September 2015 - Man Cave Master

Monthly Archives: September 2015

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dewalt drill recommendations

You may have come across the DeWalt brand when browsing around your favorite tool isle.

DeWALT is completely owned by Black and Decker, which has re branded the whole line to represent the best contractor-grade tools. DeWALT items have a reputation among expert craftsmen as strong workhorses, outfitted with all components one could possibly need, at sensible costs. They are also a wonderful choice for hobbyists who request the finest tools available.

DeWALT manufactures various drills that are suited for different uses. Before buying any drill, you should set aside some time to evaluate the type of task they have to perform and the frequency of utilization. Do-it-yourselfers have very different uses than a full time craftsmen.

DeWALT makes a few styles of drills, in several sizes, offering both corded and cordless versions. Purchasers can choose from a wealth of components. All DeWALT products can be found at select hardware shops , home improvement stores, and through e-business sites, for example, eBay.

Drill Styles

There are four essential styles of drills inside of the DeWALT line. Hammer drills, Standard drills, impact drills, and right-angled configurations all have distinct applications. The VSR acronym on any of them stands for variable velocity reversible.

Standard Drills

This is the most well-known style. Practically every expert and weekender must have a standard drill to perform a wide range of work from drilling openings and driving screws to more detailed execution, for example, routing and countersinking. All DeWALT standard drills are VSR. DeWALT standard drills constantly rank high for execution, durability, and balance.

Hammer Drills

A hammer drill has a striking resemblance to a standard rendition, but it provides a helpful element added to its design. Rather than simply rotating, it likewise falters the movement parallel to the drill pressure. Envision beating on the butt end of the drill with a sledge while utilizing it. It feels a touch like a small scale jackhammer. Hammer drills are extremely helpful for exceptionally thick materials, particularly old cement.

Impact Drills

Their impact drills, also called drivers, are intended to produce motion that is perpendicular to the pressure of the drilling. The outcome of that is a noticeable increase in force that will provide the extra punch to loosen lug nuts on a car tire. 

They have a tendency to be more powerful than standard drills, with the addition of extra noise. It is not a drill style for the normal Weekend-hobbyist, but rather for the expert with particular work that requires the increase in torque.

Right-Angled Drills

The selling point for a right-angled drill is that it permits the operator to reach and work in places with restricted access. The primary body and motor of the drill are at a 90-degree angle to the drill chuck and bit to make it less likely to slip between floor joists, studs, roof rafters, and many other areas where a standard drill of normal length will give up. Those in the construction business need to have one handy when a 'tight spot' situation arises.

DeWalt Corded Drills

Though the cordless drills are currently the first option for contractors, a few benefits of a corded one are worth to be considered. A wide range of drills and most other power tools are accessible in cordless versions, however some would contend that there are no truly reliable cordless circular saw.

The reason is that when ever somebody needs powerful force or torque, only a corded electric version can get the job done. There is rarely an issue with accessing an electrical supply on most job sites. Since uncharged batteries tend to accumulate, it is wise to have an extra backup when they are all drained. Most experts have no less than one drill of every kind, and few would be ready to give up either.

DeWalt Cordless Drills

The cordless drill has turned into a quasi standard and should not be missing from a professional's tool kit. The upgrades in battery power and tool life time means that the old-fashioned corded drill is nowadays only utilized as a backup on work sites. XRP is a trademark of DeWALT that is an acronym of "extra reserve power." Most aces who have utilized different brands in the past find that DeWALT batteries run longer between charging sessions.

Battery Options

DeWALT utilizes two essential types of batteries in its drills and different cordless hardware. Lithium-ion is rapidly turning into the top battery choice. It is lighter and offers longer run times than the other option: nickel-cadmium. The cadmium component is also a significant toxin when folks put Ni-Cd batteries into the trash as opposed to the recycling bin.

On the other hand, the lower value point and the often extraordinary run times have tool buyers still consider Ni-Cd for now. In addition, independent testing has revealed that running a lithium-ion battery all the way to empty might make it hard to completely recharge in the future. Luckily, DeWALT batteries have not encountered that issue. Moreover, the organization asserts that its lithium-ion batteries can be revived around 2000 times, surpassing most contenders' numbers.

Some folks make the mistake of buying a drill that can only perform well on the job they have planned for it at the time . If there is one tool people should 'overbuy', it's a drill. The extra cost is not important in comparison to the additional value it provides over countless years of use.

DeWALT Drill Power and Sizes

The power of a cordless drill is inseparable from the battery voltage. DeWALT batteries range in size from 9.6 to 20 volts, and you can find them with either a 1/2-inch or a 3/8-inch chuck.

For home use, 3/8-inch is typically adequate. Professionals favor 1/2-inch, since they constantly need to utilize drill bits that are too large for the smaller chucks. Remember that the 20-volt models weigh about twice as much as the 9.6-volt choices. Corded drill power ranges from 4 to 10.5 amps, with the 1/2-inch drills on the higher end.

DeWALT also offers a 1/4-inch model in both corded and battery controlled setups for lighter and more detailed work. Smaller and young individuals utilizing a drill as often prefer them because they are exceptionally lightweight, putting less of a strain on hands and arms.

DeWALT Drill Features

All DeWALT drills sport a variable velocity trigger to make instant adjustments. A large portion of the lithium-ion battery models now ship with a battery meter so the users can see the available level of charge and avoid exhausting it. Keep an eye out for a "savvy" charger that decreases the typical charge time from a few hours to less than one. A few models even allow for the charging of two batteries at once, a component that contractual workers appreciate.

All DeWALT motor parts are helical cut and heat treated. The brand is very particular on the design of its handle bars to guarantee most ergonomic grip possible. The triggers are designed to offer enough room for the use of one or two fingers at once to minimize fatigue. The most recent keyless chucks truly make the process of changing the bit easier. Variable clutch settings exponentially increase motor life span, particularly when drilling in to unpredictable surfaces.​

DeWALT Drill Accessories

The one drill accessory that comes to mind is, without a doubt, a drill bit. True pros and builders buy large sets that may contain plenty of several alternatives including router, torx, hex, spade, pozi, and countersink bits. It is best to have no less than one and ideally two reinforcement batteries to avoid disruption of ongoing work. Many professionals like to keep their accessories and drills in a toolbox so they have it all together in one place when they need to access it.

Conclusion

Most experts consider DeWALT drills to be a must-have when it comes to the best combination of value and quality. Competitor models in the lower price range simply don't stand up after over the course of many uses and do not have the components, alternatives, and variety of available sizes for both battery and corded models. DeWALT products simply beat all others in all classes, regardless of whether your choice is electrical or battery power.

Take a look at our drill reviews to see how DeWalt stacks up against other drills.​

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reviews of midi controller keyboards

The Complete Guide to the best MIDI Keyboard Controllers Under $200 

When you want to make amazing music in a portable environment, there's nothing that quite gets the job done like a MIDI keyboard controller. For a musician, this type of device provides the ideal way to assemble a compact music production system.

You need to be sure though that you choose a MIDI controller that will meet your needs, expectations of quality, and music-related preferences so that you get the most use and pleasure out of it.

I shall call Him... MIDI Me

If you are new to the MIDI market, a few of your first questions will likely be: 1) What is MIDI? and 2) How does the sound device work? Ahem, let us explain. Shagadelic, as Austin Powers would say.

