Monthly Archives: July 2014

Counterpoint: Don’t Go To College (?)

Here is a very successful software engineer (Instapaper founder) with his thoughts on college:

http://www.marco.org/2014/06/15/dont-go-to-college
“In The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2014, I joked about college not being necessary if you thought you didn’t need it.
Attempts at humor are often missed. In this case, a lot of people missed it, which was my fault. To clarify, I was joking.”

“I was a C student because I was (and am) a slacker and lacked the self-discipline to do better, not because it’s the smartest path to take. Performing better opens more doors.”
[snip… read on]

The funny thing about these two snips is that they are contradictory… On the one hand, he says go to college, on the other hand, he says that he personally was a lazy/slacker C student and sorta wasted his opportunity. My guess is that hie figures he would have been EVEN WORSE off hand he not gone to college. Perhaps he feels that he got a lot out of college in the non-academic realm. Great!

My current thinking is that these posts/articles where people argue about whether or not college is “worth it” are moot because really, if you are a privileged teenager trying to decide one way or the other, it is likely pretty clear which way to go.

Factors:

1. time
2. money
3. opportunity cost of the time/money (IOW, it’s not only the money spent, it’s that if doing something else, you might be MAKING money)
4. what you want to learn about – outside of concerns for employment. (college doesn’t HAVE to be only about career prep!)
5. On the other hand… it reasonable to also think about future work – depends a lot on what kind of work/life you want. Obviously if you think you might be seriously interested in becoming a doctor or structural engineer or ____ then certain degrees will be required. But that’s no different than the certifications/licenses needed to do all different types of work… dentist, plumber, electrician, etc.
6. Your personality
7. Other options for learning/doing the same things (e.g. many things can be learned on one’s own if you are the sort of person who is self-directed especially if you have thought through #1-#6)

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Simple.TV vs Aereo — A Replacement Review

I just bought a Version 1 Simple.TV (aka STV1 or STV-1000 or “the white one”) via Amazon with “Lifetime Premier Service Included” for around $120 total.

What you will also need:
– a spot to put it such that it has ethernet and antenna access (no wifi, but one could use a powerline ethernet adapter)
– an ethernet cable long enough to reach
– a second OTA antenna
– a spare USB2 or USB3 hard drive
– a little patience
a Roku, chromecast, etc. (But you probably already have one if you’ve been using Aereo)

I only needed to buy an extra ethernet cable and for now am putting up with an old smallish HD and a less-than-ideal antenna (meaning I am not getting one of the 17 channels I should be getting) but I wanted to test things before I bought something better.

SO FAR SO GREAT
I mean, it’s not as easy as the zero set-up / zero hassle of Aereo, but it’s working well.

PROS vs AEREO
– no monthly fee. It will be break-even in 10 months
– quality of programs seems to be at least as good as a the aereo quality we were getting via our Roku 3.
– slightly better show guide layouts both in Roku 3 and browser

CONS vs AEREO
– no ABC until I get a better antenna
– not cloud… one needs a place to put the gear (and the patience for setup) and stuff can break and who has time for more junk?
– My white rev1 has only one tuner, but there is a rev2 model with 2 tuners, though I have heard it has a fan, so this is a tradeoff depending on where you need to put it
– Their scheduler for recordings doesn’t have a few nifty filters that the Aereo one had, but fingers crossed that it will improve
– My old USB drive is only 40GB so it holds 17 hours which is good, but I had 60 hours with aereo, so I might buy a $50-$60 drive like this one and then I’ll have even more than 60 hrs

I will update this in a few weeks to let you know how it’s going… whether it’s a pain, or what.

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