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Read your favorite website content in simple beautiful way.

Pixlr Online Photo Editing - Recommended

Pixlr is an free online photo editor that works great if your not on a pc that has photo editing software or if your restricted on a company computer.

My New Touchpad and Thoughts

Checkout my new Touchpad review.

Baseball Collector's Dream Site - Zistle.com

Great place to keep track of your card collections online.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Microsoft Hohm - Save energy and money on your home

Here is a great site where you can figure out ways to save energy and money in your home. Just sign up and fill out your home information and your ready to go. Here is more information on it.

What is Microsoft Hohm?

Microsoft Hohm is a free Web-based beta application that helps you save energy and money. With Microsoft Hohm you can better understand your home energy usage, get recommendations to conserve energy and start saving.
Hohm uses advanced analytics licensed from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy to give you highly personalized energy saving recommendations. These recommendations are tailored based on your specific household circumstances including home attributes and use of appliances and systems. You will also be able to compare your energy usage that of with others in your area. Hohm helps utilities to better serve their customers by providing clear insight into their energy consumption, allowing them to make more informed decisions to save energy and money.

How does Microsoft Hohm work?

After signing up for Hohm with your Windows Live ID and postal code, you simply enter some information about your home (e.g., occupants, appliances and systems) and receive your energy report with personalized recommendations. The more questions you answer, the more accurate and relevant the recommendations will be. As a default, Hohm will base its recommendations on local and national averages.

Alternatively, if you are a customer of a Hohm-partnered utility company you can choose to automatically upload your energy usage data into the application in the near future.

On average, how much money will Microsoft Hohm help me save on my energy bill?

The dollar amount savings varies widely based on the information you provide on your Microsoft Hohm profile, the characteristics of your household and the changes you implement. Customers are encouraged to run the Hohm application and determine the potential savings for their household.

How can I get Microsoft Hohm?

Microsoft Hohm is an online Microsoft application available at no cost to anyone in the United States with Internet access. It can be accessed from the Hohm Web site, www.microsoft-hohm.com.

Who is Microsoft Hohm for? Who do you expect will find it useful?
Microsoft Hohm is for residential consumers of energy wanting to save money and reduce their impact on the environment. We hope to hear your story on how you are saving and what you would like to see next.

Microsoft Hohm

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Circuit City: And Now It's Dead

XRoad G-Map iPhone navigation map gets reviewed, patted on the back

While the world waits for a tried-and-true navigation app from Apple, XRoad is taking advantage of the situation by offering up its G-Map app in the interim. Kicking Tires decided to take the new software for a spin, and while the map quality took a pretty harsh beating, the overall offering was highly praised. More specifically, not every street name was present during testing, meaning that you had to rely implicitly on the turn-by-turn instructions if you weren't familiar with your surroundings. Outside of that, however, it seemed to nail all the important points. Accuracy, routing, ease of use and design were all smiled upon, and it seems critics gave the street name snafu a bit of a break with the hope of future updates solving the issues. If you're still a touch hesitant to drop your hard-earned cash, give that read link a gentle tap.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hulu blocks boxee browser entirely, gloves get ripped halfway off

As a wise man once said: "Damn, that's just cold, son." Merely hours after boxee announced its latest alpha build along with RSS feed support for Hulu, said video portal has now blocked off boxee's browser entirely from accessing its content. If you'll recall, boxee saw a huge increase in interest when it first added easy access to Hulu, and once Hulu demanded that it be removed, boxee sadly complied. The latest move just seems "cold blooded," as now boxee users who attempt to surf over via a Hulu RSS feed link will be greeted with an infinite amount of nothing. boxee is quick to point out that its browser doesn't access Hulu content "any differently" than IE, Firefox, Opera or any other browser, which does a good job of explaining just how deliberate this move is. Needless to say, we get the feeling this bout is just getting started.


All Circuit City stores closing permanently on March 8th

To an icon in the consumer electronics retail space, we wave goodbye. And for the hordes of employees already / soon to be looking for new uniforms elsewhere, we empathize. Circuit City has just announced that on March 8th, all of its stores will lock up for the last time. Granted, some locations have already shut their doors in permanent fashion due to stock depletion, but regardless of leftover wares, March 8th is the end of the line for the laggards. We'd say you might want to stop by your local outlet to catch any last-last-minute sales, but even at a penny, you're not going to want that open-box 4MB SD card.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

New SportsDawgz Blog

Sports Dawgz is a new sports blog and forum that I helped put together. I helped with the blog, but didn't do anything with the forum. Sports Dawgz has the latest and greatest sports news. Be sure to check it out.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

10 Things Windows 7 Must Do To Succeed

I recently attended a briefing where Microsoft explained some of the new features in Windows 7 to reviewers from different publications. At the end of the meeting, the MS folks asked the half-dozen of us present what it will take for the new OS to be a success.

