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Showing posts from July, 2011

Multi USB Strip

A friend recently installed those electrical outlets that also have two USB power jacks.  I think that is a great idea, but for me, the outlets are not where my gadgets are.  I like the idea of this better.  It is a power strip that can handle up to four USB devices.  It only has 500mah per port, so while the comments say it does charge the iPad, it does it slowly.

Your Email Address Says A Lot About You

When I was in high tech sales, I would commonly receive emails from consultants wanting me to donate a copy of my $1000 software for them to evaluate permanently with the idea, they told me in emails, that they would then influence the sales of thousands of copies.  They would go on and on about how they were leaders in their industry, etc.

Then I would look at the email address it came from, and I'd see it was from a Hot Mail account.

Someone I follow on Twitter Jonathan Arehart reminded me of this when he tweeted a link to this funny graphic.

Family Tech : Civil War Era Family Tech

The Manassas area was all about honoring the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas in Sunday's paper, so for my column I intended to talk about the tech in the home in the 1860s.  Alas, there was not much, so my thoughts instead went to the awesome changes in technology veterans of the Civil War might have seen in their lifetimes.

Family Tech for July 24, 2011

And if this is a topic you enjoy, I also wrote a piece on the technology used during the war.

Welcome back Byte!

What is old is new again.  Just took a look over the website for the reborn Byte.

Byte magazine was one of the first computer magazines.  If you were in to computers in the 80's and 90's, you read Byte.

One of the highlights back then was Jerry Pournelle's column.  Jerry is a science fiction author.  Back in those days he had the money to have more gadgets then most of us and a tinker's delight at getting them all working.

I believe he wrote one of the first books ever written on a computer, and that computer is now in the Smithsonian.

His Chaos Manor columns talking about his never ending tribulations of getting 20th century home computing to work were always entertaining.  I learned a valuable lesson from him, Pournelle's Law, to check cables first when there is a problem.

He always struggled to to get things working, that a wag once suggested Apple sponsor his columns and send them by mail to every Windows PC owner.

Started this in G+, and realized partway thro…

Google Voice Blocks Spam Calls Globally

One of the satisfying experiences with Google Voice, is receiving a unsolicited call.  Why is that a good thing?  Because of the pleasure I get when I then go into GV and flag that number as Spam.  I have the option then of making future calls from that number sound to them like they have reached a disconnected number.

Or, if I wanted to be really mean, I could record a long message just for calls like that, and make future calls from that number go to that message.  I have never done that, but in certain moments relish the idea that I could.

Such is the power of Google Voice.

Now, Google Voice takes the signals they get from all their users about what numbers are Spam and shares that information with their other users.  In their Google Voice Blog yesterday the GV team they announced :

Thanks to the help of the thousands of Google Voice users who mark calls as spam everyday—and our own spam identification tools—it is now possible to automatically redirect calls, texts, and voicemails f…

Google Plus and Evernote

I received my invite to Google Plus a couple days ago and have not had much time to play with it or consider the implications.

One thing I'm sure I would have wondered was how to store something I found on Google Plus to Evernote.  Almost every tool I encounter, I think, "How can I move good content from here to Evernote?"

Brian Caldwell is way ahead of me.  He figured out a way to share Google Plus content with Evernote.  It is really easy, and uses your unique Evernote email address.

Here is Brian's procedure, displayed in an Evernote shared web note of course.

Meanwhile if you are on Google Plus, here is my Google Plus profile if you want to add me to a circle.

Time to Monetize

Along with the major project I alluded to a few days ago (leave your email here to learn more later), I am also going to try and increase the value this blog has to readers.

One way to motivate myself to do things readers will like, and want to come here to see, is to monetize the blog more than I have.

By that, I mean things that hopefully will serve the reader, not cost them any money, and put a few cents in my pocket.  I've reinstated Google Adwords advertising again.  And I have just signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate.

If you click an affiliate link, it won't cost you any money, but will take you to an Amazon page for that item.  If you buy it, I get a small commission.

Many of the sites you go to now have affiliate programs.  I want to be 100% open about this, so I've created a page listing the companies I have relationships with.  And I pledge, to never recommend a product I benefit from you buying, if I do not believe in it.

If you go to that page now, you will see…

Camera Simulator

Here's something pretty cool if you want to learn enough about photography to switch off the Auto setting on your digital camera.

The Camera Simulator lets you play with changing settings to shuttle speed, lens focal length, aperture, distance, lighting and other variables and see the results right away.

I burned black and white film by the foot, and hours in the darkroom back in the '70's for the education this gives in a few minutes.