Windows 7 RC Now Available#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Microsoft Corp. has reached a significant milestone with the Release Candidate (RC) – Build 7100 of the highly anticipated Windows 7 operating system, now available for download to MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Broader, public availability will begin 5th May 2009, and will be accessible from the Microsoft Windows 7 website. Windows 7 delivers improved management, security, reliability, productivity, and performance and in the RC build things are coming together quite nicely. I have already installed it on 5 different PCs and will be posting up some how to’s and my findings up here over the next couple of days.

windows 7 version

“Listening to our partners and customers has been fundamental to the development of Windows 7,” said Bill Veghte, Windows senior vice president. “They told us simplicity, value and choice were paramount. We heard them and worked hard to deliver the best Release Candidate of Windows in our company’s history.”
More than 32,000 participants from approximately 10,000 companies have signed up to have access to a breadth of helpful tools and resources needed to prepare for Windows 7. Partners such as Corel, Cyberlink, Sonic, ATI and NVIDIA have already invested significant time and resources to preparing for Windows 7.

An RC milestone is an important step on the path to final delivery for Windows 7 as it indicates the operating system is entering the final phases of development and is ready for thousands of partners to test, evaluate, and develop new applications, device drivers, and services. The company says this milestone also indicates now is the time for IT pros to evaluate Windows 7, put it through its paces, and examine how it will operate in their environment. For IT professionals in enterprise environments, Windows 7 along with the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, an add-on subscription, helps enterprise customers make people productive anywhere, enhance security and control, streamline IT management, and reduce costs. Some key features for IT professionals include:

  • Direct Access: This feature enables IT Managers to provide the mobile user with reliable and secure access to the corporate network resources when user is on the Internet, without having to initiate a VPN connection. It also allows servicing and updating of remote PCs, even when they are on the road. This helps to ensure that all mobile PCs are always up to date and Powershell means IT Pros can automate many standard tasks, to help reduce helpdesk costs, minimize user disruption and ease PC management. Direct Access is delivered by Windows 7 with Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • BranchCache: Delivered jointly by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, this feature enables IT pros to decrease time branch office users spend waiting to download files from remote servers by caching the previously accessed content locally in a branch’s network.
  • BitLocker and Bitlocker To Go Drive Encryption : This helps ensure that sensitive data is protected across PCs and removable storage devices.
    New to the RC are advancements, such as Remote Media Streaming, Windows XP Mode (beta) and Windows Virtual PC:
  • Remote Media Streaming: Enables secure, remote Internet access to home-based digital media libraries from another Windows 7 PC outside the home.
  • Windows XP Mode: Utilizing Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode allows small and medium business users of Windows 7 users to run many Windows XP productivity applications, launched right from the Windows 7 desktop. Windows XP Mode will be available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate customers via download or, in some cases, preinstalled directly on new PCs. Microsoft is releasing the beta of Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC at the same time as the RC.

To learn more about Windows 7 from an IT professional perspective, check out Microsoft’s screencasts as well as our resources on Deployment, Application Compatibility, Security, Imaging, and more—all of which are available through the Springboard Series on TechNet

Some things to be aware of with the Windows 7 Release Candidate:

  • Please plan ahead for Windows 7 Beta and Windows 7 RC expiration dates. To avoid interruption, you’ll need to rebuild your test machine using a genuine version of Windows 7 before the software expires. Windows will remind you when the expiration process is beginning; two weeks after this notification your PC will begin shutting down every two hours.
    • Windows 7 Beta expires on August 1, 2009, and bi-hourly shutdowns will begin July 1, 2009.
    • Windows 7 RC will expire June 1, 2010, and the bi-hourly shutdowns will begin on March 1, 2010.
    In both cases, you’ll need to rebuild your test PC to replace the operating system and reinstall all your programs and data.
  • Since Windows 7 RC is not the final release, your PC will gather and send information to Microsoft engineers to help them check the fixes and changes made based on testing of Windows 7 Beta.
  • Windows 7 RC requires that you do a clean install. Before installing Windows 7 RC, please read the Release Notes and Things to Know for important information. You can do an upgrade, but MS wants you to do a clean install to help in providing feedback on the RC build and an upgrade may introduce bugs.
  • Keep your PC updated. Be sure turn on automatic updates in Windows Update in case we publish updates for Windows 7 RC.
  • Microsoft doesn’t offer technical support for prerelease software, including Windows 7 RC. If you have problems or questions, we encourage you to visit Microsoft’s online forums, where you can get answers from our Windows Community and Support Professionals.
04/30/2009 10:44:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 16#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today launches the sixteenth contest in the Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway over at The Gadgeteer! from now until May 4th. 

thegadgeteer pantech

Here are the details of Julie’s contest:

How to enter

1. Between now and Monday 05/04/2009 11:59 EST Sign up with twitter and follow @thegadgeteer

2. Then send the following tweet:

RT Win an AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Smartphone and a $100 gift card @thegadgeteer Full details at http://tinyurl.com/cguzfc

3. Come back here and leave a comment with your twitter name.

4. At some point on 05/04/2009, I’ll pick a random winner using random.org. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 24 hrs to accept the prize. If I do not receive an answer, I’ll do another random.org drawing.

More details on their contest can be found at The Gadgeteer! 

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro.

04/30/2009 10:17:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

TellMe to Come to Windows Mobile 6.5#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One of my favorite products in the past decade has been Tellme, which is now a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. and pioneer of voice services, announced the first mobile vice service to combine content and communications, simplifying how people interact with their phones every day. Unlike other voice-based services, Tellme is the first to allow people to press one button, say what they want and get it, whether that is to send a text, make a call or search for information. Tellme has designed a unique version of this experience specifically for Windows phones due out this fall. As those who asked about TellMe you can access it now from any phone by calling 1-800-555-TELL. Also TellMe will be used in select Ford Cars for LOB applications as part of Ford Sync, which was announced at CES 2009.

tellme

The new service puts many of the most popular phone functions behind a single button. Windows phone users just press the side button of their phone to:

  • Send a text by saying "text" to open a text box, then speak the text message and send to call anyone in their contact list
  • Initiate a call simply by saying "call" and then the name of anyone in their contact list
  • Search the Web with Microsoft Live Search by speaking your request, such as "weather in San Francisco, California", "Pizza in Kansas City" or "mother’s day gift ideas"

"Because it’s so intuitive, we believe there is a real opportunity for voice to materialize as the leading user interface for the phone," said Dariusz Paczuski, senior director of consumer services at Tellme. "By bringing voice access to calling, texting and searching together we reduce ‘menu surfing’ on phones and make the convenience of voice more tangible for everyday needs."

In a head to head comparison, it’s clear why people prefer voice over touch. For example, it requires four touches and more than 20 keystrokes to find a business with the Apple iPhone, while it only takes one button push and one verbal command to find the same business with Tellme. Tellme’s research shows similar results for other tasks, such as making calls, sending text messages and searching for content like traffic, movies, news and sports.

"For example, Sprint has integrated our voice access to the Live Search application on Sprint Instinct phones and subscribers love it," continued Paczuski. "In fact, we’ve seen impressive adoption of voice with 3 of every 4 search queries being initiated by voice."

Finally, in a recent study conducted by Sanderson Studios, more than 70 percent of respondents said that voice is superior to keypad or touch-based methods to perform some of the most popular mobile tasks. This includes looking up a business listing or location (78 percent), sending a text message (72 percent), placing a call (79 percent), getting information such as movies, weather, traffic or sports (77 percent) and getting directions (81 percent).

For the past decade, Tellme has been pioneering voice services for businesses and consumers, answering billions of calls every year and helping millions of people get the information they need simply by speaking a request. Now the convenience of voice is coming to Windows phones, bringing people closer to the things they want by providing easier access to more of the phone’s functionality. With Tellme, people using the latest Windows phones will be able to simply say what they want, such as ‘call mom’ or ‘text Jim’ or ‘pizza,’ and results display on the screen.

