Archive for category Good Deals

Best Mechanical Keyboard

I've recently started searching for a new keyboard. I don't really need one but I've been wanting a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches. I have three mechanical keyboards already, a Dell AT101W (with Alps key switches), an IBM Model M (buckling spring switches), and a Unicomp Enduro Pro (buckling spring switches). I'm currently using the Unicomp and I've been pretty satisfied with it. First I'd like to talk about some of the cons with each of the keyboards I own.

The IBM Model M is a classic. I've had mine for a few years. I purchased it on eBay for around 50 bucks. I love the feel of it. That was my reason for purchasing the Unicomp. The IBM doesn't have Windows/Super keys because it was made before those became standard. This isn't a big deal because I use Linux primarily and don't need the Windows keys (at least I can get by without them). However, I was cleaning the keyboard one day and messed up a spring on the left control key. I purchased some replacement springs but in the process of trying to replace the spring, I inadvertently broke some plastic rivets on the board. This didn't cause any immediate problems, but I never got the control key working correctly. It doesn't always register when I press it. As a frequent user of this particular control key, I can no longer use that keyboard.

As a replacement, I bought a Dell AT101W on eBay for around $40. I actually have no complaints about this keyboard. It's has a great feel and sounds real good while typing. The only reason I don't it any longer is because I bought the Unicomp.

I bought the Unicomp because I love the buckling springs of the Model M design, and since Unicomp has the rights for the Model M design, they make a modern version of it. I opted for the more expensive Enduro Pro model because it came with a handy track point reminiscent of the IBM ThinkPad series of Laptop. However, this track point was actually a con. The track point is unusable. I mean it's terrible. You could use it if your mouse went out, but it's not something you would want to use all the time. Trust me, the track point on the Enduro Pro is awful. Not only is it useless, but it also gets in your way when you are typing. I used to hit it all the time when reaching for the G, H, and B keys. I've learned to type around it pretty well over the last year, but I would love if it were just gone. If you get a Unicomp, get their plain Model M version. Stay away from the track point. Other than that, the Unicomp is basically an IBM Model M keyboard with Windows/Super keys. There are three other things I'll add that aren't really cons but things I've noticed about the Enduro.

First, the keys don't have the same design as the original Model M. On the original, there is a key and on it is a key cap. You can remove the key from the spring assembly, and you can remove the key cap from the key itself. Most of the old IBM keyboards were like this. The Unicomp's key caps are one piece.

Secondly, the keys themselves have a slight amount of glitter on the sides. I don't care for this really. It's in the plastic and makes the plastic itself look a little cheap.

Finally, the key action is a bit different from the old Model M. The click is not the same pitch. There's more of a ringing in the original Model M click. It's hard to describe but the click sound just isn't the same. It's closer than you'll find in any other keyboard, however.

So I started looking at the various other keyboards on the market. My friend Lynn really likes Cherry MX key switches. He recently purchased a WASD keyboard. It's an awesome keyboard. WASD allows you to customize the keys in many ways. You can change the lettering and upload your own images to be etched into the key caps. He ordered his keyboard with Cherry MX Blue key switches, which he prefers. Those were also the key switches I was looking for as well, but I've changed my mind a few times upon reading various reviews. Here are some of the keyboards I've looked at:

Corsair Vengeance K90

The K90 uses Cherry MX Red key switches, which are linear. They don't have the tactile "bump" or an audible click. These are quieter than the MX Blue keyswitches. However, I think this is the keyboard I'm going to go with. The reason is in the construction and features it offers. It's a beautiful brushed alumimun and black plastic keyboard. It has a rubber coating on the keys and comes with a rubber coated wrist rest. It also features one of the coolest volume controls I've ever seen on a keyboard. Besides those features, it has a nice blue LED back light on every key. If you are looking for a quieter mechanical keyboard with a backlight and great macro support, this is the only one to check out. I'll probably be getting two of these, one for my wife and one for myself.

