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TourismGobble, Gobble! No Customers for Thanksgiving this Year so I Thought I'd Throw Back a few Cervezas and do another IamA. My Wife and I Built our Very Own Boutique Mexican Beach Resort from Scratch AMA!

Nov 25th 2016 by Oax_Mike • 41 Questions • 232 Points

Hello again! We’re the team behind Intel’s Compute Stick, the tiny computer the size of a pack of gum you connect directly to an HDMI TV or display. You may remember us from our last AMA about our Skull Canyon NUC, another small form factor computer.

They may not look it, but Compute Sticks are full-fledged PCs capable of running Windows 10 and Linux. That means you have the flexibility to do whatever you want — play games, stream video, get work done, run a server — and you aren’t limited to a walled garden of apps, as is the case with other entertainment devices with this form factor. So we’d love to answer your questions relating to Compute Sticks, from their development to technical details to how to use them. We’ll also answer questions about breakfast, horse-sized ducks, and whatever you’ve got. Bruce Patterson (/u/BrucePatterson-Intel), marketing manager, will be answering your questions today. And here’s proof.

Ask us anything.

ps. If you’d like to pick up a Compute Stick, keep an eye out for Black Friday deals from online retailers such as NewEgg and Amazon.

pps. We’re giving away 3 Compute Sticks at random, to random questioners!

Thanks all for a great AMA! Appreciate all the great questions and comments. I will do another check on this AMA later today and see if there are a few things that need to be answered. And the three lucky winners of Intel Compute Sticks are being communicated with right now. Thanks and happy computing!

Q:

Is purchasing property a difficult process for foreign nationals in Mexico?

A:

What are some good white elephant gifts for $20 or less?


Q:

My boyfriend used to work in the ER as a scribe before he started medical school. He swore that on nights there was a full moon, weird things would happen. People would, for some reason, be more aggressive/emotional than usual, leading to strange or violent injuries. There was such a correlation, people (doctors, nurses, staff alike) would mark the date of the full moon on the calendar just so they weren't blindsided by an especially busy night. He always tried to get that day off, but of course, it wasn't always up to him.

My aunt, who's also an ER nurse in a different city, apparently swears the same thing. My mom's best friend, another ER nurse in another city, has also been remembered to say the same thing.

Have you noticed any correlation?

A:

Is there a NUC that supports Linux hibernate yet? Or does that still brick the device?


Q:

Yes and no.

It depends on where the property is and what you plan to do with it.

The vast majority of land in Mexico can be bought by a foreign national with no special requirements whatsoever - the only land that is more complicated is land within 50km of the border or within Mexico City...of course the water counts as a border so most of the land foreigners are interested in comes with an extra step or two in the buying process.

There are two basic ways to buy land within this protected zone:

  1. Form a Corporation. Since 1996 two foreigners can start a corporation with no Mexican shareholders. Pretty simple process, really...you go to a notary, fork over about US$1,000 and you've got a corporation. You can do this on a tourist visa on vacation. You don't have to be a resident to form a corporation. But you do need 2 people. Anyhow, you own the corporation and the corporation owns the land - so there is the loophole. The one caveat is that you must legally operate a business on the land at some point and you'll need to pay an accountant every month to do your taxes even if the tax form is simply saying "Welp, we're still in zeros over here." Another downside of this strategy is that if/when you sell the land, all profit is taxed at corporate rates. (Mexican law is the same as the US where you can make like $200,000 profit on the sale of your primary home...but basically a corporation can't use this exemption.)

  2. Fideicomiso - or bank trust. Basically a bank buys the land, puts it in their name and then writes up a trust giving you 100% control over the property. This is what most retirees do to buy land since they won't be running a business. Downside is that it costs about US$5-7K in lawyer fees to set up and US$500-700/year in "maintenance fees."

We did #1.

It's important to note that if you live here long enough you become eligible for citizenship...if you become a citizen you can then transfer the deed out of your corporation or bank trust into your name as a Mexican citizen. A lot of foreigners do this.

Many foreigners use an old school workaround, too, called a Prestanombre...or Name Borrowing...basically a Mexican friend that you REALLY trust puts the property in their name but it's "really" yours...I won't go into the inherent risks with this strategy.

A:

Socks. You can get ones with funny prints which may seem ridiculous, but will come in handy when you keep putting laundry day off.


Q:

Yup! It's actually a really common superstition. I think it's probably all in our heads, but I swear we have the craziest patients, especially psych patients on full moons!

A:

I'm looking into getting an answer for you. Hold on.


Q:

Why would guests want to come to your resort instead of more popular ones?

A:

Question 2 : Notifications are great, and we also CamelX3 a lot as well. Camel misses certain things (other retailers, coupons, additional discounts taken at checkout, lightning deals) so if you want the absolute best price, it's best to get a little more coverage.


Q:

Oh man, I'm an ED nurse and I would never go back to the floor. On the floor, if you get a fucking asshole patient, they are yours for 12 hours, and they will probably be there when you come back tomorrow too. Multiple doctors round and put in new orders all day, multiple meals, accuchecks, bed changes, baths, med pass for all of your patients scheduled at the same time and they all have 15 meds each. Oh, and did you need something? Have fun paging the doctor 20 times while your patient yells at you for not having the order yet. In the ED, you have that patient for maybe 4 hours. They can't eat or drink until testing is done and then you can throw them the one sandwich you have in stock if they want it. Don't like it, they can order once they get upstairs or get their own food when they leave. No bathing, limited toileting. You get your patient, you assess, draw blood, monitor, and provide meds as needed, then send them on their way. It's great.

A:

Thanks, I'm on my 5th NUC, the other 4 have been RMA'd and a refund issued. I've talked to other Linux users of the NUC and they seem to agree they're a bit finicky.

I want to love them, the form factor is fantastic, as is the performance when all is going well.

Thanks for your time.


Q:

Great question.

One that doesn't really have a short answer...so here's the long one :)

For starters, it's important to recognize that for a rather large percentage of the market they wouldn't.

Some people like the Mega resort experience for any number of reasons. Some people like crowded pools and busy beaches. Some people are after shows/nightlife/entertainment/etc. during their vacation.

Some people love giant corporate style resorts - and these aren't the people we're marketing to.

We sell a very niche product - one that to an extent is designed for people who have had bad experiences at more traditional resorts or who have perhaps never even stayed at a resort. There are a lot of people who seek out boutique properties without having to be sold on the idea to begin with.

