Rocking the Sonos…


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The Sonos software for iOS is well, simply amazing. From XM to Pandora you can play anything on the sound bar from you iOS device. I am going to add a remote speaker in my office. I have a Sirius subscription for my Yamaha receiver, I am wondering if I should cancel that. Someone has to come up with a whole house Satellite radio antenna and wireless wiring system.

You know (when my sons start a sentence like that nothing good comes after it) I think the FCC should set aside some wave lengths and designate them home automation and improvement. The problem right now is that most wireless devices in the house broadcast on 2.4 and 5.0. If you aren’t careful you will have multiple signals bouncing all over your house and in the end reducing your overall bandwidth. So, FCC? please?

My wrist, that I sprained in May is still hurting. So the doctor ordered a wrist wrap. I have to say at first I was “skeptical” but the extra support is really helping. Barb found one made specifically for sleeping (thanks again sweetie) and one for daily wear. So far the pain in my wrist has reduced significantly so in the end both Barb and the Doctor were right. How long I have to wear these is the next question.

I posted two new podcasts for those of you who listen, for those requesting Fred and Ed stories, not yet. I am still trying to figure out what the next Fred and Ed will be. Since I now live with real life Fred’s and Ed’s it won’t take long.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

What is a hero–again…


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What is a hero?

I have chased this topics tail before. Each time I almost grasp the concept and am able to shake it I realize there is more to it than I’ve thought and I have to drop what I’ve caught and try again.

A hero is many things. The first thing that comes to mind for me is the firemen on 9/11 (and many other days) who run into a burning building to save the lives of other people. Or the police officer who responds to a problem or stops a car and ends up paying with his or her life. A soldier who dies in the name of our great nation.

All of those are heroes.

But there are other heroes. When I was a kid my grandfather introduced me to Herb Kent West Point Cadet, Lad a Dog and of course finally Tom Swift. Each of those stories produced a hero. I read them every summer when I visited my grandfather. Most of them had been my Uncles books so they were worn by the time I read them.

They were heroes as well.

My personal hero journey started with Dwight David Eisenhower and quickly moved to sports players. Ernie Banks was and is still one of my personal baseball heroes. I admired the song lyrics of Neil Young. He based on his caring for his son and his love of music remains to this day a hero.

The scope of heroes for me has changed.

My parents are heroes as well. You see I’ve come to realize that there are heroes you admire because of their greatness. Hero’s you admire become of their accomplishments or the battles they fought to overcome something. Finally there are the heroes you want to grow up to be just like. My grandfather and my parents fit in that category. I hope when my life is finished someone will say to me, you were as good as they were.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Kickstarter Saturday…and weekly wrap-up


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Let’s recap the non-work week.

Upgraded 2 iPads, 1 iPod touch and 1 iPhone to iOS 7. Total time spent doing anything? Less than 4 minutes total. Other than the 2 seconds to plug the devices in I always screw that part up so it doesn’t count.

Upgraded to the Sonos Playbar system for speakers. OMG.

The next big project is to finish the basement. We will start the final moving of things today. Anyone need some decent speakers? we have two Cerwin Vega floor mount and one BOSE center channel. None are needed anymore and there really isn’t an easy way to sell speakers.

Two Great Kickstarter projects:

  • For those of you who know my wife, she isn’t the biggest fan of technology. This project caught her eye. It is just begining (more than 30 days to go) but it really is quite an interesting toolset. Basically a pen that lets you draw with Sand.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/703010673/sand-pen

  • The second is another in a growing series of living in the 3d world. In this case the controller creates the interface for you with great accuracy than game systems can. This one is for the boys – they think this is pretty cool. Although, in all honesty I am not completely sure they understand what the ability to interact with the computer without keyboard and mouse, mean yet.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/576456616/imotion-3d-motion-controller-with-haptic-feedback

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

We can open the door. We can leave the light on. But I can’t walk through the door.


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The various schools of Buddhism teach us that the concept of self can be empty. Self, as an individual being simply resulting in emptiness. There are forms that believe we all achieve the next step together. Not as one but as a whole. That the concept of self (a very western concept by the way) results in the reality of one. There is no in the end “one.”

