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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DoubleTwist for Android!

Ok...this is awesome!  If you're like me, sometimes your Android smartphone also doubles as a portable music player.  When I don't have an iPod nearby, I use my phone.  In fact, lately I've been using my Verizon Fascinate (Samsung Galaxy S) as my primary entertainment center.  I play music, movies, and games to pass the time (not that I have much).  I recently decided that my playlists on my Fascinate were getting a tad stale and needed to put some new tunes on my SD card.  Lo' and behold, the most recent update messed with my ability to mount my SD card in my phone via USB to my MacBook Pro.  Granted...I could've gotten out my Windows machine or even a card reader and taken care of it that way, but this wasn't easy enough for me.  So, rather than take 5 or 10 minutes to grab one of the methods listed previously, I spent the better part of an hour researching and installing an even better method.  I had remembered an article from which featured a product that I'd heard of before...DoubleTwist.  DoubleTwist is kinda' like an alternative front end for iTunes on your Mac or PC.  DoubleTwist is also an awesome media player for Android.  The fine folks at DoubleTwist have also put together a slick app called AirSync which enables an Android phone to sync music with a Mac or PC running DoubleTwist.  Did I mention that this was all WITHOUT wires?  Yup!  Wireless sync for your tunes, pics, and videos!  I especially love the feature to import iTunes playlists.  I simply go into iTunes, create my playlists that I want to put on my phone and then use DoubleTwist to sync to my phone via Wifi!  Having such a slick solution to my music loading dilemma has made it so much easier for me to change up the music on my phone.  Another neat feature is the two way syncing.  I often will purchase new music from Amazon using Amazon's MP3 app on my phone.  I'm able to use DoubleTwist to sync my new music to my laptop.

Use the QR code above to grab AirSync
DoubleTwist is free for Android via the Market and also free for your Mac or PC from the DoubleTwist web site.  AirSync (also a DoubleTwist product...essentially a plug-in) is a $4.99 upgrade from the Android Market and well worth the money in my opinion.  You can sync with DoubleTwist via USB, but AirSync makes it all easy and wireless!  Check it out!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Zeam Launcher for Android

Today I was cruising the 'Tubes (Internet) when I stumbled across an article on about how to speed up your older Android phone.  Now my phone is pretty much brand new and quite powerful, but I'm all about speed and smooth operation, so I gave the article a look.  I was reading the comments when a poster mentioned an app called "Zeam Launcher".  He/She mentioned that it was a gazillion times faster than the currently installed launcher and it was quite I decided to give it a whirl.  The stock launcher on a Samsung Fascinate is TWLauncher.  It's not bad, but has a nasty habit of going a little haywire at times on my phone.  I recently switched to LauncherPro and was quite happy with it, but I still felt is was a little bloated or sluggish.  Today I installed Zeam....and WOW!  Fast, simple, and to the point.  I was able to customize almost to the extent of LauncherPro...but man is it fast!  Applications just go "boing" and pop right up....scrolling between home screens is butter-smooth.  It's also VERY customizable...multiple home screens....lots of widgets...and you can put the icons anywhere you wish.  So, if you're looking to try something a little smoother and faster...give it a try.  The nice thing is...if you don't like it you can very easily go back.  You can use an app called "Home Switcher" (also available from the Android Market) to switch back and forth until you decide what you like.  Once you settle on one you can make it the default.  Grab Zeam Launcher from the Android Market...or scan the QR image below with your phone to go there automatically...


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Want to post to your blog using your Android phone? Use what I'm using right now! If you have a Blogger page from Google as I do then check out the awesome app called Blogger-droid. This apparently makes it simple to keep your blogs up-to-date with all your latest news and ideas. Check it out...grab it from the Android Market!

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PrinterShare for mobile devices...Print right from your phone!

Have you ever been sitting in a waiting room or perhaps had a little downtime while in a restaurant or airport and wanted to do a little work on your smartphone?  Easy right?  Whip out the phone and fire up any one of a number of apps such as Google Docs (GDocs), Thinkfree Office, and more.  BUT...let’s say you wanted to print your document to share with someone else...or perhaps you have an itinerary or ticket you need to print.  Easy...if you have a computer.  Now you can use your Android (even iPhone) phone!  

