Tag Archives: Gadgets

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

I’m willing to bet that old song is now stuck in your head. If you’re too young to know and remember the song – well, you just missed out. Look it up on YouTube, and immerse yourself!

What are your favorite “things”? You cannot list people, as they aren’t things. We all know your family, friends and loved ones come first… that’s a given! I’m talking about honest-to-goodness things. Is your cell phone the best thing you own? What about your iPod, or maybe even your dual monitors? Heck, maybe your favorite things aren’t even tech-related. That’s ok, as well! I’m curious to see what everyone will list as being their favorite thing.

We’re so wrapped up with using our gadgets and gizmos that we sometimes forget all about human connections. We forget to take the time to really talk to others, and get to know them. Why not spend some time today checking out what the people around you are talking about? Go ahead – join their conversations!

What is Your Favorite Technology?

While I was in Hawaii last week, I had the opportunity to record a “Question of the Day” video with Traci Toguchi. I decided to ask the question: What is your favorite piece of technology?.

Traci stated that there’s no way she could live without her cell phone. Not only is it used for calls, she also relies on it heavily to be able to check her emails and take care of her various online duties while she’s on the go. Today’s technology trend is pushing ever closer to being “all” mobile. We are busy, and we need our gadgets and gizmos to help keep us connected while we’re running around.

My answer was simply the Internet. The Internet has changed my life, and that of many others. We can do anything there, from research to connecting with people. I’ve been online since 1992, which is quite awhile now I know.

The world of the Internet has exploded since I’ve been online. In the future, it will become even faster and easier to access. It will also be more ubiquitous. It’s evolutionary, and there isn’t a question as to whether the Internet will continue to “be there” in the future. It’s going to be a huge part of our daily lives in years and decades to come.

Let’s turn it to all of YOU now. What one piece of technology could you not live without – and why?

How long have you been living with it?

What would make it better?

Do you consider yourself a tech addict?

Challenge a friend to answer the question, too:

 
 

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

There’s an old saying in the Bible or some book that I don’t even remember for sure. It says “And the Geeks shall inherit the Earth”. A friend of mine argued with me the other night, claiming that it’s supposed to be the meek shall inherit the Earth. I beg to differ. I know what it says, thank you very much. We all know it’s pure fact that Geeks are taking over the World, and that we will one day rule inherit the World. Why haven’t you given in and joined us yet? You know you’re going to have to!

Seriously, being a Geek is an amazing thing. Geeks are not just computer guru’s, you know. A Geek is anyone who is passionate about something, whether it’s computers, motorcycles, or even gardening. Using this definition, it’s easier to imagine Geeks one day making a huge difference in this World of ours. What am I saying? We already have. Look at some of the strides in medicine, technology and science in just the past few years. There are an astounding number of new inventions, cures and gadgets on a daily basis.

If you could change the World somehow, make an impact so to speak, what would it be? Just imagine for a few moments that you have the brains/money/power to change any one thing. What would you do?

While you’re contemplating, make sure you take the time to check out what others are up to in our community!

Could all of Life’s Conveniences be Killing Us?

Reading this blog post on Geeks earlier stopped me dead in my tracks. I saw myself in what the author wrote, as I’m sure many of you will. He talks of how we have so many gadgets and gizmos to make our lives easier… and then wonders if it’s in fact making things more difficult:

People around the world are moving so fast, trying to do so much, that humanity as a whole is slowly choking itself with its own progress. We’re trying to cram so much into a day, so much into our minds that we don’t know how to do anything else. What we need to learn how to do, more than anything else, is to slow down. If you’re worried about progress, think about this, the best way to gain a clear perspective is to back away and let everything focus. People are supposed to smell the flowers that they plant. Just take some time to enjoy what mankind has done, rather than waste your time coming up with the next best thing that no one will take the time to enjoy.

All the ‘conveniences’ that we use and abuse only serve to get you to the next minute faster. Every inch of the way is packed with time savers that allow you to use more time savers. Just slow down, take a breath, get to know people, go to new places. Enjoy life before it passes you by, just to get to the next generation.

Wow. I’ve been pondering something very similar to this in my own life lately. That is why you’ve seen me out of the office more – trying to take time to relax and have fun. We tend to get so caught up in the daily grind of life that we often forget to live.

When is the last time you took a day completely “off”? I don’t just mean off of work… I mean OFF. OF. EVERYTHING. When did you put away all of your gadgets, your phone, your laptop and even your iPod and just chilled out? Can you even remember when it was, or what you might have done?

