Home Tech

HP TouchPad is Back! Well, Sort of Back?

I made a big deal about the HP TouchPad just a couple months back and even dropped a few reviews here at the Average Guy ().  But as most of us know by now, HP decided to get out of the table business (later reversed) sold them for $99/$149, quickly sold out and we thought we would never see them again, right?  WRONG! I first saw this at Best Buy, and today I saw the same thing at #160; They are back at $149, but with a catch!  (click the graphic to see the deal) HP TouchPad FB356UT Tablet – WebOS , Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual-Core APQ8060 , 1GB Memory, 32GB Internal Storage, ; XGA Capacitive Touch, a/b/g/n Ok…so it’s not $99 and you have to buy an HP Laptop or Desktop to get the $150 rebate, but if you were doing that anyway, would you pull the trigger on this?  Good luck and happy hunting!
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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

Headsets, Keyboards, Mouse Without Borders, TouchPad, Windows 8 – HT044

Jim and Andrew and Christian are joined by Gary Johnson for this week’s installment of the Home Tech Podcast. After some chat about the benefit of purchasing a decent quality headset if you are getting into podcasting, the guys kick the show off. Listen Mobile: Jim tells us about a letter received from Cox Communication after he and his family exceeded their expected data usage in a month by 150GB, from a family member catching up on TV episodes via Netflix streaming – a bit of a reminder to those who are on excess charge Internet plans, that this would have been a super-expensive exercise had Jim had to pay for extra GB #160; The guys discuss the various Internet plans they use, and the value of bundling Internet and video services. Hot on the heels of last weeks’ talk about the PC control software Input Director, the guys talk about the software release from the Microsoft Garage, Mouse Without #160; Check out the video from The Garage on from when Mouse Without Borders was released. The guys talk about how they use their multiple monitor setups, and how multiple monitors can increase your productivity, especially when editing something like a website, and being able to make changes on one screen and see the outcome on another, without swapping windows or applications. Andrew also talks about the arrival of his HP Touchpad, and his first impressions of using the device, as well as some of the accessories, including the Touch Stone charger, and Bluetooth keyboard that are available for the #160; The guys then go on to discuss keyboards, such as the Apple Mac keyboard, and the various keyboards they have been using over the past few years, and their preferences for wired or wireless keyboards. In Christians’ Corner this week, we talk about the Windows 8 Developer Preview, which hit the wire during the #160; Christian and Jim talk about their experiences with the Preview so #160; If you’re interested in seeing the “Next Windows”, it is downloadable from the Microsoft Developer Network, and will be sure to attract a lot of conversation in the coming months. Christian also talks about the price drop in DDR3 memory that we have seen happening in the past couple of months – if you’re looking to upgrade your memory, now could be the time! Christians’ Tip of the Week is the Glary Utilities, an all-in-one utility, which helps you fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. After a bunch of Skype failures, Gary talks about a couple of hard drive failures, with Windows Home Server saving the day for restoring the system to a new disk, and having Gary back up in running in no #160; Gary tells us about his very positive experience in having an RMA processed by Samsung for a couple of failed hard disks. The guys talk some more about Windows 8, and the benefits of upgrading, and how the enterprise is still using older technologies, for various reasons. The show wraps up, with Gary talking about the benefit of pulling the trigger on a purchase when stock is available, following an experience of deciding to perform an upgrade, only to find that his system board of choice was no longer available. 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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Rich

Rich’s Random Podcast Generator: Phablet – a phone approaching the size of a tablet – RRPG004