Tellme will be available for free on Windows Mobile 6.5 phones in the Fall 2009 when the phones hit store shelves. Initially available in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile store, Tellme will also make the service available for free to mobile operators and carriers to embed ‘on-device’ for a voice experience right out of the box.

More information and a video of it in action can be found here.

04/29/2009 16:54:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 15#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today launches the fifteenth contest in the Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway over at MobilityMinded  from now until May 3rd when ours begins!

 mobility minded pantech

The rules are very easy:

  1. Sign up with twitter and follow @mobilityminded
  2. tweet the following line: RT Win an AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro @mobilityminded  just follow the easy rules. http://twurl.nl/i7430y
  3. Come back to this post and leave a comment. In the comment you leave your Twitter name.

More details on their contest can be found at MobilityMinded .

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro.

04/29/2009 15:11:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

How to Uninstall Office 2007 SP2#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I have received a few emails of people having problems with third party plug-ins and wanted to know if there was a way to uninstall the latest SP2 for Office 2007. Well you are in luck, Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) does allow for a clean uninstall where in the past you had to uninstall the entire Office suite and then reinstall. The 2007 Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 2 (SP2) is the first service pack to support uninstalling the updates for the 2007 Office desktop products.

uninstall office sp2

I haven't had any problems with it so far only speed and stability performance increase, but if you do at least there is a way to roll back the clock.

The Microsoft Service Pack Uninstall Tool for the 2007 Microsoft Office Suite is a command line tool which will assist with uninstalling client patches installed by the 2007 Office Suite SP2. To download this utility click here.

The 2007 Office SP Uninstall Tool is contained in a package called Office2007SPUninstall.exe which is a self-extracting executable file. The tool itself is a single file called OARPMan.exe. There is no installation for the tool. OARPMan.exe, the Microsoft Software License Terms (previously known as End User Licensing Agreement or EULA), and the Readme.txt files will be extracted to the location you specify.
Note that you must use a subfolder such as C:\subdir to expand the tool. You cannot expand the tool into the root directory of the hard drive (for example, C:\).

04/29/2009 08:48:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 14#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today launches the fourteenth contest in the Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway over at Smartphone Thoughts  from now until May 2nd. 

spt pantech

Remember that Pantech Matrix Pro mega-giveaway that Rocco announced a bit over a week ago? We're it's now our turn: Smartphone Thoughts is giving away a brand new Pantech Matrix Pro, and a $100 AT&T Wireless gift card, to one lucky winner. Because this device is carrier-locked to AT&T, the $100 gift card is for AT&T, this contest will be limited residents of the USA.

Our contests starts today and runs until May the 2nd, midnight (GMT -7). All you have to do to enter is post a response to this post, telling me which mobile phone you're using now, and how the Pantech Matrix Pro would improve your daily smartphone experience. Does it have a feature that your current mobile phone lacks? If so, what is it? That's it! I'll selecft a winner the morning of May 4th, with entries counting as long as they were posted before midnight on the 2nd.

More details on their contest can be found at Smartphone Thoughts.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro.

04/28/2009 18:17:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 13#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Jake was a bit late in announcing his contest as the thirteenth contest in the Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway over at Jake Ludington’s Digital Lifestyle and will extend it another day to May 2nd at 7PM PST. to be fair like the other contests here are the details of his contest:

mediablab pantech

Somewhere in the midst of all the excitement around having a new baby arrive, I missed the memo that I was supposed to be announcing another giveaway yesterday. This time around the giveaway is a brand new Pantech Matrix Pro cell phone (pictured below) paired with a $100 gift card to ATT Wireless, which happens to be the carrier associated with the phone. If you live outside the U.S., you’ll likely want to skip this one, since the phone is locked and the gift card won’t be particularly useful to you either…

How to enter the giveaway? I’ll keep this one simple - all you have to do is be a fan of my Facebook page (which is different than being a friend on Facebook). I’m doing a talk on Facebook for businesses on May 15 and this will help me with some additional research. The recipient of the phone will be selected at random from all fans (which are listed in the sidebar on the Facebook page) who live in the United States. Be a fan to qualify.

I was originally supposed to announce the conclusion of the giveaway on 1 May 2009, but I’m extending it by 24 hours since I got a late start.

More details on Jake’s contest can be found at Jake Ludington’s Digital Lifestyle.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro.

04/28/2009 18:08:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 Released#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well if you checked your Windows Update this morning you may have noticed that there was a nice surprise in there The 2007 Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 2 (SP2)- yeah another short name. The service pack brings back some very noticeable performance gains and stability to the whole office suite, especially for me in Outlook, where I spend most of my time and recently it was crashing more than a car at a demolition derby. The patch for Outlook alone is worth the 290MB download. It loads and closes much faster and is almost on par with Outlook Web Access in performance. Search still is very slow and I still rely on LookOut, (which needs two dll’s patched to work with 2007, but it works even with Exchange Archive Servers!)

outlook 2007 sp2

Here are some of the details of what was updated:

  • Service Pack 2 adds the ability to open, edit and save documents in version 1.1 of the OpenDocument Format for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These applications now let users save, open, and edit files as OpenDocument Text (*.odt), OpenDocument Spreadsheet (*.ods), and OpenDocument Presentations (*.odp).

  • The 2007 Microsoft Office Service Pack 2 is the first service pack to support uninstall of client updates through the Microsoft Service Pack Uninstall Tool for the 2007 Microsoft Office Suite as well as via Windows Installer command line. The Service Pack Uninstall Tool will be available as a separate download.

  • The Microsoft Save As PDF or XPS add-in has been built into Office applications in SP2. Users no longer have to download and install the add-in separately.

  • When many graphic objects are present performance has been improved.

  • In many scenarios, expect increased print fidelity of graphical objects.

  • Improved interoperability using standard DrawingML markup to describe the visual properties of the SmartArt graphic. 

  • Substantial improvements to Forms-based authentication support in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SPD.

  • Outlook

    • Performance in startup, shutdown, view rendering, and folder switch has been improved.
    • Calendar updates, search, and RSS are more reliable.
    • The object model has been improved.

The 2007 Office Suite SP2 has been tested and is supported for Internet Explorer 8. Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows 7 and Windows Server R2 will all be supported upon their release.

Download Office 2007 SP2 directly from here

Also check out this Excel spreadsheet which shows all of the changes in this update: 2007 Office Service Pack 2 Changes.xlsx.

04/28/2009 08:33:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 12#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Geek.com has just announced their contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro from now until April 30th at 5pm EST. 

geek-pantech

CONTEST DETAILS: In order to qualify you must live in the United States and comment below with which mobile phone model you’re currently using. After 5pm EST on April 30th we’ll draw a random winner (using random.org). We’ll then contact the winner via e-mail so please use your real e-mail address when commenting. The winner will have 24 hours to respond. If we don’t hear from the winner after 24 hours, we’ll draw another winner.

More details on their contest can be found at Geek.com.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro.

04/26/2009 20:24:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 11#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Just Another Mobile Monday has just launched their contest for Day 11 of the – (why is that every time I read that name it said to the tune of Just Another Manic Monday by the Bengals?).

JAMM Pantech

Here are the details of their contest:

This contest is open from April 25 until April 29 at 5pm pst. On April 29 at 5 PM MST, I will close the contest. All those that complete the survey will be entered to Random.org to find a winner (ONE person will be chosen randomly). The Winner will be contacted on April 29 after 9 PM MST and be given 24 hours to accept the prize. We will make a congratulations post once we have a confirmed winner. ENTER THIS CONTEST BY Clicking Here to take the survey..

More details on their contest can be found here.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro.

