2&4 Purdue Students
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  • Catching Up

    In yesterday’s blog, I attempted to use Fliggo.com’s service. From comments back, it appears to work when it wants to. I also noticed that while I had uploaded two skits/videos, one involving David Letterman, and one an advertisement for vitamins for the older set which worked when I uploaded them, all of a sudden, with no notification, were “broken.” For these reasons, Fliggo.com is  something to use with care and perhaps “Not ready for prime time.” We’ll see.

    The Garmin 760 I ordered based on ENTR200 student’s recommendations arrived, and yesterday I fired it up. Garmin provided one free map update to their 2009 version which was a 1.2 terabyte download, and took some time to install. But it’s good to go. I also purchased a leather case and no-scar mounting bracket for it. So far so good. I’ll run a test on it shortly.

    I have all of the components for our Home Theater system on order or in hand. Here’s what I ended up with:

    • A 42″ Vizio 1080P 4-HDMI port full HD LCD TV from Sam’s
    • A Logitech diNovo Mini combination keyboard/mouse from eBay
    • Decided to assemble the HTPC from parts, mainly from Newegg consisting of:
    1. Asus P2 Series P2-M3A3200 AMD Black Barebones case/powersupply/motherboard with native HDMI (see pic)
    2. AMD Athlon 64 X2 5050e Brisband 2.6 GHz dual-core processor
    3. 2X2GB DDR2 SDRAM/800
    4. Lite-On 22x DVD SATA drive
    5. Samsung 1 terabyte SATA hard drive (parts total cost about $425)
    6. Operating system – probably Windows 7 and/or Ubuntu 8.10

    For grins and to give Fliggo.com one more chance, I have embedded a simulation of Sully’s Hudson River flight at bottom. (Thanks Jerry!) Hank

  • Have A Happy Friday: Hank Rolls out fliggo.com site

    Yesterday/Thursday I signed up for and created  my own “YouTube” video server using the new and free fliggo.com service nurtured by Y Combinator. The video is not all that good which is my fault; the original sucked. I intend to try fliggo out as a place to host video used on thinkbeta.com/blog. So far so good not so good.  Seems like  fliggo.com didn’t like my first video and pulled/blocked it. Try this one: http://hank.fliggo.com/video/DZblFcwH

  • Plug Computers & Pogoplug

    Just when you thought you had seen it all, there’s a new computer form factor lurking on the horizon, named the “Plug Computer.” Why, because that’s about its size, a wall-wart/small power brick. It’s not all the wimpy either. It boosts a 1.2 GHZ CPU, 512MB memory, and 512MB NAND flash storage, network connection and a USB 2.0 port. A company named Marvell is selling a Development Kit for it – hardware and SDK here with delivery next month for $80 now and $100 when delivery starts. Companies are already starting to take orders for products developed around the device, including Cloud Engines with its Pogoplug. If you guessed Linux for the operating system you’re correct.

    So what’s Pogoplug you ask, and why should you care? Just plug it into a wall socket, your external USB-equipped hard drive, and bam, instant sharing and media access  in and/or out of your home; networking for the masses out of the box, including iPhones, BTW. I’m in – I ordered one. Demo video below. Hank

  • The Winner: www.missionmatchup.com

    It is with great pride and personal satisfaction that I can report the overall undergraduate winner in yesterday’s Burton D Morgan Business Plan Competition @ Purdue University was “my company” MissionMatchUp.com. Props to Kristeen and Brian for a superb job! The $20,000 they won won’t hurt either.

