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How To Protect Your Breathing Indoors – Blueair Blue Pure 211+ & 411 Air Purifier Review

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

For the past week or so as of this writing, just 40 miles north of where I live in Northern California, tragic and devastating wildfires have been burning out of control. There has been a horribleBlueair Blue Pure Family air purifiers in box loss of life and property, and countless numbers of lives have been completely upturned. And while I do know people who have been affected, for the most part, our family has luckily been spared. But every time I walk outdoors, I’m instantly reminded of the devastation just an hour away. The air in the San Francisco Bay Area is filled with smoke and ash, causing respiratory problems and itchy eyes. In fact, some have said that our current air quality is equal to super-polluted China. While masks and outdoor activity can help, these solutions can’t really stop the smoke and smog that is actually occurring IN my home. As luck would have it, just a week prior, I received two Blueair Air purifiers to review. And I instantly turned them on to start cleaning the smoky air from inside our home. (*Disclosure below.)

A quick note, Blueair is currently offering a 20% discount (directly through their site) on Classic and Pro filters for residents living in California and Oregon. Use “WILDFIRE2017” at checkout. I’m not sure how long this discount will be active though.

Blueair has an extended family of air filtration and purification products. A few months ago, I reviewed the Blueair Aware and Blueair Classic 205. Since then, Blueair has launched a new line of air purifiers simply called “Blue Pure.” They have a much cleaner and modern look than previous models. And they require less energy to run and produce less noise, all while filtering the air. You can check out the new Blue Pure family at in-store at your local Best Buy.

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How To Easily Apply Multiple PowerPoint Slide Designs or Themes to a Single Presentation

In Application, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Microsoft, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

One of the biggest mysteries of Microsoft PowerPoint for me has been working with themes and design. While I had figured out how to use Slide Master editing instead of making formatting changes to each and every slide, for what seems forever, I couldn’t figure out how to have two different slide designs in the same slide presentation.

Here’s the scenario. You have two presentations from different companies or departments or people. Each deck has its own formatting or design. And you need to combine them and even mix and match some slides. As soon as you paste slides from a different deck, they immediately assume the style and formatting of the other presentation. Does this sound familiar at all? It’s unbelievably frustrating!

HTD PowerPoint Design - two in one

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Archeer A320S Bluetooth Speaker Review – 2 are Way Better than 1!

In Audio, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Back in March of this year, I reviewed the Archeer A320 portable Bluetooth speaker which completely impressed me with the power of its bass as well as its design. Just as soon as I got used to thumping bass and loud music coming from my daughter’s room, Archeer came out with an upgrade to the A320. Honestly, I wasn’t too sure how they could improve on this already nice portable Bluetooth speaker. But they came out with some innovations which made me believe there is room for improvement, or better said, enhancement. I got a pair of the Archeer A320S to review and wanted to share what those little enhancements did to an already great sound. (*Disclosure below.)

First, let me outline what the Archeer A320 and the new Archeer A320S share in functionality. Both speakers have:

  • Two 5 watt drivers for the mid and high sounds
  • One 15 watt subwoofer
  • 25 watts total output power
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: Bass ? 75DdB; Treble ? 80dB
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • Natural bamboo wood with a grey fabric wrap around the sides
  • Controls for playback on the top
  • Rechargeable and portable
  • Carrying bag, USB cable, 3.5mm audio cable

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Top 14 Tips to Get Your Car Ready & Safe for Winter (or Anytime)

In Auto, Fix It, General, How To, Safety, Sponsored, Travel by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

According to the National Safety Council, motor-vehicle deaths have risen 6% in 2016 and for the first time, have exceeded 40,000 since 2017. Interestingly, however, is that recently the winter months (December, January, and February) tend to have slightly lower numbers than the other months of the year. People are driving more because of more reasonable gas prices which would account for more possibility of accidents due to increased road travel. With more people on the road coupled with increased distractions from smartphones, it’s no wonder that driving continues to be a dangerous activity. However, there are several things that car owners or leasers can do to make their car safe and ready for the winter driving season.

Some of the following tips can be easily done by the car owner themselves, while others may require the help of a trained auto mechanic or service station. Whatever the means you choose, doing some pre-work before the rain or snow hits during the winter months can not only make your drive more pleasurable, it can also make it safer for the driver, the passengers, and others on the road.

Car Winter Tips - winter road

A winter road

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The ONE SmartPiano Keyboard is Smart Enough to Teach You How to Play (Review)

In Application, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play the piano but didn’t have the time for lessons? Or perhaps you just wanted to learn one song and didn’t want to put in years and years of study. Or maybe you just want to perk the interest of your kids and perhaps inspire them to be musicians? Or, you just needed an activity to amuse your kids so that they didn’t just stare at their phones or the TV for hours without moving. There is a solution for all of these scenarios and it is called The ONE Light Piano (I actually like calling it The ONE SmartPiano because it has some intelligence). It’s essentially a smart piano keyboard that can amuse adults or children alike and teach or help relearn piano basics.

The ONE Light keyboard is not just a basic piano keyboard. It can integrate with an iPhone or iPad to present sheet music that you can play along with. And the play-along function is assistive, meaning that the keys you need to play according to the notes on the iPad will light up with red lights on the appropriate keys to press. From classics to modern pieces, you can find a variety of music using The ONE smart piano app.

The ONE smartpiano keyboard - learning music

Learning music on the ONE Light keyboard

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Top 10 iOS 11 Features You Should Know About & Use Immediately

In Apple, General, HTD Tech Tip, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Opinion, Software, Tech News, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

iOS 11 will be available on September 19, 2017, and with it comes the usual list of great enhancements, new features, and bug fixes. While each major update like this brings what many call “refinements” others may find the operating system to be “too complex” or “too confusing”. So, since I have been trying out each and every developer build, I have gone through and tested many of these and found my top iOS 11 features. Here you go!

HTD's top iOS 11 features -

I’m sure you will discover your own top iOS features as you dig through this new release. Remember before doing the update to back up your iOS device, either via iCloud or by syncing with iTunes, my recommended approach. With a local backup, you don’t have to compete with other people syncing to iCloud and it is easier to restore from a local backup if you need to. I compiled some tips specific to developer and public betas that you may want to review prior to installing.

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Windows 10 Screensaver Not Working? Try These Fixes! [Updated]

In Application, Fix It, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Microsoft, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

My wife is in love with the Windows-version of the Aerial screensaver which pulls videos from Apple’s Apple TV screensaver source. (I too have the Mac version running on my Macs.) Unfortunately, recently, my wife’s Windows 10 machine has had some issues activating the screensaver. Sometimes it would not launch the screensaver after the appropriate wait-time. And other times, it would just go directly to a lock screen after activation where she would have to enter her password. And, due to changes with more recent versions of Windows 10, finding the actual screensaver settings has become a bit of a chore. But her biggest complaint is that she simply couldn’t get this beautiful screensaver to even launch. And, I spent several hours trying to figure out why it wasn’t launching, why it was going to a lock screen, and where the heck Microsoft had moved the screensaver control panel. But have no fear, I found a solution to all of these issues! Read on for more!

Win10 Screensaver issues? Some fixes to try!

So let’s outline the issues we were encountering because if you found this article, I’m guessing that you are having the same or similar issues as well. There may be other issues that are not addressed in the article so I encourage you to leave a comment and ask. I will be happy to answer, or there may be others who have a solution (or similar issue). Here’s what I will be answering in this article:Read More