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We spent 5-nights at ‘Skylands’ at the start of this month. It was wonderful & memorable. Definitely recommend it.
When I was looking through the reviews I saw a lot of conflicting reports about Wi-Fi & TV availability. So, let me please give you the definitive update.
Skyland has Wi-Fi. It is very slow (like 45kbps) BUT it is stable & reliable. Yes, you get more bandwidth the less folks using it. So, bandwidth is better late at night as folks go to bed. That is where the stability & reliability kicks in. Though it is slow, it is not erratic & as such does NOT kick you out. Why am I stressing this. It means that photo backup to the cloud happened.
That was my biggest concern. Having my photos from my Google Pixel 4 backed up to Google Photo. Though I was taking 200 pictures a day the Wi-Fi was adequate enough to back 90% to Google Photos during the night as I slept. I activated data when I wanted to access a Website. Cell reception isn’t great, so there wasn’t much bandwidth with data either.
Wi-Fi is better around the office & dining room area. But, there is plenty of space to hang out. So, that wasn’t a problem.
We (of course (SMILE)) opted for a SUPERIOR room in the main building — attached to the office. See above pictures. All those rooms had TV. When I heard that Wi-Fi was poor I wanted TV given that I am a news junkie. These rooms were good. Quiet enough & a rather nice view overlooking Luray — in the valley below. The cabins are more rustic. IF, I am lucky enough to go back again I might give one of the cabins a spin NOW that I know where most of them are. SMILE. Yes, I did a lot of walking & exploring.
Hope this helps. GREAT PLACE. We were lucky. Memorable.
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Of course, from Amazon. Search ‘SSK 2TB’.
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What the SSK APP looks like.
This is when I am TRAVELLING & don’t have ready access to FAST Internet to backup my pictures on the cloud.
We, with our PHONES, take cloud backup for GRANTED but that is contingent on having decent Wi-Fi/Internet — especially when you take as many pictures as I do.
What happens if you don’t have Wi-Fi/Internet, the connection is patchy or it is just too slow. Your photos don’t get backed-up. That is OK UNTIL something BAD happens to your phone — lose it, drop it, break it or you accidently delete the photos.
That is where this little (& it is small enough) GIZMO steps in.
It has its own built-in Wi-Fi.
You connect your phone, Google Pixel 4, in my case, to that Wi-Fi. Yes, you have to type in the password each time.
Once you are connected & LOGGED IN (password AGAIN), Bob’s your uncle. It will automatically backup your pictures. Just what I wanted.
Why Wi-Fi rather than an USB connection.
Bloody Android 10! Clobbered USB-attached storage. I tried. I tried.
That is when I found this. This works.
TDS Telecom Did The 1 Gig (i.e., Gigabit) Upgrade — Still Some Ways To Go; I Lost 20-Years Of Life Expectancy!
My knee surgery in March was much, much less painful and stressful!
What a morning. Aahhhhh!
I knew it was NOT going to be easy and we are NOT done yet. I still need to get a Cat 6 cable installed outside. I knew that that was coming too.
And to cap it all, they were using my Drobo External RAID disk storage as an armrest! As always I was too polite to tell them to mend their ways. After they left I had to do a FULL data recovery/build on the Drobo. That took 3-hours!
The Atlantic Broadband router (and thus the network) is GONE — though I am still going to be paying for it till November 6, 2019. C’est la vie.
Because TDS had to install an extender, as I knew they would, we have 3 Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi is OK. Not great. OK.
2nd Attempt On Monday To Get 1 Gigabit Internet To My PC — This Time With TDS (Who Claim That It Is Guaranteed).
From August 2018 when ‘Atlantic Broadband’ failed miserably.
What can I say. I have been putting this off because I hate disruptions to my Internet services — and yes you read that correct. It is still, until November 6, 2019, services — as in plural, viz. TDS and bloody Atlantic Bloody Broadband. But, then it is going to be just TDS — and hopefully TDS with 1 Gigabit.
I had, for the last 4-years (or more), two Internet services for redundancy. If one went down I, hopefully, was not dead in the water. That has worked out.
