Google Chromebox

I guess I am so far out of the loop with Google tech because I had no idea this even existed until tonight.

A friend of mine told me she didn’t have a computer tonight, she uses the internet right from her cell phone.  I told her that I was surprised, that I thought every household in America had a computer by now.  I was about to tell her that they are so cheap now that you can get a Google Chrome laptop for $299, but wanted to back it up with a link, so I Googled “Chromebook” and found the Chromebook page which also had a link to the Chromebox.  My mind was blown away.

Ok so here are the specs.

  • Intel® Core™ processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Built-in dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • 2x DisplayPort++ Output (compatible with HDMI, DVI, VGA)
  • DVI-I single link output (compatible with VGA)
  • Bluetooth 3.0™ compatible
  • Kensington™ key lock compatible

The specs don’t say that it also has a 16GB hard drive which doesn’t seem like a lot, but this is an internet based computer only, you can’t install anything on it*.  You turn it on and you are automatically connected to the internet.  Actually, it takes 7 seconds to boot up into the internet.  I mean, it’s like you turn it on and BAM instant websites.  So the only reason you even need a hard drive is for downloading pictures of your friends and family and/or music.  I mean, that’s all I download with my Chromebook *wink*.

The best part about this baby is that if you have an HDTV, just plug it into your television with the HDMI cable.  You can have it sit right next to or on top of your cable box and/or video game consoles, and then have the keyboard and mouse on your living room table, or wherever it is that your HDTV lives.  You could also buy an external monitor and put it on your desk if that is what you wish I suppose, although I think it would be cool to have it hooked up to the TV instead.

Why get this instead of a regular computer?  Well, some people ONLY go onto websites to look at their email or Facebook or Twitter.  Why buy an expensive gaming machine just to check your email and to get into political rants with your Aunt Beverly?  You can do everything with the Chromebox that you can do with a regular desktop.  For example, you can write a book, yes you heard me, you can write a book using Google Documents.  You can, like I said earlier read your email, you can go on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, you can even play games.  Yes, the Chrome Web Store has games like Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Crash Bandicoot among many others.  You can check the news and the weather, you can even watch Netflix movies or even watch your favorite TV shows on Hulu.

Now aren’t you glad you follow my blog posts?

I love Google Chrome not just because it’s (IMO) the fastest browser available, but also because they were gracious enough to include me in their Chromebook pilot test “CR-48” which I love and have been using ever since they sent it to me in mid-December 2010.  I went several months last year without my desktop and I wouldn’t have had a computer had it not been for Google for sending it to me.  I had to do everything on the Chromebook from writing the first half of my book, to email and twitter and Facebook, I even watched the first 3 seasons of Sliders on Hulu with it.  So yeah, thanks Google for that.

Note: *When I say you can’t install anything on it, I mean like Microsoft Word or Lord of the Rings Online.  They have an app store where you can download and install apps and extensions.

Coax Cable Splitter

Something as easy and simple as a coax cable splitter should be cheap and easy to find, right?

A couple of years ago when all of the cable companies were forcing everyone to go digital, we decided that we would make the upgrade only because we wanted more channels.

I didn’t want to upgrade because our cable bill was only $50 and I could barely afford that.  After the upgrade to digital, my bill went up to $89.  It has gone up significantly since then but that’s not the point.

Before we were forced into the digital cable age, I was able to record shows on my DVD recorder which I had just bought 2 years before that.  Some nights I had 2 shows on at once so I would watch one while recording the other.  Other nights I would just record my shows so that we could go out to eat.

Then DVR’s came along and I couldn’t afford the monthly fees just to record my shows.  Why should I be forced to pay for that when I can do it for free?  Well, like I said, I bought a DVD recorder for $225 or so 2 years prior so it wasn’t really free.

When we switched to digital cable, our new cable box put a block on my DVD recorder so I couldn’t record anything.  Heck, I couldn’t even watch tv with it.

For reference, it’s a Panasonic DMR-ES35V which has a DVD recorder and a VCR.

So it has been sitting there not being used for a couple of years now, except when I rent movies at the Red Box.

I knew I was going to miss my shows last week so I decided to hook the cable up to the DVD Recorder to see if I could record it straight from the cable instead of from the cable box and it worked!

BINGO!

So, I went looking for a cable splitter.  I went to Walgreens on Saturday but they stopped carrying them.  I went to Radio Shacks website and they charge $15 – $30 for them now.  Screw that!  I remember when they only charged $1.

