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Generate WiFi QR code/Nano flashlight/Dry clean at home



October 25 · Issue #224 · View online
A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. Check out our new book Recomendo: The Expanded Edition @

Easiest wifi login
The easiest way I found to share our wifi with visitors to my office or our home is with a large QR code printed on heavy paper, and posted wherever. Visitors aim their phone at the glyph and are then logged in. Easy-peasy. You can generate the Wifi QR code at this free website: Pure JS Wifi Code Generator. SSID is the name of your wifi, and “key” is the password. — KK
Tiny bright flashlight
The inexpensive Streamlight LED flashlight is so tiny you have to see it to believe it. But it’s much brighter than my smartphone flashlight so I keep it with me in my pocket. It uses 4 button cell batteries (included). — MF
Dry clean your clothes at home
Handheld steamers are pretty inexpensive now, and I’ve had mine for almost two years. I never use our old iron. Steaming kills bacteria and removes odors so I’m washing my clothes a lot less. Here is a great how-to article on dry-cleaning your clothes at home. “It’s a lot less complicated than it sounds—you only need homemade spray, a clothing brush or a steamer, and you’re ready to DIY dry clean.” — CD 
Disaster planning for less crazy folk
“Most of us don’t plan ahead for losing a job, for dealing with a week-long water outage, or for surviving the night if our home goes up in smoke,” writes the author of this 30,000 word guide for surviving life-altering events. Unlike doomsday prepper manuals, this one offers common sense advice for dealing with uncommon circumstances. — MF
Workbench paper cover
I’ve become a convert to the well-worn workshop practice of covering your worktop with a wide sheet of heavy kraft paper torn from a roll. Especially useful if you are using a multi-use table. Paper on top, I am less concerned with spills, paint, markers. I can jot notes, dimensions, diagrams right onto the sheet. Tiny things don’t disappear into cracks. When done, the paper is ripped up, recycled. There is no feeling like starting a new project with a pristine new cover sheet. 200-foot rolls of kraft paper come in widths of 30 or 36 inches for $20. (I made a short video describing how I made a kraft paper roll dispenser for my studio.) — KK
Multi-purpose kitchen mat
It’s soup season and I got tired of having to wait for my bowl to cool down in the microwave, or worse, the inevitable disaster that happens when I try to take it out with a kitchen towel or too quickly without one. These Safe Grabs are a successfully pitched Shark Tank product and they work as a trivet or a splatter guard. They are heat resistant, so you can just store them in the microwave and use it when you need to pull out a hot bowl or plate. — CD 

We love to get feedback to Recomendo. Just click on the thumbs up button. We ordinarily get a few responses each week, but the bike bell recommendation drew a whole bunch of great suggestions, which are worth sharing.
In Australia, bells are mandatory, and courtesy is to ding when you’re riding past anyone, especially pedestrians, so they know you’re there. My partner has taken this to kooky-but-considerate levels and has TWO bells, a quiet, subtle one for when people can clearly see him, and a much louder one for people who aren’t paying attention and might accidentally wander out into the path of the bike. So, with you on the bells.  — McKinley Valentine 
Great suggestion for a bell. Everyone should have one. For an even better bell, check out Trigger Bell. It’s designed so it fits near your gear selector/brakes. So you don’t lift you hand to operate it. Much safer. — John Mein
 Well it goes without saying that a bicycle needs a bell. However, calling the Zotemo ‘loud’ fails to take account of those of us hard of hearing. “One quick ding” doesn’t always work on such bells, because they have a very high frequency, which is almost always very faint to me. They might be loud to YOU, because your hearing is good and you are right next to the bell. I have little hearing about 1khz. These bells go ‘ting!’, but what’s really needed is a proper ‘steel crown’ bell with double ringers. These have a more varied pitch, ringing several frequencies simultaneously, and ring longer and louder. Try the Widek Steel Crown Bell instead. Spare a thought for us deafies and get a DRING! DRING! that frightens the horses and not a tiny ‘ting’ which is only good for bats!  — Andrew Denny

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