Category Archives: Featured

We All Love New Tech, But Seriously, Why the Trickle of Tech on New Products?

drip_shitWe all love new technology. I must admit I lust for all the latest and greatest tech stuff even though my budget keeps me from buying every damned thing on Amazon (and Newegg, etc, etc). But let us face facts here folks, the tech companies don’t always give us what we want and nowhere near what they could be producing.

For the purpose of keeping it simple I shall be illustrating examples of what Tablets and Combos we should be seeing, versus what these idiots are feeding us.

We all want a bigger, brighter, high-def screen, yet about half the tablets offered each cycle are last year’s resolution with a few minor upgrades. Or another great scam is the old “here is a super fast processor, but we killed the camera resolution”, or, the old, “sorry only a front facing camera”, (of dubious, low mp resolution).

Then we have those super nice combo tablets/laptop. whatever you wish to call them, that have an absolutely killer processor but then neglect to throw in twice the ram. Thanks guys, I can now run the same number of apps as last year, with faster, but just the same memory issues.

Another of my pet peeves is no supplying a USB port or three. Does it really cost that much to put in a USB 2.0 or even 3.0 port or TWO on these new devices?

The ultimate combination would be a huge battery (say about 11 hrs REAL battery life with the screen on, 3 or 4GB of DDR3 memory, 2 USB ports and at least full HD cameras front and rear, with a minimum 2.3 GHz, quad-core processor and a display equivalent to today’s bleeding edge tablets/laptops.  If you are not including a micro SD slot capable of handling a 64 gb card and an internal capacity of at least  64 gb (twice that for Windoze), please walk away.

So the bottom line is quit charging us out-the-ass for these devices. There is no reason on earth that you couldn’t sell the above described device for right around $299.00. You would wipe out the competition and sell enough units that the smaller profit margin would still put the asshats over at Apple and MicroCrap into cardiac arrest.

Of course that is just my 2 cents….

Tim


Follow Tim on Twitter @tl1000rzx2
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Review: Contextual Related Posts Plugin

context_related_postsI recently installed the Contextual Related Posts Plugin to test it out and am happy to report that it works just fine on my little Android based server here. The install went fine and the plugin is very easy to set up.

If you look at the links at the end of this article you will see the results of the plugin’s magic.  It’s a simple idea, but a great one, since it tends to keep your visitors on your site. It looks through your posts to compare words and produce a listing , with or without images, of posts on your site that are related.   You can control how many items it will display. So if you only wish to select a few or many, you can easily change the output.

The number of words searched and the output is completely editable. All in all I would give this plugin a rating of 5 stars, because it does exactly what it is supposed to do.
The author of this post is not connected in any way with the creators of the plugin(s) reviewed and all opinions are strictly his. No guarantees of performance or reliability are either given or inferred.


Follow Tim on Twitter @tl1000rzx2
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Review: UpdraftPlus Backup Plugin for WordPress

Updraft_logo1For those who have frequented this site a few times you will already be aware that occasionally my poor little Asus Memo Pad HD7 allows my database to go to hell in a handcart. Requiring me to learn how to either fix a database or restore one from a previous backup.

Bottom line is that you do need to run backups so I now have a routine for doing just that, but a one click backup is certainly easier and faster than copying all my main files and then exporting and saving a database.

So today I installed a very nice plugin called Updraft Plus Backup. It does all that stuff for you and it will upload to a variety of locations including Google drive.  It is extremely easy to use in it’s most basic form and you can have a full backup in just a few minutes. The downsides are for those non-experts or simply lazy folks who can’t navigate the Google API stuff or do no have a cloud server available to store data on. For those folks you will have to run a back-up and then manually upload to a storage spot of your choice. A short update here (09/27/14), after getting myself a Dropbox account I now can report that using the automatic uploads feature works quite nicely, so the scores for this plugin are hereby raised a bit.

The upside of course is that in most cases, unless your server crashes completely and all data is lost, you will be able to recover it all and restore your site. I have set mine to auto-backup every 2 weeks but I will still run my manual backups in between. Below you will find a few screenshots of the app as it appears on my tablet server.

 

 

Over all I am going to give this plugin a score of 4.5 and that is only because of the complexity, for the average blog owner, of the uploads feature.  I still highly recommend this plugin.

The author of this post is not connected in any way with the creators of the plugin(s) reviewed and all opinions are strictly his. No guarantees of performance or reliability are either given or inferred.


Follow Tim on Twitter @tl1000rzx2
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Review: Fourteen Colors Plugin. Change your Theme Colors Easily in the Twenty Fourteen Theme.

fourteencolors_logoIf you are running the latest stock WordPress theme which is Twenty Fourteen, you may wish to change the colors on the sidebar and menu areas.  The theme is pretty nice stock but it is nice to have a bit of variety.

You could go and edit the theme CSS files or you could just get the Fourteen Colors plugin. The plugin allows you to change the colors easily from the regular customize menu in dashboard. (Appearance>Customize). I went ahead and changed my sidebar/menu colors with the plugin today and it took all of a minute or so, most of which was wasted trying to pick a shade of gray.

fourteencolors_screenshot
Screen Shot [click to see full size]
Installation takes about 30 seconds and once activated you will see a few extra buttons under the colors section of your customize menu. It then takes literally seconds to change your site’s appearance.

This one gets 5 stars for ease of use. If you are running the Twenty Fourteen theme, this is worth the 30 seconds to install.

 


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New plugin added for testing tonight. Visitor Maps and Who’s Online

visitor_maps_screenshotSo because I never sleep, or so it seems lately, I was all excited to do some more testing on the super cool Asus Memo Pad HD7 tablet server I am running here just as soon as I got home from work.  Of course a tablet server only seems cool if it is 2am and you have been up for 18 hrs or so, but I was excited.

So I decided to just start trying plugins for the next week or so. Tonight’s project was to install,  “Visitor Maps and Who’s Online” which lets you display who is currently online and a map of where those folks have come from,  among other things. There is quite a bit of extra info available for the site admin.

The plugin works perfectly, except you will find one glitch in the install and that is a line in the database update script which will attempt to chmod the geoIP database download to 0644. Can’t do that on a tablet, so, poof, error time. But you can look at the actual script file in here: wp-contents/plugins/visitor-maps/class-wo-update.php . Just edit the file to change the chmod option to 0. There is also an error that will occur after installing new plugins as all the plugins are re-activated, just look for “chmod” in the visitor-maps.php file and comment out that line ( just place // in front of the line ). Then it all works like a champ.

The link to the map it creates is on the right column of this site (it’s right under that poll you didn’t vote on).  It will be much easier to spot on a phone/tablet if you are viewing this site in landscape. If you don’t see the right column, then just click right here to see the map.

A nice bonus of using this plugin is that you can see where visitors are coming from and how many visits they have made. For instance I have had more than 9 visits from a single IP address in China. Obviously this is a bit suspicious so I will probably be blocking that IP from my site. 

You can find this plugin on WordPress.org by clicking here.

The author of this post is not connected in any way with the creators of the plugin(s) reviewed and all opinions are strictly his. No guarantees of performance or reliability are either given or inferred.

 


Follow Tim on Twitter @tl1000rzx2
Or check out my other Tablet Site: THE Tablet Test Server
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