If you can’t bear to part with your computer, maybe you can take time out from working yourself into the ground, and enjoy what others are hard at work doing. They are writing excellent articles, like the one mentioned here, every day. They are sharing their thoughts with the world, and I sincerely hope you will consider doing the same. There’s something to be said for being able to write out what’s in your mind and heart, and it takes a very special type of person to be able to do so. The next time you’re stressing over the little things, and everything yet to do on your list, why not just let it all go and write? We’d love to have you join us on Geeks or Lockergnome.

What 100 Things Will Your Child Probably Never Know?

I came across an interesting article online today. With this week being the 40th anniversary of man landing on the Moon, many adults are nostalgic. Nathan Barry blogged on Wired, talking about the many things that kids today have probably never gotten to see and do – and likely never will.

But Moore’s Law and our ever-increasing quest for simpler, smaller, faster and better widgets and thingamabobs will always ensure that some of the technology we grew up with will not be passed down the line to the next generation of geeks. That is, of course, unless we tell them all about the good old days of modems and typewriters, slide rules and encyclopedias …

I couldn’t help but shake my head as I read down the list. I remember nearly all of these things. I recall the day Dad brought home our family’s first microwave, and proclaimed it to be the biggest piece of high-tech equipment the world had ever seen! For all of you other 30-somethings… remember the first CDs that came out? We happily traded our vinyl in for these little discs. These days, many kids just stare at you blankly when you mention a compact disc, as though you’re talking about some foreign object.

What other similar things do you remember? Leave me a comment, and share your stories of wonder and amazement, about the “best” and “awesome” gadgets and gizmos you recall seeing for the first time.

Take a read through the article, and then sit down with your kids (if you have them). Tell them about some of the advances in technology that you have already seen in your lifetime. Don’t let the strides that have already been made be swallowed and forgotten due to the ones yet to come.

Once you finish that, you might want to wander around on Geeks and Lockergnome. There is some excellent content being posted there, as well!

Heaven on Earth – Geek Style

Reading a thread this evening on Geeks got me thinking. It talked about how if there were Heaven on Earth, what a wonderful place it would be for us Geeks! Can you even imagine? No more slow computers. No malware, nor any need for malware protection. No more parts that go bad, or become outdated in a matter of months. Ah, the life.

Close your eyes for a moment, and picture it. Now – leave me a comment, and tell me what it is you see in your Geeky Heaven on Earth.

When you’re finished, don’t forget to check out what others in the community are up to, as well!

What Brightens up Your Day?

Someone asked me earlier what I do to perk myself up when I’m having a bad day. What makes me happy? What makes me smile and want to get on with things, even if the rest of the day has been crummy? There are a lot of things that will do this for me. My dogs can always make me laugh. My live community can always bring a smile to my face. Reading something funny online will make me laugh and lift my mood. I’m a pretty easy-going guy, so it usually doesn’t take a lot to brighten up my day. What does it take to brighten up yours? I bet reading some of what others are writing in our community will get your mind working, and maybe even put a smile on your face.

How to Sync Any Device (Audio, Video, Photos) to a Computer


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Like many of you, I have a lot of gadgets. These devices are capable of playback of audio and video, and of viewing images. Most of my media sits somewhere on my home network. Synchronizing that media between computers and devices can be a nightmare. Finally, there is software available for OS X that helps me do this with ease. There’s also a Beta test going on right now for this program to run within Windows!

doubleTwist helps you to better sync the media on your machines to your various devices. There is support available right now for everything from Blackberry products to the G1 and Android phones. This includes the PSP even!

Browse through your media and play anything. doubleTwist supports all major audio and video formats. doubleTwist works with your phone, MP3 player, PSP, camera, and much more! Take your music, videos and other media wherever you go. Publish a video to YouTube, upload photos to Facebook and Flickr or privately share an experience with friends.

The list of supported devices will grow over time. There’s an image pane on the site that helps you look at the devices supported currently. However, it will no longer be a pain to sync your devices and use your media!

As Geeks, we have way more than one device. These devices are great on their own. But getting the media there and synchronizing all devices together is maddening. ARGH!! But doubleTwist makes it easy, and takes the guesswork and headaches out of the equation.

doubleTwist is a basic media manager that is essentially the uber station of media management with your devices.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

What Do Geeks Want for Gifts?

Geek!This is Thomas Ward’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

(1) Aiptek Action High Definition Camcorder



Aiptek joins the HD revolution with their line of high-quality, low-priced digital camcorders. This camcorder records to ultra-portable SD cards, eliminating the need to carry bulky tapes and/or DVDs to operate. On a single 8GB card, you could record up to 5 hours of 1080i high definition content. If video isn’t your thing, then you can also take up to over 32,000 photos! This camcorder comes with an AC adapter, rechargeable battery, USB cable, component cable, A/V cables, case, and remote control. 


