Showing posts with label electronics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label electronics. Show all posts

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sling TV Review (Alternative to Cable TV)

Cable TV bills getting you down? Need a cheaper alternative but don't want to give up your favorite stations and shows? Then do what I did. Try Sling TV and stream top-rated cable channels directly to your TV, computer, phone, or tablet for just $20 a month!
Sling TV Review - Alternative to Cable TV
My TV, my hand,  my Fire TV Stick screen, my Sling TV. Love it! 

Excuse me if I sound like a commercial, but I'm excited about this. We've never had cable TV at our house (we use an antenna), but we do have a Fire TV Stick which we use to stream movies, listen to music, and more. A couple of months ago I became aware of a service, an app really, called Sling Television that we could download to our Fire TV Stick to watch the cable TV channel that I was craving. Yes, I got the app primarily for one channel (TNT), to watch one show (Major Crimes), but the standard $20 monthly cost actually includes more than 20 stations including ESPN and ESPN2, the History channel and H2, A&E, the Food Network, HGTV, the Travel Channel, CNN, and more. What a deal!

We're talking 23 (at last count) LIVE cable television stations that you can watch for just $20 (plus tax) a month. You can also get HBO for $15 more a month, the Sports Extra, Deportes Extra, Kids Extra, Hollywood Extra, plus several other add-on packages for $5 each, but only if you want those channels. See the full list at the website.

Don't have a Fire TV stick or Fire TV? No problem! Play Sling through your Roku, Xbox One, Android or iOS device, your PC or Mac, or your Kindle Fire.

Since I use the app with my Fire Stick, I actually signed up via the app on Amazon and got a 14-day free trial (that offer is still in effect as I type this) and I pay, conveniently, a month at a time through my Amazon account. Oh, did I mention that there are no contracts? All I have to do is cancel if I change my mind.

So, how well does Sling TV work? For me, quite well. Navigation is easy. While the screen has frozen perhaps a couple of times, it's been rare. I remember once when the audio and video were horribly out of sync, but I just exited the app then went right back in and everything was fine. Obviously your mileage may vary depending on the device you're using and the reliability of your wi-fi connection.

Speaking as a non-techy person, I set this up myself and I'm the one who usually controls the remote, so that proves that it's easy to use. Is SlingTV a good choice for you? I don't know your needs, but for me, I can watch Major Crimes on Monday nights, plus a lot of other great shows, and I don't have a cable bill or a contract, so I'm happy. With the 14-day trial, you really have nothing to lose.

Where do I sign up for Sling TV?
Download the app on Amazon and you'll be eligible for the 14-day trial.  Learn more about the service and see the current line-up of shows on the Sling Television website, but you'll only get a 7-day trial if you sign up there. (Prices and terms subject to change.)

So tell me, do you have cable TV or do you use an alternative service such as Sling?

P.S. Update: It's been almost three months since I wrote this review and I'm enjoying Sling more and more. Between baseball playoffs and college football, I'm using it more and more, too.  

-- Susan Deppner

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hewlett-Packard Printer Review



HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Series Computer Printer

Available on Amazon

I recently upgraded the operating system on my home desktop computer.  As a result, my old printer could no longer 'talk' to my computer, so I needed to purchase a new printer.  I wasn't surprised, as my old printer was 8 years old and was made for operating systems 4 upgrades ago!

After getting my newly revised computer back, I went shopping for a compatible printer, first doing some research online.  I knew I wanted a printer that would do more than print, as I often need to make copies of documents and I do a lot of scanning.  The computer tech who upgraded my computer advised me to first look at the prices of ink cartridges and find a model that was inexpensive, since the ink is the biggest ongoing expense you will have with a printer.


