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Deal Alert: HP Mini 5101 & 5102 Netbooks from $297!

The HP mini 5102 has only been shipping for a few months. I’ve only had mine for about a month. Even so deals are starting to show up.

These corporate class netbooks are head & shoulders better than the consumer offerings you’ll see at retailers. Today’s email list of overstock and refurbished systems from the HP SMB Outlet includes 20 different configurations of the 5101 & 5102…starting from only $297!

The SMB Outlet even have a number of systems that are not the Smart Buy configurations.The Smart Buy configs are kinda bland, but faster to ship. To get the more interesting options you had to order a custom configuration and have it made to order. This is why it took three weeks to get delivery of mine…and it cost just shy of $800.

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Beware The Ubiquitous Portable Hard Drive!

Here are some simple words of wisdom from one who has for decades made use of all sorts of portable magnetic media. Don’t trust it!

This simple message, a public service of sorts, was brought to mind when my wife recently came to me with a small portable USB hard drive in her hands. She had just plugged it into her PC which had responded by asking if she wanted the drive to be formatted? The implication being that it was not already formatted!

Of course, the unhappy little drive in question is a 320 GB 2.5″ USB drive that she had been using to shuttle all manner of valuable bytes from here-to-there.

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The Freetalk Everyman HD Webcam & H.264 Compression

Not long ago In-Store Solutions launched the Freetalk Everyman HD Webcam for Skype. I’ve had a number of webcams before, even one capable of real “HD.” I bought the Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 last summer when I was trying the LifeSize Desktop video conference client. HD in this application means 1280 x 720 pixels.

So initially I thought that the Freetalk Everyman HD Webcam for Skype was less than exciting. Upon further investigation I find it very interesting for one specific reason; hardware acceleration of H.264 encoding.

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Gigaset Preset Configurations Now Includes IdeaSIP

Not long ago I got word that Gigaset was working to add more ITSPs to the presets in the configuration tool in their SIP/DECT cordless phones. The Gigaset DECT base can update its list of ITSPs in much the same manner that it checks for firmware updates.

This afternoon IdeaSIP confirmed that they are now listed as one of the ITSPs for which there is a preset configuration. They have also posted a page on their web site walking you through the setup process.

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There’s an App For That: But Why?

As I’ve been using the new HP 5102 netbook these past few weeks I’ve been surprised at just how much I am able to accomplish with very few applications loaded to the machine. I have DropBox, Seemsic Desktop and FireFox loaded, also ThumbsPlus for managing images…and that’s about it. Even so I’m spending a lot of very productive time with this little machine, mostly reading (Google Reader) and writing (Google Docs & WordPress.)

So much of what I do these days is “in the cloud.” Actually, I suspect that “in the cloud” is a mischaracterization of things. Let’s just say that they’re based upon web services as opposed to locally installed applications. I suspect that the same could be said of many iPad users.

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