Wednesday 30 June 2010

The Apps They Might Have Used - American Revolution Edition

These days it's hard to imagine a current president or world leader who isn't connected to the internet, who doesn't get email, and who doesn't have a cell phone. When Barack Obama went to the White House, a BlackBerry went with him. Senators, congressmen and leaders around the world are connected by their laptops, cell phones, and various other devices but it wasn't always like this. Our founding fathers (and mothers) had to do things the hard way. If they wanted a message delivered, someone had to deliver it by hand. If they wanted to research something, they had to find a book or an actual person who knew more than they did. If they got lost, there was no GPS device to point them in the right direction.

To celebrate this Independence Day, Retrevo has taken the liberty of imagining what apps some of the most famous people behind the American Revolution might have used on a regular basis. While we can't go back in time and actually test our ideas, we hope this inspires a new appreciation of what people had to go through in the days before the wiz-bang-appification of society that we so often take for granted.

- George Washington: iTopoMaps
It's difficult to lead troops into battle, especially if you're relying on a hand-drawn map, made by a surveyor in the days before Google Maps. That's why we think George Washington, first President of the United States would have probably used the iTopoMaps App while he was leading his troops. Because Washington was a surveyor in his youth, we also think he would have had his own ideas for the development of such an app. To learn more about iTopoMaps visit

- Benjamin Franklin: Hootsuite
Were he alive today, Benjamin Franklin would most likely be the poster child of Social Media. He was many things in his lifetime; a printer, an author, a satirist, a politician, a scientist, and an inventor, as well as one of America's Founding Fathers. With so much going on, we like to think he would have loved Hootsuite, the app that helps you organize and keep up with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and various social media platforms. To learn more about Hootsuite visit

- Abigail Adams: Pages
Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States. She is best known for her letters to her husband while he was in Philadelphia during the Continental Congress. John and Abigail frequently wrote to each other about politics and government, and we think, if Abigail had had an iPad, she would have drafted those letters in Pages, possibly adding pictures, and charts to support her ideas. To learn more about Pages visit

- Thomas Jefferson: Language Master
Thomas Jefferson was a man who loved books. After the British burned Washington D.C. and the Library of Congress in 1814, Jefferson sold his own personal library of books to Congress. Jefferson was also deeply interested in learning different languages including Latin, Greek, Spanish, Italian, French and Native American dialects. While we think Jefferson would have not been without an eReader, the App we think he would have liked is Language Masters; an app designed to help people learn various languages. To learn more about Language Master visit

- Betsy Ross: Fabric Stash
While historians don't all agree that Betsy Ross actually made one of the most popular versions of the American flag, we know Betsy Ross was an American seamstress, and that means she had fabric. Ask any sewer and they'll tell you about their "stash," that assortment of fabrics that they've purchased over the years that keeps growing. We think Betsy would have loved Fabric Stash, an iPhone and iPad app that lets sewing enthusiasts organize their fabric, compare patterns, and colors, all from the palm of their hand. To learn more about Fabric Stash visit

About The Apps They Might Have Used
What if we could go back in time and share the wonderful world of apps with some of history's most notable people? What apps would they use on a regular basis? The Apps They Might Have Used is a fun and educational article series from, that looks at the lives of some of the most famous people in history and explores the apps those people might have used and enjoyed. is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 50 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.

By Jennifer Jacobson of

Monday 28 June 2010

iPhone 4G - No Signal / Poor reception on iPhone 4G

Yet again Apple seem to have scored an own goal with the iPhone being unable to get a signal, reports show that the 4G suffers poor reception when held in a certain position.

Sadly this seems to be the case with the iPhone 3GS as well and the phone is a triumph of design over practicality.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Have a Gadgetastic Summer With Weber's On the Grill ($4.99)

By: Andrew Eisner, Director of Community and Content for

Have a Gadgetastic Summer With Weber's On the Grill ($4.99)

For about the same price of a pound of grass fed hamburger, you can buy this app from Weber for your iPhone or even better, your iPad. The iPhone version has a grill timer and lots of grilling resources like recipes and grocery lists. The iPad version is new and improved and has features like larger images, instructional videos and tips as well as the timer. Have a gadgetastic summer!
About Retrevo is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 50 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.

Sunday 20 June 2010

iPhone 3Gs Searching / No Service - The most common message on iphone with Orange, O2 and Vodafone

Much as I love my iPhone 3Gs and the features that it offers, it does get incredibly frustrating that the signal strength on the iPhone 3GS is so much worse than other handsets. I understand that this is due to the design of the internal aerial which is small in comparison to other phones. Apple seem to realise the problem as they are billing the 4G as having a better aerial that covers most of the case.

The iphone messages Searching and No Service are the most common ones and appear when there is signal for other phones on the same network.

If you are getting an iPhone 3GS or already have one bear in mind that the network coverage maps that any network supply will not be accurate for the iPhone which is likely to show the No Service/Searching messages in areas of lower signal strength but where other phones can still make or receive calls. A prime example of this was over the weekend when I was out of coverage for several hours. The iPhone 3G was switching between No Service, Searching and low signal during this time but my other Nokia 6233 handset had a consistent one or 2 bars signal during the whole time.

Our other phone a Nokia 6500 on the 3 network also had a constant signal and this was in a built up area so not a remote location away from transmitters.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Windows 7 Solitaire Games ActiveX failed to start

I recently upgraded to Windows 7 on one of my PCs but when my wife came to play Solitaire it wouldn't load, giving an ActiveX error. As this was an upgrade from Vista I decided that a clean install of Windows 7 would be a good idea.

However having done this the error persisted so it appeared to be some form of hardware/driver error. Some forum posts appeared to suggest it could be video driver related so I installed the latest nVidia drivers for the onboard video card.

Unfortunately although this improved the situation with the error no longer occurring the Solitaire software would still not run.

SO its back to the drawing board - and back to running good old reliable Windows XP - no problems there and its so much faster!!

Saturday 12 June 2010

Dell Inspiron 531 AMD Athlon 5000+ Locking up

I've recently had a problem with my Dell Inspiron 531 AMD Athlon 5000+ locking up, the PC boots fine and memory checks all look ok but after about 5 mins the PC locks up and cannot be used. Memory was swapped out, Windows reinstalled, all to no avail.

Everything pointed to a problem with the processor chip overheating but the fan was still running fine. I removed the processor heatsink and fan, added some more themal compound and replaced it.

So far it seems to have done the trick, the PC has not yet locked up and is running well.

iPhone 4G - Battery Life and Signal

The iPhone 4G has now been officially launched and it looks like Apple have taken the comments on the 3GS onboard by addressing the problems with terrible battery life and poor signal on the iPhone 3GS.

I look forward to seeing how the iPhone 4G performs in real life

Friday 4 June 2010

iPhone 4G Leaked Photos

Some more photos of the iPhone 4G have surfaced. Apparently it is likely to be announced by Steve Jobs in the next few days. Hopefully it will resolve the iPhone No Service problems that have plagued the iPhone 3GS.