Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

How to change the name on your Kindle Fire

Comments Off on How to change the name on your Kindle Fire

Don’t like how your name is displayed on your Amazon Kindle or Kindle Fire? Here’s how to change it:

1) Go to

2) On the left panel, click “Manage Your Devices

3) Your device will be under “Registered Kindles“. Next to your name there will be an “Edit” link. Click it, change the name to whatever you want, then click “Update”.

4) Turn on your Kindle, go to “Settings” (tiny icon next to the WiFi icon in the top right corner), and click “Sync“. Your Kindle will now display your new name.

Comments Off on UsesThis – What Do Devs and Creatives Use To Get Stuff Done?

Found this little gem online: UsesThis interviews developers, designers, photographers, writers, editors, musicians, and other creative professionals about their computer and software setups.

You’ll notice how a lot of folks use fairly minimal setups to get some amazing work done. Also: lots of Mac users here. Freeware, too.

One of my favorites is Adam Lisgor who does some amazing work creating web commercials for tech companies. You can check out his work here, and his computer setup here.

Lesson: use what works for you.

HP’s Real Reason for Bailing Out

Comments Off on HP’s Real Reason for Bailing Out

So HP is contemplating getting out of the consumer PC business. Now, HP is HUGE in the computer biz. That’s like Pepsi saying they’re getting out of the soft drink business. But HP should stop making consumer products.

HP blamed low profit margins and declining consumer PC sales on a supposed consumer preference shift to tablets. They make it sound as if everyone on the planet is ditching their laptops and desktops and is using an iPad now instead.

That’s interesting because according to IDC,  tablet sales are actually down by almost 30% in Q1 of 2011. Apple is selling Macbooks and Macbook Air and iMacs (read: full-size computers) just fine. On the Windows side, Dell is doing quite well, too. Also, if tablets are the lone wave of the future, why did HP announce that they would get rid of Palm OS – and all their tablets and mobile devices? Does he think the iPad (iOS) is the only thing people want? I think it’s HP that’s the problem, not tablets.

Fact is, Read the rest of this entry »

Are Mac Users Dumber Than The Rest?

Comments Off on Are Mac Users Dumber Than The Rest?

Among my clients sites, around 13% of all visitors and members are on a Mac. Yet an estimated 30% or more of all their tech/customer support requests come from Mac users. For some odd reason they seem to forget their passwords and mistype their user names (that they picked themselves…) more often than the rest.

This post’s headline is click bait. Using the Mac vs. PC debate and throwing an accusatory , divisive tone at it is a favorite among tech writers. In fact there is a recent article that discusses scientific findings of how Internet Explorer users are the “dumbest” of ’em all. Expectedly this gets high search engine rankings and lots of inflamed comments.

But in this case I actually do think there’s something to it – numbers don’t lie. Anyone have a similar experience?

Disclosure: we use Macs, PCs, iOS devices, Android devices, (rarely) Linux, and all major browsers. We use what works best for the task at hand.

Comments Off on My Impressions on Verizon 4G LTE and HTC Thunderbolt

HTC Thunderbolt, image stolen from Thanks, Arrington.Speed. Oh how I love it. When Verizon announced that it made its 4G/LTE service available in my neck of the woods (Phoenix), I pretty much creamed my pants. I’ve been with Sprint for close to ten years, but I waited long enough for them to bring their version of 4G (WiMax) to Arizona and since this hasn’t happened – and probably won’t happen for at least another year or two – Verizon’s offer sounded really good.

I constantly upload large quantities of media for my clients, so much so that my broadband cable connection is pretty busy at all times. So a second broadband option would be great…so that I can upload even more stuff. My clients would LOVE that.

Now, I’m a comparison shopper. So when I compared the speeds and 4G network availability stats between T-Mobile’s, Verizon, and Sprint (AT&T ain’t got none yet), the Big Red’s numbers pretty much made my decision for me. After trying out LG’s USB modem, Verizon’s first LTE-capable device, I was hooked. Upload speeds matched what my cable Internet provider could do, and downloads were about two-thirds that. But I returned the device as soon as I learned about the release date for the HTC Thunderbolt, the first LTE phone for Verizon. I bitched about it in another post but who am I kidding – I’m a gadget whore. Besides, my favorite geek sites claimed HTC was finally able to improve the bad battery life, the main reason I complained about it.

Fast forward a few weeks – and I now have two phones, the Thunderbolt, and my trusty HTC Evo from Sprint. Why? Aside from still being about a year away from my Sprint contract to expire, the Thunderbolt is, how can I say this?...Fucking useless as a mobile phone.

Why? One reason: Read the rest of this entry »

Please Excuse Our Dust…

Comments Off on Please Excuse Our Dust…

You’ll notice some pages not loading properly on this blog while we are re-hauling the whole thing. Apologies for the beta – it’ll be back to normal shortly. Thanks!

If you are on Cox Communication’s Premier plan and your modem is disconnecting when you try to upload anything all you’ll likely have the D-Link DCM-202.

Yesterday, Cox increased the speeds for Premier plan customers. Upload speeds were increased to 4 or 5 Mbps, downloads increased to about 25Mbps. Unfortunately Cox messed up and didn’t apparently test that their upgrade would work all modems on their approved list. The D-Link DCM-202 has massive problems with uploads on Cox’ new setup – it disconnects if you are trying to upload anything. Once you stop the upload attempt, the modem will reconnect. Downloads should be fine but even those might be affected.

