17 December 2014

Kindleholic or not, cancel cable and grab yourself Fire TV

I'm a reader, truly I am. That's why when I moved out here to the sticks several years ago and my former satellite company couldn't find a clear signal, I ditched traditional viewing and set up streaming options. (Yes, this was seven plus years ago, before streaming to television became common and easy.)

I bought a cheapish hard drive and set it up with my "big" and I mean old-fashioned big tv (the ones they don't sell anymore). Then I was seduced a year or two later by a super sale on a 24 inch HDTV at Sam's Club (I know, in the grand scheme of things that's small - but to me, it's still big). Between my Roku box (yes, the original Roku) and my tiny hard drive, I was able to watch all that I wanted.

But then I stopped watching. Between the demands of my job (I practically lived there) and other things, television and movies were a luxury I lost track of. This was highly ironic as part of my job was working on behalf of a theatre company that featured - yes, you guessed it - television actors and writers.

I was clueless about who they were and what their shows were, so I became an expert listening real well to water cooler conversations about what was hot. I was always glad that there were meet & greets at the beginning of the rehearsal process as I never recognize anyone. Really. I. Don't. It's highly embarrassing. Although, in some ways it worked in my favor as everyone was "just folks" to me. I'd see their bios, but it took "meeting them" to really get me to IMDB and YouTube them, and I'd find the person I had been casually joking with had just received an Emmy, or had had a Tony nod. It probably was better I hadn't put those pieces together first or I would have been super intimidated - 'cause I truly am a simple country girl.

Now that I no longer am in that world - and have more time on my hands - I decided (after turning on the television for the first time in years and finding the Roku box had expired) to add to my Amazon Kindle family of devices and purchase an Amazon Fire TV.

03 December 2014

First Impressions: Amazon's Fire Phone - unlocked and on sale

It seems like Christmas came a bit early to my house with the post-Thanksgiving select sales by Amazon. What did I fall for? (Oh, excuse me...) What was I tempted by? The amazing deal on the Amazon Fire Phone, 32GB (Unlocked GSM) (and the Fire TV - more on that later). Yep, I've just added two new Amazon devices to my household, much like I used to do with Apple.

How about them apples? This devoted Mac girl hasn't used her iPad in ages - instead using the 8.7 Kindle HDX that was my splurge from last year. But I wan't about to plunk down beaucoup bucks to purchase the Fire Phone ($650 without contract or $0-$199 with contract from AT&T), but I paid attention to it. Sort of lusted for it with the camera specs and the size (think eReader on the go) - and it would be linked to all that I have already in Amazon's cloud. But I wasn't going to purchase a phone that locked me into a pricey contract - no way, now how. 

So what did Amazon do but put that darn Fire Phone on a special sale last week (through 3 December 2014). Yes, the Fire Phone, plus one year of Amazon Prime (value $99) is just $199. Since I have to renew my Prime membership at the end of December, I looked on the price of the Fire Phone as $100. A bit of a splurge, but not a huge one. So one of my concerns (the pricey part) was addressed.