"Injecting about three trillion dollars into the economy to end this recession," was my initial response. It's hard to imagine any new OS will be a success, especially with business customers, until the economy improves. What we are already using works just fine, thank you. It will have to see us through.

So, let's fast forward in the economic cycle to the inevitable uptick, when investing in business computing becomes easier. Here are 10 things Windows 7 will have to do.

1. Windows 7 should not be positioned in relation to Windows Vista, which is nonexistent in most businesses. Windows 7 needs to be related back to Windows XP, to which I think it is the legitimate successor.

2. I don't see Windows 7 as Vista SP2 or Vista Lite or anything like this. Windows 7 looks like a new OS to me and deserves to be treated as such. (Readers: Give Windows 7 a chance, OK?)

3. Windows 7 needs to run just fine on hardware the runs Windows XP just fine today. My sense, playing with Windows 7, is this is possible. Vista grabbed an early reputation as a resource hog. Windows 7 must avoid this.

4. Because Windows 7 cannot upgrade an existing Windows XP installation, Microsoft needs to provide easy transition tools. A copy of Windows 7 and a flash drive or small stack of DVDs needs to move all my data and my applications and my settings to the new OS. This may mean Microsoft needs to send an applications disc with Windows 7.

5. Just for emphasis: If I have to reinstall my applications, Windows 7 will not be a welcome upgrade.

6. If Microsoft does not or cannot accomplish the previous items, then it should not promote Windows 7 as an upgrade and offer it on new hardware only. This will avoid one of the major factors in Vista's failure: It's inability to run well on what people already owned.

7. Fortunately, the Windows 7 user experience is not wildly different from XP the way Vista is. This will make it easier for companies (or households) to have a mix of Windows XP and Windows 7.

8. I like what I have seen of Windows 7, but have yet to hear Microsoft offer a good reason besides "a wide range of improvements" for me to upgrade. If it comes only on new hardware, that's fine. And, yes, some people will then decide they like the new OS and upgrade older machines as a result. But, if Microsoft hopes to sell an upgrade it needs to look at how Apple sells its upgrades.

9. Speaking of which: Apple sells features and applications that are included with the OS as major upgrade benefits. If Microsoft included more significant applications with the OS, maybe it could make them as important as the iApps are to Apple customers. Apple manages to charge its best customers up to $300-a-year for upgrades of some sort.

10. I think we have solved the problem of linking Windows 7 too closely to the release of Office 14 now that the timing between two seems clearly offset. Delays, economic or technical, should not bring the two releases back together. At least, not until its clear from seeing the software that one won't drag down the other.

I won't say those are the "top 10" things Microsoft needs to do to make Windows 7 a success. My experience with the OS is too limited for me to feel I've considered all the angles, but these suggestions are a good place for Redmond to start.

Source - PC World

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My New Business - G Whiz PC Repair

I've been really busy with trying to start my new business and haven't got to post as much as I want to here on my blog. I'm starting my own PC Repair business called G Whiz PC Repair. I designed the website, twitter, myspace and modified the blog for G Whiz PC Repair myself. If you want to check it out you can visit it at www.gwhizpc.com. I'll be serving the Lake Norman, Davidson, Kannapolis, Concord, Charlotte and Huntersville North Carolina area.

Marvell’s Plug Computer: A tiny, discrete, fully functional 5 watt Linux server

Analysis Opinion - Marvell announced today a new type of computer. It’s about the size of an AC to DC converting wall outlet plug, but is really a full SoC with a 1200 MHz CPU, built-in 512 MB Flash, 512 MB DRAM, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 support. It runs small versions of Linux, consumes about 5 watts max while allowing remote users (presumably those authorized by the owner) to access data stored on the device from remote locations including local intranets or over the Internet. The $49 device opens up a wide array of extremely low-power, low-volume, always on applications.


First impressions

That’s it, the entire computer is contained within the plug. When I first read about this new Plug Computer, I thought to myself “What a silly concept.” I even started writing this article from that point of view. However, the more I wrote the more I began to realize what Marvell has done here. While there are other plug-like computers available on the market (traditionally costing up to $200 more), including dedicated x86 platforms in form factors that are literally the size of a pack of cigarettes, this relatively new concept is a device whose time has come.

The device is called the SheevaPlug, and is powered by this Kirkwood system-on-chip (SoC) platform which contains a 1.2 GHz CPU, 512 MB Flash, 512 MB DRAM, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 support, and comes with a traditional array of open-source Linux 2.6-based kernel applications to choose from. The entire computer exists inside this tiny chip, with only power supply and interface hardware surrounding it inside the plug form factor.


