Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Contests, Giveaways, and Discounts

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Although not directly related to “mobile genealogy”, but who doesn’t like a chance to win free computer hardware?  Or a chance to save up to 35% on purchases?

Contests and Giveaways

Smartphone Thoughts has information on how to enter to win $6000 worth of HP computer equipment.  (That’s ALL to one person, one desktop, 3 laptops, a photo printer and other hardware and software)   Information can be found HERE.

Digital Media Thoughts has information on how to enter to win a Seagate portable hard drive which can be found HERE


Digital Media Thoughts has information on using Microsoft Live Search to purchase “Buy it now” items on eBay and saving up to 35%.   Information can be found HERE.   This isn’t strictly limited to eBay as other vendors also participate.  (although not at such a steep discount)

Good Luck!

Zoom Zoom USB

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

You can’t have it now nor will it provide any relieve for current desktop computers or devices, but in the future USB version 3 will offer transfer speeds up to 4.8Gbps.   (Much faster than current USB Version 2 speeds)   To give you an idea how much data that will transfer, a 25GB hard drive worth of data could be transferred in about 70 seconds.

Gizmodo has more information HERE.

As with USB 1 and USB 2, devices built with USB 3 will work (although at a slower speed) on older connections, or older devices will work with new desktop computers with a USB 3 port.  (Also at the slower speed)

Synchronize via Bluetooth

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

If you have a smartphone or other Windows Mobile device with Bluetooth, you should be able to setup ActiveSync so that you can do synchronizations wirelessly.    However, most desktop computers don’t come with bluetooth, but here’s one solution to the problem.  (There are many other providers of USB bluetooth “dongles” as well)

Click HERE for Gear Diary article on a new Bluetooth Dongle.

If you already have a bluetooth connection but haven’t installed XP Service Pack 2, here’s some information that you may find useful.   It also discusses how to setup ActiveSync to work with Bluetooth after you install SP2.   (Service Pack 2 adds new bluetooth drivers to XP)

Click HERE for the Bluetooth ActiveSync Guide from Geekzone.

Geotag your photos

Monday, September 29th, 2008


If you have a Digital SLR and wish to have GPS coordinates associated with the images that you take, the JOBO AG photoGPS may be what you are looking for.

Digital Media Thoughts has information on the photoGPS which attaches to the hot shoe of your digital SLR and captures GPS information as you take pictures.   The JOBO software then matches the GPS information stored in the photoGPS to the pictures after you upload them to your computer. 

More information can be found HERE.

Redfly anyone?

Friday, September 26th, 2008


What is a Redfly you ask? Well, up until today, it was $399 and in my opinion not worth mentioning because of the price. But for a limited time in conjunction with WMExperts, you can get one for $199.

The Redfly is a mobile device companion produced by Celio, basically a “dumb” mini-laptop that connects to your mobile phone via USB cable or Bluetooth. In other words it’s a larger keyboard and screen for your mobile device.   It’s not a standalone device as it requires a connection to a smartphone… it merely takes what you see on your smartphone and displays it on a larger screen.   It also has a VGA connector so it would be useful for connecting to a projector (or external monitor) for presentation purposes.

Information on the Celio website indicate that Windows Mobile 5 and 6 are supported.   Although they only reference “Smartphones”, it may also work with non-smartphone PDA’s as well.  (You will need bluetooth or a device that can connect via a USB cable available from Celio)   If you are interested you should verify wth Celio that your device is supported before purchasing.

The WMExperts announcement of the limited time $199 offer can be found HERE.

The Celio Redfly website can be found HERE.

And a list of tested devices can be found HERE.

Best Buy offers free Recycling in selected stores

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

This is good news for those in the target markets for Best Buys new (trial) recycling program.     Best Buy already accepts smaller items in all stores, but this new program will accept larger electronics such as TV’s, Monitors up to 32 inches and computers.

If you live in Baltimore, San Francisco or Minnesota now is the time to take advantage of this new program!

More information can be found HERE from Engadget.

An interesting idea: Rechargable “USB” battery

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Do you have any devices that use AA batteries?   Want a solution where you can recharge the battery using your USB port on your laptop or desktop computer?

Look no further than THIS article at Digital Home Thoughts.

GPS Bluetooth Configuration w/WM: FAQ

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Brighthand has a FAQ that discusses how to configure a Bluetooth GPS receiver with Windows Mobile, an exercise that at times can be non-trivial.

Both the FAQ and the comments can be found HERE.

Smartphones: GSM vs. CMDA

Monday, May 5th, 2008

The different cell phone providers such as T-Mobile or Verizon use different cell phone technologies for their cellular network.    This has a bearing on the type of Smartphone that you purchase as phones designed to work on one network generally will not work on the other.   (In the United States, you usually purchase your Smartphone from the Cellular provider so compatibility is not an issue)   The type of phone you have will also determine if it can be used when travelling abroad.

Brighthand has a non-technical article describing the differences between the two major technologies which can be found HERE.

The above article also has a link to another FAQ that discusses the different data transfer methods used on the above networks.

Power to Go!

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Ever need to recharge your handheld but don’t have ready access to a power source or didn’t bring along your bulky charging cradle/cables?

Pocket PC Tech has a solution that is easy to carry and can be used to recharge your device during those low battery situations.

Mobility Site has all the details HERE.