Getting healthy and technology stuff

A new year and a new resolution to get back on track – hopefully this will work out for the best but given that I no longer have the stress of ‘out of control debt’ to deal with it should be a lot easier to get on track and stay on track. A healthy and slimmer me is only a few months away – I just need to remain focused so that eventually it is delivered.

On a good side the HG659b is going well and I had a check out of Chorus’s online website which still says “January 2015” for UFB availability which could mean that it won’t be ready until the end of January. Hopefully by the time it is installed Spark will be offering 200Mbps service in the area and Netflix won’t be too far away. Although I cancelled my account with Sky TV I am looking at getting a new UHF aerial installed along with a Freeview set top box installed which will give me access to a decent selection of Freeview channel as well as the ability to sign up to Igloo if something interesting comes on that is worth paying for. The cost of the installation along with the set top box is $425 but I’m going to wait till the end of January before going ahead.

As for Lightbox and other services I might end up just purchasing a Intel NUC device, loading Windows 8.1 on to it and use it to stream television, movies etc. The cost of the device isn’t much but it is a pain in the ass the fact that an OEM version of Windows 8.1 will cost around $160 in which case I might be just better off purchasing a Mac mini and using that instead which has all the benefits of OS X, a wireless keyboard, touch pad and controlling it all from my sofa.

4 thoughts on “Getting healthy and technology stuff

  1. Happy New Year, congrats on the new MacBook Pro – all the best for 2015 on your fitness plans.

    I’ve gone through the same mental gymnastics recently on the Mac Mini vs. Intel NUC – when I compare a mid-grade Mini against a similarly spec’d NUC, the price of the parts alone comes out pretty much on par between the two.

    Of course, you’re then left with the final assembly and software installation (not that difficult) and a mixed network, which may or may not be a good thing, plus the other things you’ve mentioned (OS X, keyboard, touch pad etc.)

    I always end up saying to myself, “Don’t waste your time, buy the Mini”, though I have not done so yet as my current media server is still running fine.

    1. Been a long time we last chatted – I’ve been cleaning through my twitter and WordPress account removing out of date reviews etc.

      The MacBook Pro is a massive leap forward and the SSD is the icing on the cake – especially when it comes to battery life and speed. Honestly, when I heard about SSD’s I was skeptical but having used one for the last week or so since it arrived I can see why the industry is moving towards it. I’m looking forward to seeing the iMac receive a refresh some time this year and I’ll go for the same configuration of a 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM but I’m still undecided whether I should go for the 5K or non-Retina – I wondering whether the iMac 5K is designed for the prosumer with maybe a 4K version for the iMac coming out later this year which can be supported using a bog standard Thunderbolt 2 connector rather than the proprietary tweaked up connector used in the iMac 5K – maybe I’ll get lucky and Apple will use the nVidia 900M series.

      Regarding the television, there are some pretty good set top boxes out there so I’m probably better off just getting a Freeview box and an Apple TV then airplay videos from my laptop (or iMac when I eventually get it – network from my iMac to router using power line networking, then from the router to the Apple TV using a cat5 cable) rather than the amount required for a NUC or Mac mini because both seem to be over kills for what I want to do.

      1. Yes, it has been some time, hasn’t it – though I’ve remained a faithful reader and haven’t missed a single post (the benefits of subscribing!)

        I’m definitely a huge fan of SSDs and have them in almost all of the machines in our house. I’ve put all of them in myself as we have yet to buy anything that shipped with one, but it is a worthwhile upgrade and pretty easy to do.

        You may be on to something with the iMac 5K thought; I could see Apple going the route of having their “entry” level iMac, then the mid-grade model with 4K and the high end version with the 5K. It does seem like 4K is decent for large computer displays – I think it is wasted for televisions myself, given the typical viewing distances for that kind of display (my eyes are quite sharp and I have compared a good quality 1080p TV against a similarly sized 4K TV at identical distances – I could not see any difference worth the expense).

        We are still using Apple TVs in our home as the simple interface and remote work well for our children. I am currently driving it via iTunes on an old Dell laptop that runs Windows 8.1, with the media on an external HDD – I just rip everything that isn’t purchased from Apple to the suitable format using Handbrake and it works extremely well. Very soon I will be going the route you sketched out with power line networking, and going forward I’ll probably just keep doing the same (due to the ever growing library of videos).

  2. @Brett Legree

    My main concern with the iMac 5K is the reports regarding the temperature of the GPU but having just read through a post made by someone regarding the high temperatures of their computer there was something I noticed. The ambient temperature of the room (based on the screenshot of the istat menu) was that it was 31 degrees celsius which means any air that was being sucked it was the equivalent of blowing warm air over a hot surface and hoping that it cools it down effectively. Given that my office never gets to 31 degrees celsius let alone above 25 degrees celsius I have a feeling that the performance will be ok and the issues regarding temperature will turn out to be non-issues.

    I’m having a look at getting maybe a refurbished Mac mini – although the Apple TV tempted the problem is that I would need to re-encode the movies to something that is compatible where as just keeping a standard Mac mini enables me to use VLC to play movies and keep what ever format they’re in. There is the other possibility of using the built in functionality of the freeview box but I guess that depends on what format the set top box support. Before I do any of that I’m looking at getting a new television given that what I have is one of the first LCD’s and the colours are very washed out and the picture isn’t as clear – I’m sure they’ll have a sale on soon at Noel Leeming and I’ll pick one up when I see it on special.

    I just had a look at the holidays I have saved up, 345hours, which is around 8 weeks of holidays so my boss has been asking me when I’ll start to use them up – I’ll probably end up using them once I get my MacBook Pro paid off (by the end of this month) and I’ll buy an iMac 5K at the right time so that it arrives as I go on holiday – get to spend having fun with my new toy.

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