A business colleague recent tweeted a question about choosing a home generator. He was concerned about recent power outages in New England and worried that they would continue in the upcoming months and years. He was looking at options to protect his home in the case of a significant outage. I had recently considered adding a generator and wanted to share some learnings. The process is not that complex but there are four key questions that need to be considered:

1. Generator size

There are two differing perspectives on this question.

The first strategy is to use a very large generator (someone recommended a 20Kw to me). The benefit of this approach is that the large unit would power everything in the house and so you could run all your appliances including air conditioners, electric dryer and even electric stove without a problem. However, there is a trade-off. The larger generator typically means higher cost, more noise and increased fuel consumption.

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As a frequent credit card user, I find the ease and security of paying with plastic convenient, and also believe in fully paying off the card every month. Recently I had an experience that showed both why credit cards are beneficial, and yet also why botched customer service can ruin an experience. (Read More »)

The Twittersphere was abuzz when Google announced their new Google + social networking functionality.  For me it was déjà vu as I remembered similar enthusiasm over Google’s ill-fated Wave service.  Thanks to Greg Knierieman I have been playing with G+, and at this point, I am undecided about its usefulness and here’s why.

There are a myriad of Social Media tools and networks and as a potential user you need to rationalize the innumerable options.  I have found it simplest to categorize my primary social networking tools into buckets which define when to use what.  Here is my categorization: (Read More »)

I previous blogged about my experience with the Wilson Electronics 801247 which is a short range wireless repeater.  In my tests, the product worked as advertised, but the short range was somewhat frustrating.  I was aware of the limited range upon initial purchase and continue to wonder whether a longer range option (like the 841262) would have been a better choice.  However, I always come back to some key factors to justify my decision. (Read More »)

My Favorite Android Apps

My friend John Obeto recently blogged about application usage and Windows Mobile and wondered how many apps people have installed.  I am not a WinMo user, but do use Android which offers a (more?) robust app ecosystem.  My Motorola Atrix currently has 42 apps installed including a couple of app specific language packs.

Before delving into installed apps, it is important to understand my application strategy.  My experience with previous phones (non-Android) suggests that an excessive number of applications can impact phone performance.  Thus, I am quite selective when choosing applications and will often remove ones that I either don’t use or use infrequently.  With that said here is a list of the ones that I find most valuable.  Any feedback or suggestions on alternative applications is welcome! (Read More »)