‘Back to the Future’ Hover Board Now Viable

August 9, 2007

First the DeLorean comes back on the market, now the hover board from the Back to the Future trilogy is on the verge of becoming a reality.

HoverboardNo, don’t head for the nearest toy store to reserve your hover board before the Christmas rush.  As far as I know there are no plans yet to make and market the hover board.  But the good news is that the technology to create the hover board now exists.

According to The Telegraph, physicists in Scotland have discovered how to cause levitation by reversing something called the Casimir Force.  The science behind this breakthrough is Greek to me, so read the article if you want the details.

Sure, there are probably a lot more practical applications for this new discovery, but a hover board sounds like the most fun.

The cool thing is that even if we couldn’t have the hover board we admired when we watched Back to the Future as kids, there is hope that our children or grandchildren might.

No word yet on whether it’ll work over water.

In the meantime, it looks like the Jetsons’ ride might be available for those of you who don’t mind the $146,000 price tag.


Advice from Tech Support

August 7, 2007

Anyone who has every helped another with the computer will appreciate this advice from Tech Support.  That’s one job you couldn’t pay me enough to have.

But I have helped my share of coworkers with the computer and could relate to many of these tidbits.  Now that I telecommute, it’s always very interesting when they email me for help.  I try, but we never know what will come of my attempt to “help.”

My personal favorites were:

  1. If possible ask to speak to the youngest person in the room.
  2. Sooner or later you’ll meet a person who types out the word “backslash.”

Are You Dying to get an iPhone?

June 27, 2007

I know there are some of you out there that might be dying to get one of those new iPhones.  Maybe you have a cell phone already and have to wait until the contract expires before you can make you move.

Well I found a list of Six Ways to Cancel Any Cell Phone Contract so you can get your hands on Apple’s latest and greatest.  However, be forewarned, I think #6 might be farther than even most extreme fan is willing to go.

Here’s a summary (please visit the link above for details):

1.  Sell your contract.
2.  Complain about your service.|
3.  Move.
4.  Wait for a rate change.
5.  Join the military.
6.  Die.

Technology — a comfort of home

June 19, 2007

I’m currently out of town due to a death in the family.  We are staying at a friend’s house in rural Virginia.  Besides sleeping in my own bed, do you know what comforts of home I miss most?  Technology.

Where we are, cell phone coverage is weak at best.  I have to stand on one foot with my arm in the air to get a signal.  I exaggerate.  But it is very difficult to get a signal.  I do have to stand in certain parts of the house and that doesn’t last long.  It took me four calls for a five minute phone conversation because the signal kept dropping.  I’ve been driving to the main road for any lengthy calls.

We also don’t have access to cable televison or a satellite dish.  Given the circumstances, I’m not personally watching any television so it’s not a big deal for me.  But I have two toddlers.  And when your busy making arrangements or receiving friends, television comes in handy as a nice diversion for the kids.  We’ve been watching a lot of PBS this week.  And luckily the twins’ uncle loaned them his portable DVD player and some DVDs.  I think I’ve seen Shrek four times this week.

But the biggest issue for me have been no Internet connection.  I never realized how much I use it — not just recreationally.  I use the Internet to check the weather, look up phone numbers and peruse the news.  I use email to connect not only with my job, but friends.  I’ve had to wait until I’m in town to get a signal on my blackberry. I have an air card, but the signal is so weak here that I’ve had to make my posts brief this week because it takes so long to upload.

Now I’m off to get my shower with well water.  I can’t wait to go home!

What do you use your cell phone for?

June 15, 2007

I recently read this article about 10 things your cell phone will do in 10 years.  While the features sound really cool, I don’t know that I would really ever use these features.

In fact, I don’t think I currently use half the features on my phone now and I don’t have a high-end phone.  Of course, I use it to make phone calls.  The voicemail feature is handy for the calls I miss.  I use it to store phone numbers.  If, and only if, I don’t have my digital camera with me, I use the camera feature and then will use the picture mail feature to share these pictures.  But besides using the pictures to show friends my kids on my cell phone they are useless.  I tried printing them, but the quality is so poor it’s not worth the trouble 

However, the list of features I don’t use is a little bit longer.  Yes, I realize that my lack of ability to use these features is directly corillated with my age.

Okay, I’ll admit to using the text messaging feature once in a great while.  But honestly, I can make the call faster (and leave a voice mail if necessary), than I can use this keypad to type a message. 

I have the ability to send email messages on my cell phone.  But seriously, trying to send an email of any real length using this keypad is a joke.

