Day 30 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks over at has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 30 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest is earning points by posting,commenting,etc. being active on GearLive's entire website.

Watch this video for the details of their contest:

GearLive HP HDX Dragon giveaway

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or .

Remember there are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,,,and 

Good Luck!

05/31/2008 17:15:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Zune Games Q&A#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

 games on zune

OK to answer some of the deluge of questions I have received about Zune Games after putting up this how to on Getting Games on Your Zune, I will answer the top questions I have received:

How long does it take to do this?

Well it depends - it depends on your Internet connection and if you have UAC enabled, have more than one Zune, have trouble finding and downloading games, etc. To better gauge the time, my 10-year-old daughter did the step-by-step how-to in about 8.5 minutes after seeing the games on my Zune (yeah, I timed her) and was playing games and using applications. Her favorites are the Calculator,Zune Clock, Scrambled Albums, zJewels and XnaTetris. She wants to make her own games and an ebook reader for the scripts of her plays, but thinks its way too hard. She may do it for a summer project.

What are the games in the pictures?
The games are Galactic Wars 3 aka GW3 on the 30GB Zune and Rock Rain SD on the Flash Zune. You can get them both from the links provided in the original post as well as the direct links provided. I think I got them all from Zuneboards. There is a collection of games for the Zune in a Zune Games Package available here.

Is there a web browser for Zune?
Not at this time - due to the fact that the Zune doesn't currently support web/Internet HTTP hooks required for a web browser. It would be nice if one could sync to the Zune Marketplace directly or surf the Internet, but currently its not available. Also from what I have been told that the WiFi currently only supports Ad-Hoc WiFi connections: Zune to Zune, Zune to PC, etc. There easily could be the possibility of an application supporting an Instant messaging or chat client with a selectable keyboard, preset messages, and maybe someone will create one. I

Will this tutorial ever work on 64-bit machines?

Yes the final CTP will support 64-bit systems. Current workaround is to use a Virtual 32-bit image and install the necessary software.

What are the controls on the Zune?

OK the controls are pretty intuitive, but all games and applications should have a help file with it. Control varies from game to game, application to application, but most are modeled after the Xbox 360 controller since it is using similar code.

Most use the DPad up/down/left/right to navigate menus and control the game. If you have a ZunePad/TouchPad/Squircle it will map to a thumbstick on the XBOX360 controller. :)

The Play/Pause button acts like the A button on an Xbox controller.

To select a menu item, the Center button is used. In a game the Center Button is like the B button on a controller

The back button is like the back button on a controller and exits the game/pauses it/brings up an options menu depending on how the game or application is written.

Why does the Zune shut down after I exit a game and reboot?

 This done "by design" to clear available memory from run away threads still running in the background(the kernel is based on WinCE/PMC OS) as well as for DRM and music protection, which are disabled when an application or game starts to allow access to it. There is a way to do this in the game itself and return the the main menu, but I don't know if all games and applications implement this so I think to be safe than sorry, they went with a "soft reset".Maybe this will change in the future.

Can I beam/send/squirt games from one Zune to another?

Currently I don't see a way to do this, but maybe in the future, plus if developers want to be paid for their hard work this would defeat it unless they want it to be available for free.

Can Zune applications and games support Visualizations and Music?

Yes, if the game or application is designed to do so. One of the cool things is the ability to bring up album art and music that resides on the Zune and use them in games and applications.

Can the Zune run Windows Live Gadgets or be used as a Vista Sideshow device?

It is possible via MTP and Sync Center, but I haven't seen any official documentation or announcement on how to do this yet  since  the Zune doesn't support MTP. It would make sense and add value to the device, like sharing Xbox Live content would, but probably has been placed on the back burner. I have seen some preliminary device mockups and some units from Toshiba looked strikingly similar to those of the Zune. Robert McLaws posted it about it a while back here. Note if you checked your Windows Vista Update there was a new SideShow universal driver update, I found it mentioned on the Sideshow team blog in a post here, after my Control Panel popped up and I just happened to notice the Windows Sideshow Icon and wondered why it popped up.

How do I delete games from my Zune?

OK head to the Main Menu (hold down back button) -> Games ->Select the game you want to delete from the list->select "- delete" -> Confirm "delete game and all saved content by moving the Directional pad to the left and selecting yes and select. The game will be removed from your device. Now only if they would allow the same thing for pictures, videos, music, and podcasts. :)

When can I buy Games for my Zune?

Good question. Nothing has been officially announced, yet. However there are alot of games people would love to see on the Zune like Hexic, Zuma, Snails, Pacman, Defender, Frogger, and other games for Windows Mobile and Xbox Live Arcade that would port over rather nicely. The only games that are available now are free so try them out. :)

Where can I get more games for my Zune?

Besides the links I mentioned before you can also find some games over at GameProjects.

Hope this answers most of your questions.

05/31/2008 10:42:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 29 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks over at the  has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 29 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest is to answer 3 questions a day  for the length of the contest and email in your answers, they  also have some bonus questions for some extra prizes. :)


Here  are the details of their contest:

We wanted to keep the contest simple, so here's what we're doing. Good luck, everyone! 

The questions will be posted at Mobile PC World daily.

How to Enter:
1. If you haven’t already registered as a member at, please do so in order to be eligible to win.  The email address on your entry must match the email used to register.

2. The contest will consist of three questions per day from the supporting Web sites. The answers can be found easily.  We’ll even tell you which site goes with which question.  The list of questions will remain accessible for the length of the contest, so if you miss a day, you’ll be able to go back and check.  We understand that there are times when life gets in the way and we want everyone to be able to have fun with this and to have a fair chance to win.

3. All entries must be mailed to  You can send the entries daily, or collect them and send them in at once.

4. Entries for the Dragon PC contest must have “Day of the Dragon Contest” as the subject line.

5. Contest is limited to one complete entry per person for the Dragon, regardless of how the entries are submitted.  Duplicate entries will be disqualified.

6. To lead up to the big prize, we have other prizes that we’ll be giving away during the week.  Winning one of these additional prizes will NOT eliminate you from winning the HP Dragon. Each day, we’ll have one bonus question.  Answering the bonus question correctly and sending it in will make you eligible for one of the additional prizes.  You can see the list of prizes at  These entries must be sent in before 11pm Pacific Daylight Time on the day of the contest to be eligible for the daily prize.

7. Bonus contest entries must have a subject of “Dragon Bonus Contest

8. Limit of one entry per person per day for the bonus contest.

9. The bonus questions used for the additional prizes will not be considered when checking all answers during the week to win the Dragon.  This is a separate contest and there’s no obligation to play the bonus games in order to win the Dragon.

10.  All correct entries will be entered into a random drawing using to select a winner.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or .

Remember there are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,, and, and

Good Luck!

05/30/2008 16:31:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 28 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Our good friend, Mauricio Freitas of  has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 28 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest is to simply know about their Pizza Party/Meetings,register in their forums, and enter - pretty simple and everyone likes Pizza and if you went to their site early, their contest opened up a little early due to the different time zone. :)

Geekzone HP HDX Dragon

Here are the details of their contest :

To enter our competition you have to correctly answer this question: "This year Geekzone is promoting/promoted three pizza evenings around New Zealand. Can you list the cities and dates?"
Enter the answer in our competition page and submit your entry.
You can find the answer in our forums or using the search.
These are the rules you should know about:

  • Entry is open to registered Geekzone users. You can register here.
  • Your personal information is not being sold or distributed to any other company and is used solely for communication between Geekzone and yourself.
  • Users must fill the entry form to enter the answer to the skill question and any comments, and submit the information. Geekzone will receive your answer via e-mail.
  • Incomplete answers will not be included in the draw.
  • Only one entry per user is allowed. All multiple entries will be removed from the pool. We record the IP address of all submissions.
  • No purchase is necessary.
  • Due to the New Zealand timezone we will have entries closing Friday 6th June 2008 10pm (NZ time) - click here to find this in your timezone. This guarantees everyone around the world have the same opportunity in terms of time to enter.
  • A random draw will be conducted Saturday 7th June 2008 10am (NZ time) and one entry will be selected.
  • The winner will be notified via e-mail. An e-mail to confirm the contact details will be requested.
  • The contact e-mail must be sent back in 48 hours otherwise another entry will be selected.
  • If the e-mail address is invalid (e-mail bounces) then another draw will be conducted.
  • Postage is paid.
  • In case the winner is an U.S. resident, he or she will receive a check to offset any taxes associated with the prize. If the winner is outside of the US, any duty associated with the shipment coming into your country will be covered. Please note that if you are in the US you will be required to fill out a W9 form and submit it to us before the prize can be shipped to you.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or the .

Remember there are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from  PlanetX64,,,,, and

Good Luck!

05/28/2008 21:44:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 27 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Todd Cochrane of has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 27 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. The will have 6 surveys each entering you into the contest.

Geek News Central 2.0

Here are the details of their contest :

On June 4th before Midnight Hawaiian Standard Time we will announce on this website the winner of our HP HDX Dragon Giveaway. You will have the ability to enter six times to win! Each day of the contest we will make available a new survey that contestants will have to complete to be eligible.

On day 7 we will combine all entries and through random selection pick a winner and an alternate. The winner will be announced on this website!

While you are here I would hope that you would subscribe to the podcast and also subscribe to the website feed.

Good Luck to Everyone!

Click Here to take Day 1 survey

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to our friends from New Zealand at

Remember there are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from, PlanetX64,,,, and

Good Luck!

05/28/2008 09:53:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 26 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Michael Reyes of has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 26 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.


Here are the details of their contest :

There will be three winners in total; the grand prize winner will take home the HDX Dragon with some bundled software, the 2nd place winner will take home a notebook bag, and the 3rd place will take home a notebook sleeve.

So what do you have to do to win?

Create a video, or take pictures (Not required to make a video or do both) of your current work space, or show us your current system.

Upload your video or pictures to any video or picture hosting site, such as YouTube or Flickr. Tag your video or pictures (not required but will give you bonus points) with the following keywords:, HP, HDX, 31 days and 31 sites.

Visit this forum thread, embed your pictures or video into a post (registration required but free) and tell us how the HDX system would benefit you.

Don’t give me no sob story about how you will sell it to feed your village in Africa, be honest because no matter how good your story may be I will eliminate you if I suspect it to be false.

That’s it, that is all you have to do, and have fun doing it!

Bonus Points will help you win:

Bonus Point Option 1: Make a Video for and HP (commercial like), promoting the HDX system.

Bonus Point Option 2: Take a picture of your self holding a Logo in front of something or someplace interesting

Bonus Point Option 3: Browse all of our blog post since the new design (Feb 26th 2008) and search for a pop-up that offers you the chance to answer some bonus questions. (Make sure your ad blocker and or pop-up blockers are disabled)

Doing any of the bonus points will give you a better chance of winning, but does not guarantee victory.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,, PlanetX64,, and

Good Luck!

05/27/2008 05:18:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 25 of the 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Lawrence Abrams of has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 25 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. You will have to register in their forums to participate and answer some questions about bleepingcomputer to be entered.

Here are the details of their contest :

In order to enter this contest you must first agree to the terms and agreement listed below.

  1. Do not enter the contest with multiple accounts. Anyone who is caught doing so will have all of their entries removed.

  2. If you won a laptop from one of the other sites involved in this promotion, you will become ineligible.

  3. If you are selected as a winner you must provide a complete name, address, and telephone number that can be used to ship the award.

  4. Depending on the value of the prize, you may be required to fill out a W-9 form. This form will be sent directly to the sponsor of the contest.

The rules are simple; answer all of the following questions correctly. If you spend lots of time on BC, the questions should be really easy. If you are new to the site, or haven't been around for a while, these questions provide a great opportunity to visit the various sections of the site and become familiar with all that BC has to offer.

Good luck and have fun exploring the site!

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,, PlanetX64,, and

Good Luck!

05/26/2008 19:56:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 24 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Long Zheng of has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 24 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. He is doing a random drawing and you get extra entries if you register using a computer with Windows Vista and participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program.


Here are the details of their contest :

The first part of the giveaway is easy. Head over to the giveaway registration mini-site and submit your full name and email in the form provided. One person is only eligible to submit one entry. If duplicates are detected, you will be automatically disqualified. But if you really want to increase your odds of winning, there is a legitimate way.

To obtain a bonus entry in the giveaway, you will need to be using Windows Vista. Why? Because Vista users gets almost no love and are even shunned for using the latest technology instead of its 7-years-old sibling. It’s a shame everyone’s being suckered into a hate campaign devised by media companies to sell more ads.

Without rambling on too much, the bonus entry involves users to voluntarily participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) of Windows Vista. No, this isn’t paid by Microsoft although I wished they did. I’m asking you to enable CEIP because it is really the easiest way for you as a general user to help Microsoft improve Windows (and other applications) without any work on your behalf. I for one have enabled CEIP on all of my PCs.

The data collected is entirely anonymous and secure. Some of the information they collect include performance and reliability metrics (ie. percent of time an application failed, average length of time it takes to complete an operation), usage (ie. number of notifications) and configuration (ie. most common processor speeds, distribution for screen resolution).

An example of an outcome from CEIP are improvements to User Account Control. “Vista used CEIP to track the real world UAC prompt frequency and the top reasons for UAC prompts. This data was used to make design changes that reduce UAC prompts in unnecessary scenarios.”

To claim your bonus entry, you will need to download a run a small 100KB application which verifies you have enabled CEIP. Special mention to Rafael Rivera for making this possible with an undocumented API call in Windows.

This site’s giveaway ends in seven days on the Sunday, June 1 and winner will be announced soon after. Good luck.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,,PlanetX64, and

Good Luck!

05/25/2008 11:57:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 23 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at have posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 23 of the 31 Days of the Dragon Their contest is to submit an entry to their forums on what you would like the next version of the Green Button to look like.

Here are the details of their contest:

  • Enter the giveaway by giving your views/suggestions on what the next version of TGB should look like. Is it more forums? More blogs? Different format? New features? Expanded content? The sky is the limit - tell us what you think will take TGB to the next level!
  • Your entry can include text, images, sketches - whatever media you think will get your point across.
  • The best submission will be chosen by TGB internally, and the decision is final.
  • You may only enter the giveaway once, however you may edit your submission up until the close of the giveaway at 5:00pm PST, Friday May 30.
  • To be eligible, you must have registered for a TGB account prior to the announcement of the contest on 4/28/08.
  • Entries are to be posted to the site (a special forum will be created) no later than Friday 5:00pm PST, May 30, 2008.
  • Winner will be announced on the site on Saturday, May 31, 2008.
  • Click here to submit your entry

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,,, and PlanetX64.

Good Luck!

05/24/2008 15:30:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Review of the New Jawbone by Aliph#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Last year at CES the folks at Aliph didn't have anything new to show us from the Jawbone that they announced and released at the previous CES. Instead they did some very cool viral marketing by allowing people to switch out their existing headsets for their current line and many people took them up on that offer to gain the noise cancellation headset. They had eluded that they were going to have a new one coming out in 2H 2008 based on customer feedback and a new innovative design with even better sound cancellation than the first version. We couldn't wait to see it after we received their latest press announcement.

jawbone 2 box jawbone box rear 

The New Jawbone packaging takes a lot of the same packaging design from the previous Jawbone. If I remember correctly it is almost the same, but why change a good thing. :)

jawbone box front up close jawbone box back up close

new jawbone jawbone box back detail

The packaging is very similar to the first generation Jawbone with a nice clear case suspending the jawbone on a pedestal. They have a great out of box experience something I am big on when you purchase a consumer electronics device you should always feel like you are getting something special, something of value and the folks at Aliph seem to understand this very well. Quality packaging usually means a quality product lies inside.

jawbone box with slider jawbone on pedastel

Sliding off the black paper sleeve like one off of a Venti Starbucks Chai Tea Latte, you reveal the clear case, that flips up like a jewelry box.

Getting Started Quickly

Jawbone quick start guide Jawbone quick start guide 2

On the bottom of the case is a black quick start guide with three simple steps -Welcoming you to a 'Whole New Talk'.

Jawbone quick start guide 3 Jawbone quick start guide 4 

Pulling out the Jawbone Quick Start Guide it unfolds to reveal a Jawbone over view showing you the two buttons on the device the Noise Assassin button located on the back session of the headset and the Talk Button which is located in the middle of the headset.

Jawbone quick start guide 5Jawbone quick start guide 6 Jawbone quick start guide 7

The rest of the guide goes through charging the New Jawbone, Pairing, customizing the fit, explanation of the VAS- Voice Activation Sensor and Noise Assassin technology,how to use the New Jawbone and more.

jawbone packagingjawbone removal 

To remove the headset from the packaging you simply pull on the large clear plastic divider labeled PULL removing the head set from the two halves of the pedestal that suspends it.

new jawbone 2  up close new jawbone 2  up close back

Covering the ear piece is a small piece of plastic vinyl labeled Remove Before Use, it just fell off. :)


new jawbone 2  earloop new jawbone 2  earloop2

The New Jawbone has a nice white single stitched leather Ear loop and goes on much easier than the previous Jawbone, that had required some getting used to and repeatedly using it to be able to put it on and and taking it off with one hand and generally required two at times. The New Jawbone just goes on and stays put. The new version is so light and comfortable you forget you are wearing it. The clear white button on the inside of the headset is called the VAS (Voice Activity Sensor) rests on your Jaw senses when you talk and when you don't turning on and off noise cancellation. If the VAS doesn't make contact with your face it won't work properly.

Customizing the fit

 jawbone box contents jawbone customize your fit jawbone customize your fit 2 jawbone customize your fit 3

Underneath the quick start guide is a small box neatly labeled Customize Your Fit. Opening the box you will find a neatly laid out box with the components for customizing the fit of the New Jawbone to you liking. Included on the headset is a Medium Leather Earloop and a medium Earbud. In the box are a small and large Earbud, Large Leather Earloop(labeled XL), Medium Earloop and a Large Earloop. The nice thing that is different from the previous version is that the Earloops work on either the left or right ear, reducing the amount of Earloops.

jawbone earbuds new jawbone 2 without earloop

There is very little size difference between the earbuds, but having the "right" fit is very important. I found that the smallest earbud actually worked best for me and I could even use the headset with out the earloop and it still wouldn't shake free or fall off like the first Jawbone.

jawbone case jawbone case 2

I still take the earloop with me and I was able to find a makeshift case for it as well, from an old JellyBelly jellybeans case that I had hoped would fit my previous Jawbone. (Yes, Ray it fits!)

jawbone case 3 jawbone case 4

Since these above pictures were taken(last night) I have also added a custom fitted foam piece from some foam packing material and shaped it for the New Jawbone and the ear loop and it makes for a nice case with out any rattling or "pocket noise".

Power to Go

jawbone power up jawbone power up 2

The larger box beneath the custom fit kit labeled Power Up slides open with a little effort. Its a pretty tight fit.

jawbone power up 3 jawbone power up 4

This reveals a paper pull tab and the word Jawbone peaking through a window. Pulling on the tab opens the top of the second box that secures down its contents.

jawbone power up 5jawbone power up 6

Which contains a small booklet of "important safety information", a nice light grey transformer labeled Jawbone that outputs 5V at 550mA with foldable prongs for easy transport, and a USB charging cable. I actually like the fact that the cables are a different color from the black and white spaghetti that usually oozes from one's bag making it a bit discernable.

jawbone power up connectors

The charging connector in the New Jawbone are recessed near the earbud and there is no rubber cover to loose like in the first Jawbone. On either side of the connector are 2 magnets for providing a secure connection.

jawbone charging cable jawbone charging cable 2

The charging cable connects with out any problems and fits like a glove thanks to the pull of the 2 magnet pairs in the headset and in the charging cable. I was also able to use the USB cable coupled with an Automotive Cigarette lighter/Auto Accessory charger with a USB receiver to charge the Jawbone in the car. It takes about 35 minutes to get to 80% charge and just under 50 minutes to get to a full charge from being totally dead.

