Tag Archives: touchsmart

Dear Fanboys: Go Away

Do you have any idea how much I loathe the fanboy mentality? I honestly don’t care if you’re an Apple lover, a Microsoft admirer or an Android proponent – you’re all equally insane! Being a fanboy does not mean you enjoy or believe in one product more than another these days. It means that you are so insanely narrow-sighted that you cannot possibly understand that a different brand may just work better for another person – or even yourself.

Hat tip to Chu Chu for this fantastic fanboy depiction!

I had an eye on Twitter a few moments ago, and noticed that a friend was sad to realize that her three-year-old HP TouchSmart is slowly starting to fade. This has been her primary machine since August of 2008, y’all. She works from home and spends about ten hours per day – seven days each week – using the heck out of this beast. I’d say it has held up pretty well, wouldn’t you? Through blogging, Tweeting, video editing and even gaming, this setup has never let her down. Not once in nearly three years has she complained about this piece of equipment being bad, wrong, cheap or poorly made.

Wouldn’t you know it – an Apple fanboy was quick to jump down her throat in a Tweet response. His response? “That’s what you get for buying cheap crap. You should have gotten an iPad.” Fanboysaywhat? Are you serious here? Any computer that holds up for three years under intense usage – with NO upgrades or hardware changes at all – is obviously not “cheap crap” as you claim.

This is what I’m talking about. This person is so blinded by his lust for all things Apple that he has failed to realize his beloved product wouldn’t even work for what she needs. (Let’s also not forget that the iPad didn’t even exist when this particular computer became hers in August, 2008!) Would you honestly attempt to use an iPad as your main computer? If you can then kudos to you. As much as I adore my iPad 2, there is no way in hell I am going to get rid of my desktop. I’m willing to bet most of you wouldn’t, either.

Here’s a tip, fanboys: lighten up. Learn to embrace the fact that other people have different needs, wants and likes than you do. Stop harassing them and shoving your favorites down their throat each time there’s a problem with their favorite product. Guess what? Yours isn’t perfect, either.

Should I Get a Mac or PC?

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I had to chuckle when this particular caller tried to start the old war… Mac vs PC! *sigh* Do you know how often I hear that? However, this guy was a bit more specific. He’s starting college, and wanted to know whether I felt an HP TouchSmart computer would be better for him, or a MacBook Pro. I hate when someone asks my opinion on what is better for them! I really do!

I cannot begin to tell you what will work best for any of you. That’s something only you can decide, and it depends on any number of factors. How much do you have to spend? What will you need the device for? These are the kinds of things you need to think about. I have no way of knowing what will fit your particular needs. You have to do your homework.

That said, I do happen to have an HP TouchSmart. It’s an excellent machine, to be sure. It’s functional, but it’s not as responsive as the interface on the iPad is, largely due to the type of screen and the technology that was used to build it. Not all touch screens are made the same, just like all cars are not built alike.

I recommend you get what you want. Ultimately, there will be one killer feature for you. If touch is the killer feature, then the obvious choice is the HP. It may boil down to price or support for you, as well. You have to decide what features are important to you, and what will fit your lifestyle the best.

Don’t take my word for it. Choose wisely, young grasshoppers.

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Touch Pack for Windows 7 Now Available

The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 was introduced to the world in May. It’s a series of games and applications designed to help people learn touch gestures in Windows 7. Microsoft announced this week that the pack is now available to download for people who have the proper equipment (Windows 7 and a touch-screen device). According to the comments thread for the announcement there are a lot of people having issues installing and using the Touch Pack.

Users are reporting that they are receiving errors when trying to install. It’s not clear whether they have the proper setup required to run this application or if it’s a problem with the installer itself. Microsoft employee Brandon LeBlanc is doing his best to answer all of the questions being thrown at him. It’s good to see that level of interaction with the people who are using the products the company is putting out.

“The Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a good way for you to be able to truly test the multitouch investments we’ve made in Windows 7. To use these games and programs, you need either a laptop with a screen that supports multitouch or a desktop PC connected to a touchscreen that supports multitouch (including all-in-one PCs with touchscreens).”