PrinterShare Mobile is a mobile printing solution that allows you to print almost anywhere there is a networked printer.  This includes “shared” printers on a PC/Mac.  Print via Wi-Fi, bluetooth, bonjour, and even over the Internet!  PrinterShare features “Nearby Printing” which will allow you to scan the local network for available printers and print to them.  No need to load drivers or additional software.  You can print to Wi-Fi printers on the local area network (LAN) as well as printers that are connected to a computer and shared via Bonjour.  If you happen to be away from a LAN and still need to print something you can use Remote Printing.  For Remote Printing over the Internet, you need to either log in with your existing account or create new one right from your’s free.  Next you need to find and select the printer you want to print your document to.  The computer connected to the printer needs to have the PrinterShare software installed.  It’s a quick and easy download.  If you intend to print to your own printer, you should install the computer software first, create an account, share the printer(s) and then use the same account on your smartphone (Android or iPhone) to login.  This way you will see your shared printers automatically.  You can also look for printers shared by others.  

I’ve been using PrinterShare for a little over 3 weeks now and I’ve found it to be very handy.  I even upgraded to the premium version ($4.95) for the extra features.  There is a free version, but trust me, if you get hooked it’s worth the money to upgrade.  Recently I was out of the classroom for a day attending a funeral.  I do my sub plans on Google Docs Spreadsheet.  I had forgotten to leave my sub plans prior to leaving and thus my substitute teacher would have had a difficult time figuring out what to do.  No problem.  The moment I realized what had happened I pulled over to the side of the road and printed my sub plans to both my computer lab printer and the printer in the main office.  I then called the office and let them know.  Problem solved.  Sure...I probably could have emailed them, but printing was easier and more direct...after all, that’s what they needed in the end.  

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, my son made the local high school varsity basketball team (as a sophomore).  He was excited and telling Grampa all about his upcoming schedule.  While we were at my fathers house for Thanksgiving, I simply turned on printer sharing on his PC and printed the schedule right from my phone.  Handy!

Go ahead and check out PrinterShare for your Android phone or your iPhone.  Learn more here:  or grab it from the App Store (market).  Let us know of any great uses you find for PrinterShare in the comments!  Enjoy!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Google's "My Tracks" app for Android

Ever wonder how far and where you walk during the day?  Have you ever wanted to map a hike, a running trail, or even a bike route to share with your friends?  Check out Google’s application for Android phones called “My Tracks”.  
I downloaded My Tracks after stumbling across it on the Internet while searching for cool Android apps for my new phone.  It also happened to be the beginning of hunting season for me so I had a great opportunity to test it out.  After loading “My Tracks” I fired up the GPS on my phone and headed out for a day of hunting.  Before long (and this is typical for me) I was way out in the woods and not entirely sure where I was in relation to everything else.  Remember...there is a BIG difference between being lost and simply not knowing where you are.  I simply wasn’t sure where I was.  So...I hauled out my phone...opened up the “My Tracks” screen which had already been recording my “walk in the woods”...and voila!  There I was.  Since “My Tracks” is a Google product which integrates with Google Maps, the software allows you to use either the traditional maps layer or you can also use the satellite layer.  Since I was using the satellite layer I was able to quickly tell where I was in relation to everything else and therefore, point myself in a better direction to get to where I needed to be.  As with Google Maps, you can zoom in and out to get a better look at your surroundings.  

When the day was done, I was able to share my map with others.  I had been hunting with my father, son, and some family friends.  Before heading out we each had our “routes” and had intended to keep the person next to us in sight.  As usual, that quickly dissolved into several people wandering alone in the woods as we become separated while finding easier places to walk or get into heavy underbrush which limits our visibility.  Sure enough, a couple of hours later I had no idea where anyone else was much less myself.  In fact, on the map below you can see my little “course correction”.  When my father asked, “Where were you?”  I was able to quickly show him on my phone exactly where I walked, but not only that, I also was able to upload my “Tracks” to Google Maps to share with him later.  “My Tracks” will calculate distance, elevation change, and even the time and speed.  

