Author Archives: Skrieder

The 3 Best Streaming Devices Under $50

Did you get a little extra Christmas cash this year? Or maybe not sure how to spend that gift card? Join us as we countdown the top 3 streaming devices under $50.

#3 – Roku 3500R Streaming Stick (HDMI) – $49.99

The Roku Streaming Stick is a solid device, but we’re giving in third place. It’s the most expensive of the three devices we couldn’t find any solid reason to shell out the extra dough.

#2 – Google Chromecast – $29.99

The Chromecast is definitely a neat little device! You’ll easily be able to cast tabs from your chrome browser on your computer, phone, or tablet to your TV in HD. However, we found that it’s versatility is also it’s crutch. Because the Chromecast depends on users to configure additional devices you can sometimes run into tiny glitches. In addition, not all WiFi devices are supported and if you have a locked down router you might experience issues casting from your devices to the Chromecast.

#1 – Fire TV Stick – $39.99

The Amazon Fire Stick is by far our favorite streaming gadget under $50! This nifty little stick comes with it’s own remote allowing for quick and seamless setup. The remote only has several buttons and is designed with simplicity in mind. In addition the user is forced to watch a quick 60 second setup video when they first activate the device, which is great for teaching kids or adults how to use their new stick. This stick can do it all, it can stream Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime content.

Xbox One Setup Stuck at Controller Screen

The Xbox One is here!

Many have posted online that they were able to quickly and seamlessly setup their Xbox One and get straight to the gaming.

I decided to do a quick setup and recycled my HDMI cable from a previous device. After several startups this left me stuck at the controller screen prompting me to press A.

After installing the HDMI cable which came with the device and conducting a power cycle the device promptly proceeded to the remainder of the setup. Now I’m happily enjoying my new console. The cable I used may have been a lower grade HDMI cable, or it may have simply been a software fluke fixed by the power cycle. Have you been able to setup your console? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Gaming!

TMUX

I’ve recently fallen in love with TMUX. It’s a terminal multiplexer that allows you to rock multiple panes in a single terminal window. If you run TMUX on your server and the client disconnects just re-attach to the session in progress to resume your work.

To get started from Ubuntu do a:
sudo apt-get install tmux

Then type tmux once:
$tmux

A few commands to get you started:
$ctrl+b, c #creates a new tab in the current dir.
$ctrl+b, 0 # switch to tab 0
$ctrl+b, 1 # switch to tab 1
$ctrl d #closes the open tab
$ctrl+b, d #exit tmux

Then the next time you login simply type:
$tmux at #connects to your last session in progress

Finally, to find out more commands check out:
$tmux, ? #tmux help, hit q to quit

Happy coding!
Scott J. Krieder

Nike Fuelband

The Nike Fuelband is an accelerometer/watch combo that allows you to track your steps, calories burned, and Nike fuel points earned.

Nike fuel points are an arbitrary number assigned to how active you are. The points earned for various exercises will vary from person to person depending on weight and height.

Here are a few tips to help you get started using the Nike Fit:

  1. iOS Application – Currently, there only exists an iOS version of the Nike Fuel application. If you don’t have an iOS device, then maybe the Fuelband is not for you. We love the interface and data visualization provided by the app and think it makes the Fuelband even more valuable. Download it here!
  2. Optimize your band. The Calories burned, and Steps taken are neat information to have but we really don’t care for them. Turn those off from the iOS app or the desktop application.  It makes scrolling through the band much easier when viewing the time or Fuel earned.
  3. Not a runner? The Fuelband reports certain exercises much better than others. For instance running will report extremely well because your entire body is in motion. However, when lifting, biking, or doing yoga you might not get an accurate reading.

In the end, we love it! It’s a great product, made well, with exceptional battery lifetime.

Enjoy,

Scott J. Krieder

The Tangled Web

The Tangled Web Cover

“The Tangled Web” written by Michal Zalewski and published by No Starch Press is a great way to learn about browsers, and web application security. What I like most about this book, and a lot of the No Starch Press books, is that this book is not a text book. Instead, this book is a story. That being said, there are plenty of code examples provided in the book that you can plug into your favorite editor and try out. There is no online repository of code examples from the book, but most of the examples are short enough to type without error. Also, the folks here at SmallTownGeeks think you’ll learn more from typing them out yourself ;) Overall a great read, and highly recommended for anyone looking to get into the Web Application space.

Happy Hacking,

Scott J. Krieder