Modern cars offer a ton of on board self diagnostic equipment to help point us in the right direction when things begin to fail. However it seems that most auto manufactures would prefer the diagnosis of the dreaded “check engine” light left to the professionals. I don’t believe this should be the case. If you own the car you should be able to diagnose issues and make decisions on how and where to have them repaired.
If your parents are like mine they are tech savvy enough to get by. What I mean by that is they know how to launch Fire Fox and surf the web, maybe play checkers or chess and print a few documents when necessary. The problem arises when something goes wrong with their computer. Maybe they click on something they shouldn’t and get a virus or malware infection. Then again a Microsoft update could change some setting they are not familiar with and causes stress and a phone call to you. These days you have your own family and live an hour away from your parents and really can’t make the trip back home right now. This is where a remote solution comes into play!
Next time you are at your parents house, install one of these remote solutions and be prepared for the dreaded “my computer is broken” phone call.
Microsoft’s free video-calling software doubles as a very decent screen sharing program. Although you can’t directly interact with your friend’s desktop or take control of their computer yourself, you can view their screen as you both continue speaking, which makes the troubleshooting process more straightforward. And with the recent revamp of its appearance, Skype is easier to use than ever.
Chrome Remote Desktop
This extension for Google Chrome can go beyond the web browser to share anything on a computer screen with someone else. Chrome Remote Desktop gives one user full control over the other computer for an experience almost like sitting in front of your mom’s machine.
CHROME REMOTE DESKTOP
Businesses use the professional TeamViewer tool, but it’s simple enough for anyone to use. And for personal, use—like helping out Dad with computer problems, it’s also free. It allows full control of the remote system
Remember when installing any remote viewing tools to keep passwords safe and out of prying eyes. Other than its nice to visit Mom and Dad for a few hours and fix their computer, a remote solution can come in handy when time is short or distance is long.
Thank you for reading my blog,
If you’re as old as I am you may remember some of the auto body repair techniques of the late 70’s and early 80’s. It was an era of body fill ,shape and repair rather than today’s replace replace replace. While Bondo is still used in the automotive industry there are so many other uses for this stuff its ridiculous.
What I like most about Bondo is the fact it will not harden in the can and you are able to store it almost indefinitely. The other amazing quality about this stuff is it hardens and is ready for sanding and paint in under 15 minutes.
Repairing The Porch With Bondo!
Recently I noticed the columns holding up my covered front porch were showing signs of rotting at the very bottom. Apparently some of the caulking around the top of the column weathered and was allowing moisture in the pole and causing rot.
Continue reading “BONDO – Its not just for 1970 auto body repair!”
About two weeks ago Amazon had their annual Prime Day 24+ hour sale, and like many Prime members I was looking for some bargains. Recently my family had been complaining that the WiFi signal in the upstairs of my home was not strong enough. At times they would find a better data signal on the cellular network causing everyone to use a ton of extra data each month. I decided I was going to give the Securifi Almond+ a try if it was on sale during Prime Day.
If you read my blog regularly you may have noticed I wrote an article regarding Google’s mesh Wifi System. The Google system is excellent and I highly recommend it for most home users, and at $270 for 3 units the price is great too. However in my case Google Wifi was not going to cut it because I wanted to keep my primary router. (Google wants to take over the entire home network)
Introducing the Securifi Almond+
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
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.
Most homes don’t have network cables running to each room, so many of us rely on WiFi to connect our devices while at home. The problems begin when the ISP installs our router / WiFi box in a less than optimal location, and usually it can not be easily moved. This is where a simple WiFi extender can augment your existing signal and extend the reach of your home network to every corner of your house even the back yard.
How WiFi Extenders Work?
In its simplest form a WiFi extender is just a repeater. The extender is listing for a signal from your home WiFi router and repeats that signal “LOUDER” in an area of your home that is not hearing your main WiFi signal. Basically just relaying the information between your device and the main router. Think of the extender as a “man in the middle”
Where Do I Place My Extender?
The first step to installing a WiFi Extender is obviously setup. Some models have a touch screen to allow for a quick and easy setup. Others can be connected to your PC via USB to input settings or can be connected over WiFi. Once the setup has been completed it is important to select the proper location. You need to find Continue reading “Poor WiFi Signal At Home? A WiFi Extender Can Help!”
Last weekend I gave you some tips on replacing your automobiles cabin filter. The benefit was clean fresh air while driving down the highway. Today I am going to talk about replacing your engine air filter. The air filter is essential to keeping your engine running well.
What are the benefits of a clean air filter:
- Increase Fuel Economy:
There have been many studies to determine what the cost of a dirty filter is on fuel economy, it would be said that a 6% loss per gallon on modern cars.
- Reduced Emissions:
A dirty air filter reduces the air flow into the engine and therefore reduces the amount of air available for combustion. This could cause the fuel / air ratio to be rich (too much fuel) which will cause incomplete combustion creating increased emissions and pollution
- Increase Engine Life:
The filter is designed to catch debris, even the smallest particle entering the engine can cause increased wear and significantly reduce the life of the engine.
- Easy and quick fix:
As you will see from my experience below, the air filter is usually an easy DIY project that is inexpensive to complete in just a few minutes. Saving you quite a few dollars over having the dealer do the work.
Let’s get working
The weather is starting to look good here in the north east, time to pack the family into the car for some day trips to the shore. Before you go let’s do some minor maintenance to replace the cabin filter on your vehicle to keep you breathing the freshest of air.
Replace the cabin filter
Back in the early 2000s car manufacturers thought it would be a good idea to filter the air we breath. They began installing filters inside the HVAC ducts of our cars to filter out pollen, dust and other contaminants. Are they effective? Yes, they do work but at the same time you open your door and windows to allow the same dust and pollen in the filter is trying to remove.
If you have one it should be replaced as the manufacture of your vehicle recommends. Automobile dealers can charge upwards of $100 to replace the filters. For many this may sound reasonable, but just know that you can change the filter yourself for under $20.00 and in about 5 minutes.
Where can I find the cabin filter?
I have a typical KitchenAid French door refrigerator with a bottom pull out freezer. Its about 10 years old and has been very good at keeping our food fresh. My wife would say that the freezer is on the small side, and I think it could have been a little bigger myself. Fast forward 10 years and it would appear that this exact model is still being made and sold under many different brand names. Unfortunately we are having a freezer door issue.
Freezer Door Issue
Last night I opened the freezer and there was frost building up on the left side. After a quick inspection I noticed the door was not fully closing on the left. There was about 1/8″ gap at the top of the door and the seal.
After an exhausting Google/Youtube search I kept coming up empty. Search results had shown fixes for some bottom draw freezers, mostly GE models. These units had set screws and adjusters to help align the door, my unit has no such adjustment.
I then started trolling the appliance fix-it sites and message boards and read old posts stating that the freezer draw may need new rails, or the device at the back of the rail that pulls the door firmly closed cold be broken. On my unit when the draw has about 2″ to go mechanisms on the end of the rails pull the door tightly closed.