Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Clean Mac Keyboard

My Mac's keyboard was a mess.  Accumulated fingerprint boogers left brown residue on most of the keys.  This YouTube video shows a nice solution (pun intended), using a Tide To Go stick to moisten each key, wait 10-15 seconds, then wipe them off.  I removed the batteries first to avoid any shocking moments.  Probably would work on any keyboard, but haven't tested any.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Amazon Echo Available To All

The wait is over!!  At least until mid-July.

From playing music to timing my hamburgers to a perfect medium, this is the coolest piece of technology I have in my house.  Just a matter of time before I buy another one for the second floor.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Google Doodles History

Doodles, like this animated celebration of Teacher's Day 2015 in El Salvador, spice up the normally sparse Google search page somewhere in the world on pretty much a daily basis.  Google collects them at the following link and makes them searchable.  Must be one of the coolest jobs in the world.


Teacher's Day 2015 (El Salvador)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Avoid SourceForge

SourceForge was one of the best places to find and download free (I love free) software, however in the last couple years they are have taken to some tactics to get junkware loaded on your PC.  A number of the most popular developers,such as VLC (Media Player) and GIMP (Image Editor), have left and others are exiting as well.  I recommend avoiding SourceForge until they clean up their act.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I like this free (I love free) Google Chrome extension that can replace the browser's normal web page formatting, which is ugly and wasteful, with a cleaner and condensed version.  Install, then click on the little green leaf at the top right of your browser window to launch CleanPrint.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Amazon Box Advertising

I received my first Amazon shipment in a Minions box.  Aside from just being more colorful than their brown boxes, it's another example of turning the ordinary into a new revenue stream.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Split View

New to Apple's OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" release is Split View, a feature I think I'll make use of quite often on my 23" monitor.  Split View allows a pair of side-by-side windows to act as one, particularly useful for cuts-and-pastes or comparing two versions of the same document.  10.11 isn't available until the fall (I hate waiting).

Get a complete review of what's new at this link.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Harry's Blades

I love the shave my Gillette razor delivers, but hate the per blade price.  For about half that price I'm trying Harry's Blades, delivered free (I love free) to my door.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Firefox Reader View

I spend a lot of time reading articles through a web browser and sometimes all those ads and videos and sound tracks just annoy me to no end.  Firefox's Reader View renders a page without all those distractions, offering a clean view by clicking the "open book" icon, pointed at below.  


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Apple June 2015 Event

If you own an AppleTV and want to watch this month's keynote from Apple's WorldWide Developer Conference on your big screen, it's as easy as selecting "Apple Events" on your main menu.  The two hour event covers upcoming releases iOS 9, OS X 10.11"El Capitan", watchOS 2 and Apple Music.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Multi-Site Google Search

Searching the entire web typically leads to an overwhelming number of results while searching on one site is a bit constraining. Enter the "OR". List multiple sites separated by "OR", which must be capitalized, and find your happy middle ground.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Dual-Fuel Range

This range is a dream come true.  A gas stovetop and electric oven combo was exactly want we wanted.  A real bonus is the separated baking drawer on the bottom, large enough for casseroles, dinner rolls or a peach pie.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

4-Port HDMI Switch

Seems like TVs just don't have enough HDMI ports anymore. Or maybe the thought of dragging four HDMI cables to the back of your TV isn't visually pleasing.  Both these are solved for $40 by this 4-port HDMI switch, which includes (yet another) remote control for the coach potato in all of us.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Steel Wheel-Mount Hitch Bike Rack

A great bike rack at a decent price.  I like the bikes sitting on their wheels and each one securely fastened with three belts each.  On top of that there's another belt holding them together for added security.  Not shown in the picture below is the two-bike extension, great for another couple's bikes.


Tip of the hat: Thanks Larry!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

YotaPhone 2

Adding a low-power e-ink reader to the back of a smart-phone, now that's simply innovation at its best.  I never thought that I was wasting one-half of the potential screen space or the variety of uses that might bring.  Bravo!


Tip of the hat: Thanks Matt!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Amazon Household Profiles

You can link your family member's Amazon accounts into a Household to share content purchases, your Prime benefits and various Echo features.  


Friday, June 5, 2015

Full Windsor

Back in the 1980's when I wore a suit and tie everyday to work (yeah, really), I tied my tie using a Full Windsor knot, although I didn't know it was called that.  I was really surprised when I ran across the article at the link below, which led me to know my knot's name, but also describes seventeen other ways, including some far easy than what I do.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

6-Way Outlet

One of my better electrical purchases to date is this 3-sided, 6-plug outlet, which helps power my home office, better known as Geek Central.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Amazon Echo and Google Calendar

One of the latest feature delivered on the Amazon Echo is integration to Google Calendar.  A quick setup and then ask a question such as "Alexa, what’s on my calendar?" and she reads the results.  

Setup > http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201810470

Use > http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201810490

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

OBD2 and Torque

When my 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee's check engine light came on last week, I invested $24 for a Bluetooth OBD2 scan tool from BAFX and installed the free (I love free) Torque app on my Android smart-phone to diagnose cause.  Then I made sure the gas cap was tightly sealed. Case closed.



Monday, June 1, 2015

Chromebook Screen Replacement

I don't normally try to repair electronics, but when the left side of the screen on my Chromebook became unreadable, I decided to give it a try and spend $38 on a replacement screen.  Thanks to a YouTube video that showed exactly how to unsnap the bezel, remove four screws and a connector, this was a very inexpensive alternative to a new Chromebook.