Keep in mind that your computer or monitor has to be Multi-touch capable. An older HP TouchSmart, for example, may not be able to utilize this software since it only supports up to two touches… and often only one touch. I know that my assistant Kat is unhappy that she won’t be able to use this herself, since her TouchSmart is now a 2-year-old model. If it worked for her, I’m sure she’d have done a review for us.

If you’re using a multi-touch system with Windows 7, are you going to try this out? If you do, let us know your thoughts. Did it help you to become more well-adjusted when using the various touch features? Does the Touch Pack manage to teach an old dog new tricks?

What’s New in Windows 7: A Lot!!

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Yes, I’m now running Windows 7 on my HP TouchSmart PC, instead of using Vista. I knew that the Beta had been released, after hundreds of you had come pouring into our chat room asking if I had used it yet – and what I thought of it. I gotta say – so far it’s running very well!

I wasn’t able to get Windows 7 to recognize all of the hardware. I had to install it twice. The first time, it wouldn’t really work well. The second time, I did the same thing and it worked great. The only thing I cannot get to work still is the multi-touch feature of the TouchSmart. I was surprised to see that things I hadn’t expected to change have done so – and for the better! A lot more features have been fleshed out.

There are a few things I think will plague Windows for all of eternity. Once again, this version of Windows is chock full of the Tahoma font. For that reason alone, I could never think of any version of Windows as more than a Beta. I just can’t stand to have to look at it! I don’t think any self-respecting designer would release an operating system that had the use of MS Sans Seriff Tahoma throughout the UI. It’s kind of sloppy in my book.

However, if you can look past something like this, then Windows 7 will likely be an excellent upgrade for you. It’s definitely a lot faster than Vista. There isn’t any lag at all when doing a search from within the start menu or elsewhere on the system. When I plug in a USB device, it is recognized immediately.

A lot of the things that I appreciate are the things that they’ve seen through. A lot of what we saw added into Vista were taken out even more. They’ve added even more functionality without overwhelming the users. If you’re a power user, my recommendation is that you download Windows 7 Beta and give it a shot. I don’t know that I’d use this yet as your primary system, but it’s definitely worth trying.

I do plan to do a small series on Windows 7, to prepare people for what they’ll see. I am going to focus small videos on things that I have found within this new operating system that I already like. Windows 7 isn’t enough to make me want to “switch back” and away from Mac OS X. But I do like it, yes. It’s an excellent experience so far, and I know many of you are going to be happy with it. It feels so much more complete than Vista – it feels like what Vista should have been. There isn’t a lot of “wow” factor, but they have taken a lot of time to develop features that are important.

If you want to send feedback to Microsoft, you can download the Beta. Inside of every window, there is a direct feedback link. You can give it a star ranking, type in your feedback, and more. Allegedly, Microsoft will be taking a serious look at everything you have to say.

Keep in mind, you will likely run into issues as you begin to use Windows 7. Remember – you’re using a Beta, not a final release! Identifying and fixing bugs and issues is what a Beta is all about. Let me know what your experience is like so far – both positive and negative. If you have excellent tips and tricks already, let us hear from you!

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Giving the Gift of Magic

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Our HP Magic Giveaway contest has officially ended, and we have chosen our winner. After many headaches and stresses during the contest period, it was all more than worth it when I called the winner live on the stream to congratulate her!!

I never thought it would be so difficult. We had several hundred entries sent in to us, and ended up editing nearly 170 of them to post. We also had to keep up with moderating the hundreds upon hundreds of comments to the posts. We then discovered at the end of the contest that there were discrepancies with the top few comment-receivers. You have no idea how boring and difficult it is to scan through IP addresses to check for proxies. However, after all of this… we have our winner!

I called up RoguePuppet to let her know she had won. I think I nearly gave her a heart attack. What a lovely woman she is. My assistant, Kat had tears in her eyes while listening to this call unfold, and notes that this made the entire past week worth the nightmares. RoguePuppet was just so sweet, happy and grateful to have won. She had written a few amazing blog posts her own blog that are well worth taking the time to read.

