April 2011 - HighTechDad

April 2011

Post image for Ford & Sony Bring “Cast of Dads” Members Together (Almost) – “Family Road Trips”

I’m encouraged that big brands out there are starting to listen. There is a difference between simply pushing your product traditionally, and using real voices, people and opinions to create stories around these products and brands. The first is a traditional method that frequently gets lost in the clutter of all of the other brand chatter out there, and the second is a way for brands to create compelling, unique content that is more approachable and realistic to the consumer. Recently, Sony and Ford invited all of the Cast of Dads members (CC Chapman, Brad Powell, Jeff Sass, Max Kalehoff and me) out to Boston and then to New York City for a “brand and dads get together”. Unfortunately, Max and I couldn’t attend due to scheduling conflicts, but CC, Brad and Jeff were able to participate in a quite unique brand experience.


(photo source: CC Chapman)

The idea was that the dads would all meet up in Boston, then drive a Sony-equipped Ford Explorer down to New York City to then see a private concert with the band Train and then go to the New York International Auto Show. But what is really important here is that Sony and Ford worked together to make this happen. It’s rare to get large brands such as these actually thinking “outside of the box” and looking at ways to produce an experience. Neither Sony nor Ford had any involvement in the rich content that would be created from the road trip or other events, but it was a perfect occasion for CC, Brad and Jeff to really shine. I truly wish that I could have been there to experience it and participate. Perhaps next time!

[iframe_loader width=”560″ height=”349″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/HFvM1kOqpvE?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]

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Post image for Hang In There Sony…And Thanks for Your Continued Innovation

It happens to the best of us. We plan for the worst, do all of our due diligence, prepare for the unexpected, test and re-test and cross our fingers a lot. But inevitably, there is always something that we didn’t think of. I could be talking about the recent Amazon Web Services outage or the napping by the Air Traffic Controllers, unfortunately, this time, it is regarding Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) security breach. Over the past few days, PSN has been down (bringing out complaints from my kids who are just DYING to get more community levels for Little Big Planet 2) and the world seems to be up in arms. I hear my little voices at home complaining, but Sony is hearing lots and lots of big voices yelling and screaming now. I explained to my children what was going on, and they understood. I love their innocence and compassion for Sony as they simply feel sad that their gaming experience has been “grounded” for a bit. PSN users at large are a different challenge.

The avalanche of complaints and disgruntled commentary spewing out from concerned PlayStation Network users is upon us. I’ve read quite a lot of random rants on Facebook and am not surprised by any of them. This is the typical groundswell that surrounds anything negative that occurs. Rarely do we hear positive statements come from those same people. It’s much easier to complain and bitch about something than it is to say something positive.

The funny thing is, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.


I wish people could try to smile a bit prior to putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboards. Perhaps we would then have more positivity flowing through the interwebs.

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Post image for 10 Days in a Lincoln MKX – A Crossover SUV with an Almost Perfect Blend of Technology and Luxury

It seems that I have started sort of an annual tradition every Spring Break. For the past two years, Ford Motors has graciously lent me a car to enjoy with my family during our vacation. Each year thus far, we have driven from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back again. And each year, the car that we used has impressed me and made me wish that I could get a new car every week to review.


This year, Ford lent us a Lincoln MKX, which is a crossover SUV. Crossovers are not quite as large as a full-sized SUV but also, they are not as small as a sedan or hatchback. We were supposed to get a Ford Edge, but there were none available so we were “upgraded” to the Lincoln which is essentially the “limousine” version of the Ford Edge, at least that is how I described it. The MKX has all of the bells and whistles, and really appealed to my technology addiction…er….needs.


Last year, my family and I had a lot of fun with the Ford Flex and you can see my reviews here and here. This year, the similarly equipped Lincoln, and by similar, I mean that it sported the Ford/Lincoln SYNC, kept my technology hunger pains away throughout the drive. While last year I went into the SYNC technology, this year, with the Lincoln, I hardly used SYNC.This wasn’t because it didn’t work or I didn’t like it (quite the contrary, I think that SYNC is a great feature to have and I wouldn’t get a Ford or Lincoln without it). It was because I wanted to instead really focus on the MyLincoln Touch aspect and all of the other technological features of the MKX.

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Post image for How To Fix “The Required File Cannot Be Found” Error When Syncing an iPhone or iPod Touch

Every since I had to restore my iPhone 4 from a backup, I have been having a pesky error message popping up each and every time I would sync my iPhone with iTunes on my Mac. It cryptically said “The iPhone [insert your iPhone name here] cannot be synced. The required file cannot be found.” Nothing more. No error message to search for. Nada. A quick Google search on that error, however, produced some good results, and, in the end, fixed my issue, so I figured I would share and prevent future head-pounding-on-the-desks from others.


The fix is incredibly easy. Essentially, your Photo Cache may have become corrupted and you simply need to delete it.

Here are the steps (for the Mac – I’m not sure if this issue exists for Windows users):

  1. Close iPhoto on your Mac.
  2. In the Finder, go to your HOME folder.
  3. Open the PICTURES folder.
  4. Navigate to the file called “iPhoto Library“:
  5. Right-click on that file and choose “Show Package Contents“:
  6. Within the Package Contents folder, find and right-click on the file called “iPod Photo Cache” and select “Move to Trash“:
  7. Empty your Trash.
  8. Close the Package Contents folder.
  9. Re-sync your iPhone.

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iMovie & the iPad 2 = Fun Afternoon Creativity With the Kids

April 20, 2011
Thumbnail image for iMovie & the iPad 2 = Fun Afternoon Creativity With the Kids

What do you get when you put together 2 kids, a dad, some stuffed animals, an iPad 2, iMovie and a bunch of pent up creativity? Well, I found out this past weekend as my kids and I created an entire movie (albeit short) in just a few hours using only an iPad 2 and […]

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“It’s Like Walking on Springy Marshmallows” – New Sneakers from Crocs: Bowen & Hover Lace Ups

April 18, 2011
Thumbnail image for “It’s Like Walking on Springy Marshmallows” – New Sneakers from Crocs: Bowen & Hover Lace Ups

Footwear isn’t exactly very techy, so why am I writing about it? Well for starters, I don’t always write about tech. There are other things in life too, or so I’m told. Supposedly you have to sleep, eat, get dressed, shower, work, get exercise, laugh and do some other non-tech related things…right?! Let’s rewind a […]

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A Perfect Internet-Based Phone Service for Your Home Office or Second Line for your Kids – Ooma VoIP

April 14, 2011

Talking on the phone has become easier and easier. With unlimited calling now from both land lines as well as cell phones, many people simply don’t worry about talking on a phone for a long period of time. Some people are even completely switching out their home phone with a cell phone. Personally, I’m not […]

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Dads are Ready for Summer! Road Trips, Teen Celebrities, Music Madness, Spring Sports & More – Cast of Dads Podcast #41

April 13, 2011

The Dads are definitely getting back into the swing of things, finally able to get together to talk about the latest and greatest things happening to us and our families. Obviously, our opinions and advice fly like t-balls in the Spring but you have to listen to the Cast of Dads podcast #41 “Summer is […]

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