Thursday, December 11, 2014

High Speed Internet Parks

This is a list of RV Parks with high speed or at least good and reliable WiFi. It is compiled by TechnoRV based on information from our customers and readers. If you know of a good RV park that you'd like to nominate, please comment at the bottom of the post.

Clear Creek RV Park (Golden, CO) - Chris and Jim Guld (Geeks on Tour)

It's run by the city and gets it's internet from the city offices that are about one block away. Any problems and the IT guy walks over and fixes it. Also, there are less than 30 sites, so it is easily covered and not overburdened.

USI RV Park (Wichita, KS) - Carl Wenger

Pioneer Acadian Village (Breaux Bridge, LA) - Carl Wenger


Trails End RV Resort (Weslaco, TX) - Clayton Zimmerman

Just installed a new Wi Fi system last year through Cobb Communications. They have 12 towers with 4 antennas per tower antenna facing in one of 4 directions. Last year we had no connection problems. We don't go down until after Christmas but we anticipate no problems. Also Wi Fi is Free! Cobb indicated that if there were users that were data hogs they would have to pay an extra charge but have not indicated how much.

Friday, November 7, 2014

iPhone vs Android - Which is Best?

This is the fun part. I’d love to say that after my two years pain and tribulations with my Droid that the iPhone is the hands down winner. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. There are things about my Droid that I really do like. For example, I absolutely love Swype which makes text messaging super-easy. Instead of having to tap out each character you drag your finger between the letters and it creates the words. It’s hard to describe, but if you like to text you’ll love it. I can Swype as fast on my phone as I can type on my keyboard!

Next, I love the tight Google integration. Although I like Apple’s ease of use, I find the closed environment challenging at times. For example, I can easily check my calendar or look up a contact from any browser whereas with Apple I have to login to iCloud. 

On the other hand, it always seems as if I’m fighting it ... I bit like when I had to use a Windows PC when I worked for HP. I pick it up to make a call and it kind of says “sorry, it’s not convenient right now ‘cos I’m busy with some other stuff”. Or I try to take a photo and the camera won’t work. Or I try to listen to some music and it keeps jumping. That never happens on my iPhone. 

I know this isn’t helping so here’s a summary of each of the sections to try and make sense of it all.



I was hoping that would help, but really there’s not much in it. Here’s another way of looking at it. 


Hopefully that helps a little more. Having said all this, there is of course no right or wrong answer. Like many things, it’s a matter of personal preference. I will say that after two years my Verizon contract is up and going to go for ...... an iPhone6. Sorry. I gave it a try but there’s just too many things that I find annoying.

Thanks for listening and I wish you every success which ever way you choose to go.  

Note: If you've enjoyed this series and would like all the articles in a single PDF to read on your iPad, eReader etc, simply visit TechnoRV to purchase ($1.99). Or you download a copy for your Kindle from the Amazon store.



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Google My Maps


Back in Feb, 2013 (yes, an eternity in internet time), I did a piece on Google Maps as a great app for planning and sharing trips. Google Maps has advanced considerably since then, with the latest addition being an App called My Maps. It is basically a cut-down version of the full Google Maps but in my opinion is great for quickly accessing or adding locations to an existing map.

By way of example, here's a map that I created for my particular obsession, I mean hobby. Touring breweries of the US:
Once created you can create a route between stops on the desktop version and get turn-by-turn directions, total distance etc. You can even add information for each stop, such as in my case, beers I've tasted from each brewery. There are some limitations such as not being able to upload photos for each stop, but knowing Google, I'm sure they're working on it.


If you'd like more information, you can check out Chris (Geeks on Tour) recent post.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Boosting your Tablet and Smartphone's WiFi

NoFreeWiFi
More and more people are using their tablet or smartphone to access the internet. Gartner forecasts tablet sales to increase by 54% this year while PC sales are set to decline by 11%. Although I don't have any statistics, my belief is that amongst us RV'ers the numbers are even higher. Who wants to schlep a heavy PC around when you can do 90% of what you want to do on an iPad?

Connecting to the Internet

A lot of people travel with a MiFi card or use their phone as a hotspot. This generally works very well, but data can be expensive. If you want to upload photos, download or stream music or install a new OS version it's better to use WiFi. However, connecting your tablet or smartphone to the campground's WiFi can be a real challenge. It's hard enough with a laptop, but I find my iPad's WiFi not as sensitive. WiFi boosters have been around for a while, but almost all of them require you to plug the booster into your device via a USB connection. But as you know, tablets and smartphones don't have USB connections. So what's to be done?

Setting up your own Boosted WiFi Hotspot


We have a gizmo that connects to a WiFi booster and enables you to set up your own WiFi hotspot. It's called the USB WiFi Repeater. You connect the booster to it via a USB cable (which also powers the booster). You then connect to the Repeater over its own WiFi connection and tell it which WiFi signal to tune in to. Once you've done that, any device that connects to your hotspot (e.g. tablet, smartphone, Kindle, Roku box, Smart TV, WiFi Printer) can access the internet. Even better, you'll have your own network so your devices will be able to talk to each other. This can be useful if for example you want to be able to print from your mobile device.

Each time you move campgrounds you'll have to login to the repeater and reconfigure it for the new WiFi signal. To make this easier, we have a TechnoRV Learning Series which takes you through each stage step-by-step. Once you've done it you'll be sitting outside in your easy chair drinking a cocktail while surfing the web in no time.

Selecting your Booster

You'll still need a booster to connect to the USB WiFi Repeater. Boosters amplify the transmit and have bigger antennas and so amplify the receive (but not by as much). That's worth remembering when you use a booster because WiFi is bi-directional, like a 2-way radio. The signal is also line-of-sight and is significantly impacted by obstructions such as RVs, trees, buildings etc. That's why it's best to put the antenna as high as possible and in direct sight of the campground's antenna.

We have three types of booster:

Desktop WiFi Booster


Our desktop booster can either sit on your desk or ideally, suction on to the window facing the campground's WiFi antenna. Even though it is inside, it is about 20 times more powerful than your mobile device's WiFi and can pull in a signal up to half a mile away. Its advantage is that you don't need to run a cable outside. The disadvantage is that because it is inside, there is a signal loss and your signal is more likely to be obstructed. Having said that, it's probably the best bang-for-the-buck.

To buy this solution, you need the Desktop WiFi Booster and the USB WiFi Repeater.

External WiFi Booster Tube


This booster is the same power output as the Desktop Booster (1W), but it has a longer antenna meaning that it has more gain (8db compared to 5db i.e. 1.5x the signal strength). Since it is mounted outside and is higher, it generally performs better than the Desktop booster.

It comes with a long (15') USB cable and a couple of nylon ties. For mounting, we suggest either the rear ladder, or on the side of the bat wing TV antenna if you have one of the manual crank-up type.

Again, the challenge is getting the cable inside - you can either drill through the roof (eeek), pass it through a vent on the roof (e.g. the refrigerator vent) or pass it through an open window.

Once inside, it plugs into the USB WiFi repeater, just like the desktop booster.

To purchase this solution, you'll need the External WiFi Booster and USB WiFi Repeater.


Super-Long Range Solution (Yagi)

The Yagi antenna is like having a super-large dish on your satellite TV. It's really good at pulling in a weaker signal from say a campground's indoor WiFi. This was the situation that I had at a campground in Webster which doesn't have outdoor WiFi, but does have it in the rec room. Using the Yagi I was able to access this weak indoor signal. Here's a video which I created at that campsite showing how I was able to use the Yagi.



The downside of the Yagi is that it works best if mounted outside which means that you need a way of getting the cable inside. Secondly, you always need to point it at the source WiFi. For this reason, we tend to recommend Yagis more for static installations such as park models, or long term camping when you're not moving around every day. Having said that, it is a good tool to have in your "bag". 

If you're interested in this solution, you'd need to buy the Yagi Antenna, LMR Cable, WiFi Booster and USB WiFi Repeater.

Summary

Hopefully this has given you a bit more information on what you'll need to boost your tablet's WiFi. We do also the Learning Series for both the Desktop Booster and the USB WiFi Repeater which gives more information as well as specific instruction on installation and configuring the system.

If you do have any questions, as always, comment on the blog or drop me an email.

Friday, August 15, 2014

iPhone vs Android - Security (Part 7)


We're nearing the end of our iPhone vs Android comparison. In this section we talk about mobile Security. It may be something you haven't really thought about. "Why would anyone want to hack my phone?" you might ask. Well, let's think for a second about the amount of personal data you have on your smartphone.

If someone has access to your phone, they can usually easily access you email (and where are your passwords sent when you click "Forgotten Password')? Then there's your location information, your social networks, your internet searches, the websites you've been visiting, your bookmarks, photos and contacts. See what I mean?

