Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category.

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:

 

Cricket Wireless and Google Voice

If you use Cricket Wireless, you may have found, like me, that Cricket Visual Voicemail sucks. Here’s how to change to using Google Voice voicemail.

Step 1: Get free a Google Voice account with a new phone number

Step 2: Set up conditional call forwarding like so:

**004*[your google voice number]#

Step 3: Have someone call you and the call should be answered by your google voice. Rejoice in the non-suckyness!

You can disable this forwarding with #004#

You can read more about conditional call forwarding for GSM phones here

 

 

Why do I say the Cricket Visual Voicemail Android app sucks?

  • I have to push most buttons twice for it to work (sounds crazy? it is!)
  • When I start playing a voicemail, the first 3 seconds play and then it stops. Hitting play (twice) restarts it as long as I’ve waited the magically determined amount of time. It’s crazymaking like having a big piece of lint under one of my keys!
  • It often doesn’t transcribe my messages
  • I’ve had these exact same problems for 3 years and 2 phones

 

Don’t Buy Huel

I signed up for this meal replacement drink called Huel. In brief, it disagrees with my tummy just like LOTS of other people. I called them several times asking for help and got no response. I’m now in dispute resolution with Paypal. Don’t buy Huel. It might work for you but if it doesn’t, you’ll have to pull teeth to return it.

Try googling “huel farts” or “huel stomach ache”. Or don’t and just trust me that this is a problem.

Lunch at Cal Academy: 1 star

The California Academy of Sciences is a wonderful, magical place, just don’t buy your lunch there. Bring it instead.

I went with Megan and Abigail a few weekends ago. Ordering food is very chaotic, the food is very expensive but not tasty. A 1/2 pint of milk and a somehow banana cost $6. I think we spent $42 and left hungry. The dining room is loud, and jam packed (granted, it was a Saturday at noon) with poor, weird lighting. Bland tuna fish sandwich. Bland chili. Seeing the broken feedback machine really got my goat.

Autohotkey Is So Useful

Autohotkey is mind bogglingly useful! Autohotkey is a free, open source Windows program that lets you do simple and complicated scripting with keyboard commands. I’ve been using it since about 2001. I use it a zillion times a day. I couldn’t imagine not having it.

Some things you can do with it:
– Have a second copy-paste clipboard
– Do a “paste” and strip out the formatting
– type often used strings like addresses, phone numbers, and email signatures with just a few strokes.
– make a window on your computer to be always on top of the other windows
– start a favorite program (Chrome, Word, Calc, whatever) with a single keystroke
– Type today’s date with a single keystroke

I’ve set it up to do about 50 commands. If you want to do things on the computer faster and easier, you might want to use it too. Just download Autohotkey and put some of the scripts I have below in your setting file. There’s a bunch of ways to do that, here is a tutorial.

Here is my settings file. Just look at the first line of each script to see what it does.
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Turbotax

Turbotax saved my family $5,000 this week, I’m very happy! If you want to try it, here’s a $10 referral bonus/coupon.

http://share.turbotax.intuit.com/s/lee05