Archive for July 2011

DEAL: Dell Studio 15.6” Laptop with Core i5 $499

imageWalmart has the Dell Studio “Cappuccino” laptop with the Intel Core i5 processor for only $499.  This is a really nice laptop with plenty of power and perhaps its best feature is that it comes with a 2-year warranty rather than the standard one.  It also comes with 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, CD/DVD burner, 3 USB ports and a HDMI port for connecting directly to your HD television, webcam, Bluetooth, memory card reader, a 9 cell battery and according to a review posted on Walmart’s page a back-lit keyboard (very nice.)  The Core i5 is a quad-core processor so it will handle pretty much anything you throw at it without a problem.  When I started this write-up is was available online and now it says it is out of stock online, so you may need to check at your local store.  It’s a really good deal and definitely will go fast.  Get it if you can.  Here’s the link to Walmart’s page:

Free Golf Rangefinder App in Amazon App Store

imageIf you have an Android-based phone and like to play Golf, Amazon’s free app of the day is Golf Frontier GPS.  Some of the features are: Calculate carry and reach distance from anywhere on the map, approach the next hole and the Auto Hole Transition adjusts with you, measure using yards or meters, choose to download from a library of nearly 15,000 courses and you can add a course using the online map editor.  This is normally a $5 app, but today’s the day to get it for free, so don’t wait.  Here’s more info at the Amazon site:

A SIMPLE Way to Have UNLIMITED Gmail Addresses

imageNo one likes spam.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a one-time use email address for those sites that require you to give them a valid email address, but you don’t want to be getting email from them every day thereafter?  For example, you want to sign up at “” but are afraid they might not be legitimate and will sell your email address.  Here’s what you do…

Let’s say your email address is [email protected], when you sign up at “” add a plus symbol and something unique before the in your address.  In the example above you might use [email protected] when you sign up.  Gmail will ignore the plus and whatever follows it, so anything sent to that address will just go straight to [email protected]

If you start getting junkmail sent to [email protected], you can go into your settings and create a filter that will just delete any mail that comes into that address.  You can do this as much as you want. 

So next time you sign up on a web site and wish you didn’t have to give your REAL email address, add a [email protected] and you’re in business.  Try it now.  Send yourself an email but add the plus and the word “test” before the and magically it will appear.  Pretty cool, huh?

Apple Charging $4,000 for its New Operating System through PayPal – Oops!

imageSo you have your Mac running Snow Leaopard and you’re ready to upgrade to Lion – it’s only $29, why not?  Well, if you pay for your iTunes purchases through PayPal, you might want to think twice.  Apparently there are a lot of purchasers who to their surprise have been charged multiple times upward of $4,000.  Apple blames PayPal and PayPal blames Apple, but regardless – there a lot of folks with massive overdraft charges from their banks and it’s not sure how that mess will get cleaned up.  Here’s the link to the full article at the Apple Insider:

DEAL: Asus 22” Monitor for $129 with Free Shipping

imageAsus makes very nice monitors, and Newegg has this 22” monitor for $129.99 with free shipping (and outside of California no sales tax.) 

It has both VGA (analog) and DVI (digital) inputs so it will connect to any age computer.  It also has built-in speakers if you need them, and comes with a 3-year warranty.  This is a great way to give your laptop at home a much bigger screen, or just increase the size of your existing desktop setup.  Here’s the link:

Netflix Says it’s Downhill From Here for DVD’s

imageIn its second-quarter earnings report letter to shareholders, Netflix stated that “DVD shipments have likely peaked”, streaming is the future.  It’s probably a self-fulfilling prophecy because Netflix recently raised its prices substantially when combining streaming with DVD shipments to the home.  In the last year, Netflix has grown from 15 to 25 million subscribers.  It has also been estimated that up to 30% of all traffic on the Internet during prime-time hours has been due to Netflix streaming.  While that number is likely to increase, the number of DVD by mail subscribers likely to decrease if you listen to the squawk on the Internet.  Many have threatened to leave Netflix or cancel one of the services due to the price increase.  Speaking for myself, I too will probably drop my combined service and switch to streaming or DVD by mail only.

So while DVD’s aren’t yet completely going away, this may signal a turn in how we consume our home entertainment in the future.

10 Reasons to NOT Buy Your Student an iPad

imageTechRepublic has an article spelling out 10 reasons why you shouldn’t buy your college student an iPad (in lieu of a laptop.)  I thought the best reason of all is that they will soon STILL want a laptop, but go through all ten so you’re prepared when the begging begins.  Here’s the article:

Apple’s Lion Has Arrived

imageEngadget has a nice, thorough (but not too long) review of the new Apple Lion operating system.  If you have a Mac and are thinking of upgrading your os, or you’re thinking of buying a new Mac, this is a good review to read.  To upgrade you need to be running Snow Leopard, so if you are only running Leopard, you’ll need to cough up the $29 to upgrade to Snow Leopard before doing the $29 upgrade to Lion.