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is the universal standard by which keyboard controllers, software, computers, and multiple electronic musical instruments, called synthesizers, connect to use musical data.

Typically, a MIDI-enabled keyboard controller has a piano style user interface. It sends MIDI information via a USB cable to other devices connected to the same interface. The keyboard itself does not produce sound but instead sends the MIDI data to an electronic module (either a synthesizer or a computer) that reproduces the digital sounds.

midi controller keyboard

When using the leading MIDI keyboards available today, the waveforms sound almost the same as classic analog musical instruments. The digital audio is often referred to as voices or timbres.

With the single keyboard, you can control several electronic instruments. Perhaps you use the lower controls as the drum machine and the upper register as a Moog synthesizer. Use the controller to send out messages of MIDI data to create the sounds you want to play, within DAW software, and through a mix of hardware. 

What makes a good controller? 

MIDI controllers come with several knobs and faders so you can control the instruments that you want to imitate. Here is more about the features of MIDI keyboard controllers, from the octaves to the key quality, that separate the mediocre ones from the higher quality varieties.

Keys

Figure out how much space you have for the keyboard by using a tape measure. Doing so will right away limit the amount of controllers from which to choose, such as whether you will get one with 25, 37 or 49 keys. These are the typical sizes, although you can go bigger if you have the room.

midi keyboard keys

Some controllers do offer smaller keys so you can fit more keys within a smaller sized model.

Keys in a MIDI keyboard controller can be weighted, semi-weighted or unweighted. The "weight" of the keys is added to simulate the different sounds that heavier keys make on a real piano. Compact models won't typically have weight to them because usually you want to play them quickly.

However, when the keyboard size increases, it may seem "springy" to play them, so then most users opt for semi-weighted varieties to get both speed and depth of sound.

Touch

If the keyboard feels cheap when you touch it, you may not want to buy it. It's mainly a subjective thing but important if you plan to use the gear for long jam sessions or take it on the road with you. Plus, if it's flimsy and feels cheap, you probably won't get as long of a lifespan out of it as a better quality one.

Also, check out the controller's velocity sensitivity. The cheaper versions often won't have this feature, so all notes have the same expression, which makes for limited abilities to build mood.

If you invest in a keyboard with velocity, then the harder you play it the more velocity you will get out of certain notes and you get good musical expression in your performance.

Performance Controllers: Knobs, Faders, Wheels, Drum Pads, And More

Tweak your sounds, alter DAW, and control the synths with knobs, faders, wheels, pads, and other controllers available on the MIDI devices. For example, you can combine a soft synth with a certain DAW version with the hands-on control you get in a quality controller. It's in real time too, for a more authentic, analog feel than you get by simply clicking a mouse.

midi keyboard controller review

As for when you crave percussion, you might be satisfied with using only the keys to get it but some users want more and, therefore, choose velocity-sensing performance pads instead. Use the pads for drum and trigger loops; there are usually at least eight pads on the latest MIDI controller models. Some pads can even sense aftertouch (another option you may want to consider).

But remember, all of these controls take up valuable space on the top of your keyboard and also make the device heavy. So, keep in mind how much space you have for the keyboard, how portable you need it to be, and also your budget (the more options, the more moolah you will need to buy it, typically).

Top 5 Midi Keyboard Controllers

Below is an in-depth guide to the most popular MIDI keyboard controllers. The five models, in order of discussion, are Nektar Impact LX61 61 Note, Akai Professional MPK Mini MK2 25-Key, CME Xkey 25-Key Portable, M-Audio Oxygen 49 4, and Korg microKEY 37-Key USB MIDI controller.

NameAkai Professional MPK Mini MK2 25-Key MIDI KeyboardM-Audio Oxygen 49 4 MIDI Controller KeyboardCME Xkey 25-Key Portable MIDI Keyboard ControllerKorg microKEY 37-Key USB MIDI ControllerNektar Impact LX61 61 note Midi Keyboard Controller
 akai mPK mini mk 2 midi keyboard reviewm-audio oxygen 49 4 midi controller keyboard reviewkorg microkey 37 midi keyboard controller reviewnektar impact lx61 61 note midi keyboard review
Amazon Rating
MSRP$199.00$199.95$129.99$99.99$199.95
Lowest Price$99.99Amazon See it$169.00Amazon See it$102.90Amazon See it$84.99Amazon See it$199.00Amazon See it
BrandAkaiM-AudioXkeyKorgNektar
TypeMidi Controller KeyboardMidi Controller KeyboardMidi Controller KeyboardMidi Controller KeyboardMidi Controller Keyboard
ModelMPK MINI MKIIOxygen 4999-5011100015MICROKEY37LX61
Weight1.63 pounds6.39 pounds1.32 pounds2.2 pounds0.05 pounds
Dimensions7.08 x 12.36 x 1.8 inches9.56 x 32.04 x 3.7 inches15.27 x 5.31 x 0.62 inches5.47 x 2.13 x 22.24 inches40.39 x 4.25 x 12.99 inches
 Read the ReviewRead the ReviewRead the ReviewRead the ReviewRead the Review

This post focuses on finding you the best quality controllers for under $200. Here are the details on what each controller offers its users:

Nektar Impact LX61 61 Note

nektar impact lx61 review comparison
Features

While the Impact also comes in 25, 49, and 88-key models, this review focuses on the 61 synth key version. The 61-key USB-MIDI keyboard controller comes with pre-mapped DAW configurations for Studio One, SONAR, Reason, Garageband, Logic X, and more. It has eight velocity-sensitive pads, eight encoders, nine faders, and full transport controls.

Pros & Cons

An awesome part of this controller is your ability to switch between instrument, mixer, and preset modes for a workflow that is so fast it blows your mind. The keys have a great feel to them too so you're comfortable as you spend long hours at your music workstation. The mod wheel and keys are smooth and velvety, with a great feel to the knobs, performance pads, and faders too.

The MIDI controller is excellent value for the price point too at only $199. Lightweight and portable are two descriptions that many online reviewers use for this product, so it's a great choice if you plan to be on the go with your keyboard.

As for the drawbacks, this controller is fairly basic in the visual feedback area. Also, it lacks any hardware MIDI ports, so that makes it difficult to set up external equipment that you may want to add to it.

In summary, if you like a "plug and play" experience for your music production, the Impact will appeal to you. It comes preset with DAW configurations so you won't have to worry about the time-consuming process of inputting melodies and beats. Plus, you get more than just a 25-key version without breaking the bank. 

Akai Professional MPK Mini MK2 25-Key

akai professional mpk_mini review comparison
Features

The Akai MPK mini is uber-compact, meant to take with you on the go. So, if you're a traveling musician or want a desktop producer, then the MPK will be right up your alley. It has high functionality, whether you want to record, compose, or perform with virtual instruments. Its features allow for high levels of creativity too!

Pros & Cons

With the Akai MPK mini, you get all of the essentials you need to set up your musical foundation quickly and then expand on it. It's a cinch to operate with the plug-and-play interface. Plus, you can adjust melodic lines easily, even when you want to make those lines more intricate ones. Enjoy unique features too, like its joystick and MPC Note Retreat. It even comes with a pro software bundle, including Hybrid 3, so you can get awesome new sounds whether you're a musician or a producer. It is USB powered too.

