Thursday, November 3, 2011

Docuscan User Tips

Here's a couple tips in using the Ion Docuscan:

  • The menu button will not function unless there is an image on the SD card. Try scanning an image by pressing the scan button and inserting paper or a photo, and then press the menu button.
  • The images will be given a sequential file name. If you remove every image from the SD card, the Docuscan will start again from zero. If you'd like to ensure that you don't have duplicate file names we suggest leaving the last image (the one with the highest number) on the SD card. The Docuscan will then resume naming from that number. 
  • When scanning small receipts or paper that bent or curved, make sure that the paper continues to keep the little scan button on the right hand side of the scanning slot depressed. I find that pressing the paper lightly with my finger or a piece of card will keep the scan running.
  • If you don't have 110v while traveling, check out our 12v to USB adaptor. That way, you can run the Docuscan from USB power without needing to connect it to your computer.

Docuscan Doesn't Support Snow Leopord

TechnoRV has identified an issue with connecting the Docuscan to Mac's running Snow Leopard (10.6) and above. Until this is rectified, we are not supporting the direct connect feature on this operating system version. You however, still take the SD card out of the scanner and place it directly in your Mac and transfer the images manually.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Converting .jpg to .pdf

The Ion Docuscan has been a runaway success so far, both at Escapade and on our website. However, a number of you have asked how to convert the .jpg files (it's native format) to .pdf (much better for saving and sharing documents). On of my favorites is called CutePDF. It's like a print queue, but instead of printing, it save your document to a file in PDF format (it asks you for a name and location). Best of all, it's free!

Of course, if your on a Mac you don't need anything, just open the document in Preview and then 'Save as pdf'.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Americas Mailbox

Monday, August 15, 2011

Clickfree C6 vs C5

"I have watched your video on clickfree. We are very interested but, there are quite a few models on the market and the latest one "clickfree C6" which has lots of features we like, did not have very good reviews. Which model do you recommend. I mostly need it for all my pictures which, have never been backed up since 2007" - Carol

Although we haven't field tested the C6, it does have a couple of short comings which cause me to actually prefer the C5 for our customers. Firstly, I'm not a big fan of creating a complete disk image. If you inadvertently have a virus infection when you create the image, your whole backup will be infected which is not great news, especially if you've paid Best Buy $200 to re-build your system. Secondly, it doesn't support Mac's. We're finding more a more people are moving to Mac's, so having a backup system that supports both operating systems is a big plus, especially if you want to be able to move your files from a PC to a Mac.

We do have a special on the Clickfree C5 at the moment, if you're interested, just follow the link.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Accessing the Eyelog video

"Phil - I bought the Eyelog from you. Everything works good but 2 things: All the viedeos come out black. There is never anything to see. The pictures are fine. Second, i am not able to "gon" or "goff" by SMS" - Harald.

1) Videos
I'm assuming that you mean when you receive the videos on your phone. Have you tried looking at the videos on your email. My guess is that they will be working. I have the same problem. I believe that the issue is to do with the phone's inability to read the video format. I'm on an iPhone and can't see the videos, but I can on email. You could research to see if there is a player which accepts the Eyelog format.

2) Remote Access
Not sure what's going on here. When you try to "gon", the Eyelog will send you back a challenge email which you need to to copy and then send back again. It's a security feature to make sure that only the 'authorized' phone number (i.e. the one stored in the Eyelog) can turn it on or off. If you are doing that and it's still not working, let me know.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Sprint device doesn't offer the coverage I need

"I would like your input on a wireless broadband connection. Right now i have Readybroadband which I purchased at Walgreens. It is supposed to have Sprint coverage by what they tell me. I pay $25 per month and it seems to be enough to get what i must get done. But, looking at the coverage for sprint it is not very good in a lot of travel areas. So, would appreciate your input on something. I paid $40 for the device and as I said I pay $25 for the minimum for the month." - Brenda S

If you're going to travel, I would recommend moving away from the Sprint device that you have and going with Verizon. I know it's a pain as you've paid $40 for your Sprint card, but really, Verizon is much better. For $30 a month you'll get 3Gb of data which should be ample for most email and browsing (unless you want to watch YouTube videos or download movies). I have a 3G MiFi data card one and the coverage is excellent and much better than the AT&T card that we used to have (it still isn't perfect though - we're in Delaware at the moment and the coverage is a bit patchy). When you're not using it, you can suspend your payment for up to 6 months of the year - great if you travel part time. Finally, it's a WiFi device which means that you connect up to 5 computers to the same card. The one that they are selling now is called the 'Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi™ 4510L'.

Your other option is to look at upgrading your phone. New phones from Verizon such as the Palm® Pre 2 ($99.99) or the DROID CHARGE ($299.99 - 4G capable) offer the ability to create your own mobile hotspot. That means that they are like a data card built into a mobile phone. With them you can connect up to 5 computers via WiFi without having to have a separate data card. You'll pay $20 / month for 2Gb of data for either your phone or the computers that you connect to it. Just something else for you to think about.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are Tasers Effective Against Bears?

"I am interested in a taser for protection from bears as we do a lot of walking in bear country. To this end we have two questions: Are your devices effective against bears? Are Tasers legal in Canada as much of our RV'ing in the summer is in Canada?" - Bonnie B.

That's quite a popular question and it has a funny answer, but it really depends upon the bear! Joking aside, they are not designed for use against bears. IF you have one and get attacked by a bear, then you can use it. The problem is that a bear's fur is very thick and so the probes my or may not make good contact with the bear's skin. You can still use the stun gun to his face, nose, mouth etc, but that is way too close for my liking. Finally, Tasers are not legal in Canada and cannot be exported outside the US.

A better option would be the Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent with Belt Holster (on sale at $51.99). That has a range of 35 feet and it's super-strong formulation is specifically designed for deterring bears. Whilst correctly labeled bear spray (not pepper spray) is legal in Canada, there are some requirements about crossing the border with it that are explained in this excellent article.

I hope that helps.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Do we need both a WiFi and a Cell Phone booster?

"As we study more, it seems that we need both a wifi booster for campgrounds to improve wifi and a separate cell phone booster. Can they be mounted side by side and brought in at the same place? If we get the captifi and bring it through the back window (we are slightly concerned about the opening letting in mosquitoes) , is there an extension for the cable so the computer can be in the front where we actually use it? Or could we put a wireless router in back that would broadcast to the front so we could use both computers and the iPad and the iPhone.
What a puzzle to figure this all out.  I mentioned to Orlan what you said about having plan A, B and C. It made us realize that there isn’t a simple solution." Sandy.
I agree, I think you need both (that's what we have). Let's look at them individually:

WiFi Booster
It comes with a 15' hard-wired USB cable which can be extended using a 15' USB extension cable that we sell. You can go longer, but it gets a little complicated as you need a powered USB cable. It can be mounted anywhere on the roof, and can be located next to a cell phone booster (they operate on very different frequencies). If you don't want to bring the wire through the window, some people will use the vent for the refrigerator. Bring the cable down through the opening on the roof and then out at the bottom or side of the refrigerator (that way you avoid drilling holes in your rig). Then you can run the cable through the sides and backs of your cupboards so that it is out of sight.

You can't use a router as that is designed to take an ethernet internet connection (not USB) and share it amongst multiple computers. You could use the WiFi Ranger, but the basic version of that won't boost the signal and I'm really not sure about the Pro version with external antenna.

Cell Phone Booster
For your cell phone booster, you need an external antenna that is as far away from where you'll be working as possible. If you work in the back, you'll need to mount that antenna at the front and vice-versa. I'd recommend the Wilson DT but I'd upgrade the antenna to an omni-directional trucker antenna as the one the DT comes with bi-directional meaning that you'd need to keep adjusting it every time to parked somewhere (not exactly feasible). That also has the advantage of more gain (i.e. more powerful) and has a mounting spring which you can connect to a ladder for example. That will then boost the voice AND data signals for you iPhone and iPad and a data card if you have one. BUT, the devices need to be close to the internal antenna, so I'd recommend using bluetooth headsets such as the Cobra Trucker.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who Says it's "either or"?

So here's the photo to show the wife when she says that "it's either a Corvette OR a motorhome"!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Which is better, Verizon or AT&T?

In the first quarter of 2011, AT&T's revenues were $30B with profits up a record 39% to almost $3.5B. With such bumper results, you would think that AT&T customers would be the happiest they've ever been. Think again. Customers are leaving AT&T in droves, mostly to Verizon now that they have the new iPhone4. But does that tell those whole story? Is Verizon truly better? Is it worth switching?

I've been with AT&T since I first moved to the US almost 12 years ago with Hewlett-Packard. Although I can't say that I liked them, I didn't really dislike them either. Their coverage with no roaming charges seemed okay and since I traveled a lot, it worked well for me. When the iPhone first came out, I was an early adopter. It was love at first sight. But it hasn't been a completely smooth romance. My first sign of trouble was the problem with my iPhone not ringing. I could have 5 bars and then receive a notification that I've got a voicemail. The phone never rung and didn't even indicate that someone had called; it just diverted directly to voicemail. After researching on the internet and talking to AT&T, it turns out that this is a 'glitch' with no known fix date. In addition, the percentage of dropped calls on AT&T's network had risen to 5.8 percent in 2010, compared with 2 percent for Verizon, according to a survey by Changewave Research. Infonetics Research.