This concept of self not being larger and part of the greater reality is something I have struggled with for year. Western culture drives towards exceptional individual not group accomplishments. Although the sporting events we flock to are team events. We celebrate the star within the concept of team rather than the broader concept of team.

I find this hard to reconcile with my mind and heart. So I struggle with the dragon of self. It is a mighty dragon and pulls us ever closer to its uniqueness and individualism. Become one with yourself and you will achieve that dragon. But I am not seeking the dragon. Being a father has helped, I take great pride in the achievements of my children. Moving towards oneness across a family helps you separate from the self and become more unified.

Still the broadness of moving away from self is scary. As I said I struggle with this. I have struggled with this for years. I have dipped my toes into the water of many different religions. Until recently I have not realized the error of my quest, seeking someone else to show me a path and a way. My journey is not my goal. I have realized that my journey is a simple exploration of the concept of self. I don’t want to explore the concept of self anymore. I want to find a path to unity.

It is a long journey. From I to we.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Upgrade complete


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I have completed the iOS upgrades in the house including the iPhone, iPad and the Apple TV. All upgrades, simple easy and frankly effortless. From a migration effort standpoint virtually none on my part. The iOS infrastructure (other than the Apple TV) has an automatic backup function you simple connect to the computer running iTunes and away you go. It makes you more confident entering an upgrade. Additionally iOS upgrades in place which leaves all the settings.

Kudo’s to apple on their migration process.

iOS7 is an interesting change. It is close in many respects to the Windows 8 paradigm but at the same time it couldn’t be more different. So far I am liking the ability to control the gestures more. Also I do love the ease of moving around now, although the smaller folder window does mean fewer icons in each folder. I’ve got a few folders to keep stuff organized and overall I find myself forgetting what is in the folders. So when I don’t see the app I was looking for I end up searching for the app. Search is a lot easier now, so I don’t in the long run mind.

I haven’t found an application that doesn’t work, although Apple apparently modified how the headset jack works as I’ve gotten an email from PayPal saying to use the payment system you have to modify the application (update it).

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Great customer service from S.W.A.T home theater!!!!!


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In keeping with the tradition of my blog I only use names for really bad customer service or for fantastic customer service. If you are in the middle, you aren’t in my blog.

We had the folks from S.W.A.T home theater install and design come to the house last night to setup our basement home theater. We actually have a full theater experience now (walls painted with light neutral paint, blackout curtains and no other ambient light. They did an unbelievable job. First off they connected everything, and I have a lot of old stuff. From LaserDisc player, mini-disk player and a tape player they are all connected up and working.

We took out our traditional speakers and replaced them with the Sonos Playbar (Sonos Sub Woofer is next). The experience of sound in the room is simply amazing. The only thing left for me is to reconnect the Logitech Skype camera and we are good to go in the home theater. There is nothing quite like Football in surround sound. (or for that matter basketball or soccer).

So if you are in the mood for a home theater experience that is top notch – and are in the Southern Maryland, Northern Virginia, West Virginia area I highly recommend S.W.A.T. They did a fantastic job!

(ps the Sonos is killer as well – plus reduces the clutter of speakers in your space).

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

iOS7 the journey begins…


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I have been reading online where a bunch of my friends have upgraded their iPhones and are waiting to do so with their iPads. I decided to go the opposite route. I order the iPhone 5s, and am upgrading my iPad to iOS 7. Actually it seemed easier since I ordered the new iPhone with iOS 7 preinstalled. We shall see later today.

In theory the home theater people come today but I don’t have much confidence in them actually showing up. They seem extremely busy and frankly less than overly interested in installing my system. I would do it myself but wall mounting is not a skill I have acquired (at least not with the good tv).

I need to find a place for the ping pong table. I was hoping there would be room in the basement to store it, and then play on the patio but there isn’t enough room on either the deck or the patio. We could set it up in the garage, which I suspect is where we will end up putting the table. Other than that we are very close to being done done with the basement (except for Jackie’s room and the now spluged bathroom as well).

I was never the neatest kid although don’t tell my mother that – she thinks I was an angel. So I wonder sometimes if I am doing Jackie a disfavor by not forcing her to clean the spaces we share in the house. Not sure either way, its just a thought.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow