Review: Green Lasers – Fun, Interesting & Somewhat Legal

In Family, Gadgets, General, Review by Michael Sheehan19 Comments

A few months ago, I was approached by a company called TechLasers about doing a review of a green laser product of theirs. Now, I have to admit, I have always thought that lasers ( which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) were incredibly “cool”. Recently they have been made even more famous through TV shows like C.S.I. as they are used to recreate bullet trajectories. Lasers nowadays are in so many different products that we use daily, the most notable being CD/DVD players and bar scanners in supermarkets and stores. If you work at an office, …

Ongoing Roundup of Macworld 2009 News, Products, Links, etc.

In Apple, Gadgets, General, Hardware, iPhone, Microsoft, Review, Software by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

I will be at (or currently am at) Macworld 2009 this week. As you can see, they have been waiting for me (GRIN – see picture below).  I’m hoping to visit quite a few vendors and see what new gadgets and technology are being announced. If you are a vendor, please contact me here. I will be on Twitter (@HighTechDad) which is probably the best way to get a hold of me. Rumor Round Up Ongoing Roundup of Macworld 2009 News, Products, Links, etc. was last modified: January 10th, 2009 by Michael Sheehan

Using Twitter is like Fishing

In General, Review, Software by Michael Sheehan23 Comments

I’m an on and off fisherman, mainly fly fishing; I worked in a few fly fishing shops in my youth (gasp, I’m not THAT old, should I say “youth”?). Also, recently I installed Flick Fishing for the iPhone and have spent numerous hours on my commute trying to hook fish. Well, that go me thinking. Since part of my job as a Technology Evangelist is to grow my social network so that I can do my job even better and reach even more people, I spend a couple of hours a day (in fragments) working with Twitter. (For those of …

Microsoft and Family – LifeCam VX-5500 & Microsoft Office 2008

In Apple, Family, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Microsoft, Review, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

When you think about Microsoft, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably not Family. If you are like me, Microsoft software rules your computer at your office and runs the infrastructure there as well. Microsoft has done quite well in securing the business space from desktop productivity tools like Office to BackOffice systems that get your email through your corporation (like Windows Server and Exchange Server). So when I was approached to write about how great Microsoft products are for the family, I actually blinked a few times before my brain shifted gears. I hadn’t really equated …

Slingbox PRO-HD: Initial Setup

In Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Software by Michael Sheehan6 Comments

So by now you have gone through the Slingbox Pre-installation tasks of setting up your network (wired, wireless or over the powerlines) and you have checked through the box to be sure that you know what connectors you need and how to use them. Let’s take a look at the steps of setting up and configuring your Slingbox PRO-HD for the first time. The following screenshots and setup steps come from a Windows Vista Ultimate box that has a wired connection to the Slingbox. Before you go into the setup, here are some quick recommendations. These aren’t critical and are …

Slingbox PRO-HD: Unboxing and What’s Inside

In Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review by Michael Sheehan3 Comments

Unboxing is always the most fun when you get a new gadget. Since I just love getting new devices, I frequently find myself in the position of either being torn between ripping open the packaging and quickly setting up what ever the new technology (much like a kid), or that of being a more rational adult, one that realizes that I have to take box shots and product shots as I go so that I can carefully document the process.  For me, a sign of a product that interests me is one  where I just can’t wait to be the …

Slingbox PRO HD: Pre-Installation – setting up your network

In Fix It, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review by Michael Sheehan8 Comments

So, you are thinking about getting the new Slingbox PRO HD. Trust me, it’s a great decision. The PRO HD transforms any computer in your network or even remotely an extension of your media center but more about the Slingbox PRO HD feature set later. There is something critical to having a Slingbox though that it cannot exist without, namely a good reliable network connection. A Slingbox is a quite simple product conceptually. It basically sits between a component (e.g., Cable Box, Tivo, Dish or DirecTV receiver, DVD player, etc) and a TV. It also has an internet pipe where …

Extended Review: Slingbox PRO HD

In Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

It is rare that I receive a gadget or technology device that warrants me having to do multiple articles to cover it. However, when Sling Media released their new Slingbox PRO HD, I quickly realized that I would need to do so. What will follow over the next few days or so is an in-depth review of my efforts to intimately get to know this latest release in the Slingbox line (although, the SlingCatcher was released just a few weeks after the PRO HD.) My review will consist of the following sections (obviously subject to change as I’m still in …