04/25/2009 16:17:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

BPPC Deals o’Week#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OK this weeks deals look to be some pretty sweet ones with several coming from Geeks.com.

xbox-360-elite

They got the Xbox Elite until April 30th for $219 with code ELITE more details here with free shipping.

backup camera

Geeks.com also has a backup camera for $49 also until April 30th with code CAMDEALS.

flip-video

Don put up a great review of the Pure Digital Flip Ultra Camcorder#last week here is its little brother in white –refurbished with 60 minutes of video for quite a good deal - $79.99  over at Buy.com with free shipping.

pink-zune-and-auto-kit

If you are looking for something to give mom for Mother’s Day Buy.com thinks she may like this Microsoft Zune 4GB Pink with Free Microsoft Zune Car Pack v2 for $74.99 with free shipping. Yeah its pink, but you can get a skin for it and customize it. :) This is cool if you have RDS in your car radio, the artist and song info from your Zune will be displayed on your radio via the FM transmitter.Pretty cool stuff and not bad considering the car kit still retails for near $79.99 in some places.

moto-headset

Buy.com also has the Motorola S805 DJ Style Bluetooth Stereo Headphones, which are great if your phone supports A2DP & AVRCP Bluetooth stereo. Its not in a box but is sold as new in a Poly-Bag for $29.99 with free shipping.

moto-360-headset

Don alerted me to this deal earlier in the week the Xbox 360 Motorola Gaming Headset - $12.99 Use code motoxbox360Live for additional $10 off so its $2.99 with around $10 shipping. Not a bad deal to look like John Madden or your favorite hoodie-wearing coach.

 

asus-26-lcd

ZipZoomFly has the ASUS VK266H 25.5in Widescreen LCD Monitor 2ms 300 cd/m2 Glossy Black with 2MP webcam for$299.99 after MIR. not bad for near 26” computer display. Asus LCD is perfect for using both as an every day computer monitor for office tasks, and also perfect for playing back HD movies such as BluRay, and also gaming it has component and HDMI 1.3 inputs and SPDIF out.  It also supports HDCP so you can view BluRay in all its splendor. Another thing that is really cool is that it has Splendid Video Intelligence Technology, which analyzes the video input picture and adjusts the screen to get the very best image quality. It also has built-in 3W speakers. I am thinking of getting one of these to use a bedroom/secondary television works if you have a laptop for (Sling, Hulu, You Tube, NetFlix, Amazon)DVR, Xbox 360, or Cable box as a source. Also if you have small notebook or netbook an additional screen at almost 26” is a great accessory.

samsung-toc

Amazon is having a sale on Samsung HDTVs. Get the Samsung LN52A750 52-Inch 1080p DLNA LCD HDTV with Red Touch of Color for $1,999.98. You’re saving 31 percent off of the original price of $2,899.99 with 120Hz Auto Motion Plus scanning (that can be turned off if you don’t need it or it bothers you), 4 HDMI 1.3 ports, InfoLink-RSS feeds of news, weather and sports right to your HDTV with a built-in Ethernet port. Granted it doesn’t have the same level of blacks as the more expensive Samsung LN52A850 52-Inch for $2299.89, but most people can’t even see the difference unless they have a very keen eye. Note newer versions have come out - one at 240Hz and another with LED backlight, but the deal on these current models is pretty good in that you also receive $200 off of select Samsung Blu-Ray Players like the Samsung BD-P1500 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player, but for an extra $69 I would opt for the Samsung BD-P1600 1080p Blu-Ray Disc Player with NetFlix and Pandora support. Both support BD Live and software upgrades. If you don’t need surround sound you can get the Samsung LN52A650 52-Inch for $1899.98 it also has a smaller bezel as a result of the lack of better surround sound speakers and a built-in subwoofer that the Samsung LN52A750 has.

kill a watt

In honor of earth week get one of these so you can see and show your family how much energy they are wasting by leaving things plugged in and on. The Kill a Watt Electricity Load Meter and Monitor costs just $19.99 at NewEgg will calculate electrical expenses by any period while checking the quality of your incoming power by monitoring the voltage, like frequency and power factor. Now you'll know if it's time for a new appliance, or whether new items touted as "energy saving" are actually doing their job.

 

hangman

OK someone emailed me and they wanted some games. So I got some good deals in that department too. Hangman for Windows Mobile hey its free.

orange-box-logo1

This weekend, Valve is offering The Orange Box in all of its award-winning, immensely entertaining glory for just $9.99. If $50 for this package was considered the Best Deal Ever, then $10 must be whatever 5 times that is. The current list price for all of these games combined, if bought individually, is $84.95. The running price for The Orange Box is $29.99. This weekend you only pay $9.99. See for yourself in the Steam Store

The Orange Box features three highly-awaited new games by Valve: Half-Life® 2: Episode Two, the second installment in the Half-Life 2 episodic trilogy; Team Fortress® 2, the sequel to the game that put class-based, multiplayer team warfare on the map; and Portal, the game that blends puzzles, first person action, and adventure gaming to produce an experience like no other. One of the best PC Gaming packages ever and for under a Hamilton.

To bring gamers up to date with the Half-Life 2 universe, The Orange Box also includes Half-Life 2, the best-selling and highest-rated action game series of all time, and the episodic debut Half-Life® 2: Episode One.

$84.95  Individual price
$29.99  Package price
$20 off  66% off this weekend only

$74.96   Net Savings

$9.99    Cost to you

Enjoy!!

04/24/2009 23:35:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway-Day 10#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today over at ClintonFitch.Com, Clinton launched the 10th contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro.

cf pantech

Here are the details of Clinton’s contest:

The contest here at Clinton Fitch (Dot) Com begins promptly at 12:01AM on Friday, April 24th.  To enter:
1.  Go to
Twitter and create an account if you do not already have one
2.  Follow @clintonfitch on Twitter
3.  Send a Tweet to @clintonfitch that says "I want to win a Pantech Matrix Pro from Clinton Fitch (Dot) Com!"
You have to enter the Tweet exactly how it is above (minus the quotes of course)!  If you don't Tweet exactly that message you won't be entered to win!
The contest ends at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, April 28th.
I will randomly select a winner and will notify you and the world via Twitter on Wednesday, April 29th at 8AM CST.

For more details of his contest head here.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, at GeeksRoom, OSNN and Techmamas

04/24/2009 19:48:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway-Day 9#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today is the ninth contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro goes live over at Techmamas until April 27th.

techmama pantech

Here are the details of their contest:

CONTEST DETAILS: This contest is open from April 23 until April 28 at 5pm pst. On April 28 at 5pm, I will close the contest. All those that commented to this post will be entered to Random.org to find a winner (ONE person will be chosen randomly). The Winner will be announced on April 28 after 9pm pst. ENTER THIS CONTEST BY COMMENTING on the post below.

AN EXTRA ENTRY IN RANDOM.ORG WILL BE ENTERED FOR THOSE THAT TWITTER @matrixpro AND @Techmama in one tweet sharing why you want this phone. Please add your Twitter ID to your comment so I know that you also tweeted for the second entry into Random.org. Only ONE EXTRA entry for twitter will be counted so that each person can have a two entry limit into Random.org.

For more information on this contest head here.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, at GeeksRoom and OSNN.

04/23/2009 22:33:09 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows 7 – Ink Input and The Tablet PC#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

This article, Ink Input and the Tablet PC popped up in my RSS feed from the Engineering Windows 7 blog early this morning. It’s an interesting read on how and what was done to improve inking in Windows 7. I am really liking the new TIP (Tablet PC Input Panel) and things are just more intuitive. The keyboard is much bigger, easier to read and has predictive text output similar to Windows Mobile. It has design improvements for touch based screen like my Fujitsu P1610 and the now defunct Origami group, which has been absorbed under the Windows 7 umbrella to support the growing number of small notebook/netbook PCs. On my old Fujitsu slate at home running Windows 7 is actually easier (and faster) with the new TIP and I notice I don’t have to correct my ink as much as I did with Windows XP and Windows Vista saving time and making it much more useful especially when using the browser. Also the addition of the Math Panel for students and math/science ilk is a great add-on.

