Geek Tech Live 54 Apple IPad chat

Geek Tech Live 54

In this episode of Geek Tech Live can I escape the tractor beam pull of the IPad unveiling and subsequent take over of all things internet news related? Will the IPad end global suffering? Eliminate the National Debit? Create new jobs? Lets find out.

Welcome to another Episode of the Geek Tech Live Show! I am your host Chris Favero and this is episode 54! This weeks episode if brought to you by the Letters I, P, A, D… and the number infinity and also by GoDaddy.com. Godaddy is the worlds Largest Online registrar and has everything you need if you are looking to set up your very own Blog to a Virtual storefront! GeekTechLive.com working with Godaddy.com can now help you achieve those lofty goals of being the next Internet Sensation! Just pick your services at Godaddy.com and then before you click the Pay now button put in the following codes to get your most excellent discount.

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All right, So how much IPad Goodness do you think could be out right about now? It was only Last week that we were talking about the unveiling of the apple Tablet. Geek Tech Live is recorded on the weekends (except Special programs like last weeks RadNerd Interview). So this is a few days after the unveil and the mass effect of pandemonium it has done to the world. Did we survive? yah we did… was a it a game changer? I think a little yes and a little no. The Ipad wasn’t some magical device like we were hearing. It isn’t made from unicorns and creates its own rainbows. It does however have some very cool aspects of the device that make me want it. Lets see if I can explain in a bit more detail.  About 6 months ago I was almost going to buy a kindle. The  rumored Ipad, Islate, Itablet, etc… was seeming to be a long way off and well I just wanted to get a good e-reader to take with me to work for lunch time reading and when i am on vacation , etc. I did the research and almost did it. The kindle did everything I wanted it to do at the time and my Iphone was able to fill in the gaps quite well for anything else i wanted to do.  I am really glad I had second thoughts and waited for the apple Tablet unveiling.

There have been a lot of people all whining about the Ipad and as the week progressed you also found out more rumors concerning next years possible Ipad additions like front facing video cameras, video calls, etc… I really don’t care so much about those rumors since it is apples job in my mind to continue to innovate. if they stop doing that then there will not be anything more than what we have today in technology. you cant fault them for holding back a few extra goodies for the revision two of the Ipad that is just goo business if you ask me, even if it still annoys the hell out of me.
So what do we know about the current Revision 1 of the IPad.  here are the basic specs for the Ipad courtesy of the Apple websites:

Ipad Image

Size and weight
Height:  9.56 inches (242.8 mm)

Width:   7.47 inches (189.7 mm)

Depth:   0.5 inch (13.4 mm)

Weight:   1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) Wi-Fi model;
    1.6 pounds (0.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model

Display
    •    9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
    •    1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
    •    Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
    •    Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

Capacity
    •    16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive

Processor
    •    1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip

Sensors
    •    Accelerometer
    •    Ambient light sensor

Battery and power
    •    Built-in 25 Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
    •    Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
    •    Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system

Ok, so if you ask me based on these specs it definitely fits the bill be being better than an IPhone and still not as good as a full on laptop. Yes, its a niche market. but if you look at how the Ipad is being marketed its not supposed to eliminate laptops. It does however give the Kindle and Nook a run for its money.  The Three top things it seems the Ipad does very well are Web browsing, Email and Ibook reading. Those three right there are exactly the right niche market if you ask me. I can see the Ipad being taken to college classes and textbooks handed out electronically. With Wifi you can keep in touch with the integrated email and OF course you get full screen browsing of websites ( sans flash) . The fourth and last big thing I like about the Ipad is the video capabilities. I can watch my movies and not worry about running out of juice.  the screen looks fantastic if you ask me. 

So 3G or just Wifi? I agree with Leo Laporte’s take on this. Leo stated in a Revision 3 Tekzilla episode that he isn’t going to wait as all he needs is wifi. what I mean is get the wifi version and then if you need to  get a Mifi from Verizon and now you have your very own personal hotspot. Easy peasy lemon squezey. Either way you are going tohave to pay for the 3G coverage so why not get the MiFi and now anything in your car or office or beach etc… can get a signal to the Internet. I like how he thinks. Especially since I was saying this to my friends about a day before his interview aired on Tekzilla.

Love it or Hate it the Ipad is here and here to stay.  There were a lot of nay sayers when the Iphone came out and now its the standard phone all new smartphones are compared to.  My only issue with the keynote address by Steve Jobs was no mention of any Iphone 4G or anything.  my contract is coming up for renewal and I don’t want to pounce on a 3GS if a bit of prudence on part can end me up with a new 4G model that IS made out of Unicorns and rainbows.

