Streaming sticks/boxes, etc.

I won’t say I’ve tried them all, but I’ve tried more of them than most people. As usual, there is a back story and a lot of history as I am usually an early adopter. Here are my streaming platforms in the order that I purchased/used them and my overall impression. I’ll end with some musings on where all this is going. Continue reading “Streaming sticks/boxes, etc.”

From paperbacks to Kindle to NOOK Touch

So, when I last posted regarding e-readers, I was still mostly into paperbacks, but did have a Kindle 1.  However, when the Kindle 3 came out, I picked up the WiFi only version and pretty much converted to electronic readers.  I think since then I’ve only read a one or two paperbacks (and I read a lot). I really liked the form factor and that I could travel for work, go on  vacation, or go camping and not worry about carrying a ton of books.
Unfortunately, I dropped my kindle face down on some rocks and messed the screen up pretty bad.  I hemmed and hawed about getting another Kindle as the cost was pretty hard to justify (If I had dropped a book, I would have been out a few bucks).
However, being a gadget guy, I went ahead and made the decision to re-up and get another reader.  However, this time I went with the Barnes and Noble (All New) NOOK Touch.  I decided on this for several reasons and am very happy with the choice.
Here’s my list of pros and cons and my opinion of the differences between the Kindle and the NOOK: Continue reading “From paperbacks to Kindle to NOOK Touch”

Android (HTC Incredible) vs. iPhone (3G) my thoughts

I posted an entry a few weeks ago regarding my switching from AT&T to Verizon and more specifically leaving my iPhone to get an Android phone (HTC Incredible). My phone arrived in time for a trip up to Ithaca, NY where we are moving this summer.  I really wanted to see how the differing networks behaved in the area as I don’t want a phone I can’t use where I live…what good is that.
Let me start by saying that I got my first iPhone a week after they hit the street. I LOVED it. It was the best phone I had ever used. Years ahead of anything that was on the market at that time. The network sucked, but I could live with it because everything about the phone was perfect. I upgraded to the 3G when available skipped the S and was waiting for the iPhone 4. However lately the AT&T network has really started to be an issue. I noticed this the most as I purchased a Verizon Wireless MiFi last fall and love it. I often have it on and am using the WiFi tether on my iPhone because the AT&T network sucks so bad. And having the proverbial apples to apples comparisons of the AT&T network to the VZW network has really opened my eyes to how bad the AT&T network truly is.
Let me start with the negative. The things that the Android is lacking that the iPhone just does better: Continue reading “Android (HTC Incredible) vs. iPhone (3G) my thoughts”

After 1 month what I think about my EeePC 901

asus-eee-pc-901-headerI’ve had my EeePC 901 for about a month now. I’m using it as much, if not more than I thought I would. When in the house or even on the road, I reach for it unless I really need a larger screen and keyboard. In fact, I have changed my typical browsing location from my home office to my living room and den. It’s just more comfortable being on a couch with the EeePC in my lap and coffee on the coffee table than being in the office just to browse, e-mail, tweet, etc.
The battery life, while I do get a solid 5 or 6 hours of constant use out of it, could be a bit longer. The 1000HE looks to fit that bill with an advertised 9 hours. I bought a car charger for the EeePC on eBay for $8 + $3 S&H have have charged it in the car a couple of times while on the road.
The WiFi on the EeePC works as well as my MacBook Pro and much better than my wife’s Dell Inspiron Laptop.
Continue reading “After 1 month what I think about my EeePC 901”

Disable trackpad while typing on EeePC 901 (Eeebuntu NBR 2.0)

trackpadSo, after much ado, I have been able to fix the tapping issue on my EeePC 901 running Eeebuntu NBR 2.0.
To be honest, the solution was all over the forums, but none of the posts specifically mentioned the 901. I spent a few hours trying different things and eventually got the settings about where I want them. The trick was that all the steps in this post need to be followed. The post indicates that this works for the 900 as well, but YMMV.
The trackpad seems responsive, yet not overly so,  it’s not jumpy (as it was with just the elantech driver), and I even have both vertical scrolling on the side of the trackpad and two finger scrolling as well.
Here’s the steps that I performed (these are pretty much identical to the post, but I’ve added some dialog):
Continue reading “Disable trackpad while typing on EeePC 901 (Eeebuntu NBR 2.0)”

Eeebuntu NBR on my EeePC

justlogo_390The out-of-the-box Xandros Linux that comes on the EeePC just seem too much like a toy. I was very familiar with Ubuntu so I decided to install an Ubuntu derivative on my EeePC 901. The top choices were the Eeebuntu or the easy peasy distributions. I liked the eeebuntu forums a lot so I decided to go with the Eeebuntu NBR (Netbook Remix) distribution.
I’ll attempt to describe all that I had to do to get it installed and go into some of the customizations or additions I’ve made and why.
Installing Eeebuntu was not very difficult but I did have a few challenges and even did a re-install to change the default partitioning to use both SSD drives.
Continue reading “Eeebuntu NBR on my EeePC”

EeePC First Impressions (second blog entry using it)

eee-pc-901My wife gave me an EeePC for my birthday last week. I blogged about wanting one a few weeks ago and I guess she got the hint. Overall, she did pretty good with the request. She got me a linux based EeePC 901 with the SSD drive.
My first impression was that the damn thing was tiny, shiny and did I say tiny. I’ve been using it for a little over a week now and I am grabbing it from the computer room more often than sitting down at my desktop. I did take it to work with me as it fit  in my bag with my other laptop and didn’t add much weight nor was it too bulky in addition to the MacBook Pro and a few folders and notebooks. I haven’t traveled with it, but I’m sure it will make the rounds soon.
After a week of use here are my first impressions both negative and positive:
Continue reading “EeePC First Impressions (second blog entry using it)”

MythTV easy … Comcast HD over Basic Cable not so.


So, I’ve been configuring my Mythbox as I have time.  Some of my hardware arrived late, but I put together the basic PC the first weekend, installed Ubuntu and did a burn-in (I am very happy with how quiet it runs).  My HDHomerun arrived a few days later and decided to interrupt my burn-in. I installed Mythbuntu and attempted to configure it. I hooked up my coax cable to the HDHomerun and ran a Cat5 to my switch and I was able to see it immediately in the MythTV configuration utility. I did a channel scan and was surprised to have 80 unencrypted hits. My jaw dropped, I had 80 HD channels over basic (analog) cable?
I need to backup here a bit and explain what I had learned through the internet and from a flier that I picked up at the local Comcast office, but even with the flier in my hand, I could not get a Comcast salesperson to give me a straight answer. It clearly states in the brochure that:

HDTV broadcast signals are included with subscription to Limited Basic Service. To receive other HDTV signals provided by the Company, an HDTV capable television set (not provided by the Company), Standard Service and an HDTV digital converter and remote are required. In addition to receive Expanded Service, Digital Starter, Digital Classic, Digital Preferred, Sports Enterntainment, Package or premium (i.e., HBO, Showtime) HDTV signals, a subscritpion to that service is required. (sic)

Continue reading “MythTV easy … Comcast HD over Basic Cable not so.”

Mythical TV … can Open Source tinkering be any cooler?


My DVD player, which is a Sony and only about 5 years old, is on the fritz.  My Tivo, likewise 5 years old, is showing heavy pixilation which I’m going to assume is related to it’s hard drive being 5 years old and having run 24×365 and starting to go (over 43,000 hours).  My (current) TV is standard definition, but I plan on upgrading to HDTV this Christmas (or sooner if my plans pan out). I wasn’t looking forward to the price of a set-top Blu-Ray player nor an HD Tivo, both of which would be limited to playing content only on the TV they were attached to, so I decided to go it alone and build a media center computer.
I poked around a lot and have setteled on an Ubuntu implmentation of MythTV called Mythbuntu. I seriously considered adding some stuff (a video capture card, larger hard drive, HDMI output, etc) to an older PC which I had just decomissioned and was planning on donating (wiped the hard drive and installed Ubuntu Hardy). However, after doing some research I decided to build a decently powered frontend/backend combination which will later be the hub of my content.  I’m going to be assembling the system this weekend and plan on tinkering a few days with it before moving it into the living room. I did my research and setteled on the following hardware:
Continue reading “Mythical TV … can Open Source tinkering be any cooler?”