94 posts categorized "Shopping for Techies"

December 13, 2011

Holiday Gifts=Time to Upgrade Tech: TV's

image from i1137.photobucket.comSpending all year writing about technology leaves me little time to focus on my own household tech. My preference is to have home technology that is not only low maintenance but also high quality. Looking around the house, I realized that the fully functional 12 year-old family TV no longer remotely qualified as “top of the line”. Not to mention the glares my tween son's friends gave me when they came over and realized we have a (shriek and face plant) TV with "tubes" in it.

So this holiday season I joined the world of high definition and purchased a new HDTV. Because our 12 year old TV Sony TV lasted so long and offered us a great viewing experience - I wanted to purchase another Sony television. At the local Sony Style store I reviewed the different models and received great information from the sales team. I also talked to friends of the family who are Home Electronic Concierges (Intuitive Environments). They sent me an article from PC Mag on how to buy an HDTV. If I were not a technology writer, I would have hired them because to help save money and time. But being a tech geek - I wanted to have the full experience of uprgading the TV on my own. I also checked CNET for reviews and Decide.com to get an idea of what price I should looking for.

Continue reading "Holiday Gifts=Time to Upgrade Tech: TV's" »

December 07, 2011

On 12/7 - Join Twitter TechMamas.com & Decide.com To Chat about Holiday Tech Shopping Tips

image from i1137.photobucket.comI have been covering holiday shopping tech tips throught the holiday season, including my tips for a no regrets holiday shopping experience. December (NOW) has some of the best tech prices of the year - so time to shop! To keep the conversation going, please join me and Decide.com this Thursday 12/7 10am pst for a Twitter chat on holiday tech shopping.

Here is info on the Decide.com/TechMamas Twitter Chat:

Are you a smart holiday electronics shopper? Do you know how to score that perfect deal on all the gadgets on your family’s holiday wish list? Join Decide.com and Techmamas founder Beth Blecherman for a Twitter chat this Thursday, December 7, 2011 at 10:00-11:00 am PT/1:00- 2:00pm ET to test your tech holiday shopping savvy, share tips and learn where and when to find the best deal on electronics for your family this holiday season. (Click HERE for more info).

At the Twitter chat - I will discuss my adventures in shopping for a new TV and other tech devices. You will have to join in to see what I ended up purchasing - but here is a picture of the 12 year old TV that it replaced. Yes, the TV still had tubes in it and was very heavy.

image from i1137.photobucket.com

As you can imagine, my tween son did not think our TV with Tubes  was cool (even thought the picture quality was still great). He is so excited to join the modern world with a new TV! Goodbye old TV...We enjoyed our time together...

Disclosure:  This post is in partnership with Decide.com.

October 14, 2010

So Exciting - Cool Mom Tech Has Launched!

If I have not posted for some time on my personal blog TechMamas.com, it's because there is something keeping me busy. My wonderful family is always a priority and those with kids that just entered 6th grade (like my son just did) understand what a big transition that is.

This middle school transition would be so bloggable if I had not already promised my son to keep things under wraps. In fact, my tween is probably reading this post on his smartphone right now - so I may as well say hi to my son: "Hi sweetie..Whoops, I am not supposed to call you that in public. Sorry".

Let's just say that kids these days are skipping from kids to teenagers, and it happens fast. As my dear friend with a newly "teenaged" kid told me last year: Put on your seatbelt. And I did.

On the business front, my most exciting announcement is that I joined on as Chief Technologist of a sister site to the fabulous Cool Mom Picks (a top shopping blog for parents).

Coolmomtech_150x150 The amazing founders of Cool Mom Picks Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase were planning to develop a sister tech shopping blog for parents when I happened to call them saying I would looove to work with them on such a venture. Wella: Cool Mom Tech!

Does it show how excited I am? If I could add audio, it would sound like cyber-shreaks of joy! Check our our awesome Cool Mom Tech team, I am so honored to work with them (another cyber shreak).

Here is a link to a post about Cool Mom Tech on BlogHer written by an fabulous tech mom herself (I have a soft spot for tech moms) Little Tech Girl Kris Cain : "Get the Real Scoop on Technology with Cool Mom Tech".

Here are juicy details from the Cool Mom Tech About page:

"Cool Mom Tech is the intersection of tech and style, of parenting, practicality and fabulosity, brought to you by the same moms behind the influential shopping and design site, Cool Mom Picks. Plus a few more who really know their tech stuff.

We're not techies who parent, we're moms who use tech in our everyday lives. Same as you. Same as millions of mothers who are online every day."

Please take a click over to Cool Mom Tech and see what we are up to!

March 07, 2010

LA Moms Blog/Orange County Moms Blog Party

Babyjidesign_picture As one of the managing members of the Silicon Valley Moms Group I have the honor of interacting with an amazing group of bloggers. I also value sponsors that put value in outreach to mom bloggers, they deserve a shout out. We just recently had a party and invited our Los Angeles Moms Blog, soon to launch Orange County Moms Blog and other local mom bloggers.  The event was held at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Laguna Nigel (pictured left, photo credit Carla Duharte-Razura of Babyjidesign) .

To put on the event, we had the joy of staying at the Ritz Carlton, the hotel and surrounding beach property was absolutely gorgeous. After the event was over, it was so hard to leave. I am still dreaming of the workout room facing the ocean. If I had access to a beautiful workout room like that regularly, I would finally get in shape!

Disclosure: The hotel did not pay for my stay and I was not obligated to write a post about the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, but they were a sponsor and partner of the SV Moms Group event that we held there for the LA Moms Blog and Orange Country Moms Blog bloggers. I am a partner at SV Moms Group.

February 12, 2010

Press Release: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Mobile Scanner

On Feb. 10 I received an email with a press release on the new Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 -  next generation mobile multi-page scanner that can be used with PC and Mac platforms.

This came at a good time for me as I just cleaned the house of papers I am not using now but need to keep for my records. I have a big stack of file boxes in my garage that also doubles as my boys playroom. I decided that scanning would be a good way to clear the space but keep the files in my records. I wanted to look at the different scanner options available and this email happen to pop into my mailbox. I have not tried the product, but will need to purchase a scanner in the near future.... Or else my kids will be using my boxes of papers to climb on, which may lead to papers being spread across my garage.

Yes, there is so safe space in a house with three young boys!

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February 04, 2010

Just Announced: Sony VAIO® E Series, Cool Colors and Affordable Price

While I am still sorting through all the fun tech I saw at CES to create my CES coverage posts, I decided to keep a running tab of the new tech just out. On January 28 I posted with techie details about the Apple iPad. On Feb. 2nd Sony released news about the new VAIO® E Series. This announcement is interesting to add to the ongoing debate about the iPad functionality in the tablet category versus netbooks and laptops. One of the choices being debated is purchasing an internet device such as a tablet, buying a netbook, or buying a full featured laptop that are all now becoming closer in price. While comparing a tablet to a laptop is different because tablets are handheld and laptops are mobile computing  - many consumers need to make a choice of getting the most functionality for the buck.

Here are details from the Sony News press release.  Click HERE to view the Sony Vaio EB series on the Sony Style website.

  Sony Vaio E series

PRICE: The Sony Style website states the starting retail price for the Sony Vaio EB series as $799.

DESIGN: The SONY press release stated that the "E Series comes in five translucent, high-gloss colors— Caribbean Green, Iridescent Blue, Coconut White, Hibiscus Pink and Lava Black— and three matte colors—Maple Brown, Silver White and Gunmetal. Subtle patterns can be found on the lids, of the glossy models, with the palm rest mirroring the color of the PC.... With a 15.5-inch (measured diagonally) widescreen display with optional HD capability so movies....The edge-to-edge isolated keyboard has a numeric pad built-in, giving you the experience of using a larger computer in a much smaller footprint. A pleasing dimpled touch pad is seamlessly integrated into the palm rest."

STORAGE, BATTERY LIFE, USB PORTS/CONNECTORS: The SONY press release stated "transfer and store data to peripheral devices utilizing the notebook’s eSATA/ USB port and three convenient USB ports. Select models incorporate Bluetooth® technology, enabling peripherals such as a wireless mouse to be utilized without tying up the unit’s ports..... For those who prefer to watch content on a big screen television, the PC has an HDMI™ output so it can be connected to a compatible HDTV set for a larger viewing experience (HDMI cable required, sold separately). Up to 500GB hard drives are available.. It also has the added convenience of DVD and CD read/write functionalities."

The current Sony Style website has the following other features listed: WiFi - IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, max of 3.5 hours battery time, 8GB max RAM, and a weight of 5.95 pounds.

CAMERA: The SONY press release stated: "A built-in webcam with face-tracking technology and microphone let you video chat with family, friends and colleagues. A third-party internet service provider is required."

APPLICATIONS: The SONY press release  states: "All E Series PCs come pre-installed with Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium operating system.....The E Series notebook also comes with three unique hardware buttons-- WEB, VAIO and ASSIST to get you to where you want to go with a touch of a button. Quickly access the Internet, without full boot up into Windows®, by simply pressing the WEB button. Launch directly into Sony’s own Media Gallery software by pushing the designated VAIO button on the keyboard and create high-quality home movies. Finally troubleshoot any issues or facilitate simple do-it-yourself PC maintenance procedures by pressing the ASSIST button and launching the included VAIO Care™ software program..."

MULTI-TASKING and PROCESSOR INFO: Multi-tasking = YES. The SONY press release states "Select E Series models pack an Intel® Core™ i5 processor with Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost technologies, delivering the performance needed for multitasking". Sony Vaio EB series also available with the Intel® Core™ i3 processor. The Sony Style website also lists "dedicated graphics of ATI Mobility Radeon™ with up to 512MB of VRAM on select models" which helps support processing of video and photo related tasks.

MUSIC, MOVIES AND TV: As stated above, the HDMI output can be connected to a compatible HDTV set. The SONY press release  also stated:" The E Series notebook features an optional Blu-ray Disc™ ROM drive, making it ideal for viewing pristine HD content on-the-go".

EBOOKS: Sony's has a line of e-Readers and access to the Reader Store. Along with Google Books, the Reader Store has access to over 1 million eBooks.  With the Reader Library Software installed on the PC, ebooks can be purchased and stored. You do not need a device to use the service.

GREEN TECH: The SONY press release states: "E Series is ENERGY STAR® 5.0 Qualified, EPEAT® Silver registered and RoHS compliant. Its corrugated cardboard packaging is comprised of 95 percent recycled content. Sony will also help recycle your old PC (www.sony.com/green; recycling fees may apply)."

All the information for this post was taken from the Sony Electronics press release and Sony Style website. This post is an update related to the press release.

I saw additional posts on the updated Sony Vaio E series at Engadget and Electronista.

November 29, 2009

BlackFriday A Bust, Will Try CyberMonday

While my cyber-buddy Erin (Queen of Spain blog) was a Black Friday sales virgin who needed protection - but ended up saving $110, I ended up feeling like a Black Friday sales sucker - but a confirmed sucker after I read the post on Slate titled " BlackFriday Is For Suckers".  I posted on TechMamas.com with every Black Friday sale online site and Twitter ID to keep posted on the Black Friday sales . But I decided to sleep in and the discounts for the tech items that I tried to use online had "limited" use - so they had all expired by late morning. I then jumped in my minivan to hit a few technology stores in the afternoon, none of which had deals on the high performance technology I was looking for (but lots of sales on TV's - which we need but can't afford to upgrade right now!). Of course, I was looking for some high end technology with specific models in mind. If I was flexible, I could of found some deals.There were also "bundles" available on Black Friday which offered accessories if technology was purchased. But I have also seen this bundles advertised online.

Looking back, the sales I saw via the major technology manufacturer email and Twitter sales updates were even better then Black Friday sales. Yet - on Black Friday there were deals to be found on other consumer items. Another mom friend found lots of Black Friday deals in stores for kids clothes.

Overall - To enjoy the real deals on BlackFriday you need to have a list and identify the stores that carry those items and stick to that list. Ask yourself if shopping late at night or first thing in the morning will really save you that much compared to the regular sales?

Just for fun, now that I do have the specific technology identified (down to the model number) that I need to shop for - I will give Cyber Monday a try. Otherwise, I decided to jump on the regular sales that show up in my email inbox and deal Twitter ID's that I follow, instead of waiting for special "sale" days.

