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How to Set Up a Portable Camping Theater with the AAXA P5 Pico Projector

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, How To, iOS, Opinion, Review, Technology, Travel by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Camping is all about returning to nature, friends and family, and “roughing it,” right? Ideally yes, and it is often a great way to detach ourselves from technology and the daily digital addiction our device provide. It’s good to disconnect from time to time. Lord knows, I barely ever do it and having to pry my daughters’ phones from their hands is like trying to remove a limpet from a wet rock. But there may be an occasional instance when being able to show a movie or stream a broadcast (provided you have a good data plan and connectivity) is ok within a camping environment. This article is NOT about the good or the bad of bringing and using technology while camping (although many camp sites are starting to have free WiFi for better or worse). It is more about setting up a small portable camping theater, with the primary device being the AAXA P5 Pico Projector.

HTD Camping Theater with AAXA P5 Pico Projector - tent setup

When you go camping, especially if you have to hike to a campsite where you pack in all of your gear, you need to be very concerned about weight and the size of the things you bring. If you are car camping, you still need to think about space. Either way, if you do decide to bring technology to a camping environment, make sure it is small and lightweight.

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AAXA P5 LED Pico Projector, 300 Lumens, Native 720P HD Resolution,15,000 Hour LED, Media Player, DLP

The AAXA P5 is the World’s Smallest 300 Lumen Pico Projector. It revolutionizes mobile projection by mating a lithium ion battery with LED Projection technology. This union creates a no compromise portable projector that can deliver high quality images both plugged in or on battery power. With it’s third generation optical system, the P5 features a brilliant 300 Lumen optical engine powered by 15,000 Hour Vibrant Color LEDs and a native HD resolution of 1280×720. This optical power house enables the P5 to deliver vivid 100″ displays in dark areas and usable displays in brightly lit areas – a first for mobile projection.
New From: $339.00 USD In Stock

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“His” or “Her” Cross Pens – A Valentine’s Day Dilemma

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

In my mind, Valentine’s Day is pretty stereo-typical from the red roses to the box of chocolates or a nice romantic dinner. You have heard it all. And it brings up the gender stereotypes as well. What do women want? And what do men want? It’s kind of a loaded question. I have even heard this played out over a radio ad campaign – done in fun of course – where a man is going to buy a vacuum cleaner or blender or lingerie for his significant other, only to be “saved” by the jeweler who says that a diamond is a better choice – talk about one stereotype piled on top of another. I started thinking about my own situation, and, realizing that my wife and I are both writers, doing something related to writing might be quite appropriate. So I started thinking about Cross pens.

HTD Cross Pens - two unique pens, classic and modern

Cross pens have been around for ages. I remember as a high school graduation gift (ugh, almost 30 years ago), I received a Classic Century 10 Karat Gold Ballpoint pen (or whatever it was called way back then “in the ancient days” as my kids say). I still have it somewhere…I think my wife may have taken it actually. Or perhaps I just misplaced it somewhere over the years. Regardless, these are timeless gifts.

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ASAP Dash Portable Battery – 0 to 100 Percent in Minutes, Not Hours

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Mobile, Review, Technology by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

The problem with portable smart devices like smartphones and tablets is that they don’t sip power, they gulp it down! Often, after only a few hours of usage, battery levels start to dive well below the comfort level of the end-user. There is nothing worse than being out and about away from that wall charger of sustenance for your device. If you are like me, whenever possible, you keep your smartphone fully charged and plugged in, but sometimes you know that you will be on-the-go for hours, away from the ability to charge. But you can be proactive. You can bring a portable battery charger. But that poses another potential problem – remembering to charge your portable battery. And that takes time to do as well. This is where the ASAP Dash, a portable, pocket-sized battery charger, professes that it can come to the rescue. And I will tell you why.

HTD ASAP Dash - back

The ASAP Dash, currently an Indegogo campaign, has some pretty bold claims – that it will charge “up to 16x faster than standard chargers on the market today.” This is something that actually is important to understand. First though, let me clarify that being a gadget freak, I typically don’t support Crowd Funding campaigns. There are just too many really cool ideas out there and I really don’t have deep pockets. In this case, the ASAP Dash team sent me out a late prototype of their battery charger, one that is very close to what will eventually be released. So, my disclaimer – my observations and results may be different from what end users of the final ASAP Dash provides.Read More

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CottonBrew: A Personal, On-Demand, Online Tailor for Men Who Hate Going to the Store

In Clothing, General, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I have one suit. One that serves three purposes: weddings, funerals and other important occasions. I have had it for many years, over a decade in fact. It still seems to fit despite middle-age taking over my body. I don’t really think about what is fashionable nor even stepping foot into a department store unless I’m put in a headlock. So when CottonBrew approached me to find out if I was interested in trying out their custom and personalized tailoring service for a new suit, I was intrigued by the fact that I didn’t have to go get measured in a store and just choose something off the rack. What CottonBrew professes is a quick, easy and personalized suit-buying experience without the hassle of stepping foot in a store.

I’m sure there are other dads out there who feel the same way I do. Their wives or significant others do much of their shopping for them. I am no different. I can’t remember the last time I went looking for a shirt or pants, shoes maybe, but something as significant as a suit? Forgetaboutit! CottonBrew changed my mind, however, about “shopping” especially since I could do the measurements myself (actually with the help of my wife) and it only took a few minutes. And you don’t even need to provide the additional measurements, you can just take three selfies and send them in as well.

HTD CottonBrew - tailor

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See a Doctor if You’re Sick; See ACDelco if your Car’s Sick

In Auto, General, Sponsored by Michael Sheehan

It’s the winter and you have a cold. You feel run down and you aren’t performing at your peak efficiency. So what do you do? You bundle up, take vitamins and try to get as much rest as you can. Guess what? Your car may have a cold as well. As it sits in the garage or in the driveway or transports you here or there, it too might not be running at peak efficiency. In order to keep your vehicle healthy, you should treat it with the attention it needs. You wouldn’t give your body bad food when you are sick, so why would you do that with your car? The folks at ACDelco feel the same way, especially when it comes to winter car care and preventative maintenance.

ACDelco - diagnostics

When you are born, hopefully you arrive happy and healthy. In much the same way, when a GM car rolls out of the factory, it is outfitted with original and authentic ACDelco parts. From batteries to spark plugs to windshield wipers, GM vehicles have GM Original Equipment from ACDelco. But obviously over time, things age – cars and people alike. As you age as a person, you need to start paying closer attention on your “preventative maintenances.” Hopefully, you eat healthy food, exercise regularly and engage in an otherwise healthy lifestyle. But, we all know that things go bad and you may need to visit the doctor, either for an ailment or just for a check up. Your car shouldn’t be much different. It, too, doesn’t often age gracefully, especially if you treat it badly, so in order to extend your vehicle’s life, you need to take care of it.

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Wink-ing Cree Connected Light Bulbs On and Off

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

Does everyone remember the Clap-on, Clap-off light switch (called “The Clapper”)? Yeah, I realize I’m probably dating myself, but I remember when this device was all the rage…and they still sell this thing. Times have changed and technology has evolved…dramatically! Now, with your smart phone, an Internet of Things connected up (like the Wink hub) and some connected lightbulbs (like the new Cree Connected lights), you can turn on or off your lights via a smartphone or predefined rules or tie them to a series of other triggers or actions to fully automate your life.

HTD Wink & Cree Connected LED Light Bulb - bulb off

It’s important to note, you can simply use the Cree Connected LED lightbulbs just the way you use regular light bulbs. If you have a lamp, you can turn them on and off using that old traditional switch. It works just fine. But, you get the added benefit of saving energy in the process. These soft white (2700K) bulbs are cost-effective replacements to traditional 60 watt bulbs. On the Cree website, there is a calculator to help you understand how much you can actually save versus a traditional 60 watt incandescent bulb. As is shown in the graphic below, running both lights for 4 hours a day can save you almost $8.00 a year. A 60 watt incandescent bulb uses exactly that – 60 watts, whereas the Cree Connected LED bulb consumes only 11.5 watts over the same period.

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Run Internet Connections through Electrical Power with NETGEAR PowerLine (PL1000)

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

My dad’s house has a problem. The Internet connection comes in at one part of his home upstairs, but the wireless signal doesn’t make it downstairs to the other end of his home, making his streaming capabilities there practically impossible. Because his home is older and historic, he doesn’t want to run Ethernet cabling on the outside of his home or drill holes throughout the house. And WiFi simply won’t help because there are too many walls to go through. So, as I want to enable him to be able to binge-watch shows, as well as be able to use WiFi throughout his home, I had to figure out a simple solution. It turns out NETGEAR has just the solution with the Powerline 1000 (PL1000).

   NETGEAR Badge
Disclaimer: I am a NETGEAR Ambassador and I received this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion and review.

PowerLine technology is not that new but it has been improving dramatically. Essentially, it allows a network to be created using a home’s electrical infrastructure. To put it simply, you can run Internet connectivity through the electrical wiring of your home. And, when properly set up, the speeds are quite dramatic. PowerLine is good in environments where you have obstacles that could degrade WiFi signals, where you can’t run Ethernet cabling or where you quickly want to set up a temporary or permanent network.

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Adding a Nightlight is a Snap with the SnapPower Guidelight

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

Being a homeowner, I often have a “honey-do” list that endlessly extends. I tend to start projects and then get distracted by the next item on my list and often leave things somewhat completed. It’s bad, I know. This ADOS (Attention Deficit…Ooooh Shiny) is a fault. So, I love it when I find a project that is easy, one that I can say that I hit the 100% completion mark on. Recently, I wanted to add a nightlight into our master bathroom. Sure, that is easy, right? But I didn’t want to just plug one in. In my tech-filled home, plugs are scarce, a luxury almost. So when the folks at SnapPower contacted me to see if I wanted to test out their SnapPower Guidelight product, it got my interest.

HTD SnapPower - prongs

I have done plenty of electrical projects in my home. Anything from running new electrical for an overhead fan to putting up dimmable lights in my garage to replacing most of my light switches with dimmers. Electrical work is actually pretty easy, provided you turn off the main power to whatever circuit you are working on to following code as close as you can. Of course, I have done fairly basic projects. Putting in the SnapPower Guidelight was probably the EASIEST electrical project I have done. And there was no wiring/re-wiring involved.

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