Tech toys!

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Tech toys!

Postby DMoney » 06/16/15, 9:59 am

I'm surprised this hasn't been done yet. I'm a huge technology geek, and love playing with new toys. Because of that passion, I'm regularly updating my technology and getting new things. I've seen other places talk about their daily technology, their go-bags, or other posts about what they are currently using. So I thought it'd be fun to see what everyone uses and loves!
  • Phone - Nexus 6 by Motorola (I've been a huge Motorola fan since the OG Droid, started losing hope around the Moto Razr (android) days, and regained that love with Moto X)
  • Tablet - Nexus 7 2013 (We also have an old Motorola Xoom that we occasionaly use around the house)
  • Watch - Moto 360 (I LOOOOVE this thing and couldn't live without it now)
  • Laptop - HP Envy 7, Toshiba Chromebook 2 (which has really surprised me and been way better than I thought it would be)
  • TV add-ons - Shield TV Pro (Android TV set-top box which has been lots of fun)
  • Home Automation - Nest Thermostat, Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener

Maybe some day I'll be as cool as Neo and get some Google Glass; I just need the price to drop some before I can justify that purchase. Anyways, what does everyone else use??

I'll update my post as I get other new things or remember other things that are a regular part of my life.
-D$
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Re: Tech toys!

Postby Neo » 06/16/15, 10:10 am

Not sure why I didn't post about this either. My gadgets span across lots of services and environments...
  • Phone: Nexus 6 (AT&T)
  • Tablet: iPad 3 (AT&T)
  • Laptop: MacBook Pro (2014), Chromebook Beta (2012), Raspberry Pi Laptop (custom built)
  • Desktop: Custom built Windows 8.1
  • Watch: Pebble Time - There was absolutely nothing wrong with my OG Pebble, but getting the color display and microphone have been nice improvements
  • Other stuff: Google Glass, obviously - they came in super handy during the house buying process with email, phone, text and calendar notifications, as well as getting directions to the next listing on the fly
  • Other stuff: My LIFX and ilumi lightbulbs - I keep the ilumi (Bluetooth) bulb at the office on my desk with a scheduled on/off timer, and the LIFX (WiFi) at home to connect with the Nest Thermostat to toggle the light when the Nest determines we are away, making it look like we're home
  • Other stuff: Also the Nest Thermostat - I control the temp from my phone, iPad or watch, which is super handy since we have one upstairs and one downstairs
  • Other stuff: Amazon Echo - it's nice to have a home assistant that can turn on some music, get notifications/traffic/weather updates, and other general in-home computer aid services
  • Other stuff: Sense by Hello - an orb that sits on my night stand and monitors the sleeping patterns an conditions of the room, with an alarm that wakes me up. It's a lot nicer than the other sleeping stuff I've used.
My goal is to automate just about everything in my life, and most things are there - alarm system, fish tank, lights, computers... Soon I'll have the ability to automate my door locks with Sesame (on Kickstarter). I like to fund the future, so a lot of my stuff is from kickstarter, or any early adopter programs I can get invited to.
[[Neo]]
"Because I choose to."

Re: Tech toys!

Postby DMoney » 06/16/15, 10:16 am

Hrm...you've reminded me of some other things I have like the Nest thermostat and MyQ technology Garage door opener. I'm gonna have to update my post.

I agree with the automating my life though. I'll probably be buying a Dropcam soon (the newer one made by Nest that will be announced tomorrow). I'm also looking for a good alarm system, but haven't found one that satisfies all my wants.

I need to checkout your lights during the TSN LAN Party. I've been wanting some WiFi lights for quite a while now, just haven't pulled the trigger.
-D$
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Re: Tech toys!

Postby Neo » 06/16/15, 1:17 pm

I use Reliant (the people who do Electricity) for the security system as well. I'm not 100% recommending it, mainly because it's lacking some features...but it does have a mobile app that I can arm/disarm from, and cellular service since I don't have a land line phone.
[[Neo]]
"Because I choose to."

Re: Tech toys!

Postby DMoney » 06/17/15, 8:57 am

Interesting. We have Reliant for electricity, and I had no idea they also did home security. I'll definitely check them out to see if they'd meet my needs. What are the features that you feel they're lacking?
-D$
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Re: Tech toys!

Postby Neo » 06/17/15, 9:05 am

For me, the ability to have a door-open chime that doesn't sound like a doorbell. we've had to turn the volume way down so that we don't readily hear it. But it has desensitized us to the actual doorbell. And they played hardball to get a second panel installed when the system the house came with already had a 2nd panel upstairs...the point of the second panel is that it is a two-story house. I had to hold out on my purchase for 3 months free to reduce the cost of the 2nd panel, but they still wouldn't do it for free.

I'd shop around before going with them...they caught me off guard with a sales phone call while I was moving, so I had nothing but time when it came to waiting them out for the service.
[[Neo]]
"Because I choose to."

Re: Tech toys!

