Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Chamberlain MyQ Light Switch (WSLCEV or 823LM) Install and Review

After recently installing the Chamberlain WD1000WF Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener which is INSANELY quiet and controllable via a smart phone app, I found out about the Chamberlain MYQ Light Switch. It allows you to replace a standard light switch, which you can control via the same smart phone app as a MyQ garage door opener as well as a garage door remote control (standard size or mini keychain size) in addition to using it as a regular rocker type light switch. Lastly, you can also pair it with your garage door opener so that whenever your garage door opener lights turn on or off, the lights controlled by this switch will too!

I bought two of these. The first I installed in my garage and paired with the garage door opener. This switches all of the lights (both the in-ceiling and garage door opener lights) on or off together when either the garage door is opened or closed or when the garage door opener motion detector turns on or off the lights. This allows us to pull our car into a very well lit garage and walk out the door without touching a light switch as the garage door opener automatically turns off the lights after a present amount of time.

Once I realized how handy this switch could be, I remembered that Continue reading ‘Chamberlain MyQ Light Switch (WSLCEV or 823LM) Install and Review’

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iPhone: Attach multiple pictures to an email

A great new feature introduced in iOS 5 is the ability to select multiple pictures and email or text them from your phone or ipad.

To do this, tap the Photos app and at the top right corner of the screen you’ll see a square with an arrown in the middle of it pointing to the right. Tap that button and the top of the screen changes to “Select Items”. Now you just tap all of the pictures you want to send and hit the “Share” Button at the bottom of the screen and choose the option you want to share with.

The current choices are “Email, Tweet, Message, and Print”.

Here are some screenshots showing the process: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review of Ipad 2 Keyboard Case

In my hunt for the perfect case for my iPad 2, I came across the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg. I had actually been looking for a case that would ideally protect both the front and back of my iPad 2 but wouldn’t add a lot of bulk to the iPad itself.

I’ve actually had my iPad 2 for over a mont and have just been using the Grantwood sleeve that I was using for my original iPad while looking for the perfect solution for my iPad 2.

As often happens to me, while I was shopping for cases, I came across the Apple bluetooth keyboard that is a perfect companion for the iPad or iPad 2. The only issue with that though is that I’d most likely end up having to buy a separate case for the keyboard AND the iPad whenever I wanted to take it on the road.

Enter the Logitech Keyboard Case. It is in fact a case for the iPad 2. It is also a bluetooth keyboard that has iPad specific function buttons as well. It is also quite slim and is just big enough to do what it needs to. It is also make of aircraft aluminum to be very tough, light, and almost perfectly matches the metal on the back of the ipad.

What sealed the deal for me was that when you Continue reading ‘Review of Ipad 2 Keyboard Case’

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Upgrade To SSD Hard Drive And See Speed!

After reading several articles about the impressive performance gains you can get from SSD drives as well as the fact that they are completely silent and use a fraction of the power of normal drives, I got the itch and had to look into them.

I started thinking I’d get an SSD to put into my Lenovo Thinkpad X200 laptop. That seemed to make the most sense based on lower power use and the silent running and zero vibration.

I started doing my research by looking into the cheaper drives because I’m all about finding the best bang for my buck. My first assumption was that most likely all SSD’s are pretty much alike and there really wouldn’t be much difference.

I was proven wrong. After trolling through dozens of lengthy reviews with specs, the general consensus was that the cheaper drives seemed to have a lot more compatibility problems and often didn’t perform as well in speed tests.

I settled on the Intel 80gb X25-M SATA SSD. I would have loved to have gone for the 160gb version but at around twice as much, I decided I should go conservative since, if it sucked I didn’t want to be out the extra money. The Intel drive seemed to get the most solid reviews and wasn’t dramatically more expensive than the cheaper competition. Everyone seemed to say the same thing, this drive is lightening fast and rock solid.

Once I ordered the drive and was waiting for it to arrive, I kept on reading reviews and more and more started thinking about putting it in my desktop as the system drive instead of my laptop. My desktop was already set up with one drive for Windows 7 and my programs and a second one terabyte drive for my data, so the system drive really didn’t need to be that large. Continue reading ‘Upgrade To SSD Hard Drive And See Speed!’

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Ebay: Get more bids with a good Title

Having upgraded my iPhone from the 3G to the iPhone 4, I decided I’d try to recoup some of my cash by selling the 3G on ebay.

I know a lot of the old tricks and techniques for getting good responses to my auctions like posting a ton of pictures (using my own site to host them for free) and giving a thorough and descriptive summary so that people will feel comfortable that they are getting exactly what I’ve described.

Feeling sure I’d make a descent amount of money, I went ahead and posted my item. One thing that eBay does to try to make things easier for you is they automatically generate an Auction title for you based on keywords you enter for the auction.

In my case, they generated “iPhone 3G 8GB Black ATT”. Sounded pretty accurate for me so I just added “No Reserve” to the end and posted it for a 7 day auction.

