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Learn About a Key Difference between the New Blackberry Storm and the Apple iPhone October 9, 2008

Posted by Mike in Apple, Blackberry, News, Reviews, Technology, Worth a Look.
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Read this article from Internetnews.com to get detailed information on how the Blackberry touch screen will differ from the Apple iPhone’s:

Smartphone Success May be in the Touch

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Verizon officially debuts RIM BlackBerry Storm October 8, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blackberry, News, Reviews, Technology, Worth a Look.
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Research In Motion and Verizon Wireless officially announce the first touch-screen BlackBerry, and CNET gets a hands-on look.

View Original Article

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Green Umbrella Offers Cheap Extended Service Plans For Electronics September 7, 2008

Posted by Mike in Hardware, Online Service, Reviews, Technology, Worth a Look.
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For $9.95 per month, Green Umbrella offers ONE extended service plan to cover all kinds of electronic products in your home or office, from alarm clocks to LCD Flat Panels.

Click here for a comprehensive list of covered products.

Here’s a link to frequently asked questions about their service: FAQs

I glanced through some of the FAQs and here are some things to know:

  1. Mobile phones are not covered.
  2. Items that cost greater than $5000 are not covered
  3. You must register your items to be covered with their service
  4. You must have your original receipts to be eligible for coverage.

I have not used them myself. I thought the concept was worth mentioning for people who may want a service plan after the basic or extended warranty runs out their equipment.

If you’ve had an experience with Green Umbrella, good or bad, please share it.

If you use an alternate service that you like, I’d appreciate a comment with that info too!


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Recuva is Terrific Data Recovery Software August 23, 2008

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Reviews, Software, Technology, Worth a Look.
3 comments

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Have you ever emptied the Recycle Bin and instantly regretted it? Well, as most techies will tell you, that data can usually be recovered. With Recuva software, that task is easier than ever.

The user-friendly wizard will help guide basic users. With straightforward questions like “What sort of files are you trying to recover?” and “Where were the files?” and a list of logical answers to select, it is clear to me that the developers at Piriform know the formula for software success: Make it useful, make it easy to use and serve it for free.

Free, easy and useful? You betcha.

Once you’ve answered the questions in the wizard, the program will scan the depths of your hard drive for the lost files. Once the scan is complete, it will display the results in a sensible table with columns labeled “Filename, Path, Last Modified, Size, State, Comment.”

The “State” column contains descriptions like “excellent, very poor and unrecoverable”. This should give the user a clear idea about the data’s chances of being recovered.

The “Comment” column contains statements like, “This file has been overwritten” or “no overwritten clusters detected.”

Check out the screen shots on their web site and you’ll get the idea.

The software can also search for deleted files on media cards or in a folder or directory specified by the user.

There is also an “Advanced Mode” button for those who’d like a few additional options at their disposal.

All in all, I’m very impressed with this program. I’ll tip my hat to the folks at Piriform on a job well done. Of course, I’d expect nothing less from the folks who make the wonderful CCleaner program (also free).

Download Recuva here.

Download Ccleaner here.


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Test Driving the Blog Editor in the Flock Browser July 13, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blogging, Freebies, Learning, Online Service, Reviews, Software, Technology.
3 comments

The ultra-cool new web browser, Flock, incorporates a blog editor for speedy posting.  I thought I’d try this out with this post.

Here’s how I used the blog editor in Flock:

  1. I surfed the web with Flock for an article to blog about.
  2.  Once I found one, I went to the VIEW menu, the sidebars sub-menu and then clicked on the “Web Clipboard”.
  3. With the web clipboard now a visible column on the left, I dragged/dropped a link and an image onto the sidebar.
  4. Next, I went to the TOOLS menu and chose the “Blog Editor” tool and a new window opened.
  5. On the blog editor window, I again went to the VIEW menu and chose sidebar and clicked on “web clipboard”.
  6. In the blog editor, I see the link and the image that I previously saved to the clipboard in step 3.
  7. I drag n’ drop the saved link and image into the body of the blog editor to use in the post.

All in all,  that’s an easy way to post to your blog from your web browser.  The blog editor is fairly basic, not a lot of whistles and bells, but it’ll help you post quickly.  Here are some of the features included in the blog editor:

  • Choose Font, Size, Bold/Italic/Underline, color
  • Bullets or numbers for creating lists
  • Indent buttons
  • Button to create link
  • Button to insert images (if you haven’t used the web clipboard)

Before Flock can send the post to your blog, you’ll need to configure your blog account into the Flock blog editor. It can be configured for a blog hosted on a free service like WordPress.com or a self-hosted blog. This is done from the TOOLS menu in the Blog Editor.

When you’re ready to publish your post, you can choose to create the entry as a new post or to replace an existing one.  You can also assign categories.


SAMPLE LINK:

http://www.engadget.com/ 2008/ 07/ 12/ kodak-intros-the-c913-m1073-is-and-m1063-chea…

SAMPLE IMAGE:

Kodak Cameras

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Get Fit! Technology That Moves You June 28, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blogging, exercise, family, geocaching, Hardware, health, iPod, Reviews, Software, Technology, Worth the Money.
7 comments

What other technology products out there are designed to help you exercise or enjoy the outdoors?

The excitement surrounding the release of the Nintendo Wii Fit got me thinking about this question.

I spent a little time browsing Amazon.com and came up with a few technology gadgets — with many positive user reviews — that will help you get off your couch and get outside (or at least break a sweat inside):

Wii Fit

Exercise without leaving the comfy confines of your own living room. With Nintendo’s addictively fun Wii game system, this new software package will get you exercising in four key areas: Strength Training, Aerobics, Yoga and Balance Games. The games and activities are designed to appeal to all ages, so Mom and Dad can enjoy it just as much as the kids.

Price: $171 on Amazon.com

Apple Nike + iPod Sport Kit for iPod nano 1G, 2G, 3G

This is actually an add-on package for an iPod Nano. You’ll need to buy the Nano iPod separately.

“Consisting of a wireless sensor and receiver, the Nike + iPod Sport Kit works exclusively with your Nike+ shoes and iPod nano to give you real-time feedback during workouts.” – Amazon product description.

Price: $29.00 on Amazon.com

Garmin eTrex H Handheld GPS with High Sensitivity GPS

This one intrigues me. GPS devices like this one have led to an explosion in popularity of a game called geocaching. In a nutshell, geocaching is a game of high tech treasure hunting. Players hide “caches” in various places, like parks or camp sites or even urban locations. The map coordinates of the cache are then posted online and other players can go and search for it using a handheld GPS.

For a full description of geocaching, please visit The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site

Geocaching sounds like a great family activity. I fully intend to play when my sons get a little older. When the time comes, I’ll take my friend Chris up on his offer to join him on a treasure hunt one day.

While there are a great many varieties of handheld GPS devices, this one is under $100 and should fit the budget of most families.

Price: $93.16 on Amazon.com

Omron HJ-112 Digital Premium Pedometer

Amazon Product Description:

“The HJ-112 accurately measures your steps, as well as aerobic steps and minutes. You can also use it to measure calorie consumption during your workout, as well as the distance you’ve traveled.”

Price: $19.82 on Amazon.com

So, now you can have your “tech” and exercise too. I’ll see you outdoors. Don’t worry about that big ball of light in the sky. That’s called the sun. It’s a good thing. Have fun!

Technology Provides Parenting Peace of Mind June 27, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blogging, children, family, parenting, Reviews, Technology, Worth the Money.
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Electronic Child Guard Child Safety Alarm

How many of you have worried about your child wandering away from you in a store, park or public place? OK, all parents may put their hands down. There’s nothing more heart pounding than losing sight of your son or daughter in a store for a few moments.

How much would you pay for a little peace of mind and your child’s safety? For less than $30, this little device can provide just that.

The “Child Guard” is a wireless transmitter/receiver. The transmitter (looks like a toy) on the child sends signals to the receiver in the parent’s purse or pocket, etc. If the child starts to wander, the receiver starts beeping to alert Mom or Dad.

If you’re traveling, visiting theme parks this summer or just going to the shopping mall across town, the “Child Guard” is an item you can put to good use to help prevent lost children or, heaven forbid, a kidnapping.

The image from Amazon.com shows a pink transmitter, but I’m sure they offer them in different colors to appeal to the boys out there too.

Browser Wars: Newcomer Flock Looks like a Contender June 11, 2008

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Fun, News, Reviews, Software, Technology.
7 comments

Browser Wars.jpg

I just downloaded and installed Flock. I’ll provide a more complete review after I’ve familiarized myself with the software, but here is my initial reaction:

  1. WOW
  2. WOW
  3. WOW

Internet Explorer better watch out for this one. It is actually built upon the FireFox browser, so I can’t call FireFox a direct competitor.

Here’s a news article I found on BusinessWeek that led me to try Flock:

In Browsers, Flock May Lead the Flock.

