10 Things To Consider When Buying a Netbook

In Gadgets, General, Hardware, HTD Tech Tip, Review by Michael Sheehan33 Comments

Netbooks are all the hype right now. The size and price points are extremely attractive, especially during a recessive economy when money is tight. Also, for those of us who do lots of blogging, these devices are simply the best, boasting portability and very long battery life. So, what’s not to love? If you decide that you must get one, you need to carefully weigh all of the options when making your choice. The differences may be seem to be minimal, only affecting a few dollars towards your bottom line price, but you need to be sure you do get …

Review: GUNNAR Optiks – Fine Tuning your Digital Perspective

In Gadgets, General, Hardware, Open Source, Review by Michael Sheehan25 Comments

“Hey Bono” my boss says every time I put on my GUNNAR Optiks SheaDog “computer” glasses. I laugh and then focus down on a variety of tasks at hand, one of them being to really put my GUNNAR’s through some real-world tests. If you haven’t heard about GUNNAR, a 15 person eyewear company based in Southern California, you probably will, either through testimonials from friends or coworkers, reading blog reviews like these or just seeing billboard advertising. I definitely don’t have the “look” that Bono has, but heck, it was worth a shot, right? And my GUNNARS definitely raised my …

Plantronics Delivers Style & Innovation in a Bluetooth Headset

In Cellular, Gadgets, General, Hardware, iPhone, Review by Michael Sheehan4 Comments

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I figured I should do at least ONE product recommendation with a spin towards the couples out there. (Of course if you are reading this and Valentine’s Day is NOT nearby, you can just fill in whatever gift-giving holiday is closest: Birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Hanukah, etc.) Everyone has a cell phone nowadays, and most of these cell phones have Bluetooth built in for connecting headsets and other devices. Now recently (at least in California), it is against the law to talk on the phone without using a “hands-free device” when …

Review: Speck AftPack Backpack – Contemporary, Functional Elegance

In General, Review by Michael Sheehan7 Comments

Looking for that perfect, stylish backpack for your wife or girlfriend or daughter? Want something that is not only durable but also functional? The Speck AftPack Backpack brings this and more in a package that blends contemporary elegance with urban functionality. At just under $100, it won’t break your bank and will bring a utilitarian “hipness” to the scene. My daughter called the Speck AftPack “fashionable” and my wife “loved the design” as well as commented on the number of useful pockets and compartments it had. The colors are darker browns and blacks (natural colors) and the patterns bold stripes …

Copy & Paste on iPhone: 2 New Options – Clippy & hClipboard

In Apple, Cellular, Family, General, Hardware, iPhone, Review, Software by Michael Sheehan10 Comments

This week two pieces of software came out that allows you to “Copy & paste” on the iPhone. About time, right? Well, you can get them, only if you have a jailbroken iPhone. The first one to hit the streets is called “Clippy” and the second, released today, is called “hClipboard.” Both essentially do the same thing: allow you to select, copy and paste text to and from different or the same application. Copy & Paste on iPhone: 2 New Options – Clippy & hClipboard was last modified: January 26th, 2009 by Michael Sheehan

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 …