It’s amazing how young kids can be when they begin to develop the ability to use computer/tablet devices. Using a mouse or touchpad and keyboard is typically a bit too complicated for the youngest ones, but they all sure can use touch screens.
These digital natives, as young as about 1.5 years old, can interact successfully and happily with quite a variety of applications on tablets and smart phones. At first, they can watch and tap which lets them have fun with bubble pop and tap-and-see-what-happens games. Then they can start to slide, drag, and manipulate objects. This enables them to now manipulate puzzles, dress-up games, etc. There is an impressive progression of computing skills just as there is of real world/physical environment skills. The Nabi Jr. excels at harnessing and developing many of these skills while also allowing for a near-ideal tablet experience for the youngest kids/toddlers. Continue reading →
Although cheaper than ever before, TVs are still relatively expensive. Buyers should research all their options before shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars. The first step is to figure out what features you want. These include:
3-D capability (and how many sets of glasses you need)
Wireless or wired network access (for Internet access, streaming movies through Netflix, DLNA, etc.)
Viewing angles (will you always be watching from straight on or do you need good picture viewability from odd angles)
Refresh rate (will you be watching much content with fast action like sports and video games)
Resolution (1080p or 720p)
Screen size (usually measured as the diagonal of the screen, but you should also note the height, width, and depth of the set)
Although there are some compelling reasons to go either way, I wanted to approach this article from strictly a cost perspective. Specifically, I wanted to draw your attention to the ridiculous pricing of Mac hardware. Although you are likely already aware of this, you may not have ever seen an actual comparison of similar machines. In any case, Apple is able to have such high prices since they do not allow other companies to produce Macs and consequently there is no competition in the Mac arena like there is in the PC arena. Consequently, their markups are exponentially higher than that of a typical PC that has essentially all the same hardware components.
Below are links to 3 comparable laptops for sale in early March 2011. The files include 3 specs and prices of 3 similar laptops: an Apple Macbook Pro 15″ (see basic specs on the right side), a Dell XPS 15″, and a Lenovo IdeaPad 15″. All 4 have comparable hardware (e.g., Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB RAM, 500 GB Hard Drive, etc.), yet the prices are very different.
Admittedly, the Dell & Lenovo machines may come with a bit more bloatware that would need to be removed and may need some more initial refining of configurations in order to perform optimally, but I just wanted to shine some more light on the topic as you make future purchasing decisions.
If you are planning on designing or redesigning the layout of a room in your home, check out this great tool from La-Z-Boy. Their 3D Room Planner tool allows you to design the room of your dreams before you go shopping for new furniture or moving things around. It can save you a lot of time and money by allowing you to plan the layout of your room ahead of time. Their site explains that you can “customize furniture styles and fabrics, change the room shape, add windows and doors, change the floorings, change the paint color…anything you can do in a real room.” Start planning your next room now!
E-readers and e-books have become more and more popular since they were first introduced. The Kindle, the Nook, the iPad, laptops, and other devices have made it convenient and even kind of cool to read books. Many folks regularly purchase e-books through Amazon and other services, and then read them on an e-reader or other device.
ManyBooks.net - download free books!
What the masses may not realize, however, is that thousands of books (classics, rare books, contemporary literature, etc.) are available free online. There are many sites that offer free books available for download, but my favorite is ManyBooks.net. Not only does it haave one of the largest selections (over 29,000 books), but it is also well-organized, searchable, and books are available in a ton of formats for download. Thanks to ManyBooks.net and other similar services, we all now have free, instant access to gigantic libraries from the comfort of our living rooms. Enjoy!
Every year Syfy channel plays a Twilight Zone marathon on New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day. Luckily, even thought hey have changed the name of their channel from Sci-Fi to Syfy, they still carry on this great tradition. Many, including myself, consider the Twilight Zone to be one of the greatest series of stories ever told. Episode after episode is amazing, full of provocative moral dilemmas, unexpected twists, social commentary, etc. In any case, if you don’t get Syfy channel or if you just want to watch some episodes at your leisure on other days of the year, CBS offers dozens of episodes free online for your viewing pleasure. Click here to watch some of the greatest storytelling ever produced. Enjoy! Thanks CBS!
Msconfig or Microsoft System Configuration Utility is a utility built into Windows primarily to help users troubleshoot the Windows startup process. Oftentimes, a computer’s slowness is due to so many unnecessary programs starting up when you login to Windows. You can use Msconfig to limit what starts up and consequently improve your computer’s performance. To run msconfig:
Go to Start -> Run and type in “msconfig” without the quotes (or press the Windows start icon and then just type msconfig in the search box). Msconfig will pop up.
Click the Startup tab
You will see a list of programs with check marks in some boxes and no check marks in other boxes. Uncheck programs that you know you do not need to start up every time you start Windows. Be very careful what you uncheck as you do not want to uncheck something that your computer needs to function properly.
Most of us haven’t memorized what programs are essential to our computer functioning properly, so luckily there is a list maintained on Sysinfo.org to help us! Click here to access the startup application list. Use the list to guide you through what to uncheck and what to leave checked. Use Msconfig wisely, and you will soon be a much happier computer user!
AdventureMaker is a free tool for easily creating games and interactives for PC, PSP, iPhone and iPod. You can use it for an endless number of applications, from entertainment to education. No programming knowledge is required. Everything is visual with pointing and clicking. You basically just need to have an idea and a few minutes of time. The best way to understand it is to check out the guided tour video above. Good luck!
More and more portable tech devices keep coming out to keep us entertained and make us more productive. We have laptops, netbooks, smart phones, portable DVD players, tablets, e-book readers, etc. With all these gadgets out there, is the $500 iPad (lowest priced model) worth buying? If you do a lot of media consumption (reading newspapers, watching video clips, browsing websites, etc.) then there is no smoother or more stylish way to do those things. However, if you do much else, then your money is probably spent better elsewhere. Here are a few key points to keep in mind when making a purchasing decision: Continue reading →