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Friday, June 30, 2017

Older Version of Photoshop “Gratis”



Gratis, or without the monthly fee.  If you ever wanted to try Adobe Photoshop, yet didn’t want to pay a monthly fee, I have been told you can download the 12 years old version now.  Called Adobe Photoshop CS2.   


My contact says he has used this version for years and likes the control that it gives with adjusting lighting, file size, retouching etc., but other photo applications allow you to resize photos with fewer steps.  The other free online photo editing service that my contact says some professionals use is called GIMP    https://www.gimp.org/  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Anker Phone and Pad Charger Recommendation




Phone chargers are everywhere these days, and I own several different brands.  Anker is a highly popular and respected brand with some advanced features.  I just purchased this one to try it out. This model offers

1.     Two ports, I was able to charge both phone and iPad at same time, no problem
2.     It is very fast, I think faster than the chargers that come with the iPhone
3.     It has a light to tell you want it is doing, flashing is charging, steady is charged up
4.     I think it is safe to leave it plugged in all the time, but I am asking the factory
5.     It has IQ – 10 smart safety circuits inside to protect your devices
6.     It is 220 or 110 compatible, perfect for overseas travel  it makes the adjustment automatically.
7.     It has retractable plug prongs, to make it even easier to travel
8.     It is high quality construction, you can drop it or whatever, no problem (it says)
9.     Two ports is reducing some “counter clutter” for me. I had with two different chargers I had used for years in that location.  A beefier one for the iPad (came with it) and a smaller one for the iPhone (came with it).
10. It has a warranty of course.  Price is $12 – not dirt cheap, but consider what your devices cost?  Is protecting them worth $5 more than the lowest price available?

The down side

1.     It is a bit heavier than the little charger than came with the iPhone, maybe even a tiny bit heavier than the charger that came with the iPad – but it does both jobs, so, perhaps it doesn’t weigh more than both combined? 
2.     It will get a little bit warm to the touch when charging both devices , not hot or anything just a tiny bit more warm.  I think that is OK, technically.  It must have a transformer inside (as opposed to some other kind of voltage regulator)  In my earlier electronic lifetime transformers were safer than circuit boards that did the same chores – just heavier and bulkier.  This one is, of course, a tiny transformer if that’s it what it is.

PS – I use Amazon’s private label cords with my chargers, and the 6 foot one has a better quality cord and larger and better “end pieces” that stick into the devices and chargers.  But I don’t like long cords.  I ordered two, 3 foot cords, and they work, but I don’t like them as well – quality wise, as the 6 foot cord. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven




Toaster Ovens are not exactly new or exotic.  You can buy them with convection features and or just buy them for as little as $24 sometimes.  The Panasonic FlashXpress came to my attention over and over in the many publications I read.  So I looked it up on Amazon and was surprised to see it had over 2,000 reviews (a large number for any product) and retained 4.5 stars,  a remarkable “rating” achievement. And Consumer Reports gave it a big write up as well.

So, I offer it here for your information or consideration should you ever want to buy a replacement toaster oven (or your first one).  I think they are useful, but actually don’t own one, as I feel I can’t spare the counter space or have a burning need for one.  But I have eaten food from other people’s such ovens, and it is usually great.  Now it can be fast too !