Airplay Enabled Backyard

We have talked about Apples Airplay before on this website here which allows us to push whatever we are seeing on the iphone, onto the tv screen if you are using an Apple TV or Plex, or XBMC, or even Boxee.
Airplay is a fantastic technology that uses WiFi instead of Bluetooth.

I spend a lot of time in my backyard working on projects, swimming in the pool, etc. I love it!

Often when we have people over and have time by the pool we pull out an old set of computer speakers with a sub. I have this mounted to a carry around unit I made. I plug it into the power outlet and plug the 3.5 mm cord into the headphone port of my iphone, or anyones device, and we rock out. This is cool and all but I have to remember to put it up out of the weather after each use. Also I have to leave my phone tethered to it.

This is inconvenient.

There’s a better way!

I decided to mount two outdoor speakers under the eve of the house on the corners near my security flood lamps. Then an amp to power them, then connect the amp to an Apple Airport Express. I built a small box to house it all in under the eve of the roof.

The Apple Airport Express is connected to my current WiFi. This is beautiful as I do not have to switch WiFi signals while in the backyard.

This works great too. Now while by the pool or anywhere in the backyard I can Airplay my Pandora, Slacker Radio, or iPod to the speakers in the backyard. I bet my neighbors love me even more now.

Also if you have iTunes on your computer, you can use Remote found in the Apple App Store to control your iTunes playlists and make them play over the Airplay as well. Also in iTunes there are a ton upon tons of radio stations to listen to.

Here is a list of what I purchased to accomplish this setup.

Apple Airport Express

3-way Indoor / Outdoor Speaker set

Pyle – Mini 2x75W Stereo Power Amplifier

3.5mm to Stereo RCA Male Cable – 6 ft.

18 g Speaker Wire

The Lenovo U1 Hybrid Could Be Better Than The iPad

I just saw this video about the new Lenovo U1 Hybrid that will come out later this year. I think it is an amazing device. It is a notebook computer and tablet all in one, or is it two? Check out the video and you decide how amazing it is.

Apple Tablet-Iphone OS Based

In an interview with CNBC, McGraw-Hill’s CEO confirms that their textbooks will be on the Apple Tablet and it will be an iPhone OS based machine. When asked about rumors that their textbooks will be on the Apple tablet, Terry McGraw responds:

“Yeah, Very exciting. Yes, they’ll make their announcement tomorrow on this one. We have worked with Apple for quite a while. And the Tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system and so it will be transferable. So what you are going to be able to do now — we have a consortium of e-books. And we have 95% of all our materials that are in e-book format on that one. So now with the tablet you’re going to open up the higher education market, the professional market. The tablet is going to be just really terrific.”


Iphone Car Dash Mount

Ok I think through all my trials and searching I have finally found a really good windshield or dashmount for the iPhone.

I was shopping in Target this week and noticed that they had one that looked very interesting. It was from a new brand I have never heard of called Speck.

I had been seeing a lot of Speck cases and what not for the iPhone all the day long as I shopped today. This however looked like something I had been searching for, for quite some time.

This kit provides you with a base that can be mounted on the dash or suctioned to the windshield, a belt clip, a snap on case for the iPhone, ipod touch, or ipod nano, audio aux cable, and also an additional swivel attachment so that you can get every possible angle you need out of this thing.

As soon as I got to the car I took it out of the package and pretend to mount it on the dash to see how well this was going to workout. I could see right away that I didn’t want to give up my Incipio Case for the one they provide. The one that they provide is almost perfect for this.  See on the pack of it there is a square piece of plastic and it happens to fit in the other square on the mount.

This was not a deal breaker for me. I like to modify things, and I had been looking way to long for a decent mount.

All I had to do was take the piece that came with the kit for the ipod nano, widdle it down a bit with a grinder, super glue it to my Incipio Case and I was done.

I tried to find a good link to provide you with so you get pick up one for yourself but I had no luck. I guess the easiest thing to do is visit Target and see if they have one there.

Here is the exact same thing but its by a different company.

I included some photos from my setup.

Roll Your Own Multiboot USB Flash Drive

How To Create Your Own Multiboot USB flash drive

For the longest time when I do computer repair house calls, I often depended on a satchel full of CD’s with my favorite tools on them.
Some of them being ERD Commander, Ultimate Windows Boot CD, Knoppix Live, Ubuntu Live, NTpassword, and so on. I hated to have all these cd’s with me at all times.
I often thought about how to accomplish this, but always got sidetracked.

Recently I made up my mind and said the ultimate goal was to have a bootable USB flash drive with a nice menu. I fiddle with this for at least two months with little to no headway, but alas I figured out how to do it and I would like to share it with all of you techies out there willing to read my blog.

I am going to teach you what I have learned throughout this process, and I’m sure you will feel technically empowered when this is all done.

Today you are going to build a USB Multiboot toolset complete with customized boot menu ready to launch many of your favorite tools.

Are you Ready? Good, lets get started!

Read the rest of this entry »

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