Visit Flock’s web site to download this free program.


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A Blogger’s Best Friend: Zoundry’s Blog Writer Software June 4, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blogging, Freebies, Organize, Reviews, Software, Technology.
3 comments

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Attention fellow bloggers!

Zoundry’s Blog Writer software will make your life easier.

How, you ask?

  1. Free software (click to visit download page) makes it easier to compose and upload your posts to popular blog sites like WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, LiveJournal, etc.
  2. Download your existing posts (and categories) into the Blog Writer software for faster editing and updating.
  3. Innovative “Create Link to” feature allows you to quickly locate product images (very helpful if writing a product review) on web sites like Amazon.com and Buy.com. For example, It helped me grab images when writing my post about Father’s Day Gift Ideas.
  4. Use the software to backup your blog posts. After downloading your posts, you can save them as HTML files on your PC.
  5. The software allows you to quickly ping Technorati, Google’s Blog Search, Feed Burner, My Yahoo and and other similar sites.

And more good news…..Zoundry is updating Blog Writer to make it even better. The new version, in beta, is called Zoundry Raven and is available for download now.

Read more about it on Zoundry Raven’s blog.

If this software isn’t to your liking, you may want to try BlogDesk software instead.

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Tech Gift Ideas under $100 for Father’s Day May 24, 2008

Posted by Mike in Fun, Photos, Reviews, Technology, Worth the Money.
2 comments

Do you need a Father’s Day gift idea for a techie Dad? Look no further!

Here are a few gift ideas that I’ve found online that are fun, useful and under $100.

Hubman USB Port.jpg
Pictured Above: Hubman……Digital Photo Key Chain……IronKey Thumb Drive……Han Solo Thumb Drive.

Hubman:

  • Listed price: $29.00
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • Smiley face

Digital Photo Key Chain:

  • Listed price: $50.00
  • Holds 60 photos
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • 2 hour battery viewing time

IronKey Thumb Drive:

  • Listed price: $78 (1 GB size)
  • Military grade encryption, encased in metal.
  • “10 incorrect password attempts, and the encryption chip self-destructs, making the contents of the flash drive totally unreadable.”
  • Windows XP and Vista only

Han Solo Thumb Drive:

  • Listed price: $49.95 (1 GB size)
  • Other Star Wars Characters available, but c’mon, you know Han Solo is Dad’s favorite.

I’m sure any of these gifts will bring a smile to Dad’s face. If not, you can always consider an iPod.


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LogMeIn Baby! February 2, 2008

Posted by Mike in Business, Freebies, Online Service, Reviews, Technology.
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Who do you call for tech support?

To paraphrase the Beatles, we all get by with a little help from our friends.

For most of us, that’s quite true when it comes to computer problems and questions. Most of us don’t like to pay for it unless its absolutely necessary. Parents may get their tech-savvy kids to fix things. Girlfriends may call boyfriends or vice versa. Friends call in favors.

That’s great if your tech superhero lives nearby. What if they’re across town or across the country? Maybe you’re on a trip and want to retrieve some information on your home computer. Or, perhaps you want that tech superhero living in New York to be able to help you in California.

Just logmein, baby.

Logmein.com is a free web based service that allows a person to remotely access a computer over the Internet. Its like flying them across the country and having them sit right next to you to see the same screen at the same time. You no longer have to write down cryptic error messages or struggle to follow over-the-phone instructions from your tech superhero.

The basic premise is much the same as Microsoft Remote Desktop or PC Anywhere software. You can connect to a PC to view screen activity, retrieve a file or help a person. However, in my opinion, LogMeIn is much easier for the basic computer user to setup and use.

For instance, just the other day I was working in an office and had my laptop directly wired to a Comcast cable Internet modem. My colleague used my LogMeIn.com account to connect to my laptop to check the settings on the modem.

In my situation, I setup a free LogMeIn.com account and then shared my username and password with my colleague. The computer that will be accessed using the service needs to have free LogMeIn software downloaded and installed or else remote access isn’t possible.

The free account has limited features, but it works fine if you just need remote access. It’s quick and easy to setup and use. I created my account in less than 5 minutes. There are five different LogMeIn plans, each with different features and pricing. The LogMeIn IT Reach plan has the most whistles and bells.

Of course, there’s one problem your tech superhero can’t resolve using LogMeIn.com: a loss of Internet connectivity.

