HP’s Touchpad Makes the Ultimate Business Dashboard

Business Dashboard
Real-time Business Dashboard

The picture above is my HP Touchpad setup to display my business’s dashboard when my Touchpad is charging and idle. With a simple glance to my left I can see the current status of my entire business. My dashboard shows me recent tweets, sales, website visitors, uptime, errors, and will soon include more metrics as I continue customizing it.

The ingredients for this setup are simple.

  • HP Touchpad – A lot of people have one of these lying around now since HP’s fire-sale. This is a good way to put it to use.
  • HP Touchstone – If you own a Touchpad, get a Touchstone charging stand! This thing is amazing. It does NOT require that you plug or dock your tablet into it. Merely placing your Touchpad on the stand begins charging the device. It’s voodoo magic, pure and simple. Additionally, the stand makes interacting with the tablet much easier if you’re at a desk.
  • Geckoboard.com Account – This is the software behind the dashboard. It’s hosted, and they create a unique URL for you to access your custom dashboard.
  • webOnEx – This webOS app ties everything together. When your Touchpad has been idle for awhile on the charging stand, it goes into Exhibition mode. The webOnEx app allows you to display a webpage during Exhibition mode instead of the default clock or photo album. Our webpage is our customized Geckoboard dashboard.

You can get webOnEx by going to “settings” on your Touchpad, then to “Exhibition.” Next click on the “Find More…” button at the botom. Finally lookup webOnEx and install it. After it’s installed, go back to the Exhibition settings and select webOnEx as the default. When your tablet goes into Exhibition mode, you can change the URL of webOnEx to your Geckoboard dashboard.

I’m crushing over Drobo!

I’m in love with Data Robotics, Inc. no hassle data redundancy device, Drobo. I’ve been kicking around the idea of building my own RAID 5 network file server to store all of my music, videos, pics, and et cetera for a couple of years now. But that, of course, is no easy task, nor is it easy on the pocket book. And now here comes Drobo to my rescue!

So I’m dropping the “build my own RAID 5 network server” idea. Now I want to get a Drobo and new wireless Linksys router with USB storage support. Although, I’ve heard a rumor that Data Robotics, Inc. is planning on coming out with a new Drobo with built in network support later this fall or early next year. I’m not sure I can wait that long. This thing is just too cool.Oh, I heard about the Drobo and this YouTube video on TWiT. Great Podcast.

My new MacBook OR How to manually eject a CD from your MacBook Pro

I just bought my first Mac. It’s a 2.33 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro 15inch model. It has taken me a little bit of time to get use to, but I’m starting to get the hang of it after I plugged in my favorite 2 button cordless mouse. Let me tell you, coming from a Windows background, right-click makes all the difference in the world.

Anyways. I’m working on setting up Windows XP using Boot Camp. Then I plan to use Parallels to quickly switch between OSX and my Boot Camp partition of Windows XP. By using a Boot Camp partition instead of a pure Parallels virtual machine, I can boot directly into Windows if I need more resources for playing games or whatnot.

To do all of this I had to slipstream my old copy of Windows XP with Service Pack 2. This requires creating a bootable CD. I thought I did everything correctly, but when Boot Camp Assistant restarted my Mac to install Windows, my Mac hung on boot-up. Turns out my CD burning software didn’t have all the features I needed. So now my Mac is stuck trying to load a boot CD that is incapable of booting. How the hell do I get the CD out to get back into OSX!? There is no manual mechanism to eject a CD on the MacBook Pro.

The Payoff
Do a hard restart. Then click and hold down the mouse button while the system boots up. Continue to hold down the mouse button until the CD ejects.

Totally intuitive. Not sure why I didn’t immediately think of that. 😉