Archive for February, 2011
Tonight is our Wards Blue and Gold dinner. Its an exciting time for the boys. I am my Wards 11 Scout Master, so tonight I get a new boy. We have the bridge all set up and I’m looking forward to getting a new scout. My Ward is small and my last 11 year old scout turned 12 last week so once again I’ll have 1 Scout. So Dad’s, are any of you Scout leaders in your Ward? What activities do you do and do you find the boys enjoy most? Leave a comment!
The LDS Tech Conference is coming up. March 31 – April 1, 2011. Riverton Office Building. Riverton, Utah. For all you Utah folk its close to you! For us here in California and other parts of the world we just get to imagine what fun you will have!
About: “This conference is for those who want to use their talents to develop solutions that benefit the whole Church membership and more. If you have a background in software development, project management, web design, quality assurance, security, technical writing, localization, or other technical skills, you can help out with a variety of projects.”
||March 31 – April 1, 2011|
||Riverton Office Building, 3740 W. 13400 S., Riverton, UT|
|Times:||8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. both days (there may be an additional event Thursday evening)|
|For Who:||Designers, developers, testers, support staff, technical writers, etc.|
|Cost:||FREE and includes breakfast and lunch|
|Date:||March 31 – April 1, 2011|
So If you attend, send me a report and I’ll post it!
I’m looking for folks that want to contribute. If you feel you are up for the challenge, making maybe 1 or more posts a week and telling your friends. Send me a message and we can talk. I know I can’t do it all myself. If we get any Ad revenue I am up for sharing. So please think about it and lets chat.
If any of you are streaming video geeks like me, this is another one to check out. With your paid Amazon Prime membership, $79 per year, you get free access to some 5,000 videos on demand from Amazon. So fro roughly $6.50 a month you get a few more videos to stream plus free 2 day shipping on items you buy from Amazon. I looked over the list of movies, many of which are on Netflix. For a list of movies available click here. If you are a Amazon Mom member, you do not get this benefit unfortunately but you still get free 2 day shipping.
It’s been a month since my home became satellite free. Re-cap, I canceled DirecTV, purchased a Roku, a digital converter box, signed up for Hulu+ and got a faster internet connection. On top of all this we already had a Wii, DVD recorder and a Netflix account. So far it has not been that bad.
I don’t really miss some of the cable shows I use to watch. There is more then enough content between Netflix and Hulu+, but when you want a TV show or movie that is not on Netflix yet, or even Hulu, Amazon comes in with a cheap solution. I rented Predators for $.99 the other night and watched it streaming, VERY COOL. Amazon has series passes where you can purchase a season of a currently running show and have access to new episodes the next day after it airs. Now, did I mention we are still saving money? Yes, saving roughly $70 a month is not bad especially when my medical insurance has gone up another $200.00 a month… Ya win some, ya lose some.
I solved my Sesame street problem with a one time purchase of a season on Amazon. Since PBS usually shows the same 3 episodes for months on end, I now have 12 episodes to cycle through with my son. Next month we plan on buying another season to add to the collection.
So back to regular TV, we have a DVD recorder so my wife can record her favorite shows that are not available online, like American Idol. Here the DVD recorder replaces a costly DVR. With our set up we have enough bandwidth to stream to multiple devices without any hiccups, I can stream 30 Rock in the living room on the Roku, while playing online on my laptop, while my wife watches what ever she watches on the Wii in the bedroom.
Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the Roku, it’s had some minor glitches easily fixed by a rebooting. I plan on getting the XD|S with its newly added ability to play video from a USB drive. I think it’s pretty slick for the less tech savvy folks who don’t want to set up their own server.
Are you up for the cord cutting challenge? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
The September issue of WIRED magazine had an article Hosted by Joel McHale, it was all about ditching cable or satellite in exchange for streaming media via the internet. First off, let me say there are many ways to do this, in this post I plan on discussing the way I did it.
It started 2001 on September 11, I ended my TV silence by climbing up on my roof and installed an old antenna I had in the backyard, the world was coming to an end around me and I needed to know what was going on. In 2008 we were having a baby, and I wanted to have some more kid friendly channels for my little boy to watch so we signed up for DirecTV at their introductory offer, nice for a year then it more then doubled. Now in an effort to save money like everyone else in these sucky times we are cutting back.
