Archive for the ‘Geek Stuff’ Category

“Blue Tiger” BH-M20 Bluetooth Headset – Cheap and It Actually Ain’t Bad

I had a BlueParrott headsetbh-m20 bluetooth stero headset that I really liked, but it was 6 years old and finally gave up the ghost.  I really wanted a stereo bluetooth headset this time, but there are almost none available with a noise cancelling boom mic.  The BlueTiger brand stereo headset is $180.  BlueParrott doesn’t even make a stereo model.

Looking around on Amazon, I came across this BH-M20 headset.  It’s a knock-off with the name “Blue Tiger” on it.  The reviews were a bit mixed, but I figured for the money it was worth a try.

Shockingly, these cheap bluetooth headphones are actually really good. A little on the tinny side for music, but fine for background music while I work. The noise cancelling mic works surprisingly well — I stood next to our washing machine on spin cycle while talking to someone and they said they could only hear me. I can listen to Spotify while I work and answer my cell with good sound quality. The dual headphone block out more ambient noise than a single headphone too.

Although it’s not listed in the manual, it can support two devices, but it appears to support one in A2DP (stereo) and one in phone audio (mono) mode.  In any case, I just hook it to my LG G3 smartphone and use that exclusively.

You’ll see this headset under a number of “brand names” on Amazon, but the actual model number is BH-M20.  The best price I’ve found on Amazon Prime is this AGPTek version for just $26.99.  For the money, it’s quite impressive.


Beware of Best Buy Online Purchases — Here’s Why

One of reasons I have an online blog is so that I have somewhere to rant when I have a beef with a business.  It’s an opportunity to be heard, and also an opportunity to warn other people so they don’t suffer the same pitfalls.

So for today’s rant, I give you:

Best BuyThis is a word of warning to those of you who purchase from Best Buy online and do not have a local store.  If you make a return online, it can take up to 30 days for the return to process. If you used a Best Buy credit card, the returned item ties up your credit for that period, which can prevent you from making additional purchases if you’ve reached your credit limit.

This stems from the fact that if you purchase from Best Buy online, you cannot exchange an item: you have to return and repurchase it.

Case in point:  I bought a laptop from Best Buy Online and it was defective.  I sent it back and the return was received, but now I am being told it could take up to 30 DAYS for the return to show on my account.  Now I cannot use my Best Buy card to repurchase the item until this processes because it would go over my credit limit.  To make it even worse, the special 18 month financing offer that was available last month is no longer available.

So now, even though I did nothing wrong, I am being penalized by not being allowed to repurchase the item until the credit clears, and even if I could, I wouldn’t receive the same financing promotion.

I will likely just go somewhere else to buy the computer now.

Beware: if you return online, Best Buy will tie up your credit for up to 30 days.


Got a Galaxy Note? Here’s a Useful Charging Tip


Galaxy Note (1st generation)I just purchased a Galaxy Note (last year's model) as a refurb from AT&T.  If you aren't dead-set on having the latest, cutting edge Samsung "Phablet" technology from the Galaxy Note II, grab one of these original Notes.  AT&T was selling them for just $29 on Black Friday (with 2 year contract), and they've been cropping up at $49 since. I've also seen them for Sprint at Costco for $49 new.  It's still a fantastic phone for someone that wants a massive, beautiful screen.

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Temporarily Disable Caller ID on Your Cell Phone Calls


It's probably happened to you: you make a phone call from your cell phone to someone, and now they keep calling you back on your cell phone because they saw your caller ID number.  This can be really annoying if it's a company you do business with, because now their accounts receivable has your direct number.

You may already know that from a landline, you can dial *67 plus the phone number you are calling to temporarily disasble your caller ID (for that call only).  But did you know this will also work from your cell phone?

In order to make this work on your cell phone, you have to dial the entire sequence as one string.  It's actuallty the same way you'd do it from a landline, but it just didn't seem obvious, at least to me. 

Here is a screenshot from my iPhone as an example:

So next time you make a call and don't want your cell phone number to be visible, hit dial *67!