Sunday, May 29, 2016

How to Use an Apple Keyboard on PC

I recently picked up a new desktop computer to replace an old laptop and while the computer itself it good, the keyboard it came with was very cheap and not easy to type on. Since I do a lot of typing, it is important to have a good keyboard that is easy to use. I tried out a few keyboards in store which were ok, but then I remembered how much I liked the Apple keyboard I had used at work in the past.

I knew that keyboards for Mac have different buttons so I was not sure if it would work. After doing some research, it turns out that Apple keyboards will work with a PC computers but some of the buttons may not function correctly. I decided to give it a try anyway. The new Apple USB keyboards sell for about $50 but I was able to get one in like new condition on ebay for about $30.

When the keyboard arrived, I plugged it into my computer with Windows 10. Surprisingly, it worked right away! All the basic keys like letters, numbers, and common keys worked without having to do anything. Even combinations like CTRL+C and CTRL+V for copy and paste worked which is something I use often so I was glad it still worked with the Apple keyboard.

Next I tested out some of the specialty keys. Many of the function keys work differently on a PC. For example, the media keys like volume up and volume down did not work. Also certain keys will perform different operations for example the Command key will work like the Windows key and the Clear key will work like the Number Lock key. For these specialty style keys, it takes a little trial and error to figure out what does what.

Ok, so how do we fix the specialty keys like the volume buttons? I did a little research and found a free program called SharpKeys. It lets you choose any key on the keyboard and program it to a specific letter or function. So for example, you can choose any of the extra keys that never get used and assign a task or another key to them. I used this to add the volume buttons, print screen, button and even one to launch the calculator.

SharpKeys is very easy to use and works remarkably well! The layout is simple and it is easy to remap the keys on the keyboard. It is so useful, I wonder how something like this is not a standard feature on Windows computers? It will even let you disable select keys, so if you find yourself accidentally hitting a certain key over and over, you can disable it so it won't happen again.

So overall it is very easy to use an Apple keyboard on a PC. In most cases, it will work with the basic keys as soon as you plug it in, and for the extra keys, they can be programmed very easily using the SharpKeys program. Hope this helps! Happy typing!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hamilton Beach 04383A True Air Purifier Review

A few years back, I was looking for an air purifier for my apartment to help with dust and allergens. After doing a lot of research, I decided to go with the Hamilton Beach True Air air purifier. I was able to get it through for about $50.

The TrueAir purifier comes with a permanent HEPA air filter that can be vacuum cleaned every 3 months or so. It is electrically powered and comes with 3 speed settings depending on how fast you want it to circulate the air. This model comes with a stand to set it up vertically or horizontally. It is easy to move around because it is not that heavy. The Hamilton Beach TrueAir purifier has a stylish look to it with curvy lines and a concealed fan. The color is off white with a light grey cover on the front.

Air Purifier Performance Review
Setting up the air filter was very easy. Basically all you have to do is take the filter out of the bag and then put it into the purifier. Next, you can snap on the stand and it is ready to go. I started out by trying each of the 3 settings: Whisper Clean, Medium, and Quick Clean. Whisper Clean is very quiet and has a mild breeze. Medium is a little more noisy but not loud. Quick Clean is the highest setting and moves air the fastest. It is somewhat loud, but not annoyingly loud. If you want to clean the air fast, go with the Quick clean. I usually use the Medium setting because is it a good mix of air circulation and sound level.

I put the air purifier on a movable stand so I can place it in different locations around the apartment. Hamilton Beach says that this model will clean 160 square feet of room air. I'm not sure how that can be tested, but to get a good clean, I will rotate the position and location of the filter to get good coverage overall.

So far I have been using it on average about a hour a day on the Medium setting. I have noticed that the HEPA filter has collected some dust already so it is filtering the air. I have not noticed much of a difference in air quality, but this is something that is difficult to measure.
Overall I am pretty happy with the Hamilton Beach TrueAir air purifier. It is reasonably priced, has good coverage, looks good on the outside, and has positive reviews from most customers who have used it. If you are looking for an air filter for a large room up to 160 square feet, check out this model by Hamilton Beach.

Long Term Update
I have had the air filter for several years now and it is still working good! Every month or so I clean out the filter using a vacuum hose extension which is very easy. I would recommend this air filter if you you are looking to get rid of dust and air particles in a small to medium sized room.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Feit Eternalite LED Nightlight Review

When I moved into my new place years ago, I was looking for a nightlight for the bathroom and kitchen to give a little light when it was dark. In the past I had used traditional nightlights with replaceable bulbs, but this time I decided to try out the LED style that lasts longer and uses very little energy.

I found a sleek looking nightlight by Feit Electric for about $5 at the local hardware store. They are also available online at sites like Amazon. I took them home, plugged them in and they were good to go! One of the nice features about them is that they are light sensitive so when the room light is on, they turn off automatically. Then they turn back on as soon as it is dark again. They provide plenty of light to see where you are going at night without being too bright.

