Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Interesting niche gadget: HP's Presto

I kept hearing a radio ad for Presto from HP, so I decided to look it up and find out more about it.

It is an interesting niche gadget and service. It is intended for those who want to receive email (with our without photos) but do not want to deal with a computer. The system has two components-- the HP Presto printer (kinda like a receive-only color fax machine) that plugs into the regular phone line and the Presto service which is $9.99 per month. Each owner gets a email address and the ability to limit who their messages are allowed to come from. Any approved user can send an email with embedded photos and can even format the email to look stylish. The Presto printer uses a single ink cartridge and regular paper. There is even a tone that can be played whenever new email has arrived. The user schedules when the device dials out and retrieves the email.

It remains to be seen how popular it becomes!


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Windows Desktop Search (WDS)

Okay, you know that I run an Intel iMac with Bootcamp and Windows XP Pro, and use the Windows side most of the time. One of the neat features I like on the Mac side of the machine is Spotlight's ability to easily search all the documents on the machine. (And I know that Microsoft Vista has this built-in, too, but I am not ready to move to Vista just yet.)

Well, the Windows Desktop Search has been released, and it works on the Windows side of my machine just like Spotlight does on the Mac side. It has been available for a few months now, but I just discovered it!

There are some hardware and software requirements that must be in place to use it, but, if your machine meets them, give it a try!

It takes a bit of time and processing power to index all the files on your machine, so don't be alarmed if things are a bit slower than usual after the intial install as the software indexes (in my case, My Docs and my Outlook e-mail folders.) When you do a search, one of the options is to have the list of hits show up in the left-hand column and the preview of each hit in the right-hand column of the results window.

Even though I am the terminally left-brained learner and file everything away carefully in its own "safe" place, there are still times when I can't find the specific e-mail or document version I am seeking. Windows Desktop Search definitely fits the bill for my purposes and I suggest you give it a try! (BTW, I am running Office 2007 Pro Plus and it seems to work with it like a charm!)

WDS Homepage:


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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Interviewed by local ISP

Our local ISP has a crackerjack staff of technicians, web designers, Web programmers, and they do it all! One of their staff, Kristen, asked to interview me this week and we decided to create a podcast of the interview. She had never recorded an interview so we recorded it, and I cleaned up the audio using Audacity to show her how it was done.

Kristen provided me with some very good questions, and had spent a lot of time looking at my sites to find things of interest to ask. It was a lot of fun, and you can look at the Web page here, give it a listen with a click on the 6.73 megabyte MP3 file, or cut-and-paste this Feedburner tag to add it to your aggregator:

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Some interesting Google features

I came across this article and learned some new, cool things you can do with Google. Based on this article, I am ordering a copy of the author's' book!

Here are a couple of them....

Unit Converter
Google can be used as your unit converter. Simply type the information in the search box on Google's page (or in your Google toolbar) in this format-- x unit1 in unit2, for example, 2 tablespoons in teaspoons. You are actually brought directly into the calculator for the answer.

Package Tracker
As one who does a lot of purchasing of techno-toys over the Internet, I am constantly going to the different package tracking sites to see when my new gadget will arrive. You can simply type the tracking number in the search box of Google and it will provide you with a link to the proper company's tracking page for your package.

Music Artist Information
If you type the name of a music artist in the search box (I chose Bobby Sherman), and click on their name in the hit, you are provided with a list of all of their albums, which leads you to a discography of each, as well as the other albums the songs appeared on, and links to lyrics for the song if they are available online.

Google rules!

Kathy Schrock

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