Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday 2010 Kid Tech Picks!

Top Tech for Kids 2010


You can build an actual computer that is child friendly by purchasing a standard machine, the myPC Stage I Keyboard™ (, and a nice sized monitor.

The machine should be web enabled, have a fast processor and great graphics capability. The younger child will likely be utilizing child software and be on the web- so it will be a good idea to install a program on the machine that will allow you to monitor and/or restrict their usage. There are plenty of programs like this on the market, but one of the best known is Net Nanny ( ~$40). You can also create a custom desktop at

2) Disney’s Netpal is a parents best choice for the older child (ages 6+)- and it has the parental control features built in ( it retails for ~$350. You can also create a custom desktop at

3) Fisher Price released their Computer Cool School Keyboard ( in 2009, that actually plugs into your computer and comes with a software program that allows the child to learn and play without concern of them leaving the program- for this, you will have to purchase additional titles for them to continue playing in the Cool School environment.

NOTE: There are plenty of “laptops” for kids that are purely toys- with small dot matrix screens and set content. My child bores with these easily. There is so much free, educational content online now- and they want to do what mommy and daddy are doing!

4) iPhones and iPads are also kid grabbers- there are THOUSANDS of applications for kids. However, this is a pricey and slightly non-child friendly investment overall. Fisher Price, Leapfrog and VTech have all produced toy “handhelds” for children- but they have a short half-life as the child quickly realizes that it really is not like their parents’.

5) vTech has come out with a really great eReader this year, called the V-reader, it is perfect for new readers and is just similar enough to mom’s Kindle that they will hold on to it. I would definitely call this a hot tech pick for kids this year.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why I Won't Let My Daughter Play With My iPhone 4

OK, so I got the new iphone last week. I was so excited for it to come- I had not upgraded to 3GS and it has been 2 years of waiting! When it first arrived, I took it out of the packaging and it felt like a balloon deflated within me. The phone seemed so cold, heavy, and fragile. I didn't feel comfortable handling it. My daughter, who is six, and is used to playing with my phone reached out for it... I quickly put it in the box and told her it was off limits.

Lets see, I have over 100 children's applications/games for the iphone- my daughter could not understand why she couldn't play on the new phone. I could not understand why I was no longer excited to play with the new phone. The next day, I loaded and synced the phone. I looked online and read several articles on "why NOT to buy iphone 4". I just wanted to be excited about it! Instead, I pondered its return. Finally, I reserved myself to giving it another chance- a 2nd chance at a 1st impression with me.

After everything was loaded on, I activated it and started using it. The more I used it, the more satisfied I became with it. I still felt uncomfortable throwing it in my purse, and I was UBER careful when using it, but its getting better. I ordered cool new cases, removed lots of the games and set it up just for me. My daughter was heartbroken when she saw me deleting her games. I assured her that it would be okay, and it was. She was OVER THE MOON with excitement when I gifted her my iphone 3G. People talk about Suri Cruise being spoiled... they never met my baby girl:). Now, I am guaranteed a phone back up (God forbid if anything happens to my iPhone 4), and my little one would have her games and wifi! Perfect, right?

You always want what you cant have... I've caught Marianna sneaking to play on the new phone several times. I had to finally explain to her why I would not let her play with my phone:

1) the new glass casing is not child friendly. Not that the old one was either, but it seems less fragile. This thing feels like I'm holding a glass holy grail- and Gizmodo's photo of what happened when one of their folks dropped the iPhone 4 is traumatizing ( Until I get a case, and NO, a bumper won't suffice; I am on high alert.

2) a child WILL break this phone (oh, I just said that); moving on.

3) Mommy deserves something that is JUST mommy's. I haven't used the restroom by myself in almost seven years... Can't I have my own phone?!?

5) If you are like me, let the youngun' have your old phone, or buy them a myPC Keyboard (shameless plug) so that they feel ownership over their OWN technology.

6) The touchscreen is so sensitive, she will end up calling someone I dont want to speak with- It has happened several times over the last few days with me... I can only imagine what will happen with a six year old.

She may be angry now, but it's ok, one day she will understand. She knows I love her and she loves me. See?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Let's Catch Up: Product2Mkt, KidTech, Recommendations, Coupon and More!

I'm Bacccckkkkkkk-

Its been a while since I have blogged. So much has been going on- forgive me. A lot has happened in the past six months since 2010 began: We have the iPad now- which has spurred discussions about children and touch screen technology; a new iphone is being released (hurry up and get here!); there are new tech toys to talk about (Vtech, Fisher Price). One bit of good news that is happening at TTS with our Stage I Keyboard is that we are being carried and distributed by Ingram Micro- not an easy feat, but one that I take much pride in. We are also going to be popping up in some Big Box Online storefronts by holiday. This is indeed an exciting time. The 2nd generation keyboard, along with the new MyTechStart website have both been very well received.

The whole process of bringing your product to market is more involved than any book could ever even try to explain. Inventor beware! I'm not saying not to pursue, develop, or go through the motions to launch products- just be prepared for anything. The old adages of our time are extremely relevent: "follow your gut", "all that glitters isnt gold"... Yeah, all those- keep 'em close. For example, it was always a dream of mine to get myPC(tm) products into Tarpet and Wal-Hart stores- I'm not talking online, I mean in the brick and morter stores. However, the more I learn about the process and risks that getting "In" entail, the less I am convinced they are the place for a small, non-VC backed venture. I have heard more than one horror story from too many unrelated people that end up with the small business going OUT of business from playing with the big dogs. Don't get me wrong- if the deal is right and doable then I would never advise, nor would I, turn down a big box retailer. TTS and I have both proved extremely resilient over the past four years- the fact that we are still in business is testiment to that; but, I am not going to play Russian Roulette either...

In the meantime, we have been working with some really awesome vendors. Be sure to check them out: >>> Mama Bargains is a pioneer in the deal-a-day world for moms. They feature high end, awesome, must-have products for 50% or MORE off!! Please check them out. >>> Need special peripherals? They have them! Great prices, too. and >>> They have carried us for a long time now- great people to do business with! >>>A deal-a-day site for moms, too. Great people behind the scenes!! Get a deal before its gone!

OK, back to the start of the post. I mentioned that the iPad has sparked anewed discussion about children and technology. Though I think it is a GREAT tool for learning- especially for children with special needs (, I still believe that there is a huge value in traditional computing (monitor, keyboard, mouse). The iPad is an adult toy to me, and, unless I were abundantly wealthy, something I would not buy for my six year old. It took years for SmartBoards/ White Boards to make it into the classroom! While touchscreen technology will likely become more and more prevalent in our society, we are a ways away from it being the norm for our kids- especially where education is concerned. Unfortunately, the tech items that are being marketed and sold to the masses (for tots, kids) dont provide the tech foundation young children need. It comes close, but always seems to miss the mark- probably because a) they are made by toy makers, b) the people manufacturing them are more focused on the number of products they have than the accuracy of the design of their devices. I would much rather let my daughter play on, or play a game on MY iPhone than purchase an oversized handheld toy with $25 per item content. I'm just saying...

Well, my ADD has taken over once again. But you knew what you were getting when you linked in to read this:). That's why my blog is called "Ramblings..." More soon. Check out our new site,, send in your photos, and let me know your thoughts.

Until then-

ps. here's a 40% off coupon for your time:) Use Code: MYPCBLOG. Thanks!

pps. Here's our Photo of the Month>> One of my faves because it's my goddaughter, Jovie using her myPC!!