Friday, December 15, 2017

The Wire

This show is so good.  So damn good.  I'm on the first season about 10 episodes in and it's fantastic.  It's a slow burn at first, then builds.  There's a reason this show was rated the 2nd best show of all time by Rolling Stone.  Deservedly so.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

I've been watching a lot of ST:DS9 lately and I must say, it's really good.  It's not the same as ST:TNG, less exploration, but I really like the storyline that presents the Dominion as a lurking threat throughout all the seasons.  It's almost more like Babylon 5 than Star Trek.  It's one of the things that I always thought was missing from TNG.  The Borg was there but it didn't pay off as I'd hoped.

The first few seasons of DS9 let you get to know the characters, understand their relationships and grow to care for them, but after season 4 though, the series really heats up with the threat of open war.  I'm on to season 6 now!  I also think it's so great to have a diverse cast of lead characters.  Worf, Sisko, Dax, Quark, Odo and Kira, Dukat, all are great.  Can't wait to see how this all plays out.

I'm eyeing the next series to see, and though I've got ST: Voyager and others in the watchlist, I think I'll be diving into The Wire next.  I mean, it's only one of the best series ever, right?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

TEP Wireless Hotspot

I had a recent business trip to Europe and needed internet access for email, texting via Google Voice, maps, Whatsapp, etc.  At first I tried to add it to my prepaid plan, but my plan is so cheap that it doesn't even qualify for the option to add international data and texting, even for a short period. 

Enter Tep Wireless.  The process was pretty simple and I rented it for a week.  About 3 days before my scheduled trip, I received it in the mail and fired it up and was able to connect my phone to it directly.  The hotspot was set to work in Europe, so it had no internet yet at my home until it was activated for the first day of my trip.  The package also came with an envelope to send back the hotspot when I returned home.

Pleasant surprise: The hotspot itself came in with a charger that is built with an international power plug adapter with a plug in port and a USB-out to charge the hotspot.  This came in quite handy at the hotel to plug in the work laptop.

Coverage: For the most part, data access was decently quick, ~11Mbps download, and worked in most of the places I went, certain dead zones appeared as would any mobile device would see.  Everything that I needed to work, worked.  There was a few hours where the hotel wifi wasn't working, but I was able to use Whatsapp and video call the family with the Tep hotspot without any significant slowdown or issue.  Color me quite satisfied.

Battery life: depends a little on your data use, but after about 6 hrs of moderate use the device went from 100% -> 30%.  I had my Anker Powerbank with me to charge it back and keep me connected through my workday without any problems.  When charging and using data, the device could get pretty warm, as expected.

Price: At about $9/day, the price is pretty reasonable, especially if you travel with multiple people with many devices (phone, tablet, etc).

One drawback that I noticed, the hotspot is a little slow to boot up.  Meaning, it will take a minute or two to turn on, boot up, find connection, and connect your devices.  Once I realized this, I opted to keep it on most of the time and have it connected to the power bank to charge periodically rather than deal with the wait to start it up.

Overall, this device is pretty good for travel, especially if you have multiple devices to connect and would rather not pay for adding international text and data to your cell phone plan.  I would definitely look into using this again, even for personal use.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Favorite Chips

Was musing the other day about the various salty chips/snacks that I like and came up with this list. These are my top 5.
  • Doritos Spicy Nacho
  • Lay's Sour Cream and Onion
  • Tim's Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion
  • Ruffles All Dressed (Canadian version)
  • Cape Cod Original

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fitbit Charge HR

After about a year and a half since getting a Fitbit Charge HR, the fitness tracker has given up.  I received it as a Christmas present, and was pretty happy with it.  Steps tracking was fine, HR monitoring was usually high by 10-15% but not a big deal.  Good community, I enjoyed getting cheers or taunts from my friends who also had Fitbits.  The integration with other apps is good too!

That is, until the last 6 months, when a bubbling issue in the band crept up.  My fault for not immediately contacting Fitbit about it, but my 1 year warranty lapsed before I could contact them for a replacement.  Now I know from the forums that it is a known, repeatable issue.  What I didn't know is that the bubbling would later become catastrophic for the device.  I figured I could live with it.

The band itself is attached to the tracker plastic, maybe with an adhesive.  The band is a rubber material that will expand gradually over time, with heat and exposure to daily use.  Thus, the bubbling is an inevitable occurrence.  Bad design choice.

