With Ooma I plan to cut down my Phone bill

Yay, I got rid of Vonage. It’s not that the service was awful, it’s just that it was getting too expensive. I mean after 6-months of promotional period, my monthly bill for unlimited international calling was getting close to $40; a chunk of it was taxes. So, I looked for alternatives, and found Ooma. It cost me $105 to buy the Ooma Telo unit (with a $15 coupon on TigerDirect). Even though there is upfront cost, I hope to save around 44% in my monthly bill when compared to Vonage. For the unlimited international plan, the overall first year cost for Ooma is expected to be around $366 including the cost of the unit. For Vonage, this was around $354. So, if I use Ooma, I will effectively pay more during the first year of service. However, subsequent years, the annual cost for Ooma will come down to $262, whereas for Vonage it would be $468.

Vonage tried to keep my account by offering 6-month $9.99 promotion again, but I opted out of that. Will Ooma stay up to my expectations? That… we will see in coming weeks. Right now, I am happy with her!

Playing Plex Media on Xbox One until official app arrives

This one is a big stinker to not have Plex app for Xbox One. I mean really, Plex team, what were you thinking? Word is that the development is in progress for the official XB1 app but until then what must you do if you have a huge media collection sitting on a Plex Server collecting dust? Well, there is a solution, well sort of a workaround basically. We will try to use the DLNA push feature. You will need to have a computer, Nokia phone or a tablet running Windows 8. You will also need XB1 to be on the same network as the Windows 8 device. I am sure there are other ways to accomplish this but I neither was really interested in any of those other ways nor had energy to even think about those. So, any way, following my method you will also have to fork out $4.99 to buy Plex app from Windows Store. Good news is that once you have forked out those dollars, you can install the app on any device any number of times as long as you use the same Windows ID (or until Plex developers allow to do so).

So, go ahead and buy the Plex app, and install on your Windows 8 device. In my case I am using a Dell Venue 8 tablet. Once installed, sign in to your Plex account, and you should immediately see your Plex collection. Now in order to play on XB1, you need to enable DLNA on it. That should be somewhere in XB1 settings. Can’t remember, just that I know it was enabled. Alright, now, select any media file in the Plex app on your Windows 8 device. Try to play it. Once it’s playing, activate charms bar on the right side of the screen of the Windows 8 device, and select “Devices”. Then “Play”, and then select the XB1 which should appear on the list of devices. Tada, that should play the media on the XB1.

Since Plex is not natively playing to the XB1, the play quality will obviously be not that great. However, for me it was decent enough to play a 1080p movie. I simply don’t have any complaints. I know it’s a workaround, and very soon when the official XB1 Plex app comes out, it should be an excellent experience.

Good luck using Netflix app on Xbox One

The newest update to Netflix app on my Xbox one has rather made it so difficult to use. I hate it the UI so much that I now use Amazon Instant Video app more often. I don’t know if it’s the app or just me but I can’t seem to figure out the search feature. Also instead of feeding me pre-made categories for movies, Netflix please just give me a way to browse all movies! Hello Netflix, are you listening?

Transmission Remote GUI enables you to control your torrents from Windows

I love Transmission BT client on my Ubuntu Server. However, I hate it’s web UI. Searching on the web I found an excellent UI for it. It’s called Transmission Remote GUI, and can be downloaded here. This UI is a “thick” client meaning you will need to connect to Transmission Server using this software installed on your client machine. In my case, I am using my Windows box to connect to Transmission Server using this wonderful GUI.

Look and feel wise, it’s similar to uTorrent. See this link for some screenshots.