Author Archives

Gary has owned a computer since he got a VIC-20 in 1980 at the tender age of ten - the best Christmas ever! He uses Linux at work, Windows and Linux at home, built his own DVR just to see himself cry, and has a Dingoo and a Nokia N770 sitting next to his Clie NX60 and Kindle. He's using his Chrome Cr-48 as frequently as possible, but still can't figure out the market for it.

  • When Is an Android Device Not an Android Device?

    Two older tablets or slates

    When the Grid 10 was announced by the ever-reliable Chandra Rathakrishnan last month, it was said to run Android apps but not be an Android device. This was later clarified to mean that it is actually an Android kernel running the show, but thoroughly skinned and possibly even forked to a version of Android incompatible with future Google-backed updates. We’ll see… Read More ›

  • When Is an eReader an Impulse Buy?


    Amazon started selling the Kindle 3G With Special Offers (“Kindeal 3G) in May, for $164 – a drop of 25 from the full non-ad-supported version. Two weeks ago, they dropped that price further, to $139. This week, they have started selling the refurbished Kindle WiFi for $100 and the refurb Kindle 3G for $130. These are not ad-supported versions of the device, but the full… Read More ›

  • Open Source Media Player Review: aTunes

    Atunes interface

    The trend toward strangely-capitalized programs is really annoying. The mediaplayer aTunes is trying to follow the iTunes naming model somewhat slavishly, so we’re stuck with that I suppose. Of course, that means sentences starting with the name of the program are either capitalized wrong or the word is capitalized wrong. Such choices! Installation was smooth and trouble-free, with a language… Read More ›

  • Open Source Media Player Review: Clementine

    Clementine library window

    Clementine is a very clean-looking media player, inspired by the venerable Amarok player from Linux, and even using the Qt platform so it works in several flavors of Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. The installation is quick and simple, with no options presented to the user besides folder for the program. Unlike most media players, Clementine does not prompt… Read More ›

  • Open Source Media Player Review: Songbird


    Although you’d barely know it from the mainstream media, there are other portable audio players besides the iPod and there are other media management programs besides iTunes. There are some great freeware and commercial alternatives to iTunes. This series will focus on three of the most full-featured open-source media programs available for Windows. All of them are also available for… Read More ›

  • Chromebooks Market Niche Still Mystifies

    Angry Birds on Cr-48

    I’m not sure I understand the Chromebook pricing model. Acer is introducing an 11.6″ Chromebook [Ars Technica] in June, with wifi-only for $350. Samsung’s 12″ model will come with 3G wireless in addition to wifi, and cost $500. I could buy a Gateway dual-core Windows 7 11.6″ netbook today for $330 [Amazon]. The Gateway has 160 GB of hard drive… Read More ›

  • How To View Free Books and Blogs on the Kindle


    Now that the ad-supported Kindle with Special Offers (aka the Kindeal) is out, sales are apparently through the roof again. With that in mind, it seems a good time to bring up the question on many (some?) people’s minds – how do I get free stuff on the Kindle? Books There are a truly remarkable number of free digital books… Read More ›

  • Geocachers: A Secret Society Stalking Your Streets

    Gary holding ammo can

    There’s a secret society stalking your streets, peering behind bushes and rummaging through parks. They work in the dead of night, or boldly move at high noon. These stealthy denizens are known to leave suspicious packages around public parks and quiet neighborhoods, and yet nobody tries to stop them. Using the latest in GPS and smartphone technology, they track hundreds… Read More ›

  • Review: Freestyle Buzz 2.0 Wristwatch

    Gary Wearing Buzz

    While preparing for our family vacation, which included a morning at surf school, I realized I no longer had a rugged watch. I’d owned several over the years, including an Ironman that lasted from Basic Training through several overseas trips before finally succumbing to a broken strap and went missing somewhere in the desert. Surfing…salt water…surf watch? Freestyle is a company… Read More ›