Archive for the ‘Computers & WWW’ Category

Scenes from the IntelliGo Launch Party!

August 3, 2010

Late yesterday afternoon, my homey at the Star-Advertiser asked me if I had a blog ready to go for today as they were planning on posting my mug in the print version of the paper again. Apparently, the demand to see my face again was that overwhelming.

CHEEYEAHRIGHT!

I wish. But yeah, a fella can dream right?

Regardless, bruddah ovah hea had to be ready with a blog, so I did what any red-blooded American would do in a crisis situation. Cry.

After wiping away my tears, I was able to regroup and figure out what I was going to blog about…

Last week Thursday, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Road Runner Mobile held their Official IntelliGo Launch Party – at the Road Runner Music Hall – to introduce their newest wireless product to the public: The IntelliGo. The IntelliGo is their shiny/sparkly wireless device that acts as a personal mobile hotspot, providing a WiFi signal for up to 5 of your friends. (Click here for more info about the IntelliGo).

Various members of the media (both traditional and social media), current customers, contest winners, etc. were invited to this exclusive event which included free giveaways, ono kine grindz, and live entertainment from two killer local bands: Busekrus and Elephant! Check out the scenes and commentary below!

Sixty bags of goodies went just like that! Apologies to the late comers who weren’t able to score one! 😦

60 bags of goodies to be given away to everyone who attended
60 bags of goodies to be given away to everyone who attended

And here’s a shot of the bags (with the IntelliGo poster in the background) from one of @ParkRat‘s tweets!

Photo from @ParkRat's tweet
Photo from @ParkRat’s tweet

What kinda goodies were inside? Check it!

Goodie Bag Contents
Goodie Bag Contents

The calm before the storm. Busekrus doing sound check before the Road Runner Music Hall gets packed!

Busekrus doing sound check
Busekrus doing sound check

What we were all there for: the IntelliGo (and Road Runner Mobile) signage.

IntelliGo and Road Runner Mobile signage
IntelliGo and Road Runner Mobile signage

The Road Runner Mobile logo getting some air-time on the big screen.

Road Runner Mobile logo on the big screen
Road Runner Mobile logo on the big screen

The scene from the other side of the Hall: Two staffers relaxing before show time.

Two staffers relaxing before show time
Two staffers relaxing before show time

@HawaiiRealty tweets a shot of her VIP pass!

Photo from @HawaiiRealty's tweet
Photo from @HawaiiRealty’s tweet

Big Mahalo to Lanakila Pacific’s Xpress Chefs for doing an amazing job with the eats! Based on what I was hearing, the Stuffed Mushroom Caps were probably the biggest hit of the night. 🙂

Catered food from Xpress Chefs
Catered food from Xpress Chefs

@johngarcia snaps a twitpic of the stage just before showtime. The anticipation mounts!

Photo from @johngarcia's tweet
Photo from @johngarcia’s tweet

With the room packed, we were ready to go! Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s VP of Marketing Alan Pollock kicks off the show!

VP of Marketing Alan Pollock with some introductory statements
VP of Marketing Alan Pollock with some introductory statements

Standing room only! Busekrus starts the night with some acoustic sounds.

Busekrus on stage
Busekrus on stage

Here’s @johngarcia‘s shot of Busekrus from the front. Yep, that’s @Mel808 tweeting away on her iPad.

Photo from @johngarcia's tweet
Photo from @johngarcia’s tweet

@OceanicCable gets in on the (Tweeting) act with this crowd shot.

Photo from @OceanicCable's tweet
Photo from @OceanicCable’s tweet

Just outside, the media conducted one on one interviews with some of our guests. Here’s Maribel getting ready for her interview.

Maribel before her interview
Maribel before her interview

Recognize her? Yep, she’s the one from the Road Runner Mobile “And Here” commercial! 🙂

Maribel the actress
Maribel the actress

Back inside, @ParkRat and @maliachu get their hands on the IntelliGo!

