Category Archives: Geek Dad

geeky technical stuff from a geek dad

Qi and the Art of Inductive Charging – Win a Gift Card

Here’s a cool new product: the Energizer Inductive Charger. Yeah, I know. The product is essentially a battery charger for smartphones, MP3 players, and cameras. But the cool thing about the Energizer Inductive Chargers is that it enables dads and moms to charge any device (5W or less) on a single charging station — regardless of manufacturer. With the universal charger, parents can charge their devices without USB cables or power adapter cords. Now that’s cool. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve misplaced my cell phone and camera chargers on more than one occasion. Now that’s a lot of fun — hunting down the right charger when you have billions of chargers scattered through out the house.

Energizer Inductive Charger for charging smartphones, MP3 players, and cameras

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Goodbye Bloglines, My Old Friend

In case you have not heard, Bloglines is shutting down for good on October 1, 2010 (Friday). If you’re reading my dad blog via Bloglines, don’t forget to add my RSS feed (http://feeds2.feedburner.com/daddyforever) to another reader. If you’re like me, you probably have hundreds of subscriptions that need to be moved. You can add each feed manually to a new RSS reader, but that would be insane because it would take a lot of time. A more efficient way is to export/import your subscriptions to another service. Luckily, you can easily do this with an OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) file. Many readers have the ability to import feeds via OPML. For instance, below are the steps to import your feeds to Google Reader.

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Deal of the Week – 50% Off Star Wars Items at Borders

Borders is running a geekalicious promotion on Star Wars items — 50% off Star Wars products. The promotion includes books, CDs, and DVDs. The promotion is good though Monday, July 26th at U.S. Borders, Borders Express, and Waldenbooks stores and at Borders.com. Geek dads and moms can take advantage of the promotion at a Borders store by printing out the no-limit 50% off Star Wars coupon. A coupon is not needed at Borders.com.

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HP ePrint – if you can email it, you can print it

Last week, HP announced their new ePrint technology. With the ePrint platform, geek dads and moms can print a photo or document by sending an email to a web-enabled printer. You read that right. You can email your document to your printer. Cool. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago when dads and moms could only print to the printer attached to their computer. Now the printer doesn’t even have to be on the same network. The pace of technology is amazing, isn’t it? I can’t wait until the day I can email myself to another location (just think, Star Trek would not have been the same if Captain Kirk could’ve just emailed himself back to the Enterprise).

I think the new ePrint platform is something dads and moms will like for several reasons. First, if you can email it, you can print it. Second, you don’t have to install drivers or configure your printer for the network. Third, you don’t even need a computer to print a file. Now, dads and moms can print directly from their web-connected device (smartphone, iPad, netbook, etc) to any ePrint-enabled printer.

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How to Setup Your Computer for Dual Monitors

I’m loving the dual-monitor computer system Lenovo sent me for review and giveaway. In my opinion, most dads and moms will be more productive with two 19″ monitors instead of one super hugemongous monitor. With two applications side by side on my 22″ screen, I have to scroll horizontally and vertically. But with two 19″ Lenovo displays, I can maximize an application on each screen and rarely have to scroll sideways. And if you have a home office like this geek dad, you can stream an ESPN game on one monitor while you work on MS Word or Excel on the other screen. Just don’t tell the boss.

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Lenovo ThinkCentre A63 Dual Monitors Computer Giveaway Preview

Check out the dual-display computer system Lenovo sent me for review and giveaway on my geek dad blog:

Lenovo ThinkCentre A63 tower computer and ThinkVision L1951P LCD monitors
Lenovo ThinkCentre A63 tower computer (6674-APU) and ThinkVision L1951P LCD monitors (2448HB6)

The Lenovo tower computer system is cool — especially the dual displays setup. Unfortunately, this geek dad can’t keep the Lenovo computer — I have to give the PC away to a lucky dad or mom. The computer system I’m giving away consists of a Lenovo ThinkCentre A63 tower PC (6674-APU) and two 19″ ThinkVision L1951P LCD monitors (2448HB6). As configured, the price of the dual-monitor computer I’m giving away on my dad blog is about $1029. BTW, the Lenovo A63 computer is perfect for an entrepreneur or a small business.

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FCC Consumer Broadband Test

The Federal Communications Commission recently announced a new broadband test service to help dads and moms clock the speed of their Internet connection. The tests help geek dads and moms compare their actual speeds with the speeds advertised by their providers. My test results actually came close to what Verizon FIOS advertised (up to 10 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload).

In the broadband speed test, moms and dads are randomly assigned either the Ookla or M-Lab test. I’m not sure what the differences in the tests are, but the results do vary slightly between the Ookla or M-Lab test in Internet Explorer and Firefox

Ookla broadband test with Internet Explorer (Thursday 9pm)
FCC Ookla broadband test in Internet Explorer

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Connectify Wi-Fi Hotspot Software

My wireless router died recently so I have been playing with an application call Connectify for the last couple of days. The software is easy to use and very useful so I thought I would tell my fellow geek dads and moms about the program.

What is Connectify?
Connectify is an easy to use application that can turn a laptop (or desktop computer with wireless capability) into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Thanks to Connectify, geek dads and moms can wireless connect to the Internet without a wireless router. Cool! It’s also free. Double cool! The software isn’t limited to computers. Dads and moms can also connect Wi-Fi enabled devices like a cell phone or a Wii console. In my test, our Wii console detected the Connectify Wi-Fi hotspot, but couldn’t connect to it for some reason (I’ll get it working eventually).

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