Posts in Technology

How My Personal, Work, and iPhone Calendar Is Over The Air Synced

I recently bit the bullet and picked up an iPhone.  For the longest time I held back from doing it, not because I didn’t love the iPhone, but because I despised the AT&T network (I was on Verizon).  After some bad experiences with Verizon, I decided to give AT&T and the iPhone a try.  Now that I’ve had the phone for about a month, I absolutely love it!  I haven’t really had any problems with the AT&T network, but I also live in a pretty populated area.

One of the most powerful things I’ve managed to do with the phone is sync my personal Outlook, work Outlook (different computer), and iPhone calendar so that they are push updated automatically over the air.  This way if anything changes either at home, at work, or on the go, all of my calendars are synced up appropriately.  I’d like to share how I did this.

Just to clarify how I have everything setup before the sync, I have one computer at home running Outlook that has my personal calendar.  I also have another computer at the office running Outlook that has my work calendar.  I also have a Google Calendar (gcal) calendar that is blank, but has a personal and work calendar on it (not populated with anything).  Just recently, Google announced being able to push your Google Calendar to your iPhone.  Push essentially is an over the air update, so if something changes on one end, it will “push” that data to the synced device automatically, with no need for a manual sync.

Knowing this information, we know that we can get push updates from Google, so ultimately the goal is to obviously get our separate Outlook calendar data from Outlook to Google Calendar…but how do we do that?  This is done using two free tools, Funambol Outlook Sync Client and ScheduleWorld.  Funambol is a plug-in for Outlook which will sync your appropriate data to ScheduleWorld.  We’ll then use ScheduleWorld to connect to Google Calendar and push each calendar to the correct calendar.

First, sign up for an account on ScheduleWorld.  Then install the Funambol Outlook sync client to each Outlook machine and in your options, set it to only sync over the calendar information.  For the server information you’ll want to use http://sync.scheduleworld.com/funambol/ds as the location, and then your ScheduleWorld username and password.

You should now be able to sync each calendar into ScheduleWorld.  It’s not exactly that simple though, you’ll need to change some settings in ScheduleWorld, so go ahead and login. You’ll want to go to the calendar page, and create two calendars, one for personal, and another for work.  Then head to the settings page, under the Calendars section you should see both of your calendars.  Go in and change any settings to make it the way you want.  You’ll notice a “Google” tab.  Head over there, put in your Google username and password, and click find calendars.  It should find your personal and work calendar on gcal.  If you’re in the settings for your personal calendar, select personal as the Google Calendar…and of course do the same for work.  Then click sync, and make sure it works.  You’ll want to checkmark the AutoSync option, and go ahead and do two-way sync (this way if you change something on either place, it will update everywhere).  Save those settings, and then do the same for your other calendar.

In ScheduleWorld, you should see two devices under “SyncML Devices”.  I changed those names so I can better identify which is which.  This is where you’ll tell which Outlook calendar to sync to the appropriate calendar in ScheduleWorld…which will then update it over to Google Calendar.

Now on your iPhone, if you follow the steps from the Google Sync page, you should be all set.  If you update your calendar from anywhere, it should update Outlook/ScheduleWorld/Google Calendar/iPhone all over the air pushed to your phone.

Now that I think about it, if there’s a way to bypass ScheduleWorld, and just have Funambol update Google Calendar, that should also work…if anybody knows how to do this, post a comment.

The MacBook Wheel Revolutionizes The Keyboard

If you think Apple successfully revolutionized music and the cell phone, you haven’t seen anything yet. Check out the new MacBook wheel:

For those that don’t know, the Onion News Network is fake news. Also, if you have yet to see the iRaq, this is worth seeing:

How Can I Add A Third Monitor To My PC?

Hopefully some of you out there reading this are techies and can suggest a solution for me.  I’m putting a 37″ LCD in my office, and I’d like to optionally be able extend my desktop onto it.  The problem is that I am already running two monitors using both DVI ports on my Foxconn 512MB GeForce 7950GT video card.  So there are two solutions, one being better than the other that I’d like to figure out the best and most cost effective way to figure out.

1) This is the most optimal solution.  I’d like to add a third monitor and be able to extend my desktop onto it.

2) If I can’t do the above, or it’s not cost effective, I wouldn’t mind just having a copy of the 2nd monitor on the 3rd screen.  So whatever is showing up on my 2nd monitor, is also identically showing up on the 3rd.

I’m assuming the way to do this is to get another video card in order to obtain another output.  If so, does it have to be the same card (I can run them in SLI mode)?  Or can I pick something cheap up?  If it has to be the same card, I’m worried about power consumption and heat.  I have an Shuttle XPC case, which is a small-form factor case.  It’s extremely tiny, and not sure if it can handle the heat or power of a 2nd powerful video card.  Here’s my specs that you may need:

Any thoughts?  Post your comments below.

Download Firefox 3 And Be A Part Of Download Day

You may or may not have heard of a little thing going on today, dubbed “Download Day”. The newest version of Firefox was just released today, June 17th, and there is an effort to make it the most downloaded item in one day. An official site is being dedicated to the event, and can be found at SpreadFirefox.com.

Firefox is a great browser, and version 3 only makes it better. One of the biggest improvements, no more memory leak! Among that, there are also more than 15,000 improvements which make Firefox faster, more stable, and smarter. For the amount of time we all spend browsing, little improvements add up to a big difference.

Download Day - English

From a designers perspective, Firefox follows web standards, and makes things much easier for us to get websites we make looking the way we want. While IE8 takes a big leap into helping with this, it still won’t be near as good.

To “pledge” your download, simply head over to SpreadFirefox.com and submit your pledge. So far there are over 1.6 million pledges.

Make sure and upgrade your Firefox version to 3!

WordPress And Magento

There are a couple of new downloads you should be made aware of:

WordPress 2.5

You can read all about the ton of updates that were made here. You can also download the new version here.

I haven’t upgraded any of my blogs, but I played around with a local version…it seems nice. I should be upgrading to 2.5 when this sites new redesign launches.

Magento 1.0

After a long wait, Magento has released their first stable 1.0 version of their eCommerce software. You can download that here.

I’m playing around with this locally, and there is a fairly steep learning curve. I’m still going through all of the features and trying to learn how to make it do what I want. I’m hoping Magento releases an official startup guide that goes through each feature and provide tutorials to do certain things. I think it would be nice if they essentially made a guide that teaches you how to go from a blank store, to one with all the demo data. There’s so much I want to do with Magento, so I’m hoping to learn quick.

A Snowboarding Subaru?

My business partner for Tri Megatech drives a Subaru STI when he’s not managing or setting up a network. He sent me a video this morning which I thought was worthy of sharing with you guys…they take a Subaru STI out snowboarding…you just have to watch and see:

This should have been an ad for the Super Bowl, I wanted to go out and buy an STI after seeing it. Eric took his STI snowboarding with us last a couple weekends ago, here’s his with the snowboard rack:

STI with snowboard rack

Here’s a video I did back in college featuring a buddy’s WRX tearing it up through the snow:

Back From Vegas

I’m back from Vegas, unfortunately internet access wasn’t as accessible as I had hoped (nor did I have much spare time!). Vegas was a great time with pretty much non-stop action and little sleep. We arrived on Sunday, and headed over to Bellagio to see the O Cirque De Soliel show after checking in. The show was very impressive, especially the stage which went from a regular stage to a pool in seconds.

Later that night we headed over the Absolut Vodka penthouse suite in Caesars Palace for John Chow‘s CES kickoff party. While I’ve known John for about 10 years now, this was actually the first time I ever met him. We ended up getting their almost 2 hours late, and by that time John was pretty trashed…he didn’t realize who I was until the second time I introduced myself lol.

John Chow CES party

The room was awesome, with different themes in each bedroom. For anybody that went there, you would have noticed a variety of banners as well as a couple vendor setups around the room. That’s how you make an expensive party free :)?? This was one of the setups from NZXT for example:

John Chow CES party sponsor

The next day we went to CES. We ended up going to the smaller portion of the show at the Sands convention center and weren’t that impressed. That night we went out to Jet Nighclub in the Mirage. That’s always good times as always, if you go, I recommend getting there early unless you have some sort of connection.

Jet nightclub

I know the picture looks like there are only guys there, but rest assured, the girls are inside ;)

The last full day we were there we went to the big portion of CES, which turned out to be much better. I wish we had done that for both days!? We tried to pack in as much of the show as we could in one day, which is not nearly enough time. Here’s a few of my favorite things:

This is a Pioneer Kuro (the new name for the high-end elite series) concept which was just ridiculously flat:

Pioneer flat panel concept at CES

If you know me, you’ll know that you can probably find me in the automotive car entertainment section of the show. That’s where you’ll find all the cool cars, cool car gadgets, and hottest booth babes. In there you’d have found a Hummer with 30″ wheels with a ridiculous dish. Pictures don’t really do justice, but for comparison sake see how big the lip is with a $100 bill on it:

30?? wheels

For those of you that haven’t heard of the Tesla Roadster, it’s a 100% electric sportscar that does 0-60 in under 4 seconds. I haven’t seen one yet, but luckily the Blaupunkt booth had one:

Tesla Roadster at CES

I didn’t grab a picture, but it was cool to see the Optimus Maximus keyboard which features all programmable OLED keys.

