Home Gadget Geeks

Windows Server 2012 Essentials Revisited, Sucuri, Yahoo Security Leaks, SkyDrive Updates, Pogoplug – HT080

Jim and Christian are joined this week by Renny Phipps for Show 80 of The Home Tech Podcast.  Christian spent a bunch of time redesigning the site this last weekend.  If you not reading this on the site, stop out to   We also produced a special Windows Server 2012 Essentials first look early in the week.  If you missed it, you can catch it here. MozyPro–secure online backup for businesses Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Listen Mobile: We didn’t want to rehash the Windows Home Server topic from last week, but we couldn’t help have a quick chat about it.  If you haven’t download the beta of WS2012e, you can download it from and join in the discussion over at the Home Server Show Forums.  Link to building a Windows 8 Home Server is HERE.  Of course Christian brought up using Subsonic as a media server. Yahoo announced that about 400k Voice accounts had been leaked to the internet in the clear.  You can check to see if your email and password are now in the wild by using or a site we have mentioned before at   Check your accounts today. Because Renny struggles with his internet speed, he likes to run the tool namebench, an Open-Source DNS Benchmark Utility.  It hunts down the fastest DNS servers available for your computer to use. namebench runs a fair and thorough benchmark using your web browser history, tcpdump output, or standardized datasets in order to provide an individualized recommendation. namebench is completely free and does not modify your system in any way. This project began as a 20% project at Google.  namebench runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and UNIX, and is available with a graphical user interface as well as a command-line interface. We talked some about the newest update to the SkyDrive App from Microsoft.  The Update is automatically for most users or you can download the most updated directly from Microsoft.  The Announced: Today, many SkyDrive users may notice an automatic update to SkyDrive for Windows (Version ).  The update gets you a new status windows as well as the new SkyDrive logo.  Look for an update coming to a PC near you! (if you use SkyDrive) Jim spent some time walking through his newly purchased Pogoplug device.  Taking advantage of the free offer from Pogoplug and the $20 family plan, he had set off to testing it. Pros – 3 USB Ports and they will accept flash drives.  Backup service is easy to run and stays on all the time.  Have some ability to dictate what gets backed up.  Storage is only limited by the amount of storage you attach to it. Cons – Drobo not supported at the moment. No Drive Pooling (didn’t really think that was coming) Next week we are joined by Bill Paulmenn. 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: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
Continue Reading »
Home Gadget Geeks

Windows Home Server, Photo Management and more on Windows 8 – HT079

Jim, Christian and Andrew are joined this week by Chris Lux and John Zajdler for Show 79 of The Home Tech Podcast. This week, it’s a Windows show, with the guys starting off talking about the recent Microsoft announcement relating to the Windows Server 2012 lineup, which removes Windows Home Server and Windows Small Business Server as a dedicated product lines. The new Windows Server 2012 Essentials does carry a higher price tag than Windows Home Server, which may prove interesting for the future of the product in the home. The guys discuss the future of the home server, and if a combination of Windows 8, Storage Spaces and various Cloud Services such as Sky Drive will provide an adequate replacement Windows Home Server for The Average Guy. Listen Mobile:   Jim and Chris talk about photo management, for those who use the camera phone as their main camera.  Jim uses a syncing service such as Dropbox, which automatically sync your photos to the cloud, and then edits the photos that he wants to edit.  Chris talks about taking photos when on a family vacation, downloading to the PC, and burning copies of all of the images so that everyone in the family has a copy of the same photos.  Google has a new feature in the Events for Google Plus, which lets you tag photos and upload to the Event. Christian talks about Classic Shell, a “Classic Start Menu” replacement for the Windows Start Menu, including recent updates which enable the Windows 8 Metro interface to be disabled. The guys close out with some more talk about the Windows 8 interface, and the path they think Microsoft may take once the product reaches the market, and large scale deployment. The Average Guy Facebook Page The Average Guy 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 Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
Continue Reading »
Home Gadget Geeks

Commodore 64, Dropbox, Facebook, Home OS, Lead Recycling, Timex Sinclair 1000 – HT069

