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12 January 2020

0041: A New Year and a New Pixel Power Podcast

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.

It’s a new year and a new Pixel Power Podcast. What’s new? For one, I set a timer for 20 minutes and do my best to stick to it. Get it? 20 for 2020? There’s also a new web site for the podcast at the original URL: https://www.pixelpowerpodcast.com. The new look comes from the website’s move from Google Sites to GitHub pages. The design is minimal but more functional and easier to maintain.

Some things stay the same. You will still find a main topic (in this episode I discuss pixel and Google related holiday gifts given and received), the Addendum segment where I talk about living a pixel-powered life, and the same quality show notes you’ve come to expect. It’s now in a more compact version. I hope you like the changes. Be sure to use the feedback options (described at the bottom of the page) to let me know what you think.

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Show Notes


“Hey Google, set timer for 20 minutes.”

Welcome to 2020 and a new version of the Pixel Power Podcast. So what’s new?

  1. The Holiday Hiatus is over.
  2. The only resolution I’ve ever kept was my resolution to not have a resolution.
  3. New 20 minute format to keep things brief and concise.
  4. Around 10 minutes for a topic where you learn how to get the most out of your Pixel or Google device and another 10 mintues in the addendum.
  5. New website - moved and am still moving all old posts to new Jekyll platform from Google Sites.
  6. Shownotes now available at pixelpowerpodcast.com/XXXX or 0041 for this episode.
  7. A note about ads: I use the revenue to support the hobby and I’m okay if you use an ad-blocker, this is my favorite, but I do hope you will disable on my page so I can bring you even more pixel-powered podcasts. I am making adjustments to make them less onerous.
  8. More multimedia features such as screencasts. As a matter of fact, I produced a multi-camera video on YouTube that shares the content of the Elegoo Arduino Mega Starter Kit for a course I am teaching. Here’s an associated blog post.

    Elegoo Starter Kit

  9. Live stream recordings on YouTube - If I get the courage to do so.

Holiday Gifts/Purchases/Freebies

There was a whole lot of Google gift this past Christmas.

  1. Google Hub Max - 10 inch HD screen, massive stereo sound upgrade with 3 inch sub, duo camera, nest cam, face match with pesonalized home screen. Replaced a Lenovo Smart Display which went to my home office to replace a Google Home Hub that went to my work office.

    Hub Max and Lenovo Smart Display

  2. Google SmartTV pack (Walmart exclusive for $45/$30) - Google mini and Chromecast.
  3. Google mini - one free from Spotify and one from Google Fi so I connected them for stereo sound. Using the inexpensive SPORTLINK Pedestal stands and placed them on a high bookshelf.
  4. Lenovo Alarm Clock - Stylish gift for wife to replace an echo Dot. Focus on clock features but includes Google Assistant.

    Lenovo Alarm Clock

  5. Google Home Hub and Google mini - Gift for daughter to replace her two Echos.
  6. Pixel Stand - Gift from daughter because…I don’t have one!
  7. Mi Box S - Black Friday purchase for office TV. Just received upgrade to Android 9 that includes Amazon Prime. Fast and also serves as a Chromecast. For less than $50, why would you buy a Chromecast Ultra?
  8. AMOVO 2 in 1 Pixel 4XL Wallet Case - Replaces the bent Feintenn and can be a folio or phone detached using magnetic clasp.
  9. ENACFIRE Future Plus Wireless Earbuds - Gift for wife until the Pixelbuds 2 arrive and works with Google Assistant.


Odds, ends, and living a pixel-powered life.

  1. Tech support for family over the holidays: Google Photos for Android user and Pixel phone help.
  2. Chrome OS 80 on beta channel - it may have borked my Linux VM when I upgraded on Pixel Slate, but not on Pixelbook. Luckily I made a Crostini backup.
  3. January security update released for Pixel phones. No significatn new features.
  4. Google sending maps timeline to users and I spent my entire year in the east from Toronoto to Florida. Here’s mine:

    My 2019 Google Maps Timeline

  5. Made by Google’s 20 tips for 2020.
  6. Lepow 15.6 Inch Full HD 1080P USB Type-C Computer Display - $70 off during Black Friday and has changed the way I work and play when traveling or at the coffee shop.

    Lepow and Pixel Slate

  7. I’m an ADA BOX subscriber and received my first box, 0014, before Christmas. I look forward to playing with the included Circuit Playground Bluefruit - Bluetooth Low Energy

    My First ADA BOX

  8. The Pixel Power Podcast Subreddit is growing! Come over and join the conversation.


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tags: newyear - holiday - gifts - assistant - assistant - homehub