For your reading convenients below you will find all the Spencer's Spotlight published in 2018
Happy New Year!
I hope all had a wonderful holiday season. My spotlight feature this month will focus mainly on a very fundamental piece of equipment. My keyboard.
Over the course of the last few months I have noticed when I have been writing my articles, that my keys on my wireless keyboard have been sticking. The typos were getting ridiculously high. So, Amazon to the rescue.
I am a Prime member and really dislike going to the stores and dealing with sales people that do not know anything about the products they sell. Anyway, I found a keyboard with good ratings for 14 dollars and 93cents, cool, under 20 dollars. I am all about a good deal.
It is the Logitech K 360 wireless keyboard. Well, it came in the mail, I opened the box and it was a very nice looking keyboard. But, where was the dongle? Where, where, where? I looked all over the box, inside the keyboard battery compartment, and could not locate a dongle. Well, you know as well as I do, that without the dongle, you have a worthless piece of plastic.
I called Amazon, told them what I thought about them selling a keyboard without the dongle. They said it was supposed to work in conjunction with the mouse and they would send me the mouse and that dongle would work with my keyboard. Okay, sounds good, what do I know, little too technical for me.
the mouse arrives, I find the dongle and yep, you guessed it, it did not work either. So, scratching my head, I went back to the keyboard box, looked for the directions hoping I may have missed something; maybe some kind of switch I was supposed to press or push. I used the Seeing AI app on my I phone and nothing jumped out at me, therefore, I dialed Amazon again to tell them that this dongle did not work either.
While I was waiting for them to answer, I reached back in the keyboard box and my fingers brushed a crossed the front panel of the box. Yep you are right, I found the dongle hiding in plain sight, front and center. I took it and popped it into the USB port of the computer, and yes, you guessed correctly, it worked. About that time, Amazon answered the phone. I said I had already answered the question I had and sheepishly said good-bye.
So, after all that, I am happy to report that this is a very nice keyboard. The layout is nicely positioned. I usually have to mark several keys for orientation, but not with this keyboard. It uses batteries rather than rechargeables, which I prefer. It sits comfortably in my lap or it can sit on a table. It has rubberized feet to keep it stable, as well as a kick stand to adjust the angle while typing. It has an actual on/off switch so you can tell if the keyboard is on or not, without guessing like the ones with the on off toggle button. It has a full number keypad and the six pack is not in the usual place, but is located above the number keypad.
I really like the layout. About the only drawback to this keyboard I have found so far is that it does not have an application key. I have had to get used to the shift F10 combo to achieve this function. Also, a plus for me is the arrow keys are slightly below the rest of the keys for easy access.
For under 20 Dollars, you cannot go wrong with this keyboard. I highly recommend it, even after all I went through to get it working. Just another day in the life dot, dot, dot.
This month's focus will be on your memories. Do you have a box or drawer or maybe even a trunk of cassettes stored away full of your music memories? Maybe like me you have family recordings of gatherings or special events you would like to preserve. Well, I have a boat load of cassettes in my closet just waiting for me to find a way of transferring the information into a modern format.
A few years ago, my husband had given me a cassette to SD card recorder. It works fine but is just a little complicated. So recently, a friend of mine had received one from her son. It is a small cassette to mp3 converter that runs off batteries, or can be powered via USB. That got me looking on my go to place for shopping. yes, you guessed it, Amazon. After all, if it is not on Amazon, it probably does not exist.
I must not be the only one wanting to convert my cassettes to mp3 format, because on Amazon there is a plethora of choices in the cassette to mp3 converters. The one I selected is the Feir Cassette converter. It is a portable mp3 stereo USB cassette digital tape music player to mp3 format with headphones, no pc required. The price at the time of this writing is 32 dollars and 99 cents, with free shipping for prime members. There are converters available that cost less, so you can select the one suited to your needs and your wallet.
