Posts About: Stick Computers

AWOW Windows 10 Mini PC

With the dwindling number of Android Sticks being produced it’s great to see that some manufacturers have not abandoned the market entirely.  A whole crop of Windows Sticks is being created and many of them go well beyond the minimal functionality we’ve grown used to accepting.

I’ve been scouring the manufacturer and distributor sites for any sort of indication of a resurgence among Android Sticks, but I’m sorry to say that we’ll have to appease our selves with the growing number of Android TV Boxes.

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Round is the New Square

If you’re familiar with any of the currant assistant devices from Amazon, Google and now Apple you’ve probably noticed one particular thing they have in common. They’re all round. There’s a few reasons for doing this, including making a better footprint for microphone pickup.

There’s also something to be said for the form factor. Round is sexier than square or rectangular. I can’t think of a single square body part, but I’m quick to recall a few well-placed round ones. I’m speaking of course, of eyes. Did you think I was referring to something else?

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Finding Balance in All Things

It’s important to maintain balance in life. Not just in work and leisure time, but in all things, including diet, exercise and sleep. For many years much of my life was what I’d call out of balance. In one way or another I was not counteracting the negative with a positive. Either I was not in good physical shape, working too many hours or spending way too much time in non-productive activities.

There are a myriad of ways that you can go about bringing balance to your life. If you’re lucky it will be of your own choosing. If you’re not so lucky, the decision will be made for you. It will show up in ways that become all to obvious, such as failing health.

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Coffee Shops, Laptops and Foldable Keyboards

When I was busy writing screenplays I used to spend a lot of time in coffee shops, libraries and other third spaces.  In fact, if you’re looking for a screenplay I have a few just laying around collecting dust.  Now that I’m writing for the web, I spend more time at home and less time in coffee shops.

For me, the least convenient part of my outside time was trying to find seating where I could get good access to WiFi, electricity and perhaps some quality food and drink.  It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, but any of you who’ve done the same know how rare it is to find that “great good place”.

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Top Selling Products for April

It’s always helpful for me to know what people are interested in reading about.  Since we talk about mainly Stick Computers and TV Boxes here, it goes without saying that most of you are interested in reading about those!  But it’s also surprising sometimes to see the things you’ve purchased that aren’t either Sticks or Boxes.

I thought it might be interesting for readers to know what other readers have deemed purchase-worthy.  Don’t worry, we have no idea who bought what.  That’s between you and Amazon.  Thanks to all who clicked and bought something! It helps us to continue to review great products.

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The Hobbyist and Arduino

In the early stages of development, a tech product like Stick Computers tends to attract a certain category of buyer. The first adopters are generally considered very technical or hobbyist type people. As the product category matures, the user base widens to include all sorts of participants, including the most novice.

If I’m being honest, the first couple of generations of Stick Computers that came on to the market were not very good. There were exceptions, of course, such as the old reliable MK808’s. But many of the others were simply not good. Often they suffered from shoddy manufacturing and inferior components.

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Roku Streaming Stick

I admit I’ve never been a big fan of so-called “Big Box” stores.  These are the giant strip-mall type super-mega stores that sell everything from Pet food to Mattresses to Consumer Electronics.  The main reason that I avoided these places was because I never felt I was allowed to “just browse” without being asked a dozen times “Can I help you find something”?

If a salesperson is knowledgeable about the merchandise they’re selling, it’s one thing, but especially with consumer electronics, I feel confident that I am more familiar with the stuff I’m browsing than whomever it is trying to sell it to me.  In case you are one of those sales guys (or gals) who does know his stuff – I’m not talking about you.  You know who I’m talking about and he probably works at your store, too.

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Khanka Travel Case for Fire Stick

Because I’ve been somewhat footloose my entire life, I place a high value on things that are small and portable.  It’s the main thing that attracted me to Stick Computing in the first place.  The idea of being able to carry your computer in a shirt pocket was something I dreamed about for years.  Of course today we have many ways of achieving that same goal with either phones, tablets or Mini PC’s.

In addition to hand-held mobile devices, I’ve always been a fan of Laptop computers.  My first “laptop” was actually not called a laptop, but a transportable computer made by Compaq.  I purchased a Compaq portable in the spring of 1984 for a stunning $3,000 and change. It boasted a single half-height 5¼” 360 kB diskette drive and a whopping 10Mb hard disk.  At 28lbs, it was just barely what could be called portable and definitely not laptop.

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Mini Pocket Projectors

For many of us, the primary use of a Stick Computer or TV Box is to display our media. Whether you’re into movies or music, or you prefer getting your content from a DVD collection or Youtube, the basic need is the same. You want a player that’s capable of handling a wide variety of formats and displaying it correctly without distortion or interruption. Hook it up to our monitors and we’re good to go. What more can we ask for, right?

It turns out there is one more thing we can ask our little guys to do. In addition to being great little streamers, there are also a smaller, but growing number of devices that can also directly project media without the need for a TV or Monitor. Having seen some early versions in action I was still a bit skeptical of what sort of performance you might expect from such a compact and inexpensive device, but I have to say that I’ve come away mildly impressed at what you can buy right now.

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Using your Fire Tablet as a Controller

I’ve written previously on the Amazon Fire TV Stick and several other of their home devices, including the Echo Dot. Although this blog is about Stick Computers and TV Boxes, as any owner of these devices can tell you, there’s plenty of opportunity to interface with your mobile devices. A phone or tablet paired with a TV Stick is a powerful combo.

Like many early adopters, I can get stuck with equipment that is rapidly obsoleted as companies rush to resolve first gen issues. I have a first generation Fire TV Stick, and aside from the abysmal control the navigation ring provides, it’s also lacking voice control input. Since it leaves a lot to be desired, I’ve tried various controllers and hybrid solutions to manage the Stick.

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