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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for September, 2011

Lost or Stolen Camera?…Try This

Friday, September 30th, 2011

If you have been a victim of a lost or stolen camera, GadgetTrak might be able to help you locate it.  You simply type in your serial number into the search bar and it tracks to see if someone else has posted images from your camera on photo hosting sites.  It works because the information kept on every photo taken by any individual camera has information.  Some of that information is the serial number of the camera, embedded within the file.  Once you type in your serial number, the search engine looks for photos containing that embedded serial number.  If you lost a camera, give it a try and see.

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Denon’s Networked Audio Player

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Denon just announced a new network audio player, the DNP-720AE  that streams music from a variety of online services, your own PC and your iDevice.  The new player, measured about the size of a regular Blu-ray player, connects to the web via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.   It can connect a host of other recent AirPlay-compatible machines that are now becoming more available on the market in it’s ability to channel tunes directly from a user’s iPhone, iPod, etc, wirelessly.

The unit will also allow you to download applications to create playlists, organize music genres and even control the player via your smartphone.

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Apple Announces Press Meeting Oct 4th…iPhone 5?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

“Let’s talk iPhone” is the leading quote by Apple’s announcement to hold a press release Tuesday Oct 4th, at 10:00 am EST.  Unless Steve Jobs plans on making a surprise cameo, this will be the first big Apple announcement held by Tim Cook.  It will be held at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters in California.  We’ll report what they report as soon as information is available.

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Abt on the Nate Berkus Show

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Abt Electronics was showcased recently on the nationally syndicated show,  the “Nate Berkus Show”.  We were listed as the number one location to go to for pricing and satisfaction for large appliances in the nation.  We thank the people of the “Nate Berkus Show” for the recognition and we will continue our nationwide satisfaction.

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Samsung Galaxy in Memphis Conclusion

Monday, September 26th, 2011

I was never interested in a tablet when they first arrived.  It seemed like another gadget that was going to become available only to the wealthy.  Maybe something you would find at a local “Sharper Image”.  As time went on, competition grew between manufacturers and the prices of these portable devices began to slowly decline.  Different features were added and so the competition grew fiercer.  And that still continues to this day.

Taking this product out to demo it in real-life scenarios gave me a great opportunity to really get a hold of one of these items and I am pleseantly surprised with my results.  Using the Samsung Galaxy Tablet was a real treat.  For anyone who loves carrying an MP3 player, or watching movies or doing any kind of work on their smartphones, a tablet will do exactly that, but bigger and better.

On my last day GQ, Crawford and I had all day to wait around until the bus back home arrived.  Having been checked out of the hotel and no where to really go, we hunkered down in a bar on Beale St. for the last 9 hours of the day.  The Samsung Galaxy not only became a source of entertainment to pass time, but became a talking piece.  I had numerous people from Memphis (Mephisians?) ask me as much as they could about it.  I’m not in sales, but I could tell you one thing, I certainly didn’t do any harm for Samsung Corporation on that trip.

Since the Samsung Galaxy Tablet runs the Android Honeycomb 3.1 software, I had access to the entire android marketplace.  Making sure I uploaded a few of my favorite apps, I came across ones I never used.  Like the Netflix application.  Contrary to Netflix’s current business plans, the application was extremely simple and easy to use.  I was able to have streaming movies from my account on a beautiful 10.1’’ screen with just a few quick taps.

The only two real flaws I discovered over this weekend was the size of the unit and (given the model I had) lack of 3G accessability.  When it came to passing any kind of time, or jotting down notes I needed to remember for anything, the tablet was a life saver.

If you are on the fence on whether or not you should get a tablet, feel free to weigh the pros and cons.  While it isn’t a necessity of life, it definitely makes it a bit easier and much more enjoyable.

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Samsung Galaxy in Memphis cont…

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Before we hit the streets of Memphis, I made sure to do an inventory of where to go, and what to do down there.  The Hotel’s Wi-Fi connected to the tablet just as easily as it did on the bus, but this time the Wi-Fi worked great.  I took advantage of the Yelp application and made some decisions on where to go and where to eat.

Being that GQ and I are avid viewers of the show Man vs, Food, I decided it wouldn’t be Memphis food, if we didn’t go to the places that were showcased in that show.  With the help of the Samsung Galaxy, we were able to find the locations, read reviews and have for us a step-by-step navigation on how to get there from Google Maps.

Google Maps is already installed on the tablet and runs just as it would run on any desktop or laptop computer.  You have the ability to zoom, track directions, and you can even tap on individual locations to get the telephone number or review within seconds.

Camera & Video

The multimedia of the Samsung Galaxy comes with a 2.0 megapixel front camera and a 3.0 megapixel auto focus with flash rear camera.  The video has 1080p playback and 720p capture.  The interface for both is extremely easy to use.

The above is what it looks like when you are taking a picture off the tablet.  The image is in the center with a controller border on the left and right.  You can change the settings on the left as well as turning the flash on or off and other changes.  The left side is even easier with a button changing from camera to video and the large button below takes the image or starts the video.  Below that, is a library of what you have taken.  The video below is an example of the full HD video taken of a trolley on the streets.

Both the images and video were taken off the tablet and put onto this blog via the USB connection that was provided.  Recognizing and removing the files I needed was as easy as drag-and-drop.

Up next: concluding the trip with the Samsung Galaxy and an overview.

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Samsung Galaxy in Memphis

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Trying furiously to shake out my legs and kick the creaks out from my back, the 9 ½ hour bus ride from Chicago to Memphis wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Sleeping intermitantly and finding something to keep myself busy was a fair balance.  The Samsung Galaxy was brought out of its box before I headed out and the first impressions were made on the ride in.

Initial Encounter: The convenience over a laptop computer is evident immediately when it comes to size and portability.  Lacking a keyboard and numerous moving internal parts, the tablet is thin, light and almost all screen.  The back is a textured, silver, durable exterior which is nice to hold in your hands and feels extremely solid when you grasp with one hand.

Worried that something may happen to the screen along the way, my fears were gone when I realized Samsung uses Gorilla Glass for their tough screen.  Gorilla Glass is extremely thin, and extremely durable from scrapes, scratches dents and dings, so it was going to be safe in my messenger bag on the trip.

On the ride to Memphis, I found the software extremely easy to use.  It’s Android 3.1 Honeycomb, which is on numerous smartphones, including mine, so the learning curve was next to nothing. 

Setting up a Wi-Fi was extremely simple as well.  Locating the availble connections in the lower right of the unit, with a few clicks we were connected to the bus’s Wi-Fi.  I used the Android marketplace to immediately install the Yelp app and a few of my favorite website applications like IMDB to pass time.

One thing Crawford and I noticed was the severe lag from the bus’ Wi-Fi.  Our internet was eventually down in rural America!  Panicking slightly because I never installed games nor do I have access to the internet, Crawford came up with a brilliant idea: 3G.  The Samsung Galaxy, unlike the leviathon of tablets, the iPad, does NOT have 3G built into the unit.  This means the internet can only be accessable via Wi-Fi connection.  Crawford did have 3G on his cell phone. 

After tinkering with a few of the settings, his phone eventually became a router for the tablet, connecting online via hotspot through his phone, thus giving us internet accessability once again.   Unfortunately, that is a downfall with a 3G-less tablet, but we made the most of it.   

Videos were smooth and so was navigation.  The resolution for HD videos on the internet comes in beautifully through the Galaxy’s screen.  Near portable Blu-ray quality. The bus ride went quicker and Crawford and I were a lot more informaed on hilarious Youtube videos and new internet memes thanks to the tablet. 

Up next: Out in the wild-in the streets of Memphis with the tablet.

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Me, Memphis and a Samsung Galaxy

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Being the unofficial, intrepid Abt reporter, I decided to think outside of the box and try out one of the tablets we offer at Abt Electronics.  I’m off to Memphis, TN with my friends, one current employee of Abt: GQ and one former, Crawford.  For the next few days, and two painfully long bus rides, I will use the Samsung Galaxy Tablet to keep myself entertained, informed and give it as good as a review as I can. 

It’s one thing to sit at a desk and putz around with electronics, it’s another to open it up in the wild and go head-on.  Check back on the Abt blog and see what a tablet can do for you, on the road.

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Your Phone as…Your Wallet?

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Remember those keychain credit cards from McDonald’s, gas stations and other establishments?  The idea was to link it to a credit card and upon purchasing goods, just “swipe” it as you would any credit card.  Simple and convenient.  The same kind of technology is starting to arrive on Android phones.

Called, “Google Wallet”, shoppers can authorize an application to charge a preexisting Citi MasterCard card or deduct money from a prepaid debit card (you can add funds from your bank account or a non-Citi-card). Google just announced today that Wallet will also soon support Discover, Visa, and American Express accounts. It will be interesting to see if people take advantage of this.   Hopefully security measures will be bulked up to protect you and your purchases if you ever lose your phone..

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Registry at Abt Electronics

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Need a place to register for that special ocassion?  how about Abt Electronics?  Feel free to make your gift registry easy and convenient by checking out our new registry application.  If you even have a friend or relative who is already registered you can check their information and pick out the right gift.

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