Razor Black Widow Ultimate

This was originally the keyboard I planned on purchasing. It also has blue LED back lights behind every key, macro support, and media keys, but it has a super shiny plastic finish which collects fingerprint and smudges. I also read many bad reviews of it on Amazon.com. Most of the complaints dealt with bad key placement. One review said that he tried three of the keyboards and all of them had a defect. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to drop $120 on a keyboard that may be flawed from the factory. Overall, this looked like a very promising keyboard, but there were just too many complaints about the quality control.

XArmor U9Plus

The U9Plus looked like a good deal at $89 on Amazon, but I watched a few reviews on it and one complained about the backspace and spacebar keys being wobbly. This keyboard, like the Black Widow, features Cherry MX Blue key switches. Another complaint about this keyboard was that the LED lights behind the num lock, scroll lock, and caps lock indicators bled over onto one another. So when the num lock is on, it almost appears like the caps lock is on as well. There were also a few reviews stating that the overall sturdiness of the keyboard wasn't all that great. This and the Black Widow are probably very good keyboards, but I get spooked easily when shopping for new peripherals.

In conclusion, I'll probably buy the Corsair Vengeance K90 keyboards, even though I'm not quite sure if I'll like the Cherry MX Red key switches. If this keyboard came with a MX Blue option, I'd be all over it. That's the only thing that kept me from making this my first choice right off the bat. I think the most important thing to take away from this is that you should read reviews and make sure that the keyboard is as good as the price. Mechanical keyboards are expensive. Some are better than others. The key switches themselves may all be the same, but everything else about the keyboards can be a deal breaker.

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The Best Safety Razor

If you have trouble with your skin after you shave, you may be shaving with the wrong type of razor. There are other things that can cause skin irritation and ingrown hairs but I've found that the cause of mine was the multi-blade razors like the Fusion and Mach III. These products have been promoted as the ultimate shaving experience. The marketing behind this has enabled companies like Gillette to sell expensive blades, when there is a much better and cheap alternative available.

The good ol' double edge safety razors that people used decades ago, are becoming increasingly popular lately. This is due in large part to the fact that these razors deliver a much better shave than expensive multi-bladed razors. The marketing behind the multi-blades has been that the first blades lift the hair up a bit before the next blade comes along and cuts it. Whether this is true or not, one thing is for sure. The shave tends to cause irritation of the skin, and it causes the hairs to regrow under the skin.

My theory is that the hair is indeed lifted before it is cut, and this produces a super smooth shave but also causes the hairs to sometimes grow back under the skin producing ingrown hairs. The multiple blades also cause skin irritation and razor burn. To alleviate this issue, razor manufacturers add a lubricant to the blade itself, but this lubricant doesn't last very long. After about one or two uses, the blade is not very good for shaving any longer.

The solution, as I stated earlier, is to switch to a double-edge safety razor. The up-side to safety razors is that they alleviate the issues with razor burn and ingrown hairs. However the process of shaving is a bit more involved, but it's actually more enjoyable. When using a double-edge, it is important to keep your face wet with warm water and to keep it covered with shaving cream or shaving soap. A good lather is important to keep the razor burn down. Proper use of the razor is important as well.

I switched to a double-edge about four months ago and I haven't looked back since. It's a much better shave, and it's way cheaper. A good quality safety razor costs about $35-$50, but the blades cost about $10 per 100. That's right, around ten cents each. Compare that to the cost of four Mach 3 blades. Amazingly enough, a single blade lasts longer on the safety razor too. I shave my head and face three or four times with a single blade before I require a replacement. There is actually a honing technique one can use with their shower towel that can lengthen the life of the blade even more.

Here are some important things to note about shaving with a safety razor:

  • Use the weight of the razor to cut through the hair, don't put a lot of pressure on it.
  • Always warm your skin up with some warm water or a warm towel.
  • Use plenty of lather
  • Make multiple passes (three seems to work well for me)
  • Shave with the grain first, then across the grain, and finally against the grain if needed for a super close shave.

I should also mention that shaving soap in the bar form is much more economical than shaving creme from a can. I've been using a single 1.75 oz bar of Williams' Mug Soap for the past four months and it's about halfway gone. I should be able to get another four months or so out of it. A 1.75 oz of this shaving soap costs about 99 cents. That's a far better deal than a single can of shaving creme from Gillette.

