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.”

SlingTV, the first few months

Screenshot from 2015-03-18 07:55:42I was psyched when I heard about SlingTV. I had actually used a Slingbox a few years ago to watch content off my Tivo from hotel rooms. This was before Netflix had a great library or Amazon had dabbled in content and the only option seemed to be iTunes … I actually watched half of the first season of “24” on an iPod classic (ya, the one with the 2.5” screen) … how the days have changed.
Here’s the back story. I moved from a city with Charter cable in August of last year to a rural location in New Mexico. I’m lucky to have 12Mbps DSL, via CenturyLink, for streaming and I also put an HD antenna on my house to pick up over-the-air broadcast networks. Not part of this post, but I also have a 4/2 wireless ISP connection, via Higher Speed Internet, as the DSL upstream isn’t robust enough for me to work from home. Continue reading “SlingTV, the first few months”

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”

Kindle Reader – #Kindle, #iPad, #iPodTouch, #Android …

I still prefer paperbacks and I am still an avid user of the Internet’s used bookstores (Bookmooch and Paper Back Swap), and wrote a blog about them a while back.  However, I purchased a Kindle for my wife last year and she loves it.  We scan her journal articles in using a ScanSnap, run Optical Character Recognition on the resulting PDFs and upload them to her Kindle.  She then has a search-able archive of a ton of recent articles on Equine Surgery on her Kindle for easy access and (restaurant, car, plane, bathroom, bed) reading.
Her biggest complaint is that I have purchased a few recent books on her Kindle and have been known to curl up on the couch with *her* Kindle on lazy weekends.  I also recently purchased an iPad, which has a Kindle App.  I’ve had the Kindle App on my iPhone for a while and since I’m leaving AT&T and going to Verizon, I recently downloaded the Kindle App for Android.
Here are my thoughts: Continue reading “Kindle Reader – #Kindle, #iPad, #iPodTouch, #Android …”

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”

On the road with an iPad

I’ve had the iPad for about a week now. I’m still amazed with it and all the fun I’m having with it. It feels like a totally new experience to interface with the web and interact with people. Granted, most of that web and interaction is a Twitter client and Safari, but the multi-touch interface and the “closeness” of the interaction (holding it on my lap) just make this feel a new experience.
I’m drafting this on Pages on the iPad. I’ll port this to my blog using a cut and paste into the dashboard, then will touch it up and add links using the dashboard on a PC.
We took a trip last week. I intentionally did not bring my laptop as I wanted to use the iPad as a prime device and didn’t want to have the option of falling back on a PC. Continue reading “On the road with an iPad”

Hello iPad … the first 24 hours (written on computer)

I broke down and purchased an iPad. It was a case of instant gratification. I happened to be in Best Buy and overheard the folks on the sales floor talking about how many they had left.  I had been checking with my local Apple store, and checked the stock online a few times at Best Buy.  I guess I just got lucky that they had a handful left, so I walked away with one on Sunday.
I’ve had it about 24 hours and I have so say that they live up to the hype (so far). I told my wife I’d lose the Netbook if I got an iPad (as the eeePC was a constant presence with me around the house and usually was wedged between the couch pillows).
I went with the 64GB WiFi Model.  I don’t really think I’ll need the 64GB, but it was the only model they had left. I figured I’m fine with the WiFi as I already have a Verizon Wireless MiFi, so I didn’t need the 3G and I am ditching AT&T anyway as it pretty much sucks and our new home has NO AT&T coverage. Continue reading “Hello iPad … the first 24 hours (written on computer)”

Hello iPad (written on WordPress iPad app)

OK. This post is being written using the WordPress iPad app. The app pulls posts, comments, and pages from your database. However, like the Dashboard (using Safari on iPad) does not have many (any) WYSIWYG controls. Basically the interface looks like an e-mail. As WordPress already has an e-mail to post feature (utilizing a “hidden” mailbox and POP) this applet doesn’t add much beyond the ability to tag and categorize posts.
It allows you to insert photos, but you can not select where they will end up in the post, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to delete then (hence the off topic and random attachments on this post … at least until I log on and delete them through the Dashboard using a computer with a full browser).
OK. Enough of this post. I will post a more through review of the iPad and my first 24 hours with it later.

Hello iPad (written on iPad)

I broke down this weekend and purchased an iPad. So far I’m loving it. In fact this post is sort of a test, it is being written on the iPad using the native WordPress Dashboard. The first thing I noticed while creating a blog post, was that the WYSIWYG editor doesn’t work in Safari on iPad, so this is coming from the HTML window on the Dashboard rather than the WYSIWYG editor.
The keyboard is much faster than the iPhone keyboard, but not as fast as an actual keyboard. Text navigation is also a bit slower than on a computer with keyboard and mouse, but still doable.
Using the Dashboard HTML editor it is also laborious to create links. However, it can be done manually (as opposed to using the GUI). Same thing goes for more advanced text editing features, you can do them, but not as easy or as fast as the WYSIWYG way of doing things.
Tagging and other post features are really no different than on a computer.
Enough of this post. I’ll write another with the WordPress iPad app later today and maybe another with some more solid review of the iPad itself at a later date.

Goodbye AT&T … Goodbye iPhone, it's been fun while it lasted

With a heavy heart and an empty wallet, I’ve decided that I am finally fed up with crappy AT&T service, enough so that I’m letting go of my iPhone!  I was an early adopter. I waited in line for my first iPhone the day it came out.  I had a Verizon Wireless Blackberry 7200 prior to the iPhone and was amazed that I couldn’t actually use my new snazzy phone in my house for the first several months.  However, the phone was a cool enough novelty that I put up with the network and dropped calls figuring it HAD to get better.
I upgraded to the 3G iPhone the week it came out (even though there was no 3G where I lived (yet)) and I’ve still got my eye on a WiFi iPad.  I just can’t wait until Christmas to see if Apple and Verizon can come to terms (and if Apple will build a CDMA version or if they will wait for LTE). Continue reading “Goodbye AT&T … Goodbye iPhone, it's been fun while it lasted”