If you are hiking, biking, sightseeing, hunting or whatever, you may find Google’s “My Tracks” to be a very useful piece of software.  I wish I’d had it when I made my 600 mile weekend motorcycle trip around Maine in mid-October...oh well.  It would have been nice to be able to show my friends everywhere I went.  As soon as spring hits, I plan to use “My Tracks” quite a bit to keep track of my adventures on the road!  Visit the “My Tracks” site ( or grab the application from the App Market on your phone.  It’s VERY cool and you’ll find many interesting ways to use it.  Be sure to share your discoveries in the comments...have fun!

View Chesterville Hunting in a larger map


Sunday, November 28, 2010

My new Android phone

I've been a cellphone user since the earliest days of the cellular phone technology. I started with a very large bag phone from a company called Unicel and through the years I've had many phones ranging from the bag phones to flip phones and eventually some pretty small "smarter" phones with cameras and so forth. As the years have progressed, my cellphone has morphed from being strictly a communication device to use in emergencies to a device that served as my digital hub. I sent photos, texts, inquired about movie times, fetched sports scores, and occasionally made a phone call. Through all of that though, I've never had a true "smartphone". Yes, I've had Palm Pilots, PDA's, and even a Nokia N800, but never a true smartphone.

For the most part, cost was the major factor in holding out as long as I did. As the years progressed, it became apparent that I was becoming more and more dependent on my phone to help manage and organize my daily life. I was a U.S. Cellular customer for many years and had fully intended to remain one, but I was specifically waiting for them to release an Android phone. I resisted the iPhone temptation primarily because of the cost and the AT&T network. I wasn't convinced that AT&T had the coverage in our area that I required. I'm also a Linux zealot and an Open Source aficionado, thus an Android phone made perfect sense for a guy like me. U.S. Cellular released an entry level Android phone called the Acclaim which didn't really interest me...I was waiting for the announced Samsung Galaxy S phone that was coming to U.S. Cellular. The first availability date I was given was sometime in August (2010)...that became September...then October...and so on. I couldn't wait any longer so after months of playing one vendor off another, I chose to switch to Verizon Wireless. They had the phone I wanted. A Samsung Galaxy S phone called the "Fascinate". Suddenly my life changed! I could a cellphone change my life? Simply put, the Samsung Fascinate put all of the things I need on a daily basis at my fingertips. No more having to find a wifi hotspot and firing up my laptop or netbook to download a file or look something up on the internet. No more trying to find the right combination of words to send to Google via SMS in order to look something up. No more posting to Facebook and Twitter via SMS...I can now do it all right from my new Android device.

What I haven't mentioned up to now is that my digital life is very much tethered to Google and its various applications. I use Gmail almost exclusively. I have hundreds of documents on Google Docs, hundreds of contacts in Google Contacts as well as Google Voice, and my life is scheduled on Google Calendar. I even have an extensive photo library on Picasa. Given that Android is a Google creation for the most part, I was happy to see how easily my digital life integrated with my new phone. My contacts, emails, appointments, and even pictures...just showed up. That's pretty cool. Now my life is easy to access...from anywhere. I like that.

Over the next few days and weeks I'll be posting more of my adventures with my Android phone. I chose the Samsung Fascinate, but that are MANY Android devices now on the market. I'll be primarily addressing Android as an OS as opposed to any specific phone. If you are a lucky owner of an Android device I hope you'll follow along and join me on my adventure...if you don't have an Android device then come along and learn more about them! See you soon!


Saturday, November 27, 2010's been a while...a LONG while

Ok...I'll admit, it's been a long time since I've posted to this blog. I'm working to change that. Starting today (actually in a few minutes) I've going to "endeavor" to post daily. I'm sorry for letting this all life has been turned upside-down recently, but now I'm really trying to "refocus" my energies back to where they goes...


Monday, October 19, 2009

The easiest music server you'll ever set up!

Sockso is, without a doubt, one of the simplest music servers you'll ever have the pleasure of using.  Need to share your music with others?  Want to be able to access your music library from anywhere?  Need to serve up that special reading program CD to your kindergarten classrooms so they can listen to it anytime they want without using a several hundred dollar computer as a CD player?  Check out Sockso!