This December our DirecTV contract was coming to an end, and I really didn’t want to pay as much as I was for the few shows that were on that I actually watched. The DVR was nice, but with this new set up you won’t need one. For starters, I purchased a BluRay player, I was a little deceived by the articles I had read about the box, reviewers had said it would support Hulu+, which it didn’t, so I took it back and spent $59.99 on a Roku HD box. The Roku is wireless enabled; it streams video from Netflix, Hulu+ and AmazON Demand, the three services I really wanted. The Roku also has a number of other channels offering content from original content creators and many other services including Pandora. When it comes to internet speed, it won’t require much for Standard Definition. We had DSL at 1.5mbs and it was fine for what we were watching, but you couldn’t do anything else on the net while watching, so we are increasing our service (I will have a breakdown of costs at the bottom). We also purchased a Digital Converter box, since we don’t have a HD tv yet, we needed the box to get over the air free tv. This allows us to get our local channels and news. I was able to use our existing antenna and the Coax cable run for the DirecTV.
There are several other devices I have had recommended to me and have looked into. My main goal was cost effectiveness. I could have gotten a XBOX 360 or PlayStation 3, some of the Sony, LG, and Samsung Bluray players and TV’s have the ability to stream Netflix and other services, but they were all out of my price range.
About the services, Netflix is fantastic, I used to use my Wii to stream Netflix movies and it got me HOOKED. It’s so nice to have an ever expanding library of movies to watch when ever I’m in the mood. Hulu+ (Hulu Plus) is still in it’s infancy, there are many shows that it does not have just yet, but I think it will continue to expand into something a lot more useful. Hulu’s selection of movies is pretty much crap right now. That’s why there is AmazON Demand, that’s right Amazon, we rented “Sorcerers Apprentice” on a free credit from Amazon then rented “Inception” on another free credit for tweeting about the service. It worked great and the quality was fantastic. Pandora is a music service that offers 40 free hours a month of your own customized radio stations, or you can pay for unlimited service at $36.00 a year.
Ok you made it this far, time for my cost analysis.
Before the change:
DirecTV – $75.77 Service (Choice Package) plus Equipment Lease
Netflix – $14.99
AT&T DSL – $23.00
Monthly Total : $113.76
Yearly Total : $1365.12
Roku HD – $59.99
Digital Converter – $40.00
Netflix – $14.99
Hulu+ – $7.99
Pandora – Free Or $36.00 for a year
Time Warner Cable Internet – $29.99 (for 6mbs)
First Month (With Startup Costs, First month of Hulu+ is free) – $144.97
Second Month – $52.97
Yearly Total – $635.64 – without startup costs
Savings – $729.48 – without startup costs
Lets say you want to watch some shows that are not on Hulu, like discovery shows well you can get them on AmazON Demand for $1.99 per show not bad eh? If you were to watch one show each day of the week not weekends you pay an extra
$23.88 $39.80 a month.
Movies on Amazon are pretty awesome, they have daily specials on rentals often for $.99 so follow them on twitter.
Roku – http://roku.tellapal.com/a/clk/nx4vb – Use this link and get a free month of Netflix
Digital Converter – Coby ATSC Standard-Definition Converter Box
Netflix – http://Netflix.com
Pandora – http://Pandora.com
Hulu+ – http://hulu.com/r/56-dSg
Originally posted at MatthewWorley.com
While looking into apps made by the Church, I also found a few that we just made by members. LDS Priesthood Ordinances is one of those notable apps. It’s like having the little white handbook on your phone, Well the parts that you would use after your mission. All the ordinances you could possibly do are right here. This app is extremely easy to use, the main screen lists all the ordinances, you just select the one you want and you are taken right to the instructions.
I know it can be hard to remember how to do those ordinances that are rarely done, like blessing a home or dedicating a grave. I’ve only had to dedicate a grave once, really hope I don’t have to do it again any time soon. This App is one to have, I recommend it to everyone with an Android phone.
Back in the old Mormoncast days I was asked to check out a website called Mormons Made Simple. My show ended before I had time to cover this really ingenious idea. Basically, Doug the creator of the site made simply animated videos to explain things in simple terms about the church and our beliefs. For example. . .
For more videos take a look at Mormons Made Simple.
Leave a comment and tell us what you think.
My last review was on the Gospel Library app for Android. The Church did a fantastic job with it and true to form brought us another awesome app. LDS Tools, and I am not talking about those guys that play basketball every week in the cultural hall… (sorry guys) LDS Tools is a powerful way to keep track of people in your ward and stake. Need to know who is in charge of Primary in the other ward? Look no further. You need to be able to log into the church website to be able to use this app. What it does is pull the entire Stake directory into your phone for easy search and use. It keeps addresses, phone numbers and E-mail addresses all at your finger tips. This information is all available on the church website behind passwords you need your membership # to long in. Have no fear it’s not publicly accessible.
An alternative to this program is Ward Central. It works in pretty much the same way, it is more Ward based. There is another version called Stake Central which is just that more Stake oriented. Both are Free (now).
FYI this is also available in the iTunes App store…
Please post your comments and thoughts.
This article is a great follow up to my App review.