There are two aspects to securing your phone, physical and virtual. Being vigilant to the rising risk of smartphone theft is becoming increasingly important. For example, nearly 2,400 cell phones were stolen in San Francisco alone last year, a 23 percent rise from the year before. According to the  FCC, one in three robberies in the US involve these high-value devices. Not leaving your phone on view or sitting on a coffee or restaurant table are good habits to get into. US lawmakers are in the process of enacting legislation requiring cell phone manufacturer to build a "kill-switch" into their phones (Minnestoa has already passed this law and California isn't far behind). This should help reduce the theft issue by making the stolen devices effectively worthless, but for now, it's still a major issue.

On the virtual front, there are a number of simple things that you can do to protect yourself.

iPhone

First of all, make sure that you "Lock" your phone with a code. It's in General / Passcode Lock. This can be either a simple 4-digit code or a more complex password. I suggest also enabling "Erase Data" which will delete your phone's contents after 10 failed attempts (don't forget your number). You should also enable Find My iPhone which enables you to track your phone, lock it, remotely wipe it and prevent it from being reactivated without your password. Of course, you should regularly backup your phone ... see my earlier article on backup).

Android

The situation on Android is a little more complex. Apple’s iPhone is generally deemed to be secure due to its ‘sandbox’ configuration. This stops applications communicating with the phone and means the platform accounted for only 0.7% of mobile malware in 2012. Google's Android operating system is built on an open model which means that it is much easier to post malicious apps which can hijack your phone, send text messages to super expensive phone numbers, monitor your calls or online shopping.

To protect yourself, first of all, only download your apps from Google's Play Store. (make sure Settings / Security & Screen Lock / Unknown Sources is unchecked).

Next, always check the permissions that the app is asking for when it installs itself. For example, Angry Birds doesn't need permission to send text messages.

Next, just as on the iPhone, make sure that your phone has a lock. On my Motorola Droid, this can be a pattern, face recognition or a PIN. I've tried the face recognition and it's crap. It can take multiple attempts and is slow. I used to use a pattern because I thought it was cool and easy to remember. Then I met a chap who ran the FBI's Cyber-Crime Prevention team. When he saw me swipe my phone to get into it he said "Don't use a pattern, it's way too easy to crack. Just hold your phone up and look at the screen sideways. You'll see the smear pattern left on the screen. Just trace it one way or the other way and bingo, you're in." Now I use a PIN. Interestingly, he also said that at last count they had over 100,000 known malware and virus' on the Android, but none on the iPhone. I couldn't believe it. None is incredible.

Next, make sure your phone automatically locks (Settings / Security & Screen Lock / Automatically Lock) and that Verify apps is checked (Settings / Security & Screen Lock / Verify apps).

Finally, I'd recommend installing at least one security app. There are many to choose from, but I'd recommend either Lookout (my preference), AVG Mobilation Antivirus or Avast Free Mobile Security. These apps will check for malicious apps during installation, premium telephone numbers, find your phone, remotely lock and wipe etc. Having used them on my Droid, they can slow your phone down and cause some hiccups, but in general I believe it's definitely worth any downside.

Remember the saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? So be sure that you're regularly backing up. On Android that's easy. Just enable your Google+ backup (Settings / Accounts / Google and then make sure everything is checked). You can also see my article on Phone Backup.

So Which Offers the Best Security?

Like everything, it's personal preference. I like the iPhone because it offers excellent security without any need to install third party apps which can cause issues. On the other hand, it doesn't offer app permission or the ability to encrypt the phone and SD card. The real take away is to protect yourself by taking these simple steps:
  • Be vigilant when using your phone, especially when out and about
  • Lock your Device
  • Make sure you've recently backed up
  • Keep your OS and Apps up-to-date
  • Be careful what you click on
  • Only download apps from Google or Apple
  • Install a mobile security app if you're on Android
  • Be careful with public or unsecured WiFi

Friday, May 16, 2014

App of the Week - LastPass

It seems like every week there's a new "threat" we have to worry about. The latest Heartbleed and Internet Explorer vulnerabilities are just 2 of the latest examples requiring us to be vigilant with our passwords. "Change your password" they tell us, but that's easier said than done. Mozilla did a study of volunteers that saved passwords in Firefox some time ago. From the volunteers, more than 30% used less than 3 different passwords. People are still using common passwords like 123456 and password. But even more complicated passwords involving substitutions such as "dr4mat1c" and phrases like "Iloveyou" are getting easier for hackers to crack as computers get faster and the software they use more sophisticated. According to InstantCheckMate, an expert hacker can crack the average password in under 3 minutes. So what's to be done?

