A Holiday Update and some Gift Ideas

Hello on and all!

I hope this holiday season finds you well, and looking forward to the special days that lie ahead. I have been looking at new products and Magic-related paraphernalia, and was quite looking forward to certain items.

I was very excited when the Magic: The Gathering Duel Decks Anthology that was announced this past summer. I had missed out on getting these decks, when they were first released, as I was not playing paper Magic, at the time.

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Now that the box set has released, the price has skyrocketed to twice the MSRP ($99.99), and putting it out of the hands of the target audience. This is a an all-too common problem with WOTC/Hasbro Magic products, with these limited print-runs. We saw it with Modern Masters, and now the Duel Decks.

Duel Decks are designed to help get Rare/Mythic Rare Creatures and Planeswalkers into hands of casual players. I cannot afford to pay $199.99 USD, and I am sure most people are in the same boat as I. What has been recommended to me, by people in the know, who say just get the decks you want, on the secondary market. You can find them opened, and having all of the cards, from reputable dealers/sellers. They can be found for under $10.00/deck. This is what I think I will have to do to get these decks, myself.

I do have a great recommendation, though for gamers and media fans, alike. As we move from disc-based media playback (movies, TV, music), to online streaming and cloud services; how do we use these for what we create. As a disabled gamer/media fanatic, who uses his tablet/console/smartphone to consume such media, as using discs are cumbersome and not portable. We are all familiar with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and such, but we have not been giving the tools to do this with our media. I recently discussed this issue with a friend, and he told me about a great solution to this problem.

The solution is a combination of cloud service/mobile device/personal media server platform, called Plex Media Server.

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The gist of the platform is a software suite that allows you to store your media on a personal computer, so you can stream it on your home network to other computers, share your library with your friends, and even watch away from home. These options are free, but you have the option of adding additional features of watching on you mobile devices, console/smart TV integration, store your media in the cloud, and even create a photo stream sync system.

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They offer a bevy of pay models, including a la carte (pay for each mobile app), monthly ($4.99 subscription/month), annual ($39.99), and lifetime ($149.99). Each of the subscription models include all features mentioned, plus apps for XBox, Android. For those who use iOS, there is a separate one-time app fee for iPhone/iPad.

A great buy, no matter how you buy it. Just try it for free, and see how much this frees up your life. Getting the annual or if affordable, the lifetime subscription makes makes any family’s media collection their, own streaming service that they can use, wherever they are, on their device of choice, and content that can be set with parental controls, so all members can enjoy it! I am on board, and will be using this software from now on. Tell Plex and company, that I sent you. Rest assured, I have dealt with Plex, their support, and community, and they stand behind what they sell. You can give with confidence!

Anyways, Happy Holidays! and may your year work out for the best!

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