This week we stray a bit from the usual tech talk with a couple of discussions: how we get our news, and one in particular – the current state of writing skills. As Jim and Mike are both involved in hiring new personnel at their respective companies, they see a number of resumes. However, their actual interview processes vary a good deal from each other. Mike takes the more traditional approach by first reviewing the resume, which had better be well-written or it hits the trash can. Jim’s company, on the other hand, begins by having the applicants take an online test and gets around to the resume later in the process. It’s interesting to hear each perspective, and yet each way seems to work well. Listen Mobile:   Rich is running with a new mic setup this week – an SM58 going through an M-Audio Fast Track USB audio interface. He’s replacing his Logitech ClearChat Pro headset mic which he thinks is too thin sounding and lacking a smooth dynamic response.   Tim Black loves his Blue Yeti, an excellent microphone for less than $90 – big sound in close proximity. Tim sets his on a desk a few feet away so we don’t get a true representation of what this mic can do, but take our word; it’s a good bang for the buck. And we still don’t know how Jim gets all that sound out of an $39 Plantronics headset. Some suspect he has a Heil PR40 hanging overhead, just out of sight.     Tim shares a happy tale of how he recovered a ton of accidentally deleted music files with Piriform’s Recuva. Mike’s had a similar experience, using PhotoRec to recover a bunch of photos from a thumb drive. Mike is finally getting around to redoing his unRAID setup. He’s not been happy with his server’s performance, but a new SATA card will give his parity drive much better throughput and boost the overall read/write speeds. He’ll also update the unRAID OS which resides on a thumb drive. Crazy! We can’t wait to hear how it goes. Hey, have you seen the Samsung Galaxy Note? This is one huge phone, on the order of a small tablet. Or as our friend Gary Johnson says, this thing’s a phablet!   And finally, yet another HP TouchPad update. HP will be doing another production run, but the guys think they might try to squeeze folks for $250 instead of selling them for the fire-sale price of $99 which sent them flying off store shelves in the first place. Jim goes off on a bit of a rant over HP’s handling of the whole affair, channeling well-known HP antagonist Christian Johnson. In the show this week: Jim Collison, Rich O’Neil, Mike Howard, John Zajdler, Tim Black Rich’s RPG is a weekly show hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil. We talk tech with other like-minded folks, using Google + hangout to facilitate our discussions. Together we cover whatever’s interesting – hot or not, current or historical. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. Join us!   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
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Home Gadget Geeks

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

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

Does Your HP WebOS TouchPad Need a Turbo Boost? Feeling Like It’s a Little Slow?

Of all the strange places, I found this thread over at the Home Server Show #160; Erik Chavez (texasPl in the HSS Forums) posted some feedback on his overclocking experience with his new TouchPad as well as a great deal on a cover from a source that might surprise you. Disclaimer:  Overclocking your HP Tablet could result in a bricked unit and is at your own #160; The Average Guy accepts no responsibility for the content or results of the #160; If it works however, we get all the credit! Here is what Eric had to say. Here’s the forum thread he followed to overclock:   Overall I found WebOS to be fun to use and I agree with your write up on the browser, it is one of the best I’ve ever used. The problem I noticed was that scrolling was not as smooth as say the iPad 2 (which I also own). So once you install Preware you can look through the items there for various tweaks to browser, system etc. One of my favorites has been a tweak to allow video to continue when you card the video player so that you can move to another application and then return without interrupting your video. Preware is like Cydia for iOS in that it has feeds and packages. Once Preware and Govnah are installed, you should see the first two icons circled below (Preware and Govnah). Depending on what you install from Preware, you’ll also see an icon for your kernel (in my case F15C Eagle) and for Tweaks which has a number of tweaks to better the user experience like the scrolling issue I mentioned before. This is not an exhaustive installation guide, but will give you the basics. When you open up Preware it’ll update all the feeds and packages to ensure you have the latest ones. After that, you’ll see the screen below. If you click on "Available Packages" you’ll get the following screen that breaks them down into categories. I am using a dark theme for Preware so don’t be alarmed if your background does not look exactly the same. The default is a white background. You can change it later if you wish in the Preware preferences as shown in the following two screen shots. The following screen is an example of the patches and tweaks I have installed. Finally, I just noticed today that there has been an update to the overclocking kernel I am using that allows you to boost it to (I have not yet tried it).   I’m not sure this is related or not as I did not use the Touchpad long enough before overclocking but my battery life has not been too good. I’ve grown accustomed to the longevity of the iPad but with the Touchpad, it pretty much runs down in a day while in standby. I think the WiFi does not sleep as I get email notifications even while it’s in a sleep state. I don’t think it is the overclock because it just overclocks on demand. When I check Govnah it shows it at about 433mhz on the home screen and it jumps up to the full when apps are loaded etc. Like I said, I’m not sure it is related but I thought it important to point out. I also wanted to add that for those looking for an inexpensive case, I have found the Griffin Elan Folio for the iPad 1 to be an excellent fit. All ports and controls are fully accessible. Almost as it were made for the Touchpad. Verizon Wireless has then for $ or if you have an employer discount like I do, it came out to $ or 25% off. I ordered this before Office Depot dropped the price of the official HP case to $ I may have sprung for that instead but the reviews on its quality make me wonder whether it is worth it. The only reason I might spring for it is because of it is supposed to work with the Touchstone charging dock, I’m not sure if the Griffin would work. Here’s a link of to the Griffin: Link Click to enlarge any image:   Special Thanks to Erik Chavez for this incredible write up. What have been your experiences with the TouchPad?  Got one coming yet? Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and the and a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP His unit was provided by Forsythe Technologies in Omaha NE for review purposes. Please feel free to leave comments at our Facebook Group Page
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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?
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