I can not stress enough how awesome this switch has been for me. As someone who regularly shaves his head and face, this has been both a money saver and pain saver, since my skin is no longer irritated from shaving.

I started out with an Edwin Jagger DE89 razor and I highly recommend it. Here are some good deals on it and other quality double-edge razors and supplies.

Best Safety Razor

 

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Best Samsung Galaxy Tablet Deals

When it comes to tablets many people have rushed to get their hands on a new iPad, but there are many tablets which offer better hardware. Most of the other tablets run Android. The Android platform has advantages over the iOS platform used for iPads, iPods, and iPhones. The Android Marketplace is a lot more open. You'll have just as many app and game choices through it, if not more than you would have with the Apple app store.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is an awesome tablet that beats the iPad in many ways. First, it has a real GPS receiver, that doesn't require a wireless network provider. It supports more file types for video playback and image display. The Galaxy Tab is lighter. It also has full Adobe Flash support.

So if you are looking for a tablet, you may really want to give the Samsung a look-see. I've found some great deals here:

Best Samsung Galaxy Tablet Deals

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Hard Drives and Rice

In 2008 there was a major rice shortage in the world. Prices surged, and people were hurt/killed. This year (2011) we had another rice shortage, except this time it wasn't a shortage. The world had a surplus of rice, yet the supply was cut off from the consumer. Governments refused to export rice, mainly from fear that they wouldn't have enough for their citizens, but some also stopped exports because they knew they could profit from a shortage under-the-table. Some government officials in Southeast Asia profited by selling their stockpiled rice at very high prices. By stopping their exports, they created a fake shortage. There was plenty of rice to go around. Yet many people couldn't buy rice for their family.

Recently I've been reading about the upcoming hard drive shortage. Thailand, one of the world's largest manufacturers of hard drives has been suffering from heavy flooding. This has created a shortage. There's no doubt about it. However, that shortage was projected to increase prices by around 10%. Instead, tech merchants started sounding an alarm that there was about to be a major shortage, and prices have jumped by as much as 180%. Many people I know are rushing to buy hard drives that they don't actually need, just to avoid paying much higher prices for them later. This is a terrible time to buy hard drives. Sure their prices will be higher for a few quarters but eventually they'll drop back down to what they are now. In fact, they'll probably plummet as soon as production kicks back in to top gear. There will be a huge surplus of drives as everyone realizes they don't really need as many as they bought. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Digital Converter Box Coupon and How to Use it

If you are using an analog TV, chances are it no longer works correctly. As of June 12th all major broadcast companies are no longer broadcasting in analog. It's a strictly digital world now.There is a program to help everyone convert however, in case you haven't heard of it. It's at dtv2009.gov. You can go there and request two free $40 coupons from the government to purchase a converter box. If you have an analog TV and no converter box, you have to order a converter box to watch TV now.

After you request your coupons, the next step is to order your converter box. The absolute best deals on digital converter boxes are
here. They accept the government coupons and let you buy your converter boxes online at the best prices.

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Ultra Cheap Web Cam on eBay

I was just using my new tool at whats-hot-weekly.com and I noticed that the most watched item in Computers & Networking has changed a bit. The latest, greatest selling item is a web camera. The price simply can't be beat. It's $1.00. It has a built in mic and would be great for Skype and such. I'm not sure how many they have left but they've sold over 8,000 of them according to whats-hot-weekly.com.

Two things that should be noted about my site. The "Bid Count" shows how many people have bid on the item, if it is a regular auction. However, if it's a 'Buy it Now Only' auction, the bid count is actually the number of people who have bought the item. Also, the static link I'm about to post to the site is NOT the main part of the site. It is what I call the static links portion of the site which allows me to post a link to a specific item or search criteria. The main site is almost completely javascript and there's no good way for me to link to the content of a search.

Finally, here is the link to the web camera in question. Notice that it's only a 300k camera, but that is VGA quality which should be fine. I mean...come on....it's a buck.

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