Ok…here’s my Star Trek Build :)

Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend for this amazing computer!

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  • 6th gen intel core i7 6700k
  • 16gb ddr4 ram 3000mhz
  • GeForce 4GB DDR5 video
  • USB 3.1
  • 1tb SSD and 1tb 7200 hdd
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Geek Alert: My Laptop :)

Alienware Quad-Core I7 3.5GHZ
16GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5
17.3″ 1080p Screen
256GB Solid State Drive (M.2)
1TB 7200 Hard Drive
Wireless AC

if you need a geek to build you a desktop computer, check out my “star trek build” posts to see what we’re made of…then let us build a computer for you or your family!

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My Star Trek Computer Build

time for a new computer. it’s been over 4 years. my build will be epic. here’s a teaser pic 🙂
20150823_110242

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Newegg.com Sucks

they have shitty products and even shittier service. once the story has its finale, i’ll post the whole ordeal here. fuck newegg.

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Stop Renting DVD’s And Stream Instead

Netflix-Logo1

many of you out there are still just discovering “Netflix”, a popular streaming video company that allows people to “stream” (“video-on-demand”) tv shows and movies directly to your tv set that requires an external component, like an xbox or “Roku” device that makes it so your tv can stream from netflix.

once you are up and streaming, you can finally help save the planet, waiting time, gas, and more just by getting rid of DVD rentals.

personally, i prefer xbox. no…not because i can play games, but rather because it’s the most comprehensive home theater system there is. just add speakers and a tv! and yes…you can also play a bazillion different games on it. 🙂

most importantly about xbox is that they offer the most up-to-date movies and tv shows than any other device that i’ve seen to date. you can even stream some movies on xbox before it hits theaters, too. don’t want to pay microsoft prices on movies? then xbox also allows you to download about any movie company app that there is (like netflix and hulu plus).

btw…i don’t recommend amazon videos yet. more on that in another post.

so let’s get rid of the dvd’s, grab your roku or xbox, and start streaming instead!


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retro geek

14 - 1

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my camera died after 7 years: a haiku

goodbye camera of 7 years. here is a haiku in remembrance.

seven years of pics
memories last a lifetime
too bad you didn’t

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Bing Beginning To Kick Google’s Ass? If Not Now, It’s Coming. Unless…

bing will officially become a major threat to google very soon.  you read it here first, folks. searchers and webmasters have waved the google banner all of their google lives, but google MUST stop treating their good webmasters like crap….or these webmasters will drop them like a safe at the first opportunity.

"oh, how the might have fallen" comes to mind.  the company's been lucky that "google" has become a part of our vernacular as a verb to find information.  but….all it takes is for colbert, letterman, the daily show, etc. to start using "bing it" and the sheep will follow.  so now where are you, google?  a severe decline in users/searches and webmasters who have left you.  how will your advertisers and stock holders feel about that?

you've been in power a long time and it's beginning to show.  unfortunately, in a negative way.

i usually praise google/android's existence, but i think they need a little wake-me-up call.  be good people.  be ethical.  don't be machiavellian. then the people will follow you to the ends of the earth.

"i vent, therefore i am." — Allen McNulty



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A Private & Secure Search Engine Away From Big Brother’s Eyes?

a new, emerging search engine i'm liking…

"People are making major changes in their on-line habits and looking for ways to protect their private information from US government surveillance. Our fans especially appreciate the fact that we are a Dutch company, which means we are not directly subject to the US Patriot Act. And of course, we have never participated in any program like PRISM."

http://searchengineland.com/startpage-ixquick-passed-4-million-daily-searches-on-monday-165772

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Web Hosting

Many people ask me about web hosting, buying .com domain names, etc.  My suggestion is usually to go to GoDaddy.com because they are very user-friendly for newbies.

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Ha! (wireless network fun :)

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Do Not Buy Anything From CoffeeCup.com!

 

Coffee Cup Software

Years ago, this company asked me (and I accepted) to be an "Ambassador" to their company.  Little did I know what a fail that would end up being (fail being their company, not my mad skills).  The owner (or one of them) is a piece of shit bully who, instead of fixing problems, calls people out in public.  I asked that their software work and this piece of shit at coffeecup.com spends OVER a year telling everyone that it's the user not the software (it was the software).  His purpose on the forums seems to serve being a bully, a typical troll and, accordlingly, a piece of shit.  They are someone who will never, never, never admit any wrongdoing.  Ever.