Cox didn’t feel it’s necessary to at least acknowledge this problem on their web site so many customers were, like me, totally caught off-guard about it and have to figure this out on their own. The DCM-202 is one of the most widely used modems so there are probably lots and lots of customers who are undoubtedly freaking out right now. Lovely service, Cox.

Cox’ new infrastructure works best with DOCSIS 3.0 modems. The D-Link DCM-202 and almost all other currently available modems however are only DOCSIS 2.0 compliant. Apparently, D-Link is the only modem manufacturer that currently has these problems on Cox’ new deal. Cox and D-Link supposedly are working together to figure out what the problem is.

Since you’ll likelyneed your internet to actually work right now and not when Cox and D-Link get around to working things out you will need to get a different cable modem. Luckily, you can buy any common cable modem (for example, the Linksys CM-100 you’ll find at Target and Staples works just fine) – just don’t buy another D-Link DCM 202. It just won’t work.

Ideally you’ll purchase Motorola’s SB6120 modem though – it’s the only DOCSIS 3.0 compliant modem Cox can work with (disregard the Cisco modem they have on their list – according to a rep I spoke to, that one is not supported right now either). The Motorola SB 6120 also one of the few DOCSIS 3.0 modems currently available on the market. But you might need to order that one online – I was unable to get one at any of the Fry’s Electronic stores or three other electronic places I went to. It’s sold out everywhere apparently, at least at the time of this writing.

So summary: if you’re on Cox Premier and have the D-Link DCM-202 go out right now and buy a different cable modem. I hope this helps you and saves you hours on the phone with tech support and running around town trying to find the SB6120.

Browse External Drive with IPod, IPhone

Comments Off on Browse External Drive with IPod, IPhone

I had an idea that somebody with more time and dev skills could run with. Here it is: write an app that allows someone to plug the iPhone or an iPod Touch into an external hard drive and browse its contents.

I have to deal with literally hundreds of external hard drives clients give me, and some I use for my own long term storage needs. The pain is that no manufacturer has figured out a way to put even a basic LCD on it that allows me to see what’s on a drive without having to power it up, plug it in a computer, and go from there.

For most consumers this is a non-issue but if you have a lot of drives, checking what’s on a hard drive, or see how much disk space is left, can become very time consuming.

So it would be great if I could connect an iPhone/iPod Touch to an external drive via USB and at least see the file names and how much disk space is still available, without having to go through a computer. Ideally this would work even without having to use an external power adapter for the drive (some drives can be powered up via USB only), but I don’t know if that’s technically possible with the iPod/iPhone’s limitations. I understand the chipset in those is a USB slave only, but maybe some super geeky dev or company could come up with a way around that.

I hope this proposal makes sense. If you’re ready for a challenge, go forth and create. I know lots of folks like me will thank you and pay handsomely for an app like that.

Videographers Wishlist for the iPad

Comments Off on Videographers Wishlist for the iPad

Gary from Videoguys created a videographer’s wishlist for the recently announced Apple iPad. Given its limitations and closed development those wishes probably will remain dreams for the time being but the ideas are great. What’s your idea?

Make sure to follow Gary Bettan and Videoguys on Twitter @videoguys

Comments Off on Expensive Analysts VS Listening To Your Market

A quick thought…

I’m reading news coverage of a Morgan Stanley analyst (Kathryn Huberty) “predicting” that Apple’s iPhone would do much better without carrier exclusivity, that is, making the iPhone available on wireless provider networks other than AT&T.

The news articles generally make it sound like this is a new idea nobody else had thought of before.

A bunch of online media outlets that are pretending this is news, which makes it look like she’s the only one who has ever thought of it, or that this idea of parting with AT&T for increased iPhone sales is a new one. CNET, The Register, PC World, Business Week…they all want to make this sound like a big, new revelation. (At least CNET recognizes that many, many others have been saying this as well for some time.)

Apple is aware that being tied to AT&T is hampering sales: The web is full of people bitching about AT&T’s wireless service problems and there are more than enough people blatantly saying “I’ll buy the iPhone as soon as it’s not exclusive to AT&T” . I’m one of those by the way.

Those are big, blatant, and unmistakable clues to Apple, and anybody who cares about this sort of stuff as to what to do.

So why is this NOW such a seemingly head-slapping revelation? Because someone at Morgan Stanley said it is?

Another thing that bugs me here has nothing to do with Apple or the iPhone but the fact that investment firm analysts are still considered by many to be the next best thing to a finance Nostradamus. Those folks should be reminded that investment firm analysts had a strong hand in causing the financial mess we’ve all been experiencing for the past year or so. Analysts can be wrong. Analysts sometimes have agendas, like a financial interest in the industries, companies and products they talk about. This sways their expressed opinions on a subject to jive with the outcome they want to see. Please people, quit treating analyst words as gold.

So how does this matter to you?

This whole thing shows how a business, small or large, can spend tons of money and energy on hiring analysts or consultants for basic things the business should (and often does) already know – if it only LISTENED – or, if it does indeed already know, pulled its proverbial head out of its ass and followed through with it, instead of wasting more time and money on having analysts confirm their findings. This is especially true if the findings are so clear, as it is in this case.

While a good consultant can indeed do wonders, a lot of times it’s simply a matter of opening your eyes and ears and really, truly learning about your customers and those who could be.

In some cases this works (again – with the right consultant, for the right things). In many, many others it’s a tremendous waste of money though.

So ask yourself: how can your product/service be adopted by more people?

A simple question for which you should be eager to research the answer to.

Couple of sources on the MS analyst talking about iPhone exclusivity:;jsessionid=2BKMSVFOQ1IXPQE1GHPSKHWATMY32JVN

Popular Posts