    BTW, this is two years in a row that former students of mine have taken home all the marbles. Is there a pattern developing here? I met and had dinner with both Kristeen and Brian’s parents as part of the ceremony. I’m certain they are still smiling. Today’s (2/25/09 p. C6) Journal & Courier’s Max Showalter has an article on the event here: Thanks Max! Race on. Hank

  • WSJ: So, You Want to Be an Entrepreneur

    Yesterday, 2/23/09, The WSJ ran a cover story So, You Want to Be an Entrepreneur. It is here and well worth the read. Think about it and look at the lint in your own navel – you may not like what you see. Hank

  • HHT: Hank’s Home Theater

    I’ve got my HHT spec’d out: It’s going to consist of either a 42 or 46″ 120 Hz 1920 X 1080p LCD TV (depends on physical size – has to fit in our Hooker Cabinet), a Dell Studio Slim, Wireless “N,” and a Logitech diNovo Mini Wireless Bluetooth keyboard. Most of you reading this blog have heard of all of these components except maybe the last. Below is a TigerDirectBlog video on this really cool HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) addition. Now to find the time to get it all together. I’ll keep you posted. Hank

  • Who Is Robin Rodenberg?

    Robin Rodenberg is the wife of Dolph Rodenberg, the brains and guts behind The Energy Detective (TED)I blogged about this past Saturday. Seems Dolph had a problem – his wife, and her habit of leaving home without turning off the lights. It bugged him, and in the early nineties he set out to do something about it. Yes, it’s taken that long for TED to become a reality. His story is a classic one of an entrepreneur at work. Dolph is not a technical guy, and was repeatidly told by electrical-types that what he wanted to do, lower his energy bills by providing visual real time energy consumption to his wife, couldn’t be done. He personally searched patent data bases and found nothing  was on the books. It took time, effort, and a willingness to persist to bring TED to market. One of the most insightful was how he got on board the young programmer to write the code for TED.

    Read about Dolph and his TED here; it is relatively short and well worth the read. Hank

    BTW, I have had TED running linked to my 8.9″ Acer since Saturday. Our power useage is terrible! See below. I have software running to read TED remotely via the web but need to figure out what hole I need to punch in our router for it to be public. Standby.

    BTW#2. Based on the feedback obtained from my request for input regarding your GPS experience, yesterday I ordered a Garmin 760 from Amazon.com.

  • On Looking For A Media PC: The Dell Studio Hybrid

    I have mentioned in my ENTR200 classes a couple of times that I am exploring hooking some sort of PC to a new HDMI-equipped LCD TV to view www.sling.com and hulu.com at my leisure. The minimum requirement for the PC is pretty basic: a minimum of 1920 X 1080 and enough grunt to stream same, wireless N (not a deal breaker), very small form factor, and ability to be controlled remotely. It looks like the Dell Studio Hybrid (picture @ left), a novel media computer based on notebook components, might fit the bill. It has HDMI/DVI output, consumes like 65 watts max, can be configured with wireless N and comes with a wireless keyboard/mouse, has a dual-core Intel processor, up to 4 gigs of memory with Vista Home Premium, etc.

    So far so good. However, the “boards” don’t speak kindly about its performance. I went to Best Buy yesterday and had a conversation with an ex-Geek squader who didn’t speak very highly of the Studio Hybird, stating that bunches were coming back with component problems. Having said that, it looks like for about $399-$489 or so a refurb unit may be had from Dell outlet. Therein lies the challenge. In the same price range, a “Studio Slim” quadcore  with 4 gigs of memory and a massively bigger hard drive may be purchased. My question for readers is, do any of you have hands-on experience with either of these Dell models? A Youtube intro is below. Hank

  • TED: The Energy Detective

    Yesterday I installed TED (The Energy Detective) into the power distribution system for our home. Why a TED? There is an old saying “if you can’t measure it you can’t fix it,” or something like that. Receiving your energy bill once a month and saying “OMG” is one thing, doing something about it is something else. TED with its continuous readout of energy consumption (kw or dollars) which changes as stuff comes on and off, like our heat pumps or refrigerator, provides real time feedback as to your energy consumption behavior. It’s got a USB dongle connection with included software that provides a nice dashboard and graphics that IF, you run 24/7, will provide you continuous data on “how you’re doin’.” to a computer.

    I’ve included a shot of our power panel, a typical 200 amp service entry that is filled with circles around TEDs pickups,sender unit and power tap, as well as a YouTube about the unit which explains in greater detail what TED is all about. The next challenge is getting it to transmit to the web so current data may be read anywhere the web is available. Hank

  • Have A Happy Friday: Example Hulu Embed (3:22)

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