A few weeks ago, the band had release almost entirely, revealing a slightly cracked plastic interior body of the tracker.  Bad.  Weirdly, I did not see any adhesive or cohesive failure on the widest part of the band, where more glue would have definitely helped.  Bad.  Then, last week, the last vestige of connection between the band and tracker gave up.  Again, no obvious adhesive/cohesive failure from epoxy.  Did Fitbit just press the band to the tracker together thinking this would work and last?

I tried to fix it all with Krazy Glue, which adhered the band and plastic exterior of the tracker just fine, until a day and half later where the plastic interior portion (previously cracked) also broke.

The plastic body was also attached to the PCB, see above.  Broken plastic, bent PCB, broken tracker. Wouldn't even Charge anymore.  All in all, $130 worth of Fitbit Charge HR fitness tracker is pretty much dead.  Sadly, a poor purchase choice, wish these issues were something that could've been mentioned in the review articles that I read, but long-term use is rarely a topic.  Lesson learned, check the forums for a gadget ahead of time before deciding to purchase.  This doesn't work if you're an early adopter though (which I was not.)

Looking at the Charge 2, I see similar design and would definitely not pick one up.  Would not recommend.

Initially, I'd give this 4/5 stars for the community and software integration, but with these hardware issues, I'd have to say, 1/5 because reliability and longevity have to be considerations for an item >$100.  This thing didn't even last as long as a phone.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ready, Player One

I just finished this book, and I can say it's tons of fun.  It's an easy read, and the reviews do tell you everything you need to know to get into it.  I like the sense of adventure and virtual reality, and all the pop culture references, especially given that we're seeing more and more VR/AR nowadays.  It has some interesting commentary about the way things are in this world, and even offers a believable, if a little scary, future.

Some of the references to pop culture in the 80s were lost on me, but that doesn't really take away from the sense of fun in the book.  Many of the games are also too old for me to have any real experience playing them, whatever, this is fun.

Definitely worth reading.  5 out of 5.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Warriors Game 5

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I will never forget Warriors-Cavaliers Game 5.  You see, normally, Little Ender doesn't let me watch these games, because if the TV is on, it's usually for his Youtube videos, or Daniel Tiger, or Thomas the Train.  I usually ask, "Can Daddy watch the game?"  LE will say, "No! I watch...(insert kid show.)"

Except this time, midway through the first quarter, Warriors down 6, I asked, "Can Daddy watch the game?"  LE, "Yes!"  Then he grabbed my hand, pulled me to the couch and I turned on the game.  LE said, "We clap?" and I said, "Yes!"  Now that I think about it, he probably remembered watching the thrilling last 5 minutes of Game 3 with me a few days ago, and enjoyed all the screaming and yelling that we were doing for that one.

Then we watched.  With every Warrior bucket, I clapped, or cheered, and this made LE clap and cheer with me.  We developed a little routine, big bucket, "yay!" and claps, high ten, and a hug. Gradually the Warriors made their run in the 2nd quarter, and LE followed his routine with the whole family.  It was fantastic.  He was jumping up and down and screaming "yay!"

He probably won't remember seeing any of these finals, just like he won't remember watching Madison Bumgarner and his epic World Series performance a couple years ago, or the Warriors first title run, but maybe he'll remember the feeling of excitement, of shared joy.  More of those please.

Go Dubs!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

ST: TNG Measure of a Man

As I continue to plow through ST: TNG episodes, much of the 1st and 2nd season are new to me.  I got to say, "Measure of a Man" is one of my favorite episodes.  Maybe it's the technological advances in AI in recent years; how far away are we from an android like Data, centuries, decades?  Will we even last that long?  Maybe it's the political climate and our orange god emperor, who doesn't even remember the context of the Civil War, but this episode gave me the feels.  This interaction between Picard and Guinan that was the impetus for Picard's defense was great.  Whoopi was fantastic.

"Consider that in the history of many worlds there have always been disposable creatures. They do the dirty work. They do the work that no one else wants to do, because it's too difficult or too hazardous. And an army of Datas, all disposable? You don't have to think about their welfare; you don't think about how they feel. Whole generations of disposable people."
"You're talking about slavery."
"I think that's a little harsh."
"I don't think that's a little harsh, I think that's the truth. But that's a truth that we have obscured behind a... comfortable, easy euphemism. 'Property'. But that's not the issue at all, is it?"
- Guinan and Picard

This episode is about identifying the worth of an android, meanwhile, we are still struggling with attaching worth to actual humans.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Parenting and Finance

I thought this post was worth sharing, in highlights, the subject is with regard to savings accounts for kids. Taken from here, emphasis mine:

"You have 16 years to teach him your values about education, how to treat others, money, responsibility, what words are inappropriate, table manners, etc. It's all a package. You can either have faith in your own ability as parents or not."

