Google Talk – Free Download – Reviewed

I’m back from our trip to CT. Both Jackie and I had an enjoyable time seeing our kids and grandchild and were fortunate to be blessed with good weather during our stay. It was cold and Friday evening we took a lantern tour through an old whaling village on the coast, which brought a new meaning to the word cold! LOL. The wind blowing off the water went right through you. It was good to get back by a fireplace to warm up our chilled bones.

During our stay, my son-in-law and I set up Google Talk on our computers. The download was simple and setting it up was a no-brainer. All a user needs is a Google email account, a video camera with mic [many systems now come with these built in], and the Google Talk software. On the Google Talk site the software is described as:

Since sometimes reading “lol” doesn’t deliver the same punch as actually hearing your friend laugh at your jokes, you can now use voice and video capabilities in your Gmail, iGoogle and orkut chat. From within these services, you can have an actual conversation with someone (seriously, out loud), or even chat face to face over video

What I was amazed about was the quality of the video feed. The picture was very lifelike and required no adjustment on our part. This is going to be a great way to stay in contact with family and I look forward to using it this holiday season.

If you haven’t used Google Talk, I highly recommend it. You can’t beat the price since it is free. Enjoy.

Comments welcome.

Google Talk source.

Amazon Now Has Its Own House Brand

Amazon is slowing gearing up for the introduction of its own house brands. I took a look at the slim offerings when one product caught my eye. Amazon was offering 100 DVD-R blank disks for only $18.39, which is a great price. I am not sure how much shipping cost is because I have an account with Amazon called Prime. As you can guess, I order a lot of goods from the company since I am an Amazon fan of sorts. So having a Prime account pays off for me.

The blank DVD-Rs should arrive by this Wednesday. Once I give them a try, I’ll report about their performance and quality issues if any appear.

Comments welcome.


Asustek Plans To Be Your ‘PC’ Company – Better Than Apple?

Asustek is better known for their quality built motherboards [Asus], which I have personally used for years. But Asustek has been trying to venture out to new territory by offering new laptop and netbook models. Asustek is best known for their Eee PC Netbook which has won raved reviews. But Asustek is like Rodney Dangerfield. They can’t get no respect.

According to one recent article, Asustek has spent so much money on research for their products, that they have failed to use any money for increased advertising. They now have plans to correct the situation. They want to be the ‘Apple’ of the ‘PC’ crowd.

Asustek states the following:

“Our goal is to provide products that are better than Apple’s,” Mr. Tsang said.

Well, at least the company aims high.

Like fellow Taiwanese PC maker Acer, Asustek has spent the last couple of years separating from its manufacturing arm in a bid to create a more independent brand. Its manufacturing subsidiary, Pegatron, sells close 60 million motherboards per year, making it the world’s largest motherboard supplier.

Asustek, formed by a group of ex-Acer employees, plans to create more distance between itself and Pegatron in the coming years by inviting investors to take larger stakes in Pegatron, Mr. Tsang said.

I must say the Asustek is aiming very high by trying to build computers using Apple as their guide. But can Asustek build quality built PC’s that will rival Apple? You decide.

Comments welcome.


Would You Order Glasses Online?

I was roaming around and saw a site which recommended a company called Zenni Optical to order your prescription glasses from. I took a look at the website and they offer a wide variety of different frames as well as glasses starting as low as $8.00. I am sure that most of us would opt for a more expensive pair, but it is good to know that the option is available for those on a tight budget.

On the site they state that:

Using the latest modern materials, manufacturing and marketing systems we bring our product direct from our factories to you. No middlemen, no retail overhead, and practically no advertising budget,(we leave it to you, our satisfied customers to spread the word), we do not pay for or sell expensive, or even inexpensive, brand names, but only our own manufactured brand ZENNI.

Eyeglasses are definitely a personal fashion and style item, and to that end we strive to provide a fashionable and stylish product. More importantly, we feel prescription eyeglasses are a health item necessity for most wearers, and to that end we take considerable pride in being able to bring to all a very high quality product of great durability, safety and comfort at truly reasonable and affordable prices.

I took a look at some of the frame offerings and they look good. Plus the prices are reasonable. But my question is this. Have you ordered glasses online before?

