FogklearOk, sheltering in place, not going out much, no traveling, lots of books and old movies to watch and family members that are observing excellent distancing and mask routines not to mention constantly washing the hands and bathing in the hand sanitizer.


One of the curses in wearing a mask is that I also wear glasses and they constantly get fogged up. I realize that if I was in much better shape that might not happen so much but it still does and drives me nuts when trying to see grocery items on the shelves and things like that.


So, to my rescue comes an old friend with a new product. How about a Dry Anti-Fog Cloth from the folks that brought us the LensPens, one of my absolutely required accessories when I do get the chance to travel. I first found these Pens at CES in 2005 when they had a tiny booth tucked away. They work like a charm, are clean, spotless, and I have one stashed in each of my camera bags and is required packing where ever I go.


What is new is the FogKlear cloth that will prevent fogging on glass and plastic surfaces. It is a dry cloth that acts as a pre-treatment to prevent lenses and optics from fogging up. To use it is quite simple, I would recommend you clean your glasses first, then breathe lightly on the lens and wipe for about 10 seconds with the cloth. After using, you do need to wash your hands. It is good for up to 200 cleanings.


I am not sure how long a treatment will last but it worked just great for me for about two hours before fogging hit me. Available for $8 from Amazon. 


You can teach an old dog new tricks.


Skeleton2My backup and test computer has been laboring very well since I built it at an Intel workshop in May of 2011. With an Intel mainboard and a, at then, very expensive Core i7 processor with four cores, unlocked, running at an incredible 3.4ghz. With enough RAM, it has held up very well and still outperforms some of today’s “fast” computers.

It started life as a Windows 7 machine which I upgraded to Windows 10 Pro and other than a couple of driver snags, has done quite well.  Having replaced the hard drive a few years ago, I thought it was time to try installing a SATA Solid State drive and so found a new home for one of my Kingston 1TB drives. 

Since the drive I was going to clone from was a Seagate, I could then download the Seagate Acronis True Image backup and cloning software from Seagate to clone the old drive to the new.  It worked like a charm. Remove the old drive, close the computer back up and now I have an even faster machine. 

A couple of things you might think about when trying to extend the life of an older computer is every year or so, open it up and blow out all the dust that has accumulated. I did replace the power supply a while back and to run it, keep it plugged into a UPS unit so the power spikes and outages that tend to hit my neighborhood don’t affect it any.


Of course, no pets and no smoking helps.  


And unless the CPU fan goes bad (which I have replaced), as you can see, I never had an overheating problem with this open-air case from Antec with its top mounted multi-colored 230mm fan, called the Skeleton.


When I make a major purchase, I try to check out the reviews online but what I am discovering is that some of the review sites look more and more a lot like some other sites. So, I started to dig deeper and one thing I found looking at reviews is that some of them are owned by the same company, Future PLC.  For example, Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware, TopTen Reviews, techradar, PCGamer, MaximumPC & MacLife, Laptop, Gizmodo (UK), and one of my favorites, AnandTech are just a few of the companies under their banner.

Catalyst CovidI first ran into Catalyst Lifestyle at CES in January 2012, eight years ago.  I had an iPhone then when they came out with their Escape Capsule, I had to give it a try and you can read about it here.  


It was the first truly waterproof case for your phone and I took advantage of it at the Ocean, the lakes, and even sailing aboard the “Maid of the Mist” at Niagara Falls. It was wonderful and my only regret here is that they did not make a case for my Huawei phones that I have been using since. 


What sets them apart these days if you have an Apple iPad, iPhone, Watch, or the Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy is that the waterproof cases are perfect for keeping your device clean and using the hand sanitizer without fear of shorting it out. Check out their poster. When I go back to the iPhone, this will be on my must have list.


Robert Sanborn
September 2020