Some experiences are exceptionally formative. I had one of them on my birthday in 1985, when my heart was racing as I opened my presents. An elongated box immediately caught my eye. I tore it open and stared at the magic letters that said Commodore C64 MicroComputer. A bunch of disks and two joysticks were also included. It was a life-changing moment! This intriguing "bread box" would teach me the value of patience and the fundamentals of the BASIC language. The fascination for technology and the drive to explore I felt that day would take a firm hold and stay with me for the rest of my life. Now, the C64 is back, kind of. Same design but contemporary hardware. Naturally, I had to try out this homage to a milestone of home computing.
Many a one proud owners of Android cellphones know the story: You boot your device up for the first time, go through the setup procedure—and are faced with a welter of unexpected apps. Depending on the manufacturer, a large portion of your screen may be plastered with them. This bloatware scourge is especially prevalent in the lower price range. Some retailers even openly advertise the "extensive software bundle". Not all of these apps are useless or dangerous, customers simply would like to have a choice! Uninstalling is often barely possible, which is especially vexatious with resource-hungry memory and performance hogs that eat away at your battery. Time for Google to take action!
Christmas is over and I'm seriously hoping you had a great start into the new year! Naturally, my presents included a few tech gadgets, along with a genuine surprise: a pair of wireless headphones. I had already owned a pair of over-ear wireless headphones but they were bulky and heavy, thanks to the sizable batteries—and they won't get any prize in terms of design either. Definitely unsuitable for sports or casual listening on the go, which is why I unwrapped the Aikela TWS-X10 with glee. I had neither heard of the company nor ever owned in-ears, so it was a double premiere so to speak.
Streaming is gradually replacing traditional TV (especially for younger viewers). Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify and many other services offer around-the-clock entertainment. Let's take a closer look at what is likely the most popular piece of streaming hardware: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD. Compared to its somewhat sluggish predecessors, this device is said to deliver lag-free 4K and decent processing speeds at an attractive price point (usually $50, $25 on sale). Reason enough to order one and put its through its paces!
Do you remember the scene where Indiana Jones is chased by a giant boulder threatening to crush him? Think of the boulder as major Ashampoo projects and me as Indiana Jones–but less agile and with somewhat rusty hips. That's what it's been like around here recently! And every boulder caught me straight on! The blog was the first victim of this deadline frenzy and, though it hurt, there was nothing I could do about it. Naturally, a lot has happened during my forced absence as blog writer so let's start with a particular crummy topic that could potentially cost cellphone users hundreds of dollars each month: fleeceware!