It can be so easy to question one's own parenting skills, but I guess it's also important to remember that our parents were able to do so, and lucky as we are to have good parents, we are doubly lucky to have a model/method to follow from our own experiences.

"Maybe I was naive and lucky, but I never considered not telling my children about their savings or not removing myself as custodian when they reached 18. My children knew from about the age of six (they were told before, but might not have understood the concepts) that we were saving money for them to go to college. Either then or by ten, they knew it was "their money," but they were expected to use it for college. By twelve, they knew the word "disinherited." Of course we never talked to them about going to college, only about going to graduate or professional school. [You shouldn't have to explain the benefits of going to middle school, and we treated going to college the same way - it's just another step along your path.]"

I thought that this was an interesting approach and I found it quite clever.  I actually agree with it, except I have concerns about putting implied pressure (internal within the child, or external from parents) on the child to get into a graduate / professional program.  Now that I think about it, this might have been what my parents did with me!  Hmm...having said all that, one can only push a child so far before they have to go forth on their own.

"I always thought honesty was a good policy, and children learn by what you do as much as by what you say. That's just one reason why I wouldn't hide the account if I were you."

The first part is a no-brainer.  The whole post is a good reminder of things to consider.  Lots for me to think about.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Star Trek: TNG

Just saying how awesome Amazon Prime is, I get to binge on Star Trek TNG from the beginning, which I have never actually watched in order before.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

An Algorithm for Happiness

An interesting, insightful video.  It strikes me as something similar to the saying of "it's about wanting what you have, not having what you want," but takes it a step further.

His philosophy can apply to personal finance, saving money, and so many other things, simply living life and understanding happiness.  I can definitely understand how developing this philosophy probably helped him to move forward after the passing of his son, which sounded heart-breaking and really struck home for me.  It reminds me to take joy in the everyday and the time that I can spend with Little Ender.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Saga - update

Saga, Vol. 7 TP

Damn, this is a good series.  Like, really, really good.  Twists and turns, this comic is no holds barred and definitely not for kids.  This is especially so for the most recent volume that I read, Volume 7.  I laughed when I turned to page only to see a very graphic depiction of Mr. Robot Prince masturbating to thoughts of various women including his target/our heroine.  It totally caught me off guard.

I honestly can't wait for the next volume, especially in light of what happened at the end of this one. Arggggh!

In other news, I watched the final episode of Naruto Shippuden (episode 500) on Crunchyroll.  Oh, the feels.  I felt the same sadness when I finished the manga a year (or two?) earlier, albeit, less so because I knew this was a long time coming.  I'm not sure if I will watch any of Boruto, we'll see. Attack on Titan, Season 2 is coming, but I'll probably wait until it's finished before I sign up for Crunchyroll Premium again.  The Crunchyroll add-on for Kodi only works for Premium users, but it definitely worked great!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Just A Photo

Took this photo while on vacation.  Pretty nice!  Smartphone cameras are pretty damn good these days, taken with a Samsung Galaxy S7.  No, not the one that blows up.

Xtreme Comforts Bamboo Pillow Review

I had a memory foam pillow I tried from Costco, it was nice.  It was comfy.  I don't use it anymore for good reason.

Little did I know how important a feature it is for a memory foam pillow to be fully machine washable.  Seriously.  Little Ender (LE) really likes whatever pillow we use, and not the kid-sized one we bought for him, which is fine and dandy; until he gets sick and vomits all over your pillow.  Your memory foam pillow that ISN'T machine washable.  How the heck are you supposed to "spot clean" vomit?  Also, did you know memory foam acts like a sponge?

Desperate, I jumped on Sweethome and found the Xtreme Comforts Bamboo Pillow.  In short, it works.  It's quite supportive, and smells only a little bit, initially, gone in 24 hours depending how sensitive you are to these things.  It arrives in a sushi-like package, and then you rip open the plastic and it unfurls and expands.  Fluff it up, smash the heck out of it, or toss it in the dryer for a bit to spread out the shredded memory foam and you can sleep on it the first night.  Works great!  Until the pillow gets stolen by the wife.  Which then gets stolen by LE.  So now...we have 3 of these because other pillows were forcibly phased out by wear and tear, or LE's vomit.  Ah, the joys of daycare.

