Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Bigger Is Better

I haven’t been paying hawk-eyed attention, but I haven’t seen too many monitors this big for under $300…

Samsung S27B350H 27″ Widescreen LED Backlit LCD Monitor – Mega DCR, 1920 x 1080, 2ms, HDMI

And, yes. When it comes to viewing screens, bigger is better. A big screen and upgrading your Internet speed are my top two methods for improving your “computing experience”. (Nice specs on that one there..)

Also, if this (next) unit had a SSD, I think I’d jump. (Seriously considering buying my last laptop I ever buy now, before Windows 8 (and cloud OSes) arrive.)

Dell XPS 15z 15.6″ Ultra-thin Core i5 Laptop
What makes this a great deal?
This PCMag Editors’ Choice award-winner is described as “every bit as luxurious as the Apple MacBook Pro 15″, but it won’t cost you nearly as much.” At less than an inch thick and stuffed full of the latest technology, like an Intel Core i5 and 1GB NVIDIA graphics, you won’t be wanting for anything with this premium PC. You’ll especially like the finer touches, like the backlit keyboard, aluminum design, and 1 year in-home warranty with premium phone support. Click See It and step into a new premium PC today.
How to redeeem:
1. Start at Dell store
2. Click “Review & Checkout,” then “Add to Cart”
3. Apply coupon code R536ZTX3RS8NL8 for total $300 instant savings applied automatically, proceed to final checkout.
List Price: $999.99
Sale: $699.99 + FREE SHIPPING
You save: 30% ($300)

Has specs I like (like USB 3.0, and 2×2 Wireless A/G/N [can “see” 5.0GHz], and HDMI out on discrete graphics card…)(But.. not on sale is a 1080P version, w/2GB’s discrete.. hmmm..)

Hmmm.. a docking station, and the two together.. Santa? You there?

Reading reco: Are you bored? Need to start a good argument? Sending certain people you know this science news item will cure your troubles…

Today’s quote:Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” ~ Ann Landers

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

October 20, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, mobile, shopping for, tech | , , , | Leave a comment

40 Days To Armageddon

(Or, Are You Ready For The Digital Switch?)

In just a few short weeks the world will come to an end, and life as we know it will cease to be.

Of course, what I’m referring to the upcoming digital TV transition.
Congress mandated that February 17, 2009 would be the last day for full-power television stations to broadcast in analog. Broadcast stations in all U.S. markets are currently broadcasting in both analog and digital. After February 17, 2009, full-power television stations will broadcast in digital only.old_tv_set

What do I need to do to be ready for the end of analog TV broadcasting?

If you have one or more televisions that receive free over-the-air television programming (with a roof-top antenna or “rabbit ears” on the TV), the type of TV you own is very important. A digital television (a TV with an internal digital tuner) will allow you to continue to watch free over-the-air programming after February 17, 2009.

However, if you have an analog television, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to continue to watch broadcast television on that set. This converter box will also enable you to see any additional multicast programming that your local stations are offering.

Analog sets should continue to work as before if connected to a subscription service such as cable or satellite TV. Also, analog sets should continue to work with gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products that you use now.

Will I need a special antenna to receive DTV over-the-air?

In general, dependable reception of over-the-air digital TV programming will require the same type of signal reception equipment that currently works to provide good quality reception of analog TV programming. If you need a roof-top antenna to receive analog TV broadcasts, the same antenna generally will work to receive digital TV broadcasts. You should not have to purchase new antennas that are marketed as “digital ready” or “HD ready.”

What is the Converter Box Coupon Program?

To help consumers with the DTV transition, the Government established the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program. Every U.S. household is eligible to receive up to two coupons, worth $40 each, toward the purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes.

The coupons may only be used for eligible converter boxes sold at participating consumer electronics retailers, and the coupons must be used at the time of purchase. (Please note that these coupons will expire 90 days after mailing). Manufacturers estimate that digital-to-analog converter boxes will sell from $40 to $70 each. This is a one-time cost. For more information on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program, visit, or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY).
[note: the coupon program’s funding has already been reached, and if you’re just acting now, you’ll be put on a first-come-first-served waiting list which may, or may not get you a coupon.. depends on how many coupons are cashed/expire.]

Today’s free link: The place to get answers to all your questions about the digital transition (in fact, the info above was largely copy > paste from there) is the special website provided by the Federal Communication Commission,

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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January 8, 2009 Posted by | advice, HDTV, how to, News, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments