Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad

Father’s Day is approaching again and if you’re like me I always wonder what would be a good gift for Dad. There have been years where a bottle of wine was the gift of choice, or maybe a couple of dress shirts. How boring! Hopefully your Dad is as great as mine and not only deserves a fun cool gift, but would also appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas!

Is your Dad into computers? Maybe a fun USB drive would be the perfect gift? Low cost, yet thoughtful!

16GB Mercedes-Benz USB Flash Drive in the style of a Car Key!
$12.99 GeekGearStore.com

This is a very cool gift for Dad, especially if he drives a Benz and enjoys electronic gadgets. On sale at GeekGearStore.com $12.99 Continue reading “Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad”

A Blast From The Past – Panasonic Panapet Radio

I love when I find vintage electronics in the basement or back of my closet. During some recent spring cleaning I came across this 1970’s something Panasonic Panapet radio. In itself its not very remarkable, but when you think about how much technology has changed in the last 45 years its quite amazing. Also kind of funny that they named it “PANA”sonic “PET”

History Of The Panapet

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WTF – Is Amazon Selling Nazi Magnets?

Like most of the world I use Amazon to buy everything from electronics to dog food. I needed some magnets to complete a project and stumbled across this image. The $10 – 200pcs magnet set. Which normally would be innocent enough, except when the magnets are placed to reference a swastika.

What is going on here? Amazon Nazi Magnet Set?

Seems inappropriate if you ask me. Click here to see for yourself

Unless they took it down already, then click here to see a local copy

Nazi Magnets?

I wonder how much more inappropriate stuff is floating around on Amazon. If you find something let me know.

Thanks for reading my blog,
Joe

 

Fun Desk Clock From Recycled iPhone 5

Technology changes so fast, and we all want the latest gadget, but what is the cost of consuming so much? Big business wants us to keep buying devices, even if the old ones are still good. We wind up with millions of abandoned iPhones, Androids and tablets. Some are recycled responsibly while tens of thousands are just tossed in the trash or the back of your desk draw never to be seen again.   Here is a super simple way to recycle your old iPhone into a great retro looking desk clock.

Recycle Your iPhone into a clock – WHAT YOU NEED

 

I needed a stand for my clock and since my objective was to keep this project as simple and low cost as possible. I started with two 3×5 acrylic photo frames.

 

3×5 acrylic frame. Very low cost, about $5.00 at Amazon

 

You will also need 8 flat rare earth magnets (Neodymium) The stronger the magnets the better. Keep them small and flat, the actual shape round or square does not matter. $14.00 at Amazon

 

A little glue to hold it all together. I tend to like GOOP, but any strong adhesive should do. Goop at Amazon $ 11.00

 

 

The last two items you probably have around the house.

  • A colored spay paint for tinting the acrylic frames, I used black.
  • Some type of counter weight for the back of the stand to give it stability, I used a pair of hard drive spindle motors.
Putting it together

Continue reading “Fun Desk Clock From Recycled iPhone 5”

Battery Replacement – Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

It seems like everyone on this planet likes the latest shinny new gadget, and I’m no exception. However, there are times when one of those gadgets has everything you want in it and does a good job. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S is one of them.

Its OEM battery is running on fumes and basically it needs to be tethered to the wall almost all the time. Rather than toss it in the trash or take it to the kiosk in the mall I figured I would make a run at changing the battery myself. This replacement was MUCH easier than expected. I have changed a number of iPhone batteries over the years and they are a pain to do (because of all the glue). The Galaxy was easy and only took about 15 minutes to complete.

TOOLS AND PARTS

First stop was to Amazon to check out the replacement battery choices. There was a number of different  units on sale from $17 to about $55. While scrolling through they all seem to be the same Chinese replacement so I simply picked the lowest cost kit

Continue reading “Battery Replacement – Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5”

Who Holds Amazon Accountable For Screw-ups?

I may just letting my misguided anger write this post. Let me first say I am a HUGE fan of Amazon and have spent over $6,500 on “stuff” in the last year. In the Amazon balance sheet that’s like finding a penny on the floor for you and I, however to me $6k is a good chunk of change.

How often does the giant make mistakes? And what recourse do we have as consumers? The simple answer is don’t shop at Amazon, but I would expect that to be hard to do. Even my parents who are terrified of someone getting their credit card number online shop Amazon.

Lost.. Where did you go?
What happened?