There’s a strong community of developers who take advantage of the ink input/TabletPC functionality to develop unique solutions for specific markets (medicine, education, line of business) and create software in Windows that builds on this experience to streamline how these end-users interact with information on their PC (usually with unique form-factors such as slates or wall mounted PCs).  Earlier this week I received a great email asking “what’s new for us” from the head of development for one such ISV (medical software) and so we put together an overview of the new functionality.    Several Program Managers on the team authored this post. 

Also, as you have noticed, the site has had some uptime troubles over the past 10 days or so and I think we’re all back to normal.  That’s ok since we’ve also been pretty busy in the Windows 7 hallway :-)   --Steven

04/23/2009 04:40:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

HP Pavilion dv3t Now Available#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well its finally here the long awaited HP Pavilion dv3t with Intel Core 2 Duo processor the same one we saw at CES 2009, is now available through www.HPDirect.com and select retailers nationwide. Starting at $799, this thin and light, full-powered notebook PC brings the latest in entertainment and performance in a stylish and highly mobile design. At about 1.25-inches thick and just under 5 lbs, the dv3t features integrated optical drive and optional discrete graphics for entertainment on-the-go. Extended battery life and a full range of connectivity options make it ideal for customers who want to work and play without being tied to the office or home. The unit we saw at CES was very well built rigid like a MacBook Pro and had a slot Blu-Ray Drive with a full size backlit keyboard, the first one I had seen for an HP laptop.

HP Pavilion dv3t - Espresso black

 

Features include:

· 13.3-inch diagonal LED BrightView display with 16:9 aspect ratio for full-screen HD content viewing

· Intel Core™ 2 Duo Processor T6400

· Up to 500 GB hard drive, providing ample room for photos, music and other content

· HP Webcam and microphone for staying in touch with friends and family

· HP MediaSmart software for enjoying photos, listening to music and watching Internet TV or movies in high-definition

· Optional built-in Blu-ray disc drive and remote control

· SRS Premium Sound™ for optimal audio performance

· Optional 9-cell battery with up to 7 hours of battery life

· Full-sized keyboard for comfortable typing

· ENERGY STAR® qualified and EPEAT™ Silver registered

· Choice of two HP Imprint designs – Espresso black or Moonlight white

For more information head here.

News | Laptop
04/23/2009 01:59:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Earth Day Promotion from Boston-Power#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today, millions of people around the globe come together to celebrate Earth Day.  Since its founding in 1970, Earth Day has led to the passage of major environmental protection legislation, the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and many other positive actions for a cleaner, healthier, and safer environment worldwide.

Last month we had the opportunity to tour the facilities of Boston-Power, one of the companies making a difference not only in how we use technology, but also how we take responsibility for taking care of our environment. Boston-Power had announced that HP made available its new brand of eco-certified notebook PC batteries – the Enviro Series – based on Boston-Power’s next-generation Lithium-ion technology, Sonata. This marks the first time a U.S.-based battery company has ever sold battery technology to a notebook PC provider. The Enviro Series battery is compatible with more than 70 percent of HP’s consumer notebook models. As the world’s top provider of notebook PCs, that’s a very large PC user community!

bp hp battery

Boston-Power is equally excited that HP is featuring the Enviro Series battery in its Earth Day promotion – providing customers with a great discounted price of $119.99. This makes it even easier for people to experience the great benefits of Sonata such as long life, the industry’s longest warranty (three years) and reduced environmental impact.

We at Boston Pocket PC encourage everyone to consider every day as Earth Day, since environmental responsibility is something that should be observed everyday.

Laptop | News | Deals
04/22/2009 17:57:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway-Day 8#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today is the eighth contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro goes live over at OSNN, until April 26th. Here are the details of their contest:

osnn pantech

Registered members from the USA with at least 10 posts can send a private message to osnncompetition here: http://forum.osnn.net/private.php?do=newpm&u=121313
In this private message all you have to do is suggest the coolest feature that you would either like to see on a mobile phone be it hardware, software or a feature of the operating system (ie Windows Mobile).

Don't rush your idea as you only enter once and the winner will be selected by the OSNN team!
A winner will be selected on the 26th April so good luck and get thinking of some cool ideas!
Good luck and my thoughts on this mobile device will be posted before the end of the competition! Any issues, please post them in this thread (if you can't send a private message etc.)

For more details on their contest head here.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, at Gadgetell, and GeeksRoom

04/22/2009 09:38:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 Released#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Spb Software, one of our favorite mobile software companies, releases the long anticipated next version of one my favorite software applications Spb Mobile Shell 3.0, the next-generation user interface for Windows phones. Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 accounts for two different smartphone use scenarios: at work and at play. The application offers distinctive 'professional' and 'lifestyle' desktops, integration of picture contacts with Facebook, account-sensitive email indicators, handsome time and weather screens, widgets, responsive kinetic scrolling, signature 3D animation engine, and other appealing assets that change the way a Windows phone is used altogether.

 

Previous versions of Spb Mobile Shell were shipped by a number of innovative phone makers, such as Acer, O2, Pharos, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba, have won numerous awards, and have been the choice of millions of customers. "It was challenging to design 3.0, as customer expectations are quite high," - comments Yaroslav Goncharov the Spb Mobile Shell Product Manager and CTO at Spb Software - "On the other hand, this level of success gave us confidence in our basic ideas and design philosophy, and we certainly feel that Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 has all it takes to be the strong foundation for a host of new and immensely popular Windows phones."

Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 Main Features

  • Professional and Lifestyle home screens (for work and for play)
  • Widget-based photo contacts with Facebook integration
  • Widgets
  • 3D carousel and hardware accelerator support
  • Ringtones, Contacts, Profiles, and Wireless management
  • Many integrated tools such as Weather, World Time, etc.
  • Highly customizable for the needs of phone makers and mobile operators

Pricing and Availability

Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 is available in 24 languages, is compatible with Windows phones running Windows Mobile 5 and later Professional platforms, qVGA, VGA, Square QVGA, and WVGA screen resolutions are supported. A free, 15-day trial can be downloaded, or Spb Mobile Shell can be purchased for 29.95 USD from www.SpbSoftwareHouse.com. Users of any 2.x versions of Spb Mobile Shell are welcome to upgrade to Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 for just 14.95 USD. According to Spb Software's upgrades policy, all Spb Mobile Shell users who have purchased the product within the last 90 days, are invited to exchange the previous version of software for the newly released one, for free.

I have been using it for a few days and really like the Facebook integration of being able to change your contact/call pictures to ones in a persons Facebook profile. I would have loved to see more integration with Facebook and possibly Twitter in the future. I will be posting up more detailed review soon. Check out Remo Knops Step-by-Step over at MobilityMinded.

04/21/2009 21:44:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway-Day 7#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today is the seventh contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro goes live over at Geeksroom until April 24th.

Here are the details of their contest:

geeksroom pantech

To participate in the contest to win a new Pantech Matrix Pro smartphone, along with a $100 credit for AT&T Wireless store, you have to be a legal U.S. residents, and do one of the following (only one!)

a) Write a comment in this post, telling me what feature of the Pantech Matrix Pro you like more.   You can see information about this smartphone at the Pantech official website.  Remember to enter a working email address, in case that you win the contest and we need to contact you (it will not be publish)

Or b) Using Twitter, you can ReTweet the following message:

#geeksroom-pmp-contest   GeeksRoom Contest, you can win a Pantech Matrix Pro http://tinyurl.com/cv4yqj

The contest start at the moment that this post is publish, and it will run until Saturday, April 25,  at 6:00 p.m Central Time (Dallas Time).

For more details on their contest head here.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, at slashgear, MoDaCo, and Gadgetell.

04/21/2009 20:45:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows 7 Security Improvements#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft made some big announcements regarding Windows 7 and their new proposed a vision called End to End Trust.  Their vision builds on Microsoft’s continued commitment to improving the security and privacy of their current line of products and services to build a more secure, private and reliable computing experience along with their partners. The new security features of Windows 7 are designed to target the needs of three major users of the Windows platform the mobile worker, remote worker and IT Pros and security experts. The latest security improvements from Windows Vista to Windows 7 are designed to solve real world problems clients have indicated, malware and data loss as the two major concerns of end user. Building on the security foundations of Windows Vista, Windows 7 provides the security features users need to work anywhere not only safely and securely, but easier and more managable as well. Since Windows 7 was released in public beta in January, Microsoft reported that there have been 29 percent fewer user account control (UAC) prompts experienced than Windows Vista has. “UAC was streamlined,” Paul Cooke told us on a call, “reducing the number of applications and tasks that require elevation with the flexibility prompt control that administrators requested giving a better overall user experience.”

 UAC

Consider being a mobile worker. The challenge for you is connectivity and access. Meanwhile, your IT Pro at the office is worried about balancing those with data protection and network security. With Windows 7, we focused on a few key features to address this scenario, and to build confidence in enterprises trying to get the most out of a mobile workforce.

The remote worker scenario has similar challenges to the mobile worker, but requires ease of access on a more regular basis. According to a recent study, 91% of employees work away from the corporate headquarters, with the bulk of these working in branch offices. These workers often face difficulties and long wait times accessing information off the corporate drive. With this pain point in mind, we introduced BranchCache, which lets users access information more quickly. For IT Pros, this means the assurance that branch machines maintain the same security protocols as the home office.

IT Pros and security experts have daunting missions: they enable secure access to data for mobile, remote and local users; keep systems up to date; and track accessed data– all while attempting to drive new value for the business - it’s enough to cause IT Pro insomnia. As such, we continue to develop a range of security solutions to address evolving IT needs.

Some key examples of user scenarios empowering technology:

  • AppLocker: We received feedback that workers today put software from home on their PCS, download applications from the Internet, and access programs through email. As a result, there’s a higher difficulty ensuring PCs in the enterprise environment are running only approved, licensed software. AppLocker solves this issue; it’s an administered mechanism that allows a business’ security expert to specify what is allowed to run on each user’s PC.
  • Network Access Protection: This allows IT Pros to create solutions to validate computers that connect to their network and limit the access or communication of noncompliant computers.
  • Microsoft Asset Inventory Service: Part of Microsoft Desktop Optimization, complements the OS security and compliance technologies by allowing our IT Pro a comprehensive view of the enterprise desktop software environment.
  • User Account Control: We heard loud and clear that end-users wanted fewer UAC prompts and more control over what items they are prompted for, but we know IT Pros still need control over what’s installed or run on a machine. As a result, in Windows 7, we made specific changes to enhance the user experience, while still ensuring the same level of security.

More information about Windows 7 security features are in posts on the Windows Security Blog and the Windows Blog.

04/20/2009 22:26:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway-Day 6#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today is the sixth contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro goes live over at Gadgetell until April 23rd.

Here are the details of their contest:

gadgetell-pantech

Landing this phone from Gadgetell is really really easy.* 

Step 1: Register an account with Gadgetell and set up a profile. 
Step 2: Leave a comment to this post saying why you would like this phone. 
Step 3: Wait until we announce a winner.

*You must be eligible to win this contest.  To be eligible you must not have won this contest on any other site and you must be a U.S. resident.

For more details of their contest head here.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, with ChipChick contest ending today and GeeksRoom starting tomorrow. Remember you still have time to enter the contest over at VivirLatino, and slashgear.

04/20/2009 21:05:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Otterbox Introduces Impact Cases for BlackBerry Curve and HP iPAQ Voice Messenger#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OtterBox introduces two new cases to protect your phone from your active lifestyle and not so active lifestyle (I know a few people that have broke their phones sitting and standing still - you know who you are) One is a sleek, curve-hugging case for the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 series smartphone from Research In Motion (RIM) part of the new Impact Series™ skin-style case offers recognized OtterBox protection in a slim, portable design.

Ottterbox 8300 curve

Recently enhanced to provide even more protection, the Impact Series for the BlackBerry Curve case line now includes a self-adhering, clear film to safeguard the screen of your Curve from scratches, dirt and dust. Durable silicone provides trustworthy protection and inner coring along the spine and in the corners of the case offers extra shock absorption to dissipate impact away from your device.

otterbox hp messenger

The “otter” one (sorry I couldn’t resist) is also a new Impact Series™ case for the HP iPAQ Voice Messenger. This new case provides added protection against bump and shock and incorporates a new element with screen protection and is available exclusively in HP’s signature midnight blue.  All OtterBox Impact Series for the HP iPAQ Voice Messenger cases provide added protection against bump and shock, but this case incorporates a new element with screen protection to safeguard from scratches. Both cases retail for $19.95.

04/20/2009 20:57:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway-Day 5#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today is the fifth contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro goes live over at MoDaCo for its US readers , until April 22nd. Here are the details of their contest:

WinMo @ MoDaCo 


To enter, you need to do the following BEFORE MIDNIGHT PST on 22nd April 2009

WinMo @ MoDaCo will then choose and contact a winner at random, announcing the winner on the 23rd April 2009.

Check out It’s giveaway time! at WinMo @ MoDaCo here!

So make sure you enter the contest … you could be the winner!

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd  and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, with Tools for Thought contest ending today and Gadgetell starting tomorrow. Remember you still have time to enter the contest over at ChipChick, VivirLatino, and slashgear.

04/19/2009 16:16:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Free Jawbone New Fit Earbuds#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I had the misfortune of losing my New Jawbone 2 falling out of my ear and having it run over by a car, because I was wearing it without the earloop and thought the earbud would have been good enough, but I was wrong. :(

 P1000584

Passing car 1 / Jawbone 0

Luckily I still have an older version of the Jawbone as a replacement, but it had a broken earloop(actually several) - after being placed in my pocket the earloop snapped off wear it slides into the pivot hole-it takes a bit of work to get the broken piece out too. I went through them all and tried to get a replacement from Aliph, but they don’t sell them anymore. I contacted them and received swift reply that they could ship me a set of earloops for free with a proof of purchase. I got it as a gift so I have no proof of purchase just a broken Jawbone. However all isn’t lost they have a New Fit Earbud that is also free and just costs $2.99 shipping and handling. I sprung on it and got it in a few days via postal mail.

new fit earbud

It comes in a nice plastic bag with directions on the back.

Descriptions from Jawbone website:

You Ask, We listen

  • Because every ear is unique, we developed a new earbud to give you more options for personal fit and comfort.
  • Want to wear Jawbone without an earloop? For most users, our New Fit Earbuds make using the earloop optional.
  • Our New Fit Earbud comes in 3 sizes (sm, md, lg).

The Science

  • The New Fit Earbuds are a different shape, made from a US Pharmacopoeia grade material and a rear mounted integrated loop that provides a suspension-bridge effect to fit snugly into your ear.
  • The body of the earbud is a suspended form that acts like a pneumatic cushion (or tire), proving to be more conforming and consequently comfortable than the traditional solid round (doughnut)-shaped earbud.
  • The rear mounted integrated loop acts like a spring to help orient the headset, gently pushing the headset toward the user’s cheek so that the Voice Activity Sensor touches your face to feel when the user is speaking.

P1000537

You get three different sizes in the bag and I have found it secure enough to hold my original Jawbone. I personally found the large size to work best for me and it still remains easily pocketable and can fit many makeshift storage cases, where the earloop presented many storage problems.

Many people have modified their Jawbones with Jabra Softgels, but usually required some sort of adhesive to keep them on. Most used CA - cyanoacrylate aka SuperGlue. I am not too keen on having that near or in my ear, so I passed on that mod. If you own or have used the Plantronics Discovery 925 headset, they will look pretty familiar to you because they are simply black versions of the 925 clear ear gels.