The guys are joined by Bryan Auer and Rich O’Neil for show 69 of The Home Tech Podcast. The guys start off learning some about the lead recycling business that Bryan works in, with Bryan telling us how lead-acid batteries, and other lead containing products are recycled into re-usable components. Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Listen Mobile: Jim and Bryan take a trip down technology’s memory lane, back to the days of the Commodore Pet, and the Timex Sinclair 1000 Jim talks about the recent updates to Google Plus, with the interface being revised, making the service easier to navigate, and simpler to #160; There are also some nice new features such as the ability to broadcast a Google Hangout, rather than using a third party service like Live #160; The guys discuss some of the newly accessible features such as simplification of photo uploading, and the introduction of games to Google Plus. As a follow up to previous discussions, Jim tells us how he has configured his Samsung Galaxy SII, Dropbox and the Windows Home Server to make sure the photos he takes using his phone are not only copied from the phone, but are being backed up as well. Whilst talking about Android and applications, the guys talk about the recent $1 billion acquisition of Instagram by Facebook. For those who haven’t yet used it, Instagram integrates with the camera in your smart phone, to which you can apply a filter, and then post it to the Instagram service, Facebook, Twitter and the blogging service #160; Instagram usage statistics are incredible, as shown by our friends over at the  Digital Buzz #160; Rich talks about some of the privacy concerns with the Facebook acquisition, and the future of the application now it is part of the Facebook community. Jim talks about the recent surge in the popularity of digital photography, which the guys attribute in part to the affordability of good quality digital cameras, as well as the quality of the camera built into most smart phones. Rich shares his experiences with his Android smart phone journey, having tried the Samsung Galaxy SII Skyrocket, iPhone 4S, finally settling on the Samsung Galaxy SII. Rich shares some of the applications he has found and purchased, and some of the processes he has employed to improve his experience with the Samsung phone, not to mention installing Ubuntu Linux onto the phone. Christian joins the show half way through, and spreads the news that he is now loose on the roads, as a licensed driver, passing his test with full marks! Bryan talks about the passing of Jack Tramiel, who was the founder of Commodore Business Machines, whose claims to fame were the Commodore PET, and Commodore 64, as well as the Atari ST. The guys take another trip down memory lane, reminiscing about the early days of the IT Industry as we know it. Bryan also tells us about one of the Microsoft Research projects being HomeOS which promises to be an Operating System to run home automation systems from, with the product currently having support for a range of devices including switches, cameras and TV’s. To close out the show this week, Christian tells us about the forthcoming Intel PCIe-based SSD, designed for data center systems, but with some phenomenal performance numbers, as well as telling us about a Yahoo! Finance article about who is watching you on Facebook! 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! You can also join us at at 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: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
Continue Reading »
Home Gadget Geeks

Drobo S, Computer Recycling, Upgrading Your Internet, No More Landline, HD Home Run Prime – HT049

Jim and Andrew are joined by Gary Johnson at The Average Guy for this week’s installment of the Home Tech Podcast. After the introductions, and weather reports from around the world, the guys kick off the show, talking about Jims’ search for a miniature computer to match to a Drobo S, and run Windows Home Server 2011. Gary warns against small form factor machines that can trap heat inside the case, and recommends using a drive such as the Seagate Momentus XT for a system drive for performance gains. Listen LIVE every Thursday night at @ 6pP/8pC/9pE Listen Mobile: The guys talk about PC recycling programs – Andrew talks about the PC’s for Kids program that runs in Australia, which donates computers to children who are physically, mentally or economically handicapped.  From the chat, we get recommendations of Freecycle, a global organization who are all about “giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.”  Jim recycles his old equipment through Best Buy.  Remember, if you are recycling a PC, that you either remove and destroy the hard drive, or use a program such as DBAN or Secure Erase to securely erase your data before recycling a PC if you don’t want to, or don’t know how to remove the hard drive. Andrew talks about the possibility of upgrading his home Internet connection, moving from an ADSL 8 mbps connection to a Cable connection at 30 mbps. While talking about in-house services, Jim tells us that he has finally disconnected the phone line in his family home.  The guys discuss the price benefits of VOIP vs land lines, and the various providers and methods for saving on phone bills. The guys talk about the upcoming change of IP addressing from the current IPV4 standard to the new IPV6 system.  Jim talks about a new concept being thought about, being the building of a network in space, to ultimately allow network connectivity for space craft – watch this space! Gary gives an update on the HD Home Run Prime he purchased a couple of months back, from Silicon Dust, and some of the issues that he and his family are seeing when they try to stream video over their wireless network, versus working perfectly on the wired network. The guys talk briefly about some late breaking news, relating to HP retaining the Personal Systems Group, as reported by our friends over at ZDNet, and the potential for the HP Touchpad to run Windows 8, as is also being rumored around the Internet. Gary talks about the increase in hard drive prices that have been since the the Japan Tsunami and the more recent flooding in Thailand, where most of the hard drives on the market are manufactured. The guys talk some more about the recent word added to the Urban Dictionary last week by Rich O’Neil, being The Full Fo-Shay. The guys talk about some of the rumored upcoming mobile phone devices such as the ASUS Transformer 2, and an article Gary has found talking about 18 TB drives being made possible using table salt! Be sure to listen to the show after the music finishes, to hear about Mike Howards’ recent Windows Home Server 2011 adventures! 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
Continue Reading »
Drobo