Coffee Cup Software

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My New Beast (Specs For My Geek Friends)

Corsair 600T Case

Noiseblocker UltraSilent Fans

ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe – LGA 1155 – Z68 – SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0

Intel Core i7 2600k 3.4ghz LGA 1155 Quad-Core (8mb L3 cache)

Venomous X CPU Cooler

750watt Silverstone Power Supply

1GB GDDR5 Nvidia GTX 560 TI (where i needed less than elsewhere…i don't game)

16GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600mhz Dual Channel memory

RAID 0 – 240GB X 2, Vertex 3 Solid State Drives

Normal LG CD/DVD r/rw (double layer write capable)

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium

Windows 7, Home Premium 64-bit

OriginPC.com

Cool Crate Pic Here

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My New Beast (Teaser)

I finally got my new computer today.  It's a beast.  I'll post the sordid details after I set it up, make sure it works, etc. and then post some specs and thoughts on it.  It's an Origin PC (I believe they used to own Alienware before selling that to Dell?).

 

origin pc

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Netflix – No More DVD’s

In addition to getting rid of cable, I'm also stopping DVD's from Netflix and only using their streaming.  New stuff takes too long and I can just rent it on the cheap, on the fly, from the numerous companies on my Xbox and PS3.  Now I'm down to $7.99/month for Netflix, $7.99/month for HuluPlus, and around $60.00 for cable internet (with turbo boost! :).  Not a huge saving, but I was finding myself trying to find DVD's that I haven't watched yet and most were available in streaming or some other venue.  I can always add back receiving DVD's at any time, if I change my mind.

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No More Cable. The End (?)

We have zero cable tv…only cable internet.  I pay for streaming and one dvd from Netflix and $7.99/month for Hulu Plus.  Right around a $100/month savings and I don't miss my cable tv or DVR one bit.

Others said their internet bill went up when they cancelled their cable  lost their "bundle deal" but mine only went up a couple of dollars (great deal, huh?)

I can't wait until someone comes here to compete with Time-Warner (I don't want DSL).  Hoping on lower costs, faster speeds, and/or both.  Time-Warner's monopoly here needs to end.  Now.

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Kitty Screensaver!

 

Kitty Screensaver!

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Part 4 of my “Getting Rid of Cable” Series Is Coming Soon

Xbox and Hulu announced today that Hulu is now on Xbox.  I will begin testing everything on my Xbox in my room but I need to learn a few things first:

1.  Does it work and how well?

2.  Do we have to pay for a second Hulu account to view on both Xbox's?  (You must "activate the device".  We did on the living room box and it shows it on our Hulu account as that Xbox gamer's account name.  Activating my separate Xbox and account in my room, might present issues.  Tune in.)

3.  Will turning in my remaining DVR increase the cost of my internet price?  (Since it's a "bundle" deal, I'm sure it will 🙁

4.  Depending on the above variables, what is my new cost compared to my old one after all of this?

 

I'll let you know….

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Husqvarna Solar Hybrid Automated Mower

Yes, I realize that the Husqvarna Solar Hybrid Automated Mower is $3000.00, but I wanted everyone to put it on their list of things to buy when they win the lottery.

It will text message you if something disturbs it while it’s mowing, has an anti-theft alarm, no emissions, PIN lock code, battery-operated (but solar panel is an extra energy source on sunny days and can provide an extra oomph), weather-proof, low noise, timer, and much more.

My prediction is that this will become better and more affordable over time. It only makes sense. I wonder what the stats would be if every house replaced their gas/oil mower with this?

solar hybrid automatic lawn mower

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Brutal Hard Drive – On Fire, Dunked In Water, Still Worked

The IoSafe Solo 1 TB Fireproof and Waterproof External Hard Drive took a brutal beating by Maximum PC magazine. The hard-drive claimes to be fireproof and waterproof, so they set it on fire and then dunked it in a bucket of water. After that, they took the drive back inside and plugged it in to their computer and all the files were completely intact.

The one they tested was USB 3.0, but I could only find USB 2.0 on Amazon at the time of this post…but still with the same fire/water claims, as well as a one or three-year data recovery service (where they claim that if you can’t get your data off the drive, they can).