Standard size, queen size, and slim (for Little Ender.)  Get the slim if you're a stomach sleeper.

Now I can rest easy (ha) knowing if I have another emergency cleaning session, it's as easy as tossing them in the washer.

We took an extra step and got some waterproof pillow protectors too.  Because even though the pillows are easily washable, it's better not to have to wash them every time.  Worth it.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Sandman - Finished!

Just finished reading the Sandman comics, and in a word, WOW.  I would say that it is deepest set of graphic novels I've ever read.  It's a fantastic piece of story-telling, the artwork is stylized, but totally works for the story that it tells.  It's amazing how the stories tie together and the different perspectives play in to the larger story and the concept of dreams.  Some of it was literally difficult to read, parts of the narration was in cursive to portray a different narrator, which I'm way out of practice as far as easy reading. Nevertheless, this is a series that I will probably read again, because I'm sure I'll notice something different next time.

10/10 - will read again.  For now, I'll say goodbye to the Endless.

I've also started reading Saga.  Very different, but the story is amazing so far, with very interesting, modern-day themes.  Can't wait to read more, but I'm maxed out on my ebook borrowing for this month.  Thank goodness February is short!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tuft and Needle review

After 7 days with the Tuft and Needle Queen size mattress, I have to say, so far, I really like it!  We went with it because the mattress was a bit firmer than other ones based on Sweethome, and the because the price was attractive.  It doesn't hurt to also check Sleep Like the Dead.

It's definitely more supportive than my previous memory foam mattress from Costco, which I think was a Sleep Innovations mattress.  It's about 70 lbs so it was a bit of struggle to bring it upstairs myself.  It had surprising little smell when it was opened; I was able to sleep in it just a couple hours after opening.  When I first hopped on, I actually bounced back up a bit, which was my first indication that it was pretty supportive.

One thing I noticed is that when I sit in the TN mattress for a while, I don't get the lower back pain that I would from the other mattress.  Also, the edge support is much better, although it isn't saying that much because it's still memory foam.  The surprising thing is, the TN mattress is more supportive while being about 2" thinner than the previous mattress, I suppose it must be higher density foam. My preference is to "float" when I'm lying down, as opposed to being "enveloped" by the mattress, so the TN mattress has just about the right amount of give.

In any case, I recommend it, and it's quite affordable for a new mattress, ~$600.  I bought it directly from the manufacturer website rather than Amazon because the return window for the Amazon is 30 days vs 100 days from T&N.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Combining 2 Recipes

So this recipe for Crispy Chicken Thighs (see above) has become a fairly regular dinner item for us, and so has this recipe for Teriyaki Sauce, just because of the versatility with meat or vegetables.  We love how the chicken skin becomes almost like a potato chip.

Recently we combined both recipes.  When the chicken thigh is almost done and the skin is crisp, we remove the skin from the thigh, drain the oil, and deglaze the pan with the teriyaki sauce.  If you leave the skin on the chicken when deglazing the pan, the teriyaki sauce is soaked up by the skin and it loses the crispiness.  When the chicken is nicely glazed by the sauce, put the chicken on the plate and then with the crispy skin on top.

The pan sauce is great with rice and lightly flavored vegetables.  Sorry I don't have a picture of the amalgam, I'll get it next time. ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Light Reading

So I just finished reading the graphic novel All-Star Superman, it was quite amazing.  I liked Superman growing up, but he was always just so overpowered.  I remember reading the "Death of Superman" and later getting the graphic novel with his return.  This takes a different view of Superman, setting him up as an ideal to live up to, a Renaissance man, highlighted by his new found vulnerability.  The artwork is good, but the story is what really stands out, I highly recommend it.  I'm going to try to borrow the DVD next.

Also, after hearing about it for so long, I've started reading Sandman by Neil Gaiman.  So far, I've finished the first 2 volumes and it is living up to all the hype.  Definitely recommend it as well, it's interesting because the setting is so much the polar opposite of All-Star Superman, which I was reading concurrently because of availability from the library.

