All I Want For Christmas Is A MINIX NEO Z83-4

December 13, 2016

Looking to get one of these mini pc’s for Christmas (like I need another tech toy)… It is called the Minix NEO Z83-4. My intention is to set this up as a connection to my TV.  See spec’s and YouTube video below…

Minix NEO Z83-4

YouTube Review

Here are the specs:

Palm-Sized Computing – Ultra-compact design combined with premium performance. Equipped with Intel’s Cherry Trail Quad-Core processor.

Excellent Thermal Design – Perfect balance of speed, temperature, performance and absolute silence. Low operating temperature and incredibly energy-efficient.

Desktop Performance – Lightning-fast and highly responsive user experience. Exceptional connectivity capabilities, packed with 802.11ac Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet.

Multi-Purpose PC – Excellent Thin Client Solution or Home Theater PC. Equipped with Dual Output display ports (Mini DP and HDMI) and supports up to 4K @ 30fps.

Ready To Run Out Of The Box – 32GB of Samsung eMMC (MLC), 4GB of DDR3L memory and pre-installed with Windows 10 (64-bit).


Stocking Stuffer – MoKo Universal Portable Foldable Smartphone Stand

December 7, 2016

If you are looking for an inexpensive, very usable, stocking stuffer, definitely take a look at the Moko Universal Portable Foldable Smartphone Stand. This stand is available in several different colors and is adjustable…  

Moko Smartphone Stand

 

  • Extremely lightweight(1.09 oz) and pocket-sized(3.26*2.8*0.5 inches), folds up to a completely flat shape, easily thrown onto a rucksack/bag.
  • Six fully adjustable slots, easily adjusts stand angle, supporting both vertical and horizontal viewing, displaying portrait and landscape modes.
  • Strong and durable ABS and rubber ensures stablity, holds devices up to 8 inch.
  • Well placed rubber pads for surface protection protects tablet from scratches and sliding.
  • Compatible with all Smartphones, E-reader and Tablets(6-8 Inch), will not fit tablet with a case or sleeve.

Check Out Top 100 Tech Products Of 2016: The Full List | ComputerShopper.com

November 29, 2016

SPECIAL REPORT: Check out our directory of all 100 winners at the Computer Shopper (source link below)…

Source: Top 100 Tech Products Of 2016: The Full List – ComputerShopper.com


Reasonably Priced Cell Phone Signal Booster

May 10, 2016

Recently I needed a solution to improve my cell signal in a remote camping location where the signal was one bar to no signal at all (in roaming mode outside the area of my provider’s towers). After doing some research I settled with the Wilson Electronics 460106 Sleek – Vehicle Cellular Signal Booster. This booster improved my connectivity to where I am now receiving 3 bars consistently and can make clear cell calls and can text. The data signal (for internet, email, etc…), where I had none prior, is sporadic to where I can least send and receive email. I was pretty excited about that and now looking at the better antenna (click here) to see if I can pull in the data signal better.  I know you should go camping to get away from the electronics, but when you are a geek camper like myself, I still need to get my information technology fix…

This booster is designed to work from your vehicle, with a magnetic based antenna mounted on the roof; however, in my case I am using it from a stationary point in my camper…  There is also a kit availabe (click here) that allows you to use it indoors.  There has to be a signal of some measure in order for the booster to work.  All I can say is, that it does work…


Watch, Talk To and Play With Your Pets From Your Smartphone

May 5, 2016

Here is a solution for pet owners to see what their pets are up to when away from home. It is called the Petcube…  This thing even has a built in laser toy (for which my cat would go nuts over).

  • View live video in HD with a wide angle lens
  • Chat and listen using 2-way audio
  • Exercise and play with a built-in laser toy
  • Customize access for friends and family
  • Capture and share photos and videos
  • Engage with pet lovers worldwide
  • Requires free Petcube Mobile App.
  • iOS and Android compatible. Android (4.0 or greater)

Geek Squeaks (#2015-41) FEATURING — Three WordPress.com Blogging Editors To Consider — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 21, 2015

Three WordPress.com Blogging Editors To Consider – About a year ago I was at wits end in trying to find an editor that I could use at the desktop level to draft my blog articles. Today, if you are an avid blogger or want to give blogging a try, you need to know that there are several options available. Some of these editors support other blogging platforms, but what I am outlining here in this geek squeak article is editors that I know work with the WordPress.com platform (which is the online cloud based version of WordPress).

Wordpress

To keep this simple and allow you to do a quick read; three options to consider are:

ScribeFire – This editor is actually a browser extension (for Firefox and Chrome) that I use (and love). I think what sells me on this is that it is a basic editor, is fast, and dependable. The cons with ScribeFire is that, due to its’ simplicity, you have to do the final touches online (with the formatting) using the online WordPress editor. Otherwise, ScribeFire has worked for me. ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to all of your blogs.

Open Live Writer – Remember the Windows version of Live Writer. I actually used that prior to ScribeFire; however, due to changes at Microsoft and the operating system upgrades the Microsoft version of Live Writer is basically a dead duck in the water. Due to numerous people using Live Writer, a group of talented contributors have turned what it used to be into an open source program called Open Live Writer. Open Live Writer is like Word for your blog. Open Live Writer is a powerful, lightweight blog editor that allows you to create blog posts, add photos and videos then publish to your website.

New WordPress.com Desktop App – WordPress.com must have heard our cries and know that in order to continue as one of the premiere blogging platforms there has to be options made available in order for people to remain within their blogging empire. I can tell you from being a blogger since 2008, WordPress is the way to go. With the new Windows and Mac based apps you can manage your sites, write and publish, and even customize your site and view stats from a dedicated app in your Windows Start Menu.