I went to the Sears and Target website and it was the same story.  There was no freakin’ way I was going to drop that kind of cash on something that I should get for only $1.

I found it on NewEgg for $5.35 with tax and free shipping so I bought it.  I’m still waiting for it to arrive by USPS mail.

Last night we went to the chinese buffet place and right next door to them is a Dollar Outlet Plus.  We decided to go in and look around and you will never guess what I found for only $1.49…

If you guessed a cable splitter you would be correct!

How can Radio Shack, Sears and Target charge such outrageous prices for something that a dollar outlet plus store sells for $1.49?  I’m sure it’s cheap and you probably won’t get great cable reception but I don’t get great cable reception straight from the cable to my DVD recorder anyway so it doesn’t really matter.

I’ve decided that I am not going to send my coax cable splitter from NewEgg back since I’ve waited such a long time for it to arrive but I now know for future reference that if the retail stores charge you up the ass, check the dollar store first.

Update: My splitter came and it worked and I was so glad to be able to record again.

Paranormal Court

It’s late at night and I’ve watched all of my shows for the evening so I do a little channel surfing and find this show on TLC called Paranormal Court.  It was halfway through so I activated the Start Over feature with my cable box and I am so glad that I did because this is such a good show.

I’m a skeptic with some of the psychic shows because occasionally they do cold readings which is where they say something hoping for a response.  The ones who are spot on with just about everything are the ones who really impress me and this guy was spot on with every reading and with everything in the readings.

This show says that it’s a court show but not in the traditional sense like Judge Judy has, instead this show have people who want to settle a dispute that only the deceased person can settle and he is a way to talk to the deceased to help settle the dispute.

This guy gave me the chills every time he would say something that was so spot on, there is no way that these were cold readings.

The last case was this teenage girl who was drugged and left in the basement and was having a seizure with boards on her legs and they were making a sound, a rhythm if you will.  Well he made that sound on the table with his fingers and my entire back was tingling from the chills that I got lol.

I went to the TLC website to find out the days and time this show airs but they don’t even have it listed and as far as I can tell this was the only episode so I feel so lucky that I got to see it because I hardly ever watch TLC.  Nothing against TLC, I just don’t watch their shows.

If this airs again I will want to know so I hope they put something up on their site soon so I can add a reminder on my TV page so I know to watch it again because it was a good show.  People say that they know what their deceased loved one would want, well they really don’t.  This guy will tell you exactly what that person wanted.

Roast of David Hasselhoff

Tonight was the night that the Roast of David Hasselhoff was on and I completely spaced out. I totally forgot about it. I usually set the cable box reminder but it slipped my mind to set it.

Darrin was in my room and he took control of the remote (typical male behavior) and we were watching some lame documentary about fish. Like I care about fish. I don’t want to be smarter, if I learn about fish then all the other stuff will spill out and I’ll forget all of my useless Buffy the Vampire Slayer trivia. Who do you want to play Buffy Trivial Pursuit with? The guy who watches fish documentaries? I didn’t think so.

So I noticed he was sound asleep anyway (typical, change the channel then fall asleep) so I grabbed the remote, turned on the guide and found the Roast of David Hasselhoff. I immediately change it and annoying as ever Gilbert Gottfried was on telling weird vagina jokes at Pamela Anderson‘s expense.

I laughed my butt off but Darrin kept waking up from my loud laughing and he would say what’s happening? So I’d have to tell the joke and then explain it because he didn’t get it, meanwhile I’m missing the next joke or 2 until I finally said stay awake so I don’t keep missing it.

It ended, it started over again and we watched it a 2nd time. It ended at 1:08am and I thought I was going to bed but no, I had to come and blog about it lol.

Ok, I know it’s a roast and I know that at a roast they make these horrible tasteless jokes. They are really bad like the one about Roger Ebert and Gary Coleman and how George Hamiltoncalled Hulk Hogan a fag twice. Excuse me? He could wipe the floor with your ass BROTHER! I know it’s a roast, I just hate that word with a passion. Can we please stop using that word? Even the most tasteless comedians wouldn’t say that word because they have more respect for gay people.

Look I don’t mind a good gay joke. I’ve told so many that were funny without insulting people, myself at the very least. After he said that I didn’t find anything else he said funny. I waited for him to get off stage so I could laugh at all the insults thrown in his direction.

Lisa Lampanelli is the funnies one on the Dais. She laughed her butt off with every joke at her expense. She loves to be made fun of because she knows that it’s all for the show and all in fun. That’s why I love her.