On a side note, the Library has an agreement with Hoopla Digital, which is like a digital library.  It's awesome.  When I can't get the physical books, at least I can borrow them digitally.  I hope their service continues to grow.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Nvidia Shield TV

Wow, so I saw a posting that said the new Nvidia Shield TV will have the Amazon Prime app, which is pretty awesome.  There's a deal on one now from Best Buy for $175 right now with Visa Checkout.

Techcrunch Review of the Shield.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Personal Best!

Not bad for freemium.  Too bad I ran into a bunch of strong players right after... oh well!  Pretty happy since it's definitely not a meta deck but does contain e-barbs. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How I Cut the Cord and Switched to Streaming

This post was a project I worked on last year, but I'm posting because I think it's still relevant.  Bear with me, it's a little long.

The Premise

When we had cable TV, it was easy to flip channels to watch whatever was on.  But since the introductory price expired and our service cost doubled, I became pretty motivated to find another solution.  For what it's worth, the TV portion cost about $70/month, $840/year!

After a fair amount of internet research, I realized there was no cookie-cutter way to cut cable TV, since everyone's TV tastes are different, and every house is different.  On top of that, no single streaming service is the be-all, end-all.  That said, I will share what I wanted to watch, and how I got there, including which services I used, what hardware was purchased, how it all works together (i.e. software) and some lessons learned.

Kid Shows, and Whatever We Can Watch When the Kid is Asleep

Knowing what you want to watch helps you choose services, and in part, hardware.  So what did my family primarily watch?  Here's what it broke down to:

  • PBS shows: Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger, Dinosaur Train
  • Reality TV shows (lots of Bravo)
  • Live sports: NFL (49ers first, playoffs, Super Bowl,) NBA (Warriors, playoffs,) Olympics 
  • Broadcast TV shows 

One bit of info is that we already had Amazon Prime, which came with the Amazon Fire Phone that we bought during the inventory clearing Fire-sale.  That prompted me to see what shows were included.  The list is now re-ordered by potential difficulty.

Live sports / Broadcast TV shows  : NFL (49ers first, playoffs, Super Bowl,) NBA (Warriors, playoffs,) Olympics, The Blacklist, The Voice, some random other shows.

Getting live sports was the biggest obstacle for me not cutting cable in the past.  Well, costs drove me to find another solution... I'm lucky(?) enough to live in the market where the woeful Niners play, so that means I only really needed the over-the-air broadcast.  Same goes for playoffs and the Super Bowl, which are national.  The other consideration is that I have multiple TVs on different floors with potentially questionable reception.  Why did I lump in broadcast TV?  Because the same solution applies to both.

NBA basketball gets broadcast more for the big games and the playoffs.  Cutting cable means I won't be getting Warriors games on the regular, since they have an agreement with Comcast Sportsnet, and I can't get them often without cable or another option.

Olympics: Despite the politics, I'm a junkie whenever they roll around.  NBC is ok, but the past few have plenty of streaming options.  But at very least, I have to have NBC working.  Rio 2016 worked.

Reality TV shows (lots of Bravo)

Doh.  Not so many options here... Given that Comcast owns NBC and Bravo, our option was Hulu.  That said, the kiddo doesn't watch Bravo, so it's ok if we watch it on a PC.

PBS shows: Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger, Dinosaur Train

Amazon Prime included!  Huzzah!  On demand, HD, no commercials!  Alternatively, the PBS Kids Android app has fewer episodes for free, on rotation.  So, all I need is something that plays Amazon Prime.  That should be easy...

Problem Solving!

This is what I already had set up.  

  • Living Room TV 
    • Wireless N dual-band 4 port router (behaving as an access point) 
    • PS3 or XBox 360 (connected via ethernet to the switch)
  • Bedroom TV
    • Desktop PC attached to the TV
    • Cable modem and Wireless N dual-band main router with 4 port switch
    • Amazon Fire TV stick
  • Handy dandy ethernet wired home!
  • Comcast cable, ~ 30Mbps download speed.

Low Hanging Fruit

PBS shows via Amazon Prime app on XBox 360.  Done!  Hulu on the desktop PC (i.e. no fee) in the bedroom.  Done!  Same with PS3.  Done!

Not So Low Hanging Fruit

This took a while to figure out, getting OTA broadcasts to both TVs.  I tried this before with a cheap, flat antenna.  It failed.  Why?  

