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You thought your TV was old! 

Filed in archive Television by Phil Gerbyshak on April 25, 2007

In the "You Thought Your TV was Old" category, comes a very cool history of TV slideshow from the folks at Wired.

Through the ages, television sure has changes. From a TV that took up the whole room, to one that looked like a spaceship, to the old console where you had to drop a piece of plastic over to get colors, to the 1080i hi-def plasma shockers of today, times have changed.

While it's cool to have this awesome technology affordable, and at our fingertips, it's tough to say whether or not better TVs are a boon or a bust for our society. One things for sure: we haven't quit innovating, or wanting better devices.

Thanks for the reminder of where we were!


Onkyo Launches Next Generation HDMI Receiver 

Filed in archive Audio by Phil Gerbyshak on April 25, 2007

According to the folks at Crave:
"Onkyo has become the first mainstream manufacturer to officially announce an array of home audio products that offer the two big features that have been MIA on home audio products to date: HDMI 1.3 and on-board decoding of Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks found on HD DVD and Blu-ray discs."
With prices starting at just $380 and moving up quickly, this nice audio system may soon become THE object of audiophiles desire until Christmas. These babies will be available in black or silver, to match any home decor.

We'll see what the rest of the big players have to say about this. I expect we'll see others work quickly to catch up with the Onkyo folks.


Karoake Fans Rejoice: Now You've Got a Screen! 

Filed in archive Audio by Phil Gerbyshak on April 24, 2007

For the small investment of just $100, you too can sing AND see yourself singing, with the fabulous CD+G Karaoke System, available from the fine folks at GPX.

If you wanted proof that you're a terrible singer on videotape, this little beauty will give you that and more. Perfect for kids and grown-up kids who want to pretend they're crooning to Simon, Paula and Randy on American Idol, I may get a copy to embarrass my nieces and nephew with, or for my friends who have a penchant to drink so much and think they're Frank Zappa.

Thanks to the fine folks at Crave for sharing this gem!


Microsoft Silverlight: Beta Cruise Starts April 30th 

Filed in archive Computing by Phil Gerbyshak on April 22, 2007

Microsoft Silverlight: Beta cruise starts April 30th
If you haven't heard of Microsoft Silverlight yet, allow me to share a bit about it with you.

According to the official Silverlight site:

"Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web."

Seems pretty darn cool to me. You can read more at the Silverlight blog, and check out a great article featuring Sean Alexander answering 10 Questions About Silverlight and Media, originally shared by eHomeUpgrade.

I'd also encourage you to keep an eye on Sean's blog, as he is the world's best (perhaps only right now??) Silverlight Guru.

I'm curious what the future holds now that Microsoft is getting in the game?? Only time will tell.


Long Live the PS2 

Filed in archive Gaming Systems by Phil Gerbyshak on April 22, 2007

Playstation 2: still as popular as ever!

According to an article in USA Today, the Sony Playstation 2 is still the best video game system in the United States, with 280,000 units sold, versus 259,000 for the Nintendo Wii for March of 2007.

Pretty amazing to think an old classic like the Playstation 2 would still outsell the Wii, the Playstation 3, and the Xbox 360., though not entirely surprising to me. I still love my PS2, and enjoy picking up used and new games at the local video game exchange. Many of my friends are the same as me, though more telling is the fact that the 15 year old that I spend a lot of time with through Big Brothers Big Sisters still only has a PS2, and has no intention of picking up a PS3, and many of his friends are of the same school of thought.

Thanks to Make You Go Hmmm for the link to this interesting article.


Moo NoteCards: Write a letter from your wired home 

Filed in archive Entertainment by Phil Gerbyshak on April 22, 2007

You could just get plain notecards, but why?

While you're sitting at home, enjoying all that is available in your Wired Home, how about sending a quick note to someone to invite them over to play with all your tech toys, or as a thanks for bringing over their Xbox 360 Elite to play Gears of War last Friday night?

If you've been looking for the coolest way to do that, look no further than the Moo Notecards, another great find from the geniuses at BoingBoing, via PlasticBag.

I can think of no better way to say thanks than with a micro-mini cool Moo notecard from your Flickr pictures, but of course, you can always just pick up the plain thank you notes in the picture. Up to you :)


Mobile Hermitages: The anti-McMansion 

Filed in archive Wired Home General by Phil Gerbyshak on April 22, 2007

Smaller houses are the anti-McMansions of our time!