Postby DMoney » 06/17/15, 9:12 am

Yeah, I probably won't call them. I'm really looking for non-traditional alarm systems. Something modern, with no monitoring. Something that will send me a push notification based on motion detection or audio detection, and that will trigger a camera to start recording a clip. Since I want video, I want something with cheap or free cloud storage (Dropcam's $10 a month for 7-days storage is more than I'm wanting to pay, I want cheaper, and don't need 7-days of storage). I obviously want something that can also detect doors and windows being opened, and a siren to go with that. I've found several options that get close to including all of that, but not quite everything. I could mix and match a few systems, but I don't know how well they'll play together.
-D$
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Re: Tech toys!

Postby Neo » 06/18/15, 9:23 am

Depending on where you live, you may not be permitted by the city to have a siren go off. There is a lot that goes into it all, but you're better off paying the $40/month for everything and getting a free installation from ADT than trying to buy all the devices yourself and monitoring it yourself. Without the monitoring you lose the instant notification to the police station to come out while you're at work or out of town. If you have video recording to something you have to have internet. If they take your computer equipment, and you're trying to roll your own home security you're out of luck at that point.
[[Neo]]
"Because I choose to."

Re: Tech toys!

Postby Pam » 06/19/15, 2:41 pm

I need a reminder to remind me to come post on this thread when I have more time!
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Re: Tech toys!

Postby Neo » 06/19/15, 5:44 pm

I need a reminder to remind me to come post on this thread when I have more time!
Come back and post here. Now it'll show up in your notifications.

I also find myself wishing I could mark something as Unread, or Snoozed like in Google Inbox. That is one of the big features I want to put into the site when I get back to work on it.
[[Neo]]
"Because I choose to."

Re: Tech toys!

Postby Pam » 06/28/15, 7:11 pm

I need a reminder to remind me to come post on this thread when I have more time!
Come back and post here. Now it'll show up in your notifications.

I also find myself wishing I could mark something as Unread, or Snoozed like in Google Inbox. That is one of the big features I want to put into the site when I get back to work on it.
Yes, now I need an Unread or snooze
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Re: Tech toys!

Postby Neo » 06/28/15, 8:15 pm

I need a reminder to remind me to come post on this thread when I have more time!
Come back and post here. Now it'll show up in your notifications.

I also find myself wishing I could mark something as Unread, or Snoozed like in Google Inbox. That is one of the big features I want to put into the site when I get back to work on it.
Yes, now I need an Unread or snooze
You had more time, came back and posted in the thread, but didn't post what your favorite tech toys were.

Additionally DMoney, we didn't get a chance to talk about all the stuff I use at my house that you wanted to talk about. :(
[[Neo]]
"Because I choose to."

Re: Tech toys!

Postby DMoney » 06/29/15, 1:09 pm

Yeah, I completely forgot about all of that. Haha. I didn't even get to experience what using Google Glass really feels like (another thing I wanted to do). But that's alright, we've gone into lockdown mode with our wallets for the next couple of months, so playing with more tech toys would only get me itching to spend more money.
-D$
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Re: Tech toys!

Postby Punix-GT » 07/6/15, 3:52 am

Due to a low abundance of money, I don't have a lot in technology itself, but I can't say that I'm Amish either =P

Phone: Moto G. Sure, it's a lower end Android, but I've been fairly happy with this phone. Boost (Sprint) service really isn't that bad except for service coverage. When I do have service, there isn't too much to complain about, and of course, I have unlimited data

Hotspot: AT&T Go Unite. $25/month for 2 Gigs. This takes care of those service coverage areas that Sprint obviously can't take care of. 2 GB doesn't seem like a lot, but surprisingly, I have yet to completely use up all 2 GBs. It's worth it to me. It's a safety precaution too. If I'm anywhere out on the road with no service, I can't get a hold of anyone. With this, I can be 99% sure I can get a hold of someone, even if its through facebook messenger. Anyone who knows me, knows I like to travel... a lot.

External Battery: Anker Astro E4, 13000 mAh, and a 16000 mAh Gorilla. I keep the big one in my car as a backup for long travel. I won't use it as much since it charges slowly compared to my Anker. At least I know my phone will always have a charge.

Computer: Custom with Windows 7 32bit. Nothing extravagant. I'm hoping I can get my hands on some upgrades at Quakecon though =D

Laptop: Just a crappy portable Toshiba Satellite that seriously needs to be reformatted. Running Win7 64bit, probably the only good thing on it.

Can't really say I have anything else really to mention, except for some musical gear, but that's technically (ha! I made a punny!) it.
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Re: Tech toys!

Postby DMoney » 07/8/15, 10:22 am

I'm hoping I can get my hands on some upgrades at Quakecon though =D
I'm jealous about Quakecon. It's been way too long since I've been to one. I know that it costs money now to BYOC and set it up, but are there things one can do for free? If it runs over the weekend, and depending on when it is, I may be able to go on Saturday and enjoy some of it.

Also, there's nothing wrong with the Moto G. It's a GREAT phone for it's price. Not much can compare to it.
-D$
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