Photo from @HawaiiIRL's Facebook
Photo from @HawaiiIRL’s Facebook

Then it was time for the second band to take the stage: Elephant. Wow! Lead singer Kevin Jones (who, oh-by-the-way, is also a Star 101.9 personality) has gots some serious pipes!

Elephant's front man Kevin Jones belting away
Elephant’s front man Kevin Jones belting away

All too soon, it was over! Check out @HawaiiIRL‘s hilarious cartoon about the long hallways from the Road Runner Music Hall (featuring @Melissa808, @Mel808, and @johngarcia)! LOL!

Photo from @HawaiiIRL's tweet
Photo from @HawaiiIRL’s tweet

A big Mahalo to Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s VP of Marketing Alan Pollock and Road Runner Mobile’s Wireless Director Kiman Wong for helping to make this event a possibility. Also to the Marketing department (both locally and at the corporate level) for donating all of the great gifts and giveaways. Big ups to James Avis and Kevin Jones of Clear Channel Communications for the support, as always, and to Caroline Witherspoon and Malia Chung (and Marichris Diga) of Becker Communications for your media support as well. A special thanks to all of our guests spanning the local community… from our current Road Runner Mobile customers, to Hawaii’s social media leaders like @Bytemarks @DigitalSignGuy @HawaiiRealty @johngarcia @ktpoy @Mel808 @Melissa808 @ParkRat @peterkay and @ryankanno. Much love everyone!

* For more information about Road Runner Mobile, please see rrmobile.oceanic.com or AndHere.com.
* Tune in to thehall.tv in a few days to watch the encoded version of the event in its entirety.
* Check out the 3:11 mark of the following video to see @Melissa808 reveal the swag that was given away that night.


Mix It Up – Episode 13

=============================================================

– Ed
1st Annual Hawaii Rice Fest
1st Annual Hawaii Rice Fest

Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace
September 11, 2010 @ 12pm-8pm
For more Info: RiceFest.com / Twitter / Facebook
To RSVP: Twtvite / Facebook Event

=============================================================

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my latest article on AroundHawaii.com too:


Great Catch! Izakaya Tairyo Reels Hawaii In

WOWZAS! That was a lonnng one! Thanks for hanging in there and reading it all. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

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Ready, Set IntelliGo! – Sharing Your Road Runner Mobile Connection Just Got Easier!

July 1, 2010

Late last month, Oceanic Time Warner Cable introduced an exciting, new product to add to the Road Runner Mobile lineup. Nicknamed IntelliGo, the Sierra Wireless W801 Personal Mobile Hotspot acts like a portable mini-router and allows you to share your Road Runner Mobile connection – on the go! – with up to 5 friends via standard Wi-Fi connectivity.

The IntelliGo, from Oceanic Time Warner Cable
The IntelliGo, from Oceanic Time Warner Cable

Dimensions and Features

This portable little device (3.15″ x 3.15″ x 0.61″ and 4.6 oz) has a 1.4″ LCD display (displays key messages like your SSID and password, battery level, and amount of connected users), and comes with an 1800mAh battery (est. 6 hours of use) and USB/AC charger. There is also a microSD slot that can hold a card of up to 32GB. See below for a diagram and a hands-on video of the IntelliGo.

Diagram of the new IntelliGo
Diagram of the new IntelliGo


IntelliGo – Sierra Wireless W801 Personal Mobile Hotspot Unboxing

Technical Specs

Technically speaking, the IntelliGo receives in both 4G (WiMax – 2.5GHz) and 3G (CDMA – 800/1900 MHz) frequencies and transmits Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) using the 802.11 b/g standard protocols.

What does this mean exactly? In layman’s terms, this simply means that the IntelliGo will get the greatest coverage (both 4G and 3G) wherever you go, and will share that via a common Wi-Fi signal that many of your devices already speak to.