Unfortunately, some parts of the Akai Professional MPK Mini MK2 25-key keyboard could use some tweaking. For example, several consumer reviews online spotlight the weakness of the pads; these users explain the pads have bad hit protection. Also, while the compact design of the MPK Mini is handy, its keys are not full size and not weighted, which can limit user experiences and give it a cheap feeling. 

Therefore, if you want a compact keyboard controller that you can easily store, that runs via USB cable, and comes with basic features and software, then take a serious look at this Akai 25-key model. However, if you are looking for weighted keys with a deeper sound and don't care about the size of the keyboard, then you will want to consider one of the other options we present here.

CME Xkey 25-Key

cme xkey 25 key review comparison
Features

The Xkey 25-key musical keyboard from CME has Xcellent portability. With the ultra-slim 3.6mm edge and its lightweight body, you can easily tuck this keyboard in with your gear as you head out to a live performance. It has 25 standard-sized keys, as well as onboard buttons for modulation, pitch, octave, and the sustain pedal. The MIDI compact controller comes in a range of colors, from gold to neon blue.

Pros & Cons

Perhaps the best part of this MIDI-compliant keyboard is that it is compact yet comes with regular-sized keys! That's pretty much unheard of in the industry as the trend is for smaller keyboards with downsized keys to accommodate mobile music-making. It is USB MIDI compliant and comes with professional velocity sensitivity. 

Also, the MIDI keyboard is multifunctional; use it for studio recording, creative composition, or for playing live. This keyboard is compatible with your iPad, Mac, and PC, which is really convenient.

Unfortunately, to allow for the compact design with full-sized keys, the Xkey has had to do away with conventional controls for modulation and pitch bend. You still get these features but access them via pressure-sensitive pads instead. You won't get the precision like you would with other keyboards' more traditional style of knobs and sliders. Also, the keys feel similar to a computer keyboard, so if you prefer the feel of piano keys, then this difference may throw you off a bit, at least at first.

Overall, if you want a keyboard that you can use quickly and multi-task between studio creation and live playing, then this MIDI-compliant Xkey keyboard is a great choice. It is affordable too, especially considering its pro features; it retails at about $100. If you prefer knobs and sliders dedicated to modulation, pitch, and octave though then you'll want a more traditional competitor keyboard than this one.

M-Audio Oxygen 49

m-audio oxygen 49 review comparison
Features

For your mobile music needs, the compact Oxygen 49 USB MIDI controller is one heck of an innovator! The keyboard's prime real estate on top contains eight assignable knobs, nine assignable drivers, a dedicated transport button, and more. It is highly useful for both performers and producers, particularly within its lower price range, and it is easy to use too.

Pros & Cons

As soon as you start using the Oxygen 49 from M-Audio, you will notice that the controllers are set up in a streamlined way so that you can take full control of your music session. Record and mix with high customization, thanks to the range of controllers. Enjoy the convenience too of DirectLink mode, which auto maps your controls to common DAW guidelines. You get the quality you expect from M-Audio, a pioneer of the MIDI keyboard controller, with a solid build and innovative software like Ignite that comes bundled with it.

A drawback is that there are only three velocity settings, so it is a pain to try to get the velocity curve right. Also, if you have limited room for storage, the dimensions of this keyboard may be too big for you. In this case, it would be preferable to go with a more compact model, such as the CME Xkey.

Therefore, if you want to mix and create new music, then you will likely appreciate the way you can customize the many knobs and drivers that come with this MIDI keyboard controller. You get a strong keyboard to pound on throughout your music sessions, even when they go long, and innovative software is included too. If you're looking for quality velocity, though, you'll find this 49-key controller is limited.

Korg microKEY 37-Key

Korg MicroKEY 37-Key Review Comparison
Features

This compact MIDI controller from Korg has 37 natural touch mini keys and is USB bus powered. It comes with both pitch and mod wheels, is velocity sensitive, and it has both octave shift and key transpose features. If you're looking to complete your production setup, then this model may be the one for you. While there are 25 and 61 key versions, this review focuses on the 37-key controller.

Pros & Cons

The 37-key microKEY features natural touch keys that are also velocity sensitive. The keyboard is lightweight and ultra-compact, so just put it in your backpack as you head out to a live performance or a jamming session. You can express your creativity too with the pitch bend and modulation controllers, as well as the dedicated octave shift buttons.

It's a plug-and-play device too, so it is easy to install when you want to crank out notes. Did we mention it comes with a USB cable and software editor too? At less than $100, that's a sweet deal.

Of course, no product is perfect. The build on this MIDI controller, as with some other compact competitors, is a little flimsy. It could feel more stable, but then again it is a no-frills type of keyboard so you might be expecting too much from it. The keys lack a feeling of durability too, and the mini size can be taxing on those of us with bigger hands (on the other hand, some users do well with the Korg "waterfall-type" keyboard). 

If you want to do more complicated production work than sampling and triggering drums, then you might look for an alternative that offers more than this basic MIDI. But, if you want a compact, lightweight keyboard that comes with all of the controllers you need for songwriting, then you are all set with this microKEY 37-key model.

Our Recommendations

Now you are armed with all of the information you need to make an educated decision as to which of the top five MIDI controllers are best for you. Keep in mind that all the models we reviewed here are meant for amateur musicians to use in the man cave or as compact gear that you can take with you on the go. Ultimately it is a personal choice because every musician or producer has different needs, skill levels, and expectations of the technology. But, overall, we do have a favorite here at Man Cave Master.

Korg MicroKEY 37-Key Review Comparison

OK, let us explain. The Korg microKEY comes out as the leader in our eyes for a player who wants an all-rounded keyboard to take on the go or for basic playing right out of the box. The runner up is the Nektar, a solid workhorse that adapts to your playing style and has great DAWs integration.

So, why did the other three MIDI keyboard controllers come up short? Don't get us wrong, they all still have quality features, depending on your needs. But we had to take the Akai MPK Mini MK2 out of the running for the top spot because of its weak pads and for only having 25 keys. As for the CME Xkey, it also has just 25 keys and makes a clicking sound that we couldn't overlook in our review. The M-Audio Oxygen 49 is not compact in size, and its limited velocity was what ultimately kept it out of the top two positions.

There you have it, all of the information you need to pick the right MIDI keyboard controller for you. If you got value out of this review post, please share!

Not Ready For The Real Deal? Here Is Another Option:


irig pro medi controller for ipad

IK Multimedia iRig KEYS

This iDevice gives you just about every type of iOS music peripheral that you can think of!

In compact form, the IK keyboard is core MIDI compliant and USB class compliant, for an easy plug-and-play device. Enjoy 37 velocity-sensitive mini keys that are powered easily by your iOS device, Mac, or PC USB, as well as pitch bend and mod wheels. Want to get it now? 

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Strange Retro Ad

Let’s face it, everything on the market really shouldn’t be there. Some things serve no purpose or are so “out there” that they resemble the likes of the Lunar Unicycle in our retro future post. Over the years, there have been products that we think maybe the inventors should have just kept to themselves. Here are 15 ads for products that never should have been invented.

