Archive for the ‘Emerging Technology’ Category


Get An iPhone

In Accessories,Apple,Emerging Technology,Opinion,Tips & Tricks on December 1, 2011 by

First photo I took with original iPhone in 2007. Kitchen of our new home.

After having a late lunch at Olive Garden on July 1, 2007, I walked over to the AT&T store and bought my first iPhone. All that was left from the biggest launch in Apple’s history was a 4GB model and I took it. (No waiting, no lines)

I must admit, my friend Andy twisted my arm to give it a chance.  I have to thank him for pushing me to try it.  Who knows, I might have given Android a chance like most of my other friends avidly use & recommend. Yuk!

I was undecided at the time because I didn’t want to give up, of all things, the QWERTY keyboard on my Blackberry Curve. Can you believe that? Makes me chuckle everytime I reminisce about it.

Needless to say, the iPhone was the best electronic device I’ve owned by far!   I’ve kept my original iPhone thinking it will some day be a collector’s item.  I have it on display in my living room, since it is the most expensive art piece I own.  Well, other than the other Apple products in my home.

I have been upgrading every two years to the latest model.  I currently own a 32GB iPhone 4 running iOS 5.0.1 with 1,709 songs, 10,273 photos and 91 apps.  Waiting for upgrade eligibility in Feb. 2012 for the 4S.

I won’t make this into a post of why I believe the iPhone is simply the best choice out there.  There’s about 90 million iPhone users and countless stories on the web to convice you of that. 

It’s about a question I’m asked from time to time:  What phone do you recommend?  I simply say, “Get an iPhone”  and it usually results in one of two things:

1) A follow-up visit a few months later thanking me for the recommendation and them sharing their favorite features they didn’t know a phone could do. (Demonstration included)


2) A text message asking me to guess what phone they just bought.  This is my favorite of the two. Since iOS 5, it’s been a pleasant surprise to receive that first iMessage from someone who just switched to an iPhone. It’s made it easier to identify the switch.

By my count, the number of converts is at 15 and rising.  Their ages range from 17 – 58 years of age.  The list includes friends, family, married couples, college students, teachers & my mom.

Thanks to subsidies, owning an iPhone has become fairly affordable.  For those new to the iPhone, there was no such thing when the original came out.  It was either $499 or $599 cash money! Also, it’s now available on all relevant carriers with a variety of plans to suit every need.

So if you’re in the market for a new smart phone, just get an iPhone! I’ll see you or reply to your first iMessage soon.



Imaging USA 2009 Photography Expo

In Accessories,Apple,Audio Visual,Emerging Technology,Entertainment,Laundry Room,Reviews on January 16, 2009 by Media Specialist Tagged: , , , , ,

Imaging USA 2009 Expo

Imaging USA 2009 Photography Expo

Attended the Imaging USA 2009 Photography Expo in downtown Phoenix on Sunday and one thing is for sure, this event is a photographers dream. It certainly exceeded my expectations. I figured I would see many booths with over zealous vendors trying to sell me photography equipment I do not need. It was anything but that!

It was a well organized 223,000 square feet showroom floor featuring the biggest players in the photography industry. This expo gave you the opportunity to try out any camera out on the market, from least to most expensive. No point & shoot’s here.

Best Buy or Circuit City don’t display the high-end Nikon and Canon cameras. Here you can try everything hands on. I mean everything. The digital explosion of photography has taken over! I don’t think I saw one thing that involved film

Green Screen

Green Screen

It’s amazing how the big companies like Sony, Canon and Nikon try to entice you to purchase their product. They do it in such a professional & convincing way, I almost dropped $4,000 on Canon XH GI HD Camera. I wish!

Here’s a brief summary of what I saw at some of the biggest booths. No surprise that Canon and Nikon were the most popular at the expo because of their elaborate setups. It was a toss up between those two on how well they used their floor space to encourage you to hang out.


I was disappointed with Sony’s space, since they only had 1 camera with various lenses. 1 camera, come on Sony!

They were featuring their new SnapLab™ Digital Photo Printer which was fun to play with. Wasn’t too impressed with the quality on some prints we got off our SD cards on sight.

We participated in their green screen presentation with a quick lesson in an after-effects software called eXpress Digital. Green screen looks like a fun way to photograph with the ability to manipulate backgrounds. The photographer presenting this session was from the UK and was very engaging. He was using a Canon.

That’s about all Sony had. Oh and the cool lanyards they were handing out.


I enjoyed the presenters Canon scheduled to display their work in a small, intimate setting. Had the opportunity to see Joe Buissink, the photographer that shot Jennifer Lopez‘s wedding. He explained how a photographer should make his photos count and how important it is to sell yourself. After all you are the image of the company. Very interesting speaker. Had me sold!

Canon also had on display every camera they make. One could go up to the representatives and ask any questions while you play with the camera that interests you.

The workshops they had with live models were quite informative and onlookers paid close attention to the tips the Pro’s were giving. Bob Davis, famous for photographing Eva Longoria’s Wedding and others, was doing one-on-one with anyone who stopped by the booth. Time well spent for those people!

Every color printer Canon makes, big or small, was available for you to test and compare print quality. I believe we spent the most time in this booth!


One thing caught my eye right away as we got closer to the Nikon booth. It was the enormous LCD screen they were using to display photographs. At the time, Jim Reed was presenting his unique weather photographs. Simply said, they were beautiful photographs of nature in action. He is a well known storm chaser.

