My Ideal Home Device

Web/Tech

Over the past few months, while sitting on the couch watching TV, I jump back and forth between devices depending on what I am wanting to do during that time, or sometimes what is closest to me.

If you asked me what was the perfect device for home use, I would have to get a qualifier depending on what you want to do.

  • If you want to play games or read a book, then I would suggest either a smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android) device.

     

     

     

  • If you want to surf the net, it’s much easier on a laptop or netbook of some sort. (The full browser makes this much easier)

     

     

     

  • If you don’t want to have to deal with viruses or installations of any sort and amazing battery life, I have a Chrome Netbook that works really well.

     

     

     

So, “It depends” is actually a valid response because my dad has completely different uses for his computer than I do.

So, with tomorrow’s Google I/O conference beginning at noon, I would like to put my idea of the perfect couch computer out there.

Ideally, I would want all of the above in one device so that I could play games and work with apps, but also have a full browser with a file system, extended battery life, and no problems with viruses.

I know this is a lot to ask, but Google’s operating systems together actually are so close to fitting my criteria that it hurts.

Think about it, Android is not very good with battery life, and the browser is rough, but you have apps and a great e-reader, it has a file system, and has a lot of functionality.

Chrome OS doesn’t really have much of a file system since it is supposed to be just a browser, but it has amazing battery life, a full keyboard for typing, an amazing browser, and no problems at all with viruses.

So if you could put all of the features together here, it would really be an ideal world and wouldn’t take near as much work considering they are owned by the same company.

There are two ways that I could see this working.

  1. Create an Android version of the Chrome browser that would do all of the things we know and love Android for, but would give you a full browser with extensions and access to the file system.
  2. Create a dual-boot device that shares the file system of Chrome and Android. So upon startup, you would choose either Android or Chrome OS depending on what functions you want and you would have access to the same file system so that if you were working with a picture on Android, you would be able to upload it at next boot on the Chrome browser to Facebook.

As far as hardware goes, I really like the Xoom. I played with one for a short amount of time at Staples last week and really liked it. It was a really nice device with a really good feel. I don’t think you can get rid of the touchscreen because for gaming and many new applications, touch is the easiest way to navigate and get the job done, but for those who need a little more user input control through a keyboard, I believe it would be beneficial to have a real keyboard. I personally would like to see a flip and swivel keyboard. What this means is that if you were wanting to use Android as it is today, then I would just have the touchscreen to work with, but if I wanted to write this post on the device, I would just unlatch the keyboard from the back of the device and swivel it around to be more like a typical keyboard on a laptop. This would allow me to have the best of both worlds, especially if the weight, size, and battery life were similar to the CR-48 I currently have at home for Chrome OS.

So, overall, I think Google has a couple of great products, but in order to create a device that does it all, the Chrome and Android teams need to work together to integrate the platforms. I know that Eric Schmidt said that Chrome is for regular computers and Android is for touchscreens, and I agree with that to a point. But if they want the home user market to sit in front of the TV with a device, it’s going to be hard to outperform the iPad. If I can get my extensions and bookmarks on my Android device’s browser and include a real keyboard, then you just might see me move to one device instead of piecemeal depending on the function of the day.

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The Hidden Costs of Corporate Email

Web/Tech

Microsoft’s Tom Rizzo this Wednesday wrote a blog post about the hidden costs of Google Apps. Now, does he do this out of the goodness of his heart? No. Does he do this just for fun since “Google is failing in the enterprise” and Microsoft feels absolutely warm and fuzzy about their place in the enterprise? Of course not.

He does this because he has a goal and wants those around him to agree with his goal of moving people back away from Google Apps. Much of his information is incorrect, though to the common reader who has not done the research themselves, seems plausible. Below is my story about how we moved to Google Apps from Microsoft Exchange with much success.

We are a 200 person company where about half of our users have email accounts and we’ve actually moved our company over to Google Apps with great success. It took some training since Gmail is obviously different, but it’s been a great experience. The $360 Help Desk Support Services in the graphic is a supplemental service that you don’t have to get. If you buy your Google Apps licenses from a partner like Ltech or CloudSherpas, where the price is still $50/user/year, then you actually get support for free, though only to the account administrators. So the administrators troubleshoot and if it goes above their head, then they come to the partner support.

And if you factor in the amount that it costs for support and maintenance of the hardware and software of an Exchange server, which is the primary reason we moved, not for office and such, then you definitely come out ahead.