Just For Fun: ElfYourself or ScroogeYourself December 7, 2007

Posted by Mike in Creative, Freebies, Fun, Humor, Online Service, Reviews, Technology.
4 comments

Happy Friday & Happy Holidays!

If you’d like a quick laugh, try turning yourself into an elf or a Scrooge by using ElfYourself or ScroogeYourself. These sites allow you to paste photos onto the bodies of singing and dancing elves or “Scrooges” who will then do an energetic little song and dance number for your amusement.

The service is free and sponsored by OfficeMax, so you can expect a pop up ad and a little branding too.

All in all, it is quick and easy to do and definitely fun. You just upload a photo, use the tools on the web site to resize your photo onto an elf’s body and you’re done! You can then copy a link and paste it into an email or a blog.

Here’s what I’d look like as a jolly little elf:

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1217182128

The web site does get busy, so you may experience occasional problems accessing the site. It’s popular and it’s free so it may not load up during periods of high Internet traffic.

Retrevo Helps Answer Your Tech Questions Quickly December 5, 2007

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Hardware, iPod, News, Online Service, Reviews, Technology.
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The catch phrase on their web site is “matching people and electronics.”  Retrevo.com compiles lots of useful information about a product in a matter of seconds. 

Need a product review before you buy? Retrevo has them.  I typed in iPod Touch and Retrevo listed expert reviews at ilounge.com, zdnet.com and playlistmag.com.

Need a manual for an electronics product?  Retrevo can help find them. I typed in HP Deskjet 5850 and the site found the manual for me.  True, I can go to HP.com to get it, but then it may take a few minutes to narrow my search and find the manual.  Retrevo got the link for me in less than 5 seconds.

Doing the math:  If time=money, then time saved=money saved.  Retrevo’s service will save you money!  Of course, that’s far-fetched claim that you won’t find anywhere on their site, but maybe it’ll help you find the best deal on that iPod Touch which could save you some real coin.

Want to shop for a Slingbox?  Retrevo will give you plenty of sites to browse.

Retrevo will also list blogs, forums and manufacturing info on a given product (when available).

Trust me, this site is worth a look and a bookmark in your favorites.

Just for Fun: Create an Old West “Wanted Poster” Online November 14, 2007

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Fun, Online Service, Reviews, Technology.
4 comments

wantedposter.jpg

Create a free Wanted Poster online at GlassGiant.com.

You can customize the name, reward $$ and crime that they’re wanted for. Oh, and upload your own photo of course.

Lots of fun and easy to do! You can create one in minutes and save it as a photo file.

Enjoy!

BlogDesk Software Helps Bloggers Post November 3, 2007

Posted by Mike in Blogging, Freebies, Reviews, Software, Technology.
14 comments

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I’ve recently started using BlogDesk software to write and upload articles to my blog. I like the fact that I can write my post in a software program offline and either save it or upload it to my WordPress.com blog when I’m done.

The software feels more like Microsoft Word and I think its more user-friendly for writing and editing than the free online word processing tools offered by WordPress.

BlogDesk is totally free of charge and optimized for the blog systems WordPress, MovableType, Drupal, Serendipity and ExpressionEngine as well as the bloghosters Blogg.de and Twoday.net.

COOL FEATURES:

  1. FREE (is always cool)
  2. Work offline on your blog writing.
  3. Edit existing blogs offline
  4. Easier to insert images and edit text.
  5. Good, user-friendly image editing tools.
  6. ‘Manage Blogs’ feature allows you to import your existing blog posts and categories for editing.

NOTE: I did have a few problems getting the import feature to work for my WordPress blog, but its worth the trouble. You’ll need to get it working to be able to upload your finished work to your blog.

Record and Share Your Screen Activity with Jing October 2, 2007

Posted by Mike in Blogging, Business, Freebies, Learning, Online Service, Reviews, Software, Technology, Training, Worth the Money.
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You need to try Jing software by Techsmith. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and am very pleased with its ease of use.

What does it do, you ask?

Here’s a quick definition, courtesy of the JingProject.com web site:

The concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video from your computer to anywhere.

Why do I like it?

  1. Easy to use.
  2. Great for sharing.
  3. Great for troubleshooting computer problems.
  4. Great for demonstrations and training.
  5. Great for blogs.
  6. Easy to share recordings with others.
  7. Free (for now). Hopefully, inexpensive when out of beta.

# 6 deserves additional explanation. Techsmith has integrated JING with its Screencast.com file hosting service. When you complete a recording, you can click a SHARE button and the recording is immediately uploaded to your account on the screencast.com web site. From there, you can share the recording as a URL.

