Showing posts with label Geek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geek. Show all posts

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Parenting and Texting

With all the concern about kids and sexting (or other inappropriate messaging), why don't the mobile phone companies offer a service to parents that delivers a report via e-mail of all text messages and images sent from a child's phone? It seems like an easy way to keep tabs on the kids. It also might encourage the older ones to get a job and pay for their own phone service.

GPS Enhancement

Why won't GPS devices let you use a phone number to look up an address? It couldn't be that hard to do. Entering a 10 digit number would be easier than spelling out a street and city. I know it wouldn't be perfect, but it seems like there has to be a better way to input your destination.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dell Inspiron Duo

The Inspiron Duo looks really slick. It is a netbook and touch-screen table for $550. I've been testing some netbooks for use in our manufacturing facility to replace some legacy, industrial equipment. We need a Windows device, so we can run out VB .NET apps and the touch screen would be a nice feature.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Logitech Remote

I've been using a Logitech Harmony 880 remote for years. My wife loved the simplicity of pressing one button that turned on all the required devices, set the inputs/outputs correctly, etc. She especially liked the "Help" button that would walk through the sequence again if something failed to power on correctly. We had a lady that cleaned our house who liked to listen to the TV while she cleaned. When I got my Home Theater in a Box, she never could get everything turned on or off correctly. The Logitech solved that problem, too.

For those unfamiliar with the remote, you use an application on your PC to configure the settings and customize your remote. You tell the software what components (using the make and model number of your TV, DVR, etc.) you have and then you define the settings for various activities. For example, when I press "Watch a DVD", it starts the DVD players/HTIB and the TV, but does not turn on the DVR. It sets the the TV to the HDMI input for the DVD player and configures the HTIB to play the DVD. There are advanced options if you need, for example, to configure pauses between actions.

I finally had to replace the original remote, because the play button was worn out. It took a lot of force to hit play and made using the DVR features a lot harder than it should be.

I had been dragging my feet, but my wife was fed up with the problem, so I bought a new Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote with Color Touch Screen from Amazon.

So far the new remote is working fine. The settings transferred over easily from the original remote. The new remote is more stylish and has a touch screen. The top is very thin and it helps balance the remote in your hand. I still think I would move the least used buttons to the bottom if I were designing a remote. It is awkward to use one-handed when trying to access those bottom buttons.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wired on the AK-47

Wired has an article about the AK-47. I'm a fan of Wired. Normally they put an interesting, tech twist in their articles. Unfortunately, this one doesn't have any real surprises.

This line was thought provoking:

"But it was originally engineered to reinforce state power, not overturn it."

Like any tool, how it is used determines if it is good or evil. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On-line Ads

I love the Business Insider SAI Chart of the Day. Today's chart shows why on-line advertising might grow. This makes sense to me. Targeting areas where potential customers are spending more time (plus other advantages like directly linking an ad to a sale) has to make on-line advertising even more attractive to companies.


I've been thinking about replacing my AT&T Blackberry Bold with a Droid Pro from Verizon. We've moved most of our users at my company to Verizon. Coverage seems to be better around town and they rolled out the Blackberries that worked in Japan and Korea.

This Lifehacker tethering article sums up what I suspected about the service. It eats batteries, but is good for occasional use. I like to have options and this would give me backup internet in a device I have with me all the time anyway. As a bonus, If I pick up an iPad then I could get the WiFi only version.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ham Radio Deluxe

I ordered a CT-62 CAT cable for the Yaesu FT-817 that my father-in-law has loaned me. The cable arrived today and I got the 817 connected to Ham Radio Deluxe. My cursory review of the HRD application makes me want to play with it some more. It is nice to work on a large screen and have access to simple buttons in the GUI instead of having to navigate through the menus on the rig itself.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


...there was an Oracle logo splash screen while 3.2 started up. At my job, I've had a less than favorable history with Oracle that I'm not going to get into — rather let's just say I never want anything to do with them again.

I know how he feels. I don't like dealing with Oracle either. They are the least flexible company I have ever encountered. As to his specific question, I've started using Google docs for more and more. I find it is up to any basic tasks. I have lots of short-term lists, so the spreadsheet app gets a work out from me.

Ask Slashdot: Where do I go now that Oracle Owns