The Home Tech Podcast: Drobo Special from San Jose, CA

Listen to the Podcast: Listen Mobile: Jim is with Mario Blandini from Drobo and a visit to their international headquarters in San Jose for the first ever Home Tech Podcast from Drobo.  Mario and Jim talk about Drobo product direction, hardware vs software development, RAID usage and even some new product announcements!  Drobo is now shipping a new 12 bay Drobo for enterprise business that need more storage. Mario also breaks down some of the new naming convention for the latest line and talks about the future of expanding Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology.  He also covers some of the future when it comes to using smaller form factor drives and responds to the hacking community.  Jim gives Mario some ideas of what he would like to see in the future including some tips for the Home Server Community. Mario also announces the first ever Drobo on Windows Home Server 2011 Add-in challenge.  If you are a Windows Home Server Add-in developer and write a successful add-in for the WHS 2011 platform that manages a Drobo unit, Drobo will reward you with one!  For details, watch for the “official announcement” over at the after Wednesday night’s live show (10/12/2011) Love it or $$$$ it, this is a show you will not want to miss. Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: 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
Continue Reading »
Home Gadget Geeks

The New Kindle, Amazon Prime, Ford Mustang Customizer, HD HomeRun PRIME, Home Storage, and ISP Modems – HT045

Jim and Andrew and Gary Johnson are joined by Gordon Schmidt and John Hughes for this week’s installment of the Home Tech Podcast. After a timely reminder that the podcast feed will be changed next week, the guys kick off the show. Jim starts off, talking about the new Kindle range of eBook readers, announced by Amazon this week, with the new range starting at $79 for the Kindle 6” model, all the way up to $199 for the new Kindle Fire, which is 7” has a color display, and runs Android, with the Amazon Silk Browser.  The 6” model is available now, with the larger and color units becoming available in November this year.  While talking about Amazon products, the guys discuss Amazon Prime, as well as Netflix and Redbox, and cutting the cable. Listen Mobile: Andrew talks about the Ford Mustang Customizer on the Ford website, which lets you build a completely customized Ford Mustang, complete with custom background, and burnouts!  No Knight Rider lights are available though… Gary steps in for Christian this week, and for Christians’ Corner brings us the NewEgg 72 hour Labour Day sale, where he found the Seagate XT 3TB Hard Drive at $149, using a promotional code of EMCKAHA26.  Sign up for Newegg’s Daily Deals via email, to be sure to get yourself a regular tech bargain. Gary gets the HD Home Run fans drooling by telling us about adding a Silicon Dust HD Home Run PRIME into their home network, and streaming content via their Verizon FIOS connection.  Gary gives a few tips on getting the unit for the best possible price, found over at J&R. For the security conscious amongst us, Gary shares a link over at the How-To Geek, that shows how long your cellular phone provider retains your text messages, call logs and other information – something to be mindful of if you’ve sent the odd text message you wish you hadn’t! For Christians’ Speed tip of the Week, Gary tells us about an article over at PC Stats, which talks about Intel Smart Response Technology, which boosts the performance of a regular spinning hard drive by caching frequently accessed data. John talks to us about his Synology DS411+II NAS, and the features it has, including: RAID (4 drive bays up to 12TB), PC backups, IP Camera Surveillance Station, DLNA/uPNP Media Server, SqueezeBox Server, OpenVPN and a bittorrent client, just to name a few.   Check it out over at the Synology website, and look forward to Johns’ review over at the Home Server Show website soon.  If you are looking for a solution that “just works” this could be an alternative to Windows Home Server. Gordon helps wrap up the show with some tips for getting more control over your broadband modem, and learning what the parameters you see in the configuration screens mean, to make sure you are getting the value you should be receiving from your ISP. If you are not sure if you are getting the speed you are paying for, you can always test the performance of your Internet connection using services such as , Speakeasy and PC PitStop. Don’t forget our feed location is changing this week – click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
Continue Reading »
Home Gadget Geeks

