As it seems to be taking some time for me to produce longer reviews, I thought that I would start a new smaller, on-going series of posts called â€œHTD Tech Tipsâ€. (HTD stands for HighTechDad.) When I come across something, a tip, trick, software or hardware item that I think is particularly noteworthy, I will write a small (hopefully) post about it. If you have questions or suggestions for tips, send them my way!
So, the first tip: Your hardware/software is always out of date
Being an early adopter of tech, I try to stay on top of new(er) software, gadgets or gizmos. However, it is often hard to do with minimal time and zero budget. So, if you want to be on the bleeding edge, what do you need to do?
Just forget about it. Seriously though. You will never keep up unless you are a high profile blogger or press person. You CAN stay informed by just reading THEIR reviews. If you read a few on the same subject, you may even be able to form your own opinion without actually having the technology in your hands. Start writing about it and you may start to attract the interest of tech companies. The more you write, the better your chances are at getting the physical product some day (e.g., Iâ€™m in the process of reviewing the new SlingBox PRO-HD).
Upgrading your own hardware is another great thing that you can do too to breath life into your old(er) tech. PCâ€™s and Macs are becoming easier to upgrade and is a nice form of hobby. DIY (Do It Yourself) upgrades are a great way to: 1) save money and 2) understand technology better. I just upgraded my MacBook Pro by putting in a new 320 GB Harddrive. Not easy to do but I found it a lot of fun.
Itâ€™s a bit easier to stay on the cutting edge of software. And many times, very worth it. Here are some tips:
- Update your system software â€“ use Windows Update, Appleâ€™s Software Update or Linux Update programs. Be cautious though, sometimes even these updates can cause issues on your system. Do a tiny bit of research prior or be ready to look for fixes when things â€œbreakâ€ due to a system update.
- Use Program Updaters â€“ many new pieces of software now include automatic update checks. Be sure to enable those. You may even get â€œearly accessâ€ to beta releases as well using this method.
- Use Program Updater Aggregators â€“ there are sites and stand-alone software that will provide you with lists/links to updates to software, even software that you have installed. Some examples:
- Windows â€“ FileHippo â€“ http://www.filehippo.com (FREE)
- Macintosh â€“ AppFresh – http://metaquark.de/appfresh/ (FREE â€“ for now)
- Linux â€“ YUM and other RPM managers – (sorry Iâ€™m not really a Linux guy â€“ suggestions?)
- General â€“ VersionTracker is a great web-based checker where you can put in your program name and see if there are updates
- Read Blogs â€“ If you want to learn about new companies or products, be sure to bookmark LifeHacker and TechCrunch. Another interesting one is KillerStartups. There are many, just start reading blogs!
So much for a short post. Stay tuned for more!
HTD says: I have always loved Steve Martin, ever since I was a kid. Peter Sellers as inspector Clouseau, was also a favorite of mine, providing many laughs. The picture above is the perfect â€œmashupâ€ of the two (grin)!