I use Sockso for the last scenario I serve up our Reading Program CD's to our K-2 students...particularly the kindergarten classrooms.  This year I decided that I was spending way too much time trying to make the thin-clients in their classrooms into very expensive CD players.  So, I decided it would be best to simply rip the CD's and serve the music over our school network.  I set out to find a music server to handle the task.  I was fully expecting to put some time and effort into it, but was very happy when I stumbled across Sockso.  I had my first Sockso server up and running on my own machine in less than 2 minutes.  Check out the screenshots below...try it for yourself!  (click for larger images)


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Create your own Font from your handwriting!

Yep!  That's right!  Now you can create your own font based on your own!  I stumbled across this site while looking for some new fonts.  I decided to give it a try.  First I downloaded and printed the template.  I recommend reading the instructions on how to form your letters and where to write them.  I neglected to do so the first time around and it showed.  The second time my font looked a lot better.  After you finish, (you really only need to do the first page), simply scan it and upload your scanned image.  I scanned mine at 300 dpi and it looks fine.  The site will accept most common formats like .jpg and .png...etc.  If the site is busy it may take a couple tries, but once you're in you'll have your font in a couple minutes!  If you're looking to get out of the "TimesNew Roman" rut...check this out!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free OpenOffice Tutorials to make learning OO easy!

OpenOffice is an awesome free and open source office suite that is a great replacement for other more expensive and proprietary office suites.  OpenOffice is being downloaded as well as shipped with many new computers every day!  Wanna' learn more about using OpenOffice?  Maybe there's a feature you're not sure about?  Check out some of the great online tutorials. is a excellent and well-organized site with both Flash and HTML based tutorials for all the different parts of OpenOffice.  Another great resource is a site called "Tutorials for OpenOffice".  Tutorials for OpenOffice includes several tutorials covering all aspects of OpenOffice as well as a section for teachers.  Definitely check out these detailed lessons!  Last, but not least, check out the tutorials at  There are several tutorials in various formats.
Tutorials for OpenOffice Tutorials

Don't have OpenOffice?  OpenOffice is available for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.  Visit OpenOffice for more information and downloads.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Create awesome fake miniature photos with Tiltshift Maker!

Ever seen those really cool photos where someone makes a landscape or city-scape scene and changes it into a photo that looks like it was taken from a model train set?  Tilt-shift style miniature photos are simply photos of real life scenes that are made to look like miniature scale models.

This is done using either a special camera lens (one with tilt capability), or with software, instead of a special lens. These photos are sometimes called "fake" miniatures, because they are pictures of real-life scenes.

Now...if you're not a hardcore photographer, but you'd like to turn some of your photos into "tilt-shift" can do so with "Tiltshift Maker"!  Tiltshift Maker is an easy to use web site where you can quickly upload a photo and change it into a tilt-shift or "fake" miniature photo.  Check out "Tiltshift Maker" and start creating some really cool images!

For more information on tilt-shift photography, see the Wikipedia article Tilt-shift photography.

Check out some of my samples below!
Portland Maine waterfront

Small fishing village in Prince Edward Island

Portland Headlight Portland Maine
TiltShiftMaker - Create your tilt-shift picture


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Eureka! Picasa for the Mac has arrived!

I've long been a big fan of Picasa.  Picasa is Google's awesome photo management and editing software.  I've actually grown to prefer it over Apple's iPhoto as iPhoto doesn't organize (at the folder level) the files quite as nicely as Picasa does.  The newer versions of Picasa for the PC (especially 3.0) have really added some neat features.  I really like the ability to upload photos to many of the popular photo services.  I actually use the Walmart one all the time.  Put the card in the computer, import the photos, touch 'em up a little, upload to the Walmart service by clicking a simple button and pick the finished photo or card up at my local Walmart!  There's tons of other services and features too!  I usually recommend that folks not install any of the common bloatware that comes with their digital camera as I've yet to run into a camera that Picasa doesn't recognize.  Excellent software....FREE...and available for the Mac!  (as well as Linux and Windows!)  Check it out today!