Anyway, it’s late, I’m sure it will repeat for those who forgot, if so make sure you don’t forget. He sings at the end.

LATE!

ARGH!  I woke up and it’s 5:30am because I set the wrong alarm.  My alarm clock has 2 alarms on it and I set the wrong one lol.  I didn’t even wake up from the alarm, I just woke up.  I looked at the cable box to see what time it was and I was like OMG!  I’m LATE!

Then I go to fill my camelbak with ice and water and I think hmmm, I wonder.  So I turn on my Dell DJ Mp3 player and the battery is dead lol.  Great!  Perfect!  Well, it had 0 bars but it wasn’t dead dead.  I could listen to the radio on it but I prefer music.

So Since I’m already late I might as well wait until it’s charged up a little bit more.  I’ll leave the house at 6:30am which is about the same time I usually come home from riding the bike.  According to the weather channel app on my computer, 6am will be 70, 7am will be 71 and 8am will be 73.  Since I won’t be coming home until 8:30am I might as well mention that 9am will be 76 so between 8am and 9am the temp will go up by only 2 degrees so I’m not concerned about the heat catching up to me.  That’s the only reason I ride so early, to beat the heat.

Oh well, it finally gives me a chance to fully wake up before actually starting my day.  Or… does this mean that everything else this morning is going to go wrong and I should just stay home?  LOL

Satellite Clock

I bought this satellite clock from Publisher’s Clearing House last year because I wanted to increase my chances of winning money hehe.  I know, buying doesn’t increase your chances blah blah blah.

So I’ve always wanted a satellite clock ever since they came out but I really don’t NEED a satellite clock that much so I just never bought one.  I don’t really look at a regular clock, I always look at a cell phone or the cable box or the clock on the computer and all those clocks are basically satellite clocks.

I didn’t have an alarm clock though so I bought this from PCH.  I haven’t had it long enough for it to require a time change from the stupid twice a year time change.  Right now it’s “Spring Forward” but my clock didn’t spring forward like it’s supposed to.  I took a picture to show that it is still at 11am when it should be 12pm.  I put it outside and pressed the sync button to see if it syncs or not.  Here is a picture of what it looks like so you can beware not to waste your money on it.

satellite-clock

The only way that the camera was able to take a picture of this so you can see the display was from an angle.  In fact, the only way I can see what time it is is to tilt it so I can see it from this angle.  Otherwise the LCD display looks blank.  It always looks like the batteries are dying even though it has brand spanking new batteries in it.  It does have a lovely blue light when you press the snooze button so you can see it better in the dark.

I could set it manually but that’s not way I bought it.  I bought it so I wouldn’t have to.  I’m going to go check on it to see if it’s changed or not.  It’s been out there for about 10 minutes….  OK good, I just went and got it and the time has indeed changed to the current time according to my cable box.  It is currently 12:23pm.

It would be nice if it set itself in the house and I wouldn’t have to take it outside to have it set itself properly.  But you know, it’s only twice a year and during battery changes that I have to deal with this crap.  So I guess I take it back.  Buy it but beware, you have to tilt it to see what time it is and you have to take it outside to sync with the satellites.

I Can Do 2 Shows…

I was worried when we got Digital cable that because we had to have a cable box that I would have trouble when I have 2 shows on at the same time.  Without a cable box I can record 1 show on my dvd recorder and watch another show on another channel by hitting the tv/vcr button.  But with a cable box, the dvd recorder only records what is currently on the cable box channel since the tv is always on channel 3.  There is no getting around that.  Forget being able to record ever again.

But, thank goodness for the internet because if I have a show on ABC and NBC at the same time I can just go to that networks website and watch the show on my computer.  Last night I had 2 shows, both on at 8pm.  Pushing Daisies on ABC and Knight Rider on NBC so I watched Pushing Daisies last  night then this morning I watched Knight Rider at the NBC website.

Unfortunately, not all networks do that.  Well, mostly they do but like the CW channel, last year I missed a couple of episodes of Smallville and Supernatural and they had all their other shows on their website but those 2 they didn’t for some reason.  I ended up having to download them via emule.

The networks that do have their shows on their website “on demand” they keep the current season on there from episode 1.  Heroes for example, when season 2 began they removed all of season 1.  Since season 3 has already begun they have totally removed season 2 except for the last episode of that season.  I don’t know why keep the last episode, maybe so people can catch up first.

The point of this blog was to establish the fact that I’m happy I can watch my shows if I miss them hehe.