My Beginner’s Telescope

The recent eclipse reignited my interest in stargazing. After looking through a number of online recommendations, I settled on the AWB One Sky.

The 5-inch f/5 reflector is a nice balance between features and price for a beginner. The telescope even collapses down into a very portable package for bringing to the local dark part for viewing the stars.

I particularly like that half of the $199 price goes to funding Astronomers Without Borders worldwide education programs.

#TechTuesday – Smart Dorms

College students tend to rely on a lot of tech for school, and for them, the hot new trend is the smart dorm. It’s like a smart home away from home.

Back to School savings at Best Buy include up to $150 off select computers, plus students can save an extra $100. Visit the Best Buy Student Deals page for more information.

Products mentioned:

#TechTuesday – Windows Ink

For many, it’s Back to School shopping season. When looking at laptops, students and parents may wish to consider either a 2-in-1 laptop or a touchscreen laptop compatible with the updated Windows Ink feature included with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Windows Ink allows owners to use a digital pen to easily write or draw on the screen and convert their pictures or text into equations, documents, social media posts, reminders, map updates and more.

For more information about Windows Ink.

I also encourage students and parents to sign up at the Best Buy Student Hub for the chance to receive special Back to School offers for students, like coupons worth $100+ on select laptops.

Fidget Cubes – Kickstarter vs Knockoff

Knockoff on the left, Kickstarter on the right.

I’ve seen a number of friends post about fidget cubes, both the Kickstarter and the knockoffs. Since I have both, I wanted to share this very brief comparison.

My understanding is that the original developers didn’t patent their creation in a way to prevent the copies, and using Chinese factories to build prototypes and mass produce the final versions didn’t help.

That said, the different cubes I received did have specific production differences even if they included the same overall functions. Both have their strengths.

For example, the Kickstarter Fidget is quieter and has more options on the die face buttons and a better spin dial. While I like the build quality of the Kickstarter overall, I prefer the toggle switch on the knockoff, and there are times where I enjoy the noise the counter dials make as you spin them.

And of course, there’s the price difference, with the Kickstarter running $22 per cube, while the knockoff can be had for about $4 and arrived well before the official order did.

Be wary, though. I ordered knockoffs from two separate sellers and noticed production differences there as well. The one that I preferred can be found here.