Another year over and a new one just begun. That’s where we are today, not only a new year, but a new decade. Welcome to the 20s. The last time we had those my grandparents were young kids, Flappers were in style and nobody saw the great depression coming.
To celebrate the passing of time I'm going to look back at my favorite tech of 2019. Not all is new, but some is. The others are just things I still use all the time. I shall begin with the three new items.
Eight years ago, approximately, I built my last media center computer. My family and I used it a lot, but it was in the era when set-top boxes were still mostly in the planning stages.
I did it fairly simply. I bought a used desktop model (a tower wouldn’t fit on a shelf) and began a partial remodel. I tried to do it fairly cheap. I opened up the case and increased the RAM, replaced the hard drive with a higher capacity, the video card with one that had component out, and the audio card with one that had SPDIF out. Both cards ran their output to the A/V receiver, then the signal was processed and carried out to the TV via HDMI and also went to the surround speakers.
Take the day off! Seriously, at the moment you have no appointments or meetings. Well, you still do, but if you’re relying on Google Calendar then you’re out of luck at this moment because the web version is currently not available.
Efforts to access calendar.google.com result in an error page being displayed. The white screen simply states "Not Found Error 404", something any half-experienced internet user will certainly be familiar with.
One thing we have not yet left behind as a society is charging cords. There’s "wireless" charging and a few other interesting attempts, but for now we’re all mostly tied to a USB cable with some sort of plug on the other end -- Micro USB, USB-C, Lightning, etc.
That can become a serious problem in several situations. For instance, ever try to find a free plug in a busy airport? Well, we can’t help you there, but we do have a solution for another situation. That is foreign countries. It seems wherever you go the outlet is different.
TripAdvisor is one of the top services utilized by travelers. It’s a source for everything you should know about your destination, regardless of how obscure or isolated it may be. Need to know lesser-known gems to see, or the less touristy places to visit? Check there.
One of the more important services offered by TripAdvisor covers wayfarer safety, which can mean any number of things from violence to pickpockets to scams.
When, meteorologically speaking, the calendar hasn’t yet flipped to summer, it may be tough to switch your mind and consider an event that takes place in some distant future known as autumn. But, hey, music has no season, right?
For the past several years internet music darling iHeartRadio has held a huge multi-day music festival in Las Vegas. 2019 will be no exception, and now the online giant is announcing some of the performers that are lined up for this go-around..
There is no shortage of music services available to choose from and there really doesn’t seem to be a clear industry leader. Spotify is up there, but so is Apple Music. It really comes down to the features that each of us wants, the music selection and availability.
The latter is key for many people as not everything can be heard from every location in this great big world. If you reside in the UK, but plan to spend time in Kenya, for example, then you’ll want services that work in both countries.
If you’ve ever wondered about where you came from, and I mean an answer more substantial than Hoboken, then you’ve probably at least played around some with family history. We’ve all seen some old pictures, asked grandma a couple of questions, perhaps even dug in a little deeper.
There are many avenues to explore, from local archives, historical societies and libraries to cemeteries and online records. A more modern way to gain a head start is with DNA testing, a procedure that has quickly gained mainstream traction.
There’s a chance you might remember a gaming console startup named Ouya. Many of us bought in to it hoping for something that, while less than Xbox One and PS4, might at least be fun. We got the former, but not the latter. It lasted a few weeks in my home before being disconnected forever.
Apparently at some point, after it was mostly just gathering dust, it gained a TV service named Razer Forge. There was probably an announcement, but I missed it.
Eight years ago, approximately, I built my last media center computer. My family and I used it a lot, but it was in the era when set-top boxes were still mostly in their infancy.
I did it fairly simply. I bought a used desktop model (a tower wouldn’t fit on a shelf in my cabinet) and began a partial remodel. I tried to do it fairly cheap. I opened up the case and replaced the RAM with more, swapped the hard drive for a higher capacity one, and replaced the video card with one that had component out and the audio card with one that had SPDIF out. Both cards ran their output to the A/V receiver where the signal was processed and carried out to the TV via HDMI.
Are you part Irish? Do you know? I bit the bullet recently and had the DNA test done. There were no shocks, I’m of Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh descent. I knew this, but a bit more data always helps.
The test I used came from Ancestry.com and was fairly simple. I recommend saving up your saliva though, you’ll be using a lot of it, and be sure to follow the instructions to a tee, you’ll need to.
The Logitech Harmony remote is one of my favorite devices. It can control home theater equipment, and some can control home automation items like Nest products, lights and more.
Sometimes though, the remote can experience funny problems, which can be annoying. Don’t let it scare you away, it’s generally not serious and it doesn’t happen very often. You can fix it, it's just a matter of troubleshooting. The most common problem tends to be that you accidentally screwed things up by hitting a wrong button, so that’s what we’re going to look to fix here.
As another year starts, I wanted to look back on my favorite products of the previous 12 months. I’m not talking just 2018 products here, as it has to be said, some things I use most aren’t that new.
In the past I’ve been called everything in the comments. My favorites have been a Microsoft fanboy and Microsoft hater. I haven’t figured out how I could be both. The reality of what I use may surprise the people who have said those things.
Forget Black Friday, Cyber Monday is now the biggest shopping day of the year. Amazon is shipping millions of packages per day and many other companies are offering deals, including some you may not expect.
One you may not have thought of concerns your family history. I’m not talking about sending you to cemeteries, archives and historical societies, although I recommend that if you really want to dig into things. We’re just talking the basics here, which is where in the world your family originated from.
Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, a modern addition to the holiday shopping season that originated from people returning to work after the long holiday weekend and, with access to a PC and fast internet, doing some shopping on the company’s time
The day has grown into a phenomenon and is expected to outperform Black Friday in 2018, with predictions ranging in the neighborhood of $7 billion in sales.