I believe the Screencast.com web site is fee-based, but Techsmith offers a free account for those using JING in beta. I am not expecting the free Screencast.com account to last forever, but it is impressive to be able to quickly upload my recordings to their site and share them.

What don’t I like?

The one down side for me is the 5 minute time limit on your recording. Users cannot record longer than 5 minutes.

The program does a good job of tracking your time left with a clock during the recording process, so you shouldn’t be surprised when the recording stops. It would still be helpful to have the option to record a bit longer though.

Please keep in mind that this software is simplified screen recording. It also can capture screenshots in better quality than your “Print Screen” button. It is designed for the masses to capture and share these recordings. It doesn’t allow you to edit your recording after the fact. That said, if you don’t like your recording, then your only option is to delete it and re-record.

How to Use Jing

How many times have you written up instructions about a computer process for a family member, a friend or a colleague?  If you’re like me, the answer is a lot.  

With JING, you can now show someone how to do it. 

Best of all, you can record the steps quickly and send the person a link to view them.  It may not be a polished, presentation ready demonstration, but it is intended for an individual not a group.  Jing gets the job done quickly and that’s what counts.

Competing Products

Adobe Captivate 3 and Camtasia Studio 4. In basic terms, both of these products offer screen recording/capture. However, these two programs have much better editing tools and options for formatting and presenting these recordings. They also have a much higher price tag.

Final Thoughts

Try it. You’ll like it (sort of like green eggs and ham). Ideally, I think this type of technology should be included in future operating systems. The ability to quickly record my PC activity and share it with others is a great way to educate and train users on new products and features via email, blog or instant message.  It is also a great way for a person to show tech support exactly what steps they took to get an error.

The 5 minute time limit is a little short. However, realistically, most people have short attention spans and a 5 minute video may be enough to get your point across.

As an example, I used JING in an earlier blog post to demonstrate how to mail merge.

For details, FAQs and to download the software, please visit JING Project.

My Top 5 List of Free Software Programs for Your Consideration September 7, 2007

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Photos, Reviews, Software, Technology.
5 comments

Computers are expensive. If you can find a free software program that works as well as one that costs you money, why not at least give it a try?

I’ve put together a Top 5 list of my favorite free software programs that I use right now.

1. Openoffice.org

The OpenOffice suite of programs will serve as a useful alternative to Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, Access and PowerPoint. You can even open existing Microsoft Office files in OpenOffice. The only software equivalent it lacks is one comparable to Outlook. There’s always Outlook Express which is free but doesn’t have as many features as Outlook.

Microsoft Office Program OpenOffice Equivalent
Word (word processing) Writer
Excel (spreadsheets) Calc
PowerPoint (slideshows) Impress
Access (databases) Base
Publisher (newsletters, flyers) Draw

2. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition by Grisoft

This little gem is a good, free Anti-Virus program. Keep in mind, it is only an Anti-Virus program. These days companies like McAfee and Symantec are selling all-in-one security suites. They pack their suites with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewalls, spam blockers, email scanning, anti-phishing and identity protection.

That’s overkill for me and the amount of computer resources (memory, CPU) these programs demand of a computer is ridiculous. It slows down the performance on many a PC.

I just want anti-Virus protection. Grisoft’s Anti-Virus scans for viruses and downloads periodic updates to keep my PC protected from the latest viruses.

NOTE: Those of you with children who use your computer would be wise to invest in a more comprehensive all-in-one security suite.

3. Picasa from Google

This is a great free software program to help you manage, edit and share your digital photographs. It is packed with features and is quite user friendly. It works well for basic photo editing, like reducing red eye, but won’t satisfy those of you looking for more sophisticated editing tools.

4. Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware SE Personal & SpyBot Search & Destroy

These are two separate programs for detecting and removing spyware. I chose to list them both because I think it’s a good idea to use two programs to detect and remove spyware. They’re free to use and regular updates are available. In my opinion, Ad-Aware is more user-friendly for the average PC user. If you only want one, go with Ad-Aware.

5. Google’s Web Accelerator

This software helps improve your web browsing experience by helping web pages load more quickly. In my B.C. years (Before Children), my wife and I could afford the luxury of cable internet service. However, diapers are expensive (especially when you’ve got twins) so we switched to the slower DSL service and saved some money.

I tried out the web accelerator and it helped. It won’t boost your DSL service to cable internet speeds, but it does seem to help. Maybe it is just psychological. It also keeps track of how much time it has saved you while web surfing, which is fun to see.

