Sunday, December 8, 2013

hello Fire!

I love it. this was the one thing Taryn asked for for Christmas, and I already had my eye on it. she has proven her responsibility with electronics- never had to replace the screen, or even screen protector, on her iPhone 3G, she cleaned it, took good care of it.. put some Hello Kitty stickers on the back under the silicone case, but.. no damage in the few years she had it.
      the Fire arrived Friday and I made it a whole 4 hours before I opened the box. she comes home today from her dad's- I've decided to leave it out.

my research was between the Nexus 7, naturally, or the Kindle Fire HDX 7.

now we all know Android, live in Google-land, and love it. but Mumma also lives in Amazon-land.. Prime membership with access to tv shows and movies for free or to own/rent, Amazon MP3 Cloud storage (our entire collection) and web-based player, Kindle books and whatnot.

so not only did the Fire give access to more service we already subscribe to, it also has fantastic parental controls- which unfortunately, the Nexus 7 does not, at all.

block the web browser, email, calendar. require a password for any purchases- the only thing it allows is Prime free movies and tv shows- even if the app is free, password needed.

within FreeTime, give access to apps and content on the device. of course I signed up for FreeTime Unlimited after seeing the content. her favorite Disney and Nickelodeon shows, movies, tons of books.
      the only thing I don't care for, is the parental control password is required to get out of FreeTime. I completely understand why it's there.. but I'd like an option.

the Netflix Android app does not support Profiles. c'mon now. so my watchlist is full of stuff for Taryn..

the screen is beautiful and bright! our ripped DVDs look great. Netflix streams without *any* issues, as if it were over Ethernet. Angry Birds is more fun on a larger screen. Silk isn't so bad- but I will be sideloading Chrome if possible. Pinterest is more pleasant. I'm sure we'll find more fabulous things as we play more.

battery- as with any other Kindle, WiFi disconnects when put to sleep. last night, I fully charged and then shut the screen off- waking up now about 15 hours later, 50% battery. an app killer might be a good idea.

side-loaded movies- they show up under Photos, but once opened, it's in the Carousel, long press, selected Add to Home, and then the Videos folder is right there for easy access.
      of course this can be done for any app or book or anything that shows up in the Carousel. there are also Remove from Carousel, Remove from Home, Remove from Device, and Add to Collection options on a long press.

I'm impressed.. not that I have a lot of tablet experience (none actually) to be this over the moon, but..

edit 1/9/14: Netflix now has profiles for the app. the Kindle keeps Taryn quiet and still for a length of time. perfect purchase.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Live USB stick and eff iTunes

since we got rid of the mini all of Taryn's iTunes encoded movies have been just sitting in the "mac back-up" folder. 2 purchased from iTunes, the rest digital downloads from physical Blu-Ray/DVD disc packs we own.

Andy finally upgraded his phone from the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit 4G to the Galaxy S4. Rylie upgraded from the LG Optimus T to the Galaxy S2. so Taryn upgraded from the iPhone 3G to Andy's old phone.. and she loves it!

yes, she's 8. yes, she's had her own cell phone (game player, music player and movie player), since she was 4 (long, complicated story involving asshattery). TMobile makes it easy to block her line, only allow certain numbers for calls and texts, and block data access.
      when she had the iPhone, you know the drill to change music or movies or apps.. and it was jailbroken and whatnot, so I had to do everything for her and make sure it didn't update on it's own, and all the other BS that goes along with having an iPhone.

when we got rid of the mini, I refused to install iTunes on my PC. eff iTunes. therefore, she was not able to update anything on her iPhone.

      now that she's on an Android, she has her own Google account, with no payment method, so she can download free games to her heart's content, I'm not blocking WiFi access, but still blocked data.. she says the Android is better than the iPhone- the best part is she can do it herself, put on new music and games by herself, remove games and switch out her music herself, and she says it works better.

the only thing she's complained about is not having her movies.

hooray for Ubuntu! I popped in my 16GB Live USB stick, upgraded to 12.04 LTS, followed all the directions to get HandBrake working, and have been ripping our owned DVDs onto the 1TB shared drive in mp4 format so she can have them on her phone.. more for the Kindle Fire HDX the family is getting for xmas.

understandably, I'm having difficulty encoding the iTunes bought m4v files to mp4. she may just have to do without Guardians- The Legends of Ga'Hool and Marmaduke.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

we heart XBMC

after removing the mini from our lives, I was left with an "extra" 19" monitor. it sits on the closet shelf, wrapped in an old sheet.

finally took a peek at my graphics card.. VGA, DVI and HDMI. oh really.. I can run two monitors. I can run two monitors! but wait.. I haven't the space... I could probably make the space, but we're on this downsizing, almost-minimalist kick, and rightly so.. so.. I wanna, but I haven't yet, and not sure if I will.

but.. I can purchase a 15' HDMI cable to run from the PC to the 42in HDTV.

cheap, and after a restart, extremely effective.

XBMC and Android remote app, and wireless keyboard and mouse.. it's gonna be a great winter. might finally cut back on TWC.

I'm totally drunk-dyslexic.. XMBC.. my lawd. lol

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

waving farewell to another POS

the mini.. she pissed me off for the last time.

I spent TWO DAYS backing all the files up between Amazon MP3 cloud and an SD card.

the internal DVD shit out a while back.. it won't let the external reload the OS to wipe.

all SD contents onto the PC.. PC moved downstairs.. plugged the 1TB external drive to the PC, formatted proper and loading all our music from Amazon. set up user accounts for Andy and the girls. setting permissions and learning lessons on setting permissions...

happy to see I have HDMI out for XBMC to the 42in LCD in the livingroom adjacent. no more small square screen from the netbook VGA out!
      also, DVI- get the right cable and I'll have dual monitors on this desk. will come in handy for when I get back to coding.

Rylie has a PC laptop. Andy has a PC laptop. I have a half-breed netbook.. the PS3.. they all like Windows for Media sharing. hooray for this.

mini is in the "electronical bin" in my closet. one day I might feel like fixing the drive and getting rid of it.. or fixing the drive, wiping it out and turn into an Ubuntu box.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

dual-boot the netbook

I did this before on the Dell laptop, and I'm sure I won't have as many issues with the Gateway- everything is simple and pretty standard.

I had upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and I *hate* it. especially on a netbook screen. couldn't find anything, or my way around.. lagged, YouTube won't play.. pissed me off.

I've recently fallen in love with XBMC on my machine upstairs, and want to use the netbook on the big tv downstairs to view. tried the XBMC-Ubuntu version, but can't get it on an SD card to run "live," even on Windows within Virtual Box. stupid.

I wanted to go back to 10.04 LTS anyhow.. so I'm searching through this blog for my write-up and instructions. as I go searching for the physical Live CD, I also find my MSDNAA copy of Win7 Pro 32-bit.

aaahh.. dual-boot dreams.. use Windows 7  for XBMC and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for everything else.

grabbed the USB CD-ROM drive off the POS Mac mini (internal shat out a while back- this thing is infuriating these days) and booted to the Live CD, gparted, set up partitions, shut down, boot to Windows disc and installing now.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

6 1/2 weeks with the Nexus 4

where to begin.. ok.. as far as I can tell, the 16GB Nexus 4 available through TMo is exactly the same as the Nexus 4 through Google Play Store whatever. straight up Android JellyBean 4.2.1, no pre-loaded branded carrier blah blah blah.
      my kick-ass slab of awesome was born on November 29, 2012.