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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for October, 2013

Technologist Tuesday: 4K to Stay

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

4k logo

Smartphones were around for a while before Apple brought us the iPhone.  What then happened to the Smartphone industry? It exploded.  Apple’s product became insanely popular and the competition began to mold new products around this newly energized Smartphone market.

When we look to the current market of Televisions, we see so many different kinds of TVs.  Most choices are easy to filter through:  LED vs. Plasma, Do I need built-in Wi-Fi for web apps? How big should I get…etc.   What about 4K? Should I buy a television with a 4K resolution?  For some, the price tag of a 4K TV will quickly answer that question.  Others may simply be asking why should they spend the money on a TV with a resolution that broadcasting companies haven’t yet embraced.

Here’s a quick 4K (Ultra HD) review:  When a 4K camcorder has recorded video and you watch it on your new Ultra HD TV, the resolution is 4 times higher than a 1080P television.  You have to see it.  The quality is amazing. The Abt demonstrations we have showing you 4K qualities will leave you in a frozen gaze.  When programming that wasn’t recorded with 4K cameras plays on your 4K TV, it will look better than a 1080P TV.   How much?  When you’re close to the screen (8-10ft) you’ll notice it.  What about content?

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2013 Abt Builder Appreciation Sale

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

We want to give a big thank you to everyone who took part in our annual Builder Appreciation Gala on Tuesday night. Hundreds of attendees were able to chat with industry reps from some big names in the appliance and home-good industries, like La Cornue, Miele, DCS GrillsLiebherr refrigeration products and more. Special thanks also go out to sponsor Cambria USA, manufacturers of fine stone surfaces for your kitchen, bathroom and more. Abt’s own HVAC and Home Security specialists were on hand giving advice on home safety and comfort. Guests enjoyed gourmet hors d’ouvres from Jolane’s Cafe, and a guest appearance by Cambria spokesperson Cheryl Tiegs was the highlight of the night for many. Check out all the great pics at Abt’s Facebook page.

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The Abt Builder’s Division posing with Cambria spokesperson Cheryl Tiegs.

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New iPad Mini, iPad Air and MacBook Pro Revealed

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Big news out of Cupertino today, as Apple released new versions of the iPad, iPad Mini and various Mac computers.

Both the iPad and the iPad mini received impressive new hardware changes, as opposed to marginal mid-life refreshes. The iPad Mini will now be spec’d with a Retina Display, with a 2048×1536 resolution giving it a 326ppi screen. That’s a huge increase over the original iPad Mini, which, while nice, sported a comparatively dull 163ppi display. Behind the gorgeous new display, Apple stuffed the new 64-bit A7 chip that debuted in the iPhone 5S. As a result, not only does the new iPad Mini look much better, its processor performs 4 times as fast, with an 8x jump in graphic processing speed. Rounding out the upgrades are the M7 motion coprocessor chip from the iphone 5S as well as a new MIMO Wi-Fi antenna for a quicker wireless speed.

ipad mini

The new iPad Mini features the Apple Retina Display for unbelievably crisp photos and videos.

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Technologist Tuesday: Hurray for Comcast IMAP!

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

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Do you have multiple devices to check your email?  Do you wish that when one device reads, deletes or moves a message that all your other devices automatically sync to these behaviors?  iCloud, Gmail & many Yahoo email customers already experience this.  Then again, many of you Comcast emailers that have just cleared an inbox of fifty messages off your Smartphone cringe at the fact that then you get in front of your computer; you have to do it all over again.

People that have Comcast email address are on POP email.  That means that when I email your comcast.net email address, a copy of that message goes to the server (checking your email on a browser) and every other device that has access to receive email on your account.  If you delete the message from your Smartphone, it still will show unread on your computer and tablet.  If you mark 100 messages as read from your computer, they’re still unread on your tablet and Smartphone.  Annoying isn’t it?  Comcast has finally caught up to all the big boys.  Just go to https://xcsignup.comcast.net/onboardingapps/imap, enter your Comcast email address and password.  24 hrs later (they say, my transition took about 10 hrs) you’re POP services were transferred to Comcast’s new IMAP servers.

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Don’t Wait Until it’s too Cold to Get Ready for the Winter!

Monday, October 21st, 2013

abt furnace

Summer has already come and gone, and as we watch the leaves change color in Fall, cold weather is creeping up.  If you own a home and rely on a furnace to keep you and your family warm, you might want to check out if it’s in working condition before the real cold hits.  At Abt Electronics, we offer service and sales for home furnaces.  Many people don’t know they need to repair their unit before it’s too late.

Recently, CBS 2 Chicago news did an expose on the problems consumers run into when they don’t check on their furnace before the cold arrives.  Our Abt installers mentioned, that since the cold weather came in so quickly customers are finding problems they didn’t even know they had.   Check out the full article at CBS 2 Chicago’s article.

If you are looking to get a new furnace in your home, visit our HVAC center online and let Abt keep you and your home warm this winter!

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Technologist Tuesday: Technology Forecast

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

Welcome to the Abt Electronics technology forecast.  I’m your Technologist, Josh Davis.  There’s lots of change in the air so let’s get to it.  We’ve got a massive eruption of new Google product and software on its way from Mountain View, CA.  The new OS 4.4 Kit Kat will really hit the Smartphone and tablet industries hard.  You’ll also see the excitement of the new LG Nexus 5 Smartphone & Asus Nexus 10 Tablet last all throughout the week and into Tuesday.