But here are the main areas where our experience differentiates from a mega resort:

  1. Peace & Quiet. If you're truly looking to relax it's crazy tranquil here. There are no roads, no cars, no neighbors, no bars, and we have a maximum of 8 people at the resort (and no children) so it's always quiet here.

  2. Our food is amazing. Most resorts serve food that is "good" at best, usually just OK and sometimes borderline shitty. To get food anything like what we serve at a traditional resort you're looking at $600-$1000/night.

  3. Personal service. From designing a special meal plan for every single customer to personally helping each guest have a killer vacation, we provide a different type of interaction with our customers.

  4. The beach here is empty. 99% of the time if you go to the beach you will be the only humans there.

  5. Blend of relaxation and "travel." One thing that is great about this part of Mexico is that it truly is more authentic than most tourist destinations...so staying with us gives guests the opportunity to have a relax & recharge type holiday while also having a true "adventure."

  6. What we sell is an experience - and while exactly what that experience is can be difficult to quantify it's very unique.

  7. We're insanely affordable for what we do. While we're not the cheapest product on the market, we are very cheap for our genre.

A:

Question 1: We recently wrote a piece about Amazon Basics which might interest you: http://thewirecutter.com/blog/should-you-consider-amazonbasics/


Q:

100% agree. I don't think I could EVER go back to the floor. The only other area I could see myself in would be trauma ICU, but even that I'm not sure if I'd really enjoy as much as ED.

A:

Still working on an answer. This week is tough to find the right technical folks (everyone seems to be on vacation besides me - not bitter). I may not be able to respond right away, but I will get back to you. Thanks for your patience.


Q:

How safe is it there in general? (I'm from Australia so not too sure what it's like other than what I see on tv).

A:

Four things: 1. Thank you for your reliable reviews. 2. Any rec'd laptop bags (not backpacks) less expensive than your briefcase recs? 3. Bluetooth headset rec for dictation s/w (spec, Dragon for Mac)? I didn't see it mentioned in recent reviews.. 4. Sugg: How about a new section just for baby-related stuff (we're expecting our first..). Thank you!


Q:

How was work this week?

A:

I've been dealing with this for a year or so, a bit more time isn't going to hurt me ;)


Q:

This is a bit of a loaded question, for obvious reasons, but it's generally very safe here in Oaxaca State.

Mexico is an enormous country and different regions very wildly in terms of how closely they resemble Ciudad Juarez.

I mean, yeah, whether you're talking statistically or anecdotally, it's still going to be less safe here on some level compared to most fully developed nations but only marginally so.

The biggest danger here is driving, particularly at night. Roads aren't in the best condition (not awful, either) and are poorly marked, with random speed bumps, mostly non-existent lighting (depending on where you're at) and way too many drunk drivers (from 9pm onward).

Most people who find trouble here are looking for it but sure, a visit to Mexico is certainly rougher around the edges than wine tasting in Napa Valley.

A:

Answer to 4: Baby-related gear is something we're definitely considering expanding our coverage on and we make sure to log all these requests and suggestions from readers, so I'll make sure to make a note. Also, congratulations!


Q:

I worked an extra shift this week (I usually only work three 12 hour shifts a week) for overtime pay so I'm pretty exhausted. I work again tonight (I do night shift, 7pm-7am) and this will be my 5th night in a row. I try to do all my days in a row if I can get back on a normal sleep schedule during my days off.

It was pretty busy on and off the last couple of days. Saw a ton of sick kids and my first flu + patient of the season. We also had a lot of high acuity (sicker) patients.

A:

Did some research and talked with a couple of guys in the lab who remember this issue from when it first came up. They believe that the issue has been addressed with the BIOS update V.358 which came out on November 5 (there is now a 360 available as of yesterday). Here's the link to the release notes for this 360 release and you can see the relevant fix under teh 358 section. If you get updated to this BIOS and are still seeing the problem please respond back so I can inform the team. And of course you can always reach out to Intel Customer Support or the Intel Community if you desire (I'm guessing you are already well versed with both of these!)


Q:

As a Mexican, wtf is it with the speed bumps in the middle of the fucking HIGHWAY!!! Bitch, I'm doing 130kph and you expect me to spot a speed bump at 3am when the sign is covered by a fucking bush that shouldn't be there and there is no light at all??

A:

Thanks for the work you guys do. I have a dozen of your recommendations and the dishwasher is getting installed on Friday. Any parenting stuff on the horizon? Holy hell the baby market is filled with overpriced garbage.


Q:

Are there any situations that you see on a regular basis that just make you want to say "oh no. Not another one"?

A:

Thanks for doing this AmA. I love the idea of the stick. I'm really turned off by the lack of openness.

It seems you've gone out of your way to make it extremely hard for people to install an open OS on the stick.

And then the version you do sell with Linux pre-installed you have crippled spec-wise compared to the windows version.

Why? And: why?

Thanks.


Q:

To be fair, without topes no drivers would slow down for villages simply because there's a sign that asks nicely...but yeah, often the speed bump isn't painted and the only sign is hand painted on a 15cm piece of wood taped to a cubeta.

My other beef is that there is ZERO continuity...some speed bumps are super suave and only require that you slow down to 40kph...other ones will break your car if you don't slow down to 10kph and take it at an angle.

You never know what kind of tope you're going to get.

The worst is a village between Huatulco and Salina Cruz that has 9 topes...9! In like 1km of road. Ridiculous.

A:

We're definitely thinking about covering parenting stuff in the near future! Also, depending on what age range you're looking for, we just put together a pretty great guide to the best learning and STEM toys we love: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/learning-toys-and-stem-toys-we-love/


Q:

Oh yeah, most definitely. One of the most annoying things I see is that soooo many patients treat the ED like a clinic, coming in for very minor issues that could easily be handled at an urgent care or could wait until a patient sees their primary care provider. It congests the whole department, drastically increases wait times, and makes it much harder for patients with true emergencies to be seen. What bothers me even more is when these patients fail to understand that they are NOT an emergency, and thus will have it WAIT. People refuse to understand when a sick patient is taken from the waiting room to a room before they are. I try to explain to these individuals that the ED does not work on a first-come-first-serve basis, and that the sickest patients are seen FIRST. I can't count the number of times people have yelled at me, cussed me out, or became aggressive due to the wait time - I work in a VERY busy ER. It's the most frustrating thing ever when people who aren't even that sick have such a sense of entitlement and don't give a fuck if someone else is dying and needs medical attention BEFORE them.

A:

Hi AlvinQ - while it may not seem this way, we are not trying to make it hard to install different OSes on to the stick. In our first generation, we did offer the version with Linux (Ubuntu specifically) that you refer to. Our thinking on the decreased specs was to hit the lowest possible price point. However, we got the very feedback that you are providing us and decided that in the future we wouldn't choose the OS for you but rather sell sticks either with Windows or simply with no OS installed at all. And we would keep specs of the no-OS sku that same as the Windows sku. Currently there are no-OS versions of the stick of Atom, Core m3 and Core m5 processors. Hopefully one of these will meet your needs.


Q:

How much were your start-up costs?

A:

Do you guys have any recommendations for wireless sport/gym earbuds?


Q:

Have you ever met any celebrities on the clock?if so, could you talk about it?

A:

You really botched linux support for a long time (while having a version that was pre-installed with ubuntu). Many people had to stay on 3.16 when 4.3 was a thing. Why did you not mainline proper audio, s3 (and lower) states and sdio?


Q:

We prefer to not share exact numbers online but our startup capital was approximately what you'd pay for a three bedroom house in the suburbs in the average US market.

A:

We do! We have a guide dedicated specifically to wireless exercise headphones. You can check it out here: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wireless-exercise-headphones/


Q:

No, I haven't. I work in the MD suburbs just outside of DC so I wouldn't be too surprised if a politician or someone of a similar caliber came in. I actually used to work as a veterinary technician before I was an RN and had a famous Wizards player bring in one of his dogs to our clinic.

A:

nicman24 - I understand your frustration as we do hear this from our Linux supporters on a somewhat regular basis. The simple (although I realize completely unsatisfactory answer to you) is that Intel has to make priority decisions on what OSes to support for each of our processors. And there are simply some combinations of processors, OS and features that do not end up getting supported at the end of that analysis. I am no expert on this but this is my understanding of why we are in this situation.


Q:

Surprisingly low. How may guests can you accommodate at one time?

A:

Hey I was a vet tech (LVT) for many years and absolutely loved it. I worked at a large-referral-specialty hospital and I was able to meet several celebrities who needed our services. Not any A-listers or anything but more tv personalities (reality shows and a certain pastor to a mega church). I work in a human hospital now but miss the animals every day. Do you ever miss it?


Q:

I've played with the compute stick and I'm wondering about heat. How are you resolving the heat challenges while trying to improve performance on something this small?

A:

I can tell you that we busted our asses like I never imagined possible to make it happen.

We built Gecko Rock with about half the capital we really needed...via creativity and elbow grease.

And we have 4 rooms, so 8 people.

Rooms have a King-Sized bed so we mostly cater to couples.


Q:

I actually still do it! I am part-time in the clinic where I used to work full time (before nursing) and I usually work a couple of times a month. I love working with animals (even more than humans!) but they $ and little opportunity for advancement never made it a realistic career option for me.

A:

That is the ultimate question. Obviously you can solve the heat problem by simply degrading performance of the processor, but that is a rather unsatisfactory approach. So the first step is to choose the right processor. We are utilizing ones that we specifically engineered for ultra thin laptops and tablets, so they are more efficient (performance per watt of power) than a typical processor. Then it comes down to system design. the placement of every component in the system matters to optimize where the heat is being generated and to maximize cooling opportunities. And finally we work with some of the best suppliers in the world for thermal cooling devices (fans, heat sinks, etc) to ensure that our devices are the best balance of size, performance and thermals.


Q:

Gonna guess 500-600k. Ill delete if you dont feel comfortable

A:

Even if this nurse has treated a celebrity or any other person for that matter they are not allowed to talk about it. It would be a violation of the health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA) and can result in a lot a legal trouble if you do so.


Q:

I bought the Skylake i5 NUC. It's lovely and snappy on Xubuntu 16.04. I can't say "well done" enough.

Do you have plans to support any of the BSD's? As far as I know True-OS and maybe DragonflyBSD are the only ones that support Skylake graphics.

And on that topic, do you have any NUCs planned for Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake?

I'm rather curious if and how you guys use Linux too.

A:

Closer to half that...but yeah, that's about what it would run you if you had all of the work done by contractors.

We did much of the work ourselves and had to get very creative to figure out ways to cut costs, all the way down to building a lot of our own furniture. It took us 2.5 years to finish.


Q:

This is true. I can tell stories about my experiences but can't give any names or specific details.

A:

Glad that you are liking your Skylake NUC! The graphics support decisions are made at the processor level and not within our organization. I believe that you are right today about the BSDs that are supporting Skylake graphics and I am not aware of any additional ones being worked on.

As for future NUCs, while I am not able to publicly talk about unannounced products, we have no intention to stop producing NUCs for future generations of processors, so stay tuned!


Q:

What gave you the inspiration and desire to build this resort?

A:

Have you ever seen anything which was too gross for you to handle?


Q:

Are you guys getting enough sleep?

A:

As I mentioned above, when we decided to leave ESL teaching we knew that the only way to get the vacation time we wanted was to start our own business.

My wife worked as a tour guide in Europe for 6 years before we met and she always wanted to get back into tourism so that's kind of where it started...and we're both serial travelers.


Q:

I don't really have a choice to not do anything "gross". I really hate working with sputum and respiratory secretions but I have to suck it up and do it anyways. I usually just put on a mask/face shield if it really grosses me out. I once had to put a nasogastric tube (feeding tube that goes from the nose to the stomach) in a patient who had a small bowel obstruction. He had basically been puking up fecal matter and blood because of the blockage. The smell was probably the most disgusting thing I've ever smelled. He had also vomited all over himself and the ground. But I still had to do it anyways :(

A:

Always! The brain doesn't work well without the right amount of sleep!


Q:

I plan on staying with you next year. Unfortunately, as a fellow business owner, you know that work never stops even when you're on vacation. What are the cell signal and internet speeds like at your resort and in the surrounding areas? I have AT&T as my cell provider.

A:

I was reading an H&P once and the dr noted that the pt had saved the sputum she coughed up in a tupperware and brought it in to him. I gagged just reading about it.


Q:

I feel like you missed a marketing opportunity here. "...but our Intel Compute sticks don't need sleep and can run 24/7!"

A:

Ironically we just got a cell signal here at the resort about 2 months ago...before that we were in a dead zone and guests needed to download Skype or wait until they were in town.