Safest Passwords

The safest passwords to use are those that are completely random, use combinations of numbers, letters and special characters and are 8 characters or more. "d2#-.6hGr,!oP2" would be a good example. Next, you need to use a different one for each website. Plus, you shouldn't write them down, put them in a spreadsheet or word document (even if they are mixed with bogus ones or translated in some way), and definitely don't write them on the front of your laptop with a sharpie like a friend of mine! This is where you need help in the form of a Password Manager.

Password Manager

A password manager is a small app or program which helps you remember all your passwords, and more importantly, which password goes with which site. There are many different password managers and since you're trusting it with your most sensitive information, it's important to pick a trustworthy one.

One that we used to recommend is RoboForms which has been around for years, but technology changes so rapidly we have changed our recommendation now to LastPass.

LastPass

TechnoRV loves LastPass. Here's why:

  • It is secure, used by millions of people, and is FREE!
  • It will automatically generate a REALLY complicated password for you
  • It will remember which website a particular password belongs to. When you next visit that site it will fill in both the username and password for you
  • It will "learn" your passwords as you visit your websites and enter your information
  • You can store all your important information such as safe combinations, medical and financial information as encrypted "Secure Notes"
  • You Can enter your credit card information, shipping and billing addresses and save them as a profile which it will then automatically fill in the correct fields for you when you're internet shopping.
  • There's a paid version which runs on your Smartphone and gives you access to your LastPass vault
  • You can access your LastPass vault from any computer connected to the internet

When you use LastPass, you only have to enter your master password once to "unlock" your digital safe. Just make sure your master password is a good one. Phrases of random words with substitutions is a good idea, for example Beer*W1ne-Cider!.

Is LastPass Safe?

First of all, nothing in life is guaranteed, except death and taxes. Having said that, I'm comfortable with their level of security (a hacker is welcome to my overdraft!). It's up to you what level of security you deem acceptable.

Here's some of its security features:

  • AES 256-bit encryption with routinely-increased PBKDF2 iterations (techno-speak for pretty awesome)
  • All sensitive data is encrypted and decrypted locally before syncing with LastPass which means that if someone hacks the LastPass servers, they will only be able to see your heavily encrypted (scrambled) data.
Just a couple of safety tips. In LastPass settings, be sure to tell it to log you out when your browser closes and after a set period of inactivity. You can also disable logins to your account from everywhere except the United States.

How To I get LastPass

Simply visit www.LastPass.com and sign up. You'll then download a file which will load a plug-in into your browser (we recommend using Google Chrome). You'll then have to sign-in with your LastPass username and password and start browsing.

Summary

We use LastPass all the time and think it's great. Both Tracey and I share the same LastPass account so we can always get to each other's information. This is important because if something happened to me I want Tracey to be able to access all our financial sites. More importantly, it's dynamic, so when we have to change passwords, LastPass always has the latest version. I can truly say it has made at least one aspect of our life a lot easier.




Thursday, May 8, 2014

Take Control of your Email with Gmail

Love it or hate it, email is a fact of modern life. Since the first email was sent by Raymond Tomlinson back in 1971, email has grown to over 140 billion of them sent every day! If you ignore your email, you'll end up missing the important one from your bank to say that a check has bounced, or that someone's being trying to hack into one of your accounts. It's the same in business. A report earlier this year indicated that workers spend 28% of their time in their inbox, yet only 14% of these emails are deemed "important."

There are some simple things that you can do to make life a little easier for yourself:

  • Have 2 personal emails, one for important stuff like banks, family and friends and TechnoRV newsletters, and the other throw-away one for shopping, rewards cards etc.
  • Re-train yourself. There's no need to delete messages to "clear your inbox". GMail offers 15Gb and Yahoo has just announced 1TB (yes, one terabyte) of storage for their email (if the average email is about 50KB, you could store about 200 billion emails. To put that into perspective, if you got 100 a day and never deleted a single message, it would take over half a million years to fill up your inbox! Bottom line ... there's no need to delete. 
  • Unsubscribe from email you don't want. Studies have found this can reduce your email by up to 30% making it easier to find what you do want.
  • Don't bother filing your email into neat folders, a good search facility will mean you can always find it again later (assuming you can remember what to search on!).

