Monday, August 29, 2005

techADDICTION Podcast #20


The techADDICTION Show #20 (MP3 - 18.4MB - 53:54 min)

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We’ve taken a two week summer vacation, but we’re back and we’re not alone! Joining us today is Steven Hughes from Boston Pocket PC.com! Listen in as Steven shares his extensive list of gear, as well as his thoughts on different mobile technologies. See if you can guess what Steven does for a living and listen carefully to learn the secret he uses to save up for the next mobile device! We round out the show with some Xbox 360 chatter as well as Steven’s thoughts on the OQO and other portables.

Don’t forget to leave your comments on our Skype line and to add us to iTunes!


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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google releases Google Talk client


Ready to take on Skype, Gizmo, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! IM with voice, Google introduced their new Google Talk client yesterday. I already like the fact that I can customize my status; something I've ranted about with my favorite VoIP client, Skype.

Google Talk integrates with your Gmail account to show you new messages and also pulls in your Gmail contacts. So far it looks good; I can't tell you how it sounds just yet because I haven't used the voice feature. More to follow on that as well as recording possibilities from the client. There are no recording features built in, but Google tends to be pretty open with their clients. My expectation is that the APIs will be availalbe for extending the application.


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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What a great community!

You know, there are just oodles of great people in this world I may never meet. I will communicate with them, but I will likely never physically meet them. Take Mike from Rochester, NY or Fahad from far-away Pakistan. They both sent me birthday wishes a few weeks back, which I greatly appreciated. Both are readers of my blogs and faithful podcast listeners as well.

Speaking of podcasts, take the talented James Kendrick who co-hosts techADDICTION with me. James is 1,500 miles from me and yet we talk almost daily. We "met" while posting to a Pocket PC enthusiast site a year and a half ago.

Most recently, Steve Hughes reached out to me because of something I said on one of our recent techADDICTION podcasts. Steve contributes to the popular Boston Pocket PC site and heard that I didn't receive a USB BlueTooth adapter James had sent me. Wouldn't you know that Steve had a few lying around and offered me one at no charge?

I just received the adapter yesterday, so thanks Steve! Once I get a few minutes to work with it, I'll reciprocate with a review. What a great community that's made of people like Steve, James, Fahad, Mike and the many other great people I may never meet. Think on that one the next time you're posting a comment or blogging on your latest passion. In our own little way, we're all shaping lives everywhere.


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Monday, August 22, 2005

SkypeOut test cuts the mustard

I've been an avid Skyper since late last year, slowly adding services as they become available. I'm a little behind on the SkypeOut service, simply because I didn't need it. Most of the folks I stay in touch with have the Skype client running on their workstations.

I took the SkypeOut plunge yesterday to call my parents (who are only 15 minutes away) and have to say that Skype is definitely a complete package. Short of no 911 support and some minor tweaks I'd like to see, I'd say that Skype can replace a land-line for sure and a mobile phone if one has mobile broadband like EVDO or EDGE.

The conversation with my father was clear and without echo. Sure, it sounded slightly distant and "tunnel-like", but I could use it on a constant basis with no issue. If you haven't tried the SkypeOut service, you'll have to ante up ten euros (or the equivilent), but that gets you roughly 10 hours to make calls from your PC to a phone. Not too shabby!



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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Why would you want to blog professionally?

Over at ProBlogger.net, Darren Rouse has a great theme going on called the "31 Days to a Building a Better Blog Project." The series is a must read; not just for current and aspiring professional bloggers, but for any blogger out there. The tips and concepts are a valuable addition to whatever blogging experience you might have.

Darren's project is rather timely for me. Three short months ago, I decided to pen a career transition plan with the lofty goals of leaving the corporate world so that I can blog and podcast full-time. I'm happy to say that I'm on my way and actually ahead of the schedule I've put together.

I'm still working my current job; it pays too darn well to just drop like a hot potato. However, the techADDICTION podcast that James and I started back in February continues to gain listeners and my free blogging has turned into source of income through a great opportunity with the Weblogs, Inc. Network. You can find daily musings and opinions on high-definition television through HD Beat.

