Daily Archives: June 24, 2015

ECHO . . . Echo . . . echo . . .

About 3pm I drove up to the gatehouse to pick up an Amazon package that had come in earlier today. But what I’m really waiting for is the order that will come in tomorrow.

AVG Antivirus Professional 2015

It’s a backlit computer keyboard like this.

Backlit Keyboard 1

And since the backlight has 5 different colors, it can also look like this.

Backlit Keyboard 2

Backlit USB Keyboard with Large Print keys

Since I do a lot of work at night, this should make it easier, and I know Jan will like the larger letters on the keys. And it’s only about $25.

On the way back to the rig I stopped off at the park office to talk about upgrading our Thousand Trails membership to Elite. We’re looking at doing the East Coast next year and TT parks there on our membership plan are few and far between.

In addition, we would also upgrade from two weeks at a time to three weeks, except during high-use times in resort areas. But we would still only have 50 free days a year.

But the price I was given – $4645.00, was a good bit higher than I’d heard other people paying. We can stay at a lot of regular parks for over four grand, plus I can also pick up more parks with a much cheaper RPI add-on, or even a separate used Coast to Coast membership. So we’re still looking.

Last fall, I got an email from Amazon asking if I would be interesting in testing a new Amazon product called Echo. I used to get a lot of these offers to beta-test products back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. In fact I was a beta tester for Microsoft on both Windows 98 and Windows 98SE. I was also asked to test Windows 2000, but turned them down due to time constraints. In addition, I tested a lot of games both on Windows and the Commodore Amiga.

Anyway, without paying a lot of attention, I turned down the chance to test the Amazon Echo. And now I’m kicking myself.

Echo is a household version of Android’s OK, Google, Apple’s Siri, or Cortana. It looks like this,

Amazon Echo

and sits in your house listening. Apparently you can interface with Echo from 30 or 40 feet away, depending on background noise. Perfect for a RV.

Echo’s wakeup word is ‘Alexa’, and you can use it exactly like you do OK, Google, i.e.

“OK, Google. Navigate to nearest Texas Roadhouae.”

“OK, Google. How far to Houston Texas?”

But you can ask it to keep track of things for you, i.e.

“Alexa, add peanut butter to my shopping list.”

“Alexa, please read back my shopping list.”

“Alexa, please delete peanut butter from my shopping list.”

“Alexa, please print my shopping list.”

There is also an remote control available for when you are out of voice range of the main unit.

Your normal interface with Echo is strictly verbal, both input and output. But you can also use a smartphone app, or your PC for visual stuff.

Coffee.org-Makes it Easy to Fill your Coffee Mug

Actually, in addition to the fact that it’s a neat toy, I’m most interested in the list-making function. I’ve always wanted a way to go through our cabinets and bins, calling out what tool or whatever, is in there, and have it compiled into a computer-based file that I can then search by something like “Alexa, where is my basin wrench?”

So now I’m really looking forward to Echo coming out.


Thought for the Day:

With thanks to my niece, Stahlie

Slave ships that flew the British Flag: Too many to count.

Slave ships that flew the Star Spangled Banner: Too many to count.

Slave ships that flew the Confederate flag: 0