Preview: San Francisco’s New Academy of Sciences

In Family, General, iPhone, Review by Michael Sheehan18 Comments

A few weekends ago, I was lucky to get a preview of San Francisco’s new Academy of Sciences complex in Golden Gate Park. The area has a lot of memories for me as I used to go there as a child many years ago. It was a magical yet historic place with beautiful older architecture that packed all sorts of displays (from the Morrison Planetarium, to the Kimball Natural History Museum to Steinhart Aquarium). I remember well the alligator pit as well as the two-headed gopher snake that excited kids of all ages. Originally established in 1853, the Academy is …

Review: LaCie’s USB-powered Speakers

In Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review by Michael Sheehan8 Comments

Just in time for back to school, LaCie just launched a new set of USB-powered speakers. Designed by Neil Poulton, these reasonably priced, simple-yet-elegant speakers compliment LaCie’s previously released FireWire Speaker set. Since not all computers and laptop have the ability to use FireWire, LaCie felt it important to release a set that could be use universally, by Macs and PCs alike. These speakers are designed for ease-of-use at a price point that make them a near essential for any high school or college-bound student. What’s really nice about these is that there is minimal configuration required to quickly be …

iPhone: Quickly Launch Apps, Website & Phone Calls with QuickGold

In Apple, Cellular, Gadgets, General, iPhone, Review, Software by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

Today I installed an application on my jailbroken iPhone that I personally think Apple should incorporate into their next release of the firmware. It honestly is this GREAT! I have over 6 “pages” of applications on my iPhone and have all but sprained my fingers from flipping through all of the pages as I attempt to find a particular application. The developer of the application “Om P (zataang)” really hit this application on the mark in terms of quick productivity on the iPhone. More details on QuickGold can be found here. The application is summarized within Cydia (the installer app) …

HighTechDad Interview on GoGrid Cloud Servers

In Apple, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

When I was at GigaOM’s Structure ’08 conference last month, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Daniel Brusilovsky. For those of you who have never heard of Daniel, he is a 15-year-old who is making waves within his TeensinTech.com movement. He also runs a site called Apple Universe Podcast where he has been doing video and audio podcasts for several years. His Teens In Tech company of which he is the CEO and has Robert Scoble and Loic Le Meur on his board, is striving to enable teens to become more involved in podcasting, blogging and social media. …

Social Messaging Communicators: Ping.fm versus HelloTxt.com

In Gadgets, General, iPhone, Open Source, Review, Software by Michael Sheehan10 Comments

While Twitter seems to be ruling the airwaves of Social Messaging Platforms, there are plenty of other services that do just as well (or better) at keeping in touch with or sending messages and status updates to your friends, colleagues and family. These services can be broken out into different segments: services that just provide status updates and ones that are considered micro-blogging. There are nuances and slight distinctions between the two but it seems like they have been blending more and more. For example, on Facebook, Plaxo, MySpace, you can post a status update and also post other messages …

Review: Safe Internet for your Kids with Intego Content Barrier x4

In Apple, Family, General, Review, Security, Software by Michael Sheehan11 Comments

Being a good dad means protecting your kids. That can be by physically keeping them from danger, or, by preventing their young innocent eyes and minds from being corrupted by seeing content that they are too young for. With technology, connectivity and communications pervading all aspects of our lives, it has become increasingly difficult to control what our children see, when they see it and how long they see it. What can you do to protect your kids? I can offer a few possible solutions. Remember, I’m a tech-oriented dad and offer hardware and software solutions. However, I also try …

Review: Car Gadget for Dad – DLO TransDock Micro with IntelliTune

In Apple, Cellular, Gadgets, General, iPhone, Review by Michael Sheehan28 Comments

Only a few days left before Father’s Day descends upon us, so in the spirit of “giving to Dad” (heck, it should be a WEEK of giving and not a day), here is another gadget review. Today I found out that the Netflix Player (reviewed here) is currently out of stock and back-ordered for 4-6 weeks. So, you could give Dad a printout of the product (or my review) with a nice bow on it, or you could take a look at this new product released by DLO (Digital Lifestyle Outfitters), the TransDock Micro with IntelliTune. I have now tested …