Category Archives: Review

Scott Sands WSPD talks with Andy Taylor of TechtalkRadio

Andy Taylor talked with Afternoon Show Host Scott Sands at NewsRadio 1370 WSPD about CES2017. Covered were some of the Technology idea certainly worth saving Pennies for and of course the ideas that had many scratching their heads saying “Why?” As Scott said “Do we really need to be that lazy?” however the answer most likely is “Why Not?”

Some of the Cool Innovations are discussed and some of the high points for this 50th Anniversary of CES put on by the Consumer Technology Association.

Check out the Video and be sure to check out Scott Sands (And Shaggy Too) on iHeartRadio! http://wspd.iheart.com/ and the Podcast for the Show
https://www.iheart.com/show/139-The-Scott-Show/

TechtalkRadio on KMSB Fox 11 Tucson – New Video Posted

The New TechtalkRadio Logo
The New TechtalkRadio Logo

On 09/07/2015 Andy Taylor visited with Andrew Capasso of KMSB Fox 11 Daybreak to share the features of the New LeapFrog Epic Tablet and The NetGear Arlo Wireless Security Camera System.

Be sure to check out the Video and see some great features of both products. We will be posting Audio of the Interview from the TechtalkRadio Broadcast show with VP of Products at LeapFrog on the Epic.

The Unboxing video of the LeapFrog Epic can be found here

 

Andy Taylor talks with Scott Sands WSPD Toledo

I had a chance to visit with Scott Sands of WSPD Radio in Toledo on the benefits and features of Microsoft Windows 10 as well as a couple of points to consider before upgrading and something to change as soon as you do!

Soluto Solves Slow Startups

A quick trip to the Soluto “Anti-Frustration Software” site, an 80 second video, a small download and an easy install, netted this user over a 25% savings on start up times to an already speedy system!

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The entire process is quite intuitive and user friendly, offering both beginner and advanced options to guide you step-by-step. With the end results listing all the programs that run at start up and exactly how long it actually takes.

As you can see above, my system took a little over two minutes to load, with 80 applications running AT BOOT UP (I had no idea).

The green section shows “No-brainer” applications to remove from the boot up list…to be delayed or paused to be more precise, and hovering over any of the slices reveals a drop drown information window that tells you how long that program is taking to load up, the name of the program and a recommendation to either pause or delay that program on future start ups.

After spending a couple of minutes deciding to either delay a program or pause it all together, I restarted my computer shaved off nearly 30 seconds from previous start ups.

Soluto‘s goal is “ to bring an end to the frustrations PC users encounter”; however, there are so many different programs, with so many different people – who have various levels of skill – being used in so many different configurations, that the task itself seems overwhelming…Enter: The PC Genome project.

“Soluto’s PC Genome is a knowledgebase of PC frustration data built automatically through the usage of Soluto software. Its objective and statistical information, gathered and analyzed by Soluto, is also editable by the community.”

Included in this beta version is even an option to let Soluto know when you’ve been the victim of some computer operation or lack there of. You simply right click on the Soluto icon in the systray, and click on “My PC just frustrated me” and the program sends a report back to the PC Genome project, with ‘Frustration Suspects’ that will be analyzed and ‘mapped’ in order to provide a future solution.

Who knows, maybe one day soon, we will live an a frustration free world…but until then, there’s always Call of Duty or Whack-a-mole for a therapeutic outlet. ~ DDTG