It’s enough to hold me over until the Jawbone 3 with Bluetooth 3.0 comes out. :)

I think its great when companies see a flaw and correct it and evolving their product to keep their customers happy.

04/19/2009 10:08:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 4#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today is the fourth contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro goes live over at slashgear , until April 22nd. Here are the details of their contest:

matrixpro-qwerty-480x332

Sign up for SlashGear account, head to the SlashGear Forums and post your argument regarding physical QWERTY keyboard versus virtual QWERTY keyboard on Smartphone in this thread. Explain why you think one is better than the other. We will pick the winner based on the merit of the argument on the 22nd of April.

This giveaway is limited to U.S resident only.

For more details on their contest head here. 

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd  and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, with tomorrow’s contest beginning at modaco. Remember you still have time to enter the contest over at Tools for Thought, ChipChick, and VivirLatino

04/18/2009 11:52:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Atlona Technologies HDAiR-Wireless USB to HDMI or VGA#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Atlona Technologies has announced a new wireless USB to HDMI or VGA converter, the AT-HDAiR.  This Converter is both XP and Vista compatible, and will allow users to connect any USB enabled computer or laptop wirelessly, to any HDTV or projector via VGA or HDMI.  The AT-HDAiR is designed to transmit high-resolution content up to 30ft and resolutions up to 720p or 1440x1200. With quick and easy installation, this unit is perfect for any consumer and commercial application. I can see alot of home theater enthusiasts and gamers using this for easy install to their projectors.

HDAiR 1

The AT-HDAiR uses chipsets developed by Wisair to transmit USB protocol over Ultra wide band (UWB) frequencies.  Various new products featuring "Ultra Speed" by Wisair will all be fully compatible with each other, allowing users to connect to various devices such as printers, displays, audio receivers, human input devices, and more.  Atlona will release the AT-HDAiR with an MSRP of $199.00 in early May.

04/18/2009 10:06:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 3#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today the third contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro goes live over at VivirLatino, until April 21st. Here are the details of their contest:

matrixpro virtualatino

Email us at info@vivirlatino.com, telling us how smartphone technology can help Latinos access and share information to further their political power (and you know I’m not just talking about electoral power). The most interesting (in my humble opinion) answer wins! Not only do you win the phone pero also a $100 credit for AT&T’s web site.

As much as I’m about promoting the Americas, the contest is only open to residents of the U.S.A. Sorry.

For more details on their contest head here. Maegan la Mamita Mala also has a great post on how the Pantech Matrix Pro has changed her mobile life here.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd  and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, with tomorrow’s contest beginning at slashgear. Remember you still have time to enter the contest over at Tools for Thought and ChipChick

04/17/2009 21:29:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway – Day 2#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today another contest to win a Pantech Matrix Pro goes live over at ChipChick, where there contest is a perfect gift for Mother’s Day:

matrixpro-chipchick

We’re giving one away for Mother’s Day, along with a $100 credit for AT&T’s web site. E-mail us how your mom would you use the Pantech Matrix Pro in a special or a quirky way. The winner wins a brand spankin’ new Pantech Matrix Pro along with a $100 credit for AT&T Wireless store online.

For more details on their contest head here. Helena Stone aka Chip Chick also has an in-depth review posted here.

Be sure to head back here for details on our contest which begins on May 3rd  and to check back daily on the details of the 25 other chances to win a Pantech Matrix Pro, with tomorrow’s contest beginning at VivirLatino . Remember you still have time to enter the contest over at Tools for Thought.

04/16/2009 10:58:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

User Group Presentation Available for Download#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Thanks to all who attended our Windows Mobile User/Developer Group meeting last night. It really was a great “giveaway night”, with lots of goodies for everyone.

As promised, I have posted the PowerPoint presentation in PDF format (don’t worry – the HTML links still work) and the example MortScript in all in a single easy-to-download ZIP file.

Enjoy!

04/16/2009 08:38:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Handheld US Upgrades to the Algiz 8 Rugged Tablet Computer#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Handheld US, a supplier of rugged mobile computers, announced a major upgrade of its Algiz 8 tablet computer. The upgrades include a faster processor, a brighter outdoor viewable display, a 50% increase in the standard hard drive capacity and a 100% increase in the standard RAM memory.

Algiz8_bywater

Designed for harsh environments the new version of the Algiz 8 has been upgraded with the new Intel 1.1 GHz ATOM processor. The new ultra-low voltage processor will improve both performance and battery life. The Algiz 8’s optional outdoor viewable display has been upgraded to a new screen with brightness of more than 1100 nits. The size of the standard shock mounted hard drive has been increased from 40 GB to 60 GB, and a solid state flash drive is available as an option. And the RAM has increased from 512 to 1024 MB. 

“The changes to the Algiz 8 make a great product even better. The combination of a faster processor, longer battery life, and a brighter screen all directly impact and improve the user’s experience in the field.” said Dale Kyle, president of Handheld US. “We believe that the Algiz 8 will continue to be the field worker’s first choice.”

The new Algiz 8 is available immediately. Potential customers and value-added resellers can find additional product information at www.handheld-us.com.

04/16/2009 04:52:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

BPPC Deals o’Week#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

This is something someone at tonight’s User Group Meeting asked me to do, so I will try and post up some deals that we find on some great tech that are floating around the internet. I can’t promise to do it daily, but will try and do it at least weekly. With people getting their tax refunds back, we all want to stimulate the economy as well as feed the hunger of our Gadgetitis addiction so these are few gadget deals out there this week:

palmtreo pro

Amazon has the Palm Treo Pro unlocked and without a contract for $399 - great deal for an unlocked phone.

ihomezn9

Amazon also has the the Zune iHome Z9B radio for $79. This is the one we saw at CES 2009 and has improved from the older iHome radio I have, in that characters on the display don’t light up the whole room(the brightness control works well) like the LCD panel on previous units. Plus the sound quality out of these radios are amazing as is the gradual increase in volume so you wake up softly and you aren’t jarred awake and you have two alarms in case you uhhemm oversleep. (Note: this doesn’t come with a remote- it is sold separately for $19 directly from iHome- the box comes with a 10% off coupon.)

sevsale

Scott eVest is having an 8th Anniversary Secret Sale shhh to celebrate their of 40% off select items. Use discount code SECRET8SALE. It ends Friday April 17th so hurry to get hold of some of the best gadget clothing out there. I can’t count how many compliments I get on my SeV Ultimate Hoodie especially in airport security for some reason.

pantech headset deal

Purchase a Pantech Matrix Pro phone and get a free Jabra BT4051 Bluetooth headset by clicking on this link. (Note:  To qualify for the free BT headset, customers must add one of the following features: Unlimited messaging, $30 PDA personal, or $50 PDA personal plans)

s740

J&R is selling the HTC S740 aka Rose unlocked with free shipping for $299.99.

apps4rent

Apps4Rent has got both hosted Exchange and Sharepoint on the cheap starting at $6.95/month for 1GB of Hosted exchange and 100MB of Sharepoint storage.

ppctechs

PPCTechs (one of my favorite places to get replacement parts and accessories for my devices) is pleased to announce their Tax Day Special by offering a 25% discount on all accessories on April 15th. Orders must be received between the hours of 12.01am and 11.59pm PST on April 15th 2009. Customers can use the discount code TAXDISC09 in the special instructions/comments field during checkout.

amazon organic

Amazon Grocery Sales-Yes times are tough, but saving a few bucks cutting back on snack and increasing our intake of healthy food is something we are all doing. So there are some deals to take advantage of some of the cool stuff Amazon is doing with their new Grocery Sales and the best part is that they are delivered right to your house- its no Peapod – use code LINK10 to save $10 off your order of $75 or more from there :), but hey in our busy lives any timesaver helps. To save $15 and get a free Earthwise shopping bag when you spend $59 or more on a huge eligible selection of natural and organic groceries including Newman’s Own, Kashi, and more – click here. Amazon also has some deals on hard to find tea,coffee, snacks and candy too!! – Yes, Johan I ordered some addicting Dutch black licorice and some unhealthy Licorice Caramels! :)

