Archive for the ‘how to’ Category

HGTV’s Man Land: Vegas City Style Casino Basement

Posted by matt on June 5, 2009

Over 2 years ago, my friend Chad Draheim was contacted by HGTV for a show they were doing entitled “Man Land” (they found his ‘casino basement‘ blog post).  After the long wait, it was on HGTV last Saturday!  Even though it is episode #2, they played it as the premier episode.

Since most people aren’t watching TV @ noon on a Saturday, (and it’s nowhere to be seen online) I decided to rip it from my DVR.  I edited it down to 7 minutes which is just the part featuring Chad and Kitt’s Basement:

In the clip is Chad, Kitt and Keely Draheim, the host George Gray, Chad’s brother Brian, Apollo Marquez, Matt Griswold and me!  It was a lot of fun to film, and it was interesting seeing how much time, effort and footage goes into just 7 minutes of television (i.e. they edited my interview down to about 7 seconds, which is probably a good thing since I don’t really remember what I was talking about).

Man Land is available in HD on HGTV and looks like it will continue to be on Saturday’s at 1PM eastern and pacific, noon central.  Enjoy!

Posted under how to, reviews, TV Shows

Safe Baby Handling Tips: Baby do’s and don’ts…

Posted by matt on March 21, 2009

As a rookie father of 2 months, one of the more hilarious books I’ve found is by David and Kelly Sopp called “Safe Baby Handling Tips“.  Check out the do’s and don’ts of taking care of your little one:

<REMOVED!  THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER APPARENTLY DOESN’T LIKE ME MARKETING THEIR BOOK>  Here is the letter I got: :(

Attn: mattapps.com

Pursuant to 17 USC 512(c)(3)(A), this communication serves as a statement that:

I am the duly authorized representative of the exclusive rights holder for: Safe Baby Handling Tips by David & Kelly Sopp; ISBN 9780762424917; November 8, 2005.

These exclusive rights are being violated by material available upon your site at the following URL(s): http://mattapps.com/2009/03/21/safe-baby-handling-tips-baby-dos-and-donts

I have a good faith belief that the use of this material in such a fashion is not authorized by the copyright holder, the copyright holder’s agent, or the law; Under penalty of perjury in a United States court of law, I state that the information contained in this notification is accurate, and that I am authorized to act on the behalf of the exclusive rights holder for the material in question; I may be contacted by the following methods: <removed>

I hereby request that you remove or disable access to this material as it appears on your service in as expedient a fashion as possible. Thank you.

Regards,
<removed>
Subsidiary Rights Administrator
On behalf of The Perseus Books Group, LLC
Boston, MA

So there you have it, 27 or so tips on how to take care of your kid.  Looking through this, I have actually done 1 of the NO’s on here… can you guess which?

Be sure to grab the book if you like this.  Great gift for new parents!

Posted under how to, reviews

How to buy a decent, Dell Studio 15.4″ laptop for only $450

Posted by matt on January 31, 2009

dell-studio-1531.jpgRecently, my wife’s old Toshiba Satellite A15-S157 laptop finally bit the dust, and it was time for a new one.  She wasn’t interested in a netbook (too small), and we weren’t interested in spending a ton of cash since it’s mainly one of those ‘lounging around the house’ laptops.

I was about to pull the trigger on one of those cheap Office Depot type specials you often see for around $500, when I realized it wouldn’t be much better than the 6-year old Toshiba it was replacing.

Using my tried and true buying site, BensBargains.net, I found some deals at the Dell Outlet, where you can get either refurbished or scratch-and-dent re-certified computers.  I opted for a refurbished Dell Studio 15.  To get the best deal, here is what I did:

1. Dell Outlet – First go here and get familiar with the site, the options, how the selection works, etc.  To get the best deals you won’t be buying just yet, but you want to see what’s available and know how to ‘quickly’ buy one of these.  For the Studio Laptops, you can even choose from EIGHT colors, and typically there are a lot of options out there to meet your needs.

2. Dell Outlet Twitter – Often, Dell puts out 20% off coupons on these already cheap outlet PCs.  The best way to find out when they come out is to follow their twitter account.  I even put them on SMS update, so when the deal came out, I got a text message right when it happened.  This was important, because when the 20% off coupon comes out, the selection goes FAST.  Deal sites usually post this, but if you get the tweet, you are getting it the same time they are.

We’ve had the laptop now for a couple weeks with no issues.  It comes as it was new (nice boxes and all), and you would never know it was refurbished.  It’s re-plastic wrapped and totally clean with a fresh install of Windows Vista Home Premium SP1.  Here are the specs:

Studio 15 (1537) Laptop:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 (2.00GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
  • 250 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
  • 3 GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz (2 DIMMs)
  • Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module
  • Dell Wireless 1510 802.11a/g/n Draft Mini Card
  • Integrated 2.0 Mega Pixel Web Camera
  • Fingerprint Reader Touchpad
  • Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
  • 8X Slot Load CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
  • Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 15.4 WXGA LED Laptop Screen Display with TrueLife
  • Multi-card reader slot, HDMI & VGA output
  • eSATA, 3-USB, Firewire, PCMCIA, 10/100/1000 LAN
  • 6 Cell Primary Battery
  • Plum Purple
  • 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, Mail-In Service after Remote Diagnosis, 24×7 Phone Support
  • Usual bundled software (that I uninstall)

$539.00:  Cost (Pretty good price–‘new’, this would be around $800)

– $107.80: 20% off any refurbished Studio 1537 (this is the twitter outlet coupon I used)

Subtotal:  $431.20
Shipping and Handling:  $19.99
Shipping Discount:  -$19.99 (coupon had free shipping too!)
Sales Tax:  $23.72
Total Amount:  $454.92

dell-studio-1531a.jpgdell-studio-1531b.jpgdell-studio-1531d.jpgdell-studio-1531c.jpg

To get this laptop with a decent processor, wireless-N, bluetooth, webcam, the color you want and a nice sized hard drive for $450 is impressive.  Used on eBay you’d easily pay more and not have a warranty.

If you are in the market for a new laptop, don’t be afraid of refurbs.  I’ve purchased a lot of refurbished electronics and have had great success.  Usually you can save 30-40% from new, and you often can’t tell the difference.

Good luck!

Posted under how to, tech gadgets

Geocaching tutorial: how to have fun with your GPS

Posted by matt on July 23, 2008

01-introduction-to-geocaching.jpgIf you follow me on Twitter, you’ll occasionally get a message from me saying that I’m geocaching. So what the heck is geocaching?  Quite simply, it is an organized way that folks hide boxes or ‘caches’ around the world with specific GPS coordinates.  The coordinates are then posted to a website to allow others to find them and record their visit.  This global treasure hunt is quite fun, and after you get yourself a GPS, it’s also pretty much free.   Here’s my geocaching how-to:
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Posted under how to, reviews, tech gadgets