Her winning entry was excellent. She taught us how to eat well for less money… something that more people need to learn how to do. In today’s economy, eating out often just isn’t an option for most people anymore. Even the cost of buying groceries to cook at home has gotten to be difficult to manage for many.

I have to take a moment to thank Kat, Ryan and Jamie for helping me this past week. There’s no way I’d have made it through without their help. Their patience and humor made the job at hand much easier to manage, and of course… all the many hours of work they did just to make it all come together. You guys absolutely rock!!

Congratulations, RoguePuppet, and thank you HP and Microsoft for this Magical Giveaway.

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How to Get a Computer

About a week ago, I announced our part in the HP Magic Giveaway. HP and Microsoft are asking you to consider giving the magic of HP and Windows. All winners are encouraged to “pay it forward” by giving the gift of magic themselves. Why keep all of these great items under one roof? Finally today, our contest begins! Our contest begins today, December 4th, and the winner will be chosen on December 10th. We’ve come up with what we feel will be a fun and interesting way to enter… so here are your rules!

  1. Be registered on Geeks. Be sure to include your profile link in your submission.
  2. Write an original how-to, what-is, or top-five article on ANY subject. You’ll submit your entry through my contact page. Submissions should be made ready to be pasted into a new entry on this very blog. Use HTML sparingly.
  3. The work must be at least 500 words long, with proper punctuation, grammar, usage, spelling. Remember your PUGS.
  4. Articles will not be accepted if they require editing, so have someone you trust proofread for you first!
  5. Whichever post gets the most comments by December 10th at 10pm CST is the winner. Submissions will be taken all the way through that day.
  6. Insipid, short, pointless comments, as always, will be deleted.
  7. Get people to comment on your article, but spamming will not be tolerated.
  8. Plagiarists will be flagged and automatically disqualified from any future contests we run here.
  9. Participants can be of any age, but must be residents of planet Earth.

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So, if you are the winner, what do you receive? All sorts of goodies! Just take a look at this list:

I sincerely hope our winner will abide by the spirit of the HP Dream by paying it forward, in the form of sharing a portion of their prize with others. To keep track of entries, simply watch the information category of posts. I’ll also keep a running list here (updated every day or so):

And the Winner of an HP TouchSmart is…

HP was an amazing sponsor this year for Gnomedex. Anne Finney and her team did a fantastic job. On day 2, they announced a giveaway of one TouchSmart PC to a lucky attendee. In order to enter, people had to write a Limerick that dealt with Gnomedex in some way, and record it. We then uploaded the videos and Limericks to my blog, and opened a poll for two weeks.

The results have been tallied, and the winner was chosen by simple majority vote. That winner is our very own Kat!!

The WordPress poll plugin that we used kept track of votes by cookie and IP address both. A full disclosure of the results will be available upon sending me an email request.

Congratulations to Kat, and thanks to everyone who entered for such a fun contest!


Gnomedex: Why do Geeks Gather Here?

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On the opening night of Gnomedex, I took a few moments to highlight the new theme of the convention and explain exactly what Human Circuitry really means. We had an amazing time this year, and are thinking of spreading out into four events next year, all over the country!

Human Circuitry is going to be our general theme from here on out. It’s not just about Technology, nor about a relation to technology. It’s about the relation between humans and technology and how it all kind of comes together. Forget the “social media” stuff, what’s it mean anyway? Human Circuitry is simply Technology and Humanity coming together and working together.

It’s too bad if you weren’t with us at the conference. HP was an amazing sponsor, and provided many excellent prizes to attendees! We already gave away an HP Notebook, and an HP Mini. Right now, the voting is in place for one lucky attendee to win an HP TouchSmart. So get out there and cast your vote!

Obviously, you’re human, and you’re using Technology. Hopefully next year, you can join us at Gnomedex and find out what the connection between the two is all about.


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