With the 50% reduction in size so is there a 50% reduction in battery life. In my audio test using BT Audio and playback of Sirius Radio via Sirius WM5, I averaged 3 hours and 42 minutes with the New Jawbone and 6 hours 14 minutes with the older Jawbone. Still for my usage, it works pretty well with a charge needed about once a week.

Comparing the New and the Old

new jawbone side old jawbone side

When on their sides and alone there doesn't seem to be much difference between the two Jawbones.

jawbone new and old jawbone new and old  side by side

When placed side by side, you can clearly see the difference between the two.

jawbone new and old  side by side 2 jawbone new and old  side by side 3

Even the Earloop design and earbuds are different. The New Jawbone has a larger hole and I no longer have to use a Jabra earbud on my Jawbone to get a clearer sound.

jawbone new and old  side by side 4 jawbone new and old  side by side 5 

From every angle it is amazing how much smaller the new version is.

new jawbone 2 in ear old jawbone in ear

On the head you can clearly see a difference and when you are wearing it you really notice the difference.

Pairing Up

new jawbone charging up

The first step is to plug in and Power Up the Jawbone for 50 Minutes with the included AC adapter behind the black quick start guide. I couldn't wait that long and just turned it on. I figured I could charge it up later after I got it paired. :)

new jawbone pairing new jawbone pairing 2

The next step is to pair the headset with your phone. The first time the headset is turned on it automatically going into pairing mode, which is very cool. If you wish to pair it with other phones, computer, devices,etc. You just hold down the hidden talk and Noise Assassin buttons for 2 seconds. The indicator light flashes between red and white like the original Jawbone and is ready to pair with your device once it is found with the standard pair code of '0000' .

new jawbone pairing 3 new jawbone pairing 4

Once paired you are ready to make a call with your New Jawbone. If you are a previous Jawbone user it takes some getting used to on how it works since it now works a bit differently. I found myself hanging up on calls when I went to increase the volume until I got used to where the Noise Assassin button was located, which when you are wearing it is located on the back of the device. Voice Command also works differently from the first version in that it used to be a press of the Talk button now its a press and hold for 2 seconds of the Noise Assassin button. A triple tap of the Noise Assassin button will redial the last number. I did like the feature of turning off the LED by pressing the talk button 5 times while in standby since that LED can be bright and distracting to others. I was able to pair the Jawbone with 3 other devices without problem Motorola Q9H, Nokia N80, Sprint Moto Q, and an HTC Wizard (pictured). I was able to use it between devices without any problems as long as the bluetooth was off and unpaired from the Jawbone. Yes it also works with an iPhone

Can You Hear me Now?

The call quality of the New Jawbone was indeed better than the previous model. I was actually surprised because the Jawbone had given me the clearest sound I had from any Bluetooth headset I had tried and I have tried many, as many lie in my headset graveyard drawer. The New Jawbone seemed to do a good job as I answered a call with my kids watching the recording of the American Idol finale at volume of -24dBs, (which is pretty loud in our house), my oldest was practicing her clarinet, while my other two children were "talking loudly" to each other about the show -a true Calgon moment. However, even with all the noise I was able to talk and the person on the other end thought I was home alone.

jawbone noise assassin 

When listening to the playing back of some voice mails through the new Jawbone, voices sounded a bit digitized even with both the Noise Assassin on and off (holding the Noise Assassin button for 2 seconds while in a call). However all of my phone conversations sounded clear, so it must be the voicemail system of my provider that caused the digitization that I heard. I even did a sound test between the built-in microphone, an old Plantronics headset without noise cancellation, the old Jawbone, and the New Jawbone. The person on the other end could hear the difference and noticed a gradual improvement as I switched them out. I even tried to fool my tester, by switching back to another one and they could clearly hear the difference.

Product Details:

Price: $129.99

Weight: 10 grams

Talk Time: Over 4 hours

Standby Time: Over 8 days

Range: Up to 33 feet (10 meters)

Charge: 80% charge in 35 minutes, 100% charge in < 1 hour

Colors: Black  Silver  Gold

Supports Bluetooth® 1.1, 1.2, and 2.0

Additional Information

  • 50% smaller than the original Jawbone
  • Military-grade noise elimination technology
  • Ten times better voice clarity than competing headsets – meaning it transmits 90% less noise
  • Faster processing eliminates unexpected noise bursts
  • Unmatched intelligibility — voices sound human, not robotic
  • Sophisticated dual microphone array reduces wind noise
  • Invisible touch controls
  • Three-dimensional texture on shield inspired by noise abatement surfaces
  • Premium materials including medical-grade plastic and fine leather
  • Magnetic USB cable & wall charger included
  • Three (3) earbuds — small, medium, and large
  • Two (2) fine leather earloops — medium and large
  • Two (2) slim earloops ideal for use with eyewear — medium and large
  • Fits either ear

jawbone price jawbone 2 colors

The New Jawbone is now exclusively at AT&T retail stores and for $129. Just like the previous version the New Jawbone comes in a variety of colors like Gold (goldy lips), Black (blah,blah black), and Silver (silver tongue).

I was always hoping for a smaller version of the Jawbone and got just that. I really despised the loop on the Jawbone and hated the fact that it wasn't easy to put on. The newer version is 50% smaller and lighter with an Earloop that goes on easily. Better yet I found that I don't really need to use it at all since the fit is so good. The other version I had broke a few of the Earloops due to the fact of getting caught on things in my pocket or my pocket liner. I do wish that they included a carrying case with this headset, but my makeshift version works fine. If you are looking for a new Bluetooth headset that has great sound quality and is comfortable to wear I highly recommend the New Jawbone. It is not just a headset, it is EarWear.

05/23/2008 13:30:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 22 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at PlanetX64 have posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 22 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest is pretty treasure hunt of sorts where you have to sign up for their newsletter for clues to win.


Here are the details of their contest:

As stated before, the contest will be in the form of a treasure hunt. Follow the clues to enter the secret code word in the right location to enter the contest. The contest runs from May 23, 2008 to may 30, 2008 with the Drawing on May 30, 2008 @ 6PM EDT.

The first clue is to become a PlanetX64 newsletter subscriber.

The second clue will be mailed out to everyone who registers for the PlanetX64 Newsletter. Enter a valid e-mail address or you won't receive the clue! If you have already registered for the newsletter, then the clue will be mailed to you automatically.

The signup form for the newsletter is located on the PlanetX64 homepage on the right side column. Scroll down a bit to find it!

The second clue will be mailed out every day starting on the 24th. Follow the instructions on the newsletter to get the clue!

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to, one of my favorite places for Media Center News and forums.

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,, and

Good Luck!

05/23/2008 12:10:53 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Getting Games on Your Zune#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OK I showed a few people at our meeting this week some of the XNA games on my Zune and they wanted to know how to do it. 

 zune game 1 zune games

They said they weren't programmers and the link I sent them was a bit confusing and was wondering if I could do a step by step for them so this is basically a repost from Nick Gravelyn's blog with pictures and a few additions to make it a bit easier to do:

Since a lot of non-developers are looking to get games on their Zune, I thought I’d take a moment and write up a brief “How To”. Note: If you have a 64-bit machine, the CTP is not able to deploy Zune games. The final version of XNA Game Studio 3.0 will, but for now you are unfortunately unable to participate.

Visual Studio C#

1) Follow this link to download Microsoft Visual C# Express 2008. It is very important that you get C# and that it is 2008 or else you will not be able to build and deploy games to your Zune. Click on the Green Square and choose your language.

XNA Install

2) Next follow this link to download the Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP. Take a moment to understand that a CTP is not a final release; it is a very early (pre-beta) release used to get feedback and bug reports from developers and users. If you experience some issues, that is why. The final release of Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 is scheduled for “Holiday 2008″. If you don’t want to use pre-beta software on your computer or Zune, do not install the CTP.

1.Start XNA Game Studio Device Center

3) Now go to your Start Menu, go into All Programs, and find the entry for Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 (CTP). In that folder open up the XNA Game Studio Device Center.

2 add device

In the device center click on Add Device when your Zune is connected to your computer.

3. choose device to add

Click on the Zune button and then select your Zune and click Next.

4. Select your Zune (if you have more than one connected

After the connection is completed click Finish and your Zune should appear in the main window. You can now close the device center.

7. now I have 3 Zunes to play with

If you have more than one Zune you will have to make the device you wish to install the application to the default device or you may have connection problems.

zune game install

You should be ready to connect and you should see a status window of 'connected' or 'waiting for computer'.

4) Next find the Zune game you wish to deploy. For example you could download Alien Aggressors. Make sure you download and unzip the project to a standard directory such as the desktop or your documents folder. If you place the files in a location that has strange characters ($, %, #, etc), it may not work properly.

1 install

5) Open up the .sln file found in the download. This should open up Microsoft Visual C# Express 2008. If you receive an error, locate and open the .csproj file.

2 install

Then click on Build in the menu bar and find the entry for “Deploy <ProjectName>” where <ProjectName> is the name of the project in the solution you wish to deploy. For example in Alien Aggressors the entry is called “Deploy Alien Aggressors [Zune]”. You do not want to hit the option that says “Deploy Solution”. The proper Deploy option is down below the break line.

3 install

At this point the Output window for Visual C# should open to tell you how the progress is going. (I couldn't get it automatically show up so you an either click on the small tab at the bottom left of the screen labeled output, head to View-> Output or hit CTRL+W, O to display.)

zune game install 2

Your Zune will also display the status during deployment of what is being installed and it should match up with the Output Window.

zune game connected zune game transfer

When completed your Zune should return to a screen stating either “connected” or “waiting for computer”. In the bottom left corner of Visual C# it will also say “Deploy succeeded”. You may now click the center button or unplug the Zune to exit XNA Game Studio Connect on your Zune. Then you can browse to the games option and play the game you deployed.


When you go to your main menu you will now see Games.

zune games listing zune games listing 2

Select it and you will see a list of all the games and applications you loaded on your Zune, just like you do album art.

zune game info

When you choose a game you will see info and a description about the game.

zune game load

When you choose to play the game it will display the Zune logo and load animating the logo.

zune calculator zune clock

Not only are there games there are some cool applications like a calculator and a clock that allows you to play music, which is great for runners that have been dying for this feature like iPods have.

The only downside is that when you end a game or application the device basically soft resets itself and then brings you back to the main menu.

That should get all of you non-Visual Studio people up and going with playing these Zunes. If you run into issues, check out the XNA forums because there have already been some problems people have had and solutions given.

Some other places to go to get some info on making and creating games or even getting some are the XNA Creators Club Online, Zunerama and Zuneboards for applications and games and other info.

Thanks Nick for providing the groundwork for this step by step and I hope this clears things up for those that asked.

05/22/2008 22:54:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 21 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Chris Pirillo has posted up the details over at his blog about the details of their contest at the to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 21 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest is pretty simple Chris asks that you be present in the chatroom at the time of the giveway, subscribe to his YouTube channel, and make a 'quality' comment somewhere on his blog the more you comment the better your chances since that is what he will be choosing from at random.


Here are the details of their contest:

I have been selected as one of the people to give away an HP Dragon notebook this month on May 29th!! My requirements to win will be simple: You must be present in my chat room at the time of the giveaway. You must be subscribed to my YouTube channel. And… you must comment on my blog. The winner will be chosen from a random blog post, so the more you comment… the better your chances of winning! Remember, only GOOD comments count. Any insipid or useless comments will be deleted by my assistant Kat, and will not count towards winning. A good comment is one that contributes and even adds more to any discussion within a post. Show me with your comment that you took the time to really read my post, and want to discuss it. Don’t just say “HI THERE EVERYONE!”, or “I want to win!”.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,,, and

Good Luck!

05/22/2008 05:59:05 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 20 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at  has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 20 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest is pretty simple is to just to fill out a survey.


Here are the details of their contest:

The contest will run from May 21st through the start of May 28th. That will give you seven full days to fill out the survey linked to below, which should only take 30 seconds or so. Just make sure to include your email so we can notify the winner.

Fill out the survey to enter the contest!

The winner will have 72 hours to confirm their address once he or she is emailed. If we do not hear from them within 72 hours another winner will be randomly chosen from the pool.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,,, and

Good Luck!

05/21/2008 13:55:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 19 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 19 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest is an audio submission on what would you do with a real dragon.

neowin dragon

Here are the details of their contest:

Continuing from the dragon-themed prize, we want you to record a short audio clip, no more than one minute in length, telling us what you'd do if you had a real life dragon at your disposal. Alternative pet? Crime-fighting force to be reckoned with? Let us know your thoughts in the most creative way you can imagine. Be it a moody poetry reading, comedy skit or choral singing, entertain us here at Neowin and you could be winning this fantastic prize courtesy of HP and Buzzcorps.
We'll be choosing a winner on May 27 2008 which gives you seven days from the start of the competition.
Submission details

  • Entries will open on Tuesday May 20 2008 at 00:00 GMT and close on Tuesday May 27 2008 at 00:00 GMT
  • Reply to this thread and attach an MP3 of under 2MB and no more than 1 minute in length
  • One entry per member - you may post additional entries but you must indicate the ONE entry you wish to be entered for judging
  • Entries will be judged by the collective Neowin staff
  • Neowin staff and veterans are inelligible to enter - sorry guys!
  • A winner will be announced on May 27 2008; they will be contacted separately with details of claiming their prize
  • This is an international competition and members from all territories are welcome to participate
  • Creativity and originality is favoured, so entries must be your own work
  • Neowin reserves the right to alter the terms of this competition at will

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,,, and

Good Luck!

05/20/2008 13:13:03 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 18 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Andrew McCaskey at has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 18 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest is a series of listener contest surveys that you need to fill out in order to be entered into a random drawing and there will be one survey for the 6 days the contest is open with each one giving you a chance to win!


Here are the details of the contest:

The contest Rules and Entry for Day 1 - May 19 are found here.

In order to make the contest available to the largest number of SDRNews listeners, I have selected a process that will enable you to enter up to six times (once per day) during the contest period.

Each day’s entry will be posted sometime before midnight Eastern time, and remain active for 24 hours.

You can submit one entry per day, and then submit another entry the next day.

You may have up to six entries in that drawing if you complete your entry on each of the six days May 19-May 24. The final winner will be selected in a random drawing among all completed survey entries.

One alternate winner will also be drawn for an additional prize package to be offered by the TechPodcast Network.

Make sure that you have studied the details of the 31 Days of the Dragon Promotional Offer.

Special Conditions apply - see contest entry for details.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from, Geekstop,,,,, and

Good Luck!

05/19/2008 16:46:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


REMINDER: User/Developer Group Meeting THIS WEDNESDAY (May 21)#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Just your friendly reminder that the next New England Windows Mobile User/Developer Group meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 21st starting at 6:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (6th floor). Complete information, maps and directions can be found in this posting.

There will be 2 presentations at this meeting. They are:

  • What's New in Windows Mobile 6.1. Curious to find out what the latest version of Windows Mobile has to offer for users and the enterprise? This presentation will discuss a variety of new features, functions and enhancements for Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard and Professional.
  • Introducing Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager ("SCMDM"). If you haven't already heard, Microsoft has released the newest member of the System Center product family. SCMDM provides device management and security for Windows Mobile devices to enterprise administrators. In this presentation, you will see and learn the benefits that SCMDM provides to administrators and developers of mobile Line of Business applications.

As always, there will be lots of great giveaways. This month's giveaway includes a copy of Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate, so don't miss out! 

05/19/2008 13:11:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Gear Diary Coverage of Mobius and MacBook Meltdown#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Judie Lipsett over at GearDiary gave probably the best coverage of the Mobius conference and on her last day she had a MacBook Meltdown due to a hard drive crash and experienced the "White Screen of Death" from a DualBoot of Mac OSX and Windows XP. Luckily in Seattle there was an Apple Store (of course smaller than the new one that just opened in Boston.) Looking for a solution from the "Genius Bar" they offered a lesser hard drive as a fix or to have it sent in, which she opted to do. She then played her options to get a working replacement for her "Main Computer" and decided to get a new MacBook Air with the "option" to return it after 2 weeks. I wonder if she will end up keeping it. :)

judie mba

So this is a common corundum for laptop users and falls back to the point of carrying 2 laptops (if you got them with you) or a backup in case of disaster. I had written an article on this a long time ago over at Lockergnome. Another option which I do when I travel for business and conferences besides carrying 2 laptops (they weigh under 6 lbs total with extended batteries), I carry an extra ghosted laptop hard drive of my main laptop, which isn't hard since I just switched it out to an SSD drive. I also have an image of my laptops on an external hard drive I carry with me as well as a copy on my Media Center/Home Server box at home in case I loose all my gear. I have been burned in the past with hotel staff dropping my bags, a person tripping over a power cord from someone else's laptop knocking mine onto the floor, a hard drive corruption of 'good' beta code, a corrupted XP partition - all of which I corrected in about a half-hours time due to having one failure a while ago that left me without my most useful tool, but I did get through the day with my Pocket PC and bluetooth keyboard at the time. :)

I am wondering what other people do while traveling for a mobile backup. I know some people use their mobile phones and services like SugarSync or LinkedIn to gain access to documents saved at work or home. I just hope they do have a mobile or even non-mobile backup strategy.

05/19/2008 00:40:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 17 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Xavier Lanier at has posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 17 of the 31 Days of the Dragon. Their contest appears to be a contest in creativity in telling your story in why you deserve to win the HP HDX Dragon with friends and family at least 5 are needed to comment in order to be entered to win. Your not done yet with your mission just quite yet, you will also need to start 5 new substantial threads over at the forums.


Here are the details of the contest:

Today we’re launching Forums, with the contest being its very first entry. To win you’ll need to register for Forums and complete the following tasks by 3PM (PST) on May 23, 2008 :
1) Register for a Forum account above. Reply to this post with your story about what you’ll do with the HP HDX if you win it. How will it change your life, or the lives of others you live or work with? Why do you deserve it?
Effort counts so be honest and be creative. Upload a video or send us a slideshow to illustrate your story. Feel free to link to your organization’s Web site. We want to hear substantial stories here- please no one-liners.
2) Tell your friends and family what you’re trying to win and have them comment on your entry and tell us more about why you deserve the HDX. Again, be creative and resourceful- ask your Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Bebo etc. friends to check out your entry and comment. You need at least 5 replies to your entry to win.
3) Show us you’re a tech enthusiast, or at least eager to learn by starting at least five substantial, non-contest related threads at the brand new Forums. Write substantial replies (at least 50 words) on at least 10 other threads. The more activity you have on the Notebook Forums, the more we’ll know you really want/need the HDX and that you won’t ditch once we send you the computer ;-)

1) Only one entry per person. We’ve got fancy tracking software that can detect if you’re registering multiple times. We’re looking for quality, not quantity here.
2) Your story (Task #1) about why you deserve it and how you’ll use it will be weighted the most, but you cannot win without completing task #2 and #3. If you have no friends, try to make some or hope that someone else will comment on your entry
3) The winner will be selected by and its decision will be final.
4) If we find your entry to be fraudulent we’ll delete it. If we get tricked into awarding the prize to someone who lied to get it we won’t ship you the prize and choose someone else that really deserves it.
5) The winner must agree to use the HP HDX for the purpose(s) stated in his/her contest entry and not sell it for at least two years.
6) Winner will be required to provide HP with his/her social security number and personal info for tax purposes BEFORE the HDX will be shipped (U.S. residents only).
7) If you win you must provide with a valid street address (No P.O. Boxes), phone number and email address. The winner must agree to confirm his/her identity and anything/everything mentioned in his/her entry.
8) This contest is open to everyone, but it’s your responsibility to check your local laws and regulations. As much as I’d like my wife to win the HDX, contributors, HP employees and their immediate families are ineligible to enter.
9) We reserve the right to adjust contest rules if anything goofy happens.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from, Geekstop,,,, and 

Good Luck!

