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The Real Deal 165: Road Test

We talk about the tech we've been using for years, like the Palm Pilot, Panasonic HDTV, and the Kindle.

We talk about the tech we've been using for years, like the Palm Pilot, Panasonic HDTV, and the Kindle.

Listen now: Download today's podcast
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Palm Pre (briefly)

Android “cupcake” phone

and on how I miss my Palm Pilot 1.0

Kindle App sync with Kindle regular (Family trying to use Kindle account)

Panasonic Viera Plasma one-year on

Google Wave (closed beta)

MS Bing

Firefox 3.5 Beta

NoScript plugin

Fuzzy Tivo bug

MacBook pro kernel panic with WoW


**Switch from Mac to PC**

Hey Tom and Rafe,

I thought I would drop you guys a line about my own personal extended
Road Test. Two and a half years ago, after tiring of the constant
security flaws in Windows XP, I gave up and bought an original
Macbook; the lowest end model with 512 MB of RAM and a 60 GB hard
drive. After maxing out the RAM at 2GB and doubling the capacity of
the hard drive, I thought that I had found my dream machine, and that
I would continue on a very happy Mac user.

However, recently I have been asking myself the question: “What
exactly do I use this computer for?” I discovered that I mostly use it
for email (GMail) and web surfing (Firefox), but also for managing my
finances and a somewhat large photo library. I have always thought
that iPhoto was the best photo management app out there, but the
recent ‘09 update demands the latest and greatest hardware; my modest
library taking around 60-90 seconds to load on top of actually opening
iPhoto. Also, the Mac version of Quicken has not been updated in
several years and I found myself lusting after the PC version running
on my Dad’s notebook.

I also found myself jumping back to Windows when I wanted to play some
games. I’m by no means a heavy gamer: the few mainstays of my
collection are the Myst series, Spore, and Microsoft Flight Simulator.
But these games work best in Windows, and my loyal Macbook was
suddenly no longer appealing to me.

So last Tuesday, I did the unthinkable: I walked into Best Buy and
bought a new HP Pavilion dv4-1225 running Vista Home Premium 64-bit.
And I couldn’t be more happy with my decision. Sure, a daily virus
scan is a bit of a drag; but the machine performs as admirably as my
Macbook did. Vista is not as bad as everyone thinks. When you actually
sit down to use it every day, it’s just as safe and functional as OS
X. I love Google Picasa and in some respects I feel it outperforms
iPhoto. I love my new version of Quicken. And I love having the extra
graphics power, Flight Simulator has never looked better on any
machine I’ve owned.

I think I agree with Molly. Apple’s hardware is fantastic if you’re a
designer, a media wizard, or just getting started with computers. But
for those of us who want more out of their machines, Windows is the
way to go.

Keep up the excellent work in everything you do. You’re an asset to
the industry.

Phil Hendry

Warwick, Rhode Island

**Google Tasks**

Rafe & Tom,

I’ve been watching the Real Deal since you added the videos up on cnet tv and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I just thought I would write in and let you know about my experience. After watching your video podcast on To Do Lists and Cloud Computing I noticed on the comments someone mentioned Google Tasks in Gmail. Being a long time user of Gmail I checked into it and easily found the before unnoticed Tasks link under my Contacts link. I have to say this has worked absolutely wonderfully. For one I’m on Gmail all the time so it’s very convenient and easy to use. It loads quickly as a small window within Gmail similar to their Chat program. Here is what I love about it:

It allows you to immediately type in what you want without going through multiple steps.
It lets you tab over so that you can make sub-lists (indented items) under an item.
It allows you to paste in links that work so I can easily get back to a website.
It allows you to create other task lists so I can separate my list of movies I want to see from my work to-do items.
It lets you easily switch between task lists with two clicks.
It has a one click check box to mark completed items.
It allows you to add notes & due dates to any item by clicking on an arrow next to it.
It lets you see only your completed items, or your items as you arranged them, or delete all completed items easily.
It works within Gmail so there’s no software besides a browser (very portable, even onto phones).
Recently added to Google Calendar so your to-do items with a date show up on there and the list can be seen as a side tab.

I’m sure it isn’t for everyone, but you have to admit that it has a lot of ease of use while still being very functional. What I love most is just how customizable it is with the indented options and multiple lists, plus adding things to your calendar while still being easy enough that I can just type in an item and then check it off when done. I have been using it for a couple of months now and for me (a very type A, picky, and organized person) it does everything I want. Love the show guys!

– Scott Clay (Claymation in the chatroom)


You asked for a gadget I couldn’t live without?

Well I probably could live without them but here are a few I use a lot.

My Ramsey electronics FM transmitter.
I use it to play Pandora, my mp3’s, any body’s mp3 player in my garage,
living room, car (in the driveway). All no wires and with radios I
already own.

The Web site Daily Rotation.
All the geek headlines from all over the web.

My Garmin Etrex Vista on the handle bar of my Harley
Tells me where I’ve been with a bread crumb trail but not too much about
where I’m going. It has very limited maps so I can go discover new roads
not being absolutely sure where they will take me.




Voicemail – Guytano from Florida – Every time the phone rings his Verizon Internet cuts out.
On DSL it could be abad filter. On dial-up welll…

Anonymous – Good places to learn more about technology.
Obviously CNET but also Instructables, How It Works, TWiT, Tekzilla….


Hey guys, I just started watching the show a few weeks ago and have found you both a font of useful info. I have been trying to find a program or hack so that when I click mailto links in Firefox (either 3 or 3.5b4) it will open my yahoo webmail and not Outlook or Windows mail. I’m running Vista Ultimate 32-bit with Office 07. Any help would be appreciated. Keep churning out the great programming.

Side note: Tom, why haven’t you been on CNET Tech TV on TiVo lately?

Ryan Burton
Seattle, WA

A: Two ways to do it. One set Yahoo Mail as the default client in Internet options in Windows (requires you to download and install Yahoo messenger)

Or just go to options in Firefox and choose Yahoo Mail as the default.


I wanted to throw in an additional quip on the search battle you guys were having between Chrome and Firefox. Though I recently downloaded Chrome and am liking it, one of my favorite search features in Firefox I don’t think is available in Chrome, and I’m surprised that Tom didn’t mention it: Keyword searches.

I find this to be immensely helpful, and when I first discovered it last year, I went insane xD. If you aren’t familiar with it (though I’m sure you are) Keyword search lets you assign a keyword to a certain search engine by right clicking on the text input field of a search box, and assigning a name and keyword for it. Then, you can simply type your keyword in the address bar, followed by your query, and you’ll instantly be taken to that sites search results, without first having to go to the site.

Fore example, if I want to set up a keyword search for YouTube, I just go to YouTube, right click on the YouTube search text box, and click “Add a keyword to this search” A small window pops up prompting you to add a keyword. For YouTube, I simply use the keyword “y”. Then, I can search YouTube from anywhere right in my address bar by typing “y new MacBook Pro” or whatever I want to search for. I have keywords set up for YouTube, Google, eBay, Wikipedia, and other sites. Its one of my favorite features of Firefox, and might just be what brings be back for 3.5

Thanks again for the awesome show, you have a new viewer

Demonic Pascal

You *can* do this in Chrome. So a search once on the site in question. Chrome will remember how to search. then type into the Chrome address bar “Y” and you’ll see YouTube popup. Theb press tab and type your search query. Works great and requires no setup.


Moving to Thursdays at 1 PM Pacific starting June 25th

Next time: Telephones