The SheevaPlug plugs directly into a wall outlet and is wholly comprised within the wall outlet’s plug and housing. From there, a Gigabit Ethernet cable is run from the Plug to a router, allowing data reaching its IP address to be responded to. It’s important to note that since this is a Linux-based machine capable of running Debian-based distributions, for example, such as Ubuntu, Fedora, etc., it can run any service.

The SheevaPlug (shown here in green) becomes an integral part of a fully wired and/or wireless home or office computing environment. It is a dedicated server which, in this example, connects to the router via a Gigabit Ethernet cable, which allows it to be accessed from the intranet and Internet. On the other side is a USB 2.0 device, probably an external mass storage device — however, any supported USB 2.0 device could be used. Its ultimate purpose in the home or office environment can be anything Linux can do today.

Many uses

It could be setup as a remote print server, or a web server. It could run as a proxy re-directing traffic from outside locations to forward IP addresses. Or anything that’s possible today with a computer containing 512 MB of RAM and a 512 MB flash drive. And with a USB 2.0 interface, it is also capable of working with much larger USB flash drives or external hard disks.

When used on an intranet, such a device could serve as a media server for the home or office network, allowing extremely low-power storage and immediate retrieval without having to have a dedicated PC-like machine sitting somewhere. Since it is IP address based, media file sharing among an entire office or home would be possible. Connect to a Wi-Fi enabled router and the ability to broadcast media at Wi-Fi speeds is suddenly possible.

The Plug Computer would also be capable of receiving new data, accessed through the LAN connection as though it were simply a remote hard drive. And if connected through a router to a broadband Internet connection of some kind, remote access would be possible over the Internet. And all for a five watt power consumption.

System-on-chip, Linux 2.6 Debian

The 1.2 GHz Sheeva CPU is built into the Kirkwood system-on-chip (SoC), providing the base framework. The open source nature of the Debian-based Linux 2.6 distributions mean software compatibility is quite wide (there are over 20,000 Debian-based software titles currently available).

While the computer has no built-in video capability, access to the machine can be had through remote desktop, which leverages the capabilities of another machine on the network to update and configure the Plug Computer server.

A traditional software stack available for developers who will be able to write code on more conventional machines, cross-compile for the Sheeva CPU and Kirkwood SoC, and then install into the SheevaPlug. This allows developers to use traditional tools and high-power machines for development while the SheevaPlug does the final work of the application in its low-power, always-on form factor. Its JTAG debugger also allows relatively easy debugging of the live device without remote desktop.

Pricing and availability

Marvell is targeting an eventual $49 price tag for the device, with a $99 developer version, both of which are reportedly immediately available on Marvell’s website. Early devices will fall in the $79 to $99 price range, including a PogoPlug version made by startup Cloud Engines, Inc.

Dr. Simon Milner, VP and General Manager of the Enterprise Business Unit at Marvell wrote in the press release, “There is no doubt that home networks needs to become more intelligent and easier to use by offering value added services for the consumer. We have created an open computing platform for developers in a consumer and eco-friendly form factor. Marvell’s goal is to accelerate the development and availability of innovative software and services in the home.”

About Marvell

Marvell Technology Group is a fabless manufacturer of chips for communications equipment, including cellphones and related products such as Bluetooth equipment. They ship over 250 million semiconductor chips per quarter. In 2005, the company purchased Intel’s XScale ARM-based CPU business and within 1.5 years had released the updated Monahans processor.

Marvell had $2.895 billion in revenues for Fiscal 2008, which ended February 2, 2008. They employ over 5,000 people worldwide. Their semiconductor division is the #1 hard disk drive component supplier, the #1 embedded Wi-Fi component supplier, the #2 Ethernet component supplier and the #2 “applications processor” supplier. Just over a week ago, Marvell announced a single-chip Bluetooth / Wi-Fi combo chip which delivers up to 15x the bandwidth of traditional Bluetooth.


While the concept is absolutely brilliant, rating a 5 out of 5 for potential usefulness in a wide array of emerging enterprise-level applications, TG Daily must give Marvell a very low score (0.1 out of 5) for the “easier to use” factor Dr. Milner mentions above. This device being built on a Linux framework with no built-in video support would not be easy to use at all.

The only advantages would come if Marvell released it pre-configured with software designed to work a particular way (which they do), and then nothing ever failed or needed to be expanded. However, as prone to failures as computers are, finding the need to address any problem whatsoever (including software upgrades), immediately places the user inside the realm of having to work with Linux. And whereas Debian-based Linux distributions have come a long way, they are far from user-friendly. And that goes doubly-so on a machine which must be remote-accessed.