(2) Magnavox Blu-ray Disc Player



If you want to take your movie-viewing experience to the next level, then I highly recommend this affordable Blu-ray player. As you may know, Blu-ray is becoming increasingly popular these days, and some of the bigger brands have been selling players in upwards of $400 or more. Magnavox has decided to take an alternate route for the holidays, making Blu-ray more accessible to those on the consumer market. Not only can this machine play your favorite Blu-ray discs, but it can also play regular DVDs, CDs, CD-Rs, and even CD-RWs (a lot more than most players these days).

(3) Vizio 32″ HDTV with Digital Tuner



I can speak from personal experience that Sony has always made excellent equipment, so I don’t hesitate for even a moment to recommend their new Vizio line of high definition televisions. This one features a 32-inch widescreen LCD (which is excellent for those of you who prefer the “cinema” experience). It also features “virtual surround”, which emulates the feeling of surround sound through its two included speakers. If you really want to complete that “cinema” experience you’re looking for, this television can also be mounted to your wall. To top it all off, each Vizio purchased through Wal-Mart comes with a free one-year warranty with in-home service.



(4) Creative Zen 8GB MP3 Player



I always loved the SoundBlaster line of video cards. So, when I heard that Creative was also releasing its own line of digital MP3 players, I knew that I would want to recommend one. This version comes with a 2.5″ digital screen, and can hold up to 2,000 songs. You also get a built-in FM radio, voice recorder, alarm clock function. This handy little gadget can also eliminate the need for all of those bulky external storage devices since the Zen, itself, can also be used for external storage! The best part is that it can be expanded upon, using the included SD card slot.


(5) Halo 3 Covenant Laser Tag Set



Upon first viewing, I expected less of this item – since it is, indeed, a children’s toy. After playing with it, however, I was quite surprised at how true to the video game series these plasma pistols held! The lights and sounds make you feel as though you are Master Chief, leading the Spartans in the fight against the Covenant Armada! If you, or your child, are a fan of laser tag (or the Halo games), then this item definitely belongs on your wish list!

Where is Technology Headed?

Geek!This is Taylor Trevathan’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

As newer and better technology replaces the old, one may realize that the replacement gadgets tend to get smaller, and smaller, and smaller. Is there such a thing as too portable or too small? To what point do we say that we are unable to use a piece of technology because the screen is much too tiny to read or the buttons are too small for our fingers? Well, the folks at 3M® are working towards a solution.

Recently, 3M® has created an ultra-portable projector dubbed the MPro110 which weighs in at a light 5.4 ounces. The MPro110 is able to project a 10” screen in a brightly lit room and a whopping 50” screen in a dark room. The MPro110 is virtually the cheapest big-screen television on the market today and can be bought at most electronic retailers while setting you back a mere $360.

This technology was made possible by 3M® first, though it was a close race with other top companies trying to do the same thing: make a projector that can fit into your pocket. 3M® took the simplest route possible by just shrinking down the technology that works rather than completely altering it altogether. The projector actually has a tiny lamp and tiny lenses/prisms in it; so it is basically a projector that has been hit by a shrinking ray.

The idea is that either 3M® or other companies will refine the technology and make it even smaller so as it would fit into laptops, phones, or even pen top computers. 3M® has already announced that they are meeting with cell phone companies to do just that. For now, it comes with inputs for laptops, mp3 players, digital cameras, and anything else that you can run a video-out cable from. The screen displays in standard definition (640 by 480 pixels) which is still amazingly impressing considering its size.

Due to this ‘gadget’, technology may still be able to shrink while maintaining functionality. Screens becoming obsolete and being replaced by micro-projectors, keyboards going out of style with the new touch screen keyboards to take their place, and computers being slimmed down to nothing more than a stick containing all of the hardware, and infra-red keyboard and a micro projector all in one.

With the new development in OLED technology, screens can be as thin as paper and able to bend. One could just roll up their television in a digital-scroll and be on his or her way. Technology will continue to get smaller and smaller; even more advanced each year. The question “Isn’t it just too small to use?” will not exist any longer. Processors will become microscopic and the micro computer will be exactly that: microscopic.

With companies like 3M paving the technological world of tomorrow, it is a wonder where we will be a month, a year, or a decade from now. One thing is for certain though: we will never stop dreaming of the next best thing that can make our lives easier without worrying about size over convenience.