Tech – for Everyone

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

Ah, well, it’s Tuesday..


These past few days, I have been running a “silly little poll”, which asked who is/was the better TV Private Investigator, Rockford or Magnum. I have to say, the results of your voting, so far, has surprised me a bit..

One thing (that surprised me) was, I was expecting at least one “who?”, as both those shows date back to Ancient History.. you know, way back in the dark ages, well before there even was an Internet?

In fact, the older show (The Rockford Files, 1974-1980) dates back to when the pocket calculator and telephone answering machines were the ‘latest greatest tech’. (In later episodes of Magnum P.I. (1980-1988), at least, you can see IBM 286 units getting hooked up to telephone-cradle modems..)
I didn’t think too many would even remember Tom, or Jim.

Another surprise was.. (again, so far) Jim is leading the race.
Now, here’s a couple facts: Jim got beat up, knocked cold by a blow to the head, involved in a car chase, and arrested by the police in every single episode. I think I remember he got shot a couple’a times too.. (In fact, the actor suffered actual physical effects as he did a lot of his own stuntwork..)


Magnum did get shot a couple times, and almost died.. and I think Tanaka arrested him once.. and there were those silly episodes where Tom and the gang would chopper in and fight small armies with Uzis.. But life for Tom was not as rough and tumble, seedy, “gritty”, and error prone as it was Jim.

And Jim drove a Pontiac, while Tom drove a Ferrari.

.. well, I am going to leave the poll up. (Please, if you want to vote for “other” do so by leaving a Comment.. don’t try to write it into the poll itself.)

What I will tell you about how I voted is, well, I’ll only say, I’d rather watch an old rerun of a detective story (or legal/mystery, like Perry Mason, or Matlock) than I would the *stuff* they’re airing nowadays — Bridezilla? Big Brother? No thanks.

(When rating a TV detective, I don’t think you can use % Cases Solved as a criteria [they seem to solve them all] .. So car “cool factor” is a legit consideration, IMHO.)

For the Holiday Shopper: Top Tech Gifts For Under $10 Includes free shipping.
(Um.. not everything there is ‘tech’, sorry.)

Today’s Tech Reading:

* The Internet transcends borders, at least for a while longer

Make no mistake, the forces of darkness will be back. We The Internet will be waiting for them. This is our playing field, our rules. Our Internet.” Read more..

* The 2012 iGeneration roundup

This year’s most popular posts range from porn stars to iPads, as well as copyright infringement and Apple’s status as a religion.” Read more..

Today’s quote:A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.” ~ Alexander Fraser Tytler

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.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | blogging, consumer electronics, gadgets, shopping for, tech | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Star Trek’s Best Captain (Debate Settled)

I believe it is Cosmic Law (or perhaps it’s genetic) that to be a real, honest-to-goodness Techno-Geek, you have to also be a Star Trek fan.

I do not, however, believe that attending Trekkie conventions is considered mandatory. I think doing so merely earns you Merit badges.
(I could be wrong about that.. It might indeed be mandatory.. But, I have never been to one.)

I further believe that you cannot be a real, honest-to-goodness Star Trek fan unless you have given serious consideration to which of the Star Trek series is the best of the bunch.

For some, age may be a factor in determining this vital decision. I say this because I am old enough to remember the days when there was only one Star Trek (which is now known as the “original Star Trek“). It was my “first exposure”. For me, all the other Star Trek‘s were “sequels”. Follow-ons. Pretenders to the throne. (think Weekend At Bernie’s 3.)

When a new Star Trek came out, the natural question was, could it measure up? Could it be as good as the “original”??? Translated into English, this meant (essentially) how did the captain compare to Captain Kirk?
(And.. could it even be named Star Trek without Spock in it?! )

Because James Tiberius Kirk (“Jim” to his friends) was The Man.

(Now, you guys and gals don’t have to write me letters about what I say next, I am simply writing a personal opinion here. One fella’s point of view. No big deal. Really!)

I also believe that Weird Al got it right in his White And Nerdy. For most of us Geeks (um.. oops.. I meant “Star Trek fans”) the only series worthy of being a contender for “better than the original” was Next Generation, and that is only because it had the one captain who gives Kirk a real run for his money: Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Q: Who’s the better captain – Kirk or Picard?
A: Captain Archer.

I bet I caught a few of you by surprise there.

And, you don’t have to write to tell me that Enterprise was canceled after only 4 seasons. Or that Scott Bakula’s Captain Archer ranks lowest of all the Captains in most opinion polls. Or that most people would rather have Will Riker as their Captain.. I know that. I myself gave up and stopped watching Enterprise before the first season even ended. But, just humor me a moment.

I just finished – thanks to steadfast determination, and dedication – watching my annual Summer Movie Marathon, which this year meant watching all 97 Star Trek Enterprise episodes on Netflix. I decided to give the series a second chance. And I am glad I did. Because I did not like it so much the first go around, and now I do. (Particularly: Commander Shran and Dr. Flox.)