This can only take you so far. I get on average 150 emails a day. Not all of those are important, maybe only 20%. But it was taking me an inordinate amount of time sorting through them all. But then I discovered Google's Gmail. Even though I'm a self confessed Mac fan, I LOVE Gmail. Okay, there's some things about it I don't like, but on the whole, I think it's given me back at last an hour to an hour and a half each day. That's worth a lot to me.

In the rest of this article I going to tell you why I love Gmail and why you should think about using it if you don't already. In my follow up article I'll cover how to get the most out of Gmail.

Top Benefits of Using Gmail

You Don't have Ditch Your Old Email

Most people think that to use Gmail you have to give up your old email address. Not so. Gmail lets you "pull" your email from other email accounts. Even though I log into Gmail every day, I receive email from my Google address, from my TechnoRV email, and from another email account I have. Simply go to Settings and then Check Mail from other accounts.


It's in the Cloud

Let me explain. The Cloud is where your stuff gets stored, securely. I can check my Gmail on any computer, and all my email, settings, folders and sent mail will be there. Better still, the same applies if I check my Gmail from my smartphone.

To do this you'll probably need to download the Gmail app. Even if you have an Android based device, you may still need to do this as the basic Android email client is pretty hopeless (there's a Gmail app for the iPhone).



Let's say you start an email on your computer and then get distracted and don't send it. If you go into Gmail from your smartphone, you can see the draft email, finish it and send it. That's pretty cool in my book.

It Integrates with Other Google Features



My experience on the Motorola Droid, whilst painful, has got me closer to Google. One of the things I do like is the "openness" of it's architecture (unlike Apple) and so I've standardized on Google Contacts, Google Calendar and Gmail. Since these are in the Cloud, they are always backed up, and more importantly, available from any computer or device (unlike Apple's more closed architecture). I've found that Gmail integrates very well with calendar and contacts. For example, in Gmail, if someone sends you a date and time, you can easily add it to you calander with 1-click. When you get email from someone it's easy to add them to your contacts, plus it connects with Google+ to show you a picture of them if they have one (a useful feature as you get older!).

How Do I Get Gmail

If you don't have Gmail it's a simple signup process, and it's free. Simply visit Google's Gmail signup page. You'll need to enter your current email address to prove you're a real person. If you need help, Google has an excellent help page.

I couple of additional points as your signing up. Make sure you select a good password (10+ characters with a mix of letters and numbers - better still use LastPass). I'd also recommend using the 2-step verification process. It might seem like overkill, but your email password is very important. Think about it, if you forget the login details to your bank account, where do they send them?

One other point. We'd recommend keeping your old email account open for a while. Just keep using your new Gmail and be sure to set it as the defualt to respond with. Over time people will naturally "learn" your new email address. It also helps to import your contacts and send out a notification email. Also be sure to change over all your online accounts to your new email as once you shut down your old email, that becomes much harder to do.

Summary

Hopefully we've given you some insight into Google's Gmail. If you're already using a different email and are happy with it, no need to change. BUT, if you find yourself fighting it and spending too long on the basic stuff, now you know what to do. In our next newsletter article I'll cover how to use some of Gmail's cool features to save you time and tame your email!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Creating PDF Documents

PDF's are a form of document that makes sharing very easy. Many people send files in DOC format, but not everyone has (or wants to have) Microsoft Word. Moreover, the format of your document can change when it is opened on someone else's computer depending upon their fonts, print settings etc. On the other hand, a PDF is like a scan or photo of a document, it looks the same on every machine or device, is very efficient, and generally allows you to cut and paste the text.


PDF's are usually viewed using a free program called Adobe Reader, although it is an open standard format and read by many programs. However, not all programs allow you to save a document as a PDF.

On a Mac, you can just use Preview to "Save as" or when you Print, select PDF. But if you're unlucky enough to use a PC then your options are more limited.


One of my favorite little programs that I've used for years is called CutePDF. Once you've installed it, it creates a Print Queue called CutePDF. Whenever you want to create a PDF file just print your document selecting this print queue. You will then be prompted to select a location and filename. Voila, you're done.

To get this program, visit CutePDF and download your free version (you don't need the Pro version and if it prompts you, uncheck the option to install a browser toolbar, you don't want that either).

If you want to save websites or documents as PDF's (e.g. recipes) from a smartphone, it's a little more complicated. You'll need an app such as PDF Printer. It's pretty cool and can convert documents, photos, and web pages, but it's not free ($5.99 from the App Store).

