Big Things Afoot

In the next few weeks we are planning on moving… twice! Three times if you count our vacation!

– We will be moving my mother-in-law Penelope from Napa to Albany.
– Then the three of us will take a little break to a snow park near Strawberry, California. This will be the first time Abigail has seen real snow!
– Then we are planning on moving to a bigger house just up the road!

All this before the end of holiday break!

How to Install The Google Play Store on Your Amazon Fire HD 8

These instructions work! Hurray! I tried a while back and it didn’t work.

This tip came from my friend Tim A. He added, “I found that it seemed to stop me downloading the apks directly, so I put them on the SD card and installed them from there.”

 

Quickly add the Google Play store to your new Amazon Fire 10HD

Super Useful App: ClickmonitorDDC

ClickmonitorDDC lets you set up keyboard macros to change the brightness and volume on your computer. I initially got this freeware it to set the brightness on my new portable monitor that had no buttons, the AOC I1659FWUX 15.6″ USB-Powered Portable Monitor. I’m very happy with having this extra monitor too!

My favorite thing about using ClickmonitorDDC is that now my work computer and home computer now have the same controls for changing brightness and volume. It’s a little thing, but it makes me happy enough to send a donation to the author!

 

I set my hotkeys like so:

 

Update 11-19-18: I told the author about this blog post and he pointed out a typo I had made on my hotkey choice above. I have since fixed the typo. Thanks Martin!

He also pointed out “…monitorname should not contain spaces or use ” “. Theoretically you do not need to write full monitorname, normally a few chars will do, for instance B156X would work too.  There is a new version 5.5 on my homepage: https://clickmonitorddc.bplaced.net

Smokey Bay Area

Clean air tip: If the air is smokey, go to the hardware store and get a really good furnace filter. Your home will feel like a bubble of good air in an otherwise smokey mess. (The bay area forest fires are getting kinda crazy. We’re safe but the smoke is everywhere)

30 Year Update?

A friend from middle school just Friended me on Facebook and asked “Catch me up on the last 30 years”
My response:

Went to Tufts University, stayed in Boston working tech until a breakup made we want to move away. NYC for a few years with a few relationships til the dot-com bust. Moved home to connect with family and regroup. Two of my friends from that time have since passed. Moved to San Francisco after attending Burning Man in 2004. Loved building really big art, traveled the world a bit with art and work: India is a place of insane contrasts, Americans don’t comprehend the cultural rift we have with Saudi Arabia. I sometimes teach building robots and flame effects. Not loving working in tech, I started toward medicine in 2011, finished my master’s and started work as a pediatric occupational therapist in 2017. Got married in 2014, became a dad to an amazing daughter in 2015. Living in Berkeley and life remains imperfect.

Removing the hazy film from your car windshield

I figured out how to get that awful film off the inside of my windshield! You know the stuff. Every window cleaner seems to work but then when it gets just a little foggy, the streaks show up, obscuring your view and looking all terrible. It’s simple: Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on the window!
It’s not expensive, it’s easy. It works. Problem solved!

Full instructions:

  1. Get a magic eraser pad, any brand will do
  2. Get the pad wet
  3. Rub gently back and forth, up and down on the windshield. Rub gently, it’s an abrasive!
  4. Clean the windshield with your favorite glass cleaner
  5. Triumph in joy!
Credit where it’s due: it was this video from ChrisFix on Youtube that showed me.