Here’s why I put Archer as my answer to the Captains Debate: of all the Captains, he is the one most like me. (Personality wise.)

But I do not deny that the true, universal, answer is Captain Kirk. Because he is the Captain I most want to be like. (When I grow I up.)

… him, or James Bond.
(Sean Connery.)
(Of course.)

Have a great Wednesday everybody!

(Ha! I should have known. The very first “vote” was for Picard!)

Today’s quote:The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.” ~ Jerry M. Wright

Real Geeks Star Trek fans: Also on Netflix is a short film by William Shatner titled The Captains. He goes around and interviews the actors who played Captain of a starship in the Star Trek sci-fi series.

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

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

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

July 25, 2012 Posted by | tech | , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Poll Results: How Much Time Online Is “Too Much”.

Let me start out today with a little reminiscing. When I was a young man, long ago, before Pong, and helmet laws, a fella told me a few words of wisdom. He said, “if everyone you meet tells you that you have a tail, then – as impossible as it sounds – you better wake up to the fact that you do have a tail.

I didn’t really get what he was trying to say. I don’t think.

This feels like a subject change, but it’s not: a short while ago I posted a poll, which readers could “vote” on. The poll asked how many hours a day, spent in front of a computer, online, would constitute “too many” — a possible “problem”. (See, Too Much Time Online?)

I included “there is no such thing” as a voting choice.

To save you a click, let me sum up the results. The answer “there is no such thing” (as too many hours online) was the clear “winner” (and had twice as many votes as it’s nearest competitor -> 4 hours). I will also say that not enough people participated in this poll for the numbers to really mean anything. But I found it curious/interesting none the less.

While the poll was open, I refrained from commenting. I will do so now.

First, I was not surprised by this result. And too, in a way, the poll had the same inherent flaw you would have if you asked ” how many beers/day is too many?” and let active drunkards participate. (You would see answers like “650”.)

Yes, IMHO there is – indeed – such a number as “too many hours”. I don’t know what that number might be (and I suspect it varies) but I refer you to my little parable from my youth (above).

If your husband/wife/significant other has told you, more than once, you are spending too much time “playing at the computer”, well, then, dangit, you may very well have a tail.
(If you have been “dumped” because you sat at the ‘puter too much, then there’s no guesswork.. you do have a tail.)

Have you failed to complete homework because that arena match was so wicked awesome it didn’t end until 5:45 a.m.? Like.. more than a few times? And now Teacher wants to see you after school?
You may have a tail.

Do you talk to people you have never actually met more than you do your family (assuming you have one..) ?

Is your online activity causing your bank account balance to be too low to meet your month’s obligations? Has this happened before?

If people close to you are always complaining  (because they just don’t “get it”) about your ‘puter time, well, my opinion, I think maybe, it’s you who does not “get it”.

.. now, I am not going to start using words like “addiction”. And only you can decide if there’s a problem (and if so, how serious a one). Nor am I going to offer any solutions for you. I am just a repair technician. But I do talk to people. I know a few who say it was the Internet that caused their divorce. And I have heard more than one parent complain about how the kids never look up from their devices…

(I think the measuring stick here is “neglect”.)

I do have two items for you — if this topic interests you at all, that is. (And please note, they use “addiction”, not me..)

* There’s an online addiction assessment test you can take if you have suspicions/concerns about how much time you or a loved one is spending online.

* Internet Addiction and Internet Sex (This is a good read [from my Blogroll].)

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No intro needed: Report: Android Malware Growing Exponentially

 “Android devices are being heavily targeted by hackers and malware producers.Read more..

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Today’s quote:What you get free costs too much.” ~ Jean Anouilh

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

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

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

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Android, computers, Internet, tech | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Big Question For A Little Monday

* The more I use Windows 8 Developer’s Preview Edition (on my Desktop), the more I do not like Metro.
So much for the idea that my comfort would grow with familiarity…
But, that’s just me. Perhaps others will feel the opposite.
While this is a very early “beta” I am playing with.. I don’t see anything here that would make me want to spend to “upgrade” from Windows 7. I hope that changes as official release draws nearer.

* The subject of the Internet causing divorces has come up in conversation several times for me lately. It seems many people believe the Internet is causing more and more marriages to fail.. an epidemic, to quote a few.

I admit, smart business people, and media types,  have been quick to declare a new disease: Internet Addiction.. and yes, World of Warcraft is often cited. Some two years ago now, I wrote: Is Your (inner) Child Addicted to the Internet?, which is not only a good read, but contains a link to an assessment test you can take.

I will also admit, I have an opinion in terms of the question “is the Internet causing a higher divorce rate”, but today I will ask, not tell. What do you think?

Thanks in advance for your ‘feedback’.

* What’s new in the world of tech toys, devices, and gadgets? Well, the CES is where you go to see tomorrow’s technology.

Can’t remember if I ever mentioned it here.. not a big fan of Mondays…

Today’s quote:The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” ~ Isaac Asimov

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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January 16, 2012 Posted by | computers | , , , , , | 11 Comments