05/18/2008 12:26:09 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Review of the HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook aka the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes


The HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook PC also known as the Dragon due to the imprint design in its case is a true lifestyle PC, especially if you are a one who likes the best of the best. This laptop has just about all of it, the model HP Pavilion HDX9200 Notebook PC.

This unit is fully loaded with everything:

HDX System Specs

Operating system:

Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)


Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Extreme Processor X9000 (2.80GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)


20.1" diagonal WUXGA High-Definition HP Ultra Brightview Widescreen (1920x1200)-"True HD" 1080p res


4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)

Graphics Card:

512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTS


HP Imprint Finish (Dragon) + Fingerprint Reader + Webcam + Microphone


Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 4965AGN Network Connection and Bluetooth(TM)

Hard Drive:

500GB 5400RPM SATA Dual Hard Drive (250GB x 2)

Primary CD/DVD Drive:

Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer

TV & Entertainment Experience:

Integrated HP HDTV Hybrid TV Tuner and 4 Altec Lansing speakers +the HP Triple Bass Reflex subwoofer

Primary Battery:

9 Cell Lithium Ion Battery


18.7 inches/47.5 cm (L) x 13.36 inches/33.95 cm (W) x 2.3 inches/5.85 cm (min H/max H)

Out of Box Experience


Its a pretty big box. We brought the box to the scale we found that the box weighs in at 26 lbs, the laptop alone only weighs 16.6lbs with battery/15.5lbs without, yes only. :)

PICT1103 PICT1102

Carefully taking the HDX out of the box, I actually experienced something that only comes with very few electronic devices. A pleasant out of the box experience. It even has writing on the inside of the box lid (see picture upper right), which is far from the norm or brown boxes most HP laptops come in.

 PICT1335 PICT1344 PICT1345 PICT1346 PICT1347 PICT1348

Upon opening the box you see a large poster(I mean really large- 19x29") on one side and a quick start guide that tells you everything about the laptop and where it is located. I wish all laptops had these.

PICT1104 PICT1105

Underneath the poster lies a large black box with a remote control (more on that later) with a picture of a hand around the remote, I really liked it and that there was some thought to the packaging. You definitely feel like you are getting something special.

PICT0017 PICT1470

Opening the box you will find your typical laptop amenities the Power Brick, power cord, battery, an HD antenna, a standard RF antenna, F-connector antenna adapter, a pair of HP branded earbud headphones, IR transmitter, and a black box.We took out the battery and power cord began to charge it before turning it on surprisingly the charge light went off after 2 minutes.

PICT1313 PICT1316 PICT1320PICT1322

The small black box holds a ton of pamphlets on the software installed on the system that we affectionately call "crapware", special offers, as well as some CDs for some of the installed software. There were no restore CDs/DVDs, just a pamphlet on how to create your own.

PICT0026 PICT0001

(I actually created a set of 3 recovery DVDs after stetting it up and it took quite a while about 3.5 hours.See above photos.) Another option is to purchase the recovery discs directly from HP for $19. Also in the box is a microfiber cloth for cleaning both the laptop screen and outside shiny surface that attracts a fair share of fingerprints.

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One thing you may have noticed in that small black box that is something rare now when you purchase a laptop. An actual user manual. And it comes with useful tabs for easily finding information and how to use and setup your laptop. It is really well written for both the novice and advanced user. An online version of the HP Pavilion HDX Entertainmet Series Notebook PC - Maintenance and Service Guide is available here if you need more details or ever need to take it apart.

 PICT1445 PICT1437 PICT1438  PICT1441

The power brick (and I mean brick) weighs in at 2.5 lbs. As you can see from the standard PC power connector to the transformer this baby needs alot of power to build the fire in the belly of this beast. The power supply has an operating voltage of 19VDC @ 9.5A delivering 180Watts of power.

PICT1107  PICT1452

Lifting open the lid on this made me feel like Indiana Jones opening up the sarcophagus that held the Ark and lifting this lid is pretty darn close. The are two locking mechanisms on the screen to the arm when folding it closed.

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Opening the lid reveals a mesh linen material used to protect the screen from the keyboard. It could be reused again to prevent grease from your fingers that stay on your keys from getting on your nice screen.

PICT1124 PICT1122  PICT1266 PICT1259  

After all the heavy lifting is done you see a really cool dual hinge design that allows you to move the display into various configurations and allows for fine forward and backward adjustments. The back of the display (or top of the lid depending if you have it open or closed) has an HP Logo that has a backlit glow to it like Apple computers.

PICT0009 PICT0008 PICT1461  PICT1361

The lid is already showing signs of being a real fingerprint magnet. Here you can see the nice dragon imprint finish on both the outside and on the inside bezel.


PICT1108  PICT1290

It is a full size keyboard just about the same you would find on a desktop. With the full keyboard and bezel making the laptop measure in at 18.5" wide, which has the comforts of your standard desktop PC and then some.

PICT1306 PICT1232

It would have been nice if the keys were backlit as a nice feature not really needed, but that is one thing I am envious of Apple hardware and Alienware for doing this with some of their laptops. Here you can see where the full featured remote control lies in a bay to the left of the keyboard and even works in its storage compartment. There is a simple slide catch release that releases and locks the remote into place to the right of the remote control. On the bezel it wears just a few badges of honor - one for the Intel Core 2 Extreme, Windows Vista, and NVIDIA PureVideo HD.

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Its big really big here are some size comparisons with some other laptops in the house. It even dwarfs the large 17" HP laptop that used to be the largest in the house. With the left edge lined up 20" display towers over the 17" and peaks out from behind it even on an angle.


The picture on the left is my small Fujitsu P1610 on the keyboard of the HP HDX Dragon. On the right Here is a screen to screen comparison with the P1610

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The TX2000 with 12" display on the left and the DV6000 14" display on the right. You can clearly see the same web page and the amount of screen real estate is viewable with a larger screen.

Riding Around the Dragon

There are alot of ports on this computer and that is a good thing.

PICT1229 PICT1231

On the front left there are 3 LED lights for Power, Battery, and Hard drive. In the center is a consumer IR port (for the remote control) an audio in jack for a microphone and 2 audio out headphone jacks so you can share your media experience. Unfortunately they are analog only and don't have optical SPDIF support via an adapter like some of their other laptops.

PICT1242 PICT1245 PICT1249

On the back are two vents for cooling on each side of the back of the laptop. On the right side there is a power jack on the far right as well as ports for surround sound speakers. On the left(bottom picture from above) has an Infrared(IR) emitter jack for controlling cable and satellite set top boxes,TV audio-in jack, S-Video-in jack, and an RF coaxial cable jack.

PICT1236PICT1237PICT1238 PICT0008 PICT1240PICT0001

On the left side there are 2 USB ports, an RJ45 network jack, a 15pin VGA display adapter, a HP Expansion port 3 jack(why I don't know- Do you really need a docking station for this laptop and if you do I would love to see it),an HDMI port, eSATA port(all new laptops should have these and more than one), 1394 "Firewire" port, Digital Media slot LED, Digital Media Slot that supports SD,MS/Pro,MMC,and XD and an ExpressCard/34 Slot. The digital Media slot had no problem reading SDHC cards or running ReadyBoost with it.

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On the right side there is a Kensington security lock,Optical drive that burns DVDs, CDs, and their Re-Writables as well as a BluRay player. There are also 2 more USB ports.

Yeah there is no wasted modem port on this laptop, even though it could fit it, knowing its customers well. We would have liked to have seen an additional USB port on the back.

Starting it up

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On first boot up you will get the logo screen with a few options to choose on bootup by pressing the appropriate Function keys.

 PICT1109 PICT1110

Booting it up you have to go through the standard EULA acceptance.

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You also have to set up your Vista User Icon

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Pick a desktop, there are 3 custom Dragon wallpaper backgrounds to choose from.

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You are asked how you want to protect your computer with Windows Updates, Set the Date & Time and time zone and you think you are all set.

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Well you are on the Vista side of the house. Next comes the HP software setup. :)

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There is an install of HP's preloaded software this takes about 12 minutes and there is no way to opt out of this.

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You are next asked to personalize it, basically register your computer for warranty and remote service. I suggest you do it now, it takes about 20 seconds or you can opt to register later, which it will nag you pretty much until you do so it can't hurt.

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You can also opt in to HP's Total Care where they notify you for driver updates and enhancements if you do run Windows Update it may ask you to check with HP first. If you can self-manage it yourself or fix it only when broke, you can avoid this and save some memory/processor clock cycles. You are also asked to provide anonymous feedback. Next it will find your internet connection or help you set it up if you don't already have one.


There are also some "special offers", which I just skipped over.

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After another 5 minutes of bootup and hard drive activity we are finally ready to "Enter the Dragon" after closing down the Welcome Screen, but you can get a nice glance at its specs, which brings a nice smile to one's face. :)

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Well not quite while using the HDX I got prompted by Norton begging to be installed so I bit to see if it had any real impact on the overall performance, but not after checking it out first and looking at the Performance scores. Not to be left out HP also has some updates to install.


System specs rate this system, well as you can guess pretty well. The Windows Experience Index was an overall 5.1, with the Intel Core2 Extreme CPU X900 at 2.8GHz pulling a 5.6 subscore, the NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTS pulling a 5.9, Gaming Graphics 2303MB of total avaliable memory was at 5.8, The Primary hard disk(219GB) and the 4GB DDR2 RAM each pulled a 5.1. I wonder if you were able to upgrade the two WDC WD2500BEVS-60USTO hard drives (a 7200RPM SATA Dual Hard Drive-200GBX2 is now available) and find faster 667 memory to up the performance of this laptop. In the HP TX2000 a WDC WD25 00BEVS-60UST SCSI Disk pulls a WEI score of 5.2 and the 4GB of memory(which may be 800mHz RAM) pull a score of 5.8. However its performance is almost on par with my desktop which rocks at only 5.3 due to the processor and memory needing to be upgraded soon, the rest clocks in at 5.9. So this laptop definitely fits the bill as a desktop replacement from the WEI score.

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There are also a few programs installed as well, that you can manually uninstall, which takes about 20 minutes to do and a few reboots.

Buttons and not Gumdrop Buttons:


On the top left there is a recessed Power Button and next to that are QuickPlay buttons - for launching Quick Play for music,video and picture playback, DVD playback,and quick television viewing. Then there is a set of Media Buttons-Rewind,Stop,Play/Pause,and Fast Forward.


A theater mode button, fingerprint scanner, wireless on/off button, mute button and a Volume scroll bar.


Next to the Volume bar is a Treble/Bass Toggle with touch sensitive adjustment scroll bar and an Eject button for the optical drive. HP claims there are 16 buttons in total on the this laptop, the finger print scanner is considered a button.

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Enrolling your fingerprints is a fairly easy process using the DigitalPersona Personal software and takes about 3 minutes to enroll your 6 main fingers and 2 thumbs. You can use the access for websites, logons, and anywhere you may need a password.


The finger print scanner after being used to enroll all the fingers into the software left the fingerprint scanner with a ton of fingerprints.


The most unique button I have see on this laptop is the Theater mode button that is located to the left of the fingerprint scanner. The Theater mode button turns the backlight off for all the buttons so it won't be distracting when watching a movie. The only one that is illuminated is the theater mode light, even the power, charge . You can even customize the Media console button sound, which sounds great out of those 4 Altec Lansing speakers hidden behind the plastic grill in the display's bezel.

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You can see how bright the lights are when playing back a movie. You really notice it when the lights are turned off. (You may have to click on the above pictures to see what I mean. Also the flash of my camera washed out the image on the TV in the picture on the right.)

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Here is a close up of the keyboard and the lights both on and off via the Theater button.

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The touchpad can also be turned off by pressing a button as found on most HP laptops, which is a must have for gamers.When disabled the LED changes from blue to amber.

Remote Control

The only bad thing about the remote control is that it isn't back lit and using it in poorly lit or lightly lit area is very difficult to use.

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The remote control has four very small rubber feet on the bottom so it doesn't slide away on any surface. It pretty much stays put. The large silver Directional Pad is very comfortable to use and has some great ergonomics for both left and right handed users, which is very surprising in such a small form factor.

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The green button is in the center of the remote. The play, rewind, fast forward, stop media buttons are rather thin as well as the rest of the buttons you would find on a Media Center Remote control. Surrounding the directional pad are icons for HP's QuickPlay as well at the very top. From left to right Print pictures in My pictures window in QuickPlay only, switch screens between display and external displays,Snapshot of screen to clipboard, and theatre mode which dims the lights on the laptop. Some of these just aren't needed and clutter up the remote with useless buttons that one may accidentally fumble and press. I actually did find the screen capture button more convenient than pressing Fn +Home to get the Print Screen.

Media Center


The Media Center interface looks very good on this laptop. As a Media Center PC you can guess this laptop performs very well with its large display, Blu-Ray DVD drive, processor, video graphics card, etc.The pictures don't really do it justice since it is truly something that has to be experienced.

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Madonna LIVE in Concert, which just happened recently was available for viewing courtesy of MSN and Control Room, which has some greatly filmed concerts that sounded great on the 4 speakers and subwoofer. 

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I also had to play the Hives live in concert again to see if had the same enjoyment on my big screen at home. I was amazed how the speakers seemed loud around the computer, but if you walked away from it the sound stayed pretty contained to a radius around the computer.


If you do want some extra thump you can hook up your laptop to some external speakers. There are left, right, surround, and subwoofer hookups at the rear of the laptop with full 7.1 surround sound support. There is no optical out to hook it up to your sound receiver since SPDIF out is over HDMI only. Over the HDMI out port I was able to watch The Hives play on my LCD television as well as my 11' diagonal projector screen and Yamaha RXV2700 receiver and my house speakers. Getting the sound to come out over HDMI was a bit of a problem and required a simple change that seems to common with most HP laptops with HDMI out.

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To setup audio out over HDMI required changing the default sound from the speakers to the Digital Output Devices (SPDIF) in the Sound settings in Control Panel. After that was done all you had to do was plug-in the HDMI cable and enjoy not only video out, but audio out as well.

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If you notice Media Center and movie playback look fine, but in actuality the resolution is a bit off from the computer screen image.

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If you look at the desktop and an Internet browser you can actually see that part of the sides of the computer screen is cut off. This is due to the computer outputting 16:10 and the television displaying 16:9. Some televisions allow you to configure your television to automatically compensate or make manual changes for horizontal and vertical changes for this and some don't. My HP LCD allowed me to make changes in screen size via the PC input(VGA) only and not via any of the 3 HDMI inputs.

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You can also make some other changes to your display image via the NVIDIA software.

Tuning In

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The HDX is the first laptop I have seen with an integrated HDTV Hybrid TV/Tuner by AverMedia, that works with (ATSC-over the air HDTV and NTSC). I was sad to see no inclusion of a QAM tuner, since most hardware is capable of doing so. The HDX comes with several ways of getting a signal into this Media Center very capable laptop.

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It comes with a standard aerial antennae for standard definition transmission that will be going away in 2009 to make way for HDTV, an HDTV antennae for tuning in ATSC signals, and the last is an RF coaxial cable adapter that allows you to connect up a standard coaxial cable (F-connector).

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In my area the digital antenna was able to find 33 different HD stations from the center of a room, with fairly poor signal strength when I moved the antenna to the window it resulted as you would guess in a much stronger signal. The suction cup on the bottom of the antenna ensures it doesn't move or tip over.


To compete the media center experience along with the included HP Dockable Media Center remote control is an Infrared (IR) transmiter cable that allows you to change the channels of your set top box(cable or satellite).

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If you have an XBOX 360 or other Media Center extender you can move the experience to another location without having to move the laptop.  The internal Intel PRO/Wireless card provided more than ample bandwidth over my Wireless-N network for connecting to my Xbox 360 and the bluetooth radio stack had no problem pairing with my Logitech diNovo Mini keyboard/remote.


OK if you can't guess from the specs given, this piece of hardware is huge! Huge in a good way it truly is a desktop replacement not only for productivity, but this thing can be a desktop replacement for audio and video editing as well as one nice gaming machine.

I have a few bags. OK alot. I had to go through 3 storage bins to find 1 bag to fit this behemoth and it barely fit, luckily it had an extended bottom. I brought it out to see what reaction I would elicit from a public environment. I placed a piece of acoustic foam on both sides of the bag to make sure nothing happened to it as well as placed it in a large plastic bag.

Perusing the HP website I found they do have a bag by Targus on it that is made for this hauling this laptop called the HP 20" Roller Case for Notebook PCs. Another option is to use some roll around luggage if you have some.

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I met up with Jack Cook at Panera Bread to see how it would work in a mobile warrior's home from home.

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When we got to Panera we had to move to another table because the Dragon HDX took up the entire table. We were able to find two tables pushed together and even then it wasn't large enough. While showing Jack how nice the screen was and playback of movies was. We had several people stop by to gasp in awe and wonderment at the beauty of this screen. We then gave a few people a go at it (after they wiped their hands down with some aniti-bacterial soap) and told them that we were giving it away with 30 other websites and they immediately hit their laptops to enter Absolute Vista's first contest.

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Playing a movie Jack commented that the adjoining table was vibrating from the thumping of the Triple Bass Reflex subwoofer located on the bottom of the laptop while the movie Cars and Beowulf were playing. Regular DVD playback looked nice, but the high resolution of the screen seemed to beg for more. I was able to find a copy of the Last Samurai on BluRay when I got home that I got from CES and was simply amazed at the picture on both the laptop and play back on my 1080p HP LCD TV.

Battery life

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The battery only weighs 17.5 ounces so carrying another if you really need it isn't that much if you are comparing it to the weight of the laptop and/or the weight of the power supply. There is an optional 12 cell extended battery that will raise the bottom of the laptop up as an option for more power on the go. Surprisingly the 9 cell battery life isn't too bad under the HP Recommended Power setting under normal usage with WiFi on we averaged 3hrs and 10 minutes of use including using Media Center. Playing a movie at 70-100% volume averaged 2 hrs and 17 minutes for 3 different movies before the low battery warning in HP's MediaPlay software came on with 4% of battery left. Average movie playback with WiFi and Bluetooth on netted an average of exactly 2hrs. Of the the 3 movies I watched I was able to watch them all on battery power. Now this may not seem a big feat, but it is considering most power draw on laptops is directly related to the screen and the bigger the screen the more power required.

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Battery life playing Crysis averaged 1 hour and 13 minutes before going into hibernation, which left us pretty impressed considering all that is going on with the the game pushing the CPUs and GPU to its limit and occasional use of the optical drive and hard drive. It was just enough time for me to get halfway through a game on easy mode. Crysis would play at 1920x1280 at very High detail, but it wasn't smooth enough for me, actually it was pretty slow.


So I knocked it down a notch to 1280x800 and still ran it at Very High(except Object Quality) via the Auto Detect settings and game play was smooth as butter. It is still the highest resolution I have played on a laptop, which others either can't play at all or run at that resolution. The highest resolution I had played on other laptops was only at 1024 x 768 and even then it wasn't as responsive as the HP HDX. The laptop didn't get hot at all, it was just a pleasant gaming experience. Granted Anti-Aliasing was off and if I knocked everything down to just High. Running at full screen ran a lot smoother and the frame rate was a bit more to my liking.

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Before gaming on the Dragon a few updates and patches needed to be applied that are included in Vista Service Pack 1 among others that are needed in the first Windows Update which stated there were 64.

hold 'em

Running Windows Ultimate gives a few extra games like Texas Hold Em, which looks pretty good on this display.

You may be wondering if this laptop has got performance. Well feel rest assured that it does. The 45nm Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 processor with 6MB of shared L2 cache and an 800MHz front side bus working at 2.8GHz makes working with many processor intense applications like compiling code, rendering 3D images, editing video, playing games, etc. a sheer joy. Intel’s new 45nm technology infused with Hafnium technology, improved thermal management, more transistors, and Intel HD Boost allows the Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 to deliver an increase in executable instructions with less strain on the CPU. Couple all that raw processing power with NVIDIA's GeForce 8800M GTX 512MB GPU and 4GB of DDR2 memory, you got yourself a pretty capable gaming rig.

3dMark score3dMark detailed results 

3D Mark scores are pretty impressive for a laptop. A P2625 3D Marks score, CPU Score of 5531, and Graphics score of 2234, but more impressive is real usage, tests are just that-tests. It had no problem running the beta Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, which all laptops I tried had it on failed to perform decently enough to move away from my gaming rig at home. The HDX handled it just like my gaming rig and it is very nice!

The Dragon is also a Workhorse

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And yes it can be used for work too. However if you open any office application you will need to register it. Here you can see the default view easily allows for more than one page. It is very nice to work with. Running some graphic intensive applications like Autodesk's 3DStudio Max and Maya, I was able to render a 3D walk-through from an AutoCAD drawing and a 3D prototype fairly quickly (as fast as some very expensive dedicated PC workstations). Using Adobe Audition on the the large screen made it much easier to edit Podcasts and other sound files. I only wished there was a higher-end audio card in this laptop as an option from the Soundblaster 16bit card. I even installed Visual Studio 2008 and it compiled through some code that I knew took a while on my current laptop in no time. Not only can this laptop play hard it can work hard too.

Burn baby Burn.

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There is quite a selection of multimedia sofware that comes with the HDX, some that works directly with the QuickPlay software, some with Media Center, some cohesively with Vista and some that runs independently like the titles from Cyberlink like Power2Go and Cyberlink DVD Suite Premium, which also provides the codec for Blu Ray playback. The optical drive can create CD-R/CD-RW or DVD-R/DVD-RW discs using various software packages included on the HDX. The inclusion of the BluRay drive to make this one great Media Experience when played on the 1080p display resolution at 1920x1200 pixels.


Another nice addition is MuVee6 for making videos and picture slideshows.

HP WebCam -Lights, Camera, Action!

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The HP Webcam is pretty good. Not only does it have a blue LED to let you know when it is on it also tilts down to make sure you're framed properly in the image due to the height of the large display. On either side of the camera are two stereo microphones that are used for providing differential input to provide noise cancellation and subtract out background noise.


Using the popular Cyberlink YouCam software you can make your own YouTube videos and video conference with ease. My kids love using this software on the other HP laptops we have and find it easy to use as well as entertainment for hours using all the special effects. If you click on the image you can see the image quality is pretty good with an image of the included Getting Started manual.



A few personal adjustments had to be made to allow easier use of this larger than life laptop. I had to speed up the trackpad speed to its maximum speed because travel across this large 20.1" display takes a few strokes of the track pad to navigate across this screen. Even then you will only be able to traverse 2/3rds of the screen when maxed out a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels.

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An external mouse is highly recommended. Traversing the large screen is much easier with one. I found that my Logitech MX Revolution mouse paired well with this laptop. It would have been nice if HP included a bluetooth or RF mouse with the same finish as the laptop, since it truly is a desktop replacement.

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You can easily adjust the volume with some really cool UI on top of the screen with the touch sensitive buttons at the top of the keyboard bezel. You can also customize the bass and treble with a simple press of the button labeled (guess what) Treble and Bass. This will toggle an indicator light between the bass and treble and allow you to adjust it in the same way with a slight touch and drag over the touch pad, that will also be accompanied by clicks and a visualization.


I also removed a lot of unneeded software and removed programs like Vongo Tray from startup as well as the entire program from the computer since most of the movies are the same I currently get with my Starz subscription and On demand which I can view through the installed SlingPlayer software from my Slingbox. A newer version was available, but configuring and adding my Slingbox to the player was as simple as launching the software and running through the configuration in less than a minute. I also removed all the games and these programs: AIM,EA Link,alot of HP software, Microsoft Works, Serif WebPlus, The Sims, Vongo, Yahoo Toolbar, which took about 20 minutes as I stated towards the beginning of this review. I also did the usual shutdown and removal of unneeded services, if you are unsure of which ones to uninstall or disable I highly recommend TweakVista.


OK besides gaming, movie watching, web browsing and running office applications. This laptop can do a pretty good job as a nice rendering workstation for 3D Studio and Maya with no problems. It also makes a pretty good programmer's coding computer. I installed Visual Studio 2008 and compiled some code that I know would take a while and it flew through those computations like a hot knife through butter. This is really the fastest laptop I have every used and can be seriously be used for both work and play as true desktop replacement. If you are looking for a desktop replacement with a large screen and need portability the HP HDX Dragon is for you.

05/17/2008 09:59:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


HP Computerlicious Auction - One of a Kind HP HDX Dragon Laptops#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you didn't win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment laptop in the 31 Days of the Dragon there is another way you can get your hands on one besides the HP website and it is a unique one at that.


To commemorate its 25th anniversary, PC Magazine is having A Computerlicious Design Experience, the dramatic redesign and auction of 9 laptops by top designers benefiting the non-profit National Cristina Foundation (NCF). The 9 Computerlicious Hewlett Packard PCs auction is now Live! The auction will commence on May 12, 2008 and conclude on May 19. All proceeds will assist NCF in providing used computer equipment to non-profits, schools and public agencies nationwide for the training of people in need. Go to eBay's Computerlicious page for more details!

Video Icon Check Out the Video of all the Computerlicious Laptops! This is a cool video with all the designers showing the design process and how some of them made the laptops for the auction.

Here are few of the HP HDX Dragons available for bid with all proceeds going to the Cristina Foundation:

DDCLAB's Computerlicious Design - HP Dragon

Paul Frank Industries Computerlicious Design-HP Dragon

Peter Harper's Computerlicious Design - HP Dragon

Not a bad way to Enter the Dragon with a one of a kind HP HDX and help a good cause at the same time. There are also several other HP laptops that have been customized that are up for bid as well.

05/17/2008 07:42:57 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 16 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at Digital Inspiration aka have posted up the details of his contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 16 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.



Here are the details of the contest:

Anyone in the world can participate in the giveaway - you could be a geek, mom, educator, software developer, home maker, photographer, web designer, student, management guru, blogger, journalist, writer and from another profession.

To win this very expensive laptop computer, you just have to talk about stuff that you already love. You may write about your favorite software tools & websites or share ways that help you stay more productive or you may develop something new from scratch.

I have put some examples here to give you an idea on what you can do to claim this laptop but feel free to think beyond this list - be creative, be unique.

* If you are an expert at Microsoft Office, Photoshop, iTunes, Outlook, Firefox or any other software, you may write a tutorial (with screenshots) explaining some lesser-known but useful features of that program. Your write-up could be about a single feature or you could create a list or just produce a video screencast.

* If you are web designer or developer, you may consider writing a Firefox extension, a new WordPress theme or a WordPress Plugin.

* If you are into web applications, you may try creating some mashup using available APIs in Google Maps, YouTube, Flickr, twitter, Yahoo! Pipes, Google Docs, etc. Or you could create a new Google Gadget, a Facebook App or use the OpenSocial platform to create an Orkut app.

* If you are into gadgets and mobile phones, you may share different ways in which you use that gadget - for example, you can read PDF file in iPod.

* If you are a software developer, you may write some utility program that makes our tech life more productive or solves some annoying problem.

* If you are from the education community, you can share innovative ways in which your teachers & students are making use of software and Internet that may benefit other educational institutes as well.

* If you are not a geek or a tech-savvy person, you can still participate in the giveaway - just write about your favorite things. For instance, moms can share a list of best websites for kids and why you recommend these sites. If you are enthusiastic about photography, you may share secrets that can make our photographs look more interesting. Home makers may write tips on how to arrange home or office space to stay more productive.

The choices are endless. And to reiterate, what you read above are only sample ideas. Think beyond the list.

Please send in your entries to If you have a question, please use the message board or send me an email.

1. You could be based in US, UK, India, Singapore, France, Egypt or any other country in the world - the machine will be shipped to your doorstep for free. The import custom duties that may applicable in your country will also be paid via FedEx. If you are in US, the organizers (HP and BuzzCorps) will be providing a check to offset the taxes.

2. You can submit any number of entries.

3. Please submit only original stories / articles / hacks / ideas.

4. Your entries become a property of Digital Inspiration and we may share them with our readers while giving you full credit.

5. The last date for receiving entries is Friday - May 23, 2008.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from, Geekstop,, and

Good Luck!

05/17/2008 06:12:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 15 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Steve O'Hear at has posted up the details of his contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 15 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.

last100 hdx

Here are the details of the contest:

To qualify for a chance of winning a top of the line HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook loaded with features and software — 20.1″ display, Intel Core 2 Extreme x9000, 4GB of Ram, Blu-Ray drive and lots more including a good few games and Blu-Ray movies to get you started (total retail price approx $5,000) — you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Leave a comment on this post listing your top five digital lifestyle products and/or services. They don’t need to all be products you own, and they could be digital lifestyle services you use, but they must all be currently available. It would also be useful to add in brackets what they do (see example below).
  2. Make sure you leave a working email address in the ‘email’ field of the comments form.
  3. You may only enter once.
  4. If you are the winner and based in the U.S. you must be willing to file a tax return form with Buzz Corps who are administrating the competition. However, they will cover any tax liability relating to the prize.
  5. After seven days from this post, the winner will be chosen randomly from all complete entries.
  6. Our decision is final and we reserve the right to change the rules if there has been an omission on our part or we suspect unfair conduct on the part of an entrant.

As an example, my top five current digital lifestyle products and services are:

  • iPod touch
  • BBC iPlayer (for iPhone/iPod touch)
  • PlayStayion 3
  • Zattoo (Live TV on a PC)
  • Pandora (Internet radio)

Good luck!

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,, Geekstop,, and

Good Luck!

05/16/2008 20:50:48 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Aliph's New Jawbone Bluetooth Headset w/Noise Assassin#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Early pictures leaked on the web about this and we were told some tidbits at CES 2008, but couldn't disclose until now. The folks at Aliph working off a ton of feedback from users and designers have improved on the popular Jawbone headset making the New Jawbone smaller (less than half the size of the original), more comfortable to wear, charge faster, a new leather wrap for the piece that wraps around the ear, all while improving on the sound clarity. The best news is that it is available now exclusively at AT&T retail stores and for $129. It like its predecessor comes in a variety of colors like gold(goldy lips), black(blah,blah black), and silver(silver tongue). I think I now know what I want for Father's Day.

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Here is the official press release:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 15, 2008 – Aliph, the established market leader in noise eliminating Bluetooth® headsets, today introduced the new Jawbone® Bluetooth headset. In the tradition of bringing together science and beauty, the new Jawbone design is 50% smaller than the original award-winning Jawbone, and features breakthrough noise elimination technology to provide even better voice quality than the original in a smaller and more ergonomic package. It is available today exclusively at AT&T retail stores and at or

Bluetooth headset shipments are predicted to top 120 million units worldwide in 2009. With over 60% of new phones in North America shipping with Bluetooth, and hands-free driving legislation in effect in five states and the District of Columbia by July 1st, the new Jawbone combines unparalleled form and function just in time to appeal to a broad and growing consumer audience.

The Best Just Got Better

The new Jawbone headset is the next step in the marriage of best in class noise elimination science with a personal design that is both humanistic and minimal. The new Jawbone features military-grade NoiseAssassin technology, which is unmatched in its ability to address real-world noise environments like busy streets, and cars and airports, and has ten times better voice clarity than competing headsets – meaning it transmits 90% less noise.

Jawbone’s NoiseAssassin technology literally feels your speech with its patented Voice Activity Sensor (VAS). The Jawbone headset uses the VAS to distinguish the sound of your voice from ambient noise with incredible accuracy and then uses proprietary Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms to subtract the noise so only the sound of your voice comes through.

The NoiseAssassin technology was originally developed by Aliph for DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which creates and delivers breakthrough technology for the U.S. military. It is tested and designed to work in the toughest, most inhospitable terrain, when clear communication is critical, which means for the average user it is designed to perform everywhere.

The new Jawbone headset is designed to be simple to use. Two streamlined buttons are operated by touching the outside shield, and they control all the functions of the headset, which is extremely lightweight at just 10 grams.

“In creating the new Jawbone we focused on improving our audio performance beyond the market-leading noise solution that we already had, and elevating the design to a point where it would appeal to a broad range of consumers who would love to wear it,” said Hosain Rahman, CEO and co-founder of Aliph. “Jawbone provides amazing audio quality in a form factor that is a true lifestyle accessory – it’s a new and complete departure from the typical gadgetry of the Bluetooth category.”

“When Aliph and AT&T launched the original Jawbone, a new standard was set for voice quality and design in Bluetooth headsets,” said Carlton Hill, vice president of Product Management, Voice Products and Affiliate Marketing for AT&T’s wireless unit. “Given the market response to the original Jawbone, we are thrilled to work with Aliph again to launch the new Jawbone – which once again promises to be one of the most innovative headsets in the marketplace.”

It’s Not a Headset – it’s Earwear

The new Jawbone is designed to look and feel like an accessory along the lines of jewelry and eyewear. “If it’s not beautiful, it doesn’t belong on your face,” said renowned industrial designer Yves Behar, chief designer of the Jawbone headset.

Made with premium materials, including medical grade plastic with better cosmetic and health performance, the expressive aesthetic confers a premium visual and ergonomic experience. The new Jawbone provides a more comfortable and customized fit with three sizes of earbuds and four earloops that can be worn on either ear – two sizes of soft, stitched leather earloops and two sizes of slim earloops, ideal for use with eyeglasses.

Availability and Pricing

The new Jawbone is available today for $129.99 at AT&T retail stores nationwide and online at and Available initially in matte black, it will be coming soon in silver and rose gold.

The New Jawbone

Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled phones, the new Jawbone supports more than four hours of talk time and eight days of standby time. Featuring a new fast-charge battery that charges up to 80% of capacity in just over half an hour, the new Jawbone can be charged with the included USB cable on a computer, or with the wall-charger.

Price: $129.99

Weight: 10 grams

Talk Time: Over 4 hours

Standby Time: Over 8 days

Range: Up to 33 feet (10 meters)

Charge: 80% charge in 35 minutes, 100% charge in < 1 hour

Colors: Black ? Silver ? Rose Gold

Supports Bluetooth® 1.1, 1.2, and 2.0

Additional Information

o 50% smaller than the original Jawbone

o Military-grade noise elimination technology

o Ten times better voice clarity than competing headsets – meaning it transmits 90% less noise

o Faster processing eliminates unexpected noise bursts

o Unmatched intelligibility — voices sound human, not robotic

o Sophisticated dual microphone array reduces wind noise

o Invisible touch controls

o Three-dimensional texture on shield inspired by noise abatement surfaces

o Premium materials including medical-grade plastic and fine leather

o Magnetic USB cable & wall charger included

o Three (3) earbuds — small, medium, and large

o Two (2) fine leather earloops — medium and large

o Two (2) slim earloops ideal for use with eyewear — medium and large

o Fits either ear

05/15/2008 08:15:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 14 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Jake Ludington at  has posted up the details of his contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 14 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.

Here are the details of the contest:

"How can I get an HP HDX Dragon for free?"

I haven't actually received that question from any readers (yet), but I'm offering a preemptive answer here because I'm sure you'd love to find out how you could get one of these sweet machines. If you've been following along on my blog, I've posted updates on each of the participants in the 31 Days of the Dragon giveaway to date. Today's the day I'm going to share the rules for my giveaway.

HP HDX Dragon 20-inch notebook

I'm keeping it simple, you simply need to share your opinion on the best Windows freeware in a series of categories, as well as provide a valid name and email address. A random winner shall be picked from everyone who submits valid answers to the survey. Your pick in each of the categories must be a verifiable spyware-free no-cost software application, so be sure you spell the software's name correctly. The winner will be posted to my blog at approximately 11 pm Pacific on 2008 May 22. You are welcome to enter from any country HP is legally allowed to ship to. All fields in the survey are required.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

Remember There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,, Geekstop, and 

Good Luck!

05/15/2008 00:07:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 13 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at  have posted up the details of their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 13 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.

Here are the details of their contest:

Today is the day! The HP Dragon Competition has started on!

So what do you have to do to get a chance to win the HP Dragon?

First of all you have to be a member of, if you are not a member yet, sign-up here.

What product manager of Microsoft would you like to do an interview with?

Why this product manager?

Also include two realistic questions you would like asked?

No executives like Bill Gates, Ballmer, ext...

You can browse the categories/tags to get an idea of Microsoft products, because there are a lot!

Send your ideas/questions to before May 20th, signed with your ID!!
On May 20th I'll post the best 3 and then visitors can vote for the best questions.
On May 21st 21:00 GMT+1 the votes will be counted.
Soon after that the winner will be announced!!

This is an international competition, so all countries can participate (it is not limited to the US or EU), customs and taxes will all be taken care of when this HP is shipped via FedEx to the winner.

Good Luck, may the best member win! Oh and of course I'll do my upper most best to get that interview and those questions answered!

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from,,,, and Geekstop.

05/14/2008 21:58:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


BostonPocketPC Days of the Dragon Contest Winners#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well, we have a winner of the HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in the 31 Days of the HP Dragon Giveaway. It is Finalist #9 - Duane Laflotte who garnished the most votes in a very tight race between all 9 finalists.

Duane will be receiving the fully loaded HP HDX Dragon sent to him along with some pretty cool Software: Microsoft Office Professional 2007, Corel PaintShop Pro X2, Corel Painter Essentials, Corel Ulead Video Studio Plus  11.5, Symantec Norton Internet Security 2008; some cool Games for Windows: Viva Piñata, Microsoft Flight Sim, Microsoft Flight Sim Expansion Pack, and Gears of War; and BluRay movies -Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End.



From the hundreds that voted, these are the winners that were picked by

Pam Trader wins the Oakley Vertical Computer bag

Timothy Hays wins a copy of Gears of War for the Xbox 360.


Thomas Berney wins the Maxtor One Touch 4 Mini 2.5" 160GB portable hard drive

Mark “Sumocat” Sumimoto has won an Honorary mention award, that kept us laughing through the night as we looked over all the entries to the contest. Here is his entry, which would have made it to the finalists if had a picture of his gear:


My current gadget bag is the Monster 3000 backpack for extreme hiking. It’s loaded with an Alienware ALX Crossfire desktop (fully loaded with 3.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme processor, two 500GB 7200rpm SATA hard drives, 4 GB of ram, ATI Radeon graphics card, and HD-DVD drive), 42” Phillips LCD HDTV (1080p of course) with 5.1 surround sound speakers, Microsoft 8000 Bluetooth entertainment keyboard and mouse, and a stack of ten Electrovaya 130 Powerpads for mobile computing, plus all the requisite cords and cables. It’s been working out great, but I really need to upgrade now that Blu-Ray won the high-def war, hence I am interested in the Blu-Ray equipped Dragon. I believe it will provide a similar portable computing experience, and hopefully I will adjust to carrying the lighter load.