04/15/2009 20:53:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Giveaway#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Hey everyone likes contests right? How would you like to win a new phone? I am sure you would. Well you are just in luck starting today you will have 26 chances to win a brand new Pantech Matrix Pro and a $100 gift card that can be used for buying accessories or used toward your service plan and AT&T Wireless.

matrixpro

Your first chance to win starts today over at Tools for Thought:

Here’s what I want. I want you or anyone to post in the comments or email me the coolest cloud-based work setup they use on a daily basis, with a least one example of how it allowed you to do something you couldn’t do previously. “Coolest” here can mean a few things:

  • The most efficient: e.g. how you run your life through a personal wiki or WebDAV
  • The most dramatic: how you use Backpack and Twitter to dispatch work to a team virtual assistants in St. Croix (real-world examples please, not creative writing)
  • The most elegant: how you eliminated your additional computers and run them as virtual images on Amazon EC2 from your netbook
  • The most democratic: how you’ve replaced all of the files and applications on your hard drive with free and open source web apps

You have 48 hours from “now,” 12:00 a.m. Thursday, April 16, 2009, until midnight Saturday, April 18.

For more details on their contest head here.

Participating Websites:

Tools for Thought
Launch Date  15-Apr
Award Announcement  19-Apr

ChipChick
Launch Date  16-Apr
Award Announcement  20-Apr

VivirLatino
Launch Date  17-Apr
Award Announcement  21-Apr

slashgear.com
Launch Date  18-Apr
Award Announcement  22-Apr

modaco.com
Launch Date  19-Apr
Award Announcement  23-Apr

Gadgetell
Launch Date  20-Apr
Award Announcement  24-Apr

GeeksRoom
Launch Date  21-Apr
Award Announcement  25-Apr

OSNN
Launch Date  22-Apr
Award Announcement  26-Apr

Techmamas
Launch Date  23-Apr
Award Announcement  27-Apr

Clintonfitch
Launch Date  24-Apr
Award Announcement  28-Apr

Justanothermobilemonday
Launch Date  25-Apr
Award Announcement  29-Apr

Geek.com
Launch Date  26-Apr
Award Announcement  30-Apr

MediaBlab
Launch Date  27-Apr
01-May

Smartphonethoughts
Launch Date  28-Apr
Award Announcement  02-May

Mobilityminded
Launch Date  29-Apr
Award Announcement  03-May

The Gadgeteer
Launch Date  30-Apr
Award Announcement  04-May

Geekzone
Launch Date  01-May
Award Announcement  05-May

Techie Diva
Launch Date  02-May
Award Announcement  06-May

Bostonpocketpc
Launch Date  03-May
Award Announcement  07-May

GearDiary
Launch Date  04-May
Award Announcement  08-May

MobilitySite
Launch Date  05-May
Award Announcement  09-May

AbsoluteWindows
Launch Date  06-May
Award Announcement  10-May

Mobilejaw
Launch Date  07-May
Award Announcement  11-May

Experiencemobility
Launch Date  08-May
Award Announcement  12-May

HackCollege
Launch Date  09-May
Award Announcement  13-May

Gear Live
Launch Date  10-May
Award Announcement  14-May

As with any contest there are rules for each different contest but these rules apply to all of the participating 26 sites:

  • Winners are limited by geography to US residents only. This is due to the fact that the phone is locked to ATT’s network and service credit/gift card is redeemable only within the US
  • Individuals who have won at another site are ineligible to win at another

Good Luck!!!

04/15/2009 18:49:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile Dev Training at MSDev.com#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Looking for some training on Windows Mobile development? Does FREE sound good? Then you should consider heading to MSDev.com. Previously focused on providing on-demand content for Microsoft ISVs, MSDev.com is now open to all developers.

msdev 

You can register if you choose, or simply access the web site. And Windows Mobile developer content is but a fraction of the Microsoft developer content available. There are web seminars and virtual labs available.

Credits go to our regional MS Developer Evangelist Chris Bowen for pointing this out!

04/14/2009 08:22:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Pantech Matrix Pro Tweetstakes#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Pantech will be starting up a new contest for all you Tweople & Twitiizens out there with a chance to win one of many Pantech Matrix Pro smartphones to be given away as well as a chance to win the grand prize of $25,000! This contest is covering the launch of the Pantech Matrix Pro web site and their twitter page for their Tweetstakes promotional contest:

Tweetstakes

"The Matrix Pro by Pantech has a new home online: pantechmatrixpro.com, the first place to go for all you need to know about this exciting new smartphone. See the Matrix Pro's unique dual-keyboard design in action; get the lowdown on all of the Matrix Pro's great features; read blog entries highlighting the latest Matrix Pro news and reviews; get information about the upcoming Tweetstakes featuring a grand prize of $25,000; and follow handy links to purchase your very own Matrix Pro online. Visit pantechmatrixpro.com to experience the site for yourself."

The Matrix Pro Tweetstakes is coming! Every day during the Tweetstakes, we'll be asking a question about assorted topics related to the mobile lifestyle. (For example, "Breaking up via text: done it to anyone? Had it happen to you? Fair game or bad form?")

The sweepstakes is designed to celebrate the Matrix Pro, so Pantech and AT&T are giving away prizes to Twitter users who follow and reply to @matrixpro.  The format is:

  1. Each day, Pantech/AT&T will tweet a question from @matrixpro
  2. Followers tweet their responses to @matrixpro
  3. Each day, Pantech/AT&T pick a user from the replies to win a free Matrix Pro
  4. At the end of the sweepstakes, one very lucky player will win $25,000
  5. Players can also enter by email, but entering via Twitter is easier

So sign up for the Tweetstakes and watch your Twitter feed - some of my favorite ways to do be part of the “tweetosphere” from a windows mobile device is via Pocketwit and Twikini.

Good Luck and may the Tweet be with you!!!

04/14/2009 08:03:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Pure Digital Flip Ultra Camcorder – A Winner#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Add me to the long list of people who have been won over by the Pure Digital Flip Ultra camcorder. Not for a long list of features, mind you, but just the opposite. Simplicity of use is key here.

As a longtime camcorder owner, I have to admit I do not take much video. The reasons -

  • Size.
    While camcorders have gotten smaller, they are still a pain to lug around during all-day excursions (especially when everyone is active). Example – our family’s last vacation at Disney World. One more bulky item to carry around the parks when traveling light is essential.
  • Durability.
    Let’s face it – most camcorders are something you tend to treat with kid gloves. Only the most daring will take along an expensive camcorder on an outing where the risk of drops or bumps can occur.
  • Usability.
    I always say that I am born to operate a camcorder for two reasons – big hands and long fingers. With many camcorders I have tried or used regularly over the years, even the simplest of operations (like starting and stopping recording) required two hands to complete. And don’t get me started on advanced features; try to change settings on some camcorders while shooting and not destroy the video.
    I also have found too many camcorders require you to become an expert on the hardware in order to perform anything other than the most basic of operations. The result – you see me in very few family videos. I am always the “video technician”.
  • Time to operate.
    Most camcorders take time to power up and start shooting video. When you want an “in the moment” shot, you either have to be always ready or run the risk of missing out.
  • Video transfer/edit.
    To be honest, most camcorders still make this a difficult process. Whether it is the additional cabling, proprietary drivers or proprietary hardware, nothing ever seems to go as planned. Example – our current family camcorder. Between drivers that won’t work properly under Windows Vista and software that is just outright buggy, the process of moving video to the PC for editing requires both patience and expert knowledge.

I had heard quite a few positive things about the Flip Ultra from people I know. Importantly, I heard good things from people who were not “tech savvy”. When a deal good good to pass up showed up one day at woot.com, I decided to take the plunge. Folks – it was well worth it.