Happy PDF'ing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Latest isn't Always the Greatest - Ion Air Copy

We love our Portable Document Scanner (called the Docuscan) and our customers seem to love it too. It scans onto its own SD memory card and so is completely self contained. Every now and again you put the card in your laptop and copy over your scans.

But, what happens if you don't have a laptop like many of our customers who are beginning to travel just with their tablets. How can you scan your photos or documents (other than using something like Genius Scan which we reviewed earlier)?

That's where Ion's new, "better" Air Copy scanner comes in. On paper, the Air Copy looks like a big step-up from its predecessor, the Docuscan. It has a rechargeable battery (something the Docuscan was sadly missing), but best of all, it's able to scan wirelessly over WiFi bringing an affordable portable scanner to Tablet's and Smartphones.

Before we agree to sell anything at TechnoRV, we always go through our testing process, and the Air Copy was to be no exception. When it arrived I was excited, it looked good, felt good and appeared well made. So how did it perform?

No Internet While Scanning

Sadly, it failed at pretty much the first hurdle, the way that you connect to it via its own WiFi network. This means that before scanning, you must first connect your device to the Air Copy's WiFi network. If you're connected to the scanner, then you're not connected to the internet and so can't upload what you've scanned using something like DropBox. You have to disconnect from the scanner and then re-connect back to your regular WiFi.

Poor Software

In order to use the scanner, you have to download a free app. This is then what you use to control the scanner. The problem is that I couldn't connect my Motorola MaxHD Droid Smartphone running Android to the scanner's WiFi. If it did connect, it then dropped off. I then downloaded the app on my iPad and it worked fine. Next I wanted to test it on my Windows laptop. I downloaded the software, but when I went to install it, it wanted to install Microsoft .NET Framework. I don't think so, not on my MiFi connection. Okay, so let's try it on my Mac. Oops, even though the manual, box and website all say it supports MacOS, there is no app available, just a Windows 7 one.

No Charger

I know there is always pressure to control costs, but selling a rechargeable scanner without a charger seems, well, just daft. You do get a short (16") USB cable and then are supposed to charge it from your laptop (if you have one) or I guess some other USB charger (my iPad charger worked well).

Summary

If you want a portable scanner to scan photos with your iPad or iPhone, I think you'd be pretty happy with the Air Copy (although some users complain of slow copy speeds on the fine setting). Is it a step-up from my Docuscan as the literature suggests? No, I don't think so. I'm going to stick with my Docuscan for now at least!

Great use of Technology

Nobody actually likes doing laundry, especially me, that is until now. In fact, I actually thought my laundry basket was broken last year. I would put my clothes in it, but they stopped re-appearing in my closet, all clean and folded. I eventually traced the fault to a missing component in the system ... Tracey was in the UK!

So back to enjoying doing the laundry. A couple of weeks ago Tracey and I were staying for a night at Lazydays. Now I'm not a big fan of Lazydays (cramped and small sites, weird raised dumps right at the back of the lot and expensive), But, they have a very, very cool laundry.


Here's how it works. The laundry actually has its own website. From there you can actually see how busy the laundry is and even which washers and dryers are free and how long the ones in use have left on their cycle. The photo above is the view from your computer. You can access the website from your smartphone and you get a simplified view.



Impressed? Well, it gets better. After we'd dragged our laundry down there (Ally had "borrowed" our van so we were without transport), we put it in the laundry, only to find that I didn't have any quarters and no cash on me. No problem, the laundry accepted credit cards so you could charge all your washing to your card. Much more convenient than messing with stupid quarters (always thought how antiquated that was).


After paying with our card, we set off the machines and then went to the pool next door. Nothing special there, expect that after 35 mins I got a text message on my phone from the washing machine to say that it had finished! How cool is that? A quick change-over and then the dryers did the same. I was very, very impressed. Now I can't wait to do the laundry again. The only downside is that, as far as I can tell, there's only one of these internet enabled laundries so far. Hopefully more are coming, so if you meet a friendly campground owner, tell them about this service.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Alfa Desktop WiFi Booster - Windows 8 Support

The Alfa Desktop WiFi Booster does work with Windows 8, but there is no official Windows 8 driver for this product yet. Some computers are "plug-and-play compatible" meaning that no driver is required, they will just work when you plug in the booster. Others require the driver to be installed.

Unfortunately, the CD that ships with the product does not currently work on Windows 8, but, you can install the driver manually. Below is a video showing you how to do this.

Please note that the Alfa Client Utility (the crab) will not yet work on Windows 8, but you can use Windows to scan for and connect to WiFi networks just like you would normally.