But even now you may have to go to the rooftop to get a strong cell signal.

Internet speeds are abysmal, too (compared to the developed world or even just a larger Mexican city). Ours is supposed to be 1.5mb which is fine when it's working smoothly (we use Skype, Netflix, etc. without issue) but if you need to upload/download large files it's a nightmare. I remember sending the file a year and a half ago to the printer for our cookbook and it took 8 hours...it was crazy stressful as that particular site started the upload over again if the internet went out for just one minute. Twice it failed and I had to try again the next day.

But some days the internet is just slow and we do experience occasional outages.

I've had potential guests ask before about doing a "working vacation" and I'm careful to be honest and say that if you're talking emails and non time sensitive phone calls you're golden, but if losing the internet for 10 hours means that you could potentially lose a big sale then it's too risky here...or if you're a developer/drafter and need to send files into the Gb or work directly online with complex software you might encounter issues.

I mean, it's not THAT bad and we'll sometimes go two months without an outage but when there are issues we're kind of at the end of the line here in the boonies in terms of when ours gets fixed....and the cell signal can come/go depending on where you're at so if there are calls that need to be taken immediately our place isn't the best fit.

Not trying to scare you away :) haha...we just prefer to be 100% honest.

We believe that the best policy is to do our best to only get guests here who really want to be here. When someone asks about nearby nightlife or make requests that imply they'd likely be happy elsewhere we let them know...the last thing we'd want is to bend the truth and get people here who aren't looking for what we sell...or have someone miss out on a big business deal because they were counting on 24/7 super reliable cell and internet service.


Q:

Oh dear god! That grosses me out thinking about it too. I had a patient once who brought in a mucus-y stool sample in a wad of toilet paper. Super gross.

A:

That is a great point. Don't tell my boss, that I miss that opportunity!


Q:

That's great news! Your resort is exactly the kind of escape and downtime I'm looking for, so obviously work is the last thing I want to do on vacation. It's good to know that I can at least check-in occasionally. I'll just be sure to use the following out of office message:

I am currently out of the office with limited access to email and phone. I will be returing on xxxxxxxx, xxxx xxxx. If I cannot respond to your email before then, I will do so when I return. If it is critical, you can try me on my cell phone: 000-000-0000, but I may be unable to return your call until I am back in the office.

A:

I had one of those exact same patients vomit of the side of the bed and INTO MY FUCKING SHOE... That was the day i started keeping a whole second set of clothes in my locker, down to the socks/underwear and shoes


Q:

Very exciting device... 2 questions: 1.I just built a desktop PC with my son, mainly to get him excited about how these "magic gaming boxes" work ;-) ... Is this the end of Desktop PCs?

2.Couldn't you have come up with a cooler name? "Compute stick" doesn't really capture the excitement or potential of these little beauties! ;-)

Thanks for the AMA... And the technological inspiration!

Cheers,

Hewlett!

A:

What kind of business do you run?


Q:

Haha, yeah I keep a set of scrubs in my car, I didn't think about the shoes/socks though. Maybe I'll start keeping some in there too.

A:

So glad you are getting your son exciting about computers - Intel is always looking for future employees!

To your questions - no, the compute stick doesn't spell the end of desktop computing, although it might transition some of the lower end PCs into devices like this. But the reality is that if you need high performance compute and/or graphics, a more traditional PC is still the way that you would want to go.

  1. LOL - I have gotten a lot of flak for the name since this came out. Yeah, it's too exciting, but it does at least tell you a bit about what it is (hopefully).

BTW - loved you in Stargate: Atlantis!


Q:

Understanding you don't wanna get too detailed into your finances, can you share a bit for someone who's thought about similar businesses in the past? How many nights (or guests) per year do you need to book to break even? Are you trying to make a certain amount of profit a year, or just enough to finance your lifestyle?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

With newer technology like usb 3.0 do you think you could covert this pocket computer into a performance booster (by that I mean a a flash drive that could help processors compute data)?

A:

I'd be happy to give you more detailed numbers via email if you're serious about doing similar.

But the answer to your other questions are a bit complicated given our unique scenario/business model and depend greatly on your point of view.

Since we had to save up cash to do this (financing isn't an option as local banks won't loan to you and your home bank isn't going to finance a project overseas) we own it outright...and since we live here, this means that we don't pay any rent/mortgage.

So...how you would calculate break even numbers depends on whether or not you're calculating in "paying back our investment" or not.

We can get by here (no offense to those who survive on much, much less) on around $15,000/year so depending on the number of rooms/nights, the first 10 reservations per year are our sort of "break even" number...where we earn enough to survive.

From a business/investment point of view this clearly isn't breaking even at all, particularly given that we ought to be paid a "salary" for running the resort.

But I'd say that 20 reservations as a minimum per year puts us in a place where we don't need to stress about money.

Our end goal is to earn approximately $100,000/year and when we hit that threshold we'll start closing more. We're still a very long way from hitting this point :) Every season so far we've doubled our sales, though, so we're not worried about it or anything.

So the answer is a combination of the two...yes, we have an eventual number in mind but the true purpose here is to finance our lifestyle...much of the reason we'd like to earn more is that we liquidated every single asset we had to do this...we own the resort and that's awesome but we're in our 40s without a single penny in traditional retirement savings....so even when we do start making $100k we'll likely stash 50%+ of that each year into the bank/retirement investments/etc.


Q:

There's a law called EMTALA that requires patients to get the same level of care regardless of insurance status or what insurer they have. My hospital requires you to pay either a co-pay (determined by your insurer) or put down a $250 deposit. This is all done after the patient has seen a provider - either an MD, PA or NP. Registration is not legally allowed to ask for a patient's insurance before they are seen. If the patient cannot pay the copay or deposit, the hospital cannot force them to, and they will be billed later.

A:

This is a clever idea! We have actually looked at this in general and right now there doesn't seem to be a realistic path to make it work. The primary challenge comes down to getting two processors (the one in the compute stick and the one in the other computer) to find a way to split the workload efficiently. It shouldn't be impossible, but it would be very hard and not something that we are working on today.


Q:

Awesome, thank you for the response! I may take you up on that offer to discuss in more detail privately. Not sure if you're part of the r/financialindependence community, but your story would be of great interest over there, and it's a great and thoughtful sub if you ever want some commiseration over a non-traditional (income) lifestyle. Love that you're pursuing your dream like this, and its great to hear the upward trajectory your sales are on! All the best.

