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Pure Awesomeness… Sort Of…

Archive for the 'Gadget' Category

My little robotic cleaning slave

I finally purchased my own roomba!   I bought the Roomba 550, pretty good deal.  It comes with 3 extra filters, brush cleaner, 2 virtual walls/lighthouses (it has a switch, can work as either one), self charging docking station, and the roomba (with scheduling built in).

I set up the dock last night, charged it up, set the schedule (for thursdays), and hit clean to watch it on its first exploration.  It did a pretty good job!  Picked up a lot of dust off the floor and carpets.  Better yet, I didn’t see it leave anything behind.  I have a medium carpet, tile floors, and some small rugs (bathroom/kitchen).  It did not have issues with any of those.  I also used one of my virtual walls to keep it away from my rotuer/modem and some wires, and that worked out great as well.

I will try to get some video of it later to show you how it explored and cleaned.  So far, its pretty amazing!  Everyone should get one so your place can stay clean while you do other things!

If you are a costco member, should probably get it there, they have a pretty good deal on them.

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Best Tivo Trick / Easter Egg

My tivo does a lot of wonderful things but the best thing it does is hidden until you unlock it!  Your tivo can display the clock and time passed in a video you are watching in the bottom right corner of your screen.  At first I thought this was useless, but after I turned it on I got addicted.

Here is how you do it, to turn on the clock, press the following buttons:

  • Select
  • Play
  • Select
  • 9
  • Select

Tada!  Enjoy your new and improved tivo.

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Tivo Update

For those of you who read my post about how my tivo hates me, because it decides to update WHILE I’m watching and then takes “one hour, possibly longer” to install the updates…. I just wanted to let you know that it did not erase my settings or shows!  Small Victories.

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Tivo, why do you suck at life?

So, I’m happily outlining for finals…ok, maybe not happily, but I’m doing it, and I have my TV on. Watching things on my tivo… Next thing I know it goes silent. What? Why? I look up and the screen says “Welcome! Powering up…”

I think to myself “well thats strange, its never powered up by itself BEFORE”

A few minutes later the next screen says something to the effect of “Just a few more minutes…”

Ok, you’ve totally interrupted my viewing experience, thanks Tivo.

I look up 5 minutes later and it says “Installing an important sevice update”

Ok, fine, this sounds legitimate…

A few minutes later, I get this AWESOME message “Preparing the service update. This may take up to an hour, possibly longer”


WHAT?!?!?!?! Wait a second, I never asked to install anything, why are you ruining the rest of my night? Couldn’t you prompt me for this?

Next thing you’re going to tell me you had to reformat and you’ve lost all my season pass info and my recorded programs…. I guess in an hour or “possibly longer” we’ll find out.

:shakes fist at tivo:

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Best way to surf the internet – a guide to setting up your firefox

A lot of my friends always ask me what I think is the best setup for surfing the internet…

Obviously this depends on you preferences but I wanted to walk through what I think is one of the best setups.

1. Get Firefox! Either


Now that you have that setup, lets customize it.

2. StumbleUpon. Get the toolbar, set it up, enjoy it. Trust me when I say you will need this. StumbleUpon allows you to choose your favorite categories of pages and then “stumble” through them randomly whenever you want. When you like something (like this page) give it a thumbs up, when you don’t like it give it a thumbs down. You might think this is a useless toy, but I think of it as a way to take a quick break and discover something new.

3. Get the Alexa toolbar. This provides website owners with a lot of traffic information that is useful and important to us. Also you can take a look at how your favorite sites are doing.

4. Get and install forecastfox. You set it up with your zipcode and have updated weather info for today and tomorrow (or more, its customizable). Means you don’t need to take any extra time to look up the weather, its right there on your toolbar. I set mine up to display on the menu bar so it doesn’t take up any extra space. If you want more info on that days weather, just click on it and it goes to the detail page.

5. This may just be the BEST firefox addon ever. Foxmarks. This allows you to sync the bookmarks of all your firefox browsers, so your laptop, desktop, and work machine will always have all the same bookmarks! Means I don’t need to keep emailing myself links, I just favorite it on whichever machine I’m on and my other firefoxes will sync up and have it in their bookmarks as well.