Actually, my previous gadget bag was quite light. It’s an Incase sling pack (first generation). Designed for Macbooks, but it fit my Toshiba R25 Tablet PC in the dedicated padded pocket quite nicely. Along with my tablet, I packed a spare stylus (Wacom eraser pen), Targus podium coolpad, my old battery as a spare, and of course, the AC adapter. In the interior zipper pocket, I kept a D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter, spare 1GB SD card, SDHC USB adapter (a 4GB Sandisk SDHC Extreme II card sits in my tablet’s memory card slot), USB adapter for a presentation remote control that fits and sits in the PC card slot, and my Cellink Bluetooth stereo headset and 3.5 audio adapter. It also holds a crappy little mobile phone in the zipper pocket at the bottom of the strap. I used to carry my Casio EX-S500 digital camera in my bag until it broke (Hence, I am unfortunately without a quality camera at the moment and unable to provide a photo of my “previous” gadget bag). Hope one or both bags make it into the running!

Mark for his hard work and his grand effort in making us laugh will be getting a Pantone Huey to help calibrate his displays. :)

All Winners will need to send an email to with your current shipping address and phone number for you to receive your prizes! Duane since you live in the United States a 1099 form will also be sent to you and all taxes will be reimbursed by Buzz Corps and HP, who we would like to thank again for helping us put on this contest.

To all our winners, Congratulations!

05/14/2008 15:32:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


TomTom gets OK to Buy/Merge with TeleAtlas#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Wow, TeleAtlas had TomTom (who also had their own large booth) as well as other partners (click the link its a pretty long list) in their huge booth at both CES and recently at CTIA and I am wondering what this effect will have on the whole GPS industry with the only other main provider of maps NAVTEQ (which is in the process of being bought out by Nokia) providing competition and as an alternative if TomTom buys out TeleAtlas. Hopefully we will be seeing some cool new 3D mapping on newer TomTom units as well, maybe it will be under and TeleAtlas will leverage some of the user updates that comes from TomTom MapShare. This could be a great win-win for the consumer.

tomtom teleatlas

Here are the details:

This is a joint announcement of TomTom N.V.("TomTom") and Tele Atlas N.V. ("Tele Atlas") which is required pursuant to the provisions of section 9b paragraph 1 of the Dutch Securities Markets Supervision Decree 1995 (Besluit toezicht effectenverkeer 1995) in connection with the recommended public offer by TomTom for all outstanding ordinary shares with a nominal value of EUR 0.10 each (the "Shares"; holders of such Shares being referred to as "Shareholders") in the share capital of Tele Atlas (the "Offer"). This announcement and related materials do not constitute an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell shares. Any offer will be made only by means of the Offer Memorandum as defined below. Not for release, distribution or publication, in whole or in part to Australia, Canada, Italy or Japan.

Amsterdam, 14 May 2008 - TomTom N.V. ("TomTom" or the "Offeror") and Tele Atlas N.V. ("Tele Atlas") hereby jointly announce that they have received unconditional clearance from the European Commission for the proposed acquisition by TomTom of Tele Atlas. The ruling of the EC is the best possible outcome for TomTom and Tele Atlas allowing the new combination to go ahead with the full execution of its strategy. Clearance from the US authorities was received in October 2007.

The combination will create new technologies for interactive map creation, enrichment and maintenance. TomTom Map Share(TM) enables TomTom's installed base of nearly 20 million to contribute to digital map creation and maintenance. TomTom IQ Routes(TM) adds to the map routing information based on the actual speeds driven on roads, which may differ for the time of the day, day of the week, or season in the year. TomTom HD Traffic(TM) real time information can be overlaid on map data to further enhance the quality of routing and traffic information.

Additional incremental data from TomTom will allow Tele Atlas to introduce new features such as more frequent map updates. Superior, cost efficiently created content will enable Tele Atlas to further strengthen its market position in the rapidly growing worldwide market for digital maps and to grow its addressable market by investing cost synergies in increasing global coverage.

The end result - better maps produced more efficiently and updated more frequently - will benefit all current and future customers of Tele Atlas. Tele Atlas customers' relationship with the company will remain exactly the same. All Tele Atlas customers, including TomTom, will have access to the same higher quality maps, at the same time and will pay a comparable price. Customers' confidentiality will be safeguarded and will never be at risk.

Acceptance Period

The acceptance period under the Offer which began at 9:00 hours, Amsterdam time (3:00 hours, New York time), on 19 November 2007 will end at 15:00 hours, Amsterdam time (9:00 hours, New York time), on 30 May 2008 (the "Current Acceptance Closing Date").

Garmin also a partner tried in the past to purchase TeleAtlas for a much lower price, so we will see what happens with the partners since partner licensing is a great revenue stream, but I think it will move forward.

05/14/2008 12:13:49 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


VITO Technology releases a new version of ZoomBoard#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

VITO Technology just  released a new version of ZoomBoard with a new skin. New ZoomBoard supports 2 skins: black HTC Touch style and bright skin with grey and blue colors.

New ZoomBoard allows for quick and accurate typing and can satisfy even very squeamish users' demands with 3 different types of zooming: full zoom, lens zoom, float zoom. Now even more freedom for our users. You can change the color of your keyboard to suit your mood. Use either black stylish interface or bright-colored blue skin. The new black skin looks great on HTC Touch devices.

ZoomBoard is available for $14.95 at

To download a tria lof Zoom board head here.

05/14/2008 02:04:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Otterbox announces cases for Samsung Q1 line#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Otter Products, LLC.  has come out with a new protective case for UMPC's with the OtterBox 1990 a sleek, stylish, semi-rugged case designed specifically to protect the Samsung Q1 Ultra and Q1 Ultra Premium UMPCs from Samsung Electronics America, Inc. As part of the Defender™ Series line, the 1990 safeguards from drops, bumps and scratches while still allowing complete interaction with all navigation keys, I/O ports, camera and webcam right through the case. Ultra-mobile enthusiasts and businesses employing ultra-mobile product solutions now have even more mobility!

The OtterBox 1990 maintains the small form factor of the UMPC while still providing three durable layers of protection:

  • Layer 1: Thermal formed protective clear membrane slides on to safeguard screen and keys from scratches, dirt and dust* (layer optional depending on the level of ruggedization desired)
  • Layer 2: Hi-impact polycarbonate shell snaps together over the device
  • Layer 3: Silicone skin wraps over the case to provide additional protection from bump and shock

“Mobility without compromising device ruggedness is everything and the OtterBox 1990 allows Q1 Ultra and Q1 Ultra Premium users even more convenience on the go,” said Curt Richardson CEO of Otter Products, LLC. “The case provides protection from drops and scratches and offers a sense of security so people can truly work anywhere like on the airplane, in a cab, while waiting in line or rushing to a big presentation.”

“Additionally, the OtterBox 1990 is ideal for those vertical market applications that require additional protection. These applications include healthcare, repair and maintenance workers, hospitality, inventory management, sales automation, education, construction, field research, real estate, insurance adjusters and others.”

Engineered with convenience in mind, the OtterBox 1990 case offers an interchangeable hand strap on the back that can be switched to the right or left side depending on the user. Additional carrying options consist of the Samsung wrist lanyard (included with Q1 Ultra and Q1 Ultra Premium UMPCs) or OtterBox offers an optional shoulder strap kit.


  • Layer 2: black and yellow
  • Layer 3: black
  • Belt Clip: black
  • 9.5 x 5.4 x1.9
Weight (Case Only):
  • 11.5oz

Suggested MSRP is $79.99.

For more information head to Otterbox here.

05/14/2008 02:03:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 12 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Hey its time to stop over to Geekstop, they had posted up the details of their contest a week ago, but today their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 12 of the 31 Days of the Dragon is now live.


Here are the rules to the contest:

Contest Overview

Simply print the Geeks to Go logo. Take a picture or video of it. Reply in the contest submission forum topic (free registration required) with your picture or video. From the pool of contestants who properly enter the logo competition, a random entry will be chosen as the Grand Prize, HP “Dragon” notebook winner… In addition, the entries judged as the Most Creative Photo and Most Creative Video will be awarded Windows Vista Ultimate (full retail), courtesy of Geeks to Go. Have some fun with it! Take the logo somewhere interesting, exciting, or strange. Submit only a photo OR a video, not both. One entry per person.

Have fun creating your submissions, and enjoy viewing other entries. You can view contest rules, find logo downloads, and instructions for submitting your photos and videos in this topic:

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from  here,,,, and

05/13/2008 20:56:48 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 11 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Josh announced his contest at  on how to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 10 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.

Here are the rules to the contest:

Show Windows Connected Some Love!

This is an extraordinary prize package and so rather than just a random drawing we are going to make you work a little bit. Here is the deal. We are looking for you to help us promote  This can be in any form that you deem worthy in the physical or the digital world.  Examples, It could be a sidebar gadget, Windows theme, Sky writing over a major city, viral YouTube video, use your imagination. The more creative and extensive the better your chances of winning. 

The winner will be selected by the team here based on overall visibility, creativity, time & effort, long term value, traffic generated, and any other relevant metrics we can think of.

Deadline for entry is Noon (Pacific Standard Time) on Monday May 19th.  Winner will be announced by the end of day the same day.

The Fine Print:

1.) You are ineligible if you have already won in a previous HP HDX Give-a-way, sorry but if you have won I don't think you will mind.

2.) If you choose to do a physical promotion you will need to submit photographic proof. No vandalism and no Photoshop'd pictures please.

3.) Entries must be submitted either via email to or the Contest forum.

4.) Please include contact info with your submission.

5.) Our sites bloggers are ineligible, sorry guys and gals we need to be impartial judges.

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from JKontherun, here,, and,

05/12/2008 07:34:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 10 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Robert McLaws announced his contest at on how to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 10 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.

Here are the rules of the contest:

The Contest:
Here's how our contest is going to work. Lately, there have been a lot of people in the press talking about how horrible Windows Vista is. It's driving me completely mad. So I have to give this notebook away, and I want you to help fight the negative press about Vista.

So I want to see what people are doing with Windows Vista. If you want this notebook, you need to send me a video, no longer than 5 minutes, showing off the cool things you're doing with Windows Vista. Maybe you use Windows Vista to edit together your old home movies and turn them into DVDs with Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker. Maybe you use Photoshop on Windows Vista to illustrate digital comic books. I don't know. But I want to see how creative you can be, and how Vista makes your computer life better.

But I don't just want a monologue in front of your computer. Make it creative. You could do a skit. You could animate it. You could involve your whole family. You could use puppets. Whatever. Just make it funny.


  • Winner must sign an agreement stating that the laptop will not be sold for one year from date of receipt. If you plan to win it just to sell it, this contest is not for you.
  • HDX winners from other sites in the promotion cannot win this contest.
  • No nudity or profanity. I don't care what gender you are, it won't get you anywhere. Keep it PG, folks.

What I'm Looking For:

  • Innovative Use of Windows Vista: Don't just show yourself playing Solitaire, show us something interesting or unusual.
  • Presentation Creativity: I want to see something that totally blows my mind. An example would be Derek Hunter's winning entry from the contest. BTW, I LOVE special effects, so show me what you're got!
  • Effort: It should go without saying, but the more effort you put into it, the more likely you are to win.
  • Making a Difference: Special consideration will be given to people who use Vista to make the world a better place.

How To Enter:

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to .

There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from digitalmediaphile, JKontherun, here,, and

05/12/2008 04:16:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Boston Pocket PC 31 Days of the Dragon Finalists#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OK we had so many entries we had a tough time narrowing down all the entrants to just 5, so we have 9 finalists and even that was very,very hard to do and we stayed up way too late doing this, but it was worth it. We want to thank everyone that took the time to enter and we wish we could have given one or at least a prize to everyone that entered, but I don't think that many Dragon HDX's exist!


In the second stage of this contest the final winner of the grand prize package of the HP HDX Dragon will be decided by you! So if you got friends and family who want a chance to win some free gear and help you out winning yours, that is fine as long as there is just one vote per person. Finalists can vote for themselves or another finalist if they feel like it. So good luck to all the finalists and the voters!

All comments, votes and feedback will have to be in by 6PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time US May 13th 2008. The winner(s) will then be notified by email and posted here on Boston Pocket PC with their name and winning entry on May 14th 2008.

Again those that give feedback and comment (1 per person) on who should win - (by giving the Finalist# and why they should win) by sending an email with your full name to: with the subject "And the winner is" will be entered in a random drawing for some other prizes mentioned here. To be eligible for the random drawing you have to submit the requested information.

And here our our Nine Finalists in no particular order with a randomizer (clicking on the pictures will bring up the original images. This is one long post so be prepared to scroll):

Finalist #1

Here are a few pics of my gear bag and some of the gadgets I carry in it. It is a classic old school leather saddlebag that has a "Indiana Jones" look to it according to my kids :-)

bag1  bag2

This thing is really durable and holds all my stuff when I am out and about.

Here is a list of the items I carry in it:


HP TC4200 Tablet PC

Fujitsu U810 UMPC

Samsung i760 Windows Mobile smartphone

Black Zune 80

Canon TX-1 HD Video/Digital Camera

Garmin Nuvi 200

Verizon USB727 Aircard

Cradlepoint PHS 3G router

Black and Decker Portable Power Supply/Battery Uniden BCD396T Handheld Scanner Yaesu VX7r Handheld Ham Radio Several USB retractable cables to connect my devices/charge them.

Hopefully the pictures show everything okay, I really love this setup and get a lot of compliments on it when I am running around. I can pretty much do anything with this setup, from anywhere. Cell phone, aircard for the pcs, and when those fail I have 2 way coms with my Ham radio.

Finalist #2

I would like to introduce you to my gear bag! It’s a special Windows Live Messenger laptop bag I received as a thank you from a beta program. The bag features multiple compartments for storing my laptop, mobile devices, CDs and magazines. There is even a nice side pocket for storing my umbrella. The only thing I don’t like about it, it does not include a shoulder pad and it’s very heavy to carry around, but that’s the trade off for my daily gear. As for the gears themselves, it’s quite a simple array of tools I use to function on a daily basis. These include my 2003 Dell Latitude c840 laptop, Dell Optical Mouse, ViewSonic v37 Pocket PC 2002 Premium device, Motorola E398 Cellular phone, Motorola C350 Cellular modem for connecting to the Internet if I don’t have access at work/school or on the road and my beloved Canon PowerShot A520 Digital camera (you never know when the unexpected might happen, also used to take a picture of this entry). A few DVD movies, an array of backup CD’s and some mix music CDs I made are also included. I also carry a few technology magazines for light reading. 


My gear bag and gadgets: laptop, cellular phone, pocket pc, camera, dvds, cd’s, camera, umbrella, magazines

My laptop is the centre of my work experience; e-mail, schedules and contact information in Outlook 2003, Internet, and office productivity are all stored on it. Of course, there are the occasions for multimedia whether it’s snapping a few photos at work or school, listening to music or messing around in Adobe Audition. If I don’t have much to do or simply nothing I just pop in a DVD and watch one of my favourite movies, (I have with me now Star Wars Episode II, Spiderman and Michael Jackson’s History collection of his famous videos. When I am out on the road or at lunch, I carry my View Sonic Pocket PC V37 and my Motorola E398 cell phone. These keep me in contact with friends and my schedule under control whether its finding out my next task or next class, in addition to this they help me stay in touch with classmates, co-workers, family and friends.  That’s the gear in my ‘gear’ bag.

Finalist #3

Thanks in advance for a great opportunity! Even the chance to day dream about owning this amazing piece of hardware is worth it! clip_image001

1 2 3

Oh and that pic of that handsome bloke is me when I was on vacation! :D

My Gear consists of:

  1. HP Pavilion dv6000 series laptop upgraded to include 4GB RAM and Windows Vista 64 bit!
  2. Microsoft Zune 30GB hacked to include a 100Gb HDD clip_image002
  3. 160GB Encrypted Backup HDD which holds my Norton Ghost Backups and other important files!
  4. O2 XDA Atom with custom WM6 ROM which helps me access email and keeps me connected while on the road and helps organize my day!
  5. Sony PSP for the usual Gaming fix! :D
  6. A USB Converter charger which charges both the Zune as well as the O2 Atom. It saves me space as I just have to carry their respective cables!
  7. Panasonic Noise Isolation earphones which help immensely while traveling. Has separate converter for use on the O2 Atom as well!
  8. Canon S5 IS which I used to take the pics! I love this camera because it gives me so much more control than a regular point and shoot camera. It is coupled with 4 Panasonic AA 2700mAh batteries with a Panasonic quick portable charger!
  9. And finally a Samsonite laptop bag which serves as the "base station" for all my stuff. I love this bag because its got all the various compartments that I need as well as gives a lot of protection to my laptop!

Finalist #4

Here is my gear bag:


The bag is 12 inches high by 9 inches deep and 15 inches wide and was intended to hold four Plano [TM] compartment boxes. When Filled with my gear, the bag weighs is 14 pounds.


This picture shows the bag's general layout. It has two outside mesh pockets where I store photo albums, notebook, and a drogue chute. The lower compartment, accessed through a zip-open front flap, holds two Flowform kites, a frilly tail, the radio transmitter, and a Plano box containing camera cradle and small parts. The top-loading upper compartment contains the rest of the gear shown below.

Contents of the Bag

This set of components is a very workable collection for my aerial work. Having the gear in a compact set makes it easy to take the gear along and thus I am taking more aerial photographs.The bag fits in the diminutive trunk of my Volkswagen and is light enough to carry for a distance. The only addition I'd like to make is a dog stake but at this point there isn't enough room.


Contents of My Gear Bag:

1) Sutton Flowform 16 kite

2) Sutton Flowform 30 kite

3) the empty Cabela Gear Bag

4) a 9" Halo reel with 1500' of 100# kiteline. The bag also holds a second 9" Halo reel with 750' of 200# kiteline (not shown.)

5) A drogue to stabilize the Flowforms in light wind

6) A 30-foot-long 'fuzzy' tail to stabilize the Flowforms in heavier winds.


7) a notebook for keeping random notes and insightful musings

8) two photo albums holding images to show to passerby

9) a mesh bag to organize small parts

10) a climber's strap and carabiner for tying the kite off to secure objects

1) four homemade 'hangups' to attach Picavet suspension to kiteline (requires two)

12) large o-rings (muffler hangers) and sticks used to dampen vibrations on the kiteline in heavy winds

13) my current miniature Picavet suspension rig(stored in ziplock bag)

14) eight film canisters taped together to store film

- typically four rolls of 100 ASA and four rolls of 400 ASA

15) plastic Planto [TM] parts box holds lens brush, batteries, electrical tape, sewing kit,and camera cradle

16) the glove, essential for handling kiteline

17) a Davis Turbometer anemometer (with case) to measure ground level wind velocities

18) Airtronics four-channel radio transmitter

19) camera cradle with Yashica T4 camera and radio receiver(not shown) a small charger for the radio batteries - used for out-of-town trips

I hope I can win HP HDX Dragon

Finalist #5

Here is what I have in my gear bag:

clip_image001[4] clip_image002

First, I sport a Red Wegner SwissGear Maxxum Laptop backpack, it is by far the best backpack/gear bag I have ever owned.  It holds my normal gear, as well as any additional stuff I need for special projects.  Aside from a monitor, I can carry my entire mobile office in it, with room the spare, and yet it isn’t so big that it’s annoying to carry, and the extra padding makes it a cakewalk to carry across my work’s large campus.  This is very nice, since I have to hoof it a few blocks from the parking lot to the office.

