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May 3, 2014  8:47 PM

Heads Up: Acer 7″ Tablet $89 Through May 5

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

B1-710_mainSpecifically, it’s Acer’s Iconia B1-710-L401 Android Tablet, which makes this just about the best deal I’ve seen for a name-brand tablet with a duo-core processor. It only has 8 GB of memory, but that doesn’t matter much because it has a memory card slot that can hold up to 32 GB of add-on memory. I turned to Amazon to check user reviews, and to see their price. The reviews were almost all favorable. My favorite negative one was from the person who was disappointed that this Android tablet didn’t come with Windows 8. — The Amazon price was $99, so the factory short-fuse sale is a better deal by $10 — at least through Monday, May 5. Both offer free shipping.
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April 30, 2014  9:21 PM

Sometimes a Little Spending (but Not Too Much) Makes Life Better

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

cap-pensHave you seen those little capacitive styluses you can use to tap your smartphone or tablet screen? They’re a lot easier than fumbling with your fingers, and they cost next to nothing. You should get some. I did. And my wife likes them at least as much as I do. The ones pictured here are the ones I first bought from Amazon, but after that I bought some others from Amazon, Tiger, and NewEgg. They all seemed about the same to me, and they were all so cheap that they weren’t worth comparison shopping.
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April 25, 2014  10:21 PM

If A Deal Looks Too Good to be True…

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

…it usually is. This applies to any purchase, and in the age of the Internet, you can get swindled by people as far away as India or China. And don’t think this doesn’t happen. It does. And it happened to me.
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April 13, 2014  7:41 PM

For Security Reasons, Perhaps We Should All Work Together in Offices

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

youhavebeenhackedA basic problem with working in “the cloud” is that we are sharing our work over the Internet, where the very act of sending and receiving data makes us vulnerable to security breaches such as HeartBleed. Since the cost of a data breach can be huge (ask anyone who works at Target), it is obviously a wise Cheap Computing maneuver to protect your data as much as possible. And once you decide to do that, you may decide Marissa Mayer was right, and we should work together in offices rather than in our homes or at other remote locations.
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April 7, 2014  5:56 PM

‘Cutting the cable TV Cord’ as Much as We Can

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

cut-the-cordOur current cable, Internet and phone bill combo package from Brighthouse costs $150 a month. This is way too much for an older couple (us) living on Social Security and part-time freelance writing and video production. We need to, as they say, ‘cut the cord,’ and get along without cable TV. No problem. We can do that. But what about Internet? We *need* Internet service to make money — and besides, most of our non-cable TV entertainment (think Netflix) comes to us via the Internet. That means complete cord severance isn’t in the cards for us. :(
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March 31, 2014  7:10 PM

The Chromecast is Worth $35, but Won’t Change Your Life

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

Chromecast-large I bought a Chromecast when they first came out in 2013, and ever since then I’ve been wondering what I should write about it. Finally I decided that yes, it’s worth $35, and it’s nice, but it’s not life-changing. It has changed the way we watch TV in one semi-important way, but that’s about it. So that’s what I’m writing about my Chromecast, along with one kind of cool business application I’ve found for it.
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March 24, 2014  6:00 PM

You Probably Don’t Need a New Computer

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

AcerLast week Acer sent me an email offering a touchscreen notebook for $299. With Windows 8, no less. I use my Android tablets as writing tools enough that, once in a while, when I’m using my old (Acer) notebook computer, I poke at the screen with a finger. Nothing happens of course — except my wife laughs at me. So for a mere $299 I could stop my wife’s laughter and have a brand-new notebook computer.
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March 17, 2014  4:19 PM

Attack of the Midnight Idea-Jotter

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

kb-handsI’m a midnight jotter. That is, I often have half-sentence ideas I put into my bedside tablet (it used to be a paper notepad) that don’t always work out as full-length blog posts but are worth a couple of sentences and maybe a link. So today’s post is two of those fragments strung together, starting with how retailers persist in committing suicide online.
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March 9, 2014  11:34 PM

Falling in Love with Linux All Over Again

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

LXDE logo

LXDE logo

Tra la la, tra la lee… the sky is blue and I’m skipping down the sidewalk, happy as can be. Except I’m not skipping anywhere, but sitting in front of my computer and loving the way it looks and acts with the LXDE desktop. Not Gnome, not KDE, not the newer default Ubuntu desktop environment, which I liked so little that I never found out its name. So I’m not falling in love with Linux as much as with a window manager or desktop environment — and one that can run “…on many Linux distributions including Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu. It is the standard for Knoppix and lubuntu. LXDE also runs on OpenSolaris and BSD. LXDE provides a fast desktop experience; connecting easily with applications in the cloud.”
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February 28, 2014  7:02 PM

Finally: The ‘Pocket Reporter’ is here. Yay!

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

Irig handheldI’m writing this on my new ‘pocket reporter,’ which consists of my Samsung Victory (Android) phone, a tiny add-on directional mic, earbuds, a flexible tripod that doubles as a handle when doing hand-held work, and an external keyboard that isn’t as big as even a small laptop keyboard, but is way better than the on-screen keyboards on most cell phones or tablets. And the mic you see pictured to the left of this paragraph is one of my big “cell phone video” secrets, because it gives me far better audio than I get with my cell phone’s internal mic. And one other thing to notice: the iRig mics I’m using have output ports so you can plug in your headset or earbuds and monitor audio recording quality in real time.
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