I didn’t have much time to do any gambling, I only pretty much played roulette for about 15-30 minutes at a time every now and then. Luckily I was able to walk away from Vegas up $150 or so…while only putting $20 on the roulette table at one time. I should be going to Atlantic City on Friday, so I’ll have some time to actually do a little gambling and hopefully play some poker. All in all, Vegas was a great success for a first time visit, and I hope to be back again soon.

The Secret Best Hidden Feature In AIM 6: AOL Radio

Many of us AIM as our main instant message application. There is a built-in feature in AIM 6.x that I’ve found almost nobody knows about, but everybody loves once they do…and that’s AOL Radio. For those of you that have never used AOL Radio before, it’s time to get on the bandwagon because it is simply awesome. AOL Radio features a ton of stations in all of the categories that you can think of, and you’ll be surprised to hear that even has the majority of stations from XM Radio channels are included…for free.

Surprisingly enough, I think the AOL stations are actually better than the XM channels!?? So now that you know AOL Radio is so good, you’ll be happy to find out that it’s actually built into AIM. Simply click the headphones on the bottom of your buddy list:

Icon for AOL radio

Once you’ve done that, click the listen now button (you MIGHT need to install an ActiveX file), choose the category of music, and then the station:

AOL Radio AIM

I actually don’t even really listen to MP3′s anymore, I just pop open AOL Radio through AIM since it’s already open. I know this probably sounds like a big ad for AOL Radio, but I’m just a huge fan of the product.

Did you already know this existed?? So far everybody I’ve told about it did not know, but now uses it.

A New Concept In Flying, The Aeroscraft

A company by the name of Aeros has envisioned a new concept in flying called the Aeroscraft. It’s sort of a mix of an airplane, blimp, and helicopter all in one, but looks more like a blimp:

Aeroscraft

The Aerocraft is about the size of two football fields, and can fly by a mixture of helium and 6 turbofan engines. The aft-mounted propellers are electric powered in order to reduce the amount of noise. It can travel at close to 200mph, and goes about 8,000 ft up.

How Will It Be Used?

This is the most important about why the Aeroscraft is so innovative. Since the craft is so large, it can fit quite a bit of stuff in it. For the consumer market you can imagine a luxury hotel in the air. Imagine getting picked up in Los Angeles, going on the Aeroscraft where you can freely walk around, eat dinner at a fancy restaurant, go dancing, see the view from only 8,000ft, going to bed in your luxury room, and waking up in New York City. For the industrial market the Aeroscraft can carry a ton of cargo, but more importantly it has the capability of taking off and landing anywhere. The craft takes off and lands straight up and down like a helicopter, imagine a new Wal Mart opening up, and its entire inventory being delivered in one shot. For the military market the Aeroscraft can carry a ton of vehicles like tanks for example. As you can see, there is great opportunity here, and I’m excited to see this come out.

A scaled-down prototype is supposed to be released next year, with a production version to be seen as early as 2010. Here’s a video I found on YouTube you may enjoy:

Another Multi-Billion Dollar Idea: Moving Things With Your Brain

NeuroskyI’ve previously written about one multi-billion dollar product that makes wireless power a reality. A new one that I’ve found is a device that is made by a company named NeuroSky. The device allows you to control things with your brain by turning brainwaves into commands.

Now, first thought is what applications will it be used for? The company is targeting three things mainly; sleepiness/drowsiness detectors for automotive and industrial markets, gaming consoles, and therapeutic solutions for ADD problems. Check out this video to get an idea of some of things it can be used for:

There is just such a huge market for this product, and surprisingly enough, it sounds like it’s going to be really cheap to implement. They mentioned in the video the component was only $15. You can definitely expect next generation consoles to use some of this technology, especially considering the success of the Nintendo Wii. In fact, according to CNN Money, the CEO of NeuroSky is already in talks with the makers of Dance Dance Revolution.

How many times have you been driving down the highway late at night and started to dose off? I had a friend take my car for a 7 hour one-way trip back and forth to pick up a car. They drove, picked up the car, and drove back. On the way home, he fell asleep, did a couple spins in my car, went into the grass, back onto the road (while still spinning), and managed to stop somehow (with a mud all over the car). In the future, an application can be built by NeuroSky for the car that would have prevented him from doing that and potentially had a much worse situation. Now imagine every car in the future has this, that’s a lot of money to be made, and that’s just one application. Another big market is health. For example as was stated in the video, people in wheelchairs may be able to move the chair by just thinking about it.

Do you agree that this has the possibility to be a multi-billion dollar market?