I‘d like to know what you think. Are there any free software programs that you find useful?

I look forward to your comments.

Google vs. Yahoo! – Battle of the Email Titans: One Reason Why Gmail is Better August 23, 2007

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Online Service, PC ABCs, Reviews, Software, Technology.
5 comments

Yahoo vs. Google

One reason why Google’s Gmail is better can be summed up in three words:

Free POP Settings.

Yahoo requires users to upgrade to the Yahoo! Mail plus service for an annual $19.99 in order to get to use POP Settings. 

For many, POP settings are important.  It is a fundamental feature that isn’t sexy or flashy, but it is useful. 

For the average computer user, the phrase POP Settings may not mean much.  It is an abbreviation for “Post Office Protocol.” These are email server settings that need to be configured into software programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird and IncrediMail. Once configured,  a person can download their email into one of those programs to manage their email.

To be fair, POP settings have been considered a “premium” feature for free online email services for quite a while.  Google is just re-writing the rules and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Yahoo! and others follow suit in the future to keep their users happy.

If you’re looking for a new email service and want to be able to manage your email in a software program like Outlook, then I’d suggest looking at Gmail

After all, it’s hard to beat free.

Which email service do you prefer?

Western Digital Passport: An Excellent Option for Backing Up Your Data to an External Hard Drive August 17, 2007

Posted by Mike in Data Backup, Hardware, Reviews, Technology, Worth the Money.
223 comments

Western Digital Passport External Drive

I currently use a 120GB Western Digital Passport external drive to backup my data. It’s sleek, small and looks like a James Bond gadget.

I’ve used a Seagate FreeAgent external drive as well and I like the WD Passport device better.

Best Features of the WD Passport:

User-friendly software bundled on the drive, WD Sync by Dmailer, is great (much better than Seagate’s software, in my opinion).

  1. It allows me to setup multiple computer profiles so I can sync data from different PCs onto one device.
  2. I can password protect each profile.
  3. I can use a Windows Explorer-esque interface to select the files and folders I want to back up.
  4. I can review the files that I’ve backed up.
  5. The software can backup IE or FireFox Favorites.
  6. Emails and Contacts in Outlook or Outlook Express with a few clicks.
  7. Email SETTINGS can also be backed up with a click or two.
  8. Functions like “synchronize” and “copy to PC” are easily found on the main screen.

Worst Features

Based on the comments posted to this blog entry, I’d have to say the worst feature is a lack of user guides or online “how to” tutorials for customers.

Additional Limitations of the WD Sync software:

  1. The software only SYNCS data. If you backup a folder from your hard drive to the Passport device, this doesn’t mean that you can then delete that folder from your hard drive. Why? The next time you sync the WD Sync software will remove that folder from the Passport device. It considers your hard drive the “master copy” of the data. Any changes that are made to the master copy will be applied to the data on the Passport device when the next time you sync. If you want to avoid this situation, don’t use the WD Sync software that comes with the device. Instead, use the Passport device as a very large flash drive. You can manually copy/paste files to the external drive without using the WD Sync software.
  2. Given the issue in #1, I would suggest not using the “automatic synchronization” option in the WD Sync software. This features starts the sync process the moment after you enter in your profile password. Why not? Let’s say that you have a hard drive failure. Luckily, your data is synced to your Passport drive, right? Well, I’m concerned that if you get a new hard drive and connect the Passport device, the WD Sync software will notice that the new hard drive doesn’t have any of the files and folders from the last sync. When it runs automatic synchronization, you may then lose the backup copy of your data! I haven’t tested this theory out (don’t want to risk it), but it seems plausible. Instead, I’d uncheck the automatic synchronization option found on the OPTIONS menu.
  3. I wish the WD Sync software was smart enough to automatically include any new sub-folders in the sync process. For example, I have a folder called “My Digital Photos”. Inside that folder, I have many sub-folders. Each time I transfer photos from my digital camera, a new sub-folder is created. Despite having the parent folder (My Digital Photos) checked as a folder to sync, the WD Sync software will not sync the new folders because those folders did not exist during the last synchronization. Instead, I must use the WD Sync software to locate those new folders and place a checkmark next to them. This will include them in the sync process.

The WD Passport comes in a variety of storage sizes, like 60GB, 80GB, 120GB, 250GB etc. I would recommend it to anyone looking to use an external USB hard drive because the user-friendly software really makes a big difference to me.