HP Ink Cartridges


Easy Order on Amazon
The printer I purchased not only had reasonably priced ink cartridges, but also happened to be made by a company I've been pleased with in the past ~ Hewlett-Packard.  My very first computer printer back in the early 1990s was an HP and I liked it very much.  And, come to find out, not only are the ink cartridges for my new printer less expensive than the model I was using previously, but they print more than TWICE as many pages per cartridge (up to 190 pages) than the others did and the print is very crisp and sharp on the page.  


HP Envy Printer Model 5530

Needless to say, I am VERY pleased with my new HP Envy 5530 e-All-in-One (print-copy-scan) computer printer! It has a color control panel on the front you can activate with the touch of a finger (or use the printer controls from the computer).  The ink cartridges and paper are both easy to load.  You can print from your smartphone or your tablet, and from an Internet-connected PC. And it has wireless capabilities so it can be located anywhere you need it to be.

This HP Envy printer has so many more features than my old printer did.  For instance, it is able to do two-sided printing, and you can view and print photos from the color touchscreen and produce borderless, lab-quality photos.  And the best part, when I was ready to buy, I found that this HP printer was on Sale!

So now my home office is all set for awhile – a completely revamped desktop computer with a new OS and additional RAM…. And, a brand new spiffy-looking printer. 




Article by Wednesday Elf



*Written on 7/25/15. Updated 7/27/2018


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Monday, March 30, 2015

Otter Box - Protection for Your Electronics

Otter Box for the Moto X
After recently dropping my phone in a parking lot, for the umpteenth time, and finding it to be undamaged, I realized I should write a review on the protective phone case I am fortunate to own - the Otter Box Defender Series. The Otter Box is a rugged, shock-absorbing, attractive case for your android phone, iphone, tablet, or e-reader.


Why I love my Otter Box


I don't like to update my phone with each new model. There are several reasons that I'm so slow at trading in phones.  I worry about phones finding their way into land fills, I don't like to learn new gadgets, and I don't like to spend extra money.  In fact, I like to hang onto each phone until my plan allows for a free phone. Because I am frugal when it comes to electronics and because I am a very clumsy person in general, I need heavy-duty protection for my cell phones.

I have seen students, friends, and family members who have broken their phones from seemingly minor accidents.  My phone accidents tend to include incidents such as dropping my phone from my pocket as I'm exiting my Jeep. I watch in horror as my phone bounces on the pavement.  But so far, knock wood, my phones have been undamaged.

I am quite sure that my current smart phone would have been damaged had it not been for the Otter Box protective case.  There are many reasons that I love my Otter Box


  • I love the color - the dark blue matches my light blue phone
  • The "rubbery" material is easy to stretch over the phone; easy to put on and take off
  • Unlike hard/"plastic" phone cases, this never breaks or pops off unexpectedly
  • The port/access areas of my phone are covered by "flaps". The flaps are durable,  have not broken off, and continue to protect the ports.
  • The heavy-duty, removable clip is perfect for keeping my phone from becoming lost in my hiking bag - keeping it accessible and secure.
  •  I have hidden a few dollars for safe keeping between the clip and the case when hiking in clothing without pockets. 

Otter Box for Tablets


If you, or your children, carry tablets with them there is probably no better case to use for the protection of that investment. This is the Otter Box for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1.  You can see that it also has a durable clip that doubles as a kickstand. 


Otter Box for the Samsung Galaxy Tablet

Protect Your Kindle with Otter Box


I will soon upgrade my original Kindle to a newer version. When I do, I will be very tempted to buy an Otter Box case to protect it. I was thrilled to find that Otter Box makes a case for the newer Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire.  




The Otter Box, with a screen film protector, has been great insurance for my cell phone investment and has kept my phone looking like new.  While the Otter Box is not advertised to be water resistant or weather resistant, my phone has been protected during bad weather hiking trips as well as during clumsy incidents in parking lots. Whether you are looking for protection in order to increase the longevity of your electronics, out of concern about the environment, or for some other reason, I believe the Otter Box is an excellent way to protect your valuable electronics.






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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner