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Sunday, December 24, 2006

eStarling - Update

Sorry for the delayed update on this - I'm in Seattle for Christmas, and was traveling all day yesterday (and trying to fininsh up @ work the day before, what fun!)

After using the eStarling for a couple of days:

  • As some have pointed out, the antenna on top isn't the most aesthetically pleasing thing in the world. I personally didn't have a issue with it, as I LIKE high-tech looking things, but be warned (see pics on the original post).
  • The "eStarling" logo on the front also isn't the best - It's big. LOUD. Wish they would get rid of it - I'm tempted to try to paint over it.
  • While I haven't had any problems getting the networking set up, others have - they finally opened a forum where you can get help on setting it up.
  • I've had some problems getting both gmail and the flickr rss to work. I THINK the main issue is it can take a while for it to update the photos - as in, 12 hours between gmail reads. Which is a HUGE issue to me - if I send to gmail, this sucker should be showing the photo within minutes of it going to the address.
  • I have yet to figure out how to set my own POP e-mail up - anyone know how? I sent a e-mail to their tech support, but got a wierd e-mail back that appeared to be answering some other problem...
  • On power-on, I've had it come up a couple of times and say it couldn't connect to the internet. Had to unplug, plug back in to get it to sync up.

I was planning on giving my parents the frame for Christmas - I am now giving them a printed page from thinkgeek, and will be giving them the frame in a week or two when I have it working. They are not technical, and I'm not going to have them try to get it working! I still like it a lot - the loading from the web page works, and my flickr stream DID show up, just took a while to do so.

To me, the biggest issue is still the inability to set up the device without the web site - the whole reason I like the eStarling is that I don't have to subscribe to a service - use my own e-mail, fickr, et al. But this part doesn't seem to be that smooth yet - I have to use their web site, and the amount of time to update anything but from their site just sucks.

I still LIKE the frame, I just think they have some issues to address.

Friday, December 22, 2006

What's going on over at Dell?

I've been a BIG fan of the whole XPS line for a while now. I'm shocked that I actually like a Dell (!?!?!) for my gaming rig now, as I always used to custom build them.

Anyway. "A Cold Front is Moving in. Technology like you've never seen. Black Ice is coming, exclusively from Dell".

Huh. Can only guess that they'll be coming out with some wicked overclocked, liquid-cooled systems. Can't wait!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


(For the next few days, this eStarling frame will be showing pics from openestarling@gmail.com - feel free to send me something!)

Well, after much waiting (over a year!) the eStarling frame FINALLY got here! I originally saw it over here on Gizmodo, a year ago. It finally became available on ThinkGeek for pre-order a couple of months ago. I was really doubting it would actually get here by Christmas, but they shipped it overnight DHL last night, and it arrived at 2 PM EST today!

My reaction so far has been very good - it's a solid piece of equipment, the setup was easy, and the photos look great!

It came in decent box - even though the kids on the front look slightly scared to me...

Inside the box I found the frame, a USB wireless dongle (so the wireless is built in - which is interesting, if you can replace the USB dongle with something else..), power supply, USB cable for the computer connection, and a (very small) manual.

The top of the frame is where the USB network interface goes, along with the basic controls for the frame.

The side has the power connector, the USB port to hook the computer in (so you can have wireless and a computer connection at the same time - or JUST wireless), and a card port (I assume to add photos - if it it can also be used to expand the memory, then great - otherwise I'll be sticking with wireless).

The stand snaps into the back (I put it in the wrong way the first time -be careful, it looks like if twist too hard in the wrong direction, the pins that connect it will snap fairly easy).

I (of course!) didn't bother with the instructions, so just plugged the USB network and power in and turned it on (button on the far left on the top).

It booted up, and then told me it couldn't connect... of course, as my network is encrypted - so I hooked the frame up my computer and installed the software (on a included mini CD)

Setup was a snap - it supports WEP64 and WEP128, and on the advanced tab, proxy support and DHCP/static IP configuration.

Once you get it all set up, it tells you to disconnect the frame and power on/off - once I did that, it hooked right up to my network

One thing I didn't expect is that all setup is done through the eStarling.com web site. It gives a code (pictured above), and you log into the web site and set up your frame via that. All photos uploaded (including from your machine) are used that. It can also hook into a rss, flickr, a estartling.com email that you get, and gmail. I did notice the frame was accessible as a drive, when hooked to the computer, so I assume you can copy files to it (have not tried yet).

I uploaded the above from their web site, for my frame. It took a couple of minutes to show up.. I've also set up openestarling@gmail.com, if you'd like to send me a pic.

So, I am over all very happy with the frame. The main reason I bought this one, and didn't even think of getting another, was that I wanted the wireless piece. No cards to stick in, no hooking up to the computer! This is going to be a Christmas gift for my parents - my sister had triplets two years ago, so this will let her take pics and send them to the frame - my parents won't have to do anything, they'll just get fresh pics on a regular basis.

The only think I really don't like is you appear to be restricted to either a estarling.com or gmail e-mail account. I'd like to be able to just use ANY e-mail (maybe in the the next update?). I also rather not have to use their web site for anything - allowing configuration on just the frame, or the frame hooked to the computer, would have been better.

I'll post a update after Christmas, when I'll have a better feel for the eStarling - but so far, I love it!

Product Features

  • Connects to Wireless 802.11 Network
  • Displays Photos E-Mailed to the Picture Frame
  • Displays Photos from Flickr RSS Feeds
  • Displays Photos on a MMC/SD/MS/CF card


  • 7" color LCD Display
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g with Support for WEP encryption
  • MMC/SD/MS/CF 4in1 card slot
  • On-board Storage for Approximately 200 photos
  • Views JPEG files
  • External 120V/240V AC Adapter

Friday, July 28, 2006

Seiko Epson producing Tiny Fingerprint Sensors

This tiny 0.2mm fingerprint sensor will secure any kind of device - cellphones, credit cards, even your iPod Nano!

When touched, the sensor reads fingerprint patters by sensing the faint electric current in the users fingertip.

[Source: Nekkei Net]