The centerpiece of my gear is my Toshiba M400 Tablet PC, with Centrino Duo 1.8gHz processor, 2gb of RAM, Dual Layer DVD-R, 80gb hard drive, and a not-so-impressive 12” display that boasts resolutions up to 1024x768.  I am a major tablet pc fanatic, and love using a pen on my machine.  The one good thing about its small size is that it’s easy to lug around and write on.

My other gear includes:

· Logitech VX Nano Mouse

· 8gb iPod Touch with Griffin case, charger, and sync cable

· Motorola V3 Razr (Unlocked European Version from TigerDirect)

· 1gb Memorex Flash Drive

· 2gb SanDisk Cruzer Micro Flashdrive

· 4gb SanDisk Cruzer Micro Flashdrive

· 8gb Sandisk CF card

· External FireWire Enclosure for Seagate 120gb hard drive

· Sharp VL-Z1 MiniDV camera that I use as a webcam

· Holux Bluetooth GPS receiver

· Cheap GE headset for Skype

· Philips Earbuds with ear clips

· Philips Headphones with ear clips

· Cheap Card reader

· 2 6’ USB extension cables

· Retractable USB A/B cable

· Retractable FireWire 4pin/4pin cable

· 2 USB to Mini-USB cables

· FireWire Cable (4pin to 6pin)

· Short stereo connector cable

· Ancient PC microphone

· Belkin combination laptop lock

· Swiss+Tech Micro-Tech 6 in 1 tool

· Antistatic wristband

· Lens cleaner with microfiber rag in premium vinyl case

· Bandanna

· Assorted Pilot pens and blue Sharpies

· Spray Listerine – I recommend this to everyone, bad breath sucks!

· Advil in a travel tube

· Elmer’s Glue – don’t ask.

· Keys to my wife’s minivan

· Toshiba Portfolio for the M400 tablet, for important meetings.

· Wrist rest for Tablet PC when in Laptop Mode

· Flavor packets for 16.9oz bottles – office water is nasty, and I like to reuse bottles to save landfill space.

What’s Missing: PS2 EyeToy (my other webcam), Sierra Wireless VOQ Smartphone, Mini Maglite (my son stole it)

Finalist #6

I've annotated my picture of my gear bag and (most) of its contents.


Finalist #7

My gear bag is actually anything but. Not finding the style and features that I was looking for in a good gear bag, I checked some of the other bag solutions at my local Target. Eventually I settled on the weirdest gear bag I know: a diaper bag by Eddie Bauer.  In fact, I loved that bag so much that I eventually bought a second similar one that I could use for different types of gear.

Total Gear Gear Bag packed
As a teacher, I often need to be able to transport all of my portable gear on a regular basis.  This can make for a pretty hefty bag.  However, diaper bags are made to carry a lot of stuff (just ask your wife).  The great thing about this bag too is that it looks nothing like a diaper bag. Take a look at the pictures.  The gear list below is all of the gear that you might find in my bag on any given day.  Sometimes more, most often a little less. I interchange the bags depending on what gear I need for that day, whether it be my Infocus projector or student papers.

Gear list:

  1. Laptop (Compaq Presario) with power, to be replaced with HP TC1100 Tablet PC when it arrives in the mail on Monday
  2. Projector (Infocus IN24+) with power & cables
  3. MP3 Player (iPod 30gb 5th Gen) with earbuds & cable
  4. Port. Hard Drive (WD Passport, 60gb) with cable
  5. Cell Phone (Palm Treo 700wx) with cable
  6. Space Navigator
  7. Webcam (either Logitech Quickcam for Notebooks Pro or Logitech Quickcam Ultra Vison SE)
  8. Digital Camera (Kodak Easy Share 4.0mp)
  9. SD Cards (1gb SD and 1gb MicroSD, both SanDisk)
  10. USB Drives (2x 256mb and 1x 2gb, all SanDisk)
  11. Wallet
  12. Lesson plan books x2 (paper still works best)
  13. Half notebook
  14. Men's Journal magazine
  15. LED book lamp bought at Costco
  16. Bible (was my Mom's, has her name etched on the front)
  17. West Wing DVD (for class & pleasure... I teach gov't)
  18. Highlighter
  19. Gel pens
  20. Titanium reading glasses
  21. Small clear gear bag

So that's my bag.  The small clear gear bag is actually a dirty diaper holder (never used), instead it holds all of my cords and stuff.  All of my gear fits comfortably in the green bag but most days I only have 3/4 of the gear.  I don't need the projector everyday. I don't know which one is my favorite as I love them both.

Finalist #8


Being a girl-techgeek is harder than being a guy-geek.  We are expected to adhere to certain "standards" which involve not only carrying our own gadgets and tech toys, but also the rest of the girl stuff we carry.  Then, we have to not look geeky in the process, so we can avoid the fashion police coming to take our stuff away.  Unfortunately, I still run from the fashion police...I still haven't found a gear bag that fits their definition of fashion.

Another thing about being a girl-geek is that you always end up carrying stuff for the family too.  My husband's sunglasses, or dog treats when we take the dogs out and about.  So it's a new adventure everyday!

So I carry two bags - a purse and a gear bag that changes depending on the mood and how big my lunch is.

Here's my daily gear list:

- The new HP 2133 Mini Note in its homemade slip case

- A non-digital steno pad for those times when you just don't need to fire up a tech device to take notes

- Samsung Blackjack  and its USB cord for tethering to the Mini (Because I can't get Bluetooth PAN to work on it...yet!)

- Plantronics bluetooth headset

- 1 tube Loreal lipstick that hardly ever gets used, 1 tube lip gloss that never gets used

- GPS puck for use with Telenav and the Blackjack

- miscellaneous ATM receipts, dry cleaning tickets, and other paper flotsam

- a 30GB 5G iPod

- an iTalk attachment for voice recording to the iPod

- travel tube of ibuprofen

- Bose earbuds

- a Levenger Circa notebook/agenda

- Canon Powershot A560 digital camera (not shown in the pics because it was being used)

- A paperback book (because you don't always need to read digitally)

- a yellow umbrella

- car keys

- sunglasses

- XM radio and remote (an older Delphi SkiFi model.  The DH got the sexy newer model.)

- 15 ink pens

- a portable tea tin and a few packets of Splenda (Hot Cinnamon Sunset)

- A WD 250GB hard drive (contains mostly videos - to play on the HP Mini Note)

- a collection of Coke Reward Points

Thanks for sponsoring this contest!  Good luck with all the entries you're probably getting!


My Gear

I travel too much and NEED my gadgets.  Games are a must (as you will be able to tell from some of my gear) 

clip_image001[8] clip_image002[5]

Gear bag SQUEEZED closed             Dear god its busted open!!!

So my gear bag contains the following:

The Gear Bag:  The bag is a Kensington Contour.  Not too shabby.  Normal over the shoulder bought because it’s the only bag that could hold my 9300 with the 17” screen ;)


All my gear in its glory (keep it clean)

clip_image004 clip_image005

Separate Gear Focus :) For fun


1. Cingular 8525

2. PBZ (30gb Brown Zune)

3. G-Sat GPS Receiver

4. PSP  (original version)

5. Saitek Pro Gamer (a must for travel gaming)

6. Bose QC2 (just awesome for plane rides)

7. Dell Inspiron 9300 (2gb ram, 128mb ati x300, 80gb hdd, dual layer dvd burner J) ß Work laptop but games ok

8. Jabra BT800 BlueTooth Headset

9. Microsoft Sidewinder Gaming Mouse (AWESOME by the way.  Just awesome)


1. 8 gb PNY thumb drive

2. 160gb USB 2.0 external Maxtor drive

3. 1gb MVP Thumb Drive in a nice leather case

4. 2gb Memory Stick Pro Duo (for PSP stuff ;)

5. 8gb Memory Stick Pro Duo (for PSP stuff ;)

Energy Drink  - Monster Energy (always) (not shown in picture ;))

And that’s about it!  Damn I carry too much stuff. 


Good Luck to all of our finalists (and voters) and let the voting begin!!!!

05/11/2008 15:00:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Boston Pocket PC 31 Days of the Dragon Contest is now closed#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Boston Pocket PC 31 Days of the Dragon Contest is now closed. No more contest entries will be accepted. Starting on Sunday May 11th 2008 at 12PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time US we will announce the finalists and you will have a chance to vote and be entered into a random drawing for some prizes in the second stage of our contest.


All comments, votes and feedback will have to be in by 6PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time US May 13th 2008. The winner(s) will then be notified by email and posted here on Boston Pocket PC with their name and winning entry on May 14th 2008.

Again those that give feedback and comment (1 per person) on who should win and why by sending an email with your name to: with the subject "And the winner is" will be entered in a random drawing for some other prizes listed below:

Oakley Vertical Computer bag aka gear bag that isolates bluetooth so you won't be snarfed if its on.

Gears of War for the Xbox 360 to prepare yourself as a true Mobile Warrior.

 Maxtor One Touch 4 Mini 2.5" 160GB portable hard drive for backing up all your data, keeping two computers in synch, or for bringing it all with you when you are on the go. It also supports full encryption so your data will be safe from prying eyes. Here is what it comes with:

  • Portable hard drive with preloaded installation software
  • Maxtor SafetyDrill™ Recovery CD
  • Maxtor Backup and OneTouch Manager software applications
  • USB 2.0 Y cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Maxtor 5-Year Limited Warranty

Stay Tuned!!!

05/11/2008 03:02:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 9 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Jason Dunn has finally announced his contest after experience a slow server move today at on how to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 9 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.

dht dragon

Jason has also posted up a great unboxing and first impressions video of the HDX Dragon here and his contest involves this video.

Here are the rules of the contest:

OK, so you want to win this awesome prize bundle. I've been doing more YouTube videos lately, and as such I want to bump up our profile there. You know how YouTube works: the most popular videos and channels got there by first getting some exposure. I'd like you to help me with that! Here's all you need to do:

  1. If you don't already have a YouTube account, create one (it's free and fast). If you have one already, you're golden.
  2. Jump over to the YouTube page where the HDX9200 unboxing and first impressions video is posted. Watch the video, rate it, and post a comment on the YouTube page. Your comment should answer this question: "How will the Dragon rock your world?" Meaning, if you were to win the HDX9200, how would it change things for you? Would it allow you to get rid of your current computer, monitor, keyboard, and speakers? Would you come up with creative uses for a powerful workstation that could be moved - could you finally launch that mobile music recording studio business, be a wedding photographer and edit photos on the spot, or would it allow you to achieve some other goal? Or would you just revel in the sheer power of being able to play games and edit movies faster than ever before? Tell me how you'd use this powerful computer!
  3. After you've posted your comment (only one comment per YouTube account), click on the yellow Subscribe button to subscribe to the Thoughts Media YouTube Channel.
  4. If you want to double your chances of winning, also post your comment here on Digital Home Thoughts as a reply to this post. Please post your YouTube username as well so I can verify that you've subscribed to our YouTube channel and posted a comment there. If this is your first post to Digital Home Thoughts, please allow up to 24 hours for your post to appear.
  5. I'll randomly select one person from the combined total of all the YouTube comments and the comments here. That person will win the laptop. Boom! Anyone in the world can win this laptop, thanks to the generous support of HP and Buzzcorps - it will be couriered to you.
The fine print about how I'm doing the random selection: When I do the random drawing, I'll do it from a combined total of all the YouTube subscribers and all the comments posted here on Digital Home Thoughts. Each YouTube subscriber and each comment posted here on Digital Home Thoughts will be assigned a numerical value, and I'll use to pick a random number from the total. That's why if you post a comment both on YouTube, and here, you'll double your chances of winning. When I select the winner I'll be checking it against the comments, so make sure you fulfil all the contest requirements. If the person that is randomly selected hasn't followed my instructions, another winner will be chosen.
If you have questions about the contest, please don't post them here, only post your contest entries -
send me a message with your questions using our contact form and I'll update this post with further details if I've forgotten anything. I hope everyone has fun with this contest!

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from, digitalmediaphile, JKontherun, here,  and,

05/10/2008 22:29:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 8 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Ian Dixon has just announced his contest at on how to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 8 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.


Ian has also posted up a great unboxing video of the HDX Dragon here.

His contest involves the following:

To win the laptop and prize pack I have been a bit sneaky and posted the details in the forums so you will have to go an hunt down the post. Good luck!

To find out the next contest tomorrow head here or over to

There are 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from Ars Technica,, digitalmediaphile, JKontherun, here,  and

05/09/2008 13:43:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Adding Sizzle to Emulator Demos with SOTI Pocket Controller#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I haven't had the chance to mention things here, but I recently fired up a personal blog at My goal is to cover - well, anything I don't think might be of direct relevance here at You may find things of a more personal nature, technology items outside the realm of Windows Mobile / Microsoft mobility technologies, .NET development (including device, desktop and web) or anything else, for that matter.

As an example of what I am talking about, I did just post up an article regarding demo, screenshots and videos involving the Device Emulator for Windows Mobile. I've been asked on a number of occasions how to "spice up" the bland emulator skin. While you could go down a path in creating custom skins for the emulator, a simpler and more powerful solution can be found in using SOTI's Pocket Controller Professional. There are a few steps to follow in order to get things running, but the results are well worth it. You can check out my complete tutorial here.


P.S. - if you are interested in for only some of the content, be sure to check out the RSS feeds by category (on the lower-left side of the home page). You can subscribe to only what you want. I expect many to filter out my "personal side" ;-)

05/09/2008 13:39:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 7 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Julie over at has posted up their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day Seven of the 31 Days of the Dragon.


All you have to do is display The Gadgeteer's URL (use in a public place where other people can see it, take a picture and email it to me. The whole idea is to help me advertise the site. Some example ideas would be to print out on a 10 ft long piece of paper and tape it on the outside of a building, form the letters in whip cream on a sidewalk, or maybe climb up the Statue of Liberty and ...

Ok, I know you're not going to be able to get that crazy with this, but please do use your imagination!!! The picture has to be real, not fabricated and the crazier the display, the better chance you will have at winning the prize pack.

Here are a couple of very simple rules that I ask you to follow:

1. Don't destroy or harm public or private property unless you have permission
2. No
photoshop fake pics like the one I just posted above as an example. The image you send me can't be an existing picture where you have used photoshop to paste the words over the top of it
3. The picture has to be in good taste please. No public restrooms pics, etc.
4. Email me ( your picture before 12am EST on 5/15/08
5. Winner has to be willing to send me a picture of themselves with all the prizes, that I'll post here on the site
6. Enter as many times as you like
7. Contest open to any one living anywhere in the world

All entries will be posted for everyone to see on my Flickr account. The winner will be chosen by me by no specific criteria other than it will be the entry that I like best. I will contact and post the winner at some point during the day on 5/15/08.

Also as of today you now have 6 more chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from AbsoluteVista, Ars Technica,, digitalmediaphile, JKontherun and here.

05/08/2008 16:39:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


User Group Meeting: Wednesday, May 21st 2008#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Well, it's about that time. Time to discuss our next New England Windows Mobile User/Developer Group meeting, that is. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 21st starting at 6:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (6th floor).

Map image

There will be 2 presentations this month. They are:

  • What's New in Windows Mobile 6.1. Curious to find out what the latest version of Windows Mobile has to offer for users and the enterprise? This presentation will discuss a variety of new features, functions and enhancements for Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard and Professional.
  • Introducing Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager ("SCMDM"). If you haven't already heard, Microsoft has released the newest member of the System Center product family. SCMDM provides device management and security for Windows Mobile devices to enterprise administrators. In this presentation, you will see and learn the benefits that SCMDM provides to administrators and developers of mobile Line of Business applications.

As always, there will be lots of great giveaways. This month's giveaway includes a copy of Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate, so don't miss out! 

05/07/2008 08:23:09 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


31 Days of the HP Dragon Giveaway#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OK we haven't done a big giveaway contest in a while. As we posted before and linked to other sites participating in the 31 Days of The Dragon with the help from HP and BuzzCorps, we will be getting a fully decked out HP HDX Dragon laptop (with just about every option including a Blu-ray player, 1080P 20.1-inch XHD Ultra Brightview widescreen display, 500 GB HDD, Intel Extreme Processors, etc.) to give to one of our readers as part of the 31 Days of the HP Dragon Giveaway.



HP HDX Dragon - $4,500 retail value

HDX System Specs

Operating system:

Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)


Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Extreme Processor X9000 (2.80GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)


20.1" diagonal WUXGA High-Definition HP Ultra Brightview Widescreen (1920x1200)-"True HD" 1080p res


4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)

Graphics Card:

512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTS


HP Imprint Finish (Dragon) + Fingerprint Reader + Webcam + Microphone


Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 4965AGN Network Connection and Bluetooth(TM)

Hard Drive:

500GB 5400RPM SATA Dual Hard Drive (250GB x 2)

Primary CD/DVD Drive:

Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer

TV & Entertainment Experience:

Integrated HP HDTV Hybrid TV Tuner and 4 Altec Lansing speakers +the HP Triple Bass Reflex subwoofer

Primary Battery:

9 Cell Lithium Ion Battery

Evaluation Software Certified For Windows Vista

office corelphoto corelpainter

corelvideo  nis 2008 

Microsoft Office Professional 2007
Corel PaintShop Pro X2
Corel Painter Essentials
Corel Ulead Video Studio Plus  11.5 
Symantec Norton Internet Security 2008

Games For Windows

pinata flightsim

flightsim2 gow

Viva Piñata
Microsoft Flight Sim
Microsoft Flight Sim Expansion Pack
Gears of War - $49.99 retail value


poc1 poc2 poc3

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl - Blu Ray
Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest - Blu Ray
Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End - Blue Ray

Total Retail Value is over $5100!

The goal of the contest is not to only give away a really cool laptop, some cool software, and cool movies, but help the online community by bringing new readers to others sites and sharing readers. So as you can guess you will have 31 chances to win one of these beautiful laptops! We will also be giving away a few other things as well. :)

Contest Rules:

So to enter our contest all you have to do is send an email to with the subject "Contest Entry" and  tell us about your gear bag, the gear you carry in it and include a picture of it (and yourself if you like). That's it. Only one entry per person. The contest starts now May 7th 2008 and all entries must be in by Saturday May 10th 2008 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time US. All entries after that will not be accepted.

Your fate will be determined in two phases of the contest by the staff at Boston Pocket PC will choose a minimum of 5 finalists and you the readers will get to give your feedback on who think should win and why starting on Sunday May 11th 2008 at 12PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time US. Those that give feedback and comment (1 per person) on who should win and why by sending an email with your name to: with the subject "And the winner is" will be entered in a random drawing for some other prizes listed below:

We also got a cool Oakley Vertical Computer bag aka gear bag that isolates bluetooth so you won't be snarfed if its on.

We have a copy of Gears of War for the Xbox 360 to prepare yourself as a true Mobile Warrior.

We also have a Maxtor One Touch 4 Mini 2.5" 160GB portable hard drive for backing up all your data, keeping two computers in synch, or for bringing it all with you when you are on the go. It also supports full encryption so your data will be safe from prying eyes. Here is what it comes with:

  • Portable hard drive with preloaded installation software
  • Maxtor SafetyDrill™ Recovery CD
  • Maxtor Backup and OneTouch Manager software applications
  • USB 2.0 Y cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Maxtor 5-Year Limited Warranty

Notice a theme???

All comments, votes and feedback will have to be in by 6PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time US May 13th 2008. The winner(s) will then be notified by email and posted here on Boston Pocket PC with their name and winning entry on May 14th 2008.

Its all about the gear, so lets see what you got and how you use it and you may be able to add some more to yours! Good luck!

05/07/2008 00:01:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Zune Software update 2.5#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well if you are a Zune user you may or may not be aware there is an update for the desktop software to version 2.5 called the Spring Update.