Well, thats it for this episode of Geek Tech Live. Happy February 1st everyone! You can find me on Twitter @geektechlive or Facebook at facebook.com/geektechlive . Subscribe to my RSS feed at : http://feeds.feedburner.com/GeekTechLive   for my Podcasts and  http://feeds.feedburner.com/GeekTechLiveblogposts for my Blog postings.

Talk to you all in about 6 days!! 

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Geek Tech Live : Geek Tech Live 54 Apple IPad chat

Im a rockstar in my own head!

Well, episode 51 is live. I had to do 2 takes of the show since I was nursing a sinus headache during recording. Sorry if I sounded less than my normal exhuberant self. I didn’t want to miss a deadline I have been very good at hitting for you guys. Hopefully the quality didn’t suffer too much.

You may have noticed a few changes around these parts recently. New website ,better audio, more reviews even. In 2010 there has been thought to even taking geek tech live to video. I just rounded on 30k downloads for the first 50 shows and the majority of those downloads were from the last 3 months when I started taking this hobby more serious. This whole show is put together by just yours truly. So if it sucks I have only myself to blame. By the way, I really appreciate the fan support. I hope the next 49 episodes will be even better.

Happy listening / viewing? The show !!

Chris
Head Geek and Host

Geek Tech Live 51 IS9181 review PDFMyURL and 132 people to follow

Hello Everyone and Welcome to Geek Tech Live 51 Some gadgety goodness, news and a review of the Vtech IS9181 Wifi Internet Radio.

This Episode of Geek Tech Live is brought to you by Godaddy.com.  looking for a domain name or a place to park your web designs? Go daddy is your destination! Go daddy is THE worlds largest domain name registrar and has a huge product offering. From domain names to email all the way to dedicated servers for hosting a site.  Godaddy is your ticket to ride the interwebs!  I can stand behind this because Geek Tech Live is hosted at Godaddy and I cant be happier with the service I have gotten. Who’s your daddy? Go Daddy!

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So, with that out of the way lets move on to the meat of this Episode of Geek Tech Live. the review of the IS9181 from Vtech.  

Front of IS9181

Want access to global radio stations but hate the price of Satellite radio costs? Well, look no further! Move over Bose Wave Radio! Vtech the maker of fine cordless telephones for the home has created an Internet Radio streaming device called the IS9181.  Vtech packs a lot of punch into a very small package.  With the IS9181 you can stream music across your 802.11 b/g WiFi network with “Best-in-Class” range.  You will need broadband Internet service and a home WiFi network router but who doesn’t have one of those these days? Once you have it set up the IS9181 allows you to listen to Internet radio from the available 11,000 stations with no monthly fee! Beat that Satellite providers! the ease of use is very apparent, you can access Internet radio stations from Vtech’s user-friendly online site or on the device itself.

Now just being able to stream Internet Radio wasn’t enough for Vtech. You can also play music from any audio device (i.e. CD player, MP3 player, etc) and connect to any stereo system or powered speakers to access streaming Internet radio or music files stored on a PC or Mac. It even has a Built-in FM radio tuner for local FM broadcast service.

You will also be getting big sound out of that small package since the IS9181 has Hi-Fidelity built-in 3W tuned stereo speakers and a 10W subwoofer with class D amplifier for each speaker that can fill any room. It even has a built in Alarm Clock so you can wake up to radio Brazil or BBC Radio 1 every morning! And speaking of settings… Setting the time on the IS9181 is a snap as you can use Internet Time servers to get atomic clock precision without mucking about manually setting the time. It can run on batteries or included AC adapter power too. This thing seems to do everything and it does it quite well! to top it all off, punch in your zip code and receive 5 day weather forecasts right on the large full color screen. It only weighs in at 4 lbs and is 6.3″ x 12.4″ x 3.5″. Wow! You gotta hear it to believe it. And I did so lets get into the meat of the review!

I received the unit from Vtech and proceeded to unbox it. I would like to say right here that I was not compensated in any way by Vtech for this review. I received a loaner unit and as always it was I that asked them if I could try it out and kick the tires on it since I was interested in how it stacked up to other Wifi radio units on the market. I was actually amazed at how small this device really is. I was expecting something a bit larger and began to get worried that it wasn’t going to live up to an level of audio quality i was looking and hoping for. To help reference the size I placed a 25 cent piece in frame in a few shots. as you can see below its small and would fit into any AV shelf system living room or bedroom for that matter.

Small top shot of unit
top shot of IS9181

Controls are well spaced out and looked to be very well designed for the function they were to perform.
top shot of controls

Closeup of Controls 

Shot of the Power Cord and Aux Cables
Power cords and aux cable

In the box you get the receiver, a mini remote, a power cord and an aux audio cord as well as some assorted manuals, quick start guides etc… So I plugged the unit in and started the boot up sequence.

Start up sequence
 
The actual sequence can take a minute or so and I did like the progress bar on the bottom of the screen so I knew how much longer i needed to wait.

Once the system booted up I needed to connect it to the wireless broadband connection in my house.  The IS9181 found my SSID fine and I then proceeded to put in my Wireless key which if you are like me and have a very long one was a bit of a pain in the butt on the scroll wheel. I had to scroll to the letter or number and then press a button next to the scroll wheel to select it. It reminded me of trying to leave a message on my Xbox using the controller. you can do it and it works…. its just time consuming and a pain.

Wireless key entry 

Almost any time I had to input more than a few letters I found myself slowing down a lot to make sure i did not mess an input up and have to redo it. Even the Zip code entry was a bit frustrating.

Zipcode entry

This by the way could be chalked up to the fact this was my first time using this input system and I was trying to document my progress so your frustration may vary. 🙂  I will say that it did get a bit easier to use the more i fiddled with the controls.

Once I got the system on my wireless network and punched in the Zip code  and set the Clock via the Internet time servers. I was presented with a nice Menu Screen asking my what function I wanted to use.

Selection source

The IS9181 will not only stream Internet radio but can also function as an alarm clock or FM radio ( AM is dead right?) . Oh yeah it also has outputs so you can hook it up to a bigger stereo or speaker system if the speakers themselves don’t do it for you. I was actually pleasantly surprised on the sound output from small speakers like they are. There was no real good way to get a picture of the speakers but it does have front firing stereo speakers and a down firing subwoofer of bass reproduction.

So from here I chose Internet radio and  had the choice of Genres, Locations languages  most popular stations or My stations ( If I created Favorites)  so I chose locations, then Europe AND then UK

Genres screen

europe list on IS9181

and then finally BBC Radio 1. did I mention there are 11 thousand stations you can tune in to?  I chose Radio 1 as I have Sirius in my car and i figured it would be a good comparison. I was wrong.  Sirius Does a 6 hour time delay on their broadcasts so I could only listen to live radio on the IS9181 and not a direct comparison to my Sirius unit.  Either way the station came in fine and was very clear. There is a short buffering segment when you choose a channel but over all it wasn’t too bad of a wait.. just a few seconds while it told you it was “connecting to [Station Name]”

Connecting to BBC Radio 1

I switched gears a bit now and decided to seek out some lesser known stations.  I was able to find radio stations in Grand Cayman and Jamaica. I ran a speed test on my system and so I can confirm my download speed was never below 5MB/Sec some stations just don’t make the trip over the interwaves so well. I would gather this is because of the recording and broadcasting setup they have in their locations. Grand Cayman was a bit on the fuzzy side. Kind of less than 128k stream ish sounding overall.

One other cool feature of this device is the Weather brought to you by AccuWeather.com .  You remember I stated I had to input my zip code? Well , the reason is that the IS9181 will go out and grab a 5 day forecast for you and let you view it while still listening to your streaming audio. neat!

Accuweather on Is9181

I was also a snap to point the IS9181 to a windows and mac share and stream my own Mp3’s over the wireless network to the device. IT does this quite well and the documentation is a breeze to read and understand.

Over all I give this a 4 out of 5 for Functions and a  a 4 out of 5 for not needlessly packing it full of touch-screens or widgets that would break.. I liked the Analog nature of the device all buttons and switches…. and I give it 2.5 out of 5 for usability with the scroll wheel and lack of an Ethernet port.

Ok, so here is where the rubber hits the road… I give it then a combined score of a 3 out of 5  which is pretty good . It’s a buy, not a pass or a wait. The price is competitive with other devices and it comes with a full feature set..  Sure, you could stream ANY of these stations if you just had a laptop but for a bedroom or a den with a big set of speakers it fits in nicely and can act as not only an internet radio player but a music streamer as well.  for more information on the Vtech IS9181 check out their website at http://www.vtechphones.com/vtechui/store/music/index.cfm There you can see some cool videos  of Quantic using the IS9181 to created mixes as well as more Gallery images and Full specifications list of the machine.  Vtech has even set up the site to allow you to find stations and get them in your IS9181. Check them out.

Ok, so that was the  review… Lets see what else I scrapped off the walls of the intertubes this week that is interesting.

PDFMyURL I saw fly by on twitter recently! http://pdfmyurl.com/  . This site allows you to essentially take a snapshot of your site or any site for that matter and make it a PDF. IT definitely makes it easier to get pictures into powerpoint slides or presentations by doing this. And almost as easy as a screen grab. All for free!