More recently, I've been finding that my iPhone has gotten slower and slower, even in 3G areas. If I'm in a city, or at a convention such as CES earlier this year, it's almost impossible to use. This has been happening as far back as 2009 (see the NYT article "Customers Angered as iPhones Overload AT&T". So what has AT&T been doing to fix the problem? In March it announced that it would spend $39B for T-Mobile, a deal that PC Magazine calls "For phone owners, tech lovers, and American consumers, this is a total disaster." Once would have thought a better use of the money would be to speed the upgrading of their network to 4G as AT&T is already lagging Verizon in that regard.

But what about pricing, how much are you going to pay? Here's where it get's interesting. Rather than fix their network, AT&T has changed their pricing plan. Gone is the unlimited data plan, even though in the 2009 New York Times article they reported that they have "no intention of capping how much data iPhone owners use". Now a new iPhone 4 comes with either a 2Gb plan ($25/month) or 4Gb ($45/month). But what happens if you go over? One of the great things about the iPhone was never having to worry about how much data you use. Now on AT&T, overage is charged at $10/Gb for the 4Gb plan and a whopping $75/Gb for the 2Gb plan. Verizon on the other hand still offers a unlimited plan for $29.99 (for a limited time), PLUS for an additional $20 you get to tether up to 5 other devices (AT&T allows you to connect 1 device via the ultra-slow Bluetooth connection). So if you have an unlimited plan on AT&T, make sure that you keep it.

Finally, I have a real problem with a company that doesn't appear to have it's customers interests at heart. For example, in March of this year, AT&T only just admitted that it clipped the wings of its 4G network and that is the reason that two recently released phones, the Motorola Atrix 4G and the HTC Inspire 4G have dismal upload speeds. In another example, in Feb this year, a California man issued a class action lawsuit against AT&T claiming systematic over-charging. He engaged a consulting firm that found out that, over a two month span, AT&T bills overstated traffic up to 14 percent resulting in inflated data charges. Talking of inflated charges, AT&T round-up your data charges. For example, if you go 2.1Gb over your plan, they charge you for 3Gb. 

So what's the bottom line. For me, I've already moved my data card over to Verizon and it's been a great experience. I'm paying half what I used to, the coverage and speed is better, and the customer service is awesome (for example, I can suspend my service for up to 6 months a year, something AT&T used to offer but stopped several years back). As soon as my contracts come up I'll be moving over our 2x iPhones and the kid's Blackberries.

For you, if you have an iPhone and are thinking of the iPhone4, or are looking for a new plan, it may be time to look at switching to Verizon. That is of course until it all changes again!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Did I ask for it to break?

Here's a weird thing. You buy something online, pay for shipping and it arrives. You open it, only to find that it doesn't work. Sound familiar? Not only is it frustrating and time wasting, but if you're not careful, it can cost you money. You call up the retailer and they apologize and give you a return number for you to send it back. "No, actually, I don't want to have to pay to ship back a product that should be working but isn't. It's not like I asked for a broken one." Then I'll have to wait, gizmo-less for several weeks while they sort things out. Now, try doing that while you're on the road with different addresses every week or more. It never ceases to amaze me how many people accept this as normal and acceptable.

Even the mighty Amazon requires that the gizmo be returned 'unopened'. "If it's unopened, how do I know that it doesn't work?". Some retailers will then direct you back to the manufacturers website. Even worse. They've got your money, leaving you to sort it out with the manufacturer, most of whom will again require you to return it.

Not at TechnoRV! If for what ever reason we ship you something and it doesn't work, or breaks through normal use within the first 30-days, we'll ship you a replacement with a return label. It costs you nothing, as it should be.

So before you buy anything else online, check the small print. What's their return policy? Here's ours

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Almost no signal here in Point South, SC

We're staying at the Thousand Trails resort (The Oaks) at Point South, SC. Rarely have we had such poor cell phone coverage - my AT&T iPhone has around 1 bar, and the Verizon aircard is struggling. Add to that the fact that it's very wooded so out satellite won't work AMD you get the picture! Time to pull put the big guns - the Wilson DT. I'd been waiting for a good place to test this desktop office booster, this seemed like the ideal place. I'll be updating a fill report by video later, bit for now, things look very promising. I set up the local antenna in our back office / bedroom and the outside antenna next to the front bay wing on the roof. Signal strength went from 1 bar to 5 bars! Although we had been able to get Internet on the Verizon MiFi, it was slow, and Tracey wasn't able to establish a VPN (a secure internet connection) which she needs for work. With the booster, bingo!
Next up, comparing the DT to the more powerful SOHO amp and trying the omnidirectional trucker antenna.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 16, 2011

How Ironic

Filming GadPlex from Beaufort City Java & News
Sometimes the irony of a situation has to make you laugh. It was like that on Friday when we were filming the latest episode of GadgetPlex. The subject was Long Distance Communications.

