All posts by terry

How USBs Could Shape VR

Virtual reality has become a major tech phenomenon largely on the backs of high-powered computing and gaming systems that already existed. That is to say, while devices like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR are all still relatively new, you still need a high-end gaming console or in some cases even a powerful PC to run them. They are merely headsets, as highly capable as they may be; they need a little help from more robust systems.
 
 
While this may be true, however, it’s also true that the VR market – particularly for games – is expanding to include far more than just those experiences you might download on a PC or game system. Smartphones are certainly getting in on the action, such that mobile developers are now creating their own VR experiences on a regular basis. We’ve also learned that some online game developers are creating VR versions of long-established slot games, with NetEnt leading the way. These two developments actually cover quite a bit of the gaming industry. Mobile apps and online casino games can bring enormous numbers of users into the VR fold.

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AWOW Windows 10 Mini PC

With the dwindling number of Android Sticks being produced it’s great to see that some manufacturers have not abandoned the market entirely.  A whole crop of Windows Sticks is being created and many of them go well beyond the minimal functionality we’ve grown used to accepting.

I’ve been scouring the manufacturer and distributor sites for any sort of indication of a resurgence among Android Sticks, but I’m sorry to say that we’ll have to appease our selves with the growing number of Android TV Boxes.

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Round is the New Square

If you’re familiar with any of the currant assistant devices from Amazon, Google and now Apple you’ve probably noticed one particular thing they have in common. They’re all round. There’s a few reasons for doing this, including making a better footprint for microphone pickup.

There’s also something to be said for the form factor. Round is sexier than square or rectangular. I can’t think of a single square body part, but I’m quick to recall a few well-placed round ones. I’m speaking of course, of eyes. Did you think I was referring to something else?

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Finding Balance in All Things

It’s important to maintain balance in life. Not just in work and leisure time, but in all things, including diet, exercise and sleep. For many years much of my life was what I’d call out of balance. In one way or another I was not counteracting the negative with a positive. Either I was not in good physical shape, working too many hours or spending way too much time in non-productive activities.

There are a myriad of ways that you can go about bringing balance to your life. If you’re lucky it will be of your own choosing. If you’re not so lucky, the decision will be made for you. It will show up in ways that become all to obvious, such as failing health.

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Coffee Shops, Laptops and Foldable Keyboards

When I was busy writing screenplays I used to spend a lot of time in coffee shops, libraries and other third spaces.  In fact, if you’re looking for a screenplay I have a few just laying around collecting dust.  Now that I’m writing for the web, I spend more time at home and less time in coffee shops.

For me, the least convenient part of my outside time was trying to find seating where I could get good access to WiFi, electricity and perhaps some quality food and drink.  It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, but any of you who’ve done the same know how rare it is to find that “great good place”.

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Convergence and the RCA Touchscreen Tablet Laptop

Whenever I have to do home repair I’m a stickler for using the right tool for the job.  That can end up being a handyman’s nightmare.  A toolbox overflowing with single function devices.  I’ve got tools in the toolbox that I’ve only used one time because it fit some toilet or light fixture.  I can’t even remember for what purpose I bought some of these things.

When it comes to personal technology I also believe in getting the right tool for the job.  I used to dream of having that be-all, end-all product that would take care of every one of my digital needs but I’ve realized that my wish is probably never going to be fulfilled.
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Finding Usability in the EVANPO T95Z

One of the benefits of the technology cycle is that products eventually become more accessible.  When I first got into computers, and Bill Gates still had acne, it was strictly for hobbyists and enthusiasts.  There were too many cryptic things like boot disks and memory management for the average user to deal with.

Those days are long gone and even though we still struggle with the idea of usability, we’re light years ahead of where this all started.  Even a few years ago it would have been unthinkable to recommend Linux to the inexperienced user.  Today it’s quite common for the Facebook grandma to be hooked up with a beefy Ubuntu box.
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Boddenly TV Box and the Life Cycle

When I was writing about the Arduino not too long ago I revisited a belief about consumer electronics that I’ve held for quite some time. I say consumer electronics, but I feel this applies to any number of consumer-oriented products. The basic idea is that all consumer electronics eventually evolve to the point of advancing style over substance.

The reason that the Arduino brought up this point was because I was surprised to see how strongly the sales continue to be for the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and kit PC’s in general. While they are modestly afflicted with the burden of style, like Desktop Computers, they manage to endure and evolve despite not being considered aesthetic.

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Top Selling Products for April

It’s always helpful for me to know what people are interested in reading about.  Since we talk about mainly Stick Computers and TV Boxes here, it goes without saying that most of you are interested in reading about those!  But it’s also surprising sometimes to see the things you’ve purchased that aren’t either Sticks or Boxes.

I thought it might be interesting for readers to know what other readers have deemed purchase-worthy.  Don’t worry, we have no idea who bought what.  That’s between you and Amazon.  Thanks to all who clicked and bought something! It helps us to continue to review great products.

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The Hobbyist and Arduino

In the early stages of development, a tech product like Stick Computers tends to attract a certain category of buyer. The first adopters are generally considered very technical or hobbyist type people. As the product category matures, the user base widens to include all sorts of participants, including the most novice.

If I’m being honest, the first couple of generations of Stick Computers that came on to the market were not very good. There were exceptions, of course, such as the old reliable MK808’s. But many of the others were simply not good. Often they suffered from shoddy manufacturing and inferior components.

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