that out. The screen gyro is too slow. I also would like to see navigation arrows on the keyboard. It’s WAY too hard to jump in the middle of text to make corrections and I’m a woman w/ smaller fingers. -Sarah C The Good: So today I was able to really use the TouchPad full time. I was able to save an attachment from one email and attach it to another and send it to a new email address very, very quickly. I discovered that spell check is easy, accurate and most times dead right. I am a terrible speller, so every little bit helps. I found that the GPS is spot on when it comes to locating you. It didn’t matter if I was at home or at work, if found me exactly were I was. The map application uses Bing and is very awesome. Since this is a Wi-Fi only unit, following along while I travel was not an option. I could check the traffic before I left home however. Another bright spot is the calendar. It is able to combine all the calendars from all the accounts that are set up and logged in. It looks great, is easy to read, easy to shut off calendars you don’t want to see and easy to manage. Perfect for a busy guy like me! Taking screen shots is also very easy. Hold down the home button and press the power button and bam! You can then go into pictures and mail them to yourself or post them to Facebook. Couple clicks and you are done. Great for these kinds of posts. The Bad: I did have an issue when trying to view a Google spreadsheet from the web browser. It showed the cells that were in view, but would not scroll over to the cells not on the screen. I use Google docs a bunch so this part is very important to me. I will have to search for a fix to this issue. Another drawback was how picky the unit is when it comes to power chargers. When I tried to plug it into one of my generic micro USB cables attached to either a power adapter or my PC, it gave me an error message and suggested I use the cables and chargers that came with the unit. I have a bunch of those cheap chargers and would really like to use them. Guess not with the TouchPad. The speed issues that have been reported by others was very noticeable today. Still not a show stopper but something I will watch for when I upgrade the unit this weekend. Tomorrow’s another day. I hope I can get this posted before I lose this one! Hint: I used Live Writer for the second post. 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.
Two years ago I made the leap and jumped on the Palm Pre bandwagon. I still remember the day I brought it home, connected to my home wifi and started downloading from an apps store that had some 300 available applications. In those days, the Pre was a product of Palm, and the WebOS was the first multi-tasking mobile OS created. Even though the phone release was very late and the iPhone was all but dominating the market, I was on Sprint and wanted to give this new product a try. One year later, I found myself on Android! Guess that tells you how it went. In all honesty, I do think the WebOS is a great platform. It looks great and is very easy to use. It suffered from poor hardware and a lack of app titles and has never really regained the ground it lost back in 2009. In 2010, Palm was purchase by HP and since then, HP has been pumping money into the product like crazy. I have been watching and waiting. Fast forward to today and I find myself at the other end of the newly released (July 1st) HP TouchPad running the same WebOS that was on my Palm Pre those two years ago. Thanks to my friend Scott at Forsyte Technologies, I have one to test out over the next 28 days. So over the next 4 weeks, I will poke and probe, download and install and do anything else I can to get reacquainted with this old friend. Each day (or whenever I can) I will report back my findings. The goal will be to cover that days findings, good or bad, and document them here. Post your questions or comments on what you would like to see in the comments section of the post. Day 1 Scott brought the TouchPad over at lunch and we pulled it from the box. It’s the wifi only version with 32GB of memory. He also brought over a charging and docking station, a cover, a bluetooth keyboard and some extra cables. Right now, that would all retail for about $600 to $700. We took everything out of the box and started the set up. There have been a million reviews of device itself, so I will spare you with all those details. Brand new it looks great. I give them an A+ for design. Scott had already created a TouchPad Profile (Palm Profile in the old days) and I knew I was going to need to reset it in order to get the apps I purchased with my phone back (or so I thought). With a couple clicks we were resetting the unit to factory condition and the setup screen. With a few more clicks I had entered my profile info and it was downloading and restoring my data that had last been saved from my Palm Pre just 47 days ago. Believe it or now, even though I don’t use my Pre as a phone anymore, it has come in handy as a music player. It has remained in my car for just that purpose. To my surprise, all the applications that I had downloaded on my Pre were now on the TouchPad! Everything from drPodder to Yatzee for Palm’s WebOS, from Pandora to Facebook. My Email profiles also came with the profile. A nice surprise in that I didn’t need to put all those back in. Updated password and they were syncing. I was not surprise by how easy it was to set up a sync with my email at work. Email is what the WebOS did and does best and had been easy on my phone. Within a minute or two, and a few simple bits of info, and I was up and running and syncing with my Exchange email. Very simple. It did prompt me to enter a new password, part of the group policy at my employer. I entered a code (now required every time I access the device) and moved forward. The whole process had me up and running very fast. Within 30 minutes I had most things set, email downloaded and was ready to start being productive. I purposely will not upgrade the WebOS software from to whatever the latest release. This unit has gotten a bad wrap when it comes to speed and I wanted to see just how bad it was. HP has recently (like last Friday) updated the OS in hopes of making it faster. I want to spend a couple days on the early version to get a good feel for the speed issues. To be honest, it’s not really that slow so far. A couple places where it drags, but not a show stopper. Maybe I will see more with more testing. Even though I have an external keyboard, the on board keyboard was easy to use right out of the chute. It took a few minutes to get use to it, but once I got the hang of it, it felt okay to use like a normal keyboard. You do have to be very careful where you place your hand. I had few misspelled words for the first couple tries. It found my printer! I did a screen shot and was trying to figure out how to email it to myself and discovered the print button. Not only did it find my network printer without ANY setup, it printed it quite nicely! This was a huge surprise. Since HP is a printer company, I guess they might be good at that! All and all, not a bad first day! There will be plenty more apps to try and things to do, for now, Sarah gets a shot at it! Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and the a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP This unit was provided by Forsythe Technologies in Omaha NE for review purposes.
BIOS-Mods, Music in the Cloud, Nemo Docs, HP TouchPad, Facial Recognition, Cell Phone Rescue and Hamster Powered Computing – HT029
Jim, Andrew and Christian are joined by Jason, one of the developers at , for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. The guys fire off with Christian filling us in with most recent project, Christian-Net, which is his project to create a digital life archive! Jason and Christian give us an insight into what the guys do over at , with respect to adding new features and over clocking your PC. The guys can alter most features on a motherboard, as well as adding new features that may have been hidden by the manufacturer. Jim kicks off a discussion about moving your music to the cloud, following on from good friend of the show Brian Burgess’ article over at Information Week, comparing Apple’s new iCloud music service with Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player, as well as “Private Cloud” services such as Subsonic. Listen Mobile: Andrew brings us a new piece of software, Nemo Documents, which is a nifty piece of software that enables you to track your document editing in a calendar view. Coming out of the HP Discover Conference, held this week in Vegas, we now have a launch date for the HP TouchPad, the WebOS competitor to the Apple iPad. WebOS fans have been waiting for this device for some time now, and it will be hitting the market on July 1, 2011, with pre-order being available from mid-June. Pricing has been indicated to be competitive with the iPad, being $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version, and $599 for the 32GB Wi-Fi version. The guys discuss the use of the various mobile operating systems (Apple iOS, Google Android, HP WebOS and Microsoft Windows 7 Tablet Edition) that we are beginning to see come to market, and potential uses in medical, education and enterprise businesses. From Christians’ Corner, the Tweak-of-the-Week comes from our guest, Jason, which is a tweak that adds a raft of features to the context (right-click) menu, and is available from Jasons’ blog F3-MODS. The Deal-of-the-Week is the SAMSUNG 12X BD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive from , a great buy at $, and includes SATA cables, mounting screws and all the software you need to make your PC Blu-ray ready! Christian talks to us about Facebook prompting for enabling your Facebook E-Mail and letting your friends send you SMS messages directly from Facebook. Whilst talking about Facebook, Christian reminds us about the Facial Recognition issues we’ve read about over at PC World, which are associated with the Facebook image tagging feature. Christian shares some of his visions as to where image tagging can become extremely useful for purposes, such as unlocking your account by naming tagged friends. The guys talk about the accuracy of facial recognition from systems such as Facebook and Microsoft Live Gallery. Jason brings us news of a High School using school issued computers to use the inbuilt webcams to take photographs and videos without the students being aware of the activity. The guys discuss being careful to understand what the usage policies mean when you are issued with by your school or company. Jason tells us about Best Buy’s plans to downsize and become a specialty store, focusing on retail outlets selling items such as tablet computers and smartphones. The guys wrap up the show with Jason introducing us to an solution to what for some, can be a very common problem – rescuing a cell phone that has been immersed in water. And finally, for those of you who have long dreamt of a hamster powered computer, then the wait is over, as seen in the Worth 1000 Photo Effects Contest…. 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
How to use Team Viewer, Technet and Action Pack, Mac Mini, IE 9 RC, Windows 7 Family Pack, Magic Wake on LAN and Special Guest Andrew Morris – HT011
We tried 4 guys for the show this week and welcomed guest host Andrew Morris from Melbourne, Australia the this week’s #160; In a very full show, we talked about the Team Viewer application, some discussion around the differences between Microsoft’s Technet and Action Pack software subscription services, the release of IE 9 RC, Bing’s gaining on Google, Facebook’s Q4 revenue, Brian newest post at AppAdvice, the Mac Mini, Windows 7 Family Pack, Christian’s WHS addin Magic Wake on LAN, W7 and 2008r2 Service Pack 1, Guitar Hero getting the axe, HP releases new WebOS offerings including a tablet, Media Browser and HTC Home! It was a full show! Listen Mobile: Show Notes · Study Shows Bing is More Accurate Than Google, and It’s Gaining Share · Facebook Earned 250 Million in Q4 and Profits are Growing at an Astounding Rate · Team Viewer · Action Pack for MS Software · TechneNet Subscriptions · Download Internet Explorer 9 RC · Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack · Activision Kills Guitar Hero · HP Announces Plans to Bring webOS to the PC & Introduces TouchPad Tablet and Two Phones · Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Available February 22nd · Guest – Andrew Morris from Media · HP Pavilion DM1Z with AMD Fusion Review · HP ProBook 4320s How To Get Your Facebook Email Now Quick Advice: IM All Your Friends on Every Network with Palringo 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.