Several examples of Wi-Fi devices that you might use are:

  • Laptops
  • Netbooks
  • iPads
  • Mobile phones (e.g. iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, Garmin Nuvifone, etc.)
  • iPod Touch
  • Nintendo DS
  • Sony PSP
  • Eye-Fi SD memory cards
  • Microsoft Zune

Easy Set Up

The IntelliGo is really, REALLY easy to set up. Out of the box, all you would have to do is pop in the battery and hold down the power button to turn the puppy on. It will go through its cycle for a few seconds and display your default SSID (network name) and password on the external display (you can edit these in the settings later). Since it’s shooting out standard Wi-Fi, there isn’t any software to install device(s)!

Ed’s Tip: On the initial setup, I would recommend you use a laptop (something with a larger screen), as the setup wizard will guide you through several screens to configure your settings. I used my HTC EVO 4G (mobile phone) initially, and, although I was still able to get it done, it was a little tricky reading text and hitting buttons.

Once the IntelliGo powers up completely and has your default SSID and password displayed, go to your laptop and scan for new wireless networks. Select the IntelliGo’s SSID (named “TWC4GMobile-xxx”) and enter the password provided (a series of 6 random numbers). The LCD screen will then prompt you to open a web page, which will automatically redirect you to the Time Warner Cable’s Terms of Service page, which you must review and accept. This is a one time process.

One time Agreement screen
One time Agreement screen

Once you have accepted the terms of service, you’re “All G”, unless you would like to configure your device further (change the SSID, password, encryption method, etc.).

Ed’s Tips: By default, the device uses WEP encryption. Probably for compatibility reasons (with older devices). I would recommend changing that to WPA or WPA2, as long as your connecting devices are compatible. I would also recommend changing the default SSID and password to something more personal and secure (the default 6 digit password is easy to crack). Lastly, I would recommend changing the default administrative password (“password” is used to access the IntelliGo’s administrative portal).

All of the above can be accessed by going to the administrative portal at http://twc4gmobile (192.168.0.1) while connected to the IntelliGo. This admin backend acts much like the 192.168.1.1 backend on your Linksys wireless router at home.

The IntelliGo's Administrative Portal
The IntelliGo’s Administrative Portal

Via this backend, you can also set up and control two other neat features of the IntelliGo: 1) GPS, and 2) the microSD Card.

You can use the GPS to find local points of interest, like hotels, restaurants, banks and gas stations. You can even pull up local Time Warner Cable offices! Sweet! With the microSD card configured, you can share files, music, pictures and more to your 5 connected devices.

If anything I wrote above went right over your head and confused you even more, here’s a more practical (and visual) look at what the IntelliGo (Sierra Wireless W801) is and how you can use it. It’s Hawaii’s resident tech expert Peter Kay breaking things down in simple, easy-to-understand terms in his video below.


Peter Kay’s Testimonial

Exciting huh? The IntelliGo is a pretty powerful device that I, personally, have been having a lot of fun playing with, and sharing with anyone and everyone who will listen. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me using the form to the right or post a comment below.

If you’d prefer to educate yourself, feel free to check out one of the following, pertinent links:

If you can’t contain your excitement and know this is something you really want… NEED even 😛 , visit the ordering options page where you can order directly online via My Account, complete an inquiry form for a follow up, chat with one of our online reps, or call Oceanic Time Warner Cable direct.

Ready for some 4G/Wi-Fi fun? On your mark… Get Set… IntelliGo Go GO!

Great News!
If you order between now and September 30th, 2010 (with a two year contract), you can have the IntelliGo for just $49 ($50 mail in rebate).

Order Road Runner Mobile Here

What Is Road Runner Mobile and Where Does It Work?

June 1, 2010

Road Runner Mobile first launched in Hawaii earlier this year, and, as with Road Runner High Speed Online residential service (launched back in 1997), there were a lot of early adopters. Like those who were “in the know” about broadband technologies (compared to dial-up) in ’97, those who are aware of 4G technology today have quickly jumped on the Road Runner Mobile bandwagon.

