All posts by Kevin Baggs

Blue Tooth, Hands Free rear view mirror

This falls under the “just gotta have it” category of gadgets. ModooFree has designed several models of rear view mirrors with varying levels of hands free features for cell phone users. Their top of the line has Bluetooth, so you can leave the cell phone in your pocket and still take calls. It has caller ID that projects onto the rear view mirror. And in the interests of safety, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road, it will speak the incoming phone number. And just when you think they have it all…they added a remote sensor that you attach to your bumper. When you back up it will show you in the mirror how far away you are from an object. How cool is that? Installation is simple, just clips over you existing mirror.

Skype

I have been using Skype for about 2 years now. Skype is software that allows you to talk to anyone in the world for free. When I was in Beijing, I was talking to my wife and kids. When I travel to Fremont I talk to my family. The clarity is better than the phone lines. Most people that I have talked to do not know about Skype. They have heard about Vonage and their VOIP phone plan. Skype is basically the same thing, but it costs nothing. As long as both parties have the Skype software and a headset. You can talk for free. The latest version now allows for video. You can do conference calls with up to 5 people. Skype was recently purchased by eBay for $3+ billion. With that kind of money it will be interesting to see where they go. Check icon below or the one at the top to see if I am online

How to Sync your bookmarks on multiple PCs

How many times has this happened to you? Someone you know finds a good web site and sends you an email with the link. You want to add it to your favorites. Problem is, you have your PC at work, your notebook that you travel with and then there is that PC (or PCs) at home. If it’s a good website you would want it on all of those PCs. So you send yourself and email, then go to each PC and open up the email and copy the web site into your favorites. What a pain!

Now there is a simpler innovation. 2Go SyncIt. You download the utility from here. The first time you install it on a PC, you will be asked to set up an account or login. Once you install it on your PCs. Any change you make on one PC, is automatically updated on every PC you have the software installed on.

One of the bonuses of this software I discoverd a few weeks ago. I was doing some house cleaning and accidentally erased about 80% of my bookmarks. An email to 2Go got a response within a couple of hours that showed me how to restore all the bookmarks. It seems they hold on to any deletions for 30 days.

So what is this Blogging Stuff?

I have to admit. When our CEO Jim Estill first told us about his blog, I think the word I heard the most was “eccentric”. To those people that said this simply shows that we didn’t understand blogs. (“mea culpa” or in the present day vernacular, “my bad”). I consider myself a pretty well informed person. Especially when it comes to technology. I had heard about blogs, and had passed them off a daily journals. That is about 10% of what a blog is.

I had come across blogs as a way of finding out the latest trends and gadgets. I incorporated these into my daily RSS feeds. I came across Robert Scoble’s blog, before the release of his book. (one of the authors of Naked Conversations).Then Jim loaned me a book called Naked Conversations. I’m only about half way through it, but it is fascinating. CEO’s from GM, Intel and several other companies use them. Some companies have become companies because of the power of blogs. From a tailor on Saville Row to a software company.

Blogs are the new marketing, instant messenger and PR department all rolled into one. But without the corporate “stuffiness”. One of my favorite quotes in the book is “blogs should represent the unedited voice of the individual. It’s not an organization speaking. It’s informal. It’s ‘Come as you are. We’re just folks here. We’re not concerned with typos or grammar errors’, which reminds readers that it’s just a human speaking.”

Running

Tonight I started a 10K running clinic at The Running Room. I did better than I thought I would, considering I haven’t been running in months. I completed 5K in 33 min. Not bad for the first night. The clinic is 10 weeks and my goal is to run a 55 min. 10K race on May 13th. The Running Room is quite a Canadian success story. Started by John Stanton in 1984, they have grown to almost 80 stores. They have branched out into their own branded clothing and accessories. All top quality products. I believe their pull is their clinics. For about $70 they will tell you everything you need to know about running. (plus you get a $40 T-shirt). And while you’re sitting there in the store, listening to all that great information, you’re staring at all this great running gear. Now, for me, gear is probably as close to an obsession as one could get. Whether it be running, backpacking, mountaineering or camping; I need gear. And not just a little, I need it ALL. Just ask my wife Dianne. Now imagine a gear obsession combined with being a computer geek and you can see why she rolls her eyes a lot.

How to stay informed with Desktop Sidebar

Many people ask me how do I know so much about gadgets, or what is going on in the world of technology. It is really quite simple. I don’t spend hours surfing for information. I use something called RSS which stands for Really Simple Syndication. Basically it is a standard to feed news headlines to you. There are a multitude of RSS readers out there. Some website home pages, such as MSN and Yahoo now allow you to add RSS feeds to your home page. My favorite tool is Desktop Sidebar. This great little tool has a large number of “panels”. I choose to use the News, Weather and Stock panels. The news panel is the RSS reader. The panel sits at the side of your Windows desktop and scrolls through the headlines from the RSS links you have chosen. When you mouse over a headline, a small window opens with the summary of the article. If you want to see the actual web page you simply click on the headline and you open the web page. I personally like the newspaper function. You click on this button at the top of the news panel and it shows every headline for every news item you are linked to. In a matter of 10 minutes I can be up to date on what is going on for the day. I will spend more details on where to get the RSS feeds on future posts.

First Post

My first post.I decided to create this Blog as I find myself being asked about Technology. I have always been a bit of a ‘geek’. Some may dispute that the “bit of a” part is not necessary. I have been involved in technology for 25+ years. It is something I am passionate about; and someone told me that if you are going to start a Blog, make it about something you are passionate about. This Blog will cover both hardware and software. The good, the bad and the “what were they thinking?”What are the things that truly help us in our day to day lives; and what the the things that just make us go Wow!