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Title:Paul Begley Blog Technology, bikes, and things that interest me.

Description:Paul Begley Blog Technology, bikes, and things that interest me. Paul Begley Blog Uncategorized Microsoft Android Software household technology Why do I hate DirecTV Now, let me count the ways Posted

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Paul Begley Blog Technology, bikes, and things that interest me. Paul Begley Blog Uncategorized Microsoft Android Software household technology Why do I hate DirecTV Now, let me count the ways Posted February 7, 2017 by pbegley99 I got an e-mail from AT&T/DirecTV asking me to complete a survey on why I unsubscribed from DirecTV Now. I spent quite a bit of time crafting a comprehensive answer, only to receive the notice below. Part of my issue with DirecTV was the poor interface design. I now extend that criticism to the survey. If you limit my response to 999 characters, why not tell me? Then I won’t prepare a response that’s 302% larger than you will allow! NOTE – there were two other text boxes, both limited the number of characters to other, smaller, and random quantities, both with no indication of what the limit would be. Here is my full response about why I unsubscribed from DirecTV Now: DirecTV Now was a horrific experience. From the user interface to buffering issues to the user interface (did I already say that, yes, it’s that bad) to the content. No type of DVR solution, ‘subscribing’ to channels was OK, but non-intuitive to use. No CBS channel. At all. Yes, I know you have to negotiate with CBS, but it’s a gaping hole. I added HBO and got two HBO channels added, which was underwhelming. Even at $35/month rate it wasn’t worth the money. We watched ONE movie (Deadpool) and the last 20 minutes of the film took almost an hour to watch due to buffering issues. Just so you don’t assume I have a poor Internet connection, I have 200/10 Mbps (up/downlink speeds) and a commercial grade firewall and wireless AP (Meraki). Chemical engineer by degree, working in IT and connected to the Internet since 1986 (not a typo), Cisco and other certifications. Let’s just assume the problem is on your end and not my home network… Streaming from a laptop to a Chromecast was USELESS. I stream other content (YouTube, other) to Chromecast with no issues using the exact same configuration (laptop, wireless channel, etc). Streaming from my PHONE (!!!) worked better than the laptop, and I can’t account for that. Is the Android app that much more efficient than streaming from a browser on a laptop? No Roku support out of the gate. Roku and beer are gifts from GOD, and you don’t support the Roku. Seriously? I took advantage of the free Amazon Fire offer because, as noted, you don’t support the Roku (aka, Gift From God). Nice device, but DirecTV sucks at life, so we were ‘less than pleased’ with the experience. We attempted to watch Deadpool (previous reference) using the Amazon Fire. Other services worked fine, but not DirecTV Now. And, the user interface sucks. As an example, I saved ‘favorite’ channels in the guide and selected Favorites to display. It’s all too easy to suddenly have every channel displayed. Next, I can’t seem to pause, continue, and skip over content (like my DirecTV DVR). Yes, I realize there are device constraints (but, shall I note, not on the Roku), but you’re not even trying. Did you pull one of those “Design this for free and I’ll give you great recommendations” with the interface design team? Because it LOOKS like that’s what you did. I’m doing this all from memory. It’s like a nightmare where I can still see the screen doing something I don’t want/like, oh, and the BUFFERING, Oh, the BUFFERING!!! To summarize: – User interface sucks – No DVR capability – No Roku support – Buffering issues (with long shows? You tell me) – No CBS content – Poor performance with Amazon Fire – Poor performance with Chromecast = DirecTV Now Sucks at life That’s the short version of why I unsubscribed from DirecTV Now. I’m working furiously to experiment with OTA TV, a local DVR, and cloud based services. I’m willing to bet anything I put together will be a better, more satisfying experience than DirecTV Now. Love, Paul & Barb No Comments filed under: household, Internet, technology, Video Tags: design, DirecTV, streaming "A safe propane torch for applications around the home" Posted December 31, 2016 by pbegley99 I get a feed from “Cool Tools” and this caught my eye. I’m thinking of using it to remove snow or scare the shit out of my neighbors. Looking for a backpack to hold the propane tank next. Harbor Freight – Greenwood propane torch http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html Note from Cool Tools: “I was a small part of a Battle Bots team behind the robot Complete Control that was on Battle Bots recently on ABC. This $20 propane torch was on a robot. It was heralded as — I’m gonna sort of humble brag here — it was heralded as the most effective flame thrower in Battle Bots history because it recorded the first robot kill ever, which was really exciting for us. There’s a Youtube video of it. A minute and a half into the match, we get the robot in the gripper. We grab under the robot, lift them up, and then turn on the flame thrower. It’s a 3,000 degree torch, it’s coming from just a regular propane tank. The brilliance of this Harbor Freight tool is someone engineered it and figured out how to have it properly aspirated … It turns out just with a few little tweaks, including this spark gap generator, it became a robot killer. That was pretty awesome to see.” No Comments filed under: household Tags: tools HP notes – update BIOS from F10 Posted December 30, 2016 by pbegley99 I got a friends-and-family return-from-lease HP 8100 workstation. No RAM, no disk, just the basic workstation. I am trying to install Windows 10, but I’m having issues with the OS install failing. HP notes point to an out-of-date BIOS. The challenge is how to update the BIOS when you have no OS installed. 1. Download the BIOS update (EXE file) from the HP site. 2. Extract the ISO file from the EXE using 7-Zip. 3. Burn the ISO to a CD (and put CD in the CD/DVD drive) 4. Boot the system, press F10, select Update BIOS, point to the CD. This wasn’t obvious, nor was it documented *anywhere* on the HP site. Lots of references to pre-2002 HP tools and the like. I hope someone finds this useful. No Comments filed under: hardware, Microsoft Tags: BIOS, Windows Netgear security update Posted December 26, 2016 by pbegley99 Check your router for a vulnerability by entering the string below into your browser (change [router-address] to the IP address of your router (example: 192.168.1.1)). http://[router-address]/cgi-bin/;uname$IFS-a If that page shows anything but an error or an empty page, your router is affected and you need to apply the patch just published by Netgear (link below). Netgear models impacted by this vulnerability: R6250 R6400 R6700 R6900 R7000 R7100LG R7300DST R7900 R8000 D6220 D6400 http://kb.netgear.com/000036386/CVE-2016-582384 No Comments filed under: hardware, networking, security Hiking Posted August 29, 2016 by pbegley99 I’ll start to post more about hobbies as well as technology. On our Yosemite trip this month, I focused on packing light. I weighed and documented everything I took. This...

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