Mar 28, 2012

Feb - 29 2012 | By

Note: There was no show on 3-14-12


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– When what's said is unclear to me (or I'm unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (" ") verbatim.
– Editor's comment are delimited with < >


Glenn was in the studio, Paul called in from England

Paul mentioned that England has a version of Daylight Savings Time but they started 2 weeks after we did. So now there is again an 8-hour difference between Pacific & London times and time at Paul's location was 9pm, when he called in.

After some talk about the difference between the Euro Tunnel & Euro Star (don't call it the Chunnel), the guys talked about the new iPad and its retina display. The resolution of the display at arm's length corresponds to what the average eye is capable of discerning. If the points on the screen were any closer, the eye wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The hardware has been improved to provide the extra "horsepower" needed for the display — it now has a "4-brained chip".

And the energy capacity of the battery has been doubled, to keep up. As a consequence, people have noticed, a even alarmed at, the extra heating of the unit — to over 100 degrees F.

Laptop computers, in general, should be kept off of surfaces that don't let the heat dissipate. There's something called a lap pad that can be placed under a laptop to keep it cool. The lap pad has a fan that gets its power from a USB port.

Glenn asked if the iPad has a USB port and Paul said he doesn't think so. Paul went on to say that Apple tends leave out features people expect. The 1st iPad had no camera and people thought the second version would have USB — but no. There is an after-market device that plugs into the docking port of the iPad 2 and allows you to use SD cards.

There are people who tear down iPads to determine the "cost of goods" (COG), which is the cost of parts. They've found that the markup of the latest iPad is less than that of the iPad 1 and 2. This is expected because there is more market competition now, which should intensify considering that the Android tablets are coming out with retina displays, too.

Paul also said that LED lighting back panels (vs. fluorescent types) were introduced over a year ago and have resulted in the increase of battery life by 2 or 3 times.

Glenn thought he saw a 16gig iPad 2 with wi-fi only for $249 and said he may eventually get one. In the mean time he's happy with his 12" netbook.

Paul said he's gotten used to typing on his iPhone and has suggested a helpful trick. If you realize you've pressed the wrong key — say the 's' instead of the 'a' — without lifting your finger just slide it to the 'a' before lifting up.

Joshua called about this MacBook Pro. He upgraded to the Lion operating system and it's running slow now. He thinks it may be because it has only 2gig of RAM.
– Memory is so cheap that it's a good idea to increase it anyway.
– If this laptop is the version that has a removable battery there should be a slot in the battery compartment where you can get to the memory.
– If it's the type without a removable battery, there are instructions on the Apple site for taking it apart — it will require a hex or star screwdriver.
– Or take it to an Apple store to have it done.
– Be sure you dissipate any static electricity before proceeding.

Regarding the Lion operating system, Paul said there is no longer the ability to run software written for the PowerPC. Snow Leopard was able to run such software. He also said Apple dropped support for using dialup modems. However, Lion does allow you to use iCloud, with its free 5gigs of storage, for backups.

Something not well known is, if you login to, you can see your address book, calendar, etc. You can do this using any kind of computer.
<A previous show that talked about iCloud here>

Doug called to say he bought a lap pad 3 or 4 years ago but it broke after a month or two. He cut off the power cord and continued to use it under his laptop. He thinks it has prolonged the life of his computer. Glenn suggested that just keeping a laptop off an insulating surface is a bonus.

Rick called and said he had been keeping his music library on an external hard drive, when he had a PC. He then connected the drive to a Mac and is having trouble accessing the music. He doesn't like how iTunes and Window Media Player work and he's looking for a better way to manage the music.
– Years ago, Paul went thru a similar situation and he said he eventually gave up and surrendered to using iTunes.
– Some people at KVMR are using an open source software that's similar to iTunes but the guys weren't able to recall its name. <I'll update this if I get the info>
– Read the iTunes tutorial. More knowledge may alleviate some of your objections.
– There are third party tools for managing large collections of music. Paul uses the software called mp3tag. It's not just for .mp3 files. It reads the meta information inside music file — artist, album, year, genre, etc. Paul said it also uses Gracenote to identify an album from the runtimes of the songs that are on it.
– Do a Google search for the words: iTunes external drive. You should find info on using the drive with iTunes as well as the pitfalls. You should be aware of not only how your music is stored but also of the iTunes database. Read up on this before doing anything.

There is a project from years ago called MusicDNA that uses 400 attributes of music — rhythm, tempo, genre, age, vocal, instrumental, etc. — to categorize it. Pandora uses it to determine the type of music you like.
<An additional link to MusicDNA here.
Looks like there is another musicDNA and I can't really tell which one Paul was talking about.>

Paul also said he likes the Google Music service. It lets you store music and play it from anywhere.
<A previous show that talked about Google Music here>

Terry called about Maker Space. The local group. The Curious Forge, <> will hopefully have meetings the 1st Thursday of every month. They meet a 520 East Main Str. in Grass Valley till 9pm. The next meeting is Apr 5.
– To get on a mailing list email to
– Their web site is:
Other Zentech shows have mentioned the Curious Forge and Maker Space.
<Curious Forge Facebook page here.>

Doug called again to say that there is software called Audials for $79 that's from of Germany. It lets you capture audio & video that's broadcast over the internet.
– You can get a trial version at Go there and search for audials to be sure of getting the latest version.
– For additional info and the commercial product see their website

Paul was reminded of the software that he used before he defected to iTunes. He said he liked Winamp. It provides "links from your music out to the companies or the performance videos and reviews and biographies and all the rest…" <It's one of my main apps…indispensable>

Jack called. He's thought about getting a MacBook but they're too pricey. So now he wants suggestions for a netbook.
– Both of the guys have a 12" ASUS. The 10" version is the most common but Glenn likes the 12" for its bigger keyboard & higher resolution screen and better resolution that comes out from the video port.
– They can be had for $300 to $400. Check their website or Best Buy.
– You can sometimes find the ASUS in odd colors for additional savings.
– <Also see Glenn's review of the ASUS here.>

Jack noted that the iPad 2 is also about that price, so would that be a better choice?
– They're 2 different types of devices.
– The iPad has almost no connectivity — no external keyboard or mouse; just a SD card slot.

Glenn acknowledged subscribing KVMR members. To become a member, go to the KVMR website.

Courtney called. He has a Dell Studio 1735 laptop and is getting a crackling noise on his speakers.
– Many laptops end up with malfunctioning sound chip.
– Go to Ebay and search for the words: USB sound. You should find a device that has a mic input and a headphone output. It will bypass the computer's sound system and doesn't require additional drivers if you use XP or newer operating system.

Carmo (or maybe Varmo) called and wanted to know how to download pictures from and SD card to his NextBook (a tablet device which has a SD card slot).
– Tablet usually have limited memory and you don't typically transfer data from the SD card. Just use software to view the pictures directly from the SD card.
– Also, there are probably apps that can catalog your pictures.

Last updated: 11:49 PM 3/28/2012 


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