At first it appears as if the casing provides the defense, but the guts are where the protection exists. It’s wrapped in what appears to be a fireproof/waterproof bag. Regardless, it works. I would, however, question my working environment if I needed a drive to be able to survive all of that 🙂

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Vudu

Excellent experience with Vudu tonight. It’s now a part of most blu-ray players and we just noticed it on our PS3. They gave us one free movie to watch and we watched a 1080p version of “The Fighter” with a perfect stream. I paused several times, stopped it to finish watching later, and a little bit of RW/FF…with no issues at all. Not sure if the PS3 streams better than the Xbox or if Vudu is better than Netflix and Hulu, but it was flawless.


vudu

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Cell Phone UV-Light Sanitizer


someone’s watching way too much porn on their phone to need this. (i bought three.)

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Video: Moshi The Talking Digital Clock Review

A video of my experiences with the Moshi Talking Digital Clock.

Some observations:

  1. Worked extremely well (excellent product for blind people!)
  2. There can’t be an echo in the room or it has difficulty understanding your voice.
  3. It could hear/understand me from halfway across the room (I didn’t test different lengths or measure from my recliner to where it sits on my media center)
  4. Had trouble understanding my boyfriend, who has a very strong Georgia accent. After he enunciated, however, it understood his commands.
  5. Its listening port is in the front, so you can’t give it commands from the back of it.
  6. Has a function to fall asleep to ambient noises (like birds and water), but I didn’t test those out.
  7. Has a full-featured alarm system but, since I won’t be using those, I didn’t test them out. You can use voice commands to set the alarm functions, as well.
  8. You have to manually set the date, instead of voice commands. I believe you might be able to manually set the other stuff too, but I don’t recall. The voice commands function was all I cared about 🙂


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Getting Rid Of Cable (Part 3)

Getting Rid Of Cable (Part 1) is here.
Getting Rid Of Cable (Part 2) is here.

I had two HD DVR’s. One in the living room and one in my bedroom. Today, we disconnected the one in the living room and returned it to their local office. Took 5 minutes and $30.00 off of my cable bill ($360.00 savings in a year).

We usually watch recorded shows on our DVR (or a Netflix DVD if we have one…sometimes a movie streamed from Xbox or Netflix) when we’re eating. Tonight at dinner, there was a big, empty space where the DVR used to be. Between Hulu, Netflix, and shows/movies on Xbox), we had more than plenty to watch and most was in HD. (For those wondering, we watched yesterday’s episode of the Colbert Report and a Tosh.0 episode we hadn’t seen yet.) So, there was (almost) nothing missing from our routine…except for one major thing….a clock! The DVR was our only living room clock and we don’t wear watches, so that was weird having no idea what time it was (we don’t like to grab/turn on our over-priced smartphones with food on our hands…and getting up out of the recliner was NOT an option 🙂 I bought a nifty little digital clock for that spot, so my money savings went down a bit, which brings me to more math to consider.

When I mentioned the $30/month savings (from removing one DVR and “extra digital TV” charge), I now have to consider that the Hulu Plus membership is $7.99/month and my Netflix is the 2/month @ $14.99. That’s a total of $22.98/month. Sounds like hardly any savings, doesn’t it? But here’s the rub. I’ve used Netflix since 2002 or 2003 and never planned on cancelling Netflix…so I don’t count that $14.99 in the math (this is “getting rid of cable” not “getting rid of everything I pay for entertainment” 🙂 Still though, I did add the HuluPlus for $7.99 and, of course, I can’t and won’t get rid of my internet, so it might be “fuzzy math” right now. Where my savings should really kick in is when I get rid of my DVR & digital TV charges from my bedroom. I won’t do that, however, until I live the life without cable in the living room and get used to what that feels like (jeez…sounds just like my quitting smoking posts 🙂 Also, Hulu is supposed to come to Xbox “soon” and, until then, I have no way to watch Hulu on my bedroom tv. Also, they will raise my internet bill when I remove my cable tv completely (it’s in a pricing bundle, currently)…so I’m taking baby steps in shaking the cable monkey off my back.

Another biggie I’ve noticed is that the freezing has been almost non-existent lately. Not sure if the Playstation 3 that we use Hulu on fixed the issue in their system update they just had or not. Could be coincidence or a bug fix. Loving no freezing though, no matter what the reason.

