Dump Your Wall Chargers!

August 2, 2014

My family has tons of electronic gear, all of which use some sort of USB wall charger device. Often times, these “wall warts” are somewhat bulky and don’t alway fit too well side-by-side with another wall wart or AC plug. This was the case in my bedroom and family room, so I replace those two outlets with a new one which has two built-in USB ports (see below):

Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 6.26.11 PM

Swapping out the old outlet for this new one was a breeze, only taking me 15 minutes (be sure to turn off the power first!). The only thing to note, is that this new outlet is deeper than a standard outlet, so you need to make sure to push the stiff wires all the way to the back of the box to get the new outlet to fit inside it. Also, this particular outlet didn’t come with a cover plate, so I needed to buy one separately (around $1.00 US).

The two USB ports output 2.1 Amps, which is plenty to charge up two iPads. You can also use the two other AC outlets at the same time if needed. I bought this outlet from my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store, but you can get the same one off Amazon.com for the same price of $24.95.

It was a great weekend project that took under an hour to do, and I┬ánow don’t need to worry about charging adapters every again!

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Remote Login Using Google Chrome Desktop

August 2, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 5.25.19 PMSometimes when I’m away from home, I need to access my desktop computer system remotely to transfer a file or check on something. I’ve used a variety of products and services to do so, but most of them were cumbersome to use. I’m now using Google Remote Desktop which works absolutely great from my Android phone and/or tablet.

It’s very easy to setup, and is quite secure. Amazingly, it runs very quick, even from my Android phone using AT&T’s LTE wireless network. So, if you need to remotely access your home Windows or Mac computer system, check out Google Remote Desktop. Best of all, it’s free!