If you actually would like to play with it, you can always go to an Apple store, but expect it to be crowded the next few days and there will probably be a lot of curious folks checking it out.  Here’s the link to the Engadget review:

Borders Books Close to Shutting its Doors

imageThe Wall Street Journal reported that Borders is without a buyer just before Tuesday’s court-ordered liquidation auction.  Competition from Amazon and Barnes & Noble appear to have been too much for the chain.  Without a last minute hero, Borders may soon be in the history books.  Here’s the link to the WSJ article:

Crazy DEAL: 3 Terabyte Hard Drive for $107

imageIn 1977, the founder of Digital Equipment Group said "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."  In 1981 Bill Gate is quoted (questionably) as saying "640K ought to be enough for anybody."  Today even an old computer running Windows XP uses 1000 times more memory than that. 

Well, I’m going to go out on a limb and say 3 terabytes ought to be enough storage for just about anybody for the foreseeable future.  How big is 3 terabytes?  Depending on the size of your photos somewhere between 2 and 3 million photos.  3 terabytes will hold over 200,000 mp3 songs.

So how do you use a bare drive?  It’s intended to be installed inside your desktop computer.  You can keep your existing drive, just add this one and you’re ready to go.  If space is tight inside your computer it’s possible to “clone” your existing hard drive (Windows, data, everything) and transfer it to the new drive – then just install the new drive and the computer doesn’t know the difference, except that you have a ton more room. 

Another good use is to buy an empty external case for it (usually around $30-40) and connect to your computer via USB.  You can also use it to backup ALL your computers.

The hard drive is sold by Amazon and ships for free.  So if you’re running out of room on your hard drive – this may be the last hard drive you need to buy.  Here’s the link:

DEAL: Lenovo 15.6” Laptop with Core i3 for $399

imageNewegg has the Lenovo 15.6” laptop with a Core i3 processor for only $399 with free shipping (and in Texas and many other states – no sales tax.)  It comes with 4GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive, a webcam, DVD burner, wireless-n, a memory card reader and a HDMI port.

Newegg always has lots of excellent photos of the products they sell, so check it out here:

Learn to Play Piano for Free on Your iPad

imageIf you have an iPad and would like to learn how to play the piano, then you’re in luck.  The makers of Piano Tutor are offering it for free in the iTunes App Store.  Piano Tutor plays like a game, making it fun while you improve your music reading skills.  Here’s the link to their home page where you can read more about it but hey, it’s free!  Give it a try – you’ve got nothing to lose.

Droid 3 Phone Comes to Verizon this Saturday

imageThis is going to a summer full of new Android phones coming out.  This Saturday Verizon is getting the Droid 3 by Motorola.  What it HAS is a full, slide-out qwerty keyboard that they claim is the thinnest on the market.  What it does NOT have it Verizon’s “4G” LTE service – so if you’re looking for fast Internet then there are better choices.  Like the newer generation phones it has a dual-core processor, and has a “gorilla-glass” screen to be nice and tough, an 8 megapixel rear camera, takes 1080p video and also has a front facing camera for video calls and video messaging.  It also has a 4” screen and comes with the latest version of Android.  The contract price is $199, so if you’re looking for something to replace your sluggish Droid 2, this might be just what you’re looking for.  Here’s the link to the Droid 3 page on Motorola’s site:

Today’s Free Android App – iCookbook

imageToday’s free app (if you have an Android-based phone) in the Amazon App Store is iCookbook.  This is a regularly $5 app, so today is a good day to get it if you like to cook.  It has easy to follow recipes and great photos.  Launch the Amazon App Store from your phone to get it.  If you don’t have the Amazon Apps Store app on your phone, go here to get it:

It’s That Time of the Month Again!

imageThat’s right, the second Tuesday of the month has come and gone and you should now be away of at least one of these symbols in your task tray – most likely one of the two on the left.  They are Windows updates icons.  The yellow one you’ll see if you’re running Windows XP, the blue one if you’re running Windows Vista or Windows 7.  The second Tuesday of the month is when Microsoft pushes patches and updates to your operating system.  These are important and need to be applied in order to keep your computer secure – they fix flaws that are either already or soon will be known by bad guys.  The orange icon is for Java, the red for Adobe Reader.  They can show up anytime of the month and may even occur multiple times in a month – be sure you apply them as well.  Another update you may see often, especially when your computer first boots into Windows is for Adobe Flash, it looks like this – don’t ignore it:

If you use Internet Explorer you will get a notification like this.  If you also use another browser like Firefox, you’ll get another notice, that’s ok.  Internet Explorer gets its own update, all the other browser get a different update.

These are the things that help keep your computer safe, don’t put them off.

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