Jim Reed Presenting At Imaging USA Nikon Booth

Jim Reed Presenting At Imaging USA Nikon Booth

Nikon also had all their cameras on display for us to play with. One of my friends fulfilled his goal of using the Nikon D3, the hottest camera on the market. The smile it brought to his face was worth price of admission. Easy to see why digital has replaced film, the quality is unmatched. I tried some of the Nikon cameras with the long-throw lenses. The clarity you can get from a distance is unbelievable. Those things can get heavy carrying around.


All in all it was a fun way of spending a Sunday afternoon with friends. I should also point out that MacBook Pro‘s and iPhone‘s were being used by everyone. They were either displaying or instructing with a MBP or running through a gallery on their iPhone. I guess if you want to be a photographer, those two items are a must!

Our next stop will be CES 2010, where hopefully Apple will show up, Steve and all!


Cool Furniture Website

In Emerging Technology,Opinion,Reviews on December 29, 2008 by Media Specialist Tagged: ,

Browsing the internet the other day, I came across this online furniture store called LOMBOK. What caught my eye was the unique furniture on the front page. They have interesting wooden bedsbed throws and wardrobes that would decorate any bedroom nicely. I am a dark colored wood furniture aficionado and wouldn’t mind having much of what that furniture store makes and sells.

What I liked the most about the site was the cool zoom technology they use to enhance their products. Some of the benefits of purchasing online is that generally you get a better price without leaving the comfort of your home.

The one thing you always want to make sure of, is that the picture of the product you may want to purchase is clear and BIG. That way you have an exact idea of what will be arriving on your doorstep in a few days. LOMBOK does this well with the zoom option on all their products.

The way you can hover over a picture of any product and enlarge the part you want to see with great detail is so helpful. Try it out and see what I’m talking about. (Click on image below)

Cool Zoom Feature On LOMBOK Products

Cool Zoom feature on LOMBOK products leaves no doubt in what you are buying.

Do you agree with me? I hope more websites implement this technology. Makes purchasing much easier.

I signed up for their Catologue and their email updates for alerts on their new product line coming up. When time comes to replace our current furniture, I might consider purchasing from LOMBOK. If you are into this type of luxury furniture, check out this site.


The LCD Killed The Overhead

In Audio Visual,Education,Emerging Technology,Opinion on December 29, 2008 by Media Specialist

Overhead ProjectorVery popular song lyrics, “video killed the radio star!” Those lyrics definitely apply to this post, “LCD Projector killed the Overhead Projector!”

I don’t know about your school, but less and less teachers are using an overhead projector. Our school is fortunate to have been fitted with hanging NEC VT800 LCD Projectors.

The overhead projector has ran its course and has served  us well since the 1970’s. During my high school years, they played an important part in classroom instruction. I will never forget the sounds and awkward smells that radiated from these metal monsters. I’m sure you won’t either. It’s bittersweet to see it go, but I am happy with the replacement.

LCD Projectors are so useful in a classroom. Having sat in classrooms where these are used dynamically for educational instruction justify the cost of this technology. The internet provides so much useful content for projection. The ability to project videos, pictures and text in large format make an impact on how a lesson is taught. At least I believe so. The LCD Projector should be used as a compliment to any teaching method.

Here are some websites that can be useful for projection:

There are so many websites out there! Do your research beforehand and bookmark those sites you plan to use. Have fun using your LCD Projector as another teaching tool. Sometimes larger is better…


Google Earth Great Teaching Tool

In Education,Emerging Technology,Helpful Websites,Online Services,Tips & Tricks,Web Features on October 27, 2008 by Media Specialist Tagged: , ,

The song lyrics, “he’s got the whole world in his hands” become a virtual reality with Google Earth! I’ve been using it since 2006 when it was called Earth Viewer. It’s quite amazing to be able to ‘fly’ to any spot in the world and get hi-resolution imagery on your computer/projector screen. It’s almost like being there, believe me.

You can add many layers to the virtual map such as terrain, roads, 3D buildings and images. It’s getting better and better with the addition of 3D renderings of The Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, Red Square and many more. You have to see them to appreciate them. Here’s an example of how Downtown Tucson, AZ looks with the 3D buildings layer turned on:

Downtown Tucson in 3D

Downtown Tucson in 3D

It’s a very simple program to use and the best part is that it’s a free download available for Windows and Mac. Here’s how to install it: 

1. Visit to download the program free.

2. Complete install and you are set.

3. Visit the brief video tutorials site that helps you get going. Here’s a sample:

That’s it! You can really use this as a teaching tool to transport your class to the destination on the globe you may be talking about, including Antarctica! I use it all the time, even more so now that it’s available for the iPhone & iTouch. See it in action as it zooms in to Pueblo:

Forget my hands, now I can have the whole world in my pocket!


Underwater Robot By Amateur Radio Club

In Emerging Technology,Entertainment,Videos on October 20, 2008 by Media Specialist Tagged: , ,

Had a chance to see Pueblo’s Amateur Radio Club test their underwater robot today. (Robot Unnamed) They tested its underwater video camera, underwater light and motors to begin learning maneuvering procedures for the remote vehicle in preparation for a competition that will take place next summer. You will notice the robot is painted Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. Check it out for yourself:


As soon as the specifications for next year’s competition scenario, they will begin construction of the real robot to be entered into national and international competition next June. Here’s some pictures: 


(Click to make bigger)