A:

How difficult is it to get a job in nursing?


Q:

How do the specs of the 'Compute Stick' compare to modern day computers? How would the Compute Stick handle graphically intense games?

A:

I've checked out /r/financialindependence before but that's not exactly the lifestyle we are going for...I mean, it's along a similar vein but I am not looking to bust ass for a while and then retire early, per se, my philosophy is more to take some of my retirement every year so that I don't hate work and yearn to retire early :)

But yeah, feel free to reach out if you ever want to chat about your plans.


Q:

As you probably know, there's a significant nursing shortage which is only projected to worsen in the near future. It's quite easy to find a job if you have nursing experience already. It's tough for newly graduated RNs out of school to find a job because it's REALLY expensive for hospitals to train brand new nurses and they pose a liability risk to the hospital since they are so inexperienced. Most hospitals have new graduate RN programs with several months of extensive orientation. It makes it even more difficult if you have an associate's degree rather than a bachelor's because there is a huge push for bachelor's to be the entry level degree for RNs even though RNs with associate's and bachelor's practice under the exact same scope of care and can do the exact same job.

A:

First off, the Compute Stick is a modern day computer! We offer a range of performance options starting with entry level compute sticks based on the Atom processor all the way up to one with a Core m5 processor in it - the same processor that is used in many ultra thin 2 in 1 in the market today. With that said, there are some limitations going so small. The amount of local storage is less than a typical desktop computer today and you don't have the ability to upgrade the device since it is not user accessible. And for graphically intensive games, the Compute Stick is not the right choice (if you want that in a small form factor, check out the Intel NUC line of mini PCs.


Q:

What is your annual revenue ?

A:

Would having personal experience help? I had a daughter who had a brain tumor that ended up making it necessary for her to have a trach, gtube, and ventilator. She had episodes of respiratory failure when she got upset and needed to be bagged by whoever was with her which was almost always me, on top of the regular trach care and tube feeding and whatnot. I was basically her nurse for 3 years without actually going to school. Now the next logical thing seems to be nursing school since I already have so much experience. I know that experience will help me in school because she was such a complex patient but I've wondered if it'll matter when I need to find a job once I'm done.


Q:

Have a bit of a taboo question here, have you ever used/ known that you can use macOS on your intel NUCs?

A:

It's too early to call this year's revenue because we're just starting the season now but it looks like we'll earn around $40k this year.

We're very much still in the early stages of growth. Our first year of being open we didn't make enough money to live off of and so I got into freelance writing to make ends meet but every year since we've doubled our sales...if we wind up doubling again this season we'll do better than $40k but it's too early to tell. We do already have way more bookings at this point of the year compared to last November, though.

Our end goal is to earn about $100k/year for the two of us...but bear in mind that we can live pretty well here on $20k/year so even earning $60k would mean living insanely well if you chose to.


Q:

I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter :( I don't think it would hurt to mention your experience with your daughter, especially once you get an interview. I wouldn't go so far as to put it on your resume, since it's personal experience, but definitely mentioning it during the interview - and giving it as a reason for wanting to get into nursing - would help give you a step up above other candidates with no experience. I would DEFINITELY recommend trying to get a job as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) while you're in school though because having direct patient contact in an acute care setting makes you look much better from the perspective of the hiring manager. In my state, after you finish your first semester of nursing school, you can apply for your CNA license. Good luck!

A:

I have never used macOS on a NUC. There are some stories on line about folks doing it but I don't have any experience with it.


Q:

Thanks for the insight! Do you mean by earn after taxes and stuff?

A:

If you know the show, how would you compare your view of doctors in the ER vs. the way things were portrayed on "Nurse Jackie"?


Q:

Ive had an Intel NUC since 2013. Its primarily used as a PLEX MEDIA SERVER to watch my movie collection around the house and remotely in different locations and as such its always on.

Do you have any tips or tricks that could make my NUC more power efficient as an ‘always-on’ machine?

A:

Yeah, give or take.

To be 100% honest I'd have to sit down and figure it all out. To tell the truth we've been earning so little money here in the startup phase (in the grand scheme of things) that most of the time we've been open we haven't been tracking it TOO closely. Doing business in Mexico is different accounting wise, so cash we bring in from drinks/extras/tips isn't always tracked and sometimes our business expenses are tied into personal ones, too.

For example, we only have 1 electric bill, 1 internet bill, 1 water bill and so on for the property...so some of our "earnings" are hidden in that the business side of things pays our bills and when we're busy there are generally enough leftovers that we're eating for "free" of sorts.

I also do freelance writing on the side to supplement our income so that also plays into the confusion finance wise :)

It's actually on my to-do list to put together a better tracking system...if our current growth trend continues we'll need to run a much tighter ship next year (our season runs Oct-Jun, so I mean starting next fall).


Q:

Out of all the "medical" shows I've seen, I think Nurse Jackie comes the closest to reality. I think that's due in part to the writers being nurses and actually working in the medical field. There are definitely still parts of the show that are unrealistic which is frustrating but it's far better than most other shows. I also have heard of some nurses who have gotten addicted to narcotics and fired after they were caught, but I heard it all second hand. It's a little bit difficult for me to compare the hospital Jackie works at to mine because All Saints is a trauma center, whereas the hospital I work for is not.

A:

I'm assuming that you are already optimizing all of the standard windows power settings to get what you are looking for. Beyond that tale a look at Intel Ready Mode. This technology was developed with just this type of experience in mind.


Q:

Did you already speak spanish?

A:

Most of the time you don't get closure. If there was no apparent cause for the death we don't find out.


Q:

So you're telling me that there could be a 3G dongle at the end of my 3G dongle?

Seriously though, I love my NuC - it is a complete bang for my buck! Great work guys!

As this has to be a question:

  • Apart from making your TV smart, what other purpose is the Compute stick intended for?
  • Do you see the compute stick be of any competition to Raspberry Pi? Are you guys even thinking of that direction? Or is it completely different.
A:

Yes, I did. My wife understands a lot but is not fluent.

I had a lot of vocabulary to learn, particularly related to construction, and there are still situations now and again that pop up where I don't understand something and need to ask for an explanation...for example, a lot of the terms used on online banking are confusing.

But for all intents and purposes I spoke Spanish well enough to do everything we need on our own...sometimes I just need to ask for things to be explained in different terms and talking over the phone is a bit challenging at times.


