Monday, November 30, 2009

Can I use Ecco out of the Country?

Sure! Ecco uses the GPS network of satellites to calculate its position. These satellites circle the globe meaning that Ecco can be used literally in any location. However, if you more Ecco to more than 100 miles from its previous location, it will need re-calibration. Click here to view the calibration video.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Speeding up your Computer

I recently had this question from one of our TechnoRV fans, Bill:
"Do you have any knowledge of these software programs that are suppose to clean up and speed up your computer, such as Pitstop, Double My Speed, and so on? Do you sell any of these types of programs? If not can you recommend one?"
It's a good question and a hard one to get answered because there are so many programs out there claiming to speed up your computer, fix your registry issues etc (and charge you in the process).

In the research I did, there didn't seem to be any definitive answer. Some work sometimes, and some don't. I've tried a couple myself and got almost no benefit. A better solution in my opinion is to re-install Windows on your machine (or have someone do it for you). It's drastic, but it works, as it puts your computer back into the condition in which you bought it. I do this about once a year on my Sony Vaio. You'll need the windows installation disk (unless your computer has a partition with the OS loaded onto it. You'll also need to back up all your data and then reload it and your programs.

One more point on the topic regards Apple Mac's. I've had a Mac for more than 3 years and never needed to re-build it. It still runs as fast as the day I bought it. Something to think about next time you're looking for a new computer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

TechnoRV to Offer Free Gift Wrapping

You may not be aware, but TechnoRV does offer FREE gift wrapping!

Simply add your gift to the shopping cart and then during checkout, select the 'Show gift options during checkout'.

Check this box and once you proceed, you will be given the option to enter the comments for your hand written gift message.

Feel free to email us ( if you have any special gift wrapping requests.

You may notice that on your order there is a 1 cent charge for gift wrapping. This is because our website will only allow us to offer gift wrapping for an item if we charge something for it (strange, I know). But don't worry, we'll refund you the 1 cent when we process your order.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rave Reviews for Swift Hitch

If you're interested in buying a Swift Hitch, make sure you have a look at the great reviews it's received on the TechnoRV website. Simply click on the photo to take you to the product page on TechnoRV, then scroll to the bottom to see the reviews.

To make it easier, I've also copes them here:

Very useful (and a lot of Fun) July 7, 2009
Reviewer: William Bevington from Mission , TX United States
I bought this product specifically to hitch up my 40 ft fiver to my Volvo tractor pull vehicle. I had to hitch up completely blind since there is no line of sight to the hitch from the cab of a over the road tractor. I had to get out of the cab about 5 times before I was finally lined up and hitched. Now I do it all from the cab with a little help from my wife raising and lowering the fiver as needed. It is also a limitless source of fun for myself and grandchildren as we find all kinds of ways to entertain ourselves with this wireless camera and monitor. It also has very impressive night vision. The other great advantage to buying something from TechnoRV is the owners. I had the opportunity to spend a little time getting to know the owners Phil and Tracey May. They are an honest hard working young couple who are very quality conscience and customer orientated. You can feel comfortable purchasing anything from this couple, knowing they will stand behind their products.

I Love This Thing! July 4, 2009
Reviewer: Richie Rubenstein from Albuquerque, NM United States
I recently purchased the Swift Hitch camera system and I love it. We tow a 31' 5th wheel trailer and while I am always cautious backing up, I really wanted to be able to see what I'm doing instead of just relying on others and to also save myself endless trips in and out of the truck making sure things were lined up and that I was clear of obstacles. I use the Swift Hitch in 2 different ways. I place the camera on the pin box when hitching up the truck and get a great view of the truck's hitch position as I back into position. Now it's first time, every time. I also attached a small metal bracket on the rear of the 5th wheel trailer (up high and in the middle) and when backing in the trailer I just place the camera on the bracket and get a birds eye view of the space I'm backing into. I love this thing.

Liquid Image Camera Masks - Which is the right one for me?

As both a photographer and a diver, I was blown away when I first saw the Liquid Image Dive Masks about a year ago at the CES Show in Vegas. What a great idea! My daughter Ally and I had scuba certified about three years ago in Monterey California (boy, the water is cold there!), and since then dived in Islamarada (Florida), Bonne Terre Mines in Missouri (read my account on my RV Trip Blog), Mexico and Hondorus.

I'd tried taking photographs underwater with both a disposable camera as well as a rented digital camera in a special housing. The disposable camera was a waste of time, especially as I had to then scan what ever pictures did emerge. The digital caemra was better, but it was still hard as it would bob around on its little strap underwater making it hard to grab hold of and use, especialy as when you're diving there's so much else going on that you have to worry about. I can't wait to get out and use one of these masks as I'm sure that they'll make the whole thing so much easier. They have cross hairs on the mask to show where you are shooting. One press of the button to take a photo and another to shoot video. The mid-range and high end ones even have audio which is very cool.

So how do the photos and videos turn out your wondering? Well, although I haven't taken any yet, I do have some samples from my buddy at Liquid Image who is a big diver. Click on the photo to take you to the Photo Albumn on my TechnoRV Fan Club page. All of the masks use the same camera (5 mega pixels) so you'll get a good idea of what they are all like.