Because the piece they aren’t talking about is that you automatically get offsite storage for all 25GB of your mail, multi-site redundancy, Enterprise messaging and video/voice chat through Google Talk, and you can buy the message security piece, which is the add-on postini piece from the infographic, but you get postini filtering for free. Do you realize how much this would all cost, and how piecemeal it would be if you tried to create a Microsoft Exchange based solution of the same thing. Last year we did the pricing for 100 people and here is what we came out with.

On-Site solution with off-site redundancy

Exchange hardware – $2,000 per year with 5 year depreciation

Exchange License – $2,000 per year with SA

Spam Filtering software – $1,200 per year

Archiving product – $1,900 per year

OCS Hardware/Software with SA – $2,900 per year

off-site redundancy for all of these products – not even going to go there

Total of $10,000 if you don’t have off-site redundancy in place

OR

Totally off-site solution

Hosted Exchange with a lot of additional storage since most only come with 1-5GB of space – With 1GB space – $6,000 per year

Hosted OCS – $2,400

Offsite spam filtering – $2,100

Offsite archiving – $5,400

Total of $15,900

Now, for Google Apps, here is our pricing.

Google Apps completely hosted

Google Apps bought from LTech – $5,000 per year

Power Panel – $400 per year

Single Sign On – $900 per year

Postini Message Discovery Extended (10 year retention) – $3,300

Total – $9,600

So, as you can see, Google Apps is still cheaper than both of the other approaches, even without redundancy of the first Exchange scenario.

People just haven’t actually done the research on this in order to see the cost savings most of the times, and salesmen like this have a very clear goal and manipulate the numbers to meet that goal. So do your own research if you are actually interested in this and don’t rely on sales techniques.

At any rate, Exchange is not as cheap as this article suggests in order to get all of the features of Google Apps. And the vast majority of businesses aren’t even to the size of our corporation, and spending $100 per year on each user for email in a 10 person company makes a lot more sense than setting up all of the infrastructure needs of a fortune 500 company where you need a full time support professional just to troubleshoot all of the server/desktop issues for mail and collaboration alone. Plus you get Google Docs, sites, and lots of other features for free with no maintenance downtime and a 99.9% SLA.

Personally, I am going to push this to any organization that I work with or consult with, and our company has been extremely satisfied with all of the features and plan on staying with Apps from here forward.

Plus, it definitely helps that I just got my Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist certification, so I do kind of know what I am talking about.

If you’re interested in moving to Google Apps, check out their site, or let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to tell you all about it, or maybe help you make the migration.

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My HP e-Print Printer (and all its wonders)

Web/Tech

I have been big on these e-print printers ever since HP announced them last year. The thought of being able to send an email to an email address and it automatically print was a very neat concept. Plus the fact that it was wireless at my house made it even better. That way I wouldn’t have to have a desktop computer running all of the time in my house that was set to share the printer. Because that means that if the computer wasn’t on, then I couldn’t print from my laptop, and it is much more difficult to get setup and administer.

This past Christmas I got one of the e-Print printers as a present and it took all of 20 minutes to setup and get configured the way I want. I got the HP Photosmart D110A Wireless e-All-in-One Printer and have loved it. At the time, I think it was about $50 around the holidays, where it’s now more like $70.  But still it’s a great deal on a nice printer. So, other than the wireless printing and the email printing, which I used just this week to print an email from work on my home printer, what else does it do?

Well, it copies and scans as well. Plus it has a memory card slot so you can print directly from the card. And it has apps. I know that apps is kind of a buzz word, but it really does have apps. It has applications that you can install on the printer to make you print more. So, for example, I can flip through the apps and print a coloring page for Lyla from Disney without ever going to a computer. You just go to the apps on the touch screen and click on what you want to print and it prints.  Sarah can also do the same thing with coupons from coupons.com. She is able to go to the printer and choose the coupons she wants to print and print them directly from the touchpad. It’s a smart ploy to get you to print more. I like it personally because it actually does make sense as you are going to have to be at the printer anyway to get the papers, so why not just do it all from there?

Also, it is AirPrint capable, which means that you can print from your iPad or iPod touch or iPhone just by hitting print and it will find the printer on your network.

Not only that, but yesterday, Google announced that all HP e-Print printers are also Google Cloud Print Capable. What that means is that from your Android device, or on any computer that you have Chrome installed with the ePrint option checked, you can print to your other printers. You simply go to the Cloud Print Start page and add the printer’s email address, and it adds it to the account that you are logged in as. So it added to my google account right then and I was able to see it as an option on both my Chrome browser and my Android phone. Very cool stuff.

