Thursday, October 28, 2010

Olympus PEN E-PL1

We're not the only people who are very impressed with the Olympus E-PL1. Check out this video from the cinematographer of the new Disney movie Secretariat!

Also, Olympus is launching a contest for one lucky winner to receive a PEN E-PL1 of their own via Twitter.  Learn more by visiting

Monday, October 25, 2010

Internet access

I had an interesting conversation with my fiend Jeremy recently. It turns out that his family doesn't have a computer interent service at home. Nope, no DSL, no cable or dish network at all. Does that mean they aren't online? Au contrair!! His whole family is online almost constantly. They are examples of how the internet continues to eveolve. They are online using their mobile devices. They all have HTC or Palm smartphones and use them the way others use computers.

That led me to do some research and I was very surprised at the results. It turns out that the percentages of people accessing the internet using various computer operating systems is staying fairly constant. Mac has made a slight increase and Linus a slight decrease but nothing major for anyone.

The big change is the percentage of people accessing the internet using portable devices. It's grown from minuscule in 2007 to significant today. iStuff has the majority of the portable device market, about 42%, but I expect that to change in the next year as Android and Win7 Phone really start to take off.

We are in the middle of another major shift in how people live their lives and I find it very exciting. This is the stuff I talked about with Dr. Holgado 10 years ago. The wold is converging and will be held in the palm of your hand.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

November newsletter

The November issue of our newsletter was emailed out this morning. If you're not a subscriber just let us know and you'll be added to our distribution list. Here's the table of contents for the issue:

News and Views
  Chuck Hajdu's monthly comments

Tecnology Spotlight
  FailSafe Failure

Sights & Sounds of Multimedia
  Que Publishing Excel books & Beamz Player reviews

Un-Mouse Reviews, Part 1
  3M Ergonomic Optical Mouse

Samsung N220 Plus Netbook review

Genius eFace 2025 WebCam review

Pepcom MobileFocus in San Francisco

The Deals Guy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Laplink giving away laptops

Laplink Software, Inc. today announced the start of a Laptop Giveaway featuring two free Lenovo® ThinkPad® Edge laptops. The contest will be centered around popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as utilize blogs and forums. The contest will run from now to mid-November.
Those that want to win the free laptop must complete the following steps:
  1. Fill out the entry form:
  2. “Like” the Laplink Facebook fan page:
  3. “Follow” Laplink on Twitter:
Once the entry is complete, participants can get additional entries by talking about Laplink and its products using approved keywords and interacting with the Laplink team on Facebook and Twitter. 
Laplink will post content each day on their blog, Twitter and Facebook for contestants to share and start conversations between Laplink and all contestants.
At the conclusion of the contest, entries will be randomized and two winners will be drawn. All entrants have a chance to win, but the more entrants participate in the contest the better chance they have to win.
Laplink will be including some of their software utilities as part of the prize package. PCmover®, the #1 best selling migration solution, will also be sent with the new laptop to ensure a smooth migration from the winner’s old PC as it is the ONLY software that actually moves programs, files and settings from an old PC to a new one, eliminating the need to do the time consuming migration manually.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pepcom: MobileFocus San Francisco

Fine wines flowed among—but not on—the wonderful gadgets and apps that enhance life in the mobile lane as Silicon Valley met Napa valley in San Francisco at Pepcom MobileFocus. Pepcom evidence is that mobile gadgets fall into a few categories: what could loosely be termed mobile phones, handheld devices that can be held in a single hand while texting, surfing the web, checking e-mail, shopping, watching a sit-com, and maybe even making a voice call; cameras (both in a phone and stand-alone), and the services that improve the texting, shopping, etc. experiences. Check the MCC journal for pictures and details about vendors and products.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lexmark Genesis

Lexmark has just announced their latest inkjet All-In-One printer, the Genesis. We attended a webinar on the Genesis and it sounds like they picked the perfect name for it. The dictionary meaning of Genesis is: "The coming into being of something; the origin". The Genesis is the start of a new way to scan.

As you can see in the picture above, the Genesis has a very different form factor. It's has a 40% smaller footprint and a look that doesn't detract from it's surroundings. The target market is high-end home users and small offices, like a doctor's office.

The new AIO uses a 10MP image sensor instead of the normal scan bar we're all used to. This means the whole scanning process is MUCH faster. You have an immediate preview of your document or pictures on the built in screen and the Flash Scan process works in under 3 seconds! The default scan resolution is about 300 dpi and that should satisfy almost all users.

It uses the same 100 and 100XL series ink cartridges as their current printers. Unfortunately, the Genesis can't use the 105XL black cartridges that we've come to love. The 105XL ink cartridge is aimed at a different market that has a greater need for high capacity B&W printing.

The Genesis should be available around the end of the year at a price of $399. Considering what it can do, it sounds like a bargain. It is both PC and Mac compatible, including the iPad.

We are really looking forward to doing a hands-on review of the Genesis, it just may be the start of something new.

For more information go to:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Free software

I received this offer today and want to pass the information on.

Note: I have not tested this software so I can't give it a recommendation.

We are starting our Time-limited giveaway promotion for the shareware product - 
PDFTiger at, this giveaway promotion will be ended on 
Oct 21, 2010. During this time PDFTiger is for 
free for all users and visitors. Could you please tell your readers/visitors 
about this time-limited giveaway?

With PDFTiger, users will be able to convert a PDF document into Word with only 
3 mouse clicks. PDFTiger preserves the original 
quality of the PDF files and converts both text and images. Users can convert 
the entire PDF or selected pages only and event 
convert multiple files in the batch mode, which may come in very handy when 
working with large book or document archives. 

In addition to the Word format, PDFTiger can convert PDF files to DOC, RTF, TXT, 
BMP, JPG, GIF, TIF, HTML and SWF files. 
Finally, the program has a very simple and nice-looking interface that will take 
a moment or two to get used to.

PDFTiger is also a PDF creator that quickly and accurately creates PDF documents 
from Word, Excel, Powerpoint, text, Images and 
all printable files. 

PDFTiger is worth $39.95 USD, but this giveaway is 100% free and full 

Giveaway page:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October newsletter

I was recently asked why we don't put the table of contents for each of our issues on the blog so people will know what to look forward to, or to see what they're missing. Here's my answer!

Mothly Computer Chronicle
October issue

News and Views
  Chuck Hajdu's monthly comments

Tecnology Spotlight
  GoodSync for Mac

Sights & Sounds of Multimedia
  Access 2010 Quick Steps, Plustek SmartPhoto P60, Using Office Web Links

Upgrading Your Netbook Computer
  Double your RAM with Kingston and Crucial RAM

Netbook accessories
  Innergie mCube Pro, Duracell Universal 40 watt AC Adapter

Pentax OPTIO W90 digital camera review

Content Insider
  She's young, She's praticed, She's good and She's not alone

eBook Review
  Cooking for Geeks

The Deals Guy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Netbook problems

I've been testing the Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook version on some netbook computers and have run into some problems.  I've created a bootable flash drive, just as I always do, with 2GB of persistence. That combination has always been a winner for me and I had high hopes for this version.

The first netbook I tried was my first netbook, an ASUS Eee PC 900. It's old and slow but wonderfully light and compact. I was very surprised when the ASUS skipped the flash drive on boot and loaded WinXp. The ASUS booted fine using a flash drive with 10.04 so I thought something was wrong with the flash drive. I created another bootable drive and had the same problems.

I then tried the two drives I'd created with a Gateway LT2030u and it worked perfectly! Curious.

I'll be writing this whole experience up for an upcoming newsletter article but here's the quick version of my experiences with flash drives using Ubuntu Netbook 10.01:

ASUS Eee PC 900: won't boot at all
Gateway LT2030U and Samsung N220: works perfectly
Lenovo S12 and S10-3: major boot problems and IF it loads there are many hardware problems

Universal USB Installer

If you're like me you love to try the latest versions of Linux and still keep your original OS on your Netbook. The software you'll need to make your bootable USB stick is the Universal USB Installer. The latest version, v., is now available for free download:

Monday, October 11, 2010

WinPhone 7

MSFT and their hardware "partners" just announced the new phones that they will be introducing for the holiday buying season. For the US market the new phones will come from HTC, Samsung, LG and Dell. The phones will be used on AT&T and T-Mobile's systems.

Hmmmm, that's only a few phone makers and only two systems. No Verizon Wireless and no Sprint, not to mention the other mobile networks. I've always had my reservations about WinPh7 and it looks to me like a whole lot of major companies have reservations too.

Let's see how this shakes out a year from now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10

Good news for all real geeks. The wait is finally over. It's 10.10.10 and the new Ubuntu release is out. Its name says everything you need to know, Ubuntu Perfect Ten is a must-have.

Upgrade or download at:
Click the big orange button to download the latest version of Ubuntu. You will need to create a CD or USB stick to install Ubuntu.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thoughts on eBooks

I recently read an article that reported that there are now eBooks that are selling for higher prices than their print counterparts. It was an inevitable change and reflects the Law of Supply and Demand. If people are buying their books in eBook formats then it's where the money has to come from.

When I'm in the market for a book, or a video for that matter, I usually go to Very often I'll buy a used copy and save big bucks. The text is all there and I save a lot of money.

When will I be able to buy an eBook that way? Most people don't realize that there is a major difference between BUYING a print book and LICENSING an eBook. When you spend your money to read an eBook you don't own squat. You can't let your brother-in-law read it when your done. You're the only one with a license.

We need to move to a business model that protects the rights of copyright holders but still allows flexibility for buyers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trade shows

One of the interesting aspects of attending Trade Shows every year is the products we are shown. We are wined and dined by vendors at press conferences and private events to dazzle us with their latest HOT, HOT products and services. Many of them of them never see the market at all.

If you look back over our trade show reviews from the past 20 years you'll find many projects that never made the cut. The other side of the coin is good products that are introduced and take a long time to mature. We now getting review products 10 months after we first saw it at CES. Good products can't be rushed. Crap shows up quickly.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Toasted skin syndrome

It had to happen sometime. Medical science has once again noticed the obvious. People who disregard the safety warnings that come with every laptop may be endangering themselves. The heat on the bottom of a laptop computer can cause "toasted skin syndrome". Well, DUH!!

Come on people! Who in their right mind would allow a hot piece of electronics to burn their legs? Probably the same idiots who have accidents because they text while driving. There are far too many stupid people out there.

If you want to use a laptop computer on your lap then use a Targus Chill Mat or a ThermaPAK Heat Shift Pad. They're cheap and provide excellent heat dispersion.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mobile phones

Next week MSFT is expected to announce the debut of Win7 Phone products. If they are to succeed it will be an incredible uphill battle. With Android having 34% of the smartphone market, RIM's BlackBerry having 32% and iPhones 21% there isn't much room left for MSFT.

My prediction is that MSFT will continue to "innovate" by suing everyone they can while continuing to make inferior hardware and software.

MSFT has always made the least intuitive phone software and I have faith there new products will be just as bad.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Good reviewers

As an editor I have a perpetual problem: finding good reviewers! I have been blessed over the years. Our newsletter has had a steady flow of good to excellent reviewers that have managed to maintain our reputation in the tech industry.

Naturally we've had some duds, everyone does, but we continue to search for good writers who can do meaningful reviews. We're always looking for new talent and welcome suggestions from our followers.