Four Favorite Tools/World’s cheapest destinations/Public Wi-Fi troubleshooting


Recomendo: issue no. 175

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300-page tool recommendation book
Kevin and Mark host a weekly podcast called Cool Tools. For more than 5 years now they have invited notable and creative people to talk about their favorite tools. This year, I took the transcripts from the best 150 episodes and pulled text, added images, and laid it all out in a 300-page book titled Four Favorite Tools. It is now available on Amazon in both color ($39.99) and B&W ($12.99) versions. Inside the book are hundreds and hundreds of recommendations for apps, gadgets, tools — but my recommendation is the book itself as a handbook for inspiration. — CD

World’s cheapest destinations
So much to see, so little money. Why not maximize your travel by getting the most per dollar? The World’s Cheapest Destinations will guide you to the best least expensive countries in the world, where a small budget will purchase you ten times the joy of a more expensive region. Part of my secret to travel is to visit these countries listed, which are usually the most interesting, too. Now in its 5th updated edition, this succinct guide is one of the best investments in life you can make. — KK

Force a public Wi-Fi login page to open
Here’s a problem I frequently encounter when I’m trying to use public Wi-Fi at the airport — the login page won’t load on my browser. This troubleshooting cheat sheet lists the different things you can try to get a Wi-Fi login page to open. In short, they are: 1) Turn off alternative DNS servers 2) Try to open the router’s default page 3) Open a non-HTTPS site in incognito 4) Restart your device 5) Create a new network location. One or more of these actions usually does the trick. — MF

Dictation transcription
Notes is the default built-in note taking app that syncs between Mac OS and iOS. The new thing for me is using it as a dictation device on my iPhone, since I am a lousy thumb typer. When I want to make a note, I depress the microphone icon near the space bar on the virtual keyboard in Notes and talk. My voice is transcribed into text with remarkable accuracy, even in noisy environments. Notes then syncs these written notes onto my laptop. — KK

Free, printable motivational poster
This is not like those cheesy, motivational posters you’ve seen. This is a collection of effective action plans to defeat procrastination. Every tip feels new and helpful and mind-opening. You can download your own poster to print out here. — CD

Save your knees
I bought this 11 x 18 inch Fiskars Ultralight Kneeling Cushion in 2011 for $8 and have used it hundreds of times since then. It has come in handy when repairing appliances, working on and washing cars, weeding, and any other activity that requires getting on my knees. More recently I bought these $7 Fiskars Ultralight Knee Pads,  which let me crawl around the backyard or garage without pain. —MF

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 12/1/19

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