Android Apps, Google Products, Phones, Getting Things Done, and Loyalty Card Apps – HT030

Jim, Andrew and Christian are joined by Gordon Schmidt for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast. Christians’ latest tech news for the Home Server crowd is that the BIOS for an HP EX485 MediaSmart server can be recovered if becomes corrupted #160; If you have somehow corrupted the BIOS on your MediaSmart Server, you can check out how to recover your MediaSmart Server BIOS over at BIOS-Mods. Listen Mobile: In a Windows Home Server bent, Gordon fills us in on upgrade to Windows Home Server 2011, and his coding project in conjunction with his brothers, to bring additional information into the Home Server #160; Gordon tells us how he manages the storage drives with Windows Home Server, and how he manages his external backups using an ioSafe external hard disk. Christian gives us a sneak peek into his Summer vacation projects, assisting some of the local organizations in his area to bring some efficiencies to their businesses via web based services. Gordon starts off this week, bringing us some Android apps that let you start working smarter, not #160; Chrome to Phone, is a Google Chrome browser extension that lets you send the web page you are viewing on your PC directly to you Android #160; A great app if you are looking at a web page you want to keep reading as you head away from the PC. While talking about Google Products, Jim discusses Google Voice, which integrates voice calling into your GMail #160; The service provides a single contact number, and lets you make free calls and send free text messages within the and Canada, as well as providing an integrated voicemail service directly into your GMail Inbox in the form of a transcribed #160; Jim and Gordon talk about their practical application of Google Voice, using it to advertise a car, yet not advertise his mobile phone number to the public. For the Android users amongst us, Gordon tells us about the Amazon Appstore for Android, who each day, give away a paid app at no #160; Gordon also tells us about AppBrain, which is a a free Android service that remembers what you have installed on your phone, and in the event of having to restore your phone to default, you can easily re-install your applications. Following on from Show #28, where we discussed RSS Readers, Gordon tells us about how he uses Google Reader to manage his RSS reading, tagging, sharing, and podcast management, all from within the Google Reader #160; You can follow Gordons’ shared Google Reader feed via the Google Reader Shared Items feature. Gordon brings us Hard Forums, a reference site he uses for unique hardware configurations, to be able to reference hardware specs and compatibility, the guys discuss their sources for hardware research, including AnandTech, OverClockers, and our good friends over at the BYOB #160; The guys briefly discuss the merits of overclocking for the average home user versus ongoing system stability and longevity and power efficiency. Andrew gives an update on the power output from the output of the solar panel system installed a couple of weeks #160; For those who missed the link previously, Andrew visually tracks the output and efficiency from the solar panel installation over at Launching into Christians’ Corner, we now have an intro, recorded by Christian himself, using Jam Studio, which has enabled Christian to create a backing track, and overlay the audio using Audacity. Christians’ Speed Tip of the Week is more of a power efficiency tip, where he walks us through how to tweak CPU performance via the Windows 7 Power Options, which will in turn slow down fan speed, and system #160; Christian then tells us how to validate the changes after you have made them. The Deal-of-the-Week is the Lian-Li PC-C33B HTPC Case, which looks just like a piece of home entertainment equipment, and will only set you back $, from Christians App of the week is ClipGrab, which is a downloader and converter that will convert videos from online sources including YouTube, Vimeo and other sites and transcode them into MP4 #160; This is an incredibly useful application if you need to embed a video into a PowerPoint presentation or to copy onto an iPod or other mobile media device for sharing with friends. Christian shares the Engadget Review of the HTC EVO 3D, one of the latest Android phones about to hit the market from HTC, a mouth watering offering coming soon to Sprint in the USA. Andrew brings us Natural Reader, an application that will read highlighted text from any #160; There are free and paid versions available for both PC and Mac users. Andrew reaches out to the listener community about choosing a Personal Productivity / Getting Things Done application to better help manage the Inbox in #160; So far, he has looked at SimplyFile from TechHit (which builds rules based on Outlook email movement), and Xobni (which builds statistics around emails that are received and sent).  Jim talks about The Other Inbox which integrates with online email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo!Mail. To wrap up the show, the guys talk about the recent mobile applications released from Starbucks which allow you to pay for your caffeine hit, directly from your mobile phone, as well as the mobile application called CardStar, which allows you to load all of your loyalty cards into your phone, and simply scan your card at the cash register. Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network
Continue Reading »