Tekzilla #56: Free Personal Finance Tools, Best Universal Remotes, Standard Def Ain't Dead!

Posted in Networking, Podcasts on December 05, 2008

Supercharge Task Manger, Replace MS Money and Quicken, Router Request, Analog TV for HDTVs and your PC, PS3 Universal Remote.

You are correct: no matter what the credits say, Veronica is not Robert.

Lots of folks in the audience use WiFi for their Home Theater PCs and media extenders... it's only Patrick's crazy friends that have gone back to Ethernet.

No, we don't want to get into the whole "Why... why do the new Macbooks not have firewire" discussion.

SDHC (and CF) memory card performance? Thanks for the tip on Rob Galbraith amazing test page, Peter! Head over to http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007

This week's Freebie download pick, MKN TaskExplorer 5, comes from our very own intern Daniel Fukuba... MKN TaskExplorer 5 turns the Windows Task Manger up a notch, providing detailed info about each process, including performance and memory graphs, DLLs loaded, threads, and access token... it provides intuitive graphs showing not only the CPU usage history, but it's Kernel time and DCP time as well. It's got widgets, and power users will love it!

Will an Eee Box have enough power to run a BitTorrent program, share files and play video? Yes, Donavan!

What's the best way to hook up a new computer to an Standard Def TV? Most newer products pretty much ignore SDTV...

Speaking of SDTV, getting NTSC TV, aka regular old analog cable into an HDTV with no S-video input is a pain!

You could spend $700 on something like an ATV-3900 video up-converter, which will take the input from your TV and output it to HDMI... if you don't mind leaving your PC on, you might want to try a TV tuner for the PC itself, like one of the Elgato devices, or a WinTV. And they'll run well under $200!

This week's "Website We Just Can't Get Enough Of" is OC remix dot com ... a website dedicated to showcasing custom arrangements and remixed versions of your favorite video game music. This non profit site was created by David Lloyd, AKA DJ Pretzels, as a place to the appreciate, preserve, and interpret the different styles of video game music.

Matt in Bayonne emails, "I'm a little stumped on universal remote controls. I would love to find one that will power all of my units, including my HD projector, HD DVR cable box, surround sound and a PS3 for Blu-ray"

Patrick's a big fan of Logitech's Harmony remotes... the new Harmony One gets the most attention, but the 720 comes in around 60 bucks cheaper... $130 at Amazon, and has most o' the features, including the nifty color LCD screen.

Adding a PS3 to a universal remote is a pain... it uses a Bluetooth based remote control. Tekzilla viewers have nothing but love for the IR2BT and Nyko PS3 adapters... OK, nothing but love and one gripe. You won't be able to power the PS3 on and off, or couldn't last I heard.

Ethan's looking for a new wireless router to replace the one that cam with his FiOS install... he could build a Windsurfer parabolic booster and slip it over the nubby antennas on the back of the router. (Amazing what they did for WiFi in Patrick's old house.)

You could also build a IPCop box from an old PC. If Verizon gave you a router compatible w/ the Tomato firmware, we'd install that... yo ucan learn more about installing the Tomtato firmware on episode 71 of Systm.

We'd love to hear what everybody in the Tekzilla crew is using/wish they were upgrading to on the wireless router front... please email your faves to tekzilla@revision3.com... and put 'router recco' in the subject line!

Any suggestions for an open source replace for Microsoft Money or Quicken? Veronica sure does, Stephen!

Check out "GnuCash", "jGnash" and "KMyMoney". If you've already been working with Quicken or MS Money, and want to import files to one of these programs, you have to make sure that they support QIF and OFX formats.

Alternately, you can get "on the cloud" with online money managers, like Mint.com or the newly free Quicken Online.

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Tags: Networking, Technologies, Hardware, Tools, BitTorrent, ASUS EEE, Revision3, HDTV, Tekzilla, Universal Remote, Finance, Tekzilla Weekly