Comments welcome.


Laptop Speaker Replacement Offers Big Sound For $30

Most of us who own a laptop computer know the limitations that the built in speakers provide when playing music or DVD movies. The sound quality is OK, but not room filling. Well along comes Logitech with a USB add on that delivers on sound at a reasonable price.

Not only does this set of speakers outshine the built in units, but also provide a space saving design. But how about this. How about a discounted price of only $29.99 from the original price of $99.99? Sound good? Well Circuit City has these speakers on sale.

Product Description is:


Premium 2.1 audio: Experience pure USB digital sound with a custom-tuned three-chamber design and integrated subwoofer.

Integrated USB hub: Connect these speakers and other devices to your notebook with a single cable.

Space-saving design: A one-piece design elegantly combines a premium speaker system, USB hub, and cable control.

Adjustable body: Adapts to your workspace. Telescoping speakers accommodate setup of most notebooks and LCD monitors.

System requirements:
Windows® 98 SE, Windows® ME, Windows® 2000, Windows® XP, Windows Vista™
USB port
Mac OS® X or higher
USB port

Hurry. This sale won’t last long!

Comments welcome.

Circuit City site is here.

Nintendo Wii – Artificial Shortage Or Is It Quality Control?

It seems that the Nintendo Wii is still in short supply, which is causing some to say that the Nintendo is holding back supply to keep demand and hype up. Interesting. Not being a Nintendo insider, and not knowing anyone who is, there may be other reasons that Wii’s are so hard to find.

Let’s take Microsoft and their X-Box 360 that were failing at an alarming rate. Microsoft had to replace hundred of thousands of units and eventually was forced to provided additional warranties which cost the company a cool Billion bucks. Do you think that Microsoft wished they had spent just a little longer on testing and quality control, before unleashing the units? Do you think that people were happy when their brand new systems started to fry themselves to death? Do you think any parent was thrilled explaining to Johnny and Sally why their new toy was broke?

Nintendo has a reputation as a quality hardware maker. Could it be that they found some units that were not up to standards leaving the assembly line and decided to slow things down a bit? Again, I don’t have a clue why the Wii is still in short supply. But if it’s because of quality concerns, than Nintendo should be commended for their efforts.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Dell's Vostro Laptop – No Touch Typing Allowed

Seems that Dell doesn’t like people who touch type, and decided to move a key around and misalign the keyboard. Users who purchased the new Dell Vostro laptop, noted the Z key out of place. Take a look here. Dell confirmed the mistake and the keyboards will be replaced. But what is amazing, is how this could happen in the first place. Who made the decision to move the keys around on the standard keyboard?

So now Dell has one more issue to add to their woes. Quality assurance. If they can’t get the keyboard right, it would make one wonder if the guts inside will work as advertised.  Dell was hoping to increase their laptop business by at least 50%, but this is a rocky start for the computer company.

What do you think? Is the keyboard issue minor, or will it hurt Dell?

Comments welcome.

[tags]dell, vostro, keyboard, quality, laptop, 1310, 1510, touch typing,  [/tags]

Anyone Tried EC Battery For Laptop Batteries?

Since sales of laptops now tops 50% of all new PC sales, replacing failing batteries in laptops is a hot topic. So I was interested when a reader sent in this link about a company in Fremont, CA. I took a look at the EC Battery website and found that the pricing appeared to be low compared to other sites I have visited. Which brings up the question. Is this to good to be true?

On their site they state:

Shop at for replacement laptop batteries and Digital camera batteries as well as many other related consumable products.

You’ll find very low prices on our full range of Ibm laptop batteries, Hp laptop batteries, Apple laptop batteries, Canon laptop batteries, Dell laptop batteries, Compaq laptop batteries, Duracell laptop batteries, Epson laptop batteries, Fujitsu laptop batteries, Hp laptop batteries, Hitachi laptop batteries, Samsung laptop batteries, Sony laptop batteries, Toshiba laptop batteries, Acer laptop batteries, Gericom laptop batteries and others brand laptops.

So my question is has anyone ordered a replacement battery from this company? What has your experience been?

Comments welcome.

EC Battery is here.