Using a Mac Mini as a Home Server

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The iMac is the center of our Apple system at home - it stores all of our music and photo libraries.

When we're using Sonos, the music is controlled by the iPhone, and comes out of the Sonos speakers.

So why does the iMac need to be involved? It's just a desktop computer in the office.

Well, maybe it doesn't. We've been looking at home server options, and I think that the simplest answer may be the best - A Mac Mini.

Apple Music and Sonos - A Dealbreaker, for Now

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I really want to like Apple Music.

But I haven't even started the free trial yet. I'm not even sure if I'll GET a free trial later, and I don't care.

Apple Music doesn't work with Sonos, so Apple Music is a non-starter.

But that may change soon.

Harry's Razors Review - Are the Savings Worth The Hassle?

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In a recent AAAD post, we discussed the virtues of Harry's vs. Dollar Shave Club.

Ultimately, I went with Harry's.

And now.... I think I'm headed back to Gillette Fusion, even though they're three times the cost. Here's why.

Design

Harry's makes beautiful razors. There's no doubt about that. (I bought a "Winston", which is shiny, slick, chrome.)

But there is a limit to the virtue of form over function.

Especially when that function is as critical as swiping a razor blade over your face.

The Harry's blade is, basically, a prettied up Gillette Mach 3.

That blade was a game-changer - it looked different, it packed multiple blades,

However, like the Mach 3, the Harry's Winston has a LOT of room between the top of the cartridge and the first blade.

That makes it difficult to, for instance, shave directly under your nose.

The Fusion addressed this issue by putting a "precision blade" on the back of the razor, for those types of tight spaces.

More distressingly, though - I was CONSTANTLY cutting myself with the Winston.

I have been shaving for 25 years, and I can probably count the number of times I've cut myself shaving on one hand.

In my first week with the Winston, I had three incidents in which I needed to use a bandage to avoid getting blood all over the place.

That may have been a function of the Winston being "new" to me - or it may be because I had to attempt some weird angles to get around the huge moisturizing strip. Regardless, it was a hassle.

Build Quality

The Winston handle is SO close to being great - it really just needs some additional weight, for added heft.

As it stands, it feels like a plastic (or hollow) handle, coated with a shiny plastic. If it weighed twice as much, it would feel like an Art of Shaving handle.

That's a minor quibble. The real issue is with the cartridges.

I started looking for Gillette replacements when I noticed that I was refusing to buy new Fusion blades, and instead using the old ones until they were old and dull.

Fusion was just too expensive.

The good news about Harry's is that the blades don't cost as much, so you're getting rid of the old ones and replacing them with new ones before they go dull.

But after a week or two with the Winston, I noticed that the blade wasn't working quite as well.

The hinge on the cartridge just doesn't last very long.

It loses its "bounce", and then the flexible plastic coating tears open.

These are disposable razors, to be sure - but Harry's are a bit more "disposable" than I'd expected.

So, where does this leave us?

Harry's does so many things right, that the things it DOESN'T do right really stand out.

Unfortunately, when "durability" and "precision" are your drawbacks, that's bad news.

Harry's is NOT a bad razor. But it's a whole lot cheaper than Gillette, and after using the Harry's blades, you start to see why.

I'm not nuts about the situation, but I think I'm going to go buy some more Fusion blades.

Project Updates - Summer 2015

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Even though there haven't been many AAAD updates, there have been all kinds of fun things happening in the AAAD household lately. 

Xfinity - Cheaper Internet than WOW! (But they can't provide service.)

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We just got a visit from a really nice door-to-door Comcast sales guy.

And he got me to try a 50 Mbps internet service at $39.99/mo.

The catch? Comcast is literally incapable of installing internet service. AGAIN.

iCloud Family Sharing - Worth The Hassle

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We all know that iCloud isn't perfect. In fact, it can be a confusing mess at times.

For our family, iCloud Family Sharing has delivered on iCloud's promise. 

Even though it was difficult to set up. 

WWDC: No Apple TV, Very Little HomeKit.

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WWDC had all kinds of new Apple stuff. iOS 9, OSX El Capitan, Apple Music to compete with Spotify.

But HomeKit barely got a mention. Oh well.

Here's the quick takeaway (leaving HomeKit for last):

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