An interesting side note: I thought the cable guy would have to come out to the house, but all I had to do was go to their office and turn in my DVR. I called their 800# first to see what steps I needed to take and how much they were going to charge me for the guy to come out. When I explained to the customer service rep what I was doing, she offered me 3 free months of my HD-DVR. I considered taking the offer and waiting three months to turn it in, but decided to stop letting the drug dealer win. She was very enticing…appealing to my addiction and sensabilities…but I “just said no” 🙂

One more side note: For those who don’t know it, you can watch Hulu for free on your computer, but I think you get more clips and limited selections. I don’t watch tv/movies on my computer, so I don’t care about testing their free online version. You can try it and comment here…I’m sure the readers would like to hear of other’s experiences.

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Getting Rid of Cable (Part 2)

Getting Rid of Cable Part 1 is here.

Received the Roku XDS Streaming Player 1080p, but the same day we discovered that we could get Hulu on our Playstation 3, so it sat unopened while we tested Hulu Plus. We’ve used Netflix (I love Netflix) on our PS3, so we had a streaming comparison for both HD and SD. (On a side note, I’m anti-Sony and am looking fwd to Hulu arriving on the Xbox. Their site says it’s “coming soon to xbox”)

The Hulu Plus interface was very easy to figure out. They make it very user-friendly and you can find shows easily and watch immediately. We quickly found the “Colbert Report” and Hulu had the most recent show already available to watch! They also had episodes spanning at least a week (maybe more), in case you missed other episodes. This was also the case for tons of popular shows (Modern Family, The Office, Family Guy, etc.) Some shows had all episodes from all seasons, but some others only had the current season of episodes. It appeared as though they had some agreement with Fox and ABC, since those shows were so prominent…but that was a cursory glance/opinion and many other stations and popular shows were available as well.

Some shows have commercials throughout. A 30-second one before the show started and then ones ranging from 15-30 seconds at each “station break”. We sometimes paused during a commercial and ran out for a drink or bathroom break. When we came back, it was sitting there waiting for us to hit “play” on our remote and continue. Some shows had no commercials at all (those seemed to be ABC, Fox, and Comedy Central, but we haven’t explored every network and show to see the commercial vs. non-commercial pattern).

The above are either pros or cons, depending on your personal tastes. But here is a major Con that was consistently and issue: The shows kept freezing! Some wouldn’t, but almost all did at some point. It was sporadic, so we’re fairly certain that it was nothing we did wrong. I spoke with two friends who watch Hulu via their Roku and they said they experience the exact same issue. Most freezes lasted exactly 8 seconds and then it fixed itself and continued. A few times, we had to hit the FF, Rewind, or Play button on our remote to unfreeze it…then it would either continue without issue or might freeze once more. It was so random, we couldn’t find a pattern. Our conclusion here was that Hulu has issues. Possibly because they’re growing too fast and need more servers. Don’t know, but I can only assume/hope that they are aware of this issue and are working on it. After all, we’re paid subscribers and they don’t want everyone to start cancelling. Some episodes never froze…even ones in HD…so I think I’m going to continue using them and chalk it up to “growing pains”.

And yes, I’m aware that Netflix streaming will do the little spinning circle once in a while, but that’s not Netflix’s fault but rather your wireless internet/network changing its network speed (so if you’re watching an HD movie and your internet speed slows down, Netflix will automatically change your stream from HD to SD…and when your internet speed goes back up, Netflix will switch you back again, hence the spinning circle of waiting. But I’ve found it rare and predictably fast).

So…I’m returning the Roku for a refund. I’m also going to call the cable company today and ask them to disconnect the cable and return the HD DVR (I think that will be a $30.00 drop in my cable bill). I’m keeping my cable and HD DVR in my bedroom, until I experience what it’s like with the new, no-cable, system in the living room. Rumor has it that if I remove all cable tv from my home (and keep only internet), that the cable company will severely jack up my internet pricing. A friend said they did that to her when she got rid of everything but internet. I assume this is true, since these are “bundle” packages and if there’s no bundle then you’re going to pay “A La Carte” pricing which offers no discounts. Regardless, I will still be paying substantially less and will post those amounts in another “Getting Rid of Cable” update.

Getting Rid Of Cable (Part 3) is here.

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