"Total Recall", book review

“Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything” is a book written by Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, former researchers at Microsoft Research. The book is dedicated to their of colleague, Jim Gray, who was lost at sea in 2007.
The forward is written by Bill Gates: “What would happen if we could instantly access all the information we were exposed to throughout our lives?…”
OK…I’ll take it further: what if every piece of information there ever was could be accessed? We’re not there, and I doubt that we will ever get there. But, what if?…
(And, we’re off and running.)
Here’s a small pre-summary. This book should be a good read for various kinds of people. Like people who collect…anything. Those interested in data management. Those who have a difficult time being organized, and those who are very organized. What to keep. How to keep it. It covers a broad scope of considerations for many.
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Chapter 1, third paragraph: “…each day I’m losing a little bit more of my mind. By the way, so are you.”
That should have been the first paragraph. But…oh, well. It’s a very powerful, and true, statement.
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There’s mention of the movie “The Final Cut”, which I’ve never seen…but the description of it in the book has made me want to. Per Lions Gate Films: …“The Final Cut” is set in a world where “Zoë Chips” are placed in the brain at birth to record one’s entire life, providing footage which is edited into a “Rememory”—a film shown at your funeral…
The book also explains that “cutters can make ‘saints out of criminals'” as a character in the movie “does with the life of a child abuser. The movie also shows protesters with placards demanding ‘the right to forget’ and darkly depicts the lengths to which some people might be willing to go to get their hands on the private life recordings of a political enemy.”
Interesting. The “flip-side”, if you will. What about considerations for those who prefer the naturalness of not being able to remember everything? I’ve never considered that there are some who appreciate that part of humanity.
I have often thought about what “data” I want to be available to certain people after I’m dead. And have considered plans on how to make it obvious.
There are things I have gained acces to on storage devices and networks that I’m sure others had no intention for anyone to know about. I’ve often thought about how they might feel if they learned that I, or someone, was aware of something that was thought to be private. (I’ve never revealed to anyone that I am aware of their secrets…I do want a lot of people to know how much they can trust me, but I suspect telling them could cause them embarassment and make them uneasy. I don’t want to do that to them.)
As stated in the book, there are many benefits to being able to access elusive data. And, there can be negative results for some in being able to recall bad memories.
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In Part Two of the book, Chapter 6, the position is taken that: “Textbooks should be replaced by tablets, notebooks, PDAs, or evern cell pones…”
And I STRONGLY agree. It is in the best interest of this country, our communitities, and our families for our populace to have access to as much information as possible as conveniently as possible. How to do so is a different extensive debate for other venues. If we don’t lead, odds are we shall follow…
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When I went to the book’s website, I was surprised to find a quote from the CEO of Evernote. But it passed… after all, we are considering saving “everything”.

brand new Diskeeper 2010 now available

Diskeeper 2010 defragments enabling better performance. It can: defragment the paging file, defragment the Master File Table, and consolidate directories. And there’s an option for boot-time defragmentation (according to my report in DkBootTime.log, pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys are amongst the files that are optimized).

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From the Readme.txt file (of the x86/32-bit version):

C. CHANGES IN DISKEEPER 2010

IntelliWrite is a ground breaking technology that prevents the majority of fragmentation from ever occurring, dramatically improving Windows system performance.

…IntelliWrite reduces the need for disk head movement and results in a reduction of system resource usage and power consumption.

F. KNOWN INCOMPATIBILITIES
1. Acronis Backup and Recovery — To avoid any potential data loss we don’t recommend defragmenting volumes on which Acronis Backup and Recovery is enabled.

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Make sure the version of Diskeeper you are considering is compatible with the operating system you are using. For example: Diskeeper Home is not designed for Windows Vista Business edition

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Before using Diskeeper, I checked my hard drive for errors with Chkdsk (automatically fixing file system errors, and attempted to recover bad sectors).

According to the Diskeeper Performance Report, after installig Diskeeper, the read and write access time improved 50%.

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Before I get to the geeky/techy stuff below, my summary is: I have used Diskeeper for years, and recommend it.

Per their website: “We are so confident that our products will improve computer speed and reliability at your home or business that we fully guarantee your purchase for 30 days. If you are not completely satisfied with your software purchase, simply contact customer service within 30 days of your purchase date for a full refund of the software purchase price.”

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To try to allow you to be able to compare some values, I’m sharing some of its reports of one of my computers.

Here is the analysis Job Report:

Findings and Recommendations
————————————————————————–
Diskeeper has completed analysis of this volume and found
7,372 low performing files and/or directories and 63,184
excess fragments.

The count of low performing fragments is 56,326.

Very heavy fragmentation detected on this volume. You
should turn on Automatic Defragmentation and allow it to
run full time for maximum performance.

The free space on this volume is moderately fragmented.
Keep Automatic Defragmentation turned on to correct this
problem.


Health
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Critical!

The overall health of volume C: is severely affected

The overall health is at “Critical” for the following
reasons:

1. The volume is heavily fragmented. The count of low
performing fragments is 56,326.

2. The free space on this volume is moderately fragmented.
The percentage of low performing free space is 1%.


Access Time
————————————————————————–
Time to read fragmented files on volume C

Current read time: 8 minutes

Optimum read time: 4 minutes

46 % improvement



Time to read all files on volume C

Current read time: 33 minutes

Optimum read time: 29 minutes

12 % improvement


Statistics
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Volume Files
Volume size = 95,143 MB
Cluster size = 4 KB
Used space = 60,801 MB
Free space = 34,342 MB
Percent free space = 36 %

Free Space Fragmentation
Percent low performing free space: = 1 %
Total free space extents: = 45,076
Largest free space extent: = 880 MB
Average free space extent size: = 780 KB


Low-Performing files percentage
% of entire volume = 12 %
% of used space = 19 %

Directory fragmentation
Total directories = 22,125
Fragmented directories = 455
Excess directory fragments = 1,559

File fragmentation
Total files = 180,973
Average file size = 358 KB
Total fragmented files = 13,750
Total excess fragments = 61,623
Average fragments per file = 1.34
Files with performance loss = 7,126

Paging file fragmentation
Paging/Swap file size = 2,047 MB
Total fragments = 1

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 215 MB
MFT records In Use = 204,638
Percent MFT in use = 92 %
Total MFT fragments = 2

(In the Most Fragmented Files section of the report, \System Volume Information\_restore appeared the most.)