1.Now Hear This!

Retro Product Hear Muffs
There’s nothing like taking cold headphones to bed – I mean, it’s such a problem! LMFAO. Since when are Hear Muffs solving a legitimate problem? On the other hand, we dig his mustache. Gotta look at the positive side, as mom always told us.

2.A Snow Day

Inappropriate Retro Ad
Now comes the creepy. Giving cocaine to kids in the form of toothache drops might just be… Oh who are we kidding, it’s so wrong it actually makes us grind our teeth! Only 15 cents for the drops, back in 1885, what a deal (call the local dealer if you want more of them).

3.Hot to Trot

Retro Strange Pants Product
Have you always wanted to get slender without exercise? Us too. But working out is probably way more productive than walking around in these unflattering sauna pants. They are literally a hot mess.

4.Eggs At Their Finest

Egg Cuber Retro
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That’s one question to ask. Another Q&A session could involve asking why anyone wants to cube an egg! Do you agree that this product should never have been invented?

5.When You’re Hungry

Sandwich Holder Useless Product
Look ma, no hands! Seriously though, if you don’t have time to hold your burger with your hand, then you might want to slow down a bit. Or at least get out of the fast lane on the highway. Thanks.

6.Drunk by 9am

Whiskey Tooth Paste Bizarre Retro
If you use this alcohol-doused toothpaste in the morning, then you’ll be loads of fun at the board meeting later. Only $1 a tube, what a deal. Too bad this product shouldn’t have been invented.

7.#Unsafe

Unsafe for Kids Retro Product
We’re going to have to go out on a limb here and say this kid might lose some of his limbs if he really uses this product. Don’t do it!

8.Work Out… Your Spine

Bad Vintage Fitness Ad
Is it just me or do more people want their faces, rather than their spines, to be young? It’s not like we’d go up to someone and say, “Your spine looks so young!” It’s almost as awkward as the people who you’ll find in a CrossFit gym.

9.No Words.

Strange Retro Ad
We’re going to take a wild guess that Screme Formula wasn’t such a hit with men. No offence to the werewolves.

10.Really? Yes.

Retro Men's Hair Product is Strange
Want to change your facial hair instantly? Stick “simulated natural hair” on your face. Another revolutionary idea is to take a few days and grow the hair yourself.

11.Glamourous

Strange! Why Was it Invented?
Hygiene just go weird.

12.How Romantic

This Product Shouldn't Have HappenedSeriously, this product shouldn’t have happened. Maybe our hearts are jaded but that’s just our opinion.

13.Lip-licious

Bronze Lips 1970s Ad
The 1970s was apparently an era of smoking pot and bronzing lips.  This product, shown here in a 1972 ad, takes creepy to a whole new level.

14.Rain, Rain, Go Away 

What Cigarette Issue?
Oh yes, wet cigarettes, what an issue… NOT. Somebody had too much time on their hands when they filed a patent for this product. The retro ad dates back to 1931.

15.Totally Makes Sense.

This Weird Vintage Product Wasn't Needed
We love that there is even a regular service for the hair rental. Your hair shows up on time for you! When the ad asks, “What other company offers this?”, we’re at a bit of a loss for how to reply.

People used to pay money for these products. Yes. Is it just us or are these vintage ads for products that never should have happened? If you come across any of the inventors, ask them what their motivation was. We would like to say there aren’t any silly, pointless products on the market today but, well, that would be a silly and pointless statement to make, now wouldn’t it?

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how to practice golf during the winter months

When you live in a cold climate region, it can be a bit hard to practice your golf swing. However, with a bit of creativity and lots of determination, you can get around the snow drifts and freezing temperatures that you'll have to deal in order to go out and work on your skills such as as long shots, putting and chipping. Use these convenient techniques and hacks in order to resist the temptation not to play again until spring, and improve your golfing skills in the cold.

Work On Your Body

medicine ball exercise golf

During the winter, you have a great opportunity to work on your strength and flexibility. Professional golf players such as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods frequently improve their fitness on the offseason. Of course, exclusively working on your physical conditioning is not going to improve your swing, but it does help avoiding injury and playing better in general.

Ted Bishop, the vice president of PGA of America, says its good to do at least 45 minutes of aerobics, four or five days every week, and, if possible, get a personal trainer to give you a custom designed fitness program.

According to Golf Magazine, using medicine balls and lifting weights is an excellent option for a golfer who's looking to get more strength and power to get longer shot with your driver or other clubs.​

Play Indoors

If you find an indoor driving range, it can be easy and comfortable to practice your shots. Although you won't be able to go as far as you'd go in a field, a domed and heated facility is an excellent way to practice in the winter. If you work during the day, make sure the facility you're looking into is open late into the evening, so you can practice at night.

putting greens for indoor use - a review

If you don't know any indoor ranges around, check with the club pro or ask your fellow golfers. Another option would be to consider an indoor putting green for total weather-independent man cave golfing!

Practice With Weighted Clubs

If an indoor range is not a possibility for you, you can always swing a weighted golf club in our garage. They are shorter than regular clubs, so its likely that you'll have enough space to swing them. The PGA suggests that golfers swing a weighted club every day, even if only for a few minutes, to increase the club head speed you can reach and improve your arms and wrists' strength.

If you don't have access to an indoor range, consider an indoor putting green for your man cave!​

Get A Grip

If you ned to, get a professional instructor to teach you what's the proper grip, or get a club that has a training grip attached to it. Keep the club near you when you're at home during the winter, and work on you grip on your off time.

practice your gold grip durng winter

For instance, you can hold your club during the commercials until its over. Michael Breed, a famous teaching professional from PGA, suggests that players wrap paper around the club's grip, and practice holding it lightly enough for the paper not to crinkle. According to Breed, this is a good way to hold the club without unnecessary tension in your arms and hands.

Find Open Courses

Some courses remain open in the winter - even on regions were the winter is harsh, such as Chicago. If you find a course that's open year-round, you'll be able to carry on practicing on all seasons. There might be outdoor driving ranges that have heated stalls in your area as well, which is another good option.

If All Else Fails, Just Swing

golf practice in winter

If most of these options aren't available to you often, you can always go outside on a nice winter day and swing a club a hundred times. You don't need a ball to practice - just try and improve your form, swinging as if it was the real thing.

Just working out, mastering your grip and taking 100 practice swings whenever you can is already going to significantly improve your golfing skills.

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what to look for when buying a foosball table

Foosball tables have been increasing in popularity recently and manufacturers are hustling to produce a plethora of options to keep consumers buying -- today making a good decision on a quality foosball table can be a tough call.

A Full Sized Foosball table can cost any where from $200 for a lower end option to $1500 for the higher end non-coin-operated varieties. Additionally, the high demand for this entertaining luxury has made it common to see several foosball tables of the exact same make, model and quality bracket selling for prices that vary by several hundred dollars.

Taking time to shop around can be very profitable. It would also be quite advantageous to do some research into the foosball table so that your decision comes from a good perspective. ManCaveMaster to the rescue: here are some of the basics to professional and recreational "Foosballing​".