Road Runner Mobile Works Here!
Road Runner Mobile Works Here!

There are some though, who need and want more information. With any new technology, that’s very understandable. This article will attempt to demystify everything Road Runner Mobile for you. I’ll break it down – in layman’s terms – so that it will hopefully give you the right tools to educate yourself as to what Road Runner Mobile is and see if it’s right for you.

What is Road Runner Mobile?

First thing’s first. Let’s watch the commercial to get warmed up…


Road Runner Mobile Commercial

In the opening scene, you’ll notice a female on the beach propping up some sort of device in her laptop. That is what’s known as a mobile device (or wireless card). Simply put, that tiny little device is what connects you to the Internet. It searches the airwaves for the 4G signal (or 3G if 4G is not available) and connects you to it. All you do is plug it in to your standard USB port on your laptop (or mobile device) and you’re good to go.

Currently, Oceanic Time Warner Cable offers the Motorola USBw100 or the Franklin U301 with more products and devices on the way (including hub/router-type devices, allowing you to share your 4G connection via WiFi). For more information on our current products, see below or click here.

For a hands-on look at the newest Franklin U301 device, check out this unboxing video:


Franklin U301 Unboxing

As the video mentioned, Oceanic Time Warner Cable is currently running a promo that actually allows you to get either card for free with your service (with a 2 year contract). If you’re interested in taking advantage of this offer, inquire with them today.

Every install comes with a free copy of the Connection Manager software, which allows you to easily manage all of your wireless Internet connections (4G, 3G, Wi-Fi) with just a few clicks.

Road Runner Mobile Connection Manager Software
Road Runner Mobile Connection Manager Software

You can customize it to do as much or as little as you’d like. For example, you can have it automatically find and connect to:

  • the Road Runner Mobile 4G network
  • a Road Runner Speed Zone (if you’re in a Road Runner Speed Zone hot spot)
  • Wi-Fi networks if it finds it (e.g. when you use your computer at home, at work, or where hotspots like Road Runner Speed Zones are available)

You can even set the sequence of what to search for first, or turn them all off and set it to manual mode if you wish. The options are endless. It just depends on how you will be using it.

(Ed’s notes: Many netbooks and smaller peripherals these days do not have a CD drive, so you may wish to download them beforehand from the web here. This download should be the latest version of the Connection Manger software, but if there are any updates to it, or any other version(s) you load from the CD, etc., it will automatically download and install it for you as soon as you are connected. You may or may not experience a delay during this initial update.)

Where does Road Runner Mobile Work?

4G, which is short for 4th Generation, is a major upgrade from 3G. In fact, it is up to 10 times as fast as 3G*. For a reference, most mobile phones these days run over 3G. When you open up a browser on your phone and go to a web site, that is running over a 3G network. Imagine that same data going up to 10 times as fast. That’s 4G. (For more on 4G, read Kiman Wong’s articles here and here).

4G is the latest in cutting edge technology and we are fortunate enough to have it here in Hawaii so early on… even before the “big” cities like New York and Los Angeles. Currently, most areas on Oahu and the main towns of Maui are covered. Our unofficial 9th island: Las Vegas, Nevada is as well, as are cities in Washington, Oregon, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and more. Over 35 in fact. For a growing list of 4G cities, please click here. To view a coverage map of ALL areas covered by Road Runner Mobile (4G or otherwise), click here.

Melissa Chang shows that Road Runner Mobile works in Hawaii
Melissa Chang shows that Road Runner Mobile works in Hawaii

In Hawaii?

Perhaps you’re more of a visual person and don’t wish to read a boring, text based list of locations? Well, you’re in luck! Oceanic Time Warner Cable has developed a microsite called AndHere.com that illustrates where exactly Road Runner Mobile works around Oahu (and soon to be Maui). Oceanic Time Warner Cable, as well as some of Hawaii’s social media leaders (like Peter Kay, Melissa Chang, and Russ Sumida) take Road Runner Mobile out and about, take photos of where they’re at, run some speed tests, and post it for your viewing pleasure. It’s a pretty neat way to help us better understand what Road Runner is and where and how you can use it in your everyday life.

AndHere.com
AndHere.com

For more on…

* Based on download speed comparison of 3G’s 600 kbps vs. 4G’s 6 Mbps.

The application Email (process com.android.email) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again

January 14, 2010

It appears as though this is a common issue for many frustrated Android users out there, so I’m posting what I did – which actually worked! – in the hopes that it will help at least a few of you out.

A Little Background:
purchased the Droid on opening day, but never set up my Exchange email until recently (more than two months after the fact). Just never had the need really. After setting it up, it ran pretty smoothly for several weeks. I’ve (apparently) been fortunate enough to not run into the dreaded “The application Email (process com.android.email) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.” error message… Until Now!

The Problem:
From what I’ve read, the root of the issue is a bug in the Email app/program related to unparsable email headers. When you get an email with such headers (which sorta explains why my email was working fine for a while), you will get the error message above.

The Non-Solutions:
– Killing the app (with programs like Advanced Task Killer Free) and restarting the app doesn’t work.
– Rebooting and restarting the app doesn’t work.
– Killing the app PLUS Rebooting and then restarting the app doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried several times.
– Attempting to kill the app in “Manage applications” doesn’t work (well sorta) because it’s not readily listed and not easy to find (see solution below).

The Solution:
1 ) Go into your email from your desktop client and delete or file away (archive) the latest emails that you suspect may’ve started to cause this issue.
2 ) From your Android device, go to Settings.
3 ) Select Applications
4 ) Select Manage Applications
5 ) Hit your Menu option/button (the one with four lines usually between the Back/Return button and the Home button)
6 ) Select Filter
7 ) Select Running in the Filter Options pop-up menu.
8 ) Scroll down and select Email. (If it’s not in the list, you probably killed it. Go back and start it first and then return to step 1.)
9 ) In the Email app’s Application Info screen, press the Clear data button. (Be advised that this will essentially clear all of your account info from the Email app, causing you to have to re-set everything up again like your login name, password, server names, etc. The exact prompt says, “All of this application’s data will be deleted permanently. This includes all files, settings, accounts, databases and so on.” Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean it will delete your emails on the server.)
10 ) Open up the Email app again and it will prompt you to set everything up again (log in name, password, servers, etc.). Walah! The error message should now be gone.

Some Linkage:
* Google Code string
* Motorola Support Forum string

Hope this helps y’all! Happy Droiding!

The Droid Experience

November 6, 2009

Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God
I don’t know but today seems kinda odd
No barking from the dog, no smog
And momma cooked the breakfast with no hog

Ok, so it wasn’t quite like how Ice Cube rapped it, but “today was like one of those fly dreams” and definitely “A Good Day“. 8)

Why you axe? Welp, this morning, the much anticipated Motorola Droid was released to the public through Verizon Wireless, and, like every other nerd out there, I found myself standing in line, waiting to get mine.

Billed as the iPhone killer (watch iDont commercial here), this smartphone attacks and addresses all of the iPhone’s shortcomings. Being a non-AT&T Wireless sub and a Google and open source fiend, I literally NEEDED it. It’s running the newest Android 2.0 OS (the first phone with it) and has neat features like seamless Gmail and Facebook integration as well as free navigation via Google maps. I literally just got it, so I didn’t have much time to play with it yet, but here are a few quick tips/things I learned in this short time. Perhaps it’ll help some of y’all out.

