Time to upgrade my machine

Today, AMD gave us the full details about Ryzen and it looks groundbreaking.

Summary of video

  1. AMD = High Performance Computing
  2. 10 percent smaller chip size
  3. Ryzen is completely new hardware, not just a change in design
  4. AMD beats its own goal of 40% boost in IPC – achiving 52%!ryzen-1
  5. Ryzen 7 = models 1700, 1700x and 1800x
  6. The 1700x beats the intel i76900k currently selling for $1049.ryzen-2
  7. Ryzen 7 1800x ($499) beats the i7 6900k($1049) by 9 percent on Cinebench.ryzen-3
  8. Worlds lowest powered 8 core processor and 46% better performance.ryzen-4
  9. 82+ AM4 motherboards will be available at launch.
  10. AMDs goal was to disrupt the industry.ryzen5ryzen6ryzen7
  11. AMD blows away the competition – available March 2nd.  Pre-orders start today.

5 things I want – Google Pixel 2

Google made waves last year when they entered into the phone market by releasing their first Google made phone.  The Pixel stood out as one of the best phones of the year and even though it is a Verizon exclusive, it has far exceeded the sales numbers initially projected for the phone. Here is my wish list for the Pixel 2.

  1. Wireless Charging – I have enjoyed this on my Nexus 4, 5, and 6, but for some reason google left this feature off of the 6p and the new Pixel.
  2. Bigger screen, but not a bigger phone.  I love the size of the Pixel XL, but I think google could take better advantage of the wasted space and increase the screen to body ratio.
  3. Front facing speakers.  On the pixel, the audio seemed to be an after thought. With such a high quality phone, well thought out audio should be a priority.
  4. Integration of Tango.  I know that adding this would be a long shot, but it is such a cool technology and I would love to see it on my next Pixel.  Here is a link for more information on Tango.
  5. A little something extra as a surprise.  I would really love to see some feature take me off guard and excite me.  I can’t remember the last time a phone surprised me with a new feature that I didn’t see coming.  In a world of leaks we tend to know all about every device that is coming out before the official release.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the current Google Pixel.  It is one of the best phones from last year standing toe to toe with the s7 and iPhone 7, but there is always room for improvement.  Those are just my two cents on the matter. If you have other features you would like to see, please let me know.

Quick Tip – quickly toggle between two apps

I have recently discovered that a feature I have used for a long time is a relatively unknown to many Android users. It’s a small thing but helps users to navigate between windows more quickly.


By tapping the square on the bottom right of your phone, you can quickly switch between two apps. So, next time you are texting someone and also doing a google search you can quickly switch between the two.

Chrome 58 just added even better security – and how to set it up

Yesterday, I saw some chatter online stating that Chrome will be supporting fingerprint readers. However, when I opened my Chromebook, which is running the developer build, I couldn’t find this new security capability.  I spent some time looking around and found out where it is.  Here is a quick tutorial on how to set up the fingerprint feature.

Make sure that you are running the developer build.


  1.  Go in to your browser and type chrome://flags, and find the fingerprint feature.screenshot-2017-02-21-at-9-01-15-am
  2. Change the drop down menu from Default to enabled.
  3. You will be prompted to restart.screenshot-2017-02-21-at-9-01-44-am
  4. Go to settings and find smart lock under that menu you will find enable fingerprint.screenshot-2017-02-21-at-9-08-09-am
  5. If you have a USB fingerprint reader, give it a try.screenshot-2017-02-21-at-9-10-14-am



Basics – Setting up a printer on a chromebook

Over the past few years, it has been getting easier and easier to set up a printer on your Chromebook.

Quick Set-up instructions

  1. Click on the user icon at the bottom right of your screenscreenshot-2017-02-16-at-9-19-58-pm
  2. Click “Settings”, scroll down and click “Show advanced settings”
  3. Scroll until you see the setting for “Google Cloud Print”screenshot-2017-02-17-at-4-52-43-pm
  4. Choose your printer from the listscreenshot-2017-02-17-at-4-53-18-pm

Here are some google videos that walk you through setting up a traditional printer and a cloud printer.

Cloud printing can be very handy if you are printing things on the go.  It gives you the ability to send files from anywhere right to your home printer.


If for some reason your printer is not supported by Google Cloud Print, I found an alternate wifi chrome app that sets up a local IP based printing service.

  1. Open the Chrome Store
  2. Search for HP Print (or click the link)
  3. Download and openscreenshot-2017-02-17-at-4-53-48-pm
  4. Go to your printer and print off its’ set up page.  On this page you will see the printer’s IP address.
  5. Once you have this, click “add printer,” enter the IP address and give it a name.screenshot-2017-02-17-at-4-54-08-pm


Chrome 58 brings fingerprint reader to Chrome OS

Looks like we may be seeing fingerprint readers coming to Chrome OS.  When the guys over at chromestory.com updated their Chromebook to the latest canary build of the OS they noticed that there was a quick unlock via fingerprint feature.  We will have to wait and see which machines coming out will support this new feature.

Deal – Sales on android games

So many games so little time.

Guns’n’Glory Premium: $0.10 from $1.99

Whispering Willows: $0.10 from $4.99 (non-US)

Bounden: $0.99 from $2.99

Syder Arcade HD: $0.99 from $1.49

The Tiny Bang Story: $0.99 from $2.99

Majesty: Fantasy Kingdom Sim: $0.99 from $1.99

VR Space: The Last Mission: $0.99 from $1.99

Majesty: Northern Expansion: $0.99 from $1.99

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath: $0.99 from $2.99

Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee: $0.99 from $2.99

Thomas Was Alone: $1.99 from $4.99

Bronze Age: $1.99 from $2.99

Steam: Rails to Riches: $1.99 from $4.99

Star Chindy: $2.49 from $3.46

Potion Explosion: $2.99 from $4.99

Colt Express: $2.99 from $4.99

Civilization Revolution 2: $2.99 from $9.99

XCOM: Enemy Within: $2.99 from $9.99

Marble Age: $2.99 from $4.99

NBA 2K17: $4.99 from $7.99

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: $7.49 from $14.99

Borderlands 2: $7.49 from $14.99

SPACE HULK: $8.49 from $11.99




Basics – Chomebook – Making the most of your touchpad

Move the pointer Move your finger across the touchpad.
Click Press or tap the lower half of the touchpad.
Right-click Press or tap the touchpad with two fingers. You can also press Alt, then click with one finger.
Scroll Place two fingers on the touchpad and move them up and down to scroll vertically, or left and right to scroll horizontally.
Move between pages To go back to a page you were just on, swipe left with two fingers. To go forward to a page you were just on, swipe right with two fingers.
See all open windows Swipe up or down with three fingers. (If you have Australian scrolling turned on, swipe up; if you have traditional scrolling turned on, swipe down.)
Switch between tabs If you have multiple browser tabs open, you can swipe left and right with three fingers to quickly move between tabs.
Drag and drop Click and hold the item you want to move. While holding, move the item. Release your finger to drop the item at its new location.

Change touchpad settings

To set how fast or slow your mouse pointer moves and how your touchpad works:

  1. Click the status area , which is the bottom right corner.
  2. Click Settings Settings.screenshot-2017-02-16-at-9-19-58-pm
  3. In the “Device” section, adjust the sliders to set your touchpad or mouse speed (how quickly your pointer moves).screenshot-2017-02-16-at-9-18-01-pm
  4. Click Touchpad settings (or Touchpad and mouse settings) to:
    • Turn tap-to-click on or off
    • Swap your primary mouse button
    • Choose traditional scrolling or Australian scrolling
      Note: With traditional scrolling, you can swipe up on the touchpad to move up the page, and swipe down to move down. Australian scrolling works in the opposite way.screenshot-2017-02-16-at-9-18-17-pm
  5. Click OK to confirm the desired setting

source – google

Use google services – Even on your Samsung phone.

Having control over your data seems like it should be simple process, but because of the amount of options available it can be tricky to know which service to use. Android is a great operating system, but sometimes knowing how to properly configure its services in order to maximize the benefit to you can be overwhelming. My hope is to address some of these problems in an effort to make your smart devices serve you better.

The first problem lies with the carriers. Any carrier’s main goal is for you to stay with them so they make if difficult for you to leave. By default, your data will be set to back up to their servers. You may think, “That’s great! Verizon is backing up my data for me. Thanks Verizon!”  There are two problems with having the carrier do this for you.  First of all, your storage is limited and they will often charge you for backups over a certain amount. In contrast, Google will back up almost everything on your phone through their services for free, with very few exceptions. Another issue with running your backups through the carriers is that it’s more difficult to access your data, especially if you want to switch phone companies. Just try it. Tell AT&T you are switching to Tmobile and see how happy they are to transfer your data to the other carrier. With google, it’s simple since everything is attached to your gmail account. Just sign in to your account on your new phone and all of your pictures, contacts, settings, and much more will automatically transfer to your new device.

The second problem is with the manufacturers.  They, like the carriers, want you to stay with them and continue purchasing their devices. Because of this, most of them will provide themselves as a primary or secondary option to store your data. As I stated before, don’t fall into this trap. You may like LG now, but your next phone could be a Samsung. If that’s the case, good luck contacting them to transfer your data!

The final problem also has to do with the manufacturers. Continuity between devices can be difficult when dealing with each manufacturer’s unique user interface.  It is likely that you and your family have multiple devices. If each device has a different manufacturer then you will find that even though they all run Android, they can look very different.  In this case, you can solve the problem by using one of Androids many custom launchers.  Doing this will allow you to have more control over the way that your phone looks. You can set everyone in the house to have a similar look and feel to each other or change and customize your user experience to something more uniquely suited to you.

Android is the most widely used operating system in part because it allows huge freedom of choice in all aspects of its design. However, this great strength can also present a problem.  Keeping control of your data is one of the best ways to keep yourself free and not let a company lock you into staying with them.  If you are not able to access and move your data easily, you will feel stuck and be unlikely to change (even if you want to).  Don’t get tricked. Take control of your device! Know how to easily access your data, and make it look and feel the way you want.

UPDATE –  I have had some messages asking me to link to the services in the article

Photo backup – Google Photos

Contacts – Gmail

Files – Google Drive 

These apps are already on most Android devices they just need to be updated and activated/opened

Android Launchers – phandroid.com has a good article about diffrent launchers