Spinning

Did you know that in a Foosball Tournament, "spinning" the rods is illegal? This is important to think about before you purchase your table; this way you will know if you want to purchase a high-end premium table or a quality toy/game that would be a hit with the kids and provide some wholesome entertainment.

table foosball

Of course, if you want to add some prestige to your man cave - and price is not the deciding factor - you may want to consider buying a premium table. In order to begin honing the skills to shred with the pros, you will need a quality work of art with a consistent roll and this comes from a well crafted table, using matching quality materials.

You will need a unit where the little figures, the surfaces and the ball have a consistent and even roll. That will allow you to apply such techniques as scooping, pinning and maneuvering the ball with precision and grace.

Of course, a foosball table of this caliber is going to cost you upwards of $600. Even if you are purchasing a gift for children - and the gift is only intended as a toy - you may think that a premium table is overkill. But consider the additional investment in going premium might pay off in the long run.

You may spend a couple hundred dollars or less on a so called "toy", but in the end you will have a premium grade table that will provide a child with an activity they can grow up with and develop skills on - along with the abilities and techniques made possible by precision quality.

foosball table reviews

Another good reason for opting for a premium quality table is the kind of attention and company it attracts --and we are not talking about kids here. Adults are playful and competitive to. And a true skill game can consistently attract a die hard following of neighbours, friends, coworkers and relatives who show up to kick back and play ball in an environment that demands more grown-up skill than youthful vigor.

Finally, Premium Tables will last you longer and can have damaged parts or components replaced as needed.

Best Age Range For "Foosers"

This largely depends on whether you are buying a toy or an actual activity that can develop into a competitive skill. Kids as young 6 can pick up on the rules of this game and have a fun time knocking the ball around with their friends for countless hours - for smaller children a foosball table with adjustable legs would be ideal. (The official height of a foosball table is 36 inches).

what to look for in a foosball table

There are events, pro tours and other professional competitions that feature kids 17 years and older. There are also many kids in their early teens who have entered these competitions and won.

This kind of hard-core gaming requires superior equipment. Then there are the really "big kids" with full beards, credit cards and adult level vernaculars - and levels of competition that require high-quality foosball tables to properly stand up to ongoing use and abuse.

For high-level competition in the frat house, sorority basement or man cave, you are going to need a premium table.

The Best Spot For Your Table

An official foosball table measures 30 inches by 56 inches. Don't forget, you will need plenty of room for the sticks that jut out from either side. The recommended room size is 7 foot by 8 foot. This will give you about a foot over the end and three feet over each side. For bigger, rowdier kids you may need a bigger room. There are also some very sharp looking varieties of Foosball tables and even some custom finishes to match the decor of your room.

Cabinet Quality

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you will want to be aware of the major manufacturing flaws so you don't end up with a pile of uneven chip-board that will be out of commission in a month. Following are some important things to check before purchasing a bargain foosball table:

Surface

Is the Surface flat? Place a marble in the center of the field and check what happens. Did it roll this way or that? Does it have any irregular rolling patterns that could put games on a tilt? Check for any dead zones, especially in the corners where the ball may enter and be unreachable to the players. Some tables have adjustable legs so that they can be levelled out on any surface.

Walls

Rough playing is an important part of entertaining Foosball, so you will want that the side walls are held together well and not going to be yanked apart by 13 year olds. Lower quality tables are usually held together with pegs and glue, while quality tables are fastened with sturdy brackets and even ornate metal framework. The thickness of the walls is also a measure of quality (but not always) a thicker wall is a good sign.

Give the rods a firm bounce off the wall and see if it causes the structure to shake. A sturdy structure is a good sign. If it shakes before you buy it: imagine what will happen on day 2 of hard gaming...

Resell Value

There might come a time when you are ready to move on and sell your trusty table. If you were price-savvy in the first place, you should have no problem selling your table locally while still fetching a decent price for it. Taking advantage of websites for local listings as opposed to costly shipping across the country will increase your margin.

As with anything, visible wear diminishes your resell value. One more reason the go with a higher quality grade table. 

For a detailed Foosball table review and comparison, take a look here.

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corded or cordless drill

Contractors, carpenters and handymen use both cordless and corded drills. As they both do primarily the same thing, one would wonder if there is a difference. The fact is they both work well, but are used in differing situations. One is an advantage as being convenient and the other gives more power for the job.

Of course the cordless is much more convenient, but when it comes to power, the corded drill is the one to use. Consequently, a strategy of having one of each kind available in one's tool kit gives you the best of everything.

For Power, Go Corded

For one thing, corded drills are lighter in weight because they don't have to carry any batteries and they are easier to handle as well. A cordless drill will always need a backup battery just in case the first battery goes dead. Down the road, the batteries will have to be replaced too, which can be quite expensive.

Drills with cords do have more consistent power and for those difficult jobs there is no comparison. They provide more torque on a more consistent basis and they are much more reliable. Since there is a constant flow of electricity so there will be no limitation or barrier in the way of voltage. If a carpenter or a contractor has a choice of whether he will want to use a corded or a cordless drill, he will nearly always choose the corded drill.

Cordless Drills Win For Convenience

There is no question that a cordless drill will come out on top in terms of convenience. There are a number of features that cordless drills have that add to that convenience. A manually adjustable clutch and a reversible drive are two such features that come in handy.

Magnetized bits and multiple speeds are very desirable on a cordless drill too. The power of the drill is directly relatable to the amount of voltage that is stored in the battery. The lower the voltage, the less power the drill will have.

The big advantage of the cordless drill is the fact that you can take it with you wherever you go. It is very convenient since there is no cord to become entangled with other objects, boards and tools. They are used a lot for secondary drills by do-it-yourselfers, carpenters and contractors.

Corded drills are preferred for jobs that require a lot of heavy drilling or serious driving, but the cordless drills are great for minor jobs in hard to reach locations. For jobs around the house, that are light in their scope, cordless drills are the ideal tool. With an extra battery that you always have on the charger, you are generally in good shape. It is very seldom too, that at home you will have very heavy drilling jobs, so a cordless is usually ideal for home projects.

Both varieties of drills do serve their own purpose at the job site and in the workshop. Corded drills are excellent for those tough, hard-driving extensive jobs, and the cordless is great for those lighter jobs or around the house. Having to drag around a cord for lighter duty work is saved with a cordless drill. Having both available, depending on the type of work you do is a good strategy to employ.

Take a look at our drill reviews for more information.

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electric or pneumatic framing nailer

When trying to choose between a pneumatic and electric nail gun, opinions largely differ. We are trying to shed some light for you in the below breakdown of Pros an Cons.

Pros Of An Electric Nail Gun:

  • It is lighter compared to the pneumatic gun thus enabling you to use it for a long period of time without experiencing fatigue than you will encounter using an air operated nail gun.
  • It is cordless. If you purchase a cordless electric nail gun, you will not have a cord or a hose to drag around behind you, which is not safe considering the fact that you are working in a hazardous environment.
  • Operates with minimum noise - this is very important especially if you will be using it in a residential area. You do not need to buy a loud air compressor, therefore the operation of an electric nail gun is much quieter than that of a pneumatic nail gun.
  • Low Cost-corded electric nail gun costs 25 percent less than a comparable pneumatic nail gun. Cordless nail guns, cordless electric nail guns however will be more expensive than a pneumatic one.
  • Has no messy oils - all pneumatic tools require oil to ensure smooth operation, this is mainly done to prevent them from rusting and lubrication of the internal gears. Electric nail guns do not require any lubrication.

Cons Of An Electric Nail Gun:

  • Power Supply
    if you are performing an in depth remodelling project, you may be required to turn off the power supply on the working site. That means that you will need some power cord extensions to ensure supply for your electric nail gun.  With a pneumatic nailer, you simply need to plug your compressor to a power source and run a cord to the working site to ensure operation.
  • Low Operating Power
    most of the cordless and corded nailers have less impact power than what a pneumatic nail gun can deliver. This means that you may have to use a hammer to ensure that the nails are driven in to place properly.
  • Prone To Damage
    Electric nailers are more susceptible to damage, compared to pneumatic ones. Pneumatic nail guns are suited for a heavy duty construction because they are able to withstand the harsh environments. 
  • Battery Working Life Span
    When you choose to utilize a cordless nailer, you will have to replace the batteries regularly. To ensure proper operation you are required to have three batteries.
  • Overall Battery Life Span
    Cordless nail guns requires a lot of power to ensure proper operation. Thus it requires you to change the batteries frequently before they are completely dead. Utilizing these batteries for a long time decreases their efficient overall output thus limiting the amount of work it can handle.

There you have it! If you are looking to purchase a nail gun, take a look at our framing nail gun reviews!

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advantages of a framing nail gun

The framing nail gun is among the numerous kinds of guns you can buy and add to your collection of woodworking tools. Utilizing a nail gun comes along with various options that make its purchase more warranted than any other nail guns you may come across during your window shopping.

Here are a few points in favour of the trusty nailer:

1.Accurate And Easy To Operate

Many people who use hammers to complete a framing task think it is easy to use. The simple idea behind using a hammer is a no-brainer, but using it with great effectiveness is a completely different story.

framing nail guns reviewed

It is very easy to use a hammer because you just have to hold the nail in place and strike it on the head. Even if you are perfect at hammering nails, you might occasionally miss the head and smash one of your fingers. The nail may also go into the wood crooked meaning that you will have to pull it out and start a fresh.

Additionally, the nail could bend when hit thus removing it will not be an option. The perfect solution for these problems is a framing nail gun. Here, smashing the woos with its nozzle removes the nail. You can also achieve the same by pulling the trigger. Result: no crooked or bent nails to deal with!

2.Speed

If you are trying to complete a job on your own, a framing nail gun is the best options if you want the job done as quick as possible. If you have a team of multiple workers, you can reduce the work hours or have many tasks being done at the same time. The framing nail gun has a remarkable speed such that you can slice your team by almost half (but of course depending on the task at hand).

3.Durable

This is a kind of woodworking tool that is built to last. This tool can withstand almost any condition ranging from falling off the roof to concrete and being left out overnight. It is its durability that makes it a perfect and smart idea to purchase a roofing nail gun.

4.Different Styles

Similar to any other tools you opt to purchase, nail guns come in different styles and varieties that can easily meet your needs. The most common model is usually lightweight and accommodates more nails.

This kind of framing gun has a drum holder where hundreds of nails can be stored. Additionally, this framing nail gun can offer various methods of firing in nails such as burst firing, single shot and bump firing.

The manner in which the nail gun is powered varies and so does the price. The most common nail guns operate through compressed air, straight electricity or even battery power. Regardless of the gun you buy, you will be in a position to use it in any project that comes your way.

5.Cost Efficient

Utilizing a framing nail will save you lots of cash since you will not waste any nails or need any extra manpower. The task will also be finished quicker so you can handle many jobs in a short duration.

Take a look at our framing nail gun reviews for more details.

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Retro-Futurism Come True?

In case you haven't noticed, we have a love here at Man Cave Master for anything vintage. We've explored everything from retro games to old-school computer ads. Now we're tying together the past with the present in an ode to retro-futurism.

Retro-futurism is all about how the past eras saw their future. Those visions spanned all aspects of the world, from cars and computers to clothing. Now we can look back on those priceless predictions and see how different our surroundings are today than past generations had imagined it. 

It's fun to see the epic retro future images, including flying cars and RoboCop uniforms, and then compare it to the different kinds of awesomeness that surround us today in our man caves and beyond, including smart technologies and portable bluetooth speakers

Without further ado, we present you with the best of the retro future predictions and their modern day versions. Bring on the optimism, along with the houses shaped like flying saucers... and more!

1.Self-Driving cars

the retro Future vision

Back in the 70s and 80s, the visions for the future automobile industry were full of flying and self-driving cars. No, this isn't how we see our future now but instead how the hippy generation started to imagine what we would drive today.

Envision being behind the wheel of a flying ship! The preoccupation of those past predictors (say that three times fast) was with spaceships and life on other planets, so it made sense that there would be airborne cars to go right along with it.

Retro Future Car

Do you recognize the image to the left? It's The Hoff himself in all his glory in Knight Rider. Remember his self-driving car Kitt that we all wanted to have? We thought that would have happened by now. Hasselhoff was The Man.

OK, so this fantasy and similar ones didn't become a reality but you might say we are on our way there. In the meantime, you should test drive these 7 awesome cars, all while Tesla Motors makes progress in the driverless car area.

I mean, we wouldn't expect anything less from Tesla's out-of-the-box CEO Elon Musk, now would we? 

the Reality Check

Tesla is working on software updates as we type these words right now that will make its cars go driverless on roadways and parallel-park themselves too.

Tesla Self Driving Car Update

And it's not just Tesla that is racing to bring the self-driving car to the market. Google is also working on its own version of the driverless auto for commercial resale within the next five years. Its prototypes have racked up hundreds of thousands of test miles on real streets already and rely on Light Detection and Ranging Technology.

Plus, we do have the Tesla Model S. The full-sized luxury electric car is awesome, equipped with a 60-kWh battery and a cinch to charge at any of Tesla's 2,907 Superchargers. 

And let's not forget about the Tesla snake charger. The automated system can plug itself into the Tesla to charge your Model S for you! It's a solid metal snake that is kinda creepy but a totally cool hands-free way to charge up the high-end auto. This car tech might be enough to tide us over as we impatiently wait so politely for the autopilot "Kitt" models to be ready for our consumption, hopefully within the next few years.

2.Space Travel

the retro Future vision

Frank Tinsley imagined the "Lunar Unicycle," shown below in his drawing from 1959, to be typical of spacecrafts of the future. It was ten years before the first moon landing, and we wonder what Neil Armstrong thought of Tinsley's space art depicting a 30-foot high unicycle.

Retro Future Space Art

If you look closely at the image, you will see the moon explorers are carrying long poles. Back in the 50s, there were questions about what the moon's surface would be like and whether it would be so covered with dust that the spacecraft would get lost in the haze.

The space age had not even really begun yet. The building of spacecrafts had not started and yet we were already dreaming of what they would look like in the future. 

In the the 40s and 50s, for example the yellow pulp pages of science fiction mags were full of images of space art. There were images of spaceships travelling to other planets, such as Mars, as well as encounters with life on other planets. The sci-fi covers and images in the pages within them were full of spaceship rockets hurtling through space, men dramatically rescuing helpless women above the clouds, and other thrilling adventures.

