Intel Core i5: Multitasking Awesomeness June 21, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Computers, First Look/Reviews, Teen Info, Web , add a comment
Intel Core i5. Whoooosh!
OK, let me say this from the beginning – if you are buying a new laptop for school, for anything – get a Core i5.
I’ve had the opportunity to be able to try out a laptop with the new chips, and to sum it up – it’s fast. Really, really fast. Think of things that you do often on your computer – web browsing, gaming, note taking in word, watching videos on Youtube, listening to music on iTunes, chatting with friends in AIM, updating things on Twitter, watching shows on Hulu.
I went through a few days worth of these usual things – and the experience is insane. Load times when opening applications is effectively non-existent. Hulu videos just played, at full resolution, with almost 0 lag. CDs ripped into iTunes in minutes, and huge downloads – including the entire game of Portal on Steam, a task that brought my not underpowered Macbook down for almost a day, finished in under an hour. The game itself ran flawlessly. Flash games ran so fast that a friend of mine had trouble playing, being so used to a slower speed. Youtube videos streamed and loaded in seconds, even in HD. The Zune software, which I had been running at a snails pace on my netbook, was fluid and fast. Word, always a pain to load, taking forever to open, just was there.
Microsoft Announces Kin 1 and Kin 2 April 12, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Cell Phones, Microsoft, Teen Info, Web , 1 comment so far
Microsoft’s Kin. Not to be confused with the Kindle. (click thumnail to Awesome-size)
Today, Microsoft announced there latest phone offerings – the Kin 1 and Kin 2. Unlike most other tech we cover, the Kin brand is designed for teens. Which makes it obviously something of interest on this particular site.
To jump right in – hardware. As can be seen above, there are two models of Kin – the Kin 1 and Kin 2. Both have similar features, and run the same Kin version of WinPhone7, with touchscreens, slideout QWERTY keyboards, etc. Differences include size – the Kin 1 being the smaller, squarish one, with a 5.o megapixel camera/SD video, mono speaker, and 4 GB of memory built in, compared to the Kin 2′s larger screen and keyboard, stereo speakers, 8.0 megapixel camera/HD video and 8 GB of memory. Neither is expandable with microSD cards. Both have the same Tegra chips in the Zune HD, and are quite fast looking, at least in the demo videos.
So, software then. Before we get the the Kin specific stuff, first the basics – has a browser, Bing search, and Zune software built in – so it should be pretty nice for music. But it’s NOT a smartphone – Microsoft built the Kin for Social. So no Apps.
But, Kin does have some seriously slick stuff when talking social. First off, Kin Loop. It’s a real time feed from all your social sites – Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc. as well RSS feeds showing you what’s going on. Social connectivity is huge – just drag and drop stuff to forward to your friends, using the Kin Spot – a little green dot on the bottom of the screen, choose contacts, and go. It works for pictures, videos, news articles – it’s highly cool looking, and looks like its actually getting how teens use phones. Contacts work akin to the Palm Pre – just log into your email, social networks, Twitter – and it combines them all into one contact, which is a cool and handy plus.
The camera software is similarly built, with social features built in – allowing you to upload straight from your phone to your social sites.
But coolest of all is Kin Studio. Kin Studio is, as Microsoft describes it, your Kin online. It’s everything from your phono, automatically synced to the Kin Studio site – allowing you to access, sort, and most importantly, backup everything on your phone – from Contacts, to texts, to pictures and videos, sorted with a cool timeline to manage it. Also has the same features as the phone, allowing updating all your statuses and the Kin Spot sharing. Studio also seems to help with keeping space free on your phone, which is a nice plus.
The Kin 1 and 2 will be Verizon exclusives, launching sometime in May. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but I’d expect it to be an the cheaper side, since they’re marketing to teens, and we tend to be rather cheap (aka broke). Also, I’d be betting on the 2 costing a bit more then the 1, but we’ll have to wait and see.
For more info, videos and shots of the devices, check out the Kin site here.
Oh, yeah. It also makes calls.