So what about the video? Which one is the right mask? Well, a lot depends upon your budget of course, and what you'll be using them for. Read on ...

Swim Mask (302) - $89.95

This is the cheapest mask and is good down to 15 feet making it great for snorkelling, swimming or just recording fun goofing around on the beach in the waves or in the pool. It will record video at VGA resolution at 20 fps (frames per second) which doesn't sound like much, but don;t be fooled, this little beauty packs great value for money. To get an idea of what that's like, check out the collection of videos on the Liquid Image YouTube video channel for the Swim Mask, or click on the video below.

It's hard to get a good idea of the quality with these videos though as YouTube does a lot of compression on the video making them look not as good as the originals. If you'd like to download an original video file (right click to download) to check out the quality, I have a 38MB file of a turtle and I think you'll be amazed by the quality, even though it's VGA.

Video Mask (310) - $149

This mask has audio as well as better video (D1 which is 720 x 480 resolution at 30 frames per second). It is rated to 33 feet / 10 meters which is fine for snorkelling and shallow scuba dives. Check out the Liquid Image Video Mask Channel, an original video file (right click to download), or the video below:

Scuba Mask (HD320) - $249

Certified to 115 feet, this is the top of the range mask and is great for all types of scuba dives. If you can believe it, the video is high definition (1280 x 720 at 30fps). Check out the Liquid Image Scuba Mask Channel, an original video file (right click to download), or the video below:

Well I hope that gives you a better idea of what this product can do and which is the right one for you. One thing I didn't mention is size. These masks are designed to fit 80% of all faces. If you think that you may need a larger size, let us know as we may be able to special order one for you.

Have fun and be sure to check out these products on TechnoRV, the prices are the best you'll find.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Grandma Maddock's Curried Parsnip Soup

While giving the Locket presentation at the various shows and rallies, many of you have asked for Tracey's Mum's traditional English parsnip soup recipe. It's a wonderful recipe, ideal for these cold winter nights.

For the sugar, I've also included Xylatol and Stivia which are excellent healthy alternatives, and you can't taste the difference, especially in this soup.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 parsnips, peeled & chopped
  • 2 eating apples, cored & chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 floury potatoes (large), peeled & chopped
  • 4oz sultanas
  • 2 UK pints chicken stock (20 fl oz)
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp caster sugar or Xylitol or 1 drop stevia
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped


  • Cook parsnips, apples, onions, potatoes and sultanas in the
  • chicken stock for half and hour.
  • Liquidise and return to the pan with the curry powder, ginger,
  • sugar and seasonings.
  • Cook for another ten minutes and serve sprinkled with fresh
  • thyme.
Let me know how you get on.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Newsletter Archives

Click on the photo to view the TechnoRV newsletter archives covering TechnoRV News, RV tips, Product Updates and the results of our very popular Product Reviews.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Swine Flu Advice

Well, it looks like we've finally succumbed and contracted swine flu.

How do I know?
Well, here's the list from the CDC of swine flu (2009 H1N1) and seasonal flue symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Scoring an 8 out of 9, it's official, I have it. Having said that, I don't know if I'm just lucky, but it doesn't actually feel much worse than some colds that I've had (but then I do get some bad colds).

Is there anything you can do to avoid catching it?
Yes, stay inside and never see anyone. Failing that, there are some things that you can do. There is an email going around purporting to be from Dr. Vinay Goyal that whilst not valid (see Urban Legends), does offer some good advice:
  1. Frequent hand-washing (recommended by the CDC)
  2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach (recommended by the CDC)
  3. Boost your immunity with vitamin C, exercise, sunlight and a healthy diet (source)
Best of luck!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

During my Computer Safety and Security seminar I talk about the use of key board short cuts in Windows. These shortcuts serve two functions. First they save time and mouse work by quickly giving you access to a command or function such as copy or paste without having to navigate the Windows menu system. Secondly, since if you type anything like me, then most of the shortcuts require two fingers / hands which makes you let go of the mouse, thereby providing some relief from the dreaded 'mouse grip' (not letting go of the mouse for long periods of time which can cause ergonomic issues).

So what are these mysterious shortcuts and how do you use them? Well, you can use them almost anywhere on a Windows machine (and some actually work on Mac's!). Here's a list of the most common shortcuts and a link to a complete list:

  • CTRL+C: Copy
  • CTRL+X: Cut
  • CTRL+V: Paste
  • CTRL+Z: Undo
  • CTRL+B: Bold
  • CTRL+U: Underline
  • CTRL+I: Italic
  • ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs
  • ALT+F4: Quit program
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently
  • To copy a file: Press and hold down the CTRL key while you drag the file to another folder
  • TAB: Move to the next control in the dialog box
(CTRL+C means holding down the control button while pressing the C key)

I hope that this helps - have fun and experiment with these and you'll be amazed how much quicker tasks will become. Finally, thanks to Katey at RoversRoost in Casa Grande for the question!