Tag Archives: paint

PTJ 242: So Long, Old Paint?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is coming back for a 40th-anniversary run, but a couple of old standbys are getting boxed up for the software attic. El Kaiser and J.D. take a stroll through the week’s headlines and talk later about Google Street View — and how those who love it can make their own outdoor 360-images. Punch that Play button and come on along!

Links to Stories on This Week’s Episode

PTJ 208: Safety Patrol

The crisp fall air has returned to the Northeast, as do memories of sipping apple cider in front of a roaring fire. Unfortunately for some, the only fire around was coming from their replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones…

On this week’s episode, El Kaiser and J.D. wrangle the week’s headlines, including the latest from the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Inferno, a new coat for Microsoft Paint and Sprint’s efforts to close the digital divide for low-income high-school students. El Kaiser discusses proper electronics safety and J.D. has a (Hopefully) Helpful Hint on how to find out what other household products might be problematic. Now, where are those marshmallows, Hershey bars and graham crackers?

Lithium-Ion Battery Information

Battery University
• Why Lithium Batteries Keep Catching Fire
• How Lithium-Ion Batteries Work

Links to This Week’s News Stories

Hammer Time!

Planning a summer remodeling project or taking care of a few little tool-related chores around the house now that the weather is starting to warm up and you’ve got some summer vacation time on the way? You guessed it — your smartphone can help with that, too.

Just go to your app store and search for “home improvement” and you should get a screen full of possibilities. If you need something specific, try “paint calculator” or “flashlight” in the search box. Apps that specialize in project planning, remodeling ideas, decorating, kitchen planning, or even how-to help are also out there.

National home-improvement store like Lowes or The Home Depot have their own apps and national chains like Ace Hardware at least have a mobile Web site. The Home Depot’s app is particularly helpful with tips and videos.

DIYSome apps are tools themselves, like the $2 iHandy Carpenter (shown here) for iOS and Android. The app includes a plumb bob, a protractor, a level bar, a surface level and a short ruler. If you just want a level, iHandy makes a free level app for both platforms, and Stanley Tools makes its own free level app for iOS. Android users can choose from a number of Smart Tools apps.

Calculators of all types are also very important for project planning. These include free options and professional apps like the $20 Construction Master Pro for Android, Windows Phone and iOS. Another option for iPhone owners is Home Improvement Calcs, which is $2 to start with .99 in-app purchases to add on. Android users have similar apps, including the $8 Handy Construction Calculators app. You can also find apps that let you store notes on your projects or calculate room dimensions.

So, if you’re dreading the part where you have to get started on a do-it-yourself project, ease into it with a visit to your app store. And if your spouse or partner complains, you’re not stalling — you’re finding technology that will make the project quicker and more efficient!