The SheevaPlug is a concept whose time has come. Early adopters will undoubtedly find it to be an amazingly useful device. However, the wall-plug form factor is somewhat hideous, as is the current software model in use (for the average consumer). As with most new, somewhat revolutionary ideas, the SheevaPlug is going to have to go through a few iterations before finding itself embraced in the consumer markets. This is also because there are many uses for this kind of device which have not even been realized yet. A couple of years should take the edge of that, however.

The eventual $49 price tag might honestly offset any product resistance (for the adventurous). But its initial price tag of $79 to $99 should keep most buyers away. Would the average consumer spend $79 for a Linux-based server to augment their home network? I’d say the answer is “no way”.


Friday, January 23, 2009

40 amazing photos of Microsoft's New American Home

microsoft_house_main.jpgWhile we were in Vegas earlier this month covering CES, we got a sneak peek at the New American Home, a posh house on town outskirts that Microsoft and a few other select tech companies were involved in designing. Built on the same block where Wayne Newton lives, the half-acre home has tons of whole-house electronics, including 10 Toshiba HDTVs, a 16-zone Nuvo distributed-audio system, and Anthem A/V processors — all controlled by Lifeware software that lets you access it from anywhere. You can start your bathtub (Kohler, of course), pick what music you want to listen to, and fire up the towel warmer… all from your phone.

The most amazing thing about the home is the power bill: $0. Thanks to extensive solar paneling (and the desert sun), the house is completely self-powered. But our favorite feature is the spectacularly chic pool (seen in the gallery below), whose surface is at the same level as the surrounding edge, separated only by a barely noticeable inch-thin drain.

In the market? The house isn't as pricey as you'd think: Tyler Jones of Blue Heron, who built the house, told us it costs somewhere north of $5 million. Though the place we saw is going to stay a show home for a while, it'll be part of a community called Marquis Vegas, which plans to have about 14 of these babies. We'll take three.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Runing Linux on a Windows Home Server simuntaneously

I read a few weeks ago in some of the Windows Home Server forums that some enthusiasts are trying to install Linux on a HP MediaSmart server. While I do find it to be a quite interesting exercise, I fail to see the benefits of replacing Windows Home Server with a copy of Linux, particularly since HP has their own Linux-based home servers, plus it would be probably cheaper to build a custom one.

On a personal note, I rather like the idea of having a Windows-based server at home. But I do miss having the ability to play with Linux hacks. So I was thinking what I could do to have Linux as an option at home when I came with a solution where I could have both Windows Home Server and Linux on my MediaSmart server running at the same time: Virtual Server.

After upgrading the amount of RAM on my MediaSmart served from 512MB to 2GB, I felt this would be a great opportunity to have a Linux system without compromising the features of Windows Home Server. So I have prepared this guide to explain what I have done to run a Linux virtual machine under my Windows Home Server. I part from the principle that you know what you are doing and you have some idea of what virtualisation all about.

Source and more info

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Easy Remote Access Software

This has to be the easiest remote PC software I've ever used. What makes it so great is that it works without have to forward ports and without have to mess with firewall settings. I've fixed several people's computers using this great software. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

LG brings Netflix, LEDs, and wireless connectivity to its 2009 TV lineup

LG, a brand with a number of recommended models in our LCD and plasma TV Ratings, had one of the more interesting and technologically diverse CES exhibits. Its 2009 LCD and plasma TV lineup includes models with access to streaming Netflix content, the ability to beam HD content wirelessly from a separate media console to the TV, and LCD modes that use LED backlighting and “TruMotion” 240Hz technology.In addition, it showed two new series of broadband-enabled “NetCast” TVs using Yahoo's Internet Widgets to provide access to Web-based news and entertainment content.

Joining the growing number of Internet-connected TVs are LH50-series LCDs and PS80-series plasmas, all 1080p sets. As part of what LG calls its NetCast service, models in both lines can directly access streaming Netflix movies and TV shows, YouTube videos, and information and entertainment content supplied via the Yahoo Internet Widget Engine. Netflix subscribers visit the Netflix website to add streaming movies or TV episodes to online queues, and they’re automatically displayed on the TV when the Netflix menu option is chosen. The quality of the video—mostly standard-def, but also some higher-def content—depends on the available bandwidth coming into the home.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Circuit City Closing

Circuit City (CC) has reached a deal to be fully liquidated after failing to find a buyer or a refinancing deal.

The electronics retailer reached an agreement with liquidators to sell the merchandise in its 567 domestic stores.

"We are extremely disappointed by this outcome. The company had been in continuous negotiations regarding a going concern transaction,” said James Marcum, vice chairman and acting president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

“Regrettably for the more than 30,000 employees of Circuit City and our loyal customers, we were unable to reach an agreement with our creditors and lenders to structure a going-concern transaction in the limited timeframe available, and so this is the only possible path for our company."


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