The Real Deal 208: All questions (podcast)

Your questions answered! Also, some road test items. With special guest host Josh Lowensohn.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
7 min read

This week: Your questions answered! Also, some road test items. With special guest host Josh Lowensohn. Josh is the main Webware blogger, and also happens to be the guy who answers a lot of Real Deal e-mail questions for me, although he's been working behind the scenes, just feeding me intel... until now.

Watch this: Ep. 208: All Questions; Road Test


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- Hypermac
- Nexus One car mount
- Likebutton.me

Reader road test:
I have a road test for the next road test episode. I recently got the Flip Ultra HD Camcorder and love it. Although it does not have a far zoom, it's 2 hour hard drive, good HD quality, and HDMI port make up for it. I use it for all my YouTube videos and bring it on vacation and it works great. I highly recommend it for people who are looking for a cheap, pocket sized camcorder.

-Graham / Dallas, TX

Which leads us to:
How to get home movies on to ipad.



Love the show.

I want to cut my cable cord and save myself some $. The goal is to watch live and recorded HD TV programming in my living room. I have been recording and watching HD TV on my upstairs Win7 desktop for a while now and picked up an Xbox 360 Arcade to use as a Windows Media Center extender. Despite some up-front hardware costs (Xbox, wireless gaming adapter, additional tuner card for PC) this seems like a great plan because I achieve my goal with no monthly costs.

Do you agree? Are there alternatives to achieving my goals? Any advice is helpful. Thanks.

-David from Milwaukee

A: Given that you already had a desktop recording things, this is an excellent excuse to buy an Xbox. And relatively cost-effective. Another way to go would have been to buy a second PC instead of an Xbox. Alternatively you could go with a couple Mac Minis and use iTunes sharing to share the media. It can also work as a DVR. TiVo series 3 can also bring in podcasts and record shows and share them between boxes. As a secondary to this--to anyone thinking about getting an Xbox, it might be worth waiting just a couple of months if you can. Microsoft is likely to unveil a slimmer version of the Xbox 360 at E3 in June, and if so it will probably mean an immediate price cut on the current model. The main reason to do this isn't so much cost though--it's that the Xbox 360 is freaking loud--even without a disc rattling around.


Call - Need cheap digital camera. Canon a480

Call - Less than $100 iPod stereo: Sony Xplod. See also, the $4 cable you need.


Need a back up solution from you guys. I have a Windows Home server (HP Media Smart EX470 to be precise) which I use to back up my computers, but it mainly serves all our music, video, and photos to the various devices in my house. Since this is the only place most of this data is kept, I really want to find a way to back all this up (right now about 2 TB of data). I have looked at sites like carbinite, but they don't seem to be able to back up a server. I know there are some really crazy stuff being done with these home servers, with add-on and multiple USB Drives etc. but I don't want to try to hack anything together, nor do I want to risk any of this data being lost. I have 2 open slots in the server, but as far as i know if I add a drive it will just create more storage and I can't actually make duplicates of the files and then remove the drive.

Please help!!! I don't want 10 years of memories lost.

-Doctor Ricky

While talking about it I might as well give you guys a quick road test of my experience: Set up of it was fairly easy, showed up on all my devices right away, and using it for back up works great. Read/write speeds for the data has been descent, it will stream video or my xbox or PS3 without a hitch, and I don't need much more than that. Speed of the Console (used to interface for updates, add-ons, etc.) is really slow, and quite a bad experience. Add-ons (which add extra functionality) are a pain to get on even if they are HP approved, and often mess the server up. It did come with one year of web interface, which never worked even after trying multiple routers and making all the necessary ports open, so I didn't pay for another year. It didn't originally come with Mac backup allowed, once HP released it, was annoying to get going and though now works, but I had to pick a size (ie 200gigs) and if I need more, then to make a bigger storage area the first gets deleted, which is horrible. In the end, other than pure storage, its been pretty lousy.

ANSWER Yes, backing up the backup is smart. And not easy. However, you can add drvies to WHS and NOT put them in your storage pool. You designate them as backup drives. Then you can back them up from the WHS console. Instrux.

Keep in mind that it's not automated, but there's a way around that.

You might also want to look into BDBB http://www.whsplus.com/2009/09/25/whs-bdbb/

I don't know of a good offsite solution at the moment. Jungledisk used to offer something that backed up WHS to Amazon S3, but they don't anymore. Mozy is apparently also working on WHS backup. What I do is backup my PCs separately to an online service. I use Sugarsync. Expensive but flexible.

Finally, the chat room says:
I've used carbonite
but 2TB is huge amount of data
Rafe, you can get an HP plugin, like the one that currently comes with the lx195 and it has auto-backup to amazon s4


My parents are going to Europe this Summer, for their 30th Wedding Anniversy for a whopping 4 months (Oh yeah, leaving us kids behind of course), and they've gone from bring no technology to to everything but the kitcin sink, international cell phones, mp3 players, gps, nebook, magic jack, you get my point. I recently saw Tom's how to video ob on accessing blocked websites through a proxy. I had a couple of questions. Is netflix blocked if your address is in the US? and if so is a proxy the best way to access netflix. If so your video is great but I do have one last question. How do you know if the proxy you've found is trustworthy, or reliable? Are there sites that have lists? Or is it just a matter of searching, and a bit of trial and error? Thanks for your help as always,

Blake Tempe, AZ

PS In case your wondering they aren't super rich, far from, just have the travel bug, mom is a retired physical therapist, and dad is a family practice doctor with his own practice (One man show, , 2/3 of the patients are snowbirds that leave in the summer) so hie hired a Physician Assistant, to come in 1x/week. Still only doc I know who gives their patients their entire medical records encrypted on a thumb drive, updated each time they come in. :)

A: VP of comms says: Netflix "is U.S.-only." So you gotta hack.


Is there any way I can sync my Gmail calendar to Outlook's Calendar? (I need to figure out a way I can sync my Google Calendar to my Ipod Touch and Outlook is the only one offered in itunes)


A: Hey Kski, I do this all the time through work using a peice of software through Google's Calendar Sync service. What's really nice about it is that it takes whatever events you add to Outlook and adds them to Google as well. The one caveat is that you need to have the software running on a computer with Outlook--this is assuming you're not trying to sync up with an exchange server somewhere.




Regarding iPad stands, or the lack thereof, my wife had a great idea. She saw me trying to prop up my iPad near the kitchen sink so I could watch a movie while I did the dishes (I know, what could go wrong?) and recommended that I use her recipe book holder.

I looked at some other recipe book holders on line and there are some nice and cheap ones out there that will let you touch the iPad and view it at the same time.

Best regards,


Hey guys , I just saw your 206 show on iPad road test and a caller asked about printing from the iPad. I was surprised you guys weren't aware of the apps that allow you to print directly from the iPad. There's a great app called "print n share" , that allows you to use any computer in your house as a print server and print directly from your iPad. I've been using it since bought it nearly 2 weeks ago and it's great! I keep my laptop on all the time on my bookshelf and whenever i want to print any documents from my ipad its seamless. My printer wakes up from its hibernation mode and starts printing immediately.Check it out for yourselves and maybe you can inform your viewers about it.

Robert from the Bronx.



Next time:The Evernote show is May 6