Saturday, 25 July 2015

To go or stay?

The weather forecast for today was for heavy showers but when we awoke this morning it was an overcast but dry day.  In the end we decided to wait until 10am and see if the predicted heavy showers would arrive.  If they didn’t, we would cruise down the four locks to the Thames.  The rain appeared on time so we stayed on the mooring.  One of the advantages of not being on a critical timeframe.  Throughout the day we watched hire boats on the move with the crews all wrapped up in wet weather gear.

Jan did more genealogy research but apparently didn’t find anything really exciting.  The last piece of interesting history was her discovery that one of my kiwi ancestors on my maternal grandfather’s side was a Romany Gypsy.  One wonders how she made it to NZ?

I did some playing with the new toy.  We now own an Amazon Fire Stick.  It’s unlikely to be used on the boat   There were two reasons for buying it now.  They aren’t available in Australia or New Zealand and I anticipate Amazon will improve the software security in the near future.  The Fire Stick is actually a very small computer which plugs into a TV.  It has been described as a digital media player and microconsole.  It is a small network appliance and entertainment device designed to stream digital audio/video content to a high-definition television. The device also allows users to play video games with the included remote, via a mobile app, or with an optional game controller.

It is possible to stream TV from the following sources

  • BBC iPlayer
  • Netflix
  • YouTube
  • Plex
  • Sky News
  • STV
  • Amazon

I suspect Amazon’s strategy is to sell the Fire Stick at near cost price and make they money by selling streaming content from their online store.

This is what the box contains

fire stick 1

Remote control, Fire Stick with flexible lead, 240V power supply.

The Fire Stick plugs into a TV HDMI port.  If there is a spare USB port on the TV the stick can be powered from the USB port, otherwise it requires the 240V power supply.

Now we are not interested in purchasing content from Amazon.  I want to use it as a wireless media streamer connecting our own video library to the TV.  The method I have used is to get around the Amazon security and install KODI on the Fire Stick.   I mentioned KODI in this post back on 26 June.  Kodi is a free media centre program.  The poor security on the existing Amazon software has enabled me to rather easily install Kodi on the Fire Stick.  This means the Fire Stick can be plugged into any TV within range of the wifi network and stream video to that TV.  It’s not much use on the boat but will be very useful in a house.  It would also be possible to take it when travelling and stream video to a TV from our mobile phone.

Jan cooked curried sausages for dinner.  I’m not sure how she make them but they were rather tasty.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast looks good so we should be moving down to the Thames.


Jenny said...

Hi Tom and Jan

Just in case you have ever wondered - our caravan is called Romany Rambler because Jenny has a Romany gypsy in her heritage! How about that for a coincidence. Perhaps we are related. (Hi Cuz) For years my mother used to think that we had Maori blood in the family, but when we attended a family reunion some years ago, all was revealed. A Romany gypsy fellow swept one of my great-greats off her feet and they married. We realise that in UK one does not brag about such blood lines but out here in little old NZ it seems quite exotic.

Robin and Jenny

Tom and Jan said...

Poor Jenny also misses out on her share of the fish in the ocean along with her Maori Affairs home loan!