Cleaning out the basement yet again I stumbled on an old 20″ iMac. By today’s standards this thing is a huge piece of junk. 250GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, Core 2 processor. At 11 years old its better suited as a boat anchor then a functional computer. However the standard equipment iMac Keyboard does function as a blue tooth keyboard and can be used with other devices.
I happen to like the iMac keyboard, it feels a little small at first, however once you get accustomed to the feel it makes a great companion to any device.
The keyboard is relatively easy to pair to your device if you follow these simple steps.
Laptops and Notebook computers cost a fraction of what they did years ago. A decent general purpose laptop can be had today for around $500. However as time marches on our older computers can begin to feel slower due to more resource demanding applications and operating systems.
Maybe its not time to toss out that used laptop! With some easy modifications you can spruce up your laptop and get a few more years of good service life out of it.
Modern cars offer a ton of on board self diagnostic equipment to help point us in the right direction when things begin to fail. However it seems that most auto manufactures would prefer the diagnosis of the dreaded “check engine” light left to the professionals. I don’t believe this should be the case. If you own the car you should be able to diagnose issues and make decisions on how and where to have them repaired.
Fix your check engine light with a $20 ODB2 scanner
During my college days I worked in Radio Shack part time to help pay the bills. Its unfortunate Radio Shack has gone extinct, however when you are unable to adapt to the changes in the market only the strong will survive. During my career at The Shack one of the products that fascinated me was the police scanner. I spent hours behind the counter dialing up different frequencies and listing to calls all over New York City.
It was the dawn of the digital tuner age where a listener could punch up a frequency for police or fire and be right in the action. 476.3875 – BOOM.. you’re listening to NYPD! 482.04375 – Fire dispatch on the air! A few more clicks of the keypad and 482.2437 EMS is coming in loud and clear
If your parents are like mine they are tech savvy enough to get by. What I mean by that is they know how to launch Fire Fox and surf the web, maybe play checkers or chess and print a few documents when necessary. The problem arises when something goes wrong with their computer. Maybe they click on something they shouldn’t and get a virus or malware infection. Then again a Microsoft update could change some setting they are not familiar with and causes stress and a phone call to you. These days you have your own family and live an hour away from your parents and really can’t make the trip back home right now. This is where a remote solution comes into play!
Next time you are at your parents house, install one of these remote solutions and be prepared for the dreaded “my computer is broken” phone call.
Microsoft’s free video-calling software doubles as a very decent screen sharing program. Although you can’t directly interact with your friend’s desktop or take control of their computer yourself, you can view their screen as you both continue speaking, which makes the troubleshooting process more straightforward. And with the recent revamp of its appearance, Skype is easier to use than ever. SKYPE.COM
Chrome Remote Desktop
This extension for Google Chrome can go beyond the web browser to share anything on a computer screen with someone else. Chrome Remote Desktop gives one user full control over the other computer for an experience almost like sitting in front of your mom’s machine. CHROME REMOTE DESKTOP
Businesses use the professional TeamViewer tool, but it’s simple enough for anyone to use. And for personal, use—like helping out Dad with computer problems, it’s also free. It allows full control of the remote system TEAMVIEWER.US
Remember when installing any remote viewing tools to keep passwords safe and out of prying eyes. Other than its nice to visit Mom and Dad for a few hours and fix their computer, a remote solution can come in handy when time is short or distance is long.
The technology world is continuously changing. Today’s awesome technology is tomorrows trash, its just a simple fact of life. I truly believe we should do what we can to reduce, reuse and recycle our old tech. Today while rummaging through the archive of stuff I came across an old Sony PRS-600.
The Sony PRS-600 was released in 2009 and by all standards ready for the trash heap. Before sending this device off to its finial resting place I decided to make a cute black and white picture frame.
Step 1 – Prepare the PRS-600
Using an old 2GB SD card, I loaded up around 300 of my favorite photos, inserted it into the unit. On the settings menu I configured the PRS-600 to never shut off, and run a perpetual slide show with a 60 second delay between images. Continue reading “Make a Sony E-Reader Picture Frame”
The Optiplex 9020 is quite a number of years old now, and many are beginning to come out of mainstream service. As with many of my projects, I like to re-purpose older hardware for new tasks.
In this case I want to add an SSD drive along with a standard spinning disk. I will be using a smaller 400gb SSD for the boot drive, and a larger 2tb HDD for my storage. The only problem is the Optiplex 9020 only has one SATA power connector in the small form factor.
Adding SATA power to Optiplex 9020
Before we begin I want to define the pin out of the SATA connector so you understand what’s going on. Also understand you can get the same result with a $7 splitter from amazon
Guitar Hero is over a dozen years old, and though not so popular as it was in 2005 it still captures the hearts of original Wii fans. Guitar Hero was introduced when video game motion control was in its hay day. Nintendo had a revolutionary idea with the original Wii and video game companies far and wide wrote tons of software to capitalize on the new systems.
My kids loved, and still enjoy Guitar Hero to this day, and enjoy firing up the old Wii or Wii U to get their guitar on. However like many teenagers they are not gentle with their equipment and managed to break our Guitar Hero guitar. I was looking to source on on Ebay or Amazon, but then thought to myself maybe it could be repaired.
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if we never invented the micro chip? Micro chips and to that extent the micro processor should be hailed as one of the greatest inventions of all time. Most of our modern life would not be possible if we were not able to fit billions of transistors in the space of a postage stamp silicon wafer. Just think about that statement for a moment! Your mobile phone would be the size of a car, your home computer the size of a room in your house. Constantly swapping out burnt vacuum tubes.
Micro chips to the rescue.
A Silicon Wafer Is Born:
Ever wondered how these chips are made? I never gave it a thought myself until I stumbled across these Silicon Wafers. For some reason or another these wafers were deemed defective so they were unable to continue the journey into computers, phones and other electronics. Some of the wafers were destined to become DRAM’s (memory) some designed to be micro processors, while others custom circuits for a specific job. Continue reading “8″ (200mm) Silicon Wafer With Amazing Chip Patterns”
The Landsat program is the longest running satellite imagery program on Earth. The first satellite was launched on July 23rd 1972 and the most recent launch was February 11th 2013. With Landsat 9 to be launched in 2020.
The instruments on the Landsat satellites have acquired millions of images. The images, archived in the United States and receiving stations around the world, are a unique resource for global change research and applications in agriculture, cartography, geology, forestry, regional planning, surveillance and education, and can be viewed through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) ‘EarthExplorer’ website. Landsat images are usually divided into scenes for easy downloading.