Q:

Like the other person said, we often don't get to follow up on many of our patients because we really don't have them for more than 12 hours at the max before they're either discharged or transferred to the floor. This patient was a medical examiner case (autopsy) and there would be no way of me finding out at this point what they discovered was the cause of death. I really wish I could find out though.

A:

For the average consumer, the compute stick is great for streaming content to a TV, playing light 2D games (think Minecraft or using it as as Steam console) or for taking with them when they travel and want a basic PC to plug into their hotel TV. For businesses, it is designed to be used for digital signage, kiosks, conference rooms and as a thin client.

As for Raspberry Pi, while there are some basic commonalities, Raspberry Pi is really targeted at makers and the compute stick is a full solution for average consumers, so we don't see them as competing.


Q:

What else can you do in the area around your resort? What other activities are nearby?

A:

when my husband was a resident he was doing an ED rotation. He saw someone for pain (idr the details.) Closed the curtain and stood there charting for a few minutes. He hears the guy immediately get on his phone "Hey man, I got 30 percocet! you wanna buy?" He just opened the curtain like...you know these aren't soundproof, right?


Q:

I compare all single-piece, low-powered computers like this to the Raspberry Pi, since the Pi defines that niche.

What about the Intel Compute Stick causes it to cost 3x what the Raspberry Pi 3 does?

Am I wrong in assuming that your latest Intel Atom processors are relatively comparable to a Pi's ARM processor?

I tried and failed to comfortably run a web browser on my Raspberry Pi 3. Can device handle Firefox?

A:

That depends on your definition of "nearby"...Puerto Escondido is 28km from our place and you can find plenty of tourist activities there...charter fishing, surfing, dolphin watching, snorkeling, shopping, horseback rides, diving, etc.

And La Escobilla, which is where the mass sea turtle layings/hatchings take place is just 10 minutes from here - but you can't predict when this will happen.

And Mazunte has a good lagoon tour with crocodiles, iguanas, birds, etc.

But immediately around the resort, as in within walking distance, the main thing to do is go to the beach or to Agua Blanca, a rustic beach town 15 minutes up the beach where you can find palapa restaurants and have a beer or a local lunch.

In general our guests tend to spend 70% of their vacation here at the property and the rest on day trips...our business and this area in general don't really cater to people looking for a super touristy town. You're not going to find things like ATV tours and jetskis.

So yeah, we mostly cater to people looking to relax.


Q:

Wow, that sucks that you gave him the benefit of the doubt and he tried to play you like that :( It's patients like that who make us skeptical of everybody.

Or when I see that a pt is allergic to nsaids, tylenol, morphine, toradol, etc. I already know where we are headed.... Literally had a patient the other day ask for pain meds and rattle off the aforementioned allergy list and then you, the only medicine that works for me is IV dilaudid (claimed PO didn't work) and that he also needed IV benadryl and IV phenergan because it made him itchy and nauseous. Then tried to tell me I needed to push it straight into his port and then flush it with 10cc afterwards. Doc ordered it in a 50ml bag of NS and PO benadryl. Needless to say he was pissed, haha.

A:

I can understand that comparison, many people view it that way. There are a few reasons why the Intel Compute Stick costs more than a Raspberry Pi does. The first and foremost is that Raspberry Pi is targeted at makers and others than want to develop on it. The Compute Stick is a full, ready to use computer that is targeted at mainstream consumers. And things like including Windows, a full enclosure, on board storage and the like add to the costs as well. As for running a web browser on the compute stick, that is no problem. The current Intel Compute Stick is also capable of 4k output for streaming video and the like to television sets (one of the main consumer usages)


Q:

Are you hiring?

A:

Oesophagus is the British version of the esophagus if you were a confused 'Murican like myself.


Q:

Would you all ever plan on releasing a compute stick development kit for diy projects? The compute stick size-to-power ratio is much greater than some of the small single-boards out there

A:

We're a long ways away from making enough money to hire people ;)


Q:

I don't work in the OR so I don't get to see any surgeries (except for minor bedside procedures). When I was in nursing school I saw one open heart surgery but they had already cracked the chest and the pt was on bypass so the heart wasn't beating and I left before they started it back up again.

A:

That is a very interesting idea! We have not thought about that for compute stick, but I think it could be a real option at some point.

Intel does offer the Galileo board which might provide some similar capabilities.


Q:

Best of luck! Seems like youre doing well thus far!

A:

What's your opinion on people who come into the ER because they've had too much to drink? Do you feel they're wasting valuable resources?


Q:

Just wanted to thank you for the NUCs, they are amazing! We use a lot of them where i work for our projects.

My question is, what are the biggest problems in creating computers that are so small and make them work without blowing up/overheating?

A:

Thanks, man!


Q:

Like other poster said, many people who come into the ED don't really even need to be there so I'm used to it. It can sometimes be difficult to determine if someone who's drunk is actually intoxicated or if there's something more serious going on. I had a patient once who was assumed to be drunk and triaged as such, but ended up having no alcohol in his system and his head CT showed a massive hemorrhagic stroke. He came in with garbled speech and confusion. EMS was called to the scene by bystanders who saw him wandering around outside. There are multiple similar instances when we assume that someone is either intoxicated or on drugs when their mental status is altered by something else so we can't just make that assumption and have to treat them accordingly. Even if they are just drunk, they can aspirate on their own vomit, fall and injure themselves, or end up intubated because of their excessive alcohol level.

A:

So glad that you like the NUCs! We have been really excited about the how much people have taken to NUCs and mini PCs in general. What sort of projects are you doing with NUCs?

As for your question, you have identified the exact primary challenge of making tiny computers - heat. Anytime computer components are functioning they generate heat and the smaller the package the harder it is to get rid of that heat. Fortunately we have a team of incredible engineers that are thermal experts who have developed some really creative solutions for dissipating heat (without generating a ton of fan noise) in both our compute sticks and our NUCs.


Q:

For all of us medical students going through our ED rotation, what should we take away from the rotation and what things can we do to make your job easier?


Q:

Ask the docs as many questions as you can. Try to be proactive and connect the dots. One of my favorite things about working in the ER is when you have a patient and don't know what's going on so you have to investigate. It's almost like solving a puzzle and the more information you get, the closer you get to a diagnosis.

