Showing posts from 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 WengerPioneer 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. Als…

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 conveni…

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.

Boosting your Tablet and Smartphone's WiFi

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, …

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 robb…

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 …

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 th…

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 call…

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 …

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…

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.