Boondockers: Save BIG money with technology (Jesse & Jenny)

Did you know that you can turn your existing laptop computer into a DVR just like Dish and DirecTV, without the monthly fees?

Local, over-the-air (OTA), high-definition TV is generally better quality than local channels broadcast by satellite TV, and it’s free! Of course, with the amount of OTA antennas seen on the rigs out here, many of you already know that. What you may not know is that with a tuner that costs about as much as one month of DirecTV, your laptop can record your favorite shows and you can skip the commercials. You can even record two shows at the same time. And you don’t have to keep your computer plugged into the tuner all the time, only when you’re recording. When you’re ready to watch your recorded shows, you can do so from the laptop itself or plug it into your TV and watch from there. Your TV tuner even comes with its own remote so you can zoom by the commercials from the comfort of your couch.

You are losing serious money in bandwidth use while your computer silently loads advertisements, videos, tracking programs and updates in the background.

Out here on the desert, most Internet users have to pay for every kilobyte downloaded. The good news is that many browsers can be set up to block ads. As for the videos and tracking software loading in the background, sometimes your only defense is to disconnect from the Internet once the text in the webpage has loaded. Windows 10 is also a bandwidth-hog. By default, on the Start Menu, they load “live” tiles, like news, weather and games, which download the latest information regularly, costing you bandwidth. You can turn off a lot of this background bandwidth waste but Microsoft does not go out of its way to show you how.

And if you think the above can save you money, it’s chump change when you get hacked and your identity and reputation are stolen from you.

The Internet is a dangerous place with predators wanting to steal your information. It’s up to you to make yourself safe. Make sure you have virus software on your computer and that the virus definitions are regularly updated. Learn how to build your own wall to keep these criminals out of your computer, your identity and your bank account.

Did you know that you can set up a local Internet (called an Intranet) and share movies, music and more with selected friends and neighbors?

The Internet is just a huge network of computers all tied together communicating with each other. You can use that same concept to tie together a small group of computers. Instead of using “sneaker-net” and exchanging music and movies by DVDs and Flash drives, you can broadcast your local network with your wireless router and share files. There are no data fees from your Internet provider because it’s all done locally. And it’s secure because your wireless is password-protected.

Want to learn more?

Be watching for the online articles at or reprinted at the Boondocker Chatter Online,, for more information on how to save BIG money with technology!


Comments 1

  1. Jim"Poppie" n Velma "Munchie" Reed

    Great to hear all the news of y’all. We have been gone to TX/NM for a few years paying off bills. Hope to be back at LTVA at least some of this winter!

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