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Forgot to bring your essay to class, use Dropbox to get you out of a pinch

posted Oct 24, 2009, 9:58 PM by Danny Eusebio



Imagine you have a major paper due today. Without realizing it, you rush out of your apartment. When you finally park your car and step out, you realize that your paper is still lying on your bed. FML. You don't have enough time to head back to your place, but you do have some time to print. That's when you realize you made mistake number 2. You forgot to save the file on a thumb drive. The last version you had was some rough draft you made 2 weeks ago. Useless. Well, if you ever get into a pinch, you might consider using this great service called Dropbox. It just might change your life.

Dropbox is essentially a free or paid service. You get up to 2GB of free space. Also, I think you get an additional 250MB free if you refer someone to the service. Anyhow, 2GB is plenty of space to store your documents on the go. You can think of other things to upload when you get use to it.

Why is it so great?
  1. Dropbox is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux (so no complaints). 
  2. Dropbox integrates into your computer like any folder.
  3. You can use it on multiple computers that you have.
  4. You can access it anywhere with an internet connection.

Fig 1: The Dropbox folder seamlessly integrates into your computer. You can quickly add it in your Favorites as well.

Fig 2:The online version of the Dropbox interface.

The next big plus about Dropbox is the ability to share a folder with someone. If you share them a folder, they'll have access to it on their desktop.

Conclusion

I'm still using the Dropbox today. I just recently installed and tried out the service. Honestly, I use Google Docs as a mean to organize my documents. However, Dropbox does have its advantages. Give it a try, it's free and easy to use.

Never Miss Another TV Show

posted Sep 10, 2009, 7:21 PM by Danny Eusebio


If you're apartment mates are skimping out on cable and local television doesn't fit your schedule, you might want to try some internet sources to get your daily dose of TV. No, you don't have to buy TIVO or steal your neighbors cable. You do however need internet, and that might be your biggest catch. So if you've been missing out on the latest episodes of the Office or Lost, then follow some advice that we offer you to find some of that free television programming.






  1. Hulu.com is probably the most popular site out there. As a partnership between Fox and NBC, you get to enjoy some of their awesome programs like the Office and Twenty-Four.
  2. NinjaVideo.net, no association with us. It's a great source to view any television show out there. Whether its legal or not is up to you decide. But heck, knock yourself out.

Replace your Cellphone with Skype and Save Hundreds of Dollars w/iTouch

posted Sep 10, 2009, 7:06 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 10, 2009, 7:10 PM ]



If you're that college student trying to get by, then this handy tutorial is something you want to read. If you haven't heard of Skype, then you need to use the internet a little more than normal because your you've got low blood levels of internet radiation in you. Skype is a voice over IP phone service which allows you to make calls over--wait for it--the internet. Not only that, but basic services on Skype are free, and some of the more useful features I use are dirt cheap. So stop using your conventional phone and start using Skype to start saving hundreds of dollars each year. And no, I don't work for Skype and I'm not advertising for them (directly).




Your tired of spending hundreds of dollars on your phone plan. You are ready to find an alternative phone plan that only cost about 90 dollars a year (with unlimited calling anywhere in the US). Also, you have an iPod Touch 2G and near constant wifi access.

Pre-Requisite: 
  1. iPod Touch 3rd Gen (~$199.00)(Link)
  2. Wireless Internet ($$$)
  3. Earphones with Remote and Mic ($30.00) (Link) [the NEW iPod Touch will come with this]
  4. Skype Service or some comparable service ($30/year + $60/year) (Link)
  5. Download the Skype App from iTunes. (Link)

Difficulty: Easy

Step 1: Buy all the items that you need. If you have most of these items, then you're in good shape. I had everything except for the earphones with remote and mic. I purchased mine from Amazon. You can purchase them from Apple also. If you're trying to save money, then there are some generic versions of these earbuds with mic that you can buy at Meritline.com (Link). They cost about five bucks with free shipping. There quality is questionable on the other hand.

Step 2: Once you have a Skype account with all the proper hardware listed above, then download the Skype App from iTunes. Once you download the program, sign in with your Skype account you created. Next, type in a number that you can call. At this point make sure your earbuds with mic are plugged in. It isn't necessary to move the mic piece close to your mouth. The mic will pick up your voice as it dangles normally. Then, make your call.

Step3: If you did everything correctly, then you'll here a dial tone and hopefully get someone to pick up on the other end. Viola, now your making calls on your iPod Touch.



Important Notes: 
  1. This only works for iPod Touch Second Generation.
  2. You don't need to by a subscription from Skype, you can call other Skype users for free.
  3. You can't make 9-1-1 calls with Skype.
  4. I use a Pay-as-you-go phone as backup. I take longer calls with my iPod Touch-Skype.
  5. You can receive calls on your iPod Touch as long as its connected to the internet and your Skype program is running.

Benefits:
  1. If your a college student always on campus, this will be handy.
  2. I only pay about $90.00 a year for Skype service (this includes 12 months of calling and a phone number). You can get away not purchasing a phone number, but then when you call people, no number will show up.
  3. If you pay roughly $70.00 a month for your phone plan, you pay on average $840.00 a year. Whereas this tutorial will cost you about $90.00 a year. You can see the difference.

Which iPod Should you Buy for College?

posted Sep 10, 2009, 4:11 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 10, 2009, 6:29 PM ]


So the latest iPods are out and the first day of college is coming around the bend. You might be wondering, which iPod should I buy. Should I get the slightly updated iPod Touch or the new iPod Nano with the latest bells and whistles that have come out. Since the latest price drops, the iPod has become more affordable. And if you use the book buying strategies that we suggest, you'll definitely have the cash to buy an Ipod. So stop daydreaming about which one to buy and actually read up the article to make your buying decision.





Let's talk about the iPod Nano first. Let's make a list of some of the pertinent features.

Image from Apple.com

  1. 8GB and 16GB Models available (Plenty of storage in my opinion)
  2. Built in VGA Camera with 640 by 480 resolution (not horrible, but don't expect to make a blockbuster)
  3. Built in mic enabling recording (this is quite useful for a college student)
  4. FM Tuner (It might be useful to you)

The iPod Nano has come a long way in terms of capacity. Now at up to 16GB, you can store a decent amount of content on their. Some may argue that there music collection is too large for 16GB, but you don't always have to store all your music. You can always have iTunes cycle in as much music as you can on your device. If this doesn't work for you, then you probably want to buy the iPod Classic.

The build in VGA camera will be a useful addition in your slew of school tech. Having the ability to record might actually be handy on your device. However, if you already own a digital camera, the video recording capabilities will probably be just as comparable. In addition, if you happen to have a Flip Mino, they already offer HD recording capabilities. So the camera in my opinion is a situational one. It's useful when you find something useful to record without your camera handy, but you have your Nano on hand.

The mic will be useful while in the classroom. If you ever need to record an important lecture, then the nano is small and discrete enough to record a session in class. Of course, make sure to ask your professor before you record one of their lectures. But honestly, if you have no desire to share those audio notes and you want to keep it to yourself, I don't see why recording a lecture without permission is such an issue. But if you want to stay on the safe side, ask your professor.

The last item is the FM Tuner. If you still listen to the radio then it'll be great for you. That's all I can really add.

Now lets look at the iPod Touch:
Image from Apple.com

  1. Largest Capacity 64GB (Even more storage than before, that's more than enough for normal use)
  2. Touch screen capabilities
  3. Can use App Store Games and Programs
  4. Calendar, Email, Chat, Pictures, and Videos
  5. Web Surfing
  6. Recording Capabilities
  7. Skype/VOIP calling

No more complaining about capacity, you've got plenty of storage capabilities now. The touch screen capabilities on the iPod Touch are top notch. You have a plethora of free and paid apps available to you. The iPod Touch becomes a great multimedia and time management device. You can essentially stay up to speed with friends, family, and etc. Don't forget you can surf the web using the Safari Browser on the iPod Touch. It runs very snappy. Shipping with the new 32GB and 64GB iPod Touch are earbuds with mics.  Now you can actually record stuff.