It won’t be long before we won’t have to have print servers anywhere. And especially at that low of a price. Now, there are higher priced models that contain things like tablets like the HP Photosmart eStation All-in-One, but really, for most people, the model that I have does everything that most people need.

So, in my personal opinion, I think that your next printer definitely needs to be an HP e-Print printer to make sure that you are compatible with the wireless technology in the future.

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My 5 week 4 hour body progress

Current Affairs, Food and Drink, Health

About 2 and a half months ago, i got Tim Ferris’ book  The 4-Hour Body, which, among other things, talks about his Slow Carb Diet.  It consists of putting a vegetable, meat, and legume at each meal and cutting out carbs and sugar in order to lose weight. That includes pasta, bread, potatoes, except red potatoes, as well as sweets and fruits. Even rice is off-limits on this diet.

At the same time, I have been listening to a podcast called Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott who said at the first of the year very definitively, “I am going to lose weight this year”. He never really went much further than that, but a few weeks later, he mentioned a book called Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, which is what he was basing his statement on, that pretty much anything white, potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, are not good for you, and that an overabundance of those things are what is making America fat.

Our culture has turned these cheap, white foods into the basis for all of our meals and snacks. If you look at pretty much any dish in magazines, there is almost always some sort of carb and/or sugar on the plate because that is what we see as normal, and it is cheap to produce, but in other cultures, only the poorer people eat a lot of potatoes, bread and rice because they are cheaper and filling. But just because they are filling doesn’t mean that they are good for you obviously.  And his book is, like the 4 hour body, based on scientific findings, not on exercising and fads.

But one thing that the 4 hour body allows is an anything goes, eat as much as you want of anything cheat day. So, about 5 weeks ago, on February 21, I started doing the 4-hour body diet, and placed Saturday as my regular cheat day each week. I am not going to say that it hasn’t been hard, because it has. There are many times that I would much rather have sweets or bread or pasta over what I am having, (I had someone today set 5 full size snickers bars on my desk as a thank you for some work I did), but I know that my goal is to lose weight and feel better. So I push on and look toward Saturday. Like I said, I started on February 21, and here we are at March 31, and I have lost 10.6 pounds. I went from 215.4 lbs to 204.8 lbs in 5 weeks. Not too bad huh? And especially since I am not that big of a guy, I just wanted to get back to a comfortable weight for me since I have put on my married weight.

But I don’t think I would have stuck with it as long and I would have fallen off the wagon much more if it weren’t for those Saturdays where I could eat the things I missed throughout the week.

One thing I wish that I would have done early on in this diet is to take my measurements to see how much I have lost in inches instead of weight, because that is a better gauge of how much I have lost. But oh well. I know it’s working because my stomach is a little flatter than it was and I think that my face has gotten a little thinner as well.

My goal is to get down to 200, so I am very close, but I may stay on a little longer to get to 190 if things are going well. But we’ll see how it all goes. I like the diet and think it actually is a pretty sustainable long-term diet, which really becomes more of a lifestyle.  Because of this diet, I will be making changes for the long term that I believe will help me in the long run. I eat more protein in the morning (eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and yogurt) instead of my smoothie (apple juice, strawberries, mixed berries, peaches, and keifer), which has helped me to regulate my blood sugar so that I don’t have a sugar drop in the afternoons like I used to.  And I now know that I don’t have to always eat bread with every meal or there are other options besides french fries when I go out to eat (asparagus is always a welcome change).

Overall, i’m very happy with it and will keep going with my diet for awhile longer to get to the point where I’m happy with my weight and feel good as well. I would recommend the 4 hour body to just about everyone because it doesn’t just talk about how to lose weight, but also how to gain weight, workout, sleep better, as well as lots of other things in the process. Plus it’s a very interesting read because the author, Tim Ferris, has done lots of self-experimentation in order to find what works and what doesn’t. And obviously he has found the easiest way to lose weight with the least amount of effort. Hopefully I will be able to keep most of these changes permanent, but if not, at least I have some headroom before I get back to 215.

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Ideal Small Business Network

Web/Tech

So I was thinking the other day about my Ideal Home Network post the and I thought it might be nice to do a post on what I believe is the ideal small business network.

Most small businesses over-invest in IT hardware and software, as well as create too much complexity for less than 10 people on a network. And with a business this small, it really doesn’t make sense to have a full time IT person twiddling their thumbs the majority of the time.

I’ve said before how much of a fan I am of Microsoft Home Server. It makes my life here at home much easier as I don’t have to think as much about what is going on with my network. So if only that could be translated to the business world. And I believe that it can if you have the right setup where you can actually set it and forget it.

So, the major pieces that a small business needs are email, file sharing, collaboration, remote access, printer, and a website. The best way that I can see to do this is to use two major tools for all of the needs, and then some bits and pieces.

The first tool would be Google Apps. Google Apps Premier Edition is $50 per year per user and includes email, calendar, document sharing and editing, voice, video, and text chat, group forums and mailing lists, enterprise spam filtering, and easy intranet and internet sites. It is essentially everything that major corporations have at their disposal without the maintenance, without the on-site IT staff, and at a fraction of the cost. It even gives you the software you need through Google Docs to replace Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. I have even set up Google Apps to host corporate, public-facing websites so your corporate identity is all set as well. For 10 people, it would only cost $500/year for email and collaboration that the big boys enjoy.

The second major piece is Windows Home Server. Specifically the HP Mediasmart EX495 which has a 1.5TB drive in it and is expandable with 3 more internal bays and 4 USB ports. So you could buy 3 more large drives internally where you could replicate the files so you have redundancy, as well as allow it to backup all of the PC’s on the network for quick recovery. You could also couple it with Carbonite backup for cloud storage so that all of your files are backed up remotely for easy recovery for only a little over $50 per year. So you would get offsite backup, as well as onsite backup for very cheap.

As I have said before, Windows Home Server also gives you access to your files and computer remotely so that you can access them anytime and anywhere. And it also allows you to search across all of the file shares so that you can find what you need easily.

Printing in a small business is always a bit of an issue, as well as scanning or copying. But with HP’s ePrint technology, you can not only print wirelessly while you are in the office, you can print wirelessly from your phone anywhere you have internet access just by sending an email to a specific email address. And the cost isn’t any more than a typical printer. We got the base all in one model for about $50 bucks and it copies, scans, and prints, and works great. All the way up to the high end multifunction that is more like $300. So you could put one at each person’s desk or just give everyone access to a couple of printers and even if one had problems, you wouldn’t have to go through the driver issues, but instead could just print to a different printer.

Couple all of this with the laptops and desktops needed for the users, a nice Meraki access point that can be managed from anywhere and is super easy to setup, a small network of wired switches and you have essentially an entire corporate network on a smaller scale without the major maintenance of the enterprise network.

So, for 10 users, you would have to buy the computers for less than $500 each for a total of $5,000, plus the $700 for the Server and extra storage and a router and wired switch for less than $300, 2 printers for $50 each, and a Meraki access point for $300 and you have all of your equipment for less than $7,000

Then your yearly cost of $50 per user for 10 users comes out to $500 per year and the online backup adds another $50 and you have recurring costs of $550 per year. This takes care of pretty much all of your major IT needs for a company smaller than 10 users with 10 computers without a lot of the hassles of a typical network.

So, a summary.

Initial Investment
10 computers x $500 = $5,000
Server = $700
Extra storage, router, and wired switch = $300
2 HP ePrint printers x $50 = $100
Meraki access point = $300

Total Initial Investment = $6,400

Yearly Costs
10 Google Apps user accounts x $50/year = $500
Carbonite online backup for Home Server = $50

Total Yearly Cost = $550

All in all, not a bad setup for a business just starting out so that they can hit the ground running with all of the tools they need to be up against the big boys.

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How to get more out of uTorrent

Web/Tech

So, you use uTorrent for your torrenting needs of things like linux iso’s and various other items. But it is kind of a pain to remote in to your home PC and add the torrents if you aren’t sitting at the PC yourself. So here are a few tools that can make torrenting that much easier.

So, first, of course, you need to install uTorrent on your computer so that you can get the downloads flowing freely. If you aren’t quite sure how to do that, the uTorrent site actually has a nice little tutorial up on what to change and do to setup uTorrent with your internet connection. Then just setup the webUI in the options

Next up is the mobileui. This interface is just a web interface that allows you to add/remove/change torrents from anywhere you have access to the web. For me personally, I just have it as a bookmark in Chrome so that i can check it whenever I want without having to type it in. And that is probably the easiest way too.

Next is the actual webui Firefox extension. This extension runs in the lower corner of your screen and tells you how many torrents you are running, as well as the upload and download speeds of them all put together. And if you click on it, it will open the webui in a sidebar in the browser. It is a nice little extension to have running for anyone who likes to keep an eye on what’s happening at home.

Or the uTorrent for Chrome extension that gives you direct access to your torrents like it was running on your remote machine.

And finally, the last thing is tying them to the app infrastructure.

On the Android, you can install something like Transdroid to manage everything that goes on in your uTorrent installation, or the official uTorrent app to do the same thing. But then there are items like EZTVDroid that helps you to search for TV shows, and can add them directly as well.

On the iPhone, you have to use the Project Falcon Alpha in order to get to your torrents since not just any app can get through the app store approval process with Apple.

So, with all of these little helpful applications running on your computer, won’t it kill your home PC beyond usability? Believe it or not, even with all of this running, you will barely even notice the difference since uTorrent is written so lightly that it barely touches your memory, and in terms of CPU usage, unless there is a problem, you won’t even notice.

I used to use Azureus because of the java applets you could run on top of it to make things easier, but it was such a memory hog that I could not handle it anymore. I moved to uTorrent and haven’t looked back since. I couldn’t imagine downloading in any other manner. If you haven’t downloaded uTorrent before now, maybe you should look into it.

With these pieces in place, you should pretty much be able to do anything you could do on the host machine from anywhere. It works great, and hopefully it helps.

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Amazon Cloud Player

Music, Web/Tech

This morning, the Amazon Cloud Player launched, and I must say, I am impressed.

As with most things Amazon, they went all out. It launches with 5GB of storage out of the box just for having an amazon account, an Android app, as well as a nice web player that works quite well. All of your playlists and music automatically sync so that you can have the same experience, no matter what device you are using.

And if 5GB isn’t enough, it won’t be for me, you can buy more storage 20GB for $20 per year, or buy an MP3 album and automatically be upgraded to that 20GB plan. There are even albums for less than $1 on Amazon that meet the criteria.  And if you download that album or any MP3 from Amazon to your cloud drive first, then it won’t count against your space. So you can buy as much from Amazon as you would like and it isn’t part of the 5GB or 20GB size restriction. It can sit there indefinitely. Also, if you go to your amazon MP3 settings on each computer you will be accessing it from, you can set your download setting. “When you save your Amazon MP3 purchases to Cloud Drive, you can download new purchases from Cloud Drive to this computer automatically.” So I can have it automatically download files to my desktop, but download on demand on my laptop. Pretty sweet.

And you don’t have to just store mp3′s on there, but also any other file you would like, but obviously you get the most flexibility out of MP3 files. And when I say MP3 files, I don’t necessarily mean MP3′s exclusively can be used, you can actually upload Apple’s m4a files as well so that you can listen to them using your amazon cloud player as well. Wav files and ogg are out of luck, but most people have mp3 and m4a as it is, so you should be good with most of your collection.

And of course, Amazon makes it easy to click on an artist and shop for more music from that artist in the Amazon MP3 store.

There is even a really nice Adobe Air MP3 uploader from Amazon that automatically scans your Windows Media Player and iTunes libraries for files and playlists and lets you choose what you do and do not want to upload.

I am listening to it right now on my Android and it is working extremely well over a Wifi connection and I’ll have to try it out over a 3G connection to see if it can keep a good connection. But if Pandora can do it, there is really no reason that Amazon can’t.  It does give you the option of downloading the files from your Cloud Drive to your Android device in case you will be out of range and need something to listen to, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

I do have a few things that I wish I could do that I can’t.  I have a few files that I have ripped that didn’t have track info and it uploaded and of course the album and artist are “unknown”. I wish there was a way, other than re-uploading the file, that I could edit that information, but as of right now I don’t find a way to do that.

I also do wish that it had an iOS app, but I am sure that is coming. It probably just takes awhile to get it through the app store approval process. I tried to use the web player on the iPad, and though it loaded, I couldn’t actually get my files to play. But I was able to download them to the device, which I guess would work if there was one file you wanted to listen to.

I also wonder how long it will be before there is a Roku app or it is built into my Tivo. Because that is one piece that will make things much more interesting as Amazon Video on Demand is already in the living room, and putting Amazon MP3 in the living room would seriously upgrade the home theater capabilities of most people’s homes by having their MP3 collection easily accessible without having to go through all of the steps of finding it on your network.

The real test is going to be when Apple or Google announce an inevitable competitor to Amazon so we can see how each of these monster companies handles the same task.

But with Amazon being the first player of the big boys to do this, it definitely gives them the edge. If people get comfortable with their product and invest early, then that gives them an upper hand on these other competitors that would be more likely to own this space and allows them a good shot at owning the cloud MP3 space.

Anyway, try it out at Amazon Cloud MP3 or watch the nice little intro video to learn more.

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Restore posts and comments from an old mysql backup of WordPress

Web/Tech

I was talking to my wife about her blog, Poots and Pans, and she was asking about the old blog I used to do with some friends, so I thought I would get my old posts back from old backups to look at my old content. I looked through old emails to find the latest backup and found it was a mysql backup and not an actual wordpress backup. So, what does that mean? It means that it is a little more difficult to get your content back up and running without having the same domain name under your supervision. If I still owned the domain name, it would be pretty easy, but I don’t, so I had to be creative.

I was running a Xampp installation on my computer using the newest version of WordPress, version 3.1. It had PHP, MySQL, all the good stuff already up and running. I use this install for testing wordpress in all its glory for themes and plugins because it is a lot easier to use than doing it on a remote server for things like customizing a theme and then uploading the changes.

I thought, well, I can just install another wordpress site and have it all back. If only it were that simple. I imported the sql.gz file using phpmyadmin, then pointed the new wordpress install to the existing database and thought that should do it. Two things I didn’t think about were that the database was using the old version of wordpress, somewhere around 2.6, and I would have to have access to the actual URL in order to get logged in to the site.  I tried that, but upon trying to login to the site to get my posts, it sent me to the old URL which I no longer have access to.
I decided that since the content is in the database and I can see the content, there has to be an easy way to get the posts out because that is really all I care about.

I looked for converters and different methods but couldn’t find a way to get wp_posts to turn into a wordpress export file.

But then I thought about the structure of the wordpress database and that there were common themes between the database of the existing test I was running on localhost, and the new database I just imported, they both have a wp_posts table.

So, I thought it was worth a shot just to send the new wp_posts table to the current, running database.  So I stayed in phpmyadmin and went to work.

I went to the existing database, called wordpress, and selected the wp_posts table from the left-hand nav and went up to the top of the page and selected “Drop”. This will drop all existing content in the wp_posts area, so all posts are gone for good.

Then I went to the new database and selected the wp_posts table and went to the operations tab.

From there I chose to move the table to my existing wordpress database with the same name for the table of wp_posts.

I hit Go, and everything is set. Now all I have to do is login to my existing wordpress site, and I can export my posts very easily. I can do the same thing for comments if I would like, using the wp_comments table.

Hope this helps some of you. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Compare Android phones with DroidThing

Web/Tech

I was looking at cell phones for my wife whose contract is up in a few months. We could always go with an iPhone on AT&T or Verizon, but there is a premium you pay for going with one of those carriers.

So I thought I would look at some of the second tier carriers like Boost, Virgin Mobile, and US Cellular.

I was trying to find a way to compare US Cellular’s Android offerings and came across a site called DroidThing.

DroidThing is a very easy way to compare Android devices even across carriers.

You just put in what parameters you are searching for and it will bring up the phones that meet that criteria. It’s well done and works really well.

Below is a video about how the site works and how to search it effectively.

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Get Angry Birds Rio for Free on AT&T Droids

Web/Tech

Angry Birds Rio

So, today Angry Birds Rio came out.

Not only did it just come to the market, but it also came to Amazon’s new App store FOR FREE for the Android as well. Unfortunately for those of us on the AT&T side of things, this means that we can’t install it as the file comes from an unknown source.  This means it doesn’t come directly from the android market and AT&T decided to turn this option off by default on all of their android devices. So you have to find a workaround. Luckily there is just such a workaround.

You can go to this page and scan the QR code or have them send you an email/text with the link to the app store for download.

When you download, it will go into the downloads folder on your internal memory.

That’s the easy part, now comes the part that adds a little more complexity.

First, turn Debugging on in your settings. Settings–> Applications–> Development –>USB Debugging. Next, you need to use your USB cable to connect to your computer so that it shows up as a drive on your computer and go to your downloads folder to find the amazon-appstore-release.apk file. Next, transfer that file to your computer.

Now, download the sideload wonder machine following the steps documented here and install the amazon apk file.

Next, sign in to your amazon account and try to download the Angry Birds Rio file.  It will download, but when you try to install, it will fail.

So, we’ll sideload this application as well. It can be found on internalstore/android/data/com.amazon.venezia/cache as a random apk file. Mine was called vnz56419.apk.

You’ll go through the same steps that you used above to install the amazon app store.

After that, just unplug your phone and start playing Angry Birds Rio, which looks great and I especially like the jungle level with the monkeys.

This isn’t just for Angry Birds, but any app that comes from the Amazon Marketplace that you want to install.

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