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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

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Pool Equipment Upgrades: Tips, Thoughts & Jandy Product Reviews

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

For the past several years, I have been looking at my in-ground pool with scorn. Every month, I would pay the maintenance people to keep it looking pristine, I would dish out money to my electrical provider to push around hundreds of gallons of water every day via an inefficient single-stage pump, and I would pray to Mother Nature that the weather would be hot enough to convince my family to use the chilly waters. Sometimes, the water level would get low and the skimmer would not have enough water so a huge sucking sound would emanate in the quiet of night, forcing me to get out of my bed to go outside to manually turn off the pump.

My pool wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do, namely, provide joy and recreation in an energy-efficient manner.

HTD old pool equipment

Old, inefficient pool equipment

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Finding New Roads in Michigan in the 2018 Chevy Traverse

In Auto, General, Review, Sponsored, Travel by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

The 2018 Chevy Traverse was recently released and it has undergone a rather nice transformation, particularly if you are looking for a family-oriented crossover! And, I was lucky enough to be invited out to Michigan with my family to learn about this stellar redesign as well as log several hundred miles behind the wheel as we “traversed” parts of Michigan. We even appropriately spent 2 nights in Traverse City, MI, right on Lake Michigan. Chevy’s current tag line (which you have probably heard on tv or radio) is “finding new roads” and this is exactly what my family and I did in a part of America that we don’t know that well. It was quite a little adventure.

HTD 2018 Chevy Traverse - side view

While I was born in the Midwest and lived there for almost a decade as a child, this was the first time my kids had been there. Also, I had recently visited Detroit to learn more about OnStar. But for the most part, this trip was all about new places, new roads, and, of course, the new 2018 Chevy Traverse.

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Monster SuperStar HotShot Review: A Small Bluetooth & NFC Speaker with Big Sound

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

Monster, the company known for its cables and audio products, has come out with a small Bluetooth and NFC connected speaker that is perfect for people on the go. From kids to students to parents to just about anybody, the Monster SuperStar HotShot speaker has clear across -the-board appeal.

I’m no stranger to testing speakers. I’ve reviewed many of them here on HighTechDad. Some offer tons of features but at a hefty price. Others are much more minimalist. Some are portable while others just need to sit on a shelf somewhere. With so many options, it really depends on what your needs are.

Monster SuperStar HotShot Bluetooth Speaker - boxed

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Pinegrow 3.0 Review: A Powerful HTML, CSS, & WordPress Template Editor That Teaches Too

In Application, General, Review, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

For years, I have been a diehard user of Adobe Dreamweaver (heck, way back when it was a Macromedia product, I helped with the marketing launch). But over the years, HTML and CSS have become increasingly complex. While many WYSIWYG editors have popped up, allowing those of us with limited or mediocre editing skills to get by, coupled with the advent of WordPress and other CMS theming, there are many of us who find themselves trapped in sort of a purgatory – we are comfortable working with HTML/CSS but without tools, we struggle (e.g., just using a context-based text editor like TextWrangler or Atom); we don’t want a WYSIWYG editor because they don’t offer enough control, but coding by hand is just beyond the powers of our minds – and thus, we struggle to find that happy medium where we can tweak code by hand but also see the results real-time. I needed to move beyond Dreamweaver, and in my searches and trials of various HTML editors, I quite by chance discovered Pinegrow. And I couldn’t be happier with what I found!

As you read this review, keep in mind that I’m not an HTML/CSS developer. I do know enough to be dangerous, to be able to tweak the code on my own site as well as develop sites for others, but if you asked me to code a page by hand in HTML and make it look pretty with CSS, I will break out in a cold sweat. For that, I need a tool that is frequently updated with the latest standards, that can guide me along as I experiment and tweak things, and that offers me a way to actually learn. So, don’t ask me about super-specific coding questions. I’m looking at Pinegrow as a guy who wants to move away from Dreamweaver and understand the new powers of HTML/CSS.

Pinegrow animation

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