Search Results for Category: Miscellaneous

RAVPower RP-PB19 Deluxe 15000mAh Portable Charger


Every year, our power needs grow. Tablets get bigger, phones get more needy. Portable power is pretty much a must for anyone travelling or for someone that works away from a power source all day.

The good news is – there are hundreds (if not THOUSANDS) of choices for portable external battery chargers. The bad news is – they are not created equally and may not reasonably meet the needs you bought them for.

When buying an external battery like the RAVPower 15000mAh PB-19(from now on, just PB-19; about $40 from Amazon), you need to consider four major things; how long it will last, how powerful is the output, what sort of quality of battery are you getting inside – and finally, how long will it take to recharge?

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About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Gadgets, Miscellaneous

TaoTronics Elune TT-DL01 Dimmable LED Desk Lamp


The Elune LED Lamp

The Elune LED Lamp

Typically, I wouldn’t review a lamp.  Once again, my wife was the guilty party – wanting something to craft with next to her chair.

Whenever my wife goes all Zen over something, I start learning things.  Like artificial light is bad for cross stitching.

I will spare you the lecture on how similar colors are hard to discern in artificial light.  Instead, let’s take a look at the TaoTronics Elune TT-DL01 LED Lamp. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Gadgets, Miscellaneous

Plex – The (Near) Perfect Solution for Personal Media


I have a lot of media.  I own several thousand DVDs and Blu rays.  I have collected a lot of media from the internet.  I prefer to OWN (and store) the media I have.  I don’t like Netflix and I don’t like Hulu.  These aren’t solutions for me.  I am paying a lot of money a month for a fast internet connection and I have a lot of stuff I’m storing on my own – not the cloud.  I don’t want to have to UPLOAD my stuff to the cloud to get it …. I AM my own cloud.

… and I’m not alone.  Millions of others prefer to buy, store, rip and maintain their own private collections – for a variety of reasons (see my article on Digital Distribution for my thoughts).  Unfortunately, the issue with being your own cloud …?  Companies aren’t interested in writing top quality software to let you access it.  Your options tend to rely on some proprietary media friendly NAS (like a Synology Diskstation) which suffers from fairly immature software on mobile devices or some sort of specialized delivery system for ONE component of your media (like Subsonic; great music gateway – poor video gateway).

Worse yet, if you plan to SHARE your content with family and friends?  A whole new can of worms is opened.

Take all of these issues and then try to solve ubiquitous playback from TV, web, phone and tablet?  This has been a pipe dream for some time.

Enter Plex Media Server Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Google Reader Dies on July 1, 2013: Why It Matters


Let me preface this article by saying I am not a regular user … of anything.  I use the web differently than most people.  I use my phone differently than most people.  I even use my tablet differently than most people.

However, among the regular users of Google Reader?  I’m a pretty average user.  That’s why I feel qualified to explain why Google Reader closing its doors is a catastrophe and why there are not substitutes currently available that meets the needs of users like me. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Television Intros: A Look at 25 All-Time Greats


Before we look at twenty five of the greatest TV show introduction videos, I’d like to put forward that these aren’t THE TOP 25 intros of all time. Obviously, these lists are always subjective – usually determined by what the writer remembers from his own frame of references. Much like video games, music and other forms of entertainment – you’re always going to be more likely to target those examples that you favor. As a child of the 1980s, TV was a huge part of my youth.
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About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Miscellaneous, Movies/TV

1dollarscan.com – The Magazine Followup Review


Last fall I wrote a review of the scanning service 1DollarScan.com, a service where you send in your books and documents and they would professionally scan them into unprotected, high quality PDF documents.

In addition to basic scanning, they also offer some premium services (which I did not take advantage of) such as OCR, filenaming and high quality tuning. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

1DollarScan.com – Scan your books to PDF!


The digital age has been good to us.  We’re able to carry around thousands of books, cds and games around with us in our pocket or handbag.  Amazon and Google have provided almost endless reading in the way of eBooks for cheap (and even free).

But what happens when the book you want isn’t available digitally? Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Computers, Miscellaneous

Game Frames


Some guys have wives that let them put whatever they want on the walls.  Unfortunately, most of us must resign the designing of our walls to our “better half”.  After all, game boxes and movie cases aren’t exactly Rembrandt.  As such, many gaming fanatics like myself must hide our boxes away in drawers, closets or worse.

Fortunately, the guys at Connected Frames, LLC. figured out a solution;  turn your boxes into art that even your wife will have to admit looks cool.

I first heard about these Game Frames over at Monroeworld.com’s forums (where all great conversations begin – and even more of them end – if that’s even possible).  I mentioned them on my Passenger Seat Radio show, and the good folks over at Connected Frames sent some product right over for me to look at. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+