These are alot of features that were echoed in the community and its nice to see implemented, but I am still waiting on seeing some movie content on the Zune Marketplace, hopefully that will arrive soon...

New 2.5 Update includes:

  • Syncing Zune Cards to a device.
  • Enhanced friends search.
  • Instant friends.
  • Artist and album reviews.
  • Reputation badges.
  • Windows Live connections.
  • Auto playlists.
  • Browsing videos.
  • Editing album and track information.
  • Organizing collections.
  • Gapless playback.
  • Syncing groups.
  • Zune reminders.

Here is the official press release:

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Zune, the company’s all-in-one digital entertainment brand, is adding new software features and content to the Zune online store, music community and Zune Pass monthly subscription service. Zune is expanding its video store to include downloads of popular television shows from COMEDY CENTRAL, FUNimation® Entertainment, MTV, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, Starz Media (including Magna Entertainment), Turner Broadcasting, Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) and VH1 that consumers can sync to their device and enjoy on the go. In addition, by further integrating the Zune music community into the core experience, the new software makes it easier for people to find and listen to the music they want, share it with friends, and take it with them wherever they go — whether they choose a Zune Pass or a la carte MP3 downloads. Zune Pass subscribers can now set up automatic, real-time feeds of the music their friends are listening to and add those songs to their collection or Zune device.

Starting today, consumers can choose from more than 800 episodes of popular television series to download and watch on their computer or their Zune, including COMEDY CENTRAL’s “South Park,” FUNimation’s “Afro Samurai” and “Witchblade,” MTV’s “The Hills,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Heroes” and “30 Rock,” Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” SCI FI Channel’s “Battlestar Galactica” and “Eureka,” Starz’s “Ghost in the Shell” and “Street Fighter,” Turner Broadcasting’s “Metalocalypse” and “Robot Chicken,” UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter®” and “Fight Night™,” and VH1’s “Rock of Love” with Bret Michaels. Each television show will be priced at 160 Microsoft Points per episode (approximately $1.99) at launch. With more than 3.5 million tracks, two-thirds of which are available in pure MP3 format, 800 television shows, 4,800 music videos and 3,500 audio and video podcasts, the Zune online store is a great place for consumers to find the entertainment content they want. In addition, the bright, full-color screen on every Zune portable media player delivers a high-quality video experience on the go.

“Partnering with Zune will allow us to develop innovative content offerings for their customers, including flexible pricing and packaging options beginning this fall,” said JB Perrette, president of NBC Universal Digital Distribution. “NBC Universal is excited to offer our hit television shows to Zune customers.”

A Better Way to Experience Music
In a recent study commissioned by Zune, 54 percent of consumers surveyed said they were frustrated when trying to find new music, mostly because they said they didn’t have enough time, didn’t know where to look, or felt that they ended up wasting money on music they didn’t end up liking. At the same time, 89 percent said they would trust a friend or family member’s musical recommendation over a music critic’s.

The growing Zune online music community enables consumers to explore, discover and share music. Members get a free, customizable Zune Card: a snapshot of their favorite tracks and the music they’re playing on their Zune. Previously this personal snapshot resided only on the Web, but with the latest software updates Zune Cards have become much more portable. Now consumers with the Zune Pass subscription have the ability to take what their friends are listening to from the Zune music community on the go via Zune Card personal playlists for easy exploration and access, when and where they want it. The Zune Pass subscription allows consumers to explore millions of tracks with no commitment other than the monthly fee similar to the price of one CD — $14.99 per month.

“Consumers want more than the traditional transactional model of an online music store plus portable device,” said Chris Stephenson, general manager of Global Marketing for Zune at Microsoft. “Zune is putting the strong combination of an online music community together with subscription to deliver a new experience centered on music discovery that’s good for consumers, artists and the industry. This approach exposes consumers to music they might not have otherwise tried, keeps them coming back, and gives them purchasing options that suit their preferences.”

New updates to the Zune online music community include the following:

• Syncing Zune Cards to a device. Consumers simply drag and drop Zune Cards from friends to a Zune device and get updates on what friends are listening to every time they sync. If the song is available with Zune Pass, subscribers automatically have the full tracks on their Zune while nonsubscribers have full album information and artwork. If consumers hear something they like, they can add it to their collection with one click. Next time the user syncs his or her Zune, he or she will be asked to confirm the purchase.

• Enhanced friends search. Consumers now have the ability to add their name, location and bio to their Zune music community profile, making it easier than ever to find their friends.

• Instant friends. The true power of the Zune online music community is unlocked when friends are added and consumers can follow the music they’re listening to. Now, when new Zune owners join the Zune online music community, they’ll find the top music editors from the Zune Marketplace team already added to their friends list, giving them a head start in finding new music.

• Artist and album reviews. Inside the Zune music community, members have the ability to write and post their own reviews for artists and albums, providing another community-driven feature to support the exploration and discovery of music. The music community helps to find and recommend the best music.

• Reputation badges. Now members of the Zune community can earn badges that are displayed on their Zune Card showing they’re passionate fans or active members.

• Windows Live connections. Windows Live Messenger contacts will now be able to see what users are listening to via the Zune software. Clicking on the tracks displayed in the “Now Playing” feature will connect the Windows Live Messenger friend directly to that artist’s page on the Zune Social.
A More Integrated Way to Manage and Enjoy Entertainment
Responding directly to customer feedback, Zune has updated and added features and functionality to address better integration between the software, the online music community and the store. In addition, the updates include frequently requested features such as the ability to sync multiple Zune players at once. Specific feature updates include the following:

• Auto playlists. Users can create an auto playlist that updates itself automatically as new music is added.

• Browsing videos. Consumers can browse their video collection by genre and series, plus they can preview videos before they play them on full screen.

• Editing album and track information. Users are able to edit track or album information (metadata) quickly via multi-select and drag-and-drop. The advanced metadata editing features make it easy to edit multiple tracks or survey albums and artist information.

• Organizing collections. In addition to sorting by artist or album, consumers can now sort by genre. While browsing by genre they can further sort music by artist, album or release year.

• Gapless playback. Consumers will now be able to listen to an album without the brief gap between tracks, both on their Zune and in the Zune software. This is a must-have for live-concert recordings and compilation albums.

• Syncing groups. Zune software now syncs to multiple Zune players simultaneously. Users can prepare which content on their computer to sync even when their Zune isn’t connected. Consumers can create custom sync groups for music, pictures and videos.

• Zune reminders. Experience is improved when a Zune player’s memory is nearing capacity, via an easy-to-use tool.

Jason Dunn over at ZuneThoughts has some nice screen captures, videos, and descriptions of the update and its new features:

Zune 2.5 Spring Update: Delving Into The Social

Zune 2.5 Spring Update: A Video Walkthrough

Zune 2.5 Spring Update: Finally, Some Serious Software Updates!

Zune 2.5 Spring Update: The Zune Social

Zune 2.5 Spring Update: TV Shows Comes to the Zune Marketplace

05/06/2008 15:32:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 5 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today Barb Bowman at digitalmediaphile -Barb's Connected World announced her contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day Five of the 31 Days of the Dragon.

Here are the details of her contest:

Anyone reading this blog entry can enter my contest between now and 6pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time US on May 12, 2008. I’ll be shipping the HDX Dragon Entertainment PC to the lucky winner who will be chosen on May 13.

The Contest Rules

It’s a treasure hunt!

The rules and details:

1. Email subject must be “I want a HDX Dragon” and you must and send to a special email address I have set up. (Click the link to open your default email client which will auto address the email or manually address to Blog comments don’t count and I have turned them off for this post to avoid confusion.

2.  Five items must be included in the body of the email. These answers are all on my blog. Do not use images or stationery.

  • -1- Somewhere on this site is a hidden blog post with an image of the HDX Dragon HP Pavilion Entertainment PC. Find the hidden post and click on the title, then copy the full URL to the clipboard. You must paste the full URL for the hidden post into the body of the message as the first line.
  • -2- On a separate line, type in the specs of the specific Intel processor that my contest machine includes.
  • -3- On a separate line, type in the model number of the first HP Pavilion Entertainment PC I blogged about.
  • -4- Unlike HP who has a slick and easy 64 bit native program to update system BIOS, what computer manufacturer and laptop was a real problem to update under Vista x64 until I found a workaround? Type this info on a 4th line.
  • -5- What brand and model DSLR camera have I been using and take on a recent trip to Seattle?

3. One entry per email address. Please don’t attempt to enter multiple times to increase your chances of winning. Entries will be sorted by FROM return email address and multiple entries will be disqualified. No throw away email addresses like mailinator, etc.

4. You must enter by 6pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time US on May 12, 2008. Emails received after that will not be eligible.

5. A random drawing will be held on May 13. If you did not provide the correct answers to all 5 items, you can not be the winner!

6. I will send an email on May 13 to the winner who will have 24 hours to respond with their full legal name, shipping address (no post office boxes) and phone number for shipping. If no response is received, a second random drawing will be held with the same conditions. I will announce the winner here (no address or phone will be posted). Note that Buzz Corps will make a payment directly to the winner to offset their tax burden.

7. This machine is for your personal use and while what you do with it is up to you, I ask that it not to be sold on eBay or other channel. If you enter, please do so because you are excited about the HDX Dragon and want it for yourself/your family.

8. After the winner receives the dragon and has had a chance to enjoy it, I’d love to do a follow-up story with the winner’s comments.

To learn more about the rest of the details of the contest and how to win your very own HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook head straight here for the contest rules as well as to see what else is going on over at Barb's Connected World including her article, HDX Dragon-First Impressions.

Tomorrow on May 7th our contest starts! So be sure to check out your chance to win by heading back here!

Also as of today you now have 5 chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from AbsoluteVista, Ars Technica,, and JKontherun.

05/06/2008 13:49:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


T-Mobile Goes 3G Finally, NYC is First#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

T-Mobile USA has finally launched its much awaited third-generation wireless network in the U.S., is now live in New York City. However there are currently only 4 phones that can use this new service: the Nokia 3555 and 6263 and the Samsung t819 and t639.


These 4 UMTS devices running on the 1.7 and 2.1 MHz band, provide data speeds between 200 Kbps -300 Kbps. T-Mobile plans to introduce phones later this year taking full advantage of their 3G network running HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access)devices later in the year, which will offer data speeds of 600 Kbps to 1 Mbps.

T-Mobile plans to offer 3G service in 20 to 25 markets (like Los Angeles, Detroit, San Diego, Austin, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Miami) deployed by the end of 2008. There is also mention of the possibility of 3G cellular PC data cards later this year or in early 2009 as well.

If you are in the New York City area, T-Moble has a beta program for their new 3G service.

You need to be a T-Mobile subscriber, have minimum 600 talk minutes, a data plan and live/work in the NYC area.

I asked the company providing the beta if I could post up the link to apply and they said it is a public offer. So if you are interested you can apply for the beta here.

Here is T-Mobile USA's Official Press Release:

T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced that the company has taken the first commercial step in the rollout of its third-generation (3G) wireless network by launching its UMTS/HSDPA network in New York City. T-Mobile plans to continue the rollout of its 3G network across major metropolitan markets through the year. By year’s end, T-Mobile expects its high-speed data network will be available in those cities where a majority of its subscribers currently use data services.

“The launch of our 3G network comes at a time when 3G phones and services are more affordable, capable and appealing to our consumer marketplace than ever before,” said Cole Brodman, chief development officer, T-Mobile USA. “We benefit not only from the economic scale of 3G, but also from the extensive commercial experience of 3G in our European markets. Today, T-Mobile USA customers already have among the highest adoption of data and messaging services in the industry. Through our 3G network, we look forward to delivering a rich portfolio of new and meaningful services to enrich our customers’ lives.”

T-Mobile’s 3G network supports voice and data services consistent with available service and handset offerings. The company today offers multiple phones that are able to operate on the UMTS network. The phones are designed to automatically connect to the best available network (3G or GSM/GPRS/EDGE) to provide the great call quality and rich communication services customers expect from T-Mobile.

Customers using a 3G-capable handset from T-Mobile will also experience faster data speeds when accessing the Web, or downloading content from the T-Mobile t-zones content portal, for example.

In the coming months, T-Mobile plans to offer its first HSDPA device, along with new and compelling data-centric, all-in-one devices that help make the most of T-Mobile’s high-speed data network.

The launch of the 3G network also enables T-Mobile to accommodate and serve more customers more efficiently through the use of its AWS spectrum, effectively doubling T-Mobile USA’s spectrum position, and laying the foundation for the company’s future growth. T-Mobile and the U.S. government, namely the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice, continue to work closely and effectively together to make available AWS spectrum that will give consumers access to the 3G network.

As the 3G service rolls out in targeted major markets, T-Mobile will continue to build upon its T-Mobile® HotSpot Wi-Fi network — its wireless high-speed Internet offering that launched in 2003 — and its nationwide voice and data network, to empower customers to effortlessly stay connected using the best available network.

T-Mobile International is following a common technology path across all of its markets in Europe and the United States, from GSM/GPRS/EDGE to UMTS/HSDPA. T-Mobile USA greatly benefits from

T-Mobile International’s 3G experiences in Europe, where adoption of non-messaging mobile data is growing dynamically; and with more than 120 million customers worldwide, T-Mobile International is able to generate significant global procurement synergies.

05/05/2008 11:01:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 4 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Cinco De Mayo is going to be the start of the one lucky person's path to coolness with another contest over at to win. Today they announced their contest to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day Four of the 31 Days of the Dragon.


If you want to see some shots of the HP HDX Dragon in action Jack Cook has posted up some pictures of the HP HDX we are giving away. We had lunch at our local Panera Bread, which has a line out the door at lunch time and is the mobile office for many. Here is one of the pictures, with me using it as any power user would! Notice it takes up the whole table and not the smaller one on the left. My review of it should be up later today.


OK back to the contest over at JKontherun. This contest is going to require a little work, but I think the prize is well worth it! Here is what it involves:

Our contest starts live right now and we'll accept entries until Midnight EST on May 11.  We will announce the winner on May 12 to keep the 31 days of giveaways alive and kicking. 

Running a blog for such a long time means that Kevin and I reveal a lot about ourselves over the course of time.  We like to share with our faithful readers and we felt that with such a great prize on the line those of you who want to enter the contest should prove how well you've been paying attention.  To enter the contest email the answers to the following questions.  Be sure and include in your entry your real name and email address so we can contact you if you are the winner.  Do NOT include any other information like your address as we will get that from the winner after the contest.  To insure that no one inadvertently posts the answers here we have disabled comments on this post so if you want to enter you MUST email to the above email address.  It is the only email address we will consider for the contest.  When the contest entry period ends Kevin and I will randomly select a winner from a pool of those with the most correct answers to these questions:

  1. What are James' and Kevin's ages as of today?
  2. How many times has James been to Paris?
  3. What is the name of the young lady besides Barbara who lives in Kevin's house?
  4. What is special about Kevin's SUV?
  5. Kevin and James both use the same camera for video reviews.  Name it.
  6. What sports car does Kevin drive and what year model is it?
  7. What is James' current ride and what year model is it?
  8. What famous music star did James open for in a concert years ago?
  9. How many comments have been left on jkOnTheRun as of right now? (closest one is correct)
  10. How many posts have been published on jkOnTheRun as of right now? (closest one)
  11. The producer/ director of what famous movie once left a comment on jkOTR?

That's it, these are all the questions you need to answer.  Hey, you didn't expect us to just give the Dragon away for doing nothing, right?

To learn more about the rest of the details of the contest and the email address needed to enter their contest to win your very own HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook head straight here for the contest rules as well as to see what else is going on over at JKontherun.

Tomorrow Barb Bowman at Barb's Connected World will announce her contest so be sure to head there for another chance to enter or head back here for the details or head directly to and back here on May 7th when our contest starts!

Also as of today you now have 4 chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from AbsoluteVista, Ars Technica, and .

05/05/2008 08:47:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 3 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well today is day 3 of the 31 Days of the Dragon and it is the day that the folks at have launched their contest today for your chance to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook!


So here are the rules for the contest at OSNN:

OSNN is a big and close-knit community where our primary focus is discussing a large and diverse field of topics on our forums. I have discussed how we wanted to do this competition and we decided to make a part of it simple to allow members both new and old a fair chance at winning the giveaway.

The first part of the competition is simple and as follows – you just have to answer the following questions:

  1. What operating system does the OSNN server use?
  2. What name did OSNN/NTFS originally have when it started?
  3. Which operating system was originally the site’s main focus?
  4. What date was the first news post made on the current front page?
  5. What Microsoft community is OSNN a member of?
  6. When is the Electronic Punk’s birthday?

The answers can be found by using some common sense, a little bit of the search function and learning about the history of OSNN.
The second part is a little more complicated and will require some participation.

I have decided that whoever wins this competition must be an active member of the community, however this does not rule out those that have yet to become members as they have a week to show that they are!
Anyone can submit answers to the questions above and a winner will be chosen from those with the correct answer a week from today. This member will then be checked to make sure that they have made a valuable contribution to our forums and truly become a good member.
Only members that have had their first post moderated will be able to create visible posts and submit their answers but don’t worry the OSNN team will quickly authorize valid posts and you will then be able to submit your answers.

There is no advantage to submitting your answers early so take your time and make sure they are correct as duplicate entries will all be removed. Any duplicate submissions from the same IP address will also be removed. Just make sure that you submit your answers before next Sunday begins as the form will be disabled at some point next Sunday and the winner will be chosen.

As for new members, making your contribution is simple, it doesn’t have to be giving answers to those unanswered questions, but you can ask your own questions, comment on anything you see and generally have fun.

To learn more about the rest of the details of the contest and how to enter their contest to win your very own HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook head straight to here for the contest rules on

Tomorrow James and Kevin at will have theirs so be sure to head there for another chance to enter or head back here for the details or head directly to and back here on May 7th when our contest starts!

Also as of today you now have 3 chances to win one of these fabulous laptops from AbsoluteVista and Ars Technica.

05/04/2008 13:42:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 2 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at Ars Technica have launched their contest today to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day Two of the 31 Days of the Dragon.


Sound like something you might like? Here's the skinny: this is a serious piece of kit, so we're going to make you work for it. Create something for a game that involves Ars Technica. It could be an Unreal Tournmant level or skin, an Ars Technica theme for the PS3, a house in the Sims that's based on our forums, with a funny-looking Peter Bright of course. If you've ever wanted to model Jacqui Cheng's house, complete with 50 iPods under glass, you can do so. You can use any game, and create a level, skin, or anything else your heart desires. Points will be given for originality and ties to Ars, and will be judged by a panel of experts. Namely, us. The contest begins tomorrow, May 3, and ends on May 10—hopefully you work well under pressure.

To learn more about the rest of the details and how to enter their contest head straight to Ars Technica. Also there is currently another chance to win at AbsoluteVista.

Tomorrow the folks at will have theirs so be sure to head there for another chance to enter or head back here for the details or head directly to and back here on May 7th when our contest starts!

05/03/2008 10:13:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Review - Celio REDFLY#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Celio REDFLY Mobile Companion from Celio Corp garnished alot of attention at this year's CES as a notebook replacement with no operating system, but works merely as an extension of a Windows Mobile device providing an 8 inch screen and full sized keyboard.


CEO Kirt Bailey told us at CES that the REDFLY is a companion device for Windows Mobile devices without having to repeat computing power on a laptop form factor as well as without having to deal with the operating system, hardware, and software expense and support issues involved with laptops and UMPCs. He told us they were mainly targeting companies and enterprise users that have to issue users with laptops and mobile phones. This saves the cost not only of purchasing a laptop, but also the ROI involved with managing and administering the devices, which are estimated to roughly $4100 a year each. Another issues was security because the REDFLY doesn't store any sensitive information and all the data remains on the smartphone, displays can be shared amongst users without risk of data loss or security breach.

