How to clean a laptop screen . . . serious this time.

I’ve worked on laptops for about 8 years now . . . I also use Photoshop extensively and you can’t imagine the times I’ve tried to retouch a spot in an image that wasn’t a spot at all! Let’s face it, LCD screens are better than ever, but they still get dirty and smudged.

Through the years, I’ve looked for all sorts of things to try and get ’em clean. Solvents, kits, special applicators . . . well, today I’m working in the kitchen (Jake’s sick) and the glare from the window by the kitchen table amplifies the grime on my screen ten fold. Of course, most of this grime is from the classic “gotta touch the screen or it won’t work” effect from the kids!

Lacking judgement at the time, I lightly sprayed a folded paper towel with Windex (I know, someone just cringed). It, of course, just smeared the gunk across the screen for even worse visibility. Then, I went for broke and simply applied a generous amount of water to another folded paper towel – not dripping, just enough. And, ya know what?! I’m looking at a screen that matches when it was fresh from the factory.

So, there you go . . . I had to put this post out there (I know, boring!) because I’ve looked for a good solution for so long. And, hey, maybe I got lucky, but the fact is – it worked!

Good, Cheap Emailing List with YMLP

If you’ve been on the web for any amount of time these days, chances are you’ve subscribed to several emailing lists. Fortunately, there are MANY great services to get you set up and emailing clients, fans, etc. quickly and efficiently. And I do mean MANY – Constant Contact would be the heavy hitter, but few know about a company I’ve been using for years now. They’re called YMLP (yourmailinglistprovider.com). I started using them way back when for one reason – dirt cheap – to the tune of $3.75/month cheap to start out.

But, they’ve always managed to keep up with all the other big names in email marketing. They have the tracking services, the automated handling of bogus emails, user managed accounts, etc. But they still have that competitive pricing.

I’m not sure why I haven’t mentioned them before, but here ya go! If you need a good, reliable email list host, give them a try. Since I’m a subscriber, I can give you a code to get 15% off your usage fees . . . for as long as you use the service. Just sharing some savings! You can quit the service at any time too – no long contracts.

Click here to get the discounted rate. Enter the promo code FX141J to get 15% off of your order with YMLP.com.

My Life With Roku

Back in November, I wrote about Netflix streaming and the new (at that time) Roku box. Well, Alison took my hints and I recieved my shine (tiny) Roku box for Christmas this past December. Yeah, it’s all I wanted it to be.

After 8 months with the device, I can say (IMHO) that it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Netflix is adding more and more movies to their streaming service all the time. My kids say “Can I watch Roku” instead of “can I watch TV” now. The great thing is, and I hope they keep this up, is that several shows allow you to stream new episodes very soon after their air date. Heroes (NBC) lets you watch the new episode from the Roku player the day after the new showing. Maggie gets to watch Sonny With a Chance and other Disney programs in the same manner.

Aaaaand, many shows are now in HD quality. I never thought it’d get there, but 720p resolution on my 32 inch widescreen looks close to spectacular. I’d like to test it out on a larger Hi-Def tv . . . gotta wait on that though!

Oh, and did I mention that it’s wireless? It used 802.11G wireless, so it’s plenty fast to pull in shows rather quickly and with good quality.

All in all, a great piece of hardware. You can pick them up for $100 at several places. You will need a minimum Netflix package of $8.95/month (that gets you one disc in the mail at a time too). If they keep up the trend, cable might be a thing of the past soon. Oh, and iPhone and Wii are rumored to get Netflix streaming too . . . that’s just too cool.

Animal Apps of All Things!

I know what you’re thinking. Gimme a break, he’s talking about animal apps. I would say the same thing . . . if I wasn’t a father of three! The two apps below are all but a guaranteed hit with the kiddies. (under 3 anyway)

Zoo Box
Straightforward with high quality pics, this app simply makes an animal sound when you tilt the phone over a certain animal. Simple, but even my one-year-old has it down (yeah, she’s an iPhone junkie!). I think it’s a paid app now (I got it when it was free). It’s worth a dollar though for the smiles! And, they update it (not often) with new pics and sounds.

I See Ewe
Similar to Zoo Box, but instead of pics, you get clipart animations (cartoons). They’re well done, and Lizzie (1) loves ’em. A simple click to see what sound the animal makes. Simple, but effective.

Tweet Deck for iPhone

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve heard about Twitter and the madness that is microblogging. Well, I’m no exception to the rule (follow me at Twitter.com/lancemoore).

Using the Twitter homepage is one thing, but there are several programs that allow you to interface with Twitter in a much easier way. Tweet Deck was introduced as an app for PC and Mac and is outstanding when working at a computer. They’ve introduced the program as an iPhone app and it’s really close to the desktop counterpart. It really shines when managing multiple accounts. So, Twitter away, folks. It’s free!

Endless.com

Ok, here’s a quick one. Alison just found this site out today (I vaguely remember hearing of it). Zappos.com is, of course, a great site for shoes, but Endless.com takes the shipping thing to a whole new level – FREE Next Day Shipping AND FREE Returns. Talk about a no brainer. I don’t see any issues possible, but lets just say she ordered 2 pair to see how she likes ’em – I’ll let you know if we run into any trouble. Happy shopping, everyone.