Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Free Phone Service

If you're connected to Wi-Fi, free phone service is available from Textnow.   The app is installed on your tablet with a free phone number to receive calls.

For free cell service Textnow supplies a SIM card at $4.99.

The services are supported with advertising.  Without advertising the cost is $9.99 per month.

Monday, February 8, 2021

What to do when Internet Freezes

Recently I have experienced the Internet situation where the speed drops to zero.

In other words no service.  Dead.

So what to do when you have an urgent need such as communication with the doctor.

You reach for your cell phone of course.

So how do you get cell phone data cheaply?

I have been using Tello.   Not only do they offer plans and less than $10 a month, but for $25 you can get eight gigabytes a month.

That might be enough to handle all of your internet without any other service.

Even better you can modify your usage at any time.

Friday, January 29, 2021


In my last In my last posting I indicated that it was difficult to find a satisfactory medium size tablet.

In the meantime I have found that the Kindle Fire 7 9th Version is pretty satisfactory and can be had on sale for as little as $35.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Getting up to speed

With technology and our needs constantly changing, we are faced with the task of getting up to speed.

Speed is pretty much what it's all about when it comes to computers and internet.

So I have been in the process of doing what's needed so that I can do my activities in the least possible time.

After a long time I finally decided that Wi-Fi slows everything down too much.

When it came time to put down new carpet I had flat ethernet cable laid under it to make direct access to Internet available wherever I needed it.

Other efforts to speed up Wi-Fi really were just a crutch which did not work very well.

I have the latest routers now at the furthest distance apart.

I have adapters which enable me to plug in tablets.

I bought an Amazon Kindle Fire 10-in tablet on sale at $80 only to find that this device was way faster than any that I had ever used except an iPad.

I attributed that to the octocore processor which I also have in my Android phone.

That obsoleted my older smaller tablets.  Trash.

I simply replaced them with an old iPad Air version 1 and a second Amazon Kindle Fire 10 for my wife.

I also resurrected an original iPad for use at the piano. I downloaded sheet music from the Internet Archive to Apple Notes where I can read it at the piano or print it out.

I switched to YouTube music and added VLC to play music from my digital library on SD card.

I got rid of some old large space taking speakers and replaced them with Echo Dots plugged into the wall with adapters.   These these also enabled me to play to a tiny quality MP3 speaker.

I do play music through my hearing aids for a quality experience.

With Alexa I'm able to direct music to any of the plugin Dots.

The Alexa app also enables me to play music from a variety of sources, such as Amazon music, Pandora, and so on.

I use a Moto G4 older smartphone with its wider screen in addition to a narrower screen on a newer Moto device.

I am not changing from my great Apple iPhone SEs,
but I did drop expensive plans.

A new plan from Hello costs me just $5 a month for a 500 minutes and half a gig.  I can buy a gig of data anytime I need it

At a price of only $70 I could not resist a projector, just for movies and TV shows available on line.  it needs a dark room and a convenient place to place the projector.

One thing I could not do was find a seven to eight inch tablet that was fast enough for me.  My latest Moto does have an octa-core processor and is the only alternative at 5 in.

I use Windows only in a pinch when nothing else will do, only because it is sooo slow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Displacing the Old

Every now and then new technology is so good that it displaces the old. In other words it gets to be the time to throw the old stuff out.

When devices get a lot faster and easier to use, that time has come.

It is here with the latest iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire 10 9th Generation.

Both are lightning fast and have much approved navigation, the iPad with its stack and the Fire with its ability to emulate The Echo Show and do everything by voice without any keyboard or mouse.

I am doing away with my older tablets entirely. They are now time wasters.

Cord Cutting and Navigation

For cable cutting and general navigation I created a guide for myself:

Normal cable channels except sports and local—Phllo
Local channels —Specific channel sites, PBS site, Newson
Networks live and On demand--Peacock, CBS All Access, ABC News
News channels--Watchnewspro on Laptops and tablets, Pluto
Channel guides--Pluto. TiVo 4K stick, Philo, elsewhere
Movies and TV--Acorn. Tubi. Amazon Prime, Netflix, Vudu
Music--Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, (on tablets and laptops use Alexa)
YouTube for videos, music, howto, 4K
News--Apple News Plus, Google News, Washington Post. Delaware and Lancaster Online, Philadelphia Inquirer, Alexa (selectively delivered to email)
Reading and Books--Kindle Unlimited, Google Play Books

Entertainment Tonight is CBS all access live

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

What is the future of computing and how soon?

The future of computing is not what you probably think.

The future is for computing to drop into the background.

We are moving towards the day when the computer will more and more anticipate what you need to do and set you on that track automatically

It will be another person in the room and you will not need to go to it.

It will enter into the conversation when it needs to and do what you needed to do.

That trend is obvious with the Internet of things.

Thermostats and lights are now controlled automatically with smart thermostats, smart bulbs, and smart switches.

Alexa answers your questions.

Amazon's Echo Show Mode points the way. Nearly anything can be done by voice with it.

(The new ability to use Show Mode on a Fire tablet greatly extends its usefulness.)

Such capabilities should become more and more preemptive by the computer with the passage of time.

The desktop computer, the laptop, even the smartphone, will fall into lesser and lesser use, as the invisible presence takes over.

I can already hear the panic about confidentiality. We always hear such about new technology. I guess that started when cave dwellers left the cave. Or when men learned to make fires.

Just go with it.

When?  Starting now.