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Here is the Job Report after I defragmented:

Findings and Recommendations
————————————————————————–
Diskeeper has completed a defragmentation run on this
volume and there remain 1 low performing files and/or
directories and 2 excess fragments. (There were 63,196
excess fragments before the defragmentation run, and now
there are 99% fewer.)

The count of low performing fragments is 0.

Little or no fragmentation detected on this volume. You
should keep Automatic Defragmentation turned on full time
to maintain maximum performance.


Health
————————————————————————–
Healthy

The overall health of volume C: is minimally affected by
fragmentation due to the low level of fragmentation.

There are no volume health issues related to fragmentation.


Access Time
————————————————————————–
Time to read fragmented files on volume C

Current read time: 29 minutes

Optimum read time: 0 microseconds

100 % improvement



Time to read all files on volume C

Current read time: 29 minutes

Optimum read time: 0 microseconds

100 % improvement


Statistics
————————————————————————–

Volume Files
Volume size = 95,143 MB
Cluster size = 4 KB
Used space = 60,805 MB
Free space = 34,337 MB
Percent free space = 36 %
Defragmentation method = Max Disk Performance

Free Space Fragmentation
Percent low performing free space: = 0 %
Total free space extents: = 3,762
Largest free space extent: = 990 MB
Average free space extent size: = 9,346 KB


Low-Performing files percentage
% of entire volume = 0 %
% of used space = 0 %

Directory fragmentation
Total directories = 5,674
Fragmented directories = 0
Excess directory fragments = 0

File fragmentation
Total files = 154,555
Average file size = 420 KB
Total fragmented files = 0
Total excess fragments = 0
Average fragments per file = 1.00
Files with performance loss = 0

Paging file fragmentation
Paging/Swap file size = 2,047 MB
Total fragments = 1

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 215 MB
MFT records In Use = 204,831
Percent MFT in use = 92 %
Total MFT fragments = 2


Most Fragmented Files
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Fragments File size Most fragmented files
None


SkullCandy puts the Music in your Head

A couple of weeks back we received a question about headphones and some brands we would recommend. The Question came from a lover of music that was looking for good quality sound, sturdy headphones and offered a style. He had asked us about a company called SkullCandy and wanted to know what we thought of the line from the company that seems to target the younger ager set 16-24 and give them style and good sound from earbuds and traditional headphones.

Carol sent the company an email and we received a pair of “cans” to take a look and listen with. Impressive looking, even while still in the packaging, was our quick summation. Hard colorful plastic with Soft earphones and a cable set up that seems to deal with cords wrapping around you while DJ’ing, casual listening or listening to the closed ear style while still maintaining some activity. The comfort level seems high with these, The GI, that we looked at. Replacement Earpads and a cord that can be disconnected in two places, great for not having a long cord trailing you like a bad shoelace. A nice carrying bag also came with the SkullCandy headphones that Slick and Carol will look at on this weeks TechtalkRadio Broadcast Show.

I’ve put a couple of pictures here in the blog and we’ll post an official review after we get a chance to play with these a bit.

Dell announces ProSupport for IT, and good news it is!

“Dell Breaks the Mold of Tradional Support” reads the headline out of Round Rock, Texas, as they announced ProSupport for IT in hopes of “Breaking the mold of tradional, one size fits all, services offerings…” (For the full Dell press release click here.)

As an IT professional whose employer uses Dell workstations, servers and other periphrals almost exclusively (we have a few Mac’s, a workroom full of Xerox printers, etc.) it has been a love/hate relationship when it comes to getting Dell Customer Service Representatives (DCSR) to provide what I need and in the time frame I need it.

Either the experience is unbelievably easy and quick or I end up wishing I was chewing broken glass rather than spend another moment with an unresponsive, sub-human being whose singular goal appears to get me to hang up out of frustration. (The later scenerio has become quite rare in the BUSINESS world, but still prevalent in the HOME user enviroment.)

The ProSupport for IT website seems intuitive and rich in content…it is my intent to report my personal experiences in depth as I ‘test’ the site AND when next I need IT support from Dell.Stay tuned!