This unit is pretty straightforward, place the cassette in, plug in a USB flash drive (capable to hold up to a 32gb flash drive), or you can even plug in a USB adapter to sd card and record on an sd card. Press the play and the recording begins. There are also controls located on the back of the unit to stop or pause the recording. Earbuds come with the unit but I prefer to use headphones for a better listening experience so, you can monitor the recording in real time. It is a pretty nice unit. I love the portability.
So, no more wondering if you are ever going to be able to listen to your old cassettes again, the solution is only a converter away. Enjoy your memories!
When thinking of the subject for this month, the phrase there’s an app for that comes to mind. It is not unusual to have an app for general technological gadgets, but, it is somewhat odd to have a kitchen appliance that can be operated by an app on the iPhone.
The Instant Pot is such an appliance. It is a programmable pressure cooker. Some of us grew up with our Moms making delicious meals in the pressure cooker. I can remember beef stew, ribs, potatoes and sauerkraut were among some of my favorites. Pressure cookers can drastically reduce cooking times, having meals ready in minutes opposed to hours.
The cookers today are built with safety in mind, which makes it possible for a totally blind person to use. Sizes can range from around 3 quarts to a whopping 8 quart capacity. Using the app available for the iPhone, The Instant Pot is completely accessible and controllable. Who knew that one day we would be cooking with an iPhone? There really is an app for that!
Here are a few details about this amazing appliance:
*Produces nutritious, healthy and tasty dishes with consistent results.
*Replaces 7 common kitchen appliances; pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, sauté/searing, steamer, and warmer.
*Built with 14 Smart Programs; soup, meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, sauté, steam, rice, porridge, multigrain, yogurt, slow cook, keep warm, and pressure cook.
*Dual pressure settings for fast and flexible cooking.
*3 temperatures for Sauté and Slow Cook.
*A 24-hour “Delay Start” for delay cooking.
*”Automatic Keep Warm” hold the temperature of the food until you serve.
The cooker generates almost no noise and leaks no steam; aromas are trapped in the food without heating up the kitchen. Your favorite recipes are as easy as pressing a button. This sounds like it would be the ideal kitchen appliance for a family of 2 or more.
There is really so much that this appliance can do, more than I can cover in this article. But it is so nice to know that technology has made it possible to be independent in the kitchen as well.
It is available on amazon for around 160 dollars, but be sure the model you order has Bluetooth capability.
It has just occurred to me that I must be hungry when I sit down to write my articles because this month’s subject is another kitchen appliance. The Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich maker is a handy little item to have in the kitchen. I use mine about 3 or 4 times a week. For a totally blind person, it is easy to use and good for a quick fix when you are in a hurry in the morning. It is a simple but ingenious gadget.
I have the single sandwich maker since it is only me in the household, but for the couples, there is a duel model. It comes with a cast iron insert that is super easy to clean. It hooks into the unit and has a tab that does not get hot so you can lift the sections without burning yourself.
I use premade biscuits, you can use English muffins or mini croissants, or lately, I have been using cheese Danishes which I found at a big box store.
Preheat the unit, and in the bottom, place the bottom half of the sandwich. I usually put a slice of cheese on the bottom before closing the top half of the insert over it. Make sure the well part of the insert is closed so your egg does not drip out. Crack the egg into it and place the top half of the sandwich on top and close the lid. Set a timer for 5 minutes and then swing the middle divider out opening the sections so the top half falls onto the bottom half completing your sandwich. Open the top of the sandwich maker and pull the bottom section up to expose your completed sandwich. Spatula it on to a plate and enjoy!
I found this to be easy to use and more importantly, easy to clean. The Hamilton Beach Breakfast Maker can be found at Target, Wal-Mart, Kohls, Bed Bath and Beyond, and my favorite place, Amazon. The single unit is around 25 dollars and the duel unit goes for about 35 dollars.
I think maybe next month I will eat before attempting to write my article.
Go back to the beginning of content