Bucking the trend of bigger is better, now some folks have taken to going smaller...MUCH smaller. Gregory Johnson's entire house -- an attractive chalet with a bed, bathroom, dining room table and kitchen -- measures a teeny 7 feet wide and 10 feet long.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the average American house in 1950 had a total floor area of 983 square feet. By 2004, the average size for a home was a monstrous 2,314 square feet, almost 2.5 times larger than just 50 years previously. You can read all about this interesting trend at AZ Central.

So for eco-conscious folks who don't want to waste any space, these "mobile hermitages" as they are called are taking just the opposite approach. I don't know if I could live in such a small space, as I'd barely have room for my laptop, much less a fridge, a stove or a microwave. Still, it's cool to think about folks living smaller instead of larger.

I wonder which celebrity will be the first to embrace THIS trend?

Originally found at BoingBoing, with photo credit going to VickyTH.


Welcome to the Metaverse? 

Filed in archive Wired Home General by Phil Gerbyshak on April 14, 2007

Over at CNET News, they're talking about our universe, or rather our Metaverse our new digital home. In the always on world expected by 2016, CNET and the researchers they discuss in the article question whether or not our lives will evolve into a Second Life type phenomenon by 2016.

Though we may become more and more dependent on technology, and especially the Internet as time passes, the need for real human interaction will never be overtaken by living online, though I'm sure sometimes my wife thinks it already has for I spend some days reading and writing away, swept away in a virtual world of my own choosing. But I always get up, give her a hug and kiss, and crawl into bed with her. I just can't see myself "virtually" sleeping online with her, or with anyone.

Not in my Universe. Not now. Not in 2016. No way!


Never too late for good humor 

Filed in archive Entertainment by Phil Gerbyshak on April 14, 2007

In the never too late for humor department, I share with you this year's Think Geek April Fool's Day jokes, complete with a screenshot of their homepage.

Some of these things could really be interesting items, like the Wii-Helmet, for those who want to pretend they are spelunking while they're playing with the Wii, and the Lonely Guy Dream Vacation Digital Tie, proving there's no first life for those who play Second Life. Just teasing. Thanks to the folks at for keeping Think Geek's humor alive for this geek to get a bit after the fact, proving once again that it's never too late for good humor!


Slingbox PLUS Elliptical Equals Weight loss? 

Filed in archive Entertainment by Phil Gerbyshak on April 14, 2007

Thinking you need to lose a few pounds before the summer, to fit into that wonderful Speedo your wife is looking forward to seeing? Trying to fit into that Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, but carrying an extra 40 pounds or so? Afraid you're going to miss all the "good shows," Thursday nights on ABC?

Why not combine the 2, and hook your Slingboxup to your Elliptical Trainer and get your workout on!

Inspired by the fine folks at the PVRblog, I think it might actually be possible to get fit enough to fit into my board shorts this June. Now if I could just do something about getting tan without shaving all the hair off my body or by spending time getting cancer in the sun?!? Oh well, I man can dream, can't he!?!


AppleTV: Now available and hackable 

Filed in archive Television by Phil Gerbyshak on April 14, 2007

Appletv: Apple TV
Looks like the long awaiting AppleTV came out while I was away last month. From what my friends have said, it's as good or better than advertised, with one small problem: only a 40 GB hard drive comes with this beautiful little machine. Oh how I wish I could easily upgrade to a larger hard drive...

Wish no longer, as the folks at Weaknees have come up with a deliciously simple 160GB drop-in hard drive. VERY cool! It even includes some simple to follow instructions. AWESOME!

Thanks Weak Nees, and thanks to the PVRblog for sharing this gem! There's never been a better time than now to pick up your very own AppleTV


Do We Need a Blogger Code of Conduct? 

Filed in archive Wired Home General by Phil Gerbyshak on April 13, 2007

Ponch of CHIPS can help us enforce a blogging code of conduct!
Do we really need a blogging code of conduct, that says what we can and cannot say on our blogs? Tim O'Reilly sure thinks so.

Tim, and Tim's community, has created a nifty draft of a blogging code of conduct for all of us to live by, but really, is this necessary? It seems as though the folks that need the blogging code of conduct are EXACTLY the ones who wouldn't follow the rules even if they were in prison. And to be honest, I say let them have their say. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, as long as it isn't injurious to another person, and really, with the Internet being world-wide, there is NOTHING that can stop someone from posting something completely undesirable and unethical about another person, except for each of our internal moral compass.

Tim O'Reilly, while you mean well by proposing this, I see no need to have a blogger code of conduct. If we need a reminder to be more civilized, that should have happened LONG ago, maybe from our parents, and maybe from some power much greater than us.

After all, Ponch didn't arrest many real criminals, and a blogging code of conduct won't stop many either. The cops on Reno 911 won't save you either.


Rocketship Radio: FM for Fun and Frolic 

Filed in archive Audio by Phil Gerbyshak on April 13, 2007

The folks at Griffin have done it again, with this cute little Rocket Ship FM Radio, perfect for the quirky audiophile in your life.

Nicely priced at just $35, this little device packs a fine sound into 1 small pound. VERY cool!

Pick yourself up a nifty little Rocket FM Transmitter today, and heck, pick one up for a friend too. After all, you can never have too many radios in your house, especially if they're in the shape of rocketships!

Originally spotted over at Cool Tools


Got Grill? 

Filed in archive Wired Outdoors by Phil Gerbyshak on April 10, 2007

toolbox grill - perfect for summer
Cool new grill find today, the Tool Box Grill, just in time for the great snowfall of April, I mean, springtime in Wisconsin.

Check out these great specs:

* 175 Sq. In. of Cooking Area
* 9,300 BTU providing over 600 degrees of cooking temperature
* Easy to carry
* Built in grease tray
* Porcelain coated cooking grill

This little gas grill runs you just $65, looks cool, and allows you to grill a mean steak. I know I'm getting a new grill this year (thank you dear!), and I just might try this one.

Hat tip to Cool Tools for finding this gem.


Can a car power your house? 

Filed in archive Wired Home General by Phil Gerbyshak on April 09, 2007

Toyota Prius

Pacific Gas & Electric announced today that they've created a new "plug-in Prius" that can power your home in case of a blackout. Talk about a wired home dream come true!

Reported by Sarah Jane Tribble of the Mercury News, this is GREAT news for the utility company. Prices for plug-in hybrids are expected to range from $3,000 to $5,000 more than conventional hybrids, which would mean cars such as the Toyota Prius would be in the high $20,000 price range, said Bill Van Amburg, senior vice president for the industry trade group CALSTART.

Tribble reports: "The investor-owned utility, which appears to be the first in the United States to demonstrate a car that can power a home, says customers will be able to use plug-ins to cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as high home-energy bills."

If you ask me, that's pretty darn awesome!

You can read all about Pacific Gas & Electric's hybrid Toyota Prius that has several awesome new features that make the standard Prius GREAT (PDF).


What's Next for Wired Home? 

Filed in archive Wired Home General by Phil Gerbyshak on April 03, 2007

Curious what's happening NEXT here at Wired Home? Me too, so I did some searching around, and I found some cool stuff to share with you in the coming weeks.

Things like:
  • Home Office Gadgets
  • Home Technology Tips & Tricks
  • Wired Home Bathroom Technology
  • ...and so much more.

    So thanks for sticking with me here at Wired Home. I look forward to helping YOU live a more wired home life!
    Phil Gerbyshak - editor


Get Joost 

Filed in archive Television by Phil Gerbyshak on February 26, 2007


Yes, I've been testing the Joost BETA, and I must say, it is VERY cool! I'm really enjoying the Joost love, and I wish I had some invites to share.

Thankfully, someone does. You can check out Joost Swap, to sign up and potentially get a Joost invite. I have been out since the moment I mentioned that "I Got Joost!" about a month ago. Sorry that the invites went so quickly. I hope to get more soon. In the meantime, Joost Swap is your best bet.


Runaway Alarm Clock: Wake up and run! 

Filed in archive Audio by Phil Gerbyshak on February 19, 2007

If you're like me, you don't enjoy getting out of bed early in the morning. And you'd rather hit snooze, oh, 10 or 15 times. At least that's how I feel in the winter time, when it's cold...and dark.

So I found the perfect alarm clock: Clocky, by Nanda. This little baby runs away from you if you hit snooze more than once. Available in white, aqua, and mint, this little device could be fun for the whole family. Say your wife hits snooze the first time, and says she'll get up the "next time." When the alarm goes off again, she's off to the races, chasing Clocky. How much fun would that be? And the poor thing doesn't talk back, so if you're yelling at it, looking for it, it won't yell back.

You could also disable the wheels, but what fun would that be?


February Means Grilling Time 

Filed in archive Wired Home General by Phil Gerbyshak on February 18, 2007

So it's the middle of February, and I'm looking for new ways to enjoy winter. It gets VERY cold here in Wisconsin (we were down below freezing for the last 2 weeks). I've been busy working away, trying to make enough money to pay the heating bills.

So I was reading Uncrate the other day, and found the niftiest little no fingers napkin holder, perfect for an indoor cookout. And then, I read a little further, and I came across a wonderful non-George Foreman indoor grill, the Breville 800 GRXL. SWEET!

Just 2 little things to warm me up, and help make my wired home a little nicer!


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