Archive for the Technology Category

Technology – Google restructuring

Posted in Android, Blogging, Business, Economy, Technology with tags , , on 2015/08/11 by rmolby

I just saw an article on tom’s HARDWARE stating that a new umbrella company, Alphabet, will “own” Google, and that all the smaller projects they have running under the Google umbrella will become independent subsidiaries under the new Alphabet group.

According to Larry Page, this is to enable Google to re-focus on it’s core mission, and spin off any successful projects as separate business units with their own budgets and CEOs.

I personally think this is a good idea. Google is a behemoth that must be difficult to manage, and probably impossible to audit. Too many small projects cluttering up the business. By breaking things up each business unit should be able to run meaner, and maybe leaner once it is running profitably.

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Employment – Another new job!

Posted in Blogging, Computer Hardware, Computer Networking, Computer Software, Employer Work, Employment, Income, Technology with tags , , , , , , on 2015/06/17 by rmolby

So, this is week four of yet another new job – and I’m loving this one, too.

As it turned out, about 4-5 weeks ago a former co-worker of mine made me aware of a job position, and after hearing and reading about the employee benefits, and potential salary range, I took the plunge and applied.

Low and behold, I got a call in the middle of May, and by then end of May 2015 I was hired and working for the new employer.

I have to say, in some ways this job is easier due to the corporate compartmentalization, and all the pre-built, organized way of doing business. I have virtually no engineering to accomplish, I can shine at what I do best, which is a troubleshooter of computer and networked peripherals.

Add to that the better offering of benefits in health, life and retirement, and I am a much happier camper. So, I can say, I liked the last job very much, and I liked all the people I worked with, but I like this current job better; while I miss the previous co-workers, my current bunch are great, just as relaxed and mellow, and I am in my element.

Thank you to my fellow co-worker for getting my attention and pushing me to apply! You know how you are 🙂

Technology – Review – RCA ANT112F UHF/VHF/Digital Indoor Antenna

Posted in Entertainment, Technology with tags , , , , , on 2015/04/29 by rmolby

A few weeks ago I did a review of the iView STB3500II digital converter box to receive over the air TV.

So today I just wanted to talk about the antenna, the RCA ANT112F. This antenna reminds me of the old tube TVs from the 50s to the early 80s before cable TV. I recall one of them sitting on top of my grandparent’s TV, and our own having built-in telescoping antennas.

The part I find fascinating and intriguing is that the TV signal has to pass through a brick chimney, wall and a book case full of books and trinkets, but yet even during quite stormy days, this antenna does a great job getting enough signal to the receiver. I am totally impressed!

The antenna just sits on top of the TV armoire, so it is about 8 feet (2.4m) off the ground, so just this little bit of elevation off the ground is sufficient for good reception. My PBS station 13-2 OETA-OKLA transmits in something wider than 16:9, I am making the assumtion it is 21:9, but it looks awesome on my 720p TV, currently showing an Outdoor Oklahoma episode. PBS 13-1 OETA-HD on the other hand is in 16:9 and crystal clear watching Hometime home improvement show. 34.-1 KOCB-HD in 16:9 comes in crystal clear as well. 34-2 getTV is a classic TV channel broadcasting in 480i and the remastered B&W show on right now looks crystal clear.

And since it sits on top of the TV armoire it is just about out-of-sight, out-of-mind in my situation in the living room. I also own a Homeworx HW110AN antenna that is currently connected to my new TiVo OTA that I just got not too long ago. This antenna works great when the weather is good, but just doesn’t have enough surface to get enough signal into the TiVo during bad weather, so I will be swapping the two antennas, putting the Homework on the iView and the RCA antenna on the TiVo.

I give the RCA ANT112F a full 5 stars, considering I paid $8 for it if I recall correctly.

Technology – Review – iView STB3500II

Posted in Blogging, Entertainment, Liberty, Technology with tags , , , , , , , on 2015/02/21 by rmolby

Back in August of 2014, I talked about slowly reducing our recurring bills, and one idea was to cut out the Cable TV bill, and one way I decided to cut down is to only have Over The Air (OTA) TV service, and to use Amazon Prime, Crackle, Hulu, Netflix and other services to fill the lack of regular cable channels.

iView 3500STBII

iView 3500STBII

So, in December 2014, I ordered the iView STB3500II. I had heard a few good things about the device, and one of my co-workers bought one for his office so he can keep an eye on the news.

I read the review on Amazon and at Newegg, and it seems that it is a mixed bag of opinion as to how well the unit works, but I went for it, and now that I have been using it for a while I am quite impressed with its quality and feature sets.

First, a few words of caution, there are a few quirks to the unit, not bad, but something one needs to be aware of.

  1. The unit is slow to indicate it is starting up. When you push the power button, there is no immediate feedback that it is powering up.
  2. When you first set it up, you need to do it using the composite (Yellow-Red-White) cable. It will not auto-detect what is connected to it. This is a major drawback if your TV only has digital inputs. I have an older 720p LCD TV and  it has a lot of different inputs, so it is not a problem, but I struggled trying to make it work with the component (Magenta-Green-Blue-Red-White) output until I realized you start with the composite, then switch it in the settings to component or HDMI. I chose component as my output because I have three inputs on my TV and the iView and my DVD player are the only units with component outputs.

Next, I want to talk about reception. I am currently using the RCA ANT112F “rabbit ear” indoor antenna, bringing back memories from pre-cableTV days.

This antenna seems to be a good paring to the iView as I get excellent reception on all available channels here in the greater Oklahoma City Metro area. I am located just 3 miles south of downtown OKC and I am in range of all the local channels. I have only notice pixelation one time during some really gray and dank conditions, and I don’t even have the extendable antenna booms expanded out.

