Category Archives: Hardware

All Nice and No Naughty – Scan those Photos!

We caught word that our friends over at Visioneer have a Contest taking place on their Facebook Page giving you the ability to share some of your fine holiday photos but also have a shot at winning a Visioneer 9520 Scanner. There probably isn’t any doubt that Digital Cameras will sell well during the Holiday Season. So many great new devices are on the market with Fill features, sequential photos for action and large megapixels for printing from the Digital Image.

One piece of technology that is still a constant for photo enthusiasts, archivist and those working with graphics is the Digital Scanner. Gloria and I bought our first photo scanner back in 1991 for our new Desktop Publishing business and its features were about 25% of what is available with today’s Scanners, pricing is now considerably less as well. In 1991 our scanner set us back about 700 bucks!

One of the companies that has offered affordable solutions for the consumers and business user is Visioneer. We’ve had several models over the years of Visioneer scanners that have served us well. We still have a need to scan those photos, logos and other documents into the computer and with today’s software, the user is really able to fine tune and achieve a great looking photo from a scan. Most users of scanners I’ve talked with have made photo archives of all the film photos in the home for safety and ability to easily share them online with sites such as Flickr and Facebook and then store the originals away for safekeeping. It is incredibly easy to scan a photo and save it as well.

The Visioneer 9520 scans at 4800DPI and captures in 48Bit Color. For those of you that have amassed a collection of Slides, the original way a slide show was presented, a built in 35mm Slide transparency adapter makes it easier.  One Touch scanning of the 9520 gives users the option of easily selecting Fax and Send, Send to Printer or open up the Scanning Program to scan to your specific program. The Visioneer 9520 also ships with Corel and Arcsoft programs.

While the website may seem a bit confusing in its support of Windows 7, Drivers for Windows 7 and Vista are available on the Visioneer Site. If you visit the site and select the Home Products, then the product itself, scroll down to the bottom right of the page you will find drivers and there you will locate the Windows 7/Vista drivers. Probably the easiest step is to visit the Visioneer Like Page on Facebook and participate for your chance to Win one of Three Visioneer 9520 Scanners.

A Photo of the 2001 Christmas Card with Ozzy
Andy Taylor and Family with Adopted Kid Ozzy

All you have to do is submit your Nice Holiday Photo in the Holiday Photo Album and the folks over at Visioneer will select a winner December 22nd 2010. I was thinking about submitting this Holiday Family Photo from 2001 with Gloria, myself, the girls and our adopted friend Ozzy but I already have a 9520 and wouldn’t want to take away your opportunity to win!

For your chance visit http://www.facebook.com/visioneerinc

Help, I am Out of Hard Drive Space

We’ve all been there! You want to do some work on your Computer and you keep getting a warning telling you the Hard Drive is Full. Going through your drive and deleting files would be the nice thing to do, especially those ones that just seem to be duplicated throughout your Hard Drive. If you don’t have time to do that, adding storage is always a great solution. In fact, with the pricing on Hard Drives currently, it is really to your benefit to plop down a few bucks and get that deal on the 1TB or 2TB drive you had your eye one. Getting some of that clutter and files off your hard drive can also help your system run better. A Good Defrag after moving a bunch of files off your hard drive is like a nice oil bath for C3PO, but I digress.

We talked with Wilson Tang from Azio Corporation on a New Hard Drive Enclosure the company is producing called the E377-U31. This Aluminum cased Hard Drive enclosure with a Slide Out Tray gives users the ability to Add a SATA Hard Drive with a Couple of easy steps. Seriously, it could get easier then this! The Power Connector and USB Cable, which was supplied, connect up in seconds to the Enclosure which offers a screwless design so after a couple of snaps the Drive is in place. Viola!

Pricing is great on this Enclosure system and it really looks pretty good on the Desktop. Users can opt for a USB 3.0 connection or go for the current standard USB 2.0. If you decide on the USB 3.0, you are backwards compatible with the USB 2.0 and USB 1.0 designs. You’ll need a USB 3.0 to get that full speed or you can purchase a USB 3.0 Expansion Card which can be placed in an available PCI Express Port and connected to an available Power Connector.

We like the Sturdy Design, Ease of Access and Side Mounted Fan on the Unit. Listen in to our interview with Wilson Tang of Azio at http://www.techtalkradio.com/hardware/azio.html You can also view photos of our tester unit on the page.

SteelSeries helps gain the advantage in Gaming

Bruce Hawver talked with Andy Taylor of TechtalkRadio
Brcue talks with Andy Taylor of TechtalkRadio

I talked yesterday with SteelSeries CEO Bruce Hawver about some of the products we will be seeing this holiday season from SteelSeries. It’s not the first time Bruce has been on our show and certainly won’t be the last. Since the previous discussion with Bruce, the company has expanded it’s product line to include more branded gaming items, eyewear to combat eye strain and fatigue and a new way to pay for the products you would like to get.

With the upcoming season, it is expected that peripherals will make up a huge portion of the gift buying. While many look to add USB Web cams and storage, SteelSeries knows that gamers want the products they make. Over the years we have looked at many of these products including Headsets, Gaming Mice and the very cool Merc Stealth keyboard produced by Ideazon which SteelSeries acquired. Some of the new product from SteelSeries include headsets with removable ear cups, connector cords which can be disconnected and put away and even a few with USB connections. For the gamer that likes to be part of the conversation, a variety of the headsets include microphones that collapse inside the ear cups. This is valuable considering the few different headsets we’ve looked at from other vendors with microphones that detach could be at risk of losing the microphone piece. Even the Console game can benefit with the SteelSeries latest Spectrum 5XB for the Xbox360.

The gaming mice products from SteelSeries are a must have for fans of World of Warcraft. The latest product branded with Blizzards MMO title, is the World of Warcraft Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse. This peripheral features the ability to bind all 14 buttons to the in game selections for WoW as well as advanced illumination and drag and drop setup with over 130 preset game commands. The Mouse is beefier and almost looks as though it would come from the World of Warcraft! If you’re not the big WoW fan, you could also get into intense combat with the Medal of Honor branded products or Starcraft II to name a few.

SteelSeries has also partnered with the folks at PaynearMe which allows shoppers to select a product for purchase on the SteelSeries website and visit a local participating 7-Eleven to have the payment processed. This can come in handy when a credit card is not available or the buyer wants to pay with cash.

Check out our Interview with SteelSeries CEO Bruce Hawver and be sure to take a look at the SteelSeries Website for a full look at the products the company offers. Our interview can be found at http://www.techtalkradio.com/hardware/steelseries.html You can also get some great information and updates on the Unofficial Official Blog for SteelSeries at http://fragyou.net