Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Ask me Techie Questions. Get real answers. No strings attached.

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

People know me as a super-cybergeek.  Not only do I work in the digital world professionally, I even immerse myself in it in my free time.  I love staying up on trends, listening to geek podcasts, and lull myself to sleep reading geek blogs on my iPhone.

Nauseating? Maybe.   But, as Popeye the sailor used to say, “I yam what I yam.”

Because of this reputation, I am a recipient of many geeked-out questions like:

  • What computer should I buy?
  • What is the difference between Adwords and Adsense?
  • Why isn’t the Android phone’s browser called “Chrome” if it’s made by Google?

You get the picture…

And you would think I’d hate it, but I actually love it.  I have a passion for helping people.  And, to help with tech questions is just nirvana for me.

So, here’s my offer: Ask me a question about any techie-thing you can imagine and I’ll give you a well-informed answer.  No strings attached.

Do you have a burning tech question?  Are you in need of a good, honest, answer?  Then, fill out this form and ask me.

Cost to you? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  The only “catch” is that I will share the answer on this blog so that others may learn from it.

Your privacy is critical, so if you don’t want you name shared, I won’t.  And I will never, ever, share your email with anyone for anything.

So, how do you ask your question?  Click on the ridiculously big button below.

Help Me Josh Zapin Button

My goal is to answer at least one question a week.

Thanks for satiating my habit.

R.I.P. Lala. We loved you while you lasted.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Lala, the play-any-track-once-for-free-then-pay-$0.10-per-track music service is no gone as of today (6/1/10).

RIP Lala.comFrom my perspective it was easily the best online music site.  I love exploring new music, but I don’t want to commit until I absolutely love the track.  Because I could listen to any track once 100% free, Lala introduced me to new bands and genres of music.  While it was only a streaming music service (i.e. you had to be online to listen), it was sonically outstanding, organized well, and very fast.

One of the best features was its Music Mover that allowed you to upload, literally, you existing collection and play it online.  This, alone, was huge.  No longer did I not need to drag my entire collection with me, I could access it anywhere: home, work, office, friend’s computer, etc.

There was even an iPhone app/service in the works.  With such an app, it meant that you never had to load your music onto your device.  As long as you had Internet access, you could listen to your entire collection.  Incredible, industry shaking stuff.

To be fair, Lala was struggling – they were losing money perhaps showing that the model wasn’t working.  They were purchased Apple a few months ago.  While it was sad, it has been expected that Apple will incorporate Lala’s technology into itunes somehow.  We’ll just have to see.

Still, R.I.P. Lala.  We loved you while you lasted.

Buying a Kitchen Computer, Part 1: What We Need

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

It seems like I spend more time in my kitchen than any other room in the house.  (Technically, I should say “waking” time.)

Why Are You Spending So Much Time In the Kitchen?

About three years ago, Marni and I renovated the kitchen in our 1960s split-level ranch house in Boulder.  Where our “old” kitchen was walled off the living room/dining room and isolated from the rest of the house, our “new” kitchen is completely open.  To say that it is the kitchen is really a misnomer.  It is really just one large space that flows into a modern, open living area.

While this architectural change alone has made the space more livable, what has made us spend more time in our kitchen is the expansion of our family.  With a 3-year old, a 4-month old, and a dog, we spend a lot of time, making food, eating food, and hanging around before and after we’ve eaten the food.   To boot,  Marni and I work.  This means the time that we actually spend in our house centers around what we do in the kitchen.  It’s just the area of the house that we spend the most time these days.

Why Do We Need a Kitchen Computer?

If we’re going to spend so much time in our kitchen, then we will need a computer to live with us.  The 21st century family lives as much in the digitial world as in the physical world.  From pictures to  music to Facebook to Skyping with the grandparents thousands of miles away, we use a computer constantly.

Just like the kitchen is the hub of our home, our kitchen computer is the digital hub.  While we also have an office and an entertainment center, we do much much more on virtual living on our kitchen computer.

What Should the Kitchen Computer Do?

Right now the kitchen computer function is shared between my and Marni’s work laptop.  We set them up on our countertop and use them as our digital hub.  While both are workhorses and handle the digital needs of our family, there are some limitations:

  • Their hard drives are too small to fit our digital “life” – We take a zillion of pictures and videos (now in High Definition), listen to tons of digital music and podcasts.  A 40 or even 100 GB hard drive is too small store all that stuff.  Our kitchen computer needs at least 500 GB to handle all the media that we generate and consume.
  • Only my laptop has an integrated web camera – Skype is today’s modern telephone.  Not only are the calls free, it does video chat.  With  our families still back in the New York tri-state area, Skype is simply the best way to stay in touch with them.  Our kitchen computer needs an integrated web camera.
  • The laptop speakers are crap and are barely audible – With all the traffic and activity that takes place in our kitchen, the small tinny speakers of our laptops just can’t be heard.  Our kitchen computer needs good speakers to be heard.
  • Laptop computers have one, and only one, keyboard. If it gets messed up, the whole computer is a gonner – Kitchens, by their nature, are dirty.  It is completely expected that they keyboard and trackpad of the laptop will get grit and grime in them.  While a little dirt won’t make a keyboard inoperable, a bad spill might hose the system.  The best kitchen computers should have keyboards that aren’t integrated into the machine.  Even better, you should be able to use the computer wtihout a keyboard!
  • To add all of our devices requires tons of cables which adds clutter in an already cluttered place – Wires are the residue of the modern digital hub.  If you want to attach a mouse, a camera, and a phone to a laptop, you need three separate wires.  A kitchen computer should minimize the need for wires.
  • The laptops are not ours! The companies we work for are very liberal with our use of our computers.  We can put anything we want on them and use them pretty much as freely as we want.  Still, they can change policies or, worse, ask for them back.  We should have the stuff of our lives on our own machine

So the time has come to buy a new kitchen computer and this blog post starts the quest.  We’re trying to find that near perfect balance of features and price that will  become the digital hub of our life.

What I have realized is that there aren’t a lot of good references out there.  Sure, there a desktop buying guides or laptop buying guides, but none that focuses on what I believe is the next frontier: the kitchen computer.

So,  I’m going to detail my quest for the world to read and share.  As the title of this post suggests this is the first in a series where I detail all the decisions I’m making to find that perfect kitchen computer.  What I learn, you’ll learn.  The mistakes I make will not be yours.

So, please follow along and share your experiences.  Let’s see where we take it.

Next Up:  Desktop vs. Laptop vs. All-In-One

I won an Internet Advertising Competition Award

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I (along with my team) won an Internet Advertising Competition Award!!! I couldn't be happier!!!

It was for the Westin Snowmass website I produced at texturemedia for my client Playground.

The award was for best Real Estate Microsite. 

 Very Cool!


Digging Digg. A way to improve traffic to your website for free

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Have you heard of ?  If you want to improve traffic to your website, you should.

Digg is the Web 2.0 version of a newspaper/newsource.  Here is how it works:

  • Users submit stories to  This includes a headline, a brief paragraph and a link to the article
  • The story gets posted on where users can "vote" (called a "digg") on the story.  Presumably, people will vote on it if the story is relevant, interesting, and/or accurate.  The higher the "digg" the more prominently it gets displayed on the site.

So, in essence, the users of Digg are the writers, publishers and the editorial staff of the Digg newspaper.  It's pretty neat.

It's also a great way to increase traffic to your own site.

A few weeks ago, I  wrote an article on this website on how a Microsoft Internet Explorer Hotfix actually breaks Internet Explorer.   For days, I received little or no traffic to my site about it.  While I wouldn't call myself the greatest journalist in the world, I thought it was a pretty good article and seemingly interesting to some folks out there in Techie-land.

On Wednesday, I decided to post it on  Nearly instantly, I received a huge spike in visits to my website:


 If you go to the page on, I even have people commenting on the article.   Pretty cool.

While I wouldn't say that this is a way to make tons of cash off this discovery, it certainly is a good strategy to increasing traffic on your site.  Best of all, it's totally free.  Check it out.