But, I just cannot deal with bloody Atlantic Bloody Broadband any longer. They are garbage.
But, I am NOT abandoning redundancy. I am going to get unlimited data on 3 of our phones and I will ‘hotspot’ when needed.
I should have gone with TDS 1 Gigabit a year ago. I didn’t. My mistake. My fault.
It all has to do with wiring. I have a complicated, complex and convoluted network — as would befit someone who worked on high end corporate networks for 30-years.
To get TDS 1 Gigabit to THIS PC TDS will have to move their ‘access point’ 3-floors — from the 1st floor to the 4th. I was trying to avoid that. WHY? Because THIS PC has to be hardwired to the modem/router. No Wi-Fi on this PC. I need hardwired bandwidth.
Well, fingers crossed. Wish me luck. I will keep you posted.
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A very attractive, appealing smartwatch. Compelling from the moment you set eyes on it.
Was a breeze to pair it, update the software and set it up for use.
I had it 58% charged in 40-minutes. Nice long USB cable and the cradle fits well.
We have dual-band Wi-Fi, and as I knew beforehand, the Versa 2 only supports one of the bands. But, it found it quickly and connecting was not an issue. Again, first time in that I did not screw up the password.
Once, connected to Wi-Fi, again as I knew would be the case, it needed to download and install the latest version of software. Downloading (on what is a fairly high speed Wi-Fi network) took 4-minutes. Installation another 3. So, 7-minutes in total. Not bad. I have had 1+hour updates.
Setting up Alexa was also a breeze. Yes, I had to logon to my Amazon account. Connected first time.
The rest of the set-up was painless and easy.
I even managed to turn-on the ‘Always On’ display. Pretty basic, but gives you the essentials.
So, so far, so good.
I am happy. I am impressed.
They, HRM USA, is having a Fitbit Versa 2 GIVEAWAY.
Search ‘Garmin’ & ‘Fitbit’.
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Attribution WILL be enforced.
A great place. Very welcoming, airy and cozy feel. Outgoing staff. Extremely friendly patrons. Delightful, satisfying food — and ‘yes’ their 6oz burger is very, very good.
We had a wonderful time. Met some interesting folks.
They don’t take credit cards — and I will readily admit that that irks I. This is now an unnecessary affectation. Not cute, anymore. Jack up the prices or even say 10% surcharge for using credit cards. But, please take my damn card. Yes, they have an ATM on site which charged me $5 to withdraw $40 — though it claims that it only charges $2.50. Cute. Just on principle I called up my bank and had the extra $2.50 reversed! SMILE. Principle. I would have paid $5 if that is what it said. But, do NOT tell me $2.50 and then charge me $5.00. Yes, making the call cost me more than $2.50 BUT it was worth it.
They also don’t have Wi-Fi. I am cool with that. They have a sign saying ‘No Wi-Fi, make believe it is 1985 and talk with each other‘ (or similar). I actually agree with that. But, they, kind of twoface on this DO NOT tell people to NOT use their damn cell phones. One gentleman in particular, much to my amusement and delight, conducted a rather private phone call, to no doubt a client of his, discussing some sensitive legal matters. I knew what they were talking about. Made my day. It was like being in a TV show. But, this did not detract from the meal.
Yes, most likely will go back. Would love to hear more phone calls like that. Well, you too might want to go to check out the burger and see what phone calls you can hear. Try not to use the ATM. SMILE. There is a Market Basket 4-miles down the road. You can withdraw money from them for ‘free’ (which is what I normally do). SMILE.
Anywho … It was good.
Wi-Fi MESH networks are akin to having a cell network across your house for Wi-Fi. It is not the same as using Wi-Fi extenders — more a case of having multiple satellite Wi-Fi access points that flood your house with Wi-Fi signals. It has been around for at least 4-years, with Google one of the pioneers.
I have looked at it and to intend to upgrade to such a MESH network one of these days.
EERO, by no means, is the only provider. Most Wi-Fi providers now offer some level of MESH networking.
Pretty obvious why Amazon wants the technology. They will incorporate it with Alexa. You will then have Alexa all around your house — without any blind spots! You could interact with Alexa from the bathroom. Scary. Plus, Google has it.
