Puppets In Cuenca

There does not seem to be a lack of street entertainers in Cuenca. Today near Ave. Solano and Doce de Abril a very talented puppeteer created her one woman show.  Enjoy the video below. If you have a fast Internet connection you can enjoy the video in 1080p

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Online Friends Appear in Ecuador

I met Len Edgerly six years ago when I stumbled across his now famous website – The Kindle Chronicles. This is a must read/listen if you are a fan of ebooks in general and the Kindle specifically. TheKindleChronicles podcast comes out every Friday. Each Friday I look forward to Len’s topic and interesting guest.

We became friends on Facebook and Instagram, exchanging emails. Two weeks ago, I saw on Instagram that Len was in Quito. I contacted him and  Len changed travel plans so our online friendship became an “in person” friendship when he, his wife Darlene and sister-in-law Deb came to Cuenca.  My wife, Sharon, and I really enjoyed meeting them and “hanging out” for awhile.

Len interviewed me about my 4.5 years in Cuenca.  You can listen to the complete interview here.  Take 30 minutes and browse The Kindle Chronicles for other stories about Ecuador and become a subscriber and enjoy Len Edgerly’s tech expertise.

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App Of The Month (November 2015)

This was a tough call. Here were all the apps in contention:

  • Amazon Music
  • Feedly
  • Yahoo News Digest
  • What’s Ap
  • Pocketcasts
  • Pocket

Drum Roll Please. And the winner again is Pocket. Simply stated Pocket saves your favorite web sites and app picks to a cross platform database. I pick up Pocket favorites on my phone, ipad and computer or anybody elses computer if I sign in to my Pocket account.

I did a video screencast in May on Pocket

Pocket is even better because everyday they send you sites via email that you might be interested in saving and they also supply these recommendations on their app. Run, don’t walk and get Pocket

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What Electronics Should You Bring To Ecuador (Part 7 )

It’s now a year since I wrote Part 6 and my wife and I have lived in Ecuador for 4.5 years.  This post is largely subjective based on my usage and mistakes in Cuenca. The commentary is also geared to people moving to Ecuador for the first time.

This advice is meant for those on a limited budget and not bringing a container to Ecuador. I am going to start with the most important device and work by way down to the small items that you can’t find or that are expensive in Ecuador.

Computer: When we first moved here I rented space in another person’s container and brought down a desktop computer with a 24″ monitor and and oversized keyboard. I sold that computer in less than a year and that is why I am recommending a laptop or notebook computer.

  • I have a Macbook Air – Moderately price and extremely simple to use
  • Chrome book -Inexpensive and uses mostly cloud storage
  • Microsoft Surface Pro – combines a tablet and computer and an affordable price

Tablet: When we first moved I owned an iPad 2. I have since sold that I my tablet of choice is an iPad Mini 2 with a portable bluetooth keyboard. Other viable choices are:

  • Kindle Fire Tablet 7 – Extremely affordable at $50
  • Nexus 9 Table – A contender to the iPad that uses the Android OS
  • Samsung and Asus also have affordable and powerful Tablets

Smartphone: Personally, this is my most used piece of electronics. I now own the Google Nexus 6. I have a $32 a month data plan that gives me the convenience of being connected all day but also the ability to connect via magic jack to my business contacts and family back in The States. I also use my Smartphone for:

  • Maps and Navigation
  • Free Worldwide texting via What’s Ap
  • Photos- I sold my DSLR and now use my Smartphone as my only camera
  • 4K Video
  • Podcasts – PBS, NPR and tech shows
  • HBO, Netflix
  • Social Media
  • Audio Recording
  • Skyping and Magic Jack
  • Remote Controls For TV

I highly recommend the Google Nexus but would also highly recommend the iPhone

Streaming Boxes: These hockey puck  devices will be your night time companions if you enjoy watching movies and TV series. You can’t go wrong with the ones below:

  • Apple TV Version 3 – $150
  • Roku 4 – $130
  • Amazon Fire TV $100;

Basically you can watch TV series and movies with these devices connected to your TV. They also have the added advantage of wirelessly connecting some of your devices ( computer, iphone tablet ) wirellessly to your TV. Important note ***. To fully utilize these services you need to purchase a VPN (virtual private network) Router. I use the Sabai Cisco router because of the excellent technical support. I go to great lengths to describe the challenges of watching TV/Movies in Ecuador. I recommend using the search facility on this blog and typing in “VPN” and you will see several posts with recommendations.

All three device have voice search and the Roku and Amazon devices have lower priced stick versions that have less power but basically give you the same services.

Printer: This is the first year I am not recommending a printer. Unless you are using the printer for business then it’s easier and cheaper to put your document on a thumb drive and bring it to and easily available copy shop.

Camera: This is the first year I am recommending using a Smartphone instead of a point and shoot camera.

Miscellaneous recommendations:

  • Netflix subscription- $9 per month – Invaluable
  • Amazon Prime subscription $8.35 per month – (Music, Movies, Books, Unlimited Photo Storage)
  • Bluetooth keyboard for your tablet or smarthone
  • Thumb drives (32 gb) for transferring information or bringing data to be printed
  • VPN subscription  – I use Strong VPN and it’s about $8 a month
  • Skype subscription – Free Video Calls to other Skype users.
  • MagicJack – Practically free phone calls to any cell or landline in the U.S.
  • Router: I use a Sabai VPN Cisco router $130. A much needed device in Ecuador if you’re going to watch movies and tv programs outside of Ecuador.

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Google Photos App Part Two

In this post I’m going to discuss the “creation of a movie” from your google photos.

The beauty of this app is that is powerful and simple.

  1. Select your photos
  2. Select your theme
  3. Select your music
  4. Share the results with your favorite form of media (i.e. facebook, youtube, flickr, google drive etc)

The two videos below are products of the Google Photos App. I changed the theme and the music. Which one do you like better?