As things move forward quicker than I anticipated, I got to thinking about two key questions this morning. Why do I want to make this transition? What do I expect from it? Here are my thoughts to those questions; hopefully they will shed some light on anyone else considering this same type of transition.

There are multiple reasons that I'd personally like to make this change. Your reasons may be different, but the key point here is: make sure you know your reasons and better yet: write them down. If you keep them on paper, you can go back in time and re-evaluate your rationale. The fact is: situations change all the time. If you keep something on paper, it becomes static and gives you a baseline to measure against.

My main reasons for this plan are: freedom, enjoyment, less politics, and control. Let me tackle these one by one and start with freedom. I truly don't expect to put in less hours with a blogging and podcasting career. Content must remain fresh and dynamic. As a result, there are no "set schedules" or "amount of hours". When I think of freedom, I think of being able to take a walk with my family for an hour whenever I wish. I think of immediately blogging a great idea in the middle of the night because I can't sleep and I don't want to lose the thought. I think of being able to responsibly speak my mind to anyone who is willing to listen.

Enjoyment is an easy one. Simply put: I absolutely love to read and write. For quite a while, I was reading an eBook per week. That number has probably dropped to one book every two to three weeks, but that's because there is so much great content to choose from on the web. Writing about what I'm reading is simply a logical and fun extension to me.

Politics. What an ugly word to me, personally. It seems that no matter where you look in corporate America, the politics permeate every nook and cranny of organizations. Blogging with and for the right folks removes the hierarchies and brings about flatter organizations. I just want to provide outputs that are valuable, it's as simple as that.

This brings me to control. If you reduce or eliminate the politics, you gain personal control; it's an inverse relationship for me. If I'm successful, I want it to be due to my efforts as well as the support from those around me. If I fail, it's because my content is not appealing or I'm not updating my content enough or because I didn't market my content as well as I could have. Note that now I can take total responsibility for my successes as well as my failures.

If you get a chance, drop on over to Darren's project and see what tips and tricks you can find. You might not want to blog professionally, but I'll bet you will learn a bunch from the project. As for me, I'll keep up with my written plan and make sure to evaluate my progress on a regular basis. After all, I'm in control, right?


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Digital world collides with nature





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Saturday, August 20, 2005

XBox 360 ruckus

Looks like I caused quite a stir when I questioned Microsoft's decision not to have DVI or HDMI cables for the Xbox360. If you get a minute and have any interest, check out the lively discussion I started at HD Beat.



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Sunday, August 14, 2005

techADDICTION Podcast #19


The techADDICTION Show #19 (MP3 - 20.6MB - 59:50 min)

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Join us for a delicious, tasty start to our 19th show! Well, you have to hear the intro to understand that. We recap the updates since our customer service episode last week and then jump right into the mobile tech. There's something for everyone as we discuss Apple's iPod helping Microsoft get richer, leaking HP PDA's, computers with soul, PSP enhancements and more! As an added bonus, we play the full version of our intro music, "Konundrums", courtesy of One-Egg-Ticket! Don't forget to leave your comments on our Skype line and to add us to iTunes!


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Saturday, August 13, 2005

I'm ba-a-a-a-ck!

What a crazy few weeks its been! I've stepped away from the blog for a few reasons, but I'm back. It's always good to take a break, even when it's not one by choice. Here's the quick update and reasons for the absence.

I've had the opportunity to become the lead blogger over at HD Beat, so if you go there you can see I've upped my output significantly! I try to pump out ten good posts a day; sometimes I hit the goal, sometimes not, but you can always count on some good HDTV info there.

I also had some issues with my Tablet PC over the past few weeks. I wanted to run the recovery disk and rebuild it, but my external optical drive wouldn't power up. As a result, I tried working with Toshiba support several times over a two-week period, but that didn't work out. Thanks to a local computer repair shop, I got a brand new drive that I swapped with them. The Tablet is rebuilt and I'm back! :)

James and I recorded techADDICTION #19 today, watch for it tomorrow. Barb and I havne't done a Commute-Cast in a while due to the crazy schedule and Tablet issues, but I'm sure we'll be back soon too! Thanks to everyone who inquired about us. Rest assured, all is well!



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