Ed’s Tips/Notes:

* Not sure how crowded the other stores are, but the Pearl Highlands one I went to was not too bad. They opened at 7AM, and when I got there at about 6:30, there were only 4 people ahead of me. The woman at the front of the line said she got there at 5:15 with the next guy coming at 6:15. Before the doors opened, there were just about 15-20 of us (including couples). From what I heard, Verizon had 200 in stock, so if you get down there now, you should be ok.

The line outside Verizon Wireless at about 6:45AM
The line outside Verizon Wireless at about 6:45AM

* The phone itself is $199 ($299 with a $100 mail-in rebate). With the Snap-On Gel Cover ($16.99), expect to pay over $300 out the door.

* With this phone, you must upgrade to a $29.99 data plan (if you didn’t already have it). I was coming from an enV Touch with a $15 VZW Mobile Web plan/package, so it was about double. It made me think about it for a split second, but for the extra goodies and the Wi-Fi action, I think it’s worth it.

* If you’re used to slim (narrow) phones, this one’s pretty wide. Compared to my Touch, it’s a beast. Gonna be interesting to see how it fits/feels in my pocket.

The Motorola Droid next to the LG enV Touch
The Motorola Droid next to the LG enV Touch

* To keep the phone as slim (flat) as possible, the QWERTY keypad was built pretty flat. If you have big hands (like me), it may take some getting used to.

Closeup of the Droid's QWERTY keyboard. Like how I focused on E-D?
Closeup of the Droid’s QWERTY keyboard. Like how I focused on E-D? 8)

* The Snap-On Gel Cover may also feel like it’s getting in the way sometimes, so using it would be up to personal preference.

The Motorola Droid with slider open
The Motorola Droid with slider open

* The camera’s a bit tricky to get used to (accessing, saving, sharing, etc.), but once you get the hang of it, the 5 megapixel camera takes pretty good shots. Here’s a pic my friend/co-worker Maribel using the Droid in artificial light.

(resized) 5 Megapixel photo taken with the Droid
(resized) 5 Megapixel photo taken with the Droid. Click here for the full version.

* Even though you have VZW backup enabled, you must still manually import your contacts into your Droid (via Gmail). You actually download the CSV file from verizonwireless.com/backupassistant, and then import it into your contact list in Gmail. If you have tons of contacts in your Gmail account and tons of numbers in your addressbook (from your old phone), it could get a little messy. I still have yet to check what it did to my dupes (it said it merged them). Yikes!

Check out the step by step shots (for downloading and uploading your contacts) below.

The Verizon Wireless Backup Assistant login page
The Verizon Wireless Backup Assistant login page

Your list of contacts in Backup Assistant
Your list of contacts in Backup Assistant

Gmail Contacts page
Gmail Contacts page

Import Contacts screen in Gmail Contacts page
Import Contacts screen in Gmail Contacts page

Importing CSV into Gmail Contacts
Importing CSV into Gmail Contacts

Import complete!
Import complete!

Big ups to Tara Reyna from the Pearl Highlands Verizon Wireless store. She’s really helpful and smart, so go see her a-ight? For more information on the Droid, go to DroidDoes.com or visit Motorola’s consumer page here.

All in all, it was mos def, A Good Day… 😉

Any questions or comments? Post ’em below…

Fave Friday – Gadgets

November 6, 2009

So by the time you read this, I will have probably picked up the new Motorola Droid phone with the rest of dem nerds early adopters. 8) I don’t think I’ve been thisexcited for something to come out since the original Nintendo (after playing Super Mario Brothers on the FamiCom in Japan)! LOL!

Yeah, yeah, it’s just a phone, and, YESH, I highly doubt that it’s gonna be the iPhone killer that they want it to be, but to me, it’s “the one”… at least I think so.

So in honor of this wondrous day, let’s do a faves sound-off for your all-time favorite gadgets. In the comment area below, post your favorite gadget(s) in the history of your life the world. 😛 Add your personal stories for them for extra special brownie points. 😉 And just a head’s up, if one of y’all says “Pong” I’m gonna giggle. 😛

Here are just a few so you guys have your own stuffs to talk about…

Ed’s Fave Gadgets:
* Since I’ve already mentioned it above, I vote the US release of the original Nintendo Entertainment System.
* My HDTV!
* The Motorola Droid

My extra special brownie point story is in my Droid Experience blog . Check um out and lemme know what you t’ink k?