Picasa for Mac: Free download from Google


Saturday, December 27, 2008


Hello all!  Christmas is over and folks all over the world are playing with or "moving into" their new cellphones.  My daughter and wife are no exception.  My daughter discovered how to make 15 second ringtones using iTunes and the "Get Info" dialog to shorten the song and then convert it to a 112 bit MP3 file for uploading to her phone.  It was pretty impressive, but not nearly loud enough for someone like me.  I often don't hear my phone in noisy environments.  Calls go unaswered (which isn't always a bad thing) and people look at me like I'm nuts (which I am).  If I'm focused, I simply don't notice sometimes.  That's why I tend to try and find LOUD and obnoxious ringtones that are hard to ignore.  Yesterday, after some experimentation, I was able to combine sound effects using Audacity and manipulated them into some pretty loud and obnoxious ringtones.  The way in which I applied some of them to my phone is quite humorous.  There are certain people in my contact list (you have them too...admit it) who I would like some prior warning before I answer the phone.  I made several ringtones that centered around a theme of alerts, alarms, and sirens.  For example, one particular contact is assigned an "air raid siren" to warn me of a potential "verbal" attack.  ;-)  I've done many ringtones, but at this point I'm sharing my loud and obnoxious ones.  If you all like them....I'll do more!  I've found some great sources of sound effects and the like.  I've gotten the creation process down pat...I'll make more if you want them.  Leave me some suggestions in the comments.

To download some great LOUD and obnoxious ringtones...Click HERE


Friday, December 26, 2008

The Family Holiday "Geek Squad"

Ok, you know who you are. The geek of the family. The one everyone goes to for tech support during family visits back home. C'mon, you know it's true. know you love it too! It's nice to fill a need.

A little preparation can go a long way when getting ready to support your relatives and their new tech gifts or long overdue computer maintenance. Let's take a look at some easy things you can do to get ready...

The new Windows PC
Sometimes letting family members simply set up the new family PC with the default settings is recipe for disaster. Most new PC's come with a lot of "crapware". I urge you to save your family from this scourge. I have published a guide to assist you with setting up a new computer. You can find it on the Flubbernuggets site by clicking the link "Your New Computer" at the very top of the page. This guide tackles such things as removing bloated anti-virus programs and replacing them with lighter less expensive/free versions. It also highlights removing crapware and the better programs to use.  Check it out!

The new web cam
Many of you have encountered this one already.  I did a couple years ago.  Your parents or in-laws got a new web cam so they can keeps tabs on you and the grandkids.  First of all, tell them NOT to install the software that comes with the camera.  Drivers...maybe, but all that other crap...NO!  Simply download and install Skype or GoogleTalk.  Both will allow you to use the camera and talk to family members on the other end.  They are easy to set up and use.  I recommend Skype simply because it's simple to use and very popular.

The new MP3 player
If it's an iPod...that's easy....iTunes.  Download and install iTunes and you're good to go.  You can also give Songbird a try.  If it's another brand of MP3 player, check and see what it will work with, but 90% of the time it will work with iTunes or Songbird in some fashion.  Both programs do an excellent job of simplifying music management.

Preparing ahead of time
If you are able to find out about some of the tech products your family members may have gotten prior to your arrival you can better prepare for what you may need.  If you have an external USB hard drive or a large USB flash drive (or even a CD/DVD burner) you can easily download many of the programs and drivers you may need before you leave.  This is especially helpful if your relatives have a slower internet connection.  I usually download all sorts of Windows updates, Adobe Reader, Flash, and a bunch of the programs mentioned in the "Your New Computer" guide.  That way I'm armed and ready and not spending all my time downloading files.  If you know what you're going to be dealing with, try visiting the hardware manufacturer's website ahead of time to read up on any potential pitfalls and to snag the latest copy of the drivers.  Even signing up your relatives for a Skype account or Google account ahead of time (be sure to tell them the password and have them change it) can speed things up.  If you're installing something, don't forget the tools!

Enjoy the holidays and enjoy your moment in the spotlight with your family  :-)  Geek On!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays from!


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