The Reality Check

Today we can defy physics without ever leaving our manly lair, thanks to the oversized gravity chair and other smart technology finds we pointed out in a recent post. And don't forget about homes being built with solar panels, so you toss your energy bill in favor of the sun's rays. If you're a stargazer, you could even build a constellation light in your home using this handy guide.

Let's not forget that NASA is taking big steps in exploring the solar system too. Just this year NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbited the dwarf planet Ceres for the first time. The spacecraft is not a "unicycle" but instead shaped like a box, with a 7.7ft length rather than the 30 feet that Tinsley had thought might come to be one day. Dawn is an ion-propelled structure made of graphite composite.

Retro Future and Dawn Spacecraft

As for exploring other planets, we're on it! We have already landed on Mars multiple times, the first time being the Viking 1 Lander in 1976. Today, rumors are swirling about sending humans to the Red Planet in reusable rockets and back, courtesy of Elon Musk's SpaceX team. Wait, doesn't he have enough on his hands with the driverless cars?!

By the way, did you know that you can buy land on Mars? You may want to invest in the planet in case one day humans inhabit it in addition to Earth. Think of it as buying prime real estate before the prices skyrocketed (excuse the pun). At the Buy Mars website, you can (seriously) buy one acre of planet Mars land within a package that also includes a Martian deed, map, and bill of rights. We'll eat a Mars chocolate bar and ponder the investment with you.

3.Police Officers

the retro Future vision

The future law enforcement officers looked like a type of RoboCop if we go by the 1886 drawings of the British humor magazine Punch

RoboCop Future

The officers look violent with their many thorn-like metal protrusions that would bludgeon the criminals of the world. The complex police uniforms show battle axes built into the helmets, and they held clubs with protrusions that could take out eyes or limbs with one swift movement.

The gladiator vision has continued to be a popular one, which is why actor Russell Crowe is now rich after his Gladiator movie that released back in 2000.

As for what the officers would drive, of course, it would be flying cars that were capsule shaped, as was imagined in the 90s.

It was all about the "bot cop car" in the 90s when the retro video game Future Cop rocked gamers' worlds. The game first released on Playstation in 1998 and showed what Los Angeles would look like in the year 2098. Who knows, perhaps that will be the year we see police use Gatling lasers and plasma flares as they do in the game, along with unleashing Hovertanks.

The Reality Check

Today there are about 680,000 sworn officers working in the United States. Regardless of race, sex, age, height, or other differences, each US officer is blue first. Why do they wear blue uniforms? 

There are several reasons why the boys wear navy, including because the color is easy to clean, with stains being less noticeable than with a lighter or brighter shade. Think about it. Would you trust a police officer in a dirty uniform? It might shake your confidence a bit. Also, the dark color makes it difficult to see the officers in the dark, so they can sneak up on the bad guys.

Not the Retro Future Police Vision

As for the weapons they carry, nope, you won't see those medieval type instruments shown in the 1886 illustration. Instead, most US police holsters carry Glocks or semi-automatic pistols. Also, the officers carry duty belts. 

The duty or gun belt is made of nylon or leather and used to keep equipment easily within reach of the officers while keeping their hands free. Er, we guess that means saying buh-bye to the retro future shield. Primary items on the belt are usually a handgun holster to secure the officer's firearm, radio pouch, handcuffs, chemical sprays, taser, and portable lighting, such as a flashlight.

4.Home Design

the retro Future vision

Home sweet home. Back in the 1960s, the retro future man cave looked like a friggin' spaceship! The design was called the Futuro House.

Retro-Futurism Home

Remember the space talk earlier in this post? Yup, that spaceship design fascinated people in the 60s so much that it extended to their home designs too. 

The Futuro design originated with Matti Suuronen, a Finnish architect who envisioned the home's exterior as being elliptical shaped and made of glass-filled polyester resin.

This retro future vision of the home looked like it belonged on another planet but was designed for Earthly humans!

The Futuro House was 26ft W x 13ft H, and it stood on metal legs to provide stability. Check out the oval windows that cover the side of the dwelling. It was a space-age man cave!

Futuros were produced in the 60s (I know!!), but consumer purchases were slow to grow and then the oil crisis of 1973 happened, which drove up the cost of the spaceship home.

The out-of-this-world theme (literally) extended to the inside of the retro future home too. You know the show Outer Limits? That's how you wanted your den to look, right? Actor Rainn Wilson might have ended up with a totally different man cave then!

A "hatch" stairway opened up to take you into the home, like a real flying saucer. Inside were bedchairs on thin legs, rounded benches, and circular tables.

The Reality Check

Today you will see many of the world's tallest skyscrapers in the US. One such building is NYC's One World Trade Center, completed in 2014; it has 104 floors and a height of 1,776ft. The tallest US residential building is 432 Park Avenue in NYC; it is 1,396ft high and has 88 floors.

Skyscrapers Not Retro Future Homes

More and more Americans are also living in houseboats, rather than retro future spaceship-looking residences. In Seattle alone there are about 500 houseboats. There are the barge, pontoon, catamaran, and luxury styles of floating homes, to name just a few.

Another interesting home trend in the US features the adaptive reuse of existing buildings into housing. A range of structures, from abandoned churches to factories and freight containers, are being converted into homes. Perhaps it is part of the green trend; after all, the most environmentally friendly building is the one that is already built.

Sustainability trends and increasing urbanization are driving changes in the housing market. Homeowners are choosing to reduce energy consumption and enjoy smaller power bills, whether buying a couch made of non-toxic flues and natural fabrics or making a reclaimed wood table. Want to learn more? We showed you how to make that table in our eco-friendly man cave post.

Rather than being a spacecraft-like style of home we're embracing today, it seems that technology rules the most modern of homes. Automated devices are hitting the market that promise to regulate residential heating, lighting, and security systems. They are called "smart" homes and lack alien life forms from other planets (unless we count our family's odd second cousin Pat).

5.Office Worker

Retro Future Employee

the retro Future vision

This image shows another blast from the past vision of the future. It's the office job that people of the 60s thought they would see today.

The pic was part of a 1969 exhibition in Hanover, Germany. Check out the oversized computers, typewriter keys, and photocopier included in this desk.

The office desk of the future, envisioned back in the 1960s, the Mad Men era, featured amazing automation features and out-of-the-box styling. It included television screens for monitors and required more room than we give to desks today.

Other images of retro future desks show receptionists at telephone switchboards and electronic machines for keying rotary files with more speed than ever before. As with the home and car retro future topics above, the outer space influences are apparent here too; note the rounded style of the office desk and chair's headrest, to name just two examples.

And let's not forget about the retro future video conference calls with business colleagues, the video recorders, and the typewriters that people predicted would be part of our 21st century. They were different social networks than Twitter and Facebook, for sure! 

The Reality Check

Technology has exceeded the expectations explained above. We had the typewriter and now it is outdated, replaced by PCs with features such as 16GB of RAM, 1 TB storage capacities, 27in screens, and 3.3 GHz processor speeds. Many workers today are on the go, so rather than having a stationary desk they have laptops with touch screens, in addition to smartphones and tablets that connect back to their desktops. 

Tech for the Office Worker Today

Many workers today are on the go, so rather than having a stationary desk they have laptops with touch screens, in addition to smartphones that connect back to their desktops. You can get a washable keyboard, Bluetooth stereo speaker clock kit, and other cool tech gadgets that you might not even know exist today. 