The antenna just sits on top of the TV armoire, so it is about 8 feet (2.4m) off the ground and there is a good size brick chimney between the antenna and the majority of the TV stations, so just this little bit of elevation off the ground is sufficient for good reception. My PBS station 13-2 OETA-OKLA transmits in something wider than 16:9, I am making the assumtion it is 21:9, but it looks awesome on my 720p TV, currently showing an Outdoor Oklahoma episode. PBS 13-1 OETA-HD on the other hand is in 16:9 and crystal clear watching Hometime home improvement show. 34.-1 KOCB-HD in 16:9 comes in crystal clear as well. 34-2 getTV is a classic TV channel broadcasting in 480i and the remastered B&W show on right now looks crystal clear. Not bad for an US$8 antenna.

The last thing I want to talk about is a cool feature I really like, and that is, I can schedule shows to be recorded to a USB flash or hard drive. I have not used the feature much except to test it. The word is still out how well the videos play on devices other than the iView, but playback on the iView is like watching live TV.

So, overall, I have to say, I am impressed with the quality of the iView, especially for the price at less than US$50.

I would rate the iView 3500II a 4 1/2 on a 5 star scale, or 9.0 to 9.5 on a 10 scale rating.

Technology – UBDC v5.32

Posted in Blogging, Computer Hardware, Computer Software, Employer Work, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2014/12/31 by rmolby

Today at work I am having to clone a partially defective Windows 7 hard drive to another in the hopes of getting the system back up and running.

So, in the past I have used Ultimate Bood CD for Windows but it has not been updated for Windows 7 or Windows 8, so I decided to give the OSS version of UBCD a shot.

I just downloaded the CD ISO file, burnt it to CD, and it appears to be working and able to access windows partitions and clone drives.

I will return after I have used the disk for a bit and update as to what I think about this latest edition.

UPDATE 2015.01.03

This version of UBCD worked great, I was able to clone the drive just fine, but in the end the damaged drive was in far worse shape than I thought, so the integrity of the damaged partition was such that the clone was unreadable.

Needless to say, I am impressed with this version, and linked to the website in my side column.

I will make followup posts as I gain more experience with this version, and I think I will once again keep up with this invaluable tool.

Financial – Micro-tipping with ChangeTip

Posted in Blogging, Business, Economy, Entertainment, Income, Internet, Liberty, Technology, Wordpress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2014/08/24 by rmolby

In my previous post about tipping with bitcoin on Twitter, I talked about using TipperCoin, but this only worked on Twitter. So here comes a different outfit, ChangeTip – A Love Button for the Internet.

Have you ever read something on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or any other social media site and wanted to send the author a small amount of funds to tell them you appreciate the information?

Well, sending very small tips, also called micro-payments or micro-tipping, isn’t really feasible with say PayPal, or most other conventional payment systems, because of all the transaction fees.

Well, all this changed when Bitcoin was created back in 2007/2008 (see history), and today we are are able to make financial transaction in microscopic small amounts. As a matter of fact, as of this posting, it would take 122,174 satoshi to make one (1) US dollar, or 1221.74 satoshi to make a US Penny, according to Satoshi Value.

This means that I can now tip or pay for just the piece of content that is important to me. For example, if I look at a DiY page and all I really needed is a picture of where a part goes on a gadget, I may tip the article or post writer a dollar, but if just needed one paragraph of text to clarify something, or I find a page visually pleasing, I may tip 1000 satoshi, or just under a penny. Hover, if I find something really valuable, say a gardening article, and I decide to print a hard copy of it for future reference, I may tip US$5 because I find it that valuable and I am keeping it for future reference, so it is worth that much. Or maybe 1/4 of the article is worth keeping it, so I will tip US$1.25.

So first there was TipperCoin, a novel way to send small amount of bitcoin to Twitter users. But since this is specific to Twitter users I never really got into it because I just don’t Twitter that much, much less read a lot of Tweets. This all changes with ChangeTip. It is cross-platform, currently supporting GitHub, Google+, Reddit, StoclTwits, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube. They are working on Facebook.

When you sign up, they generously give US$0.50 to start your tipping account. I used my Google+ to do the signing up, and it automatically linked my YouTube channel. I then added all the other social media sites I have an account with.

Now I am ready to both tip and receive tips.

So, here we go, a way to tell authors how much you appreciate their work beyond giving them a “Like”, “Plus” or retweet.

If you found this article useful, you can go here to give me a tip and sign up if you are not a ChangeTip member.

Tip Me With ChangeTip

Employment – Got a job and love it

Posted in Blogging, Employer Work, Employment, Income, Technology with tags , , , , on 2014/08/06 by rmolby

So after being unemployed for around 7 months, I finally landed myself a job. I’d been hunting for a long time, and by chance so a job posting on Craigslist that sounded interesting, so I sent my resume and quoted the job posting in the email, highlighting my skills and other pertinent information.

I got a reply within a few hours and had an interview that Friday, July the 4th, 2014. I was interview by two cool guys that turned out to be my future co-workers. They recommended me to the boss (and CEO) and I cam in the following Monday to meet him and one of the guys.

We had a cool, candid, and long interview, which resulted in a job offer that day, followed the next day with my co-workers issuing me a tablet PC and getting me started that day.

It has been a wild ride of learning the operation since, but I feel like I have been there for a long time. We click, have similar personalities despite being very unique in our own ways, and similar work attitudes. And we like coffee. One of my co-workers makes awesome lattes. So it’s been a whirlwind of around 5 weeks, and I’m loving it. All I have to do is keep up with the learning and training, and make our clients happy, and I should have guaranteed longevity with this company.

The only thing that could currently pull me away from this is winning the lottery!

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