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

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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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
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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
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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
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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
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Home Tech

HP TouchPad / WebOS: The 28 Day Experiment – Day 5

Well, I’m back on the WordPress app in WebOS and even using the on screen keyboard to write this post, I can’t say its the fastest way to write a post, but it is #160; Spell check is very helpful in some cases and maybe too helpful in #160; I would try to write like this all the #160; That wireless keyboard can really be handy. If you read day 2 – Saving Draft Now! Okay, that didn’t work like I #160; When I selected Save Draft, I expected it to just save and allow me to keep #160; Instead it saved it and closed out the #160; Not very helpful if you are saving your document on a regular basis.     When typing using the screen keyboard, its really hard to see the #160; I find myself watching the keyboard and not the screen. Another drawback is that every touch means something gets #160; It takes a bit of getting use #160; You kind of have to hover your fingers over the #160; That would get a bit much for a long #160; That being said, I am still going on the screen keyboard. Inserting pictures is still a pain within the WordPress #160; That could be an #160; I could always fix it later using a PC and Windows Live Writer after it has been published as a draft but doesn’t that defeat the purpose?  While the app is good, it could still use some #160; It’s no WLW. So far  have been getting a day out of each #160; It also seems slow to charge on the stand that has the inductive charger on #160; If I use the micro USB plug, it charges much #160; Takes a couple of hours to get a complete charge from about 10%.  Not great, but not the end of the world. I received and email to from a listener who had this to say about this new TouchPad. As far as tablets go, I recently experimented with an Asus Transformer for about 3 #160; It was actually very very good, but I returned it for now until I decide which phone/tablet "ecosystem" to go with for the next couple of #160; IMO, Honeycomb was decent and I loved the keyboard dock, but nothing compares to the ease of use and the card switching / multitasking with #160; The WAF will certainly be much higher than with Honeycomb since she currently has webOS as #160; After returning the Transformer, I bought the TP last week with the Staples $100 off coupon and the $100 HP #160; Great deal for a 32GB tablet for $#160; If you are looking for accessories, the HP website is selling them for 20% off right now — much less expensive than Staples. The main think keeping me wondering about WebOS for my own long term (hence my ‘kind of…" comment above…), is the app #160; In most categories, I’m totally happy Great podcast manager, DrPodder which I know you is a favorite of yours, great Facebook app, and multiple good Twitter #160; But so many web services are missing and it really has begun to bug me:  no DLNA client or controller for home wifi streaming, no Amazon music or Google Music beta for on-the-go streaming, no Netflix, no apps for so many  web sites and services – fitness sites, document editing is supposedly coming, #160; I’m hoping that will be resolved in the next 6 #160; Maybe Kindle’s move to an HTML5 ‘app’ for iPhone / iPad will lead more companies to go that route and develop cross-platform HTML5 compliant web apps — which is really webOS idealized since the whole development platform is now really Javascript. I will talk more about some of the apps in my weekend #160; They are going to take a little more time! Happy Friday night!
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