Unfortunately, the campground we're staying at (The Oaks at Point South, SC) had almost 100% tree cover, so our satellite was reduced to a heavy weight on the roof. AT&T service is one bar and our Verizon aircard is super slow. WiFi is via Tengo Internet which I avoid with a barge pole, so coffee shop it was.

Everything was going fine until 5 mins before we started to film and the coffee shop's ISP (their WiFi service provider) went down. No WiFi! Evidently this is a regular occurrence! Luckily there was a weaker WiFi signal that we could pick up, but it wasn't particularly fast. Added to that, AT&T service in Beaufort is less than 1 bar. We persevered, but it wasn't without a due sense of irony given the topic of our episode. Doesn't it strike you as odd that a company that just made more than $3B in a quarter, up 40%, can still offer such awful service in so many 'key areas'? But that's another story ...

[If you'd like to watch us filming future episodes, simply text RVNN to 72727 for instant notification, or sign up for a RVNN U-Stream account]

Friday, May 13, 2011

GadgetPlex - Long Distance Communications & Photo Sharing

About to start filming the next two episodes of Gadgetplex. These episodes will be on  Long Distance Communications and Photo Sharing. As a little change, I'll be joining from the best coffee shop in Beaufort, SC (City Java and News). Why? Okay, I know that the coffee is good, but actually it's becuase the internet at our campsite is REALLY bad, even with my trusty Verizon aircard. Satellite? Not a chance, trees everywhere.

If you'd like to join us in the chat room and watch behind the scenes and ask questions, simply join us live.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is it Safe to Pay Bills when using a free WiFi?

"I'm not real knowledgeable regarding wi-fi.  While traveling in our RV with our laptop, I'm able to connect to free wi-fi sites but I am concerned about paying bills, etc if the sites are not secure.  I subscribe to ESET NOD32 antivirus and wonder if this makes my wi-fi connection more secure?  If you could help me I would appreciate it.  Thanks." - Sharyn A.

Even though you are connected to a free (and I take it "Open" WiFi), as long as you use your browser to connect to secure sites (the URL starts with an https://... and they have a little padlock on the bottom on the window), then everything that you send over the WiFi is encrypted and so is secure. You should avoid sending sensitive information in emails (in any circumstances) as they are not encrypted nor secure. 

The main vulnerability is with spyware and viruses like keystroke loggers that look for your passwords or credit card details to send over the internet to their masters. A good virus protection and firewall package like ESET will prevent that, as long as you keep it up to date and let it complete it's regular scans. 

Finally, Avoid paying bills using computers that you do not trust such as internet cafes as they could very well record your sessions. And remember, avoid clicking on this emails from people to look at their photos, visit a cool website etc. With that done, you should be fine, and much safer than paying a restaurant bill with your credit card!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

GadgetPlex - Join us Live Tomorrow @ 7:30 PM ET

TechnoRV is now co-hosting a very cool new internet TV show called GadgetPlex. It's a short (15 minute) show that appears on the new RV News Network (RVNN.TV), along with other exciting shows such as Nick Russell's "Just a Gypsy", "Ask the Professor" and "What's Wrong with this Picture". 

Together with my co-hosts Dave Dufour and Andy McCaskey we discuss the latest RV gadgets, RV technology and just have some fun. If you click on the logo above you can visit GadgetPlex, watch previous episodes and even sign up for GadgetPlex on iTunes and download the episodes as podcasts to listen to while you are on the road!

One of the coolest thing about GadgetPlex however is the ability to join us LIVE while we are filming. Last week we had a product testing episode and a number of you joined us in the chat room to see 'behind-the-scenes' as well as ask questions and chat to each other. 

TechnoRV's LED Gadget's
Top 10 iPhone Apps for RV'ers

See "behind-the-scenes"
Ask the team questions
Chat to fellow RV'ers

Just go to (or click here) and log in to the chat room (you may have to set up a Ustream account, but it only takes a minute and it's free), and then you can chat with other product testers, ask me questions and join in the fun watching the team tape two episodes of Gadgetplex (this is fun if you've never seen a TV show being made).

I recommend arriving a little before hand to give yourself time to login to the Ustream. Once you're logged in you'll be able to view the show on your computer and chat to people using text in the chat room. Since you will be streaming video to your computer, I recommend a good WiFi connection or using an unlimited aircard.

Will recommend your product(s) to all of my RV'ing friends

"I can't thank you enough for all the great customer service that I received. I can't believe that you would give me a new locket and will recommend your product(s) to all of my rving friends. Again thank you and also for following up with me." - John Howard (4/18/11)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Clickfree Backup is Good for Travelers

If you'd like help understanding what ClickFree can do for you, or how to use it, you should checkout this great blog by Jim Guld (Geeks on Tour) on called "Clickfree Backup is Good for Travelers".