Time to Ditch Evernote

I recently got an email from Evernote that they are going to be reducing the capabilities of the Basic account that I’ve been using for the past 5 years.  Normally I’m fine with that since I don’t use Evernote that much these days but the real sticking point was that they were reducing me to 2 devices only.  I have Evernote installed on 5 different devices and even though my usage has been reduced I find this very limiting.  I have it installed on 2 iPhones, 2 computers, and my iPad Air.  Depending on my day I use any one of these devices to start looking at things that I put into Evernote.

I’ve been using Evernote kind of like my own personal digital locker of sorts.  I just toss in stuff that I think might be important so that I can find it later on.  I have quite a few IFTTT recipes that use Evernote currently to put in important emails, pictures, and receipts for easy finding.  Granted I could probably just rely on searching Gmail for all this stuff but it was nice to have it in an app where a ton of other stuff was stored.  I also used to keep work notes in Evernote but I don’t do that anymore since my company went Google, now everything lives in the Cloud at work so the business need for Evernote has gone away.

The trick now is to find something that can take over for Evernote as I move away from the platform.  There are a couple of options out there but I need it to be platform independent.  One stand out right now is OneNote by Microsoft.  I used to use this app back in my Accenture days for taking notes and it was really handy too.  What I need to do is go on a purge of some sort and remove notes that don’t have any meaning anymore.  I’m sure there are tons of work notes that won’t be relevant and I’m using it as a way to back up my photos too but I have Google Photos for that as well as Flickr.  There are tons of ways that I can get away from Evernote but I will still miss the convenience of just looking at one app.  Not a big deal though, I still remain rooted in not paying for cloud storage and services if possible unless there really is a dying need for it.  Hence my purchase of a NAS a few months ago, it stores everything I need and it’s MINE.

I might take some time this weekend to further research options of where to move my note taking, the one new requirement of course is that I can draw in the new app so I don’t have to type everything out.  Although I will say I’m quite the fast typist.  But every now and then, a little scribbling is good enough.  Bye bye Evernote!  You will be replaced in the next 30 days!

Car companies need to stop messing with classic interior design

Last week I had the pleasure of getting a Mercedes-Benz as a rental car but it was a little weird because so much of the car was crazy in terms of placement.  I’ll give some examples of what I mean.

FIrst the gear shift, normally the gear shift is a floor shifter, on some older American cars it’s a stick on the steering column, on the Benz it was actually where the windshield wiper control arm would normally be.  That is a major revision on how cars are designed in my opinion.  

Second thing that totally weirded me out was the placement of the emergency brake.   Being on the left foot or on the center console makes sense since almost ALL cars do that but not on the Benz!  It’s below the light switch on the lower left of the control panel.  Say what now??  Who would ever look to think there!

I think some of the newer electric cars are also experimenting with different layouts for the controls, that just needs to stop.  I’m sure that everything was placed in a car over 100 years ago with a reason and purpose so that it would be easy for a driver to do everything without looking.  With these new layouts, it’s getting kinda funny to drive newer cars that don’t follow a common design framework used by practically everyone.  I won’t refuse the car if Hertz tries to give me a Benz again but it’ll still be weird.  But I do like how fast the car is, at least that’s big in the plus column for the car.

Having a NAS is totally awesome


Recently this year I decided to get a NAS for the house.  Before I was doing everything really old school by storing my files on external hard drives and the 2 computers that I own at home.  What really pushed me to getting a NAS was the day my tower fell over with my media drives attached to it.  I was using 2 Western Digital external drives to hold most of my media but when my desktop tipped over so did they and one of my drives actually became corrupted.

After that episode, I decided to get a NAS to keep things more secure.  I chose the QNAP as my device.  Right now I have it configured in RAID 1 to ensure that my data is safe that is on the drives.  I liked the QNAP because it has easy to use web interface that lets me configure it as I need.  I have VPN running through it, Plex to stream my videos, and I can even stream my music using the built in iTunes server.  The best part is being able to access my data when I’m not at home.  I don’t do this frequently but it’s still pretty convenient.

The NAS has given me the ability to offload memory hogging things like my music and videos, gave me a place to load my GoPro videos that I take on vacation, and store all my pictures which on its own burns about 120 GB.  This has allowed me to make more room on my MacBook Pro for other things.  I was considering adding another SSD to the amacBook but now I don’t have to.  One of the best parts was something that I did this morning.  I decided to watch some videos off the NAS from my daughters laptop.  I got her an HP Stream and the thing is seriously lacking in inter renal storage.  At 32GB, there is no room for anything on that computer, but I decided to try logging into the NAS and play some stuff over Plex and it worked like a charm.  Now that’s totally awesome in my view because I can watch anything from my NAS on almost any device in my house or technically outside of it.

I’m probably going to run into space issues soon, I’ve already burned through 1.5 TB’s and I only could afford 3 TB drives.  When I get closer to 80% utilization I’ll have to think about upgrading the drives or adding another NAS.  It’s time to end this post and enjoy some movies streaming to my TV from my NAS 🙂