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      Welcome to theZAh   06/09/2016

      Enjoy the site and let us know if you find anything not appropriate... silly spammers.
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About this blog

Random crap that I dump here is just a catchers mit of thoughts or I feel just the need to say it somewhere.

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I'm just like most people and want to find ways to save money.  For our family we don't watch that much TV and television now adays seem to be mostly commercials.  Got introduced to Netflix many years ago and still have a running membership today.  Now that Netflix has there own shows and movies with no commercials is pretty awesome.  They also have last season shows all included with no commercials so if you can wait a year, its great watching a show with no commercials.  I find commercials distract me from the show enough that when it comes back it refreshes my memory on what I was even watching.

There is more than Netflix such as Hulu which I didn't like at all.  There is Amazon, which we have access to since we are Amazon Prime Members.It's not very much per year and as much as we order from Amazon that free shipping is nice as well as all the other goodies that come with it.  Unfortunately Prime isn't nearly as strong on TV Shows and Movies as Netflix but its still an option.  We also use an Apple TV since our house is mostly Apple products.  When you have a house full of Apple, the Apple TV is a great addon to your home since Apple works very very well with Apple.  If you don't have Apple I have and also like the Amazon Fire Stick.  Main reason is it supports an application I like to use called Kodi which Roku doesn't support neither does Apple TV.

Alright so summary...

Streaming Apps that I use

  • Netflix
  • Kodi
  • DirectTV Now ($35/month) - gives a few channels, not sure its worth it.

Hardware I suggest

  • Amazon Firestick

Now what you loose mainly is your local channels.  I didn't think this would be a big deal since we really don't watch much TV but when you want to watch local news, weather, etc. then it would come in handy.  Obviously getting hooked back up with a dish or cable provider just for local channels is silly to me so I found another solution.  It's a one time cost of $350 but its a strong antenna that connects outside your home which pulls in around 30-40 local channels.  It's the same thing the cable company does. Outside of a cable facility you will see a very large antenna outside to pull in those local channels and then they send to all of you via the coax connected to your home.  So once you pay the $350 to have someone install a strong Winnegard HD TV Antenna on your home they connect to your existing Coax and hopefully your TV is new enough to be able to Tune HD TV.


I'm now a happy cord cutter with the solution I need.  

I kept our local cable provider for internet only service.  They have only one speed so the lowest cost for internet was fine.($50/month)

I purchased an Amazon Firestick for every TV in our home ($35/each one time cost)

I pay monthly for Netflix ($10/month)

I purchased Winnegard HD TV antenna and had it installed on my home ($350 one time cost)


So I'll preface that I'm primarily a Mac user but that doesn't mean I am automatically onboard with putting all my documents on iCloud Drive.

I have used Dropbox first, then Google Drive and iCloud Drive.  I have no interest in using Microsoft OneDrive solution since Microsoft has a hard enough time keeping there Azure network up, there Live and Hotmail accounts not hacked, they have just proven time and time again how unreliable Microsoft has been in the cloud environment so far.  My documents are important to me so we are going to automatically say no (for now) to OneDrive.


I liked dropbox and don't really have a whole lot of negative besides its blocked by just about any Enterprise.  The plus is its not favored with Apple which has iCloud and not favored with Google Chromebooks which has Google Drive and not favored by Microsoft which has OneDrive. So Dropbox is the universal drive that works on everything and is available on just about any app that has saving to a cloud drive.

Google Drive

So the negative is it favors using its own Google Docs format.  I learned recently that the excel spreadsheet I uploaded got converted when I used a Google Editor on my iPad.  I didn't realize it was Google Editing my document that was stored on Google Drive since it didn't display anything.  But as you edit your excel document it now becomes a google doc.  When I tried to launch that saved file back on my mac using Excel it didn't recognize it since it was now a Google Doc.  So I had to go into Google Doc and export as Excel and I had access to it again but now some of my formulas were all jacked.

The positive is if you use Gmail (like I do) for your primary email client it obviously integrates with Google Drive very well.  So instead of sending the entire large attachment via email (especially since email attachments are limited to size) you can instead choose a link to the file on your google drive and give permissions.  It's pretty cool and very helpful but if you don't use Gmail, then probably not a big deal.

Another pro is if you utilize Google Photos, Gmail, Google Drive, etc.. it all shares the same storage bucket and its not very pricey for all the data you can get from Google.

iCloud Drive

Obviously if you have Apple products (or an Apple ID) you automatically get 5GB of iCloud Drive for simple things like store your music, photos, Documents, Desktop, Safari Bookmarks, Saved Passwords, etc..  Which makes it nice when you log into any of your Apple devices with your Apple ID you now have access to those items.  So the negative is not everyone supports iCloud Drive as a saved destination like Dropbox, then Google Drive.  Also no ability to share files with anyone.  The website icloud.com is slow.  If you wanted to create or edit files on the website you need to your documents to be in Apple Docs format (pages, keynote, numbers, etc).



I use both iCloud Drive for syncing all my day to day stuff with all my Apple products.  Its great when you get a new phone or laptop because either it got damaged, stolen or lost and you get all your important stuff back like it was never missing.  I have Google Drive for big files and anything I want to share with someone else.  No one else seems to do that better and integrate so well with your mail. 


I ran into some fan issues on my 2012 Macbook Pro and I'm sure its because its been in some pretty dirty places.  Had the fan replaced at Apple for $100 but thought it may be time to upgrade.  Also it allowed me to give my wife a very nice laptop that is still working in great order.  She loves working with photos and thought she would enjoy using a laptop that doesn't limp along.

So this very second my new Macbook Pro (2017) just arrived via UPS so I'm going to save and close this entry so I can open it up and get going.

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