The retro hits just keep on coming! Nintendo has been banking on our love for nostalgia lately reviving tons of classic games and consoles. Late last year they released a limited production run of the NES classic that had about 30 installed classic NES games and included 1 retro controller. They were next to impossible to purchase selling out almost instantly everywhere and even bringing Amazon’s servers to a crawl. I guess the next console in the progression of things is the SNES Classic!
SNES Classic launching later this year:
Looks like we will be able to purchase this closer to the end of the year, sometime late September. This time around however the unit will include two controllers and will have an $80 price point.
Games will include:
Continue reading “Nintendo Retro Does It Again – SNES Classic Coming Soon!”
In early June I wrote a post that recommended a few different home Wifi extenders. One of the devices mentioned was the Google WiFi Mesh Network. Recently, I had the pleasure of trying one of these devices out for myself.
I had recommend this device to one of my friends and a coworker and both have giving the units rave reviews. They said that setup was simple. Install an app on your smart phone, then scan a QR code on the bottom of the device. The rest was point and click. The entire Google Wifi mesh network was up and running in a matter of minutes.
The network immediately begins reporting signal strength data, device information and a slue of other important information you would want to have regarding your home network. The system can even distribute bandwidth to devices the require it most. (Smart TV’s, Kodi box, ETC) Continue reading “Google WiFi – Only for BASIC home users!”
I have to preface this by saying I am in no way an Amazon fan boy, however I do enjoy many of their products. Amazon has produced many huge hits in the past and a few major fails. Does anyone remember the Amazon Mobile phone? By far the Amazon Echo has been a huge hit, I have owned mine since its release.
Over the past few years Amazon has attempted to integrate their Alexa software into as many devices as possible. There is a slue of Echo devices, plus Alexa has been integrated into both the fire stick and Amazon tablet. You can even build your own Alexa out of a Raspberry Pi.
This time it would appear that the Amazon Echo Dash is more of a fail then a success.
Why is it such a fail?
First off and most importantly, this thing can’t play music. I can understand from Amazon’s point of view with a limited battery life and a speaker the size of a quarter I’m sure the sound quality would be extremely poor. I would love to have the option and make my own decision on usability.
Many users of the device have reported paying huge markups when ordering items via the bar code scanner. Continue reading “Amazon Echo Dash – Mostly a Disappointment?”
Sorry, It’s been about two weeks since I released a post. I have been working on another project that has occupied most of my free time, yet another website. Details to follow!
As some of you know I am heavily involved in youth hockey since both my children are on multiple teams. As manager of the teams each week I am responsible for sending out information regarding our upcoming games to the players and parents to insure they arrive to the rinks on time. In my emails I include all the pertinent information, game time, rink address & location, driving directions and info regarding the rink conditions. Some details you normally wouldn’t find on the internet.
Is the rink old? How cold is it inside? Is it an outdoor rink? Hows the snack bar? You get the idea. Continue reading “Summer Time Project – MyRinkFinder.com”
If you frequently read this blog you know I enjoy computers and I am also fond of cars. For the last 20 years I especially enjoy wasting some time on a Saturday or Sunday detailing my ride. I feel the art of detailing cars has been lost. Most drivers tend to visit the car wash and let the automatic machines pound the dirt off the finish. I’m not saying that the car wash is a horrible place to take your precious ride, however a hand wash and wax in the driveway is the kinder gentler approach to keeping your vehicle looking like new!
The Wash: – Supplies
All soaps are not created equal. When washing your car use a soap that is specifically designed for the task. Dish soap or Mr. Clean are NOT good choices since they tend to strip any wax or protectant that may already be present.
My favorite soap is ArmorAll Wash & Wax. They claim it adds a coating of Carnauba Wax while it washes. In all the years I have used this stuff I have never seen it add a “Wax” coating to the paint, however it at least doesn’t strip the wax off the paint. It’s also relatively inexpensive at about $14.00 for a large bottle.
You are also going to need a good bucket, preferably one that has a segregated wash and rinse side. Or this cool bucket I found. It has a screen at the bottom for filtering out the dirt as well as casters to easily roll the bucket from one side of the car to the other. Automobile paint is easily scratched and the grime coming off the car can easily scratch the paint if not rinsed completely. Its a bit pricey at $44.99, but your cars finish is worth it!
They make plenty of different car wash cloths, hand sponges and Microfiber towels to do the washing. I prefer to use an old T-shirt as my cloth of choice. However if you need a good wash cloth you can’t go wrong with Microfiber. Only $14 for two dozen!
The Wash: – Procedure
Continue reading “Weekend Project – Wash & Wax Your Car!”
My first job as a teenager was working for Radio Shack, the year was 1990 and I was a senior in high school looking for a job to pay for my ride. I already knew I had a love for computers and consumer electronics so Radio Shack was a good fit. I wound up working for the Tandy corporation for my entire college career.
