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

The Future of WebOS, Ringtone Revenue, Multiple Skype Accounts, Chrome gets the Metro UI, Microsoft Touch Mouse, and Google does a Barrel Roll – HT051

Jim and Andrew are joined this week by John Zajdler and Gordon Schmidt for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. The guys start off the show discussing the recent news that HP is retaining the Personal Systems Group, and if HP will keep WebOS, and where HP could use WebOS in their existing product lines, such as the possibility of integrating a WebOS control panel into the enterprise level multifunction devices, or even the home printer, with the possibility of being able to edit photos without using a PC before printing. At this time, as reported by Business Insider, HP do not have any plan for WebOS. Listen LIVE at 6pP/8C/9E/1aUTC every Thursday night over at Listen Mobile: The guys discuss their use of printing these days, with most using their multifunction devices primarily as a scanner, rather than a printer, before discussing the penetration of email into peoples lives. The guys move on to discuss the online revenue generated by music downloads, with of the market being downloaded ringtones, with a total revenue of $2, million dollars, subscription services accounting for , and the remainder being other download services, at   Read more over at All Things D The guys talk about the merits of downloading a ringtone vs creating your own from music you currently own.  The guys go on to discuss some of the features of modern smart phones, and the ease of migrating to a new phone. Andrew talks about running multiple instances of Skype on the one computer, with the purpose of using one account for dialing free-call numbers, and using another as a regular Skype account, with a credit balance on the Skype account.               To launch two Skype accounts, simply allow your regular account to start as normal, open a command prompt, and type in: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\” /secondary if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows, or “C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\” /secondary if you are using a 32-bit version of Windows, and login to your second account using the login screen. Starting Skype like this can be run multiple times, allowing you to log into Skype as a different user each time. Each time you start Skype like this it will add another Skype icon to your task bar, which can be controlled individually. The guys discuss the benefits of using Voice Over IP (VOIP) either via using Skype, or a third-party provider, and “cutting the cord” by disconnecting your landline telephone service. Andrew tells us about the latest “Easter Egg” at Google, known as “The Barrel Roll”.  To check this out, open Google Chrome, or Firefox, and in the Google Search Box, type in “Do a Barrel Roll”, and watch the page spin around!  An older Google Easter Egg is to type in TILT in the Search Box, and the entire page tilts to the right. For those of you that love the Metro UI on the Windows 8 Developer Preview, and Windows Phone 7, but also love using Google Chrome, the Metro UI has come to the Chrome Browser, in the form of Awesome New Tab Page. The guys spend some time on the ongoing discussion that impacts most folks, around smart phone updates, and choice of device, given the ever changing technology, and how it may fit in with their lives. Gordon talks about the new Microsoft Touch Mouse he has recently purchased, which “makes navigating Windows 7 a breeze”.  The Touch Mouse is a touch enabled device, that lets you use gestures on the surface of the mouse to improve transitions between various open windows and sessions with Windows 7 – Gordon tells us how he uses it to improve his Windows experience, especially when using multiple monitors. Be sure to check out the Microsoft Touch Mouse over at Microsoft Hardware. Gordon also talks about how he uses apps from within the Google Chrome Web Store (Chrome Web Apps) to keep track of the sites he visits regularly, and how it allows him to click on an icon to open the web application he wants to visit. 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

A Challenger to Macbook Air, World Wide Launch of The Full Fo-Shay and Skype Consumed – HT048

Jim and Andrew and Christian are joined by Rich O’Neil from Rich’s Random Podcast Generator here at The Average Guy for this week’s installment of the Home Tech Podcast. Christian Corner: An update’s from Christian’s Desk: The resolution to the security system: World Wide Launch of a new Term: The Full Fo-Shay Listen LIVE every Thursday night at @ 5pP/7pC/8pE Listen Mobile:   Rich has moved from Firefox to Chrome as his browser.  Wondering how to get to all the features in Chrome?  chrome://about 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

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

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 Tech

HP TouchPad / WebOS: The 28 Day Experiment – Day 3

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.
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