Cyber Monday Sales here I come!!


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November 26, 2009

Shopping Tech? Here Are Some Black Friday & Cyber Monday Tips

J0439783 I shared many times over Twitter that although I am a "TechMama" my laptop needs replacing. I am a heavy computer user and my computer is over 2 years old. So this weekend I will be looking online for Black Friday Sales 2009 and Black Friday ads like many others. One of mom friend's computer died but she is waiting for this weekend to buy a new one. Other moms I know are looking for technology as holiday gifts for their families. Holiday time is the best time to buy technology as the new "gift" (my slogan). So for those getting their sneakers on to shop for Black Friday Sales ads, here is where to go for online Black Friday Sales 2009 and some things to think about before you go. Some sites even offer printable coupons to bring along to the store. I will be posting throughout the weekend with hot technology and toy gift ideas.

NOTE: Gizmodo posted with a good point - there are some items that can be found online at the same or better prices then BlackFriday prices, so best to do some comparison shopping online. At the same time, many manufacturers are having big sales this time of year, so finding deals will not be a problem. PC World posted that Black Friday doorbusters are for suckers.

Where to go: This Wall Street Journal article confirmed my list of what sites list Black Friday Sales 2009: "Where to Find Black Friday Deals". I have already been following Black Friday Ads, BlackFriday.info and the BlackFriday Twitter account. Mashable posted about how social media is used to find Black Friday deals (including Facebook). The New York Times byte blog posted with more online Black Friday 2009 sites to follow such as CheapTweets on Twitter. I did go into an Apple store to ask about around Thanksgiving and they said there will be a sale. By going on the Apple website I saw that the Apple sale day is November 26.  I also follow many computer manufacturers on Twitter and have seen lots of deals through Twitter: SonyElectronics, HP News, HP_IPG , Dell, Dell Outlet, Toshiba Laptops. The big retailers like Staples, Radio Shack, Best Buy and online retailers like Amazon Twitter Deals and NewEgg also share deals.  I also go to their websites and signup for newsletter updates which sends deals to my email inbox.

What to consider: My recommendation is to sleep in and shop online. The New York Times reported that retailers will extend Black Friday. Other articles said that the high end items are not the main items on sale. So my suggestion is to decide on your needs and what alternatives fit with those needs.

How to choose the right technology gifts: I have been looking at all sorts of technology and I can honestly say that in many situations there are more then one "perfect" fit. The first step is to identify what your needs are then start to look for overall technology solutions. Then review online buying guides to understand what features you should be looking for. My favorite online buying guides are on CNET, Laptop Magazine buying guides, DPreview and reviews on gadget blogs like Ubergizmo, Engadget, Gizmodo, TechieDiva, Gear Diary, Boy Genius Report, Gear Live and of course TechMamas. My favorite shopping site is Cool Mom Picks. Bing.com also has links to guides such as "Laptop buying guides".

NEED A NEW HOME COMPUTER? Do you need another computer for your kids to do their homework? Then consider desktops if the computer does not need to be mobile or laptops for mobile use. I was just quoted recently in an article by Laptop Magazine on Netbooks for Kids. Netbooks are a great alternative for mobile use - but I suggest having a docking station with a bigger screen for home use. Older kids may be responsible enough to have their own laptop, especially if their homework requires computer use. Tablet PC's may also be the right fit because of their flexible screens. Desktops are the most budget friendly and will have bigger screens that not only are easy on the eyes for homework, but if the Deskop has the right features can be used to watch videos, movies or even TV shows. There are also lots of accessories that compliment home computer users such as backup drives, media smart servers, home wireless servers, wireless keyboards & mouses, webcams and more. There are many printer options these days including the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web.

Continue reading "Shopping Tech? Here Are Some Black Friday & Cyber Monday Tips" »

September 25, 2009

TechBoy's Adventures with the Sony Cybershot - Part 1

I was invited with a fabulous group of mom bloggers to the SonyMom event in LA a few weeks ago. During that time we had the opportunity to attend/photograph the red carpet premiere of the movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs".  I was inspired by many positive messages in the movie and by the interviews with the Directors and Stars of the film.

One of the messages in the film was for children to embrace their true self/interests and for their parents to support them in that journey. So I decided to present the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 that I was given at that event to my 10 year old son (TechBoy) who has a strong interest in photography and video.  When I handed over the camera to him, I told him that he could ask me any question he wanted - but that I would let him discover how to use the camera on his own. He learned how to use the camera quickly and started using functions that I would not have thought to use (like taking video and special effects). The only questions he asked me about were related to video editing.

Here is the example of some of the pictures he took with the Sony Cybershot. He has also taken some great videos with the camera (yes, you can take video with the Sony Cybershot). But those videos are in the process of being edited on his MACbook using iMovie.

Update: See the GoToMom.TV's post to view a great example of taking videos with the Sony Cybershot.

The pictures below are taken by my own TechBoy (who is now 10) with no instructions from his TechMama, who is VERY proud. TechBoy likes to give me flowers. Now that he is taking his own digital pictures he can also give me flower "pictures" as well. All rights reserved of course!

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"The Red Flower"

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"The Yellow Flower"

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"The White Flower"

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TechBoy using his Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 to take a picture of his own hand and then use the camera's special effects to add some images to the picture.

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Disclosure: I attended the SonyMom in LA. At the event, we were told that whether we blogged (and what we choose to write about) was our own choice. We received the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 to take home with us. I decided to have my pictures do the talking and give the Sony Cybershot to my son.

CLICK HERE to see the pictures the SonyMom's took with the Sony A330 DSLR that we had use of that weekend. 

August 05, 2009

Radio Shack "Netogether" Event - Tech Makeovers in SF and NYC

I am excited to be heading to San Francisco tomorrow, appointed by RadioShack along with my Gadgetspin.com partners (Gina Hughes from TechieDiva, Ponzi Pirillo from Ponzarelli.com and Eliane Fiolet from Ubergizmo) to do tech makeovers in an event celebrating the expanding line of tech products now offered at RadioShack.  Listed below is information from the press release:

"..RadioShack will host Netogether, a three-day event taking place in New York City’s Times Square and San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza on August 6, 7 and 8.  The event will connect the cities with two, massive, 17-foot laptop computers with webcams that allow live video and audio exchanges.  Netogether will feature live music, celebrity appearances and unique contests to demonstrate how technology can keep people connected – even 3,000 miles apart.  Consumers are invited to visit the event and chat with friends or family via the laptops, or to join in the conversation online at www.radioshack.com/theshack, where they can offer real-time comments on the live video feeds."

Lee Applbaum, RadioShack’s Chief Marketing Officer added in their press release “We have tremendous equity in consumers’ minds around cables, parts and batteries, but it’s critically important that we help them to understand the role that we play in keeping people connected in this highly mobile world,” ... “You will see a real focus on mobility and wireless products from leading brands in our new advertising.

Also:

  • RadioShack announced last month the addition of T-Mobile to its lineup of wireless carriers in 4,000 stores as part of its strategy to increase its authority and share in mobility and connectivity.
  • RadioShack also announced a partnership with seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, both to sponsor his new American Pro-Tour cycling team and to work with the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LIVESTRONG campaign in the global fight against cancer.

Before RadioShack asked me to be participate in the event, I had noticed during my regular shopping trips to buy electronics kits for my kids that I was seeing more and more technology carried at the Radio Shack stores - such as digital cameras, web cams, laptops, netbooks, smartphones (even the Palm Pre and BlackBerry brands), Bluetooth headsets, gaming gadgets and even MP3 players like iPod.

Infact, one time when I visited Radio Shack looking for parts to build a light switch from scratch for my 10 yr old's science project, the Radio Shack salesperson not only helped me find the right components - but sketched a picture of how to put it together. Then - best of all (really a true story) - the salesperson helped fix an echo problem with my Bluetooth headset that I was using with my BlackBerry smartphone.

For those near Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco or NYC's Time Square, stop by! Those in need of technology makeovers - please bring your story. Who knows - maybe you can get a technology makeover with products such as digital cameras and netbooks. Those far away or at work can watch the live events at the Radio Shack "Netogether" website or on the Netogether Facebook page.

DISCLOSURE: While I am being paid to participate in the Netogether event, this post is NOT a paid post.

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