Siri, the Apple Watch, and Apple Music

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Hey, AAAD! Sorry for the lack of updates this week - hopefully that massive Mac Mini post gave you enough reading to tide you over. 

Great Apple Moment this AM - I was driving to work, and inadvertently held the Digital Crown down on my watch for a moment. 

Mac Mini Generations - Not All Mac Minis Are Created Equal

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As I mentioned in our last post, we're going to be adding a Mac Mini Server to our iOS home.

Our Mac Mini is going to have to do some heavy lifting - distributing music and HD video to AppleTVs throughout the house.

We may need to buy the latest and greatest.

But I'm also a huge proponent of buying used, last-generation Apple equipment.

So let's take a look at how the Mac Mini has changed over the years, in terms of form and function.

Adding a Mac Mini Home Server - and Home Ethernet

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Our home server project has been on the "AAAD coming soon" list for a couple of years.

Now, with Phase 1 of the basement project is coming to a close, our home server finally has a home.

Finally, it makes sense to move forward.

Basement Project #1 - Custom Storage Shelving

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Phase One of the basement renovation is largely complete.

While the contractors finish up the drywall work, we've gotten a head start on some of our own projects. 

First up - shelving in the storage room. 

Project Update - Basement Drywall is Installed

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We had our first opportunity to walk through our new (mostly) finished basement last night.

Our initial impressions?

Adding walls - and especially adding drywall - fundamentally changes your perception of a space.

Basement Update - DIY Projects!

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We are quickly approaching the "end of the beginning" of our basement remodel.

"Phase One" was the rough-in - plumbing, electrical, HVAC, drywall, and sprinkler systems.

It's almost done, and it looks great. Which means it's time for us to start Phase Two:

The DIY projects.

AppleTV is Getting Folders with tvOS 9.2!

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It's not often that a new Apple OS feature REALLY gets me excited, but this one qualifies.

AppleTV is getting folders.

YES.

Project Update - Basement is Almost Complete!

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Well, the rough-in of the basement, in any case.

We plan on doing much of the finish work ourselves.

But at this point, we've passed our electrical and plumbing inspections, and the insulation and drywall is being installed.

It should look like a usable, mostly finished space in no time.

How To Use Plex on AppleTV

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Well. That was easy.

Apple's Remote App Now Works With AppleTV!

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Today saw the release of tvOS 9.1 and watchOS 2.1 - that's usually boring news, but today is a bit different, as it means a big leap forward for convergence across iOS devices. 

Apple Music Finally Comes to Sonos!

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They said it would be done by the end of the year, and they got it done with a month to spare.

According to Yahoo, Apple Music is now able as a music service on the Sonos platform!

A Very Apple Basement Remodel - Now Underway!

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We've been talking about the BIG project for quite a while. It's the basement remodel.

And now, we're finally started.

But what steps do we have to take to ensure that we end up with the iOS-enabled smart home we want?

Day 1 With A Gold Apple Watch

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I'm awfully late to the Apple Watch party.

In fact, the Apple Watch 2 is likely right around the corner.

But now I'm an Apple Watch owner.

That's what happens when your 40th birthday and Black Friday fall within 48 hours of each other.

DirecTV HR44 Genie - Worth The Hassle.

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The difference between the HR44 Genie and its predecessor HR34 is similar to the difference between an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 6.

Both were fantastic, game-changing devices. And the changes seem subtle - more like refinements, really.

And then you take a step back and notice that absolutely everything has changed for the better.

Upgrading from DirecTV HR34 Genie to HR44!

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It looks like it's finally happening! 
We have been struggling with the HR34 Genie for a few months. It is running VERY slowly since the last software update. 

DirecTV previously told me that I was out of luck - they wouldn't upgrade me to the HR44 or HR54. Yesterday, they relented.