Technology and kids. If you've been following my online ramblings long enough, you probably know that I'm hesitantly cautious whenever new tech comes along that in some way involves the little ones. I put my money on crushing the "App Toy" trend a couple years ago - those annoying items that required someone else's technology (like a quickly-outdated smartphone or tablet) to be inserted in it to run. Once the tech was obsolete, so was the toy. I was the mean Dad that bought a new crossover without screens in the back, and I absolutely despise seeing grownups instinctively shove "devices" into their kids hands like a micro-chipped pacifier (funny enough, we really didn't do actual pacifiers with our girls, either). I've actually had other people's children tug on my shirt asking to use my phone to "play a game." No. As an adult, I'm already too tethered to my gear, so I'd rather my kids not be. But, like most things, tech can be great in moderation, and there's some fine stuff out there that serves a real purpose if you're looking in the right place. Unexpected tech, like the elo™ Pillow.
Doing what I do and living the way I live, I've used a lot of headphones over the years. While styles have changed and the type of application can be different (I like studio at home, earbuds at the gym), it all comes down to the perfect match of sound and style to impress me, and when the chance came to check out a pair of Margaritaville Audio's new MTX Headphones, I snagged it. After a box said to contain their "Margarita Lime" headphones arrived here at Rock Father HQ for review, I put them to the ultimate test and took them out on the road... after giving them an in-home test with a bottle of Landshark Lager, which I figured was appropriate.
It's taken exactly 32 years, but something I wanted as a child has now become a reality. You see, back in 1982 the best television program that the world will ever know made it's premiere on NBC. David Hasselhoff, a talking Trans-am, and a whole lotta awesome rolled into living rooms on KNIGHT RIDER, the adventures of Michael Knight and K.I.T.T. inspiring generations... but it started with kids like me. Much like the science fiction of STAR WARS and STAR TREK has become reality over the years, so has that of KNIGHT RIDER. Think of how many "gadgets" K.I.T.T. had that now come standard on new cars - GPS, DVD/Blu-ray screens, games, computer-aided driving, crash protection, hands-free calling and even voice recognition. But there was one other thing from KNIGHT RIDER that I wanted, something my own imagination would have me pretending to have as I spoke to my own wrist: Michael Knight's watch, or "comlink." Thanks to VTech, it's real, and they've partnered with THE ROCK FATHER to get one of you hooked up with the new Kidizoom Smartwatch for your kids!
I have to say, I'm pretty excited about the opportunity that I'm bringing you tonight. While I've given away a lot of cool items here on THE ROCK FATHER over the past few years, I've never held a giveaway for a tablet... but that changes right now. Earlier this week, I shared by thoughts on the newest ASUS MeMO Pad 8 - but that's not the only new tablet that hit the streets from ASUS this week. For those looking for something even lighter and slimmer, the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 (ME176) hit retail, packing a lot of punch into a 7-inch tablet that weighs just 295 grams, and features the same Intel Quad-Core processor of it's bigger brother. Would you like a chance to win one? ASUS and THE ROCK FATHER have your chance, right now!
It finally happened. Despite the fact that I'm fully-connected at all times, I'd been a holdout when it came to getting a tablet. Thanks to ASUS, I now have one - the new MeMO Pad 8 ME181C, which arrived at Rock Father HQ earlier this month, and hit retail this week. The Android-based MeMO Pad 8 is is considered a "value tablet" due to it's attractive $199 price point, but the feature-packed unit should not go overlooked for it's lean size and beefy power. So how does the MeMO Pad 8 hold up under normal use here at HQ - as a device being used by kids and grownups? Find out below...
Back in February, the very persistent folks at Meze sent me a pair of their Meze 11 Deco Wood Earphones for review here at Rock Father HQ. With the amount of stuff that rolls in here sometimes, it's tempting to rush things through and look at it like - "hey, they're earbud"s - and do a quickie review. Something that I learned a long time ago is that while media is fast moving and people often want coverage yesterday (or now, now, now), I need time on certain items, and when it comes to those things that fall into the musical realm, I need to actually live with them for awhile. I need that true experience, the time in which an item can take it's place with me, and go through all of my regular adventures. Only after that is complete will I know my true feelings. The Meze 11 Deco's have become a part of my daily routine, and thus fully integrated into my life. The sound of my music is important, and music is the foundation on which this entire site was built.
As the year-long celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Brother P-Touch continues (the first was released in late 1988), so concludes my series of organizational posts as a P-Touch Ambassador here on The Rock Father (revisit part one and part two if you'd like). When the folks at Brother USA hooked me up with their PT-H100 labelmaker prior to the holidays, I knew that the only appropriate conclusion for my series would be a job that no one really likes: packing away the Christmas decorations.
When I last checked-in with an update about using my new Brother P-Touch PT-H100 Label Maker to get Rock Father HQ organized for the holidays and beyond, I tackled the pantry, and left things hanging with a promise to delve into the girls' craft cabinet. I wasn't kidding when I said that it needed an overhaul (something that I've done repeatedly), and with the cold, snowy weather forcing us to spend more time inside in these days prior to Christmas, we've been doing a lot more crafty stuff. And, adding to the cabinet regularly, it's been a real mess. Not anymore.
I tend to be really into organization, which is sometimes surprising given the regular condition of things such as... my garage, for example. Back when I was really into things like building a library of movies and music in physical form, everything needed to be perfect at all times, broken into category, and properly alphabetized. While that's not really a thing for me anymore, I still get hit by the organizational bug, and with the holidays here certain things need to be done... especially the ones that have been getting let go because of my on-the-go lifestyle as The Rock Father - chasing two little girls all day. Brother sent me their new P-touch PT-H100 label maker, and I've started getting down to business. First up: The Pantry.
Protecting Your Devices and Social Networks with ESET Smart Security 6 #ESETprotects (plus a Giveaway!)Written by James Zahn
As you read this post right now, I'm running mobile. For me that means I'm outside of my office, working on the laptop from Rock Father Mobile Command HQ. I'm still a bit old-school in that I prefer a desktop PC, travel with a laptop, and don't yet own a tablet. Problem is, whether it's a laptop or tablet, there's thieves everywhere (device theft in Chicago is terrible), and in general, people tend to lose things all the time. That said, I'm running ESET Anti-Theft on my laptop, part of the full suite of handy features available on ESET Smart Security 6. In fact, my friends at ESET have also provided some great tips for keeping your devices safe when you're on the go... and if that's not enough, we're giving YOU a chance to win some cool prizes along the way...
Back in May, a tiny, brown box arrived here at Rock Father HQ bearing the mark of a cute, little Tooth Fairy, and a Portland return address. What was inside was a baubleApp, a piece of hand-crafted jewelry that contains an NFC (Near Field Communications) chip, thus making it interactive with a variety of electronic devices. The fairyHeart baubleApp (I'm not too keen on the weird capitalization) is a sparkly heart that features the Tooth Fairy on the front, and is attached to a metal chain. It's a perfect necklace for a girl like my Addie.
I am not attending Comic-Con International in San Diego. Just getting that out there, because people keep asking. I wish I was, but I have to pick-and-choose my adventures... after all, I'm an at-home Dad, and my little ones need me here. That said, I'm still covering some select happenings from SDCC, and my friends at Mimoco are continuing their reveal for their 2013 SDCC Exclusive MIMOBOTs. We already know that characters from SOUTH PARK, STAR WARS, WORKAHOLICS, and MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC are in the lineup. So who's up next? BRUCE LEE, and the Ice King from ADVENTURE TIME. Details below...