gadgets

Are desktops and notebooks doomed?

There are many people – me included – who feel very comfortable using desktop or notebook computers (laptops to use the old term), but if you were to believe all the hype from the press and sellers of computing devices in general, you’d think we are all moving to tablets.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s no doubt that for many tasks like quickly checking emails, browsing the ‘net, watching YouTube videos, playing games or keeping up with news – a tablet like an iPad or Android device is fantastic. The convenience of a light, fast booting touch screen tablet can’t be faulted and for many travellers, it beats a notebook hands down especially when you consider the much longer battery life. Continue reading

Microsoft Surface Tablets available tomorrow!

Microsoft Surface TabletIf you have been following the story about the new tablet computers made by Microsoft called ‘Surface’ here’s the details on dates and pricing for Australian customers.

Microsoft will have three different Surface versions available tomorrow. They will all run Windows ‘RT’ (more on what that means later) – a 32GB version for $559, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover for $679 and a 64GB version with a black Touch Cover which will be priced at $789. Continue reading

DIY Kitchen Internet Radio using old Android phone

Finding uses for superceded technology rather than throwing it away is a passion of mine. I guess it’s because of my age and living through some tougher times that I reckon it’s always worth trying to extend the life of any ‘tech’.

I only just reluctantly parted with a perfectly fine Panasonic Laser because Windows 7 refuses to play nice and run it, so it got put out front with a ‘Free to a good home’ sign on it!DIY Android kitchen radio

Living down the south coast of NSW has enormous benefits, quieter lifestyle, beautiful beaches and friendlier people – but some things are a bit behind. Take radio for instance. We can only get 2 or 3 FM stations here (and reception isn’t that great) and Digital radio isn’t in our area yet, so I had thought for a while about getting an internet radio for the kitchen. Prices are a little steep however, so I decided to have a go at making one out of an unused Android smartphone which, while too slow for most things still worked fine streaming internet radio. Continue reading

Case Study : Setting up a Home Server

Freenas ServerStoring and sharing media or backing up important data is often best done by means of a dedicated server accessible by your home network – this is commonly called a NAS or Network Attached Storage device.

Many people believe that networks only apply to businesses, but if you have more than 2 computing devices, which can be a computer, notebook, tablet or smartphone, then you already have the beginnings of a network at home. Advantages of setting up a home network server are sharing data among users, backing up important files like photos and documents and also making your music collection playable on any connected device. Continue reading

Micro PC anyone?

I have a supplier now for the Asus eeBox. What the heck’s an eeBox I hear you say? Just a very clever idea that may not appeal to everyone, but if you want a very compact computer that can do the basics without fuss, it might be worth considering.

The eeBox is a complete PC around the size of a couple of DVD cases and it can even be stuck on the back of a monitor if you like so there’s nothing visible!

Just add monitor, keyboard & mouse (wireless probably best) and away you go! It has ‘802.11N’ wireless built in, so if you have a wireless router available it will connect to the net through that, or you can use an Ethernet cable. Continue reading

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