The Droid Experience
The Droid Experience

So what say you? Post your fave gadgets below…

Happy VHO7V Friday! Have a great weekend and I’ll see y’all next week!

Fave Friday – Lock Your Desktop Tip

September 11, 2009

A-ight peeps. Your boy is finally gonna live up to this blog’s name and provide a helpful computer/web related tip for this here Friday.

Some of you may already know about this one, but I still find myself teaching peeps about this underutilized, but VERY helpful tip, especially in the work enviro.

It’s an easy keystroke (for Windows users) that will quickly lock your computer (in a good way). You know, for those times when you gotta go potty one fast one, or go gallivanting to lunch for a while… This will essentially lock your screen (as long as you have a password set for your Windows user account) so that any snooping eyes that come around while you’re away will not be able to see/read a thing, and instead, see something like this:

Locked Desktop
Locked Desktop

Kewl yeah?

K, enough with da talk. Here’s the keystroke combo to lock your keyboard:

[Windows key] + L

In other words, if you hold down the Windows key (key with the Windows logo on it) and press the letter “l”, you’ll be all G. Never knew that protecting your sensitive data would be duck soup huh? Go tryum! But make sure you know your password k? Haha! Shoots! Have a good weekend y’all!

Talk to me!
* Did you learn something new today or did you already know about this little gem?
* Got any other keystroke gems to share?
* Which ones do you use most often?
* Any Mac users out there with keyboard shortcut hints/tips to share?
* What other life chores do you wish had a keyboard shortcut? 8)

Survey Thursday – Email?

April 9, 2009

Back in the glory days of the web, us peeps with email addresses were few and far between. As students, we  were hooked up with one by default (with an ugly @uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu suffix), but that was back when we had to log into a UNIX shell and check it via a program called Pine. Good lord! uhunix? Pine!? I’m choking myself up with all the memories! LOL!

Nowadays, every Bill, Sergey, and Jerry Tom, Dick and Harry has an email account from such free services as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Heck, even my momma has not one, but three that is checked on the regular. ISPs like us, offer accounts as part of our services: up to 10 accounts per Road Runner customer (via the sexy @hawaii.rr.com domain 😛 ) to be exact.

Whereas this question would’ve been “Do you have an email account?” in a past WWE column in the Ka Leo, today, I gotsta up my game and stay current with what’s happening on the world wide interwebs. Errrbody pretty much has email. It’s just a matter of provider. With that said…

* Which service do you use for email and why?

I’m a Gmailer fo sho. Their flexibility with forwarding, filtering, sorting, account management, header privacy, etc. is off the chain! There’s no comparison. And I didn’t even mention the searching aspect! Plus my account ties in nicely to the billion other Google “products” I use. I honestly don’t know how/if I’d survive without my Gmail and Google Calendar. Scary!

K, your turn! Share, share!

Have a good weekend y’all! Das right! I get tomorrow off. Wahoooooooo!

Tax Tip Thursday: File for Free!

April 2, 2009

Didja file your taxes yet? You are aware that it’s due in 13 days riiiight? 8)

Well, for those of you who waited until the very last second, you may be in for a little treat, WWE style: Filing your taxes for FREE!

A friend sent over this little tidbit so I figured I’d post it for da `ohana as it may very well help a few of you. Check it:

If your Adjusted Gross Income for 2008 was $56K or less, you can file your taxes for free this year. No gimmicks, no catch, the IRS just wants those with AGIs $56K or less to e-file which saves them costs and saves you a couple hundred bucks. Even if your AGI topped $56K, you can still file for free. You just won’t get tax-preparation software, though. Just the forms.

How?

1) Go to www.irs.gov,
2) Click the “Free File” link
3) Choose which company’s software you want to use (including the biggies like Turbo Tax and H&R Block)

If your tax filings are a little more complicated than the average or if you file your own Schedule C, it’s probably best to just stick with a tax professional.

Hope this helps at least a few of you. Remember, getum in by the 15th!

Have a happy Thursday y’all!

How Geeks Do Blackouts

December 29, 2008

Yeah, I know, I’m shmall kine late with the blackout report, but I figgah since errbody else already blogged about it up in here, I’d try to present a different angle for all y’all, 3 days aftah da fact. *grin*

Now I don’t consider myself a geek by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have geeky tendencies. LOL! Below, you’ll find what one pseudo-geek did to pass the time of what literally turned out to be “Black” Friday.

Unless you make your home far far away, I don’t have to tell you what happened to most of us during Friday’s fiasco. What I do want to tell you (and what I also want to hear from you) is how we (you) spent our (your) day battling the dark “night”. Get it? Pretty good play on words eh? *patting self on back* Anyway…

The night started with some false alarms. The flickering of the lights. Some subtle hints warning of the impending doom, er gloom, ah, blackout. Wifey and I rushed to get our dinner a-cookin’, but the electric gods were not with us.

*POOF*

Power be gone!

Ain’t no thang. We were kinda mentally prepared for it actually. But it did suck, as, I’m sure it did for the rest of us. (One story I heard was of those stuck in the “Bodies” exhibition when the power went out. That must’ve been nuts yeah!? Talk about real life haunted house! LOL!).

Thanks to all of the candy and treats our friends, family and neighbors gave to us for the holidays, we pretty much had a jubilee of options for a replacement meal. And although Chex snack mix is not the ideal meal, we at least had 30 days worth in case the power didn’t come back for another month. 😛

With no electricity, there was no form of entertainment to speak of. Like errone else, TV, Internet and Phone were all down, so we were reduced to working on our Thank You cards under candlelight (My eyes are still burning). 8)

When the vision started to go and the fumes from the marker became too much, I took periodic “Virus Buster” breaks on the trusty DS. Staring at a bright screen in pitch black darkness however, is not so guaranz balbaranz, so I had to take a break from taking a break, naw-mean? So it was off to find the next thang to do. Hmm, let’s check the Internet on my phone…

Awww yeeeeeaaaaah!

Da buggah works!

So what do I do? I check my email, read my feeds on Google Reader, do a lil’ bit of Facebook, and then pop on to Twitter.

WOAH!

Note to self (and others): Twitter, during island-wide blackouts, is the place to be son!

Thanks to the (Hawaii) Twitter community sending constant updates about their situations and the news they’ve gathered from others, I was not in the dark, while in the dark, if you know what I mean. I was able to piece together what was happening all ova the island without electricity and witout moving a muscle (except the ones in my thumb). Apparently, the Hawaii blackout related messages (marked with “#hipower”) was the number one tracked term on Twitter search at the time. Pretty amazing.

I gotsta give mad props to @johngarcia (John Garcia from the Advertiser), @hawaii (Ryan Ozawa), @KGMB9 (Jared Kuroiwa is that you?), and a few others for holding it down and keeping many of us afloat when we were looking for something, anything.

The next morning, the power was still not back for us “Milsville” peeps, so it was time for more geekiness. We busted out the ol’ crank radio to listen to Perry (on the left) and Price (on the right) on KSSK to find out what the dealio was, and mixed in a few more rounds of DS and Twitter for good measure…

Funniest quote of the day (from wifey): *pouts* “I’m washing dishes for food we didn’t even eat!”

Talk to me!
* Is that geeky enough for you? Were you even geekier than me?
* How did you end up spending your night/day?
* What area do you live and what time did your power end up coming back on at?
* Any other thoughts or feedback on the blackout or weather in general?

Holla!