Sunday, July 31, 2005

Techie Report - 2 - By Roger McGuinn

Here are some tech gadgets and podcasts that I've been into lately.

I just got Delphi's MiFi hand held XM satellite radio.

It's about the size of an iPod and receives satellite radio without external power or antenna. It also records 5 hours of programming for times when you're not able to pull in the satellite signal. I love it! It's perfect for listening to XM on bike rides or walking. I use it in my office and in the car with an external antenna as well. Great little gadget!

I recently bought two TV tuner cards for my computers, both from ATI. One is for a desktop. The other is a USB 2.0 device that plugs into any computer. I use this with my Dell Inspiron 8200 notebook as kind of a Tivo. I like to record shows and burn them to video CDs to watch in the van. These TV cards are great as free alternatives to the subscription services for TV recording. I was thinking of installing a Linux PVR called MythKnoppix but decided that I didn't want to dedicate my laptop hard drive to Linux or even create a dual boot.

If you would like to play with Linux but don't want to install it on your hard drive, there are over 100 alternatives. I love Knoppix live CDs! FREE Download:

Because my iPod Photo is linked to the Apple G4 Cube that Woz gave me a few years ago, I wanted something to link my iPod Photo to on the road. The iBook G4 12" was my choice. I love this little box! It ships with a mere 256 MB RAM but I've added 1GB additional RAM to give it 1.25 GB thanks to birthday money from Mom.

The way it comes to life from "sleep" is truly amazing. For someone who's worked with Windows laptops all my life, this was a revelation. My Dell Inspiron 8200 takes a few minutes to wake up from "hibernation." The iBook wakes up instantly. It looks so cool too with its white polycarbonate shell. They say it's the stuff they make bullet prof glass out of. iBook

Speaking of the iPod, iTunes
now has the Folk Den in its podcast section. It works with both Windows and Mac platforms. You need to download the latest version 4.9 to get podcasts. This is the easiest way to get them and a great way to subscribe to the Folk Den and have the new songs come into your iTunes podcast folder automatically every month. Click here to Subscribe to the Folk Den iTunes Podcast. It will ask you to open iTunes if you have it or download it if you don't. Don't worry, it's OK to open it.

Here are some of my favorite podcasts: This Week in Tech with Leo Laport, Diggnation w/ Kevin Rose, CommandN,
and The Mac Observer's Mac Geek Gab.

Keep your eye on Kevin Rose. He's a bright enterprising guy. Kevin quit his paying job at the G4 TV network to go out on his own and follow his dream. Kind of reminds me of Woz, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates some 30 years ago.