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Happy Holidays To My Reader And To My Favorite Blogging Friends –  I want to wish my readers’ a safe and happy holiday season; AND, hope that you will continue to visit my blog. I love blogging about information technology, and have been doing so since 2008. During this journey there is a group of bloggers that have kept together in the virtual sense (even though none of us have physically met each other). Those bloggers, whom I have great respect for are Steve, Bill Paul, and Michael (and Jason). I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season…

Happy Holiday Wreath Facebook Cover

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Bluetooth Speaker Makes Great Gift – If you are looking to gift someone, consider a portable bluetooth speaker. Currently Anker has a new release at Amazon (that has become a best seller) called the Anker SoundCore. Right now the customer reviews on this little beast is very good. Points that standout with this speaker is battery life (24-hour / 500-song playtime powered by a built-in high capacity Li-ion battery) and Bluetooth 4.0 Technology (compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices. Instantly connect to your smartphone or tablet from up to 66 feet away. SoundCore reconnects automatically to the last device used. Built-in mic for hands-free calls.).  What you get is the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth speaker, Micro USB charging cable, welcome guide, and 18-month warranty).

Anker SoundCore

Anker SoundCore

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Turn Your Android Device Into An At Home Video Monitoring Device – Have a tablet or an old smartphone around? If so, put it to work using the AtHome Camera – Home Security App. This app, using a three step process, will turn the device into a home video monitoring device that can be accessed when you are away.

AtHome Camera – Home Security

 AtHome Camera - Home Security- screenshot

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The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards – If you love animals, then you will love these hilarious and funny pictures (with a funny caption). For example the picture you see below was captioned “Rush Hour”. To see the original “Rush Hour” and others visit The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. The cool thing about this is that no digital manipulation was allowed in order to enter the contest.

The Comedy Wildlife

WINNER Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-38) FEATURING — My Reset Experience With Windows 10 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 30, 2015

My Reset Experience With Windows 10 – I recently performed a reset on my Windows 10 based computer and found the experience to be quite positive. I thought I would share some pointers with you so that if you have to perform a reset, it is not a scary experience.  Even though the reset preserves your personal files, I highly recommend that you always have a backup of any files on your computer that you cannot live without.

To get to the reset option in Windows 10, click on the Windows Start button (bottom left corner), go to Settings > Update & security > Reset this PC > Get started and choose an option. The option I chose was to reinstall Windows 10 and keep my personal files. This option will reinstall Windows 10 and keep your personal files; will remove the apps and drivers that you originally installed; will remove the changes made to any settings (and return them to the default settings); and, will remove any apps that the PC manufacturer installed (Note: If your PC came with Windows 10, the apps from your PC manufacturer will be reinstalled.).  After I launched the reset on my PC, it was pretty much hands free; and, what I really liked was that following the reset, Windows 10 generated a html page on my desktop titled “removed apps” that listed all of the programs I originally had installed on my computer. I had already written down what I wanted to re-install, but this list came in quite handy. In the end, the reset took approximately a half hour to 45 minutes and I can honestly say my computer is cleaner and faster.

Windows 10 Reset

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How To Mark All Your Unread Gmail’s As Being Read  – After performing a reset on my Windows 10 computer, I found myself motivated to do some housecleaning in my Gmail account. One of the issues I ran into was that I had hundreds of email’s that I did not read. As a result, I needed and wanted to mark those emails, as being read. The problem with this is that Gmail will only allow you to bulk select only a certain number of emails. This is where I started thinking, “there has to be a way to mark all the emails in my account as being read”. After performing some online research, I found an article at a site called Chron, titled “How to Mark an Entire Gmail Inbox as Read“. By using the Google Search box in your email as a filter to generate all unread messages, and following the step-by-step instructions, at Chron, you can easily mark hundreds (or thousands) of unread emails and change them to read.

 

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A Simple Program To Troubleshoot Network-Related Problems – If you manage a network, Win Network Tools may be helpful. The program provides a graphical interface (or launcher) of common command line tools that are built into Windows (that are typically run from the command prompt) and some other options (such as Speed Test) that will launch a site to test out your connection speed. What would be nice is if this program had a “portable app” option readily available for the tech toolbox. I did find that if I installed the program, and copied the “WinNetworkTools.exe” to another location (such as a flash drive) I was still able to run the program.  I then uninstalled it from the computer. Nice concept…  May contact the developer to suggest the portable app idea.

Win Network Tools - Interface

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Checker Plus for Gmail – You do not know what you are missing if you do not have Checker Plus for Gmail installed (as a Google Chrome extension). In my opinion, this is probably one of the best (and most useful) extensions available. I currently use this to monitor 4 different Gmail accounts and the best part is that you can set this to run in the background so that you will get notifications when an email arrives. If you have Chrome installed, get this one…

Checker Plus for Gmail

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Shield Your Electronics From Electrical Power Surges – When Christmas rolls around many of you may be installing new electronic equipment. What we have a tendency to forget is to purchase a surge protector to help protect the equipment from power surges. I went on the hunt to find what I think is a good investment and came up with the Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 25ft Cord Right Angle Plug 1440 Joules . This Tripp Lite Surge Protector has a 1440 joule surge suppression rating with EMI/RFI line noise filtering to help components perform at their peak while extending their lifespan; 8 outlets with 3 specially designed to accommodate transformer plugs without blocking other outlets; an extra-long 25 foot cord with space-saving right angle plug; diagnostic LEDs that alerts you to the protection and grounding status; convenient built-in outlet safety covers to protect young children from possible harm and prevent dust from eroding internal components; and, a lifetime Warranty and $75,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance for connected devices. On top of this, to support my opinion on this, this surge protector is carrying a 5-Star rating.

 Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 25ft Cord Right Angle Plug 1440 Joules

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