I don’t use instant messages on my computer, so why would I use it on my cell phone

I also have something called Voice SMS, but I don’t even know what that means.

World Time and Alarm Clock
I’m not such a world traveler that I need the World Time feature.  And I can’t figure out the alarm clock feature.  That’s what wake up calls in hotels are for.

Voice Memo
I’ve never even tried this feature.  I’m more of a sticky note kind of person or if I’m on my computer I leave myself reminders in email.

Other Tools
My phone has a scheduler, a task list and a memo pad.  I use all of these tools on my computer, so why do I need them on my phone?  If I need to be mobile with these features, I use my blackberry.  Sure I could get a phone that does everything my blackberry does, but then I start to lose quality of the features.  In fact, my blackberry has a phone, but it’s terrible to use.  The sound quality is poor.

Phones today also come with music players and video recorders.  If I want to listen to music, I’ll borrow my husband’s MP3 player.  If I want to record video, I’ll get out the camcorder.  And no, I don’t want to download TV shows and watch them on a 2-inch screen.

Now they are talking about cell phones that contain personal information, credit card numbers and bank accounts.  What do klutzs like me do when they lose a cell phone with that much information?  No thanks.

If you want to improve my phone, give me better sound quality and better range and skip the extras.

To Blog or Not To Blog

March 25, 2007

Well I’ve finally given into peer pressure (Thanks Marc and Rob) and started a blog (Not sure what a blog is?  Keep reading for a quick lesson).  To be honest with you, I love to write and I don’t get to do much of it in my current job.  I’ve been helping my husband with his blog and realized how much I miss writing.

However, the decision to blog was not taken lightly.  Some of my friends might think I’m technologically inclined because they never see me without my blackberry and I’d be lost without my computer.  I use it for everything — birthday invitations, Christmas newsletters, yes even yard sale tags — not just email and work.

But the truth is I’m a little slow to jump on the technology bandwagon.  I don’t have a HDTV (much to my husband’s chagrin), or an Ipod.  I don’t use Vista or Twitter.  First, I’m too busy (and maybe too lazy) to deal with all the bugs that come with being the first one in line to try out a new technology.  Secondly, with so much technology out there, I need to be sold on how that technology is going to make my life better or easier.  And it better be worth any money I spend on it!

A year or so ago, my father-in-law asked me what blogs were.  I told him they were just on-line journals — like diaries.  I still believe that it how blogs started, but they have come a long way since them.  Today they are more like a near-real time news brief on topics of interest with the opportunity for readers to discuss.

You can now find a blog on just about any topic.  Businesses use blogs to communicate with their customers (think electronic newsletter, but more frequent).  Other blogs are used to promote or market (check out blogs for your favorite TV shows — some characters even have their own blogs!).  While some blogs concentrate on a particular topic, others cover a range.

This blog will be used, of course, to talk about the topics close to my heart — parenting, toddlers, twins, activities in and around Richmond, family fun, travel, entertainment, movies, my favorite TV shows and current affairs (although by the time I get around to posting on them, they might not be so current).

For those of you also new to blogging — even as a reader — here’s a short tutorial.

You should plan to visit a blog often. Just because today’s topic doesn’t interest you, doesn’t mean tomorrow’s won’t.

If you are too busy (or lazy like me) to visit daily, you should subscribe to a blog.  There are two ways to subscribe to a blog — by email and by RSS.  You can subscribe to this blog by either message in the top right corner.  Email subscriptions appear in your Inbox just like any other email.  For RSS fees you’ll need an RSS reader (like Internet Explorer 7).  Not sure what RSS is, click here.

Comment.  Please Comment.  After each article you’ll find a link for you to post comments.  Bloggers love when you comment.  It lets us know that you are out there and that you are reading.  You don’t have to agree with us, but tell us what you think.  Feel free to comment on someone else’s comments too.  The point of a blog is to start a discussion.

Share my blog articles with others.  Like one of my articles?  Please feel free to email it to others.  Think others in general will enjoy this article, please feel free to post/vote for it at one of the social networks.  Social Networks are like search engines for blogs.  You can vote on your favorite posts.  I’ve listed links to some of my favorite social networks in the column on the right.

If you have your own blog and want to comment in your blog about one of my posts use the Trackback URL to link back to my blog.

Think there’s something I should be covering that I’m not, feel free to email me at vacelts@comcast.net.

That’s about all I know about blogging to date.  I’ll share more as I learn it.  Of course, I hope to see you back here soon.