SonyDads Archives - HighTechDad


My wife now has a digital companion as she puts on her make-up or gets ready for the day in the bathroom. Carefully positioned on her makeup table is a small, digital screen that looks like a clock radio. But it is much more than that! The Sony Dash, formerly known as the “Chumby” is truly an Internet connected appliance or “personal Internet viewer” that can be placed just about anywhere in the home or office. (No, that’s NOT my wife’s make-up table below.)


As I look at the screen of the Dash on my wife’s make-up table, some Facebook messages and gallery photos fly by. Next I’m greeted by some Kaplan testing vocabulary grammar and quizzes (I guess she is brushing up in those? They look really hard!). Then I see a Koi pond with digital fish swimming that respond to the touch of the touch-screen on the Dash. And lots and lots of celebrity news sites!


When I had initially set up the Dash, I had configured some of the applications to be much more Emergency oriented, I’m not quite sure why. I had set up an Earthquakes application that shows the most recent earthquakes around the world on a map, and the EDIS notification app that shows emergency notifications (it’s a great service to subscribe to, by the way). I set up a Google news story and New York Times application and some other things. My wife, without the instruction manual (yes, the interface of the Dash is quite intuitive) deleted and added the applications of her choice.

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This episode of the “Cast of Dads” podcast was something near and dear to my heart…GADGETS! With CES 2010 having just finished, we decided that the theme for the podcast would be gadgets and technology. Jeff Sass provided some great insight having just gotten back from CES (I covered the show remotely) but we all weighed in with differing opinions about consumer electronics, devices and technology announced at the show as well as from personal experience.

Episode #5 is titled “Guys Love Gadgets” and it really seems like we could have talked a few hours on this. Unfortunately we had to cut it off at about 40 minutes. I encourage you to listen in as we provide a variety of perspectives on gadgets announced at CES as well as ones that we use and swear by.


Here is a quick rundown of topics we covered in Episode #5:

  • CES review from Sass
  • Universal Remote Controls
  • eReaders everywhere
  • The rise of the app stores
  • Sony Dash
  • Chumby
  • iPhones
  • Will Palm survive?
  • Where we get our on demand video content?
  • Roku Box
  • Boxee Box
  • Apple TV and the Apple Tablet
  • Lenovo Tablet
  • Sony Bloggie Camera
  • Kodak Playsport waterproof camera

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Well, the other Cast of Dads members and I just couldn’t end the year without doing ONE more podcast. Episode #4 is appropriately titled “Making It To Midnight” and if you listen to it, you will see how aptly named it is as well as what is on our minds right now!


The topics of Episode #4 seemed to have a common theme, see if you can figure it out:

  • Gifts we Got
  • Beer
  • Microbrews
  • Beer of the Month Club
  • New Year’s Traditions
  • Drinking in general
  • Scotch
  • Making it till midnight?
  • 2010 Resolutions
  • When did we do our first funnel?
  • Dr. Does & Naughty Nurse
  • Predictions for 2010

As always, the full podcast is available on and now on iTunes. And be sure to follow Cast of Dads on Twitter at: @castofdads. You can also listen to the podcast below:

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When my wife and I first met, there was a computer game that we played with our friends called “You Don’t Know Jack” (YDKJ) which has got to be one of the most fun games I have ever played. Ok, I admit it, I played it a lot more than she did. I spent hours in front of a computer with friends (mainly the guys), huddled over a keyboard, trying to answer trivia questions that were presented in creative yet humorous ways. I think I still have the CDs somewhere in my house and would love to bring those out again.

About 13 years later, I’m now presented with a new type of trivia game called “Buzz! Quiz World” for the Sony PlayStation, and when I first started playing it with my kids, I started thinking about YDKJ again (and that is a good thing). Incidentally, you can still play YDKJ online and it’s still a blast.

First, a little about my gaming background. I’m not a hard core gamer. I have spent many late night hours playing Quake, Halo, Need for Speed, and other driving and FPS (First Person Shooters) games but only periodically. I have a Wii (for the kids – yeah right!), a 1st generation Xbox and a N64 (and a PSP and a few DS Lites). When Sony (as part of the Sony DigiDads project) sent us a loaner PlayStation 3 with the promise of some new games to play with, I was definitely excited.

My wife isn’t super happy when I decide to “get my game on” (she is fine with me doing it but gets a bit concerned when I involve the kids or let the kids play on their own). I fully understand her concern (reluctantly) as I’m typically called the 4th child of the household. There have been a few weekend afternoons where my parenting responsibilities have completely evaporated and I have played Guitar Hero with my daughters for hours or (recently) let them go wild playing LittleBigPlanet. That episode (which I will write about later) ended with the game being banned for a while and the kids staying away from gaming for a few weeks.

Buzz! Quiz World

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World Premiere: “Cast of Dads” Podcast – Episode #1

December 7, 2009

I have always wanted to do a podcast but never had the time, energy nor team to do so. Obviously, there is plenty of content to talk about though. Well, after several months participating in the Sony DigiDads project where 4 other daddy bloggers and I spent time with some Sony loaner gear, writing about […]

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“The Sony Witch Project” – A Halloween Adventure with Sony Gear

November 10, 2009

Ten years ago, a movie was released that scared many and used a format that was unique to its space for the time period. The Blair Witch Project had an interesting premise, 3 student filmmakers disappear in the wood of Maryland while filming a documentary about a witch. After a year, footage from the students […]

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eBooks, Digital Readers and the Future of Printed Writing

October 19, 2009

I am honestly not sure that all books should be electronic. I’m a gadget guy but some part of me feels that if we make everything digital that one day someone will accidentally kick out the plug and EVERYTHING will be gone. I do see the convenience and the immediacy that an eBook provides. It’s […]

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Beyond the “100 Faces of Fall” with the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX1 & A330 DSLR Cameras

October 6, 2009

So I’m now pretty deep into this Sony “DigiDads” program (see the Sony Electronics Community site for more details). My kids are already used to watching the big BRAVIA in my oldest daughter’s room, I have been using the HD Camcorder for a few of my recent product reviews as well as filming some of […]

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