Almost 30 years later and Radio Shack is on the ropes going down for the count. Where did they go wrong? How could they have saved themselves. I have a few theories that I would like to share.
Why did Radio Shack Fail?
- Late entry into the online world – Radio Shack was a brick and mortar business that relied on tons of direct marketing and consumers viewing the “Radio Shack catalog”. As we went into the DOT-COM boom and the Internet took hold Radio Shack was late to the starting gate. They never placed enough emphasis on internet sales, however they did ask for the last 4 digits of your phone number for every transaction.
- Loosing focus on its own branding – As Radio Shack saw the future writing on the wall they tried to adapt to the Best Buy model and began stocking name brand merchandise. Forgetting the tens of thousands of customers who enjoyed their Realistic speakers or Optimums stereo systems. Don’t forget the DuŌphone answering machines and most of all Tandy computers.
- Loosing focus on its staff – When I was a Tandy employee my compensation was commission based. We basically made 7.5% of every dollar sold and a few bonuses or “spiffs” as they were known on items corporate wanted us to focus on. If you knew your stuff a college kid could make a decent living. A few years after I left the company I stopped back at one of my old stopping grounds and found the company reduced commissions to 1% plus an hourly wage. This reduction forced all the talented sales staff to move on to their next jobs. There was no longer any incentive to learn the brands and features and make loyal customers. What remained was mostly a young staff that was clueless to help you.
Continue reading “R.I.P. Radio Shack, you will be missed”
If you read this blog on a regular basis you would already know I enjoy re-purposing broken electronics into new useful gear. I had an old Wii remote sitting around that was broken and it was calling out flashlight to me. I figured I would give it a shot.
My self imposed requirements called for using one of the original buttons to turn on the light, and I also had to reuse the original battery holder.
Tools you can use:
Triwing Screwdriver – Nintendo likes to use “special” screws across all their equipment. The Wii is no different and requires a Triwing screwdriver to open the Wii remote. This kit is $11.99 and covers them all!
About 12″ of wire the lighter the gauge the better. This 22 gauge wire collection would be a great addition to your tool box. $20.00 at Amazon Continue reading “Fun Project – Nintendo Wii Remote Flashlight”
Yesterday I spoke about the different “i” series processors offered by Intel and compared them to various model cars from economy to performance. Today I want to talk about the different types of SATA hard drives you might come across when purchasing a new PC or portable backup drive. I don’t want to talk about brand specifics, but rather what kind of performance you can expect out of the different types of disks. I’m a bit of a Western Digital fan boy so I am going to focus on their hardware, however the information in this post would hold true for just about all hard drive manufactures.
RELATED READING: Choosing the best Intel processor!
The Mechanical Hard Drive
Since its inception in 1956 hard drives have been mostly mechanical devices. Only until recently have SSD (solid state drives) become more main stream and I will talk more about that later. A mechanical hard drive consists of a spinning platter driven by a motor and a magnetic read / write head that can change a microscopic spec on the platter from a positive to negative charge and vice versa. The spinning disk in your computer right now is filled with 0’s and 1’s and when read back from the disk is converted to data. Our pictures, videos and word documents are just a sequence + or – magnetic fields. Amazing!
Depending on the type of drive and its specification will determine how fast it can read and write our files. Mechanical spinning disks are rated at rotation speed, how fast the drive can spin the platter. Faster rotation speeds can equate faster data transfer.
5400 RPM SATA
Continue reading “Which Hard Drive Should I Choose?”
It would seem that Intel is now the dominant force in computers when it comes to processors. AMD fought hard to keep up throughout the years but the marketing machine that is employed by Intel has secured their future. Intel is not only great at making quality processors, but also great at convincing the world that their product is the best.
What is a processor and why should I care?
A processor also know as a CPU (Central Processing Unit) is basically the brains of your computer. Most modern CPUs are considered microprocessors, meaning they contain all the circuitry to do the job on a single chip. I’m not going to touch too much on processor theory or history but just understand that all processors are designed to Fetch, Decode, and Execute instructions based on the demands of the programs you are using. How fast and efficiently they complete their tasks all depends on the design and speed of the particular processor.
I like computers and cars – Let’s compare!
Continue reading “Intel i3, i5, i7, i9. Choosing the best Intel Processor!”
My children love Ice Hockey! Basically in my house its all hockey all the time. When they are not on the ice for games or practice, street hockey in front of my house will do. On many occasions we have had sticks break under the stress of vigorous play and we tend to keep broken sticks around and re purpose them for other fun projects.
Today I will show you how to make this cool stick handling trainer out of a few scrap parts you may have laying around.
Broken WOODEN street hockey stick
2x Hockey pucks Continue reading “Weekend Project – Broken Stick Hockey Trainer”