FlipUltra01

Anyone who knows me or has read by reviews over the years knows I am a huge fan of Sling Media’s Slingbox. From Day One, my major argument for the product being a success was the design emphasis on simplicity. The hardware and software just works, without the need for deep technical knowledge. Until now, I found no other product that provided so much with so little technical effort. The Flip Ultra becomes the second product to achieve that distinction.

What makes the Flip Ultra so successful? Well, let’s look back at my criteria -

  • Size.
    At just over 2 inches width by 4 inches height, and weighing in at a svelte 5.2 ounces, this is one “pocketable” device. I love being able to just drop the Flip Ultra into my pocket and go.
  • Durability.
    Simplicity often results in a certain amount of durability. Such is the case with the Flip Ultra. Not a lot of moving parts to break here. Combine that with solid casing, and I immediately have a level of comfort with the device. Heck – I’m even willing to hand over my Flip Ultra to my sons (ages 8 and 4), which is really saying something.
  • Usability.
    Any device that requires less than a minute of explanation to describe operation is a winner in my book. Add to that the ability to explain that to a child and for them to get it, and you have a HUGE winner. Let’s be clear – the Flip Ultra is not a high-end, feature-rich camcorder and it never should be. That is the beauty of the device; ease of use.
  • Time to operate.
    From a complete power down state to recording is less than 2 seconds. A power button on the side brings the device to a ready state almost instantly (the true beauty of flash memory and good industrial design). One button push and recording starts.

    FlipUltra02
    Power switch on the upper-right. Red button to
    record/stop. Simple enough, right?
  • Video Transfer/Edit.
    It’s all about designing for usability, folks. A USB adapter is built into the Flip Ultra. Pop it out and plug it in to your PC to start the transfer process. The flash memory is configured to detect it Pure Digital’s FlipShare software is already installed. If not, you can install it – directly from the Flip Ultra itself. Once installed, the software runs and even checks for updates (the software on my device required an update; easy enough to do and only took a couple of minutes).
    FlipShare is designed for – you guessed it – ease of use. Drag and drop to transfer files from the device to your PC. You have a multitude of options here, including sharing files via email, uploading to popular services like MySpace and YouTube, creating movies or burning DVDs.

    FlipShare02
    Lots of options within FlipShare

    All of FlipShare’s options are wizard-based, making the process simple and usable for just about anyone.

    FlipShare03 
    The Movie-Making Wizard in action

    For the Flip Ultra and FlipShare, video is captured, stored and saved in MPEG-4 AVI format. If you wish to convert to other formats, there are any of a number of freeware and pay-for converters available (including higher-end video editing tools). If you choose not to install the FlipShare software, that’s OK as well. You see, the device also presents itself as a USB Mass Storage device when connected to your PC.

    FlipUltra03
    It’s a camcorder! It’s a storage device!

    A note here – if you do have the FlipShare software installed and wish to explore the device from File Explorer, you need to right click on the “drive” and say open. The default association set up on the device makes a double-click prompt for software install.

    flipultra04
    Flip Ultra in File Explorer view.

    All in all, the video transfer and basic editing/upload process is made almost trivial by the Flip Ultra and FlipShare. That in and of itself is quite a statement when coming from a camcorder world that is just the opposite.

The Flip Ultra is capable of storing 1 hour of video. This may in fact be the only downside to the device that I can personally see. I have enjoyed using it so much in such a brief period of time that I may find myself needing to download frequently. The Flip Video (the Flip Ultra’s sibling) is only capable of 30 minutes of recording. There is also the slightly more expensive but slightly smaller Flip Mino at 60 minutes of recording, and the new Flip MinoHD (capable of 1 hour of recording in high definition). You can see and compare the specifications at the Pure Digital web site.

I cannot speak highly enough of the Pure Digital Flip Ultra. I really believe that Pure Digital has finally brought the end-to-end experience of basic video recording to the masses. 

04/12/2009 08:38:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

WINDOWS MOBILE USER-DEVELOPER GROUP MEETING – Wed., April 15 2009#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

It’s that time again! The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Mobile User/Developer Group will be held this Wednesday, April 15, starting at 6:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th floor).

Map picture

A special note: This meeting will be held in the Rhode Island Room (in the back of the offices, near the kitchenette area). Our normal meeting space is being used for training all week.

Our featured topic this month - “Windows Mobile Tweaks, Tips and Tricks”
Have you ever wondered how to improve your Windows Mobile device’s performance? Customize functionality or appearance? Automate common tasks? This month’s focus will cover the various ways you can enhance your device using registry settings, tools and applications.

As always, we will have lots of goodies for giveaway at the conclusion of the meeting.

Hope to see you there!

04/11/2009 08:01:28 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Vito’s “Tuned In Package” – 3 Great Apps at 1 Low Price#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

With all of the great work Vito Technology has done with the finger-friendly products that can be found at iWindowsMobile.com, I sometimes forget about some of the other long and successful products that make up their portfolio. The latest offer from Vito Technology, however, brings some of these applications back to mind -

Vito_logo

Vito Technology wants to inaugurate spring with a new offer for its customers. With its newly created 'Tuned in Package' customers, buy 2 applications and get 1 free.

The Tuned in Package includes: audio bestsellers AudioNotes, SoundExplorer and RingtoneEditor for $14 instead of $21. All information can also be found on Vito technology’s new offers page where users can get up to date with current offers by VITO Technology and enjoy them. 

So go and get Tuned! Make your MP3 notes filed and send them around via mail or MMS with AudioNotes, create your own ringtones and share them with your friends with RingtoneEditor and... more get your player and audio recorder onto your phone with SoundExplorer. All for the price of $14 instead of $21.

Still in need of more info? Here you find a detailed description of applications' main features: 

RingToneEditor allows you to make ringtone of any MP3 file. You just need to start the app choose the MP3 file that starts playing press the "Start" button and then "Finish" button. The Ringtone is ready, now you may save it or set as a default ringtone immediately.


AudioNotes is for making audio notes. You may just with one tap (firstly assign the hardware button) start recording with the help of your WM device in any situation. Or if your device doesn't have any restrictions for calls recording then you may record important calls to have this information at your device. 

SoundExplorer  is for not only recording your notes and lectures it can be a great tool for reproducing your notes using different speeds of playing and creation of playlists. Besides it reproduces different formats like mp3 and wav. It also has equalizer and VAS. You may edit ID3 tags and even convert wav files into mp3.

Any of of these three products is well worth the $14 price. All 3 for $14 – that’s a real deal!

04/02/2009 08:17:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Sprite Software “Enters The Cloud” with Virtual Mobile for Windows Mobile#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Anyone who knows me knows I have been a longtime fan of Sprite Software and their products. Some of their offerings (Sprite Clone, for example) were way ahead of their time. Now, Sprite Software once again provides a solution leveraging the power of the Internet in Virtual Mobile.

Virtual Mobile is an online service allowing you to backup and control your whole mobile life. It allows you to securely remote control your mobile device and its data from any computer with an Internet connection. Virtual Mobile is a combination of all our award winning software. Secure your mobile device online with our new integrated Backup, Device Management and Security solution.

Virtual Mobile can back up:

  • Contacts
  • SMS
  • Photos
  • Calendar
  • Call History

You can also remotely lock or wipe your device, and can even remote control your device!

Virtual Mobile is currently in beta, and is free for the beta period (no word yet on release or pricing). To learn more or to sign up, visit the Virtual Mobile page.

In an aside: It will be interesting to see how Virtual Mobile (and other similar products) will fare and compete with Microsoft’s MyPhone offering, scheduled for release in conjunction with Windows Mobile 6.5.

04/01/2009 08:25:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

All content © 2017, Don Sorcinelli
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Vito’s “Tuned In Package” – 3 Great Apps at 1 Low Price
Sprite Software “Enters The Cloud” with Virtual Mobile for Windows Mobile
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