Probably the best thing you can do to make our lives easier is to just be nice and courteous, not just to the nurses, but all the staff. It really goes a long way when MDs, med students, PAs, NPs, etc don't give off an egotistical "I'm better than you" vibe. I think respect goes a long way. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your rotation!

A:

In general, I'm anti-theft!

The compute stick is designed with a security notch in the back end of it, designed to allow someone to secure the device when that is needed. We have many applications where compute sticks are being used where theft could be a problem, such as college campuses, but this has not been an issue with the product.


Q:

Why is it that trips to the emergency room always end with me getting a fist full on OxyContin?

A:

Hello!. Thank you for all your efforts guys!.

Now, my question is, is there any limit of how small a NUC or a Stick can be?. Do you plan to make them any smaller in the future?.

Thanks!.


Q:

I dunno, are you asking for oxy?

A:

We are always looking to push the boundaries of what's possible and what seems impossible one day, becomes reality the next. So while we do not currently have plans to develop a product smaller than a compute stick, I certainly would expect that there will be products sometime that are, and probably not too far into the future.


Q:

My mom's a nurse, do you know her?

A:

What has been the biggest challenge in creating this product?


Q:

Yes. I know all the nurses in the entire world.

A:

The primary challenge with developing a product this small is optimizing all of the tradeoffs that need to be made. Which features are absolutely required, which can you live without? How much performance is enough without increasing the amount of cooling that is needed (which would increase size, cost and/or noise)? All of these questions (and many, many more) were addressed in the initial development of the product.


Q:

How often do people come in with things stuck in their asses? What's the weirdest thing you've ever witnessed or heard of being pulled out of an ass?

A:

has there been any trade offs yet that you're not 100% sure about?


Q:

I already answered this question above

A:

I know that we made some poor decisions on our first generation product, sacrificing WiFi performance for a simpler and smaller antenna design. We already changed that with our second gen device. The other 'mistake' on the first gen was only putting one USB on the device to save space. We have already addressed that as well after a flood of complaints from our customers. Right now, I feel pretty good about the tradeoffs in the 2nd gen of devices as the customer and industry feedback has been quite positive.


Q:

I remember reading an article about the then emerging technology called Bluetooth being a solution looking for a problem.

Which are the most common problems you see the stick being used to solve?

A:

Primarily compute stick is designed to bring an entry level PC into spaces where a standard PC is either too large, too much of an eye sore or consumes too much power. For commercial applications, there are lots of digital sign usages where the low power and tiny size is optimal for their application. For consumers, being able to bring basic compute to a TV without having a computer visible is often desirable.


Q:

I'm looking forward to the world we're entering regarding external GPUs. With TB3 allowing for 40 gigabit throughput, you can actually run an external GPU on a NUC or laptop with little-to-no bottleneck.

With that being said, the few external GPU enclosures using TB3 that have been announced so far are extremely expensive. Is it possible we might see Intel produce their own?

A:

External GPUs do create some exciting opportunities. And i agree that today they are quite expensive. I don't expect that you will see Intel do their own, but we are working with the industry to encourage more companies to look at doing them which we think will help create some that are more entry level.

BTW - ever see the external GPU that someone created themselves? Pretty cool!


Q:

How small realistically do you think mini-PC's and/or "stick" PC's can get?

A:

We are always looking opportunities to make things smaller, faster, cheaper, etc. If you are looking for a traditional PC (ie. use Windows) devices like the stick are generally as small as they can be today. I expect that we will continue to see this size shrink, but it is not clear how much benefit there is to keeping going much smaller. However, there are already tons of computers that are much smaller - smart watches and the like are all computers, but they don't have the full PC experience that I think you are referring to.


Q:

Thank you, yes I was referring to "full PC's" as it were. I personally think that once Stick PC's get powerful enough many people won't see a need for a traditional desktop, I guess it may just become a question (as always) of performance.

A:

Yes, that and if there is any additional cost that is needed to support such a small form factor. Today the components we have to choose are more expensive than standard parts. But if the industry as a whole moves towards these devices, that would of course drive down those costs to parity with the traditional parts today.


Q:

Thank you for your innovation to make usable, powerful, mobile computing a reality!

What's the one thing you wish would be technologically feasible to implement but as of yet isn't in the computer sticks or NUCs?

A:

For compute sticks, the number one thing that I would love to be able to do is power the device directly over the HDMI port, rather than needing an external power supply. We are getting closer to making this real (some HDMI ports now support superMHL which might make this possible in the future) and that would be huge benefit to the compute stick experience.


Q:

This is the first I've ever heard about this! I'll be checking it out after I read this AMA

My question:

Do you think this technology will be invested in by NASA to alleviate payload restrictions for satellites, exploration devices, etc in the near future?

Are these devices able to meet rigorous standards to provide long-term capabilities to the dedicated exploration of space through telescopes and/or spacecraft?

A:

The compute sticks that we are selling today are not designed to meet the requirements of space (they are not radiation hardened for instance), but the foundation of what we have developed could be utilized to develop such devices.


Q:

Do you guys think that in future everyone will only have a monitor on their desk, and a stick that plugs into that instead of modern rigs and consoles? Are you working towards that future, or are you more interested in desktop PC area? And the last question, how much do you guy get paid and what degrees and what languages you need to speak to get a job?

A:

That is an interesting idea! We are always looking for new ways to innovate in the compute space and that is an idea that we have talked about as a possible future state. Will be interesting to see if/when we get there.

As for jobs, Intel obviously has a very wide range of employees with vastly different skill sets and experiences, and the pay range is as diverse. Likewise, language requirements vary by the role and location of that job. If you are interested in working at Intel, please check out our Jobs at Intel site


Q:

I was quite impressed with the iGPU performance on the Skull Cannon NUC, and after looking at indiegogo/Kickstarter projects like the Smach Z and the GPD WIN, it made me wonder: Is there a possibility of Intel joining the party of handheld computers?

A:

Interesting. Intel tends to try to develop new products in spaces where we feel that other companies are not currently servicing. In places where we see others engages, Intel typically tries to see how they can support those companies with the right technologies to make their devices optimal. So I wouldn't expect to see Intel develop a competitive product to these, but hopefully they will continue to be based on Intel.


Q:

Is your product purchasable on Latinoamerica? and if so, are you shipping a crippled or nerfed version?

A:

Yes, the standard version of the Intel compute stick is available in Latin America, although there are some countries where tariffs might make it hard for the product to be sold there.