So I went looking.  Antennaweb!  I found out most OTA broadcast towers were within 50 miles, but not all were within 25 miles, therefore, I needed an amplified antenna.  There are different reviews but I ended up going with the Winegard Flatwave Amped Antenna.  Simple to setup because I knew from Antennaweb that I need the antenna to get signals from the North/South direction.  20 minutes of holding the antenna in different locations and I got all that I needed.  Bonus: broadcast TV signals are in HD!  I only paid for standard broadcasts when I had cable.  Everything is so much clearer.  Wifey said, "hey, now I can see the football!"  *cry*

Now, getting that OTA signal to both the TVs led me to ... the HDHomeRun Extend.  This little piece of hardware has 2 HD tuners to support 2 TVs, encodes the signal for network capability, and has a neat little Kodi add-on and Android app! 

Connect the antenna coax cable to the HDHR Extend, connect the HDHR Extend to the router.  2 minutes.

Install Kodi on the desktop, HDHR add-on into Kodi.  5 minutes.

Oh, another bonus!  Official Bravo Kodi add-on too?  In HD?  Better than standard def cable TV again!  

In summary, because of the PC, the bedroom TV is done!  Live sports, check.  Amazon Prime Video via browser, check.  Kodi, Bravo, free ad-supported Hulu, check.  On to the living room!

The hard work is done - Living room TV

I bought the Google Nexus Player (NP) and a micro-USB to ethernet dongle.  Initially, I didn't have the dongle but then there was some buffering and latency due to using wifi (wireless N), so I cut that part out by having the connection hard-wired.  Once the NP updated to Android 6, it was simple to install Kodi from the Google Play Store and all the same add-ons as in the other room.  I also installed Twitch, Crackle, and PBS Kids, etc.  

I also had a PS3 hooked up, and wanted to get live TV on it as well, so I setup a DLNA client to the HDHR server to access TV channels following HDHR's simple online instructions.  Then I downloaded the Amazon Prime video app to get all of those PBS shows as well.  Boom!  Done!  

Back to the bedroom 

So I thought I was done with the bedroom TV using the PC.  Well, turns out the PC isn't quite as simple as having a remote, like the PS3 or Nexus Player.  So we got a Fire TV stick on sale during the holidays. Once we plugged it in, I was able to sideload Kodi, install HDHR and all the usual stuff (again) and that works.  On top of that, we get all the handy PBS Kids shows as part of Amazon Prime anyway.  That was easy and now we have a more normal TV remote for the bedroom with a TV-like GUI instead of a more cumbersome mouse-situation.  Plus, the Fire TV turns on instantly and uses less power than the PC.

Cost Breakdown

So, ultimately, my first year's savings is ~$500. From then on, it's $800+.

Here it is:

One time costsCost# of TVsTotal cost
Indoor antenna$61.001$61.00
HDHR Extend$139.001$139.00
Amazon Firestick$251$25.00
Nexus Player$401$40.00
Smays micro USB ethernet$151$15.00
Sony PS3 remote$251$25.00

Hardware total


RecurringCord cutCable
Sling TV


NFL game pass

PIA VPN$2.42

Savings before hardware
Savings after hardware

Hardware alternatives

I realize hardware changes quickly and so there are many other systems that are available, as well as ones that are no longer available, like the Nexus Player.  If I had to set up all up now (as of 3/May/2016) I'd probably go with an Amazon Fire TV 2nd gen and a Fire TV stick.  Both run Amazon Prime, duh, and both can get Kodi sideloaded.  The 2nd gen Fire TV box is really strong hardware for about half the price of the Nvidia Shield TV box.  If you really hate being locked in to Amazon though, the Shield TV is probably the best hardware out there.  Both offer support for 4K TV, so it's more future-proof than my current setup.

That's it!  Happy streaming!

If you have interest, here are links to the stuff I bought. (Amazon affiliate links)  

Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A Amplified Digital Indoor HD TV Antenna (OTA / High-VHF / UHF / Ultra-Thin / Black and White - Reversible / USB Power Supply) - 50 Mile Long Range

SiliconDust HDHomeRun DUAL High Definition Digital TV Tuner HDHR3-US (Black) (2013 Model)

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV


What's this blog about?  Well, it'll be a blend of stuff I like: 
  • Cooking, Food, and Health
  • Technology, Gadgets
  • Finance/Saving Money
  • Gaming
  • Other random stuff!
I have a lot more interests than I have time for, so we'll see as it evolves.  

In case you're wondering, the name comes from my first character from World of Warcraft...and now I feel old.