Due to my numerous travels all over the US for work, I accumulate quite a number of American Express points as I spend money on meals, lodging, and transportation. Over the last year I saved enough points to finally get a GoPro Hero 7 Black for free!! I have the GoPro Hero 4 Session that I also got on points about 2-3 years ago and I’ve been using it on trips. I was just about to get the Hero 6 Black when all of a sudden the Hero 7 was announced to be released soon so I just had to wait for it.
I haven’t really had an opportunity to use it much. The reason that I wanted a new action camera was because of the image stabilization that was one of the top selling features of the new GoPro. The Hero Session doesn’t have any type of image stabilization so a lot of my videos were jittery and not very usable. I tried the Hero 7 recently while riding my bicycle and it was really smooth even with all the bumps in the road. In addition to the Hero 7 Black, I got a screen protector for the front and back of the camera and a battery charger with 2 extra batteries so that I can use it for approximately 6 hours before I need to juice everything up. I had just enough points left over for a 200GB microSD card to use for videos.
There are more steps involved with using the Hero 7 compared to the Hero Session. The Hero Session was just 1 button whereas the Hero 7 has 2 (power and shutter). Although the voice command stuff is awesome, you have to leave the camera on which drains the battery. I’ll have to be more careful with my action shots during my vacation to Whistler so I don’t drain the battery just waiting to take a video. I did try out some of the voice commands and they work wonderfully. I can see those being very useful so I don’t have to reach up and hit a button if the camera is already on.
I haven’t discussed the video quality yet but I think that’s because I’m not one of those people that shoots everything in 4K. I’m just fine with 1080p. I shoot that resolution with my iPhone 7 and I don’t have any problems with the quality. It’s also easier to upload to YouTube and doesn’t eat up hard drive space on my NAS. I can’t wait to find a good excuse to use this camera in the winter while on vacation.
I think this is the 3rd time that I’ve installed Windows 10 on the HP Stream. The first time was when I did the original upgrade, the second time I was having trouble with the computer itself and just wanted to get it working, and now the third time was because I needed to get more space on the computer. It occurred to me that the fastest way to get the computer working was to just reinstall windows. I also noticed that I had a lot of partitions on the SSD that was just eating up space and not providing me any benefit at all so I deleted all of those and created one massive drive to do the install.
The reinstall went pretty well but it took a while to do. I had to get Windows onto a USB flash drive first, then I had to wipe the computer and then do the installation. After that was all done a little configuration was needed. I used to have Chrome installed but I attempted to use just Edge. That didn’t work so I had to install Firefox so that I could get to the websites that my daughter uses for school. I also needed to do some driver updates to recognize the microSD card reader so I can save and access files that I had saved before hand.
I now have around 50% of 30GB free (that’s 15GB’s). That should be enough for the swap file so that the computer doesn’t crash constantly when trying to surf the internet using Firefox. By no means does this mean that the computer is going to be blazing fast or do all the things that I want it to do but it should be fine for my daughter to start using again. I wrote in a previous post that I might get a new computer during Black Friday but since I was able to get the HP Stream working again I’m going to save the money. Once my daughter outgrows the computer, I’m going to try and keep it around. Whenever I have visitors there always seems to be a need for a computer and I won’t be upset if someone messes it up. I prefer to keep my MacBook Pro as my personal computer (not to mention I don’t need someone messing with my files and settings when they’re just a visitor).
I recently went to Best Buy with my daughter so that I could return the Ring Video Doorbell 2 (I would have to do quite a bit of legwork to get the thing mounted and I’m just not handy). My daughter wanted to come along to play with the computers that are in the demo section. She seems to really like using the Surface line of computers because you have the ability to draw using the included pen. Although the real reason that my daughter likes going to Best Buy is because her HP Stream isn’t really working well.
I bought the computer 3 years ago for my daughter so that she could use it for school. I originally bought it with Windows 7 but since then I’ve upgraded it to Windows 10. Unfortunately the computer doesn’t have a lot of hard drive space and its been experiencing trouble loading web pages due the low disk space. The picture in this post shows the hard drive only has about 60MB free which is basically nothing these days. Because of this issue, videos are not loading on the computer which is preventing my daughter from using it to use it for school. I’ve thought about trying to reload the computer again and delete all the partitions to start again but I don’t have a big enough flash drive that’s clear to put the Windows 10 ISO file on it. I also don’t have the free time to do this sort of reload either at the moment because I’ll still experience the low disk space error.
I think that a new computer is in order for the family. One that my wife and my daughter can both use. I definitely have some requirements and both of them do. I think the first part is that the screen needs to allow pen capabilities. My daughter seems to enjoy drawing on the screen and likes to use my iPad Pro sometimes to make drawings in Paper by 53. My wife has also expressed that this would be a neat feature to have. Its definitely going to be a laptop. This computer is going to potentially replace the desktop as well so all that gear is going to go away too. I personally need the computer to be semi fast and have a decent amount of space on the hard drive. I think 128GB or 256GB should be about right. I think I’ll boost capacity to the NAS or I can re-purpose one of my external hard drives that I have lying around.
If money wasn’t any object, I think I’ll get the family the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. The Surface Pro 6 is brand new but I have to pay extra for the type keyboard and the pen which will bring the price tag to over $1000. Barring that, I think the Lenovo Yoga 730 would be an awesome machine too. I haven’t seen one in person but it does hit all of the requirements and its under $1000 but I would also have to get the pen for it too. However its a convertible computer so I don’t have to get a keyboard.
Black Friday is around the corner so maybe I can get it then, gotta love holiday sales for some awesome savings on electronics for the house.