Weather Forecast


Show time!

Hey there, Tech Savvy Fans!

This week has been a busy one for me. Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, were the dates of the 2012 Brainerd Marketplace Show and if your reading this on April 6 it’s not too late to come down to the Brainerd Civic Center and chat with me. At 12:15 p.m. Saturday I take the main stage with my guest from Verizon Wireless as we demo some new gadgets that are now available for you. If you can’t make the stage show, stop by the booth afterwards to chat with us one on one and try some of the gadgets first-hand.

As we spent the last couple of weeks preparing for the show, and especially in talking with my friends at Verizon, it really sank in how ingrained new technology is in our daily lives. Not just in one aspect any more either — our personal, professional and social lives are now intimately linked together in our daily web.

So, as a prelude to our stage show and a sampling of what gadgets you can expect to see, here is a sneak peek at some of the great things we will be looking at! Make sure to check back in the column in the coming weeks as I take a more in depth look at many of these items.

Business is developing at rapid pace. We all knew this and it’s been the focus of many discussions here in Tech Savvy. What’s incredible to me is that the pace of business tech and personal tech are both rapidly growing, rather than just one side. In a recent column I gave my first glance thoughts on the new Blackberry. Come see for yourself at the show what you think of the Blackberry Z10 from Verizon and see if you like the changes. I plugged it in and I will say that my initial assessment may have been too hasty. A full review is coming soon.

In addition to the business end of things, we have multiple devices that speak to our personal lives. Raise your hands if you still have a landline at home. I don’t. I gave it up years ago. It’s funny they still leave me phone books, which is OK; it’s great for starting my grill. At the same time, there is a certain convenience to a home phone line, or if you’re located in a spot that doesn’t have traditional phone service, there weren’t always many options. Enter some of the new cellular home solutions. Yes, that’s right, new options if you’re out in the middle of nowhere. Our guest from Verizon will be able to answer questions about the pros and cons of some of their home phone solutions.

One of the major debates I get into with my wife is cameras. She likes to have an actual camera and my argument is that the camera in my phone is actually higher quality than the point and shoot we have (which is true, by the way). Well, those on the fence need worry no longer. Samsung has combined an Android OS with a stellar camera to create a social ready, fully HD, easy to use camera that also gives you smartphone sharing options and connections. Come by the booth to see what kind of camera your point and shoot dreams of being.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to cook. I also love a good steak. That is I love a good steak that’s properly prepared. There have been all kinds of kitchen gadgets through the years — egg timers, convection wave ovens, and such — and we have a chance to look at one of the hottest (lol, right?) gadgets for culinary techies — the iGrill. It’s a wireless thermometer system that transmits via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet to alert you to when your grilling creation reaches optimum temperature. It just so happens that I need to smoke some bacon, and you’ll get the full review in the coming weeks.

Finally, I have both and update and sneak peek at the same time. I started my FitBit challenge a few weeks ago and thought I should share my progress. Weight loss is still elusive. However, my family and I have also started a quest to begin eliminating overly processed foods and unhealthy additives from our diets as well. What this has done has left me feeling much healthier and my FitBit is also showing that since I have started this new regimen I have been more active and that my sleep is improving. Is it all in my mind? Who knows, but having the FitBit show increased activity is very encouraging! Stay tuned, and if anyone wants some details on some of the new foods we’re looking at, tweet me! For the sneak peek, Jawbone (those guys who make awesome headsets) have also released a fitness tracker called UP. I just unboxed the demo from Verizon today but I will have that on during the show and you can come see it yourself while I’m there.

We’ve really just scratched the surface of what we’re going to be covering at the show, we have over a dozen different gadgets and accessories that you will be able to see in person and gets your hands on at the show, you will also be able to see updates on our website and in Tech Savvy in the coming weeks.

Keep sending in your questions, I love hearing the wide range of topics that people are interested in and it’s really helped me learn a ton of new things. I’d also love to hear suggestions on future topics or devices you’d like to see reviewed. Here’s one for starters: I have had a couple of requests for more information regarding Windows 8 on laptops and the newer computers. Some specific questions but a lot of curiosity on general usage and help in operating the new system. I’m curious if we were able to organize a classroom style session for anyone interested in some hands on discussion on some basic operational use and troubleshooting, would anyone come?

Stay bright out there, Tech Savvy fans, there are so many cool new things coming and I am really looking forward to helping introduce some of them to you!