[Sources include Kin.com, Engadget hands-on]
On the Importance of Backups February 24, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Computers, Teen Info , add a comment
The last thing a Mac ever displays…
For computers today, backing up a hard drive is easy. Really easy. Macs – you have Time Machine; Windows – dozens of alternatives. But, chances are, YOU, the teenager reading this – don’t. Because, you (like me) are lazy. After all, the backup popup (“You haven’t backed up your files in a while – would you like to now?”) serves to annoy and is ignored more often then not, and the odds of YOUR hard drive failing – when does that happen?
The point of all this? Well, actually, there is one. See, about two weeks ago, my laptop’s hard drive failed. Everything – gone. 3 years of schoolwork, documents, pictures, projects, movies, music, applications – everything from the template to my school’s newspaper to my pictures from summer camp – totally gone. I suddenly was that guy – and man, did I wish that I had backed up some of this stuff – schoolwork especially.
If I can, through these years of writing, get one thing out to you, it is this – don’t mess around with backups. Yes, I know that many of you reading this won’t care – the odds are against it – but trust me: you don’t want this to happen to you. If you don’t want to do a whole backup drive – use a flashdrive to hold your most important stuff, or use Dropbox and store it in the cloud.
But seriously – learn from my mistakes. TeenTechBlog exists to help you – teens – with tech. I’m trying right now to help you – I had a few files on Dropbox, which at least had some recent school stuff. If your computer goes down, you don’t want to deal with data loss too.
But go now – open your document folder, and copy some stuff to a drive. You won’t regret it.
More then Just Chips – Intel Youth Rock Stars Summit February 10, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Computers, Teen Info , add a comment
Cramberry – Online Flashcards May 21, 2009Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Computers, First Look/Reviews, Teen Info , add a comment
Cramberry. Online Studying, with Awesome.
Finals season is coming, and that means its time to break out the books to cram, with of the famous rubber-banded decks of flash-cards. Which brings me to this post.
I use flashcards a lot, especially on vocab or language tests, requiring memorization of large amounts of words. However, I also don’t like flashcards – I hate making them, I hate when I lose one or two and miss studying those on a test, and they’re just overall annoying.
Enter Cramberry.net – an online flashcard site that allows you to make flashcards digitally, and study them there. The site is very simple, and very smooth, allowing you not only to easily create your own deck of flashcards but share them too- with your classmates, or the world- via posting a main site, accessible to all; if you need a set on U.S. State Capitals, for examples, you’re in luck: you can find it without writing a word. It also tracks progress on the cards as you review them, and shows cards you get wrong more to help learn them. Furthermore, through a compatible iPhone app called Flash-Me, you can access your cards on the go (costs $4, though, and I haven’t been able to try it out).
Interested in making your own? Easy. Just make an account, and create a new deck. Then write up the front and back of each ‘card’ in your deck, and the site offers a quiz in which they randomize the cards and present either the front or back of each card, you testing yourself to know its other side. As you’re going, it even slips in the ones you initially answered incorrectly to guarantee you know the cards and will ace the test. Also, foreign languages work, so you can study for language classes without hassle, which is a nice plus.
In short, Cramberry is a simple, useful tool that allows you to study flashcards easily and effectively- and its free. So check it out and good luck on those finals.
Apple Introduces New iPods – First Take September 10, 2008Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Mp3 players and iPods, Music, Teen Info , 1 comment so far
ooooooo – Colorful.
Alrighty everyone, the biggest news of the week just landed. As Apple tends to do around the pre-holiday season (like now), they announced today the new updates to their iPod lines. (more…)
Teen Ink: Make Yourself Heard June 27, 2008Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Teen Info , 2comments
Want to be the next TeenTechBlog? Dont count on it lol, but for those among us who share our desire to express ourselves to the broader world despite not yet even at drinking age, we would like to inform you about about an incredible institution, TeenInk.
Founded in 1989, TeenInk publishes submitted work written by teenagers (at no charge for submission) in their national monthly magazine, their website, and if you’re good enough, their books of collected works. Sorry– they dont pay you for your work.
But if it offers any consolation, we don’t make a penny off this blog either. Check it out! And if you do write something, or have written for them in the past, let us know in the comments.
Picture of Books published by Teen Ink