Q:

Thanks, I'll check it on Amazon store on my country, it's a shame that some retailers make it hard for such a good product to be slowly introduced on the market or available for only a small portion of the population, I'd love if you could get a fine product like this at a reasonable price for different countries but it might prove to be hard right now.

A:

I can't take credit for the idea. The idea actually came out of one of Intel's labs where they are constantly working on new and innovative technologies. When the lab came up with the idea and a potential approach to make it into a product, that is when my organization took over and did the work to make it a real product and get it to market.

As for compute stick 2, we are actually already on our second version of the compute stick (huge improvements were made in WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, added a second USB port and marked graphics improvement). As for a future generation of compute sticks, I can't speak to specifics, but we would look to continue to improve overall performance and to find one or two additional new technologies to bring into the device. To keep up to date on the latest, make sure to keep visiting our compute stick page.


Q:

This question is more about how a cool project comes to be from a giant company like intel.

This is a pretty niche project, obviously not something just anyone wants to buy. I know some companies allow team to pitch a product and if they like the idea they will take a chance on it. Is that how something like this becomes possible?

Also, I'm extremely glad when I see support for Linux.

A:

Great question. At Intel a lot of our company's focus is on the main things that we do - produce the best processors in the world. But we have technology labs that spend all their time working on creating new possibilities (the idea that led to the compute stick came from one of these labs) as well as small product development teams (where I work) that take the best of these ideas and figure out how to make real products out them. And we are simply measured on if we can do our job profitably - if we can we get to keep doing it!


Q:

Do you think these, or NUCs, are suitable for home micro-servers? I've been thinking about getting some hardware to play around with at home.

A:

For a microserver, a NUC is a great option that many people are using today. A compute stick is likely not as good of a fit since most people want to use their server for storing a lot of content (the compute sticks have limited internal storage). But NUCs can house up to 2TB internally and you can easily add additional external storage to them.


Q:

Amazing tech you have here! Can these handle 4k Youtube video streaming?

A:

Yes! All of our current compute sticks can support 4k video (our first generation product did not)


Q:

Hello,

My question :

1.what unique hardware components are present inside the stick apart from the normal ones that we have?

2.Can we use any OS for the stick? If no then what is recommended?

Thank you.

A:

1 - for the most part, the components in the compute stick serve the same function as those in more typical computers. However, every component is selected specifically to meet certain requirements around size, thermal performance and power usage. So they are different in that we have to choose ones optimized for this form factor. 2 - We sell the compute stick both with Windows 10 already installed and with no OS installed. If you purchase it without an OS, the OS that are supported are Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Linux. Many distributions of Linux should work although there can be a feature or two that won't function correctly depending on the driver support.


Q:

Do you have any plans to release other devices similar to these? Such as a raspberry pi type device for those who need a bit more horsepower?

A:

The Compute Stick is currently planned to remain as a finished computer device, not really targeted for developers and makers. Intel does offer the Galileo board which is more along the lines of a higher performing Raspberry Pi.


Q:

Have you seen or heard of anyone running Kodi on one of your devices? Can you comment on how you think your device compares to the Android powered sticks? Are you competing for similar markets?

A:

Yes, people have and do run Kodi on their compute sticks. It is a great way to get a better UI on your TV. As for Android powered sticks (I imagine you are thinking Amazon Firestick or Google Chromecast), there are some similarities (streaming content from Netflix for instance) but the Android powered devices are single purpose devices capable of doing one thing, streaming content. The compute stick is a full multi-purpose computer that is capable of not just doing a range of things, but also of multitasking and doing them at the same time. For instance you could be streaming the Thursday night NFL game while also tracking your fantasy football league and smack talking with your friends over IM, all on your TV at the same time. This sort of capability is only possible with full computer.


Q:

Thanks for the reply. If this is the case, do you see the functions of the Xbox One as a bigger competitor then?

A:

In general, Xbox One could long term be a bigger competitor. Today however, consumers think of Xbox One as a gaming device first and in that sense I don't think most people would be comparing the two even though many of functions are similar.


Q:

Have you considered building sort of a "docking station" where thermals wouldn't be a problem, more ports would be available and the CPU could run as fast as it gets (as they probably can, but passive cooling makes it no bueno)?

A:

So a place to dock the compute stick that would provide more outputs and perhaps some additional cooling for the stick? Interesting idea, although once it gets much bigger than a stick, I would think that people might just prefer to purchase a mini PC (like the Intel NUC) which would provide great performance than could be achieved with an external dock (the internal cooling will always be more successful that the cooling from the dock).

Just to clarify, the Intel compute stick is not passive cooling. It does have a very small fan inside that is used to maintain temperatures and allow for greater performance than passive cooling would.


Q:

Hi Guys. I bought one of the first gen compute sticks, and really enjoyed it (I use it to play old console games with emulators and an XBox 360 controller), but I had a few issues I'd like to see improved. How have you guys addressed:

1 - The built in WiFi was weaksauce. Very slow xfer speed compared to other devices in my house, and it gets worse if you use a bluetooth device as they apparently share receivers. On top of this, wireless N is not supported, which means no Steam remote play (which is half the reason I wanted a PC in the bedroom).

2 - Setup was a pain in the butt as there was no way (that I could tell) to attach a bluetooth device without first using a physical KB, which can be annoying considering the device is plugged into the back of a TV and only has one USB port (I had to go out and buy a USB hub to set everything up).

3 - Performance left something to be desired. I imagine this has been improved with the switch from the Atom to the Core M; how big of an increase in effective speed can we expect to see with the Core M?

All that being said, I really like the device and will probably buy one of the newer ones, depending on their performance. Keep up the good work!

A:

Glad that you have been getting good use out of the first gen compute stick. All of your feedback is spot on and have actually been addressed in our second generation of products. 1 - WiFi in the second gen uses Intel fastest WiFi available today and even more importantly we went from a 1 x 1 antenna scheme to a 2 x 2. This means that there are now two antennas (rather than bluetooth and wifi sharing a single antenna) as well as two frequency that it can broadcast. The wifi and bluetooth are both markedly improved from first gen. 2 - yep, this was true. there was no way to do this previously. However, the new sticks allow you to pair a bluetooth device if they don't detect a keyboard or mouse in the usb ports during the initial setup process. 3 - Performance is significantly higher if you go to the Core M processors. Part because of the processor and in part because they have double the RAM (4GB instead of 2GB). If you got an Core m3 stick today, I don't think you would even compare it to the first gen atom stick that you currently have.