Monthly Archive for June, 2007

TomTom can help you find your way

This past weekend I helped my dad pick-out a gps device. My parents are going to Florida for vacation next month and he thought it might come in handy. We ended up purchasing the TomTom One system from Circuit City for $250.

I was impressed with the quick set-up time. It came with a relatively strong charge out of the box. The TomTom asked you basic questions such as your language preference, what time it was, and your home address. Everything was inputted via the touchscreen, which was great, and then it automatically synced with the GPS satellite. We tested it by letting it guide us back to our house.

It comes pre-loaded with many POIs (points of interest). I was pleasantly surprised when it showed all of the nearby restaurants on the menu. Even my friend Peter’s restaurant El Estribo showed up.

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If you pay extra for TomTom Plus services you can have extra features such as live traffic and weather reports. A requirement for these services is to have a bluetooth connection through your internet-enabled cellphone. Whoah! We don’t have a Bluetooth or internet-enabled cellphone, those are expensive! But it is interesting to think what we can do if we ever get one. Another interesting feature I noticed was TomTom friends, with TomTom friends you can see wherever your friends are at if they also have the service. I doubt very many people have this service but it will probably be more ubiquitous in the future, for the good and the bad.

The prices of gps devices have really come down, they used to cost twice as much a year ago. I am seeing them more in people’s cars. I will definitely consider purchasing one for my own car in the future.

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Web Exploits

With some of my free time this summer I am delving into the website world. My goal is to attain an online web presence while having fun along the way. The first step is to get my own domain.

In case you don’t know, the way to get your own domain is to pay a domain registrar to register a domain name for you with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

The next step is to pay someone to host your site. hosting involves providing storage, software, and support services that make your website work.

Once you register a domain name, it becomes yours. You can have it hosted wherever you want. Even though many domain registrars have their own hosting services, it is wiser to use a different hosting company in order to reduce the amount of control anyone company has over you.

After doing some Internet research I decided that I wanted to go along with namecheap.com, even though last year I bought a domain from godaddy.com (remember their Superbowl commercials). I found a coupon code for namecheap.com that lowered the price of registering a domain by one dollar, which brought the total down to $7.98 per domain. Included was “WhoisGuard”, this feature hides your personal information from the public record. Even though godaddy.com charges $8.95 per year, their private registration option costs $6.99 extra which makes them significantly more expensive than namecheap.com.

I registered tomgertin.com, thomasgertin.com and four others. Apparently Gertin.com was already taken. At least I own my own name now though! The total came out to 40 bones.

I chose DreamHost for my hosting company. The main reason is because they are cheap! Since I am just starting out I don’t need the best service or a telephone helpline. For the amount of features, bandwidth, and space they offer the value is incredible. Using a promo code I was able to save $97 off the total amount for a one year plan. The total came to $22.40. This is comparable to how much many other companies charge monthly!

I created my own promo code and if you input it you can save $97 on the 1-year L1 plan as well at dreamhost.com. I customized my promo code so it will save you the maximum amount possible on any plan you chose. Enjoy!

Promo code: TGERTIN

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Weekend Re-cap

Saturday I discovered this cool site called Zamzar.com. Cool name huh? Well, it let’s you download videos from YouTube and other sites, so now you can keep your favorite videos forever. It is also pretty easy to use. Also in YouTube I found these sick guitar learning tutorials by NextLevelGuitar.com. This cool guy named Dave teaches you how to play some pretty sweet songs. I’m hooked.

Yes, we have moved back to Sterling. I have to say it is nice to be back. I don’t feel as isolated as I did in Warrenton. Even though I’ve only been away two years, Sterling hasn’t stopped growing. There is now a Cheesecake factory in the mall and a bunch of other stuff. Sunday I was helping my family sell our house in Warrenton. We tried this innovative method where we invited everyone in the neighborhood for wine and cheese. The idea is to notify everybody of the move and for them to contact potential buyers they know of.

Unfortunately, we are selling in one of the worst times in the housing market. Not much I can do in this situation.

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Let’s Begin Shall We

I had in mind to create a blog for a while now. My original vision is to host my own blog on my own domain. Hopefully this can happen sooner than later, but for now this will have to do.

So what to write about, and what exactly is the purpose of this blog? Well I’m not really sure. Perhaps it is to “express” myself. Perhaps as I keep on writing and posting, I will develop some sort of order, but one of the great things about blogging is that this isn’t a school assignment. I can do write whatever the f*#k I want! It doesn’t have to contain a thesis and neither do the paragraphs have to follow a certain structure.

I did happen to hear that blogs get more readership if they focus on a specific topic. So hopefully one day I will start another blog with a narrower focus. Any suggestions are welcome!

Be forewarned. These postings will be somewhat sporadic and be likely influenced by far-flung inspirations.

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