Unboxing and Setting up the REDFLY

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The REDFLY comes in one color on release and it will be a scarlet maroon that has some flecks of red metallic in it. There is some nice thought into the overall design including matching the color of the touch pad to the outside color. Out of the box the screen has a protective removable plastic film that should be removed before using.


The finish on the REDFLY is similar to many phones in that it has the "soft touch" finish that gives it a slightly rubbery/silicon feel so it has some grip to it and won't easily slip out of your hands.


(Note: the review unit we had was a pre-production unit so the final unit may vary from the one reviewed here)

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The REDFLY measures in at 1 x 6 x 9 inches (just a bit smaller than the Fujitsu P1610) and weighs only 2lbs 4oz with the included 9VDC power supply and an ounce just under 2lbs if you choose to leave the charger at home, in the hotel, or back in the office. If you do, the unit when tethered via USB charging our device averaged 5.5 hrs of battery and 7.5 hours via a Bluetooth connection. This is inline with the stated 8hrs if you round up from the 4500ma Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery.

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The REDFLY has 2 USB 2.0 powered ports on the back of the unit that can be used to synchronize and charge your Windows Mobile device or to connect to a USB keyboard, mouse, or even external storage like a USB thumb drive.


Also on the back is a standard 15pin VGA port used for an external display or projector perfect for giving presentations on a larger screen as well as via a projector.

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The last port on the back is a 9VDC connector for charging the device and using it on AC power in case you ran the batteries down.It takes on average about 18 minutes to fully charge the internal Li polymer battery.The unit can even charge the current hungry i-mate JasJar aka HTC Universal.


On the right side of the unit near the hinge is the power button. Pressing the button turns the unit on. Also on the right hand side are two LED lights that the one on the right closest to the power button lights up green indicating that the unit is on in case you have the screen contrast too low or the lid closed since there is no auto shutoff switch or light sensor. The  left light also changes to amber when the device is charging, green when it is fully charged and red when it is low.

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When the screen is turned on it will first turn on in full brightness mode with the mouse cursor centered on the screen and a slide out tool bar of icons will appear indicating the status of connection, battery state (charging, fully charged, 1/2 charged, or if the battery needs charging) Num Lock and Caps Lock. If this screen disappears to quickly for you to read it all you have to do is move the mouse cursor over the the lower right-hand corner and bring it back on the display.

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The icons will even show you how you are connected via USB 1, USB 2, Bluetooth, or not connected. There also a signal strength meter if you are connected via Bluetooth.

The REDFLY Mobile Companion is compatible with selected Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC and Smartphone editions and Windows Mobile 6 Professional and Standard Editions.  A list of tested smartphones is available at  At the time of this review only a handful of devices were supported on the Pocket PC Platform with support for Smartphones aka Windows Mobile Standard coming soon.

install option

You have two choices in which to install the software either over the air or via your computer.

install software

The 8" screen supports resolutions up to 800 x 480 (WVGA) pixels. The current drivers available for the REDFLY are only QVGA for certain device models like the HTC Mogul - Sprint ,HTC Tilt 8900 - AT&T, HTC XV6800 - Verizon Wireless ,Samsung SCH-i760 - Verizon Wireless and Palm Treo 700wx - Verizon Wireless. I decided to give the HTC Tilt drivers a try and download the drivers directly on my VGA display device, the imate JasJar aka HTC Universal. The drivers had an option to install on the device or on the storage card. I chose to install onto the device to prevent any performance problems.

A reboot was required to install the the drivers properly and after a soft reset the device was ready to be hooked up and paired with the REDFLY.

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To first connect the REDFLY to your Windows Mobile device you will need to do this via a USB cable. Once connected your Windows Mobile screen will go blank except for a REDFLY icon showing that it is connected and your display will show up on the 8" REDFLY display in landscape mode.

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Under the Start-> Settings Folder-> was a new icon for the REDFLY that allowed you to configure how you want the REDFLY to interact with your device.


Once connected via USB or Bluetooth you can also access this screen via the REDFLY button.

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To connect via Bluetooth you will need to use the REDFLY software to initiate the connection. This looks at the MAC address of the connected device and establishes the proper pairing and partnership between your Windows Mobile devices and the REDFLY. Up to 5 devices can be paired to the REDFLY, which is great for an office that chooses to save costs and share just one unit for sales calls, meetings, etc. Before authorizing the device you will have to turn your Bluetooth radio set on.

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To connect via Bluetooth you have three options on how to do it. All require that you can initiate it by pressing the Bluetooth key on the keyboard, which is Function F12 and choose which device you wish to connect it to or when you setup your Bluetooth connection settings you can have it automatically pair with your Windows Mobile device upon power up, Ask whether to connect or reject the connection.

Bluetooth is a nice option to have if you forget your USB cable or don't feel like removing your Windows Mobile device from your bag or pocket.

Some Caveats

  • When disconnected from the REDFLY it takes about 7 seconds for the screen to return. The default orientation that it returns to is portrait.
  • When you are connected to the REDFLY you can't beam files over IR or Bluetooth due to the current communication between the REDFLY and your Windows Mobile device.
  • The USB ports also allows you to use USB Jump drives for additional storage, but the USB ports don't see external USB hard dives. The drive will spin up and power up fine, but Windows Mobile may be the deciding factor here. So its just USB thumb drives, which still isn't bad.
  • The Bluetooth connection is not as fast as a direct connection given the speed of the data pathway. Bluetooth is good for checking your emails and PowerPoint. USB seems the way to go for extended usage.

Working with the REDFLY

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When I got the REDFLY I plugged it in and it charged up in literally 3 minutes at the airport (probably due to a residual charge left on the device when it left Celio) and I took it with me on my flight to Redmond for the MVP Summit. I had downloaded and installed the software on both my HTC Wizard and HTC Universal in under 2 minutes while we waited to take off and was up and running using it. This was without reading the manual, which gives very detailed directions in their Quick Start Guide.  After being told to turn off all electronics and put the tray in the upright position, I turned off both the REDFLY and my phone and placed them in the pouch on the back of the seat in front of me for take off. 


I did bring the Quick Start Guide with me on the plane to read and peruse while we took off.  After being notified to that we could use our electronics I was able to quickly pull them out of the pouch in front of me and get back to work. One of the flight attendants asked me if I was connected to the Internet through my phone, while half the plane got up to use the rest rooms, because he saw it tethered via USB to my phone. I proceed to show him how it worked and what it was. He was impressed and he asked if they were available for sale yet because he would like to use it with his Windows Mobile Treo, but gauffed at the price when I told him.

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After my quick demo, I quickly brought up Word Mobile and started writing this review. To give you my first impressions and initial findings as I discovered them. I really like the size of the touchpad, which is a wide screen pad matching the display similar to the Apple Macbook Air. The touchpad speed out of the box was a bit slow and required several swipes of the finger to get it to navigate across the screen. I went into the Input tab in the REDFLY and was able to speed up the responsiveness of the touchpad to my preferences which was fast in order to transverse the entire screen in one swipe.

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I went with the default settings for dimming the screen and sleep (shutting the device down) because it seemed to fit my usage pattern. As I reached looked out the window or partook in a conversation the screen dimmed saving battery life and shut off after 10 minutes, while I was glancing over the Quick Start Guide and gnoshing on some snacks.

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I easily was able to read and respond to email -even using OWA (Outlook Web Access) using the full sized keyboard. The only request I would want would be the ability to zoom out to fit more text on the screen. I went and changed my System Settings->Screen->Text Size to the smallest setting and found it much more usable and I enabled clear type. It would be nice if these settings could be saved into a profile so when you connected to the REDFLY your settings for smaller print would become active and then default back to your handheld settings when you disconnect. Word and Excel do allow you to set your Zoom levels inside the program which are very useful when using the REDFLY's 8" screen.

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I found 75% zoom to be comfortable in viewing and typing Word documents.

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Using Excel Mobile on the REDFLY is a dream! See I have these pretty large and elaborate spreadsheets for project planning, construction projects, inventory, and IP address, port assignments, my DVD collection, etc. Viewing without panning up/down and left/right is very time consuming and now I can view them pretty quickly and fairly easy as I do when I am using a laptop or desktop computer. I can make changes to a spreadsheet and have it synch via shared folders in Exchange when I am connected to the Internet as well as have a local copy that fits in my pocket. It really is great to see quick graphs and large spread sheets in all their glory with out having to shrink it all down and squint at the content. Coupled with a USB mouse I didn't miss using my P1610.

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Remote desktop looks very nice on the REDFLY and even allowed me to control my Media Center at home as well as remote in to a few servers.

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The touch and pitch on the keyboard were comfortable enough for short stints of typing. I am used to typing on a small keyboard of my P1610 so the transition for me wasn't too bad as it might be for others it it is you can also add larger USB keyboard and mouse. :) Using the keyboard to quickly cut and paste as well as shortcuts also saves time and increases productivity from working directly on the device, that doesn't have CTRL and ALT keys amongst others. Also being able to use PG UP and PG DN buttons are nice as well when perusing a long document,email, PDF, or spread sheet is great. Switching between applications by using the ALT-TAB key combination is great too, which was helpful when I had to look at a Word document, spreadsheet and email simultaneously.

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With all the keys being a benefit, the REDFLY adds even more. Yes more. You can even customize some of the hotkeys if you wish.

The function keys have additional shortcuts assigned to them:

F1 = Home, which opens your Today screen

F2 = Mail, which launches your Mobile Messaging

F3 = Web, lauches Internet Explorer Mobile

F4 =  Send, acts like the green phone Send key

F5 = End, acts like the red phone End key

F6 = L Menu- which operates like the left softkey

F7 = R Menu - which operates like the right softkey

F8 = OK works like the dedicated OK button on a keypad

F9 = Brightness Decrease

F10 = Brightness Increase

F11 = External Monitor Toggle

F12 = Bluetooth activation key with your Windows Mobile device

REDFLY = There is also a special button to launch the REDFLY software

When I got back from MVP Summit I made it a mission to use it as my primary computer replacement for a week at work. So it brought it to meetings to take notes as I would my current Tablet PC using OneNote Mobile, granted I couldn't take hand written notes and simultaneously record audio, but I was still able to take good typed notes. I could triage, read and respond to email pretty quickly with out having to wait for my computer to wake up from sleep and logon with my password and ground away loading up applications. On the REDFLY I begin using after entering my password on the keyboard nonetheless. Entering numbers into a spreadsheet went pretty quickly using the numeric keypad, much faster than just using my phone. I was also able to answer and place calls using the dedicated buttons on the keyboard.

Bringing the device into meetings did elicit some conversation and comments on my new small laptop. Others were also wondering where I was getting Internet access since there was no WiFi in the conference room. I was able to VPN into our Sharepoint server and pull up some documents from the last meeting as well as easily use the simple Internet Explorer Mobile browser to look up some specs on a few new ceiling equipment booms for our new GI suites.


Browsing websites doesn't look too bad using Internet Explorer Mobile, however if there is a mobile version the page will render for mobile.

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Granted I did try to use the new Opera browser beta 9.5 and I got some Direct Draw errors and it wouldn't open.


Using an older version of Opera v.8.65, I was able to work and the experience very similar to working on a small screened laptop or UMPC. It was a nice experience.

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Later that day I was able to pull up a PowerPoint presentation I had on a thumb drive to do an ACLS In-Service training for some doctors and nurses. I attached the REDFLY to their conference room projector.

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Next all I had to do was press the F11 key and select just like on a laptop either from just the LCD display, LCD Display and external monitor, or just external monitor. I chose to go with dual display as I do with my laptop.   I was able to deliver my training class with no hitches. I even had my Windows Mobile device in my hand and advanced the slides using the arrow keys and the directional pad. Before giving the presentation I did adjust the Battery Power settings in the REDFLY software not to dim the screen or go to sleep.


When using a USB Memory stick it will appear on the device as a Remote Storage device under File Explorer and you can peruse the directory as you would on any device. At the Microsoft MVP Summit, Eric Hicks was able to copy a certificate from his computer onto a thumb drive and transfer it to a server back at home using the REDFLY and Remote Desktop via his iMate JasJar.

Some applications I did miss where I did need to use a laptop or desktop were drawing programs, audio/video editing, and Live Meeting. I hope someone comes out with a Live Meeting client for Windows Mobile soon. However I was easily able to do with out them when out of the office.

Standing and holding the unit one handed and typing was a bit awkward due to the weight of the display being heaver than the base made it difficult to hold unless I held it behind the hinge. It was manageable, but not as easy to use as a Tablet PC, UMPC or Windows Mobile device.

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Hey guess what? You can even play some games on the REDFLY. Granted not all screens render perfectly and performance is a bit sluggish, but you can play some games like Bubble Breaker, Solitaire, Zuma, Hexic, etc without any problems. If you want to play video or use applications like Sling Player Mobile, the drivers and speed are not quite there yet.


If allowable by law you can even use the REDFLY as a larger screen for your GPS navigation software in your car.

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The REDFLY also works well with both Google Maps for Mobile and Windows Live Mobile Search.

The instant on feature of the REDFLY is a great and connecting it up being productive in a short period of time extends the functionality of your Windows Mobile device is its biggest strength. The price point however is its weakest point with an MSRP of $499 it aligns it self with some very affordable small laptops like the Asus EEPC and HP MiniNote. Where its cost savings comes in is in the licensing of software, maintenance, hardware, security, and service of the laptop, which averages most companies around $4100 per user. These costs are saved without any worry of loss of sensitive data if the device is lost or stolen. The same unit can also be easily shared with up to 5 different users cutting down costs even more.

Product Information

Product Name and Model Number: REDFLY Mobile Companion C8
Size: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
Weight: 2.0 lbs.
Battery Life: 8 Hours under normal use via USB
Display Size: 8 inch diagonal wide screen
Display Resolution: 800 x 480
VGA Display Output: 800 x 480
Keyboard: 8.3 inch 80-key QWERTY keyboard
Touchpad: 1.0 x 2.9 inches
Special Fn keys: Fn buttons are hot-keys for phone control
(i.e. send, end, OK, esc, left menu, right menu, etc)
Operating System Compatibility:
Windows Mobile 5.0 (Pocket PC and Smartphone editions)
Windows Mobile 6.0 (Professional and Standard editions)
More operating system compatibility to be announced
See tested smartphone list at
Application Compatibility:
Applications and data from the smartphone appear on the REDFLY
enabled display
Ports and Connectors: VGA port, 2 high speed USB 2.0 ports, AC power connector
Smartphone Connection: via Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0 EDR (compatible with Bluetooth 1.0, 2.0)
Smartphone Connection: via USB Use USB cable included with smartphone
Smartphone Charger: via USB Able to charge smartphones via USB (as supported by phone)
USB Flash Drive Compatibility Standard USB Flash Drives (Drives appear on smartphone file system)
USB Keyboard Compatibility: Standard USB Keyboards
USB Mouse Compatibility: Standard USB Mice
AC Power Charger: AC Power Adapter Input: 90 – 264VAC, 47 – 63 Hz, Output: 9VDC, 2.5A
Operating Temperature: 0 degree C min (32 degrees F), 55 degress C max (131 degrees F)

At the time of this review drivers for only Windows Mobile Professional/Pocket PC devices were available. Today Celio announced support for 12 new phones to its list of supported smartphones (Beta release dates will be announced during Q2, 2008):

HP iPAQ 910 6.0 Professional

HTC Touch Sprint 6.0 Professional

HTC Dash T-Mobile 6.0 Standard

HTC Wing T-Mobile 6.0 Professional

Motorola MOTO Q AT&T 6.0 Standard

Motorola MOTO Q 9h AT&T 6.0 Standard

Motorola MOTO Q Sprint 5.0 Smart Phone

Motorola MOTO Q 9c Sprint 6.0 Standard

Motorola MOTO Q 9m Verizon 6.0 Standard

Palm Treo 750 AT&T 5.0 Pocket PC

Samsung Black Jack AT&T 5.0 Smart Phone

Samsung Black Jack II AT&T 6.0 Standard

Company officials noted that Windows Mobile 6.1 compatibility is particularly important due to the new features of Microsoft SCMDM (Security Center Mobile Device Management). This new functionality allows enterprise IT managers to manage these mobile devices much more easily within the corporate environment to push applications, security settings and transparently manage devices out in the field.

The REDFLY Software will be available for other operating systems in the future.  The REDFLY Mobile Companion from Celio Corp. will be available in May 2008 for $499 MSRP $399. To sign up for product updates head here to place a order for one head here.

(note this entire review was written using the REDFLY)

05/02/2008 22:52:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


Day 1 of 31 Days of the Dragon#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

AbsoluteVista has just posted up their contest today to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook in Day 1 of the 31 Days of the Dragon.

So here are the rules for the 1st contest at AbsoluteVista:

Simple: I need a story.

Tell me how this elegant desktop-replacement system will enhance your entertainment options.

Inform the world how this fantastic and totally decked-out system will bring up your productivity, and mobile gaming.

Finally, reveal to all how HP and this game-changing device will make your world better!

While I like a well-written treatise as much as the other guy, please don't write me a dissertation.

Be concise, be creative, be funny, can the sob stories, be funny!

Above all, keep to the easy guidelines above, and we'll see.

It is free to enter.

It is free to win.


The contest will be open from 12.00 am (Pacific Daylight Time) May 2, 2008 until midnight (PDT) May 8, 2008.

All entries are welcome.

The contest is open to all sapient human inhabitants of Sol-3**, and is totally free to enter. You live on Earth? Send me an email, leave me your comments, watch the site for follow-on questions, if any and you may get to win one of these beauties.

Easy as that!

Just send an email with your story, name, country and locality of residence only – I do not need your address unless you are selected, age, occupation or hobby.

For more details on the contest and how to enter for your chance to win an HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook head over to AbsoluteVista.

Be sure to head back here for details on the next contest tomorrow or head directly to Ars Technica and back here on May 7th when our contest starts!

05/02/2008 05:08:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback


All content © 2019, Don Sorcinelli
On this page
Day 30 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Zune Games Q&A
Day 29 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 28 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 27 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 26 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 25 of the 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 24 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 23 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Review of the New Jawbone by Aliph
Day 22 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Getting Games on Your Zune
Day 21 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 20 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 19 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 18 of 31 Days of the Dragon
REMINDER: User/Developer Group Meeting THIS WEDNESDAY (May 21)
Gear Diary Coverage of Mobius and MacBook Meltdown
Day 17 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Review of the HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook aka the Dragon
HP Computerlicious Auction - One of a Kind HP HDX Dragon Laptops
Day 16 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 15 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Aliph's New Jawbone Bluetooth Headset w/Noise Assassin
Day 14 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 13 of 31 Days of the Dragon
BostonPocketPC Days of the Dragon Contest Winners
TomTom gets OK to Buy/Merge with TeleAtlas
VITO Technology releases a new version of ZoomBoard
Otterbox announces cases for Samsung Q1 line
Day 12 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 11 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 10 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Boston Pocket PC 31 Days of the Dragon Finalists
Boston Pocket PC 31 Days of the Dragon Contest is now closed
Day 9 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 8 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Adding Sizzle to Emulator Demos with SOTI Pocket Controller
Day 7 of 31 Days of the Dragon
User Group Meeting: Wednesday, May 21st 2008
31 Days of the HP Dragon Giveaway
Zune Software update 2.5
Day 5 of 31 Days of the Dragon
T-Mobile Goes 3G Finally, NYC is First
Day 4 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 3 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Day 2 of 31 Days of the Dragon
Review - Celio REDFLY
Day 1 of 31 Days of the Dragon
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