6. Gmail Manager – this is for those of you that are as obsessed with your gmail as I am. A must have.

7. IE tab – every once in a while you will come across a page that just needs to be viewed in IE for one reason or another. This plugin lets you open a page using the IE engine on that tab in firefox!

There you go, now you have a killer firefox setup. Sure there are a million other things you can add and tweak, but this is a great base setup. Enjoy….. Now if I could only get my firefox to accomplish home automation. Firefox! Why can you not function as our own personal web browser run home automation systems!

If you would like more extension ideas I suggest you also look at this: Lifehackers top 10 must have firefox plugins.


WM6 for my Blackjack? No, I thought it would never come out. Oh, you’re serious?!?!

That’s right, while I was running like mad trying to meet deadlines for the last month, WM6 was FINALLY released for the Samsung Blackjack.  What are you waiting for?  Go install it!

Don’t forget, this will wipe your phone, so be sure to back everything up.  Anyone have a copy of Sprite Backup I can use?

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Finally Tivo… but there is nothing to watch

So I finally got a TiVo, and I’m really excited about it, except wait… oh yeah, there is NOTHING TO WATCH.  Thanks to the writers’ strike none of my favorite shows are on anymore.  I don’t even know what to set tivo to record.  Any idea? I’m looking for some TV inspiration here.

PS – Tivo is TOTALLY today’s timewaster.

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Time Waster Tuesday – Playing games and getting free stuff

Now that I’m on break, figured I’d bring back at least a couple weeks of time waster tuesday (click the tag below if you want to see more).

Today’s time waster is more than awesome.  You get to play games to pass the time (like say in class, or waiting for a call to start at work..) and you win points for the games that you can redeem for awesome prizes like an xbox 360, zune, headphones, 360 games, or a roomba.  You can also donate to charities or schools using your points.

Where does this awesomeness happen? Live Search Club (by Microsoft).  I’m usually reluctant to try to get points to win something, but since this is run by Microsoft I know its legit, and I’m racing towards a roomba to clean up after me.

Here are a few sites about getting tickets/points:

Comment what prize you’re holding out for, you’re tips and tricks, and whether you’ve received anything yet!


Christmas time means I need to figure out what gifts I want

December is finally here, meaning winter break and Christmas are near!  Didn’t mean to rhyme… When the holiday season rolls around (just after my birthday “season”) I start getting into my tech shopping mode.  Always looking to see if there are any new gadgets out that I want.  As usual I’m keeping my eye on Gizmodo to see if they post about anything that seems fun or interesting.  I do have my eye on some video games, but that’s not very exciting (wii-play, and a couple others).

I don’t need a new phone, don’t really want any other consoles (already have wii and Xbox360 [which is getting a new update]), and I love my laptop, so those are out of the picture.  Maybe a new Desktop PC or TV would be awesome.  I keep browsing those on and and I always get excited, but they are expensive.  For a few minutes I considered getting a new camera, but when i looked what is available in digital cameras, I really realized that nothing particularly looked very exciting (I admit this Canon eos 40d caught my eye, but my camera is great, no need for a new one yet).

I’m going to keep looking, but if you have any ideas of what you think I should be looking to get this Christmas, comment and let me know!

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I passed the MPRE!

Heard back yesterday that I passed the MPRE!  Nice of them to email me in the middle of finals to let me know, imagine if I had not passed.  It would have totally impacted my scores.  Speaking of finals, those of you who are familiar with law school finals know that it means that you are stuck in your room studying and memorizing until the finals period is entirely over.

Not very fun, also since you don’t have the time to travel to see anyone, you start missing them.  I only get to see the other students during this time, its LAME.  I realized though, if I could video conference (like if I used this TANDBERG Video Conferencing System) then I could see my family and friends at least virtually during finals.  That WOULD be nice… I can dream.  I heard some student did their interviews using a video conferencing system this year.  I wonder how that worked out, interviews are tough situations to being with and if you throw in a virtual barrier that could make them tougher since it would be harder to relate to your interviewer.

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