The last gem on the iPod Touch is probably the ability to make VOIP calls using the earbuds with mic. If you use one of our tutorials you'll be able to save hundreds of dollars a year using this feature.



Verdict

I don't own an iPod Nano, but that little guy has sure got a lot packed into it. Unfortunately its somewhat limited on the social aspect. You can't surf the net, use apps like Facebook and Twitter, and you can't email. At the end of the day, an iPod Nano is probably a better workout buddy then it would be a useful college tech device. On the other hand, the benefits of having an iPod Touch is not only the applications you can use, but the social features that its capable of. Sure you miss out on the camera, but I mean taking pictures with a digital camera is probably better at the end of the day. I mean, if you can't live without having the camera, then you might as well buy an iPhone.

Another aspect you want to consider is price. At this point, the cost of the Nano and the lower end iPod Touch are not that far apart. If your planning to buy a higher end iPod Nano, I would go for the iPod Touch. It has half the storage but in terms of capabilities, an iPod Touch is more useful. Did you know you could control your computer using your iPod Touch as well as view your webcam through your iPod Touch? Yes, there are many things you can do with the iPod Touch.

If you'd like to send us feedback on how you can use the iPod for school, send us an email at ninjauniversity@gmail.com.

Finally the Mac Rumours are Over

posted Sep 10, 2009, 4:10 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 10, 2009, 6:30 PM ]


Finally, the rumours are over the and the results are already in. I wanted to write on the Mac rumours sooner but it seemed rather pointless until the real results were officially in. And to my surprise, everyone's predictions were off. I honestly thought the iPod Touch was going to get a built in camera. Unfortunately they've just beefed up the capacity and dropped the price on the 8GB model. I'd say that was awfully lame. What did take everyone by suprise was the addition of the video camera on the iPod Nano. Wtf?? Now the iPod Nano has video recording, voice recording, and FM tuner built in. I wondered why they couldn't just put those features directly on the iPod Touch.





Apparently, Steve Jobs answered the question:

“Originally, we weren’t exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine,” he said. “We started to market it that way, and it just took off. And now what we really see is it’s the lowest-cost way to the App Store, and that’s the big draw. So what we were focused on is just reducing the price to $199. We don’t need to add new stuff. We need to get the price down where everyone can afford it."

I'm personally disappointed in Apple for the features not being included in the iPod Touch, but I can reason with Jobs. Honestly, it makes perfect sense what they did. If they add a camera functionality to the iPod Touch, your in a way eliminating the barrier differences of what an iPhone and IPod touch is. I guess in terms of marketing you want to make sure the two items stay separate. Since an iPod Touch can already make calls over VOIP, the two items were getting a little too close.

The iPod Nano on the other hand seems like it will be taking a step forward. Priced at  USD149.00 for the 8GB and USD 179.00 for the 16GB model, the iPod Nano looks a little more appealing than before. I mean, I would buy one if I had the cash on hand. I'm still a little sceptical on the ability of the Nano to record video, but its small 640x480 I believe. I'm thinking its competing with the Flip Mino maybe.

On the other front, the Ipod Touch takes an expected leap in capacity. Now the USD 399.00 model is 64GB, while the USD 299.00 model is 32GB. Somehow the 16GB model disappeared off the assembly. I'm thinking a great deal of those disappeared from all the laptop sales the past few months. I think there inventory of the 16GB model has run dry. So they've dropped the price of the 8GB model from to USD 199.00.

In other news, Steve Jobs is back at least (although a bit emaciated). I'm sure the Apple Stock saw a rise after Jobs came to the Apple Event. Oh, and the Beatles thing didn't happen. Blah.

Source of quote from [NYT]
Source of prices from [Apple]

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