Showing posts from March, 2013

Gadget of the Week - MaxWest 4200 Dual-SIM Phone

This gadget isn't for everyone. BUT, if you travel internationally (e.g. Canada, Mexico, Europe etc), this phone might be of interest. First of all, it's unlocked, meaning that it works with any GSM carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint etc). Second, it has two SIM slots. That means that it can have two phone numbers, one on one network and one on another. This is very useful when you travel internationally as you can buy a local pay-as-you-go SIM card and then make cheap local calls. BUT, you won't miss any important calls or text messages from your home country as your "home" number will still be active. Plus, you'll still have all your apps, contacts, calendars etc as it's your own phone.

One of customers recommended this phone (she loves it), and also the Net10 plan. Their family Plan is $50 per month with no contract, unlimited voice, unlimited data and no activation fee. I can't speak to their coverage, but our customer said that it was very good…

App of the Week - Yelp

One of the things that we love most about traveling is discovering new places. Since Tracey and I are self-confessed foodies, we also love discovering local restaurants, cafes, bars and even the odd brewery. We're not talking Red Lobster or Olive Garden, but locally run and owned places. I guess it's our way of pushing back on all the processed corporate uniformity that is plaguing our wonderful country.

The question however, is how do you find the gems from the rocks? The wheat from the chaff. You get my drift. Enter Yelp. You can think of it as a local Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor whilst very useful for telling you what the local attractions are, tends to be populated mostly by visitors, not locals. Yelp on the other hand tends to attract locals who offer their knowledge and insight in the form of reviews, some of which can be very detailed. had more than 100 million monthly unique visitors as of January 2013. We find it a gold-mine of local insight.

You do have to b…

iPhone vs Android - Backing Up (Part 3)

In our computer classes, we always talk about the importance of backing up your computer and most people are quite diligent about it (if you aren't consider this a slap on the wrist and check out our Clickfree backup products). However, think about it. Your Smartphone is actually a small computer, and contains a lot of valuable information. If you were to loose it, do you have your contacts and telephone numbers stored somewhere else. What about your photos, music or chat threads? Not to mention the apps you've purchased. Some of this information like your email can be retrieved from other sources, but a lot of it can't. Hence you see the importance of backing up your phone.

In this third part of the iPhone vs Android series, we're going to look how to backup each device and see how they compare.

iPhone / iPad Backup One of the things that's beginning to emerge as we go through this comparison is that the iPhone tends to have a lot of functions built-in, whereas th…

Comparing the TRC 41260 to the Progressive HW50C

"I have taken delivery of my new Entegra Aspire, and it is fitted with a TRC Surge Guard model 41260 transfer switch. Do you know if this a true transfer switch like the Progressive ems hardwired?  Both are 50 amp." - Phil W
The TRC 41260 is an automatic transfer switch with some built-in protection. Transfer switches switch your power between your generator and shore power. The Progressive EMS' units are RV electrical protection systems. They offer electrical protection for your RV rather than switching your power.

The 41260 (link to data sheet) offers 2,600 joules of surge protection, open neutral and reverse polarity protection. Whilst this is better than nothing, it does not offer any where near the electrical protection of the Progressive HW50C or the PT50C. In addition to the open neutral and reverse polarity protection offered by the TRC, the Progressive units offer:

3,580 joules of surge protectionLow voltage protectionHigh voltageHigh and Low Frequency Protection…

Creating a file shortcut on my Android phone

"Once I download something, say a PDF file, can I move it from "downloads" to an icon on the "desktop", or whatever the main screen is on an Android phone? " - Scott
It doesn't look like there's a"native" way to do what you want to do. Instead, I downloaded a file manager app called "Linda Manager" which is free. When you go into it you can find your file (mine was in Downloads), then press and hold the file to bring up the menu and select "Create Shortcut".

A shortcut to that file is then placed on the next open slot of your pages. You can then move this shortcut around just as you would any app. Press the shortcut and it will open the document. Very cool.

Weak WiFi Signal

"We want to purchase a wi-fi booster for our pc computers.  Our laptop is xp and our desktop is vista.  We are in a motorhome just out of range of the wi-fi at the clubhouse where we are staying.  If I stand up and hold the laptop in the front window, I can get online but it is very slow.  The desktop can pick up the signal but it is too weak to connect.  What do we need to do to connect to that or another weak wi-fi signal without having to hook up an external antenna, wires, cables, etc.?  Can you give us the part numbers, too?", Sharon (Bethesda, MD)
Hi Sharon, Yours is a typical problem, a weak WiFi signal. Your best bet would probably be with the Desktop WiFi booster. It comes with a suction cup to mount to the window, that way it is "closest" to the WiFi signal. You can then plug the booster into your laptop or desktop and get the boosted signal.

The down side is that it needs to connect via it's USB cable which is limited in length, and you can only conn…