The beast know as Amazon loves to promise insanely fast shipping times. If anyone is going to invent a Star Trek like transporter its going to be Amazon. Recently I purchased a Blink camera system which was expected to arrive the next day. Great! I didn’t need it for two days, but early is good.

On the day of arrival everything was going great:

      • 2:13 AM – Package arrived at carrier facility
      • 8:08 AM – Out for delivery

Then pooof a delay was posted

      • 4:14pm – A carrier delay has occurred

Ok, what does that mean? Did the truck break down? Did the driver get sick? Maybe a flat tire? Who knows, the good news was that Amazon said they were going to get my shipment back on track and have it delivered tomorrow.

Wait, I just checked in with the tracking before I went to bed and a new message appeared.

      • 11:28 PM – Lost by carrier – undeliverables

Wow, another vague message. Was it stolen off the truck? Did it ever make it on the truck? Continue reading “Who Holds Amazon Accountable For Screw-ups?”

Making a great home network!

Moving into a new home or simply switching Internet providers can be a daunting task. Cable companies offer so many TV, Internet and Phone packages and combination of packages it could be hard to decide. How much bandwidth do I really need? How do I protect my network from hackers? What is the best WiFi access point and how do I maximize my range?

These are a few questions I will try to answer in this blog posting and maybe save you some money in the process.

How much bandwidth do I really need?

There was a period of time during 2017 the cable companies were having their marketing departments spin how fast their internet connections could be and they would compete for your business. 50/50 MB not enough were offering 100mb.. no were offering 900mb etc and so forth. If you’re not sure how much speed you need READ THIS. Personally I have 75/75 at home and my family is your typical Netflix / Amazon / Fortnite ECT and we are doing just fine.


How do I protect my network from hackers?

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Yesterday Radio Shack Electronics Project Kit – Today Elegoo on Amazon

I feel as if I have been a technology geek for as long as I can remember. I often wonder why as a child of the 80’s I gravitated toward electronics and not sports. I guess I would lay some of the blame on my father who seemed to push me toward electronics and would bring me all sorts of fun gadgets from Radio Shack.

Early Kits – Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE

I have very fond memories of the Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE Electronic Project Kit. As a kid I didn’t appreciate the components, but simply followed the instruction “cook” book and wired the circuits with the included jumpers. I can remember making a crystal radio, touch sensors,  sound generators (or color organs as they were called) It wasn’t long before I started making my own creations.

As I got older, I noticed the kits had started to vanish from Radio Shack. In my late teens and early twenties I even worked at Radio Shack for a while and the kits were all but gone!

30 Years later and WOW – These kits are amazing!

Continue reading “Yesterday Radio Shack Electronics Project Kit – Today Elegoo on Amazon”

Serafim Keybo – For Fathers Day!

Every year I try to pick out that unique Fathers Day gift that your Dad can use and probably will find interesting and fun. Lord knows Dad has plenty of aftershave, cologne, and wine. This year I am recommending the Serafim Keybo.

Projection Keyboard & Piano.. Tell me more..

A few moths ago I published a post, Don’t Throwaway That Old iMac Keyboard – Use It On Your Tablet. Since then I have been using my classic iMac Keyboard on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet and it has been working great. The only issue is I keep the tablet on my kitchen table and sometimes the keyboard gets in the way. I have become accustomed to using a keyboard on my tablet and was thinking there must be a better way. Continue reading “Serafim Keybo – For Fathers Day!”

Fakespot.com finds the fakes! Makes Amazon so much better!

I don’t hate shopping, but I really don’t have the time to browse the brick and mortar stores. Just the other day I was in Target and it took me longer to walk the store then to grab what I needed and check out. I’m all about saving time and using my time as efficiently as possible, I guess this is why I’m such a proponent of Amazon Prime and Fakespot.com.

The one problem with Amazon is you can’t touch and feel the product, there are so many sellers sometimes its hard to distinguish which items are worth my time while which are just plan junk.

Amazon Reviews

Early on Amazon made a review system to help customers identify which items and sellers are worth their time. However, as soon as the review system was launched so were the fake reviews, paid reviewers and just plain deceptive tactics sellers take to make their products seem better.

Fakespot.com

Through the magic of the Internet Fakespot.com analyzes all the reviews for a particular product through their proprietary technology and  determines which reviews are real and which are suspect. Finally at the end a letter grade is given to the product reviews. Remember Fakespot.com is NOT reviewing the product, but making an attempt to verify the validity of the reviews for that given product. Continue reading “Fakespot.com finds the fakes! Makes Amazon so much better!”