Many jobs of today are based online, revolving around the World Wide Web that was born in 1989. There is Skype, which is similar to the retro future video calls but today the technology is much faster, better quality, and cheaper than it had been imagined to be by this point in time. Technology is advancing quickly!

Say goodbye to the 9-5 job and hello to making our own schedules. Let's finish our spreadsheets on laptops as we sit at the airport and don't forget that phone call we will make from our Apple Watch. The wearable technology trend is on fire!

Oh and did we mention Google Glass yet? Google is tweaking the reality glasses to reintroduce them to the enterprise market as a way to boost worker productivity. Businesses will reportedly have to pay $1,500 to buy the glasses once they are ready for purchase by enterprises.

6.Flat TVs

the retro Future vision

Back in 1946, Darryl Zanuck said these words:

Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."

Darryl Zanuck 
20th Century Fox
Retro-futurism and Television

Zanuck's TV prediction could not have been farther from the truth. Mind you, he was a Hollywood legend who derived his income from the silver screen, so it makes sense that he discouraged the television trend as it threatened his livelihood.

As for how exactly television would look in the future, this image from a Hildebrands postcard shows a woman singing and a woman listening via a device that resembles a phone.

Also, note the singer's image displayed on the wall, which shows the prediction of what live TV would someday look to be for people. Check out the bottom right-hand corner of the postcard to see the year "2000." Talk about one heck of a retro future TV vision!

The Reality Check

Zanuck was also incorrect in his retro future discussion of the plywood box. It is a plastic box today, thank you very much, that we watch mindlessly. We have flat screen TVs and flat panel HDTVs. You can get your television set with a edge-lit or direct LED backlight, remotes with sweet motion control and voice search, 4K resolution, and screen sizes upwards of 80in. 

TV Today

And TV today IS a big deal, by the way. People watch over four hours of television a day, on average, or nine years over a lifetime. TV viewing includes live coverage of Super Bowls, beauty pageants and late night talk shows, although the process is not like the postcard above depicted it would happen in the future. There is 3D TV and don't forget about wall-mounting the device either.

The way we consume television is changing every year, with more people choosing to cut the cord on traditional cable TV and instead choose set top players like Roku 3 and the Google Nexus Player. Watch what you want, when you want, and save money too! Check out this review of the top 5 media streamers on the market to learn which one is the best option for you.

7.Computers

the retro Future vision

In the 1960s, computerized learning was predicted to be big in the future.

Computers and Retro-Futurism

Students were given questions in school lessons and asked to select multiple choice answers on their machines. A correct answer moved them forward with the test while an incorrect answer took them to a review of the related topic.

At the end of the test, their answers were printed out on paper to show the teacher. My, we've come a long way!

But, what did people back then think about computers outside of the classroom, such as in the home? Ahem, this remark of Ken Olsen, the founder and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, back in 1977, is a telling one:

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."

Ken Olsen 
CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation

Yes, you read that quote right (as we type this post on a computer at home). And if you want more retro laughter, check out these vintage computer ads that are so bad it hurts.

The Reality Check

Here is a few more computer retro future predictions but these are different than Olsen's statement because they came TRUE! 

The predictions below are all from futurist Ray Kurzweil. He is the inventor of technologies such as the first CCD flatbed scanner and was asked by Larry Page to direct Google's artificial intelligence initiatives. 

Here are Kurzweil's retro future predictions over the past 25 years that have come true:

  • Kurzweil predicted a computer would defeat a world chess champion by 1998. It happened in 1997 when IBM's Deep Blue chess computer took down World Champ Garry Kasparov.
  • In 1990, he predicted that by the year 2010 computers would answer queries users asked them by accessing info on the Internet. Hello Google.
  • Back in 1999, Kurzweil accurately predicted that people would have the ability to give commands to their computers by 2009. Yes, Apple's Siri was in development in 2009! 
ray kurzweil predictions

Ray Kurzweil

Today, computers are a major part of learning in classrooms. There are online class discussion forums and tests, and often instructors integrate specific websites into course lectures. Emails provide ways for teachers to touch base with students. 

Often students bring laptops and iPads to the classroom to take notes, research Google for projects, and more. As for distance education courses, they can be done completely on the Internet, without ever meeting the instructor in person.

Yes, the retro future vision of computerized learning appeared to be on the right track. We can't wait to see how video lectures, the iPad, and WiFi will continue to improve in their effectiveness over the future years!

Retro-Futurism And The Now

Let's face it - we're not quite where the folks of the past thought we would be now. We still don't fly around in cars, and the Kardashians rule the television airwaves. 

Funny of Kardashian Power Now

But we've got to give the thumbs up to amazing advances in computerized learning and technologies in general. We'll see you in your flying Tesla in the future and say hello to your clone too. The future is going to be one heck of an amazing virtual reality ride. We're strapping ourselves in for this one!

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how to operate miter saw

The avid do-it-yourselfer clearly knows the benefits of a sliding compound miter saw. The tool is not for the timid; it is large but with a diverse usage.

The saw comes with a sliding blade that enables it to cut various materials, doing 14î in width. The best thing about its features is the base and blade, which can be angled to do intricate cuts with ease.

The Proper Blade

Different jobs require different blades; which is why it is vital to use the right blade when working with a sliding compound miter saw to avoid damaging the blade and add more years to its use.

Part of ensuring that you are using the right blade for the job is ensuring that the blade is sharp. A blunt blade will vibrate and have too much friction that will cause it to overheat.

Lock and Load

Almost all sliding compound miter saws come with a locking feature. The user will position the saw at the desired angle then test it make sure the cut is right and adjust if necessary.

Once the calibrations are correct, the user will turn a screw to lock the saw down to avoid the boards from shifting when cutting. It is important to avoid making the screw too tight because it can strip or break.

Extensions are the Perfect Accessory

An extension is important when using a sliding compound miter saw to cut long boards. Some sliding compound miter saw models have a slide-out extension while others have the extension as an additional accessory that is bought separately when purchasing the saw.

The most ardent of do-it-yourselfers opt to get creative and build an extension for their tool. Regardless of the method of getting the extension, this is a necessary accessory that will help ensure corrects cuts when working on long boards.

Tape Stops Splinters

Use masking tape when cutting; it will help keep the wood from splintering. Just tape the area you plan to cut and then cut through the tape into the wood. Use good quality masking tape the will hold together the wood ends to stop splintering.

Molding is a Breeze

Set the sliding compound miter saw at a 450 locking position when cutting crown moldings. Correctly measure and mark the molding for the furthest end to the other (lengthwise), flip the molding and place the saw as you ensure you reflect the mold on the wall.

Place one end on the fence as you cut into the corners and have it on the table when cut the outside corners. You will need a coping saw to back-cut the profile. Afterward, draw a line of the fence keeping in line with the stock to help you repeat the positioning with ease.

A sliding compound miter saw is the perfect tool for homeowners and contractors that seek for tools that will make challenging cuts easy. The saw makes cutting a molding such a simple job, slashing away the amount of time and effort put into creating exceptional woodwork.​

For more infos on miter saws, take a look at our miter saw reviews!