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Comment Get a Pebble, and just enjoy it. (Score 1) 359

I have a Pebble Time Black, and no, it's not as fancy and prestigious as an Apple Watch, but it cost me at least HALF of what the Apple Watch costs, and its functionality really is stellar. It's waterproof, and Pebble nailed it with its "Timeline" function which is intuitive and easy to use. It simply works, and works well.

Oh, and being able to measure battery life in days (I regularly get 4-5 days of battery life) instead of hours is a Godsend. I can leave the house with 10-20% battery life, receive a normal amount of notifications, and regularly interact with it, and I can be confident that it will remain usable until well after I get home at night.

Finally, to make ANY smartwatch useful, you need to balance those functions and features that make sens for the device you are using. Want to see at-a-glance information and notifications? Use a Smartwatch and leave your phone in your pocket. Need to type an email, don't waste your time with a smartwatch--use the large, advanced keyboard on your phone. Otherwise, the device gets in the way. And that's the beauty of the Pebble Watch. It doesn't get in the way.

Comment Re:I'll venture (Score 1) 6

No, I'm still in a "Red" State.

And I don't look like Scott Ian, honestly I was kind of trying to go more for this look. Hence the "What?" in the JE...

But I don't look much like him, the goatee is more grey than blonde and my eyes are brown, not blue.
User Journal

Journal Journal: 8 months... 6

Lost my job, found a new one. Grew a goatee and shaved my head bald. (What?)
Also moved over 1000 miles away from DFW.

Just finally getting settled, waiting to get my CHL from my new home state.

Comment Re:I'd say the primary use is non-portable (Score 1) 224

I agree 100%! I'm thinking the same thing for my parents who are moving from a house into a rather small independent living facility where space is at a premium. Having a tiny box like this connected to a decent monitor with full keyboard and mouse would certainly help them. And it would serve ALL of their computing needs. (At 87 and 90 years old, they only focus on Web surfing, creating and printing letters, and playing Freecell.) I just received mine yesterday, but it was DOA so I sent it back for exchange. When I get a working one, I'll put it through its paces and determine if it is something appropriate for my parents.

Comment I Received my Kangaroo PC...and it was DOA (Score 1) 224

I plugged it in and it would not power on. I left it plugged in to charge overnight, but it doesn't power on. So I got an RMA from NewEgg from without issue, and back it goes. I'm looking forward to the replacement, but how frustrating?!?

That said, what I can say is that the construction is very solid, and it is quite compact--about the size of a large smartphone. It's an intriguing device that could have many uses. This could serve as a simple Home Theater PC running Kodi, Plex, Netflix, etc. I might even consider getting one for my parents who are moving into an independent living facility to give them an extremely compact yet usable computer that would more than suit their needs.

Given that I couldn't power it on, I can say that physically, the only real con I found is the AC adapter: The connector seats very, VERY loosely into the dock. (Maybe that's the issue with mine?) There's no perceptible click, snap, or even tight feeling to tell that it's seated correctly. One bump, and it could easily jar loose. (I checked for obstructions and found none.)

I am looking forward to getting the replacement.

Comment Advice from a MRR of 40+ years (Score 1) 149

It's only a hobby.... it's only a hobby....

There is likely a model rail club or more in your area. See if they have open house and go check out the place. A good club will be warm and welcoming with folks that are comfortable to be around. Forget the layout at the club, you are looking for a place to hang out with others that know a lot and don't mind answering questions. Fastest way to kill enjoyment of the hobby is to get around folks you'd rather paste in the beezer than talk to. Model railroaders are 25% normal people, 50% kind of quirky, and 25% jerks, given a random sample.

First step is to decide what you want to do. I like to do 1900's, 1960's, and modern railroading, so my layout is designed to be able to add and remove things that are not period. So the box car icing station from the 20'-60's becomes a fuel rack by removing structures and putting others in it's place. Also, do you want to be able to turn a train on and let it run around on a loop, or is it going to be a point to point layout?

Final advice - your relative may say maybe even before their death - but I wouldn't take over anything much before then. Just enough to comfort them they have gotten to bug to bite you is about right. If they give it all up too soon, they may be giving away what joy they can still get from the hobby. Just my two cents.

Digital control for more than a simple model is almost required. Most folks go with DigiTraxx system for controls, and various others for the decoders depending on what is desired out of the model. If you want sound, lights, and smoke (the good kind) out of a model, then almost certainly the decoder choice will be the appropriate SoundTraxx Tsunami - about $100 for the decoder, speaker, and supplies. Retro fitting decoders is fairly easy - the hardest part for me is getting the engine opened up without breaking off things.

Submission + - Power cycle a remote server and router

buss_error writes: I am using Belkin WeMo's, ezOutlets, and Raspberry Pi's with custom software to reboot remote servers.
WeMo's: Good for servers, not good for rebooting routers as they don't have a reset only function.
exOutlets — Great if you don't have too many, has auto power cycle upon no ping from a set of web sites they select.
Raspberry Pi's: Best, but takes programming.

What do you use to power cycle a remote server and router?

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Machines have less problems. I'd like to be a machine. -- Andy Warhol