Come Tuesday we’ll have a 99% chance of a new iPad series announced alongside the new Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks  and maybe even a sprinkling of new Macs.  The fog Apple’s announcement cast should clear just in time for those that bought their just released Microsoft Surface 2 & Surface 2 Pro tablets.  However, just when you think this technology typhoon is going to give, Nikon’s new D610 and Asus’s Transformer Book T100 are going to appear all throughout the country followed by a seriously needed and much anticipated update to Windows 8.  You can expect to see a great deal of sunshine and smiling faces when Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 (free for Windows 8 users) brings backs millions of start buttons on PCs across the country.  Right when windows users feel the warmth of familiarity, a front of new Windows hardware will sweep across the nation.  A slew of Nokia & other company Windows phones and tablets will be on all our radars.

And now, your extended forecast: November should start off with heavy amounts of preorder customers receiving their new Fitbit Force bands, HTC One Max & LG’s new G2 Smartphones.  Still within early November, Apple’s new products will temporarily flood the market followed by frustrating availability conditions prior to holidays and possibly lasting into January.  Meanwhile, Microsoft’s new Xbox One and Sony’s new PlayStation 4 will be the talk of the town.  These systems haven’t seen a refresh for 7-8 years!  We can all most definitely expect large scale parental fighting spread like wildfire across the US deep into the holiday shopping season.

You’re umbrellas are going to have to be made out of cash to weather this storm.

Good Luck,

The Technologist

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Tips from Allstate: Simple Steps to Secure Your Smartphone

Friday, October 11th, 2013

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Many of us see our smartphones as extensions of ourselves, keeping us connected to the most important things and people in our lives; our personal contacts, emails and photos, and maybe even our credit card numbers, bank statements and health information.

Of course, the convenience of storing so much valuable personal information on one little device can come at a price: Losing a phone can have unwelcome consequences, ranging from simple property loss to full-scale identity theft or financial fraud.

Fortunately, smartphones can be primed with more built-in protections than many other valuables, and with a little careful planning, even a loss or theft can be manageable. Here are some tips on what to do:

Securing Your Phone Before You Lose It 

Minimize the risk to your physical device in advance by installing a phone-recovery app. CTIA, a non-profit association for the wireless industry, provides a list of smartphone security apps designed to do everything from remotely locking and wiping your phone in the event of theft, to tracking your device and backing up contacts. There’s even an app that will email you a photo of someone attempting to log in with the wrong password.

The Federal Communications Commission also recommends you keep these smartphone security tips in mind:

  • Set and use your personal identification number (your “PIN”) and passwords. A PIN on your home screen is a first line of defence, the FCC says. Also, use different passwords on the different apps, websites and accounts you access via your smartphone. This can help prevent a thief who gets a hold of one password from accessing all your various accounts.
  • Don’t alter your phone’s recommended security settings. This can undermine your phone’s built-in security features, the FCC says. But do install security updates and software patches regularly, which can help reduce your exposure to constantly evolving threats.
  • Back up your data regularly — either on your computer, a removable storage device, or the cloud.
  • Be judicious with apps. Only install apps from trusted sources — which you can help ascertain by checking reviews, confirming the legitimacy of the app store, etc.

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Technologist tuesday- iPad Rumor Roundup

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

To make sure you’re up to date, here’s a current iPad overview:

Today’s full size iPad is known as the 4th generation iPad.  It is the only Apple product to feature the Oct. 2012 A6X processor.  This processor has twice the speed and twice the graphics as its predecessor the A5X (iPad 3rd Generation).  These iPads hit our shelves November 2012.  The iPad 4th generation has a 9.7” screen and comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB & 128GB capacities. They are due for an upgrade.

When these full size iPads came out, a new iPad was also launched:  The iPad Mini.  The iPad Mini features the A5 processor (same as the new iPod Touch).  The iPad Mini has a 7.9” screen and comes in 16GB, 32GB & 64GB capacities.  They are also due for an upgrade.

What should we expect these upgrades to be?

No one ever really knows what Apple will unveil.  Apple has been criticized of quickly losing themselves as the mainstream, innovative leader they became.  That’s debatable.  There’s no doubt that Apple’s 2013 business year hasn’t exactly shocked the consumer electronics world with a new successful product line or major update (yet).  However, there’s one thing that Apple has always done well.  They know how to keep a secret.   The following information is a result of scouring Apple rumor websites and looking to the internet to shed some light on what we should expect to see in the next week or so.

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Behind the Abt Curtain!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

By reading this I’m confident that you know the store Abt.  You may also know that we’re one of the largest independent single-store appliance and electronics retailers in the country. Our history on our site also breaks down how we were founded and who we’ve become.  Here are 15 things we don’t talk about:

1) Bob Taylor and the Amazing Woodshop

abt woodshop

Abt is a store that’s always changing.  We’re always building.  One thing about Abt is that we try and keep everything under one roof.  We staff people that can sell, support, service & deliver everything we offer.  Behind the curtain, we act the same way.  We have our own maintenance shop (we call “the woodshop).  This staff is made up of a crew skilled to fix or build just about anything in our store or on our grounds.  To manage this team of skilled craftsmen, Bob Taylor sits at the helm.  The woodshop he runs is second to none.  There’s even a dedicated part of our warehouse that’s stocked like an aisle of building supplies store.  There’s really nothing this department can’t do.  They can take on just about any project.  The strength of this department is almost as fascinating as the strength of Bob Taylor’s Arms.  He has a glorious history of not only dominating any opponent in an arm wrestling competition, but most of these battles somehow have ended with some surface of glass shattering.

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