I am surprised that Amazon did not go with Ubiquiti Networks. That would have been my choice. Maybe Ubiquiti was overkill, whereas EERO has just enough for what Amazon wants to do with Alexa.
‘Amazfit Verge’ A Very Attractive & Pleasing Smartwatch With GPS/Glonass & Continuous Heart Rate Monitoring.
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As those of you familiar with this blog must know, I am ‘into’ activity trackers and, moreover, wear one 24×7 (which for the last 10-months has been, bar a few days, here and there, a Garmin Fenix 5 (Plus)). I keep an eye on the industry and try and check out smartwatches that really catch my fancy. The ‘Amazfit Verge‘, happened to be one of these.
Amazfit has been on my radar for a few months. I think they have HUGE potential. If they play their cards right they could be the next Fitbit. They definitely have the resources, backing, technology and know-how to do that. They are a part of Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi. That gives them a lot of muscle and clout — not to mention incentive.
The ‘Verge’ is Amazfit’s latest smartwatch. I was impressed with its specs and looks as soon as I saw them some months back. I have been trying to get my hands on one ever since.
I got one on Friday, and have been wearing it for the last 24-hours.
I like it. I like it a LOT. It is a very PLEASING watch. Personable. A watch you can relate to it. A visually striking and very attractive display. Bright and bold. Not washed out. It is going to be a nice watch to run with.
We, in the northeast, were pounded by a huge snow & sleet storm today — as some of you may know. So, I spent over 3.5 hours, outside, in the cold, shoveling. Of the 8,000 steps I have taken so far today, at least 7,000 were of me pushing snow.
The ‘Verge’, from what I can see, is pretty accurate in terms of steps, floors climbed and heart-rate. The HR maybe 5 bpm too fast — but it definitely seems to be in the right range.
It records a TON of data. I am still wading through and trying to get to grips with it. Didn’t have much time today — with all that shoveling.
The APP, once I got it paired, works fine. I have automatic synching on and it synchs fine. I have both Bluetooth & Wi-Fi set-up. Setting up Wi-Fi was a breeze.
So, far … I am SOLD. Sold, big time. For this price this is quite the watch, with a responsive touch-screen to boot.
Much more to come, of course. This was but a quick, ‘first impressions’.
Yes, I finally managed to get an Amazfit Verge — yesterday. Today, I got around to unpacking it. Yes, this is still with the protective cover on it. You can see the little flap at the bottom with the red line.
I am still in the process of setting it up. Alas, it wasn’t as straightforward as I had hoped. For a start the Amazfit APP does not work with Android 9 — as in my trusty Google Pixel 2! That did not amuse me much. I had to install the APP on a Tablet. That worked. After that it was fairly straightforward sailing. Connecting to Wi-Fi was a breeze and downloading a new software update was pretty easy.
I haven’t started wearing it on my wrist as yet. Will do so shortly.
Yes, I will keep YOU posted. It is very light. WOW.
I resisted ‘TDS TV‘ and TDS 1 Gig Internet for nearly 2-years. Just wasn’t sure whether it would meet some stringent requirement for good, HD quality TV. Finally, last weekend I decided to take the plunge because I really do need to upgrade and rationalize my ‘networks’ — and yes, I do have two: one from TDS and the other from Atlantic Broadband.
I will, within the month, be upgrading to TDS 1 Gig Internet. But, before I did that I wanted to see how TDS TV performed.
I am IMPRESSED and VERY PLEASED.
The HD quality is outstanding. Haven’t noticed any delay or jitter as yet.
The 300Mbps Internet service seems SOLID. I am delighted.
They insist on using an ActionTech Wi-Fi router and the one they installed today wasn’t bad at all. Actually pretty damn good. Good signal strength.
The two technicians that came to do the install, Michael V. and Micale V. (not related), were impeccable.
Overall a GREAT experience. I was over the moon.
My Atlantic Broadband 1 Gig is still not perfect, BUT this TDS install made up for it.
I will keep you posted.
But, right now, two thumbs up for TDS TV.