Use a Magnet to protect your PC
A wonderful tip about a hack was send to me yesterday by Joe. It describes how to change the way a PC, or most other devices that use a power source, can be protected by by a simple magnet and some stuff that does not cost more than $5. All you need is a reed switch, a magnet and some duct tape. It does secure your pc as well from someone that wants to turn it on without your permission.
Hack your DVD Writer
Companies release new DVD writers all the time that have new functions and work better with certain type of media. They neglect DVD writers that they have produced before and it is quite common that those DVD writers will have problems with certain blank DVDs that have been newly produced.
Ridata introduces new Solid State Drives
Finally we are seeing the long awaited progress in the Solid State Drives market. Ridata was the first company to announce three new 2.5" SATA Solid State Drives in 32-, 64-, and 128GB capacities that have read speeds of up to 170 MB / per second and write speeds of up to 105 MB / per second.
Building a PC January Progress
It's only a few more months until I will make the final decision about the PC components that I will place in my new computer. I think I will finalize everything in the second quarter of 2008. But before I do that I list once again the components that I want to use in the new PC and hope to receive feedback if you think anything is missing or misplaced.
Lower Video Card noise by reducing the device's fan speed
Modern video cards come in two flavors. The noisy ones that have lots of horsepower and the silent ones that trade some of the horsepower for a reduced noise level. This is currently changing with the release of the Nvidia Geforce 8600GT but most users have an older video card in their computer.
Make your DVD Drive play all DVDs
Today I had a problem playing a Region 2 DVD on my Region 1 DVD drive connected to a PC running Windows. I was asked to change the Region of my DVD […]
What you should do before bringing the PC in for repair
Have you ever brought in a computer for repair to the friendly computer store next door or send your notebook to that big company that sold you it so that they could check what's wrong with it ? Did it ever occur to you that the technicians that would check the computer could do more than just checking ?
Upgrading to a bigger computer monitor
I do work with a Samsung SyncMaster 19" LCD monitor which is an awesome monitor. I used to work with two Samsung monitors of the same size but the second monitor had to replace the defect one at my mothers computer. Monitors with higher resolutions become more and more affordable and I thought it would be nice to purchase a monitor that is capable of displaying images in a higher resolution.
Where's that darn router password?
Every router and even many modems are secured by a password, and while it is often very easy to find out what it is, for instance when the admin password is listed […]
Buying a new PC December
I started to collect components for a new computer that I wanted to build last month and decided that it would be nice and helpful if I would post a monthly update on the components, prices and my decision. This is not only helpful for readers of this article but also for me because I know that some of you have way more knowledge of computer hardware than I have.
PC Upgrade Ideas for Christmas
advantage of adding RAM is the fact that you it is relatively easy to add to your system. Takes less than a minute to replace.
The second choice really depends on what you do with your computer. If you are a gamer you might consider getting one of those new Geforce 8800 GT which start at $270 and make it possible to play Crysis and other high end games in high details. Again, check your computer to see if it supports AGP or PCI Express Video Cards before going out and buying one that does not fit.
Change the default Wlan Channel to improve wireless connectivity
Are you living in a neighborhood with lots of Wlan activity ? You can check this if you do search for Wlans on your computer and find lots of them listed. It does not really matter if they use an encryption like WPA, WPA2 or WEP, as long as they are listed there they might interfere with your own Wlan channel which can be the cause for bad download rates and sudden disconnects.
Get System Information with PC Wizard
It sometimes is a good idea to check on the components that are installed on your computer. This is extremely important in my opinion if someone else repaired it or if it is a brand new computer to see if all the components are still inside and did not get replaced by other cheaper ones.
Buying a new PC November Progress
I let it slip once or twice in the comments that I'm going to buy and build a new computer in the first quarter of the next year. I just once bought a pre-assembled computer and since then decided to select the hardware components and build it by myself. This has some advantages but also several disadvantages which I would like to shortly address.
Solid State Hard Drives
I'm really excited about this new technology that will make its way and replace those magnetic hard drives in the long run. Solid State hard drives are based on flash memory which you usually find in most mp3 players these days. They have several advantages in comparison to magnetic hard drives.
Bought a Computer? Check it's hardware!
The first thing that I'm doing after I bought a computer, be it used or retail, is to check if the components installed are indeed the components advertised. I personally think this is essentially because I witnessed more than once that a computer that was sold did not contain the components that the seller claimed it would.
Permanently Assign Drive Letters to USB Devices
Don't you hate it that it is not possible to assign a drive letter to an USB device in Windows using Microsoft tools ? Let me correct that, it is possible to assign drive letters to USB devices under some circumstances using Disk Management. This is however not working for all USB devices.
Create Game Profiles for your Nvidia Graphics Card
Not every game runs perfectly with the default settings. Some drop in performance more than others when increasing quality settings such as Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic-Filtering while others show no gain in quality when raising certain settings.
Lower the noise of your hard drives with SilentDrive
Hard Drives can be terribly noise makers in computers. This is especially true when you are one of those users who buys silent pc hardware and uses fan regulators to lower the noise of system fans. When the noise of those fans is lowered other noises can probably be heard that you did not recognize before.
Custom Paper Keyboards
Flippress is a German startup that is currently in the process of creating a website that will allow everyone to create their own customized paper keyboards which can be used as any normal keyboard on the market with the difference that it is completely made of paper.
New Trend? Hardware embedded Software
Does it make sense to embed a web browser like Firefox or a Voice over IP client like Skype into a motherboard ? It surely has some advantages like fast boot times and increased security because everything done using those softwares is stored inside the RAM and not on the hard drive.
Star Wars Home Theater
In a place far away from reality - which happens to be somewhere near Seattle - two Star Wars geeks decided to create the ultimate home theater: A Star Wars Death Star Home Theater. It took them 36 months to complete the project which in my opinion resembles the interior of an Imperial Star Destroyer and not the Death Star.
USB Flash Drive with Capacity Meter
Many users think that usb flash drives are all the same. They look boring and can only be used to plug them into a usb port. The Lexar usb flash drive Jumpdrive Mercury adds one useful function to the usb drive.
Is that the future? Waiter free Restaurants
Companies try everything to reduce labor costs to a minimum by automating, which simply means replacing humans by computers, and outsourcing, which means producing in countries with lower labor costs, processes. The ideal world for them is a world without labor costs at all to maximize profits and please the shareholders.
Flash Memory with Iris identification
Everyone is able to access data on normal usb sticks unless the data on the stick is encrypted with softwares like True Crypt for instance. Software based encryptions however require that the software to decrypt the data is actually installed on the system. It would not be possible to decrypt the data. The user also needs to know the password to decrypt the data, if the password is lost the data is lost unless a weak password was chosen during the encryption process.
Declutter your desk
P5chin who is a regular reader of my blog send me a tip which I immediately had to write about. I don't know a single computer user who is not unhappy with all the cables, power sources and external devices cluttering the place on and beneath the desk.
Off-Topic: Antigravity engines becoming reality?
Yes, this article is a little out of the box but I'm pretty sure that most of tech geeks (and sci-fi fans ;) would be interested in this matter, that's why I wanted to share the info. Additionally, IF true, this project would in my honest opinion become a revolution easily comparable to the birth of the internet. Some time ago I've read about a brand new concept of a microwave engine designed especially for spacecraft propulsion. A bunch of smart heads from the UK lead by R.Shawyer invented a simply looking yet very complicated (from the view of mathematical and physical theories) prototype of a propeller that uses microwaves to generate thrust and by doing so compensate the power of gravity...
Why 2 is better than 1
In case you are wondering; I'm talking about computer RAM. I noticed a few days ago that one of the 512 Megabyte bars of RAM that I had installed on my computer was faulty and decided to order two 1 Gigabyte bars to replace both old bars. I had the hopes that the increase would also speed up some resource intensive applications.
How to test your RAM for errors
It you purchase new ram, a new or used computer or experience crashes and bluescreens you should definitely test the memory installed on your computer to make sure that it is running without errors. Faulty memory is one of the main reasons for instability. The first task should be to make sure that the memory is correctly inserted into the memory banks. Make sure you count the number of bars and check if you are running dual channel mode or not.
The definitive guide to Firmware updates
Did you know that it is possible to patch the firmware of many devices with an unofficial version that could increase the speed of a device or increase it's functionality ? Most firmwares are created for one of the following five device types: Motherboards. Dvd Recorders. Digital Cameras. Graphic Cards and Routers.
I'd like to share my experience with an uncommon navigation device I bought few weeks ago. There were two reasons why I started to consider buying a tablet. At first, I wanted to try something different than the old-style mouse. I also needed it to be more precise than the mouse so that I could use it for some web graphics and drawing (I assume you have tried to draw something with mouse and know what I mean).
So, who is winning the HD war ?
I'm not that interested in the HD format war because I do not have a television that is HD Ready and do not plan to buy one in the near future. Maybe that is one of the reasons why I feel a little bit lost about the success or failure of HD-DVD and Blue-Ray players and movies.
I thought that I'm going to discuss it with each of you. What are your thoughts about both formats ? Do you think that Blue-Ray is in the lead, maybe because of the boost after the release of the Playstation 3 by Sony ? Or is it the HD-DVD format that you think will win this war.
Random Time Wall Clock
If you are looking for a rather unique clock you should take a look at the so called Rnd_Time Infinite Wall Clock. The Rnd_Time stands of course for Random Time but it is not the time that is shown randomly but the placement of the hours on the walls. The hours can be placed randomly on the wall while the clock is still displaying the correct time. It could be hard to tell the time but it sure looks unique. You do get 12 blocks that display the hours from 1 to 12 and another block for the clock hands.
Top 10 Future Display Technologies
If you thought that you would be starring at those boring LCD or Plasma displays for the next ten years you will now be proven wrong. Some displays look incredible cool. I personally would love to lay my hands on the Samsung 12mm thick LCD display, the Toshiba Interactive 3D Display and the Touchless Touchscreen. I decided to only include my favorites from the ten future display technologies and suggest that you head out to the original website who posted the list to see the others.
Dell to finally ship PCs with Linux
First Dell PCs with AMD chips and now Dell PCs with Linux preinstalled. It seems that Dell finally managed to see that giving its customers a choice is the way to go in this matter. Linux has some advantages over PCs that ship with Windows Vista or Microsoft Windows XP. The first and most prominent one is of course the price tag. Dell can reduce the costs that customers have to pay for a PC even further and advertise this properly.
Adobe Multi-touch Interface Presentation
If you thought that the last Multi-touch technology videos that I have been showing here at Ghacks have been cool then you should see this one. This one is a presentation by Jeff Han who is a research scientist for NYU's Media Research Lab during TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) 2006. Jeff Han describes his technique the following way: "Our technique is force-sensitive, and provides unprecedented resolution and scalability, allowing us to create sophisticated multi-point widgets for applications large enough to accommodate both hands and multiple users."
Sony DVD does not play on Sony DVD Player because of DRM
I knew that something like that was going to happen eventually and it did happen with the releases of "Stranger Than Fiction" and "The Holiday". Mick B posted the story on a new blog that he apparently created just for the purpose of bringing the news to the world. He rented the two DVD movies (from Sony Pictures) and tried to play them on his Sony DVP-CX995V DVD player. Both DVD movies did load until the splash screen was shown and stopped loading from that moment on. After 60 seconds the DVD player did turn itself off with no apparent reaso
Enable region free mode on your DVD player
DVD region codes, how I hate them. I never quite understood why every player and dvd created had to have a region code implemented to prevent playback of DVDs from other regions. If I was to move from the United States to Germany or Britain I would have to import all DVDs for my US DVD player because I would not be able to play DVDs sold in Germany or Britain on that player. The other possibility would be to buy a European DVD player which would not play my US DVDs that I purchased back in the States.
NEC Dew Camera Prototype
The world's largest computer expo Cebit which dated from 15. March to 21. March and held in Hannover, Germany saw some astonishingly creative gadget prototypes which were introduced to consumers and companies for the first time. One of the prototype gadgets caught my eye immediately. Nec called it the Dew Camera which is basically a wearable camera that constantly records moments in your daily experience.
Looking for a new Computer Monitor? Try this one..
I thought my dual computer monitor lineup would be something spectacular, how wrong I was. Everton from Connected Internet posted an article today that has an image of an incredible looking computer monitor lineup. The linup consists of one 30'' center flat screen monitor and five 20.1'' perimeter flat screens that surround the center lcd monitor. This computer monitor setup needs special multi-monitor software of course that makes it possible to choose what you display on all the single flat screen monitors. Take a look at the image first to get a better impression.