I was watching the auction go and noticed that I wasn’t getting very many views or bids. After five days I only had 35 page views and one bid. I decided this was too low and started doing some research on how much similar phones were selling for at auction close and how many bids they were getting.

Ultimately I discovered that Continue reading ‘Ebay: Get more bids with a good Title’

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iPhone: How to display battery percentage remaining

Ever wonder why you have to guess how much juice is left in your battery by looking at the little battery icon on your iPhone. Ever say to yourself “why wouldn’t they just put the battery percent remaining on the iPhone??”

Well, it turns out they did put it there you just need to know where to go to turn it on. It seems that in Apple’s infinite wisdom they decided to leave it turned off by default and bury the setting so deeply, most people would never find it.

Just fire up your iPhone, tap on Settings, General, Usage (yes, Usage?!), and low and behold there is a setting for “Battery Percentage”. Flick that bad boy to “ON” and watch it appear.

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How to install VMware VSphere ESXi 4 on a desktop PC

Trying to figure out how to install VMWare Vsphere ESXi 4.0 on a home desktop computer but now sure how? Neither was I but I finally figured it out and I’ll tell you how!

Over the last year, I’ve been getting very involved in VMware ESX installations and rollouts at work. It started with doing several hundred P2V’s (physical machine to virtual machine conversions) then onto the server side and actually configuring the servers. We started with ESX 3.5 then upgraded to ESXi 4.0 which is now known as VSphere.

I took a couple of VMware training classes and realized that there was a lot of capabilites in VSphere that we weren’t using at my company. Unfortunately, since it was a production environment, tinkering and experimenting on the ESX clusters at the office wasn’t an option. I’m the type of person that when I get into a technology, I want to know as much about it as possible. It also helps to learn as much as possible as it makes you more valuable at work and to potential (higher paying) employers.

RESEARCH

My research began to find out what it would take to build a VMware VSphere ESXi 4.0 server at home.

A quick google search showed it was very possible to build a home ESX server, but unlike Windows servers there were very specific hardware requirements. Even tougher, VMware doesn’t list what desktop class hardware you can run it on since they don’t officially support running ESX on desktops. There are a couple of sites out there like Continue reading ‘How to install VMware VSphere ESXi 4 on a desktop PC’

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How to add HP SFF SAS Drives to your desktop pc

I recently acquired some HP Small Form Factor (SFF) Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) hot swap hard drives from work. We use them for data storage on high end servers because they are lightening fast and the hot swap capability allows you to pull a bad drive and replace it without turning off the server.

These drives tend to be very expensive because of their speed and capabilities. Having a couple at home would be very cool indeed except for one problem: I don’t have a server to plug them into and they don’t easily connect to anything in a desktop computer… Or so I thought!

After tons of googling and trolling the online shopping sites, I finally found a solution that is not only fairly inexpensive but also allows you to connect the HP SFF SAS drives to your desktop computer in a RAID setup!

To do it, you’ll first need to Continue reading ‘How to add HP SFF SAS Drives to your desktop pc’

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iPhone – How to delete one thing at a time

When I got my first iPhone, one annoyance to me was that in order to delete a single email or voicemail, etc. I had to tap the Edit button then select the item then tap Delete.

Why on Earth should it take three steps to delete a single email from my iPhone?

Well, it doesn’t!

Next time you want to delete something, just swipe your finger across it from left to right, picking your finger up at the end.

A single delete button will appear over the item, allowing you to hit it and send that email straight to the trash bin!

Make sure you try it on anything presented in list form as well! I have found it works on the iPhone email, voicemail, and notes apps. I’m sure it works on others as well.

Let me know if you’ve found more by leaving a comment below!

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How to easily add space to your DVR

My cable company provides a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD dvr cable box that comes with a 160gb hard drive. This allows the dvr to record about 110 hours of standard definition (SD) TV or about 22 hours of high definition (HD) TV.

The cable company rolled out HD channels on a separate bank of channels from the SD channels. This meant that I had two if every channel. I could watch CBS in SD or HD.

This has always been more than adequate as I would record general shows like news programs and my wife’s soaps on the SD channel and hi def shows like Discovery Channel on the HD channels.

Recently I got a low disk space warning from my DVR. I was confused as I didn’t have many shows recorded. Upon investigation, I found out that Cablevision had changed how the cable box worked. In an effort to consolidate the HD and SD channels, they made it so that if you had an HD cable box, it would automatically show the channel in HD regardless of which channel you turned to (SD or HD).

This is nice in theory but caused a problem. I was now forced to record my wife’s soaps in HD. The problem is that HD recordings use about eight times more space than SD recordings.

So now that I solved the mystery of the missing disk space, I wanted to find out what I could do about it. I hit Cablevision’s website hoping Continue reading ‘How to easily add space to your DVR’

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