I also saw that @GeekTyrant who I follow on Twitter was mentioned at the  Cliqe list : 132 People you should be Following  http://criqe.tumblr.com/post/338059349/before-we-begin-i-have-a-few-things-i-would-like  Lots of people you really should be following and a few that I didn’t realize were on twitter.

And finally,  Remember that I am now coming to you weekly unless there is breaking news or a really cool interview happens. I would also like to say that I do say “we” a lot when talking about Geek Tech Live. but this podcast is all me myself and I. Its only one person and I welcome any and all comments or suggestions so go to geekteclive.com and email me or comment on a post and help me make GTL better for everyone!

 

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Geek Tech Live : Geek Tech Live 51 IS9181 review PDFMyURL and 132 people to follow

Geek Tech Live 50 Nexus One and CES and pico projectors OH MY

Welcome to Episode 50 of Geek Tech Live! I am proud to say this episode is brought to you by Godaddy.com yay!

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Ok, now back to the show!

CES is here the Consumer Electronics Show is THE place to see and bee seen by every manner of geek and gadget guy and girl out there. I unfortunately could not get out there this year and it seems like I missed a lot.  Due to some unfortunate circumstances one being CES, all my reviews were stopped as the people I was working with in PR departments across the globe are suggley warm in the warm glow of giant LED TV’s or immersed in 3D HDTV… sigh. I really am sorry i could not make it out there.

So, I have been wathing lots of news come flying in and grabbed a few tidbits to listen to.

Nexus One from Google. so, the actual device itself is pretty darned cool over all. A local friend of mine picked one up and gave me a run down as well as a looksee and I have to say the screen is fantastic! some of the integration like multi touch or apps can use some work but the nice thing about the phone is that all the little fiddly bits i coudl fault it on can all be fixed with some software updates.

And speaking of getting a Nexus One ( I know… horrible segue)… Boy Genius is giving one away Free and unlocked! here is what they have to say over at BGR

Nexus One Giveaway

To quote BGR:

All you have to do to enter is simply drop in a comment and you’ll be automatically entered to win. Official rules are below!

  • To enter, leave a comment below using the email address you’d like to be contacted at if you win. Also please don’t enter more than once, you’ll be automatically disqualified.
  • The giveaway will run for one week until January 17th at 11:59PM
  • The Nexus One is unlocked and was purchased unsubsidized. (T-Mobile USA 3G bands, European 2100MHz 3G band)
  • This contest is open to anyone 18 years or older, worldwide. You’ll be responsible for any import tax/duties if you’re outside of the U.S. but we’ll cover shipping

That’s it, good luck!

Link to full BGR article to get your comment in is here http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2010/01/10/google-nexus-one-giveaway/

Next on the list is laptop Magazine Laptopmag.com Annoucement of the winners of Best of 2010 CES Awards

The List of “Best of CES 2010” are the following:

Best of Show: Intel Core i5 Processor
Best Notebook: Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid
Best Netbook: Viliv S10 Blade
Best MID/Smartbook: Lenovo Skylight
Best Software/Service: Splashtop 2.0
Best Smart Phone: LG GW990
Best App: Parrot AR.Drone
Best Camera/Camcorder: Sony Cybershot DSC-TX7
Best eReader: Alex eReader
Best Storage: Clickfree C2N
Best GPS/Location-Based Service: Dual Electronics XGPS300 Cradle
Best Accessory: Powermat Portable Mats
Best Portable Media Player: Valups Tivit
Best Home Networking/Entertainment: Boxee Box
Best Enabling Technology: Qualcomm Mirasol Display Technology
Best Green Gadget: iGo Charge Anywhere

read more on the Press Release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/01/prweb3426414.htm

Lastly I am a movie buff and if you have seen my tweets I have taken pics of my Home theater in my basement a few times so far. so I had to talk a bit about these new pico projectors from FAVI

FAVI projectors

So I talk a bit about these ultra cool and Ultra small projectors.  you can read more about them at an article at Engadget here http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/10/favi-rioled-q-and-rioled-v-pico-projectors-launched-the-future/ I had found the original article at Gizmodo but for some reason the article page is throwing an error. Engadget has some pics and info on the RIOLED-Q and RIOLOED-V pico projectors and their specifications.

and that Wraps it up for Episode 50. I hope to have the green light for uploading the Vtech IS9181 this week which will go into Episode 51 next week. Hope you all have a Gadgety good week. see you in Seven!

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Geek Tech Live : Geek Tech Live 50 Nexus One and CES and pico projectors OH MY