I have now been using them for about 7 years and they are still going strong. The packaging says they only use 25 cents worth of electricity per year which is pretty impressive for a light that is on most of the time. I would highly recommend them if you are looking for a nice looking nightlight that is reasonably priced and will last a long time.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

BFvsGF Announce Split and End of Vlogs - This Time it is Not a Prank

In an emotional video yesterday, Jesse and Jeana from Youtube channel BFvsGF announced sad news that they would be taking a break from each other as well as discontinuing their daily vlogs millions have come to love. In summary, the stress of recording their lives everyday and sharing it with millions of people has taken a toll on them and their relationship so they have decided to take a break.

This is big news to someone like myself who has been watching their videos everyday for years. I, like most people, first found them through their prank channel PrankvsPrank and soon became a subscriber of their daily vlogs on BFvsGF. One of my favorite things to do is watch Youtube videos and BFvsGF has been one of my favorite channels all these years.

They provided daily entertainment for millions of fans but they provided so much more than that. As they gained popularity, their fame afforded them the opportunity to attend big events, meet famous people, and travel to different cities and countries around the world. I know myself and many others almost lived vicariously through them as they experienced many things that most people will never get a chance to experience.

Jesse and Jeana had a huge influence on their audience and they took the responsibility to set a good example for the Peeps. Were they perfect? No, but as they have mentioned in past vlogs, they always looked to set a good example and because of that, making the vlogs encouraged them to be better people themselves.

Many people will undoubtedly be upset to hear about this news, but it is completely understandable. Their lives have been on display and under scrutiny each day for years and while it is the reason for their success, if they decide to change paths and do something else, well, as their friend Ed Bassmaster would say, “They got every right ta”.

So what will the future hold for BFvsGF and Jesse and Jeana? Jesse has announced plans to move to New York while Jeana will stay in Philadelphia. Jesse has expressed interest in continuing to make videos such as short films. I'm sure we will continue to see new projects from both of them, just not as frequent as we have come to expect.

Personally, I would like to thank Jesse and Jeana for sharing their lives with us over all these years. I wish you guys all the best and success in whatever you decide to do next! We will miss you guys and hope to see you again soon! Peace, on the streets, SAAAN!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Live with Kelly Post Strahan Era

Live with Kelly and Michael has been one of my favorite morning shows to watch over the past few years, so it was big news a few weeks back when they announced that Michael Strahan would be leaving the show to join Good Morning America. This past Friday was his last day. It was a good episode with lots of recaps of his time on the show. There is a good chance he will come back eventually as a guest or guest co-host.

I tuned in yesterday with eager anticipation on what it would be like since he left and it is now just Kelly and a guest until they find another permanent co-host. I was kind of surprised at how well they made the transition. Everything from the intro for the show to the coffee mugs on the table had been updated to reflect the change with "Live Kelly".

I'm glad to see they were able to continue without missing a beat. Kelly is amazing and brightens up each day with this show. The first co-host was Jimmy Kimmel who is a friend of the show and does a great job at filling in as co-host.

It will be interesting to see who eventually gets to take the permanent spot next to Kelly. From what I have seen, some of my favorite episodes are when her husband Mark Consuelos joins in. I think he would make a great co-host but it might be too much for them to live together and work together. Another one that comes to mind is Josh Groban who has been on the show a few times and always does a good job.

Whatever happens, it is good to see Live with Kelly is still going strong!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Arm and Hammer Essentials Deodorant Review

I had been using Speedstick Power Gel deodorant for some time and overall it has been ok but recently I decided to try out a new deodorant to compare. What sparked this change was one day I dropped the Speedstick and the gel got all over the floor. I cleaned it up, but I noticed the floor still had a very slippery texture. I kept cleaning it but it was very hard to get it back to non-slippery condition. I figured if it was this hard to get off smooth tile, it must really be sticking to skin!

So I started looking at some alternatives and decided to try one of the natural deodorants. I found Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant for a reasonable price so I decided to try it out. I was thinking it was going to be a white stick, but it is actually a clear stick inside. It has a very good scent that I actually like better than the Speedstick Gel.

Upon trying it out over several weeks, it works very well as a deodorant. It is not an antiperspirant so it is not designed to minimize sweat, but it does keep you fresh all day. Also I noticed it does not build up a residue on the skin which I noticed with the Speedstick Gel so that is also a plus.

Overall I am very pleased with the Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant and will probably buy it again once this one runs out. I recommend it if you are looking for a natural deodorant with a great fresh scent at a reasonable price.

Update 2-23-17: It has been about 10 months and so far the deodorant has not even run out yet. I have bought a 2nd one already so it will be ready to go as soon as the first one runs out. Overall I have been very pleased with this deodorant. It still has a great scent and it lasts a long time too!

Update: 11-2-17:  The original deodorant still has not run out and it has been nearly a year and a half. These really last a long time!

Update 6-14-19: This is still my favorite deodorant. Also check out a review of the Arm & Hammer body wash shampoo which I also recommend. 

Update 4-20-22: It seems they have updated the formula on the most recent edition of the product. It mentions they added moisturizers and the consistency does feel like that which is not a good thing. With armpits, you want them to be more dry, not more moisturized so I'm not sure what they were thinking with that choice. The scent seems to be a little different too, not as good as before. Overall it is still ok, but I think the previous formula was better.